EQT 2Q13: Welcome to the Marcellus “1 Bcf/d Club”

1 Bcf/d ClubEQT has distinguished itself by becoming the second Marcellus Shale driller to join the “1 billion cubic feet per day club” in Marcellus Shale gas production. Cabot Oil & Gas was the first member (see Who’s a Member of the Marcellus “1 Bcf/d” Club?). EQT had a tremendous second quarter, as reported in their 2Q13 update issued yesterday. Marcellus production was up an astonishing 111% from 2Q12.

A few more facts and figures from yesterday’s update: in 2Q13, EQT started to drill (or “spud”) 41 Marcellus wells; they completed three Utica wells with one of them going online for sales of gas; and EQT spud eight Upper Devonian wells (completing four of them), with plans to drill up to 22 UD wells this year…
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EQT 4th Driller to Target Upper Devonian Shale Layer

EQT has become the fourth Marcellus/Utica driller (that we’re aware of) to target the Upper Devonian Shale, a shale layer that sits a few hundred feet above the Marcellus Shale layer. The other three drillers are Rex Energy, Range Resources, and CONSOL Energy (see New Shale Layer Above the Marcellus Yields Positive Results). EQT already has eight Upper Devonian wells (four of them completed) with plans to drill up to 22 Upper Devonian wells this year, according to CEO David Porges on an investors call yesterday…
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PA Supreme Court to PUC: Knock Off the Zoning Reviews (for Now)

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court issued a ruling quashing (stopping) the state Public Utility Commission from carrying out some of its duties as specified under PA’s 2012 Marcellus Shale Act 13 law–duties tied to Act 13’s zoning provisions. It is a small and perhaps short-lived victory for the towns who had sued the PUC asking for relief from the PUC’s reviews of their zoning laws. It is a short-lived victory for the towns because the Supreme Court is due to decide on Act 13’s zoning provisions soon, so this decision is in effect until that bigger (and final) decision is made.

That’s the news. Now, to bring you up to speed on the background of this case and what yesterday’s decision means…
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Risky Business – OH Landowner Group Wants to Lease Sans Lawyer

A Utica Shale landowner group in Muskingum County, OH with 90,000 acres available for lease has embarked on a risky venture. They want to strike a deal on behalf of their members to lease property for $5,000 per acre and 20% royalties. Certainly no problem with that–sounds like a fair deal in a “wet gas” area like Muskingum County, OH. The group is asking the Muskingum County Commissioners to not shop county land below that asking price (something that happened in neighboring Coshocton County) as that would undercut their bargaining power. We also have no problem with that–sounds like a smart strategy.

However, the landowner group wants to cut a deal with a driller without the help of attorneys. Attorneys typically take a small per-acre fee in return for their legal guidance on very complicated oil and gas drilling contract law. You can be sure the driller drawing up a lease agreement has an army of attorneys working on it–so why would you willingly disadvantage yourself by not using one too? It comes down to money…
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New CLEANER Act for Drilling Waste has a Dirty Purpose

Pennsylvania Congressman Matthew Cartwright, Democrat – 17th District, has just introduced a new bill in the House of Representatives: the Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion of Regulations (CLEANER) Act. The way Democrats euphomize the titles of their proposed bills is funny–torturing the language to make it sound like something it’s not. We’d like to propose our own legislation: Stop Torturing Us People In Democrat Idiotic Talkative Yammering (STUPIDITY).

This latest travesty–the CLEANER Act–perpetuates the lie that somehow oil and gas drilling have been inappropriately “exempted” from federal laws that apply to other industries. In this case, anti-drillers maintain oil and gas drilling have been inappropriately exempted from the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 via legislation passed in 1980. To put oil and gas drilling under RCRA’s purview now would be to reclassify drilling waste as toxic waste (similar to nuclear waste), requiring very strict tracking and disposal regulations that go far beyond the actual hazard posed by oil and gas drilling waste. The CLEANER bill is unnecessary and its purpose is to make drilling uneconomic–i.e. to stop it.
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Cabot’s Marcellus Marketing Plan / Slidedeck

As MDN pointed out yesterday, Cabot Oil & Gas continues to shine in Susquehanna County, PA’s Marcellus Shale, with production up 52% from 2012 for the second quarter (see Cabot Continues to Shine in Susquehanna County Marcellus). As part of their reporting this week, Cabot released a slide deck called “Marcellus Marketing Supplementary Materials.” We’ve embedded it below. There’s a very interesting pipeline map and several charts discussing the region’s capacity to move gas to market–well worth a glance if you have an interest in the Marcellus in northeastern PA.

A hat-tip to MDN reader and contributor Chris Acker for alerting us to these slides. Here they are:
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