Former EQT CEO: Shale Revolution a “Disaster” for Investors

Steve Schlotterbeck

One of the highlights for MDN editor Jim Willis in attending last week’s Northeast Petrochemical Conference in Pittsburgh was the opportunity to meet and hear speak Steve Schlotterbeck, former CEO of EQT. Steve is the guy who pulled off the buyout/merger of Rice Energy into EQT, creating the largest natural gas producing company in the United States. He had the guts to walk away from EQT when the board refused to pay him what he was worth (see EQT CEO Steve Schlotterbeck Suddenly Quits, Leaves Company). Last Friday morning Steve opened the final day of the conference with more guts and plain talk. He said the shale industry has been “an unmitigated disaster for buy and hold investors.” Whoa! What did he mean?

UPDATE: We have a full transcript of Steve’s speech below.
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Antero Wins $96M Lawsuit Against DC Utility for Not Buying Gas

In 2016 WGL Midstream became an investor/joint venture partner in the Stonewall Gathering System, a system which gathers Antero Resources’ natural gas from several West Virginia counties (see M3’s Stonewall Gathering System in WV Gets New Investor/Partner). WGL Midstream is a subsidiary of Washington Gas Light Co., a utility servicing the Washington, D.C. area.
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Equinor (Statoil) Drilling Long Utica Laterals, Production Up 5X

We caught some news of interest coming from last week’s Hart Energy DUG East Conference about Equinor, formerly known as Statoil. According to reporters at the event, Nicole Baird, an asset manager with Equinor, said the company has increased its Utica production five-fold from 2016 to 2018 and now produces in the range of 300 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of Utica shale gas.
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PA Rig Manufacturer Schramm Files for Ch. 11 Bankruptcy

From time to time we’ve mentioned shale drilling rigs manufactured by Schramm. The company is headquartered near Philadelphia, in West Chester, PA. Because of the “prolonged downturn” in the oil and gas industry (i.e. less drilling), Schramm has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company has defaulted on $70 million of secured loan obligations. Schramm is shopping for another company to buy it.

6/26/19 UPDATE: The first day of bankruptcy proceedings were rocky for Schramm over the role of an “insider” in the case. See below.
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Pipelines that Move Marcellus/Utica Gas to the Gulf Coast

RBN Energy is running an excellent series chronicling how natural gas in the Marcellus/Utica makes its way out of our region to other regions. We previously brought you portions of a post covering pipelines that carry our gas to the Midwest and Canada (see Pathways for Marcellus/Utica Gas to Exit Northeast Region). Today we have their latest post, covering pathways out of the M-U heading to the Gulf Coast.
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UToledo Utica Fracking Study Shining Example of Junk Science

A group of antis at the University of Toledo thought they’d slip in a new “study” that attempts to tie the proximity of Utica Shale wells to radon. It’s a total sham. From the authors of the study: “The data in the study are from self-reported devices and not distributed equally throughout Ohio.” So first, they base their “study” on self-reported numbers without a even a random scientific sampling. Second, the “study” reports that Athens County, OH has the most Utica fracked wells–108 of them to be precise. One little problem: There are ZERO shale wells in Athens County. Translation: This is junk science. Or more properly, political science.
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Rhode Island Commits Energy Suicide – Rejects Gas-Fired Plant

Last September MDN told you that a new natgas-fired electric plant planned for the People’s Republic of Rhode Island in Burrillville was on life support, with antis reaching to pull the plug (see Proposed Rhode Island Gas-Fired Plant on Life Support). In March we told you the project wasn’t dead quite yet (see Proposed Rhode Island Gas-Fired Plant Still has a Pulse). But in May, the patient took a turn for the worst, going into arrhythmia (see Future of Invenergy’s Rhode Island Gas-Fired Power Plant “Uncertain”). We’re sorry to report the patient has died–at the hands of the RI Energy Facility Siting Board.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Jun 25, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: SRBC enters into $18,500 settlement with Sunoco Mariner East II pipeline; Chevron Phillips makes $15B acquisition bid for Nova Chemical; 70 activists arrested at climate change rally outside NY Times building; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Consumer Energy Alliance launches new campaign and report for NJ; Duke Indiana IRP adds 1,240 MW gas, keeps some coal online for almost 20 years; NATIONAL: Baker Hughes and C3.ai announce joint venture to deliver AI solutions; Trump should waive Jones Act for Puerto Rico, let them buy American energy; Tapper grills Pence: Is climate change a threat?; LaFleur opts not to seek another term as FERC member; INTERNATIONAL: US lawmakers: Nord Stream 2 ‘a terrible mistake’; Why the global fossil-fuel phase-out is a fantasy akin to time travel.
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