Range Resources 3Q – Production Up Slightly, Spending Down

Spending went down, but natural gas production went up slightly (3%) at the very first Marcellus driller, Range Resources, in 3Q19. The company previously forecast it would spend $756 million in 3Q but spent $736 million instead. The savings came “as a result of continued efficiency gains, water savings, and service cost improvements.” The company connected 22 new wells in the Marcellus to production in 3Q19, the same number they connected in 3Q18. Our takeaway: the company is doing more, producing more, with less resources. Getting more efficient.
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Range Sells Another 0.5% Royalty Interest for $150M

In July MDN brought you the news that Range Resources had sold a 2% overriding royalty interest on 350,000 acres “in southwest Appalachia” for $600 million (see Range Resources Sells 2% Royalty Interest + 20K Acres for $634M). Range’s announcement did not identify who, exactly, was the company doing the purchasing. Lime Rock Resources later self-identified as the buyer (see Mystery Solved: Lime Rock Buyer of 2% Royalty Interest in Range). Range has just done it again–sold off another 0.5% (one-half of one percent) of an overriding royalty interest for another $150 million.
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PA DEP Hires Private Lawyers to Defend Against Atty General Probe

Really? Is this what it’s now come to? Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is so desperate to make a criminal case against someone, anyone, in the shale industry, he’s even going after state employees–workers at the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). In a bid to raise his visibility among state voters (so he can run for governor), Shapiro launched an investigation in January looking for environmental “crimes” committed by Range Resources and other shale drillers (see PA AG Investigates Shale Drillers for “Enviro Crimes”).
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Work at Sunoco’s Marcus Hook Causes Range to Tweak NGL Forecast

Sunoco is performing “optimization work” at the Marcus Hook export terminal this month. Marcus Hook is where two (soon to be three) Mariner East Pipelines terminate, hauling NGLs (propane, ethane, butane) from western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio all the way to the Philadelphia area. At Marcus Hook the NGLs get separated and most (not all, but most) get loaded onto ships for export to other countries. Sunoco needs to upgrade a few things to export even more. They’re shutting down Marcus Hook this month, and that’s a (temporary) problem for the main shipper sending NGLs to the facility–Range Resources.
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PA Fed Judge Won’t Dismiss Landowner Royalty Case Against Range

Last October MDN brought to your attention a lawsuit filed by a Washington County, PA couple, Robin and Thomas Pflasterer, against Range Resources (see Range Resources Sued by PA Landowner re Post-Production Deductions). The Pflasterers maintain Range deducted post-production expenses not allowed under their lease. Range argued the Pflasterers didn’t have the proper paperwork to back up their claims and asked for the case to be dismissed.
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M-U Companies Dominate Top 10 NatGas Producers in 2019

Quick: Which company which recently had a board and upper management shakeup and focuses exclusively on Marcellus/Utica drilling is the #1 natural gas producer in the United States? That’s right, EQT. In a list of the top 40 natgas producers in the U.S. (full list below), it’s striking to note that eight of the top 10 are focused exclusively or primarily on the M-U.
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Range Resources 2Q – Production Up 10% Despite MarkWest Outage

Production for Range Resources was up a healthy 10% year over year in second quarter 2019, according to Range’s 2Q19 update issued late last week. Range produced 2.3 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d) in 2Q. For the first half of the year Range brought online 39 Marcellus/Utica wells and plans to bring online another 49 wells in the second half of 2019. The company is on track to spend roughly $750 million on drilling in 2019.
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Mystery Solved: Lime Rock Buyer of 2% Royalty Interest in Range

On Monday MDN brought you the news that Range Resources has sold a 2% overriding royalty interest on 350,000 acres “in southwest Appalachia” for $600 million (see Range Resources Sells 2% Royalty Interest + 20K Acres for $634M). Range’s announcement did not identify who, exactly, was the company doing the purchasing. Yesterday Lime Rock Resources, which acquires and operates producing oil and gas wells across the country (as well as investing in others’ programs) self-identified as the buyer.
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Range Resources Sells 2% Royalty Interest + 20K Acres for $634M

On Friday Range Resources, the very first company to sink a Marcellus well back in 2004, announced two deals that will net the company $634 million total. In the first deal, Range sold a 2% overriding royalty interest on 350,000 acres “in southwest Appalachia” for $600 million. In the second deal, Range sold ~20,000 non-producing acres in Armstrong County for $34 million ($1,700/acre).
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Range Resources Lays Off 5% of Employees – PA Affected

Yesterday the Pittsburgh Business Times broke the news that Range Resources, one of the Marcellus/Utica’s biggest drillers (and in fact the very first driller to sink a Marcellus well, back in 2004), has laid off 40 employees–roughly 5% of its workforce. The layoffs are split between the company’s Pennsylvania and Texas operations.
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PA Court Denies “Standing” for Grandma Fighting Range Well

A grandmother concerned that if Range Resources were to build a well pad three-fourths of a mile from her granddaughter’s school (in Washington County, PA) instead of building it a full mile from the school, tried to gain legal standing to challenge a permit granted to Range by Mount Pleasant Township. Grandma says her granddaughter has a sensitivity to benzene fumes. Yesterday a Commonwealth Court panel ruled she does NOT have legal standing to challenge the permit.
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Range, Others Paid SWPA Landowners $3M to Settle “Haney” Case

Three families who lived near a former drill site and frack wastewater impoundment in Washington County, PA sued Range Resources in May 2012 claiming the air they breathe and the water they drink had been contaminated by Range’s operations at the site (see EPA Investigating Range Drill Site in Western PA). Range eventually settled what became known as the “Haney” case with the three families in 2018. The settlement was, until yesterday, secret. Facing ongoing pressure from “media” outlets, Range released a copy of the settlement showing the families got a collective $3 million–minus 33% for overpaid lawyers.
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Continues Vendetta Against Range Resources

Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, and the anti-drilling Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, continue their tag-team effort to criminalize and humiliate Range Resources. Shapiro, a sleazy politician, is investigating so-called environmental “crimes” committed by shale companies in a bid to boost his chances of being the next nominee to run for governor (see PA AG Investigates Shale Drillers for “Enviro Crimes”). One of Shapiro’s sham investigations is into Range Resources and the long-ago settled “Haney” court case. The Post-Gazette is trying to get sealed court documents unsealed in the Haney case.
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Range Resources Commits to Zero Methane Emissions…Someday

Range Resources released its first-ever Corporate Sustainability Report earlier this week. The report reviews Range’s accomplishments at reducing so-called greenhouse gases (methane emissions) over the past 10 years. However, the big news contained in the report is that Range is committing to the goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions from its operations. Someday. In the future. The report and the goal of zero emissions comes in response to pressure last year from a wacko leftist group that floated a shareholder resolution that almost passed.
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Range Resources Promotes Dennis Degner to COO; CEO-in-Waiting?

Dennis Degner

Over the years we’ve reported on the rising star of Dennis Degner at Range Resources. In 2016 Degner was named vice president for Range’s Southern Marcellus Shale Division (see Range’s Dennis Degner Named VP of Southern Marcellus Shale). In 2018 Degner was promoted again, to senior VP of operations, including responsibility for the company’s Louisiana Haynesville Shale drilling program in addition to the Marcellus (see Range Resources Update: Dennis Degner Promoted, $333M Profit). And now, Degner has been named Chief Operating Officer for the company.
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