Encana sells Jonah Field Wyoming gas assets for $1.8-billion; even with pollutants detected in water wells

Encana sells Wyoming gas assets for $1.8-billion by Bertand Marotte, March 31, 2014, The Globe and Mail
Encana Corp. is selling its natural gas assets in Wyoming’s Jonah field to an affiliate of U.S. private investment firm TPG Capital for about $1.8-billion (U.S.). The sale of one of the largest natural gas fields in the United States is part of Calgary-based Encana’s strategy to pare assets in order to focus on liquids-rich natural gas and oil, which have been selling at higher prices than those for dry gas. A deal to sell the Jonah field had reportedly been in the works, but to private equity firms Carlyle Group and NGP Energy Capital Management LLC and not TPG.

“This transaction is consistent with our strategy,” Encana president and chief executive officer Doug Suttles said on Monday. “With this divestment of Jonah, we are unlocking value from a mature, high-quality asset and allowing our teams to focus on our five core growth areas and continue with execution of our new strategy.” The Jonah field has a total productive area of about 24,000 acres. Estimated year-end 2013 proved reserves stood at about 1.5 billion cubic feet, the company says. The deal with TPG – formerly Texas Pacific Group – includes more than 100,000 undeveloped acres adjacent to Jonah known as the Normally Pressured Lance area. “The Jonah field is a world-class, low-risk resource with long reserve life and future drilling opportunities that will be a strong platform to continue to grow a portfolio of cash flow-producing assets,” said Tom Hart, CEO of the new oil and gas platform created by TPG to manage the investment.

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Pollutants detected in water wells in Sublette County’s gas fields, many in Encana’s Jonah Field

Frackers Fund University Research That Proves Their Case Calgary-based Encana Corp. (ECA) which operates gas wells in Wyoming’s Jonah field, has given $7 million dollars to the university over the past six years to better train students for the oil and gas sector, according to Encana spokesman Doug Hock. … The corporate generosity has some worried about the impact on academic independence. “There’s no question that the oil and gas industry is approaching the University of Wyoming with a great deal of walking-around money and directly funding some of these departments with the apparent agenda of influence peddling, and it seems to be working very well for them,” Erik Molvar, a wildlife biologist with the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance in Laramie, Wyoming, said in an interview. … “You’ve got the authority of a public research university being used to publish research by individuals with a strong bias to the natural-gas industry,” [Emphasis added]

The Politics of Energy Even as sage grouse go extinct in EnCana’s notorious Jonah Field and the well densities hit levels never before seen in Wyoming, and seldom elsewhere. Why this sudden glut of oil industry advertising? Simple: It’s election season. The oil industry knows it has the reputation as a big polluter, so it’s always out to show how clean and responsible it is, even when it isn’t. [Emphasis added]

All Fired Up by John G. Mitchell, photographs by Joel Sartore, National Geographic, July 2005

National Geographic: Sights and sounds of drilling the west

National Geographic: Photographs

The Jonah Field (a national sacrifice zone) is one of EnCana’s major resource plays

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