EPIC Midstream

HOUSTON, Aug 15 (Reuters) – EPIC Midstream Holdings Inc on Thursday shipped its first crude on its 400,000 barrel per day (bpd) pipeline from the Permian Basin to the U.S. Gulf Coast, pushing Midland prices higher, traders said.

Terminal operator Moda Midstream LLC confirmed it would be accepting the Permian crude from the EPIC line at its facility in Ingleside, Texas, by Friday. Oil prices in Midland, the heart of the Permian shale field, rallied to 50 cents per barrel over U.S. crude futures.


ESG is becoming the cornerstone to how some endowments and foundations invest.  For many, the investing funnel starts at ESG and then narrows at relative value.

Sectors tend to be scored relative to other sectors.  Within sectors, companies are scored relative to their peers.  The energy sector, for instance, doesn’t score well in E or S outright but the E&Ps that are efficient in water usage and have good safety records get scored higher relative to their peers.  G is typically a layup for most large cap companies with proper risk controls and diversification of ownership.

Governance matters to insitutional investors.


The boom in responsible investing worldwide throws up a key question for borrowers, fund managers and index compilers: How exactly do you evaluate and compare responsible investments? A whole industry has grown up to try to provide answers. It looks beyond financial performance to score companies and investments on criteria including their environmental friendliness, social impact and governance — shorthanded as ESG. ESG ratings are increasingly taken into account in decisions on where to invest or allocate capital. But there’s debate over whether they can truly buffer against financial risk or even act as a guide to better-performing investments.

1. What are ESG ratings?

They help companies, investors and other finance professionals factor environmental, social and governance criteria into their decisions. They can help gauge whether a company is a global citizen, or how well it’s handling risks with potentially costly consequences. A rating can cover a long list of diverse factors including carbon emissions, water usage, gender equality, fair labor practices, human rights, crime-prevention controls, board composition and shareholder rights. There’s no single method for scoring or ranking companies. Some ratings companies rely on analysts, while others focus on quantitative information or company-provided data. They can analyze a company or fund for how transparently it reports such issues, or how well it stacks up against competitors or its own performance over time.

TPL 2.0 : Investor Preferences

Investor Preferences in C-Corp Conversion:

  1. No dilution.  Share issuance of any kind should be prohibited in the corporate charter.  Any changes to this policy should require a significant majority vote. 
  2. Share repurchases should remain the primary method of returning capital.
    1. If a dividend is necessary, it should be regular and consistent.
  3. Board members, including originating board members, must be voted upon by shareholders.  Board terms should be of reasonable length.
  4. Board should be of reasonable size so as to function healthily at all times. Independent directors should outnumber executive members. 
  5. Remain in “business of going out of business”.  Primary duty of corporation is return of capital via royalty collections and asset sales.
    1. State limitations on additional business activity such as new business ventures and additional land/royally acquisitions.  
  6. Executives shall be required to purchase shares via dedicated cash compensation and/or company loans to ensure that shareholder and management incentives are aligned.  Executives should be required to attain and maintain some material level of ownership. 
  7. Executive compensation should be simple and oriented towards long term results.
  8. Stock shall be split regularly so as to facilitate liquidity for repurchases.
  9. Transparency in reporting of results and material events should be commensurate with those expected of a $5B+ publicly traded corporation.
  10. Corporation must hold an annual meetings and be regularly open to investor communcation.
  11. NO DEBT!

The list above was kept short deliberately.  Spin-offs, head count, and other business decisions (in my opinion) should be the responsibility of directors and management with interests and incentives that are aligned with those of shareholders (TPL 2.0).

Update 6/22/20:  This post was originally written on 8/11/19.  Almost a year later we have some clarity on the board makeup.  Looks like a win and a loss.  Highlighted above.

Friday Night Lights

Nothing like a late summer Friday afternoon 8-k.

These guys are getting paid. I like that they have to buy shares though. Can’t wait to see the details of the new equity compensation plan.

Nice parachute in there too.

On August 8, 2019, Texas Pacific Land Trust (the “Trust”) entered into employment agreements (the “Agreements”) with Tyler Glover, its General Agent and Chief Executive Officer (the “Glover Agreement”) and Robert Packer, its General Agent and Chief Financial Officer (the “Packer Agreement”). The Agreements are effective as of July 1, 2019. Pursuant to the Agreements, Mr. Glover will continue to serve as General Agent and Chief Executive Officer of the Trust, and Mr. Packer will continue to serve as General Agent and Chief Financial Officer of the Trust. Each officer will receive a base salary of $800,000 per annum, subject to annual review, and be eligible for an annual cash bonus of up to 300% of such base salary for achievement of specified performance targets, as established by the Nominating, Compensation and Governance Committee of the Trust. Until the Trust establishes an equity compensation plan, Mr. Glover and Mr. Packer are required to use at least 25% of their cash bonuses (net of estimated taxes) to purchase shares of the Trust’s common stock. The term of each Agreement ends on December 31, 2020, with automatic one (1) year extensions unless notice not to renew is given by either party at least 120 days prior to the relevant end date.

Banker On Board

Sameer Parasnis

Mr. Parasnis has over 20 years of financial experience, nearly 17 of which have been in banking. He has a wealth of experience advising companies in the oil and gas industry on equity capital markets, debt capital markets and strategic M&A, with a considerable focus on the Permian Basin. Prior to joining TPL, Mr. Parasnis served as a Managing Director of Stifel Financial Corporation’s oil and gas team in Houston and was instrumental in helping the firm develop its upstream investment banking advisory franchise.

2Q19 10-Q

EDGAR link

Legal and professional expenses. Legal and professional fees were $7.9 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019 compared to $0.4 million for the comparable period of 2018. The increase in legal and professional fees for the three months ended June 30, 2019 compared to 2018 is principally due to approximately $6.5 million of legal and professional fees related to the proxy contest to elect a new Trustee. 

My back of the envelope analysis continues to suggest that the water business is a drag on margins though a positive contributor to net income.

Screen Shot 2019-08-07

Other notes:

  • $155MM in cash, $68MM in receivables
  • PP&E at $85MM vs $73MM.  Virtually all water business capex.  Is is really that long lived or should it be expensed?
  • Real estate aquired up to $85MM from $58MM last quarter.  Real estate activy this quarter is stated as “for the six months ended”.  Q1 was stated as “for the three months ended.”  Makes detangling purchases in this quarter harder to do.
    • I’m guessing this is on purpose
    • For the six months ended June 30, 2019, the Trust acquired approximately 21,671 acres (Culberson, Glasscock, Loving and Reeves Counties) of land in Texas for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $74.4 million, with an average of approximately $3,434 per acre.  AND   For the six months ended June 30, 2018, the Trust acquired approximately 2,884 acres (Mitchell and Upton County) of land in Texas for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $2.7 million, with an average of approximately $924 per acre.
      • For the three months ended March 31, 2019, the Trust acquired approximately 11,702 acres (Culberson and Reeves Counties) of land in Texas for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $47.2 million, with an average of approximately $4,033 per acre.  AND For the three months ended March 31, 2018, the Trust acquired approximately 641 acres (all in Upton County) of land in Texas for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $0.8 million, with an average of approximately $1,171 per acre.
  • Looks like 658 acres were sold for $4.774MM.  $7255/acre
  • Royalty interests acquired up $1.6MM on quarter
  • 297 DUC vs 313 at the end of first quarter


Now that we are all friends again, can we restart the buybacks?

If I may be so bold, I suggest a dutch auction to get around rule 10b-18.

How does one put $150-$200MM to work in buybacks if total volume in the name is $7-10MM per day?

Any Rare Earths Under There?

WSJ: If You Want ‘Renewable Energy,’ Get Ready to Dig

A single electric-car battery weighs about 1,000 pounds. Fabricating one requires digging up, moving and processing more than 500,000 pounds of raw materials somewhere on the planet. The alternative? Use gasoline and extract one-tenth as much total tonnage to deliver the same number of vehicle-miles over the battery’s seven-year life.

When electricity comes from wind or solar machines, every unit of energy produced, or mile traveled, requires far more materials and land than fossil fuels. That physical reality is literally visible: A wind or solar farm stretching to the horizon can be replaced by a handful of gas-fired turbines, each no bigger than a tractor-trailer.

Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of nonrecyclable plastic. Solar power requires even more cement, steel and glass—not to mention other metals. Global silver and indium mining will jump 250% and 1,200% respectively over the next couple of decades to provide the materials necessary to build the number of solar panels, the International Energy Agency forecasts. World demand for rare-earth elements—which aren’t rare but are rarely mined in America—will rise 300% to 1,000% by 2050 to meet the Paris green goals. If electric vehicles replace conventional cars, demand for cobalt and lithium, will rise more than 20-fold. That doesn’t count batteries to back up wind and solar grids.

Risk/Reward in Water

Houston Chronicle: New laws could pump billions of dollars into Permian Basin’s rapidly growing water recycling industry

Probably not a space where you want to be half pregnant.

“A lot of it comes down to what level of control that the exploration and production company wants to have over water,’ Duman said. “There are extreme cases where some operators want to wash their hands clean of it and let a third-party company take care of it all. On the complete other end of the spectrum, you have companies like Pioneer Natural Resources that have their own water subsidiary that handles their volumes with dedicated resources.”

Water has become such a large business in the oilfield that it now has its own conferences. Earlier this month, hundreds of industry professionals attended the Produced Water Management Conference at the Westin Galleria in Houston where recycling was a frequent topic of conversation.

Looking ahead, the industry is ripe for consolidation. Midland oilfield water management company XRI bought the water recycling arm of Dallas-based Fountain Quail Energy Services in April. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but XRI CEO Matt Garbiel said the industry is looking to become more sustainable.

“Our customers are realizing very quickly how cost-effective our technology is compared to more costly saltwater disposal infrastructure and services,” Gabriel said. “It is an exciting time for our company to be at the forefront of reshaping water management in the energy industry through sustainable and economic water reuse solutions.”


In the 1920s, an oilfield accident near Big Lake, Texas sent billions of gallons of produced water to the surface, making the land unsuitable for vegetation and animal life. Known as the “Texon Scar,” the damage can still be seen from outer space nearly 100 years later.

“Any landowner will tell you that they’d rather have an oil spill on their land than a produced water spill,” Leyden said. “It’s much easier to clean up an oil spill. Produced water has salts and other compounds that are difficult to remove.”