Chesapeake Energy Execs Paid $25 Million in Bonuses

Chesapeake Energy’s executives, including CEO Doug Lawler, have arguably made some bad decisions about the company–for years. The executives decided to convert Chessy from a gas-focused driller to an oil-focused driller, selling off its prized Utica Shale assets in Ohio to do so in 2018 (see Stop Press: Chesapeake Sells ALL of its Ohio Utica Assets for $2B). It was the wrong decision. Now that the oil market is crashing and burning, the company (with $9 billion in debt) is preparing to file for bankruptcy (see Chesapeake Energy Prepares Potential Ch. 11 Bankruptcy Filing). So what does the board do? The board has just rewarded its top executives, including Lawler, with $25 million in “incentives” to stick around for another 12 months! That takes the cake.
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Gulfport Energy Reports Q1 Loss, Shutting in Some Production

Last Friday Gulfport Energy, the third-largest (by number wells drilled) producer in the Ohio Utica Shale (210,000 acres) which concentrates its drilling in the Ohio Utica and the Oklahoma SCOOP plays, issued its first-quarter 2020 update. On paper, the company lost $517 million due to a one-time impairment charge (writing down of asset value) of $553 million. The company said on Friday it would “shut in a minimal amount production” over the next few months given the virus pandemic.
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3 TETCO Pipelines in Kentucky Shut Down (for Now) Following Blast

One week ago the Texas Eastern Pipeline Company (TETCO) pipeline running through Kentucky exploded for the second time in a year (see Texas Eastern Pipeline Explodes in Kentucky…Again). The Marcellus/Utica gas flowing through TETCO in that area had been flowing at 1.33 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). It’s now flowing at zero. When will gas flows return to at least one of the three TETCO lines running through Kentucky?
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FERC OKs WV Storage Field to Increase Tariff, Keep More Gas

Here’s an interesting aspect of the natural gas business you may not have heard about before (we hadn’t). As you may know, not all gas produced gets used immediately. Some gas gets stored, typically in underground caverns, and later extracted for use when needed. Buyers (like utility companies) contract with storage fields to park the gas they’ve purchased until they need it. What you may not know is that not 100% of the molecules that go in come back out again.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, May 11, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: PA DEP Air Quality Advisory Committee takes no position on proposed carbon tax; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Schlumberger plans to cut jobs in Houston; NATIONAL: U.S. drilling rig count lowest since 1975 as shale boom fades; Midstream companies are making deep cuts to capital spending; We disagree with you, so shut up – environmental left cage fight; Now more than ever, Americans must support oil and natural gas; INTERNATIONAL: Qatar uses market mayhem to secure top spot in global LNG market.
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