Noble Energy (NBL) and CONSOL Energy (CNX) have entered into an agreement to jointly develop leasehold held by CONSOL Energy in Pennsylvania and West Virginia that is prospective for Marcellus Shale.
Noble Energy is acquiring a 50% interest in 663,350 net acres held by CONSOL Energy for $3.2 billion payable in cash and a future drilling carry. The company will pay $1.07 billion in three equal annual installments with the first due at closing.
Noble Energy has also agreed to fund $2.13 billion of CONSOL Energy’s future drilling and completion costs in the Marcellus Shale acreage. The drilling carry is subject to an annual cap of $400 million and will be subject to a suspension if natural gas prices fall below $4.00 per MMBtu as follows:
- If natural gas prices fall below $4.00 per MMBtu for three consecutive months the drilling carry is suspended.
- If natural gas prices move above $4.00 per MMBtu for three consecutive months the drilling carry is resumed.
Noble Energy estimates that the discounted present value of the acreage acquired is $7,100 per net acre.
Noble Energy is also purchasing a 50% interest in CONSOL Energy’s existing Marcellus Shale production and midstream infrastructure for $219 million. The current production is 70 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalents per day.
Summary of CONSOL Energy Marcellus Shale Position
- Risked resources of 7.4 Tcfe and proved reserves of 400 Bcfe net to each company.
- 4,400 gross well locations in Marcellus Shale.
- Gross production growth estimated to reach 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalents per day by 2015.
- Acreage is 85% held by production.
- Existing development plan will increase rig count from four to sixteen rigs by 2015.