Quest Resource Corporation announced that it has completed the purchase of privately held PetroEdge Resources for approximately $142 million, subject to post-closing adjustment. PetroEdge owns approximately 78,000 net acres of natural gas and oil producing properties in the Appalachian Basin with estimated proved reserves of 99.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent (Bcfe) and current net production of approximately 3.2 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent production per day (Mmcfed).
Simultaneous with the close, QRCP sold natural gas and oil producing wells with estimated proved developed reserves of 32.9 Bcfe and all of the current net production to Quest Energy Partners, L.P. for cash consideration of approximately $72 million, subject to post-closing adjustment. The acquisition of low-risk, producing wells with predictable production profiles that are immediately accretive to distributable cash flow is consistent with the Partnership's strategy of providing sustainable distribution growth to its unitholders. Quest owns 100% of the general partner and a 57% limited partner interest in QELP.
Approximately 70,600 of PetroEdge's acres are located within the recognized fairway of the Marcellus Shale play including approximately 41,200 net acres in Ritchie, Wetzel, and Lewis Counties of West Virginia and approximately 22,200 net acres in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. Together with its existing acreage and development rights, after this acquisition Quest will own the right to develop approximately 122,600 net acres within the recognized fairway of this emerging shale play and approximately 7,300 net acres outside the fairway.
Jerry Cash, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Quest, said, "We are pleased to announce the completion of this acquisition on attractive terms that we expect to create value for the shareholders of each of the Quest entities. QRCP plans to drive reserve and production growth through the development of a large acreage position in the emerging Marcellus Shale play. We plan to use the distributions we expect to receive from QELP and Quest Midstream Partners L.P. (Quest Midstream) and existing cash balances to fund the drilling of at least six wells on the PetroEdge acreage in the second half of 2008, including three horizontal and three vertical wells.
Subject to final approval from its Board of Directors, QELP anticipates that this acquisition and organic growth from its operations in the Cherokee Basin will allow the Partnership to increase its distribution rate for the second and third quarters of 2008 by a total of between 22% and 34% to an annual rate of $2.00 to $2.20, up from $1.64 currently.
Privately held Quest Midstream has the right of first offer on gathering and processing of Quest's and Quest Energy's production, and this acquisition provides Quest Midstream the opportunity to build a significant presence in Appalachia. Quest owns 85% of the general partner and a 36% limited partner interest in Quest Midstream.
We believe the future for Quest is bright as we build a new core area of operations in the Appalachian Basin. We look forward to developing our sizeable acreage position in the basin and further illustrating the benefits of our unique structure."
QRCP funded its portion of the acquisition with proceeds from its follow-on public offering of 8,800,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $10.25 per share that closed on July 8, 2008.
Highlights of the acquired properties include an estimated proved undeveloped reserves of 66.7 Bcfe, an estimated unrisked probable reserves of approximately 50 Bcfe and possible reserves of approximately 500 Bcfe to 525 Bcfe. Approximately 740 potential drilling locations assuming development with vertical wells on 80 an acre spacing and the first two horizontal Marcellus wells currently being drilled in Wetzel County, West Virginia with completion expected by late third quarter or early fourth quarter 2008. Permitting initial drilling locations in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania with two vertical wells planned before year end and a 100% operated with an average net revenue interest of 81%. Approximately 95% of the total reserves are natural gas and the natural gas BTU content ranges from 1,160 to 1,406. The average basis premium in the Appalachia is approximately $0.30 per Mcfe over the past three years.
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