Baker, Ahles & Kaskovich

A Fort Worth oil company brings its stock home from down under

Frank Bracken is chief executive officer of Lonestar Resources.
Frank Bracken is chief executive officer of Lonestar Resources.

Lonestar Resources recently became Fort Worth’s newest company to have its stock traded on a major U.S. exchange, after shifting its listing from the Australian Stock Exchange.

But the company has always operated in Fort Worth.

Originally established by oilman Dub Stocker as Texas International Energy Partners, the company took on the Lonestar name in 2013 when it merged with a Denver company named Amadeus Energy, which was publicly traded in Australia after landing investors there.

With its working assets concentrated in the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas, it only made since to move the company to the Nasdaq exchange in the United States, said Frank Bracken, who has been Lonestar’s chief executive officer since 2012.

It took longer than expected to “re-domicile,” but in July the stock (ticker: LONE) began trading on the Nasdaq. Last month, Lonestar named former Range Resources Chairman and CEO John Pinkerton as its chairman.

In another international twist, LoneStar is more than 50-percent owned by a London-based company called Ecofin Water & Power Opportunities, which funded acquisitions in the Eagle Ford and Barnett Shale. The Barnett assets were later sold.

Over the past four years, Bracken said Lonestar has grown its Eagle Ford assets from 4,000 acres to more than 35,000, and its proved reserves from almost nil to 40 million boe (barrels of oil equivalent), Bracken said. The company also has 44,000 acres in the Bakken play in Montana, but is focusing its resources on south Texas for now.

Like many energy companies, Lonestar’s results have suffered with low commodity prices. In the first six months of 2016, Lonestar reported an operating loss of $18.9 million and its revenues declined by 30 percent to about $29 million. But production has been improving and Bracken expects energy markets to “rebalance” and help prices in the next year.

Now that the stock is traded here, Bracken no longer has to fly to the other side of the world several times a year to meet with shareholders, but can run the company from Lonestar’s headquarters on Bailey Avenue. “I have more Qantas points than I need,” he said.

Berzina forms his own company

David Berzina is scared and excited at the same time.

The former executive vice president for economic development at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, who left there last month, is launching his own company, Insights EDC.

“We’ve been planning this for 18 months and it just became the right time to jump. I had a few clients and I’m at the age where if I didn’t do it now, I wouldn’t do it,” the 51-year-old Berzina said.

The company will build on his 27 years of experience in economic development in three states — Michigan, Louisiana and Texas — working on site selection consulting, incentives negotiations and strategic connections.

Besides traditional site selection and relocation projects, Berzina said his firm will go into the MWBE business, helping minority and women-owned business enterprises get established as well as help others get MWBE-certified.

Berzina won’t divulge who his clients are, but he clearly hopes to build on his successes at the chamber, which included projects like the $1.2 billion Facebook data center in far north Fort Worth and the General Electric locomotive manufacturing plant near the Texas Motor Speedway.

The company will have two to four employees but will also have some joint ventures, one of which will be announced by the end of the month, he said.

Berzina worked at the chamber for 12 years.

“The chamber is a terrific organization and it does a lot for this community. I was lucky to work for them,” he said.

Texas Health ERs

The Texas Health name is starting to appear on freestanding emergency rooms throughout North Texas.

On Friday, crews changed out the signage at a First Choice Emergency Room in Arlington, beginning the rebranding of 31 ERs and a hospital as part of a joint venture announced in May between Arlington-based Texas Health Resources and Adeptus Health. The new signs are expected to all be in place within two weeks.

Under the agreement with Lewisville-based Adeptus, Texas Health will have a controlling interest in the venture, which will expand network contracts with all major insurers to the free-standing ERs.

First Choice has nine locations in Tarrant County: in Arlington, Fort Worth, Colleyville, Haslet, North Richland Hills and Mansfield. Each emergency room is equipped with a full radiology suite, including CT scanner, digital X-ray and ultrasound.

Counting the new locations, Texas Health now has more than 350 points of access, from hospital and outpatient centers to doctors’ offices and imaging centers.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB

Steve Kaskovich: 817-390-7773, @stevekasko

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