In last-minute talks, El Paso Corp. on Tuesday trumped an investment group’s bid and snapped up the Rockies-based exploration and production (E&P) unit of Flying J Inc. for $103.5 million.

Flying J Oil & Gas Inc., headquartered in North Salt Lake, UT, is an independent producer that has been in operation since 1980. The exploration unit focuses its development activities in the Rockies and has core operations in the Uinta Basin of Utah and the Williston Basin in eastern Montana.

Flying J’s subsidiary has an interest in around 200 gas and oil wells, El Paso’s Bill Baerg told NGI. The unit controls about 68,000 net acres in four Rocky Mountain states.

“The majority of the assets are located in the Altamont-Bluebell field,” Baerg said. “El Paso knows the properties well and can incorporate them into the company’s current operations quickly and efficiently.”

Flying J was in bankruptcy court in Wilmington, DE, Tuesday to seek approval to sell its E&P subsidiary to privately held Citation 2004 Investment LLP for $92 million. The two had reached an agreement on the price in November.

However, once the hearing began, an attorney for Flying J asked for a court recess to allow time for unscheduled talks with El Paso representatives. Following three hours of talks that were said to take place in the hallway outside of the courtroom, El Paso reached a deal to acquire the E&P unit, and the transaction was approved in court. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, Baerg said.

©Copyright 2009Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.