Phil Anschutz Likely Makes BillionsOn Marcellus Shale Sale
Map of the Marcellus Shale gas play. Image via Wikipedia
He’s not saying who bought it or for how much, but Denver billionaire Philip Anschutzhas sold his 500,000 acres of natural gas fields in the Appalachian basin. This was the extent of the information that his wholly owned Anschutz Exploration Corporation released today:
The assets consist of currently producing oil and gas properties, as well as approximately 500,000 acres in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, which have exposure to the Marcellus, Utica and Trenton Black River exploration trends. The sale is expected to close in late 2010. Bank of America Merrill Lynch advised AEC on this transaction.
Anschutz, whose net worth we valued at $7 billion in the new Forbes 400 list (see his full 400 profile and photos here), was very early to the Marcellus play so the position likely contains some choice pieces. But because the whole lot is being taken by what appears to be a single buyer, there was probably a volume discount involved. Assuming a low-ball, bargain basement price of $4,000 per acre, the deal would be for $2 billion.
But this is only half the payday that Anschutz has coming. He has also put his oil fields in the Bakken Shale region of North Dakota up for sale. It’s unclear the size of his position there, but oily plays do fetch a hefty premium over natural gas, and development of the Bakken is not being slowed by irrational fears about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater.
Do you know who bought Anschutz’s acres? Have an opinion on who could be in the market to buy out Range Resources? Tell us in the comments section.
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