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November 04, 2009 --- Vol. 15, No. 85November 2009

Ramshorn, other bidders line up for abandoned Cook Inlet oil and gas assets

The competition is heating up for some abandoned oil and gas assets in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.

Ramshorn Investments Inc., a unit of global drilling giant Nabors Industries Ltd., is the latest to enter a field of at least four known contenders.

Industry observers had expected the fate of the Cook Inlet properties would be decided during a hearing Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, where Pacific Energy Resources Ltd. has been liquidating its holdings.

But final action was postponed, with another hearing possibly coming up Friday, said Alaska Oil and Gas Director Kevin Banks, whose office has been following the case closely.

Pacific Energy is asking Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey to vacate his Sept. 11 order allowing the small California operator to abandon its Cook Inlet assets.

This would enable the company to reclaim some of the property, most significantly the West McArthur River oil field and the West Foreland natural gas field, for purposes of a sale to Cook Inlet Energy LLC, an owner of which was a Pacific Energy employee. Cook Inlet Energy has offered to pay $875,000 and assume certain obligations.

But other bidders have stepped up in recent days:

• Stellar Energy LLC, a company incorporated on Oct. 26 in Delaware, has objected to the proposed asset sale to Cook Inlet Energy on grounds that Stellar is willing to pay the higher price of $1.25 million.

• Ramshorn on Monday also filed an objection to the proposed asset sale to Cook Inlet Energy. Ramshorn said it’s objecting because it can pay Pacific Energy the superior price of $1.5 million.

• Miller Petroleum Inc. of Tennessee has announced that, if Cook Inlet Energy is successful in acquiring the abandoned properties, Miller will in turn buy them from Cook Inlet for $875,000.

See story in Nov. 8 issue, available online at noon, Friday Nov. 6, at www.PetroleumNews.com

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