The Case Study Store

Palm Springs Negotiating Game

Christopher Ross

 Proven oil reserves and growing production are critical factors in oil company valuation.  Faced with existing field decline rates of 5-10%, major oil companies struggle to replace their production with new reserves.  Smaller companies who have successfully explored for new fields can become highly valued entities.  But is buying one of these new players a “value creating” activity?  That will depend upon many things, including the outlook for future prices, one’s technical ability to extract the “oil in place,” and a firm’s cost of capital.  This case provides students with an opportunity to try their hand at buying and selling reserves in one of North America’s hottest plays, the Bakken shale play in North Dakota.

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