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BHP last bidder for Anglo's Australian coal assets; Fitch says oil, gas sector M&A activity increasing

Coal M&A news

BHP BillitonGroup's acquisition of AngloAmerican Plc's Moranbah and Grosvenor coal mines in Queensland,Australia will be supported by investors and analysts, The Australian Financial Review wrote July 25. However, BHP willhave to show that the mines will add value to its metallurgical coal business.

TerraCom Ltd.has hit back at claims that it was "financially distressed" and didnot possess the experience to rehabilitate large-scale open cut coal mines.Earlier in July, it was revealed that a wholly owned subsidiary of TerraCom,Orion Mining Pty Ltd.,will acquireRio Tinto's BlairAthol coal mine in Queensland, Australia, for just A$1 and as part of thedeal willreceive A$80 million to cover the rehabilitation liability.

Natural gas/midstreamM&A news

At least three large midstream master limited partnershipscould be in position to follow Plains All American Pipeline LP's well-receivedmove to simplify its ownership structure. Market participants tagged , andWilliams Partners LPas the most likely candidates for incentive distribution rights removals oralterations, with ONEOK Partners on top of the list.

Merger and acquisition activity in the oil and gas sectorpicked up in the second quarter of 2016 as producers positioned themselves forrising prices, Fitch Ratings said in a recent report. Fitch said the secondquarter's increase in transaction volume seems to be largely due toimprovements in hydrocarbon prices, including the long-awaited tightening ofbid/ask spreads.

Husky EnergyInc. has closed a C$1.7 billion transaction to drop down selectmidstream assets in the Lloydminster region of Alberta and Saskatchewan into anew limited partnership. The Calgary, Alberta-based Husky Midstream LP willassume ownership of assets that include about 1,900 kilometers of pipeline, 4.1million barrels of oil storage capacity and other ancillary assets.

Silver Run Acquisition Corp. agreed to acquire a controllinginterest in Centennial Resource Production LLC in the southern Delaware Basin.Centennial is a pure-play company with 42,500 net acres primarily in Reeves andWard counties, 1,357 gross identified potential horizontal drilling locations andabout 7,200 boe/d of net production.

SanchezProduction Partners LP closed the sale of substantially all of its operated oiland natural gas wells, leases and other assets in Oklahoma and Kansas. The saledoes not include assets in Osage County, Okla., which are associated withSanchez's concession agreement with the Osage Nation, as well as interests innon-operated oil and natural gas wells and leases in the two states, accordingto a news release.

Kinder MorganInc.'s aggressive pursuit of joint ventures and asset saleopportunities is repositioning the company faster than anticipated and could besetting up dividend growth as soon as 2017, a trio of Barclays Capital Inc.analysts said. "We think KMI's latest deals signal that they are beingmore aggressive than the market is giving them credit for," the analystswrote.

PiedmontNatural Gas Co. Inc. expects to change the end of its fiscal yearto Dec. 31 upon closing of its mergerwith Duke Energy Corp.The change will be effective after the end of its 2016 fiscal year on Oct. 31,according to a SEC regulatory filing. The transaction is on track to becompleted by the end of 2016, subject to approval by the North Carolina Utilities Commission.