Epsilon Energy Drilling 4 “Lower Marcellus” Wells 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 and the other companies do the actual drilling. Epsilon, according to their website, owns ~4,000 net acres in the PA Marcellus–down from 5,750 net acres which their website showed in February. Epsilon released their first quarter 2019 update earlier this week.
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Capturing the Interest of the Next Generation to Work in PA Shale

The best teachers (people) and the best teacher (method of instruction) have the same thing in common: Hands on. As in tactile, doing stuff, rather than sitting in a chair attempting to learn by information dumping. Particularly with elementary-age kiddies. Cabot Oil & Gas and Southwestern Energy recently sponsored the annual Vehicular Career Day where 400 fifth graders from school districts across Susquehanna County climbed into big rigs, buses, and emergency vehicles. The shale industry was well-represented. Needless to say, the kids loved it.
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Cabot O&G Having a Tough Time Filling Open Jobs in NEPA

Several members of the Marcellus Shale industry spoke at a meeting of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce yesterday, including MDN friend George Stark from Cabot Oil & Gas. George is director of external affairs. At the meeting he said the Marcellus industry has made tremendous strides in the last 10 years and will be around for decades to come. He said, “It’s booming in our area.” George also said Cabot is having trouble filling vacant jobs.
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Cabot O&G 1Q19: Production Skyrockets 21%, $308M Free Cash Flow

The money-making Marcellus machine known as Cabot Oil & Gas continues to crank out the hits. On Friday Cabot held a conference call to discuss the company’s first quarter 2019 performance. And wow! What a performance! The company made $308 million in net income/profit (up 141% from $128 million in 1Q18), and produced 2.3 billion cubic feet per day equivalent (Bcfe/d) of mostly Marcellus (little bit of Haynesville) gas, up 21% from 1Q18.
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Landowner Asks PA Supremes to Throw Out 150-Yr-Old Rule of Capture

Last November the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Briggs v. Southwestern Energy, that is hands-down the most important court case to ever happen regarding the Marcellus Shale in PA. And no, we’re not exaggerating. A blizzard of briefs by Southwestern and those supporting Southwestern were filed in February (see “Rule of Capture” Briefs Filed w/PA Supreme Court in Briggs Case). On Wednesday, it was the Briggs’ turn to file a brief, one in which they ask the Supremes to stop application of the 150 year-old “rule of capture” in PA when it comes to shale wells.
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Cabot Settles Overtime Work Lawsuit by 80 PA Workers for $3.56M

A second lawsuit we’re reporting on today that had previously slipped by our usually good radar. A former Cabot Oil & Gas employee filed a lawsuit in October 2017 alleging that he and a number of other “employees” had been stiffed out of overtime payments by Cabot–that Cabot had treated them as independent contractors rather than as employees. The lawsuit was granted class certification.
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Lots of Marcellus Jobs in Northeast PA – More Workers Needed

There are plenty of jobs in the shale industry in northeastern Pennsylvania–IF you have certain skills. What kind of skills? The kind that are taught at programs like at the Lackawanna College School of Petroleum and Natural Gas (PNG) in their two-year program. Or skills you can pick up at the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center.
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Enerplus 2018 – Still Owns 36K Marcellus Acres in NEPA

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on Canadian energy company Enerplus Corp, which currently owns some 36,000 acres of Marcellus Shale leases in northeastern Pennsylvania. The company doesn’t drilling any wells in the region but does participate by funding the drilling programs of others. On Friday Enerplus issued their 2018 and 4Q18 update, which shows the company’s Marcellus production averaged 208 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d).
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Epsilon Energy Spending $12-$15M in NEPA Marcellus in 2019

From time to time we check in on Epsilon Energy, which concentrates most of its effort on the Marcellus in Susquehanna County, PA. The former Canadian company decided to “domesticate” itself, moving headquarters from Canada to Houston, TX last summer (see Epsilon Energy Becoming “Domesticated” – Moving from Canada to U.S.). The company reports it will spend a total of $20-$25 million on various drilling activities in 2019, with 60% of that ($12-$15 million) in the Marcellus.
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Dimock, PA Landowners Paid $5K/Mo by Green Groups to Bash Cabot

A startling revelation came from yesterday’s court hearing in the tiny village of Montrose, PA. Some of the landowners from Dimock, PA who have traveled around the country claiming their water had been contaminated by Cabot Oil & Gas (remember the fraud “documentary” called Gasland?) were actually paid up to $5,000 *per month* by green groups to spread their lies.
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PA Sen. Gene Yaw, in Heart of Marcellus, Supports Severance Tax

PA State Sen. Gene Yaw

How the voters of northeast Pennsylvania who support shale energy continue to reelect Gene Yaw as their State Senator is beyond us. He’s proven in the past that he will fold like a cheap suit on the issue of a severance tax. He did so once again yesterday, implying he supports Democrat Gov. Wolf’s latest effort to tax the shale industry into oblivion.
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Repsol Adds New PA Rig, Will Increase Marcellus Prod. 50% by 2020

Yesterday MDN editor Jim Willis attended the 12th Annual Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum in New York City. Christmastime is a great time to visit NYC. The conference opened with a talk given by Paul Ferneyhough, Repsol’s executive director for North America. The big news from Ferneyhough’s talk and subsequent remarks later in the day is that Repsol plans to ramp up production on their Marcellus acreage located in northeastern Pennsylvania by another 50% by 2020. Ferneyhough said the company, just last week, added a second drilling rig in the Marcellus. That one extra rig will allow them to quickly ramp up production. Several other news outlets, including Reuters, published news of the 50% increase. What they don’t tell you is how Repsol will manage to get that increased production to market, and what they can’t tell you is the added information Ferneyhough told Jim in a private conversation following his presentation.
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Virtual Pipeline Says Goodbye to NY, Sets Up Across Border in PA

New York State is the biggest loser. In every sense. NG Advantage, which once tried to set up a virtual pipeline operation in the Town of Fenton (suburb of Binghamton, NY), has shaken the dust of New York off its shoes and has, instead, decided to build the facility (with millions in tax revenues and over 100 jobs) 25 miles across the border in Springville Township, Susquehanna County, PA–in the heart of Marcellus country. Good for NG! Nice people, and they deserved much better treatment than they got here in NY. We personally hoped and lobbied for NG to locate in the Town of Windsor, NY, where MDN is located. But alas, the experience they had with the Town of Fenton was so nasty, they decided to abandon any plans of locating a business in NY. Can’t say that we blame them. NY is about the most business unfriendly state in the Union.
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NEPA Schools LOVE Natural Gas…and Shale Wells, and Fracking

Two schools in rural Susquehanna County, PA are saving big bucks and helping the environment at the same time–by switching to burning natural gas. One of those schools, Elk Lake, has made millions of dollars in royalties by hosting two shale wells *on school property* (see Elk Lake School LOVES Their 2 Marcellus Shale Wells & Gas Heat). No, Elk Lake doesn’t stick a pipe into their wells (the gas has to get cleaned up first). But Elk Lake, and the Montrose School District, are beneficiaries of gas produced literally in their own backyards. Students are the ultimate winners. The money saved by switching to natural gas heating gets spent on the kids, rather than going to buy oil from Saudi Arabia.
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PA Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Briggs “Rule of Capture” Case

This is big news that will impact nearly every landowner and shale driller in Pennsylvania. In April, MDN brought you the news that Pennsylvania Superior Court had handed down a decision (known as the “Briggs” case) that has the power to greatly restrict, perhaps even stop, Marcellus drilling in PA (see PA Superior Court Overturns “Rule of Capture” for Marcellus Well and PA “Rule of Capture” Case has Power to Limit Marcellus Drilling). The issue, in brief, is that a PA Superior Court decision disallows using the age-old principle called the “rule of capture” when it comes to shale drilling and fracking in PA. Southwestern Energy successfully argued in a lower court that the odd crack here and there that may slip under a neighbor’s property from fracking is permissible. The neighboring landowner, not signed with Southwestern, appealed that decision to Superior Court and won. Southwestern then appealed the case to the PA Supreme Court and the court has just announced it will hear the case. How will this affect nearly every landowner, signed or not, in shale regions of the state?
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