Forest Oil ( FST) completed the spinoff of its offshore Gulf of Mexico operations, which then merged with oil and gas exploration company Mariner Energy.

Shares of Mariner will begin trading Friday under the symbol "ME."

Forest holders of record on Feb. 21 received 0.8093 shares of Mariner for every share of Forest owned. The distribution occurred Thursday.

"This transaction is a step in unlocking the intrinsic value of Forest's shares. It provides a substantial dividend to Forest shareholders in the form of a significant interest in one of the premier Gulf focused independents which is now available as an investment to the public for the first time. In addition, Forest now provides greater visibility for growth in its onshore North American asset base where we are expecting 10% organic growth in 2006," the company said.
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