In 2015 a group of Ohio landowners did what landowners had previously done in Pennsylvania, Texas and elsewhere–they filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy claiming Chessy had screwed them and about 1,000 other Ohio landowners out of a collective $30 million in royalty payments (see OH Landowners File Royalty Class Action Lawsuit Against Chesapeake). It took nearly five years with a lot of twists and turns, but yesterday the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio ruled in favor of Chesapeake, dismissing the claims against them. Continue reading
Total, a French multinational integrated oil and gas company and one of the six “Supermajor” oil companies in the world, has just purchased a 23% stake in Tellurian Investments for $207 million. Tellurian is building the Driftwood LNG export facility in southern Louisiana (see Fired Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki’s Revenge: Driftwood LNG). Tellurian CEO Charif Souki was fired one year ago this month by Carl Icahan from Cheniere Energy, the LNG exporting company he co-founded (see Evil Corporate Raider Carl Icahn Claims Another CEO Scalp). We used to feel bad for Souki, but no more–not since he made an ass of himself by saying in a CNBC interview he would reconsider his American citizenship if Donald Trump won the presidency (see Will Charif Souki Renounce His American Citizenship?). We’re still waiting for Souki to go back to his native Egypt–or perhaps now, to France. That would be fitting. At any rate, here’s the details on Total investing in Souki’s Tellurian investments, which is a play to get in on the hot LNG export action in the U.S…. Continue reading
In a repugnant and self-serving public relations stunt, the CEOs for 10 of the world’s largest oil and gas companies are pushing for “an effective climate change agreement to be reached at next month’s 21st session of the United Nations (UN) Conference of Parties to the UN Framework on Climate Change (COP21)” at the meeting being held in Paris in early December. That is, they’re pretending they believe in the total hoax that mankind is causing global warming and therefore all of the nations of the earth, including the United States, should give up their sovereignty to achieve something they have no control over–whether or not global average temps go up more than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. Conveniently, most of us won’t be alive to see whether or not that ever happens. Fortunately none of the big oil companies signing this asinine statement are U.S.-based companies, although they all have serious (and large) operations in the U.S. Who are the Gang of 10?… Continue reading
The Europeans are sometimes, well, stupid. How else can you explain six large oil companies–BG Group, BP, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Total–buying into the tax scheme called carbon credits? The six sent a letter (copy below) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) begging the UN to introduce carbon pricing systems and “create clear, stable, ambitious policy frameworks that could eventually connect national systems” that would “reduce uncertainty and encourage the most cost effective ways of reducing carbon emissions widely.” This is madness. Create laws that supersede each country’s sovereignty and impose a worldwide tax on carbon–the stuff you breathe out with every breath–as some sort of solution for the imaginary problem of man-made global warming? If the UN does such a thing, it will spell the end of the companies sending the letter! What do you call a company trying to commit economic suicide? Do the investors of these six companies know the heads of those companies are trying to destroy the company and their investments along with it? No wonder Europe is in decline… Continue reading
Over the past decade, from 2004 to 2014, something happened: the miracle of hydraulic fracturing. Because of fracking, the world now pumps more oil than it did a decade ago. During the past decade the price for a barrel of oil went sky high. Now, according to the popular narrative of the day, the price of oil has “collapsed” because we’re swimming in “too much oil.” Who woulda thunk? (Side note: the price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude in 2004 was $41.50. Today? About $43. So much for a price “collapse”–it’s more like a “price maintenance.”) For a while some people, like the now thoroughly discredited Art Berman, peddled the “peak oil” theory–that the world was running out of oil and would soon be paying $200 a barrel or more (see Peak Oil Theorist Art Berman Says Shale Gas is Peaking Too). So much for those theories. A decade ago the world was pumping 64.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd)–that is, oil and the energy equivalent in natural gas. Today? The world is pumping 80.4 million boepd. So who are the world’s 21 largest oil and gas producing companies? We have the list below… Continue reading
Total (pronounced “toe-tail”), is a French multinational integrated oil and gas company and one of the six “supermajor” oil companies in the world. Yesterday the relatively new CEO of Total, Patrick Pouyanne, announced that he’s scaling back in the North Sea fields and in U.S. shale plays. In 2012, Total plowed more than $2 billion into the Utica Shale, partnering with Chesapeake Energy (see Chesapeake Sells More of its Utica Leases to Total). In September 2014, Total sold off a smallish investment they had in Cardinal Midstream, a Utica midstream company, to South Korean investors for $400 million (see Total, EVEP Sell Interest in Cardinal Midstream to S Koreans for $612M). Patrick Pouyanne became CEO of Total last October after a freak runway accident killed Total’s colorful and long-time CEO Christophe de Margerie (see French Supermajor Total CEO Killed in Freak Runway Accident). Pouyanne is now making his mark on the company. He blames the plunge in oil prices for his action. Here’s what Pouyanne said at a conference in Davos, Switzerland earlier this morning… Continue reading
Tragedy has struck Total, a French multinational integrated oil and gas company and one of the six “Supermajor” oil companies in the world. Total has a small presence in the Marcellus and Utica Shale. Late Monday night, Total’s colorful CEO, Christophe de Margerie, was killed in a tragic airplane accident in Moscow, Russia. The plane that de Margerie was traveling in was taking off and a drunk snowplow driver cut across the path of the plane. The plane hit the snowplow and burst into flames. Everyone aboard (four people in all) were killed. The drunk idiot driving the snowplow wasn’t hurt–go figure… Continue reading
As MDN told you a month ago, South Korea wants in on the Marcellus/Utica action and two South Korean companies had committed to buying up to a 34% stake in Cardinal Gas Services (see Total, EVEP Sell Interest in Cardinal Midstream to S Koreans for $612M). The deal is now done. Yesterday Samchully, the lead South Korean company, announced they have completed the purchase of the full 34% stake in Cardinal for $612 million… Continue reading
In August MDN told you that a pair of Korean companies were sniffing around Cardinal Midstream Services–looking to buy up to a 34% stake in the company (see Cardinal Gas Courts S Koreans to Invest in Utica JV). Cardinal is a midstream operator (pipelines and processing plants) in the Utica Shale. The Koreans are sniffing no more. Yesterday, one of the investor/owners of Cardinal, French oil giant Total, announced they’re selling their 25% stake in the company to two Korean companies… Continue reading
Cardinal Gas Services is a midstream company (pipelines and processing plants) concentrating on the Ohio Utica Shale. Cardinal is actually a joint venture between Access Midstream (formerly Chesapeake Midstream, now being bought by Williams), the U.S. subsidiary of French driller Total, and EnerVest Energy Partners. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more complicated, it does. Reuters is reporting the rumor that a new consortium including South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) and South Korean gas seller E1 Corp are making a play for 34% of Cardinal… Continue reading
Each year Platts publishes a list of the top 250 energy companies in the world. They evaluate companies using four metrics: asset value, revenue, profit, and return on invested capital. It probably won’t surprise you to find out that 7 of the top 10 energy companies in the world have a presence in the Marcellus or Utica Shale.
Here’s the Platts list of the top 10 energy companies in the world for 2012:
In December 2011, French energy giant Total purchased a 25 percent ownership stake in Chesapeake Energy’s Ohio Utica Shale leases for 10 Ohio counties for $2.3 billion. In May, Total paid Chesapeake another $2 billion for a 90% stake in 9,000 leases in Columbiana County, OH (see this MDN story).
It seemed like Total was going full speed ahead with purchases of shale acreage in the Utica Shale. Not any more.
Don’t look now, but one of the shining examples of an entire country that banned fracking—France—a country exalted by anti-drillers as a shining example for America to emulate, is considering…lifting the ban! That’s right, the new French government, which is Socialist to the point of being Communist, sees all of the jobs being created by shale drilling in the U.S.—and they’re lusting for it.
Faced with keeping the ban to placate the greens, or lift the ban and embrace safe drilling and reap thousands of new jobs, the new Socialist French government is leaning toward the later. C’est la vie.
Last week Chesapeake transferred 90 percent ownership of their 9,000 Utica Shale leases in Columbiana County, Ohio to their French partner Total in return for $2.03 billion. Back in December Chesapeake did an initial deal with Total for a 25 percent ownership stake in Chesapeake’s Ohio Utica Shale leases for 10 Ohio counties. This latest deal does not grant Total 90 percent in all 10 counties, so the question is, why Columbiana in particular? In two words: headache relief.
In early November, Chesapeake Energy announced a major cash infusion into their Utica Shale exploration and production would come from a new joint venture with a mystery/unnamed “international major energy company” to the tune of $2.14 billion (see this MDN story). The amount turned out to be even higher: $2.32 billion, and we now know who the mystery company is: Total E&P USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Total S.A.