Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Big Chief Drilling Sold in $12 Million Package / to Former Owner Abernathy, Extex Leaders

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Big Chief Drilling Sold in $12 Million Package / to Former Owner Abernathy, Extex Leaders

Article excerpt

It was 15 years ago that Big Chief Drilling Co. and Chieftain Petroleum Co. were sold by Jack H. Abernathy of Oklahoma City to Entex Inc. of Houston.

Now, Abernathy, who was with Big Chief from 1946 to 1972, is one of the owners of Big Chief and the former Chieftain firm (now Entex Petroleum Inc.) again.

Abernathy and four other former members of Entex Inc. management formed General Drilling & Producing Co. They have acquired Big Chief (a 51-year old Oklahoma City firm) and Entex Petroleum of Houston by purchasing the capital stock of both subsidiaries of Entex Inc. for $12 million, it was reported Tuesday.

Entex Petroleum will be changed to General Producing Co. in the future.

"We consider it an excellent investment opportunity to acquire the property we had," Abernathy said.

When the management of Entex Inc. decided that the company should return to its form as a pure utility, rather than a conglomerate, the group decided to acquire the two subsidiaries, he said.

"It's what one calls going backward to the future," Abernathy said. "The difference we see is now it is very timely to make a move of this type."

Abernathy, who is vice chairman of General, had served in various positions with Big Chief from 1946 to 1972, including chairman and president for a portion of that time. He was president of Entex Petroleum from 1972-75 and chairman from 1975-78. He also served as a director of Entex Inc. from 1972 to 1981 and as director emeritus from 1981 to 1986.

The group forming General expects the market for oil to improve generally, and the market for natural gas to be good, but not necessarily in the near future, he said.

"The boom and bust did what it was supposed to do. It found a great deal of natural gas," Abernathy said. "Now we see the surplus largely dissipating. We see demand improve and as demand improves, we'll need additional supplies."

Reserves are held by Entex Energy Development, Ltd., a limited partnership publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Entex Petroleum is the general partner of Entex Energy and owns 45 percent of the outstanding limited partnership units.

At Dec. 31, 1986, the limited partnership had proved reserves of 2.8 million barrels of oil and condensate and 33.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas located primarily in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana, according to J. Donald Payne, another owner and vice president, finance, treasurer and secretary of General.

During 1986, the limited partnership's oil and gas revenues totaled $19. …

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