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Woodside Energy Acquires Gryphon Exploration Company

Woodside Energy logoWoodside Energy (USA) Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Woodside Petroleum Ltd., has expanded its offshore interests in the Gulf of Mexico by acquiring the Houston-based Gryphon Exploration Company.

Woodside paid US$282.7 million to acquire Gryphon, a private upstream oil and gas company with extensive exploration and production interests in the Gulf. After taking into account Gryphon's net debt, the total acquisition cost was US$296.9 million. The transaction is immediately earnings and operating cash flow accretive for Woodside Petroleum Ltd.

Gryphon has interests in 118 leases in the Gulf, 95 of which are operated by the company. The majority of the leases are on the continental shelf.

The acquisition delivers Woodside immediate production from 15 fields, 11 of which are operated by Gryphon. These fields are producing 30 million cubic feet of gas equivalent (MMcfge) a day. A further six fields under development could double production by the end of this year.

Independent petroleum consultants Ryder Scott have estimated Gryphon's Proved Reserves as of 30 June 2005 to be 72.5 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent (Bcfge). Proved plus Probable Reserves are estimated to be 114 Bcfge. These Reserves are made up of at least 85% gas.

Woodside has hedged gas production from Gryphon at average annual prices of US$10.04, US$9.01 and US$8.39 per million British thermal units for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively. These hedges, in addition to Gryphon's existing hedges, represent about 50% of expected production to the end of 2008 and underpin about half the acquisition cost.

Woodside has identified 15 high-quality prospects from Gryphon's exploration portfolio, with exposure to net risked volumes of 83 Bcfge. At least four of these prospects are being, or will be, drilled by the end of the year. An additional 65 prospects in Gryphon's portfolio are being evaluated.

Woodside's Chief Executive Officer, Don Voelte, said the acquisition built on the company's existing Gulf of Mexico interests, giving it a diverse portfolio across the shelf and deep water. "This delivers Woodside a significant expansion of our exploration portfolio in the Gulf, and also provides us existing production," he said.

"It capitalises on the alliance we formed with Explore Enterprises earlier this year, and builds Woodside's position in a region we have identified as a core area of interest."

Gryphon was formed in 2000 by Warburg Pincus, Cheniere Energy and company management.

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Cheniere Energy

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Posted 05/09/05


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