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Kalnin Grabs More Marcellus, As Warren Resources Exits Appalachia

Energy investment firm Kalnin Ventures LLC has agreed to acquire all of Warren Resources Inc.’s Marcellus Shale assets in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Wyoming County for $105 million plus contingent payments over the next two years.

The deal announced Tuesday, which is expected to close by the end of this month, marks Kalnin’s sixth acquisition on behalf of its sole client, Thailand coal and power producer Banpu pcl. The firm agreed to make two additional payments of $3.75 million to Warren, depending on natural gas prices. Over the last two-and-a-half years, Kalnin has invested $522 million in the Marcellus’ northern tier.

The transaction with Warren includes proved reserves estimated at 292 Bcf, along with 35 producing wells and 23 well locations. Kalnin’s October transaction to buy operated Marcellus assets with Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc., and an affiliate of India’s Reliance Industries in Susquehanna, Wyoming and Clearfield counties, made it one of the top 20 natural gas producers in Pennsylvania.

The Banpu-backed fund operates more than 115 producing wells in Pennsylvania, with interests in 330 gross wells across 60,000 net acres that are producing more than 200 MMcf/d.

“This deal is perfectly synergistic with our previous deals in Wyoming County and allows us to integrate two separately operated fields into a single larger field that is more efficient and at scale,” said Managing Director Christopher Kalnin. “We continue to consolidate and expand our working interests in this region, as we believe in the long-term outlook for gas, especially in conjunction with growth in renewables,” to backup alternative energy sources.

Kalnin previously acquired assets from Chief Oil & Gas LLC, Range Resources Corp., Zena Energy LLC and an affiliate of Tug Hill Inc. As more acreage is consolidated by large operators it has said it would opportunistically search out positions.

For Warren, the deal marks its exit from the Appalachian Basin. The company emerged from bankruptcy late last year with GSO Capital Partners taking a majority stake and hedge fund Claren Road Asset Management LLC taking the remaining stake with Citrus Energy Corp., which Warren acquired three years ago.

Warren still has waterflood oilfield recovery assets in California and coalbed methane properties in Wyoming, according to its website. Warren isn’t the only small producer that’s exiting the basin. While low gas prices in the Northeast have created an opportunity for some, they’ve prompted others to sell and leave.

Travis Peak Resources LLC is exiting the basin after agreeing Monday to sell 44,500 net acres to Eclipse Resources Corp. for $93.7 million, or about $1,900/acre. Late last month, Greylock Energy acquired Energy Corporation of America and its patchwork of assets throughout Appalachia.

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