Columbia Sues Southwestern Energy for Shorting Royalties in WV

Here’s an interesting twist on the theme of drillers shorting leaseholders out of royalty money. Usually such cases involve drillers claiming post-production deductions from landowner royalty checks. This time the landowner/rightsholder is Columbia Gas Transmission (pipeline company owned by midstream giant TransCanada), and the claim is that Southwestern Energy (driller) is not paying royalties for gas produced but not actually sold.
Continue reading

All-Time Record NatGas Demand Expected Today; M-U “Freeze-Off”?

The folks who keep track of these things expect today’s record-cold polar vortex in the Midwest and northeast (coldest temps in more than a generation, hey, what was that about global warming?) will create the highest demand/usage of natural gas for a single day–ever. Prognosticators also predict a “freeze-off” in the Marcellus/Utica, causing a temporary 1 Bcf/d decrease in production.
Continue reading

Va. Bill Would Block Atlantic Coast Pipe from Passing Along Costs

Va. Del. Lee Ware

Virginia House of Delegates member Lee Ware, a Republican, has “quietly” introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would block Dominion Energy, builder of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), from passing along costs related to the pipeline to the electric generating plants and their ratepayers that will use the cheap natural gas made available by the pipeline.
Continue reading

EPA Plan Allows E&Ps to Self-Report Clean Air Act Violations

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) office of enforcement is close to launching a new audit policy “that will offer significant new penalty reductions for the oil and gas industry.” That’s how the news is being spun–that oil and gas are about to get a big, fat, wet, sloppy kiss from the EPA. The truth is far different from the media spin.
Continue reading

Oil Drilling in U.S. in Decline, but Gas Drilling Remains Strong

As we have noted recently in a number of posts, it appears we’re heading into a dip of drilling activity–not only in the oil plays but also here at home in the Marcellus/Utica (see Trend: Marcellus/Utica Drillers Will Drill Less in 2019). However, a recent analysis piece by S&P Global Platts says while oil-focused drilling is objectively in decline (lower rig counts), overall gas-focused drilling, so far anyway, remains strong.
Continue reading

Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Jan 31, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Dominion Energy awards $50,000 to organizations inspiring arts and culture; Dinniman blasts pipeline lobbying as he does it with taxpayer money; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Polar Vortex sets US Midwest demand record, raises risk of wellhead freeze-offs; Commissioning cited as reason for recent feedgas levels at Cheniere LNG terminal in Texas; Eugene council discusses natural gas regulation; Hays County, TX residents say they’re ‘prepared to fight’ planned natural gas pipeline; NATIONAL: Record cold forces rethink on global warming.
Continue reading