CNX Sells WV Gathering System to Former CONE Midstream for $265M

CNX Resources, in addition to issuing an announcement about proved reserves yesterday (see today’s companion story), also issued an announcement about CNX the drilling company selling its Shirley-Pennsboro gathering system in West Virginia to CNX the pipeline company (CNX Midstream) for $265 million. Yes, in a sense it is moving assets around on paper. However, this seemingly innocuous announcement is interesting to MDN for a couple of reasons. First, there is a trend of splitting companies apart–to spin out the pipeline/midstream stuff into its own standalone company, separate from the drilling part of the company. EQT, a major CNX competitor, is going through the process of evaluating whether or not to spin off their pipeline subsidiary into its own company (see EQT Begins Process of Separating Midstream…into New Company?). When we see moves like this from CNX, we wonder if they too are also preparing for such a split. We have no evidence that such a move is in the cards–just idle speculation on our part. However, the fact that CNX is moving pipeline assets into the midstream subsidiary certainly sets up the possibility that the pipeline subsidiary may (one day) become a standalone company. Second, the pipeline subsidiary is called CNX Midstream. That’s a new name. As of early January you would have known it as CONE Midstream. CNX bought out its joint venture partner in CONE (Noble Energy) late last year and now owns all of CONE. CNX renamed CONE as CNX Midstream in early January (see CONE Midstream Gets a New Name: CNX Midstream Partners). We’ve not seen anyone else point out the fact that the former CONE is the buyer of this asset. For those two reasons–the trend of splitting drilling and pipelines into different companies, and the fact that CONE was the buyer–our interest was piqued in CNX’s seemingly innocuous announcement yesterday…

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