So-Called “Study” Links PA Fracking to Birth Defect in Horses

A new so-called “study” published in the journal Science of The Total Environment claims it has uncovered a link between fracking chemicals in farm water and a rare birth defect in horses. The researchers say this study “could” serve as a warning about fracking and human infant health. Is this it? Were we wrong for the past 11 years about the safety of fracking? Is this THE END?
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IEA Predicts Biggest Collapse in Global Energy Investment in History

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the “lifeblood” of the global energy system is…investment. That is, money. Without investment, new sources of energy don’t appear. In 2016 IEA began to publish an annual report called World Energy Investment, in order to track spending on all forms of energy worldwide. Earlier this week IEA published its fifth annual version of the report. In the report, IEA says 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic, will mark the largest-ever collapse in global energy investment in history. IEA says the coming investment decline will impact oil the most.
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PA Marcellus Gas Production Declines First Time in 3+ Years

It had to happen sooner or later. Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released its latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report for January through March 2020 (full copy below). It shows natgas production in PA rose 6.8% compared to the same period last year. However, overall production fell compared to 4Q19’s record high, breaking a streak that went back 3.5 years.
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U.S. Rig Count Falls to Lowest Level EVER – Since Records Began

Baker Hughes, one of the largest oilfield services (drilling) companies in the U.S. and the world, began keeping records on rig counts starting in 1987. As of May 12, 2020, producers operated 339 rigs in the U.S. That’s the lowest number of operating rigs since Baker Hughes began publishing its venerated rig count. It’s not the kind of record we like to see broken.
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EIA Report: Drop in Marcellus/Utica Gas Production Slows in June

We’ve been eagerly anticipating this month’s edition of our favorite report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), to see how much gas production in the Marcellus/Utica will decrease. The DPR estimates how much oil and natural gas each of the country’s seven largest shale plays produced in the previous (current) month, and how much each will produce in the coming (next) month.
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New Report Says Canadian Utica Shale Key to Lower Emissions Future

click for larger version

Not everyone in Canada is a liberal loon just like not everyone in New York State is a liberal loon. Case in point: the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), an independent public policy think tank, has just published a report pointing out the fallacy of Quebec believing it can electrify all of its energy supplies without using natural gas. In particular, the paper says Quebec’s Utica Shale layer can and should play a key role in Quebec’s so-called all-electric future.
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Enverus Says We’re “Seeing the Bottom” of Oil & Gas Price Crash

Enverus (formerly Drillinginfo) is a leading data, software and insights company that provides information to upstream, midstream, and downstream companies. Enverus experts have just published an “Oil and Gas Fundamentals Update” featuring the impacts of COVID-19. VP of Strategic Analytics for Enverus, Bernadette Johnson, says “there will still be more painful announcements, but we are seeing the bottom” of the current oil and gas price crash. It will be painful and slow, but we now begin to crawl back up out of the hole we are in.
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IEA Annual Report Predicts NatGas Use Drops 5% Worldwide in 2020

Everyone is still trying to get their heads around what has and is happening to the economies and energy markets around the world, suffering huge blows from being shut down due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Everyone has their own models and predictions. The latest is the International Energy Agency which has just published its World Energy Review–an analysis of how the virus pandemic is likely to affect world energy markets based on what has happened over the past 100 days.
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Penn State Uses Microwaves to Make Natgas 100% Clean and Green

A partnership between Penn State EMS Energy Institute researchers and a Pittsburgh-based start-up company may hold the answer to reducing so-called greenhouse gas emissions while also paving the way to disrupt the chemical and material industries. The collaboration has resulted in several research projects that aim to “reinvent” both coal and natural gas as clean, cost-effective sources of fuels and high-performance materials.
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Oil & Gas Experts Say Industry Itself to Blame for Oil Price Crash

Simon-Kucher & Partners, a global strategy and marketing consulting firm along with Rice University surveyed 195 oil and gas industry experts from around the world. They published their findings in a report titled “2020 Oil & Gas Crisis Study.” The upshot, the sentiment, is that the current crisis faced by oil companies is largely homegrown. We did it to ourselves.
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Natural Gas Clear Winner in Electric Generation 2010-2019 – EIA

The number crunchers at our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), have analyzed recent additions to the national electric grid–the new power generating plants that have been added. As you know, electricity can be generated by coal, natural gas, water (hydro), nuclear and yes, so-called renewables. At first blush, the report issued by EIA yesterday looks to be a win for renewables. In 2019 onshore wind added 9,100 megawatts of new electricity and solar added 5,300 MW of new electricity (combined total of 14,400). In 2019 natural gas added 8,300 MW of new electricity to the grid. Yet when you look at the bigger picture, how much electricity is generated by any given single source, natgas produces far more electricity than any other source.
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Rig Count Plunges Another 74; M-U Count Steady as She Goes

In late March we told you about the biggest one-week drop in U.S. rig counts in the past four years when the rig count dropped by 47 in a single week (see Biggest Rig Count Drop in 4 Years – Who’s Still Drilling?). A week later we told you another 45 rigs had disappeared (see National Rig Count Falls Another 45, M-U Rig Count Holds Steady). And now, a neutron bomb. Over the past week (ending Wednesday) the U.S. rig count lost 74 (!) rigs. The week before the rig count “took a skydive” and went down 80 rigs. The rig count is in freefall without a parachute.
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Report: Dramatic Impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. Energy Industry

Economists at consulting powerhouse The Brattle Group have released an assessment/report on the impacts through early April 2020 of COVID-19 on the electric and natural gas industries. The report (full copy below) summarizes recent developments in energy commodity spot and forward pricing, electricity demand, and financial markets, and speculates on what will happen if the pandemic persists. One of the surprising findings (for us) is that weather is having far more effect on keeping natgas prices low than COVID-19. There’s plenty of charts and analysis–really good stuff to ponder. Battle Group has a lot of smart people thinking about this stuff.
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EIA: Marcellus/Utica Gas Production Will Drop 1/3rd Bcf/d in May

We’ve been dreading this month’s edition of normally our favorite report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR estimates how much oil and natural gas each of the country’s seven largest shale plays produced in the previous (current) month, and how much each will produce in the coming (next) month. The past few months have seen a big decline in Marcellus/Utica gas production, more than half a Bcf/d (see EIA Report: M-U Gas Production WAY Down March, April). According to the latest edition of the DRP issued yesterday, the downward trend will continue again in May.
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Pitt Researchers Remove Radioactivity from Marcellus Wastewater

We spotted a new scientific study published in an upcoming edition of the journal Water Research. The study is called: “Sulfate precipitation in produced water from Marcellus Shale for the control of naturally occurring radioactive material.” Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have found a way to strip out radioactivity from produced water coming from Marcellus wells so the water can be boiled to produce clean water and usable minerals/salts.
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