WV Outlaws Anti Protesters Who Try to Block Pipeline Construction

Last week MDN told you about a flurry of oil and gas bills passed by the West Virginia legislature signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice (see Flurry of WV O&G Bills Signed into Law Incl. Petchem Tax Credits). At the time we focused on a couple of petrochemical tax credit bills, but there’s another important bill in the batch we’d like to call your attention to today: House Bill (HB) 4615, a bill (now law) that clamps down on anti-fossil fuel protesters who like to take the law into their own hands.
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COVID Loan/Grant Money for Small & Medium-Size Biz, Including M-U

Attention all small- and medium-sized businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees): Beginning tomorrow (Friday) you can sign up for the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program, part of the COVID-19 relief package recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. This is important! The program, administered by local banks (won’t charge you any fees) will allow you to borrow money to cover payroll (and benefits), mortgage interest, rent and utilities for up to 8 weeks. Here’s the kicker: Those loans, provided they meet certain guidelines, will be FULLY FORGIVEN. In other words, this is a grant to help you get through the COVID crisis. And it applies to Marcellus/Utica companies and those who service them (as well as other kinds of businesses).
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Conventional Drillers Face Tough Decisions re Stripper Wells

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Although some Marcellus/Utica drillers also own conventional (vertical-only) oil and gas wells as part of their portfolio, most conventional drillers are smaller “mom and pop” types of companies. Conventional oil well owners in the M-U, as well as across the country, face some of the same problems as shale drillers with a crash in oil prices: What to do with older wells? Thousands of older conventional oil wells produce as little as 10 barrels of oil per day. These low-producing wells are called stripper wells. With oil selling at $20/barrel, some stripper wells can still break even, but many cannot. It costs an average of $20,000-$40,000 to plug an old stripper well. Sometimes it’s more economic to simply keep a stripper pumping (and losing money) rather than pony up big bucks to close the well. It’s a conundrum.
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Analysts Predict Natural Gas Prices to Rebound in 2021

Is relief on the horizon for Marcellus/Utica drillers in the form of higher prices for natural gas? According to several analysts, due to several factors coming later this year and next year (a rebound in the economy, lower natgas production), we will see “significantly higher prices next year” for natgas. How much higher? “We expect an average Henry Hub price of $3.50[/MMBtu] for next year and anticipate gas reaching the $4 threshold in [the fourth quarter of 2021].” Between now and then it’s a game of Survivor…until higher prices get here.
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U.S. Natural Gas Exports Hit Highest Weekly Average EVER

During the week of March 24 (Tuesday) to March 30 (Monday) exports of natural gas from the Lower 48 States to other countries averaged more than 15 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d)–the highest weekly average for natgas exports EVER. Most of that amazing number comes from exports via LNG facilities–some 9.5 Bcf/d. The rest are exports via pipeline into Mexico–averaging 5.5 Bcf/d.
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Big Oil Capitulates to Big Green Scaremongers re Climate Change

Although we have a deep respect for the work done by the American Petroleum Institute (API) in self-governance and raising standards for the entire industry, today we write to disagree with one of API’s initiatives. API along with two other big oil and gas associations–the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) and the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP)–collaborate to produce a document called the “Sustainability Reporting Guidance for the Oil and Gas Industry.” It’s a tool to help companies shape the structure and content of their so-called sustainability reporting. In our opinion, it’s a capitulation to the notion that we must transition to an all-renewable energy future. We categorically reject that losing premise.
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Fossil Fuels Save Millions of Lives During Coronavirus Outbreak

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MDN previously made comments scattered over several posts pointing out that without plastics, which come from oil and gas, the world (in particular the U.S.) would have already experienced mass deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic far worse than what we have. In other words, the world can thank frackers and the petrochemical industry for saving lives. We spotted a column by Dan Markind, a Philadelphia attorney who publishes columns about the Marcellus/Utica on the Forbes magazine website, noting that the world has “turned to fossil fuels” in order to fight the coronavirus. Dan does a great job of pulling all the threads together to make the case that oil and gas and the plastics created by them have helped save the world from an even worse fate.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Apr 2, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Cabot Oil & Gas a beneficiary of low oil prices; WVU Coliseum to receive new seats; NATIONAL: Save America’s oil and gas industry; ‘The other bomb’ — Cramer’s warning as first shale company files for Chapter 11; Murkowski wants DOE to shine spotlight on possible oil production shut-ins; Another down day for natural gas futures ahead of highly anticipated EIA report; Private equity can’t escape the pain of shale country’s collapse; Oilfield spending to fall 21% as producers slash outlays; Natural gas markets beyond COVID-19; COVID-19 strikes gas, LNG demand amid oversupply; Not all natural gas pipelines are equal; Pain in the oil patch; INTERNATIONAL: Germany proves how essential natural gas is – and the U.S. must supply.
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