Antero Resources: Layoffs & Spending Cuts Ahead in 2020

Antero Resources, one of the biggest Marcellus/Utica drillers (with major operations in West Virginia) released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 update yesterday, along with hosting a conference call to discuss what investors can expect for 2020. There are loads of important details to share. Production was up 19% in 2019 over 2018. The company lost $482 million in 4Q19, compared to a $122 million loss in 4Q18. However, $463 million of the loss was an impairment charge (write-down) of Antero’s ownership interest in its midstream subsidiary (i.e. paper loss). Looking forward to 2020, the company plans to cut spending by 10% this year (spending $1.15 billion) and plans to make some layoffs. Antero plans to drill 95-100 wells and complete 120-130 wells this year.
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Jail Time for Bypassing Emissions Controls on Marcellus Trucks

In September 2018, MDN brought you the news that six men had been charged with conspiring to illegally alter emissions systems on 30+ trucks with heavy-duty diesel engines, trucks used to haul water and wastewater to and from Marcellus Shale wells (see 6 Charged with Bypassing Emissions Controls on Marcellus Trucks). All six eventually plead guilty (see Man Pleads Guilty to Bypassing Emissions Controls on Marc. Trucks). The wheels of justice grind sloooooowly. The first of the six to receive his sentence happened on Wednesday.
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PA DEP Releases Proposed Plan to Join RGGI Carbon Tax Scheme

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a draft of its proposed rules for PA’s participation in what is called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). It’s a tax on carbon aimed at coal and natural gas-fired electric power plants, with an eye to driving them out of business. PA Gov. Tom Wolf is attempting to force PA to participate in RGGI, a collection of blue northeastern states (New England, NY and NJ) in an attempt to bolster his credibility with environmentalist wackos–to ingratiate himself with the wackos so he is more appealing as a Vice Presidential candidate.
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Will a Brooklyn, NY Mob Stop Completion of National Grid Pipeline?

Mob rule is the opposite of the rule of law. Mob rule is what’s being advocated under the guise of “protest” in Brooklyn, NY where a mob of anti-fossil fuelers are attempting to block the final few feet of construction for a 6.8-mile natural gas pipeline stretching from Brownsville to North Brooklyn. Utility company National Grid, responsible for flowing more natural gas to *meet demand* (and not run out) is working to complete a new gas main pipeline–and a mob in Greenpoint is hell-bent on stopping it. Why? Because they believe in “global warming” and have an irrational hatred of fossil fuels, including natural gas.
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Gov’t Study Finds Marcellus Drilling Does NOT Affect PA Streams

A brand new study (full copy below) published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) looked at 25 small watersheds over the course of 2 years in northeastern Pennsylvania, looking for any possible correlation between fracking and local streams. Know what they found? There is NO impact from fracking on local streams. NONE. Those who worked on the study include researchers from the US Geological Survey, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).
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FERC Defends Pipeline Tolling Orders, Pledges to Use Less Often

Big Green continues its fight to strip away the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) right to use tolling orders when considering requests to “rehear” decisions to approve pipelines (see PA Big Green Supports Lawsuit to Gut FERC re Pipe Approvals). In an update on a court case Big Green is using to challenge FERC, a case involving Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (in the PA Marcellus), FERC has told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that (a) it properly used a tolling order in the case of Atlantic Sunrise, but (b) it promises not to use them so much in the future. Big Green is not, of course, is not happy (they never are).
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Feb 14, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: ODNR issues two shale drilling permits; School finances study by Penn State doesn’t pass smell test; Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Soto bill to ban hydraulic fracturing to devastate working families, jeopardize Pa. union jobs; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: New Shintech ethane cracker in Louisiana starts up; NATIONAL: Why natural-gas prices may sink further after hitting 2016 lows; U.S. natural gas consumption has both winter and summer peaks; Oil boom feels more like a bust in Texas shale patch; Stages per frac crew increases by 26% across shale plays; Drill, baby, drill: oil and natural gas production on federal land passes 1 billion barrels; Landi Renzo launching natural gas option for Ford 7.3-liter; US energy dominance: the case for unbridled optimism; INTERNATIONAL: IEA calls for ‘grand coalition’ to bridge energy, climate gap.
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