Colo. Anti Advocates Murdering Fracking Workers

It’s finally come to this. There is one anti-fossil fueler who sent a letter to the editor of a Colorado newspaper–the Boulder Daily Camera–that says antis “have a moral responsibility to blow up wells and eliminate fracking and workers.” In a followup interview, the same anti said, “I wouldn’t have a problem with a sniper shooting one of the workers” at a drilling site. Have we not warned you that anti-fossil fuel lunacy has finally tipped over into violence? Did we not point out the mob in North Dakota that destroyed millions of dollars in equipment, burned tires, and shot at police–is planning to spread their sedition to places like the Marcellus/Utica (see Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Turn Violent; Coming Here Next?). And now one of their own, in Colorado, is revealing the true black heart of the movement–just use bombs and guns to stop fossil fuels. Terrorism. The man needs to be locked up in prison–or an insane asylum–before he hurts someone…
Continue reading

Chesapeake Deducts from Current Royalty Check for Old Loss in PA

Truly maddening. A Pennsylvania farming family has had to put up with Chesapeake Energy’s lame justifications for not paying them a dime in royalties over the past two years, even though Chesapeake continues to extract gas from their property. Chesapeake claims that since 2015, their costs to extract/sell gas from Russ Forba’s land exceeded any revenue generated–by $112,000. Chesapeake promised Forba that the company would not try to recoup those “costs” from future royalties. The company just broke its promise. On Monday, Forba received a statement from Chesapeake revising the price of the gas sold (down), and revising the post-production costs claimed (up) for the month of April 2015. Chesapeake then deducted the extra $5,700 “loss” from current royalty payments to cover the difference–something they PROMISED would never happen. This is why PA landowners are incensed and calling for legislation. We don’t blame them…
Continue reading

OH Law Would Bailout Nuke Plants for $5.4B, Kill NatGas Plants

In January, MDN highlighted a developing issue in Ohio that potentially impacts Utica/Marcellus shale in the region (see OH Power Cos. Try to Stop Gas-Fired Plants with “Re-Regulation”). Three large utility companies–FirstEnergy, American Electric Power, and Dayton Power and Light–are behind an effort to re-regulate the electric power generation industry in Ohio. The electricity industry is a complicated industry, with some some power producers operating as “regulated” and some operating as “unregulated.” Regulated power producers have their rates, and rate of profit, set by government regulators–which limits but also guarantees profits. Unregulated power producers, on the other hand, do not have the safety net of the government forcing ratepayers to pony up–they operate in the free market, taking all of the risks, and reaping the rewards if those risks prove worthwhile. Many (most?) of the new natural gas-fired electric plants getting built, like those we have focused on in Ohio, are of the unregulated kind. If Ohio rolls back the clock 18 years to re-regulate, it would likely spell the end of billions of dollars of investments in unregulated/shale-powered electric plants. A disaster. The latest tact companies like FirstEnergy are using to force through a rotten piece of legislation is to claim without it, their nuclear power plants will close down. And precious “diversity” of sources to generate electricity is needed. The legislation proposed (Senate Bill 128 and House Bill 178, same language) is actually a $5.4 billion bailout for FirstEnergy. So says Clean Energy Future CEO Bill Siderwicz. Clean Energy is in the middle of investing $4.5 billion in five new shale-fired electric plants in Ohio. That investment and those plants will disappear if this disastrous “bailout FirstEnergy” bill becomes law…
Continue reading

Sunoco Logistics Partners Ceases to Exist as of Today

As of today, the nameplate on the door that says “Sunoco Logistics Partners” is getting changed to “Energy Transfer Partners” (ETP). On paper (and for investors) Sunoco LP & ETP have been different companies, but functionally both companies have co-existed under the Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) umbrella for years–essentially as different divisions of the same company. Sunoco LP is (currently) best known for its Mariner East pipeline projects–along with the Marcus Hook refinery/terminal. ETP is (currently) best known for the recently completed Dakota Access Pipeline. Sunoco LP’s headquarters will move from Newtown Square, PA to combine with ETP’s HQ in Dallas, TX. For investors, Sunoco LP will stop trading at close of business today and become part of the ETP ticker symbol as of Monday. Shareholders for both companies approved the paper merger on Wednesday…
Continue reading

“Father of Marcellus Shale” Terry Engelder Retiring from Penn State

Penn State University professor Terry Engelder, the geologist who first discovered the potential of the Marcellus (and called “the Father of the Marcellus Shale”) is retiring from Penn State in June. The Marcellus Shale boom, while starting with a single Range Resources well in 2004, is largely due to the insights of Engelder. In 2007 he did some “back of the envelope” calculations that showed (first) there is roughly 50 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of recoverable natural gas in the Marcellus. He later revised that number, to 489 Tcf. It was Engelder’s calculations that caught the interest and confidence of drillers who then decided to give the Marcellus a try. The rest is history–and we have Dr. Engelder to thank. Penn State News does a good job in providing a tribute to celebrate the contributions of Engelder to the university’s geosciences department. What will Engelder miss the most when he retires? Finding new shale layers? Figuring out new techniques to extract oil and gas? Maybe a better way of predicting earthquakes? Nope. He’ll miss the people–students and the professors/staff at “one of the finest geosciences departments in the world.” Here’s a proper sendoff for a key figure, a giant in the canon of the Marcellus story…
Continue reading

Range Resources 1Q17: Production Soars 40%, 1st Profit in 2 Yrs

Range Resources, one of the most prolific producers in southwestern Pennsylvania, reported its first quarter of profit in two years. Range swung from a loss of $94 million in 1Q16 to a profit of $170 million in 1Q17. After two years of cutting its capital expenditure spending, Range is once again increasing capex. This year, Range plans to spend $1.15 billion, with 65% allocated to the Marcellus Shale in PA, and the rest to the Terryville Field in LA. Production soared for the company by 40% year over year, to a new record high of 1.93 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) per day. Below we have the full Range 1Q17 update, along with the latest PowerPoint slide deck. We’ve also extracted out some interesting comments from the quarterly earnings call, which highlight Range’s program of drilling longer laterals in the Marcellus…
Continue reading

EQT 1Q17: Production Up 6%, Revenue Up 2,829%

EQT, one of the biggest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, had quite a ride in 2016. A good ride! In the last 10 months EQT has added 220,000 acres to its Marcellus/Utica portfolio–by buying large tracts from other companies. One of the deals included buying the other company (Trans Energy) lock, stock and barrel (see EQT Buys Trans Energy + 60K Marc/Utica Acres in 2 Deals for $683M). EQT recently turned in its 1Q17 update. While EQT’s production went up by 6% in the first quarter, its net income went through the roof–up 2,829%! In 1Q16 EQT’s net income was $5.6 million. In 1Q17, net income was $164 million. Somebody is doing something right. On the ever-present quarterly earnings call, EQT’s newly-minted CEO, Steve Schlotterbeck, said EQT’s strategy is to consolidate “scattered acreage positions in Appalachia.” According to Steve, the companies that consolidate, “will hold a competitive advantage that will yield higher returns for their shareholders” and “further consolidation within the Marcellus core is the best path to creating a sustained competitive advantage.” Below is EQT’s full 1Q17 update, the latest PowerPoint slide deck, and select comments by Steve from the earnings call…
Continue reading

Rex Energy 1Q17: Production Drops 8.5%

As they have in previous quarters, Rex Energy released only part of their first quarter 2017 update earlier this week. Rex released an operation update on Monday, but elected to not release (yet) a financial update. Rex has struggled. They are a smaller driller focused mainly on the Marcellus/Utica–headquartered in State College, PA. In 2016, Rex lost $109 million (see Rex Energy Lost $109M in ’16, Drilling to Hold in ’17, NGLs in ’18). In company’s 2016 production was down from the previous year (see Rex Energy 4Q & 2016 Update – Production Slips from 2015). In Monday’s quarterly update, Rex reports production slipping again, down 8.5% from 1Q16. Is Rex Energy still our “little engine that could?” What’s going on with Rex? Perhaps some of the clues can be found in the quarterly production update and latest PowerPoint we could find (from March)…
Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Apr 28, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Gas-focused E&Ps double down on spending in the Marcellus/Utica; Mountain Valley Pipeline plans moving forward, FERC approval due by June 23; is northeast natgas market no longer pipeline constrained?; FERC wants more info from Cove Point LNG; ODNR issues 7 Utica permits, OH rig count at 22; Pitt prof tells Beaver County air quaality will suffer from Shell cracker; natgas rigs up by 1 in PA; WV businesses anticipate next oil & gas boom; shale is crushing solar; Trump’s first 100 days in the energy sector; oops, warmists just lost the Antarctic peninsula – now cooling; and more!
Continue reading