Diversified G&O Production Soars 30% with Added Shale Wells

Diversified Gas & Oil owns close to 3 million acres of leases with some 60,000 (mostly) conventional oil and gas wells. In March Diversified announced it had cut a deal to buy 107 operating shale wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia for $400 million from HG Energy II (see Diversified Pays $400M for HG Energy’s Shale Assets in PA, WV). Those shale wells have already made a big difference by boosting Diversified’s natural gas production 30% in just one month!
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Diversified Pays $400M for HG Energy’s Shale Assets in PA, WV

Diversified Gas & Oil has been on a mission to buy as many non-shale (conventional) oil and gas wells as it can in the Appalachian Basin. It owns close to 3 million acres of leases with some 60,000 (mostly) conventional oil and gas wells. That’s changing. Yesterday Diversified announced it has cut a deal to buy 107 operating (and 3 non-operating) shale wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia for $400 million.
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DEP and Diversified Gas & Oil Compromise on Plugging Old PA Wells

Diversified Gas & Oil has been on a mission to buy as many non-shale (conventional) oil and gas wells as it can in the Appalachian Basin. It owns over millions of acres and tens of thousands of wells–many of them located in Pennsylvania. Last fall the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) told Diversified it wants 1,000 of its nonproducing wells plugged in the next five years. Diversified countered it would like to plug 2,000 wells, but over the next 20 years. They ended up compromising.
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Diversified Deal in WV to Plug 730 Abandoned Wells Over 15 Years

Earlier this week West Virginia regulators signed a deal with Diversified Gas & Oil to plug some 730 abandoned conventional oil and gas wells over the next 15 years. In June, MDN brought you the news that Diversified had purchased EQT’s Huron Shale assets in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia for $575 million (see Diversified Gas & Oil Adds to Conventional Assets in KY, VA, WV). In October Diversified announced a deal to buy out Core Appalachia for $183 million, which includes ~5,000 producing wells (90% of production is natgas) and 1.3 million acres in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia (see Diversified Gas & Oil Buys Core Appalachia for $183M). Thousands of old conventional wells spread across multiple states. The West Virginia Surface Owners’ Rights Organization (WVSORO) is not happy with the deal cut by WV with Diversified, claiming it doesn’t go nearly far enough.
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WV Surface Owners Accuse EQT of Selling Wells Should be Plugged

The West Virginia Surface Owners’ Rights Organization (WVSORO) is making some big accusations against EQT (perhaps other drillers too) in saying that EQT, which once owned thousands of conventional oil and gas wells in the state, is selling those wells to companies that may go out of business and therefore will not be able to properly plug those wells as they reach end-of-life and no longer produce. Specifically, WVSORO mentions the recent sale by EQT of its WV conventional assets to Diversified Gas & Oil. In June, MDN brought you the exclusive news that Diversified had purchased EQT’s Huron Shale assets in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia for $575 million (see Diversified Gas & Oil Adds to Conventional Assets in KY, VA, WV). In October they did it again, announcing a deal to buy out Core Appalachia for $183 million, which includes ~5,000 producing wells (90% of production is natgas) and 1.3 million acres in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia (see Diversified Gas & Oil Buys Core Appalachia for $183M). WVSORO’s charge is that Diversified is buying those wells intending to never plug them when they’re exhausted. WVSORO is asking the state to deny transferring those wells from EQT to Diversified.
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Diversified Gas & Oil Buys Core Appalachia for $183M

Diversified Gas & Oil continues its mission to buy as many non-shale (conventional) oil and gas wells as it can in the Appalachian Basin. In June, MDN brought you the exclusive news that Diversified had purchased EQT’s Huron Shale assets in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia for $575 million (see Diversified Gas & Oil Adds to Conventional Assets in KY, VA, WV). They’ve just done it again. This week Diversified announced a deal to buy out Core Appalachia for $183 million, which includes ~5,000 producing wells (90% of production is natgas) and 1.3 million acres in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia.
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Diversified’s Schedule to Plug Abandoned PA Wells in Dispute

Diversified Gas & Oil has been on a mission to buy as many non-shale (conventional) oil and gas wells as it can in the Appalachian Basin. In June, MDN brought you the exclusive news that Diversified had purchased EQT’s Huron Shale assets in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia for $575 million (see Diversified Gas & Oil Adds to Conventional Assets in KY, VA, WV). The sale included nearly 12,000 conventional wells with 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas production, 2.5 million acres of leases, and some 6,400 miles of gathering pipelines. Along with all those wells comes a number of wells that don’t produce any more and need to be plugged (see PA DEP Orders CNX, XTO & Diversified to Plug 1,058 Abandoned Wells). Plugging wells is not cheap, although Diversified seems to have found a way to do it cheaper than other companies like EQT can do it. Still, Diversified is faced with plugging thousands of wells. You don’t do it all at once–you have tackle it well by well, year by year. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection told Diversified it wants 1,000 of its nonproducing wells plugged in the next five years. Diversified countered it would like to plug 2,000 wells over the next 20 years. Diversified’s strategy, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, is to push off plugging as long as possible…
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Diversified Zags, Finds Profit in Appalachian Conventional Wells

We’ve shared the following story a few times over the years: In 2012 MDN editor Jim Willis took a tour of several Cabot Oil & Gas well sites in Susquehanna County, PA. One of the sites was a completed well pad with four producing wells, located not far from Carter Road in Dimock (the infamous Carter Road memorialized in Gasland). As we stood on the pad, Jim’s tour guide, Bill desRosiers, made this statement: “Cabot has over 4,000 vertical gas wells in West Virginia. You see these four horizontal wells? These four wells produce more natural gas in one day than all 4,000 of those vertical wells in West Virginia.” Behold the power of Marcellus Shale! On June 19, MDN brought you the exclusive news that Diversified Gas & Oil had purchased EQT’s Huron Shale assets in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia for $575 million (see Diversified Gas & Oil Adds to Conventional Assets in KY, VA, WV). The sale included nearly 12,000 conventional wells with 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas production, with 2.5 million acres of leases and some 6,400 miles of gathering pipelines. Why would anyone want 12,000 conventional wells when 12 shale wells can produce the same amount of gas? According to Diversified’s founder and CEO Rusty Hutson, those old conventional wells have steady, predictable returns that generate income with next-to-nothing in the way of capital investment. Diversified is zagging while everyone else is zigging…
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EQT Employees in Kentucky Vote to Unionize

A group of 116 EQT production employees who live and work in Kentucky have voted to form a union to protect their jobs and benefits. It is unusual–frankly unheard of–for unions to make inroads with an exploration and production company (E&P) like EQT. Why this group and why now? The fire was lit when EQT announced it is selling its Huron Shale assets to Diversified Gas & Oil (see Diversified Gas & Oil Adds to Conventional Assets in KY, VA, WV). Those assets include transferring 250 workers (including the 116 working in Kentucky) to Diversified. The workers are afraid of what typically happens when such deals occur–“efficiencies” are sought, which usually translates into layoffs and whacking benefits. To get out ahead of that, the group voted to unionize. Here’s the story of a small group unionizing, and the prospects of unionization happening elsewhere in the Marcellus/Utica…
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EQT Retains Shale Rights in Recent Diversified $575M Deal in WV

On June 19 MDN exclusively brought you the news that Diversified Gas & Oil had purchased EQT’s Huron Shale assets in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia for $575 million (see Diversified Gas & Oil Adds to Conventional Assets in KY, VA, WV). The original announcement didn’t name the seller–that information was available only here on MDN. It wasn’t until June 29 that EQT admitted to the world that they were the seller (see EQT Confirms Sale of Huron Shale to Diversified for $575M). EQT said the sale includes nearly 12,000 wells with 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas production and 2.5 million (!) acres of leases and some 6,400 miles of gathering pipelines. The sale also includes 8 field offices and 250 employees. But like an onion, more details about this story keep getting peeled back one layer at a time. Here’s the newest detail that (until now) we were not aware of: The massive $575 million deal for 2.5 million acres does not include or transfer the right to drill in the deeper shale layers that may exist under that 2.5 million acres. Instead, EQT is retaining those rights…
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PA DEP Orders CNX, XTO & Diversified to Plug 1,058 Abandoned Wells

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued administrative orders requiring three oil and gas companies–Alliance Petroleum Corporation (a subsidiary of Diversified Gas & Oil), XTO Energy, and CNX Resources–to plug 1,058 abandoned oil and gas wells across Pennsylvania. Alliance has 638 wells, CNX has 327, and XTO has 93. In a quick scan of the list of wells to be plugged, we didn’t spot a single shale well. All 1,058 wells are conventional/vertical wells. So why is this news for MDN? Because all three drillers (but in particular CNX and XTO) drill shale wells, and plugging old conventional wells takes time and money–time and money that could be spent on drilling shale wells. It takes anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 to plug an abandoned conventional oil/gas well. Most of the wells are located in the southwestern part of the state. CNX responded that in reviewing the list, some 190 of the wells in their list (out of 327) were part of a recent asset sale. Here’s the details on where, and how long these companies have, to plug old/abandoned oil and gas wells…
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EQT Confirms Sale of Huron Shale to Diversified for $575M

MDN exclusively brought you the news, on June 19, that Diversified Gas & Oil had purchased EQT’s Huron Shale assets in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia for $575 million (see Diversified Gas & Oil Adds to Conventional Assets in KY, VA, WV). At that time, Diversified did not disclose who it had purchased the assets from. MDN provided a guess, but that guess proved wrong. Within an hour of posting about the sale, an MDN tipster confirmed for us the seller was EQT, which we subsequently updated, providing the MDN audience with the inside skinny. On Friday, June 29, EQT issued a press release (below) confirming that yes, it was they who had sold the acreage/assets, including nearly 12,000 wells with 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas production, to Diversified. The deal also includes 2.5 million acres of leases and some 6,400 miles of gathering pipelines. What we didn’t know about the deal (until now) is that it includes 8 field offices and 250 employees. Here’s the EQT announcement with full details of the deal…
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Diversified Gas & Oil Adds to Conventional Assets in KY, VA, WV

UPDATE: A source has shared with us who is doing the selling–see our note below.

Diversified Gas & Oil, founded in 2001, is an operator of oil and gas wells (and pipelines). According to the Diversified website, the company’s “innovative, disciplined investment strategy is focused on the acquisition of mature, low-decline and low-risk wells, enhancement of operations with a focus on efficiency, and maximization of profitability for shareholders.” Diversified issued a press release last week to say it has signed a letter of intent to purchase 2.5 million acres of leases, and 11,350 wells, in Appalachia–for $575 million. The acreage and wells are located in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. Although the press release doesn’t say, the wells are almost certainly all conventional wells (no shale wells). We were not able to determine if any of the acreage includes rights to drill shale wells. Given the company’s focus on “low-decline and low-risk wells,” we have to conclude they target only conventional wells, since shale wells are high decline and moderate to high risk (sink a shale well in the wrong place and you just blew $7-8 million). Diversified recently closed on deals to pick up acreage and wells from both Alliance Petroleum Corporation and CNX Resources. Who’s the seller this time? We have a guess about who it may be…
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