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A $154 million cash purchase agreement has been reached between Northern Oil and Gas and Comstock Resources for the Bakken assets. It expects that deal will go through before the end of November, funded by cash on hand, operating free cash flow, and borrowings under the Northerns revolving credit facility.

The proceeds from these sales will be reinvested by Comstock Resources Inc. into the Haynesville Shale, at which point the company may acquire additional leasehold and fund drilling activities starting in 2022. 

This move by Comstock comes as deal activity rises in Louisiana's Haynesville Shale, where Comstock produces most of its energy. There was some expectation this outcome would happen since some oil and gas producers have been looking to sell assets to take advantage of higher commodity prices and to bolster cash reserves on their balance sheets to counter investor pressure for a while now.

In retrospect, the buyer, Northern Oil and Gas Inc., is the one who is going against the herd with the third big purchase in a row. The company acquired some non-operated interests in Texas' Permian Basin for about $102 million and in Pennsylvania's gas-rich Marcellus basin for $126 million earlier this year.

The Bakken assets purchased by Northern are composed of non-operated interests in 436 producing wellbores in North Dakota's counties of Williams, McKenzie, Mountrail, and Dunn, but being operated from the Williston Basin. With a recent six-month average landed production of 6,400 bbl/d from the 427 actually active wells, and an estimate for October alone surpassing 4,500 boe/d, this deal shapes up to be quite a steal.

The company is based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and attempts to serve as the ideal provider of non-operated working interests in leasehold that operators can avail themselves of. Yet with acquisitions over the past year in the Marcellus Shale and Permian Basin, the firm’s appetite has begun to diversify and grow outside of the Williston Basin, now fully intending to take a bite of Texas shale play.  

Northern Oil and Gas Inc.'s borrowing base will increase significantly from this acquisition atop its existing assets. The company expects to fully determine its borrowing base in the mid-fall, ahead of its regularly scheduled redetermination. With a successful outcome in place, Northern will have doubled its shareholder return program in less than five months providing a formidable showing. 

With respect to Comstock, it expects to take a pre-tax loss of $130 million to $140 million from this divestiture and will use the sale proceeds to further develop the Haynesville Shale, including speeding up construction on the 13 new DUC wells originally planned for 2022. Acquisition of additional leasehold, as well as funding of extra drilling, is not completely out of the question either.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the shale game in Texas, please, connect with our Houston sales office to see Rextag for yourself, as well as our newest Power and Renewables intelligence.

Tel. +1 713-203-3128
Email: treitmeier@hartenergy.com 

A major U.S. shale oil producer is looking to start a land selloff in the lone star state

Pioneer Natural resources is looking to divest properties in the lone star state. According to Rextag, Pioneer’s Delaware assets on sale have a trailing 12 month production of just over 22 MBOE against a total Permian Basin production of almost 212 MBOE. (The sale, if it happens, will effectively lead to a 10% decrease of Pioneer’s asset base in terms of the previous year's production.)

A $2 billion deal saw Dominion Energy sell Questar Pipelines to Southwest Gas

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A good asset will not sit on the market for long. After a deal with Berkshire Hathaway fell through, Dominion Energy managed to secure another one for Questar Pipelines in a drop of a hat. And get that, it is better than the former one by more than half a billion! Although not everyone is happy with such decisions, it seems that even Carl Icahn’s complaints won't be able to sway Southwest Gas Holdings’ decision. Though we will have our eyes peeled in any case… If everything goes as planned, a $2 billion deal will be closed before the end of the year.

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Oil output in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico is supposed to go up 88,000 bbl/d to a record 5.219 million bbl/d in June, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced in its report on May 16. Additionally, gas productivity in the Permian Basin and the Haynesville in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas will rise to record highs of 20 Bcf/d and 15.1 Bcf/d in June, respectively. Given that this growth has been expected, recent global market changes make forecasting the output even more challenging. Learning how production will change is easier with early activity tracking, a new service recently launched by Rextag – Pad Activity Monitor. With the help of PAM, you are able to monitor well pad clearing, drilling operations, fracking crew deployment and completions with new data collected approximately every 2 days. Additionally, it cuts down activity reporting lag times by at least 98%, from 120-180 days down to just 5-8 days. In order to access reports, charts, tables, and mapping visualizations via Rextag’s Energy DataLink use a web-based application allowing users to filter, download and identify activity on a map or data table. Moreover, customers will be able to set up daily, weekly, and monthly email report notifications.

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The EIA forecasts that total output in the main U.S. shale oil basins will increase 142,000 bbl/d to 8.761 million bbl/d in June, the most since March 2020. Oil productivity in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico is supposed to go up 88,000 bbl/d to a record 5.219 million bbl/d in June, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced in its report on May 16. In the largest shale gas basin, the productivity in Appalachia in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia will grow up to 35.7 Bcf/d in June, its highest since beating a record 36 Bcf/d in December 2021. Gas output in the Permian Basin and the Haynesville in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas will rise to record highs of 20 Bcf/d and 15.1 Bcf/d in June, respectively. Speaking of the Permian future output, putting hands on upcoming changes in production has recently been made easier with the new Rextag's service - Pad Activity Monitor. Thanks to satellite imagery and artificial intelligence, customers are able to monitor the oil and gas wells and are provided with near real-time activity reports related to drilling operations. However, it is noticed that productivity in the largest oil and gas basins has decreased every month since setting records of new oil well production per rig of 1,544 bbl/d in December 2020 in the Permian Basin, and new gas well production per rig of 33.3 MMcf/d in March 2021 in Appalachia.

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No sooner had the crude prices soared above $100/bbl than the industry professionals believed in an incredible growth of drilling activity in North America’s largest shale patch. Analysts speculate that additional output of 500,000 barrels of oil daily would become a significant part (4%) of overall U.S. daily production. That is going to flatter oil and gasoline prices. Drilling permits in the Permian Basin are persistently growing, averaging approximately 210 at the beginning of April. Moreover, the permits trend is noticed as an all-time high as a total of 904 horizontal drilling permits were awarded last month. Nowadays, learning and analysing the current situation and predicting the future development become easier with early activity tracking, a new service recently launched by Rextag. Rextag's Pad Activity monitor (PAM) allows you to see well pad clearing, drilling operations, fracking crew deployment and completions with new data collected approximately every 2 days with the help of satellite imagery and artificial intelligence. While the increase in drilling will result in higher production, U.S. shale producers will have to overcome several hurdles including labor shortages and supply constraints.

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