On March 5 news bulletin subscribers received a Petroleum News bulletin about Forest Oil’s first two Alaska asset sales that included a statement from Forest’s lease broker’s Web site, which was dated Feb. 22 and began, “Forest Oil Corporation has initiated a process for the sale of its entire Alaskan position, including its wholly owned subsidiary Forest Alaska Operating LLC and other assets in the Cook Inlet area.”
That news bulletin and a subsequent article in Petroleum News’ March 11 issue reported Forest had sold its interest in the North Slope Prudhoe Bay unit and the Cook Inlet basin Cosmopolitan unit to other owners in those units.
Sometime between March 5 and March 10, the introductory message on the broker’s Web page was changed to say Forest Oil had “initiated a process for the sale of its Alaskan position including its wholly owned subsidiary, Forest Alaska Operating LLC. Other assets remaining in the state may be evaluated and will be considered separately.”
Scotia Waterous, the asset broker, also added more non-confidential information to the site, including a “non-binding” bid date of April 26 and confirmation that the data room was open as of March 12.
While two separate transactions will be offered, “Forest prefers to negotiate with a single party,” Scotia Waterous said on its Web site.
The first transaction is the sale of 100 percent of the capital stock of Forest Alaska Operating, which is being offered for cash and contains all of Forest’s operating assets and some low-risk exploration assets.
The second transaction will involve Forest Oil’s other Alaska assets, which are also being offered for cash, and consist of about 1 million acres of exploration assets, a 40 percent interest in Cook Inlet Pipeline Co., and approximately 120 square miles proprietary 3-D seismic and 840 miles proprietary 2-D seismic.
The 1 million acres appears to encompass the rest of Forest’s exploration assets in Alaska, including Cook Inlet basin exploration acreage on and offshore (including the Corsair unit), two Susitna basin exploration licenses and ownership in a Copper River exploration license:
The Forest Alaska Operating assets in the first offering were identified as follows:
* All Alaska production and proven reserves
* Net production approximately 6,000 barrels per day (80 percent oil)
* Term loans of $375 million at LIBOR plus 4.5 percent (LIBOR stands for London Interbank Offered Rate. It’s the interest rate offered by a specific group of London banks for U.S. dollar deposits.)
* Hedges on 3.65 million barrels of oil from January 2007 to December 2009 at $66.94 per barrel
* 2006 EBITDA of approximately $70 million (EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.)
* Mix of Forest and Chevron operated assets
* Low-risk exploitation opportunities quantified by DeGolyer and MacNaughton
Scotia Waterous said the three key producing fields are Chevron-operated McArthur River (representing 45 percent of Forest’s Alaska production), Forest-operated Redoubt Shoal (11 percent), and Chevron-operated Trading Bay (7 percent).
Editor’s note: See the full story in the March 18 issue of Petroleum News, available online (www.PetroleumNews.com) at noon Friday March 16.