We’ve noticed a flurry of new “notes” (i.e. bonds) being offered by Marcellus/Utica companies. We call notes/bonds IOUs. Typically a company will issue new notes (a promise to pay in the future, with interest) in order to retire older notes coming due. Notes are a form of self-financing by using debt instead of issuing new shares of stock (diluting existing shares). M-U drillers Range Resources and Antero Resources both quickly sold out of their recent note offerings at higher prices than originally requested. According to S&P analysts, the Range and Antero fast sellout is proof that credit is loosening for drillers in the M-U and in other shale plays.