Gastar consolidates Mid-Continent working interests and operations

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Gastar Exploration Inc. announced on Thursday that it has agreed to acquire additional working and net revenue interests in 103 gross (10.2 net) producing wells and certain undeveloped acreage in the STACK and Hunton Limestone formations in its Area of Mutual Interest (“AMI”) from Husky Ventures, Inc. and certain other parties.

The purchase price is approximately $43.3 million, subject to certain adjustments and customary closing conditions, and the conveyance of approximately 11,000 net non-core, non-producing acres in Blaine and Major Counties, Oklahoma to the other parties.  The transaction is expected to close on or about November 30, 2015, with an effective date of July 1, 2015.  After closing, the AMI joint venture with Husky will be dissolved. The acquisition will be funded with borrowings under Gastar’s revolving credit facility.

The transaction includes the acquisition of approximately 15,700 net acres in Kingfisher and Garfield Counties, Oklahoma, of which approximately 42% is held by production.  After closing, Gastar will own approximately 110,400 net acres in the Hunton Limestone Play, of which approximately 45% is held by production.  Gastar’s exposure to the STACK play will be approximately 62,300 net acres in the Meramec Shale play and 48,900 net acres in the Woodford Shale play.

Current net production of the wells being acquired is approximately 625 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, of which 46% is oil, 26% is natural gas liquids and 28% is natural gas.  Gastar will assume operatorship of 70 of the 103 gross wells being acquired.  Based on our third-party reserve report at June 30, 2015, estimated proved reserves being purchased are approximately 1.2 million BOE, of which 43% is oil, 28% is natural gas liquids and 29% is natural gas.

In order to allow the Company to concentrate on the significant opportunities identified in its existing Oklahoma assets and to improve the strength of its balance sheet, the Company has engaged Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. to market its Marcellus Shale and Utica/Point Pleasant acreage, which are primarily focused in Marshall and Wetzel Counties, West Virginia.  These assets include producing wells and acreage located in the liquids-rich Marcellus Shale and high-deliverability, dry-gas Utica Shale/Point Pleasant plays.

“With this strategic Mid-Continent transaction, we are consolidating our working interest in our core Mid-Continent acreage and will be able to operationally control development decisions going forward,” said J. Russell Porter, Gastar’s President and CEO.

“We believe this acreage is not only productive for the Hunton Limestone formation but also very prospective for the Meramec Shale and Woodford Shale STACK play, with additional upside from the Oswego and Osage formations.  In addition, the contemplated sale of certain of our Marcellus and Utica assets should allow us to further reduce leverage while enhancing our liquidity position to allow for the future development of our extensive Mid-Continent position.”

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