ExxonMobil has bought regional natural gas drillers Philips Resources and TWP in a $1.7 billion deal.
Dr. Kent Moors of Duquesne University’s Institute for Energy and the Environment says he’s not surprised by the acquisition, because big energy companies have already bought several small, local drillers.
Moors says purchases like this prove a couple of things.
“First, there is a movement from oil to natural gas. Natural gas will comprise a greater percentage of what it is these major companies actually drill, and a greater percentage of their bottom line,” says Moors. “And secondly, it makes more sense, especially for these large companies, to acquire somebody that already has experience doing it.”
The Duquesne professor says large companies want to avoid lawsuits, so they may put more resources into avoiding environmental mishaps than a smaller company might.
President Kathryn Klaber of the Marcellus Shale Coalition says the purchase shows the natural gas formation’s “transformative power” for Pennsylvania. She says investment from international companies can mean only good things for the region.