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Bill Barrett and Fifth Creek plan petroleum merger

Bill Barrett Corp., one of Colorado’s largest publicly-traded oil and gas producers, plans to combine with privately-held Fifth Creek Energy in a deal valued at $649 million.

The two Denver-based companies will become subsidiaries of a new public holding company that will control 151,100 net acres and an inventory of 2,865 undeveloped drilling locations in the Hereford Field in rural northern Weld County.

Compared to other parts of the Denver-Julesburg Basin, the Hereford’s output skews more towards oil, which made up 84 percent of output from recently drilled wells. The combined company plans to operate three drilling rigs next year and spend $500 million to $600 million to boost production.

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