Ulterra announces rock-rattling technology

Ulterra Drilling Technologies LP of Fort Worth has developed technology allowing oil and gas drillers to break apart rock more efficiently. Marketed as CounterForce, the innovation uses a cutter configuration allowing more efficient failure of rock in hydraulic fracturing operations. Unlike traditional polycrystalline diamond compact drill bits, the cutters in Ulterra’s patent-pending PDC technology work together to lower lateral vibration. According to the company, its CounterForce cutting structure is engineered to slice through rock while maintaining a more consistent torque signature. The company is incorporating it into several of its PDC designs. According to Ulterra, early field tests in the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin shale plays have proven to save operators drilling time. “Hundreds of field tests, drilling nearly a million feet in multiple applications and plays across North America, validate that CounterForce technology consistently reduces torque and vibration problems and improves directional performance and dull conditions,” according to a company news release. Ulterra provides PDC drill bits and tools for the oil and gas industry. More information is available at www.ulterra.com.

TEAK Midstream to be acquired by Atlas Pipeline TEAK Midstream LLC of Dallas has signed a definitive agreement with a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlas Pipeline Partners LP in which Atlas will acquire 100 percent of TEAK’s equity interests for $1 billion in cash. Atlas Pipeline is based in Tulsa, Okla. The transaction is expected to close in May subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions. “We are extremely gratified that TEAK is being acquired by such a well-respected midstream company as Atlas,” said A. Chris Aulds, TEAK’s co-CEO, in a news release. “Their go-forward strategy, vision for growth and business values complement what we have built in the Eagle Ford Shale since we established the company in 2009,” Aulds said. “We want to assure our existing and potential customers that TEAK is partnering with Atlas to offer the same top-quality services and solutions we always have. We are working together to ensure all customers’ needs are met,” Aulds said. TEAK’s financial adviser in the transaction was Evercore Partners, with Thompson & Knight LLP acting as legal adviser. TEAK Midstream provides gathering, transmission, treating, processing, compression and marketing services in gas-producing areas of the United States. More information on TEAK Midstream is available at www.teakmidstream.com. Atlas Pipeline Partners owns and operates 13 active gas processing plants, 18 gas treating facilities, as well as about 10,600 miles of active intrastate gas gathering pipeline. More information is available at www.atlaspipeline.com.

Gastar Exploration announces sale of East Texas assets Gastar Exploration Ltd. of Houston has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its East Texas assets to Cubic Energy Inc. of Dallas for $46.0 million, subject to closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close by June 5. “This sale allows Gastar to redeploy capital to our higher return projects in the Marcellus Shale and Hunton Limestone,” said Gastar president and CEO J. Russell Porter in a news release. “In conjunction with our previously announced Hunton Limestone acquisition, this transaction furthers our planned transition to a liquids rich asset portfolio,” Porter said. The assets to be sold include about 31,800 gross (16,300 net) acres in the Hilltop area of East Texas in Leon and Robertson counties. For the three months that ended Dec. 31, net production from the Hilltop area averaged about 12.4 million cubic feet of gas equivalent per day. As of Dec. 31, proved reserves attributed to the Hilltop area totaled about 27.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent, of which all were classified as proved developed and represented about 15 percent of Gastar’s total proved reserves. Proceeds from the transaction are planned to help reduce Gastar’s outstanding balance under its revolving credit facility. According to the company, the transaction will yield a net increase in its liquidity position of about $25 million. Gastar Exploration Ltd. develops and produces oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids in the United States. It specializes in identifying, acquiring and developing oil and natural gas properties primarily in shale resource plays and other unconventional reserves. More information is available at www.gastar.com.

First Titan expands Texas oil and gas portfolio First Titan Corp. of Bradenton, Fla., is expanding its portfolio of Texas oil and gas assets as the state’s oil boom continues at a steady clip. Texas oil production surged more than 30 percent over the past year to 1.4 million barrels a day in January, according to the Texas Railroad Commission. In 2012, the state’s oil production reached 546 million barrels, about 60 percent higher than in 2007. Wanting to capitalize on that momentum, First Titan is negotiating to acquire a working interest in about 1,000 acres in Hardin County in East Texas that include producing assets with development upside. “[First Titan] believes that the property could potentially make a profitable addition to its Texas portfolio, which currently includes assets in Terrell County,” reads a company news release. The company also is working to produce oil and gas in Oklahoma and Louisiana as part of an aggressive growth strategy for 2013. It plans to announce several new acquisitions in the coming months. First Titan Corp., through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Titan Energy LLC, develops oil and natural gas resources worldwide. More information is available at www.firsttitanenergy.com.

- FWBP Digital Partners -

Clayton Williams Energy to monetize Wolfberry assets Clayton Williams Energy Inc. of Midland, led by former Texas gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams, has entered into a transaction with a financial investor to monetize 95 percent of its Wolfberry oil and gas reserves, leasehold interests and facilities in Andrews County in West Texas for $214 million. Proceeds will be used to reduce the amount outstanding on its revolving bank credit facility, according to the company. When the transaction closes, the borrowing base under the facility will be reduced from $585 million to $470 million to account for the release of collateral, providing the company with about $99 million in additional availability under the facility. Closing was expected by April 25. Clayton Williams Energy Inc. is an independent energy company. More information is available at www.claytonwilliams.com.

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