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Reliance looking to sell US shale gas interest

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

Industries is looking to sell its 45 per cent stake in the Eagle basin shale oil and gas venture in the US for an estimated USD 4.5 billion.

RIL, which bought 45 per cent interest in Pioneer Natural Resources Co's Eagle shale formation of south Texas for USD 1.3 billion, is working with Citigroup Inc and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to find a buyer, industry sources said.

When contacted, a company spokesperson said, "constantly strives to identify means by which to create additional value for its shareholders" but declined to comment on the specific sale.

"It is Reliance's policy not to comment on market speculation. If there are any required disclosures, will make them at the appropriate time," the spokesperson said.

Pioneer holds 46 per cent in the Eagle venture while the remaining 9 per cent is with Alpha SAB's Newpeck LLC. Newpek too is exploring opportunities to sell its share and is being advised by Tudor Pickering Holt & Co.

RIL is also selling its investment in EFS Midstream LLC, an oil and gas gathering treatment and transportation network, sources said.

EFS Midstream operates 11 central gathering plants in south Texas.

RIL, in a July presentation to investors, had stated that it has invested a total of USD 3.91 billion in Pioneer joint venture since inception. 472 wells have been drilled to date with average production rate of 676 million standard cubic feet per day.

The Eagle Ford assets spread over 230,000 acres have become more attractive after the US Commerce Department in June gave Pioneer permission to export a type of ultralight oil known as condensate produced from the region.

The approval will "help ease pressure on differentials, which has remained key challenge," RIL had stated in the presentation.

Besides Eagle Ford, RIL has two more shale ventures in US - 40 per cent stake in Chevron's Marcellus shale acreage and a 60 per cent interest in Carrizo Oil and Gas Inc's Marcellus shale acreage in Central and Northeast Pennsylvania.

According to RIL's July presentation, the company has till date invested USD 0.87 billion in the Carrizo joint venture and another USD 2.59 billion in the Chevron venture. Its total investment in US was USD 7.36 billion.

First Published: Sat, October 11 2014. 14:20 IST
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