Nymex Holdings Inc. announced that its shareholders approved its initial public offering (IPO) and related proposals at a special meeting Thursday. More than 91% of the shares voted in favor of the IPO and related proposals. The IPO is subject to several additional conditions, including favorable market conditions and receipt of regulatory approval. Nymex had been contemplating whether or not to hold an IPO for the last year. In March, Nymex Holdings closed on a deal in which General Atlantic LLC invested $160 million for a 10% equity stake in Nymex Holdings. Under that deal, General Atlantic agreed to help Nymex launch an IPO. Nymex said that if the IPO is consummated by Dec. 31 at a price which values Nymex at $2 billion or more, General Atlantic will be required to pay an additional $10 million to Nymex without receiving any additional shares of preferred or common stock. If that occurs, Nymex plans to distribute that additional $10 million as a special dividend to the company’s stockholders of record on March 13, the last business day before the closing of the transaction with General Atlantic.
National Fuel said it filed a proposed settlement at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) regarding a request for an increase in delivery service charges. Under the terms of the settlement, the utility’s delivery service charges will increase by $14.3 million or about 4% of total revenue. This change will increase the average bill of a typical Pennsylvania residential customer using 8,300 cf of gas per month by $5.39, from $120.08 per month to $125.47 per month, beginning Jan. 1, 2007. Prior to this case National Fuel has increased delivery service charges less than 5% since 1995. The company’s current residential customer rate structure will remain unchanged. As part of the settlement, National Fuel withdrew proposed changes to the customer charge, as well as the proposed energy efficiency feature (revenue decoupling), that would have adjusted customer rates if overall usage levels were different than the projected usage levels on which the rates were based. National Fuel said it supports the statewide generic proceeding that the PUC announced in September that will investigate efforts that energy utilities can take to help their customers conserve energy or use it more efficiently. The proceeding will also examine ratemaking mechanisms (including revenue decoupling mechanisms) that might be appropriate to remove any disincentives that would keep utilities in the commonwealth from promoting customer conservation. National Fuel serves more than 215,000 utility customers in 14 counties of northwestern Pennsylvania.
Calgary, AB-based Powder River Basin Gas Corp. (PRBG) said Wednesday it has purchased a 4,600-acre property in South Texas known as the McFadden Ranch in the East McFadden Field. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Currently, East McFadden Field has three wells that are producing a total of 40 b/d of oil and 350 Mcf/d of natural gas. There are an additional 52 shut-in wells on this project. PRBG said it intends to rework all of these wells and install electronic submersible pumps, or ESP units, which are capable of moving an average of 3,000 bbl/d of fluid per well. The service work and ESP units are being supplied by Weatherford International, which has participated in PRBG’s research and due diligence on the project. The property’s total proved developed reserves are valued at 2.45 million bbl of oil and 2.5 Bcf of gas. McFadden Ranch also has 79 additional locations that have been identified for offset drilling on the project. The company said it plans to complete a new 3-D seismic survey on the project, which is close to the successful Goliad County project. “This is an exciting purchase for Powder River, as it brings our Texas holdings to close to 7,000 acres. McFadden Ranch is an excellent addition, as it is already producing and generating revenue while we rework the other 52 wells. In addition it provides a long-term drilling and marketing project to fulfill Powder River’s requirements over the next few years,” said PRBG CEO Brian Fox.
Tulsa, OK-based Rockford Panhandle LLC said Wednesday it has acquired all of the oil and gas assets of the J. M. Huber Corp. in the Texas Panhandle for an undisclosed price. The acquired properties hold 13 Bcfe of net proved reserves and currently generate approximately 1.7 MMcfe/d of net daily production. The company said the identified upside in the properties includes behind pipe recompletions and additional drilling across the 22,831 gross/9,508 net acres. Rockford Panhandle said activity in the field will increase significantly over the coming quarters utilizing the company’s 60 squares of 3-D seismic. “The integration of existing 3-D seismic along with current well data on these assets will enable Panhandle to drill six- to- 10 wells in 2007.” said Jean Antonides, Panhandle vice president of geology. “The properties contain low risk development locations along with some reentry prospects. The properties have been held by production for a number of years with little activity and are positioned on trend with some recent large discoveries.” Rockford Panhandle was founded with an equity commitment from Quantum Energy Partners, its affiliates, and the management team. Quantum Energy Partners is a Houston-based private equity firm specializing in the energy industry with more than $2.5 billion of capital under management.
A settlement was reached with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission earlier this month, removing a potential roadblock to FERC approval of the proposed merger of NorthWestern Corp. and Australian-based Babcock & Brown Infrastructure Ltd (BBI). Under the deal, the PUC won’t oppose the Sioux Falls, SD-based utility holding company from being purchased by BBI. Last month, the South Dakota regulatory panel filed a protest of the proposed merger at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and at the end of the month withdrew it. FERC is expected to make its decision by the end of this year, NorthWestern said. NorthWestern CEO Mike Hanson said the PUC settlement agreement provides state regulators with “assurance that we will continue to provide South Dakota customers with the same level of service that they have come to expect from us. This agreement also underscores our expectation, through this transaction, to provide further stability for our employees, customers and communities in South Dakota.” Nebraska’s Public Service Commission held an uncontested hearing on the proposed merger Sept. 27 and is expected to issue a final order at the end of this month, NorthWestern said. The Montana Public Service Commission, which has had public spats with NorthWestern in recent years, will not hold a hearing on the proposed merger until March next year, NorthWestern said.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has received U.S. Federal Trade Commission antitrust clearance for its acquisition of the Canadian assets of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. In September Canadian Natural said it would buy Anadarko Canada Corp. (ACC) for $4.24 billion, including working capital adjustments. ACC’s land and production base are all in Western Canada and are concentrated natural gas-weighted assets with strong netbacks and long reserve life. The deal does not include Anadarko’s interests in the Mackenzie Delta and other Canadian arctic frontier properties. Current production, before royalties, from the working interests acquired by Canadian Natural is approximately 358 MMcf/d of gas and 9,300 b/d of crude oil and NGLs. The assets also include 1.5 million net undeveloped acres and key strategic facilities in the high growth areas of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta.
OGE Energy Corp.’s natural gas pipeline subsidiary, Enogex, is offering a new meter data monitoring service to its producer customers. Using ProductionWatch, producers will be able to track their production volume, flow time and pressure via the Internet. “ProductionWatch will provide well operators and interest owners a solid information tool to support and enhance their business,” said Enogex COO Danny Harris. “Subscribers can expect to spot offline wells quicker, reduce unnecessary trips to the well and improve production data management, which can potentially provide customer savings and increase revenues.”
Bowling Green, KY-based Allied Energy Group Inc. and Mammoth Energy Group Inc. announced a joint venture in which Allied will invest $1.5 million in a Rogers County, OK, coalbed methane project in exchange for a 33% working interest, leaving Mammoth’s wholly owned subsidiary, KMV Consulting Inc., with a 49.5% net revenue interest. Under terms of the agreement, the two companies also will be working jointly on a shallow natural gas project in Colorado and a large project in northeastern Montana. The two companies have agreed that the funds will be utilized to increase the net acres under lease in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Montana. They have already used some funds to drill, test, and complete three new wells in the Oklahoma play. The funding should be sufficient to drill another 20 or more wells, which, if all are successfully completed, would put the total well count at 35. Assuming 30 wells are completed and produce like the first 12 wells, this would put total daily production at about 1,500 Mcf/d. With production at these levels, management believes that it can renegotiate a better gas purchase price, lower its line charges, gain economies of scale on well operations, and increase the project’s overall gross profits.
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