Average Workers at Top Marcellus Drillers Make $100K+ Salary

The average worker who works for producers (i.e. drillers) in the Pennsylvania Marcellus makes among the highest average salaries of any industry in the state. Looking at six of the state’s top Marcellus drillers, the average worker made $113,610 last year! That’s an average taken from workers at CNX Resources, Range Resources, Chesapeake Energy, Southwestern Energy, EQT and Cabot Oil & Gas. We hasten to add not “all workers” but “average” or “median” workers–meaning there are people who make below that number and people who make well above that number. It also means the majority of Marcellus workers in those companies made at least $100,000 per year. Those working for oilfield services (OFS) companies like Halliburton, Baker Hughes and others didn’t fare quite as well, making an average of $52,000-$80,000 per year. Still, hey, it ain’t bad money! Here’s a look at the average wage for top Marcellus drillers and the OFS companies that serve them…
Continue reading

Investor Owning 3% of Range Stock Voting Against Mgmt Compensation

Although the average employee at Range Resources made $123,500 last year (see today’s lead story, Average Worker at Top Marcellus Drillers Makes $100K+ Salary), those in upper management at Range made considerably more. We don’t have the 2017 number, but in 2016, Range CEO Jeff Ventura made $9.8 million (see EQT Pay Dispute – Comparing CEO Salaries for Top M-U Firms). Ventura’s salary works out to be 79 times the average Range worker’s salary–actually far better than the average for all industries which averages 140 times as much. Still, not everyone is happy with the what Range’s upper management gives themselves. A significant investor in Range, Stelliam Investment Management, which owns around 3% of all outstanding Range stock, has issued a press release and an open letter to the board to say they intend to vote against Range’s proposed management compensation plan at today’s annual meeting. Stelliam says over the past four years management compensation has “remained generous” while during the same period the company’s stock price has slipped a huge 80% in value. So who is Stelliam, and does their vote of no confidence create any issues for Range management?…
Continue reading

Shell’s PA Ethane Cracker Plant Gets a Name: Shell Polymers

If you’ve read MDN for any length of time, you know about a $6 billion ethane cracker plant being built by Shell in Monaca (Beaver County), PA–near Pittsburgh. The plant will chemically “crack” ethane, an abundant natural gas liquid (NGL) that comes out of the ground along with methane, creating polyethylene from the ethane. Polyethylene is, in essence, raw plastic. Manufacturers in the region and beyond will use the plastic pellets Shell will produce at the plant to create an unlimited variety products. Shell is a smart company. They’re as much a marketing company as they are an oil and gas producer and petrochemical manufacturer. They know the value of positioning and mind share. We hadn’t thought about it previously, but we always just thought of and called the project the “Shell cracker plant.” The plant now has a name: Shell Polymers. The name Shell Polymers has been around for a long time but had fallen out of use when Shell largely exited the plastics business. With the new cracker coming online in the next few years, it’s time to revive the Shell Polymers name/brand and apply it to the cracker plant, which is how the project was being pitched at the last week’s NPE2018 (formerly called the National Plastics Exposition) in Orlando, Florida…
Continue reading

Gas-Fired Elec Plant Near Indianapolis Starts Up, Fueled by M-U?

IPL’s Eagle Valley Generating Station, located in Martinsville, Indiana (click for larger version)

Seems like a day doesn’t by that we don’t notice yet another natural gas-fired electric plant project has been announced, or in this case, has come online! Here’s a project not previously on our radar. Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) built and recently brought online a 671-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas-fired electric plant about 30 miles southwest of downtown Indianapolis. The new plant can power up to 370,000 homes. Gas-fired plants are a huge market for Marcellus/Utica gas. “But Jim,” you say. “This plant is in Indiana! There’s no Marcellus/Utica gas in Indiana. In fact, Rover, NEXUS and other pipelines don’t go through Indiana, so why are you excited about this plant?” Good question. We’re excited because there ARE pipelines in the vicinity that flow our gas–including the mighty Rockies Express (REX), which was reversed in June 2014 and now flows our gas all the way to points in Missouri (see Rockies Express Pipeline Reverses Flow from Utica to Midwest). According to a statement issued by IPL, the new Eagle Valley gas-fired plant can access “low-cost fuel” from the Rockies Express Pipeline and Texas Gas interstate pipelines. That is, Marcellus/Utica gas…
Continue reading

PA Green Group Uses Kids to Sue Feds for “Indifference to Science”

In August 2015, MDN told you about a lawsuit brought by a group of left coast radicalized children who want to force the federal government to become communist and “force action” on mythical climate change (see Group of Kids Sues U.S. Govt to Force Action on “Climate Change”). There have been a number of legal twists and turns since that time, but the bottom line is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (in California), often called the “Ninth Circus” because of the clowns who pass for judges who sit on the bench, in March ruled the lawsuit can proceed (see 9th Circus Allows Climate Lawsuit by Radicalized Kids to Proceed). What we didn’t know/realize is that Pennsylvania has its own version of the same lawsuit playing out. The Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council (radical enviro group) glommed onto two children to perpetrate the same kind of fraudulent lawsuit in federal court in the Keystone State. In November 2017, CAC and the two kids they’ve tricked sued Donald Trump (President), Scott Pruitt (EPA), Rick Perry (Dept. of Energy) and Ryan Zinke (Dept. of Interior) claiming their collective actions in “rolling back” environmental protections (put in place by Lord Obama) shows “reckless indifference to science” and should not be allowed. No, this is not the script for a sitcom. This is real. On May 3, the defendants (the federal government) filed a motion to dismiss this nonsensical lawsuit. On May 11, the CAC and radicalized kids responded asking the court to not dismiss…
Continue reading

Statoil Gets a New Name Starting Today – Equinor

Can you imagine an oil company being ashamed of the word “oil”? Sounds like a European thing–and indeed it is. Statoil, Norway’s largest oil company (in fact, the single largest company in Norway period) with operations in 36 countries around the world and over 20,000 employees–is ashamed of its own name. And so, as of today, Statoil is changing its name to Equinor. “Equi” stands for equal, equality, or equilibrium (take your pick), and “nor” stands for Norway. Whatever. We mention this bit of tomfoolery because Statoil (now Equinor) still has meaningful leases and assets in the Ohio Utica. According to MDN’s forthcoming Marcellus & Utica Shale Upstream Almanac 2018 (on sale June 1st), in 2017 Statoil had 42 spud wells in the Ohio Utica, with 18 of them producing. Not huge, but also not nothin’. Here’s the tale of the oil company that doesn’t want to be called an oil company any more–even though they still are…
Continue reading

San Francisco Play Exposes $18B Environmental Fraud

A shocking and at times farcical tale of how an environmental lawsuit turned into the world’s biggest fraud is revealed in a new play. The world premiere of “The $18-Billion Prize,” based on the true story of rainforest natives and their New York lawyer “fighting for justice” against one of the world’s biggest oil companies, opens May 19 at San Francisco’s Phoenix Theatre. Performances continue through June 3. Written, or perhaps a better word is assembled, by Phelim McAleer and Jonathan Leaf, the play uses exact words from transcripts of court documents. In 1993, Steven Donziger, a Harvard-educated American lawyer, represented indigenous groups from Ecuador’s rainforest in a class action lawsuit against Chevron–a shakedown. The case received an enormous amount of media attention, including major coverage by Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and 60 Minutes to name a few, and it drew the support of international celebrities. Chevron, to their credit, fought back. An American court found evidence of fraud and ordered Donziger to hand over his files and diaries, which exposed a massive bribery and corruption scheme. The play will make you laugh, and cry, and make you angry that such a long-running fraud could be perpetrated here in the United States…
Continue reading

Other Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, May 16, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Decision looms regarding proposed natgas facility in Keene, NH; Hilcorp awarded Utica permit in Lawrence County, PA; Louisiana gets tough on pipeline protesters with new law; FERC tax decision prompts fight between gas operators/shippers; western Canada sees chance to one-up US Gulf Coast in LNG export fight; and more!
Continue reading