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Unocal Buying Prairie Holding Subsidiary of Placer Dome

Los Angeles-based Unocal agreed Wednesday to buy Prairie Holding, an exploratory subsidiary of Placer Dome that also produces crude oil and natural gas.

It will pay $252 million in cash and assume $84 million in debts and other liabilities.

Unocal said Prairie will add more than 20,000 acres of potential energy fields in East Texas and Louisiana, along with interests in three gas-processing plants. The operations integrate with its existing operations in the region.

“This is in line with one of the key operating goals, to expand the company’s resource space, and it’s an excellent geographic fit for us,” said Unocal spokesman Barry Lane. “Prairie has had a very successful exploration program, and we really like the look of the lands they have and they should mesh very well with ours.”

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Prairie will become part of Union Exploration Partners, a master limited partnership in which Unocal and its Union Oil Co. of California operating subsidiary hold a 95% stake.

Prairie’s net daily production is 36 million cubic feet of natural gas, 4,100 barrels of hydrocarbon liquids and 106 long tons of sulfur, a Unocal spokesman said.


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