M-U Condensate Prices Briefly Go Negative, Down 91% from Jan 1

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting Marcellus/Utica condensate, produced in places like southwestern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, briefly touched and went below $0/barrel last week, before recovering slightly. The article says the price M-U drillers are getting for condensate is down 91% from January of this year. What’s lacking in the Post-Gazette story is context for how important (or not) condensate is as a revenue stream for M-U drillers.
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Shell Files for Waiver to Restart PA Cracker Work w/Fewer Workers

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, like governors in neighboring states hit hard by the COVID-19 coronavirus, has elected to shut down all non-essential (called non-life-sustaining) businesses in the state until further notice to prevent the spread of the virus. The state issued a comprehensive list of which kinds of businesses could, and could not, continue working during the shutdown. Some 35,000 businesses on the non-life-sustaining list have requested a waiver from the state Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The DCED has so far granted 5,693 waivers, denied 8,952 requests, and ruled another 8,365 do not require a waiver because they fit the life-sustaining definition outlined in the shutdown order.
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Antis Gang Up on PennEast Pipe, Bombard FERC Demanding New Review

Leftist anti-fossil fuelers (nutters all) have worked themselves into a frenzy with a new campaign to bombard the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with requests and demands to begin all over again in its review of the PennEast Pipeline project. Last week MDN told you about the Delaware River Basin Commission’s haughty demand that it be given the right to review and pass judgment on the project before construction begins (see DRBC Oversteps Authority, Says It Must Approve PennEast). In addition to DRBC, the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) has also requested FERC redo its review. And those two agencies have somehow prompted the Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make its own request that FERC redo its environmental assessment for the project.
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Time for Upstate New Yorkers to Sue, Overturn Permanent Frack Ban

Although it seems counterintuitive to say this, maybe NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his legion of radicalized Democrats have done New York landowners a favor with a permanent ban on fracking, passed as part of the most recent state budget (see Cuomo PERMANENTLY Bans NY Fracking in Now-Adopted Budget). How so? They have overplayed their hand by passing a permanent ban. It gives Upstate New Yorkers a VERY strong case against NY in court, to argue that the state has engaged in a “taking” of our private property rights without just compensation as provided for under the U.S. Constitution. So says our good friend Tom Shepstone…
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CARBO Ceramics Files Prepackaged Bankruptcy, Selling to Wilks

Oil billionaire Dan Wilks is going discount shopping. He’s buying up companies in the oil and gas space that are struggling. One of them is CARBO Ceramics, a company that provides a ceramic alternative to sand for use as a proppant in hydraulic fracturing. Proppants, for those new to MDN, “prop open” the fractures created during the fracking process to allow natural gas and natural gas liquids (even oil) to drain out of shale. A special kind of sand called silica, mined mostly in the Midwest is the most prevalent proppant used. However, CARBO has an innovated a ceramic substance–tiny little beads–used as an alternative.
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Rig Count Drops Like a Rock, Biggest 1-Week Drop “in Decades”

Two weeks ago MDN told you about the biggest single-week drop in U.S. rig counts since the final week of December 2015–more than four years ago (see Biggest Rig Count Drop in 4 Years – Who’s Still Drilling?). Rigs dropped by 47 in a single week. That was then. Last week rigs dropped by another 64! NGI says it was “one of the largest down weeks in the past two decades.” Call it a new (and somber) record for the past 20 years. The good news, if there is any, is that the counts in the Marcellus/Utica remained the same week over week. Once again it seems that gas-focused shale plays are the beneficiary of the oil price crash as everyone assumes associated gas coming from shale oil plays will (sooner or later) dry up.
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Going Virtual – List of Canceled, Postponed, and Virtual Events

MDN is updating our Calendar page more frequently to bring you the latest news on events of interest that have either been canceled, postponed, or in some cases, have gone virtual. We encourage you to review the list. A number of free and low-cost webinars and online events have popped up as an alternative to in-person meetings. RBN Energy has taken its excellent School of Energy (next week) completely virtual this time around. That event will set you back some change, but it’s well worth it in our opinion.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Apr 6, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Pennsylvania faces a new wave of abandoned oil and gas wells; Southwest Pa. runs on natural gas, coal; Cabot helping to stock food pantries in Marcellus Shale region; Your view: Wolf was wrong to veto HB 1100; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Texas gets double punch from coronavirus and oil shock. ‘There’s no avoiding this one.’; California issues first new fracking permits since July; NATIONAL: Free webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on oil and gas industry; Chaos, scrambling in the U.S. oil patch as prices plummet; Greenfield natural gas, oil projects in pre-FID ‘all at risk’ for deferral; U.S. oil industry can still surprise with resilience: Mercuria CEO; Embattled energy companies snub creditors to conserve cash; Starwood Energy, OGCI Climate Investments and Elysian Ventures launch new carbon capture project; Victor Davis Hanson: U.S. still the leader in crisis; Democrats’ energy policies hurt black Americans.
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