DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 14, 2009– EXCO Resources, Inc. (NYSE:XCO) (“EXCO”) today announced that it has closed its transactions with BG Group plc (LSE:BG.L) (“BG Group”) for the joint development and operation of EXCO’s Haynesville shale and certain other related natural gas assets located in East Texas/North Louisiana and the joint development and operation of EXCO’s midstream assets in the same area.
EXCO sold BG Group a 50% interest in its producing and nonproducing assets in a large area of mutual interest (“AMI”) which encompasses most of EXCO’s holdings in East Texas/North Louisiana, excluding the Vernon Field in Jackson Parish, Louisiana and the Redland Field in Bossier and Webster Parishes, Louisiana. The parties will jointly develop the Haynesville, Bossier and other deep horizons as well as the Cotton Valley, Hosston and other shallow horizons. EXCO will continue serving as operator of the joint development subject to oversight from a Joint Development Operating Committee.
EXCO and BG Group will each own 50% of the acreage, production and reserves within the AMI. The existing assets within the AMI include approximately 120,000 net acres with approximately 65,000 net acres in East Texas and 55,000 net acres in Louisiana. Approximately 84,000 net acres are prospective for Haynesville shale development, and most of this acreage is in the core Haynesville shale areas of DeSoto and Caddo Parishes in Louisiana and Harrison County, Texas. Also included is net production of approximately 93 Mmcfe/d from the Cotton Valley and other shallower horizons and approximately 88 Mmcf/d from the Haynesville shale. As of December 31, 2008, the Cotton Valley and other shallow rights included approximately 414 Bcfe of net proved reserves and approximately 445 Bcfe of net probable and possible reserves, based on year-end SEC pricing. The Haynesville/Bossier shale acreage is under development and EXCO estimates that its current acreage position, most of which is held by shallow production, includes over 1,600 undrilled Haynesville locations containing net potential reserves of 4 to 6 Tcfe, with significant additional potential in the Bossier shale. EXCO and BG Group plan an aggressive development program, particularly in the Haynesville shale, for the remainder of 2009 and in future years.
EXCO received $727.0 million in cash at closing pursuant to the upstream joint development transaction, including closing adjustments. In addition, BG Group has agreed to fund $400 million of capital development on EXCO’s behalf, with BG Group paying 75% of EXCO’s drilling and completion costs on the deep rights until the $400 million commitment is satisfied. The drilling and completion cost commitment is expected to be satisfied in 2011 or 2012. EXCO and BG Group will share equally in additional leasehold and asset acquisition opportunities within the AMI.
EXCO also closed the sale to BG Group of a 50% interest in a newly formed company that will hold the East Texas/North Louisiana midstream assets, exclusive of the Vernon Field midstream assets. EXCO received a special distribution of $269.2 million at closing, including closing adjustments. In concert with the planned Haynesville shale development, there will be an effort to develop and grow the midstream business. EXCO currently owns in excess of 700 miles of pipeline and gathering assets in the area and is constructing a 29 mile, 36” diameter header system to transport its Haynesville gas production. Throughput in the midstream business to be contributed to the joint venture is approximately 482 Mmcf/d of which 51% is EXCO gas and 49% is third party gas.