Chesapeake Energy & Total Beat Class Action Royalty Lawsuit in OH

In 2015 a group of Ohio landowners did what landowners had previously done in Pennsylvania, Texas and elsewhere–they filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy claiming Chessy had screwed them and about 1,000 other Ohio landowners out of a collective $30 million in royalty payments (see OH Landowners File Royalty Class Action Lawsuit Against Chesapeake). It took nearly five years with a lot of twists and turns, but yesterday the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio ruled in favor of Chesapeake, dismissing the claims against them.
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EQT Restarts Fracking Ops After Worker Diagnosed with COVID-19

Last week MDN told you that a contractor working in EQT’s hydraulic fracturing (“completions”) operation who had worked at a site in Belmont County, OH tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus (see EQT Stops Fracking After Worker Gets COVID-19; Suspends Dividends). Because the worker had been in contact with a number of other workers in EQT’s completions unit, the company temporarily shut down all completions (fracking) operations until the expiration of a 14-day waiting period based on when the worker had come in contact with others. The wait is over. On Sunday EQT restarted fracking and completions operations.
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PTT Cracker Project Reaches Tax Agreement with Belmont County, OH

Even amid the coronavirus pandemonium and economic destruction happening everywhere, important oil and gas (and petrochemical) projects continue to make progress. In particular, the PTT Global Chemical plan to build an ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH still shows signs of life. In February PTT’s CEO signaled that a final investment decision on whether (or not) to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH is coming by “mid-year 2020” (see PTT CEO Sends Loud & Clear Signal of Positive FID on OH Cracker). While work to prep the site and get it ready is now paused, work behind the scenes continues. Last week Belmont County commissioners, Mead Township trustees and the Shadyside Board of Education approved a new deal on tax payments should the project get built. This is a major milestone.
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FERC Tells Antis “No” for Rehearing Potomac Pipe Decision

Anti-fossil fuelers are on a holy mission to stop a 3.37-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being built under the Potomac River by Columbia Gas (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). The pipeline, from Maryland on one side of the river to West Virginia on the other side, will be built to feed a larger pipeline project from Mountaineer Gas called the Eastern Panhandle Expansion. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the project in July 2018. In August 2018 a group of radicalized anti-fossil fuelers filed a request for a “rehearing” (reconsideration of the decision)–the first step on the way to filing a court case against the project. FERC took its sweet time, but last week the agency finally turned down the antis’ request for a rehearing.
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Riverkeeper/CAC/PennFuture Make the Case for PennEast & Adelphia

After we picked ourselves up off the floor from laughing so hard, it dawned on us the far-left radicals at THE Delaware Riverkeeper, Clean Air Council and PennFuture have done both the PennEast Pipeline and Adelphia Gateway pipeline projects a HUGE beneficial service. Those three nutty groups commissioned and have just released a new “study” (copy below) that uses data to show PennEast and Adelphia together, WHEN (not if) they get built, will mean that PA drillers have to drill and connect another 1,913 to 3,061 new shale wells to feed them. Well duuuh! Of course it means that!! And that’s a GREAT thing for all of PA. More economic stimulus. More jobs. More tax revenues flowing to local municipalities. (Do these groups know they’ve just handed us a new argument in favor of these pipelines?)
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Shell Pulls Out of Lake Charles LNG Project, Energy Transfer Stays

Is this the beginning of a pullback from LNG project? Scared of the impacts of the coronavirus and the price of oil crashing, Royal Dutch Shell is pulling out of a 50/50 joint venture partnership with Energy Transfer (ET) to build a new LNG export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In corporate speak, Shell says, “This decision is consistent with the initiatives we announced last week to preserve cash and reinforce the resilience of our business,” and “the time is not right for Shell to invest.” Translation: We’re scared. And who can blame them? All of a sudden there are LNG cargoes sailing the oceans with no place to unload (see LNG Cargoes All Dressed Up with Nowhere to Go).
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Experts Predict NatGas Demand/Prices Remain Low into Next Winter

Tenaska is #3 on the list of North American gas marketers–buying and selling more natural gas throughout the country than every other company save two (BP and Macquarie, see Who Sold the Most NatGas in the U.S. in 4th Quarter 2019?). So when the president of Tenaska, David Whitt, says demand for natgas is likely to drop this summer and demand stay low all the way into next winter, you can’t ignore it. He’s probably right. His business depends on him being right.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Mar 31, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Ohio AG says climate tort lawsuits put constituents at a disadvantage; Fracking once lifted Pennsylvania. Now it could be a drag.; Lackawanna College to provide compressor/engine mechanic certification; Gov. Tom Wolf’s former business keeps operating during coronavirus shutdown despite losing state waiver; Public invited to virtual public meeting regarding injection well application in Belmont County; NATIONAL: $4 natural gas by late 2021? It’s possible, says Raymond James; Could oil really fall to $0?; COVID-19 shutdowns compound weak gas demand fundamentals; Chemical manufacturers key in Covid-19 fight.
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