Approximately 98% of voting stockholders of Houston-based Whittier Energy Corp. have approved the buyout of Whittier by Sterling Energy plc for an estimated $188 million, including $11 per Whittier share plus assumption of $43 million of Whittier liabilities. The merger was expected to close March 28. Whittier Energy is an independent oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) company with operations in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The company also holds nonoperated interests in fields located in the Gulf Coast, Oklahoma, Wyoming and California. Sterling Energy is an independent E&P company formed in October 2002 and listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. Sterling has built a portfolio of production assets in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore West Africa, and has an active exploration program focused predominantly on Africa. Sterling has expanded its U.S. operations to include onshore Texas and the Louisiana Gulf Coast.

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