Shakedown Complete: XTO Pays PA AG $400K to Make Case Go Away

Make Him an Offer He Can't RefuseJust prior to going on trial for committing felonies while in office, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (Democrat) needed something, ANYTHING, to distract the press from focusing on her own crimes. Since she took office in January 2013, Kane has targeted the Marcellus industry. One of the first high profile cases she manufactured (out of nothing) was to accuse XTO Energy of committing a crime in an accidental spill of a few thousand gallons of frack wastewater–an accident in Lycoming County, PA that happened years before she took office and didn’t have any long-term effects (see PA AG Abuses Her Authority, Files Criminal Charges Against XTO). The case Kane has tried to manufacture against XTO, launched in her first year in office, is finally over. Instead of dragging it out further, XTO decided to pay Kane $400,000 to make it all go away (called a shakedown in the organized crime world). Kane is settling with XTO using a “rehabilitation” program normally used for drunk drivers without a prior record–that’s how desperate she is to get this case settled and turn the focus away from herself for a few days. “Coincidentally” Kane’s own felony trial begins on Monday. It’ll be a sweet day to watch her frog marched out in leg irons when she’s convicted…
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Chesapeake Energy 2Q16: Huge $1.8B Loss, Bleeding Slows

Chesapeake EnergyChesapeake Energy, the second largest natural gas producer in the United States (thanks to co-founder Aubrey McClendon), issued its second quarter 2016 update yesterday. Depending on which media source you read, the update shows a company in full recovery, to a company that’s doomed. A few facts from the update: Chessy lost (on paper) $1.8 billion in 2Q16. Which is huge. But it’s much better than the $4.1 billion they lost in 2Q15–so we do see progress. Chesapeake’s debt reduction program continues. So far this year they’ve paid down another $1 billion in debt. Another good sign. As for drilling, Chesapeake currently operates 10 rigs–three each in the Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Mid-Continent plays, and one in the Utica. They’re not operating any rigs in the Marcellus at present. The company says it plans to spend close to $1.8 billion this year on drilling and will drill another 100 wells by the end of the year. Here’s the update from the biggest shale driller on the planet…
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Marcellus/Utica Gas Heading to Georgia via FERC-Approved Pipeline

Transco Pipeline Simple map

In March 2015, Williams announced that its Transco pipeline subsidiary had filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its Dalton Expansion Project, which will expand the Transco and flow more Marcellus Shale gas from New Jersey all the way to Mississippi, primarily for electric generation plants, but also for local natural gas distribution by utilities (see Williams Files with FERC to Expand Transco Pipeline from NJ to MS). Most of the Dalton’s project will be built in and benefit the State of Georgia–delivering natural gas to an existing electric generating facility in northern Georgia operated by Oglethorpe Power Corp., gas for local distribution company Atlanta Gas Light, and gas for the City of Cartersville. Transco has customers signed up under binding contracts for 100% of the Dalton Expansion Project, which will increase Transco’s capacity by 448,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas. We have fantastic news: FERC has approved the project! Construction begins now and the project will be fully online next year…
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Patterson-UTI July Rig Count Goes Up for 2nd Month in Row

Patterson-UTI logoAs we do every month, MDN tracks how many rigs oilfield services company Patterson-UTI Energy reports operating–as a proxy for when/if the drop in rig counts for the Marcellus/Utica will turn around. Patterson operates a number of rigs in the northeast, as well as other areas of the continental United States (and Canada). Month by month Paterson’s rig count has declined over the past year plus–until June (see Tide has Turned: Patterson-UTI June Rig Count Ticks Up by 2). June was the first time in over a year that Patterson’s rig count reversed and began to climb once again. What about July? The numbers are in, and we’re excited to report that Patterson added another rig to the count in July…
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NFG Update: Seneca Gas Production Up 25%, Pipeline Profits Up Too

nfgNational Fuel Gas Company covers the full span of the oil and gas business–from upstream (with its wholly-owned drilling subsidiary Seneca Resources), to the midstream (with wholly-owned subsidiary Empire Pipeline) to downstream (NFG’s natural gas utility service to 740,000 customers in NY and PA). Big company. Diverse operations. Yesterday NFG issued what they call their third quarter update (everyone else’s second quarter update), covering April through June. According to NFG’s CEO Ronald Tanski, Seneca’s Marcellus production grew by an impressive 25% year over year, due to increased takeaway capacity on NFG’s pipelines and on improved gas prices in Appalachia. NFG’s pipeline business is doing very well–making more this year than last. The one part of the business that (surprisingly) lost money was the utility business. Here’s the full run-down for NFG and its various divisions…
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Carrizo O&G 2Q16: No Marcellus/Utica Drilling, Again

Carrizo logoCarrizo Oil & Gas, a Houston-based driller, actively drills in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, the Delaware Basin in West Texas, the Niobrara Formation in Colorado, and until mid-year in 2015, they did have an active drilling program in the Ohio Utica and Pennsylvania Marcellus. No more. They haven’t drilled in Appalachia since 3Q15. According to Carrizo’s latest quarterly update for 2Q16, that (sad) state of affairs continues…
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Cone Midstream Continues to Impress – 2Q16 Update

CONE logoCONE Midstream, a joint venture between CONSOL Energy and Noble Energy (get it? CO from CONSOL and NE from Noble Energy) was formed in summer 2014 (see CONSOL & Noble Energy Form New Marcellus Midstream Company). When CONE released their 1Q16 update, we pointed out what a gem of a midstream (i.e. pipeline) company it is (see CONE Midstream 1Q16: Profits Up, Volumes Up, Looking Great!). CONE has just released their 2Q16 update and once again shows a company with strong financial performance. Yes, net income went down ever so slightly from 2Q15 ($24.5 million in 2Q16 vs. $24.9 million in 2Q15), but overall the company continues to do great…
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Summit Midstream Loses $50.6M in 2Q16, Utica Volume Jumps

Summit_Midstream_Logo[1Summit Midstream has a small but growing presence in the Marcellus/Utica region largely through purchasing pipeline systems from other companies, including Mountaineer Midstream, Summit’s Marcellus-area pipeline system in Doddridge County, WV. The company released its second quarter 2016 update yesterday, and unfortunately the numbers don’t look so hot. Whereas CONE Midstream, a much smaller, totally focused on the Marcellus/Utica pipeline company stayed about even with net income in 2Q16 (see Cone Midstream Continues to Impress – 2Q16 Update), Summit did not. In 2Q15 Summit lost $2.4 million. In 2Q16 they lost $50.6 million–or 21 times what they lost a year ago. However, $38 million of that loss was an impairment charge (meaning its a paper loss, not actual money out the door loss). Since Summit operates in a number of plays, including the Marcellus and Utica, we’ve selected out portions of the update below that mostly deal with the northeast…
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Top 10 Most-Read MDN Stories from Jan-Jun 2016

top10.jpgMDN is pleased to announce a regular feature on Scranton radio station 94.3 FM “The Talker.” Each Saturday the station airs the Shale Gas News show, co-hosted by MDN friend Bill desRosiers (of Cabot Oil & Gas). Bill recently asked Jim to supply a weekly segment recounting the top stories read on MDN. That is, MDN is becoming the official news source for Shale Gas News! To kick things off, Jim compiled a list of the Top 10 most read stories on MDN for the first six months of 2016. It’s an interesting list, as you’ll see. It may or may not surprise you to learn that 4 of the top 10 stories relate to Shell’s planned ethane cracker plant, a $3 billion+ project that will create thousands of jobs and inject something like $20 billion in the state’s economy. The Shell cracker is a really big deal! Without further ado, let’s count them down like Letterman used to…
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LNG Summit 2017 Coming to Houston in February

LNG summitLNG (liquefied natural gas) is a big deal and getting bigger–you know that if you’ve read MDN for any length of time. As the U.S. begins to shift into producing more natural gas than it can use here at home, exporting that gas, via LNG, is an important market–for the Marcellus, Utica and beyond.

MDN is happy to partner with and promote a major LNG event being held in Houston, TX in February. We invite you to attend the LNG US Summit 2017 in Houston on February 23-24, 2017. Major companies like Cheniere, Worley Parsons, Excelerate Energy, Osaka Gas, Nigeria LNG, GLE, GTT, GE Oil & Gas and many more will present. The LNG Summit will give you the latest details on projects and innovations in the LNG market. Topics include: the outlook for LNG market for the upcoming decade; major LNG buyers and sellers; the latest developments in small and mid-scale LNG. You’ll also hear about the strategies of major companies like one of our favorites, Cheniere. Get the lowdown on marketing and trading, and an inside look at the LNG business, the perils and the possibilities.

For a list of speakers and topics, check out the LNG Summit website: //

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Aug 5, 2016

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: REX capacity expansion from east to west on track; Marcellus/Utica takeaway to New England & Mid-Atlantic; Talen reports $3M loss, Riverstone takeover in jeopardy?; radical anti from DC visits SWPA to spread lies; protesters want to block Vermont gas pipeline; EPA’s regulatory push jeopardizes natgas progress; Harold Hamm talks Trump and Hillary; and more!
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