EV Energy Partners/EnerVest has, almost by happenstance, accumulated a huge position in the Utica Shale–760,000 acres according to NaturalGasIntel.com. They are the second largest leaseholder in the Utica, behind Chesapeake Energy (who has about 1 million acres). A little over a year ago EVEP put half a million of those acres on the auction block. No takers. They eventually sold 22,535 acres in Guernsey, Harrison and Noble counties in Ohio for $284.3 million (see EVEP/EnerVest Cuts Deal to Sell 22.5K OH Utica Acres for $284M).
On a 3Q13 analyst call earlier this week, EVEP Executive Chairman John Walker said there’s still no new deals to announce and that selling off a big slug of their acreage is “too valuable not to be patient.” Translation: Sit tight, we’re still working on it, but we won’t sell it at fire sale prices. It’s going to take more time. Here’s a transcript of John Walker’s opening comments on the analyst call: