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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

EnerVest Faces FBI Investigation for Alleged Lease Fraud in Ohio

From the Wall Street Journal:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into an eastern Ohio landowner’s claims that oil-and-gas investment firm EnerVest Ltd. sold valuable shale-drilling rights on his property that should have been his to sell, according to people familiar with the matter. 
The probe follows allegations made against EnerVest in a more than two-year-old civil case filed in Ohio’s Guernsey County, where drilling into the prolific Utica Shale has made the state one of the country’s top energy producers. 
The case involves EnerVest as well as Ascent Resources LLC, a company started by the late oilman Aubrey McClendon and two big investment firms, which has delayed plans to drill the property because of the dispute. 
Ascent has become one of the country’s top natural-gas producers by drilling one gusher after another in eastern Ohio; it is preparing for an initial public stock offering or sale that could value the company at more than $3.5 billion. It acquired rights to drill some of the landowner’s property from EnerVest in 2013 and started the civil case when it sued landowner Matt Crislip for access to the property in 2015.
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