Antero’s WV Frack Wastewater Plant “Best Project Like it in World”

Clearwater Facility

Antero Resources’ innovative wastewater recycling facility in Doddridge County, WV began operation in November 2017 (see Antero’s $275M WV Wastewater Recycling Facility Ready to Launch). Since that time, the Clearwater Facility has continued to expand. Today it operates at about 70% of its full capacity.
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Are Marcellus/Utica Shale Drillers Financially Healthy?

We read on a regular basis in mainstream media that shale companies spend more money than they bring in, and that investors are growing tired of pumping money into companies without a return on their investment. We’ve recently noticed a renewed commitment on the part of major drillers to get their financial houses in order–spend less and drill less in order to make more money. We spotted an article by Reuters on the “shale drillers aren’t profitable/healthy” meme which got us investigating the financial health (or lack thereof) for Marcellus/Utica drillers. What we found may interest you.
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Antero Resources 2018 – $398M Loss, Production Up 20%

Antero Resources, one of the biggest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica region (focused on wet gas drilling), released its full year and fourth quarter 2018 update last week. The company reports 2018 daily gas equivalent production averaged a record 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d)–up 20% over 2017. 4Q18 production averaged 3.2 Bcf/d, up 37% over 4Q17 (and up 18% from 4Q18). However, the company’s financial performance wasn’t as stellar.
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The Real Story of Antero’s $11M Clean Water Act Violations

Yesterday MDN began our lead story about a big fine for Antero Resources by saying, “This has to be a record-high amount for a fine plus remediation work, at least in the Marcellus/Utica.” We humbly admit we were wrong. In checking our records, we found that in a similar case from 2014, Trans Energy paid even more, quite a bit more. We researched what this whole business is about, why Antero and others were fined, interviewing a top Antero official, and we now have a far better understanding of what happened and why.
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Antero to Pay $11M in Fines/Restoration for Clean Water Violations

This has to be a record-high amount for a fine plus remediation work, at least in the Marcellus/Utica. Antero Resources has cut a deal with three government entities–the U.S. Dept. of Justice, federal Environmental Protection Agency, and West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection–to pay a $3.15 million fine and spend another $8 million to mitigate and restore 32 sites in West Virginia.

NOTE: MDN posted an important followup to this story after speaking with Antero, providing more context and background, here: The Real Story of Antero’s $11M Clean Water Act Violations.
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Trend: Marcellus/Utica Drillers Will Drill Less in 2019

There’s just no getting around the obvious–that the shale industry is once again heading into something of a dip. We’re not just talking about shale oil drillers scaling back drilling new wells in places like Texas and North Dakota. We’re talking about big gas drillers in the Marcellus/Utica who are signaling that 2019 will see less spending and less drilling, although production won’t decline.
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Antero “Nuisance” Lawsuit Heard by WV Supreme Court Temp Judges

Three years ago lawsuits filed by some 200 West Virginia residents against Antero Resources were combined into a class action lawsuit (see More People Pile on Antero, Seek to Join Mass “Nuisance” Lawsuit). The lawsuits are called “nuisance” lawsuits because, according to the plantiffs, Antero is a nuisance to them–truck traffic, noise, lights at night, etc.
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Antero Now Sells 30% of NatGas to Higher-Paying Midwest Market

Antero Resources, one of the biggest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, is also one of the best hedging companies in the business. They routinely lock in prices for their gas up to a year (or more) in advance, to ensure they make a tidy profit. And Antero averages higher prices for their gas sales than just about any other Marcellus/Utica producer. This morning Antero issued an update on their latest hedging moves, which is always interesting. But that’s not what caught our eye. They also issued a fourth quarter update. No, not for the entire fourth quarter as we still have a few weeks left in 4Q and the full, official 4Q update won’t come along until maybe the end of January. But in this interim 4Q update, we spotted the news that because of the addition of the Rover Pipeline, Antero now sells a full 30% (up from 16%) of their natural gas production to Midwest markets–markets that pay, on average, more for gas than elsewhere.
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3 Drillers Pay $50K to Fund Mobile Emergency Unit for Belmont, OH

New mobile emergency response trailer (Credit: WTOV)

A feel-good story for your Friday. Three Utica Shale drillers operating in Belmont County, OH–EQT Corp., Ascent Resources and Antero Resources–between them donated $50,000 to the Belmont County Emergency Management Agency to purchase a mobile command unit trailer that can be hauled to sites where’s there is an ongoing emergency/crisis and used on location. Neighboring Monroe County will get to use it too. Taxpayers didn’t have to pay a dime. Everyone is tickled pink. Yes, there is some self interest in the donation, since better emergency response can theoretically aide their own workers in case of an emergency. But such incidents (in the shale industry) are rare. Chances are the trailer will be used for other types of emergencies. Which is just fine with the shale industry.
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Antero 3Q18: Production Passes 3 Bcf/d in Oct; Less Drilling 4Q

Antero Resources, one of the biggest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, passed an important milestone last month: Producing more than 3 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d) in natural gas (and related hydrocarbons). All of that production is in the Marcellus/Utica. Looking strictly at the third quarter–July through September–Antero’s production averaged 2.7 Bcfe/d (29% of it liquids), which is a 17% increase over 3Q17 and an 8% increase over 2Q18. We’re pretty sure we are on solid ground in saying the only company that produces more is EQT, with an average of 4.1 Bcfe/d in 3Q18. Watch out EQT, Antero is catching up!
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Antero Resources Provides Update on Barbour County, WV

Location of Barbour County, WV

You don’t hear much about shale drilling in Barbour County, WV. In fact, the last time we tagged a post for Barbour was in 2013! (see CONSOL Buys 90K WV Marcellus/Upper Devonian Acres, Well Report). Let’s be honest–Barbour is not a hotbed of drilling activity. Antero Resources’ VP Al Schopp recently provided an update on Barbour at a local Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Antero owns no active wells in the county, but has paid out money in severance and property taxes (perhaps a joint ownership in some wells?). Regardless, Al did his homework and provided excellent up-to-date numbers for what is (and is not) happening in Barbour with respect to shale drilling.
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By the Numbers – Revenue & Profitability for M-U Drillers

The expert analysts at RBN Energy have just published their “fourth and final” in a series of posts looking in detail at E&Ps (exploration & production companies, or “drillers”). One of the groups of E&Ps they examine are “gas-weighted” E&Ps–or drillers who mostly extract natural gas. In looking through the list, you immediately realize every one of them has operations in the Marcellus and/or Utica Shale region. Yes, a few also have operations in other plays, but they all have at least some operations here. The real value in the article is an accompanying spreadsheet comparing various financial metrics (apples to apples)–things like total revenue, lifting costs, production costs, and “pre-tax income,” meaning profitability. How do our drillers compare with each other?
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Antero Sheds MLP, Consolidates 2 Midstream Subsidiaries into One

Antero Resources, one of the biggest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, is the latest in a string of companies to shed its master limited partnership (MLP) structure. Antero uses an MLP for two different pipeline subsidiaries. The company announced yesterday that one of the subsidiaries will buy out the other, and then convert the merged entity into a corporation. The move simplifies Antero’s midstream operations. Here’s the details.
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Antero Nuisance Case by Surface Landowners Goes to WV Supreme Crt

We’re not quite sure how to tackle this story as there are so many aspects to it. Let’s start here: Two years ago lawsuits filed by some 200 West Virginia residents against Antero Resources were combined into a class action lawsuit. The lawsuits are called “nuisance” lawsuits because, according to the plantiffs, Antero is a nuisance to them (truck traffic, noise, lights at night, etc.). That massive class action lawsuit, filed in early 2016, is about to be heard by the WV Supreme Court–a court in disarray after all of its sitting justices were impeached and removed.
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3 Counties, 5 Drillers Led OH’s 50% Increase in 2Q Gas Production

The Pareto Principle is alive and well in the Buckeye State. You may know it as the 80/20 rule, or in this case, the 75/25 rule. The rule that states roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. Last week MDN brought you the latest update from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources–their second quarter 2018 report showing all production coming from the Ohio Utica Shale (see Top 25 Producing Gas & Oil Wells in Ohio Utica for 2Q18). While MDN provided you with Top 25 lists showing the best-performing wells (both gas and oil) during 2Q, and while we provided you with a better spreadsheet to view the information than that provided by the ODNR itself, our analysis was basic and high level. Utica natgas production was up a big 42% over the same period last year, and Utica oil production was up 11%–a cumulative 50% increase when you convert it all into equivalents. The experts at S&P Global Platts have done a deep dive into the numbers and have found that three counties represent 75% of all production in 2Q18, and five drillers represent 75% of all production in 2Q18. Which counties and which drillers? Read on…
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