Cabot 2Q – Still Drilling & Making Money in a Down Economy

Cabot Oil & Gas issued its 2Q20 update on Friday. CEO Dan Dinges said natural gas prices hit a historic low in 2Q (lowest since 1995), but he thinks the price will improve “this winter.” Although the price Cabot got for its gas last quarter ($1.52/Mcf) was 33% lower than a year ago, the company still made a profit. Cabot netted $30 million in 2Q, vs. netting $181 million a year ago. The company drilled 14 new shale wells, completed/fracked 31 wells, and placed 25 new wells online last quarter. They produced an average of 2.2 Bcf/d of natural gas.
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Northeast PA Landowner Settles with Williams for Big Bucks

In 2016 MDN told you about the Holleran family who didn’t want the much-needed Constitution Pipeline to cross their land in Susquehanna County, PA (see Maple Syrup Farm in Path of PA Pipeline, Antis Make Most of It). Hollywood actor James Cromwell and other anti-drillers heard about it and visited to add their shrill voices to the protest (see Actor James Cromwell Admits He’s Clueless, Fights Pipeline Anyway). The protesters tried to stop Williams from clearing trees on the property. A judge got tired of their shenanigans real quick (see Judge Tells NEPA Family to Let Williams Cut Maple Trees, Or Else).
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Law Firm Targets Cabot for Class Action Claiming Securities Fraud

We should have guessed this was coming. A New York City law firm has launched what it hopes will turn into a class action lawsuit against Cabot Oil & Gas for securities fraud following the sleazy attempt by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro to turn a 12-year-old accident (methane migration) into a felony (see PA AG Charges Cabot with Enviro Crimes for Long-Settled Dimock). The law firm is currently “investigating” Cabot, encouraging shareholders to sign up to express their interest in forming a class action lawsuit. An actual lawsuit hasn’t been filed…yet.
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Enviro-Left Threatens CEO if Cabot Doesn’t Cop to Crimes

In the American system of justice, when someone is accused of committing a crime, they are presumed innocent under the law until it is proven, in a court of law, they have committed said crime. But when a defendant, someone accused of committing a crime, is a fossil fuel company, that defendant is automatically presumed to be guilty. There is no presumption of innocence. That’s what is happening to Cabot Oil & Gas.
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Cabot Signals They Will Fight PA AG Sham Dimock Indictment

Earlier this week Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced an indictment of Cabot Oil & Gas for allegations of methane migration going back more than a decade (see PA AG Charges Cabot with Enviro Crimes for Long-Settled Dimock). It is a bogus charge, an attempt to turn an accident into a crime–all for political gain. Now that Cabot has had a few days to read and review Shapiro’s bogus indictment, they’ve responded. And the words they’re responding with sure sound like fighting words to us.
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PA AG Charges Cabot with Enviro Crimes for Long-Settled Dimock

The door has been closed on “Dimock” (in Susquehanna County, PA) for years. Dimock, you may recall, was made famous by Josh Fox’s so-called documentaries Gasland and Gasland 2, aired endlessly on HBO. His allegations about fracking malfeasance by Cabot Oil & Gas were completely debunked in a real documentary called FrackNation. After a long litigation process, Cabot settled with several landowners who claimed their water wells had been contaminated with methane due to work done by Cabot–years ago. And now Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has reopened the whole matter, charging Cabot with so-called environmental crimes. Felonies! We can’t tell you how angry this makes us. Shapiro has corrupted the criminal justice system in PA.
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Judge OKs Class Action Royalty Lawsuit Against 3 NEPA Drillers

On October 3, 2016, landowner James Slamon filed a lawsuit against Carrizo and Reliance Industries in the Susquehanna County (PA) Court of Common Pleas. Slamon alleged Carrizo and Reliance underpaid royalties on oil and gas leases to him and a class of other landowners “exceeding one hundred members.” The drillers got the case moved to federal court on October 31, 2016. Fast forward to this past Monday and a judge in the federal court case has certified (in part) the class-action request. The lawsuit will now move forward.
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Epsilon Energy 1Q: Still Partners with Chesapeake in NEPA

From time to time we check in on Epsilon Energy, which concentrates most of its effort on the Marcellus in Susquehanna County, PA. Does Epsilon actually do any of its own drilling? No. They partner with (give money to) other companies, like Chesapeake Energy, and the other companies do the actual drilling. Epsilon, according to its website, owns ~4,000 net acres in the PA Marcellus. Epsilon issued its first-quarter 2020 update yesterday.
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Cabot Ends Lawsuit Settlement Talks, Prefers Trial in Dimock Case

In April 2017 Dimock Township (Susquehanna County, PA) resident Ray Kemble and lawyers from two different law firms filed a new lawsuit against Cabot Oil & Gas over claims of contaminated water from local fracking. Thing is, those claims were settled by Cabot with Kemble years earlier. Cabot said this was a renewed attempt to sully its good name and reputation and countersued Kemble and his lawyers for $5 million (see Cabot O&G Countersues Dimock Anti, Lawyers).
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Cabot Update: Upper Marcellus Test Wells are the Bees Knees

Last Friday Cabot Oil & Gas, one of the most prolific Marcellus drillers, released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 update, with a look ahead at 2020. During the conference call with analysts, Cabot CEO Dan Dinges began his prepared remarks talking about tests the company has done in the Upper Marcellus. Very exciting results. He also said, near the end of the call, that Cabot has positioned itself to be “the last man standing” in the Marcellus. Hmmm, that’s an intriguing comment! What does he mean?
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Study: Landowners Who Claim Frack Pollution, It’s All in Your Head

A fascinating new study has just been published in the peer-reviewed journal Science of The Total Environment. The new study, titled “Characterizing anecdotal claims of groundwater contamination in shale energy basins,” looks at the perception of landowners who say local fracking activities have impacted (polluted) their water wells–versus reality. The study finds that in most cases the so-called pollution problems of these water wells is (using our own words here) “all in the heads” of the landowners. It’s not real. Fracking, in fact, has NOT caused the pollution of their wells. Researchers studied wells in the Texas Barnett and Eagle Ford, the Louisiana Haynesville, and (yep) the Pennsylvania Marcellus–in Dimock.
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HUGE NEWS: PA Supreme Court Keeps ‘Rule of Capture’ for Fracking

There is one court case in Pennsylvania that we’ve been concerned about since April 2018. The Briggs v Southwestern Energy case had the power to block most new Marcellus Shale drilling in the state. The case, revolving around the oil and gas “rule of capture” principle, was appealed by Southwestern all the way to the PA Supreme Court. We are elated to report that yesterday the Supremes ruled supreme and found in favor of Southwestern–retaining the rule of capture in the Keystone State. This is seriously good news for both drillers and leased landowners. Below we explain what the rule of capture is, the background of the case, and what the Supremes said in yesterday’s important ruling.
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Corning Gas Buys Out JV Partner in PA Leatherstocking Gas & Pipe

Corning Natural Gas (based in Corning, NY) has a 50% joint venture partnership in Leatherstocking Gas Company and Leatherstocking Pipeline Company with another Upstate NY-based company, Mirabito. Leatherstocking runs gas mains to residents and businesses in small, mainly rural communities–like Montrose, PA (see PA Rural Residents Burn Marcellus Gas, Save Big Bucks on Heating). Corning announced yesterday they are buying out Mirabito’s 50% interest on the PA side of the border.
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UGI Completes 4th Expansion of NEPA Marcellus Gathering System

UGI Energy Services, the pipeline subsidiary of UGI Corporation (utility company) has just completed the fourth expansion of their northeastern PA pipeline gathering system called the Auburn Gathering System. In May 2018 MDN told you about UGI’s plans to add another two compressor stations and more gathering pipelines to benefit Cabot Oil & Gas (see UGI Expanding NEPA Gathering System to Flow More Cabot Gas).
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Cabot O&G Continues to Grow in NEPA, Opens New Facility

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Cabot Oil & Gas, one of our favorite Marcellus Shale drillers, focuses almost exclusively on drilling in Susquehanna County, PA, with a few wells in neighboring Wyoming County. Cabot continues to pour money into northeastern Pennsylvania. On Wednesday Cabot’s wholly-owned subsidiary, GasSearch Drilling Services, officially opened a new 28,000-square foot maintenance facility in Lenox Township (Susquehanna County) with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and open house for energy industry colleagues, neighbors and public officials.
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Which Way will PA Supreme Court Rule on ‘Rule of Capture’ Case?

Last week MDN told you that oral arguments would be heard on Thursday at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in what we believe is one of (perhaps THE) most important shale cases ever in the Keystone State (see Most Important Court Case in PA Shale History Heads to Supremes). The case deals with whether or not the age-old oil and gas principle called “the rule of capture” applies in PA shale drilling.
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