Range Resources Cuts Budget Again, Down Another $90M

Yesterday Range Resources announced it is hacking off another $90 million from its 2020 budget. In January the company announced it would reduce its 2020 budget by 29%, from spending $728 million last year to $520 million this year (see Range Releases 2020 Budget: Spending 29% Less, Focus on Marcellus). Yesterday the number for this year went down to $430 million, a 40% cut over last year’s budget. The reason for the additional cut? The ongoing low price of natural gas.
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DRBC Oversteps Authority, Says It Must Approve PennEast

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has been co-opted by Big Green groups to do their bidding. The latest example is a letter sent by DRBC to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), arrogantly telling FERC that the DRBC has the power to review the PennEast Pipeline project–to pass judgment on whether or not (and how) it gets built. That authority lies SOLELY with FERC.
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Fed Biological Review for Mountain Valley Pipe Delayed…Again

Last December the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking for an extra 60 days to revise an Endangered Species Act (ESA) review of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. In February they asked for another 45-day extension (see MVP Update: USFWS Needs More Time; Antis Pester DEQ). The new deadline is here and once again FWS is back, asking FERC for more time. This time they want another 32 days–until April 27.
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Analysts Say NatGas, LNG Demand for 2020 “Unpredictable”

Unpredictable

Commenting on their latest short-term gas and LNG outlook report, energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie says worldwide gas supplies have been impacted by the triple whammy of coronavirus, oil price crash and LNG oversupply. While WoodMac expects LNG demand to grow by a modest 6% this year, “the numbers will need constant revision as economies around the world feel the force of the growing pandemic.” WoodMac also says, “the narrative for the rest of 2020 could not be more unpredictable.” Meanwhile, according to NGI, global natgas prices are currently in a “freefall” hitting new lows in Asia and Europe.
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Contrarian Goldman Sachs: Shale a Winner in Oil Price War

Is this an April Fool’s joke? Bloomberg is reporting comments from Damien Courvalin, Head of Energy Research & Senior Commodity Strategist at Goldman Sachs, saying U.S. shale oil drillers will emerge from the current oil price crash as “a winner.” This is the opposite of every other analyst we’ve read. What does Courvalin see that’s different from everyone else?
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Trump to Putin: Let’s Talk About Low Oil Prices & What To Do

President Trump had a phone conversation with Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin on Monday. The topic? The Saudi-Russian oil price war, which Trump calls “crazy.” The result of the call was to tee up each country’s top energy officials, getting them to discuss ways to prop up the price of oil. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette will talk with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak about “ways the world’s largest producers can address volatility in the global oil markets during this unprecedented period of turmoil.”
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Why U.S. Gov’t is Not (Yet) Addressing Oil Price Crash Issue

Why is the Trump Administration not taking decisive action to address the crash in the oil price brought on by the Saudis and Russians? Agreeing to “talk about it” with the Russians, as we outline in another post today, is not action. Neither is buying up some extra barrels of oil for the strategic petroleum reserve. We think David Blackmon, a longtime oil industry worker and observer hits the nail on the head in a new column just published by Forbes. The reason the government isn’t addressing the oil price crash issue right now is…
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Apr 1, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Think About Energy goes webinar on April 7: the learning continues; NY fight over gas supplies could renew next winter — official; NATIONAL: The coronavirus pandemic and the long-term energy outlook; What would happen if ‘fracking’ for oil and natural gas was banned?; Loosening of Obama-era fracking restrictions OK’d by federal judge; How low could U.S. oil production actually go?; A US-Saudi oil alliance? Here’s why that’s insane; INTERNATIONAL: After two bad winters, natural gas heads for an even worse summer; Crude price crash, pipeline constraints push Alberta’s WCS to all-time low; Ted Cruz, other senators, warn Saudis to stop using oil in ‘economic warfare’ against the US.
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Chesapeake Energy & Total Beat Class Action Royalty Lawsuit in OH

In 2015 a group of Ohio landowners did what landowners had previously done in Pennsylvania, Texas and elsewhere–they filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy claiming Chessy had screwed them and about 1,000 other Ohio landowners out of a collective $30 million in royalty payments (see OH Landowners File Royalty Class Action Lawsuit Against Chesapeake). It took nearly five years with a lot of twists and turns, but yesterday the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio ruled in favor of Chesapeake, dismissing the claims against them.
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EQT Restarts Fracking Ops After Worker Diagnosed with COVID-19

Last week MDN told you that a contractor working in EQT’s hydraulic fracturing (“completions”) operation who had worked at a site in Belmont County, OH tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus (see EQT Stops Fracking After Worker Gets COVID-19; Suspends Dividends). Because the worker had been in contact with a number of other workers in EQT’s completions unit, the company temporarily shut down all completions (fracking) operations until the expiration of a 14-day waiting period based on when the worker had come in contact with others. The wait is over. On Sunday EQT restarted fracking and completions operations.
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PTT Cracker Project Reaches Tax Agreement with Belmont County, OH

Even amid the coronavirus pandemonium and economic destruction happening everywhere, important oil and gas (and petrochemical) projects continue to make progress. In particular, the PTT Global Chemical plan to build an ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH still shows signs of life. In February PTT’s CEO signaled that a final investment decision on whether (or not) to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH is coming by “mid-year 2020” (see PTT CEO Sends Loud & Clear Signal of Positive FID on OH Cracker). While work to prep the site and get it ready is now paused, work behind the scenes continues. Last week Belmont County commissioners, Mead Township trustees and the Shadyside Board of Education approved a new deal on tax payments should the project get built. This is a major milestone.
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FERC Tells Antis “No” for Rehearing Potomac Pipe Decision

Anti-fossil fuelers are on a holy mission to stop a 3.37-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being built under the Potomac River by Columbia Gas (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). The pipeline, from Maryland on one side of the river to West Virginia on the other side, will be built to feed a larger pipeline project from Mountaineer Gas called the Eastern Panhandle Expansion. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the project in July 2018. In August 2018 a group of radicalized anti-fossil fuelers filed a request for a “rehearing” (reconsideration of the decision)–the first step on the way to filing a court case against the project. FERC took its sweet time, but last week the agency finally turned down the antis’ request for a rehearing.
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Riverkeeper/CAC/PennFuture Make the Case for PennEast & Adelphia

After we picked ourselves up off the floor from laughing so hard, it dawned on us the far-left radicals at THE Delaware Riverkeeper, Clean Air Council and PennFuture have done both the PennEast Pipeline and Adelphia Gateway pipeline projects a HUGE beneficial service. Those three nutty groups commissioned and have just released a new “study” (copy below) that uses data to show PennEast and Adelphia together, WHEN (not if) they get built, will mean that PA drillers have to drill and connect another 1,913 to 3,061 new shale wells to feed them. Well duuuh! Of course it means that!! And that’s a GREAT thing for all of PA. More economic stimulus. More jobs. More tax revenues flowing to local municipalities. (Do these groups know they’ve just handed us a new argument in favor of these pipelines?)
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Shell Pulls Out of Lake Charles LNG Project, Energy Transfer Stays

Is this the beginning of a pullback from LNG project? Scared of the impacts of the coronavirus and the price of oil crashing, Royal Dutch Shell is pulling out of a 50/50 joint venture partnership with Energy Transfer (ET) to build a new LNG export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In corporate speak, Shell says, “This decision is consistent with the initiatives we announced last week to preserve cash and reinforce the resilience of our business,” and “the time is not right for Shell to invest.” Translation: We’re scared. And who can blame them? All of a sudden there are LNG cargoes sailing the oceans with no place to unload (see LNG Cargoes All Dressed Up with Nowhere to Go).
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Experts Predict NatGas Demand/Prices Remain Low into Next Winter

Tenaska is #3 on the list of North American gas marketers–buying and selling more natural gas throughout the country than every other company save two (BP and Macquarie, see Who Sold the Most NatGas in the U.S. in 4th Quarter 2019?). So when the president of Tenaska, David Whitt, says demand for natgas is likely to drop this summer and demand stay low all the way into next winter, you can’t ignore it. He’s probably right. His business depends on him being right.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Mar 31, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Ohio AG says climate tort lawsuits put constituents at a disadvantage; Fracking once lifted Pennsylvania. Now it could be a drag.; Lackawanna College to provide compressor/engine mechanic certification; Gov. Tom Wolf’s former business keeps operating during coronavirus shutdown despite losing state waiver; Public invited to virtual public meeting regarding injection well application in Belmont County; NATIONAL: $4 natural gas by late 2021? It’s possible, says Raymond James; Could oil really fall to $0?; COVID-19 shutdowns compound weak gas demand fundamentals; Chemical manufacturers key in Covid-19 fight.
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