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Shale Mogul’s $975 million from BP

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Daniel Rice stands to receive about $975 million in cash from the sale of Archaea Energy, a renewable gas giant he helped create from a blank check company, according to Bloomberg’s calculations based on company filings.

Rice, 41, is one of the self-described “shalennial” brothers who took the reins of EQT Corp, the largest driller of natural gas in the US, after a proxy fight in 2019.

In 2020, he raised $237 million through the initial public offering of a special purpose acquisition company, which then acquired and combined producers of so-called renewable natural gas to form Archaea.

Renewable gas, which can include things like landfill gas or biogas from animal waste, captures methane before it enters the atmosphere as a far more powerful global warming agent than carbon dioxide. It’s seen as a cleaner alternative to conventional gas even as it still emits CO2 when burnt.

BP has agreed to pay $26 per share of Archaea as part of a $4.1 billion acquisition announced Monday, October 17.

Rice, chairman of Archaea’s board and architect of the transaction that created the company, has direct ownership of more than 37.5 million shares of the renewable natural gas producer, according to an April proxy statement. The company declined to comment on the calculation.

Rice was chief executive officer of Rice Energy Inc, a shale explorer his family built from scratch, when it was bought by EQT Corp. to form the largest US gas driller in 2017. Rice has a seat on the board of EQT, where his brother Toby is the CEO.

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