BP Makes Offer to Buy Penn Virginia, Other Majors Interested Too

George Soros smilingAlthough headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia), Penn Virginia Corporation is an oil and gas driller (i.e. “producer”, i.e., E&P company) with only a small presence in the Marcellus Shale: 21,700 net acres with no drilled wells. They concentrate on oil drilling the Texas Eagle Ford Shale play. MDN told you in March that Democrat billionaire corporate raider George Soros, one of the most vile big money investors in the world who has repeatedly damaged not only corporations but entire country’s economies, had taken a 9.1% ownership position in Penn Virginia in order to force it to sell and was doing exactly that (see George Soros Finally Bullies Penn Virginia into Selling Itself). Since March all has been quiet, until yesterday when somebody leaked the rumor that oil and gas giant BP has made an offer to buy Penn Virginia, driving the stock price up over 20% at one point. However, another rumor says Penn Virginia rejected BP’s offer as too low and is holding out for more. In addition to BP, Exxon Mobil and Chevron are also said to be interested in buying Penn Virginia. All of this buyout talk is driving Penn Virginia’s stock price up, putting a big smile on George Soros’ face…
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Magnum Hunter Cuts Deal to Sell Eureka Hunter & 2 New JVs

On Monday, MDN told you that Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) was having trouble scraping together $9.4 million to meet liquidity demands by creditors (see Magnum Hunter’s Bankers Say Get $65M in Cash by July 10, Or Else). Today we report that one of MHR’s major investors has sold off millions of shares of the company’s stock (see Magnum Hunter Investor Dumps 6.3 Million Shares of MHR Stock). There’s no ignoring that MHR, a mid-sized Marcellus/Utica driller, is a company in financial trouble. So perhaps it was not surprising that at yesterday’s closing day of the Hart Energy DUG East conference in Pittsburgh, MHR CEO Gary Evans announced that the company has a plan to rake in some big bucks. Number one, MHR has cut a deal to sell their Eureka Hunter pipeline subsidiary for $600-$700 million. Number two, Evans said MHR is working on two joint ventures for other companies to drill on or finance MHR’s drilling on MHR acreage in Ohio and West Virginia. The Ohio deal would bring in around $500 million, and the West Virginia deal around $100 million…
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Magnum Hunter Investor Dumps 6.3 Million Shares of MHR Stock

It’s not exactly penny stock level–yet–but Magnum Hunter Resources’ (MHR) stock price has been heading in that direction. A year ago MHR’s stock was trading at $8.31 per share. Yesterday it closed at $1.86 per share, down 78% in one year (see the chart below). MDN is not a “stock picking” site, although a number of investors from some of the world’s largest banks and investment firms do subscribe. We don’t often talk about the price of a company’s stock or who’s buying and selling a company’s stock–unless major investors (or management) is doing the buying or selling. A company’s stock price is a relative indicator of the company’s financial health. It’s no secret that the oil and gas industry’s “upstream” or drilling sector has been hard hit over the past 12 months and stock prices for companies in the sector have dropped. MHR is one of those stocks hard hit, not least of which because they owe a heck of lot more money than they’re making (see 19 Oil/Gas Companies on “Death List” – 8 are in Marcellus/Utica). So it caught our eye when we saw that one of MHR’s major stockholders, Relational Investors, dumped 6.3 million shares of MHR earlier this month–at a price of $1.29-$1.31 per share…
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PA DEP Fines Sunoco $95K for Mud Spills During Pipeline Drilling

Although there’s been no publicly published notice, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has fined Sunoco Logistics for spilling non-toxic drilling mud (bentonite) at several locations when they were drilling for the Mariner East I pipeline. One of those instances was last September when Precision Pipeline, hired by Sunoco, was drilling under the Little Mingo Creek (see Mariner East Pipeline Drilling Spills Mud in Local Creek). Bentonite is non-toxic and used in products from shampoo to deodorant and toothpaste. It’s also used to lubricate the drill bit and carry drill cuttings out of the ground. While non-toxic, a whole lot of bentonite in the water can, of course, suffocate fish and cause problems for wildlife that happen to drink it. In March of this year, we noted that the DEP was telegraphing that they were about to assess a “significant” fine for the mud spills at Mingo Creek and a few other locations (see PA DEP: Sunoco Facing “Significant” Fine for Non-Toxic Mud Spills). The fine has been levied. The “significant” fine ended up being $95,000. Clipping Sunoco $95K, compared to the $8.9 million fine the DEP recently slapped on Range Resources for methane leaks, seems somewhat trivial and rather insignificant. Which is perhaps why the DEP hasn’t published, as they usually do, an official notice on their website about the fine…
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Downeast Plans to Begin Building ME LNG Export Facility in 2017

In April MDN told you about a potential second East Coast LNG export terminal project that stands a good chance of getting built–in Maine of all places (see 2nd LNG Export Terminal for Marcellus Gas Advances – in Maine!). Downeast LNG, as the project is called, was originally planned to be an import-only facility. But last year, after getting preliminary approval for the import project from FERC, Downeast amended its application to become both an import AND export LNG terminal. And yes, it is Marcellus Shale gas they have in mind to export. We have progress to report: Downeast LNG has contracted with one of the world’s largest energy engineering and construction companies, CB&I, to design and build the facility when and if they get the necessary approvals. Downeast is hoping construction may begin as early as spring of 2017…
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Partisan Gov Wolf Says He’ll Veto Any Budget Republicans Send Him

Earlier this week Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget and policy secretary, John Hanger, said this with regard to Republicans refusing to go along with Wolf’s Marcellus-killing severance tax: “Frankly, the Republican leadership is saying it’s our way or the highway” (see PA Republicans Say No Severance Tax in Budget Heading to Gov. Wolf). Yet yesterday top Democrat lawmakers let slip that when the Republicans send a budget to Wolf today or tomorrow, Wolf says he will automatically veto it–without having seen or read it. Tell us John, who’s really saying “my way or the highway” when it comes to the budget?…
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Medina County, OH Antis Trot Out Home Rule Ballot Measure

In February the Ohio Supreme Court, once and for all, struck down so-called “home rule” legislation passed by local municipalities where anti-drillers are able to convince enough citizens to vote for it (see OH Supreme Court Strikes Down Home Rule in Gas Drilling Case). When it comes to creating local laws and zoning ordinances that prohibit or otherwise try to control oil and gas drilling, Ohio state law stipulates only the State regulates it–not towns and villages and cities. That’s the law, and that’s the law the Supreme Court upheld. So along comes Sustainable Medina County, a group of virulent anti-fossil fuelers, with a new petition to put yet another so-called home rule “bill of rights” measure on the ballot in November, this time in an attempt to stop the NEXUS pipeline. What would you call this new initiative in light of the Supreme Court’s decision? We’d call it stark, raving mad…
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Northwestern U Prof Proposes Tweaks to Make Fracking Better

A-OKA researcher at Northwestern University, Dr. Fengqi You, believes he has found a way to make fracking more environmentally friendly by making some tweaks in the way things are done. Dr. You says first you need to remove trucks from the equation and use pipelines to get water to and from fracking sites. Second, You says don’t drill all of the wells at once in the same place–spread it out over time to reduce the impact on the environment. Finally, You says to recycle frack wastewater instead of trucking it to injection wells. Do those things, says Dr. You, and fracking is A-OK. There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly earth-shattering or new in You’s research. Or did we miss something?…
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NY Anti-Drillers’ Fracking Jiggery-Pokery Fools Venerable BBC

In April 2014 MDN told you about a crackpot group of low-level elected officials in New York State calling themselves Elected Officials to Protect New York, formed to spread lies about fracking (see 800 NY Officials Work Against Constituents to Ban Fracking). Most of the “officials” are either former officials, or occupy offices low-level offices, one step above dog catcher. It’s a laughable group of hard-left socialists who feel like they need a cause to justify their pathetic existence. We’d pretty much forgotten about them, they’re so inconsequential. But then this group, which has apparently grown to 850 members, sent a letter signed by 10 of their members to a town in northern England–Lancashire–to extol the dangers of fracking. They warned Lancashire to not allow fracking or it will lead to the end of civilization as they know it. Or something like that. Anyway, the venerable BBC picked up on it and made quite a fuss about this group of “New York City” elected officials warning tiny Lancashire about fracking. As it turns out, the BBC was either hoodwinked or intentionally decided to misrepresent the group in nationally broadcast news about the letter. Breitbart’s UK operation exposed the whole thing and quite frankly, it had us laughing out loud…
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