Leftwing Academic Hacks Trash Talk PA, OH Cracker Plants

A group of leftwing radical professors (all of the Democrats) from seven universities in Ohio and Pennsylvania have colluded to write a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The letter trash talks the billions of dollars in economic impact and tens of thousands of jobs ethane cracker plants and the petrochemical industry will have in the region. The leftist gang of seven poo-poos those estimates and says the proposed PTT cracker is too “risky” to approve. How do they figure?
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Marcellus/Utica NatGas Production Drops 1.5 Bcf/d Jan to May

Enverus (formerly known as Drillinginfo) recently released its latest FundamentalEdge report that explores the ongoing supply response to demand destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the report, Enverus estimates how much dry gas production each major shale play produced, month by month, from January through May of this year. The numbers show that production from the Marcellus/Utica, which produces the most natural gas of any play, decreased the most of any play–by some 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) from January to May.
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Brooke County, WV Gas Power Plant Inches Closer to Construction

ESC Brooke County Power artist rendering (click for larger version)

Energy Solutions Consortium (based in Buffalo, NY) has been attempting to build a Marcellus/Utica-gas fired electric power plant in Brooke County, WV for years. In Feb. 2019 we spotted a news story that said the project finally received all of its permits and would begin construction in 2019 (see WV NatGas Power Plant Gets Final Permits, Construction Begins Soon). Construction never happened last year. However, we have new evidence construction may now be on the horizon.
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WV Marcellus/Utica Waste Processor SECUR Files for Bankruptcy

SECUR O&G, LLC is headquartered in Sewickley, PA, but its main operation, a Marcellus/Utica waste processing center, is located in the Bens Run Industrial Park in Friendly (Tyler County), WV. SECUR processes both liquid and solid drilling waste and handles TENORM (technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material) at its Bens Run facility. Last Friday SECUR filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of WV.
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Peregrine Energy Partners Buys More Royalty Rights in SWPA & WV

Peregrine Energy Partners, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, continues a program to buy royalty rights in the Marcellus/Utica. In January 2019 we told you about Peregrine’s purchase of rights from undisclosed sellers in southwest PA (see Peregrine Energy Buys Royalty Rights in Greene County, PA). In March of this year, Peregrine purchased more rights, in Fayette County, PA. Yesterday the company announced they’ve purchased yet another round of rights–in Washington, PA and two counties in WV.
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EQT Provides More Details on DGO Asset Sale, 1.4 Bcf/d Curtailment

EQT announced yesterday it has closed on a deal to sell “certain non-strategic assets” to Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) for $125 million, plus another potential $20 million later on. MDN first told you about this deal on May 13 (see Diversified Buys 900 EQT Wells (67 Shale Wells) for $125M). This is the first time EQT has commented publicly on the DGO deal. EQT’s statement differs from previous news accounts about the deal.
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More Frack Crews Now Active in the Marcellus than the Permian!

This has to be a first in the modern shale era. There are now more active fracking crews working in the Marcellus Shale than in any other shale play, including the oily Permian. There are 450 fracking fleets available in the U.S., but only 70 of them are active right now. The Marcellus is using 31% of those active fleets, while the Permian is using 30%. We never thought we’d live to see the day!
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Diversified Buys 900 EQT Wells (67 Shale Wells) for $125M

Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) continues its program of buying up mostly older conventional oil and gas wells in Appalachia. In April DGO cut a deal to buy 6,500 conventional wells spread across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, along with a 4,700-mile gathering pipeline system located in WV, for $110 million (see Diversified Deal to Pick Up Another 6,500 O&G Wells in WV, KY, TN). DGO has done it again, this time buying 900 wells from EQT located mostly in West Virginia. The deal also includes 67 shale wells in Pennsylvania.
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Mountain Valley Pipeline “Slips” in 3 West Virginia Locations

Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a 303-mile Marcellus/Utica gas pipeline from West Virginia to southern Virginia, is 90% built and in the ground. The final 10% is waiting on various lawsuits and regulatory agencies to resolve outstanding issues brought on by radicalized green groups. One of the places the pipeline has long been done and in the ground is Lewis County, WV. It’s a mountainous area. Inspectors recently discovered there have been “slips” of the land resulting in “at least three locations” where MVP has shifted.
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Natl Rig Count Falls Another 59; Marcellus Loses 4 Rigs Last Wk

Not unsurprisingly, the U.S. rig count (for both oil and gas, although mainly oil) continues to plummet week after week. The latest numbers show rigs taken out of active duty (laid down) decreased another 59 over the past week. That’s better than the 76 laid down the week before (see Carnage Continues: Rig Count Down Another 76, Marcellus Down 2), but still not great. Hundreds of rigs have been laid down over the past month–most of them in the oil patch. But not all. Last week the Marcellus lost four rigs after losing one the week before.
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Former EV Energy Partners Looks to Sell or Merge Remaining Assets

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In June 2018, EV Energy Partners (EVEP), the drilling subsidiary of EnerVest, emerged from bankruptcy court a mere two months after entering with $355 million of debt erased and sporting a new name: Harvest Oil & Gas Corp. (see EV Energy Partners Emerges from Bankruptcy with New Name). Harvest’s drilling and assets are focused in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, where they own/operate 9,787 conventional wells. (The company cut a deal in March to sell off all of its Michigan assets.) In a fourth-quarter (everyone else’s first quarter) and full-year update released yesterday, Harvest announced it is “actively considering the potential divestiture of all of its remaining assets as well as a potential sale or merger of the Company.”
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WV Gas-Fired Elec Plant Gets Approved, Parent Files for Bankruptcy

Longview Energy Center concept (click for larger version)

Last September Longview Power filed an application with the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) to build and operate a Marcellus gas-fired electric generating facility in Monongalia County, WV, near Morgantown (see 1200 MW Gas-Fired Power Plant Files to Build in Mon County, WV). The Longview Power Clean Energy Center will include a 1,200 megawatt combined cycle power plant AND a 70 megawatt solar farm–both built next to Longview’s existing state-of-the-art 710 megawatt coal-fired power plant. The PSC approved and issued permits for the project in early April. A week later Longview (the parent, not the gas-fired plant subsidiary project) filed for a “prepackaged” Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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Diversified Deal to Pick Up Another 6,500 O&G Wells in WV, KY, TN

Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) owns close to 8 million acres of leases with some 60,000 (mostly) conventional oil and gas wells. Their focus has been to acquire quality production and cash flow–regardless of the well or commodity type (gas or oil)–in the Appalachian Basin. They currently have over 400 Marcellus/Utica shale wells in their portfolio too. DGO announced it has a conditional deal to buy another 6,500 conventional wells spread across West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, along with a 4,700-mile gathering pipeline system located in WV. The deal, “subject to ongoing due diligence,” is for $110 million.
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M-U Condensate Prices Briefly Go Negative, Down 91% from Jan 1

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting Marcellus/Utica condensate, produced in places like southwestern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, briefly touched and went below $0/barrel last week, before recovering slightly. The article says the price M-U drillers are getting for condensate is down 91% from January of this year. What’s lacking in the Post-Gazette story is context for how important (or not) condensate is as a revenue stream for M-U drillers.
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WV Outlaws Anti Protesters Who Try to Block Pipeline Construction

Last week MDN told you about a flurry of oil and gas bills passed by the West Virginia legislature signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice (see Flurry of WV O&G Bills Signed into Law Incl. Petchem Tax Credits). At the time we focused on a couple of petrochemical tax credit bills, but there’s another important bill in the batch we’d like to call your attention to today: House Bill (HB) 4615, a bill (now law) that clamps down on anti-fossil fuel protesters who like to take the law into their own hands.
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Conventional Drillers Face Tough Decisions re Stripper Wells

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Although some Marcellus/Utica drillers also own conventional (vertical-only) oil and gas wells as part of their portfolio, most conventional drillers are smaller “mom and pop” types of companies. Conventional oil well owners in the M-U, as well as across the country, face some of the same problems as shale drillers with a crash in oil prices: What to do with older wells? Thousands of older conventional oil wells produce as little as 10 barrels of oil per day. These low-producing wells are called stripper wells. With oil selling at $20/barrel, some stripper wells can still break even, but many cannot. It costs an average of $20,000-$40,000 to plug an old stripper well. Sometimes it’s more economic to simply keep a stripper pumping (and losing money) rather than pony up big bucks to close the well. It’s a conundrum.
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