Ohio’s #3 Utica Driller, Gulfport Energy, Slashes 2020 Budget 50%

Last Friday the Ohio Utica’s third-largest (by the number of wells drilled) shale driller, Gulfport Energy, filed its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 update. The bad news is that the company lost just over $2 billion in 2019. The good news is that the entire loss was an impairment charge, a “paper loss” and not an actual, out-of-pocket money loss. When you dig deeper into the numbers, you’ll find the company actually produced free cash flow of $37.8 million last year.
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Gulfport’s Largest Investor Wants to Pack Board, Force Change

Last November Gulfport Energy, the Ohio Utica’s third-largest driller, announced they would lay off 13% of their workforce, end (for now) their stock share buy-back program, and “refresh” the board with three new members (see Gulfport Fires 13% of Workers, Ends Stock Buy-Back, Board Changes). Since that time they’ve added another two new board members, making the turnover five total (see Gulfport Continues Board “Refreshment” – 5th Change in 2 Months). Who lit a fire under Gulfport? That would be Firefly Value Partners, Gulfport’s single largest investor. Firefly and Gulfport are in another public spat over adding yet more new board members.
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Summit Midstream 2019 – Flowed Less Gas, Made Less Cash

Summit Midstream Partners, formed in 2009 and headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, operates natural gas, crude oil and produced water gathering (pipeline) systems in six unconventional resource basins, including the Marcellus and Utica. The company concentrates its time and money on four “core focus areas” including the Utica, the Williston (i.e. Bakken), the DJ Basin and the Permian. The Marcellus is part of the company’s “legacy” systems that don’t get as much love (and money). Last week the company issued its 4Q and full-year 2019 update. We will summarize it this way: Summit flowed less gas and consequently made less cash in 2019 than it did in 2018.
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Chevron Tries to Make Room for M-U Workers with Buyout Offers

Last week MDN brought you the news that Chevron will begin to trim 320 jobs in the Marcellus/Utica beginning in early April (see Chevron Cutting 320 Jobs in Marcellus/Utica Beginning April 6th). The Chevron job cuts should not be a surprise, given the company is selling all of its M-U assets (see Chevron Writes Down $5B+ in Marc/Utica Assets, Looks to Sell All). From the beginning of the M-U exit process, Chevron has made it plain it hopes to transfer at least some of the M-U positions to other regions/areas of the company. We now have more insight as to how that may happen.
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Banpu Ponders Entering U.S. LNG Export Market

Banpu, Thailand’s largest coal mining company, loves American shale gas. Over the past several years Banpu has invested ~$500 million in the PA Marcellus, going as far as building a new regional office in northeastern PA (see Banpu Opens New $5M Marcellus Operations Office in NEPA). Recently the company announced a deal to buy Devon Energy’s Barnett Shale assets in Texas (see Banpu Invests Another $770M in Shale – but Not in PA Marcellus). It seems Banpu is not yet done with American shale energy.
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How Coronavirus is Affecting the Oil & Gas Industry

A great many things affect the price of oil and natural gas–weather, economic conditions, supply/demand balance, sunspots. Can a human virus affect the O&G industry too? It seems the answer to that is, YES. We’ve resisted bringing you blow-by-blow the daily coronavirus tripe peddled by mainstream media in their attempt to harm the American “Trump” economy. But we can’t ignore how media-generated panic is affecting world markets–and (now) the oil and gas industry, including the industry here in the U.S.
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Fake Research Coins New Shale Buzzword: “Fraccidents”

For years anti-fossil fuel zealots have used and abused the word “fracking” and its derivatives to describe horizontal hydraulic fracturing, and more generically to describe the entire shale oil and gas industry (drilling, pipelines, etc.). Antis love to slip in phrases like “fracked gas” and refer to those who work in the industry as “frackers.” They call themselves “fracktivists.” It all sounds so naughty. We happen to love the word and we embrace it, to shove it right back in their faces (others in our industry do not like the word and sometimes chide us for using it). A couple of so-called researchers have coined a new fracking-related term: “fraccidents.”
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Mar 3, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: ODNR announces new chief of Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management; Nonprofit, educational organizations: don’t miss this chance to apply for environmental grants; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Cameron LNG Train 2 starts commercial operations; NATIONAL: U.S. crude oil production grew 11% in 2019, surpassing 12 million barrels per day; Trump wants to lift the ban on transporting liquefied natural gas on trains – opponents say it’s a risk; Natural gas continues to reflect seasonality; Baker Hughes: US rig count down 1 unit to 790; EV Dream (video); INTERNATIONAL: TC Energy, tribal leaders reach agreement to resume Coastal GasLink construction.
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