CONSOL Energy Inc.announced that it has entered into an agreement with Antero Resources Appalachian Corp., pursuant to which CONSOL will assign to Antero overriding royalty interests (ORRI) of approximately 7% in 115,647 net acres of Marcellus Shale located in nine counties in southwestern Pennsylvania and north central West Virginia, in exchange for $193 million. The all-cash transaction closed on September 21, 2011, with an effective date of July 1, 2011.
These overriding royalty interests were acquired in connection with the acquisition of the Appalachian oil and gas exploration and production business of Dominion Resources, Inc. in April 2010, and were previously reserved by Dominion when the working interests and operating rights in the Marcellus Shale were conveyed from Dominion to Antero in 2008. This asset was excluded from the CONSOL Energy / Noble Energy joint venture announced in August 2011, so the cash proceeds accrue entirely to CONSOL Energy and its shareholders.
CONSOL will retain the existing shallow wells and formations and all other leasehold interests on the acreage, including geological formations generally above and below the Marcellus Shale. The 2008 farmout agreement between the parties was terminated and a joint use agreement has been signed regarding ongoing operations.
CONSOL's financial advisor for this transaction was Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. CONSOL's legal advisor was Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.