Plains

Statoil’s Footprint in Deepwater GOM Grows

Norwegian-based Statoil ASA staked out a bigger portion of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM) following an agreement with Houston-based Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP), in which it agreed to pay PXP $700 million to acquire the working interests in two discoveries and one deepwater prospect.

September 19, 2006

Industry Briefs

Houston-based Plains Exploration and Production Co. (PXD) has agreed to sell some of its noncore assets in California and Texas to Occidental Petroleum Corp. for $865 million in cash. The sale includes PXD’s interests in California’s Asphalto, Buena Vista and Mount Poso fields in the San Joaquin Valley and the Sansinena Field in the Los Angeles Basin, as well as the Pakenham Field in West Texas. The properties currently generate sales volumes, net of exchange related natural gas volumes, of 7,200 boe/d, and as of Dec. 31, 2005, PXD’s independent reserve engineers estimated proven reserves of 45 million boe. Occidental, which noted that the properties are adjacent to some of its other assets, said the properties will contribute about 56 million boe to its reserves. Occidental CEO Ray R. Irani said the company expects to substantially increase the current production rate to about 8,900 boe/d in the next few years. PXD, which expects the transaction to close by Oct. 1, plans to use the sales proceeds to reduce debt and continue repurchasing company shares. Lehman Brothers and Randall & Dewey, a division of Jefferies & Co., assisted PXD in the sales process.

August 14, 2006

Oxy Purchases CA, TX Properties for $865M

Houston-based Plains Exploration and Production Co. (PXD) has agreed to sell some of its noncore assets in California and Texas to Occidental Petroleum Corp. for $865 million in cash. The sale includes PXD’s interests in California’s Asphalto, Buena Vista and Mount Poso fields in the San Joaquin Valley and the Sansinena Field in the Los Angeles Basin, as well as the Pakenham Field in West Texas.

August 8, 2006

Transportation Notes

Late Thursday afternoon Northern Natural Gas canceled a force majeure that it had declared earlier that day after detecting a leak upstream of the Plains Turbine on the Hobbs 26 suction line (see Daily GPI, July 21). On Friday Northern declared a force majeure on the Matagorda Offshore Pipeline System (MOPS), which it operates. A leak was discovered upstream of the Matagorda Island 686 platform, Northern said. Effective Friday until further notice, 14 platforms south of Matagorda Island 686C were required to shut in and were allocated to zero.

July 24, 2006

Transportation Notes

Northern Natural Gas declared a force majeure situation Thursday after detecting a leak upstream of the Plains Turbine on the Hobbs 26 suction line. The segment containing the leak must be isolated to facilitate repairs, which will require shutting in the Altura Gaines receipt point, Northern said. Upon isolating the affected area, eight other receipt points and four delivery points could be impacted and/or allocated, it added. See the bulletin board for further details.

July 21, 2006

Bullishness Prompts E&P Asset Sales by Plains, Saber

Robust commodity prices and a strong market for oil and gas properties are nudging industry small fry to the energy patch deal table, too. Houston-based Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP) said it is pursuing the divestiture of nonstrategic oil and gas properties, mainly in California and Texas, the company said. Separately, Midland, TX-based independent Saber Resources LLC hired Energy Spectrum Advisors Inc. (ESA) to divest all of its oil and gas interests in the Permian Basin, which are about 90% oil producing.

July 3, 2006

Bullishness Prompts Sale of TX, CA, Gulf Properties

High commodity prices and an active market for assets have prompted Houston-based Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP) to pursue the divestiture of nonstrategic oil and gas properties, mainly in California and Texas, the company said Wednesday. Separately, Midland, TX-based independent Saber Resources LLC hired Energy Spectrum Advisors Inc. (ESA) to divest all of its oil and gas interests in the Permian Basin, which are about 90% oil producing.

June 29, 2006

Extra Heat Lights a Fire Under Cash Market

With heat levels rising significantly across the southern half of the U.S. and to a lesser extent in the Lower Midwest and Central/Upper Plains, the increase in power generation loads were enough to push prices higher at all points Monday despite futures weakness on the preceding Friday.

May 23, 2006

Geographic Center of Gas Industry Seen Shifting to Wyoming

Few people in the gas industry realize it, but Pinedale, WY, a tiny town with one flashing red stop light, soon could become the center of the domestic natural gas universe, said Stuart Nance, director of oil and gas marketing for Ultra Petroleum.

April 10, 2006

Industry Briefs

XTO Energy Inc. has completed its purchase of producing properties from Plains Exploration & Production Co. for $336 million, further expanding its operations in East Texas and northern Louisiana. XTO’s internal engineers estimate the proved reserves to be 175 Bcfe, of which 75% are proved developed and 95% are attributable to natural gas. Beginning Wednesday (June 1), the acquired properties will contribute production of about 35 MMcf/d, which is already reflected in the company’s guidance. XTO agreed to the purchase earlier this year. With the purchase, XTO now holds acreage in the Sabine Uplift and Cotton Valley trends, which include the Carthage, Rosewood, White Oak/Glenwood, Beckville, East Henderson and Oak Hill fields. The original $350 million purchase price was reduced by $32 million of net revenues from a Jan. 1 effective date, offset by $18 million in capital expenditures, for a net reduction of $14 million, XTO said.

June 6, 2005