(Adds company history, context on sale, paragraphs 7-12)
By Mike Stone
NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Oil and gas explorer and producer Samson Energy Company LLC is selling its offshore Gulf of Mexico assets that could fetch more than $1 billion, according to people familiar with the situation.
The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company has tapped Jefferies LLC, the New York-based investment bank, to assist with the sale effort, the people said, asking not be named because the talks are private.
A representative for privately-held Samson confirmed Jefferies was working on a sale process for a portfolio of wells and leases, but declined to provide further details. A Jefferies representative declined to comment.
The assets up for sale include a portfolio of federal leases as well as investments in wells operated by third parties, according to the people familiar with the matter. Some of the wells are operating, while others are still in development.
The wells include projects named Buckskin and Moccasin, both operated by Chevron Corp ; as well as Gunflint, which is operated by Noble Energy Inc, the people said.
Another well, Samurai, operated by Murphy Oil Corp, is also a part of the package being offered for sale, the people said.
Samson Energy was formed in December 2011 to continue operations for oil and gas assets which remained with the Schusterman family following the sale of Samson Investment Company to an investor group led by KKR & Co for $7.2 billion.
Samson Energy and its operating subsidiaries - Samson Exploration, LLC and Samson Offshore, LLC - have offices in Houston, Golden, Colorado, and Liberty, Texas according to the company’s website.
Samson’s website says its stakes in Gulf development and appraisal wells are held within its Samson Offshore LLC business unit. The website says the unit also holds more than 70 federal leases.
The total value of the assets being sold would be difficult to determine because the leases were undeveloped and bidders would be using geological survey data to determine value, the people said.
One of the people said it may be possible for the assets to be sold piecemeal, though this was likely not the route Samson preferred.
Other companies are exiting deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets. French oil company Total SA (TOTF.PA) is selling its 17 percent stake an already producing Gulf oil field named Tahiti. If sold, the Tahiti stake could fetch between $1.5 billion and $2 billion. (Reporting By Mike Stone in New York; Editing by Diane Craft and Tom Brown)