Email this article Discuss this article

Oklahoma company swallows Anderson Exploration

Dave Sullivan
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Sep 07/01) - The largest holder of exploration license acreage in the Mackenzie Delta and Beaufort Sea was bought out Tuesday for $5.3 billion.

Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corporation swallowed Calgary-bred Anderson Exploration in a move that sent energy stocks soaring nine per cent on a Canadian oil and gas index.

By itself, Anderson's stock value leaped over 50 per cent at news of the friendly takeover, despite natural gas prices being at their lowest in three years. Natural gas makes up 73 per cent of Anderson's revenue.

Over the past two years Anderson had bought interests in two million acres of Canada's North.

That includes eight exploration licences and two concession agreements in the Beaufort and Mackenzie Delta regions.

Reaction to the sale was muted at the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC).

Nellie Cournoyea, IRC's chair said, "It's a good acquisition for Devon...we certainly intend to continue working with the company and hopefully their relationship with us is as supportive and constructive as Anderson's was."

IRC manager Wilf Blonde said the takeover will have no impact on the North.

"It just means the company that holds the rights just got bigger," he said.

The Beaufort Sea and Mackenzie Delta are federal jurisdiction, where the IRC has no subsurface rights or royalties.

But Blonde has high hopes for oil and gas fields called Tuk One and Tuk Two, for which Anderson held a 50 per cent stake with Petro Canada.

A concession agreement for the fields could be worth "billions" for the IRC, Blone said.

Exploration drilling is planned for this winter.

Anderson also holds an exploration licence near Norman Wells and three exploration permits in the Yukon, in addition to being an active owner of Fort Liard gas fields.

Anderson also owns oil and gas rights to 5.7 million acres in Western Canada.

Devon owns oil and gas properties in Alberta and B.C., the Gulf of Mexico and all over the world.

Both Devon and Anderson had been on buying sprees in recent years, acquiring other oil and gas companies.