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… Continue reading
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… Continue reading
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… Continue reading
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… Continue reading
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… Continue reading
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… Continue reading
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… Continue reading