Noble Energy Axes Another 45 Marcellus Jobs, 180 Jobs Companywide

cutting jobsPerhaps we now know why Noble Energy VP of exploration, Michael W. Putnam, sold a bunch of company stock last Thursday in what is called “insider selling” (see Noble Energy’s VP of Exploration Sells $224K of Company Stock). Yesterday the company announced it is cutting 45 jobs in the Marcellus Shale–and 180 jobs companywide. Ouch. MDN received the following tip from a subscriber yesterday late morning: “FYI, Noble Energy is in the midst of a possibly major layoff of their Canonsburg office today. 30-50% of the existing staff. This information came to me from friends who work there, one of whom was let go this morning. They knew about the pending layoff last week.” How many will be left working in the PA Marcellus, and how many employees will be left companywide? We have the numbers…
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PA Gathering Pipeline Draft “Recommendations” from Wolf Task Force

In May, Gov. Wolf announced the creation of a “Task Force on Pipeline Infrastructure Development” that will add an additional layer of interference by anti-drilling “environmental organizations” on where pipelines can and (preferably, from their viewpoint) can’t be laid (see Disaster on the Horizon: PA Gov Wolf Creates Pipeline Task Force). The Task Force was billed as an “unprecedented collaboration of stakeholders” from government, drillers, midstreamers, and anti-drillers (euphemistically referred to as environmentalists). Wolf and his Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary, John Quigley, appointed 48 members to the task force (see PA Gov Wolf Packs Pipeline Task Force with His Own Minions). The pipeline gang has now held four of six meetings (complete with opposition from Wolf’s kook left-wing fringe, see PA DEP Sec. Quigley Calls Pipeline Protesters “Badly Misinformed”), and some 12 working groups have (yes) done some work. Yesterday the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force issued a draft report that they plan to officially submit to the governor and the legislature in February 2016. The (gulp) 335-page document contains 184 “recommendations.” Our concern is that recommendations have a way of becoming regulations in the hands of LibDems. Below is a copy of the full draft report along with the DEP press release announcing its release…
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Marcellus/Utica Driller Eclipse Resources Looking for a Buyer

One by one the dominoes are falling–companies in the Marcellus/Utica that just can’t hang on any longer are selling themselves. It was only last December that Eclipse Resources, an exploration and production company focused solely on the Marcellus and Utica Shale region, announced it had raised $440 million in a “private placement” of 62.5 million shares of common stock (see Eclipse Resources Gets $440M from New Stock, Trims 2015 Capex 20%). Eclipse drills almost exclusively in the Ohio Utica Shale, even though it’s headquartered in State College, PA. In June, Eclipse went shopping for an additional $550 million pile of cash by offering IOUs (see Eclipse Lowers IOU Offering Expectations – by $100M). Now comes word the company is using Morgan Stanley to shop itself to potential buyers. No word on the asking price or whether or not there’s been any bids…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Magnum Hunter teetering on the brink; LNG imports or pipelines better for NYC?; PA budget deal may not be done after all; people are the first to go in down o&g market; fracking killed the Keystone pipeline, but is saving the planet; Sierra Club admits fracking lowers CO2; Halliburton issues bunch of IOUs to buy Baker Hughes; first LNG containership transits Panama Canal; and more!
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Grant Twp, PA Reorganizes to Avoid a Court-Ordered Injection Well

In October MDN told you about Grant Township in Indiana County, PA. The town had attempted to illegally block a permitted injection well from being drilled and used inside the town’s boundaries. The town folk have been whipped into an irrational frenzy by the radical leftist PA-based group Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). As usual, the CELDF-promoted so-called Community Bill of Rights failed in court, costing Grant Township taxpayers big bucks to defend (see Fed Judge Overturns Grant Twp, PA Ban on Injection Wells). People without jobs (like those infesting CELDF) have lots of time to be creative–so here’s the latest. They talked enough town folk into passing another/new plan on the November. The town voted to convert itself from being a PA Second Class Township form of organization to being PA Home Rule Charter form of organization–in an attempt to do an end-run around the judge’s ruling last month. Will it work? Probably not, but here we go again–another delay for Pennsylvania General Energy and their plan to drill an injection well. You know the old saying? Justice delayed is justice denied. When will the courts step in and stop this madness?…
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MHR’s GreenHunter Schedules 3Q15 Conference Call Next Week

Here’s something pretty innocuous, at least at first glance, but something we find interesting nonetheless. Yesterday GreenHunter Resources announced it will hold an operating results conference call next Monday, Nov. 16. There’s certainly not much that appears to be interesting about that. We see dozens (hundreds?) of such announcements each quarter. So what, about this one, caught our attention?…
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Rex Energy 3Q15: $95M Paper Loss, 1st Utica Well Online, Prod Up 15%

Rex Energy and Eclipse Resources are really like two peas in a pod. The people who founded Eclipse, which is shopping itself (see today’s companion story), are former Rex Energy people. Both companies are pure play, concentrating on the Marcellus/Utica, and both companies are headquartered in State College, PA. On Monday Rex Energy issued its third quarter 2015 update. The company lost nearly $95 million for 3Q15–but the entire thing was a paper loss, writedowns for the value of their assets because the price of natural gas took a nosedive. Production for the company was up 15% in 3Q15 over the same period a year earlier. Some of the biggest news we spot in the update is that Rex has been able to squeeze the costs all the way down to $5.2 million per Marcellus well they drill. Also big news: Rex put into production their very first Utica Shale well, drilled in Lawrence County, PA. Here’s the particulars…
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Warren Res. 3Q15: $190M Paper Loss, Completes 2 Upper Marcellus Wells

Warren Resources, a small, independent exploration and production company with an ongoing drilling programs in California, Wyoming, and in the northeast Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale, issued their third quarter 2015 update and held an analyst call earlier this week. The company experienced a $189.5 million loss for the quarter, most of that being a paper loss due to writing down the value of assets (the pattern we’ve seen with almost every other Marcellus/Utica driller in 3Q15). Warren only spent $3.8 million in the Marcellus in 3Q15–to finish two drilled “Upper Marcellus” wells (see Warren Resources Releases Details on 2 “Upper” Marcellus Wells). Below are select portions of both the 3Q15 press release update and from the analyst conference call transcript…
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Gemma Power Gets Contract to Build Moxie Freedom Electric Plant

Over a year ago MDN broke the news that Moxie Energy was in the hunt to begin a third new Marcellus gas-powered electric plant project in Pennsylvania (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). Indeed, our suspicions were borne out and Moxie pursued a project to build a plant in Luzerne County. Moxie is calling it the Freedom project and in November they received approval from Salem Township to proceed (see Moxie’s NEPA Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Gets 1st Approval). In September Moxie received the all-important approval–permission from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (see Moxie’s NEPA Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Gets DEP Approval). We were convinced that like the previous two such projects, Moxie Liberty and Moxie Patriot were sold to Panda Power Funds, the company that is right now building them. However, a press release was just issued by Gemma Power Systems that says Gemma has been selected by Moxie to build the $800 million project. Here’s the details from Gemma on what technology they will use to build the 1,000-megawatt plant near Scranton…
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EIA Report Predicts NatGas Will Average $2.59/MMBtu This Winter

Our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), publishes mountains of data and reports and analysis each day/week/month/year. So much if we did nothing but brought you only stuff published by EIA it would fill our daily reports! We always struggle with how much to share from the EIA. We bring you the monthly DPR (Drilling Productivity Report) because it details EIA’s predictions about what the seven major U.S. shale plays will produce in both oil and gas in the coming month (see the latest one published yesterday, EIA November DPR: Marcellus Production Down Again, Utica Increases). A report also just released is the monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook, a report that looks at the recent history of oil, natural gas, coal, renewables, etc., and predicts what will happen in the coming months/up to one year out. Below we’ve pulled and display the “Highlights” section along with the full section for natural gas. We also include a copy of the full report. It’s important to have the entire context in which natural gas (and oil) exists. We don’t live in a vacuum. The price and abundance (or scarcity) of other forms of energy influence the price and availability of natural gas and oil. Less coal coming? Likely means more natgas. More solar and wind capacity coming online? Likely means less natural gas. The energy market is fascinating and complex and shale energy is but one piece of a very large puzzle. This report helps us wrap our brains around it…
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IEA World Energy Outlook Predicts $80 Oil by 2020

Each year the International Energy Agency (IEA) issues a special World Energy Outlook report. The 2015 edition has just been published. This newest report examines the critical role of price for crude oil in “rebalancing” supply and demand. The authors note the process of rebalancing (getting to higher prices) is rarely a smooth adjustment. Indeed! In the central scenario of this year’s report, a tightening oil balance leads to a price around $80 per barrel by 2020–just five short years away (hang in there small independents!). The report also examines the conditions under which prices could stay lower for much longer, an all-to-real possibility. Below is a press release about the report and a copy of the Executive Summary for the report. Sadly they don’t release the full report for free–it will cost you €120 (~$129) for the PDF version, and €150 (~$161) for a paper copy…
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