Plains All-American Buys Crude Oil Terminals, James River to Caa1 at Moody’s: Energy Biz Report

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Plains All American Pipeline (NYSE:PAA) will purchase crude oil rail terminals from U.S. Development Group, for a price of $500 million, in a transaction that should close before the end of 2012. Assets include three crude oil rail loading terminals that serve the Eagle Ford of Texas, the Bakken of North Dakota, and the Niobrara of Colorado.

Petrobras (NYSE:PBR), the government-controlled Brazilian oil firm, is facing difficulties in divesting more than $4 billion worth of offshore oil exploration and production assets in the Gulf of Mexico. Further, the company has abandoned its plans to sell an interest in its entire Gulf of Mexico holdings to a single partner, and has begun searching out partners for individual assets and packages of the oil blocks in that area, say knowledgeable sources to Reuters.

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The unprofitable coal producer James River Coal Company (NASDAQ:JRCC) was downgraded one notch, from B3 to Caa1, by Moody’s Investors Service after prices fell and heightened regulatory monitoring raised mining costs. Caa1 is seven levels below investment grade; analyst Ben Nelson said that “We expect external factors will preclude it from maintaining credit measures consistent with the B3 rating level,” in the statement.

In a Wednesday press release, Memorial Production Partners (MEMP) said that it has begun an underwritten public offering of 10.5 million common units representing limited partner interests in the firm. The underwriters will be allowed a 30-day over-allotment option to acquire an additional 1.575 million common units. The company will use the net proceeds from the offering, as well as proceeds from any exercise of the over-allotment option of common units, to fund a portion of the purchase price for its pending acquisition of oil and natural gas properties.

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