Onshore Rig Count Craters, Still No Bottom, M-U Holds

For the past few months, MDN has followed the Enverus (Drillinginfo) rig count numbers. In our most recent rig count post from two weeks ago we noted the count had fallen to a historic, new all-time low of 298 (see Onshore Rig Count Hits New Low of 298 – Finds Bottom?). Dan Eberhart, CEO of Canary, LLC (the largest privately-owned oilfield services company in the U.S.) wrote a column on the Forbes website stating his belief the rig count had hit bottom and “the worst appears to be behind us.” Looks like Dan was wrong. The latest Enverus rig count, as of Monday, shows the rig count has slipped another 19 to 279. The apocalypse has arrived.
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Chesapeake Sues FERC in Bid to Break Pipeline Contracts

Earlier this week MDN brought you the news that Chesapeake Energy is asking a bankruptcy court in Texas for permission to break valid and legal contracts with several pipeline companies as part of its financial reorganization plan (see Chesapeake Asks Court to Break Pipeline Contracts, Including M-U). Just coming to light (for us) is that as part of the bankruptcy filing, Chessy is challenging (suing) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to prevent FERC from making Chessy live up to its contractual agreements.
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Marcellus/Utica Dominates Top 5 Oil & Gas M&A Deals of Q2

Enverus (formerly called Drillinginfo) has just released a summary of its Q2 2020 U.S. upstream M&A report. The update shows upstream (drilling) deals staged a small recovery to $2.6 billion from only $770 million during Q1. However, Q2 still ranks as the third-lowest quarterly value since 2009. Of particular interest for us is that of the top five M&A deals done in Q2, three of them happened in the Marcellus/Utica.
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New York Utilities Jump Off a Cliff with Andrew Cuomo – Limit Gas

The mafia, in the person of Andrew Cuomo, has taken over in New York State. The state is now officially, completely, dark and corrupt. We offer into evidence two recent actions to support our view. One is that two major Upstate utility companies, both owned by the Spanish-based Iberdrola, have agreed to stop advertising their natural gas service and won’t build any new gas delivery pipelines in a bid to discourage new gas customers from signing up. The companies have voluntarily agreed to cap their own businesses and revenues–to harm their investors–at the demand of Lord Cuomo. The second action is the state Siting Board has ruled they will NOT consider the negative impact on property values when approving huge wind and solar farms.
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Sad Day: Federal Court Strikes Down FERC’s Use of Tolling Orders

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (DC Circuit) handed down a decision that was expected, but sad nonetheless. The court told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) it can no longer use “tolling orders” to stretch out the time to respond to a “rehearing” request when a FERC decision has been challenged. It sounds complicated. The simple version is FERC no longer has the ability to prevent anti-fossil fuel Big Green groups (with loads of money) from challenging each and every pipeline decision FERC makes in court, tying up those decisions for years at a time. Antis now have free rein to game the system and shut down new pipelines from getting built.
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Trump DOE Report Backs Cracker, Petchem Investment in Marc/Utica

In April 2019 President Trump issued an Executive Order instructing the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) to assess opportunities to promote growth in the Appalachian region. Yesterday a report was released by DOE doing just that. The 75-page report is titled “The Appalachian Energy and Petrochemical Renaissance: An Examination of Economic Progress and Opportunities” (full copy below). The report not only outlines petchem opportunities in the Marcellus/Utica, it makes recommendations to put those opportunities on steroids.
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Antis Say Virginia Natural Gas Pipeline Project is Racist

Once again agitators who pretend to care about the environment and about people (they care about neither) from Big Green groups like Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the Sierra Club, say a tiny pipeline project in northeastern Virginia is racist and should not get built. On Monday we told you the Virginia State Corporation Commission will not (yet) approve Virginia Natural Gas’ (VNG) Header Improvement Project, a project to build 24 miles of new pipeline and two new compressor stations (expanding a third compressor) to connect to the mighty Transco pipeline system to flow Marcellus/Utica gas to the northeast Va. region (see VA Regulators Want Assurances Before Approving VNG Pipe Project).
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Marcellus Shale Coalition Debunks False Claims in PA AG Report

The fallout continues over a totally fake/manufactured “report” issued by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro last week bashing the shale industry (see PA AG Launches I-HATE-FRACKING Hotline; Report Bashing Shale, DEP). Mainstream media continues to repeat the false allegations made in the report, making it necessary for the shale industry to respond and debunk the report. Yesterday the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) sent an open letter to every member of PA’s legislature exposing Shapiro’s false report for the piece of toilet paper it is.
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Prominent Environmentalist Apologizes, Exposes Climate Scare Scam

We meant to bring you this column a few days ago when we first noticed it, but other more pressing news pushed it down the list. Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” Green Book Award Winner, and (now) author of a brand new book titled “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.” Shellenberger publishes articles on the Forbes magazine website. On Sunday he published an article titled, “On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare.” The article has since been pulled from the Forbes website. We still have a copy…
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US Supreme Court Signals It Wants to Hear PennEast Pipeline Case

The media spin machine and anti-fossil fuelers are in overdrive, but they can’t paper over this fact: Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court expressed a very loud and clear interest in hearing the PennEast Pipeline vs. New Jersey case–and that spells bad news for NJ and its radical Attorney General who is trying to block the pipeline from entering the state.
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Chester DA Charges Against ME Pipe Security Chief Tossed by Judge

Former Chester County, PA District Attorney Tom Hogan (RINO), and his successor Deb Ryan (Democrat) are 100% humiliated after a Chester County Magisterial District Judge dismissed the entire case against the local head of security for Energy Transfer in what the DA’s office lyingly calls a “buy a badge scheme.” Judge John Bailey dismissed all 54 criminal counts against Frank Recknagel over his hiring of constables as off-duty security guards for the Mariner East pipeline project. The DA’s office tried to criminalize moonlighting for the pipeline.
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Chesapeake Asks Court to Break Pipeline Contracts, Including M-U

We’ll try not to sound arrogant, but once again *only* MDN nailed it–which is why you subscribe, right? Yesterday we brought you the news that Chesapeake Energy has finally filed for bankruptcy (see Chesapeake Files for Bankruptcy – Debtors to Take Ownership). In our opening paragraph, we told pipeline companies according to the language we read in the press release, that Chessy is “looking to break existing contracts, using the bankruptcy filing as an excuse.” And guess what? That is exactly what happened, including a request to break a contract with Crestwood’s Stagecoach Pipeline in the Marcellus/Utica.
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Thigpen & Blue Roads Merging to Form Sapphire Gas Virtual Pipe Co

This is one of those “follow the bouncing ball” stories with lots of names. Bear with us because there is a connection to the Marcellus/Utica region. BP Energy Partners, a private equity firm based in Dallas, TX, invests in (and ultimately controls) a number of companies. Two of their portfolio companies are Thigpen Solutions and Blue Roads Solutions, both virtual pipeline companies delivering CNG and LNG to different types of customers. BP is merging the two into one company and renaming it Sapphire Gas Solutions.
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NY’s Highest Court Approves Eminent Domain for NFG Pipeline

A landowner in Allegany County, NY who tried to block National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) from crossing her property with its Northern Access Pipeline to flow PA fracked gas into the Empire State, has failed. Last week New York’s highest court, called the State Court of Appeals, overturned a lower court ruling. The high court decision clears the way for NFG to use eminent domain to cross the woman’s property when (not if) the pipeline gets built.
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PA AG Sham Shale Rpt: Wolf Prevaricates, MSC Debunks, Antis Cheer

We’re still steamed about a totally fake/manufactured “report” issued by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro last week bashing the shale industry (see PA AG Launches I-HATE-FRACKING Hotline; Report Bashing Shale, DEP). Shapiro wants to run for governor in 2022 and trashing the shale industry gives him credibility with environmentalist wackos–an important segment of the lib Dem Party. Since the report came out there’s been wall-to-wall coverage in the lamestream press in PA. They’re almost orgasmic, believing this is somehow the death knell for shale drilling in the state. They’re DEAD wrong.
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VA Regulators Want Assurances Before Approving VNG Pipe Project

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Virginia Natural Gas’ (VNG) Header Improvement Project wants to build 24 miles of new pipeline and two new compressor stations (expanding a third compressor), connecting to the mighty Transco pipeline system to flow Marcellus/Utica gas to the northeast Va. region (see Va. Turns Down Anti Request to Delay Hearing on VNG Pipe Project). The Virginia State Corporation Commission is saying before they will give the project its permission to build, the Commission needs certain ironclad assurances.
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