Banpu grows gas business through $750m acquisition
SET-listed non-oil energy conglomerate Banpu continues to expand its gas businesses in the US by acquiring a new asset in the Barnett shale field from Exxon Mobil Corporation for US$750 million.
BKV Corporation, which is majority owned by Banpu, recently signed an agreement to buy the natural gas and midstream gas business from XTO Energy Inc and Barnett Gathering Llc, two subsidiaries of Exxon Mobil.
The transaction value, with a contingent payment of up to $50 million, will be funded by Banpu's internal cash flow and loans from financial institutions.
The transaction is scheduled to be completed in June.
The acquired business is regarded as a crucial scale and low-risk producing asset, said Somruedee Chaimongkol, chief executive of Banpu.
Banpu earlier acquired gas businesses in Texas's Barnett shale field and Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale field, with combined production capacity of 700 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD).
The new asset, with gas production capacity of 225MMSCFD, will bring Banpu's total gas production in the US to more than 900MMSCFD.
Banpu is eager to develop and operate gas businesses in the US.
The firm's power generation arm Banpu Power Plc (BPP) earlier announced it would look for new business opportunities there under its plan to make America its "second home" for energy business expansion.
The move comes after BPP completed a share purchase deal worth $430 million to acquire Temple 1 plant in Texas.
More investments would pave the way for Banpu to have a strong base for energy businesses in the US, alongside its headquarters in Thailand where the firm was founded, according to Kirana Limpaphayom, chief executive of BPP.
Temple 1 is a combined-cycle power plant, with electricity generation capacity of 768 megawatts. The plant has been operating since July 2014.
The facility uses combined-cycle gas turbine technology to ensure more efficient electricity production.