Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Nov. 16-20

Last week Pennsylvania issued 11 new shale well drilling permits, all but one of them in the northeastern (dry gas) part of the state. Ohio issued one new permit, and West Virginia issued 2 new shale well permits.
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Ascent Resources 3Q – Curtailed 210 MMcf/d, Drilled 14 New Wells

Ascent Resources, originally founded as American Energy Partners by gas legend Aubrey McClendon, is a privately-held company that focuses 100% on the Ohio Utica Shale. Ascent is Ohio’s largest natural gas producer and the 8th largest natural gas producer in the U.S. The company issued its third-quarter 2020 update yesterday. Ascent reports it shut-in 210 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of production, but still managed to produce 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) during 3Q.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Oct. 19-23

For a second week in a row, all three M-U states issued new shale drilling permits last week. Pennsylvania issued 6 new permits, Ohio issued 5 new permits, and West Virginia issued 3 new permits.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Oct. 12-16

What do you know? All three M-U states issued new shale drilling permits last week! That’s the first time in perhaps the last two months all three states issued new shale permits in the same week. Pennsylvania issued 9 new permits, Ohio issued 3 new permits, and West Virginia issued 8 new permits.
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Ascent Resources 2Q: Utica Production Hits New High; $291M Loss

Ascent Resources, originally founded as American Energy Partners by gas legend Aubrey McClendon, is a privately-held company that focuses 100% on the Ohio Utica Shale. Ascent is Ohio’s largest natural gas producer and the 8th largest natural gas producer in the U.S. The company issued its second-quarter 2020 update yesterday. The company added another 25 wells to production in 2Q and produced 2.1 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d), a new company high. Unfortunately, the financial picture was not as rosy…
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OH Landowners Sue Rice, Ascent, XTO, Gulfport for Drilling Too Deep

Do you remember the child’s game called “Simon Says”? That’s what we were thinking when we read about a lawsuit in Ohio by landowners against a group of shale drillers. The lawsuit, initiated by several landowners in Belmont County, OH, claims the drillers drilled too deep–into the Point Pleasant rock layer–when the leases signed only mention the Utica rock layer. The lawsuit, which is seeking class action status, claims “unjust enrichment” by the drillers.
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Ascent Resources 1Q: Refocused on Utica Dry Gas, Hits 2 Bcf/d

Ascent Resources, originally founded as American Energy Partners by gas legend Aubrey McClendon, is a privately-held company that focuses 100% on the Ohio Utica Shale. Ascent is Ohio’s largest natural gas producer and the 7th largest natural gas producer in the U.S. The company issued its first-quarter 2020 update last Friday. The company flew by producing 2 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d) in 1Q, a new high.
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OOGA 73rd Annual Mtg: More Downsizing Ahead

Over 700 people gathered yesterday in Columbus, OH for OOGA’s (Ohio Oil & Gas Association) 73rd Annual Meeting. Industry leaders soberly assessed the state of current affairs. According to OOGA president Matt Hammond, the industry may have to downsize for a while. Jeff Fisher, CEO of Ascent Resources, agreed. Hammond said, “it’s just going to look a little bit different in the next few years” before the price of gas rebounds. The sentiment was clearly what we’ve been preaching: Expect lower for longer when it comes to gas prices.
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Ascent Resources: Prod. Up 45% in ’19, Spending Down 42% in ’20

Ascent Resources, originally founded as American Energy Partners by gas legend Aubrey McClendon, is a privately-held company that focuses 100% on the Ohio Utica Shale. The company recently issued its full-year 2019 update with a look at what it plans for 2020. Ascent is Ohio’s largest natural gas producer, and 2019 was a VERY good year for the company’s production. Average daily production zoomed up 45% from 2018, to 1.97 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d). Of that number, some 1.8 Bcf/d was natural gas, and oil production was 13,000 barrels/d. Most importantly, Ascent made a profit of $466 million in 2019, compared to losing $4 million in 2018. Way to go!
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S&P Downgrades Credit Rating for Six Big Marcellus/Utica Drillers

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Large Marcellus/Utica drillers continue to take it on the chin in the financial markets. The stock prices for almost all M-U drillers have tanked, and now (at least for some of them), their credit ratings have been downgraded too. Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings recently downgraded the credit rating for six of the biggest M-U drillers…
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M-U Companies Dominate Top 10 NatGas Producers in 2019

Quick: Which company which recently had a board and upper management shakeup and focuses exclusively on Marcellus/Utica drilling is the #1 natural gas producer in the United States? That’s right, EQT. In a list of the top 40 natgas producers in the U.S. (full list below), it’s striking to note that eight of the top 10 are focused exclusively or primarily on the M-U.
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Encino Sends 70%, Ascent Sends 33% of Utica Gas to Gulf Coast

Last week, in addition to the petchem event held in Pittsburgh, Hart Energy held their DUG East (Developing Unconventional Gas) event in Pittsburgh. Although MDN did not attend DUG, MDN friend Rick Stouffer from Kallanish Energy did. Rick caught some interesting news about two of the biggest drillers in the Ohio Utica–Ascent Resources and Encino Energy. One of the eye-opening stats Rick reports is that Encino is sending a full 70% of their Utica production to the Gulf Coast. In addition, most of Ascent’s production goes out of the region too–one-third to the Gulf Coast, one-third to the Midwest, and one-third to the East Coast.
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Ascent Resources Issues Brief 2018 Update, 2019 Guidance

Yesterday Ascent Resources, a company founded by Aubrey McClendon after he left Chesapeake Energy, issued a (very) brief recap of what happened in 2018, and a look ahead (“guidance”) at what the company expects to accomplish in 2019. The update is brief–cherry-picking highlights to share–because it can be. Ascent’s stock is not publicly traded, so they don’t have to provide full financial updates (except to their investors). Ascent is a big and important driller in the Utica, so *any* information they share is useful and of interest.
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ODNR Releases Ohio Utica O&G Production for 3Q18 – Top 25 Wells

The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) issued third quarter 2018 production numbers for Utica shale oil and gas production yesterday. And what a report it is! Natural gas production was up an amazing 31% over the same period last year (after being up 42% in 2Q18). Utica natgas production broke another record, hitting a new all-time high of 605 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 3Q18. But perhaps the biggest story was Utica oil production. In 1Q18 Utica oil production was down 3.6%. In 2Q18 Utica oil production was up 11%. But in 3Q18, Utica oil production soared, going up 32%.
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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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Who’s the Biggest NatGas Producer in the Ohio Utica?

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) and St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored an update on the Utica Shale and its impacts in southeastern Ohio at a one-day event held yesterday at Belmont College. The upshot of the day seemed to be this: The Utica is still creating thousands of jobs, and still attracting millions of dollars in investment. Among the speakers were reps from both EQT and Ascent, who had some interesting comments about their respective operations. Question: Who do you think is the largest natural gas producer in Ohio today? One of the speakers made the surprise claim that her company is now the top producer in Ohio.
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