Market Overview

No Shortage Of Potential Buyers For El Paso's Exploration Biz


As part of its plan to fund its $38 billion acquisition of El Paso (NYSE: EP), Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI) will sell El Paso's exploration business. In era where it is becoming harder and more expensive to find new reserves, Kinder Morgan could easily have its choice of buyers.

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY), the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, and Statoil (NYSE: STO), Norway's largest oil producer, could be among the bidders for El Paso's E&P business, according to Bloomberg News. The assets for sale, which include more than half a million acres of shale fields, may command a $7.3 billion price tag, Bloomberg reported.

The combined Kinder Morgan/El Paso will be the largest U.S. pipeline operator and the former wants to part with the exploration business to reduce the debt it is incurring as part of the takeover.

El Paso owns acreage in the Haynesville Shale and the Eagle Ford Shale among other North American shale plays. Occidental makes for a likely bidder because the California-based company focuses solely on onshore drilling. Statoil has been looking to boost its North American shale exposure as well, a fact highlighted by the company's $4.4 billion offer for Brigham Exploration (Nasdaq: BEXP) on Monday.

India's Reliance and China's Cnooc (NYSE: CEO), that country's third-largest oil company, could also be among the bidders for El Paso's exploration business, Bloomberg reported.

Posted-In: Long Ideas News Rumors Commodities Asset Sales M&A After-Hours Center Markets


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