Banpu Ponders Entering U.S. LNG Export Market

Banpu, Thailand’s largest coal mining company, loves American shale gas. Over the past several years Banpu has invested ~$500 million in the PA Marcellus, going as far as building a new regional office in northeastern PA (see Banpu Opens New $5M Marcellus Operations Office in NEPA). Recently the company announced a deal to buy Devon Energy’s Barnett Shale assets in Texas (see Banpu Invests Another $770M in Shale – but Not in PA Marcellus). It seems Banpu is not yet done with American shale energy.
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The Big Write-Down for M-U Drillers; Banpu Stops New Drilling

A Reuters article warns that U.S. shale gas investors are “bracing” for write-downs by major drillers, particularly in the Marcellus/Utica region. The article chronicles the write-downs we already know about (EQT, CNX, Shell and Chevron) and speculates that others (like Antero and Cabot) may make announcements in the coming days. And then, in a bit of a twist, the article ends with information about BKV (Banpu Kalnin Ventures), to say (a) Banpu’s American shale assets have already been written down before they purchased them, and (b) Banpu will not do any new drilling until the price of gas recovers to at least $3.50/Mcf. They may wait a looooong time.
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Banpu Invests Another $770M in Shale – but Not in PA Marcellus

Devon’s Barnett acreage purchased by Kalnin/Banpu (click for larger version)

Just yesterday MDN ran a story about a ceremony held by Thailand’s Banpu in opening a new regional office in northeastern Pennsylvania, an indication of their commitment to the PA Marcellus where they’ve (so far) invested $500 million (see Banpu Opens New $5M Marcellus Operations Office in NEPA). And just like that, Banpu bought out all of Devon Energy’s Barnett Shale assets in Texas–spending $770 million to do so. Which points out yes, drillers and investors DO have choices and yes, their money WILL leave Pennsylvania (and Ohio and West Virginia) if the economics make more sense elsewhere.
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Banpu Opens New $5M Marcellus Operations Office in NEPA

New Banpu/BKV Operating office opens in Tunkhannock, PA

Thailand’s largest coal producer, Banpu, is also a growing investor/operator in the northeast Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale. In June MDN brought you an update on a new $5 million facility being built by Banpu in Tunkhannock Township (Wyoming County), PA (see Progress on $5M Office in NEPA for Marcellus Co. from Thailand). We’re happy to report last week Banpu held the grand opening of their new office/facility in Tunkhannock.
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Banpu Opens Field Office in NEPA, Looks to Invest $300M in 2019

(From Left to Right) Mr. Chanin Vongkusolkit, Chairman, Banpu; Ms. Somruedee Chaimongkol, CEO, Banpu; and Mr. Christopher Kalnin, CEO, Kalnin Ventures (click for larger version)

Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer, invested over $500 million in 2016-2017 to buy existing Marcellus wells and acreage in northeast Pennsylvania (see our Banpu stories here). The last such purchase was in December 2017 (see Banpu/Kalnin Buys 5,289 Ac & 35 Wells in NEPA Marcellus for $105M). Banpu is back–in a big way.
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Banpu/Kalnin Buys 5,289 Ac & 35 Wells in NEPA Marcellus for $105M

Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer, in cooperation with their American-based partner Kalnin Ventures, has just snapped up their sixth piece of the Marcellus Shale–once again in northeast Pennsylvania. Kalnin announced this morning they have cut a deal, using $105 million of Banpu’s money, to buy an unspecified amount of Marcellus acreage and 35 producing shale wells in Wyoming County, PA from Warren Resources. Based on a previous Kalnin story, yesterday’s announcement, and the Warren Resources website, MDN believes the total acreage involved is 5,289 net acres (6,982 gross). Which doesn’t seem like much. But you have to view the purchase in context. That $105 million paid is mostly for the producing 35 wells (roughly $3M per well). Plus, the acreage is no doubt adjacent to previous acreage and wells Kalnin/Banpu bought in Wyoming County back in May (see Thai Company Banpu Invests in Another 34 Marcellus Wells in NEPA). It was just last week we spotted and highlighted a story that quotes Banpu’s CEO Somruedee Chaimongkol as saying her company is considering “putting more money on top of the $500 million” already committed for shale gas purchases in the Marcellus (see Thailand’s Banpu Looking to Invest More Money in NEPA Marcellus). The “considering” period didn’t last long! This sixth investment now puts Banpu’s investment stake in the NEPA Marcellus at $522 million, with no end in sight…
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Thailand’s Banpu Looking to Invest More Money in NEPA Marcellus

Over the past year and a half Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer, in cooperation with American-based partner Kalnin Ventures, has snapped up some 55,000 acres and 355 shale wells–in the northeast Pennsylvania Marcellus (see our Banpu stories here). At first we thought Kalnin was simply the “front man” for Banpu. It’s Banpu’s money buying the leases and the wells, so we figured Kalnin was just an American subsidiary on paper for Banpu. But it turns out the truth is more nuanced (see A Closer Look at Kalnin Ventures and Their Marcellus Investments). Kalnin is its own company. Yes, Banpu is the funder, but Kalnin is in the driver’s seat with these Marcellus deals. Regardless of who’s on top, the Banpu/Kalnin team have become important players in the Pennsylvania Marcellus–in the northeast part of the play. Banpu originally promised to invest up to $500 million in Marcellus assets and has spent $417 million on Marcellus assets thus far. Apparently they like those investments. Yesterday Banpu CEO Somruedee Chaimongkol said the company is considering “putting more money on top of the $500 million” in shale gas. Specifically, she said the company will invest in the northeast PA Marcellus because, “It is the sweetest spot for shale gas.” She also said she likes President Trump’s energy policies that are “favourable to coal and natural gas”…
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Thailand’s Banpu Investing Another $293M in Northeast PA Shale

Banpu CEO Somrudee Chaimongkol (credit: Nikkei Asian Review)

From May 2016 to May 2017, Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer, has invested in no less than four deals to grab ownership of Marcellus Shale wells and leases in northeast Pennsylvania (see Thai Company Banpu Invests in Another 34 Marcellus Wells in NEPA). So far Banpu’s total investment has been $207 million. The wells they own generate 46 thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of natural gas per day. It seems that Banpu can’t get enough of the Marcellus in northeast PA. In an article running in the Bangkok Post yesterday, Banpu CEO Somrudee Chaimongkol said her company will set aside $293 million to invest in more Marcellus wells from now until 2020, hoping to goose production to 78 Mcf/d (an increase of 70%)…
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Thai Company Banpu Invests in Another 34 Marcellus Wells in NEPA

One year ago, Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer, invested $112 million to purchase Range Resources’ Marcellus non-operated JV operations in Bradford County, PA (see Thai Company Buys Out Range Resources’ JV in NEPA for $112M). The “Chaffee Corners Joint Exploration Agreement” gave Banpu an ownership share in 62 producing wells and another 14 wells waiting on completion, and a share in 170+ more drilling locations. Talisman is the operator of the wells and the company that does the drilling (Banpu is just an investor). Banpu liked it so much, they did it again in January of this year (see Thai Company Banpu Makes 2nd Investment in Northeast Marcellus). The January deal gave Banpu a 10.24% stake in 10,000 acres of Marcellus leases, once again in northeastern PA, for $63 million. Chief Oil & Gas is the driller on the acreage in the second deal. Then in March, Banpu signed an agreement to invest $16 million into a venture with Tug Hill Marcellus (see Thai Company Banpu Invests Another $16M in PA Marcellus Wells). It seems that Banpu can’t get enough of the Marcellus in northeastern PA. The company just announced a fourth deal to invest in more NEPA acreage and wells. How many wells? What county is the new deal located in? And which driller is the operator of that acreage? We give you the details you won’t find elsewhere…
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Thai Company Banpu Invests Another $16M in PA Marcellus Wells

Last May, Range Resources sold its portion of a joint venture in northeast Pennsylvania (see Thai Company Buys Out Range Resources’ JV in NEPA for $112M). Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer, invested $112 million to purchase Range’s Marcellus non-operated JV operations in Bradford County, PA. The “Chaffee Corners Joint Exploration Agreement” gave Banpu an ownership share in 62 producing wells and another 14 wells waiting on completion, and a share in 170+ more drilling locations. Talisman is the operator of the wells and the company that does the drilling (Banpu is just an investor). Banpu liked it so much, they did it again in January of this year (see Thai Company Banpu Makes 2nd Investment in Northeast Marcellus). The January deal gave Banpu a 10.24% stake in 10,000 acres of Marcellus leases, once again in northeastern PA, for $63 million. Chief Oil & Gas is the driller on the acreage in the second deal. We have a three-peat. Banpu, via its American agent Kalnin Ventures, has just signed an agreement to invest $16 million into a venture with Tug Hill Marcellus. The new deal does not identify the exact counties, but does say the acreage is located in northeastern PA. Once the deal closes, when you add all three deals together, Banpu says it will own partial interests in 215 operating wells producing 40 million cubic feet of gas per day. And Banpu says it’s not over yet. They plan to invest more in the Marcellus in 2017…
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Thai Company Banpu Makes 2nd Investment in Northeast Marcellus

1/18/17 Update: The seller has now been identified as Chief Oil & Gas. See the appended press release below from Banpu’s U.S. partner Kalnin Ventures.

Last May, Range Resources sold its portion of a joint venture in northeast Pennsylvania (see Thai Company Buys Out Range Resources’ JV in NEPA for $112M). Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer, invested $112 million to purchase Range’s Marcellus non-operated JV operations in Bradford County, PA. The “Chaffee Corners Joint Exploration Agreement” gave Banpu an ownership share in 62 producing wells and another 14 wells waiting on completion, and a share in 170+ more drilling locations. Talisman is the operator of the wells and the company that does the drilling in the JV. Banpu liked it so much, they’re back. The company announced today it has acquired a 10.24% stake in more Marcellus leases in northeastern PA for $63 million. The information we’re able to locate does not specify who the driller is in which Banpu is sinking money, but the acreage is located near the first deal–presumably also in Bradford County…
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Price of NatGas Craters – Goes Under $2 First Time in Four Years

Last Friday (and again yesterday) the price of natural gas futures–the NYMEX NGc1 futures price (based on gas selling at the Henry Hub)–went below $2 per MMBtu (or Mcf). It was the lowest price we’ve seen in nearly four years. In fact, as this post is being written, the latest price NGc1 (Tuesday morning) is trading at is $1.93. Is there any hope for prices to increase?
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Dec 23, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Dominion Energy completes equity recapitalization of Cove Point; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: BKV deal for Devon’s Barnett assets said potential opening for LNG exports to Thailand; Natural gas industry’s $1 million PR campaign sets up fight over Northwest’s energy future; NATIONAL: Is LNG actually the future of energy?; Banks get tough on shale loans as fracking forecasts flop; Carnival delays debut of its biggest LNG cruise ship ever; Joe Biden will kill jobs. Just ask him.; Worst performing stocks of the decade; Top five U.S. energy developments of the last decade; INTERNATIONAL: Supreme Court dismisses appeal in long running Packers Plus technology fight; Shale to continue to crowd OPEC supply in 2020; For energy, poor people deserve to be rich.
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Progress on $5M Office in NEPA for Marcellus Co. from Thailand

We received some pictures from a loyal MDN subscriber (S.B.) showing progress on clearing a site where a new $5 million office and warehouse facility in Tunkhannock Township (Wyoming County), PA. Ever hear of BKV Operating? No? How about Kalnin Ventures? Or if not Kalnin, how about Banpu, the largest coal producer in Thailand? Like a Russian matryoshka (nesting) doll, BKV Operating is a subsidiary of Kalnin Ventures, and Kalnin is the American agent/partner representing Banpu here in the U.S. Ultimately it is Banpu money that is building this new facility, and major Banpu money being invested in PA Marcellus drilling in northeastern PA.
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Carrizo O&G Now Gone from Marcellus/Utica, Totally Focused on Texas

Carrizo Oil & Gas no longer owns any assets in either the Marcellus or Utica Shale. Carrizo, a Houston-based driller, actively drills in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, the Delaware Basin in West Texas, the D-J Basin in Colorado (more on that in a moment), and until mid-year in 2015, they had an active drilling program in the Ohio Utica and Pennsylvania Marcellus. We told you back in May that Carrizo was shopping its Marcellus/Utica assets (see Carrizo O&G Puts Up ‘For Sale’ Sign on Marcellus/Utica Assets). In September Carrizo announced a deal to sell their Utica acreage for $62 million (see Carrizo Sells 26K Prime Utica Acres for $62M), and in October they announced a deal to sell their Marcellus acreage for $84 million–their portion of a joint venture with India’s Reliance Industries Limited (see India’s RIL, Carrizo Sell NEPA Marcellus Assets for $210M). Yesterday Carrizo announced both deals have closed. Carrizo, along with Elvis, has left the building. They also announced a new deal to sell off all of their assets in the Colorado D-J Basin. Carrizo will totally focus on oil drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale (South Texas) and the Permian Basin (West Texas)…
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A Closer Look at Kalnin Ventures and Their Marcellus Investments

It’s time to look deeper into Kalnin Ventures, a Denver, CO-based investment firm that invests in U.S. upstream (mostly shale) deals. Sound familiar? Kalnin has been the “front man” for Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer. Over the past year and a half Kalnin/Banpu have snapped up some 55,000 acres and 355 shale wells–in the northeast Pennsylvania Marcellus (see our Kalnin/Banpu stories here). At least, we thought Kalnin was the “front man” for Banpu. It’s certainly Banpu money buying the leases and the wells, so we figured Kalnin was just an American subsidiary on paper for Banpu. But it turns out the truth is more nuanced. Kalnin is its own company. Yes, Banpu is the major benefactor providing the funds, but Kalnin is clearly in the driver’s seat with these Marcellus deals. Kalnin is not an operator. While news coverage may say Kalnin is “a top-20 gas producer,” as the Bloomberg article below says, that does not mean Kalnin is an operator. They’re investors. They’re owners. Other people do the actual drilling and management of the wells. In checking out the Kalnin website we found this description of the company: “Kalnin Ventures currently is backed by investors with equity fund commitments of USD 500 million, within its oil and gas fund BKV Oil and Gas Capital Partners, L.P. The company seeks to invest in attractive upstream oil and gas opportunities in North America (United States of America and Canada) with the goal of creating long-term sustainable value in the energy industry.” And right under that statement, this interesting statement: “Kalnin Ventures supports and upholds biblical principles as the foundations for the company’s values and underpins our company’s promise of integrity and transparency to our investors and partners.” Hats off to Kalnin for being upfront and unashamed of their God-honoring, faith-based principles. Not many companies have the guts to be so bold these days. Here’s an inside look at Kalnin Ventures, and how they continue to make money on Marcellus shale deals–even in a low-gas-price world…
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