Marcellus/Utica Keeps Drilling with COVID-19 Modifications

Many states in the northeast and in Appalachia are now in lock-down mode with most businesses shuttered to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. However, certain activities and businesses continue to operate. They are called “life-sustaining” or “critical” or “essential.” On the list of essential businesses in both Pennsylvania and Ohio are shale drillers. Although drillers continue to work, at least one Marcellus/Utica driller, CNX Resources (we suspect others) is making changes to keep its employees and contractors protected against the virus.
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Marcellus/Utica Companies Switch to “Work from Home” Model

A number of Marcellus/Utica drillers and pipeline companies are taking action to slow and potentially stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Several companies (so far) have instituted mandatory work-from-home orders. Those companies include the Pittsburgh-based companies CNX Resources, Equitrans, and EQT Corp. By the time this is published more may have joined the list.
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CNX CEO Backs New SWPA Group to Counter “Elites and Extremists”

Credit: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (click for larger version)

Some 500 people from labor unions and industry met in Pittsburgh yesterday to launch an organization called Pittsburgh Works Together, dedicated to fighting back against those who want to end southwest PA industries including steel, natural gas, and petrochemicals. Among those who attended and spoke was CNX Resources CEO Nick Deluliis who said he wants to create a future for everyone, not just “elites and extremists.” Deluliis also said the new Pittsburgh Work Together group “is about one thing in the end, and that’s fighting for the soul of this region.” Nick is on a tear!
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CNX CEO Blasts Anti-Fossil Fuel “Elites” in Pittsburgh Speech

Nick DeIuliis, CEO of CNX Resources, has about had it up to “here” with the haters. At a recent speech to the Pittsburgh Rotary Club and the Pittsburgh Business Exchange, DeIuliis unloaded on extremists (whom he called “haters”) targeting the shale and petrochemical industries. He made a strong case for fossil fuel energy. He’s also not a fan of the “carbon-shaming mob mentality” of some leftist fund managers who are pressuring investment firms to divest from fossil fuel companies. Way to go Nick!
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Marcellus/Utica Drillers’ Stock Prices Near/At Historic Lows

The value of a company’s stock price is important, for a variety of reasons. The stock price reflects investor confidence in whether the company can earn its keep and grow profits in the future. A higher stock price wards off takeovers. Upper management gets a raise. And the company can borrow money when it needs to at reasonable interest rates. All sorts of reasons why the stock price is important. Unfortunately for top drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, their stock prices have tanked. As a group, and individually, the stock price is either near or even at the lowest it’s *ever been.* Let that sink in.
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CNX Proved Reserves Up 7%, More Color on 2019 Drilling Numbers

Nearly two weeks ago CNX Resources issued its fourth quarter and full-year 2019 update (see CNX Reports $271M Loss in 4Q19; Cutting Back on 2020 Drilling). Yesterday CNX issued a followup, further outlining details about their 2019 drilling program (41 Marcellus and 10 Utica wells), along with an update on the company’s proved reserves. CNX reports total proved reserves of 8.43 Tcfe (trillion cubic feet equivalent) as of December 31, 2019, a 7% increase over Dec. 2018.
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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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CNX Reports $271M Loss in 4Q19; Cutting Back on 2020 Drilling

CNX Resources reports losing $271 million in the fourth quarter of 2019–but it wasn’t an actual money-out-of-pocket loss. The company wrote down the value of its Marcellus Shale assets (called an impairment). The company took a $327 million impairment charge for its Marcellus assets in PA, and a $119 impairment charge for unproved gas properties in the Marcellus. Below we have details on how many Marcellus wells CNX drilled and completed in 4Q and for the full year, and what company’s top brass says about what’s ahead for CNX in 2020 and beyond.
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CNX Files Lawsuit Against Builder of SWPA Compressor Station

CNX Resources is in a spat with Applied Construction Solutions over the construction of a compressor station Applied built for CNX. The spat is about money. CNX says it signed a contract to have its Morris Compressor Station built for $12.4 million. After several renegotiations (change orders) the price was adjusted to $15.2 million. But when CNX got a final bill for $19 million, they balked.
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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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CNX 3Q – Production & Spending Up, Profits Down, but Stock Pops

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An interesting reaction by investors to CNX Resources’ third quarter update. The company reported production of 128 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) in 3Q19, an increase of 8% from the 119 Bcfe in 3Q18. They also reported spending $336 million on drilling in 3Q19, compared to $297 million in 3Q18–up 13%. But profits were down–from $125 million in 3Q18 to $116 million last quarter. And yet, the share price for CNX stock jumped up 16%! Why?
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PA DEP Reaches $1.48M Settlement with CNX to Plug Abandoned Wells

Last year the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued administrative orders requiring three oil and gas companies–Alliance Petroleum Corporation (a subsidiary of Diversified Gas & Oil), XTO Energy, and CNX Resources–to plug 1,058 abandoned oil and gas wells across Pennsylvania (see PA DEP Orders CNX, XTO & Diversified to Plug 1,058 Abandoned Wells). All three appealed the DEP’s order to the state Environmental Hearing Board. In March of this year the DEP cut a deal with Diversified (see DEP and Diversified Gas & Oil Compromise on Plugging Old PA Wells). As of last week, the DEP has now cut a deal with CNX, relaxing their earlier edict.
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CNX Resources Lays Off Another 20 Workers – 14% Now Gone

Last Wednesday MDN brought you the news that CNX Resources had laid off some 50 employees, with rumors circulating that more layoffs were coming (see CNX Resources Lays Off 10% of Total Workforce – More Cuts Coming?). Looks like the rumors were right. The company let go another 20 people late last week, making the new total 70 out of work–some 14% of the CNX workforce.
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