Mystery Buyer to Pay WPX Energy $200M for NE Marcellus Assets

mysteryWPX Energy announced yesterday that they’ve sold more of (the rest of?) their northeast Marcellus Shale assets. This time it’s not leases and wells, but instead “various long-term natural gas purchase and sales agreements, along with 135 million Btu per day of firm transportation capacity on Transco’s Northeast Supply Link project.” That is, WPX was on the hook to either buy or sell natural gas along pipelines at certain locations in the northeast region, and those deals to buy and sell gas were sold, along with WPX’s contract to flow up to 135 million Btus (which equates to just 135 thousand cubic feet, or 135 Mcf) of natural gas on Transco’s Northeast Supply Link pipeline system. The combined sale was to an unnamed buyer for approximately $200 million. MDN has a guess about who the mystery buyer is…
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Chevron Shops Another 11,700 Marcellus Acres in Central PA

Chevron continues to pare back on its Marcellus Shale acreage. With nearly 700,000 Marcellus Shale acres under lease, what’s a few thousand acres here and there? The Pittsburgh Business Times noticed that Chevron has posted 11,700 acres in central PA up for sale. You may recall Chevron previously shopped 17,000 acres in the same region in February (see Chevron Selling 17K Marcellus Shale Acres, More Sales Coming). At that time the company said more sales would be coming, and well, here we are! We might chalk it up to Chevron simply actively managing their portfolio and tweaking the locations where they intend to drill. Except. Except they’re also cutting way back on personnel too (see Chevron Laying Off 23% of their Marcellus Workforce in Pittsburgh). So this may be just tweaking the portfolio, or it may be a trickle in what will become a steady stream of divestiture. We just don’t know at this point. Here’s the details as we know them about the current 11,700 acres up for sale…
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EQT Floats IPO to Sell Off Some Ownership of Midstream Division

Looks like the mad dash to raise cash has not yet ended. Major Marcellus driller and midstream company EQT announced yesterday they are, using a subsidiary company (EQT GP Holdings) floating an initial public offering of 20 million units (roughly equivalent to shares of stock). The new company, EQT GP, is a holding company that will invest the money it raises into EQT’s midstream operations. On paper EQT’s midstream operations are run by a different entity with the stock ticker symbol of EQM (EQT Midstream). It’s all under one roof, but split on paper for tax and high finance purposes. If you net it all out, it appears to us (warning: we are neophytes with this high finance stuff) that EQT is selling off some of the ownership of EQT Midstream without exactly saying so. How much does EQT hope to raise? They don’t say in the announcement (below). But EQM’s current stock price is running at $86.45 per share as of close of business yesterday. Let’s say EQT gets, oh, $70 per unit for this new IPO. That would be a huge $1.4 billion. What if they get just $50 per unit? That would be an even $1 billion. However you slice it, EQT is looking to raise some major cash by selling off ownership of EQM…
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Spring 2015 List of Shale-Related Infrastructure Projects in OH

We’re excited to share with you an update to a report we LOVE. The sharp researchers at law firm Bricker & Eckler produce a twice yearly called “Shale Economic Development Overview.” It is a list of projects details, by county in Ohio, of those projects started or planned because of shale drilling. The Spring 2015 edition is embedded below. The first edition of this list was published in October 2013 and showed projects worth $12.2 billion. Last October that number had risen to a staggering $21.5 billion. For this report, the new total rises to $28 billion–a more modest increase than before, but the fact that it’s increasing is a testament to the fact that although drilling has greatly slowed, the midstream (pipelines and processing plants) have not…
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Penn State Finds Chemical Migration in 3 PA Water Wells from 2010

Media reaction to research findings that trace amounts of chemicals used in Marcellus fracking were found a mile and a half away in three water wells is nearly orgasmic. “Finally! We can shut down this evil, wicked, nasty drilling for fossil fuels!” That’s the unstated (but very clear) reaction from anti-drilling “reporters” at the Associated Press, Bloomberg, StateImpact Pennsylvania and other assorted mainstream media outlets. They do their best to hide all of the pertinent facts in their “reporting.” So MDN is here to set the record straight. First, researchers at Penn State set out to tackle a particularly thorny problem. Back in 2010 (yes, over five years ago) three (yes, only three) property owners near a shale drilling operation reported problems with their drinking water. The researchers, using breakthrough, new “nontraditional” methods have determined that it’s likely (not 100% sure, but reasonably sure) that flowback water that was stored in an open pit leaked out of that pit and hit some underground fractures that allowed the flowback water to travel up to 2 kilometers (1.6 miles) away and contaminate the water wells of those three nearby neighbors. It happened one time, to three water wells, five years ago and was related to a leaky impoundment. Those are the facts. Here’s some of the headlines you’re reading yesterday and today in over 100 major news outlets coast to coast currently bombarding the population with this earth-shattering “news”…
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Andrew Cuomo: Here’s $10M Instead of Billions from Fracking

What a pathetic loser is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He caves to his hard left (lunatic) fringe supporters by banning fracking–an activity that would bring BILLIONS of dollars into the state, and in its place he announces a program to grant $20 million in government welfare giveaways to lure so-called “clean energy” companies to upstate. And then he cuts that in half–to just $10 million! It’s like saying “forget that brand new $1 million Ferrari sitting over there, here’s a shiny new penny for ya.” LOSER…
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Chesapeake Energy Appoints New VP Exploration, Prev Guy “Retires”

Chesapeake Energy’s CEO Doug Lawler, the man who loves to swing the ax to make his corporate raider boss Carl Ichan more money (see The Great Chesapeake Massacre: Lawler Fires 800 People in One Day), continues to raid his old company, Anadarko, for new (i.e. loyal) lieutenants. Doug’s latest hire is for the very important position of Executive Vice President – Exploration, Land and Subsurface Technology. The guy who previously held that position, John Kapchinske, doesn’t get much of a mention in the announcement. The press release says Kapchinske “recently retired from the company” and that’s all it says. We find it interesting because Kapchinske was just promoted to that position in January 2015! And four months later he retires? Perhaps he’s “retiring” because he served under Aubrey McClendon and Doug is still swinging the ax and purging the company…
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Stone Energy 1Q15: No New Marcellus Drilling, But More Production

Stone Energy, one of the smaller drillers in the Marcellus/Utica region, released their first quarter 2015 update yesterday. Previously Stone announced they would hit the pause button on any new Marcellus drilling after 1Q15 (see Stone Energy Will Suspend Marcellus/Utica Drilling after 1Q15). Even though Stone is not drilling any new wells, they did begin bringing 8 Marcellus wells online that were previously drilled, which led to a slight bump up in Marcellus production to an average of 130 million cubic feet per day during 1Q15. Below are select portions of yesterday’s update that touch on the northeast…
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Still Time to Attend SGICC’s Free May 12 Event & See Cool Tech

Who says there’s no free lunch?! On May 12, you can attend the Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center’s (SGICC) free event (with lunch!) at the Southpointe, PA Hilton Garden Inn. And what’s the event? It is the unveiling of four winners of the SGICC’s annual Shale Gas Innovation contest. Each year the SGICC runs a contest to highlight early-stage technologies that enhance responsible stewardship of the environment while properly utilizing our bountiful Marcellus Shale as an asset. Four winners (out of the final 14 selected) will receive a $25,000 cash prize each–$100,000 total. The event will celebrate the newest winners and give YOU the opportunity to mill around and review each of the 14 finalists and their truly unique and innovative technologies. Here’s more details and how to register…
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MDN Thinks It’s Time to Divest Your Money from HSBC Bank

If you still do your banking at HSBC (otherwise known as The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation), perhaps it’s time you didn’t. We think it’s time to “divest” from doing business with, and putting your money in this anti-fossil fuel organization. The so-called Climate Change section of HSBC recently circulated a note to investors (copy below) telling them they should divest from fossil fuel companies and if they don’t, they “may one day be seen to be late movers, on ‘the wrong side of history'”. We’d like to make a little history ourselves. If you have your checking and savings account with HSBC, personal or commercial, why not move it now? Don’t be a “late mover” or you may not get your money once the stampede to divest from HSBC begins…
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