$25K Per Acre for Lease Deals? Not in the Marcellus — Yet

An interesting tidbit from a story about energy giant ConocoPhillips. The article, published on the Houston Chronicle’s website, was about recent efforts by ConocoPhillips to “debunk Wall Street’s view that the Houston-based oil major grows by acquisition rather than finding its own oil and gas.” Buried far down the story is a statement (not a direct quote but a summary statement) from Larry Archibald, company vice president of exploration and production. The statement, as summarized by the reporter, was this:

He [Archibald] said ConocoPhillips shied away from “feeding frenzies” at high-profile shale plays where some companies rushed in and spent $25,000 or more per acre amid the pre-recession boom in gas production. Those plays included the Haynesville in East Texas and northern Louisiana, and the Marcellus in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia.

He said ConocoPhillips will keep spending in more established plays, such as the Barnett shale near Fort Worth, and the lesser-known Eagle Ford in South Texas, where the company has a leading acreage position.

Everyone drools to see energy companies spending $25K per acre for leasing rights. But don’t get your hopes up too high. Marcellus Drilling News has not (so far) found any instances of leasing deals that approach anything near $25K per arce. It’s been more like $5K per acre on the high side in the Southern Tier of New York. If you know of high paying deals in the Marcellus, please let us know!

The other interesting point about the statement is this: It looks like ConocoPhillips will not be a major player in the Marcellus anytime soon, which is unfortunate.

Read the full article: ConocoPhillips flaunts its exploration finds