ZaZa Energy, the Houston-based E&P with a combined 92k net acre footprint smack in the heart of the Texas Eagle Ford/Eaglebine plays, reported inking a major joint exploration and development agreement today aimed at developing the Eaglebine assets, in conjunction with one of the top independent crude oil and natural gas firms in the U.S.
This is a sizeable agreement and will allow ZAZA to jump start development on the highly prospective land, with the JV partner acquiring as much as 75% WI in 55k net acres and ultimately being responsible for operating the 73k total net acres covered under the JV (ZAZA retains 25% on these lands). The wholly-owned lands covered by the agreement include those inside Grimes, Madison, Montgomery, Trinity, and Walker counties. Also among the acreage in this deal are certain lands covered under the participation agreement with Range Resources Corp. wholly-owned subsidiary, Range Texas Production, LLC.
President and CEO of ZAZA, Todd Brooks, beamed with excitement at the prospect of partnering like this with one of the biggest unconventional and oil-focused operators going. Brooks boldly pointed to how the realization of this deal underwrites the company's Eaglebine work program thus far and further emphasized how the JV will accelerate near-term production and introduce economies of scale to the development/production envelope, also confirming to markets that initial phases would focus heavily on optimization of oilfield development.
With early-stage Phase I drilling already well underway on the first two JV wells, ZAZA is looking forward to capitalizing on this dynamic new JV and confidence is high that the undisclosed partner will have drilled the first three earning wells by January of next year. Plans for development are currently broken up into three phases, each one marked by a three-well punch and associated cash payments, with the second two phases being elective and according to the JV partner's discretion upon satisfaction of work obligations in the preceding phase(s).
ZAZA's utilization of a robust battery of advanced analytical tools helped land this deal. Fusing together open-hole logging, integrated core/sample lab data, and micro-seismic methodologies to drive rich 3D mapping and design/viz efforts. The company goes beyond extensive review of formation sampling and rock analysis, right to the bleeding-edge of the most innovative tech in the industry today. Top shelf resource visualization is about to come together with leading industry development muscle through this JV and markets will be chomping at the bit to get a look at upcoming well data on the Eaglebine properties.
Solid move really, post the sale of the company's French assets to Vermilion Energy Inc. (Dec 27, 2012). ZAZA is now able to focus on their exceptional position in Texas from a much better balance sheet position, armed with better capitalization and the confidence that comes from having paid down over two-thirds of the company's senior secured debt in less than a year.
For more information on ZaZa Energy, visit www.ZaZaEnergy.com
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