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Oasis Petroleum 'happy' to have SPO as largest shareholder

January 13
1:01 AM 2015

North Dakota oil producer Oasis Petroleum welcomes having hedge fund SPO Partners & Co as its largest shareholder, Chief Executive Tommy Nusz said in an interview on Monday, commenting on a fund that has been a shareholder since Oasis went public in 2010.

SPO, which has been steadily increasing its stake in the company since December, bought more than 2 million shares alone late last week, bringing its stake in Oasis to 11.9 percent.

"We've got a good relationship with them and we're happy to have them as a shareholder," Nusz told Reuters.

SPO and Oasis have not had a discussion about any possible company transaction, Nusz said.

SPO has bought and sold shares of Oasis over the years, and it has been the company's largest shareholder before.

Shares of Oasis are down more than 60 percent in the past six months, largely reflecting the falling price of crude oil amid global oversupply. The recent price drop may have made Oasis an attractive investment to SPO if it expects that prices will rebound soon.

An SPO representative was not available to comment.

Like many U.S. oil producers, Oasis has slashed its 2015 capital budget, planning to spend no more than $850 million on drilling new wells. That's down about 40 percent from the $1.4 billion spent last year.

The budget should result in only light production growth, and the company could cut the number of drilling rigs it uses depending on how oil prices progress this year, Nusz said.

Shares of Oasis fell 10.7 percent to $13.65 in Monday trading alongside a 4 percent drop in crude oil prices.

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