Law Firm Targets Cabot for Class Action Claiming Securities Fraud

We should have guessed this was coming. A New York City law firm has launched what it hopes will turn into a class action lawsuit against Cabot Oil & Gas for securities fraud following the sleazy attempt by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro to turn a 12-year-old accident (methane migration) into a felony (see PA AG Charges Cabot with Enviro Crimes for Long-Settled Dimock). The law firm is currently “investigating” Cabot, encouraging shareholders to sign up to express their interest in forming a class action lawsuit. An actual lawsuit hasn’t been filed…yet.
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Enviro-Left Threatens CEO if Cabot Doesn’t Cop to Crimes

In the American system of justice, when someone is accused of committing a crime, they are presumed innocent under the law until it is proven, in a court of law, they have committed said crime. But when a defendant, someone accused of committing a crime, is a fossil fuel company, that defendant is automatically presumed to be guilty. There is no presumption of innocence. That’s what is happening to Cabot Oil & Gas.
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Cabot Signals They Will Fight PA AG Sham Dimock Indictment

Earlier this week Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced an indictment of Cabot Oil & Gas for allegations of methane migration going back more than a decade (see PA AG Charges Cabot with Enviro Crimes for Long-Settled Dimock). It is a bogus charge, an attempt to turn an accident into a crime–all for political gain. Now that Cabot has had a few days to read and review Shapiro’s bogus indictment, they’ve responded. And the words they’re responding with sure sound like fighting words to us.
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9 Big M-U Companies Lost $2.6 Billion in Value During 1Q20

A word you will likely see a lot more of in quarterly updates by oil and gas drillers across the country is the word “impairment.” It’s an accounting term that means the value of an asset (leased acreage or wells) is adjusted, down, to reflect a company’s best guess as to how much revenue that asset can generate. We wrote about impairments back in 2015 (see A Basic Guide to Understanding “Impairments” for Marcellus/Utica). Largely because of impairments, nine of the biggest Marcellus/Utica drillers cumulatively lost $2.6 billion in value (on paper) during the first quarter of this year. However, two of the nine had no impairments. And one of the nine made a profit in 1Q20. Can you guess which one?
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PA AG Charges Cabot with Enviro Crimes for Long-Settled Dimock

The door has been closed on “Dimock” (in Susquehanna County, PA) for years. Dimock, you may recall, was made famous by Josh Fox’s so-called documentaries Gasland and Gasland 2, aired endlessly on HBO. His allegations about fracking malfeasance by Cabot Oil & Gas were completely debunked in a real documentary called FrackNation. After a long litigation process, Cabot settled with several landowners who claimed their water wells had been contaminated with methane due to work done by Cabot–years ago. And now Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has reopened the whole matter, charging Cabot with so-called environmental crimes. Felonies! We can’t tell you how angry this makes us. Shapiro has corrupted the criminal justice system in PA.
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M-U Drillers Promise Spending Restraint Even with Rosier Outlook

Have Marcellus/Utica drillers learned their lesson about growth at any cost? It seems the answer to that is, YES! The price of natural gas has been low for a long time due to overproduction. You’ve often read here on MDN that gas prices will be “lower for longer.” And yet with the coronavirus pandemic and the crash in oil prices, the price of natgas has been (mostly) inching up–getting close to $2/Mcf (although it was down again yesterday, to $1.62/Mcf). Estimates for gas prices next year are trending to the $2.50-$2.75 range. Everyone is watching–will M-U and other gas-focused drillers restart big spending and more drilling?
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Cabot 1Q20: Production Up 4%, Free Cash Flow, Curtailing Wells

Cabot Oil & Gas, which is one of, perhaps the best-run shale drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, issued its first-quarter 2020 update on Friday. Cabot generated $53.9 million in net income in 1Q20 and $49.8 million in free cash flow (down from $308.4 million in free cash flow from 1Q19). Cabot is one of (the only?) natural gas drillers with five consecutive years of generating free cash flow. What’s ahead for Cabot in 2020 and beyond?
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Marcellus Companies $tep Up to Help During COVID-19 Crisis

Companies in the Marcellus/Utica shale industry have stepped up and given money, and in some cases retooled manufacturing operations, in order to help communities, first responders and medical professionals respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Companies like ExxonMobil, Range Resources, Cabot Oil & Gas, EQT, Alta Resources, Chevron, Greylock Energy, Olympus Energy, Penn E&R, Southwestern Energy and others. We are gratified and proud of the industry where we hang our hat.
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Susquehanna County Judge Sanctions Defendants in Cabot Lawsuit

Last week MDN brought you news (from the Associated Press) that Cabot Oil & Gas had “abandoned” negotiations to settle a lawsuit they brought against attorneys who had sued Cabot for something already settled in a previous lawsuit (see Cabot Ends Lawsuit Settlement Talks, Prefers Trial in Dimock Case). What we have today is “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to say. Last week we told you we only had a single AP article, and that AP is known for its biased reporting when it comes to Cabot. And indeed, our words were prophetic. We now have the full story of why Cabot pulled out of settlement negotiations.
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Cabot Ends Lawsuit Settlement Talks, Prefers Trial in Dimock Case

In April 2017 Dimock Township (Susquehanna County, PA) resident Ray Kemble and lawyers from two different law firms filed a new lawsuit against Cabot Oil & Gas over claims of contaminated water from local fracking. Thing is, those claims were settled by Cabot with Kemble years earlier. Cabot said this was a renewed attempt to sully its good name and reputation and countersued Kemble and his lawyers for $5 million (see Cabot O&G Countersues Dimock Anti, Lawyers).
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Cabot Update: Upper Marcellus Test Wells are the Bees Knees

Last Friday Cabot Oil & Gas, one of the most prolific Marcellus drillers, released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 update, with a look ahead at 2020. During the conference call with analysts, Cabot CEO Dan Dinges began his prepared remarks talking about tests the company has done in the Upper Marcellus. Very exciting results. He also said, near the end of the call, that Cabot has positioned itself to be “the last man standing” in the Marcellus. Hmmm, that’s an intriguing comment! What does he mean?
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Even Unhedged, Cabot O&G Still Makes Profit with $2 Gas

How many times over the years has MDN made this observation, using words along these lines: Cabot Oil & Gas is the only Marcellus drilling we know that can spin gold out of straw. Meaning they make money even at some of the lowest natural gas prices in the country, found in northeastern PA. A recent post by an energy investment advisor examines Cabot’s unique ability to make money at low prices.
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Big M-U Drillers Slash 2020 Spending a Collective 25%

For months MDN has brought you bits and pieces of news from individual drillers, detailing plans to cut back on spending for new drilling in the Marcellus/Utica in 2020. It’s not just happening in the M-U–it’s happening across the country. The experts at RBN Energy have a terrific new post that pulls information about major drillers scaling back into one place. They analyze spending by three different groups of drillers: oil-focused, diversified, and gas-focused drillers. In the third category, all but one of the gas-focused drillers have major operations in the M-U. The stats are sobering. As a collective group, M-U gas drillers have pledged to cut their 2020 budgets 25% from the already-lower spending that happened this year. Ouch.
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IEEFA Report Says Marcellus/Utica Drillers in Financial Trouble

Masquerading as a nonpartisan, independent nonprofit, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) reportedly “conducts research and analyses on financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment.” The Institute’s stated mission is “to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy.” In other words, they’re anti-fossil fuels. We spotted an article appearing on OilPrice.com that quotes a new “study” issued by IEEFA. The article opens by saying, “drillers in Appalachia are in particularly bad shape.” Is it true? Is the end near? Is it a shalepocalypse?
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Natural Gas Supply Association Goes Nuts, Supports Carbon Tax

What’s the clinical term for a person who intentionally wants to harm him or herself? Self harm? Self injury? Self flagellation? That’s what we call the situation at the NGSA (Natural Gas Supply Association) which yesterday said it supports an economy and shale-killing carbon tax “as a critical pathway to aggressively reducing carbon emissions.” Are they nuts? Have they lost their collective minds?!
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