EnerVest to acquire Nora field for $876 million

EnerVest Ltd., Houston, has agreed to acquire Nora field in Virginia from subsidiaries of Range Resources Corp., Ft. Worth, for $876 million, as well as nonoperated interest in the core of the Eagle Ford shale in Karnes County, Tex., from an undisclosed seller for $118 million.

The Nora deal, expected to close on or before Dec. 30, includes acreage and operated coalbed methane, tight gas, Berea, Big Lime, and Huron shale producing wells in Dickenson, Buchanan, Wise, and Russell counties in Virginia, and Nicholas and Clay counties in West Virginia.

The Virginia properties and production include:

• Current net production of 105 MMcfed expected for November, 100% of which is gas, from the 3,908 operated and nonoperated wells.

• 365,000 net acres, of which 220,000 includes all mineral rights in Virginia with an additional 100,000 acres in West Virginia, most of which includes all mineral rights.

• An inventory of about 9,000 undrilled locations.

• PDP base comprising 37% of proved reserves and 73% of proved value.

• A 1,500-mile gathering system.

“This acquisition adds to EnerVest’s significant position in Appalachia, and includes additional drilling opportunities at today’s commodity prices,” said John B. Walker, EnerVest chief executive officer. “In addition, there are potential future exploration opportunities below the existing producing zones.”

Jeff Ventura, Range chairman, president, and chief executive officer, said, “Using our consistent, return-focused capital allocation process, we will continue to review our portfolio for opportunities to bring value forward where other assets cannot compete for capital in comparison to our 1.6 million stacked-pay acreage position in the Marcellus, Utica, and Upper Devonian. We believe that Range can continue to drive down costs, improve capital efficiencies, and enhance netback pricing in our core Marcellus areas, all of which should further enhance our results in 2016.”

The Eagle Ford properties to be acquired by EnerVest encompass 1,760 net acres, production of more than 2,200 boe/d, an active drilling program on an ongoing basis, and reserves of 7.8 million boe.

EnerVest, founded in 1992, acquires, develops and operates oil and gas fields in 15 states on behalf of its institutional investors. Last year, the company and Denver-based startup FourPoint Energy LLC agreed to acquire all of Linn Energy LLC’s oil and gas properties and related midstream assets in the western Anadarko basin for $1.95 billion (OGJ Online, Oct. 3, 2014).

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