Rig Count Drops Like a Rock, Biggest 1-Week Drop “in Decades”

Two weeks ago MDN told you about the biggest single-week drop in U.S. rig counts since the final week of December 2015–more than four years ago (see Biggest Rig Count Drop in 4 Years – Who’s Still Drilling?). Rigs dropped by 47 in a single week. That was then. Last week rigs dropped by another 64! NGI says it was “one of the largest down weeks in the past two decades.” Call it a new (and somber) record for the past 20 years. The good news, if there is any, is that the counts in the Marcellus/Utica remained the same week over week. Once again it seems that gas-focused shale plays are the beneficiary of the oil price crash as everyone assumes associated gas coming from shale oil plays will (sooner or later) dry up.
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PA Gov Wolf Vetoes Jobs-Creating Petchem Bill – Blames COVID-19

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf was less than honest when he vetoed House Bill (HB) 1100–a bill that would generate thousands of new jobs and cause money to pour into the PA economy by granting tax breaks (for a limited time) to companies willing to build *brand new* petrochemical plants ($450 million minimum investment) that use natural gas as the feedstock. In vetoing the bill on Friday, Wolf more or less blamed the coronavirus–even though he had promised to veto this bill in February, a month before the pandemic began in U.S. (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA)!
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New Study Says Petchem Tax Credit Bill Would “Transform” PA

Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1100, aimed at attracting new petrochemical investment to the state, was passed by the PA House and Senate earlier this year. The bill provides a tax incentive for companies to build NEW plants in the state that use Marcellus methane gas. HB 1100 was finally delivered to the desk of Gov. Tom Wolf last week (see PA Petchem Bill Delivered to Gov. Wolf – Will He Sign It?). Wolf previously stated (for whatever strange reason) he would veto the bill. Republicans, Democrats, businesses, and labor unions have all pressured Wolf to reconsider and sign the measure into law. Now comes a bit more pressure.
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PA Petchem Bill Delivered to Gov. Wolf – Will He Sign It?

Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1100, aimed at attracting new petrochemical investment to the state, was passed by the PA Senate in early February (see PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment). HB 1100 provides a tax incentive for companies to build NEW plants in the state that use Marcellus methane gas. Inexplicably PA Gov. Wolf said he would veto the bill when it hits his desk (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA). The Republican-controlled legislature held back from sending the bill to Wolf and for the past six weeks Republicans, Democrats, business and labor groups have conducted a high-pressure campaign to either force Wolf to sign it, or force Democrats in the legislature who voted for the bill the first time to vote for a veto override.
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Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-19

Yesterday MDN told you that Shell had not (yet) closed down construction of the mighty ethane cracker plant they are building in Beaver County, PA (see COVID-19: Shell Keeps SWPA Cracker Construction Site Open). After a confirmed case of COVID-19 coronavirus in the county, the Board of Commissioners asked Shell yesterday to shut down the site for now. Within a few hours Shell did just that, sending home some 8,000 workers. The work stoppage will last from a few days to a few weeks.
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Oil Price War: Halliburton Furloughs 3,500 in Houston

And so it begins. We’ve seen it before during oil and gas “down cycles.” Some of the first companies to lay off workers are the oilfield services (OFS) companies. Companies like Halliburton. It’s a yo-yo. Lay off a bunch of people (hundreds or thousands), and in a few years when things turn around, hire back a bunch. Some pejoratively call it boom and bust. We’re entering another serious down cycle with impending layoffs. Yesterday Halliburton announced a new twist. Instead of laying off thousands, the company will “furlough” some 3,500 workers. Here’s how it works…
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Ode to ME2: SWPA Resident Loves Sounds of Pipeline Progress

Drilling, whirring, humming, thumping, grinding, engines running, hammering, back-up warning beeps, banging, clanging. Those are the sounds of progress happening in Chester County, PA. Contrary to the griping and moaning mainstream media reports about those who live near Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline construction, the sounds of ME2 construction are music for at least one local resident because he knows about the economic prosperity this project will bring to the region.
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PA Petchem Bill has Veto-Proof Majority – Wolf, Antis in Trouble

On Monday there were dueling rallies at the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA, for and against a new petrochemical bill, House Bill (HB) 1100, that promises to bring thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars of investment to the Keystone State (see PA Dem Shouts Union Members are “Losers” at Rally for Petchem Bill). HB 1100 provides a tax incentive for companies to build NEW plants in the state that use Marcellus methane gas. HB 1100 passed both the state House and Senate with large majorities of both Republicans and Democrats. Yet PA Gov. Tom Wolf has promised to veto the bill. Sensing they have enough votes to override a veto, both Republicans and Democrats continue to pressure Wolf to sign. Yesterday another rally was held, this one in Wilkes-Barre, to support the bill and further put the political screws to Wolf.
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Study: Frack Ban Will Kill American Economy, Lower GDP $7.1T

The American Petroleum Institute recently released the results of a study they commissioned that outlines the “dire consequences” of a ban on hydraulic fracturing–the kind of ban being pushed by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden. Here’s how dire it gets: If a frack ban is slapped into place by a Democrat President, by 2022 it will result in 7.5 million lost jobs, and by 2030 a total loss out of the economy of $7.5 TRILLION! You might as well say we will enter a new economic depression, the likes of which we haven’t experienced since the 1930s.
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Chevron Tries to Make Room for M-U Workers with Buyout Offers

Last week MDN brought you the news that Chevron will begin to trim 320 jobs in the Marcellus/Utica beginning in early April (see Chevron Cutting 320 Jobs in Marcellus/Utica Beginning April 6th). The Chevron job cuts should not be a surprise, given the company is selling all of its M-U assets (see Chevron Writes Down $5B+ in Marc/Utica Assets, Looks to Sell All). From the beginning of the M-U exit process, Chevron has made it plain it hopes to transfer at least some of the M-U positions to other regions/areas of the company. We now have more insight as to how that may happen.
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Business/Labor Joins Hands, Asks PA Gov Wolf to Sign Petchem Bill

It doesn’t happen often, so when it does, it’s worth noting. Both business (Chamber of Commerce) groups from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, along with labor union groups from both cities, have reached across the aisle to work together in an effort to try and convince Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to sign House Bill (HB) 1100–a bill that would attract new petrochemical investment (and jobs) to the state. Inexplicably Wolf has pledged to veto the bill when it hits his desk (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA).
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Chevron Cutting 320 Jobs in Marcellus/Utica Beginning April 6th

By the end of this year, Chevron will have eliminated 320 jobs in its Marcellus/Utica operation. Some 288 of those positions will be gone from the company’s regional headquarters in Moon Township (Allegheny County, PA), and another 32 will be gone from the company’s Mount Braddock location (Fayette County, PA). The company says it will try to find new assignments for as many people as possible. The layoffs begin on April 6.
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$500M Marcellus-Fed Petchem Plant Coming to Clinton County, PA

Clinton County, PA

A new half-billion-dollar petrochemical plant that would convert Marcellus Shale gas into feedstock (chemicals) to be used in agriculture, manufacturing, medicine, and transportation is getting serious in central Pennsylvania. Frontier Natural Resources and KeyState Agri are working on a plan to bring such a plant to western Clinton County, PA.
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Dem Union Members Call Wolf Petchem Veto “Attack on Jobs”

Yesterday MDN brought you news about Democrat trade union members in Pennsylvania turning on one of their own–Gov. Tom Wolf (see Unions Push PA Legislators to Override Wolf Veto of Petchem Bill). Wolf has pledged to veto a bill recently passed by large bipartisan majorities in both the PA House and Senate that would attract new petrochemical investment (and jobs) to the state. In a followup to yesterday’s story, the union members have turned up the heat on Wolf (to boiling hot), including a mobile billboard running up and down the streets of Harrisburg.
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Unions Push PA Legislators to Override Wolf Veto of Petchem Bill

Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1100, aimed at attracting new petrochemical investment to the state, was previously passed by the PA House, and last week, by the Senate (see PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment). Gov. Tom Wolf (liberal Democrat) says he will veto the bill anyway–denying the state billions of private economic stimulus it could receive (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA). The bill was passed by a large bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate. There’s a good chance Democrats will join Republicans to override Wolf’s veto.
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PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment

Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1100, aimed at attracting new petrochemical investment to the state, was voted on and passed by the full PA Senate yesterday–with some key changes. Gov. Tom Wolf (liberal Democrat) says he will veto the bill anyway–denying the state billions of private economic stimulus it could receive (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA). The bill was passed by a large bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate. House Speaker Mike Turzai issued an announcement calling on Wolf to sign the bill, for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians. Don’t hold your breath.
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