Min­ing firm ex­pands, cre­ates con­glom­er­ate

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Com­piled from staff, wire re­ports

NEW YORK — Min­ing com­pany Freeport-Mc­MoRan is buy­ing a pair of oil and gas pro­duc­ers for $9 bil­lion, cre­at­ing a nat­u­ral re­sources con­glom­er­ate with as­sets rang­ing from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mex­ico to a huge cop­per mine in In­done­sia.

Freeport-Mc­MoRan Cop­per & Gold Inc., based in Phoenix, said Wed­nes­day it is paying $6.9 bil­lion in cash and stock for Plains Ex­plo­ration & Pro­duc­tion Co. and $2.1 bil­lion for Mc­MoRan Ex­plo­ration Co. The miner also will as­sume $11 bil­lion in debt in the deal.

Plains Ex­plo­ration, based in Hous­ton, pro­duces oil in Cal­i­for­nia, Texas and the Gulf of Mex­ico, along with nat­u­ral gas in Louisiana. Mc­MoRan Ex­plo­ration, based in New Or­leans, is de­vel­op­ing nat­u­ral gas re­sources that lie deep be­low shal­low water re­gions of the Gulf of Mex­ico.

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