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Briefs -- EQT, Rice Merger | Pinnacle Midstream | Oklahoma Taxes

EQT Corp., to appease restive shareholders concerned about the $8 billion deal to acquire Rice Energy Inc., has launched a nationwide search to add two “independent” board members with midstream experience. The directors would join an internal committee to be formed once the transaction is completed. Some investors have pushed EQT to scrap the merger and instead separate the midstream and upstream businesses. A special shareholder meeting to approve the merger has been scheduled for Nov. 9. EQT’s board has approved the transaction.

 

Global infrastructure investorI Squared Capital has agreed to buy Pinnacle Midstream LLC, a portfolio company of BP Energy Partners LLC (BPEP), which provides crude and natural gas services in the Permian Basin’s Delaware sub-basin. Financial details were not disclosed. BPEP was formed by oilfield legend T. Boone Pickens’ private markets investment team. Pinnacle’s management team would continue to run the company once the transaction is completed.

 

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and the state legislature agreed to fill a $215 million shortfall in the budget with a series of tax increases but left unchanged the oil and natural gas tax scheme put into place three years ago. The agreement left in place a 2014 tax change, which permanently reduced to 2% the tax on gross oil/gas production for the first three years of a well's life. The tax rate affected all wells drilled after July 1, 2015, and it increases  to 7% after the first 36 months of production.

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