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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CNX 2Q Update: Production Down, Curtailments Gone by November

CNX Resources issued its 2Q20 update yesterday. The company reports a $146 million net loss. Production in 2Q20 was 114.5 Bcfe (billion cubic feet equivalent), down from 134.5 Bcfe in 2Q19 due to curtailments. Average daily production in 2Q was 1.26 Bcf/d (billion cubic feet per day), down from 1.35 Bcf/d a year earlier. The company shut-in some of its production due to COVID and low prices. They will restore all shut-in production by November.
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A Different View re CNX’s Move to Buy Rest of Pipeline Subsidiary

Yesterday MDN brought you the news that CNX Resources is buying out the balance of what they don’t own in their pipeline subsidiary CNX Midstream (see CNX’s Competitive Advantage: Owning Its Own Pipelines). Our take on the news is that by owning their own pipeline network CNX has a distinct competitive advantage. We heard in pretty short order a different view from a couple of MDN readers…
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CNX’s Competitive Advantage: Owning Its Own Pipelines

We love a story about an individual or company that defies conventional wisdom and succeeds by charting its own course separate from the herd. Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) is one such company. DGO buys up older conventional (and shale) wells in Appalachia, making money off the “long tail” of low production (see Diversified Zags, Finds Profit in Appalachian Conventional Wells). Another company charting a different path is CNX Resources. Yesterday we told you CNX is buying out the rest of its midstream/pipeline subsidiary (see CNX Resources Buying/Merging in Rest of CNX Midstream for $357M). Why is CNX buying back their pipeline operations, when so many others are selling pipeline operations?
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CNX Resources Buying/Merging in Rest of CNX Midstream for $357M

CNX Midstream began life as a joint venture between CONSOL Energy (the forerunner to CNX Resources) and Noble Energy, and was called CONE Midstream (“CO” from CONSOL and “NE” from Noble Energy). Noble decided to completely exit the Marcellus/Utica and ended up selling their half of CONE to CNX for $305 million in early 2018 (see CNX to Buy Noble’s 50% Share of CONE Midstream for $305M). The company was then renamed CNX Midstream (see CONE Midstream Gets a New Name: CNX Midstream Partners). Although CNX owns a majority of CNX Midstream, there has (until now) remained a certain portion owned by outside investors. That will soon come to an end as CNX is buying out the remaining portions it doesn’t own for $357 million. CNX Midstream will now be owned 100% by CNX Resources.
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PA DEP Fines CNX $310K for Minor Violations re Pipe Construction

On Friday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it has fined CNX Resources and its subsidiary CNX Midstream $310,000 for two incidents in which 65 barrels (2,730 gallons) of non-toxic brine (salty water) leaked into the ground and 43 gallons of non-toxic drilling mud leaked into a creek. The DEP says CNX did “not adequately maintain erosion and sedimentation best management practices.”
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CNX CEO Defends Carbon, Issues Call to Action for O&G, Petchem

Nick DeIuliis

We have a MUST-SEE video (below) from a virtual event hosted yesterday. This year’s edition of the annual Petrochemical Development conference and expo held in Pittsburgh went virtual this year because of the coronavirus. Yesterday was Day One of the event, and one of the opening keynotes was delivered by CNX Resources CEO Nick DeIuliis. His 21-minute talk was dynamite! Nick delivered a talk titled, “Nine Irrefutable Energy Truths and a Critical Call to Action.” In his talk, he unapologetically spoke about and defended the superiority (morally, ethically, economically) of carbon-based energy.
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Joe Biden Signals He’ll Block of All New Pipelines, LNG Plants

We feel as though we keep talking to an empty room. That nobody is hearing, or if people are hearing, they don’t believe what we say when we tell you that Joe Biden and the people surrounding him are promising the total destruction of the fossil fuel industry in the U.S.A.–if he gets elected. All you have to do is listen to what he says! We’re not exaggerating nor overstating the case. If you work for the oil and gas industry, if you sell to the industry, if you care about freedom, you simply cannot vote for Joe Biden for President. To do so is to vote for the destruction of our country as we know it. The stakes are that high! Biden is signaling loud and clear his intent to block all new pipeline and LNG projects if he gets elected.
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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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CNX Update: Shut-in 375 MMcf/d, Central PA Utica the Future

CNX Resources, one of our favorite Marcellus/Utica drillers, issued an operational update yesterday with some interesting new information. Chief among the tidbits is the fact that CNX, beginning May 1, shut-in some of its production. Specifically around 375 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). The company expects that number to decline to 300 MMcf/d by July. After that, they’ll play it by ear.
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Hopeful Signs for Turnaround in the Marcellus/Utica Industry

One of our favorite M-U reporters, Paul Gough of the Pittsburgh Business Times, went in search of news about Appalachian shale drilling and its future. He found some rays of light. Gough talked with several of our favorite M-U people–CNX CEO Nick DeIuliis, Deep Well Services CEO Mark Marmo, and Range Resources COO Dennis Degner. Those three (and others) are certainly not Polyanna about what the future holds. There will be bumps. But they do offer hope that on the other side of this pandemic the M-U will actually emerge stronger and better.
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CNX Finances Continue to Improve – Buying Back $400M in Notes

CNX Resources announced yesterday that it will buy back $400 million (roughly half) of its outstanding notes, debt that’s not due to be redeemed until 2022. They’re buying it back early. The company’s finances continue to get stronger. It was just February when Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings downgraded the credit rating for six of the biggest M-U drillers, including CNX (see S&P Downgrades Credit Rating for Six Big Marcellus/Utica Drillers).
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CNX CEO Says Pandemic Exposes ‘Church of Climate’ as a Fraud

We have a confession. We have a man crush on Nick DeIuliis, CEO of CNX Resources. Beginning last year DeIuliis began to publicly and openly fight back against global warming zealots who demand you bow before the altar of man-made global warming or risk being ostracized from polite society. The warmists are irrational fossil fuel haters–dedicated to eliminating the use of fossil fuels. DeIuliis has had enough and he now regularly says so in public forums. The latest example of DeIuliis pushing back is a column appearing today in The Hill, the Washington, DC uber-insider publication. DeIuliis says the pandemic has exposed the “church of climate” and the “dog’s breakfast of special interest groups” that compose it, for the fraud it is.
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M-U Drillers See New Interest from Bond (Debt) Investors

Wow! What a difference three months can make. In January Moody’s Investors Service downgraded EQT Corporation’s bonds to “junk” status (see Moody’s Downgrades EQT Debt to Junk Status Following Write-Down). A few weeks later Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings downgraded the credit rating for six of the biggest Marcellus/Utica drillers, including EQT (see S&P Downgrades Credit Rating for Six Big Marcellus/Utica Drillers). Once thought risky and speculative, investors seem to have changed their minds about investing in M-U debt. They’re taking a second look.
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CNX Scaling Back Wet Gas Production, Charts Course Next 7 Yrs

CNX Resources released its first-quarter 2020 update yesterday, along with hosting a conference call with analysts. CEO Nick DeIuliis laid out a plan for the company for the next seven years. Silencing the naysaying critics who say shale companies are not profitable and some sort of Ponzi scheme, CNX says it is on track to make $300 million in free cash flow (i.e. profits) this year, $400 million next year, and then $500 million each year until 2026. CNX is a cash flow machine!
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