Drilling Down

Gulfport Pays $407M for American Energy’s Utica Acreage

OKLAHOMA CITY – Gulfport Energy Corp. has acquired 35,325 leasehold acres and other assets in Ohio’s Utica shale from American Energy – Utica LLC, a subsidiary of American Energy Partners, for approximately $407 million.

Gulfport purchased 6,198 acres in Belmont and Jefferson counties for $68.2 million and another 27,228 acres in Monroe County for $319 million.

The Monroe County deal also includes 14.6 million cubic feet per day of net natural gas production estimated for April 2015, 18 wells that are drilled but uncompleted, one fully constructed four-well pad site, and an 11-mile gas gathering system.

Gulfport said it has agreed to acquire another 4,950 gross acres in Monroe County for $19.4 million if the transaction closes within 30 days of the initial Monroe County purchase. The company plans to add one rig in this region and begin operations beginning in the first quarter of 2016.

Gulfport’s leasehold position is expected to total 262,000 acres once the acquisitions close.

Meanwhile, American Energy Appalachia Holdings LLC announced yesterday that it would change its name to Ascent Resources LLC and serve as a stand-alone company from parent American Energy Partners. The company also announced an equity debt financing deal worth $977 million.

American Energy-Utica said that the asset sale to Gulfport included assets that were not targeted for development in the near-term, and instead better served the interests of Gulfport

“Today marks an extremely important day in the life of our company,” said American Energy Appalachia’s chairman and CEO Jeffery Fisher. “These transactions place Ascent on strong footing from a liquidity standpoint and allow the company to continue to develop its tremendous asset base.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.