What you thought was your property may not be your property when it comes to large sums of lease and royalty payments, as some landowners in Susquehanna County, PA are learning the hard way…
MDN recently highlighted two deals by Chesapeake to sell Marcellus Shale acreage at what we consider fire sale prices–in one case $574 per acre (see Southwestern Energy Buys 162K PA Marcellus Acres from Chesapeake), and in a second case $606 per acre (see Chesapeake Fire Sale Continues – EQT Picks up 99K Acres in SW PA).
However, Seeking Alpha blogger and energy analyst Richard Zeits–someone whose opinion we respect–has a different take. He says when you analyze the deals closely, they aren’t as irrational as they may appear, and these deals are far from a “fire sale”…
The schizophrenic behavior of Cecil, PA town supervisors… Earlier this week Cecil town supervisors voted to have a closed door meeting with Range Resources to assess the “relationship” between the company and the town (see When We Get Behind Closed Doors…Range Resources & Cecil Twp). It looked to MDN like perhaps, just perhaps, the supervisors were making an attempt to patch things up. Range has them in court, after all.
But maybe not. We now learn that at the same meeting, the same supervisors want to shut down a local Range water impoundment:
In March, MDN told you about a new joint venture between Crosstex Energy and Enerven Compression Services to build new compressor stations and a condensate processing plant in the Ohio Utica Shale (see Crosstex Energy to Build New Compressors, Processing Plant in OH). At the time Crosstex said they had secured a $75 million line of credit and were investing $50 million of it in the jv. Scratch that. Yesterday Crosstex announced they’re investing another $25 million in the jv, so it looks to us like they’re using up the rest of their line of credit to do it.
The Crosstex announcement:
We’re not sure this is exactly news because for months (years?) now MDN has told you that CONSOL Energy is on the way to transitioning from being one of the country’s largest coal producers to one of the country’s largest natural gas producers.
Yesterday, CONSOL’s CEO Brett Harvey wanted to make that point loud and clear to investors who attended a no-media-allowed annual shareholder’s meeting. In comments following the closed-door session, Harvey said, among other things, that the company will sell certain assets in order to fund more Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling:
The latest Utica Shale permits and wells drilled numbers, as of May 4:
We’ve heard for months now that the Dept. of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is really really close to releasing their new “rules for fracking on federal lands” (see New Interior Secretary Jewell Says BLM Fracking Rules Coming Soon). These are the same rules that Barack Obama would like to see used as a model for the states to use on non-public lands too (see Feds ‘Hope’ States will Use BLM Rules for ALL Fracking).
Must be this time the new rule release really is close, because Congress is held a hearing yesterday and the new rules, still unreleased, are receiving fire from both Republicans and Democrats…
The parade of first quarter financial/operational updates continues. The midstream sector is critically important for the Marcellus & Utica Shale. MarkWest is one of the biggest midstream players (perhaps the biggest) in the Marcellus/Utica. They issued their 1Q13 update yesterday:
Marcellus Shale driller Atlas Resource Partners reports achieving record average net production of 133.0 Mmcfed for the first quarter 2013, a 21% increase over the fourth quarter 2012, in their 1Q13 report issued yesterday. From the report:
Findlay Township (Allegheny County, PA, west of Pittsburgh) approved its first three Marcellus Shale wells at a meeting last night. Supervisors voted unanimously (3-0) to let Range Resources to drill on Clinton-Frankfort Road…
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: