Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify the nature of assets Diversified Energy acquires and operates.

Diversified Energy Co.’s share prices on the New York Stock Exchange have been on the decline following a request for well retirement and emissions information from four Democratic members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Diversified shares on the NYSE fell to $15.20 on Dec. 20 after closing at $16.33 on Dec. 19. The stock remained under pressure on the afternoon of Dec. 21, falling below $14 per share. Diversified also trades on the London Stock Exchange, where its performance from similar slump before showing signs of recovery on Dec. 21.

Diversified Energy’s business model involves buying existing, producing assets and operating them until they are plugged at their end of life.

In 2022, the E&P bought three plugging and abandonment (P&A) companies to plug its depleted wells and extend plugging services to outside parties. The company says its NextLvl Energy subsidiary is the largest plugging company in Appalachia and has plugged more than 400 wells in the past two years. 

Addressed to Rusty Huston, co-founder and CEO of Diversified, the letter said that while Diversified is “responsible for remediating a substantial share of the country’s oil and gas wells,” there is a growing concern over the company’s ability to cover well clean-up costs, citing plugging cost estimation discrepancies between Diversified and previous well owners.

The letter also claimed Diversified’s accounting practices do not ensure environmental liabilities are taken care of, making it “highly unlikely that Diversified Energy will have adequate funds to clean up all of its marginal wells when they should be retired.”

In Diversified’s Dec. 19 response, the company said it would review the letter, but countered that the information request cited a 2021 media report “that broadly speculated and inaccurately described numerous items.”