Williams Wraps Up ND Bakken Acquisition

Williams has completed a major purchase in North Dakota's Bakken oil play from private owners for $925 million cash. Williams announced the acquisition on Nov. 15.

In the transaction, Williams purchased 100 percent of the interests in Dakota-3 E&P Company LLC. Dakota-3 has approximately 85,800 net acres on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in the Williston Basin and 3,300 barrels per day of net oil production from 24 existing wells.

Williams' purchase has an effective date of Oct. 1, subject to standard closing adjustments. Williams is the new owner of Dakota-3, which will continue its existing contractual arrangement for services with the contract operator and field services provider after closing.

Currently, Dakota-3 has three rigs operating on its acreage. Williams expects to double the current level of drilling activity to six rigs by 2012, subject to permitting. Williams estimates that Dakota-3's holdings represent approximately 185 million barrels of oil equivalent in total net reserves potential in the Middle Bakken and the Upper Three Forks formations.

Williams' entry into the Bakken Shale play follows its entry into Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, where the company has accumulated approximately 100,000 net acres over the past year and a half.

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