• Gloves could come off in Williams-ETE saga soon

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jul 10, 2015

    The battle in Energy Transfer Equity’s $53 billion bid for Tulsa-based Williams Cos. so far has been mainly behind the scenes, but it could spill out into a Wall Street fight in the coming weeks or months. The relationship between the two natural gas infrastructure giants has not gone officially hostile yet, but it’s no courtship either. Dallas-based Energy Transfer’s unsolicited offer, and Williams’ decision to reject it and seek strategic alternatives, has let the cat out of the bag, opened Pandora’s box and a can of worms. Pick your metaphor. The world for 108-year-old Williams has changed, analysts say.

  • Energy Transfer CEO, still pursuing Williams Cos., buys another million units in his own company

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jul 9, 2015

    Regardless of what happens with his company's $53 billion unsolicited bid for Tulsa-based Williams Cos., Kelcy Warren certainly has skin in the game at Energy Transfer Equity LP. In what was called the biggest insider purchase reported to federal regulators Wednesday, ETE CEO Warren revealed he bought one million units in the Dallas-based natural gas pipeline firm. The buy, at $62.63 to $63.94 per unit, pushes Warren's stake in ETE up to nearly 37 million units, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. At Thursday's market value of nearly $65 per unit, Warren's stake in ETE is now worth about $2.46 billion. He is still pushing hard on the Dallas firm's six-month-old bid to buy Williams despite the Tulsa-based pipeliner's rejection of the original offer.

  • Group commits more than $300M to form new midstream company

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    Two veterans of Hiland Partners are reunited to form a new Tulsa-based oil and gas pipeline, storage and processing firm.  Joseph Griffin and Derek Gipson are founding Intensity Midstream LLC. The plan is to build or acquire and develop energy transportation, terminal and treatment assets connected to North America basins. The new company is stepping in the midst of an industry-wide downturn, with oil prices falling 50 percent over the past year. Griffin said Intensity was launched with the knowledge that some companies may be willing to sell assets in the near future.

  • Denver company buys $840 million worth of Chesapeake assets

    BY JOHN STANCAVAGE, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    Denver-based FourPoint Energy LLC announced Wednesday it is buying $840 million in oil and gas  assets from Chesapeake Exploration LLC, CHK Cleveland Tonkawa LLC and others in three related transactions. Chesapeake Exploration and CHK Cleveland's preferred interest owners are funds managed by GSO Capital Partners LP. The deal also includes transactions with other third party investors and common interest owner CEX. The assets to be acquired include an interest in approximately 1,500 producing wells primarily in the Cleveland, Tonkawa and Marmaton formations with average daily net production of approximately 21,500 Boed over the 12-month period ended in April 2015.

  • EnergyWire stands by story questioning OU, Oklahoma Geological Survey

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    A Washington, D.C., reporter who questioned the integrity of the University of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Geological Survey in a story last week said Monday that he stands by his reporting. In a story published Sunday in the Tulsa World, OU President David Boren said it is “a bald-faced lie and some of the most inaccurate reporting I’ve ever seen in my life.” The story, published June 23 by Mike Soraghan of EnergyWire, said the OGS, which is a state agency administered by the university, waffled on its findings concerning uncharacteristic earthquakes while OU fundraisers pitched a $25 million construction project to billionaire Harold Hamm, founder of Continental Resources. In an email to the Tulsa World on Monday, Soraghan said he stands by the story.

  • Energy Transfer Equity LP is not giving up its $53 billion bid for Williams Cos. despite lack of 'meaningful response'

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Energy Transfer Equity LP waited almost six months to hear back from Williams Cos. Inc. about its unsolicited buyout offer, but now the rival natural gas infrastructure firms are talking plenty, if not to each other. Williams revealed Sunday night it would review “strategic alternatives” after received an acquisition bid from an undisclosed entity. Those alternatives, whichever is seen to benefit shareholders the most, could include a sale, merger or continuing the present course. Energy Transfer Equity LP later confirmed it was the suitor offering $64 per share to buy Williams. A letter by ETE CEO Kelcy Warren seems to indicate his Dallas company was taken aback when Williams put the news out.

  • EARTHQUAKES: University of Oklahoma developed quake position while asking oilman for $25 million

    Published: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Energy and Environment News has another story about Continental Resources Inc. founder Harold Hamm and earthquake research at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, which is housed at the University of Oklahoma. From the story: University of Oklahoma officials were seeking a $25 million donation from billionaire oilman Harold Hamm last year, records show, at a time when scientists at the school were formulating the Oklahoma Geological Survey's position on oil drilling and earthquakes. They came up with a position that squared with Hamm's, saying most of the hundreds of earthquakes rattling the state are natural and not caused by the oil industry. But they didn't get the $25 million to build "The Continental Resources Center for Energy Research and Technology."

  • Oklahoma on record earthquake pace, up 90 percent from over a year ago

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    The ground is trembling underneath the feet of Oklahomans at a record pace this year and by a wide margin, but the jury remains out on whether recent mitigation measures on injection wells will curtail the troubling trend. Through April 2015, the seismically active region centered in Oklahoma has notched 468 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater. That figure is a leap of nearly 90 percent more than the 248 temblors of that strength experienced in the first four months of 2014, which went on to become the state’s most seismically active year by far, with 997 quakes. The 2014 final figure was a leap of nearly 500 percent from 2013’s record total of 172 temblors of magnitude 3.0 or more.

  • Energy Transfer Equity's $53 billion bid for Tulsa-based Williams shows history, future of natural gas industry

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    Nearly four years ago, Energy Transfer Equity LP and Tulsa-based Williams Cos. were duking it out over their shared desire for buying Southern Union Co.'s natural gas pipeline system. Williams lost that battle, although the company has been on a successful buying spree since then. Now the two are squared off again, but this time it's Williams that ETE is trying to acquire. On Sunday, Williams revealed that it was exploring "strategic alternatives" after receiving an unsolicited takeover offer.

  • Why the Saudis Are Going Solar

    Published: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    The fate of one of the biggest fossil-fuel producers may now depend on its investment in renewable energy. The Saudis burn about a quarter of the oil they produce—and their domestic consumption has been rising at an alarming 7 percent a year, nearly three times the rate of population growth. According to a widely read December 2011 report by Chatham House, a British think tank, if this trend continues, domestic consumption could eat into Saudi oil exports by 2021 and render the kingdom a net oil importer by 2038. Solar, they have decided, is an obvious alternative. In addition to having some of the world’s richest oil fields, Saudi Arabia also has some of the world’s most intense sunlight. (On a map showing levels of solar radiation, with the sunniest areas colored deep red, the kingdom is as blood-red as a raw steak.) Saudi Arabia also has vast expanses of open desert seemingly tailor-made for solar-panel arrays.

  • New state law forces Denton, Texas, to repeal fracking ban

    Published: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    The Denton City Council said taking the controversial ordinance off the books was in the best interest of taxpayers.

  • High school students to present alternative energy project at national competition

    BY NOUR HABIB, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    Three Jenks High School students have qualified for the U.S. Army’s eCybermission nationals for the third year. Becca Mackey, Riya Kaul and Hayden Hilst — all just out of ninth grade at Jenks — are headed to Baltimore later this month to present a project on an alternative energy source that they’ve been working on since November. “It’s a system that we designed to put in a revolving door so that when somebody walks through it, the kinetic energy that that produces is then harnessed to be put back into the grid or to power an emergency light system or what have you,” 15-year-old Mackey said of their project. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Mounting evidence says injection wells cause Oklahoma's earthquake surge

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    Clarification: The story has been clarified to make clear the directive that disposal wells in the 16-county area injecting below the Arbuckle formation weren't to be plugged completely but were to be made shallower. Mounting evidence pointing to wastewater disposal wells as the culprit behind a six-fold increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma has now placed the onus on government and industry to determine whether current actions are sufficient or more solutions are needed to stop the damage. The latest studies are in a June special section of The Leading Edge, a journal of the Tulsa-based Society of Exploration Geophysicists that provides a forum for scholarly discussion. Harley Benz, director of the National Earthquake Information Center for the U.S. Geological Survey, is a co-author of one of the papers in the special section. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • John Stancavage: Energy layoffs worrisome, but there may be a silver lining

    BY JOHN STANCAVAGE, Tulsa World columnist | Published: Tue, Jun 2, 2015

    Monday’s announcement that Tulsa will lose its Apache Corp. office and 160 jobs marks about the 12th major energy-sector layoff in the area this year. Not all of those other consolidations involved companies leaving the market. Samson Resources and Helmerich & Payne, for instance, are staying but trimming employment. Yet, the continuing downturn in the industry is unsettling. Economist Mark Snead of Oklahoma City-based RegionTrack says there’s bad and good to the situation we’re now in. Read the rest of this column at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Apache Corp. closing Tulsa regional office

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jun 1, 2015

    Houston-based oil and gas producer Apache Corp., which has maintained a robust presence in Tulsa for six decades, announced Monday morning that it is closing that office which employs 160 people. The Tulsa regional office is shutting down permanently as part of a company-wide restructuring. New CEO John Christmann, who came in earlier this  year, has completed a full review of operations and decided that the firm needed to consolidate from seven regional offices to three. The Tulsa office oversaw Apache drilling in the Anadarko Basin of western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. The site, which employed over 200 people at one point before the downturn in crude oil prices, has been in place since the mid-1950s. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.