EQT Update – Making Moves to Drill More in WV in 2021

Yesterday the country’s largest natural gas producer, EQT Corporation, released its 4Q and full-year 2020 update, holding a conference call with analysts to discuss the results. The update shows the company produced an average of 4.45 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas in 4Q. Although there was plenty of “free cash flow” for the year, on paper the company lost $967 million in 2020, which is an improvement over the year before when it lost $1.2 billion. Perhaps the biggest news (for us) coming from yesterday’s update is that in 4Q EQT turned its drilling attention to the West Virginia Marcellus. EQT plans to do much more drilling in WV this year too.
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ET Update – Mariner East 2 Gets Finished in 2Q21

Pipeline giant Energy Transfer made quite a splash yesterday during its 4Q and full-year 2020 update by announcing the company has cut a deal to buy Enable Midstream for $7.2 billion. That deal, while important, has nothing to do with the M-U region. We were interested in talk about the company’s Mariner East (ME) pipeline system and Marcus Hook terminal–and there was plenty of talk about those important assets too. Co-CEO Tom Long said he expects the last pieces of ME to finally be done in the second quarter of this year.
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DRBC Presses Forward – Special Mtg to Ban Fracking in Dela. Basin

What is it with the recalcitrant members of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC)? As we told you a few weeks ago, the DRBC is being sued by a Wayne County, PA landowner–who stands an excellent chance of winning (see DRBC Frack Ban Heading for Defeat in October Trial). The lawsuit argues DRBC does NOT have the authority to classify shale gas drilling as a “project” under its charter, and consequently, DRBC does not have the right nor the authority to ban fracking in the Basin. Yet DRBC has just announced its commissioners will meet (virtually) next week to finalize their ongoing moratorium of fracking into a full-on, permanent ban.
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Construction Continues at Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant in Ohio

Guernsey Power Station under construction (credit: Daily Jeffersonian)

From time to time we check in on the Guernsey Power Station, a mammoth 1,875-megawatt Marcellus/Utica gas-fired electric generating station being built in southern Guernsey County in Ohio. As near as we can tell, it is the biggest natgas-fired plant anywhere, period. We spotted a story about work being done to extend a sewer line to the plant, meaning the project remains active and on track to come online in the fall of 2022.
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Antis Bully PA DEP to Reopen Wastewater Recycling Permit Renewals

We hate it when the bad guys win even a small victory, as has just happened. We told you last week about a group of radicalized anti-fossil fuelers who raised a stink with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Proteciton (DEP) over the DEP’s routine, nothing-to-see-here renewal of permits for already-running (with no operational problems) shale wastewater recycling facilities scattered around the state (see PA Antis Try to Block Permit Renewals for Shale Wastewater Recycling). And just like a cheap suit, DEP Secretary Pat McDonnell has folded and caved to antis’ demands to reopen the reissued permits.
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ME2 Pipe Does NOT have to Pay Anti Attorneys in Lawsuit Settlement

Here’s a small victory to celebrate. In July 2018 three radical environmental groups dropped their objections to permits the DEP previously granted for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline. Clean Air Council, Mountain Watershed Association, and THE Delaware Riverkeeper “settled” their appeal of 20 permits issued to Sunoco for the ME2 project (see Enviro Groups Back Down on Challenging DEP Permits for ME2 Pipe). After settling, the radicals demanded that Sunoco/Mariner East pay $228,246 in legal fees, even though the radicals are the ones who did the suing!
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Feb 8-12

All three M-U states received permits to drill new shale wells last week. Pennsylvania received 16 new permits. Ohio received 3 new permits. And West Virginia received 4 new permits.
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Other Stories of Interest: Thu, Feb 18, 2021

OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Texas natural gas is saving the day for one Texan arse after another; Texas freeze allows Jerry Jones’ natural gas company to “hit jackpot”; This blizzard exposes the perils of attempting to ‘electrify everything’; Texas Gov. Abbott orders no exporting by natural gas producers through Feb. 21; NATIONAL: EIA forecasts the U.S. will import more petroleum than it exports in 2021 and 2022; US gas supply crunch hits wider market amid historic freeze-off, record prices; Shale rig owner touts new price model as drilling speeds up; Tech-savvy entrepreneurs make inroads into fracking operations in shale oil and gas; INTERNATIONAL: Saudi Arabia set to raise oil output amid recovery in prices.
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