Long-time Billings oil business Ballard Petroleum Holdings LLC has sold its subsidiary, Ballard Petroleum LLC.

Alberta Energy Co., headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, bought Ballard’s holdings in southern Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, said Jeff Ballard, vice president for investor relations. The sale is estimated at $225 million, Ballard said. The sale will not affect the more than 30 jobs at the company’s Billings office.

“Our track record has been (to) build up and sell down and build back up again, and that’s what we’re doing,” Ballard said. “This is a good time with commodity prices where they are. As a private company, some of our investor base was looking to change, or liquidate, some ownership. It was an appropriate time based on prices.”

The biggest asset in the sale is in Colorado, Ballard said.

According to a release from AEC, “key producing properties” are in the Mamm Creek field of the Piceannce Basin in northwestern Colorado. The acquisition includes about 175,000 net undeveloped acres and includes a gas pipeline system in Mamm Creek, it says. Most of the holdings are gas development, but there is some oil, Ballard said.

AEC officials say Ballard is an “excellent fit” for their company.

“We buy concentrated, high-working interest, long-life reserves with significant growth potential,” said Gwyn Morgan, ACE president and CEO.

The sale is expected to close, subject to some conditions, in February, according to AEC.

Ballard Petroleum Holdings has retained its assets in Montana, northern Wyoming and North Dakota, Ballard said. Its core oil production is in the Powder River Basin, Ballard said. At this point, the bulk of Ballard’s holdings are oil-related, but the company will look at getting back into the gas market, Ballard said.

William W. Ballard, Jeff’s father, is chairman and CEO of Ballard Petroleum Holdings. The elder Ballard organized Balcron Oil in Billings in 1963. That company was later sold, and Ballard Petroleum was established in 1992.

Becky Shay can be reached at 657-1231 or at bshay@billingsgazette.com.

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