National Fuel Gas Co.(NFG) shareholders voted against a proposed resolution submitted by Gamco Asset Management Inc. for the company to participate more actively in “the rapidly consolidating natural gas local distribution sector.” Gamco, which owns more than 7% of NFG’s common stock, has tried unsuccessfully in the past to create more value in the company’s utility segment through a spin-off. It pushed this time for NFG to acquire another utility or pursue another “value-creating mechanism” like a tracking stock. NFG also operates other upstream, midstream and downstream segments.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has signed two bills into law that could have far-reaching impacts for oil and natural gas producers. Justice signed HB 4268, which takes effect July 1 and enacts co-tenancy. The bill would require a producer to obtain consent from 75% of mineral rights owners of a single tract of land. The legislation modernizes mineral laws and should help producers block up larger tracts of land for longer laterals. Justice also signed SB 360, which prohibits producers from deducting post-production expenses from landowner royalty payments.It takes effect May 31.
EV Energy Partners LP(EVEP), the upstream master limited partnership of EnerVest Ltd., has agreed with its bondholders and lenders to restructure the company in a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The restructuring would among other things amend the company’s lending facility and eliminate more than $343 million of principal and interest on its senior notes. In exchange, creditors would receive 95% of the reorganized company’s equity. EVEP said it expects to file the bankruptcy plan by April 8. EnerVest Ltd. and EnerVest Operating LLC are not seeking bankruptcy protection. EnerVest Operating would continue to operate assets for EVEP in the San Juan Basin, Appalachian Basin and those in Michigan and Texas, including wells in the Barnett Shale and Permian Basin.
Rex Energy Corp.has agreed to sell nonoperated assets in Westmoreland, Centre and Clearfield counties, PA, to privately owned XPR Resources LLC for $17.2 million. The sale is expected to close by the end of March. Included are 61 gross wells producing 8.2 MMcf/d. Rex began divesting noncore assets in 2015 to boost liquidity. The company disclosed in a regulatory filing in February that is exploring financial alternatives to strengthen its balance sheet, including the possibility of filing for bankruptcy.