SOURCE: Celero Energy, LP

July 26, 2005 22:30 ET

Celero Energy Agrees to Sell $802 Million of Oil and Gas Assets to Whiting Petroleum Corporation

MIDLAND, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 26, 2005 -- Celero Energy, LP announced today that it has entered into definitive agreements to sell substantially all of its oil and gas assets to Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: WLL) for cash and equity consideration of $785 million cash and 441,500 shares of Whiting common stock or total consideration of approximately $802 million. Celero's two core assets, the Postle Field in the Panhandle region of Oklahoma and the North Ward Estes Field in the Permian basin comprise a significant portion of the total asset value of the transactions. Anticipated closing dates are August 4th and October 4th for the Postle Transaction and North Ward Estes Transaction, respectively. Credit Suisse First Boston acted as lead advisor and Wachovia Securities and Citigroup acted as co-advisors to Celero for the transactions.

Commenting on today's announcement, Jack Hightower, Celero's Chairman, President and CEO, stated, "I am extremely proud of our team's success -- it's not every day that an exploration and production company can grow from a start up with no assets to an $802 million enterprise value company in a short time period. More importantly, the team's efforts resulted in a substantial return on equity. This is a tribute to each and every employee's dedication and desire to increase production and create value. I am confident that the positive momentum will continue, particularly in light of Whiting's plans to retain substantially all of our staff."

Celero Energy, LP was formed in January 2004 by Jack Hightower, Rodney Woodard, Bruce Selkirk, Vince Borrello and John Benfatti to focus on acquiring and enhancing the value of oil and gas properties. Celero's investors include members of its management team, Quantum Energy Partners*, and Wachovia Capital Investments Inc. Speaking on behalf of the investors, Quantum's Managing Partner, Wil VanLoh, stated, "The depth and expertise of the Celero management team combined with the entrepreneurial ability of Jack Hightower is what enabled Celero to successfully execute its balanced approach of acquisitions, exploration and exploitation that created significant value for its investors. The Celero investment is one of the best investments we've ever made." Celero's Vice President and CFO, Bruce Selkirk, commented, "Quantum provided valuable thoughts and advice. They are consistently on the cutting edge of industry trends in a rapidly changing business environment -- we benefited greatly from their involvement."

Jack Hightower stated, "Our management team has been involved in starting many new ventures and our goals in addition to achieving attractive financial returns for our shareholders is to benefit all stakeholders, including employees, service providers and the Midland community. I believe this transaction accomplished all our objectives. During my 35-year career, there has never been a more exciting time in the oil and gas industry. The so-called 'structural shift' in commodity price levels along with increased commodity price volatility has impacted the economics of the industry dramatically. At the same time, service costs are skyrocketing, good talent is hard to find, and new laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley have had a major impact on the capital markets. These are challenging times but after the completion of this transaction in October we look forward to continuing our involvement in the industry."

*Quantum Energy Partners is a Houston-based private equity firm specializing in the energy industry with more than $670 million of capital under management. For more information on Quantum, please visit or call either Wil VanLoh or Toby Neugebauer at (713) 225-4800.

Contact Information