Vitol's New Upstream Unit Acquires Permian Assets From Hunt Oil

The deal gives Houston-based Vencer Energy 44,000 acres and 40,000 BOE/D of baseline production.

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Swiss oil trader Vitol said on 30 April that its oil and gas subsidiary, Vencer Energy, was buying Hunt Oil Company’s assets in the Permian Basin for an undisclosed sum. Media outlets including Bloomberg and Reuters cited sources that pegged the asking price at around $1 billion.

Houston-based Vencer was established last year as the trading giant’s first foray into the upstream sector. The assets include leases on 44,000 acres in the Midland Basin side of the Permian, with an output about 40,000 BOE/D.

“This is an important day for Vencer as it establishes itself as a significant shale producer in the US Lower 48. We expect US oil to be an important part of global energy balances for years to come, and we believe this is an opportune time for investment into an entry platform in the Americas,” said Ben Marshall, the head of Vitol’s Americas business unit.

Hunt Oil is a privately held oil company that has been in business since in 1934. The operator holds positions in unconventional plays across the US, including the Bakken Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, and the Marcellus Shale.

Analysts have noted that oil traders are entering the upstream market, via subsidiaries or nonoperating partnerships, as a way to hedge against the future consolidation of supply by national oil companies.