BP confirmed Thursday that it has signed a deal to sell to Hilcorp Energy Corp. its properties in the Tuscaloosa Trend, a natural gas formation that stretches across Louisiana’s midsection.
BP has 35 Tuscaloosa Trend wells, spokesman Daren Beaudo said. The wells lie primarily in the Pointe Coupee- and West Baton Rouge-parish areas. The primary production fields are the Judge Digby, Morganza and Port Hudson.
BP has accounted for more than 70 percent of the production in the formation, Beaudo said.
“BP and … the companies involved in the (Amoco) merger have been the dominant producers in the trend,” he said. “Current production is about 70 million standard cubic feet of gas a day, gross.”
The trend contains an estimated 3.7 trillion cubic feet of gas, Beaudo said.
BP signed the deal Sept. 8 and expects to complete the sale by Oct. 1.
The terms of the deal are confidential, Beaudo said.
However, last year, energy analysts IHS Herold estimated the properties could bring BP $600 million to $800 million. IHS Herold estimated that BP’s daily production was the equivalent of 90 million cubic feet of gas when including the wells’ condensates, which are liquids that are similar to light crude.
BP put the Tuscaloosa Trend properties on the block in August 2010, two months after establishing a $20 billion claim fund for people and businesses affected by the BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
Houston-based Hilcorp officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The company’s website describes the company as one of the largest privately held independent oil and gas exploration production companies in the United States. Hilcorp has 700 employees and nine operating areas, including the Gulf Coast, Gulf of Mexico and the Rocky Mountains.
Tuscaloosa Trend wells, unlike the wells in the Haynesville Shale in northwest Louisiana, are drilled conventionally rather than horizontally, according to industry experts. BP has said the wells are drilled to depths of 18,000 feet or more.
Drilling that deep requires the use of specialized equipment for drilling and production, raising the cost of the wells to as much as $25 million to $30 million.