Energy Valuation Insights

A weekly update on issues important to the oil and gas industry

Bakken Shale

Bakken May Lack Flash, But Has Fundamentals

The economics of oil and gas production vary by region. The cost of producing oil and gas depends on the geological makeup of the reserve, depth of reserve, and cost to transport the raw crude to market. We can observe different costs in different regions depending on these factors. In this post, we take a closer look at the Bakken Shale.

Special Topics Valuation Issues

The Fair Market Value of Oil & Gas Reserves

Oil and gas assets represent the majority of value of an E&P company. The Oil and Gas Financial Journal describes reserves as “a measurable value of a company’s worth and a basic measure of its life span.” Thus, understanding the fair market value of a company’s PDP, PDNP, and PUDs is key to understanding the fair market value of the Company.

Valuation Issues

How to Perform a Purchase Price Allocation for an E&P Company

When performing a purchase price allocation for an Exploration and Production (E&P) company, careful attention must be paid to both the accounting rules and the specialty nuances of the oil and gas industry. In this blog post, we discuss the guidelines for purchase price allocations that all companies must adhere.

Special Topics

Themes from Q2 2019 Earnings Calls

Will “Capital Efficiency” Prevent Bankruptcy and Maintain Production as E&P’s Reduce CapEx?

While large, rapid commodity price declines are certainly harmful for near-term profits and long-term planning, persistently low prices may be more ominous for industry operators and investors. Prices rebounded from a low of $45/bbl, but crude has been below $60 for nearly 3 months. Natural gas prices have similarly languished, remaining below $2.50/mmbtu in that time. Two Houston-based E&P companies (Halcon & Sanchez) recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy within days of each other, raising questions about the state of the industry. Size and operational efficiency may enable some players to stave off issues, while others may be forced into difficult decisions between preserving capital and investing over budget to produce enough debt-servicing cash flow.

Domestic Production Special Topics

An Overview of Saltwater Disposal

Part 2 | Economics of the Industry

In a prior blog post, we provided an overview of the saltwater disposal (SWD) industry, detailing the source of demand for SWD services, the impact of the shale boom, geographic distribution, site selection, construction, and regulation.  We now take a look at the economics of the SWD industry and the trends that impact the economics.

Mineral and Royalty Rights

Public Royalty Interests: Picking the Right Comparable

In previous posts, we have discussed the relationship between public royalty interests and their market pricing implications to royalty owners.  Here, we will define our group of royalty interests which can be used to gain valuation insights.  Specifically, we will look at mineral aggregators, natural gas focused trusts, and crude oil focused trusts and the statutory differences between them. We also consider how dividend yields and other public data can be used to imply value for private mineral interests while being judicious in our application of such metrics.

Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures

Comstock’s Acquisition of Covey Park

A Valuation Analysis of the Multibillion-Dollar Haynesville Deal

On July 16, 2019, Comstock Resources, Inc (NYSE: CRK) finalized its acquisition of Haynesville operator Covey Park Energy LLC. Announced on June 10, 2019, the companies entered into an agreement under which Comstock would acquire Covey Park in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $2.2 billion, including assumption of Covey Park’s outstanding debt and retirement of Covey Park’s existing preferred units (totaling approximately $1.1 billion).

For the purposes of this post, we will be examining this deal from a few different vantage points and reviewing the fair value of the various components that make up total deal value. We’ll also look at how this transaction compares to industry valuation metrics and what kind of strategic advantages Comstock may have a result of the deal.

Valuation Issues

Challenges in Appraising Refinery Businesses

The appraisal of businesses involved in the refining of crude oil entails a number of challenges.  Some are unique to the industry, and others are more common.  The challenges arise primarily in two areas – assessing the level of uncertainty inherent in the entity’s future cash flows and forecasting the entity’s future operating results.

Special Topics

Natural Gas Takeaway Constraints

A Tale of Two Basins

Appalachia and the Permian are responsible for much of the United States’ surging natural gas production, resulting in relatively low benchmark prices. However, difficulties capturing, storing, and transporting natural gas mean that large regional price differentials can occur.

While Appalachia price differentials have narrowed significantly, Permian pricing differentials have widened, often resulting in $0 or sometimes negative realized prices. Going forward, futures prices imply a modest widening of the Appalachia basis over time, while the Permian basis will not stabilize until 2021.

Oil & Gas

Mercer Capital provides oil and gas companies, oil and gas servicers, and mineral & royalty owners with corporate valuation, asset valuation, litigation support, transaction advisory, and related services