New Trading Platform for “Responsibly Produced NatGas” Launching

Last September MDN reported that Southwestern Energy was the very first driller to earn the label of producing “responsible gas” from the Independent Energy Standards Corporation (IES)–what they call their TrustWell™ Responsible Gas Program certification (see Southwestern Sells 1st Certified “Responsible Gas” to NJ Resources). In April, a driller in the Rockies became the second company to earn the designation (see “Responsible Gas” Certification Expands, Gains Another Driller). Now there’s a way for those who buy and sell natural gas to tell if the gas they’re buying and selling is “responsibly produced.”
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Which Way will PA Supreme Court Rule on ‘Rule of Capture’ Case?

Last week MDN told you that oral arguments would be heard on Thursday at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in what we believe is one of (perhaps THE) most important shale cases ever in the Keystone State (see Most Important Court Case in PA Shale History Heads to Supremes). The case deals with whether or not the age-old oil and gas principle called “the rule of capture” applies in PA shale drilling.
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Most Important Court Case in PA Shale History Heads to Supremes

This Friday Thursday the justices sitting on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear what we believe is the most important shale gas court case in the history of the state: Briggs v Southwestern Energy. We consider this case to be an existential threat to the future of shale gas drilling in PA should the decision go the wrong way. And no, we’re not exaggerating.
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EQT, Southwestern Top Brass Discuss State of WV O&G, Shale

Toby Rice, CEO and president of EQT, and Clay Carrell, COO and EVP of Southwestern Energy, recently had a sit down discussion about the state of the shale industry in the Marcellus/Utica and its importance to the economy of West Virginia. The discussion happened at the recent West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Business Summit. One surprising revelation for us: Carrell said Southwestern now spends most of its money on WV drilling.
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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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Southwestern Energy Cutting Rig Count from 6 to 2 in M-U

Yesterday Southwestern Energy, a major Marcellus/Utica driller, released its second quarter 2019 update and talked about the rest of 2019 and beyond. Southwestern total production in 2Q was 186 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe), an 11% increase compared to 2Q18 (excluding the Fayetteville, which Southwestern sold last year to become 100% focused on the M-U). That 186 Bcfe number includes 148 Bcf of gas production, 937,000 barrels of oil production, and 5.5 million barrels of natural gas liquids (NGL) production.
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Capturing the Interest of the Next Generation to Work in PA Shale

The best teachers (people) and the best teacher (method of instruction) have the same thing in common: Hands on. As in tactile, doing stuff, rather than sitting in a chair attempting to learn by information dumping. Particularly with elementary-age kiddies. Cabot Oil & Gas and Southwestern Energy recently sponsored the annual Vehicular Career Day where 400 fifth graders from school districts across Susquehanna County climbed into big rigs, buses, and emergency vehicles. The shale industry was well-represented. Needless to say, the kids loved it.
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Southwestern Energy 1Q19: Drills Longest PA Lateral – 18,683 Feet

Southwestern Energy, one of the largest drillers in the Marcellus with 480,000 acres under lease, turned in their first quarter 2019 update last week. It was the company’s first update since becoming a pure play operator, totally focused on the Marcellus/Utica region. What did it show? Net income nearly tripled to $594 million (vs. 1Q18’s $205 million). Production averaged 2.0 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d), close to what the prolific Cabot produced in 1Q19.
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“Responsible Gas” Certification Expands, Gains Another Driller

Last September MDN reported that Southwestern Energy was the very first driller to earn the label of producing “responsible gas” from the Independent Energy Standards Corporation (IES)–what they call their TrustWell™ Responsible Gas Program certification (see Southwestern Sells 1st Certified “Responsible Gas” to NJ Resources). Southwestern is considering expanding the designation to more of their operations. Meanwhile, a driller in the Rockies is the second company to earn the designation.
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Landowner Asks PA Supremes to Throw Out 150-Yr-Old Rule of Capture

Last November the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Briggs v. Southwestern Energy, that is hands-down the most important court case to ever happen regarding the Marcellus Shale in PA. And no, we’re not exaggerating. A blizzard of briefs by Southwestern and those supporting Southwestern were filed in February (see “Rule of Capture” Briefs Filed w/PA Supreme Court in Briggs Case). On Wednesday, it was the Briggs’ turn to file a brief, one in which they ask the Supremes to stop application of the 150 year-old “rule of capture” in PA when it comes to shale wells.
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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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Southwestern Energy Grows M-U Prod 21%, Likes WV Upper Devonian

Southwestern Energy, one of the largest Marcellus/Utica drillers, issued its 2018 (and 4Q) update last Friday. The company reports growing M-U production 21% in 2018, to 702 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe). That works out to be 1.9 Bcfe per day. Quite an accomplishment when you consider those numbers happened even after Southwestern sold off their Fayetteville Shale assets last year.
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“Rule of Capture” Briefs Filed w/PA Supreme Court in Briggs Case

In November the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Briggs v. Southwestern Energy, that is hands-down the most important court case to ever happen regarding the Marcellus Shale in PA. And no, we’re not exaggerating. A blizzard of briefs by Southwestern and those supporting Southwestern were filed earlier this week.
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Columbia Sues Southwestern Energy for Shorting Royalties in WV

Here’s an interesting twist on the theme of drillers shorting leaseholders out of royalty money. Usually such cases involve drillers claiming post-production deductions from landowner royalty checks. This time the landowner/rightsholder is Columbia Gas Transmission (pipeline company owned by midstream giant TransCanada), and the claim is that Southwestern Energy (driller) is not paying royalties for gas produced but not actually sold.
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PA Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Briggs “Rule of Capture” Case

This is big news that will impact nearly every landowner and shale driller in Pennsylvania. In April, MDN brought you the news that Pennsylvania Superior Court had handed down a decision (known as the “Briggs” case) that has the power to greatly restrict, perhaps even stop, Marcellus drilling in PA (see PA Superior Court Overturns “Rule of Capture” for Marcellus Well and PA “Rule of Capture” Case has Power to Limit Marcellus Drilling). The issue, in brief, is that a PA Superior Court decision disallows using the age-old principle called the “rule of capture” when it comes to shale drilling and fracking in PA. Southwestern Energy successfully argued in a lower court that the odd crack here and there that may slip under a neighbor’s property from fracking is permissible. The neighboring landowner, not signed with Southwestern, appealed that decision to Superior Court and won. Southwestern then appealed the case to the PA Supreme Court and the court has just announced it will hear the case. How will this affect nearly every landowner, signed or not, in shale regions of the state?
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