Friday, January 04, 2013

Late cash saves Noble Basin

A big donation late in the game has completed the purchase of natural gas leases in the Noble Basin and prevented development there. Joe Ricketts, a Sublette County rancher and the founder of TD Ameritrade, stepped in at the 11th hour with money to complete the buyout of 58,000 acres of gas leases in the basin. The area had been targeted for development by Plains Production and Exploration, known as PXP. The Trust for Public Land, which organized the $8.75 million deal, had been about $750,000 short of the purchase price all the way up to Monday, the day before the money was due. The announcement came from Chris Deming, Wyoming director of the Trust for Public Land. “We have closed with PXP,” Deming said Wednesday. “Joe Ricketts provided the closing gift, and we were able to get the deal done the day before closing.” The trust had no assurance that the last funding would come through until the last day, Deming said. Ricketts owns the Lodge at Jackson Fork Ranch, a fly-fishing retreat near the basin that forms the headwaters of the Hoback River. Having previously given $1 million to the trust, he was the largest publicly identified donor — until Wednesday. The effort’s single largest donor, who previously had remained anonymous, was Hansjorg Wyss. The Swiss billionaire and Wilson resident gave $4.25 million through his foundation in the early phases of the buyout effort...more

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