Liberal Groups Force Range, Anadarko to Consider Global Warming

We get tired of saying it, but perhaps we should never get tired of saying that according to the most reliable methods of tracking temperatures on earth (by satellite), THERE IS NO GLOBAL WARMING. The only way global warming alarmists get away with claiming the earth is heating up is by using doctored computer algorithms. The actual testing and measurement of temps doesn’t show we’re heating up! And yet the manipulators who persist in using scare tactics that mankind is somehow causing the earth to heat up catastrophically by burning fossil fuels and leaking methane into the atmosphere, have just claimed a couple of more scalps in their efforts to shut down the fossil fuel industry. A so-called church, the Unitarian Universalist Association (people who believe in everything, consequently they believe in nothing) bought $2,000 worth of Range Resources stock and proposed a resolution to all shareholders at the annual meeting that forces Range to publish a report on how evil the company is for causing global warming (i.e. produce a report on Range’s efforts to scale back methane emissions). The measure passed by 50.25%. A group called As You Sow bought Anadarko stock and floated a resolution instructing the company to produce a report on how mythical man-made global warming will affect the company financially as it will no doubt have to scale back its exploration and production. That resolution passed by 53%. These groups, with innocent-sounding names, are NOT innocent. They are far left, liberal groups that have snookered shareholders into voting against their own best interests by harming the very companies they invest in, forcing those companies, ultimately, to stop drilling. All in the name of “climate change” (i.e. global warming)…
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Bradford County, PA Judge Keeps Chesapeake Royalty Lawsuit Alive

A Bradford County, PA judge has turned down Chesapeake Energy’s attempt to wiggle out of a royalty lawsuit on a technicality. However, the judge also punted the case to a higher court to settle what he calls “novel questions of law”–rather than spending more time and money on such issues at the county court level. This is good news for landowners in Bradford County who have been shafted by Chesapeake’s royalty scheme to shift the cost of piping and processing to landowners by using inflated values for those services. In December 2015, Pennsylvania’s felony-indicted Attorney General, Kathleen Kane (now gone), brought a lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy, Anadarko and Williams accusing them of, among other things, royalty fraud (see PA Atty General Sues Chesapeake Energy, Williams for Royalty Fraud). In May 2016, Chesapeake and Anadarko filed to dismiss Kane’s complaints against them, accusing Kane of attempting to litigate federal antitrust claims in state court (see Chesapeake, Anadarko Try to Wiggle Out of PA Royalty Lawsuit). In June 2016 Kane’s office fired back by filing a motion to keep the case in state, not federal, court. In August, U.S. Middle District Judge Christopher C. Conner granted Kane’s motion–the case stays in the state court system (see Lawsuit Against Chesapeake, Anadarko Heads Back to PA Court). With a new AG now in place, Chesapeake and Anadarko tried to get the lawsuit tossed yet again–this time by saying the law that the AG’s office claims was violated has to do with consumer protection, for people who buy things. Chessy & Anadarko argue landowners aren’t buying anything, they’re selling (minerals), so the law doesn’t protect them from predatory leasing practices (see Chesapeake Tries to Wiggle Out of PA Royalty Lawsuit on Technicality). The Bradford County judge didn’t buy Chesapeake’s argument…
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Top 10 Drillers in All of PA, by Number of Permits Issued

Yesterday we brought you the “Top 10” drillers in southwestern Pennsylvania, as ranked by the number of permits issued (see Top 10 Drillers in SWPA, by Number of Permits Issued). Today we’re bringing you the Top 10 list of drillers by number of permits issued for the entire state of PA. As you might imagine, the picture statewide is quite a bit different from looking at only SWPA. Yes, some of the same companies are in both lists–but only three are in both lists (Range Resources, EQT and Rice Energy). Our Top 10 list is extracted from a list prepared by the (must read) Pittsburgh Business Times…
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Fed Court Exonerates Anadarko in PA Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In May 2012 a water truck driver delivering water to an Anadarko Marcellus Shale well pad in Clinton County, PA missed a turnoff for the road he was supposed to take, at 2:30 am in the morning. A couple of miles later he crashed and tragically died because the road he was on was not marked well and not conducive to the truck he was driving. There was a sign warning the driver not to go beyond a certain point. The driver had previously–that night–already delivered to the well pad and successfully turned onto the road he was supposed to take. Why did he miss it the second time? His widow maintains that even though he worked for a subcontractor, Anadarko was the company in charge and should have had a light illuminating the “No Anadarko Traffic Beyond This Point” sign. So she sued Anadarko, and the subcontractor, for wrongful death. Lower courts threw out the lawsuit but a federal appeals court reinstated a civil suit against Anadarko (see Fed Court Rules PA Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Anadarko Proceeds). The federal court has just ruled. The judge found that Anadarko is not at fault in this tragic accident…
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Chesapeake Tries to Wiggle Out of PA Royalty Lawsuit on Technicality

In December 2015, Pennsylvania’s felony-indicted Attorney General, Kathleen Kane (now gone), brought a lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy, Anadarko and Williams accusing them of, among other things, royalty fraud (see PA Atty General Sues Chesapeake Energy, Williams for Royalty Fraud). In May 2016, MDN reported that Chesapeake and Anadarko had filed to dismiss Kane’s complaints against them, accusing Kane of attempting to litigate federal antitrust claims in state court (see Chesapeake, Anadarko Try to Wiggle Out of PA Royalty Lawsuit). In June 2016 Kane’s office fired back by filing a motion to keep the case in state, not federal, court. In August, U.S. Middle District Judge Christopher C. Conner granted Kane’s motion–the case stays in the state court system (see Lawsuit Against Chesapeake, Anadarko Heads Back to PA Court). We now have a new AG (thank God), but it’s the same case and once again Chesapeake and Anadarko are trying to get the lawsuit tossed–this time by saying the law that the AG claims was violated has to do with consumer protection–for people who buy things. Chessy & Anadarko argue landowners aren’t buying anything, they’re selling (minerals), so the law doesn’t protect them from predatory leasing practices. The Bradford County judge in charge of the case is considering their latest argument to wiggle out of the lawsuit, based on a technicality…
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Top 10 Natural Gas Producers in the U.S., Post-EQT/Rice Merger

As we were reading about yesterday’s big news of EQT buying Rice Energy, we came across a couple of lists (same list, different sources) listing the top 10 natural gas-producing companies in the United States. The list was reworked to show that the combination of EQT and Rice will create the #1 largest natural gas-producing company in the country. An astonishing feat. But what caught our eye in looking over the “top 10” list was just how many of the companies in that list have operations in the Marcellus/Utica. At one time or another, all 10 of the top 10 owned leases and/or drilled in the Marcellus/Utica. By our count, 8 of the top 10 still do. You already know that EQT/Rice will become the #1 producer. But who is #2, and #3? And what about the rest of the list? We have it for you below…
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NEPA Landowners Fight to Sue Chesapeake’s Partners

We’re going to take a stab at this, and we are not confident we will get it 100% right. With that as a warning, we recently reported that a case brought by landowners in northeastern PA against Chesapeake Energy over unwarranted royalty deductions suffered a bit of a setback (see Chesapeake Scores Court Victory to Prevent PA Royalty Class Action). Essentially, the landowners (in this case Scout Energy) argued that since the leases signed say royalty disputes must go to arbitration, we want mass arbitration. A class action, in other words. In May, U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann of the Middle District of Pennsylvania (overseeing the case) issued an opinion that said Chesapeake is right in demanding each case get arbitrated individually–not as part of a class action. The landowners in four cases (all of which seem to be joined, or at least moving along together) filed briefs last week to make a new argument. And here’s where we are not 100% sure, but we think the argument is this: OK, we have to go to arbitration and now it has to be individually. However, there are other defendants named in the case (Anadarko, Williams, Statoil, Mitsui E&P). Since the lease language says the lease is between the landowner and the driller (i.e. Chesapeake), that means the other defendants are NOT covered by the arbitration clause and we (the landowners) can still sue them as a class action. Why? Because (allegedly) those companies colluded together with Chesapeake to “reduce, restrain or eliminate competition for gas and mineral rights, operations rights and gathering serves in multiple counties in Northern Pennsylvania.” Oy vey! It keeps getting more complicated as the days go by…
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Anadarko Settles Criminal Case, Pays $53K for Killing Salamanders

When was the last time you heard of someone indicted on criminal charges and instead of doing time in jail, they just paid money? While some crimes involve fines, they always involve jail, or probation, or some form confinement/punishment other than just paying money. At least that’s what we always thought. But if you’re part of the Gestapo, otherwise known as the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, apparently the rules don’t apply. People in the AG’s office can accuse you of a crime, then shake you down for money, and give that money away to anyone they want. That’s what just happened with Anadarko. As we recently reported (see Anadarko Indicted for Killing 165 Salamanders in Lycoming County), in February 2015 a storage tank at an Anadarko well pad leaked. Approximately 1,000 gallons of produced water leaked out of the tank and into a drainage ditch (i.e. “unnamed tributary”), ending up in a local creek where it killed 169 (or 165, depending on the source) salamanders. It was an accident. However, the Environmental Crimes Unit of the PA Attorney General’s office hauled Anadarko and their contractor into court, charging them with environmental crimes. In order to make it all go away quickly, Anadarko and the contractor settled, paying $53,078. The kicker is this: the bulk of the fine money doesn’t even go to the state of PA. Instead, $40,000 of the fine money goes to a private non-profit organization–the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy. Nothing against the Conservancy and good work they do, but this is wrong…
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Anadarko Indicted for Killing 165 Salamanders in Lycoming County

BREAKING NEWS, BREAKING NEWS: Anadarko well pad site leaks wastewater and kills 165 salamanders. Funeral services are being arranged. This would almost be funny, if it wasn’t real. No, not funeral services for salamanders (although it’s not beyond believable in this day and age). In 2014 Anadarko drilled a shale well in Lycoming County, PA. In February 2015, a storage tank at the well pad–used to temporarily store produced water coming from the well (wastewater storage happens at ALL shale well sites)–either experienced a leaky valve, or was overfilled, depending on whom you ask. About 1,000 gallons of produced water leaked out of the tank and subsequently out of containment and into a drainage ditch (i.e. “unnamed tributary”) and found its way into a local creek, killing 165 (or 169, depending on the source) salamanders. And now (no lie), the Environmental Crimes Unit of the PA Attorney General’s office is hauling Anadarko and their contractor into court, charging them with environmental crimes. A PA Fish and Boat Commission biologist estimates the dead salamanders were worth $6,156–or ~$37 each. Careful where you step! If you step on a salamander in PA and accidentally kill it, the state will charge you $37 and somebody from the AG’s office will pay you a visit. It can get expensive walking along a creek in PA….
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Marcellus Biggest Drillers Lock in 2017 Gas Prices at $3+ per Mcf

In September, MDN brought you research on 10 of the largest Marcellus/Utica drillers that have “hedged” their 2017 production (see Hedging Gas Prices in Marcellus/Utica – Who Hedges & How Much?). Hedging is a concept of pre-selling the gas you produce at a price you agree to now, in advance. Although that may sound risky, it’s actually an exercise in risk avoidance. It’s less risky to lock in favorable prices now rather than wait and potentially get far less. How do drillers know what the price of gas will be six months or a year from now? They don’t know, for sure, but there is something called the forward market, that predicts what prices will be at future dates. In fact, traders create contracts now based on prices in the future, and those contracts are reported by various news and data services, like NGI’s Forward Look publication. The company that provided the research back in September, S&P, is back with an update. The latest research shows that all of the top 10 drillers have hedged at least some of their production–and some of them have hedged most or even all of their production. What prices have each of these 10 drillers locked in and for how much production?…
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Anadarko Sells All Marcellus Assets for $1.24B to Alta Resources

One of the country’s largest oil drillers is calling it quits in the Marcellus natural gas play. Earlier today Anadarko announced it has cut a deal to sell all of its Marcellus acreage and wells to Alta Resources for $1.24 billion. The deal is big, including 195,000 acres and daily production from wells that averages 470 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). That’s the news you’ll get everywhere else. Here’s the part of the story you’ll read exclusively here on MDN: Anadarko has a partner in the Marcellus–Mitsui–which is also selling their interest in the PA Marcellus to Alta, for $207 million. Also, background on the deal you won’t read anywhere else: Alta was an early investor in the Marcellus, but sold out all of their acreage in 2010. Now they’re back. Anadarko and Mitsui sold for far less than the acreage was valued at in 2010–we’d call it getting taken to the cleaners. MDN sorts it all out below…
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Lawsuit Against Chesapeake, Anadarko Heads Back to PA Court

court-gavel.jpgLast December Pennsylvania’s felony-indicted Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, brought a lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy, Anadarko and Williams accusing them of, among other things, royalty fraud (see PA Atty General Sues Chesapeake Energy, Williams for Royalty Fraud). In May MDN reported that Chesapeake and Anadarko had filed to dismiss Kane’s complaints against them, accusing Kane of attempting to litigate federal antitrust claims in state court (see Chesapeake, Anadarko Try to Wiggle Out of PA Royalty Lawsuit). In June Kane fired back by filing a motion to keep the case in state, not federal, court (see PA AG Files Motion to Keep Chesapeake Lawsuit in State Court). Yesterday U.S. Middle District Judge Christopher C. Conner granted Kane’s motion–the case will stay in state court…
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World’s Top 10 Natural Gas Producers

top-10.jpgWe sometimes run Top 10 lists for the Marcellus/Utica, or even the U.S., but what about a Top 10 list of natural gas producers in the entire world? We spotted an article on the Forbes magazine website that lists the Top 10 natgas producers for the entire world. By our count, eight of the ten have major or minor operations in the Marcellus/Utica. Cool! Here’s the list…
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PA AG Files Motion to Keep Chesapeake Lawsuit in State Court

Kathleen KaneLast December Pennsylvania’s felony-indicted Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, brought a lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy, Anadarko and Williams accusing them of, among other things, royalty fraud (see PA Atty General Sues Chesapeake Energy, Williams for Royalty Fraud). In May MDN reported that Chesapeake and Anadarko had filed to dismiss Kane’s complaints against them, accusing Kane of attempting to litigate federal antitrust claims in state court (see Chesapeake, Anadarko Try to Wiggle Out of PA Royalty Lawsuit). Kane is now pushing back, filing a brief to respond to Chesapeake/Andarko, claiming she DOES have the right to pursue anti-trust matters that affect the state and its residents. As with many legal cases, this one is complicated. We’ll try and break it down into understandable form…
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Chesapeake, Anadarko Try to Wiggle Out of PA Royalty Lawsuit

Sherman ActLast December Pennsylvania’s felony-indicted Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, brought a lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy, Anadarko and Williams accusing them of, among other things, royalty fraud (see PA Atty General Sues Chesapeake Energy, Williams for Royalty Fraud). Somehow the anti-drilling Kane, herself facing ejection from office over felony charges (namely perjury), is still in office and the case against Chessy, Anadarko et al is progressing. However, there is a new wrinkle to report. Chesapeake and Anadarko last week filed to dismiss Kane’s complaints against them accusing Kane of attempting to litigate federal antitrust claims in state court. As with many legal cases, this one is complicated. We’ll try and break it down into understandable form…
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Top 20 Marcellus Drillers – Ranked by Environmental Impact

top 20Last Friday MDN brought you the news about a professor who devised a clever formula for evaluating the overall environmental impact of 20 Marcellus drillers (see Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Best Driller of Them All?). At the time we only knew who the top and bottom companies are in the list. CONSOL Energy took top honors, while ExxonMobil was last or “least” environmentally friendly as compared with the others. We now have the entire list (below). Where does your favorite driller fall in the list?…
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