Comprehensive Energy Data Intelligence
Information About Energy Companies, Their Assets, Market Deals, Industry Documents and More...
Occidental's Asset Cuts After CrownRock's $12 Billion Deal12/13/2023
- Acquisition Cost: Occidental buys CrownRock LP for $12 billion.
- Expanded Acreage: Gains over 94,000 net acres in the Permian Basin.
- Production Boost: Adds about 170,000 boe/d of production in 2024.
- Cash Flow Increase: Expects $1 billion cash flow in the first year.
- Debt Reduction: Aims to pay down $4.5 billion in debt within a year.
Occidental Petroleum is expanding its reach in the Midland Basin and targeting deeper drilling in the Barnett area through its significant $12 billion purchase of CrownRock LP.
CrownRock, a collaboration between CrownQuest Operating LLC and Lime Rock Partners, is recognized for its prime land holdings in the Permian Basin. This acquisition brings over 94,000 net acres and 1,700 undeveloped drilling spots in the Midland Basin to Occidental's portfolio.
Additionally, the deal is set to increase unconventional production by about 170,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in 2024. Vicki Hollub, Occidental's President and CEO, highlighted the vast potential of CrownRock's undeveloped lands in a recent analyst call, noting that 80% of these assets are in largely untouched areas.
A key benefit of this transaction is the substantial boost in cash flow it's expected to bring, including an anticipated $1 billion in the first year, assuming oil prices stay around $70 per barrel. This increased cash flow will not only help Occidental reduce its debt by at least $4.5 billion within a year but also supports their plan to raise their quarterly dividend by over 22% to $0.22 per share starting February 2024.
Focus to Midland: Occidental's New Strategy
Occidental Petroleum, before its recent CrownRock purchase, mainly focused on the Delaware Basin area within the Permian Basin for its drilling operations. Richard Jackson, a senior executive at Occidental, shared that about 80% of their cost-effective drilling sites were in Delaware. Now, with the CrownRock acquisition, the company's operations will be more evenly split:
“We now would have 60% Delaware Basin and 40% Midland Basin, balancing this Tier 1 inventory. Also, the Midland Basin production would move from 9% to nearly 30% of our total Permian unconventional production, based on 2023 estimated and combined totals.”
- Richard Jackson
This acquisition is part of a larger trend in the Permian Basin, where there's a rush for mergers and acquisitions due to the limited availability of high-quality drilling sites. In October, Exxon Mobil announced a big plan to acquire Pioneer Natural Resources, focusing on the Midland Basin. Other companies, like Civitas Resources and Matador Resources, are also expanding in the area.
The price Occidental paid for CrownRock is similar to high prices seen from 2017 to 2019. This reflects a trend where the cost of acquiring drilling sites in the Permian Basin is going up. In 2019, Occidental made a similar large purchase of Anadarko Petroleum. The price per acre for CrownRock is close to what they paid for Anadarko.
In October, Exxon Mobil Corp. decided to buy Pioneer Natural Resources for $60 billion, focusing on the Midland Basin.
Similar expansion is seen with other companies like Civitas Resources and Matador Resources in both the Midland and Delaware basins. This is happening because there aren't many top-quality drilling places left in the Permian Basin, a key oil area in the U.S. Due to this, the prices for land and drilling sites are going up. Occidental paid more than $50,000 for each acre when it bought CrownRock.
- Occidental's acquisition of CrownRock brings valuable, low-cost drilling sites into its portfolio, offering more potential from deeper underground targets.
- They plan to enhance the performance of deep Barnett wells within the CrownRock property.
- Early efforts in developing Barnett sites show promising results for Occidental, with new wells performing 34% better than the average in the area, according to Jackson.
- Occidental is also exploring other deep areas like the Strawn, Woodford, and Devonian formations in the CrownRock asset.
- The company sees promising potential in deeper zones of CrownRock, especially in the Barnett formation. This was highlighted in an Occidental investor presentation.
- Additionally, Occidental is considering Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) methods, such as CO2 injection, at CrownRock. They have already been running a CO2 EOR pilot project in the Midland Basin for several years.
“Occidental is able to pay more than others for CrownRock, assuming oil prices remain stable and drive material free cash flow accretion in the near term. “
- Truist Securities
Occidental also plans to sell some assets to fund this purchase. Alongside the CrownRock deal, they aim to sell $4.5 to $6 billion worth of assets that are less competitive.
CEO Hollub stated that these sales will only involve their U.S. assets. She emphasized that just because they are selling an asset doesn't mean it's of low quality. It might simply not align with Occidental's current development strategy or financial needs, but could still be valuable for others.
CFO Sunil Mathew expressed confidence in reaching these asset sale targets, which will help in reducing the company's debt.
If you are looking for more information about energy companies, their assets, and energy deals, please, contact our sales office email@example.com, Tel. 619-349-4970 or SCHEDULE A DEMO to learn how Rextag can help you leverage energy data for your business.
CrownRock's 94,000+ net acres acquisition complements Occidental's Midland Basin operations, valued at $12.0 billion. This expansion enhances Occidental's Midland Basin-scale and upgrades its Permian Basin portfolio with ready-to-develop, low-cost assets. The deal is set to add around 170 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2024, with high-margin, sustainable production.
In a recent announcement, energy services firm Baker Hughes stated that U.S. energy companies have decreased the number of operating oil and gas rigs for the third successive week. This development marks the first such consistent reduction since early September. As of October 6, the count for oil and gas rigs, considered a precursor to future production levels, has seen a decline by four, positioning it at 619. This is the lowest figure recorded since February of the preceding year. The overall rig count has decreased by 143 or 19% when compared to last year's statistics.
Last year, Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund spent more than any other country in the world, making up a quarter of the $124 billion total spent by such funds globally. The kingdom has been pouring money into huge projects both inside and outside its borders, including the ambitious $500-billion Neom City and launching a new airline. Due to this massive spending spree, the Public Investment Fund saw its cash and assets decrease from over $105 billion in 2022 to around $37 billion by September, as the Wall Street Journal reported. With oil prices hovering around $80 per barrel, financing these large-scale projects is becoming more difficult.
Occidental Petroleum is looking into selling Western Midstream Partners. OXY focuses on natural gas pipelines in the U.S. and is worth around $20 billion, including its debt. This sale could help the company cut down its large debt of $18.5 billion, which grew due to buying other companies. Recently, Occidental agreed to buy CrownRock for $12 billion, adding more debt to its books. This comes after its huge $54 billion purchase of Anadarko Petroleum four years ago. The news about possibly selling Western Midstream made its shares go up by 5.7% to $30.81, reaching their highest value since July 2019. However, Occidental's shares fell by 1.6% to $59.56, as part of a wider drop among energy companies.
The Canadian oil and gas sector announced 27 M&A deals in the last quarter of 2023, totaling $4.2 billion in value. The biggest deal of the quarter was Pembina Pipeline's $2.3 billion acquisition of several companies including Alliance Pipeline and Aux Sable Canada. Compared to the previous quarter, the total value of M&A deals in Canada grew by 20% from $3.5 billion and jumped 95% compared to the same quarter the previous year. However, the number of deals dropped slightly by 4% from the previous quarter and was 23% less than the year before.