EQT Chairman Rohr & CEO McNally Ready to “Talk” with Rice Boys

A week ago MDN brought you the news that Toby and Derek Rice, formerly of Rice Energy, have launched an effort to take over the company they sold Rice Energy to (see Rice Brothers Attempt to Take Over EQT, Install Toby as CEO). In recent months the Rice boys have had private conversations with EQT’s top dogs, Chairman of the Board Jim Rohr and CEO Rob McNally, but according to Toby and Derek, those talks went nowhere. The Rice boys say EQT needs some new energy and a new direction, to leverage the world class assets it now owns. And the Rice boys think they have just the plan to accomplish it. After going public with their plan and their intent to wage a proxy war (get board members elected who will endorse their plan), word has leaked out from “sources” that Rohr and McNally want to have another round of talks with the Rice boys, to hear more about their plan. Which causes us to ask, didn’t all that get discussed the first time around? What’s the real purpose of more “talks” with the Rice brothers?
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Antero Now Sells 30% of NatGas to Higher-Paying Midwest Market

Antero Resources, one of the biggest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, is also one of the best hedging companies in the business. They routinely lock in prices for their gas up to a year (or more) in advance, to ensure they make a tidy profit. And Antero averages higher prices for their gas sales than just about any other Marcellus/Utica producer. This morning Antero issued an update on their latest hedging moves, which is always interesting. But that’s not what caught our eye. They also issued a fourth quarter update. No, not for the entire fourth quarter as we still have a few weeks left in 4Q and the full, official 4Q update won’t come along until maybe the end of January. But in this interim 4Q update, we spotted the news that because of the addition of the Rover Pipeline, Antero now sells a full 30% (up from 16%) of their natural gas production to Midwest markets–markets that pay, on average, more for gas than elsewhere.
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EIA Dec ’18 Drilling Report: M-U Expands Another 414 Mmcf/d

The “Beast in the East” (Marcellus/Utica) continues to roar, according to our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration. EIA publishes our favorite monthly report, the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), a forecast of oil and gas production in the country’s seven major shale plays for the coming month. The latest DPR shows that the Marcellus/Utica region (called Appalachia in the report) will expand by another amazing 414 million cubic feet of natural gas production per day (MMcf/d). The increase is a response to new pipelines coming online in the region, carrying our gas to other regions where it fetches a higher price. Not only is M-U production off the charts, so is natural gas production collectively, across all the plays. EIA says that in January, production from all seven plays will go up another 1.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), after it went up 1 Bcf/d in November (see EIA Nov ’18 Drilling Report: Shale Gas Output Up 1 Bcf/d – Again!), and 1 Bcf/d in October (see EIA Oct ’18 Drilling Report: Shale Gas Output Up Another 1 Bcf/d). It’s just incredible!
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Columbia Asks FERC to Start Up 2/3rds of Mountaineer XPress Pipe

In December 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for the Mountaineer XPress pipeline project (see Leach XPress Goes Online; FERC Approves Mountaineer & Gulf XPress). The $2 billion project is ~170 miles of new pipeline meant to flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. It is a big and important project. Last week Columbia, the builder, asked FERC for permission to start up 119 miles out of the 170-mile project, by Dec. 31.
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Looks Like Radicals have Scuttled Patriot Water Deal w/Warren, OH

In June 2017, MDN reported that the Fresh Water Accountability Project (FWAP), a radical anti-fracking group based in Michigan, had filed a lawsuit against the Patriot Water Treatment facility and the City of Warren, OH, claiming the two treat frack chemicals at their respective facilities that don’t get processed enough–and consequently get released into the Mahoning River (see Radical Enviro Group Sues Warren Frack Wastewater Plant). Patriot processes frack wastewater at it’s Warren plant and then (used to) dispose of the wastewater by using the local Warren municipal sewage treatment plant. That is, Patriot strips out all of the really nasty stuff, and then the sewage plant would finish off the process releasing clean water into the Mahoning River, near Youngstown. Unfortunately, it appears the FWAP lawsuit has permanently stopped that beneficial practice.
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SE PA Republicans Ask Adelphia Pipe to Move Compressor Station

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Two weeks ago the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection held a public hearing for the Adelphia Gateway project, a plan to convert an old oil pipeline stretching from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook, to instead pump natural gas (see PA Residents Sound Off Against Adelphia Pipe at DEP Hearing). It was pretty easy to predict that the hearing would elicit negative feedback, based on previous stories of residents unhappy with the location of a planned compressor station in Bucks County. And it did. The public reaction did not escape the attention of local Republican politicians. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and state Rep. Craig Staats, both representing Bucks County, wrote a joint letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking that the location of a planned compressor station in Bucks be moved.
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VA Water Board Considers Revoking MVP Water Quality Permit

A year ago, in December 2017, Virginia’s Water Control Board issued a water permit/certification for the Mountain Valley Pipeline project–a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA (see Virginia Water Board Approves Mountain Valley Pipe – Antis Erupt). At least one anti-fossil fueler at that meeting “screamed profanities at the board members and vowed to visit them where they live.” Violent people. Since that time other required permits have been issued and MVP is now, as of the end of 2018, 70% done being built (see Shocker: Mountain Valley Pipeline Now 70% Built, Online by 4Q19). Even so, there are still some major hurdles to overcome. Virginia’s liberal Democrat Attorney General last week filed a lawsuit against MVP alleging the project has violated Virginia environmental regulations some 300 times (see Virginia AG Sues Mountain Valley Pipeline re “300 Violations”). In light of the AG’s lawsuit, the VA Water Control Board is now threatening to revoke the permit they issued last year.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Dec 18, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: The price of ignorance: New York State’s approaching energy disaster; Athens County, OH meeting re injection well permit tonight; New liquefaction trains, pipeline capacity revving up Gulf Coast feedgas demand; Carbon tax scam – exposing the latest attack on fossil fuels; Enbridge Inc. and Spectra Energy Partners, LP complete merger; Technically recoverable natural gas from future US shale wells on rise; New oil, gas projects to accelerate next year; Machine learning takes on oil, gas production forecasting role; OPEC production deal not enough to stabilize oil market; Qatar Petroleum to invest $20 billion in U.S. in major expansion.
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