Divorce: CONSOL & Noble Dissolve M-U Joint Venture

divorce

Yesterday CONSOL Energy and Noble Energy issued a joint press release to announce they are “separating” their Marcellus/Utica joint venture. We view it more like a divorce. This isn’t a “maybe we’ll get back together at some point” kind of agreement. It is an agreement for CONSOL to take one child (acreage in Pennsylvania) and Noble to take the other child (acreage in West Virginia) and permanently go their separate ways. That’s a divorce. The two companies stressed that their third child together–CONE Midstream–would remain in joint custody for the duration. CONSOL gets 306,000 acres and Noble gets 363,000 acres. Why the break up? The two were joined at the hip and had to agree on spending money to drill on some 669,000 jv acres. CONSOL wants to drill more, Noble wants to drill less. The break up lets each of them do what they want to do. CONSOL has big plans to drill more Utica wells, and Noble has big plans to drill in other shale plays. The net net appears to be expect more CONSOL drilling in the Utica in both PA and WV (where it will retain Utica rights), and less Marcellus drilling by Noble in PA/WV…

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