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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Cabot O&G 3Q: 2.4 Bcf/d, Drilled 13 Wells, Upper Marcellus Coming

Dan Dinges, CEO of Cabot Oil & Gas, said last week: “2020 has proven to be the most challenging year for natural gas prices in the last 25 years, resulting from a multi-year trend of overcapitalization of both oil and natural gas assets across our industry.” Indeed. The company released its third-quarter 2020 update on Friday and reported a net loss of $15 million, compared to net income of $90.4 million in 3Q19. This is the first quarterly net loss for Cabot in recent memory. Still, there was plenty of good news coming from the 3Q update…
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Oct. 5-9

Only Pennsylvania issued permits to drill new shale wells last week in the Appalachian region. Neither Ohio nor West Virginia issued any new drilling permits from Oct. 5-9. In PA, some 20 permits were issued in both the northeast and southwest parts of the state.
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Marcellus/Utica Driller Stock Prices Trend Up with NatGas Price

We spotted a couple of stories, one in Barron’s the other in the Wall Street Journal, about the pickup in the futures price of natural gas over the past week, and how those recent gains have led to impressive gains in the share price for Marcellus/Utica drillers. Yesterday the NYMEX Henry Hub futures price closed up 4.11% to $2.74/Mcf. The rising tide lifts all boats.
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Second Lawsuit Filed Against Cabot Claiming Securities Fraud

Here we go again. Just last week we told you that a New York City law firm couldn’t find enough interest to make a class action lawsuit against Cabot Oil & Gas using a sham indictment from the highly political Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, so the law firm pulled the plug on the case (see Law Firm Withdraws Class Action Against Cabot re Securities Fraud). Another law firm is now trying the same thing…
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Sep 28 – Oct 2

Somebody lit a fire under drillers in Pennsylvania last week! Or maybe we should say a fire was lit under the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). PA issued 35 new permits last week spread pretty much across the entire state–in the northeast, central, and southwest portions of the state. Ohio, once again, issued no new Utica permits last week. West Virginia issued a single new permit last week.
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Law Firm Files Class Action Against Cabot Claiming Securities Fraud

In June MDN told you that a New York City law firm was “investigating” Cabot Oil & Gas with an eye to filing a class action lawsuit, on behalf of investors, over false allegations made by the Pennsylvania Attorney General who had filed felony charges against Cabot regarding a long-closed regulatory issue in Dimock, PA (see Law Firm Targets Cabot for Class Action Claiming Securities Fraud). The investigation is now over and the law firm found an investor to file a class lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in a federal court in Texas.
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Cabot 2Q – Still Drilling & Making Money in a Down Economy

Cabot Oil & Gas issued its 2Q20 update on Friday. CEO Dan Dinges said natural gas prices hit a historic low in 2Q (lowest since 1995), but he thinks the price will improve “this winter.” Although the price Cabot got for its gas last quarter ($1.52/Mcf) was 33% lower than a year ago, the company still made a profit. Cabot netted $30 million in 2Q, vs. netting $181 million a year ago. The company drilled 14 new shale wells, completed/fracked 31 wells, and placed 25 new wells online last quarter. They produced an average of 2.2 Bcf/d of natural gas.
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Investors Love M-U Companies, Even Though Gas Price is Low

How does one make money in the natural gas market these days when the price of gas is at historic lows? One way is if an investor was fortunate enough to bet the price would go down. Those folks made money. The other way is to…invest in drillers? Yep. Even though low prices hurt drillers, investors still like the looks of what is on the horizon, especially for companies operating in the Marcellus/Utica. Example: The stock price for Range Resources and EQT is up over 30% each this year so far.
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Is Cabot O&G Sniffing Around Chesapeake Energy’s Shale Assets?

A warning right up front: This post is speculation and rumor. As you know if you’ve read MDN (or any other media source covering oil and gas in the past two weeks), on June 28 Chesapeake Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (see Chesapeake Files for Bankruptcy – Debtors to Take Ownership). With something like $11 billion in outstanding debt and a market value of just over $100 million (a tiny fraction of the debt), it’s obvious debtors will take over the company. What happens then? We spotted a rumor that Cabot Oil & Gas may be interested in a purchase.
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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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