EQT Buys Rice Energy in $8.2B Deal, Becomes #1 Gas Producer in US

Move over Exxon Mobil and Chesapeake Energy. There’s now (or soon will be, when the transaction is complete) a new #1 natural gas producer in the United States: EQT. In a deal you’ve no doubt heard about from multiple sources by now (because the news broke yesterday, just after MDN published for the day), EQT and Rice Energy announced that EQT will purchase Rice Energy, lock, stock and barrel, for $6.7 billion in cash and stock, and assume $1.5 billion in debt, for a total deal price of $8.2 billion. Along with 187,000 net acres in the PA Marcellus, and 65,000 net acres in the OH Utica Shale, EQT will get 1.3 billion cubic feet per day of Rice Energy natural gas production. When added to its own prodigious production (EQT was already one of the biggest and brightest shale companies), the combined output for the newly merged company will eclipse #2 Exxon and #3 Chesapeake Energy’s output to become the largest natural gas producing company in the country. Wow! Rice’s midstream (i.e. pipeline) assets are part of the deal. If you peg the midstream part of the deal at $1.8 billion, which some analysts say is the right number, and then calculate the per acre price of the deal, it works out to be around $9,900 per acre. Below we have the EQT/Rice announcement, the PowerPoint slide deck they used for a conference call held yesterday, and plenty of analysis about the deal–why it happened, and why now…
Continue reading

Top 10 Natural Gas Producers in the U.S., Post-EQT/Rice Merger

As we were reading about yesterday’s big news of EQT buying Rice Energy, we came across a couple of lists (same list, different sources) listing the top 10 natural gas-producing companies in the United States. The list was reworked to show that the combination of EQT and Rice will create the #1 largest natural gas-producing company in the country. An astonishing feat. But what caught our eye in looking over the “top 10” list was just how many of the companies in that list have operations in the Marcellus/Utica. At one time or another, all 10 of the top 10 owned leases and/or drilled in the Marcellus/Utica. By our count, 8 of the top 10 still do. You already know that EQT/Rice will become the #1 producer. But who is #2, and #3? And what about the rest of the list? We have it for you below…
Continue reading

Wayne County Landowner Files Brief in Case Against DRBC Frack Ban

Whatever happened to the lawsuit filed by a Wayne County, PA landowner against the egregious overreach by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) in its ongoing stall/delay/block of any shale drilling within the Basin? In March, MDN reported that U.S. District Judge Robert Mariani ruled against the Wayne landowner in a lawsuit that challenged the right of the DRBC to stop fracking in the Delaware River Basin (see Judge Tosses Wayne County, PA Landowner Lawsuit Against DRBC). At first blush, it may seem like a setback for landowners in Wayne and Pike Counties who have been denied the right to lease and allow drilling under their land for the past 10 years. But looks can be deceiving. As we pointed out in our article, if you read the judge’s decision, he harpoons all of the DRBC’s legal arguments, but in the end rules against the landowner. Why? Because the judge wanted to send the case to a higher court for an ultimate decision–the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. In fact, Judge Mariani set up the appeal of the case perfectly, we’d say intentionally, and that has the DRBC and their cohorts at THE Delaware Riverkeeper really nervous (see Wayne Co. Landowner Welcomes Decision in Dismissed DRBC Lawsuit). We have an update. The Wayne landowners filed their court brief in an appeal of the case yesterday. The case turns on the concept of what constitutes a “project” for the DRBC. The DRBC claims that all gas well pads, drilling, etc.–anything that uses water within the Basin–is a “project” as defined under the original compact forming the DRBC, and therefore under their jurisdiction. The lawsuit (an excellent read, full copy below) states such a reading of the original compact, and based on 40 years of history since that time, says otherwise. Just because you push dirt around and use some water, does not mean that activity falls under the DRBC’s current overreach in defining a project. The lawsuit askes the 3rd Circuit to rule on what is, and what is not, a project for the DRBC…
Continue reading

New Infrastructure Group Makes Gives Shale Industry Helping Hand

The TriState Infrastructure Council (TSIC) was founded in Pittsburgh in late 2016 to “serve a broad-based business community during the critical next few years by attracting and deploying investments in infrastructure projects in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.” With infrastructure upgrades, the region will be able to realize economic growth resulting from petrochemical manufacturing and related industries in the Appalachian basin. One of the driving forces behind TSIC is a name you are likely familiar with: Kathryn Klaber. Katie Klaber founded and until a few years ago led the Marcellus Shale Coalition. She opted to focus on her consulting practice following the MSC and is now managing the TSIC. The TSIC organization was founded with a group of A-list companies located in the region. At this week’s Northeast U.S. Petrochemical Construction conference in Pittsburgh, Katie unveiled an exciting new project to map infrastructure in an 82-county region throughout the Ohio River Valley. The aim is to identify missing/key/critical infrastructure components and then work to set up public-private partnerships to get those components built. The TSIC is looking at “electric transmission and distribution, pipelines, natural gas and natural gas liquid storage capacity, reliable locks and dams, rail networks, roads and bridges, water and sewer, building sites, barge loading/unloading facilities, broadband, fiber optics, and air service, among others.” And yes, the Marcellus/Utica shale is the linchpin that holds it all together–makes it all possible–and the raison d’être for the TSIC. Here’s more on the new infrastructure database, the TSIC, and how they are giving the shale industry a big assist…
Continue reading

Lying Letter from Anti Mayors in NJ Seeks to Stop PennEast Pipe

A total of 31 anti-drilling, leftist (almost all Democrat) mayors, council members and county freeholders (not freeloaders, but freeholders) from a dozen New Jersey townships begged and pleaded with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to kill the PennEast Pipeline project. The antis sent a letter to DEP Commissioner Robert Martin claiming PennEast will have “unacceptable” impacts in their towns if it gets built. We wonder, will they find it “unacceptable” to have their gas and electric turned off, because of lack of natural gas coming in via pipeline? It is yet another list of, frankly, nobodies who are desperately attempting to grab a headline from a sympathetic anti reporter (which they did, NJ.com), to try and create the impression that masses of people are against the project. Fortunately, it will fail…
Continue reading

WV Leads 11-State Group Supporting EPA’s Move to Delay Obama Rule

Kudos to West Virginia and its Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey, for leading the charge (along with 10 other states) to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of the Obama methane rule. Earlier this month the Trump EPA filed paperwork to stop implementation of the egregious and illegal rule (see Beginning of the End: EPA Issues 90-Day Stay for Methane Rule). The federal government cannot regulate oil and gas, that’s left up to the states under the Constitution. However, the Obamadroids found a way around that legal limitation by using lawsuits and naked power grabs. The Trump EPA is reversing it. Of course Big Green groups with deep pockets immediately sued to keep the rule going (see Liberal DC Court Asks EPA to Respond to Lawsuit by Radical Enviros). The EPA is defending its right to undo a rule it did, and Morrisey and the other AGs filed a motion to intervene in the case, to help out the Trump EPA…
Continue reading

Trump White House Caves, Taps Establishment Insider for #2 Job @ EPA

We suppose it had to happen eventually. The Trump White House is backing a Washington insider, a swamp dweller, to become Deputy Administrator (#2 person) at the Environmental Protection Agency. Jeff Holmstead, a former top EPA official under President George W. Bush, is as inside Washington as inside gets. He’s a Washington lobbyist and a lawyer (already two strikes against him). His appointment is not yet official, but the rumor mill is working overtime. We find it disappointing that Scott Pruitt, the consummate outsider, is promoting Holmstead, the consummate insider, for the position…
Continue reading

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is Powered by Oil, Not Renewables

Did you know that it is technologically impossible to create solar panels without using fossil fuels? The processing that takes place for the silicon at the heart of solar technology needs to be refined at temperatures of 1,500-2,000 degrees Celsius. The highest temps you can get from a solar-powered device is 1,380 C. That’s just one of the reasons why the fourth industrial revolution, which is happening now, will be powered by fossil fuels–not by renewables…
Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jun 20, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: NY Supreme Court justice to AG Schneiderman: “You are wasting my time”; Rover pipeline fine will be used for work at Ashland County Courthouse; Bailout of 2 Ohio nuclear plants stalls in Statehouse; Shell project manager says cracker plant ‘will change forever Pittsburgh’; Trillium CNG opens CNG station in York, Pa.; Need for natural gas supply growing in New England; Haynesville slowdown highlights bearish natural gas outlook; Exxon’s shale drilling unit XTO shifting 1,600 jobs to Houston; Are Russia and the Saudis planning a natural gas cartel?; U.S. drillers are hammering OPEC’s plans; and more!
Continue reading