Onshore Rig Count Craters, Still No Bottom, M-U Holds

For the past few months, MDN has followed the Enverus (Drillinginfo) rig count numbers. In our most recent rig count post from two weeks ago we noted the count had fallen to a historic, new all-time low of 298 (see Onshore Rig Count Hits New Low of 298 – Finds Bottom?). Dan Eberhart, CEO of Canary, LLC (the largest privately-owned oilfield services company in the U.S.) wrote a column on the Forbes website stating his belief the rig count had hit bottom and “the worst appears to be behind us.” Looks like Dan was wrong. The latest Enverus rig count, as of Monday, shows the rig count has slipped another 19 to 279. The apocalypse has arrived.
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Ohio Frac Sand Company Covia Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

In December 2017 Fairmount Santrol, an Ohio-based sand producer that sells frac sand to drillers in the Utica and Marcellus Shale, announced it would sell itself to another sand company–Unimin, a subsidiary of Belgium-based SCR-Sibelco–for $170 million and 35% ownership in the newly combined company (see OH Sand Producer Fairmount Santrol Merging w/Unimin in $170M Deal). The newly merged company was later renamed Covia. Earlier this week Covia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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Chesapeake Sues FERC in Bid to Break Pipeline Contracts

Earlier this week MDN brought you the news that Chesapeake Energy is asking a bankruptcy court in Texas for permission to break valid and legal contracts with several pipeline companies as part of its financial reorganization plan (see Chesapeake Asks Court to Break Pipeline Contracts, Including M-U). Just coming to light (for us) is that as part of the bankruptcy filing, Chessy is challenging (suing) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to prevent FERC from making Chessy live up to its contractual agreements.
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Marcellus/Utica Dominates Top 5 Oil & Gas M&A Deals of Q2

Enverus (formerly called Drillinginfo) has just released a summary of its Q2 2020 U.S. upstream M&A report. The update shows upstream (drilling) deals staged a small recovery to $2.6 billion from only $770 million during Q1. However, Q2 still ranks as the third-lowest quarterly value since 2009. Of particular interest for us is that of the top five M&A deals done in Q2, three of them happened in the Marcellus/Utica.
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Epsilon Energy Buys Back 2.3M Shares of Common Stock

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Epsilon Energy concentrates most of its effort on the Marcellus in Susquehanna County, PA. Epsilon doesn’t actually do any of its own drilling. The company partners with (gives money to) other companies, like Chesapeake Energy, and the other companies do the actual drilling. Epsilon, according to its website, owns ~4,000 net acres in the PA Marcellus. They also own assets in Oklahoma’s Anadarko Basin. In May Epsilon offered to buy back up to 2 million shares of common stock from stockholders (see Epsilon Energy Offers to Buy Back 2M Shares of Common Stock). The company ended up buying back 2.3 million shares.
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New York Utilities Jump Off a Cliff with Andrew Cuomo – Limit Gas

The mafia, in the person of Andrew Cuomo, has taken over in New York State. The state is now officially, completely, dark and corrupt. We offer into evidence two recent actions to support our view. One is that two major Upstate utility companies, both owned by the Spanish-based Iberdrola, have agreed to stop advertising their natural gas service and won’t build any new gas delivery pipelines in a bid to discourage new gas customers from signing up. The companies have voluntarily agreed to cap their own businesses and revenues–to harm their investors–at the demand of Lord Cuomo. The second action is the state Siting Board has ruled they will NOT consider the negative impact on property values when approving huge wind and solar farms.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Jul 2, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Pittsburgh cosponsors U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution calling on cities to divest from fossil fuels; 3 workers test positive at Shell construction site this month; RTC Partners completes investment in Hull & Associates; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Which version of Hickenlooper will emerge in the general election?; NATIONAL: July bidweek gas reaches lowest levels of the year as production stabilizes.
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