Bids for Chevron’s 550K M-U Acres & 500 Wells Due in Mid-August

Last December Chevron announced it was writing down over $10 billion worth of its U.S. onshore shale assets, with $6.5 billion of that number coming from its Marcellus/Utica assets. Also in December, the company posted for sale ALL of their M-U assets (see Chevron Confirms M-U Assets for Sale, Asks Vendors to Avoid Media). Just sticking a “for sale by owner” sign on more than a half-million acres of leases and over 500 wells didn’t work, so in February Chevron hired investment bank Barclays to help shop their M-U assets (see Chevron Hires Barclays to Help Sell Its Marcellus/Utica Assets).
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PA Gov. Wolf Gives DEP Extra Time to File Carbon Tax Plan

Last October PA Gov. Tom Wolf, in a naked power-grab, said he would try to force PA to join the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a group of northeastern states attempting to assassinate coal and gas-fired power generation by taxing it to death with an insane carbon tax (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). Wolf signed an Executive Order (EO) tasking his Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) with the job of concocting a plan by July 31. Yesterday Wolf tweaked his original EO and extended the deadline for DEP by an extra six weeks–to Sept. 15.
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ME2 Pipe Inspector Admits Falsifying Welding Records 77 Times

In March a worker hired to x-ray welds on sections of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in southwestern Pennsylvania was charged with falsifying records–that he falsely claimed to have performed work when he didn’t (see ME2 Pipeline Worker Charged with Falsifying Welding Records). Yesterday the worker, via a video hearing, plead guilty to 77 counts of falsifying documents.
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Pipe Welding Inspector Sues Equitrans for Overtime, Class Action

Coincidentally we have a second story today about pipe welding inspectors. In another post, we tell you about a pipeline welding inspector who falsified records (see ME2 Pipe Worker in SWPA Admits Falsifying Welding Records 77 Times), which is very much the exception and not the rule. In this second story, an inspector who worked for Equitrans Midstream has filed what he hopes will become a class action lawsuit against the Equitrans, claiming he and others were jilted out of overtime pay.
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Why is NatGas Price Stubbornly Low Even with Less Oil Production?

The received wisdom has been that with the oil markets getting whacked by the Saudis, the Russians, and the virus, and with new drilling scaled back and oil wells in the Permian, Bakken, Eagle Ford and other oil plays being shut-in, far less “associated gas” would be produced, leading to tighter natgas supplies further leading to higher prices for natgas (benefitting the Marcellus/Utica). But the price of natgas has remained at a 25-year low. What the heck is going on?
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Deloitte Publishes “Study” Bashing Shale Oil – Says Shale has Peaked

Here we go again, another “peak oil” theory by the tinfoil hat brigade–except this time the theory is specifically about shale oil and comes from a (used to be) respected company–powerhouse consulting firm Deloitte. Yesterday Deloitte published a new study called, “The Great Compression: Implications of COVID-19 for the US Shale Industry” (full copy below), spinning the theory that the virus pandemic has effectively revealed what “everyone” already knew anyway–shale oil drilling was always a fraud and has already peaked, never made money, destroyed a gajillion dollars of investor value, and bankrupted 190 companies. Shale oil drillers may as well just curl up in a ball and die.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Jun 23, 2020

OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Tellurian names Souki as executive chairman; NATIONAL: Oilfield services and equipment sector loses 15,000 jobs in May; U.S. feed gas deliveries for LNG rebounds, but more cargo cancellations likely; Trump administration allows Chesapeake to suspend drilling on over 100 leases; KBR to focus on government contracts, quit natural gas, energy business; Supreme Court unleashing power over pipelines, natural gas; INTERNATIONAL: Everyone suddenly wants higher oil prices; India launches its first natural gas exchange.
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