Oil Drillers Parsley, Concho Add to Permian Shale Holdings

  • Parsley share issuance to dilute holders by about 5 percent
  • Per-acre prices are similar to what SM agreed to pay last week

Parsley Energy Inc. and Concho Resources Inc. announced shale acquisitions in the biggest U.S. oil field that will be financed with new stock sales.

Parsley agreed to pay $400 million for drilling rights across 11,672 acres in the Midland section of the Permian Basin beneath West Texas and New Mexico, the explorer said in a statement Monday. Concho announced a $1.625 billion cash-and-stock deal to buy rights to 40,000 acres from closely held Reliance Energy, expanding its holdings in the basin, according to a statement.

Assets in the Permian, where drilling is still profitable at current prices, reached an all-time high, Iberia Capital Partners analysts said in a research note last month. Still, both companies fell in New York trading Tuesday and may suffer in the near term from the flood of new shares issued to support the deals, said Richard Tullis, a Capital One Securities analyst in New Orleans.

“The size of the transaction could be leading to a little bit of selling as people move in and out of the shares," Tullis said in a telephone interview Tuesday “Longer term, we like the transaction."

It’s Austin, Texas-based Parsley’s sixth acquisition in a $1.53 billion buying spree since oil markets began to collapse in mid-2014. Midland, Texas-based Concho plans to use about $1.1 billion in cash and 3.96 million shares for the deal. The company also announced plans to sell 9 million new shares to help finance the transaction and granted underwriters an option to buy an additional 1.35 million.

‘Zip Code’

Parsley is paying the equivalent of about $34,000 an acre; Concho’s cost is slightly higher at about $40,000 an acre, based on calculations by Bloomberg. Both deal values are in line with SM Energy Co.’s $39,543-an-acre purchase of Permian drilling rights announced last week. All three deals were cheaper than QEP Resources Inc.’s $60,000-an-acre acquisition of Permian rights announced in June.

The Concho deal would add to the explorer’s approximately 1 million acres in the Permian, an area that Chief Executive Officer Tim Leach called among the “hottest zip codes in the industry," in a conference call with analysts Aug. 3. The 40,000 acres currently produce the equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil per day, according to Monday’s statement. The land has estimated proved reserves of 43 million barrels, Concho said.

Parsley also said it plans to sell 7 million new shares and issue $200 million in 6.25 percent senior notes maturing in 2024 to fund the acquisition. The underwriters have been granted an option to purchase an additional 1.05 million shares. The new stock will dilute the current shareholder base by about 5 percent.

Concho dropped 4 percent to $130.98 at 10:28 a.m. after earlier touching $130.20, the biggest intraday decline since Aug. 1. The shares have gained 41 percent this year. Parsley fell as much as 3.4 percent to $33.39. The stock has advanced 82 percent this year.

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