EQT Issues List of Board Nominees; Adopts Universal Proxy Card

In the fight to control EQT, it appears like the momentum has just shifted in favor of EQT’s existing management. No more defense, EQT’s management team and board are now on offense. Yesterday the board and CEO Rob McNally released their list of proposed nominees to be voted on at the annual meeting in July. Three longtime members of the existing board including (surprisingly) board chairman Jim Rohr, will be out. Three new members have been named to replace them. Most important, in a bold move, EQT is adopting a “universal proxy card”–something advocated by Toby and Derek Rice in their attempt to replace the board. We explain this important development below…
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Chesapeake Turns its Back on NatGas in Pursuit of St. Elmo’s Oil

Chesapeake Energy CEO Doug Lawler continues his quest to transform what used to be the nation’s second largest natural gas producer into an oil company. Yesterday the company issued its first quarter 2019 update. From that update we learn that Chessy will pull money out of its Marcellus and Haynesville shale gas drilling programs, dropping from three to two rigs in the Marcellus and from two to one rigs in the Haynesville, in order to put more money, rigs, time and effort into the company’s Powder River Basin oil drilling program. We liken their pursuit of oil riches to trying to grab St. Elmo’s Fire–it appears, and as soon as you reach to grab it, it’s gone.
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MarkWest Gathered & Processed Volumes Thru the Roof in 1Q19

MarkWest Energy, now part of MPLX (Marathon Petroleum) operates the nation’s largest cryogenic gas processing plant operation in the country, the Sherwood Complex, in West Virginia (see Nation’s Biggest NatGas Processing Plant (in WV) Getting Bigger). MarkWest/MPLX released its quarterly update yesterday. The company has grown, a lot, with operations in multiple regions of the country. Our interest is, of course, the Marcellus/Utica. Gathered volumes in the M-U averaged 3.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 1Q19, up a huge 26% versus 1Q18. Processed volumes averaged 6.0 Bcf/d, an 18% increase over 1Q18 thanks to expanded volumes from the Sherwood (in Doddridge County, WV) and Harmon Creek (in Washington County, PA) processing plants.
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Legislation Requiring PA Get 100% Electric from Renewables DOA

A radical Pennsylvania environmental group called PennEnvironment is pushing a media narrative that a “collection of 88 Republican and Democratic Pennsylvania state legislators” have joined together to introduce and endorse a truly insane plan that would require all (as in 100%) of electricity generated in the Keystone State to come from so-called renewables by 2050–just 30 years from now. It will NEVER happen, but that’s beside the point. Our point is that one named Republican is part of this “bipartisan collection” of 88 leftists. The lone Republican is PA State Sen. Tom Killion from the Philadelphia area.
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PA Senate Committee Votes to Reconfirm DEP Sec. Pat McDonnell

Patrick McDonnell, DEP Sec.

Yesterday the Pennsylvania State Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a hearing on the reconfirmation of Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Pat McDonnell. After the hearing the members of the committee voted 8 to 2 to recommend reconfirming McDonnell. During the hearing there were some fireworks between committee chairman Sen. Gene Yaw and committee member Andy “Tony Soprano” Dinniman.
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ME2 Pipeline Protester Jail Sentence, Fine Upheld in Court

Huntingdon County, PA landowner Ellen Gerhart, adamantly opposed to the Mariner East 2 pipeline being constructed across her land, tried to block construction on her property. She had her day in court last August and was found guilty of violating a judge’s previous order to stop interfering with construction (see Mariner East 2 Pipeline Protester Sentenced 2-6 Months in Jail). Gerhart was sentenced to jail and a $2,000 fine. What did she do to deserve jail time?
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Chevron Leaves the Altar with $1B, Waves Goodbye to Anadarko

Whew, that was close. We’ve had a concern that if Chevron ended up buying Anadarko Petroleum (for Anadarko’s Permian Basin oil assets), it might lead to Chevron pulling back from their drilling program in the Marcellus/Utica (see Permian Love Story: Chevron Buying Anadarko in $50B Megamerger). We don’t have to worry any more. Even though Anadarko signed a deal to sell itself to Chevron, Occidental Petroleum made a bid to buy the company too (see Occidental Petroleum Offers 14% More than Chevron to Buy Anadarko). There’s a breakup clause in the signed Chevron deal. Anadarko would have to pay Chevron $1 billion for leaving them at the altar.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, May 9, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Ohio’s oil and gas industry offers a wide variety of career opportunities; Exelon to close Pennsylvania Three Mile Island nuclear plant in September; Michael Bloomberg is paying a climate prosecutor $125,000 to work ‘pro bono’ for Maryland’s AG; NATIONAL: U.S. energy consumption, production, and exports reach record highs in 2018; The shale revolution isn’t just about cheap energy, it’s changing geopolitics; Once-key data about natural gas loses clout; Clean Energy inks slew of natural gas contracts nationwide; Trump’s misguided U-turn on the Jones Act; INTERNATIONAL: Natural gas vehicles likely to account for 50 pc of total new sales by 2030.
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