Gastar Exploration Ltd. announced a three-way deal with Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Monday, in which Gastar purchased proven reserves in the prospective Hunton Limestone formation in Oklahoma, as well as close to 10% of its common stock. The companies also agreed to settle outstanding litigation.
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ExxonMobil Corp. has increased its hold in the Bakken Shale to nearly 600,000 net acres after agreeing to acquire Denbury Resources Inc.’s entire portfolio in the play, 196,000 net acres. The North Dakota and Montana properties had average production in the first six months of this year of about 15,400 boe/d, 88% weighted to oil and liquids.
ConocoPhillips revealed Wednesday that in the last three months of 2011 it acquired more than 100,000 acres in North American liquids-rich shale plays, bringing its unconventional acquisitions last year to more than 500,000 acres.
Pittsburgh’s CONSOL Energy Inc., which has increasingly been focused on its Appalachian natural gas operations, agreed Thursday to sell Noble Energy Inc. half of its 663,350 net-acre leasehold in a portion of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, including a half-stake in existing wells, under a multi-year transaction valued at $3.4 billion.
Tenaska Inc. has regained full control of its natural gas marketing arm, Tenaska Marketing Ventures (TMV), after completing a half-stake repurchase from affiliates of American International Group Inc. (AIG). Financial details of the purchase, which included Tenaska Gas Storage and Tenaska Marketing Canada, were not disclosed.
ChevronTexaco Corp. has approved a program to repurchase up to $5 billion of the company’s common stock. The repurchases were to begin Thursday and continue for up to three years.
Williams said it closed the previously announced agreement to repurchase preferred shares held by a wholly owned subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. Williams redeemed all of the outstanding 9-7/8% cumulative-convertible preferred shares for $289 million, plus $5.3 million for accrued dividends. In March 2002, Williams sold the 1.5 million preferred shares to MidAmerican in a $275 million transaction. It repurchased the preferred shares with proceeds from a private placement of 5.5% junior subordinated convertible debentures due 2033. The new convertible debentures provide Williams with more favorable terms, which on an annual basis result in $17 million in lower after-tax carrying costs compared with the preferred convertible shares Williams repurchased. The company also closed its previously announced underwritten public offering of 8.625% senior unsecured notes due 2010. Williams will use the net proceeds from the $800 million offering to improve corporate liquidity, for general corporate purposes, and for payment of maturing debt obligations, including the partial repayment of the company’s senior unsecured 9.25% notes due March 2004.
Ending a long-running dispute between Florida’s state government and petroleum companies with production interests offshore Florida, President Bush last week announced that the U.S. government will buy back most of the oil and natural gas leases in the Destin Dome area offshore Pensacola, FL, as well as drilling rights in the Florida Everglades ecosystem. While the agreements will preserve some of Florida’s most significant natural treasures, major gas producers said the decision to remove these areas from exploration and development will be a “major hit to natural gas supply” for the country.
Noble Affiliate Inc.’s board of directors has approved an expanded program to repurchase common stock from time to time in the open market or privately negotiated transactions. The Houston company’s original program of $50 million has been increased to $100 million, and of the $100 million now authorized, about $70 million remains available to purchase additional shares. The company has already repurchased $30 million of stock and intends to hold all of the repurchased stock shares as treasury shares. As of Aug. 6, there were 56.6 million shares of issued and outstanding common stock.
Public Service Co. of New Mexico (PNM) said it embarked on a$17.3 million stock repurchase plan last week after announcing theNew Mexico Supreme Court rejected a $112 million rate cut imposedby the state’s outgoing Public Utility Commission (PUC) late lastyear.