Vallourec Announces Layoffs for One-Third of its U.S. Workers

Vallourec, headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, manufactures steel pipes used in the oil and gas industry. The company employs some 19,000 people in 20 countries, including the U.S. In fact, Vallourec employs more than 750 at three Youngstown, Ohio units: Vallourec Star, VAM USA and Vallourec USA Corp. Yesterday Vallourec corporate headquarters announced it will reduce (layoff/eliminate) some 900 positions “across all plants as well as support functions.” That number, 900, represents over one-third of Vallourec’s total workforce and contractor positions in North America. The announcement implies all 900 of the positions being eliminated will happen in North America.
Continue reading

Apartment Dwellers Near Philly Sue Sunoco for ME2 Pipe “Nuisance”

More than a dozen residents living in the Turnbridge Apartments in Media (Delaware County), PA recently filed a lawsuit against Sunoco Logistics (Energy Transfer) alleging construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project has created all sorts of problems. The lawsuit says ME2 construction has caused (1) environmental contamination; (2) a major nuisance and inconvenience, especially during 24/7 operations; and (3) intimidation, harassment, fear, and loss of access to outdoor space. This isn’t the first time residents in that area have sued over ME2.
Continue reading

What May Lie Ahead for Chesapeake Energy in the Near-Term

click for larger version

In mid-March, MDN brought you the news that Chesapeake Energy had hired “restructuring advisers” to help the company navigate a $9 billion debt millstone hanging around its neck (see Chesapeake Energy Hires “Restructuring Advisers”). We got some blowback at the time for implying restructuring is more-or-less a euphemism for bankruptcy. Fair enough. Sometimes restructuring avoids bankruptcy. But Chesapeake’s stock is now down 99% in value, trading this morning at 17 cents per share. The picture by anyone’s standard is pretty bleak. The company is about to do a reverse stock split to boost the per-share price. What happens next? Can the company stay out of the bankruptcy ditch?
Continue reading

Saudi-Russian Oil Deal on Shaky Ground; Texas to Join OPEC++?

Is your head spinning yet with all the news about the oil price crash and what the U.S. may or may not do to “fix” it? Ours is! Last week President Trump tweeted to the world he had a conversation with his “friend” the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and the Prince told Trump the Saudis and Russians are close to announcing a major cut in world oil production (see Trump Says Saudis, Russians Agree to Major Oil Production Cut). That news sent oil soaring, up more than $5/barrel. But then Russia denied such talks, and a hasty meeting planned for yesterday between OPEC and Russia (OPEC+) was postponed until Thursday at least. Then a lame-duck Texas Railroad Commissioner (the agency that oversees oil drilling in Texas) piped up to say he wants Texas and the U.S. to join a pact with Saudi Arabia and Russia to restrict oil production. Some are calling it OPEC++. Then, over the weekend, President Trump hinted he may slap tariffs on imported oil if the Saudis/Russians don’t turn back the taps.
Continue reading

Frac Spreads – What They Are and What They Portend for 2020

While the drilling rig count is an important signal for the future of oil (and gas) production, drilling a hole in the ground is only half of the process (and only one-third of the cost). After the hole is drilled comes “completions”–fracking and other work to get the hole producing and connected to a pipeline. Fracking is done by a collection of equipment–things like high-pressure pumps. It’s known in the industry as a “frac spread” (or a “frac fleet”). Counting the number of frac spreads is a better indicator of how much oil will come online than counting active rigs. What does the frac spread count show right now? How quickly will U.S. oil production decrease?
Continue reading

What a National Ban on Fracking Would Mean in Real Numbers

We’re not anywhere close to being “through” the worst of the coronavirus siege. Yet the environmental left in this country is opportunistically using the virus to push for the end of oil AND natural gas use. It’s mindblowing how stupid they really are. They are blinded by their own wacko non-God environmental religion. As we begin to exit from the virus crisis, attention will once again return to the race for the U.S. presidency and to calls from a majority of the Democrat Party to slap a nationwide ban on fracking. What would that *really* mean, in dollars and cents and jobs? We have some numbers for you to mull over.
Continue reading

Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Apr 7, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Albany’s natural gas drilling ban: crushing blow to Upstate New York; NATIONAL: Most North American E&Ps seen cutting 2020 capex by 35-40% as coronavirus wreaks havoc; Oil and natural gas industry responds to COVID-19 with charitable and community assistance; Natural gas will benefit as oil producers shut in production; Fear creates opportunity: Williams Companies and Archrock; INTERNATIONAL: Trump should prepare to be scapegoated for a failed Russia-Saudi oil meeting.
Continue reading