Moody’s Downgrades EQT Debt to Junk Status Following Write-Down

On Monday EQT, the nation’s largest natural gas producer (based in Pittsburgh) filed an update with the SEC to say it would write down the value (called an impairment) for some of it’s Marcellus/Utica assets–to the tune of $1.8 billion (see EQT to Write Down Up to $1.8 Billion in M-U Assets for 4Q19). Also in Monday’s update is the news that EQT is recognizing a 20% reduction in the value of its reserves (not as much as can be extracted profitably at current prices). Given Monday’s news, the analysts at Moody’s Investors Service downgraded some of EQT’s debt (notes), to junk status.
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Eagle Hires Matrix to Build Jacksonville, FL LNG Export Plant

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A small LNG export facility project at a site on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida first appeared on our radar in November 2018 when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted it a favorable environmental impact statement. Since that time the Eagle LNG export project has received tax incentives from the City of Jacksonville, and last September FERC gave the project final approval to proceed (see FERC Grants Final Approval to Jacksonville, FL LNG Export Plant). The project is now getting real. Eagle just announced they’ve hired Matrix Service to build the facility.
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KM’s Elba Island LNG Asks FERC for OK to Start Up Unit 2

A slight tweak and correction to a story we ran last week in which we speculated that the first four mini-trains at Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island LNG export facility are now up and running (see KM’s Elba Island LNG Makes Rapid Progress, Units 1-4 Now Online). We told you we could not find evidence in the FERC dockets that Unit #2 was in fact up and running, but we assumed it was. It was not. On Monday KM asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to start up Unit #2, saying it would be ready to rock-n-roll beginning tomorrow, Jan. 16. Our timing was just a tad off.
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More Changes at the Top for Tallgrass – New CFO

In December, Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, a major energy investment firm, announced it had cut a deal to buy the remaining shares of stock it doesn’t already own in Tallgrass Energy for $3 billion, with a plan to take the company private (see With Tallgrass Founder/CEO Gone, Blackstone Forces Sale/Merger). As we previously pointed out, Tallgrass Founder and CEO David G. Dehaemers Jr. has cashed in his chips and retired, clearing the way for William R. (Bill) Moler to take over as CEO. We now have a second high-level change in the company–a new Chief Financial Officer.
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16 Democrat State AGs Oppose Trump Plan to Ship LNG via Rail

Last April President Trump issued an Executive Order directing the Secretary of Transportation to write a new rule allowing specially constructed tanker cars for railroads (DOT-113 tank cars) to ship LNG, i.e., liquefied natural gas (see Here Come the “Bomb Trains” – Trump to Allow LNG by Rail). The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), issued a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (draft regulations) to move the process forward in October (see US DOT Gets Serious About LNG by Rail – Publishes Proposed Rules). Monday was the final day for comments on the proposed rules. Unsurprisingly 16 uber-partisan Democrat state attorneys general filed a joint letter opposing the new regs.
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Bloomberg Lawyers in State AG Offices “Political Mercenaries”

In December 2017 MDN told you about the bastardization of our justice system by Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg funneled money to New York University (NYU) School of Law which in turn pays to hire radical (Democrat) attorneys to work inside the offices of the attorneys general in 10 different states, including Pennsylvania (see NYU Buying Frivolous Enviro Lawsuits by Hiring Lawyers for State AGs). The aim of hiring these lawyers to work alongside AGs is to launch lawsuits to “protect” the environment–i.e. sue fossil fuel companies. It is a gross perversion of our justice system and MUST STOP.
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World’s Top Investment Firm to Phase Out Fossil Fuels, Eventually

BlackRock Inc. is the world’s number #1 asset manager–with nearly $7 trillion in investments. The company invests in a LOT of companies that produce or are dependent on the production of fossil fuels. Important company to our industry. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, in a pair of letters (one to CEOs and one to investors) has just signaled BlackRock will begin to move away from fossil fuel investments. But (and this is a big but), it won’t happen overnight.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Jan 15, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: ODNR issues 4 Utica drilling permits; W.Va. 2/I-68 authority searching for support; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Tractor trailer carrying natural gas hits plow, tips over on I-95 in Maine; NATIONAL: New electric generating capacity in 2020 will come primarily from wind and solar; PHMSA issues final rule for underground natural gas storage facilities; INTERNATIONAL: Encana shareholders overwhelmingly OK moving to Denver, rebranding as Ovintiv.
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