Whiting Petroleum Closes on Royalty Interests in Permian Basin
Whiting Petroleum has closed on its second acquisition of additional royalty and overriding royalty interests in the Company's North Ward Estes field and various other fields in the Permian Basin. Also included in the transaction were contractual rights, including an option to participate for a 5.0% working interest and right to back in after payout for an additional 7.5% working interest in the development of deeper pays on acreage under and adjoining the North Ward Estes field. The purchase price was $27.4 million with an effective date of November 1, 2009. Over 90% of the purchase price was allocated to the royalty and overriding royalty interests in the North Ward Estes field, located in Ward and Winkler Counties, Texas. The seller was a private owner.
Net production attributable to the producing royalty and overriding royalty interests is estimated at 230 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day in September 2009. Whiting estimates proved reserves attributable to the acquired interests are 1.6 million BOE for an acquisition price of $17.13 per BOE. Reserves attributable to royalty and overriding royalty interests are not burdened by operating expenses or any additional capital costs, including CO2 costs, which are paid by the working interest owners. Whiting estimates that the non-cost bearing nature of these interests makes them worth approximately 33% more than working interest barrels. Therefore, an equivalent working interest barrel would have had a price per BOE of approximately $11.48.
In aggregate, the two royalty and overriding royalty interest acquisitions in the North Ward Estes field represent 3.8 MMBOE of proved reserves at an acquisition price of $66.1 million, or $17.39 per BOE. An equivalent working interest barrel would have had a price per BOE of approximately $11.65. Net production attributable to the two acquisitions was approximately 500 BOE per day in September 2009. With the acquisition of the contractual rights, Whiting extinguished the seller's option to participate for a 10.0% working interest and right to back in after payout for an additional 15.0% working interest in the development of deeper pays on acreage under and adjoining the North Ward Estes field. Whiting will now have a larger working and net revenue interest in this acreage.
James J. Volker, Whiting's President and CEO, commented, "We are pleased to announce this second acquisition of additional interests in our North Ward Estes field, which continues to respond favorably to our expanding CO2 injection project. We expect the additional revenue interest to reduce our operating expenses and enhance the profitability on a unit of production basis."
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