Proxy War: Rice Boys Nominate New EQT Board, Keep Brother Dan

A full-blown war is on for the future of EQT. Yesterday Toby and Derek Rice released a proposed slate of EQT board members they want elected at the next annual meeting on July 10th. They propose replacing all existing board members–except for their brother Dan. The Rice boys say it’s necessary to have a board who is “with it” (our words) and will back up Toby and Derek as they take control of the company. On the other hand, current EQT board chairman Jim Rohr and board member/CEO Rob McNally are pushing back. It’s a fight to the “death” (figuratively speaking).
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Marathon Considers Building NGL Storage Hub in Harrison County, OH

Some major news coming from yesterday’s Utica Midstream conference held in North Canton, Ohio. A rep from Marathon Petroleum (which is based in Ohio) told conference attendees his company is contemplating building an underground NGL storage facility in Harrison County, OH–to store ethane, butane and propane.
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Ascent Resources Issues Brief 2018 Update, 2019 Guidance

Yesterday Ascent Resources, a company founded by Aubrey McClendon after he left Chesapeake Energy, issued a (very) brief recap of what happened in 2018, and a look ahead (“guidance”) at what the company expects to accomplish in 2019. The update is brief–cherry-picking highlights to share–because it can be. Ascent’s stock is not publicly traded, so they don’t have to provide full financial updates (except to their investors). Ascent is a big and important driller in the Utica, so *any* information they share is useful and of interest.
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PA DEP Hearing for Shale Well at U.S. Steel Plant Near Pittsburgh

Next Wednesday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on plans to drill a shale well(s) on the property of U.S. Steel Corporation’s Edgar Thomson Plant in a Pittsburgh suburb. What’s so unusual about the well(s) is that U.S. Steel itself will be “the sole consumer of the natural gas extracted.” That is, U.S. Steel will use the gas to power/feed the steel plant.
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FERC Launches Investigation into Overcharging by Stagecoach Pipe

In 2016 Crestwood Equity Partners formed a joint venture with New York City’s largest utility company, Consolidated Edison Inc., to operate a critical link of pipelines and storage facilities in the heart of the Utica/Marcellus, called Stagecoach Gas Services (see Con Ed & Crestwood Seal the Deal on Marcellus Pipeline/Storage JV). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has launched an investigation into the fees charged by that service, which may now be too high following the Trump tax cuts.
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Denbury/Penn Virginia Merger Aborted – PV Shareholder Resistance

Penn Virginia, an oil and gas driller headquartered in Radnor, PA (near Philadelphia) announced last October it had found someone to buy the company–Denbury Resources (see Penn Virginia Finally Sells Itself, Denbury Buys for $1.7 Billion). As of a few weeks ago both companies filed proxy statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission to announce a final merger vote set for April 17. That’s now off–because some Penn Virginia shareholders got cold feet.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Mar 22, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: ODNR issues six new permits for Utica shale wells; Pennsylvania as the new natural gas giant; PA House Environmental Committee holds info meeting March 27 on debunking modern myths surrounding climate change; Gov. Wolf proposes Marcellus shale tax to clean up lead paint in schools; Higher operating pressure prompts new safety concerns over Sunoco’s Mariner East 2X pipeline; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: The Permian Strategic Partnership is now fully operational; NATIONAL: Despite closures, U.S. nuclear electricity generation in 2018 surpassed its previous peak; Climate change, or alarmism? Wyoming drilling halt ruling isn’t based on science; INTERNATIONAL: U.S. LNG onslaught proving ‘too much to handle’ for Asian markets; Canada’s natural gas crisis is going under the radar.
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