Apache to buy Mariner Energy for $2.7 Billion

HOUSTON (AP) — Independent energy company Apache said Thursday it will buy Mariner Energy for $2.7 billion to extend its deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

It is Apache's second deal this week for oil and gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico. On Monday, Apache agreed to pay $1.05 billion for Devon Energy's Gulf assets.

Mariner's deepwater portfolio includes nearly 100 blocks, seven discoveries in development and more than 50 prospects.

"We have considered extending our Gulf of Mexico operations into the deepwater for a number of years," said G. Steven Farris, Apache's CEO.

"It's the right time because recent advances in seismic technology and continued enhancements in facilities design have reduced the risks in one of the world's most prolific oil exploration basins."

In the latest deal, Apache (APA) is offering cash and stock worth about $26.22 per share for Mariner Energy, a premium of 45% over Wednesday's closing price. Apache, based in Houston, is also assuming $1.2 billion in debt.

Mariner's shares climbed in premarket trading.

Mariner, based in Houston, has principal operations in the Permian Basin, the Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Mexico.

Apache (APA) operates in the U.S., Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom North Sea, Australia and Argentina.

Apache's move adds to the number of deals underway in the energy industry.

ConocoPhillips also announced Monday that it would sell its stake in Canadian oil sands company Syncrude for nearly $5 billion.

And energy providers Mirant and RRI Energy said over the weekend that they planned to combine in a $1.61 billion stock-swap deal.

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