Rex Energy 3Q17: $47M Loss, 10 More Utica Wells on the Way

Rex Energy, a driller focused mainly on the Marcellus/Utica (headquartered in State College, PA), issued their third quarter 2017 update earlier this week. The company continues to bleed money, losing $47 million in 3Q17, versus losing $55 million in 3Q16. An improvement, but showing a profit would be a whole lot better than a loss at this point. Highlights for 3Q17: Rex placed the four-well Wilson pad into sales (Butler County, PA) with initial 24-hour average sales rate per well of ~10.9 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d). Total production averaged 182 MMcfe/d–with 38% of that liquids production. Rex drills in both western PA and eastern OH. Rex officials said they are currently working on 10 new wells in Carroll County, OH that will go online in 2018. So far Rex has drilled 30 wells in the Buckeye State. Below is the full 3Q17 update, along with excerpts from the analyst phone call and the latest Rex slide deck…
Continue reading

“Health Experts” Meet in Pitt. to Demonize Shale, Shell Cracker

A group of so-called “health experts” pontificated at an event yesterday hosted by the League of [Liberal Democrat] Women Voters in Pittsburgh. They were supposedly there to discuss shale and public health. One of the gripe sessions took aim against Shell’s now-under construction ethane cracker facility. Speakers tried hard not to come right out and curse shale and the cracker–but they couldn’t help themselves. In the end they made untrue statements that imply the cracker will poison the community and make it unlivable. One speaker’s solution? “Don’t build it.” Typical. All you need to know about yesterday’s meeting is that one of the panelists is the staff attorney for the radical enviro organization Earthjustice. Truth was the main casualty at yesterday’s meeting…
Continue reading

Rex Energy Improves Production for New Wells in Butler, PA

Ahead of providing its third quarter 2017 update, yesterday Rex Energy, a driller focused mainly on the Marcellus/Utica (headquartered in State College, PA) has issued an update on two wells recently connected to sales. The two wells are located in Rex’s Butler County, PA “Moraine East” area. What’s unique is that both wells were completed with a newly revamped/tweaked completion design. Completions is that part of drilling a well when you frack it and hook it up to production. Rex doesn’t comment on how they tweaked their completion design. Typically, changing up completions may involve how long each frack stage is, the type (and quantity) of sand or other proppant used, the kind of slick water used, etc. Rex worked with an engineering firm to review their completions process and made some changes–and they are happy with the results. Initial daily production for the two wells averaged 9.4 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d). Rex reports the methane (natural gas) portion was 4 MMcf/d, NGLs of 820 barrels per day, and condensate averaged 70 barrels per day. Looks like Rex has a couple of winners, with more on the way using the new completion design…
Continue reading

Rex Energy Update – Brings 10 New Wells Online in Butler Co. PA

Rex Energy, a driller focused mainly on the Marcellus/Utica (headquartered in State College, PA), is a plucky company. Although it has faced its share of financial challenges, it continues to drill in the Marcellus/Utica–bringing new wells online. Rex released an announcement yesterday to tout two new wells pads with a cumulative 10 new wells between them that the company has now brought online into production. Rex always refers to their drilling program in three areas: “Bulter Legacy” and “Moraine East” are drilled on Rex’s leases in Butler County, PA; “Warrior North” refers to Rex’s drilling program on land in Carroll County, OH. The latest two pads were both drilled in Rex’s Moraine East area of Butler County. One of the pads, the “Shields” pad with six wells, produced an initial cumulative rate of 9.2 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d), dropping to 7.9 MMcfe/d after 30 days. The “Mackrell” pad with four wells produced an initial cumulative rate of 8.4 MMcfe/d. No 30-day rate (yet) for the Mackrell pad. Here’s the particulars of our “little driller that could”…
Continue reading

Rex Energy 2Q17: Sells Waterline, Deal with BP to Market NGLs

Earlier this week Rex Energy issued its second quarter 2017 update. During 2Q17 Rex drilled 2, completed 6 and put online into sales 4 wells in their Butler County, PA acreage. They also began drilling a new 4-well pad in Butler. In the company’s Carroll County, OH acreage, Rex drilled a 3 wells on a single pad. The big news from the update was a deal with BP to market Rex’s natural gas liquids (or C3+) production, and the sale of a water pipeline owned by Rex in Salineville, OH for $8 million. Rex’s finances didn’t do so well. In 2Q17 the company lost $10 million versus making a $16 million profit in 2Q16. Production picked up a bit, from 173.4 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d) in 1Q17 to 177.1 MMcfe/d in 2Q17. The official statement said 2Q17 production was “constrained” during the quarter “due to unplanned maintenance downtime in the company’s midstream services.” Which means they had hoped it would have been higher than 177.1 MMcfe/d. Looking forward to 3Q17 Rex says they plan to bring 12 new wells in Butler County online…
Continue reading

Rex Energy Crows re Results from New 4-Well Pad in Butler County, PA

Rex Energy began selling natural gas, gas liquids and condensate from its four newest wells, part of the “Baird” pad (in Butler County, PA) on May 31st. The company issued a press release yesterday to do some well-deserved crowing about their wells. Two of the wells (the 1H and 4H) are Marcellus wells and initial production is averaging 12.1 million cubic feet equivalent per day (Mmcfe/d). The other two wells (the 2H & 3H) target the Upper Devonian layer and initial production for those wells has been 8.1 Mmcfe/d. Rex also posted a new company PowerPoint presentation (full copy below) which shows a new 6-well pad in Butler County will go online to sales in August, another 4-well pad in September, and a 2-well pad and 4-well pad sometime in the fourth quarter. In addition, Rex expects to begin drilling a 3-well pad in the Ohio Utica (in Carroll County) in July…
Continue reading

Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Martian Case to Stop Rex Energy Drilling

THE Delaware Riverkeeper (i.e. Maya van Rossum) and a small group of anti-drilling parents from the Mars School District (“Martians”) in Butler County, PA, have just suffered a crushing defeat in their years-long battle to prevent Rex Energy from drilling wells “near” a local school. Backed by money and legal help from Philadelphia Big Green groups Delaware Riverkeeper and Clean Air Council, the Martians filed frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit. The effort is aimed at denying landowners in Middlesex Township revenue from legally permitted drilling. The lawsuits have cost the taxpayers of Middlesex Township over $80,000 in legal fees. Even amid the back and forth lawsuits, at least two of the wells were permitted and drilled by Rex Energy, despite the bleatings of the Martians (see Martian Victory! 2 Wells Near Mars School Nearly Done Drilling). But that didn’t stop the frivolous lawsuits. Using legal assistance from THE Delaware Riverkeeper, the Martians appealed a town ordinance that allows the wells to be drilled about 3/4 of a mile from the local Mars School. A panel of three western PA judges in Commonwealth Court heard arguments in the case last November (see Martians Use Riverkeeper to Continue Court Battle Against Rex). This week the three-judge panel ruled–against Riverkeeper and the Martians…Continue reading

Rex Energy 1Q17 Full Update – Swings to Black, Drilling Picks Up

In April, Rex Energy, a driller focused mainly on the Marcellus/Utica (headquartered in State College, PA), issued an operational update (see Rex Energy 1Q17: Production Drops 8.5%). Earlier this week the company issued a full 1Q17 update. What does it show? Rex swung from losing $62 million in 1Q16 to making $2.1 million in 1Q17–quite a turnaround! This update also includes a fuller look at the drilling that did happen in 1Q17, and what the company plans for the balance of 2017. In Rex’s Legacy Butler Operated Area (Butler County, PA), the company has begun drilling 4 wells on a single pad and plans to have them completed and online in 3Q17. In Rex’s Moraine East Area (also Butler County) the company drilled 7 gross (3.3 net) wells and completed 4 gross (1.4 net) wells in 1Q17. In addition, Rex had 12 gross (5.5 net) wells awaiting completion at the end of 1Q17. In Rex’s Warrior North Area (Carroll County, OH), the company plans to drill 12 gross (10.2 net) wells by the end of 2017, with most of them not going online until 2018. Below is the full update, along with select portions of the earnings call where Rex’s CEO shares some interesting insights…Continue reading

PA DEP Fines Butler County Gathering Pipeline $185K for Erosion

MDN spotted an announcement issue by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) stating they’ve assessed a $185,000 fine on the Constellation Pipeline and its builder EM Energy (i.e. EdgeMarc) for a series of violations when building the pipeline in 2014-2015. That sent us digging. We don’t recall a Constellation Pipeline (and we’ve been writing MDN since 2009). What is the pipeline? Where, in PA, is it located? What is its purpose? We think we found most of the answers…
Continue reading

Top 20 Marcellus Drillers in Southwest Pennsylvania

The sharp folks over at the Pittsburgh Business Times have been looking through data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and have compiled a list of 20 drillers who have at least a dozen shale wells in the southwest PA region. And they ranked them from lowest to highest. We’ve grabbed the list below. The interesting thing for MDN is that there is one name in the list not familiar to us, and we’ve been watching this space since 2009. Always fun to learn something new. Here’s the list of southwest PA’s “Top 20” Marcellus drillers…
Continue reading

Handful of Butler Co. Residents Still Suing Rex Energy 5 Years Later

For years MDN has reported on a lingering/ongoing story of a community in western Pennsylvania (in Butler County) who say that nearby drilling by Rex Energy led to contamination of their well water supplies (see PA Residents Weary of Fight with Rex over Water Contamination and Rex Energy Water Contamination Case Shifts Focus to Water Pipeline). Several of the families sued Rex. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection, after an extensive investigation, said that Rex’s drilling is not at fault in the situation. However, for most of the families, the issue progressed beyond blame–apparently water quality in the area was never the greatest to begin with. Rex had built a water line in the area to supply water for fracking and had expected to turn over control/ownership of that line in 2013. That water line can potentially be used to supply fresh water to the affected homes. The debate has been: Who will pay to hook up the homes and to maintain the pipes and infrastructure required? Since Rex, according to the DEP, is not to blame for the poor water quality in the area, the company understandably doesn’t want to pay big bucks to connect and maintain the line to residences in the area. As far as we can tell, the line is not hooked up. The families with bad water still have bad water and depend on donated water to this day for drinking and cooking…
Continue reading

PA Gives $5M to Union to Train More Welders for Cracker Plant

5-millionOn Monday Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced PA taxpayers are forking over $5 million to Steamfitters Local 449 union for use in their Butler Training Facility project. The union training facility trains welders. The Shell ethane cracker plant, when it gets built, will need a LOT of welders. Right now the facility graduates 170 new welders a year. With the grant money, they will expand it to train and graduate 270 welders a year…
Continue reading

Martians Use Riverkeeper to Continue Court Battle Against Rex

Maya van Rossum - THE Delaware Riverkeeper
Maya van Rossum – THE Delaware Riverkeeper

MDN previously reported on the injustice happening in Bulter County, PA where a handful of anti-drilling parents from the Mars School District (“Martians”), backed by money and legal help from Philadelphia Big Green groups Delaware Riverkeeper and Clean Air Council, have filed frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit. The effort is aimed at denying landowners in Middlesex Township revenue from legally permitted drilling. The actions by these radicalized parents have cost the taxpayers of Middlesex Township over $80,000 in legal fees. Landowners with leases got together and sued the radicals to stop this miscarriage of justice (see Shoe Now on Other Foot: Landowners Sue Martian Anti-Drillers). The lawsuit proceeded with the radicals claiming they should be able to sue, but not be sued (see Litigious Martians Cry Like Babies Over $500K Lawsuit Against Them). Unfortunately a county judge has agreed with the Big Money groups from Philly and has tossed the lawsuit against them (see $500K Lawsuit Against Litigious Martians Tossed by County Judge). Meanwhile, at least two of the wells were permitted and drilled by Rex Energy, despite the bleatings of the Martians (see Martian Victory! 2 Wells Near Mars School Nearly Done Drilling). But that hasn’t stopped the Martians, using legal assistance from THE Delaware Riverkeeper, from continuing to sue. The Martians have appealed a town ordinance that allows the wells to be drilled about 3/4 of a mile from the local Mars School. A panel of three western PA judges heard arguments in the case Monday afternoon…
Continue reading

PA Gov Wolf Basks in Predecessor’s Accomplishment at Cracker Site

basking-in-the-glow
Click for a larger version – credit: captainscratchy.com

For a guy who wants to tax the Marcellus industry out of existence, PA Gov. Tom Wolf sure likes to bask in the glow of the industry’s success. Perhaps the crowning achievement of former PA Gov. Tom Corbett was the wooing and winning of Shell to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker near Pittsburgh. It’s hard to overstate just how big a deal the cracker plant is for the state–not only for PA, but also for nearby OH and WV. Shell’s ethane cracker will attract manufacturers to relocate nearby to take advantage of the cheap plastics that will come from the plant. While Shell will invest somewhere on the order of $6-$8 billion, with the coming build-out of manufacturing facilities in the region, it promises to turn into a $20 billion economic boost for the entire northeast. An amazing story! Right now Shell is busy at work clearing the site, which used to be a Horsehead zinc smelting operation. Gov. Wolf toured the site on Monday and was impressed, basking in the glow of what’s happening. Thing is, Wolf didn’t have a single thing to do with the plant coming to PA–other than not screwing up the deal before it was formally announced…
Continue reading

Buffalo Twp in Butler County, PA Approves XTO Compressor Station

stamp-of-approval.jpgThis is so unusual, it qualifies as news: Supervisors in Buffalo Township (Butler County), PA have approved a new compressor station to be built by Mountain Gathering–a subsidiary of XTO Energy. The reason it’s news is for how the approval process was handled. Town residents who live near where the station will be built understandably had some concerns. Those concerns were aired. Town officials visited other compressor stations built by Mountain Gathering. They had XTO officials in to answer questions. There was no bleating and blatting, no parading in front of cameras and microphones, no “die-ins” and radical protests. Just deliberative, calm, adult discussions. And at the end of it, the supervisors voted to grant permission for the compressor station to get built. Unusual!…
Continue reading

PA DEP Fines Stonehenge $1.5M for Damaging 2 Butler County Swamps

StonehengeA year ago MDN told you about a new gathering pipeline project in Butler County, PA. Rex Energy contracted with Stonehenge Energy Resources to build a gathering system in Butler County (see Rex Energy Hires Stonehenge to Build Gathering Pipeline in PA). The new system got built last year and now provides Rex with an additional 400 million cubic feet per day of natural gas pipeline capacity. The Stonehenge gathering system delivers Rex’s gas to MarkWest Energy’s Bluestone processing plant. When Stonehenge built the pipeline, they had a few minor accidents. Some dirt slid down a hill into a creek. The creek empties into a couple of swamps. Ergo, some of the dirt got into the swamps. For that little mishap, Stonehenge has agreed to pay the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection a $1.5 million fine. DEP Acting Secretary Pat McDonnell called the minor mishaps “egregious and avoidable.” Whatever…
Continue reading