Seneca Adding Another Rig in Tioga County, PA Thx to Pipe Expansion

Last Friday National Fuel Gas Company (NFG), the parent company for Seneca Resources and Empire Pipeline, issued its latest quarterly update for the quarter ending Dec. 31 (NFG’s first quarter 2021, everyone else’s fourth quarter 2020). Among the pearls of good news for NFG is that the company is adding a rig back in Tioga County, PA to drill on acreage NFG purchased from Shell.
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Alta Resources Shopping 547K Marcellus Acres, Asking $3B

We don’t write much about Alta Resources, a shale drilling company co-founded by the inventor of shale fracking, George Mitchell. But that doesn’t mean Alta doesn’t drill in the Marcellus. The company owns some 547,000 gross (239,000 net) acres producing natural gas from approximately 900 wells in the Marcellus Shale across Bradford, Wyoming, Sullivan, Lycoming, Clinton, and Centre counties in northeast Pennsylvania. Alta is shopping all of their considerable Marcellus assets, looking for a buyer.
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Northern O&G Buys 64K Acres of RIL’s Non-Op M-U Assets for $250M

Northern Oil and Gas, Inc., a company that invests in non-operated oil and gas assets (they let others do the drilling), announced yesterday it has purchased 64,000 net acres producing ~120 MMcfe/d (million cubic feet equivalent per day) in the Marcellus/Utica from Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). The cash purchase price is $250 million.
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Diversified Opens New NatGas Control Center in Charleston, WV

Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) owns close to 8 million acres of leases with some 60,000 (mostly) conventional oil and gas wells. Their focus has been to acquire quality production and cash flow–regardless of the well or commodity type (gas or oil)–in the Appalachian Basin. DGO currently owns over 400 Marcellus/Utica shale wells in their portfolio too. The company announced yesterday it has just opened a new “state-of-the-art” natural gas control center in Charleston, WV. Initially, the new center will monitor the Cranberry Pipeline network.
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Chesapeake Refocuses on NatGas, Offers $1B in Post-Bankruptcy IOUs

Chesapeake Energy will emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy next week having dumped $7 billion of old debt (out of $8.9 billion) and taking on $2.5 billion in new debt financing (see Court Approves Chesapeake Bankruptcy Plan to Dump $7B of Debt). Yesterday the company issued an announcement to say it is raising $1 billion of new debt by floating two new rounds of notes (which we call IOUs). The company will also refocus away from oil drilling and back on its original mission of natural gas drilling.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Jan 25-29

All three M-U states received permits to drill new shale wells last week. Pennsylvania received 22 new permits. Ohio received 2 new permits. And West Virginia received 8 new permits.
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Is Scheme to “Certify” NatGas Emissions a Carbon Tax Trojan Horse?

On Friday MDN told you that EQT has partnered with a company called Project Canary (used to be Independent Energy Standards Corporation) to use the TrustWell™ Responsible Gas Program to monitor two EQT gas wells to prove to the world (in particular the global warming lunatics) that EQT’s gas is good and green (see EQT Partners with Project Canary on “Responsibly Sourced” NatGas). However, we’re not convinced TrustWell is a trustworthy program.
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EQT Partners with Project Canary on “Responsibly Sourced” NatGas

Yesterday EQT, the largest natural gas producer in the U.S., announced it is partnering with a Denver, CO company calling itself “Project Canary” on two test shale gas wells, to prove the gas produced is “certified responsibly sourced” natural gas. The test will purportedly prove that EQT is doing a good job of producing its natgas with “high environmental and social standards.” Personally, we don’t think they have anything to prove, nor should they. But hey, it’s not our company to run.
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CNX CEO DeIuliis Says 2020 was Co’s “Most Successful Year” Ever

CNX released fourth-quarter and full-year numbers yesterday, but without the usual press release summarizing the results. CNX’s top brass did hold a conference call with analysts to discuss the update. Right out of the chute CEO Nick DeIuliis opened up the session by making four points. Nick’s very first point was that “2020 marked the most successful year we’ve seen as an E&P” as measured by free cash flow.
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Dave Spigelmyer Retires as President of Marcellus Shale Coalition

Well, this is a bummer. Dave Spigelmyer, someone we consider to be a friend, is retiring from the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) effective today. He will be replaced by MSC board member Dave Callahan, who officially takes over on Monday. Spigelmyer has been president (the second president of the MSC) since 2013. He took over from another terrific person, Katie Klaber, the organization’s first president. Dave Callahan has big shoes to fill, but we’re confident he’s up to the task.
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Diversified Gas & Oil Buys 5 Utica Shale Wells in Monroe County, OH

Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) owns close to 8 million acres of leases with some 60,000 (mostly) conventional oil and gas wells. Their focus has been to acquire quality production and cash flow–regardless of the well or commodity type (gas or oil)–in the Appalachian Basin. DGO currently owns over 400 Marcellus/Utica shale wells in their portfolio too. The company just added to their inventory of shale wells, closing on the purchase of five Utica Shale wells in Monroe County, OH. The purchase price for all five? $8.4 million.
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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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Most Important Lawsuit in PA Shale History – Review & Fallout

It was exactly one year ago that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in THE most consequential lawsuit for Marcellus Shale drilling we’ve seen, a case called Briggs v Southwestern Energy (see HUGE NEWS: PA Supreme Court Keeps ‘Rule of Capture’ for Fracking). Now that the dust has settled, it’s a good time to take a look at the case and the lingering fallout from the case on both landowners and drillers in the Keystone State.
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Seneca Resources President John McGinnis Retiring in May

John P. McGinnis, President of Seneca Resources

Seneca Resources is a major driller/producer in the Pennsylvania Marcellus and Utica Shale. Seneca is the drilling arm of a much larger company, National Fuel Gas Company (NFG). Seneca President John McGinnis is retiring effective May 1 of this year. Seneca senior VP Justin Loweth will replace him. We like to see promotions from within.
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Credit Loosens for M-U Drillers – Range, Antero Bonds Sell Out

We’ve noticed a flurry of new “notes” (i.e. bonds) being offered by Marcellus/Utica companies. We call notes/bonds IOUs. Typically a company will issue new notes (a promise to pay in the future, with interest) in order to retire older notes coming due. Notes are a form of self-financing by using debt instead of issuing new shares of stock (diluting existing shares). M-U drillers Range Resources and Antero Resources both quickly sold out of their recent note offerings at higher prices than originally requested. According to S&P analysts, the Range and Antero fast sellout is proof that credit is loosening for drillers in the M-U and in other shale plays.
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