October 23, 2018 / 10:30 PM / 21 days ago

Permian explorer Endeavor Energy eyes potential $10 billion-plus sale: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Endeavor Energy Resources LP [EERL.UL] is exploring a sale that could value the Texas-based privately held oil producer at more than $10 billion, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The firm, which holds more than 300,000 net acres in the highly sought-after Permian Basin, has selected JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) to arrange the potential sale, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the information is not public.

The source added the sale process was at an early stage.

Endeavor declined to comment, as did representatives for both JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

Endeavor’s sale plan was first reported on Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.

Should a sale happen, it would be the latest transaction involving a Permian Basin-focused oil explorer after deals in 2018 for RSP Permian and Energen Corp (EGN.N) - bought by Concho Resources Inc (CXO.N) for $8 billion and Diamondback Energy Inc (FANG.O) for $9.2 billion respectively.

The area, which covers West Texas and the eastern part of New Mexico, has become the leading shale play in the United States when the country is pumping more crude than at any time since the 1970s, because of the low cost of production.

Endeavor, which is primarily focused on the Midland Basin portion of the Permian, said in August its second-quarter production was up 64 percent over a year ago to 64,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. It also said it was operating 10 horizontal rigs and four fracking fleets in the quarter to complete wells.

During that quarter, Endeavor contracted with a pipeline operator to move 30,000 barrels per day of oil to the Corpus Christi, Texas, oil export hub beginning in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The company has had drilling partnerships with an Ares Management LP subsidiary and with Exxon Mobil Corp’s XTO Energy subsidiary.

Reporting by David French in New York; Additional reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru and Gary McWilliams in Houston; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar, Peter Cooney and Chris Reese

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