It's been a tight year for Triad Resources since the Reno-based oil and gas exploration company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of 2008.
But 14 months of perseverance has paid off for the local company, now called Triad Hunter after being acquired last week by Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. of Houston, Texas.
"We've emerged stronger and maintained our core jobs throughout the process," said Rocky Roberts, who has served as Triad's acting chief operations officer for the past year.
"We've been able to keep the wheels on the car by maintaining operations and production, and to continue good relations with our vendors," he said.
Roberts said the company currently has 115 employees at facilities in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio.
"This is about as good an outcome from a bankruptcy as you could expect for employees, and our major asset is our employees," said Jim Denny, new president and chief operations officer for Triad.
At a glance
Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. completed acquisition of Triad Resources in Reno on Feb. 16.
Triad Resources was renamed Triad Hunter.
Total acquisition cost: $81 million.
Triad assets acquired: Oil and gas properties with 2,000 wells; 88,000 mineral acres in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio; a natural gas pipeline; salt water disposal facilities; drilling rigs and other oilfield equipment.
More information at www.mangnumhunterresources.com
Source: Magnum Hunter Resources Corp.
On Monday, Gary Evans, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Magnum Hunter Resources, said the corporation plans to expand on Triad's oil and gas operations in Appalachia.
"And no doubt we will be doing some more hiring by the end of the year," he said.
Evans, who started Magnum Hunter in 2006, said Triad's skilled workforce, 23-year history in the community and the company's good reputation, in spite of the bankruptcy filing, are assets that Magnum Hunter intends to build on.
"But we're not the new sheriff in town - that's why we kept Triad in the name," he said. "And we plan to have the least disturbance possible on the local community."
Evans said Magnum Hunter started looking at Triad for potential acquisition in August or September of 2009.
"We came into the game a little late, but the timing was right," he said. "And this gives us a big foothold in the Appalachian area."
Ron Ormand, chief financial officer of Magnum Hunter, agreed.
"We looked at Triad's assets as a springboard into this area," he said.
Evans said the company will initially focus on talking to landowners about property acquisition for oil and gas exploration, as well as networking with other companies.
Longtime Triad employee Kim Arnold, now vice president of Appalachian administration, said there was some apprehension after the company filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 31, 2008, just three weeks after the death of Triad's founder, Kean Weaver.
Company officials emphasized at the time that the bankruptcy filing was due to economics and plummeting oil prices, and was not related to Weaver's death.
Filing for Chapter 11 allowed the company to continue operations as it weathered a period of financial difficulty and reorganization, which included one layoff of approximately 25 employees.
"The employees were understandably concerned about what the future might hold," Arnold said. "But now everyone's ecstatic about the Magnum Hunter acquisition, and we're looking forward to new opportunities in the future."
Mike Jacoby, executive director of the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority, said the outcome following Triad's bankruptcy filing is "about as good a rebound as you can have."
According to a Magnum Hunter news release, Triad assets acquired by the corporation primarily include oil and gas property interests in approximately 2,000 operated wells and more than 88,000 net mineral acres in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.
The acquisition also includes a natural gas pipeline (Eureka Hunter), two salt water disposal facilities, three drilling rigs, workover rigs and other oilfield equipment.
The deal cost Magnum Hunter a total of $81 million, but Evans said the acquisition now gives the corporation one of the most cost effective ownership positions in the Appalachian Basin.
Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. and its subsidiaries are a Houston-based independent exploration and production company engaged in the acquisition of exploratory leases and producing properties, secondary enhanced oil recovery projects, exploratory drilling and production of oil and natural gas in the U.S.