Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that EnCap Energy Capital Fund XI, L.P.’s proposed $1.445 billion acquisition of EP Energy Corp. would eliminate head-to-head competition between two of only four significant producers and otherwise harm competition for the sale of Uinta Basin waxy crude oil to Salt Lake City refiners.
EnCap Energy Capital Fund XI, L.P. is a private equity fund headquartered in Texas, which operates multiple portfolio companies involved in the exploration, production, transmission, marketing, and sale of energy, particularly oil and gas. EP Energy Corp., also headquartered in Texas, had oil and natural gas production operations in the Uinta Basin in Utah and in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas.
Under the terms of the final settlement, EnCap is required to divest EP’s business and assets in Utah to Crescent Energy Company. Crescent is an experienced operator in crude oil and natural gas production, and it will be a new competitor in the Uinta Basin.
First announced in March 2022, the complaint alleged that Salt Lake City refiners would likely have faced increased prices for Uinta Basin waxy crude oil, whether from EnCap alone, or as part of a small group, and would likely have tried to pass on those costs to consumers. According to the complaint, unremedied, the acquisition would have increased the likelihood of collusion or coordination among the remaining competitors in the Uinta Basin.
The Commission vote to approve the final order was 5-0.