Denbury, Israeli oil firm agree on TX deal

By Luke Geiver | December 30, 2019

Denbury Resources Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement with a subsidiary of Navitas Petroleum to sell half of its nearly 100 percent working interest position in four southeast Texas oil fields (consisting of Webster, Thompson, Manvel and East Hastings), for $50 million cash and a carried interest in ten wells to be drilled by Navitas. The sale is expected to close by early March 2020 and is subject to customary closing conditions. Denbury anticipates using the sale proceeds to fund operations, enhance liquidity or reduce debt.

As part of the deal, Denbury will sell 50 percent of its working interest in Webster, Thompson, Manvel and East Hastings oil fields for $50 million cash and a carried interest in ten wells to be drilled by Navitas.  Denbury will remain operator of the fields but Navitas will drill and complete each of the ten wells. Navitas is committed to funding 100 percent of the capital required to drill and complete an initial ten horizontal wells across the fields, with the first of the ten wells to be spudded within six months of closing and with all ten wells to be completed within 18 months after closing. For these initial ten wells, Denbury will receive only a 6.25 percent overriding royalty interest prior to the combined payout of the wells drilled in a specific field. Subsequent to payout, Denbury will hold and bear the cost of its 50 percent working interest in each well.  Navitas is required to drill at least one well in each of the four fields.

After the initial ten well program is completed and if certain performance hurdles are achieved, Navitas will have the opportunity to continue the development of the fields for up to six separate extension periods.  During each extension period, Navitas can propose and drill up to ten additional wells, totaling up to 60 additional wells on a pro-rata working interest basis.

Denbury will retain 100 percent ownership of the future Webster Unit CO2 enhanced oil recovery (“EOR”) project, however, Navitas may elect to participate in the future CO2 EOR project through reimbursement to Denbury of Navitas’ working interest share of project costs incurred to date, or if Navitas declines to participate in the CO2 EOR project, Denbury has the right to repurchase Navitas’ working interest in Webster under a contractually agreed valuation mechanism.

Production associated with the working interests to be sold averaged approximately 1,050 barrels of oil equivalent per day for the first nine months of 2019, and proved reserves for the working interests to be sold were approximately 3.7 million barrels of oil as of December 31, 2018.  Estimated net cash to Denbury from the sale is $42 million after adjusting for interim cash flow from the properties between the January 1, 2019 effective date and the estimated early March 2020 closing date.  Denbury retains the right to 100 percent of the proceeds from surface acreage sales at Webster Field.