India’s largest private sector company, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), has appeared prominently in the news for the past couple of days. And there’s a tie-in with the Marcellus Shale. Here’s the highlights:
India’s largest private sector company, and one of the world’s largest energy companies, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), is in a bidding war with Chevron to buy Atlas Energy. A primary motivator for both companies is the large number of net acres Atlas controls in the Marcellus Shale region. Just last year RIL and Atlas formed a joint venture, a deal that would have been worth $3.5 billion over ten years. Now that Atlas is on the block, RIL wants to tie the knot permanently. But another suitor has arrived and is vying for Atlas’ affections by offering $4.3 billion:
The recently announced joint venture between Atlas Energy and Indian energy giant Reliance Industries (a deal worth $3.5 billion over 10 years) is already bearing fruit. Together they’ve just forked over $192 million to secure leases for more land in Pennsylvania.
Independent oil and gas company Atlas Energy will buy 42,344 acres in the gas-rich Marcellus shale along with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), weeks after the two announced a joint venture.
The companies will buy the acreage in Fayette, Washington, Indiana, Westmoreland, Armstrong and Clarion Counties of Pennsylvania at an average price of $4,532 per acre.
Following Wednesday’s deal, the Atlas-RIL joint venture will control about 343,000 Marcellus Shale acres, of which about 206,000 acres are net to Atlas.*
According to the Atlas Energy website:
Substantially all of the acreage to be acquired is held by production and is either contiguous with the joint venture’s existing acreage or is in concentrated blocks of acreage. [Atlas] believes that it will be able to drill over 450 horizontal wells on this acquired acreage assuming 1,000 foot spacing between lateral wells.**
*Hindustan Times/Reuters (Apr 22) – Atlas, RIL to buy more shale acreage for $4,532 per acre
**Atlas Energy Press Release (Apr 21) – Atlas Energy, Inc. and Reliance Industries Jointly Acquire over 42,000 Additional Acres within Their Core Marcellus Shale Position
Indian energy giant Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has entered a joint venture with Atlas Energy (based in Pittsburgh). MDN previously reported on the rumors of an impending deal between the two companies. Reliance, India’s largest energy company and one of the largest energy companies in the world, will get 40 percent (120,000 acres) of Atlas Energy’s Marcellus Shale leases as part of the deal. The terms are a bit complex, but in the end, this is the largest deal to date between energy companies in the Marcellus Shale with a value of $3.5 billion over 10 years:
Reliance will bear an acquisition cost of $339 million and pay an additional $1.36 billion as capital costs for the development programme over seven and a half years.
However, the investment would be scaled up to $3.5 billion over the next 10 years, RIL CFO Alok Agarwal said today in Mumbai.
The acreage will support the drilling of over 3,000 wells with a net resource potential of approximately 13.3 tcfe (5.3 tcfe net to RIL).*
From the Atlas press statement:
Atlas Energy, Inc. (“Atlas” or “the Company”) announces today its entry into a joint venture transaction with a wholly owned affiliate of Reliance Industries Limited (“Reliance”), the largest private sector company in India and a global energy leader, pursuant to which Atlas will transfer an interest in its Marcellus Shale position equal to 120,000 net acres in a transaction valued at $1.7 billion. Reliance will pay approximately $340 million in cash upon closing and an additional $1.36 billion in the form of a drilling carry. Atlas will serve as the development operator for the joint venture. Reliance will have the option to operate in certain project areas in the coming years outside of Atlas’ core operating areas of Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Atlas Energy Talking to Reliance Industries About Marcellus Shale Partnership – Billion Dollar Deal in the Making?
Reliance Industries Ltd., the owner of the world’s largest fuel-making complex, is in talks with Atlas Energy Inc. to invest in the U.S. natural-gas producer’s shale assets, a person familiar with the negotiations said.
The talks between Reliance, controlled by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and Moon Township, Pennsylvania-based Atlas are in preliminary stages, the person said yesterday, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.*
The deal is likely to be worth several billion dollars, if recent deals are any indicator: CONSOL’s impending purchase of Dominion’s Marcellus Shale operations for $3.475 billion; Mitsui’s investment of $1.4 billion in Anadarko earlier this year; and Statoil’s investment of $3.4 billion in Chesapeake last year. If the Reliance/Atlas deal pans out and fetches the same rate of $14,000 per acre investment that the Mitsui/Anadarko deal did, it would be a $3.7 billion deal—the largest Marcellus deal yet.
*Bloomberg (Mar 16) – Reliance Said to Be in Talks With Atlas to Buy Shale Gas Assets
Publishing company Platts held their annual Global Energy Outlook Forum yesterday on Wednesday in New York City. MDN editor Jim Willis has gone for the past couple of years–but this year Platts uninvited media, including MDN, to attend. So unfortunately we have no news for you from the Forum. However, Platts holds an evening award ceremony each year, following the Forum. It’s called the Platts Global Energy Awards and Wednesday was the 17th running of the awards. Energy companies from seven countries won 18 awards. One company, a company with a growing presence in the Marcellus/Utica, stole the show by winning three awards. That company was Repsol, the Spanish oil giant with a love affair with American shale. Here’s a recap of the event, and the list of winners…
The single largest company in India, and one of the largest energy companies in the world, is Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). As of July 2013, RIL had invested a massive $5.7 billion in three shale joint ventures–the bulk of that in the Marcellus Shale. The company was planning to double it’s shale investment to over $10 billion! But a funny thing happened on the way the Forum. Prices for oil and gas started to slump, and RIL’s return on their shale investments slumped with it. RIL invested $3.5 billion in a Marcellus joint venture with Atlas Energy in 2010 (see Joint Venture Between Reliance Industries and Atlas Energy Worth $3.5 Billion Over 10 Years). RIL later battled Chevron to buy Atlas–but Chevron won, so RIL became a jv partner with Chevron (see India’s RIL Loses Bidding War for Atlas Energy – $4.3 Billion Deal with Chevron Goes Forward). RIL currently has 3 jv’s, the Chevron jv in the Marcellus (owns 40% of that acreage), a jv with Carrizo Oil & Gas in the Marcellus (owns 60% of that acreage), and a jv with Pioneer Natural Resources in the Texas Eagle Ford (owns 45% of that acreage). Now comes word that RIL wants to exit all of their jv’s and wash their hands of U.S. shale, a 180 degree reversal from just a few years ago…
You may recall that all of the LNG (liquefied natural gas) that will be produced at the under construction export facility in Cove Point, Maryland will be sold to two countries: Japan and India (see Dominion’s Cove Point LNG Facility Achieves Important Milestones). Japan and India are teaming up again–but this time it’s for America’s ethane instead of methane. Reliance Industries Ltd., India’s single largest company of any kind (conglomerate that includes oil and gas drilling) has ordered up 6 Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLECs) for an undisclosed sum from Japanese company Mitsui. The VLEC ships will transport some 1.5 million tons of ethane per year to India, where it will be used to feed Indian ethane cracker plants. Since RIL has two joint ventures in the Marcellus, it’s a safe bet that some of that exported ethane will be coming from the Marcellus…
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: