Former EQT CEO: Shale Revolution a “Disaster” for Investors

Steve Schlotterbeck

One of the highlights for MDN editor Jim Willis in attending last week’s Northeast Petrochemical Conference in Pittsburgh was the opportunity to meet and hear speak Steve Schlotterbeck, former CEO of EQT. Steve is the guy who pulled off the buyout/merger of Rice Energy into EQT, creating the largest natural gas producing company in the United States. He had the guts to walk away from EQT when the board refused to pay him what he was worth (see EQT CEO Steve Schlotterbeck Suddenly Quits, Leaves Company). Last Friday morning Steve opened the final day of the conference with more guts and plain talk. He said the shale industry has been “an unmitigated disaster for buy and hold investors.” Whoa! What did he mean?

UPDATE: We have a full transcript of Steve’s speech below.
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Analysts Say NatGas from Permian, Midcontinent to Limit M-U Growth

Several analysts at last week’s LDC Gas Forum Northeast conference in Boston offered their opinion that further growth in production for the Marcellus/Utica region is on the cusp of stalling. Why? Because they don’t see any new major pipeline projects on the horizon beyond the final “big 3” (Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Mountain Valley Pipeline, and PennEast Pipeline), and because major LNG export plants along the Gulf Coast will receive most of their gas from bountiful associated gas that comes from plays much closer to the Gulf, including the Permian and Midcontinent regions.
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Truth Told @ Marcellus and Manufacturing Conference in Morgantown

Natural gas was front and center at the ninth annual Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference, an event of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, held yesterday in Morgantown, WV. Among the speakers was Steve Winberg, U.S. Department of Energy assistant secretary for fossil energy. He mouthed strong support for the Appalachian Basin ethane “hub” saying the region can easily support up to five ethane crackers, and that could lead to $35 billion of investment and 100,000 jobs in the region.
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CERAWeek: We Need New England Pipes & Yes, ACP/MVP Will Get Built

CERAWeek (by IHS Markit) is held each year in Houston, Texas. There is no doubt it is the world’s premier energy event. Last week U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed attendees, as did Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Neil Chatterjee. Movers and shakers. Everyone from Saudi Arabian oil sheikhs to wildcatting frackers from America’s shale plays were there.
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Encino Belle of the Ball at OOGA’s 72nd Annual Meeting

The Ohio Oil & Gas Association (OOGA) is currently holding their 72nd Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will address the event today. Cool! Kallanish Energy is at the event. They report that Encino Energy, which bought out all of Chesapeake Energy’s considerable Ohio Utica assets last year, was the “center of attention” yesterday.
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Finalists Announced for 2019 Northeast Oil & Gas Awards

Once again Marcellus Drilling News is happy to partner with and support the Oil & Gas Awards, for 2019. The Awards boys have just released the of finalists for the Northeast Awards, being held March 14 in Pittsburgh. This year six of the entrants for the awards contracted with MDN editor Jim Willis to help them prepare their entries. It was a blast for Jim to dig in and understand more about the companies submitting an application for the awards–and to help them craft what we hope are winning entries! Jim worked with some true professionals from the companies entering the awards, it was a pleasure. Below is a list of the finalists. Good luck!
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Drilling the Utica Shale in PA & WV – Leveraging Stacked Plays

Last week MDN friend and ace reporter Rick Stouffer from Kallanish Energy hosted a one-day event in Pittsburgh called “Kallanish New Horizons: Appalachin Basin.” One of the speakers was Tom Murphy, director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR). MDN editor Jim Willis had the pleasure of presenting on the same panel with Tom at the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) Pennsylvania Chapter annual convention in State College, PA last March. Tom never disappoints! He certainly didn’t at last week’s Kallanish event. Tom spoke on the topic of Utica drilling–in PA and WV. Normally you think “Ohio” when you think Utica. And indeed, Ohio has the vast majority of Utica wells drilled (2,080 and counting). But there’s a fascinating trend of drilling Utica wells in both PA and WV. How many?
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No Indians or Hippies Protest Final Day of Shale Insight

According to those who attended, the second and final day of the Shale Insight conference in Pittsburgh closed “quietly.” That is, no protesters outside the convention center. You may recall yesterday we reported that on the first day of the event a small group of Indians (dancing and worshiping water from the nearby river) and hippies gathered to rant against fracking and the use of fossil fuels (see Handful of Imported Indians & Hippies Protest Shale Insight). It was a publicity stunt, per usual. Yesterday, on the final day of the event, no protesters. We have a couple of reports below of what did happen–thoughtful, relevant, important information being shared.
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EPA Head Andrew Wheeler Addresses Shale Insight re “New EPA”

EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler

The Marcellus Shale Coalition’s annual Shale Insight conference and expo is currently under way–both yesterday and today. The big draw at this year’s event is (or rather was) EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. He spoke yesterday to some 900 delegates in attendance. He told attendees he is leading a “new EPA” focused on deregulation and streamlined permits. Music to our ears. While Wheeler spoke favorably of the shale oil and gas industry, he also included words of support for the coal industry (he’s a former coal lobbyist). Trump did the same thing two years ago when he addressed Shale Insight–hyping coal. When will these guys learn that a pro-coal message falls flat at a shale gas conference? Anyhoo, by all accounts Wheeler gave a rousing speech. Here’s some of what he said.
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Other Voices at Shale Insight: Utica, Pipelines, Public Health

EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler wasn’t the only speaker at yesterday’s Shale Insight event in Pittsburgh (see EPA Head Andrew Wheeler Addresses Shale Insight re “New EPA”). There were a number of other sessions addressing issues from the technical to the philosophical. A speaker from XTO Energy said the Utica Shale is only just getting started and the potential of the Utica “enormous.” A panel spoke to the critical nature of pipelines and addressed the issue of how we can better “tell our story” to the public with respect to pipelines. And another panel discussed whether and how natural gas development is affecting public health. Here’s a few select reports.
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Handful of Imported Indians & Hippies Protest Shale Insight

Click for larger version

Unfortunately MDN editor Jim Willis was not able to attend this year’s Shale Insight in Pittsburgh (first time in last six years). In years past Jim had had to run a gauntlet of protesters to enter the event (he always enjoys watching fruit loops make fools of themselves). However, he hasn’t seen protesters at the event in several years. He wishes he were there this year to see a group of Indians and what looks to be young and old hippies protesting outside the convention center. It was a small group–perhaps 45-50 max, while inside there were over 900 people. One of the protesters/agitators was an Indian not even from the Marcellus/Utica region–but imported from Minnesota. Which illustrates how these protests are organized and funded by Big Green (with a number of outsiders attending). These protests are not the organic uprisings they’re made out to be.
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Acting EPA Admin. Wheeler to Keynote Shale Insight in Pittsburgh

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler

Here’s some exciting news! The keynote speaker at this year’s Shale Insight 2018 event in Pittsburgh will be Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. MDN editor Jim Willis has attended every annual Shale Insight except for the very first one, going back years. Unfortunately he won’t be attending this year’s event to hear Wheeler in person. However, many MDN readers live in western PA and eastern OH, and if you do, and if you can make it, we encourage you to attend! This year’s event is pushed back a bit from the usual September into October–Oct. 23-25. Wheeler is speaking on the 24th in the morning. Here’s the details…
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News from DUG East: Record-Breaking Wells, Long Laterals & More

One of two major Marcellus/Utica events that happens each year in Pittsburgh, Hart Energy’s DUG East Conference, was held this week. (The other is Shale Insight, held in the fall.) We’ve covered a variety of news coming out of the DUG East event. Unfortunately we could not be there in person this year. By all accounts, a lot of great information was shared. We spotted two articles from different sources that do a good job of rounding up highlights from this week’s DUG. Hart’s own Exploration & Production magazine chronicles news from Eclipse Resources, whose CEO (Ben Hulburt) says the company expects to break more lateral records this year. Dennis Degner from Range Resources also talked about long laterals, and strategy. Degner said Range balances other factors like pipeline takeaway capacity and service costs. Also appearing on the stage were smaller/private M-U operators, like Northeast Natural Energy, who also shared some great insights. Below is a good roundup of the news coming from DUG this week, from a couple of sources…
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Upstream PA Conference: Marcellus Shale Changed the Game

Dr. Terry Engelder – closing presenter

Last week MDN editor Jim Willis had the pleasure of presenting at Shale DirectoriesPA Upstream 2018 event with the theme: “The New Upstream: 10 Years Later.” There were a number of great presentations–from people like David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Jude Clemente, analyst and author who frequently writes for the Forbes magazine website, and Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai. One quick story and some shameless name-dropping. Jim is always jazzed to meet people who read his stuff. Writing is a lonely affair, so getting to industry events every now and again is a great chance to connect with readers. In the hallway ahead of Speaker Turzai taking the stage, Jim was introduced to him (for the first time). When Speaker Turzai heard what Jim does–writing Marcellus Drilling News–he said: “Oh yeah, I read your stuff all the time!” Which put a big smile on Jim’s face. Jim also connected with long-time friend George Stark from Cabot Oil & Gas; another long-time friend, Rick Stouffer, from the always excellent Kallanish Energy, and with Dr. Terry Engelder, the “father of the Marcellus.” Dr. Engelder is now retired from PennState and keeps himself busy writing and speaking. What a treat to meet Dr. Engelder for the first time, after hearing of and writing about him for years! At any rate, as you can imagine, when you give a presentation, your mind is not totally engaged with the presentations you’re hearing. You’re thinking about the presentation you’re about to give! Fortunately, another MDN friend, Nicole Jacobs (from Energy in Depth), was at the event and recorded the highlights…
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Appalachian NGL Storage Hub Conference June 6-7 in Pittsburgh

MDN has previously written about the Appalachian NGL (natural gas liquids) Storage Hub, a $10+ billion infrastructure project with no specific location identified as yet, but West Virginia often named (see M-U’s Next Mega Project: $10B Appalachian Storage Hub). An upcoming conference dedicated solely to the the Storage Hub is coming to the Pittsburgh area June 6-7. The Appalachian Storage Hub Conference is sponsored by our friends at Shale Directories (Joe Barone), along with TopLine Analytics (Tom Gellrich), in Canonsburg at the Hilton Garden at Southpointe. June 6th will see a cocktail reception in the evening and June 7th is the full conference. The conference will answer questions like, What in the world is a storage hub and why does the Marcellus/Utica need one? What are state governments doing to attract this project, and what remains to be done? What kinds of investment opportunities exist? And, How does our region compare with the Gulf Coast? If you have an interest in petrochemicals and NGLs like ethane, you need to attend this event. Oh! And did we say, seating is very limited? It is, so now is the time to act if you want to attend. There’s a few remaining slots…
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