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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gearing Up For The Long Haul Or Running In Place?
When it comes to the oil patch, the word “growth” can be a vague term. It’s a word that can be masqueraded around to suit the perspective of whomever utters it. What does it mean in an industry whose principle resources are constantly in a state of decline? When it comes to the Permian Basin these days, growth applies to resources, drilling locations and production. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for profits, free cash flow or new IPOs. Don’t misunderstand, the Permian is the king of U.S. oil plays and by some measures could be taking the crown as the biggest oil field in the world. However, various economic forces are keeping profits and valuations in check.
Uncertainties Engulf Global Oil Amid Political Tensions
Brent crude prices began the quarter around $69 per barrel and peaked at nearly $75 in late-April before declining to just below $60 on June 12th, 2019. Prices have since increased to $65, with WTI continuing to trail by about $8 per barrel. In this post, we will assess global supply and demand factors that have caused these price fluctuations.
Big Deals and Bigger Opportunities
Operators in the Permian Basin have had to pay a premium to access the black gold mine, and companies are still lining up for a chance to get in on the action. While the industry as a whole has been moving into a period of rapid consolidation, a substantial portion of this acquisitive activity has been in the Permian.
Targets with highly contiguous holdings and acreage have been of particular note to acquirers in the Permian. While acreage continuity has not always been the most important aspect of a potential deal, it has certainly become more of a focal point recently.
In our prior two blog posts, we detailed the specifics of “what is” and “what are the characteristics of” an oilfield equipment/services company (“OFS”), and detailed the typical approaches and methodologies utilized in valuing OFS companies. This week, we’ll address some of the special considerations that must be given attention in the appraisal of OFS companies. Specifically, the challenges in forecasting the future operating results for an OFS company.
When valuing a business, it is critical to understand the subject company’s position in the market, its operations, and its financial condition. A thorough understanding of the oil and gas industry and the role of oilfield service (“OFS”) companies is important in establishing a credible value for a business operating in the space. Our blog strives to strike a balance between current happenings in the oil and gas industry and the valuation impacts these events have on companies operating in the industry. After setting the scene for what an OFS company does and their role in the energy sector, this post gives a peek under the hood at considerations used in valuing an OFS company.