EVEP buys Belden & Blake Corp.
CANTON - With eyes on drilling hundreds of horizontal wells in the Clinton Sandstone, EV Energy Partners is taking complete ownership of Belden & Blake Corporation.
EV Energy Partners is a Texas-based partnership controlled by EnerVest, the largest well operator in the country. EnerVest has run Belden for 10 years and has offices in Lake Township and Dover.
Thursday’s deal makes Belden a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of EVEP and won’t result in local job losses. The purchase is part of $259 million in acquisitions by EVEP from EnerVest partners.
Belden owns oil and natural gas rights in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The company has net proved reserves equal to 120 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Those reserves are 81 percent natural gas, 16 percent crude oil and 3 percent natural gas liquids.
The deal doesn’t include Utica Shale rights, but EVEP is looking at the East Canton Oil Field.
The East Canton field is part of the Clinton Sandstone formation. It covers eastern Stark County, as well as parts of Portage, Tuscarawas, Carroll and Harrison counties.
EnerVest has drilled at least six horizontal Clinton wells in Stark County since last year and has permits for at least two more, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
In a conference call, EVEP Executive Chairman John B. Walker said the partnership feels the area is a “very good play” for horizontal Clinton wells.
“Because of what EVEP already owns in the East Canton Oil Field, by buying Belden we now virtually control that field and there are literally hundreds of locations for us to drill horizontally,” Walker said.
The Belden deal and purchases in Texas and New Mexico are expected to close Oct. 1.
EVEP officials said the $259 million in acquisitions will improve the partnership’s geographical balance, increase production by a third and increase proved reserves by 30 percent.
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