Williston firm acquiring two private oil and gas companies

Williston firm acquiring two private oil and gas companies

The president of GeoResources Inc., says the oil exploration and production company’s merger with two private oil and gas companies will mean access to the Rocky Mountains and the Gulf Coast, as well as the Williston Basin.

GeoResources, Inc., has announced plans to buy Southern Bay Oil & Gas, L.P. of Houston, and Chandler Energy, LLC, of Denver, for about $78 million in stock. Southern Bay and Chandler also are committing about $20 million in capital for expansion plans. The deal is expected to be complete late this year or early next year.

“Basically, it’s taking three smaller companies and putting the whole thing together in one bigger company,” GeoResources President Jeff Vickers said. “The two other companies are not public, so by us buying them, the companies will become one larger public company.”

The number of employees will total around 30, Vickers said.

“Compared to the Exxons of the world, it still will be relatively small, but it’s three times the size any one of us is now individually,” Vickers said.

GeoResources focuses more on oil, Chandler on gas production and reserves in the Rockies, and Southern Bay on oil and gas production and reserves in the Gulf, Vickers said.

“It’s not a desire to close anything down,” he said. “It’s a desire to have active, ongoing operation in all three areas. It’s a way for all three of us to basically go from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border.”

The people in the companies also fit together, Vickers said. “Within the industry, we all kind of know who each other is,” he said.

Southern Bay President and Chief Executive Frank A. Lodzinski, a former chief executive officer of two other public companies, will become CEO, president and director of GeoResources, Vickers, whose background is in engineering, will become vice president of Williston Basin Exploration and Development, and Collis P. Chandler III, president of Chandler Energy, will become executive vice president and a director, if the merger is approved by shareholders and partners.

“I believe that the Williston Basin is an emerging basin in relation to other areas like Texas,” Lodzinski said. “I think we’re getting some good assets and good people.”

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