Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Jan 18-22

For the second week in a row, two of three M-U drilling states received permits to drill new shale wells. Pennsylvania scored 10 permits to drill new shale wells last week. Ohio received no new permits for Utica wells (second dry week in row). West Virginia received 4 new permits to drill new shale wells last week.
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M-U Drilling Co. Stocks Boomed in 2020, Positive Outlook 2021

As we entered 2020, the stock price for most Marcellus/Utica drillers was near or even at the lowest it had ever been (see Marcellus/Utica Drillers’ Stock Prices Near/At Historic Lows). Then the twin catastrophes of an oil price war (launched by Russia and Saudi Arabia) and a worldwide pandemic hit in March. As it turns out, the catastrophes ended up benefitting our shale drillers. Stock prices improved dramatically for a number of major gas drillers in the M-U after March.
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3Q Financial Health of Top Marcellus/Utica Drillers Troubling

Capital expense (capex) investments made by drillers in the Marcellus/Utica during the third quarter of 2020 were the lowest in at least six years according to a new report (full copy below) from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The report looks at nine of the top drillers in the M-U and finds collectively they cut capex investment by more than one-third in 3Q20 over 3Q19. And yet those same nine collectively spent a half-billion dollars more during 3Q on drilling and building projects than they earned in revenue from selling oil and gas. That’s troubling.
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CNX CEO Nick Deluliis Talks About “Hard Truths” in M&A at DUG East

Yesterday CNX CEO Nick Deluliis was one of the keynote speakers at the annual DUG (Developing Unconventional Gas) East event, held virtually this year. Normally DUG is held at the Convention Center in Pittsburgh. Deluliis’ talk was wide-ranging, but much of it concentrated on mergers and acquisitions, particularly M&A in the Marcellus/Utica. Deluliis is not much interested in horizontal M&A for CNX, but he is intrigued by vertical M&A.
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2021 Upstream Outlook: M-U CEOs Say Gas Market Will Improve

Yesterday Hart Energy held its annual (always excellent) DUG (Developing Unconventional Gas) East event. Normally the event is held at the Convention Center in Pittsburgh. This year it was an all-virtual event. Among the speakers were CNX CEO Nick Deluliis, PennEnergy Resources CEO Rich Weber, and Ascent Resources CEO Jeff Fisher. While it’s not all blue skies and sunshine ahead, all three CEOs painted a picture of 2021 that’s better than 2020.
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Even After Chevron, EQT Still in Hunt to Buy CNX, Other Producers

EQT CEO Toby Rice has been positively chatty lately. He gave a great interview to the Pittsburgh Business Times revealing his thinking with respect to the recently announced Chevron deal (see today’s lead story). He also spoke to Bloomberg reporters. Rice shared his views on further consolidation in the M-U sector. He indicated EQT is still in the hunt for a deal with CNX and possibly other M-U drillers.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Oct. 26-30

Last week Pennsylvania issued 16 new shale well drilling permits, and West Virginia issued 7 new shale well permits. Ohio issued no new shale permits last week.
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CNX 3Q Update: Not Interested in Selling to EQT, or Anyone Else

CNX Resources issued its third-quarter 2020 update yesterday. The company didn’t bother to issue the usual narrative describing what happened during 3Q. Instead, they simply pushed out the financials, a slide deck, and spoke to analysts on a conference call. What did we learn picking through the numbers and the conference call transcript? One thing we learned is that CNX has no interest in being merged with EQT, that’s for sure.
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Stop Press: Sources Say EQT Trying to Take Over CNX Resources

Bloomberg is reporting insider sources say EQT, already the biggest natural gas producer in the country (and pureplay driller in the Marcellus/Utica), has sent a takeover proposal to CNX Resources, another major Marcellus/Utica driller. Friendly? Hostile? Who knows. In September inside sources told Reuters that EQT had made a bid on Chevron’s extensive M-U acreage (see Sources: EQT Offering $750M for Chevron’s Marcellus/Utica Assets). Would/could EQT actually end up buying both? Seems like a stretch.
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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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CNX Agrees to $175K Fine for Faulty Utica Well in SWPA

CNX was fracking their Shaw 1G Utica well in Washington Township (Westmoreland County) in early 2019 when they detected “a strong drop in pressure” and stopped fracking (see CNX Hits Major Problem Fracking Utica Well Near SWPA Reservoir). Turns out the well was “communicating” (i.e. losing gas to) several nearby conventional wells. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) finally assessed a fine for that episode late last week: $175,000.
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