Newfield, Anadarko to Buy TXCO Assets for Up to $310MM

(Dow Jones), Jan. 12, 2010

Oil and gas explorers Newfield Exploration Co. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. announced a joint transaction to acquire bankrupt TXCO Resource Inc.'s assets in the Maverick Basin of Southwest Texas for up to $310 million.

An Anadarko subsidiary will acquire more than 80,000 net acres in the basin for about $93 million and plans to increase its operating working interest in those properties to 75%.

Newfield, meanwhile, will acquire substantially all of TXCO's remaining assets in the basin, which include more than 350,000 gross acres for about $217 million. Current net production of the assets to be acquired by Newfield is 1,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, of which two-thirds is oil.

The deal, expected to close in mid-February, is subject to bankruptcy court approval, as small oil and gas explorer TXCO filed for bankruptcy protection last May. The company succumbed to slumping commodity prices and the credit crunch at the time, which crimped its ability to finance debt.

The Maverick Basin, which is just off the Rio Grande River, was TXCO's core focus area--an area with more than 20 productive zones and multiple resource play potential.

Earlier this month, TXCO said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Anadarko had outbid Newfield to pay $310 million for most of the company's assets. Representatives from the three companies couldn't be reached to address why the terms of the deal have changed.

Newfield, which said it expects to launch an active drilling program this year, said on Tuesday the acquisition would provide the company with a "deep inventory of potential locations--both oil and gas."

Anadarko's shares were recently down 2% to $64.99, while Newfield's shares also fell 2% to $48.67.

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