to the drilling costs for that project. Atlas' average daily natural gas production is 118 millioncubic feet (mcf) equivalent.The 2011 acquisition deal of privately held exploration firm Phillips Resources and its affiliateTWP, by ExxonMobil, valued at US$1.7 billion is next in line in the list of top transactions. Themove will see ExxonMobil almost double its acreage of the Marcellus Shale reserves inPennsylvania, USA to just over 700,000 net acres.
The transaction came in wake of the US oil major‟s mammoth takeover of Texas
Energy, then the US‟s largest independent natural gas producer, in December 2009. XTO will
take charge of the Phillips asset which currently produces 50 mcf of natural gas per day. Ithas been claimed that the Marcellus field may contain up to 500 tcf of gas.
Other key transactions on IJ‟s database include the Statoil Eagle Ford Asset Acquisition
(valued at US$ 1.51 billion), BG Group acquisition in Haynesville Shale (US$1.31 billion) andasset acquisition in Niobrara Shale and Powder River Basin (US$1.27 billion) completing thelist of top five corporate finance transactions between 2006 and 2011
all of which wereAmerican. (
For a more detailed list, see table above
Fracking there, fracking here: All hail shale?
In the summer of 2005, American think-tanks and market analysts were increasinglydebating how US dependence on Venezuela would rise in order to meet the domesticdemand. There was even some talk of easing-up on Iran. However, by 2007 all of this hadbeen kicked into the long grass with
talk of the US as a „gas exporter‟ becoming all the rage
and with some conviction.As noted, shale presently provides 25 per cent of US gas production and is projected to riseto 46 per cent by 2035 according to the EIA. This entirely narrows down to the technique of
hydraulic „fracking‟ wherein high pressure fluids blast the shale rock formation. This
subsequently releases the gasoil or gas trapped inside which is then pumped to the surface.
The fluid or „fracking mix‟ not only contains water, but a mix of
sand and chemicals.The technique has been around for 20 years and but it has taken almost the last 10 years toimprove it in order to make it viable and there is room for more improvements. MarkSadeghian, Senior Director (Energy), at Fitch Ratings notes that the application of newerdrilling technique to crack open North American shale has been a critical driver of theimproved economics of liquids shale plays and wet gas drilling.