EQT Issues $1.3 Million in Scholarships, Grants to Non-Profits

EQT Corporation, the largest natural gas-producing company in the U.S., is also a very generous company. Through its EQT Foundation charitable giving arm, EQT recently distributed $500,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations and programs in southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and northern West Virginia–regions where the company operates. In addition, EQT has given out more than $500,000 in scholarships to high school seniors looking for a career in the oil and gas industry, and another $360,000 in COVID-19-related relief grants to community foundations and food banks.
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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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EQT Provides More Details on DGO Asset Sale, 1.4 Bcf/d Curtailment

EQT announced yesterday it has closed on a deal to sell “certain non-strategic assets” to Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) for $125 million, plus another potential $20 million later on. MDN first told you about this deal on May 13 (see Diversified Buys 900 EQT Wells (67 Shale Wells) for $125M). This is the first time EQT has commented publicly on the DGO deal. EQT’s statement differs from previous news accounts about the deal.
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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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Diversified Buys 900 EQT Wells (67 Shale Wells) for $125M

Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) continues its program of buying up mostly older conventional oil and gas wells in Appalachia. In April DGO cut a deal to buy 6,500 conventional wells spread across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, along with a 4,700-mile gathering pipeline system located in WV, for $110 million (see Diversified Deal to Pick Up Another 6,500 O&G Wells in WV, KY, TN). DGO has done it again, this time buying 900 wells from EQT located mostly in West Virginia. The deal also includes 67 shale wells in Pennsylvania.
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Rice Says EQT in Unique Position, Looks to “Trim the Rosebush”

EQT Corporation, the largest natural gas producer in the country, turned in its first-quarter 2020 update yesterday. EQT produced an average of 4.2 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d). The company reports generating $251 million in free cash flow but recorded a loss of $167 million due to “the loss on investment in Equitrans Midstream, the loss on exchange of long-lived assets, decreased operating revenues, increased impairment and expiration of leases and the loss on debt extinguishment.” Revenues were $1.1 billion for 1Q.
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EQT Tech Keeps Field Workers Safe from COVID-19 Virus

During yesterday’s quarterly update and conference call with analysts, EQT CEO Toby Rice took the time to outline his company’s efforts to keep field workers safe during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Not unsurprisingly, the “young Turks” who now run the company are using technology to help protect employees and contractors. EQT is ahead of the curve (way ahead of the state Dept. of Environmental Protection) in its contact tracing system to protect workers.
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EQT Holds Virtual Annual Meeting – No Fireworks This Year

Last year at this time the EQT’s then-management team was locked in a heated battle with the Rice boys–Toby and Derek Rice–who wanted to boot the existing management team and run the company themselves. EQT’s management at the time delayed the annual meeting until July (see EQT Announces Late Annual Meeting, a “Screw You” to Rice Bros.). The delay didn’t work. The Rice brothers got their candidates for the board elected and subsequently took over control of the company (see Rice Bros. Win Proxy War to Control EQT – Toby Rice New CEO). It was high drama at last year’s annual meeting. This year’s meeting was just about the opposite.
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LOLA Energy II Says 26 EQT Shale Wells Trespass on Their Leases

Last July MDN broke the news that LOLA Energy had filed a lawsuit in Greene County, PA against EQT for allegedly drilling shale wells under property EQT formerly leased, but property for which the leases had lapsed and were subsequently scooped up by LOLA Energy II (see LOLA Energy Sues EQT for Trespass, Drilling Wells Under LOLA Land). We also broke the news about a second LOLA lawsuit against EQT for the same thing (see LOLA Energy Files 2nd Lawsuit Against EQT for Trespass in SWPA). LOLA is now “ramping up” litigation having filed (or in the process of filing) seven lawsuits. LOLA claims EQT has infringed on 26 of its leases.
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Marcellus/Utica Stock Prices Soar on News of Oil Price Crash

With yesterday’s historic crash in the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil comes a big boost in the stock price for a number of Marcellus/Utica drillers. As we’ve outlined multiple times, but will repeat here again, stock traders believe that with the crash in oil prices and U.S. shale oil drillers laying down rigs faster than we can count, the high volume of “associated gas” coming from the oilfields will vastly decrease. That means less supply in the market. With less supply and the same (or increasing) demand comes higher prices for natgas. And higher prices for natgas means more profits and likely more new drilling for Marcellus/Utica drillers. Hence, investors are snapping up stocks for M-U drilling companies.
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Marcellus Companies $tep Up to Help During COVID-19 Crisis

Companies in the Marcellus/Utica shale industry have stepped up and given money, and in some cases retooled manufacturing operations, in order to help communities, first responders and medical professionals respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Companies like ExxonMobil, Range Resources, Cabot Oil & Gas, EQT, Alta Resources, Chevron, Greylock Energy, Olympus Energy, Penn E&R, Southwestern Energy and others. We are gratified and proud of the industry where we hang our hat.
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EQT Restarts Fracking Ops After Worker Diagnosed with COVID-19

Last week MDN told you that a contractor working in EQT’s hydraulic fracturing (“completions”) operation who had worked at a site in Belmont County, OH tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus (see EQT Stops Fracking After Worker Gets COVID-19; Suspends Dividends). Because the worker had been in contact with a number of other workers in EQT’s completions unit, the company temporarily shut down all completions (fracking) operations until the expiration of a 14-day waiting period based on when the worker had come in contact with others. The wait is over. On Sunday EQT restarted fracking and completions operations.
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