PA DEP Teases Fake Report Claiming Carbon Tax Saves Lives & Money

Shame on Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Pat McDonnell for prostituting himself to Gov. Tom Wolf by teasing a forthcoming “report” that says by enacting a jobs-killing carbon tax in the state it will generate 27,000 new jobs, add $1.9 billion to the PA economy, and even save lives. (Maybe the carbon tax can part the Red Sea too?) These are outrageous lies. Perhaps McDonnell should have resigned if Wolf was pressuring him to lie like that. Better to resign with dignity than damage your reputation for becoming known as a paid liar.
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New Study Shows No Leaks in Utica Shale Gathering Pipelines

It’s such a breath of fresh air (and so rare) when we spot actual, in-the-field, real science being done. So many times the “studies” we see published are nothing more than rehashed interpretations, speculation, and outright fabrications parading as scientific inquiry. We spotted a new study published just yesterday in the journal MDPI Atmosphere by researchers with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Pittsburgh. In 2019 researchers flew specially outfitted drones with methane sniffers over 73 kilometers (45 miles) of Utica Shale gathering pipelines and associated infrastructure. Know what they found? There were ZERO methane leaks from the pipelines.
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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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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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PA IFO Predicts 2 Possible Scenarios for 2020 Impact Tax Revenue

The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) does a good job of guesstimating how much impact fee revenue will get generated in the coming year, based on permit and producing wells activity in the current year. Impact fees are PA’s equivalent of a severance tax–a fee paid by drillers for each new well they drill, paid over a 15-year period. This year IFO is offering up two scenarios for how much money the state will receive in impact fee revenues next year (based on wells drilled and active this year). One scenario is based on natgas prices averaging at least $2.25/MMBtus (million British Thermal Units) on the NYMEX, and the other scenario assumes gas prices slip below that level.
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Deloitte Publishes “Study” Bashing Shale Oil – Says Shale has Peaked

Here we go again, another “peak oil” theory by the tinfoil hat brigade–except this time the theory is specifically about shale oil and comes from a (used to be) respected company–powerhouse consulting firm Deloitte. Yesterday Deloitte published a new study called, “The Great Compression: Implications of COVID-19 for the US Shale Industry” (full copy below), spinning the theory that the virus pandemic has effectively revealed what “everyone” already knew anyway–shale oil drilling was always a fraud and has already peaked, never made money, destroyed a gajillion dollars of investor value, and bankrupted 190 companies. Shale oil drillers may as well just curl up in a ball and die.
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New Haynesville Wells Produce More Gas than New M-U Wells

There’s no getting around the fact that the Marcellus/Utica region, collectively called Appalachia, is THE 800-pound gorilla when it comes to natural gas production. We produce more natgas than any other region of the country–more than twice as much as the next highest producer, the oily Permian Basin. Yet the Haynesville Shale, a gas-focused play located in Louisiana, also produces a lot of natgas (about 36% of what the M-U produces). According to recent research by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), new wells in the Haynesville are more productive (producing more gas on average) than new wells drilled in the M-U. Huh.
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EIA: Permian Gas Drop Almost Stops While M-U Gas Drops Like a Rock

Yesterday our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report, the 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 June report, which predicts production for the coming month of July, estimates natural gas production in the Permian basin has just about stabilized (will go down just a little). However, natgas production in the Marcellus/Utica will continue to drop like a rock in the coming month.
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IEA Report: M-U to Help Fill Associated Gas Shortfall in 2020

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report Wednesday titled, “Gas 2020: Analysing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global natural gas markets.” IEA says the global gas market will experience its “largest demand shock on record” in 2020, with demand for natural gas worldwide decreasing by 4% this year. That’s a bit better than IEA’s previous estimate of a 5% decrease in 2020.
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Marcellus/Utica NatGas Production Drops 1.5 Bcf/d Jan to May

Enverus (formerly known as Drillinginfo) recently released its latest FundamentalEdge report that explores the ongoing supply response to demand destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the report, Enverus estimates how much dry gas production each major shale play produced, month by month, from January through May of this year. The numbers show that production from the Marcellus/Utica, which produces the most natural gas of any play, decreased the most of any play–by some 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) from January to May.
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New Study Proves Marcellus Drilling Air Pollution a Non-Issue

An economist from Binghamton University who has zero training in health care and the medical field is the lead author of a new study that claims air pollution from Marcellus fracking killed an estimated 20 people in Pennsylvania from 2010-2017. While the “study” aims to paint Marcellus fracking as a killer, we say it makes the opposite point. This study (if you believe its results) proves Marcellus fracking is about the safest form of energy on earth!
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Production Cutbacks Take Hold in Marc/Utica…but Not All Areas

MDN recently told you that EQT, the largest natural gas producer in the country, has shut-in roughly one-third of its regular natural gas production through the end of June (see EQT Shuts in 33% of NatGas Production in Pennsylvania, Ohio). Cabot Oil & Gas, another large producer, said during its Q1 update it would shut-in some of its production in 2020 too (see Cabot 1Q20: Production Up 4%, Free Cash Flow, Curtailing Wells). These cutbacks along with cutbacks by other M-U drillers have had an “immediate” impact on production in the Marcellus/Utica. But the impact is not the same throughout the entire region.
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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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