Plans for a major Bakken crude oil transfer facility in North Dakota were unveiled Tuesday as a privately bankrolled venture in conjunction with Canadian Pacific Railway (CP). Construction is expected to begin later this year, and initial storage and loading service are expected to start in the second half of 2015.
Articles from Gold
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. has completed its takeover of Plains Exploration & Production Co., with a total value of $16.2 billion, including $9.7 billion in debt. The transaction, completed Friday, included a payment of about $3.3 billion in cash ($25/Plains share), 91 million shares of Freeport common stock ($2.9 billion) and a special cash dividend of $3.00/share (see Daily GPI, May 21). The acquisition of related affiliate McMoRan Exploration Co. for close to $3 billion is expected to close on Monday (June 3), subject to shareholder approval. Former Plains Chairman and CEO Jim Flores was named co-vice chairman and CEO/president of subsidiary Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas LLC. Flores also is to be part of newly formed office of the chairman with Chairman Jim Bob Moffett and Vice Chairman Richard C. Adkerson, who also is CEO/president. Flores had served as chairman/CEO of Plains since its inception in 2002; he became president in 2004. Former Plains directors Alan Buckwalter and Thomas A. Fry also have joined the board. Buckwalter is the retired chair of JPMorgan Chase Bank, South Region, and Fry retired as president of the National Ocean Industries Association after serving from 2000 to 2010; he also previously directed the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.
Plains Exploration & Production Co. will become part of mining conglomerate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. after a majority of shareholders voted to approve the $6.6 billion merger. Freeport, based in Phoenix, in December offered close to $9 billion total to buy Plains, as well as to bring back into the fold McMoRan Exploration Co., which it had spun off in 1994 (see NGI, Dec. 10, 2012). McMoRan shareholders are scheduled to vote June 3 on the merger, comprised of about $2.4 billion cash and a share of future royalties on some assets. The approval came after Freeport and Plains agreed to give Plains shareholders $3.00/share in a one-time special cash dividend and another $1.00 for each Freeport share when the merger is completed. The one-time dividend will cost Freeport an estimated $1 billion. Assuming the merger is completed as scheduled by Friday (May 31), Freeport plans to also complete $1.5 billion in asset sales from the combined company as a way to reduce capital spending. Freeport claims that it would become the fifth-largest U.S.-based natural resource company by enterprise value once the mergers are complete, trailing ExxonMobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum Corp.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold on Wednesday returned to its U.S. energy roots with a $9 billion cash-and-stock offer to buy Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP), a leading unconventional producer, and McMoRan Exploration Co.
The Mancos Shale plays in the Piceance and San Juan basins in Colorado and New Mexico are a potential gold mine of low-cost natural gas supplies, according to an executive from Rapid City, SD-based Black Hills Corp., who spoke Wednesday to Wall Street analysts at the J.P. Morgan SMid Cap Conference.
A coalition of 69 environmental groups has urged President Obama to “employ any legal means” to halt hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and suggested a federal moratorium until further environmental studies of the practice are completed.
There are risks facing the natural gas industry that could upset the current “gold rush” mentality, said speakers Tuesday at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) summer meeting in Los Angeles. Reserves estimates are but one concern.
As exemplified by a Monday New York Times column touting the natural gas gold rush in shale, alternative fuel transportation applications are one of two outlets for the supply bonanza. They include compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG), which are both increasingly attractive to fleet and heavy-duty vehicle markets.