EVEP CEO Mark Houser Discusses Utica Shale Strategy, Future

Mark Houser, president and CEO of EV Energy Partners, presented at the IPAA Oil and Gas Investment Symposium yesterday in San Francisco. Below are portions of his talk dealing with EVEP’s Utica Shale assets and strategy. Also below is the PowerPoint presentation he used, which contains some great maps and charts dealing with the Utica. In particular take a look at slides #8 through #18. Don’t miss the close-up pictures of UEO’s Kensington and Harrison plants.

If we could “net net” summarize what Houser said about the Utica and the role it will play in the company’s future, it’s in line with our previous observations, which is…
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Who’s Who in OH Utica Shale Drilling for 2013

Who's WhoInvestor’s website Market Realist ran a 7-part series on the Utica Shale yesterday–really good stuff. As part of that series they list the biggest drillers/leaseholders in the Ohio Utica Shale. It’s a very useful rundown and update on the latest positions held by the major players of the Utica. We’ve pulled and condensed from their article to give you the latest rundown on who’s who in the Ohio Utica Shale…
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EVEP/EnerVest Cuts Deal to Sell 22.5K OH Utica Acres for $284M

In September last year, EV Energy Partners/EnerVest put more than a half million acres of Ohio Utica Shale acreage on the market. Near the end of last year, a deal for 104,000 of those acres seemed to be almost done, but in April of this year, the deal fell apart (see EV Energy Partners Deal to Sell 104K Utica Acres Dead, What Now?). EVEP then changed gears and said instead of putting big blocks up for sale, they’ll look at selling off smaller chunks (see EV Energy: Changing from Big Deals to Small for Utica Land Sale). Looks like the change in strategy worked.

Today, EVEP announced they’ve made a new deal to sell 22,535 acres in Guernsey, Harrison and Noble counties in Ohio for $284.3 million to an unnamed buyer. According to EVEP, the deal works out to be a very high $12,900 per acre. We ran the math and came up with $12,616 per acre. Either way, EVEP is getting a LOT of money for unloading Utica Shale acreage they don’t want. This deal is scheduled to close in the third quarter–the next few months. Let’s see if this one actually happens.

The announcement from EVEP/EnerVest (with a map of the acreage sold):
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M3’s Kensington, OH NGL Plant Now Live & Processing

A new $400 million natural gas liquids (NGL) processing plant in Kensington (near Hanoverton, OH) has went online Sunday. The Utica East Ohio Midstream (UEO) plant, a joint venture owned by M3 Midstream, Access Midstream (formerly Chesapeake Energy) and EV Energy Partners, was originally supposed to be online in May. That date slipped. In June, MDN picked up on a bit of news that indicated the plant would go live “by the end of July” (see M3 Midstream’s Kensington, OH NGL Plant Launch Date Slips). The July rumored date proved correct.

Yesterday, M3 issued the following press release announcing that the UEO plant is now operating and processing NGLs. It is the first plant of its kind to go online in the Utica Shale:
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M3 to Build Heliports at OH Processing Plants “Just in Case”

Utica East Ohio Midstream–a joint venture between M3 Midstream, Access Midstream and EV Energy Partners–is in the process of building three natural gas processing plants in eastern Ohio. Two of the plants–Leesville (in Carroll County) and Kensington (in Columbiana County) will be cryogenic plants used to separate natural gas liquids from methane. MDN recently told you about delays in building the Kensignton plant (see M3 Midstream’s Kensington, OH NGL Plant Launch Date Slips). The third facility, located in Scio (Harrison County), will be a fractionation plant used to further separate NGLs from Kensington and Leesville into their constituent compounds, like ethane, propane and butane. Both Kensington and Scio are scheduled to go online sometime “this summer” (see Scio fractionation plant scheduled to go online this summer).

This story, however, is not about  schedules for the launch of Utica East Ohio’s plants. It is about M3’s plans to build heliports at the Kensington and Scio plants…
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EV Energy: Changing from Big Deals to Small for Utica Land Sale

In September last year, EV Energy Partners/EnerVest put more than a half million acres of Utica Shale acreage on the market. A deal for 104,000 of those acres seemed to be almost done, but in April of this year, the deal fell apart (see EV Energy Partners Deal to Sell 104K Utica Acres Dead, What Now?). According to EVEP’s president and CEO, Mark Houser, last year everyone wanted deals for large blocks of acreage. This year? People want small acreage deals. So EVEP is changing their strategy in order to dump some of their Utica Shale holdings.

Houser gave a presentation yesterday at the Credit Suisse MLP and Energy Logistics Conference. In his speech and the following Q&A, he gave a comprehensive update on EVEP’s Utica Shale program. MDN has extracted out his comments about the Utica (see below), and grabbed the slide deck he refers to (embedded below)…
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M3 Midstream’s Kensington, OH NGL Plant Launch Date Slips

In May 2012, MDN told you about a new $400 million natural gas liquids (NGL) processing plant that would be built in Kensington, about a mile south of Hanoverton, OH, by a joint venture involving M3 Midstream, Chesapeake Energy and EV Energy Partners (see Location for OH NGL Processing Plant Identified). M3 said the Kensington NGL plant was on track for an “aggressive” May 2013 opening as late as December last year (see Columbiana County NGL Plant On Track for May Opening). It’s end of June and the plant is still not running.

We do, however, have a new estimated start date…
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EVEP’s Utica PR Offensive: Good Oil Pressure, Low Drilling Costs

Yesterday, MDN told you about EV Energy Partners/EnverVest’s (EVEP) mission to sell at least some of the 539,000 acres of Utica Shale leases they hold in Ohio (see EV Energy Partners Deal to Sell 104K Utica Acres Dead, What Now?). As part of the investor update call with EVEP on Tuesday, company chairman John Walker went on a PR offensive by saying drillers are watching how much oil will be produced by a well in Tuscarawas County (where EVEP is trying to unload acreage), and by saying the cost to drill a Utica well has come down, by up to 50%, from what it was when drillers first started in the Utica just a few years ago.

Walker’s comments from Tuesday:

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EV Energy Partners Deal to Sell 104K Utica Acres Dead, What Now?

now whatEV Energy Partners/EnerVest Executive Chairman John Walker admitted yesterday that a deal to sell the company’s interest in 104,000 Utica Shale acres has fallen apart. MDN has chronicled the journey thus far in a number of articles. In September 2013, EVEP announced they had put 539,000 Utica acres on the auction block and were confident they would sell it by year’s end and receive in the neighborhood of $6 billion (see EnerVest Puts 539,000 Utica Shale Acres on Auction Block). That didn’t happen.

Earlier this year, EVEP seemed to pull back from the original offer and instead push 104,000 acres concentrated in Stark, Tuscarawas and surrounding counties (see EnerVest Strategy: Sell Utica, Drill Vertical, Expand Midstream). That smaller deal has now also “failed” according to yesterday’s call. Apparently the price was right, but the terms were not. So what happens now?
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EnerVest Strategy: Sell Utica, Drill Vertical, Expand Midstream

In September of last year, EV Energy Partners/EnerVest put 539,000 Ohio Utica Shale acres on the auction block, thinking they would get around $6 billion for it (see EnerVest Puts 539,000 Utica Shale Acres on Auction Block). In November, the company said they should complete the sale of the Utica acreage by the end of 2012 (see EV Energy Selling 539K Utica Shale Acres by Dec 31). That turned out to be a tad optimistic. EnerVest still does not have a deal for their Utica acreage.

An update on the company’s strategy from EV Energy Partners Chairman John Walker and EnerVest President Mark Houser, from Friday’s analyst call:

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More than $1.2B & Counting on New Utica Drilling for 2013

So far, more than $1.2 billion (that we know of) has been budgeted by Ohio’s Utica Shale drillers for 2013. A whopping $7 billion has been allocated for pipelines and processing plants over the next several years.

Here’s a quick rundown on the plans for a few of the Utica’s major drillers and what they plan to spend on drilling in the Utica in 2013:

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EV Energy Partners About to Shed Utica Acreage

Landowners in the Utica Shale who signed with EV Energy Partners, take note: Your lease may soon be reassigned.

An article on the Seeking Alpha website takes a close look at EV Energy Partners (EVEP) and their large Utica Shale investments. EVEP is structured as a “master limited partnership” or MLP. The focus for an MLP is distributing (via quarterly payments called distributions) most of the profit made by the company to its partners/shareholders. Because of its MLP structure, long-term development of “speculative” plays like the Utica is not in line with the company’s mission, so EVEP is looking to shed most of it’s Utica Shale leases—and they’re doing it soon…

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EV Energy Selling 539K Utica Shale Acres by Dec 31

big saleEV Energy Partners, part of EnerVest Ltd., is in the final stages of a deal to sell its interest in 539,000 Utica Shale acres in Ohio, according to EV founder and chairman John Walker. (See this MDN story for background on how EV amassed such a large stake in the Utica.) When the final deal is done, it may bring in as much as $6 billion for EV.

Here’s what we know about the deal and what motivated it, from an investors call with Walker on Friday:

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