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$3 Billion Texas Oil Unicorn Readies IPO

Fort Worth-based private oil and gas company Double Eagle Energy Holdings is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO), and several bankers have estimated that it is worth almost US$3 billion, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Double Eagle, which buys oil and gas leases, working interests, mineral rights and royalty interests, operates in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming.

The estimated valuation of the land-centered E&P company is based on prices of mineral rights in the Permian basin.

The Permian, where drilling is profitable even at oil below US$50, is a sort of a land-rush hotspot these days, with oil companies dropping other less cost-effective projects elsewhere and rushing to the Permian.

Double Eagle hired in August a CFO with a track record in a listed company in order to prepare for an IPO.

The company’s co-founders, John Sellers and Cody Campbell, took advantage of the oil price bust and focused their lease efforts on the Midland basin in the Permian, where new drilling technology allows for a profit at US$35 per barrel.

“Had it not been for the turndown, we would never have seen as many opportunities to put together so much acreage,” Sellers told Reuters in an interview.

Earlier this month, Double Eagle Lone Star LLC merged with Veritas Energy Partners to create a pure play exploration and production company focused on the Permian’s Midland Basin.

Speaking to Reuters, Double Eagle’s Campbell said that this basin would withstand a tumble of the rest of the drilling industry, because “it has the best economics of any North American basin”.

The timing of the possible IPO is also good: oil prices have recovered from the 12-year lows that we saw at the beginning of this year. Earlier this month, Extraction Oil and Gas (NASDAQ:XOG) carried out the first U.S. oil and gas exploration and production company IPO in more than two years.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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