Not even a year into his post as CEO of the nation’s largest natural gas producer, Toby Rice has scored yet another acquisition in the Marcellus. This one he describes as “transformative.” Reese Energy Consulting today is studying the latest purchase by Pa.-based EQT of Alta Resources for nearly $3 billion in cash and stock. Alta in March announced it was seeking a buyer for its Appalachia assets comprised of 300,000 acres, 900 wells across six Pa., counties, 1 BCFD in gas production, 300 miles of gathering pipe, and a 100-mile freshwater system. According to Rice, the deal “checks all the boxes,” giving the company an entry into the Northeast Marcellus and an added boost to its free cash flow and debt reduction strategy. The latest figures put EQT’s Marcellus and Utica footprint at nearly 2 million acres with reserves of nearly 20 TCFD. EQT last October acquired Chevron’s upstream and midstream assets in Appalachia for $735 million and made a later bid for CNX Resources that was not accepted.
Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting never fails to disappoint for those who hope to walk away with a nugget or two of insight and foresight from the Oracle of Omaha himself. Reese Energy Consulting today is following up on Sunday’s 2021 BH meeting, when Chairman Warren Buffett and his longtime business partner fielded questions that ranged from the company’s heir apparent to Elon Musk and Bitcoin. On the subject of fossil fuels and climate change, Buffett defended his oil and gas investments while questioning if we’ve “built an unrealistic consensus on the pace of change” to clean energy. BH owns 12 major energy companies that include natural gas pipelines, utilities, and renewables—and landing that next mega-deal makes Buffett’s pulse quicken. Although 2020 was a quiet year for “elephant-size” deals, BH still swapped $10 billion for Dominion Energy’s natural gas and storage operations and now has proposed an $8 billion project to build 10 gas plants in Texas to serve as backup power. Who knows? The time may be ripe to pounce on something even bigger.
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The risks assumed by producers operating in far-flung lands are well known. But when chaos suddenly erupts, their response to the human toll goes largely unnoticed. Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest events unfolding in Asia and Africa where French energy giant Total has been swept up in two concurrent geopolitical and humanitarian crises. The drama began Feb.11, when the Myanmar military staged a government coup resulting in the deaths of 520 and the arrest of more than 3,000. Total pays $4 million a month in taxes on its offshore natural gas operations. Half of the gas is used to generate electricity for 5 million local people. CEO Patrick Pouyanne says the company has little choice but to continue production and pay the military to protect local staff and ensure electrical power. Total has pledged $4 million to human rights associations. On Mar. 24, militants invaded a Mozambique village killing dozens near Total’s $20 billion LNG project. The company has since provided refuge for 10,000 villagers, 15+ tons of food, and has evacuated as many as 1,000 a day mainly by boat.
Total is a broad energy company that produces and markets fuels, natural gas and electricity. Their 100,000 employees are committed to better energy that is more affordable, more reliable, cleaner and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, their ambition is to become the responsible energy major.