Helmerich/Payne Announces Spin Off

Helmerich & Payne Inc. said on Monday it will spin off its oil and gas production operations into a separate company named Cimarex Energy Co., which will buy Denver-based Key Production Co.

Under terms of the deal, H&P shareholders will receive about 0.53 shares of Cimarex common for each share of H&P stock, giving them 65.25 percent of Cimarex. Key shareholders will receive one share of Cimarex stock for each share of Key stock, or 34.75 percent.

F.H. Merelli, chairman and chief executive officer of Key, will be the CEO, president and chairman of Cimarex. Steve Shaw, H&P vice president of exploration and production, will be executive vice president.

H&P expects the deal to close in the third quarter of 2002. After completion of the deal, Cimarex will change its accounting method from ``successful efforts'' used by H&P to ``full cost,'' and will change its fiscal calendar year to end Dec. 31 from Sept. 30, now used by H&P.