SM Energy Co. has hired Petrie Partners LLC to explore a sale of certain Williston Basin leasehold, including about 54,500 net acres consisting of the Raven/Bear Den acreage and effectively all lease holdings in the basin outside of the company's Divide County, ND, program. "We have outlined a simple strategy to focus on our Tier 1 assets in the Permian Basin and operated Eagle Ford [see Shale Daily, Feb. 24]," said CEO Jay Ottoson. "As part of this strategy, we are continuing to core up our portfolio, such that we can concentrate investment dollars in the highest return programs and bring that value forward through accelerated activity. Raven/Bear Den is a terrific asset that provides attractive full-cycle returns, and we believe it will be of more value to a company that will actively pursue its near-term development." The company also said it has closed on previously announced divestitures in Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming, with associated net production of 3,300 boe/d, for net proceeds of about $186.7 million (see Shale Daily, Aug. 1).
In a recent update, Texas Eastern Transmission LP said work to confirm the integrity of its Penn-Jersey system continues. A portion of the system exploded and caught fire in Southwest Pennsylvania in April (see Shale Daily, April 29) The system consists of four parallel pipes running from Delmont, PA, to Lambertville, NJ. The company agreed to conduct a voluntary assessment of the system with the goal of returning it to full service by Nov. 1 (see Shale Daily, June 28). Lines 12, 19 and 28 are expected to return to full capacity by Oct. 17. Spokesman Creighton Welch said the seven-mile section of Line 27 that ruptured in the blast would remain out of service until 2017. The rest of Line 27 is operating at reduced capacity.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear Scout Petroleum LLC's case against Chesapeake Energy Corp. for deducting post-production costs from royalties it receives in Pennsylvania. Scout, a land-based oil and gas company that acquired rights in Northeast Pennsylvania, filed a class action case against Chesapeake in 2014 (see Shale Daily, April 10, 2014). Scout asked the American Arbitration Association to order a full refund of the deductions but Chesapeake took the case to court. TheU.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled the courts must decide the matter, which was upheld by a U.S. appeals court.