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Exclusive: Breitling Oil & Gas eyes IPO in $200-$400 million range

By Ernest Scheyder

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Breitling Oil & Gas, which manages oil and natural gas deposits in North Dakota and Oklahoma, is considering an initial public offering or other options for late 2013 or early 2014.

The Dallas-based company would hope to raise $200 million to $400 million through any IPO, Chris Faulkner, Breitling's chief executive, said in an interview.

A debt offering or entire sale of the company is also possible, he said.

Faulkner has traveled to Asia several times this year, and said interest in buying Breitling was strong across the continent.

But Faulkner added: "I think there's a lot more upside potential for us that we couldn't monetize if we sold the business right now."

Breitling is controlled by its employees and other insiders.

"We'd probably look at some kind of equity (offering) rather than a complete divestiture," Faulkner said.

The company controls roughly 200,000 acres of mineral rights across North Dakota's Bakken and Three Forks shale fields, as well as in Oklahoma's Mississippian Lime shale field.

Breitling typically hires Devon Energy Corp , Oasis Petroleum Inc or others to produce oil and natural gas on the land, preferring to be a non-operating partner.

The company specializes in using two- and three-dimensional seismic readings to evaluate land with large oil and natural gas deposits, to improve efficiency.

Typically, only about 5 percent to 10 percent of available crude oil in a well is recoverable, but the technology could boost that amount.

Much of the oil or natural gas produced on Breitling's land is sold to Royal Dutch Shell Plc , BP plc , Exxon Mobil Corp or others, Faulkner said.

Breitling has not filed any paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, indicating interest in an IPO.

"We're capitalized now and aren't in any hurry," Faulkner said. "We'll make some decisions later in 2013 and might pull the trigger in 2014."

UBS , Brean Capital LLC and Zions Bancorp's Amegy Bank, a midsized Texas bank, are advising Breitling.

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoer)

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