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Haynesville's Top 2022 Players That Made It Happen01/05/2023
After reaching record-high production in 2021, the Haynesville Shale seemed to have a quiet 2022, with a smattering of deal activity and attention seemingly focused more on LNG exports than production. Meanwhile, the indications are that the third-largest producing gas shale in the U.S. is growing up for a robust 2023 if commodity prices stand still.
The Haynesville Shale play, situated in northwestern Louisiana and eastern Texas, was remarked in March 2008. Petrohawk Energy Corp. and Chesapeake Energy Corp. both held lease acreages in Louisiana, making the region famous.
There was a 54% growth in Haynesville rig activity from the 46 average count in 2021 to 71 in the first half of 2022, according to J.P. Morgan’s September “JPM Natural Gas Reservoir” report.
Recent gas pipeline scrapes are running ahead of anticipations, setting record highs of almost 99.3 Bcf/d in September, with MTD gas production estimated at 98.7 Bcf/d, which compares to the August average of 97.7 Bcf/d and the September 2021 average of 92.7 Bcf/d.
Top basin performers Chesapeake Energy, Southwestern Energy, Comstock Resources, Aethon Energy, and Rockcliff Energy II produced a combined total of 1.53 MMboe/d, 83 bbl/d of oil, and 9.2 Bcf/d of gas in the first half of 2022.
One of the first companies to operate in the basin, Chesapeake was the Haynesville’s largest producer in the first half. The company produced 1.23 MMboe/d in the half, 365,766 boe/d came from its Haynesville operations, with 2.19 Bcf/d of the 6.98 Bcf/d total produced coming from the Haynesville as well.
Nevertheless, it produced 89,862 bbl/d of oil in the first half of the year, and none of Chesapeake’s oil production came from the Haynesville. The latter half of the year was aimed at concentrating on Chesapeake’s midstream capacity, committing 700 MMcf/d to a new pipeline to be constructed by momentum from the heart of the Haynesville play down to Gilles.
The company reported 334,716 boe/d in the first half of 2022 production from the Haynesville, comparable to the total 887,668 boe/d produced by the company across all its assets. In the basin, it also produced 2 Bcf/d of its total reported 5.19 Bcf/d across the combined Haynesville and Appalachian assets.
Comstock has assets spanning northern Louisiana and eastern Texas, making it the third most productive Haynesville operator with eight total rigs. The company produced a total of 314,483 boe/d, 28 bbl/d of oil, and 1.88Bcf/d of gas in the Haynesville in the first half of 2022.
As the largest private producer in the Haynesville, Aethon produced 313,492 boe/d of its total 330,601 boe/d from the basin. Moreover, 19 bbl/d of its total 402 bbl/d of oil production and 1.88Bcf/d of its total 1.98Bcf/d of natural gas production came from the Haynesville.
The second private company to emerge as a Haynesville top player, Rockcliff production totaled 205,997 boe/d in the Haynesville in the first half of the year. 36 bbl/d of its 347 bbl/d total oil production in the half came from the East Texas basin, as did 1.24 Bcf/d of its 1. 32 Bcf/d total natural gas production.
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On November 16 Diamondback Energy Inc. decided to expand in the Midland portion of the Permian Basin with the acquisition of Lario Permian LLC in a $1.55 billion cash-and-stock transaction. The Permian operator announced another billion-dollar agreement to purchase FireBird Energy LLC, a private Midland Basin operator. In total, Diamondback is paying almost $3.3 billion to extend in the Midland Basin. When combined with the pending FireBird acquisition, Diamondback is increasing its Midland Basin footprint by roughly 83,000 net acres, is adding 500 high-quality drilling opportunities that compete for capital with the current development plan and is raising the 2023 production profile by almost 37,000 bbl/d of oil (50,000 boe/d).
Houston-based company Momentum Midstream LLC on September 22 purchased Midcoast Energy LLC’s East Texas business from an affiliate of Arc Light Capital Partners LLC and Align Midstream LLC from Tailwater Capital and claimed that it establishes a leading presence in the Haynesville Shale. New Generation Gas Gathering or NG3 project will collect natural gas produced in the Haynesville Shale for re-delivery to premium Gulf Coast markets, including LNG export. Moreover, the NG3 project includes a carbon capture and sequestration component that will eliminate 100% of the CO₂ and accumulate it underground for a long time, creating a net negative carbon footprint. With the combined assets of Midcoast ETX and Align Midstream, Momentum is currently delivering volumes of more than 2 Bcf/d for a diverse customer base composed of producers, utilities, end-users, and LNG exporters. Momentum’s footprint in the Haynesville includes about 3,000 miles of gathering pipelines, 1.5 Bcf/d of treating capacity, 700 MMcf/d of processing capacity, 200,000 HP of compression, and 820 miles of pipelines transporting gas to the Gulf Coast markets in southeast Texas and the Carthage and Bethel markets in East Texas.
In order to sell its part of the sprawling Eagle Ford Shale acreage, Chesapeake Energy Corp. on January 18 concluded an agreement to trade its Brazos Valley region assets to WildFire Energy I LLC for $1.425 billion.
On January 6, Phillips 66 announced that it plans to acquire more than 43% of DCP Midstream LP for $3.8 billion, expanding the business in the oil & gas business.
On January 5 Northern Oil & Gas (NOG) concluded a deal to acquire working interests in Midland-Petro D.C. Partners LLC (MPDC)'s Mascot Project in the Midland Basin, according to a January 9 press release. Firstly estimated at $330 million in cash, the deal was signed with an additional 3.25% working interest added to the 36.7% agreed upon when the transaction was announced on October 19. NOG paid $29 million more for the additional interests, which now totalled 39.958%. Finally, the deal closed for $320 million in cash and $43 million in debt at signing in October with the finance of Minnetonka, Minn.-based NOG with cash on hand, operating free cash flow, and assistance from its revolving credit facility.