Voyager Oil & Gas, Inc. and Emerald Oil Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Emerald Oil & Gas NL, announced that they have entered into a securities purchase agreement whereby Voyager will acquire Emerald Oil to create a U.S.-based oil and gas company that will focus on select oil and gas basins in the Rocky Mountain region. The transaction will combine the companies' oil-producing assets in the Williston Basin, specifically in the Bakken and Three Forks plays located in North Dakota and Montana, with Emerald Oil's acreage position focusing on the Niobrara shale in the Sandwash Basin located in Colorado and Wyoming.
The transaction will significantly expand the acreage position of both companies in the Williston Basin. The combination is intended to create an oil and gas company with operating capabilities that has the ability to effectively manage a multi-rig drilling program in the Rocky Mountains and extract maximum value from both of its operated and non-operated drilling programs. The transaction will also realign individual management responsibilities of the combined company's executives in order to allow each executive to focus on his core area of professional expertise. The combined company will begin the transition from a non-operating business model to an operating business model with its first operated well in Dunn County, North Dakota, which is planned to spud in early 2013 and will be followed by a continuous single-rig drilling program in 2013. The combined company intends to leverage its extensive technical Williston Basin well database to optimize the designs of future wells.
The combined company will operate as Emerald Oil and will be headquartered in Denver, Colorado and maintain its lease acquisition program from Billings, Montana focused on the Williston Basin.
"The untapped oil and gas reserves in the Western United States have reshaped the North American energy markets," said McAndrew Rudisill, President of Emerald Oil. "The combination of Voyager and Emerald Oil underscores our commitment to developing an operated U.S. shale oil company. Today's announcement accelerates our strategy of using our position in the Williston Basin to create a company focused on Bakken and Three Forks development, two of the most prolific and extensive shale oil plays in the U.S."
"This is a transformational event that is expected to benefit the shareholders of both companies," said J.R. Reger, Voyager's Chief Executive Officer, who will serve as Executive Chairman of the combined company. "The combination of two highly experienced management teams and Boards of Directors, who in aggregate have been involved with billions of dollars of oil and gas project developments, along with the company's strategically located acreage, provides the combined company with a strong foundation upon which to drive company growth. The combination of our two companies will enable our business operations to realize their full potential, continue to grow and deliver value for shareholders."
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