EPA Fines Gulfport $1.7M for Clean Air Violations in Ohio Utica

Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it has reached a settlement with Gulfport Energy over alleged air emissions violations found at 17 well pad locations Gulfport operates in the Ohio Utica. The violations happened in 2015. The settlement includes Gulfport paying $1.7 million in fines and spending another $2 million in “improvements” to cut down on volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions at the 17 well pads.
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Gulfport Continues Board “Refreshment” – 4th Change in 5 Weeks

In mid-November Gulfport Energy, one of the biggest drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale (210,000 acres), announced they are laying off 13% of their workforce, ending (for now) their stock share buy-back program, and “refreshing” the board with three new members (see Gulfport Fires 13% of Workers, Ends Stock Buy-Back, Board Changes). Here it is five weeks later and the company has just announced yet another new board member, the fourth new member in five weeks. What’s going on?
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Gulfport’s Biggest Shareholder Says Current Board has Made a Mess

Gulfport Energy, one of the biggest drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale (210,000 acres), concentrates its drilling in the Ohio Utica and the Oklahoma SCOOP plays. Earlier this week the company made a major announcement: They are laying off 13% of the workforce, ending (for now) their stock share buy-back program, and “refreshing” the board with three new members (see Gulfport Fires 13% of Workers, Ends Stock Buy-Back, Board Changes). According to Gulfport’s largest shareholder, investment firm Firefly Value Partners, those changes are not enough.
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Gulfport Fires 13% of Workers, Ends Stock Buy-Back, Board Changes

Gulfport Energy, one of the biggest drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale (210,000 acres), concentrates its drilling in the Ohio Utica and the Oklahoma SCOOP plays. A few weeks ago the company announced they are shopping some of their non-operated assets in the Ohio Utica (see Gulfport 3Q – Looking to Sell Non-Operated Utica Assets). This morning the company made another major announcement: They are laying off 13% of the workforce, ending (for now) their stock share buy-back program, and “refreshing” the board with three new members.
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Gulfport 3Q – Looking to Sell Non-Operated Utica Assets

Gulfport Energy, one of the biggest drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale (210,000 acres), concentrates its drilling in the Ohio Utica and the Oklahoma SCOOP plays. Gulport’s third quarter 2019 update shows the company produced 1,527.0 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d) in 3Q19, up 7% from 1,427.5 MMcfe/d produced in 3Q18. The company lost $48.8 million (31 cents per share) in 3Q19. The biggest news, for us, is Gulfport’s announcement they are shopping some of their non-operated assets in the Ohio Utica.
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Major Investor Lectures Gulfport Energy to Cut 2020 Budget by 29%

Shah Capital, which owns three million shares (about 1.9%) of Gulfport Energy stock, last week sent an open letter to the Gulfport board strongly recommending the company trim next year’s budget by 29% (maybe more) in an effort to generate more cash for investors. Gulfport Energy, one of the biggest drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale (210,000 acres), concentrates its drilling in the Ohio Utica and the Oklahoma SCOOP plays.
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Rice Addresses Belmont County, OH Landowners in Town Hall Mtg

EQT’s new CEO Toby Rice made the rounds and conducted four town hall-style meetings with landowners (see Road Trip! EQT CEO Toby Rice Talks to Landowners in Town Hall Mtgs). We found and brought you local media coverage for both the first and third meetings–in Waynesburg, PA and Bridgeport, WV, respectively (see EQT CEO Toby Rice Hits a Home Run with Landowner Meetings and EQT CEO Toby Rice Explains Combo Drilling at WV Town Hall Mtg). There was a meeting in between those two, held in Belmont County, OH. We’ve been accused of bias for not writing about that meeting.
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Gulfport 2Q: Drills 4 New Utica Wells, Completes 25 Utica Wells

Gulfport Energy, one of the biggest drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale (210,000 acres), concentrates its drilling in the Ohio Utica and the Oklahoma SCOOP plays. The company released its operating and financial update for 2Q19 last week. As we told you in May, 2019 is “the year of the DUC” for Gulfport (see Gulfport Energy Sells “Small” Marcellus Leasehold in SE Ohio). And so it has been.
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Gulfport Energy Sells “Small” Marcellus Leasehold in SE Ohio

Gulfport Energy, one of the biggest drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale (210,000 acres) with record production in the Utica last year, announced last week (as part of its first quarter update) it has sold a “small footprint” of Marcellus drilling rights on some of their Utica acreage in southeastern Ohio for $30 million. Gulfport concentrates its drilling in the Ohio Utica and the Oklahoma SCOOP plays. Piecing together the company’s plans for this year, we’re calling 2019 the “Year of the DUC” for Gulfport.
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Are Marcellus/Utica Shale Drillers Financially Healthy?

We read on a regular basis in mainstream media that shale companies spend more money than they bring in, and that investors are growing tired of pumping money into companies without a return on their investment. We’ve recently noticed a renewed commitment on the part of major drillers to get their financial houses in order–spend less and drill less in order to make more money. We spotted an article by Reuters on the “shale drillers aren’t profitable/healthy” meme which got us investigating the financial health (or lack thereof) for Marcellus/Utica drillers. What we found may interest you.
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Trend: Marcellus/Utica Drillers Will Drill Less in 2019

There’s just no getting around the obvious–that the shale industry is once again heading into something of a dip. We’re not just talking about shale oil drillers scaling back drilling new wells in places like Texas and North Dakota. We’re talking about big gas drillers in the Marcellus/Utica who are signaling that 2019 will see less spending and less drilling, although production won’t decline.
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Gulfport’s Largest Investor Not Happy with Board or Management

Another situation is brewing with Gulfport Energy not unlike the situation at EQT. One of (we’re pretty sure THE) largest shareholders in Gulfport, investment firm Firefly Value Partners, is not happy with either the board of directors or current management, saying very publicly (via a letter, below) that the current board lacks “necessary skills and experience” to turn the company’s poorly performing stock around. Ba boom!
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Utica Driller Gulfport Energy Appoints New CEO/President

In early November, Gulfport Energy, an independent oil and gas driller with significant acreage positions in the Utica Shale of eastern Ohio and the SCOOP Woodford and SCOOP Springer plays in Oklahoma, canned their CEO Michael Moore following allegations that he used a company credit card, and the company chartered jet, for personal uses (see Shakeup: Gulfport CEO Michael Moore Fired, Interim CEO Appointed). Gulfport appointed COO Donnie Moore (no relation to Michael) to be interim CEO while they figured out next steps. Those steps are now figured out. After a nationwide search, Gulfport has appointed David M. Wood to become the new president & CEO. Donnie Moore will revert to his role of COO, answering to Wood.
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Shakeup: Gulfport CEO Michael Moore Fired, Interim CEO Appointed

Michael Moore – out as CEO of Gulfport Energy

Last week Gulfport Energy, an independent oil and gas driller with significant acreage positions in the Utica Shale of eastern Ohio and the SCOOP Woodford and SCOOP Springer plays in Oklahoma, issued its full third quarter 2018 update. Gulfport previously issued an operational update several weeks ago (see Gulfport 3Q18 Operations Update: 11 New Utica Wells). Gulfport didn’t issue the full update, with financials, until last week. Perhaps we now know why: the company canned their CEO, Michael G. Moore, following allegations that he used a company credit card, and the company chartered jet, for personal uses. Gulfport appointed COO Donnie Moore (no relation to Michael) to be interim CEO while they figure out next steps.
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