McClendon Nearly Triples Australian Shale Deal – 55M Acres!

unconvetional wildcattersThree weeks ago MDN told you that Aubrey McClendon and his American Energy Partners had made their first foray into international oil and gas drilling (see Aubrey McClendon Leases 21.5 MILLION Acres…in Australia?!). McClendon’s move was to lock up acreage under lease, which is how he typically operates, and figure out how to finance the drilling later. Once he got going, Aubrey just couldn’t help himself. He didn’t stop with 21.5 million acres as originally announced–he kept right on going and ended up cutting four deals Down Under for a total of an eye-popping 55 million acres! And he’s working on a deal for ANOTHER 10 million acres!! Here’s the details as we know them…
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Chesapeake Settles Royalty Lawsuit in TX; Implications for PA?

court gavelLandowners in Pennsylvania have been upset with shenanigans by Chesapeake Energy in shorting them out of royalties for years. In 2013 a group of landowners in Bradford County, PA filed a lawsuit against Chesapeake over the royalty issue (see Bradford County, PA Landowners Sue Chesapeake over Royalties). Since that time a number of lawsuits have popped up in PA against Chesapeake over the same issue (see Judge Rules Royalty Lawsuit Against Chesapeake in PA Continues). PA is not the only state where landowners have problems with Chesapeake’s royalty calculations. Another such case was filed in Texas in 2013–and Chesapeake just settled that case out of court…
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Gulfport Energy Closes on 24K Acres in OH; Bumps Up Credit Line

done dealA couple of bits of news from Gulfport Energy, a driller focused primarily on the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio. In April, MDN reported that Gulfport had inked a deal with Paloma Partners III, a small energy & exploration company headquartered in Houston, to purchase 24,000 acres in Belmont and Jefferson counties (Ohio) for $12,500 per acre (see Gulfport Energy Pays $12,500 per Acre for 24K OH Utica Acres). As of last week that deal closed at a final purchase price of $301.9 million. Gulfport also reports they’re about to get an increase in their line of credit, adding an extra $125 million to what they can borrow…
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Sunoco LP Launches Open Season for Second Mariner East 2 Pipeline

open seasonSunoco Logistics Partners, which owns the Mariner series of pipelines (East, West and South), has just launched a new binding open season–time when drillers and other shippers can sign up for capacity–for an expansion of the planned Mariner East 2 project. In April 2014 MDN brought you the news that Sunoco LP had completed an open season for Mariner East 2 and had enough customers to move forward with the project (see Sunoco Logistics Will Build $2.5B Mariner East 2 Pipeline). In June we told you about Sunoco LP’s plans to build two new Mariner East 2 pipelines, side by side, if they can get enough customers (see Mariner East 2 Giving Birth to Twin Pipelines). Our interpretation is that this new open season, launched last week, is to sign up customers for the second Mariner East 2 pipeline…
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Centennial Pipeline May Reverse, Sending NE NGLs to the Gulf

centenmap
Centennial Pipeline map – click for larger version

On Friday MDN told you that after Marathon Petroleum buys MarkWest Energy, they are eyeing sending natural gas liquids (NGL) gathered by MarkWest south to the Gulf Coast (see Marathon Hints MarkWest Merger Plan May Include NGLs to Gulf). No specific plans were mentioned but a vague statement about “more details coming by the end of the year.” It seems some of those details have already leaked. The leaker is Marathon’s joint venture partner in the Centennial Pipeline, Enterprise Products Partners. Enterprise said at an investors conference last week that they are actively evaluating a plan to reverse the flow of the Centennial from Illinois to the Gulf Coast to send NGLs from the Marcellus/Utica to the Gulf for processing and use in cracker/petrochemical plants…
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3rd Eastern Canada LNG Export Plant Receives Approval

approvedIn February MDN told you that Spanish oil giant Repsol was accelerating plans to build an LNG export terminal on the coast of Saint John, Newfoundland (see Repsol Accelerates Plan for Canadian LNG Exports Fed by Marcellus). The Canaport LNG project, as it’s called, is one of five potential projects we identified in eastern Canada back in August 2014 that will potentially export Marcellus/Utica gas (see List of LNG Export Projects for Marcellus/Utica Shale Gas). Two of the five projects–Bear Head LNG and Goldboro LNG, both located in Nova Scotia–were approved by the Canadian National Energy Board (CNEB) in August (see 2 Marcellus LNG Export Projects Get Canadian Approval). Good news: The Canaport LNG project has now also been approved by the CNEB…
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WV Roustabout Company Sells Itself to Another WV Company

M&ABasin Energy, which acts as a holding company to invest in (and run) other companies located in the Marcellus/Utica, is based in Bridgeport (Harrison County), WV. Basin’s first acquisition was ProActive Services, an operator of natural gas pipeline compressor stations and other related oilfield services. On Sept. 1, Basin closed a deal on their second subsidiary–the Jane Lew (Lewis County), WV-based Starett’s Well Service, a specialty roustabout services firm, focused on well site and midstream natural gas infrastructure in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions…
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Rice Energy Raises & Donates $600K to First Responders

kudosIn an example of yet another instance of our wonderful industry blessing the communities in which it works, Rice Energy has just completed an annual fundraising event which raised $600,000 which they donated to 36 different first responder organizations in Pennsylvania and Ohio at a ceremony last Friday, September 11th. The first responder organizations include local volunteer fire departments, emergency medical services, regional safety organizations and police departments. Kudos to Rice for being good corporate citizens. By the way, when was the last time you heard about a “green” group like Delaware Riverkeeper, Food & Water Watch, or the Sierra Club raising and donating money to anyone but themselves? Oil & gas industry = generous givers; Environmental wackos = selfish takers…
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Hess Board Member Buys 7K Shares, Now Owns $3.2M in Hess Stock

all inWe occasionally bring you news of when senior management or members of the board of directors for an upstream (drillers) or midstream (pipelines) company either buy or sell shares of stock in their own company. It’s called “insider trading.” There are good reasons to do both–buy or sell. But let’s be honest, if you see upper management/board members repeatedly selling their shares of stock, it just doesn’t look good (see Carrizo Oil & Gas “Insiders” Continue to Sell Company Stock). When you notice someone buying their own company’s stock, and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, it just kind of inspires confidence that, “Hey, if they believe in the company that strongly, maybe I should too.” Such is the case with a recent purchase by John H. Mullin III, a member of the board of directors at Hess, which drills in the Utica Shale. Mullin just bought 7,000 shares of Hess for $381,430. That brings Mullin’s total holdings of Hess stock to $3.2 million. One might say Director Mullin is “all in” when it comes to the company he helps direct…
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