Comstock Directs 3 Rigs to the Eagle Ford – Sets Capital Budget

Three of Six Rigs Will Work the Eagle Ford in 2013
Comstock Resources Eagle Ford Map

Comstock Resources Eagle Ford Map | Click to Enlarge

Comstock Resources’ Eagle Ford assets will account for almost half of the company’s activity in 2013. Three of six rigs planned to work throughout the year will be active in South Texas. The other three will be working in West Texas as the company works to shift its production mix to higher valued liquids. [Read more…]

Apollo Buys El Paso’s E&P Unit Before Kinder Morgan Closes on the Pipeline Segment

El Paso Eagle Ford Shale Map

El Paso Eagle Ford Map | Click to Enlarge

Apollo and El Paso reached a $7.15 billion agreement for El Paso’s E&P segment. The deal is subject to the closing of the El Paso-Kinder Morgan pipeline merger.

El Paso’s exploration and production segment has been on the sales block since the Kinder Morgan deal was announced, but the question remained whether the assets would be sold in pieces or all together.

While Apollo has been rumored to be considering the deal, it comes as a bit of a surprise that the private equity group acquire El Paso E&P. Most industry experts thought El Paso would be a great fit for an international company looking to expand its footprint in the U.S. (e.g. Statoil-Brigham). Low natural gas prices that are limiting many companies’ upstream budgets might have opened a window for the Apollo group to step in. [Read more…]

BHP – Petrohawk Deal Brings Australia to the Eagle Ford

Petrohawk’s Eagle Ford position is paying off in a big way.  The company has received a bid to be acquired by BHP Billiton for a 65% premium over the prior days stock price. Petrohawk’s leading position in the Eagle Ford is likely a primary driver behind the acquisition. The company is strategically positioned in two of the hottest areas of the Eagle Ford with its Black Hawk and Hawkville field positions. The company also has a sizeable oil position at the Red Hawk Field in the Eagle Ford Shale Oil window that has not provided the economic results needed to compete for capital with Petrohawks other assets. Expect the Red Hawk Field to get more attention now that the operator has much deeper pockets.

Overall, drilling rates across Petrohawks asset base will likely increase as BHP looks to accelerate value from its newly acquired assets.

That’s a hefty price but BHP needs the people and the assets. After several failed bids to consolidate in the mining industry, the company turned to investing in oil & gas exploration and production.

The Petrohawk acquisition follows BHP’s $4.75 billion acquisition of Chesapeake’s Fayetteville Shale assets. BHP only got the assets in the Chesapeake deal, so over the next year the company was tasked with building a large US E&P business. The Petrohawk acquisition gives them the human capital and just happens to be a company that was a leader in the Fayetteville Shale before divesting assets to focus in the Haynesville Shale and Eagle Ford Shale.

BHP gets Petrohawk with its three core positions which include 225,000 acres in the Haynesville Shale, 120,000 net acres in the Lower Bossier Shale, 332,000 acres in the Eagle Ford Shale, and 325,000 acres in the Midland/Delaware basins, which is prospective for the Avalon Shale, Bone Springs, and Wolfcampian formation.

Combined with the Chesapeake deal, BHP will become one of the top ten natural gas producers in the US. The company’s onshore US operations will include almost 1,500,000 net acres that produce over 1.3 Bcf per day. [Read more…]

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