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Stephen Ray Joins Factoring Company Charter Capital as VP of Business Development

Stephen Ray VP of Business Development

Houston, Tx — Charter Capital announced today that Stephen Ray has joined the factoring company to further develop their growing portfolio of accounts receivable factoring services. Stephen Ray comes with a wealth of experience within the factoring industry in underwriting and business development.

Stephen joins Charter Capital to continue success in providing accounts receivable financial services to many of the top industries it serves. Stephen says, “I’m thrilled to join the Charter Capital family and cherish the journey that I have before me.”

Keith Mabe, Senior Vice president of Charter Capital says, “We are delighted to have Stephen join Charter Capital and look forward to him helping grow our client portfolio.”

Charter Capital is a Texas based factoring company that has provided funding for small to medium sized businesses nationwide since 2001.

The unique aspect of Charter Capital is not only its flexibility in financing various industries, but also its ability to assist startup businesses. Funding programs are designed to provide a fast and steady source of working capital funds to businesses in need of an alternative to borrowing from traditional banks or costly online lenders.  With a company mindset dedicated to fast, solution-oriented funding, Charter Capital fills the void created by limited access to traditional sources of working capital and gives small businesses a more reasonably priced option for funds than is typically offered by online lenders.  Charter Capital offers factoring lines starting at $20,000 up to $2 million to customers in most industries.

To learn more about Charter Capital call 1-844-838-1424 or visit the website at http://www.CharterCapitalUSA.com.

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Shareholders sign off on $7.7 billion Encana, Newfield merger [The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City]

Feb. 13Encana Corp. took its world-class portfolio of assets and made it better Tuesday by adding some of Oklahoma’s best.

Its shareholders agreed early Tuesday with counterpart investors in Newfield Exploration Co. to merge the two firms in a deal worth an estimated $7.7 billion, which includes Encana’s assumption of about $2.2 billion of Newfield debt.

The deal will pay each Newfield investor about 2.67 shares of Encana stock for every stock they own in Newfield when the deal closes Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Encana’s stock closed at $6.11 a share, while Newfield’s closed at $16.32.

Newfield’s leadership has said investors will benefit from the merger through reduced costs involving efficiencies in scale, plus the strong balance sheet that Encana, based in Calgary, Canada, brings to the new company.

Investors in the new company, meanwhile, are looking forward to benefits promised by Encana’s top executives. Those include an accelerated return of cash through improved margins, expected to be generated in part by the liquids-based assets Newfield brings to the bigger firm’s combined portfolio of holdings.

Before the merger, Encana was developing assets in the Montney Shale and Permian Basin.

The acquisition brings it 360,000 acres of resources in Oklahoma’s STACK and SCOOP plays in the Anadarko Basin, as well as resources Newfield holds

in the Unita Basin of Utah and the Williston Basin of North Dakota.

In November, when the merger plan was announced, Encana predicted those resources would boost its oil and condensate production by more than 54 percent and its proved reserves by about 85 percent.

“This transaction creates a leading North American unconventional company,” Douglas James Suttles, Encana’s CEO and president, told analysts after the proposed merger was announced.

He also said Encana believed Oklahoma’s STACK and SCOOP plays are world-class resources, that Newfield’s holdings within those plays were among the best and that Encana believed the merger set up significant opportunities for efficiencies and synergies that could save the combined firm $250 million annually in general and administrative and drilling and completion costs.

Newfield’s consolidated daily net production in the third quarter of 2018 was more than 185,000 barrels of oil equivalent, with 71 percent of that coming from Anadarko Basin wells, according to an investors presentation the two firms prepared in November.

Newfield reported a net income in the third quarter of $224 million.

On Tuesday, Newfield officials said 10 rigs were actively drilling locations in Oklahoma.

Encana officials provided no information Tuesday whether they plan to accelerate, keep in place or reduce ongoing activities in Oklahoma. They also didn’t say what they planned to do with the Newfield office in The Woodlands, Texas, or a smaller regional office it has in Oklahoma City to support employees here.

An Encana spokesman said the company will come out with an operational update for 2019 likely before the end of this month that should answer those questions. When the deal closes Wednesday, officials expect Encana shareholders will own about 63.5 percent of the combined company, while previous Newfield stockholders will own the remainder.

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(c)2019 The Oklahoman

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Houston’s Occidental Petroleum profits soar as U.S. production rises [Houston Chronicle]

Feb. 13Occidental Petroleum said Tuesday that its fourth quarter and full-year profits soared in 2018 as its U.S. production rose to its highest in five years and prices moved higher for most of the year.

Occidental said its fourth quarter profits jumped 42 percent to $706 million from $497 million in same quarter in 2017. It’s annual profit more than tripled to $4.1 billion from $1.3 billion in 2017.

Occidental, which has a stock market value of $49 billion, easily beat Wall Street expectations. The company said it earned $1.22 per diluted share earnings in the fourth quarter, 8 cents higher than analysts’ estimates.

The exploration and production company has a large presence in West Texas’ Permian Basin. A majority of its oil and gas production occurs there. Its total Permian oil production was up 25 percent over 2018 compared to 2017.

EARNINGS: Huntsman revenue up, profits down in 2018

U.S. oil production has been breaking records all year, and Occidental is no exception. This was their best quarter since 2013 for oil and gas production in the United States, pumping 410,000 barrels a day of oil equivalent in the fourth quarter, up 28 percent from the same quarter of 2017.

Total oil and gas production for the company was up nearly 13 percent, producing 700,000 barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2018.

While prices fell in the fourth quarter, Occidental said it realized higher prices for its oil over the entire year. In the United States, Occidental said it realized $58.30 a barrel in 2018, up from $47.91 in 2017.

Occidental’s stock closed at $65.75 per share on Tuesday, before the company released its earnings.

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(c)2019 the Houston Chronicle

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Rover spill lawsuit moves slowly through court [The Repository, Canton, Ohio]

Feb. 11CANTON More than a year after Ohio’s Attorney General sued Rover Pipeline for polluting a Stark County wetland and other alleged environmental violations, the parties continue to fight over whether a local court should hear the case.

The state has said Rover Pipeline and six subcontractors broke various regulations involving the release of stormwater, drilling fluid or water used in pressure-testing the 713-mile-long interstate natural gas pipeline.

Rover Pipeline and the subcontractors have argued that only the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, not the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, has the power to enforce environmental regulations on an interstate pipeline.

There is no timetable for when the judge will make her ruling.

Rover Pipeline, comprising two 42-inch-diameter mainlines, transports up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Utica and Marcellus shale regions to users in the United States and Canada. Texas-base Energy Transfer owns the pipeline.

Rover began partial operation in August 2017 and the last lateral pipelines that feed the system went on-line in November of last year. Locally, Rover’s mainlines cross Carroll, Tuscarawas, Stark and Wayne counties.

State complaint

The Attorney General first sued Rover in Stark County Common Pleas Court in November 2017, and has filed three amended complaints since then, the latest in July. The case is assigned to Judge Kristin G. Farmer.

Subcontractors named in the lawsuit are Pretec Directional Drilling, Laney Directional Drilling, Atlas Trenchless, Mears Group and B&T Directional Drilling.

The lawsuit alleged violations in more than a dozen counties across the state involving the discharge of sediment-laden stormwater, leaks and spills of clay-based drilling fluid or the release of water used to pressure-test the pipeline.

The biggest spill happened in April 2017 when millions of gallons of clay-based drilling fluid leaked into a Bethlehem Township wetland while workers bored a path for one of the mainlines beneath the Tuscarawas River.

Workers later dumped the drilling fluid — tainted with diesel fuel — in quarries near water wells used by private residences and by the Canton Water Department and Aqua Ohio. Rover removed the waste from the quarries and testing showed no contamination of water wells, according to Ohio EPA.

The state has asked the court to order Rover Pipeline to comply with Ohio EPA’s orders and pay a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per day for each violation, as well as reimburse the Ohio EPA and pay the cost of the court action.

Toss it out?

Rover and its co-defendants have said the state’s lawsuit should be thrown out. The companies contend they had permits for the various discharges and releases cited by the state. The final written arguments on the motions to dismiss were filed in November.

“Those discharges are inevitable and foreseeable, which is why the parties planned for them in this construction project, just as they do in similar projects,” Rover’s attorneys wrote in court filings late last year.

The companies also have argued that federal law gives FERC, not state agencies, the authority to enforce environmental laws in this situation.

“It is well-settled that, where Congress has vested a federal agency with exclusive jurisdiction, a state court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear claims that second-guess that agency’s decisions,” attorneys for Pretec wrote.

Reach Shane at 330-580-8338 or shane.hoover@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @shooverREP

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(c)2019 The Repository, Canton, Ohio

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1 injured in fire at Metro East refinery [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Feb. 11–A worker was injured in a fire at a refinery in Roxana Sunday afternoon.

The injured worker was able to walk to an ambulance to be taken to a hospital, according Melissa Erker, a spokeswoman for the Wood River Refinery.

The worker was injured in the fire about 4:30 p.m. in the process operation unit at the refinery at 900 South Central Avenue in Roxana, about 15 miles north of downtown St. Louis. The refinery is jointly owned by Phillips 66 and Cenovus.

The cause and the extent of damage weren’t clear. The plant’s own firefighters put out the blaze Sunday afternoon, Erker said. Area fire departments were on standby but weren’t needed, she said.

Videos posted to social media show a towering fire billowing black smoke.

“Our community was never in any danger,” Erker said. “The air quality was monitored and showed no detection of air quality issues at no time.”

She said the plant processes 314,000 barrels of crude oil a day. She said the plant was operating normally.

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(c)2019 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Regional SBA ‘exceeding’ goals in clearing loan backlog created by shutdown

By Dom DiFurio, The Dallas Morning News

Small Business Loan

Feb. 07–Quickly approving and processing loans has been the Small Business Administration’s mission since government workers returned to their jobs after a 34-day pause.

The Dallas-Fort Worth District Office says it’s “meeting and exceeding” those goals.

In Texas, the SBA processed 237 loans totaling $143 million as of Wednesday. In Dallas, agency workers approved 94 loans for about $59 million.

“Dallas is clearly moving money into the hands of small business entrepreneurs that are in need of it,” SBA Regional Administrator Justin Crossie said.

If Congress is unable to reach an agreement to fund the government beyond Feb. 15, the current backlog could begin to grow again. Crossie and other SBA administrators hope that doesn’t happen.

So do Craig and Veronica Bradley, whose SBA loan for a Dallas brewpub was put on hold by the shutdown. They say the SBA has been willing to streamline tasks for their loan, asking them to gather certain necessary documents as the processing occurs.

“Before the shutdown, we had heard it would be around six weeks,” Craig Bradley said. “I know that as soon as it reopened, from what I heard, everyone just scrambled at once to send in their loans because they were worried it was going to happen again.”

The regional SBA office estimates its backlog is around 200 loans totaling $125 million. The office typically approves around 160 loans a month.

While they wait, the Bradleys are keeping their contractors and architects apprised as the catchup process plays out.

“The SBA is moving and we’re going good, as long as things stay open,” Craig Bradley said. But he acknowledged concerns about whether his opening could pushed back by other federal approval processes impacted by the shutdown.

“Now I really need that loan because I can’t get my permit to brew until then,” Craig Bradley said. “What’s the point in having a brewpub that can’t brew?”

The Bradleys, along with their friends at Lakewood Brewing Co., held several fundraisers in January that allowed the public to make small donations and help them keep their dream moving along.

“All of these donations that have been coming in are a huge help because we are still able to be paying and making sure things are still moving,” Craig Bradley said.

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(c)2019 The Dallas Morning News

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Panhandle Oil and Gas reports its first-quarter results for 2019 [The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City]

Feb. 08–Panhandle Oil and Gas earned a net income of $12.7 million during the first quarter of its fiscal year for 2019, the company announced Thursday.

While officials said the firm posted significant gains in pre-tax earnings for the period that ended Dec. 31, they also reported Panhandle’s net income of $12.7 million fell short of the $13.8 million in net income it earned during the same quarter a year ago.

Other operational highlights officials reported for the quarter included:

–Total production of 2.76 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent, compared to 3.42 billion equivalent cubic feet during the same period a year ago. Officials said the difference involves wells that just had been brought online a year ago that no longer are at peak production.

–An increase in the average sales price during the quarter to $4.42 per thousand cubic feet equivalent.

The company also reported that 20 rigs currently are drilling on Panhandle acreage.

Panhandle CEO Paul F. Blanchard Jr. said the company did a good job of executing strategies to optimize its minerals portfolio and generate significant returns to its investors during the period.

He said Panhandle used $9.5 million from $13.1 million it generated in cash during the first quarter to reduce its debt to $41.5 million.

The firm also returned $700,000 to shareholders through dividend payments and retired $1.1 million worth of shares.

“We are confident in our ability to generate significant cash flow moving forward,” Blanchard said.

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(c)2019 The Oklahoman

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Houston’s EnCap sells shale assets to Kimbell for more than $150M [Houston Chronicle]

Feb. 08–Houston private equity firm EnCap Investments is unloading more than 12,000 acres of oil and gas royalties to Kimbell Royalty Partners in an all-stock deal worth more than $150 million.

EnCap is acquiring a stake in Fort Worth-based Kimbell, which went public two years ago, by boosting Kimbell’s total net royalty acreage position by almost 10 percent.

Kimbell said the oil and gas royalty acreage acquired in the deal is primarily in South Texas’Eagle Ford shale, West Texas’ booming Permian Basin, the Haynesville shale in Texas and Louisiana, and in the emerging Powder River Basin in Wyoming.

Rapidly-growing Kimbell said the deal includes about 1,600 barrels of oil equivalent of daily production that will keep rising because 17 rigs are actively drilling on the combined acreage.

“This acquisition kicks off what we believe will be another year of consolidation within the oil and gas mineral and royalty space in the U.S.,” said Kimbell Chief Executive Bob Ravnaas.

Kimball has nearly quadrupled its oil and gas production since going public, he said, with royalty interests in about 95,000 wells nationwide.

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(c)2019 the Houston Chronicle

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Baker Hughes lands equipment contract with Golden Pass LNG [Houston Chronicle]

Feb. 08Houston oil field service company Baker Hughes has landed an equipment deal for Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum’s $10 billion Golden Pass LNG export terminal.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but Baker Hughes confirmed on Thursday that the company will supply six heavy-duty gas turbines 12 centrifugal compressors to the liquefied natural gas export terminal.

With construction expected to start over the next few weeks, Baker Hughes reported that Golden Pass LNG will be using six of the company’s MS7001 EA turbines, which are already in use at 77 LNG production units in 13 nations.

“We are proud to be working with Golden Pass on this innovative LNG project,” Baker Hughes Turbomachinery & Process Solutions President & CEO Rod Christie said in a statement. “Today’s announcement builds on our 30-year-plus track record of delivering high-availability and reliable LNG technology, with low total cost of operations.”

Located near the mouth of the Sabine River about 10 miles south of Port Arthur, the Golden Pass LNG export terminal will include three production units, known as trains, that will produce a combined 16 million metric tons of LNG per year.

Golden Pass LNG is the latest liquefied natural gas export project to reach a final investment decision.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry hosted a Tuesday morning signing ceremony in Washington D.C. for executives with Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum.

Originally developed as an LNG import terminal in October 2010, record natural gas production in U.S. shale plays prompted Exxon Mobil to move forward with plans to add an export terminal to the facility.

A joint venture between Houston’sMcDermott International, San Antonio’sZachry Group and Japan’sChiyoda International will serve as general contractors for the export terminal project.

Construction is expected to begin over the next few weeks and be completed in 2024. The project is expected to generate 9,000 construction jobs over five years. Once in operation, the facility is will employ 200 people full-time.

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(c)2019 the Houston Chronicle

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Enbridge gets green light to put Valley Crossing Pipeline into service [Houston Chronicle]

Feb. 08–Federal regulators have given Enbridge the green light to put the company’s Valley Crossing Pipeline into service.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a Thursday order giving the company permission to put the cross-border natural gas pipeline into service.

Designed to move 2.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, the 165-mile pipeline begins near the Agua Dulce hub near Corpus Christi and ends under the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico just a few miles east of the mouth of the Rio Grande.

South of the Border: U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico hit new record

Infraestructura Marina del Golfo, a joint venture between TransCanada and Sempra Energy subsidiary IEnova is nearly completion on a companion project named the Sur de Texas-Tuxpan Pipeline, a project will move natural gas from the border to the Mexican state of Veracruz.

Once both pipelines are in operation, they will deliver natural gas from Texas to power plants in Mexico’s interior.

Enbridge spokesman Devin Hotzel said the Valley Crossing Pipeline has been mechanically complete since October and has been waiting for the Mexican pipeline to be completed.

Infraestructura Marina del Golfo recently informed Enbridge that crews on the Mexican side of the border are nearing project completion and expect to begin testing and other commissioning activities in mid-February.

“Valley Crossing Pipeline is ready to transport gas to the interconnect with Marina to aid in commissioning,” Hotzel said.

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