ExxonMobil Announces Plan to Divest “Certain” N.A. Dry Gas Assets

Yesterday ExxonMobil released the outlines of its development plan for the next five years. We previously alerted you that Exxon was looking to write down (impair) up to $30 billion of its assets, including (potentially) its assets in the Marcellus/Utica (see ExxonMobil Deciding Fate of XTO Asset Value in 4Q). Indeed it has happened, albeit not quite as bad as expected. Exxon says the impairments, which include assets in the M-U, will be on the order of $17-$20 billion. Exxon is also considering a sale of those impaired assets.
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NatGas Shortage May Cause Blackouts in New England This Winter

If there’s a bad cold snap in New England this winter forcing residents to use more natural gas (leaving less natgas for power plants), blackouts may occur. That’s the prediction from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) in their just published 2020-2021 Winter Reliability Assessment (full copy below). If blackouts do occur, the residents of New England can thank Gov. Cuomo and their own politicians, like Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, for blocking natural gas pipeline projects to the region.
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Diversified Gas & Oil Plays Big Role in Kentucky O&G Industry

Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) is a fascinating company (see our DGO stories here). DGO’s strategy is to buy wells in “the long tail.” That is, wells already drilled with production far along the decline curve, but wells that will continue to produce small amounts for years to come. In October, DGO CEO Rusty Hutson, a West Virginia native, wrote a column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail expressing his company’s love for and investment in the Mountain State (see Diversified Gas & Oil Employs 425, Spends $100M per Year in WV). We have a similar article recently written for Kentucky where DGO has extensive assets.
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FirstEnergy Credit Rating Lowered to ‘Junk’ re Nuke Scandal

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FirstEnergy continues to get battered over its alleged role in a $60 million bribery scandal in Ohio. The latest blow comes from the country’s three main ratings agencies, Fitch, Moody’s and S&P, which have all downgraded FirstEnergy’s credit rating to ‘junk’ status.
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Meg Gentle Suddenly Departs as CEO of Tellurian/Driftwood LNG

In December 2015, evil corporate raider Carl Icahn (invests in companies so he can fire a bunch of people, boost the stock and pocket the profit) fired Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki (see Evil Corporate Raider Carl Icahn Claims Another CEO Scalp). Souki didn’t let it slow him down. He started a new LNG export company, Tellurian, to compete with his old company (see Revenge: Fired Cheniere CEO Starts Competing LNG Company). Souki later lured away Cheniere executive Meg Gentle to be the CEO of Tellurian. As of yesterday Gentle is out, replaced by Octávio Simões.
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U.S. Senate Confirms Radical NRDC Lawyer as FERC Commissioner

Allison Clements, former NRDC lawyer

Even though MDN editor Jim Willis once worked at both The White House (during the Reagan years) and for Congresswoman Helen Bentley on Capitol Hill during the 1980s, he still sometimes does not understand the inner workings of the D.C. swamp. Example: Why did President Trump nominate, and a Republican Senate just confirm, Allison Clements to be a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioner?
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Other Stories of Interest: Tue, Dec 1, 2020

OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Colorado operators to face most-stringent drilling setbacks in US; NATIONAL: What impact will the next administration have on climate litigation?; Five reasons why internal combustion engines are here to stay; Why oil won’t “go gentle into that good night”; Energy industry braces for Biden-era court clashes; INTERNATIONAL: U.S. to add Chinese oil driller to list of firms barred from receiving American investments; The complicated battle over the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline; The world’s largest trade pact could crush U.S. gas exports.
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