Dallas-based Pioneer Natural Resources Co. has agreed to acquire an interest in approximately 30,000 net acres in the Raton Basin of southwestern Colorado for $205 million, before closing adjustments, from Petrogulf Corp., the company said Monday.

The acquisition is expected to close during the fourth quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions.

A majority of the acquisition value is derived from approximately 9,800 net acres immediately south of Pioneer’s Sangre de Cristo unit. Pioneer estimates that this acreage holds approximately 124 Bcf of potential coalbed methane (CBM) reserves, consisting of approximately 95 Bcf of estimated proved reserves and an additional 29 Bcf of resource potential. Current net production from the producing properties being acquired is 10 MMcf/d, and the acquisition includes more than 110 potential CBM drilling locations.

“This acquisition further enhances our strong position in the Raton Basin at an attractive cost and with significant upside to expand the proved reserves through additional step-out drilling,” said Pioneer CEO Scott Sheffield.

Pioneer has said it will spin off its Raton Basin properties to a master limited partnership (MLP) in 2008 (see Daily GPI, April 24). Last week the company made a regulatory filing for the initial public offering of units in a new MLP to hold its West Texas assets (see Daily GPI, July 27).

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