Mw Petroleum Harward Case

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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 11/14/2012 08:46 AM

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Question 1

The rationale of an Apache acquisition of MW Petroleum is plausible, yet there are outstanding concerns. By completing a deal, Apache stands to benefit from several aspects. First, MW isa large company which has more than double Apache’s reserves and it includesproperties that are well-suited to Apache’s operating capabilities. Moreover, on behalf of MW, Amoco operated fields accounting for approximately 80% of MW’s production. Such high operating percentage would promise Apache significant cost-saving opportunities. The acquisition would more than double Apache’s reserves, it would shift Apache’s oil-to-gas ratio from 20-80 to 40-60, and would further diversify Apache geographically. Shifting the oil-to-gas ratio is important because gas prices were highly volatile during this time period while oil was less volatile and, therefore, more predictable. Apache’s revenue stream was high levered and the company’s acquisition driven growth strategy would be more difficult when there is an instability of gas prices.

With an acquisition, Apache could also recognize several synergies that would make the deal even more attractive. The properties of MW would diversify Apache geographically and make it more stable in the US market.These include acquired technical data (further exploration possibilities) and several production optimization techniques. Apache would have access to Amoco’s data, which could lead to undiscovered reserves despite that both parties agreed that the probability of a large find was improbable. Furthermore, Apache chairman Raymond Plank devised a strategy to optimize production. This strategy includes tasks such as recompletion, plugback, well-deepening, and repair. These tasks would lower costs, extend well life, and/or increase well production rates.

There are several problems for Apache in trying to reach an agreement. First and foremost, the acquisition requires significant investment that Apache does not have. Apache cannot...