EQT Dumps Marcellus Drilling, Concentrates on the Utica in 2016

just been dumpedIn addition to releasing their third quarter 2015 results yesterday, the top brass from EQT also held an analyst phone call. On that call we got updated details from EQT’s president of exploration and production, Steven Schlotterbeck, about the single highest initial-producing Utica Shale well ever drilled, EQT’s Scotts Run 591340. We also heard from Steve about two more Utica wells they’re currently drilling–one in Greene County, PA (about five miles from the Scott’s Run well), and one in Wetzel County, WV. But the big news from yesterday’s call came from EQT CEO David Porges. He said EQT has decided to suspend drilling in central PA and in the Upper Devonian–anyplace outside of their “core” Utica locations. Essentially, EQT is giving up on the Marcellus (for now) and going after the Utica instead. This is certainly big news and affects landowners in Marcellus-only areas–pretty much any place outside of southwest PA and the northern panhandle of WV. Porges says IF the Utica pans out as expected, it will be bigger than the Marcellus production-wise over time. EQT’s current thinking is that they will trim their drilling program to concentrate on drilling 10-15 Utica wells in 2016…
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Southwestern Energy 3Q15: Production Up 27%, Net Loss of $1.8B

stop the bleedingYesterday Southwestern Energy Company, one of the the major players in the Marcellus Shale, posted its third quarter 2015 earnings and operational update. In many ways Southwestern is one of the most exciting companies drilling in the northeast. A year ago Southwestern purchased 413,000 acres and 435 operating and non-operating wells from Chesapeake Energy in the southwestern portion of the Marcellus for $5.4 billion (see Chesapeake Sells Close to 25% of Marcellus/Utica Operation). Early this year they picked up 46,700 acres and 63 operational wells from WPX Energy in the northeastern part of the play for $300 million (see WPX Finalizes Sale of NEPA Marcellus Leases/Wells to Southwestern). Then the company did something virtually no other company has done in 2015–they INCREASED their drilling program in the Marcellus (see Southwestern’s Contrarian Plan: Double Down on Drilling in the Marcellus). Has it paid off? Time will tell. We can tell you that the company is producing more natural gas than ever–130 billion cubic feet equivalent per day in the Marcellus/Utica. Put another way, that’s 1.4 Bcf/d, each and every day. We have plenty of details on their drilling program below. However, on the financial side, whereas the company made $211 million in net income in 3Q14, they lost $1.766 billion in 3Q15. That kind of bleeding will have to stop…
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Cabot O&G 3Q15: Production Up a Little, Profits Down a Little

not too shabbyCabot Oil & Gas, one of the best-performing Marcellus Shale drillers in the entire play, issued their third quarter 2015 update today. They did pretty well all things considered. The company reports a slight increase in production of 7% year over year. However, the even the mighty Cabot can’t overcome wicked low prices for natural gas in northeastern Pennsylvania–the lowest in the country. Cabot made just over $100 million in profit in 3Q14. This year? They lost $15 million–which ain’t all that shabby compared to just about every other driller in the northeast. By comparison Southwestern, with more acreage and a larger drilling program, lost $1.8 billion in 3Q15. Yikes! Here’s the update issued today by Cabot…
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EQT 3Q15: Production Up 27%, Net Loss of $50M

good news bad newsEQT published their third quarter 2015 financials and operating update yesterday. Like Southwestern and other Marcellus/Utica drillers releasing their updates, EQT shows good news, like an increase in production (27% higher in 3Q15 than in 3Q14). However, there’s also the bad news: EQT got 55% less money for their gas in 3Q15 than they did a year ago. Consequently it shows up in the bottom line. In 3Q14 EQT had a $77 million profit, in 3Q15 they had a $50 million loss. Here’s the full update with select financials…
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Patterson-UTI 3Q15: $226M Loss, But Not as Bad as it Seems

not as bad as it seemsPatterson-UTI Energy is an oilfield services company, running in the same circles as Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes. We previously reported the hammering oilfield services companies have been getting in the market. Not only are energy companies drilling less (laying rigs down), energy companies are pressuring oilfield services companies–the companies that do the actual drilling and fracking–to lower their prices. Less work and lower money for the work you’re doing has taken it’s toll. However, these companies are handling the downturn in different ways. Patterson-UTI, like several of its competitors, lost money in 3Q15–but Patterson’s loss cut much deeper (and makes us wonder if it’s ripe for a takeover). Let us explain…
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Details for 7 Major Pipeline Projects in PA

updatePart of the ongoing hit series in the Democrat-owned Harrisburg Patriot-News that attempts to smear the Marcellus industry (see Harrisburg Newspaper’s Attack Series on Marcellus Exposed) includes a few articles where overwhelming bias is left behind. Must be one honest editor in the bowels of Patriot-News somewhere. As part of a much longer so-so article about pipeline projects in PA, the “reporter” inserts a laundry list of some of the biggest projects and where they stand…
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XTO Criminal Trial for Accident Spill in PA Delayed Until 2016

government shakedownNot long after she took office, Pennsylvania’s Democrat Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, brought criminal charges against XTO Energy for an accidental spill in Lycoming County, PA that happened two years before she was in office (see PA AG Abuses Her Authority, Files Criminal Charges Against XTO). Kane herself will likely soon be forcibly removed from office because she lied under oath, a criminal offense called perjury, and has now lost her license to practice law (see End is Near: PA AG Kane’s Law License Suspended by Supreme Court). The last we heard anything about Kane’s sham case against XTO is that Democrat Lycoming County Judge Marc Lovecchio refused to dismiss the charges against XTO in April (see Democrat County Judge Rules PA AG’s Case Against XTO Can Proceed). We have a development to report. XTO has been trying to work out a deal with the AG’s office to make this asinine criminal charge go away. You can be sure it involves lots of money (a government shakedown of XTO). So XTO has filed a continuance request, pushing the trial off until 2016. The judge granted the request because XTO says “meaningful discussion$” have been held, which means a trial may be avoided altogether…
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Expensive Audit Tells PGW to Buy More PA Shale Gas to Save Money

consultant moneyHere’s a thought: Why doesn’t the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) convert more of the gas it buys to take gas from the nearby Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale and dump buying gas from the Gulf Coast–because PA’s gas is closer and much cheaper, it will result in lower costs for PGW and lower bills for consumers. Now, where do we go to collect our $1.5 million consulting fee for that fine idea? The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission contracted with Michigan consulting firm Schumaker & Company, Inc. to perform a top to bottom audit of the PGW. While we don’t know how much the audit cost, we did find a 2008 proposal from Schumaker to New York State touting the same kind of audit, with a total price tag (back then) of $1.3 million. So we figured with a little inflation the audit just turned in by Schumaker must have run at least $1.5M. The chief, number one suggestion by Schumaker? PGW can save $6-$7 million a year by buying more of its gas (60% more) from the Marcellus Shale region, upping it from the current 33% they buy from the Marcellus now. Maybe we should get into the consulting business. Sure pays better than blogging!…
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States Gear Up to Fight Obama’s Illegal Clean Power Plan in Court

see you in courtIn August our Dear Leader, Barack Hussein Obama, introduced his latest edict called the Clean Power Plan. The plan uses the federal Environmental Protection Agency to completely eliminate coal-fired electric plants, and greatly diminish natural gas-fired electric plants (see Obama Stabs Natural Gas Electric Plants in Clean Power Plan). It is the latest in a long line of illegal presidential edicts coming from the Obamadroids. In short order 15 states sued the federal government to stop this madness (see Ohio and 15 Other States Ask EPA to Delay Clean Power Plan). But a federal court refused to allow the implementation to happen while the lawsuit grinds through its process (see Minor Setback: Fed Court Tells States “No Delay, Yet” re Obama CPP). Planning for implementation is now underway and an EPA flack spoke to the press to share how pleasantly surprised she is that most states are completely docile and willing to be screwed this way. With the final printing of the rule in the Federal Register today, states will now have up to 60 days to file new lawsuits to stop it. You can bet your bottom dollar they will…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Oct 23, 2015

best of the restThe “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: MSC’s Spigelmyer says to regulate for the “right reasons”; more PA impact fee money flows to local towns; Moundsville power plant promises better communication; headhunter finds the bright side of 200K layoffs in oil & gas; and more!
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