CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) and its Marcellus shale joint venture partner, Noble Energy Inc., intend to form a master limited partnership (MLP) to provide midstream gathering services for production from their jointly owned acreage in the Marcellus shale play.
In furtherance of that intention, CONSOL and Noble Energy have caused a draft registration statement on Form S-1 to be confidentially submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering of common units of the MLP. The offering is expected to be completed late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Following the closing of the initial public offering, CONSOL and Noble Energy will control the general partner of the MLP, which will own the incentive distribution rights, and will collectively own a majority of the limited partner interests of the MLP.
CONSOL and Noble Energy's 50/50 joint venture, CONE Gathering LLC, is anticipated to own the general partner of the MLP, which would retain incentive distribution rights and a majority of the MLP's common units. The number of common units to be offered and the price range for the offering will be determined prior to the commencement of the offering, which would occur following the review period with the SEC.
A decision to proceed with this potential offering will be subject to an assessment of various market and other conditions, as well as authorization from Noble Energy’s board of directors.