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Energy XXI to Acquire EPL Oil & Gas

* Merger will create the largest public independent producer on the shelf * Pro forma production approximates 65,000 BOE per day, 70 percent oil * Transaction expected to be immediately accretive to shareholders HOUSTON, March 12, 2014 (CRWE Press Release) -- Energy XXI (NASDAQ:EXXI) (LSE:EXXI) and EPL Oil & Gas, Inc. (NYSE:EPL) today announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Energy XXI will acquire all of EPL's outstanding shares for total consideration of $2.3 billion, including the assumption of debt. As a result of the merger, Energy XXI will become the largest public independent producer on the Gulf of Mexico shelf, with production of approximately 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, 70 percent oil, including a reduction related to the pending divestiture of non-operated interests in the Eugene Island 330 and South Marsh Island 128 fields. Upon completion of the merger, Energy XXI expects to have an enterprise value of approximately $6 billion. "EPL's assets and operations closely resemble our own, predominantly oil, with some of the highest margins in the industry and extraordinary opportunities for reserves and production growth through development and exploration activities," Energy XXI Chairman and CEO John Schiller said. "Energy XXI will be the only publicly traded pure play on the Gulf of Mexico shelf, with the highest concentration of large, mature oil fields ever owned by a single shelf operator. With a history of increasing acquired reserves, we have proven the adage that big oil fields get bigger, and we are excited at the prospect of continuing that trend with the addition of EPL's properties." "This merger of the two premier independent oil producers on the shelf will create an unrivalled operator," EPL Chairman, President and CEO Gary C. Hanna said. "As part of a larger organization, EPL shareholders will benefit from synergies across the board, a high-grading of the drilling portfolio and opportunities to expand across the Gulf of Mexico." EPL owns working interests in 37 producing fields, mainly concentrated within nine core producing areas: an estimated 91 percent of proved reserves, 88 percent of production and 91 percent of revenues are associated with the Ship Shoal, East Bay, South Timbalier, South Pass 78 and 49, West Delta, Main Pass, Eugene Island and South Marsh complexes. EPL operates 90 percent of its properties, by reserves, similar to Energy XXI's 94 percent. EPL's year-end reserves estimates were prepared as of Dec. 31, 2013 by Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc., independent oil and gas consultants. Including estimates for the subsequently acquired Eugene Island 258/259 field, and adjustments for lease-use natural gas, the properties are estimated to contain net proved and probable reserves of 106.3 million BOE, 71 percent of which is oil. Proved reserves are estimated at 54.9 million barrels of oil and 139.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or a total of 78.1 million BOE, 70 percent of which are proved developed. Offshore leases total 273,713 net acres. At its Dec. 31, 2013 year end, EPL reported total assets of $1.86 billion, with net income for the year totaling $85.3 million. Further information is available at www.eplweb.com. Full Press Release and Disclaimer at http://crwepressre lease.com/6739/new s-by-category/busi ness-news/energy-x xi-to-acquire-epl- oil-gas/  (Mar 12, 2014 | post #1)

US News

1st Detect Awarded U.S. Patent for Novel Mass Spectromete...

Austin, Texas, Dec. 10, 2013 – (CRWE Press Release) – 1st Detect Corporation, a subsidiary of Astrotech Corporation (Nasdaq:ASTC), announced today that the United States Patent Office (“USPTO”) has allowed the issuance of a key patent for the company’s unique ion trap used for chemical analysis and detection. “We are extremely pleased that the USPTO has allowed this patent. This patent is an important component of our intellectual property portfolio as it allows 1st Detect to enhance the performance of miniaturized mass spectrometers without an increase in size or cost,” said Thomas B Pickens III, Chairman and CEO of 1st Detect. “The patent clearly validates our technology, while both demonstrating and protecting the progress we have made in the development of the 1st Detect mass spectrometer.” Full Press Release at http://crwepressre lease.com/4713/new s-by-category/busi ness-news/1st-dete ct-awarded-u-s-pat ent-for-novel-mass -spectrometer-desi gn/  (Dec 11, 2013 | post #1)