Range SWPA Production Takes Hit After MarkWest Plant Explosion

Range Resources issued an updated 2018 (not 2019) capital spending and operational update yesterday to say (a) they spent about $20 million less last year than originally forecast and (b) the company took a hit on production because of an outage at the MarkWest Houston/Harmon Creek processing facilities.
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ODNR Releases Ohio Utica O&G Production for 3Q18 – Top 25 Wells

The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) issued third quarter 2018 production numbers for Utica shale oil and gas production yesterday. And what a report it is! Natural gas production was up an amazing 31% over the same period last year (after being up 42% in 2Q18). Utica natgas production broke another record, hitting a new all-time high of 605 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 3Q18. But perhaps the biggest story was Utica oil production. In 1Q18 Utica oil production was down 3.6%. In 2Q18 Utica oil production was up 11%. But in 3Q18, Utica oil production soared, going up 32%.
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EQT Settles 2 Class Action Lawsuits for $5.7M re Employee Issues

Two separate cases before U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone (in Pennsylvania) were settled yesterday by EQT. One of class action cases, brought against EQT, alleged the company had intentionally misclassified employees as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime. The settlement awards “more than 100” workers back wages totaling $2.8 million. The other class action case is similar, except it was filed against Rice Energy before Rice was bought out by EQT. Now that Rice is part of EQT, it is EQT paying the bills. In the Rice Energy lawsuit, some 90 workers are being paid $2.9 million for unpaid overtime. Wednesday was an expensive day for EQT.
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More Rice Bros. vs. EQT Intrigue – Better than Dynasty & Dallas!

Remember the Carrington’s from the 1980s prime time soap Dynasty? Or how about the Ewings, as in J.R. and Bobby, from the prime time soap Dallas? No, we’re not talking about the remakes of those shows appearing in recent years. We’re talking about the originals. Both shows revolved around oil families of immense wealth–one in Colorado, the other in Texas. We have a real-life version of Dynasty and Dallas playing out right now–in Pittsburgh–with the Rice brothers and EQT. Not all the sex stuff–get your head straight! We’re talking about the backroom deals and bare-knuckle politics stuff. Last week we told you that Toby and Derek Rice, formerly of Rice Energy, have launched an effort to take over the company they sold Rice Energy to (see Rice Brothers Attempt to Take Over EQT, Install Toby as CEO). Earlier this week we told you that EQT Chairman Jim Rohr and CEO Rob McNally want to “talk” (yell, scream?) some more with the Rice boys (see EQT Chairman Rohr & CEO McNally Ready to “Talk” with Rice Boys). According to an article appearing in the Wall Street Journal, the Rice boys have more backing for their takeover plan, from Elliott Management. The details that leaked say the Rices want to replace Rohr and McNally. This is epic.
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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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EQT Chairman Rohr & CEO McNally Ready to “Talk” with Rice Boys

A week ago MDN brought you the news that Toby and Derek Rice, formerly of Rice Energy, have launched an effort to take over the company they sold Rice Energy to (see Rice Brothers Attempt to Take Over EQT, Install Toby as CEO). In recent months the Rice boys have had private conversations with EQT’s top dogs, Chairman of the Board Jim Rohr and CEO Rob McNally, but according to Toby and Derek, those talks went nowhere. The Rice boys say EQT needs some new energy and a new direction, to leverage the world class assets it now owns. And the Rice boys think they have just the plan to accomplish it. After going public with their plan and their intent to wage a proxy war (get board members elected who will endorse their plan), word has leaked out from “sources” that Rohr and McNally want to have another round of talks with the Rice boys, to hear more about their plan. Which causes us to ask, didn’t all that get discussed the first time around? What’s the real purpose of more “talks” with the Rice brothers?
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Antero Now Sells 30% of NatGas to Higher-Paying Midwest Market

Antero Resources, one of the biggest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, is also one of the best hedging companies in the business. They routinely lock in prices for their gas up to a year (or more) in advance, to ensure they make a tidy profit. And Antero averages higher prices for their gas sales than just about any other Marcellus/Utica producer. This morning Antero issued an update on their latest hedging moves, which is always interesting. But that’s not what caught our eye. They also issued a fourth quarter update. No, not for the entire fourth quarter as we still have a few weeks left in 4Q and the full, official 4Q update won’t come along until maybe the end of January. But in this interim 4Q update, we spotted the news that because of the addition of the Rover Pipeline, Antero now sells a full 30% (up from 16%) of their natural gas production to Midwest markets–markets that pay, on average, more for gas than elsewhere.
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Cabot “Making Offers” to OH Landowners; New Well in Richland Co.

Ohio’s gas counties – click for larger version

We spotted an article about a landowner meeting held last week in Ashland County, Ohio. In the meeting, lawyers advised landowners to hold off on signing a standard lease agreement with Cabot Oil & Gas for $25 per acre with 12.5% royalties. Those offers, from what we are able to determine, were sent a year ago. Since that time Cabot has drilled at least three (possibly four) wells targeting the Knox Formation in Ashland County (see Cabot O&G Fracks Its First OH Knox Well, Drilling 3rd OH Well). A fourth (possibly fifth) well is about to be drilled in neighboring Richland County. Lawyers are telling landowners who haven’t yet signed it’s prudent to hold off and see how these initial test wells perform. We have details about the recent landowner meeting, along with details about a new Cabot well being drilled in Richland County, below.
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Meeting Reveals Details re PGE’s Loyalsock Creek Pipe Project

Pennsylvania General Energy drills in several PA counties, including Lycoming County in the north central of the state. According to the Marcellus & Utica Shale Upstream Almanac 2018, PA General Energy is the fourth-largest driller in Lycoming County, with 103 producing wells and 42.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas production in 2017. PA General Energy wants to drill more wells in Lycoming. Those wells will need a gathering pipeline connected to them, and a water pipeline to provide water for drilling and fracking. Even though a water pipeline would save an estimated 126,000 truck trips on local roads, some residents are opposed (see Lycoming County Residents Oppose Loyalsock Creek Gathering Pipe). Last night residents got to hear more details about the project at a meeting organized by PA State Rep. Garth Everett.
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