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Deloitte's new energy lead, a $7.4B deal, and more things to know this week

Here are three things to know in Houston energy transition news. Photo via Getty Images

Editor's note: It's a new week — start it strong with three quick things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition: a roundup of events not to miss, a Houston energy executive to know, and more.

Incoming: Deloitte names new head of energy, chemicals practice

Teresa Thomas was named vice chair and national sector leader for energy and chemicals at Deloitte. She takes over the role from Amy Chronis, partner at Deloitte LLP, who will continue to serve within the energy and chemicals practice until her retirement in June 2024.

"I am fortunate to have worked in the energy and chemicals industry for most of my career, and I'm honored to continue working with companies that are playing a pivotal role in powering progress and purpose," Thomas says in a news release. "Our industry is at the epicenter of the energy transition that can fuel tremendous potential for society, and I'm excited to be leading during this important and transformational time."

Last year, Chronis announced her retirement from Deloitte, and the company named Melinda Yee as the incoming Houston managing partner at Deloitte, a role Chronis held in addition to the title of vice chair and US energy and chemicals leader. Chronis is slated to retire in June 2024, and Yee's new role became effective this month. Read more.

Events not to miss

Put these Houston-area energy-related events on your calendar.

  • Energy Underground's January meeting is on January 18 at noon at the Esperson Building. Register.
  • The Houston Oil and Gas Executive Leadership Summit is an meeting of executives, policymakers, academics, and other professionals with a particular interest related to energy. The event is January 25 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston. Register.
  • Future of Energy Summit is Tuesday, February 6, at AC Hotel by Marriott Houston Downtown. Register.
  • The De Lange Conference, taking place February 9 and 10 at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, is centered around the theme “Brave New Worlds: Who Decides? Research, Risk and Responsibility” this year. Register.

Really big deal: Southwestern Energy to combine with Chesapeake in $7.4B deal

Chesapeake Energy and Southwestern Energy are combining in a $7.4 billion all-stock deal to form one of the biggest natural gas producers in the U.S.

The transaction, valued at $6.69 per share, will create a company that has large scale acreage in the Appalachia region and Haynesville, Louisiana. It has current net production of approximately 7.9 Bcfe/d with more than 5,000 gross locations and 15 years of inventory.

“The world is short energy and demand for our products is growing, both in the U.S. and overseas," Chesapeake CEO Nick Dell’Osso said in a prepared statement Thursday. "We will be positioned to deliver more natural gas at a lower cost, accelerating America’s energy reach and fueling a more affordable, reliable, and lower carbon future." Read more.

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A View From HETI

Greentown Labs announced it's receiving a percentage of Prithvi Ventures' proceeds. Photo courtesy of Greentown Labs

Effective immediately, Greentown Labs, which has locations in Houston and Somerville, Massachusetts, is benefitting from funds raised by an investment group.

Greentown Labs, a nonprofit climatetech incubator, announced its partnership with New York-based Prithvi Ventures, a firm that specializes in early-stage climatetech. The unique partnership includes Prithvi Ventures donating "a percentage of proceeds received from its Fund 1 and Fund 2 to Greentown on a quarterly basis, in perpetuity," per Greentown's news release. The exact percentage was not disclosed.

“There’s an understanding in sports that the best teams always take responsibility and accountability for their own and look out for each other—that the members of the team are a reflection of the franchise,” says Kunal Sethi, founder and general partner at Prithvi Ventures. “I have always believed the same to be true in venture, too.

"Founders should know their supporters, team, and cap tables inside and out. It matters who you surround yourself with and Greentown Labs is always the first name that comes up for me," he continues. "Every founder in climatetech should work with them or they’re missing out on so much.”

Prithvi Ventures already has a handful Greentown member companies in its investment portfolio, including Carbon Upcycling, Mars Materials, Nth Cycle, and Rheom Materials. The firm has invested in 30 companies total, and aims to lead rounds, preferring to be the first large check for the startups it invests in.

“We are delighted to deepen our relationship with Prithvi Ventures and are grateful for their ongoing support,” Aisling Carlson, senior vice president of partnerships at Greentown Labs, says in the statement. “Through this new partnership, Prithvi Ventures and its limited partners are setting an example for how the venture community can more directly support the incubators and accelerators working to catalyze climatetech innovation and entrepreneurship.”

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