Williams Accepts ETE’s “Indecent Proposal” – Price Went Down $10B

indecent proposalIn the end, Williams decided that the takeover/merger proposal from Energy Transfer Equities (ETE) wasn’t so indecent after all. In June, ETE’s billionaire CEO Kelsy Warren revealed he had been propositioning Williams for over six months–offering Williams $64 per share to buy the company, totaling $48 billion (see Energy Transfer Makes “Indecent Proposal” to Buy Williams for $48B). Sometimes life imitates art. Like the movie Indecent Proposal, Williams (Demi Moore’s character) played hard to get but in the end announced, yesterday, they would accept ETE/Warren’s (Robert Redford’s character) offer. The price, however, has changed. The final deal will now be $37.7 billion total, or $43.50 per share. It’s easy to Monday morning armchair quarterback, but obviously Williams should have taken the earlier offer. The question now is, what will investors (Woody Harrelson’s character) think in the morning?…
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Halliburton/Baker Hughes Hold a Pre-Merger Garage Sale

garage saleHalliburton and Baker Hughes are having a pre-merger garage sale. In order for Halliburton to buy Baker Hughes, a deal worth $34.6 billion (see Shotgun Wedding: Halliburton Forces Baker Hughes to Sell), regulators are requiring both companies to shed more of their divisions and subsidiaries. Halliburton’s expandable liner hangers business is on the table. So too is Baker Hughes’ “core completions business,” which includes: packers, flow control tools, subsurface safety systems, intelligent well systems, permanent monitoring, sand control tools and sand control screens. And there’s more on the table, marked down for a quick sale. Because of the additional businesses that must be sold, the wedding/merger date for the two companies may get pushed back to early 2016. Halliburton and BH hope some of their competitors will stop by and pick something up at the pre-merger garage sale…
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Chief O&G President Fires 3 VPs and All Geologists (Save One)

rumor millOur intrepid tipster is back with another juicy rumor about Chief Oil & Gas. You may recall that MDN broke the story Chief is closing its main Appalachian office near Pittsburgh, a tip later confirmed by Chief (see Chief O&G Confirms MDN Story re Closing of Pittsburgh Office). The same tipster is back to say that Chief’s president, Russell Parker, has just fired three vice presidents and all of their on-staff geologists, save one…
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Jeb Bush Visits Rice Energy Today to Unveil New Energy Plan

Jeb BushLow energy Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush (as Donald Trump calls him) has decided to inject some high energy (as in the energy industry) into his campaign. Jeb is today visiting the Pittsburgh headquarters of one of the Marcellus/Utica’s most successful drillers–Rice Energy–to unveil his energy plan that calls for the lifting of the crude oil export ban (something our Dear Leader, President Obama, opposes) and for the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline (Obama also opposes). However, the thing that makes Jeb’s visit to Rice Energy salient and meaningful for the Marcellus/Utica is that he will call for (a) lifting restrictions on exporting natural gas–making it easier to export natgas to Japan, China and European countries, and (b) fight Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). There is no doubt Bush will say all of the right words and espouse policies the oil and gas industry can strongly support. The question is, will he actually do any of it if he gets elected?…
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NEPA Democrat Congressman Targets FERC in Effort to Stop Pipelines

Matt Cartwright
Congressman Matt Cartwright – Democrat

An anti-drilling Democrat Congressman from Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District (Wilkes-Barre area), U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, continues a campaign targeting the Marcellus Shale industry for extinction–an industry that employs many of his constituents and benefits all of his constituents with lower natural gas and electricity prices. Cartwright and other anti-drilling members of Congress have recently changed strategies and are now attacking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hoping to slow down and stop new pipeline construction. Cartwright sent a letter to the Inspector General for the Dept. of Energy (under which FERC sits) asking the IG to instigate a witch hunt against FERC with the aim of getting FERC to slow down its already molasses-slow permitting process for new pipelines. Cartwright and other members of Congress (from New England) hope they can bully FERC into abandoning its stated charter to dispassionately and without political influence evaluate pipeline projects based solely on their environmental impact to the local communities through which they run…
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What Have We Learned from EPA’s Gold King Mine Disaster?

guest postOn January 9, 2014, a Freedom Industries facility next to the Elk River leaked ~10,000 gallons of crude 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) used in coal mining into the river, which is a tributary to the Kanawha River that runs through Charleston, WV. The results of that leak were dramatic. Some 300,000 residents from nine counties in the Charleston metropolitan area were without access to potable water for five days. Several Freedom Industries officials are now in jail and the company went bankrupt because of that single accident. Contrast coverage of that accident with another accident–caused by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the Gold King Mine in Colorado. EPA personnel were fiddling around “testing” at a gold mine wastewater storage impoundment and accidentally unplugged it, dumping 3 million gallons of some of the nastiest wastewater you can imagine–with lead, arsenic and other heavy metals–into the Animas River north of Silverton, CO (see EPA Causes Environmental Disaster in CO; Connection to Marcellus?). The Gold King Mine spill turned the Animas “an opaque orange color reminiscent of boxed mac and cheese.” Question: Should EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy be locked up and the EPA dismantled based on a single accident? Is there a double standard when it comes to environmental reporting?

Stephen Heins, an energy and regulatory consultant for a Wall Street firm, and former vice president of communication for Orion Energy Systems, is an occasional guest blogger here on MDN. Steve has penned an excellent article (below) that takes a look at EPA’s response to the Gold King Mine disaster. Steve says he’s not second-guessing the accident itself–it was an accident (they do happen). He’s interested in how the EPA responded, what we can learn from it, and whether or not a double standard exists when it comes to environmental reporting about government-caused accidents vs. those caused by private companies…
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ANGA Walks into New England Lion’s Den With Hard Truth

the hard truthIt takes guts to walk boldly into the liberal lion’s den and tweak the nose of the beast. That’s what Marty Durbin, chief executive of America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), has done with an editorial appearing in yesterday’s Boston Globe newspaper. Durbin has the audacity to tell readers that their high energy bills and constrained natural gas supplies is “self-imposed.” He also tells them they can believe whatever they want, but they can’t defy the laws of supply and demand and there is no arguing the fact that New Englanders pay high energy prices because they lack necessary natural gas supplies. Just a few hundred miles away natgas prices in the Marcellus are a fraction of what gas sells for in New England. Marty pours it on! He also says a recent study shows without new natgas supplies for New England, by 2020 the average consumer will pay almost $1,000 more per year in energy costs than they do today. Read Marty’s audacious editorial for yourself below, full of cold, hard truth. Let’s hope New Englanders will see the light–which happens to be a blue natural gas flame…
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New Washington Co PA Training Facility for Well Pad Fires

patchThe Washington County (PA) Firemen’s Association recently opened a new $500,000 gas well training center at the fire academy located at 895 Western Ave in Houston, PA. The project, which took more than a year to plan and complete, was completely funded by some of the biggest and best drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, including Range Resources, Rice Energy, CONSOL Energy, EQT, American Well Service and others. It will be used to train first responders not only in Washington County, but also from other parts of Pennsylvania along with West Virginia and Ohio. According to Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay, “There’s nothing like it outside of Texas”…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

best of the restThe “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Upstate NY struggles–lost jobs/poor economy with no fracking; severance tax debated in Harrison County, OH; NFG asks FERC for permission to start up pipeline early; 4Q15 looks bleak for shale companies; 20 scientists ask government to prosecute those who don’t believe in “climate change”; and more!
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