Chevron & People’s Natural Gas Team Up to Map Out PA’s $60B Future

One of the big announcements coming from Shale Insight 2017 on the first day was the release of a new study tag-team researched by Chevron Appalachia and People’s Natural Gas. As People’s CEO Morgan O’Brien explained it–everyone assumes “someone else” has a master plan, a statewide strategy for how to develop this phenomenal resource. But when you look around you come to the realization that no one has such a plan. So Chevron Appalachia CEO Stacey Olson approached People’s CEO O’Brien and asked for help to research and author a study that would provide such a plan–a plan to unlock what they believe is a $60 BILLION opportunity for Pennsylvania that will create 100,000 new jobs statewide. The result is a study called “Forge the Future: Pennsylvania’s Path To An Advanced, Energy-Enabled Economy” (full copy below), released yesterday. We now have, according to Chevron’s Olson and People’s O’Brien, the road map. What we need is for people in the industry to step up and seize the day and take action to create that amazing future…
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Top 10 Drillers in SWPA, by Number of Permits Issued

Every now and again it’s fun to take a look at a “Top 10” list. Here’s one for you. How about a Top 10 List for drillers in southwestern PA, in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. This Top 10 list ranks drillers by how many shale well permits they’ve been granted. The list is extracted from a Top 40 list prepared by the (must read) Pittsburgh Business Times. Can you guess which 10 drillers are in the Top 10? How about the Top 1? It may come as no surprise that Range Resources, the very first company to drill a Marcellus Shale well (in 2004), has received the most permits to drill in SWPA. Here’s the full Top 10 list, with some interesting extra details…
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Top 20 Marcellus Drillers in Southwest Pennsylvania

The sharp folks over at the Pittsburgh Business Times have been looking through data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and have compiled a list of 20 drillers who have at least a dozen shale wells in the southwest PA region. And they ranked them from lowest to highest. We’ve grabbed the list below. The interesting thing for MDN is that there is one name in the list not familiar to us, and we’ve been watching this space since 2009. Always fun to learn something new. Here’s the list of southwest PA’s “Top 20” Marcellus drillers…
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Chevron Recertified as Safe Driller; CSSD Changes Name to CRSD

In March 2013, the Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) burst onto the scene. It had been a closely guarded secret, the creation of a few hand-picked people from both industry and the environmental movement working together to see if there is any common ground on which both sides can agree that shale development would be safe, sustainable AND affordable. They worked hard for over a year and finally hammered out a set of 15 standards that if a driller (or midstream company or contractor) would meet, it would get a stamp of approval from both the industry and environmental groups as being a good goobie–a safe driller. In Sept. 2014 the CSSD announced they have certified their very first driller–one of their founding members–Chevron (see CSSD Bestows First Certification for Sustainable Drilling: Chevron). Apparently a cert lasts for a little over two years. Yesterday the CSSD announced Chevron has achieved recertification, a new milestone for the CSSD program. Except it’s no longer called the CSSD. Somewhere along the line (not sure when) the organization changed its name from the Center for Sustainable Shale Development to the Center for Responsible Shale Development (CRSD)…
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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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Chevron Appalachia Names Nigel Hearne’s Replacement

Stacey Olson
Stacey Olson

In January, MDN was first to break the news that the head of Chevron Appalacia, Nigel Hearne, was leaving to run Chevron’s Australian operation (see Exclusive: Chevron Appalachia Head Nigel Hearne Going to Australia). It was one of the few times we get to break big news. At the time, we asked the question, “Who will replace Hearne in Pittsburgh?” It took a while, but we now have the answer. Stacey Olson, a senior vice president working at Chevron since 1989 (and someone who has served in a number of overseas postings), will take up the helm of Chevron Appalachia…
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Which 5 Companies Dominate Production in the SW Marcellus?

DOMINATOR LOGO7/21/16 Update: Please see our note below updating production numbers to include Antero Resources in the top tier of Marcellus producers.

Which companies “dominate” the Marcellus Shale in southwestern Pennsylvania? It depends on how you define “dominate.” Typically that means “which companies produce the most natural gas and/or oil from the Marcellus play.” That makes sense. We spotted an article on The Motley Fool investors’ website on that very topic. However, the Fool article was titled “The 5 Companies Dominating the Marcellus Shale Play.” In reading it, we immediately knew this was tilted to the SWPA area and not all of the PA Marcellus because the three most productive drillers in the entire Marcellus–Chesapeake Energy, Cabot Oil & Gas, and Southwestern Energy–weren’t in the Fool’s Top 5 list! Below we have a portion of the Fool article because it’s still interesting to see which companies are dominate in the SWPA area. We also have a list of the top 20 Marcellus producers for the entire state of PA–including those located and operating mainly in the NE portion of the play…
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Chevron Selling Site Bought for Regional Marcellus HQ in Moon Twp

ChevronIn May 2013 amidst much fanfare, Chevron purchased 61 acres to build a new regional Marcellus Shale headquarters in Moon Township, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh (see Chevron to Build New (Big) Regional HQ in Pittsburgh Suburb). The plan was to build a huge, 350,000 square foot office complex that will be home to 1,750 people. In September 2013 Chevron got the thumbs-up from Moon officials (see Chevron Wins 1st Approval for New Regional HQ Near Pittsburgh). But by July 2014, Chevron put the project on hold (see Chevron Puts Moon Twp, PA Office Building Project on Hold). In early 2015 Chevron announced major layoffs in the Marcellus (see Chevron Laying Off 23% of their Marcellus Workforce in Pittsburgh) and then proceeded to consolidate the remaining workforce under one existing roof (see Chevron Consolidates Reduced Marcellus Workforce Under One Roof). And now, a sad end: the Pittsburgh Business Times is reporting that Chevron has just listed the 61-acre property for sale…
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Chevron CEO: Oil Markets will Balance Soon, LNG Entering “New Phase”

John_S._Watson,_June_2010In an interview on CNBC, Chevron chairman and CEO John Watson said some interesting things. Among them: Watson believes the oil markets will “balance out” (price/production-wise) in the “coming months.” He also spoke about the prospects for LNG, saying it’s “maturing” and we are entering “a new phase”…
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Top 10 Marcellus/Utica Drillers in SWPA – Ranked by Production

top-10.jpgEverybody loves a list. We do too! We spotted a ranking in a recent issue of the Pittsburgh Business Times that lists the top 37 shale gas producers in southwestern Pennsylvania, based on the amount of gas they produced in 2015. We pulled the names of the top 10, listed in order from most to least…
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Chevron Cuts 2017/2018 Budget by 34%; Scaling Back in Marcellus

Chevron is cutting its budget for 2017 and 2018. Chevron maintains an active drilling program in the Marcellus Shale–but it has been selling bits and pieces of its Marcellus assets (see Chevron Lists Another 6,630 Marcellus Acres for Sale in Central PA). Previously the company committed to a capital budget of $26.6 billion for 2016–down 24% from 2015. They’ve just announced preliminary estimates for spending in 2017 and 2018–a plan to spend $17-$18 billion in each of those years. Chevron says it will continue to cut spending in order to “preserve cash” in the low price environment. What about their Marcellus/Utica program? They plan to take a “measured pace”…
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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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The Dismal Outlook for Marcellus/Utica Drilling in 2016

Yes, it’s bad out there and getting worse–at least in the short term–when it comes to drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shale. Several major drillers in the northeast have announced cuts–big cuts–and those cuts will impact not only the employees at those companies, but also the many supply chain companies that provide goods and services to them. There were a paltry 19 rigs operating in Pennsylvania last Friday. In January 2014, just two years ago, there were 55 active rigs working in the PA Marcellus. Here’s a recap of who’s cutting how much in 2016 (and perhaps beyond)…
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Chevron 4Q15: First Quarterly Loss in 13 Years, Scaling Back 2016

Chevron, one of the country’s largest oil and gas companies (with a sizable drilling operation in the Marcellus/Utica) issued its fourth quarter and full year 2015 update last Friday. It was not good news. Chevron lost money in 4Q15–their first quarterly loss in 13 years. The reason? Upstream (or drilling) got “crushed” due to low commodity prices for oil and gas. The news has created jitters on Wall Street. This week three more majors are due to release their updates: ExxonMobil, BP and Shell. Investors are worried they may show losses too. In their Upstream division, Chevron lost $1.9 billion in 4Q15 over 4Q14, and they lost $4 billion for the entire year, after making $3.3 billion in 2014. Chevron is a BIG company, so don’t fret. They still made money company-wide. Although Chevron lost $588 million in 4Q15 (company-wide), they made $4.6 billion of net income for full year 2015…
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Exclusive: Chevron Appalachia Head Nigel Hearne Going to Australia

exclusiveIn 2013 MDN highlighted the news that a Brit, Nigel Hearne, had been appointed vice president (the guy in charge) of Chevron’s Appalachian-Michigan business unit (see Chevron’s Marcellus/Utica Unit Gets New President). Prior to arriving in Pittsburgh to run Chevron’s Marcellus and Utica division, Hearne worked in Chevron’s “downstream” or refinery business. Hearne is a young (under 50), rising star at Chevron. The big news is that Hearne is leaving his post at Chevron Appalachia to become deputy managing director of Chevron Australia–essentially a huge LNG (liquefied natural gas) operation. Hearne will become deputy to Roy Krzywosinski, but everyone knows/says that Hearne will replace Krzywosinski once the first of three trains goes online at the $54 billion Gorgon LNG project, which is Krzywosinski’s baby. Hearne is Krzywosinski’s protege in line to run the entire Australian operation. The question is, who will replace Hearne in Pittsburgh?…
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Top 10 Marcellus/Utica Drillers by Number of Permits May-Aug 2015

MDN recently published Volume 2 of our 2015 Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook–a research book that chronicles who’s drilling and where in the Marcellus/Utica region. We thought it would be interesting to bring you some of the results from this latest volume. Below is a list of the top 10 Marcellus/Utica drillers based on the number of permits they were issued from May through August 2015. The numbers of permits shown are for discrete, individual wells. Each well drilled typically involves multiple permits–one to begin drilling, another to frack, etc. We toss out all of the multiples and show the numbers for discrete, individual wells. The top driller ranked by number of permits received may just surprise you–it did us. In addition to the list, we’ve included stock charts for each company to show you just how badly the industry has been hit over the past year. Stock prices for most of the top 10 have plunged…
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