EQT CEO Toby Rice Hits a Home Run with Landowner Meetings

Yesterday MDN told you that new EQT CEO Toby Rice is in the midst of conducting four “town hall” style meetings with landowners–two this week and two next week (see Road Trip! EQT CEO Toby Rice Talks to Landowners in Town Hall Mtgs). By all accounts, the first meeting (Wednesday night in Waynesburg, PA) was a huge success. We’d say he hit the ball out of PNC Park.
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CNX Drills Longest Marcellus Well EVER – Big Budget Cuts in 2020

CNX Resources, formerly the CNX Gas division of CONSOL Energy, released its second quarter update yesterday. The big news is that during 2Q CNX drilled the longest new Marcellus well ever…at 19,609 feet! The company reports production jumped 10%, from 123 Bcfe last year to 135 Bcfe in 2Q19, and net income jumped 216% from $61 million last year to $193 million in 2Q19.
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PA Landowners Seek Class Action Against EQT re Gas Storage

Last July a group of 100+ southwestern Pennsylvania landowners sued EQT for failure to pay them rental fees for storing natural gas under their properties (see 100+ PA Landowners Sue EQT re Gas Storage Field Payments). That same group has just filed a request in U.S. District Court to upgrade the lawsuit to class action status, potentially including thousands of affected landowners.
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SWPA Gas-fired Electric Plant Project Gets French Investment

A project we’ve been tracking since 2017, a 620 megawatt Marcellus-fired electric plant in Greene County called Hill Top Energy Center (see our stories here), has just gotten a new investor–from France. Investment firm Ardian, based in Paris, announced it has purchased a 41.9% stake in the project. The price of the deal was not disclosed, although it’s easy to guess the number is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
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CNX Operates SWPA’s Sole 100% All-Electric Fracking Unit

A little over a year ago CNX Resources announced that the company had signed a long-term contract with Evolution Well Services to use Evolution’s 100% natural gas-fueled electric pressure pumping equipment (see CNX Signs Deal with Evolution to Use 100% Electric Fracking Fleet). That is, CNX will use electric fracking equipment, with the electricity generated by burning natural gas, instead of diesel.
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LOLA Energy is Back! Scoops Up Rice Acreage EQT Let Expire

LOLA Energy was birthed near the end of 2015, by former EQT executives using private equity money from Denham Capital (see New Marcellus/Utica Drilling Company is Born – LOLA Energy). In July 2017, Rice Energy (later sold to EQT) bought the assets of LOLA Energy for $180 million, over the objections of LOLA CEO Jim Crockard (see Rice Energy Paid $180M for LOLA Energy; CEO Didn’t Want to Sell). Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, LOLA Energy and Jim Crockard are back. The company has scooped up leases that EQT inadvertently let expire, potentially blocking EQT from drilling some already-planned-and-in-the-works wells–until EQT pays LOLA.
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Another Post-Gazette Smear Job: Drill Cuttings Pollute Rivers

Yet another attack on the shale industry by two Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “reporters” (propagandists) who have made a career of unfairly attacking shale–Don Hopey and David Templeton. This latest smear job makes the claim that leachate coming from a landfill piped to a municipal wastewater treatment facility is “contaminated” with all sorts of nasty chemicals (what the heck do you think is in leachate, anyway?!). The claim is the chemicals in the leachate are present because of drillers dumping leftover rock and dirt that comes out of the ground when drilling new holes for shale wells into the landfill.
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Pittsburgh Media Attempts to Link Shale Drilling to Childhood Cancer

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette seems to be doing its best to tie what it calls a “cancer cluster” to local shale drilling in the region. We first noticed a developing story about a potential cluster of rare Ewing sarcoma cancer cases among children in the Pittsburgh region a few months ago, when Pittsburgh media first began to report on it.
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SWPA Gas-fired Elec Plant Next to Pot Farm Gets Ready to Build

In October 2017, MDN told you a second Marcellus gas-fired electric generating plant is planned for Greene County, PA (see 2nd Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant Proposed for Greene County, PA). Hill Top Energy Center, based in Huntington Bay, N.Y., is planning to build a 620 megawatt plant on 41 acres of land off Thomas Road in Cumberland Township. We have indications that the project is finally getting ready to begin construction.
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CNX 1Q19 & Beyond: Go Big (in the Utica) AND Go Home

CNX Resources released its first quarter 2019 update yesterday, which shows the company lost $87 million, as opposed to making $527 million in profit in 1Q18. Even so, CEO Nicholas DeIuliis announced the company is upping its drilling budget from the previously announced $700 million to instead spend $885 million, largely to drill more “deep dry” Utica wells. Go big or go home!
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PA DEP Clips Rice Midstream $1.5M for Pipe Problems in SWPA

Even though Rice Midstream doesn’t exist anymore, it can still be fined. Rice Midstream became part of EQT when EQT bought out and merged in Rice Energy in 2017. Last year EQT, under pressure from investors, split itself in two–into EQT (the driller) and Equitrans (nee EQT Midstream, the pipeline company). What was Rice Midstream is now part of Equitrans. Yesterday the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) levied a $1.5 million fine on Rice for work done in late 2017/early-to-mid 2018.
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PA DEP Threatens to Close Equitrans Gas Storage Field in SWPA

Natural gas storage fields are an important, but often overlooked, part of the natgas ecosystem. Equitrans (nee EQT Midstream) owns a natgas storage field in Greene County, PA, in the southwest corner of the state. The state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is threatening to shut down that storage field, because of coal mining in the area.
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Peregrine Energy Buys Royalty Rights in Greene County, PA

There are companies that will purchase landowners’ (rights owners) royalty payments–giving them a lump sum payment up front in return for signing over all future royalty payments to the company buying the rights. Peregrine Energy Partners is one such company and has just purchased an unspecified amount of royalty payments in Greene County, PA.
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CNX Midstream Sues Contractor for Walking Away from Pipe Project

On Monday, CNX Midstream sued West Virginia contractor Ronald Lane Inc. claiming the contractor “without warning or justification ceased work on the Project and abandoned the Project,” the Project being a package of water and gas pipelines in Greene and Washington counties in PA. And that, “Lane informed [CNX] that Lane intended to redirect all of its forces and efforts to other projects that Lane considered to be more profitable than the Project. Lane made it clear to [CNX] that Lane had no intention to perform any more work on the Project.” Lane was the winning bidder for the Project in late 2017 at a total cost of $7.1 million. According to the lawsuit, CNX claims Lane began construction in March and abandoned the Project in June.
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Did Shale Well Methane Migration Cause SWPA Home to Explode?

On Wednesday a man in Clarksville (Green County), PA turned on his gas stove and it exploded, catching fire to and leveling the entire house. The man, his girlfriend and young child were helicoptered to a hospital burn unit. The working theory/assumptions are (a) the man didn’t smell mercaptan, therefore the source of the gas that exploded was not from the stove or line into the house itself, and (b) because there is an EQT shale well “across the street” and a gathering pipeline that runs “next to the house,” methane “may have” migrated from the shale well to the home, or methane leaked from the gathering line into the home.
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PA Natural Gas Production Hits Another All-Time High in 2Q18

Last Thursday the PA Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released their latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report for Apr-Jun 2018 (full copy below). It shows natgas production rose 9.9% compared to the same period last year–same as the increase in 1Q18 (see PA Natural Gas Production Hits New All-Time High in 1Q18). The report also shows the number of producing wells is up 10.4% from last year. Total natural gas production volume was 1,455.8 billion cubic feet (Bcf), and the number of producing wells in 2Q18 was 8,672 (of which 8,194 were shale wells). The biggest news is that once again 2Q18 saw the highest quarterly production of natural gas in the state–ever. This is the seventh quarter in a row there has been an increase in production. Two-thirds of the state’s natural gas production consistently comes from four counties: Susquehanna, Washington, Bradford and Greene. The #1 county for natgas production in 2Q18 was, as it was in each quarter of 2017 and in 1Q18, Susquehanna County, in the northeastern corner of the state. The #1 producing driller in Susquehanna County is Cabot Oil & Gas. Here’s the full 2Q18 natural gas production report from the IFO…
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