More Trouble for EXCO Resources – NYSE Threatens to De-List Stock

trouble ahead signEXCO Resources is an exploration and production company (an E&P or what we refer to as a “driller”) operating in East Texas/North Louisiana (the Haynesville Shale), South Texas (the Eagle Ford Shale), and in the Marcellus Shale region–in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. EXCO has a sizable Marcellus presence with 145,000 net acres in the Marcellus and having drilled and operating 124 horizontal Marcellus wells. They’re also a company facing stiff challenges. Last December the company suspended paying dividends on their stock–never a good sign (see EXCO Resources Suspends Dividend Payments to Shareholders). EXCO’s major investor, Bluescape, installed a new CEO and COO along with new board members in April (see Bluescape Pulls Strings Installs New CEO, COO at EXCO Resources). EXCO suspended their Marcellus drilling program earlier this year, until further notice (see EXCO Resources Continues Marcellus Drilling Moratorium in 1Q15). And not to throw salt into the wound, but EXCO appears on both Debtwire’s “Distressed Watchlist” (see 4 Marcellus Companies Debut on Debtwire’s Distressed Watchlist) and on David Fessler’s “The Oil Company Death List” (see 19 Oil/Gas Companies on “Death List” – 8 are in Marcellus/Utica). The latest evidence that EXCO is a company in trouble: the New York Stock Exchange sent the company a notice that EXCO’s stock is in “noncompliance” with listing standards and they have six months to get the stock price up–or the company’s stock will be pulled from the venerable NYSE and relegated to penny stock status, trading on the Pink Sheets…
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Alpha Natural Resources in Bankruptcy – What about Marcellus?

Virginia-based coal miner Alpha Natural Resources Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday. Thank you President Obama for driving yet another coal company into bankruptcy. But the story doesn’t end there. Alpha is not going anywhere–not yet any way. And there is an important tie-in with the natural gas industry. Alpha is also a driller in the Marcellus Shale–drilling on its own land and as part of a joint venture with Rice Energy. What does the Alpha bankruptcy mean for its Marcellus drilling program?…
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Small Group Shows Up to Speak Against NED Pipeline in Dracut, MA

If you were to glance at the headline and first graf (“paragraph” for those not in the publishing industry where we use a lot of lingo) of a story in the liberal Lowell (Massachusetts) Sun, you would think there is a huge, crushing, mammoth, tidal wave (!) of opposition to Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline project–certainly by people in the Dracut, MA area and possibly by almost every MA citizen in the commonwealth with the exception of a few freakish conservatives who may happen to still live in the state. The headline in yesterday’s issue blares: “In Dracut, public unloads on gas pipeline plan.” The first graf details all of the nightmares that will come true if the pipeline is built: “From the impact on crop yields and watersheds to diminishing property values and the demise of the eastern brook trout, elected officials and citizens from across the commonwealth aired their concerns about the proposed Kinder Morgan natural-gas pipeline before a state regulatory board Monday night.” It’s not til near the end of the second graf you discover there were maybe 100 people who showed up to the meeting–and since it’s a liberal rag with a tendency to inflate the numbers, that means there were actually 50-75 people who showed up to gripe and moan about the pipeline…
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Columbia Pipeline 2Q15: Investing $1.2B in NE Projects This Year

We don’t often or usually report on quarterly earnings/operational updates for pipeline companies since most of them operate across large parts of the country and they usually don’t break down their operations in their updates by region. But this one is different. Columbia Pipeline Group is the newly minted, completely independent company that was formerly a subsidiary of NiSource but now stands on its own two feet (see NiSource/Columbia Pipeline Divorce is Final). We believe it’s accurate to say that most of Columbia’s operations are concentrated in the Marcellus/Utica region. So we bring you a portion of their second quarter 2015 earnings/operations update below. Among the highlights: Columbia is on track to invest approximately $1.2 billion during 2015 and expects to triple its net investment level (over $3B!) by 2020–much of that dedicated to projects in the Marcellus/Utica…
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PA DEP Sec Quigley’s Own Committee Appointees Turn Against Him

Looks like the PennFuture Secretary of the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection, John Quigley, didn’t get exactly what he wanted with new appointments to the new Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee (COGAC). You may recall that Quigley, in an unprecedented move, fired all of the members of the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board (TAB) and in its place created a new TAB and a second, new group–COGAC (see Why did PA DEP Acting Sec Quigley Mass Fire Gas Advisory Board?). We speculated he was packing both boards with yes men and women–but it turns out the members of COGAC aren’t saluting the chief. The purpose in having two boards is to represent the different interests of shale drillers (TAB) and traditional, much smaller “mom and pop” conventional drillers (COGAC). New drilling regulations are about to be imposed on both conventional and unconventional (shale) drillers. Conventional drillers have said, for years, that many of the rules applied to shale drillers should not apply to them because it is a vastly different extraction process. The voting members of the new COGAC have weighed in and told Quigley, in a letter, that they will not support the rules he intends to release in late August. In fact, they outright oppose those rules as applied to conventional drillers. Quigley has said, as he typically does, “screw you” in so many words…
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Brookings LNG Report: An Assessment of U.S. Natural Gas Exports

The nonpartisan Washington, DC-based think tank the Brookings Institution recently released the fourth in a series of briefings by the Energy Security and Climate Initiative at Brookings on developments in the natural gas market. This latest research report (or “brief”), titled “An Assessment of U.S. Natural Gas Exports” (full copy below), provides an overview of regulations in the U.S. that control LNG exports, along with an assessment of how competitive the U.S. is compared with other suppliers emerging worldwide. Interestingly, the Brookings report points out a little known fact: “Although U.S. natural gas export regulation may be cumbersome and the trajectory expensive, to date not a single project has been rejected”…
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Obama Stabs Natural Gas Electric Plants in Clean Power Plan

backstabberYesterday our glorious Dear Leader, Barack Hussein Obama, made his final push for total (clean) dictatorial power. And since Republicans in Congress have lost their courage and their way, he’s likely to achieve it. Yesterday the Obama administration unveiled its Communist Clean Power Plan, a plan that illegally violates just about every Constitutional freedom we have left in this country. You see, our Dear Leader believes in the fairy tale of man-made global warming–even though it doesn’t exist. And he’s using that belief to not only screw the coal industry, he’s also using it to screw the shale energy industry too. Surprised? We aren’t. We’ve told you for years that Obama’s actions speak much louder than his words when it comes to shale energy–of his lack of support for shale energy. Now his words are matching his actions. Obama abandoned his words of support for natural gas in unveiling his so-called Clean Power Plan that will result in not only coal powered electric generating plants closing in large numbers–but will also put natural gas fired plants on the endangered list too. Lord Obama now touts so-called renewable energy only. No more talk about using natural gas as a bridge fuel. That’s verboten. Instead of letting the free market choose which power source it wants for energy, Lord Obama has made the decision for us. Sieg heil, Obama!…
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Antis Use Their Own Children as Cheap Props at FERC Hearing in NH

A picture truly is worth a thousand words, as the old saying goes. So let’s show you a picture and see what you think (view it below). It is a picture of young children tricked out in “Stop the Pipeline” yellow shirts and red Stop the Pipeline hats–sitting on the floor playing with toys at a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hearing in southern New Hampshire last week. Two hearings were held to gather public comments on Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline. As they usually do, anti-fossil fuelers turned the hearings into freak shows–using (we’d call it abusing) children as props. We ask: Who would do something like that to their own children? Why would you brazenly use your own child as a cheap prop in a sleazy attempt to gain attention and sympathy for a political viewpoint? How low can you go?…
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