EQT Buys Trans Energy + 60K Marc/Utica Acres in 2 Deals for $683M

EQT logoYesterday EQT announced a pair of deals that will net the company another 60,000 Marcellus/Utica acres including 44 Marcellus wells producing a collective 44 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d) of natural gas. Most of the acreage (42,600) is in three West Virginia counties, with another 17,000 acres in three Pennsylvania counties. EQT is paying a total of $683 million for the two deals. In the first deal, EQT is buying Trans Energy, Inc., which will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of EQT. EQT is also buying Trans Energy joint venture partner Republic Energy’s share in their Marcellus jv. The land is located in Marion, Wetzel and Marshall counties (WV). In the second deal, EQT is buying 17,000 acres from an unidentified third party in southwestern PA, in Washington, Westmoreland and Greene counties. EQT describes the purchases as adding acreage to their “core development area.” You may recall that EQT closed a deal in July, just three months ago, to purchase 62,500 acres from Statoil in WV for $407 million (see Statoil Completes Sale of WV Marcellus Assets to EQT). So why is EQT once again spending money? Analysts speculate it’s because of EQT competitor Rice Energy’s recent deal to buy Vantage Energy with its 85,000 acres in Greene County (see Vantage Energy is No More – Rice Energy Completes $2.7B Buyout). Here’s the particulars about EQT’s latest acquisitions…
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NEPA Landowner Signed with Southwestern Sues – Drilling Too Loud

lawsuitA landowner in northeastern Pennsylvania signed a lease with Southwestern Energy, leasing her property for shale gas drilling. Southwestern eventually showed up and drilled a well on her property. But the landowner then said the drilling was too loud, and lights at night too bright, and it disturbed her “peace of mind”–so she sued Southwestern for eight weeks of “peace of mind” disruption and a prescription for Xanax. Fantastically, a judge is letting the lawsuit proceed. Earth to landowners: When drillers show up, it’s an INDUSTRIAL activity. It’s loud. There’s lots of trucks. There’s lights at night. And in a month or two, it all goes away. And when the royalty checks arrive in the mail, you’ll forget all about the inconveniences. So what’s really going on in this case?…
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List of 218 O&G Companies Declaring Bankruptcy Since 2015

Bankruptcy

In November 2015 MDN brought you a list of 36 North America drillers that had, as of that time, declared bankruptcy (see List of 36 Oil & Gas Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy in 2015). In April, just three short months ago, the list stood at 59 bankruptcies (see List of 59 Oil & Gas Companies Filing for Bankruptcy in 2015/2016). The law firm compiling the list, Haynes and Boone, continued updating the list. In June it showed the list growing to 85 declared bankruptcies (see List of 85 Bankrupt O&G Companies Since 2015; 4 in Marc/Utica). The list was updated again just last week, and it now stands at 105 bankruptcies for E&Ps (drillers). We have the new list below. However, that single list doesn’t really tell the whole story. Until now we not noticed or highlighted two other lists also published by Haynes and Boone: a list of bankruptcies for midstream (pipeline) companies, and a list of bankruptcies for oilfield services companies. When you total all three lists, it shows 218 companies in the o&g industry that have, since the beginning of 2015, declared bankruptcy. We have all three lists below…
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Centennial Pipeline Reversal “a Go” to Send NE NGLs to Gulf Coast

centenmapIn September 2015 MDN brought you the news that two joint venture partners, MPLX (Marathon Petroleum) and Enterprise Products Partners, were actively evaluating a plan to reverse the flow of the 795-mile Centennial Pipeline to send natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the Utica/Marcellus to the Gulf Coast (see Centennial Pipeline May Reverse, Sending NE NGLs to the Gulf). The Centennial began operation in 2002 after a 26-inch diameter natural gas line from Longville, LA into Bourbon was converted to refined light product service. At the same time, a new 24-inch diameter line was constructed from Beaumont, TX to connect to the existing 26-inch diameter line at Longville, TX. Since last year we had not heard any concrete plans–until now. Yesterday at the S&P Global/Platts ninth annual Appalachian Oil & Gas Conference in Pittsburgh, Enterprise announced it is “a go” to reverse the Centennial…
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Baker Hughes 3Q16: Bleeding Slows, but Hefty Loss of $430M

Baker Hughes logoThe world’s largest oilfield services company (OFS), Schlumberger, turned a profit in 3Q16 (see Schlumberger 3Q16: Turns a Profit, but Profits Down 82% Y/Y). The world’s second largest OFS, Halliburton, also turned a profit in 3Q16 (see Halliburton 3Q16 Earnings Surprise: Turns a Profit!). The world’s third largest OFS, Baker Hughes, could not (unfortunately) make it three for three. Baker Hughes reported their 3Q16 performance yesterday and the company lost money–a hefty $430 million to be exact. The good news, if you can call it that, is that BH lost $912 million in 2Q16, so the bleeding is slowing down. But officials said don’t expect much in 4Q16–they don’t expect their largest unit, North America, to grow much in the coming three months…
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Range Resources 3Q16: Smaller Loss of $42M, Marc Production Up 9%

Range ResourcesRange Resources, the very first company to sink a Marcellus well, issued their third quarter update yesterday. Among the highlights: Range lost $42 million for the quarter, which is a vast improvement over 3Q15 when the company lost $301 million. So things are getting better, financially. Marcellus production was 1,396 million cubic feet equivalent (Mmcfe) per day, a 9% increase over 3Q15. Range’s “Southern” division, in SWPA, saw a 23% increase in production, but because Range sold some assets in Bradford County, their “Northern” division saw a 39% decrease (year over year) in production. Range continues to focus its efforts in the southwest PA area, saying the company “continues to drill and complete outstanding wells, with peer-leading EURs, while continuing to drive costs lower.” Here is yesterday’s 3Q16 update from Range…
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MarkWest Building New Processing Plant in Washington County, PA

markwestLast week MDN reported that electric company FirstEnergy has begun construction of a new electric substation in Washington County, PA to provide electricity to “support two natural gas processing facilities being developed in the area” (see Work Begins on $40M Electric Substation in W PA to Help Marcellus). We speculated that at least one of the beneficiaries would be MPLX’s MarkWest Energy subsidiary. We were right. NGI’s Shale Daily is reporting that one of the projects to be served by FirstEnergy’s new substation will be the MarkWest Harmon Creek Complex, a new processing plant being built to process natgas for Range Resources…
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Small Marcellus/Utica OFS Co Gets $2M Loan to Expand

evolution-energyWe’re always delighted when we spot a story or reference about a new company operating in the Marcellus/Utica that had heretofore escaped our finely-turned radar. Here’s one of those stories. In 2014, five people with experience in the oil and gas industry came together to form Evolution Energy Services. Based in Cadiz, OH, the company provides a range of services and products for the o&g industry–everything from porta potties to fracking chemicals to rig workers. We’ll call them an oilfield services company (OFS). We hadn’t heard of this upstart company until we spotted a brief reference that Evolution has just secured a $2 million load that will allow them to expand…
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PA DEP Declares War on Shale Gas – a.k.a. Chapter 78a

PA DEP“What is all the fuss over Pennsylvania’s Chapter 78a drilling rules going into effect anyway? We mean, come on, those rules were hashed out over the past five years! Can’t the drilling industry just bend over and take it like a man? It can’t be all that bad, can it?” With pleasure, we bring you a response to that line of thinking–a line of thinking YOU may have thought! The writer, Colin McNickle, is a former editorial page chief for the superb Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. McNickle tackles Chapter 78a head-on in this excellent rebuttal. It is nothing short of a declared war on shale gas and oil…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Oct 26, 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: Marcellus/Utica production may not reach 40 Bcf after all; economics will force pipeline issue; OH rig count drops to 16; Braskem looks to expand Philly refinery; climate radicals exposed in Wikileaks email, plans to shame Rupert Murdoch; natgas price may have found its ceiling; Europeans dependent on Russia natgas, would like not to be; and more!
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