Williams Completes Acquisition in the Core of Bakken Shale

Dec 21, 2010, 14:59 ET from Williams

TULSA, Okla., Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Williams (NYSE: WMB) announced today that it has completed a major purchase in North Dakota's Bakken oil play from private owners for $925 million cash.  Williams announced the acquisition on Nov. 15.

In the transaction, Williams purchased 100 percent of the interests in Dakota-3 E&P Company LLC.  Dakota-3 has approximately 85,800 net acres on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in the Williston Basin and 3,300 barrels per day of net oil production from 24 existing wells.

Williams' purchase has an effective date of Oct. 1, subject to standard closing adjustments. Williams is the new owner of Dakota-3, which will continue its existing contractual arrangement for services with the contract operator and field services provider after closing.

Currently, Dakota-3 has three rigs operating on its acreage. Williams expects to double the current level of drilling activity to six rigs by 2012, subject to permitting. Williams estimates that Dakota-3's holdings represent approximately 185 million barrels of oil equivalent in total net reserves potential in the Middle Bakken and the Upper Three Forks formations.

Williams' entry into the Bakken Shale play follows its entry into Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, where the company has accumulated approximately 100,000 net acres over the past year and a half.

About Williams (NYSE: WMB)

Williams is an integrated natural gas company focused on exploration and production, midstream gathering and processing, and interstate natural gas transportation primarily in the Rocky Mountains, Gulf Coast, Pacific Northwest, Eastern Seaboard and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. Most of the company's interstate gas pipeline and midstream assets are held through its 77-percent ownership interest (including the general-partner interest) in Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ), a leading diversified master limited partnership.  More information is available at www.williams.com. Go to http://www.b2i.us/irpass.asp?BzID=630&to=ea&s=0 to join our e-mail list.

Portions of this document may constitute "forward-looking statements" as defined by federal law. Although the company believes any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Any such statements are made in reliance on the "safe harbor" protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the company's annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Oil and gas reserves and resource potential disclaimer

"Reserves potential" as used in this press release may include "proved," "probable," "possible," and "resource estimations."

The SEC requires oil and gas companies, in filings made with the SEC, to disclose proved reserves, which are those quantities of oil and gas, which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be economically producible – from a given date forward, from known reservoirs, under existing economic condition, operating methods , and governmental regulations. Beginning with year-end reserves for 2009, the SEC permits the optional disclosure of probable and possible reserves. The SEC defines "probable" reserves as "those additional reserves that are less certain to be recovered than proved reserves but which, together with proved reserves, are as likely as not to be recovered." The SEC defines "possible" reserves as "those additional reserves that are less certain to be recovered than probable reserves." Williams applies these definitions in estimating probable and possible reserves. Statements of reserves are only estimates and may not correspond to the ultimate quantities of oil and gas recovered. Any reserve estimates provided in this press release that are not specifically designated as being estimates of proved reserves may include estimated reserves not necessarily calculated in accordance with, or contemplated by, the SEC's latest reserve reporting guidelines. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in Williams' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009, available from Williams at One Williams Center, Tulsa, OK 74172 (Attn: Investor Relations). You can also obtain this report from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330 or from the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.

The SEC's rules prohibit us from including in filings with the SEC estimates of resources. Our "resource estimations" include estimates of hydrocarbon quantities for (i) new areas for which we do not have sufficient information to date to classify as proved, probable or even possible reserves and (ii) other areas to take into account the low level of certainty of recovery of the resources. Resource estimates do not take into account the certainty of resource recovery and are therefore not indicative of the expected future recovery and should not be relied upon. Resource estimates might never be recovered and are contingent on exploration success, technical improvements in drilling access, commerciality and other factors.


Julie Gentz

(918) 573-3053


Sharna Reingold

(918) 573-2078

SOURCE Williams