Vine Oil & Gas LP, a recently formed exploration and production company headquartered in Dallas, Texas and Blackstone Energy Partners, an affiliate of Blackstone, last week announced a definitive agreement to acquire the Haynesville assets of SWEPI LP and Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc., affiliates of Royal Dutch Shell plc, for $1.2 billion.
The assets comprise over 107,000 net acres in North Louisiana in the core of the Haynesville Shale natural gas shale basin. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Vine Oil & Gas is a partnership formed by Blackstone Energy Partners and funds affiliated with Blackstone, a leading global, alternative investment manager. Vine was formed earlier this year by Blackstone with the intent of becoming a significant, independent shale development company. Vine’s objective is to be the partner of choice, capitalizing on the team’s unique operational excellence, track record, and capital resources, for companies seeking to accelerate drilling activity and drive production growth, while lowering costs and maintaining a strong HSE track record.
Vine is led by Eric Marsh, previously a senior executive with Encana Corporation, and a team of veteran oil and gas executives with significant operational experience across a range of natural gas basins in North America and a long track record of best-in-class operations, optimizing well costs, recovery factors and production growth in an environmentally responsible manner.
Eric Marsh, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vine, said:
“We are pleased to acquire and develop a significant, strategic, and top-tier position in the core of the Haynesville Shale, a premier North American unconventional dry gas play located next to multiple growing sources of demand and an area where we have operated extensively before. We are very excited about our partnership with Blackstone Energy Partners, our continued growth, and the future partnerships and joint ventures that we might be able to form. Blackstone’s successful track record of investing in energy and the oil and gas sector specifically, and extensive industry relationships, in combination with the Vine team’s operational capabilities and experience, will allow us to continue to optimally develop these properties and be a partner of choice in the region over the long-term.”
Angelo Acconcia, a Managing Director of Blackstone Energy Partners who oversees their oil and gas investments said:
“We are very excited to accelerate the growth of our partnership with Vine via this acquisition and to continue to grow through future partnerships, joint ventures or acquisitions. Our partnership capitalizes on our deep oil and gas investing experience in North America combined with a best-in-class management team at Vine who have significant operating and shale development experience and an impressive track record. Eric is an incredibly talented operator and he and his team are uniquely situated to contribute significant operational expertise to these assets as well as future opportunities, having successfully led multiple unconventional oil and gas development programs in the U.S. and Canada over the course of their careers.”
Blackstone Senior Managing Director and CEO of Blackstone Energy Partners, David Foley, said:
“Our partnership with Vine is consistent with our strategy of backing best-in-class managers to build world class companies across the energy spectrum.”
Evercore and Kirkland & Ellis LLP advised Blackstone and Vine on the transaction.