Whiting Petroleum Corp. has named Brad Holly, 46, president and CEO effective Nov. 1. Holly until earlier in October was Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s executive vice president, U.S. onshore exploration and production. The appointment coincides with the planned retirement of James J. Volker, 70, who joined Whiting in 1983 and has been president/CEO since 2002. Since taking the helm Volker has established Denver-based Whiting as a top operator in the Bakken Shale and Niobrara formations; the company produced more than 112,000 boe/d in 2Q2017. Volker will assume the role of executive chairman until the end of the year and then become non-executive chairman until the 2018 annual meetings, at which time Holly is to become chairman. Holly began his career in 1994 with Amoco and joined Anadarko in 1997 as a reservoir engineer. He holds a bachelor of science in petroleum engineering from Texas Tech University and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

37. Briefs -- Oxy Mini-Tender | EQT, Rice Merger | Pinnacle Midstream | Oklahoma Taxes | Valley Lateral Project

Houston-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. (Oxy) is recommending stockholders not respond to a mini-tender offer by TRC Capital Corp., which is seeking to purchase two million shares, or about 0.26% (as of Oct. 20) of the exploration and production company's outstanding shares. By attempting to obtain less than 5% of outstanding shares, TRC’s mini-tender offer would bypass scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission. TRC has made mini-tender offers for other energy firms in the past that include ConocoPhillips and Encana Corp.

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.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has requested FERC not issue a notice to proceed (NTP) recently requested by Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC for the Valley Lateral Project [CP16-17-000]. DEC cited a similar filing made over the summer concerning delays for the project’s water quality certificate (WQC). DEC eventually denied the WQC, but the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reversed the decision by waiving DEC’s authority for failing to make a decision within the required one-year timeframe. DEC argued in its latest filing that FERC should not issue the NTP because DEC’s motion for rehearing of the waiver order is pending. DEC also noted that its motion to rehear the FERC certificate for the project has not yet been answered.The eight-mile pipeline would supply a natural gas-fired power plant under construction in the state.