Permian Love Story: Chevron Buying Anadarko in $50B Megamerger

Another truly huge merger/buyout was announced Friday when Chevron said it is buying Anadarko Petroleum for $33 billion. When you factor in Chevron assuming Anadarko’s debt, the total deal is valued at $50 billion, a number hard to wrap your brain around. The key question for us is: What does this mean for Chevron’s drilling program in the Marcellus/Utica?

UPDATE: See our note below about Anadarko in PA.
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Denbury/Penn Virginia Merger Aborted – PV Shareholder Resistance

Penn Virginia, an oil and gas driller headquartered in Radnor, PA (near Philadelphia) announced last October it had found someone to buy the company–Denbury Resources (see Penn Virginia Finally Sells Itself, Denbury Buys for $1.7 Billion). As of a few weeks ago both companies filed proxy statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission to announce a final merger vote set for April 17. That’s now off–because some Penn Virginia shareholders got cold feet.
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Equitrans Buys 2 Pipeline Systems in Marcellus/Utica for $1B

Equitrans Midstream, which used to be called EQT Midstream, yesterday announced they have cut their first big deal since separating from EQT last year. Equitrans is buying a 60% stake in Eureka Midstream, a 190-mile pipeline system in Ohio and West Virginia serving both the Marcellus and Utica, and a 100% stake in the tiny 15-mile Hornet Midstream, a gathering system in WV that connects to Eureka.
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NGL Energy Buys Northeast Propane Terminals from DCP Midstream

We spotted an interesting announcement from NGL Energy Partners that the company has just closed on the purchase of seven natural gas liquids terminals in the Eastern United States, purchased from DCP Midstream for an undisclosed amount. What’s interesting is that some of the terminals, most of them located in the Marcellus/Utica region, are capable of exports. NGL Energy says they plan to export butane from one of them. Might that be M-U butane?
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Blue Ridge Merges with Eclipse, Renamed to Montage Resources

Yesterday was an eventful day for the former Blue Ridge Mountain Resources (nee Magnum Hunter Resources) and Eclipse Resources. We’ve been telling you since last August that the two companies are merging, with Blue Ridge Mountain essentially buying out Eclipse. The deal is done as of yesterday and there is A LOT of news to share–including a name change for the newly combined entity.
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Blue Ridge Mountain Resources Shareholders Approve Eclipse Merger

Last August Eclipse Resources announced it had sold itself to Blue Ridge Mountain Resources, the renamed remnant of Magnum Hunter Resources (see Eclipse Resources Merging with Former Magnum Hunter). Although Eclipse shareholders have approved the deal, not until today was there official approval by the shareholders of Blue Ridge Mountain Resources.
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Blackstone Buys Controlling Interest in Tallgrass Energy

Tallgrass Energy, builder and operator of the mighty Rockies Express (REX) pipeline which is a critical link that flows Marcellus/Utica gas to Midwestern markets, dropped a bombshell announcement yesterday. The company said that investment firm Blackstone is buying a “controlling” interest in the company. Which raises the question, will Blackstone indeed “control” the company?
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National Truck Stop Chain Buys M-U Wastewater Hauler

You know those Pilot Flying J truck stops you sometimes visit to fill up as you’re traveling along our nation’s interstate highways? They’re not just big gas stations with convenience stores. Pilot Flying J has its own fleet of trucks. One of the divisions of Flying J targets the exploration and production (E&P) sector, i.e. drillers. Flying J has just announced it has bought out Equipment Transport, LLC, which hauls shale wastewater in the Marcellus, Utica and Permian Basin. Now your favorite truck stop is also your favorite wastewater hauler!
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Dominion One Step Away from Closing on SCANA Merger

In January Dominion Energy announced a deal to buy out and merge in South Carolina-based SCANA Corporation (see Dominion Buys SCANA, Mulls Atlantic Coast Pipe Expansion into SC). SCANA is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses. In other words, the local electric and gas company for much of South Carolina. When Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline gets built and expanded into South Carolina, it will flow Marcellus/Utica gas to SCANA customers–an important and huge new market for our molecules. Hence our interest in this merger. Dominion announced yesterday that North Carolina has now signed off on the merger, and all that remains is one final regulatory approval. Dominion expects the merger to be done this year.
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Encino Takes Over from Chesapeake in Ohio Utica; Big Plans

The deal is done. On Monday, Encino Acquisition Partners completed its purchase of all of Chesapeake Energy’s Ohio Utica Shale assets for $2 billion, originally announced in July (see Stop Press: Chesapeake Sells ALL of its Ohio Utica Assets for $2B). The deal includes all of Chesapeake’s 933,000 Ohio acres (with 320,000 net Utica acres) and 920 operated and non-operated Ohio Utica wells. With the deal now done, Encino is signaling good things are ahead. The company will keep its Utica regional headquarters in Louisville, OH–right where Chesapeake had it. Encino has and will continue to operate two active drilling rigs in the Utica this year, and add a third rig next year. Encino CEO Hardy Murchison recently spoke about the company’s Utica plans moving forward. It has folks in Ohio excited!
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Electric Fracker U.S. Well Services Begins Public Trading Friday

If all goes as planned, this Friday U.S. Well Services (USWS), a company that specializes in fracking shale wells using gas-fired electric (as opposed to diesel) engines, will begin to trade its stock publicly. USWS has operations in the Marcellus/Utica, as well as other plays. Does the company sound familiar? Last week we told you that Pittsburgh-based driller Huntley & Huntley has contracted with USWS to frack the wells it is drilling (see Huntley & Huntley to Use Gas-Powered Electric Fracking in SWPA). Although USWS is “going public,” it’s not doing so via an IPO (initial public offering). Instead, “blank check” firm Matlin & Partners Acquisition Corp. is investing in (essentially buying out) USWS and taking it public. Top management at USWS will mostly stay in place. What’s that? What’s a “blank check” company?
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Dominion Sells Its 50% Share in Blue Racer Midstream for $1.5B

In September, MDN told you that Dominion Energy had sold two “merchant” (non-regulated) natural gas-fired electric generating plants for $1.23 billion to Starwood Energy. And at the same time, Dominion announced it was shopping its 50% ownership stake in Blue Racer Midstream (see Dominion Sells 2 Gas-Fired Plants; Blue Racer Midstream For Sale). The sale of the power plants and potential sale of Blue Racer is aimed at helping Dominion pay down debt. The Blue Racer sale is no longer a potential, but a reality. Yesterday Dominion announced it is selling its share in Blue Racer to private equity investment firm First Reserve for $1.5 billion.
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Chesapeake Now Gone from Ohio Utica; Spends $4B in Eagle Ford

Chesapeake Energy has just blown the minds (and confidence) of investors by plunking down $4 billion in cash and stock to buy WildHorse Resource Development Corp, a driller with big-time assets in the oily Eagle Ford Shale play in Texas. Investors didn’t like the news, punishing the stock by sending it 12% lower. Chesapeake Energy today is definitely not the same company it was even five years ago. Chessy was co-founded by the flamboyant Aubrey McClendon (God rest his soul). Aubrey, a landman by profession, founded the company as a natural gas driller–building it into the largest onshore natural gas-drilling company in the U.S. Today Chessy’s focus on gas is pretty much gone. While they still drill and maintain wells in both the Marcellus (in PA) and Haynesville (in Louisiana), most of the talk in Chessy’s 3Q18 update, which was issued yesterday, was oil, oil, oil.
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Penn Virginia Finally Sells Itself, Denbury Buys for $1.7 Billion

Penn Virginia is an oil and gas driller headquartered in Radnor, PA (near Philadelphia). Although it’s based in the Keystone State, Penn Virginia has only a small presence in the Marcellus Shale–21,700 net acres with no drilled wells (at last check). They concentrate on oil drilling the Texas Eagle Ford Shale play. In July we told you the company is once again trying to sell itself (see Penn Virginia Puts Itself Up for Sale – Again). In September they added a new board member to help the process along (see Penn Virginia Hires New Board Member to Help Sell the Company). Looks like it worked. Penn Virginia is selling itself to driller Denbury for $1.7 billion.
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Aqua America Buys Peoples Gas for $4.3B – Old Pipes, Similar Nature

Aqua America, the nation’s second largest water/wastewater utility company headquartered near Philadelphia, announced it is buying Peoples Gas, the nation’s fifth largest natural gas utility company headquartered in Pittsburgh, for $4.275 billion. This story interests us because the buyer, Aqua America, provides services to Marcellus/Utica shale drillers, and because Peoples Gas is a buyer of Marcellus/Utica gas. The combined company will both serve the shale industry as part of the supply chain, and buy the output of the shale industry as a customer. How cool is that? What made Aqua interested in Peoples? It has to do with old pipes in the ground. And similar natures.
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