Industry Brief

The Port of Corpus Christi (Texas) accepted a $7 million bid from Oxy Ingleside Property Holdings LLC, a unit of Occidental Petroleum Corp. (Oxy), for a nearly 100-acre campus portion of the former U.S. Naval Station Ingleside (NSI). Oxy Ingleside currently has about 816 acres of the former NSI under purchase contract. The sale agreement for the campus portion will be presented for approval at the Port Commission meeting scheduled for Aug. 14. Occidental Chemical has operated a chemical plant at Ingleside since 1987. The campus portion is the third and final piece of the former naval base to be sold. Oxy has said it plans development of the base property in phased projects worth about $1 billion. Projects could include pipeline and barge facilities to handle liquefied petroleum gas produced from the Eagle Ford Shale; a liquefied natural gas facility also is possible, along with storage for crude oil, condensate and refined products, Oxy officials have told Ingleside City officials. An Oxy spokesman declined to provide further details. “The campus property complements the previous acquisition of the port property by Oxy Ingleside Property Holdings LLC [see Shale Daily, April 2], and we will investigate other uses for the property after closing, said spokesman Eric Moses.

August 3, 2012

Chesapeake Caves to Shareholders; Utica Acreage For Sale

Ahead of the annual shareholder meeting on Friday, Chesapeake Energy Corp. acquiesced to demands of major shareholder groups and Carl Icahn, who now holds 7.8% of the stock, and said four existing independent directors would resign from the board. The company also has put up for sale 337,481 net acres in its prized Utica/Point Pleasant Shale, which would give it less than one million acres in the play.

June 5, 2012


Former Enron Corp. energy trader John Arnold is closing down his flagship Centaurus Energy Master Hedge Fund, which is returning capital to investors. Arnold, a billionaire more than three times over, and his wife Laura will be focusing on philanthropic interests. Houston-based Centaurus has been one of the most successful hedge funds in the industry, delivering a compound annual return of about 130% since it was founded by Arnold in 2002 after the collapse of Enron. In Wall Street circles Arnold has been known to some as the “king of natural gas.” He and his wife will be considered royalty among philanthropists, running a $700 million foundation they founded in 2008. According to Forbes, Arnold has a personal fortune of about $3 billion as of March, putting him at No. 377 on the magazine’s list of billionaires. “In the past ten years, we have achieved more success than I could have hoped for or imagined. However, after 17 years as an energy trader, I feel that it’s time to pursue other interests,” the 38-year-old Arnold wrote to investors in a letter obtained by NGI. A Centaurus representative said there would be no comment on Arnold’s departure from the energy trading scene. A trading star at Enron, Arnold cut a large profile in hedge fund circles after his employer’s collapse. However, since the heady days of high volatility in gas markets, things have calmed quite a bit. An abundance of gas supply, thanks to shale plays, and tighter regulations on commodity speculation have made the trading game less of a thrill for Arnold and his kind. In 2011 the fund was fined $75,000 by the New York Mercantile Exchange for violating position limits in natural gas trading (see NGI, Jan. 2). Arnold founded Centaurus with an $8 million employee bonus from Enron. Centaurus employees have included several big name energy traders such as ex-Enron executive Greg Whalley, as well as Bill Perkins, Mike Magg and Conrad Goerl, previously of MotherRock.

May 7, 2012

Gas Trading Legend John Arnold Closing Centaurus Fund

Former Enron Corp. energy trader John Arnold is closing down his flagship Centaurus Energy Master Hedge Fund.

May 3, 2012

New York County Demands $81.3B For Lost Property Rights

Elected officials in Delaware County, NY, are demanding that the state and New York City pay $81.3 billion in reparations over 60 years for lost property rights, on the grounds that a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the city’s extended watershed would exclude 80% of the county’s land from Marcellus Shale drilling.

March 13, 2012

IHS CERAWeek: ExxonMobil CEO Says ‘Historic’ Energy Makeover Under Way

ExxonMobil Corp. CEO Rex Tillerson on Friday said North America is in the midst of an “historic energy transformation.” And “the world is watching.”

March 12, 2012

BlackRock Holds Nearly $2B of Dominion Shares

BlackRock Inc. has increased its stake in Dominion Resources Inc. to 6.92% (39.4 million shares), according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

February 16, 2012

‘Considerable’ Work Needed on New York Fracking Rules

New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens said the agency plans to maintain current staff levels during the upcoming fiscal year because the budget doesn’t include funds to monitor new unconventional wells.

February 8, 2012

Shale Backers Say Proposed New York Frack Rules Too Restrictive

Several key supporters of shale development in New York say the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) proposed rules governing high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) are too restrictive and in their current form would drive operators to other states.

January 17, 2012

Talisman Reduces Capex in Dry Gas Plays

Seeing no increase in natural gas prices, Talisman Energy Inc. is reducing its capital expenditures (capex) budget in dry natural gas plays from 2011 and is closing in on liquids this year.

January 16, 2012