El Paso Corp. said Thursday it has filed Securities and Exchange Commission forms related to the planned spinoff this year of its exploration and production (E&P) business. The filing provides information about the spinoff and a detailed look at all aspects of the E&P business.

The new company, EP Energy Corp., would be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol “EPE.” El Paso announced the spinoff in May (see Daily GPI, May 25). Once completed El Paso Corp. would be composed of the company’s Pipeline Group, Midstream Group and hold general and limited partner interests in El Paso Pipeline Partners LP.

The new company’s name “leverages the equity we have built in the El Paso brand, and it speaks directly to what our E&P business does so well: finding and producing oil and natural gas,” said El Paso CEO Doug Foshee. EP Energy is to be led by Brent Smolik, who is to become president and CEO.

“While our name will change, many things will not, including the fundamental pillars of our E&P strategy,” said Smolik. “We have more than 10 years of drilling inventory that we expect will deliver significant growth in oil and condensate revenues. We will continue to focus on maintaining a significant drilling inventory of repeatable programs, being a leader in safe and responsible energy development, and driving high-end performance across our operations.”

Smolik has run El Paso’s exploration arm since late 2006 (see Daily GPI, Oct. 17, 2006). He earned a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University in 1983 and first worked as a drilling and reservoir engineer for the former Atlantic Richfield Co., which is now part of BP plc. In 1990 Smolik joined the former Burlington Resources Inc. as a reservoir engineer and acquisition coordinator and went on to hold engineering supervisory and management positions in the Denver, Offshore, San Juan and Gulf Coast divisions.

Smolik served as Burlington’s vice president, chief engineer in Houston until relocating to Calgary in 2004, where he became president of Burlington Resources Canada. Following Burlington’s merger with ConocoPhillips in 2006, Smolik remained in Calgary and became president of ConocoPhillips Canada before joining El Paso later that year.

The two companies’ boards of directors, which are to be in place when the planned spinoff is completed, also were announced. Foshee would remain chairman of El Paso and nonexecutive chairman of EP Energy.

“By populating each board from the existing El Paso board, we take advantage of a history of good governance; we ensure each board has seasoned, knowledgeable members, and we maintain continuity for our shareholders,” he said.

J. Michael Talbert would serve as lead director of El Paso’s board, which also is to include Juan Carlos Braniff, Anthony W. Hall Jr., Thomas R. Hix, Ferrell P. McClean, Timothy J. Probert, Robert F. Vagt and John L. Whitmire. EP Energy’s board would be composed of Smolik, McClean, Vagt, David W. Crane, Robert W. Goldman and Steven J. Shapiro.

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