Talisman Energy Will Invest $1 Billion in PA Marcellus Shale, Opening Regional Office near Pittsburgh

Talisman Energy (headquartered in Calgary, Canada) says it will invest $1 billion in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale.

Part of that investment is the creating of a regional office in Cranberry Township, in Butler County, PA. The new office will employ 125 people by the end of 2010. And Talisman is looking to hire:

The company is in the process of recruiting and hiring geologists, landsmen, regulatory and legal experts, among others. It will relocate 35 from its New York office and 15 from the Calgary headquarters, and hire the rest.*

Although Talisman’s 214,000 net acres in the Marcellus Shale are in northeastern Pennsylvania, the company decided to locate its regional office near Pittsburgh.

*Pittsburgh Business Times (Mar 12) – Talisman Energy opening office north of Pittsburgh

Former NY Gov. George Pataki Joins Advisory Board of Mesa Energy

Former New York Gov. George Pataki has joined the advisory board of Mesa Energy Holdings (headquartered in Dallas). Mesa holds leases and has active gas drilling operations in Wyoming County in Western New York State. Gov. Pataki, since leaving office, joined a law firm and started a consulting practice with a focus on environmental and energy issues.

According to the press release:

Headquartered in Dallas, TX, Mesa Energy Holdings, Inc. is a growth-oriented, exploration stage oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) company with a definitive focus on growing reserves and net asset value per share, primarily through the development of highly diversified, multi-well developmental and defined-risk exploratory drilling opportunities and the acquisition of solid, long-term existing production with enhancement potential. Although the Company is constantly evaluating opportunities in the nation’s most productive basins, the Company’s primary focus is currently on the Devonian Black (Marcellus) shale in the northern Appalachian Basin in western New York.*

Never mind the press release gobbledygook. What it means is this: Right now Mesa owns pipelines and active vertical wells in Western NY, but they’re betting big-time that horizontal drilling and hydro fracturing is coming to New York in the not-too-distant future, and they want an ace in the hole when it does. Welcome George.

*Business Wire (Mar 15) – Mesa Energy Holdings, Inc. Names Former New York Governor George E. Pataki to the Advisory Board

Major Transaction: CONSOL Energy Buys Dominion Resources Appalachian Business, Including Marcellus Gas Operations, for $3.475 Billion

CONSOL Energy of Pittsburgh today announced it is buying the Appalachian exploration and production operation of Dominion Resources. Dominion’s Marcellus Shale drilling operations are part of the transaction. CONSOL is paying $3.475 billion in cash.

Dominion currently has leases on approximately 500,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale. Added to CONSOL’s existing 250,000 acres (which belong to CNX Gas, another CONSOL company), the new total acreage controlled by CONSOL will be 750,000. Dominion’s large Marcellus acreage was one of the key attractions for CONSOL.

The total acreage CONSOL is buying from Dominion for both oil and gas totals 1.46 million acres, along with 9,000 active oil and gas wells. Dominion’s operation was once part of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil company.

CONSOL will add 193 employees from Dominion’s Appalachian operation to its own payroll when the deal closes, which is expected to happen at the end of April.

For more details, see the press release:
CONSOL Energy to Acquire Dominion’s Appalachian E&P Business for $3.475 Billion In Cash