Thursday, January 31, 2019
New permits issued last week: 10 (Previous week: 15) -5
Total horizontal permits issued: 2992 (Previous week: 2982) +6
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2517 (Previous week: 2514) +3
Total horizontal wells producing: 2138 (Previous week: 2137) +1
Utica rig count: 14 (Previous week: 16) -2
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
New permits issued last week: 15 (Previous week: 7) +8
Total horizontal permits issued: 2982 (Previous week: 2976) +6
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2514 (Previous week: 2505) +9
Total horizontal wells producing: 2137 (Previous week: 2128) +9
Utica rig count: 16 (Previous week: 18) -2
Ohio has moved into the top five for recoverable shale natural gas reserves in the United States.
Data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows the state saw a 24.5 percent increase in proved shale gas reserves from 2016 to 2017, bringing it to 25.6 trillion cubic feet. That moves Ohio past Oklahoma and behind only Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia and Louisiana.
Proved reserves is a measure of oil and natural gas that can be recovered in the future. JobsOhio and economic development groups have said that a robust shale industry will create jobs in Appalachia and reduce energy costs, making it cheaper for other businesses to invest here.
Before development of the Utica Shale, Ohio’s peak year for natural gas production was in 1984 at 186 billion cubic feet. In 2017, it was 1.7 trillion cubic feet, said Dan Alfaro, spokesman for Energy in Depth, an advocacy group launched by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.Read more by clicking here.
Harrison Power LLC and its affiliate EmberClear of Houston, Texas, recently announced that progress continues on the development of a natural gas-fired electric power generating plant slated for Cadiz in Harrison County.The rest of the article can be read by clicking here.
According to Raj Suri, CEO of EmberClear, while the facility’s groundbreaking originally slated for the Fall of 2018 has been delayed until the first half of 2019, significant milestones have been achieved that continue to move the project forward.
EmberClear intends to construct a 1050 MW natural gas-fired electric power generation facility on about 100 acres in the Harrison County Industrial Park. EmberClear, which will invest nearly $1 billion in the construction, estimates that the facility will provide enough electricity to power one million homes. The project is expected to bring about 700 construction jobs to the county for three years, and then create over 20 permanent skilled jobs.
The plant is being built near shale formations containing prolific amounts of low-priced natural gas, according to officials. Several pipelines operated by Dominion East, Spectra, Energy Transfer and Columbia are already located within a few miles of the project site. In addition, several fractionation and gas distillation facilities already in Harrison County have plans to expand production.
Authorities have identified the gas line that exploded in rural Noble County Monday morning as a 30-inch line owned by Enbridge Inc., a Canadian multinational energy transportation company based in Calgary, Alberta.
The explosion and resulting fire reportedly injured one person, destroyed three homes and caused damage to three additional homes and the surrounding terrain including Smithberger Road.
“It was a 30-inch line that has been in that location for several years,” said the Noble County Emergency Management Agency in a news release. “United Ambulance treated and transported one injured resident from the scene to a local hospital where that resident received treatment for minor burns.”
The Noble County Sheriff’s Office responded to several reports received at approximately 10:40 a.m. trying to narrow down the exact location as the Caldwell, Summerfield and Lewisville fire departments responded to the scene.Click right here to read more.
Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: GPOR) (“Gulfport” or the “Company”) today provided an update for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2018. Key information includes the following:
Read that whole release by clicking here.
- Completed previously announced and expanded stock repurchase program of $200 million during 2018, including deploying $90 million during the fourth quarter of 2018, acquiring 20.7 million shares and reducing shares outstanding by over 10% in 2018.
- Net production for the full year of 2018 averaged approximately 1,360.3 MMcfe per day.
- Realized natural gas price for the full year of 2018, before the impact of derivatives and including transportation costs, averaged $2.53 per Mcf, a $0.55 per Mcf differential to the average trade month NYMEX settled price.
- Realized oil price for the full year of 2018, before the impact of derivatives and including transportation costs, averaged $63.48 per barrel, a $1.30 per barrel differential to the average WTI oil price.
- Realized natural gas liquids price for the full year of 2018, before the impact of derivatives and including transportation costs, averaged $0.71 per gallon, equivalent to $29.85 per barrel, or approximately 46% of the average WTI oil price.
- Capital expenditures for the full year of 2018 are estimated to total approximately $813.9 million.
- Gulfport drilled 23 gross (19.5 net) operated wells in the Utica Shale and 13 gross (12.1 net) operated wells in the SCOOP.
- Gulfport turned-to-sales 35 gross and net operated wells in the Utica Shale and 15 gross (12.6 net) operated wells in the SCOOP during 2018.
And then, from a separate press release:
For 2019, Gulfport estimates its total capital expenditures will be approximately $565 million to $600 million, which will be funded entirely within cash flow at current strip pricing. The 2019 budget includes approximately $525 million to $550 million for drilling and completion (“D&C”) activities and approximately $40 million to $50 million for land activities. With this level of capital spend, Gulfport forecasts its 2019 average daily net production will be in the range of 1,360 MMcfe to 1,400 MMcfe per day, consistent with the Company’s fourth quarter of 2018 average net production of 1,392.8 Bcfe per day.
Utilizing current strip pricing at the various regional pricing points at which the Company sells its natural gas, Gulfport forecasts its realized natural gas price differential, before the effect of hedges and inclusive of the Company’s firm transportation expense, will average in the range of $0.49 to $0.66 per Mcf below NYMEX settlement prices in 2019. Gulfport expects its 2019 realized NGL price, before the effect of hedges and including transportation expense, will be approximately 45% to 50% of WTI and its 2019 realized oil price will be in the range of $3.00 to $3.50 per barrel below WTI.And specifically about the Utica shale:
During 2019, Gulfport plans to run on average approximately 1.0 operated horizontal rig in the Utica Shale. Gulfport has budgeted to drill approximately 13 to 15 gross (10 to 11 net) horizontal Utica wells with an average lateral length of 11,700 feet. In addition, Gulfport plans to turn-to-sales 47 to 51 gross and (40 to 45 net) horizontal Utica wells with an average lateral length of 10,000 feet.
Gulfport intends to participate in non-operated activities taking place on its acreage by other operators that plan to drill approximately 2 to 3 horizontal wells and turn-to-sales 2 to 3 horizontal wells, in each case net to Gulfport’s interest.Read that whole release by clicking here.
So, why did the price go right back up the last two weeks after tanking so dramatically towards the end of December? The answer has largely to do with recent actions taken by OPEC+ nations.
First, despite all the stories we saw throughout December that the OPEC+ announcement at the first of that month that it would cut its collective crude export volumes by a total of 1.2 million bopd was an inadequate action, crude prices began moving upwards as the cuts began fully going into effect in early January.
Second was the announcement by Saudi Arabia that it plans to cut its own production to just 7.1 million bopd by the end of January, a drop of more than 3 million bopd from its September peak. The simple fact of the matter is that no other country on earth has the ability to raise and cut its oil production volumes so dramatically in such a short period of time as does the House of Saud.
By the same token, no other group of oil producing countries has the ability to pool its resources to impact oil prices in the way the OPEC+ group does. There is no question that OPEC+ spent much of the second half of 2018 mis-judging the market by adding more export volumes in anticipation of the renewal of U.S. sanctions on Iran. But the truth of that matter is that they were simply caught off-guard by the last minute decision by the Trump Administration to grant waivers to China and India, two of Iran's largest customers.Read on by clicking here.
From a press release:
D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P., on behalf of certain investment funds advised by it that in the aggregate own an approximately 4.5% interest in the common stock and equivalents of EQT Corporation (the “Company” or “EQT”) (NYSE: EQT), today sent a letter to the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of EQT expressing its support for the Rice Team and its concerns regarding recent statements made and actions taken by EQT.
The full text of the letter can be read below:
January 11, 2019Board of DirectorsEQT Corporation625 Liberty AvenuePittsburgh, PA 15222
Dear Members of the Board:
I am writing to you on behalf of certain investment funds advised by D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. We have been shareholders of EQT Corporation (the “Company” or “EQT”) (NYSE: EQT) for over three years and today own over 4.5% of the Company, because we believe in the significant potential of the asset base.
Like many shareholders, we have been disappointed in the current management’s poor execution and are excited about the prospect of Toby Rice and the Rice Team returning to lead the Company and deliver the performance improvements shareholders deserve.
We support the Rice Team because they are seasoned operators with a proven track record of delivering peer-leading results on the exact assets that EQT owns today. Our sentiment appears to be widely held among shareholders; Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. recently wrote that there was “near unanimous support for the Rice Proposal”1 and EQT’s former CEO publicly stated that he “agree[s] fully with the Rice plan” and that “[…] Toby Rice is a true operator and the best person to help the company capture the full value of the asset base.”2
We hope the Board will engage constructively with the Rice Team and reach a resolution. Unfortunately, management’s January 7th letter announcing a “New EQT” is little more than an announcement of layoffs. Despite using the word “new” fourteen times in the letter, the truth is that (1) all management positions are filled by legacy EQT employees who have been promoted to their respective roles despite bearing responsibility for the execution mishaps to date and (2) the Chairman of EQT has been on the Board for 23 years.
Further, the letter glosses over mistakes that have been made and insists that management has a “track-record of success” and is “industry-leading.” No matter how well-intentioned, current management has not only failed to deliver on the potential of EQT’s asset base, but also lacks the relevant operational experience to deliver going forward, which we believe has resulted in a severely depressed stock price.
The reality is the current management and board leadership have: (1) spent $1.85 billion (~40% of the current market capitalization) on acreage acquisitions that appear unlikely to be drilled for the foreseeable future; (2) pledged they could deliver $2.5 billion to $10 billion in synergies from the Rice acquisition but have failed to deliver on any of those synergies; (3) missed their capex budget by ~$300 million last quarter; (4) bought back $500 million of stock at levels substantially higher than today’s market price when operations were running severely over budget; and (5) announced a drilling and completion budget achieving ~$1,250 / lateral foot in 2018 and targeting ~$900 to $1,000 / lateral foot in the future – a target that represents no improvement on the plan laid out in April 2017, before the Rice merger, and stands in stark contrast to the sub-$700 / lateral foot achieved by Rice in 2017 on the exact same acreage at 11,000-foot laterals.
We are also concerned that the Company is laying off over 100 employees without first receiving input from the Rice Team. Given what has occurred to date and the context of the ongoing discussion between the Company and the Rice Team, we believe it is only appropriate that EQT refrains from making any other decisions regarding future strategy until a resolution is reached with the Rice Team.
If a constructive resolution isn’t reached swiftly, then the answer is simple: let shareholders vote. For decades, EQT has held its annual meeting in April. It was only moved to June last year to allow shareholders time to hear the results of the committee findings on whether the company would spin off its midstream business. The meeting should be held in April this year as it traditionally has been – especially given the urgent matters facing the Company.
We continue to believe in the potential of EQT. But all of the Company’s stakeholders deserve better. We look forward to your response and an update to the market regarding your discussions with the Rice Team.
Quentin KoffeyPortfolio ManagerD. E. Shaw & Co., L.P.
About the D. E. Shaw Group
The D. E. Shaw group is a global investment and technology development firm with more than $50 billion in investment capital as of December 1, 2018, and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Since our founding in 1988, our firm has earned an international reputation for successful investing based on innovation, careful risk management, and the quality and depth of our staff. We have a significant presence in the world's capital markets, investing in a wide range of companies and financial instruments in both developed and developing economies.
I want to write on a recent piece in The Wall Street Journal, "Fracking’s Secret Problem—Oil Wells Aren’t Producing as Much as Forecast," that speaks of an 'illusory picture’ of prospects for the U.S. shale oil and gas industry. The article is based on the same rhetoric that we have been hearing since the industry's takeoff back in 2008: well decline rates are too fast and recoverable reserves are overstated, so a conveyor belt of drilling must be installed to simply maintain production. If not, output inevitably plummets.
The WSJ story could just as easily been written a number of years ago.
To illustrate, back in 2012, the now defunct peak oil website Oil Drum infamously compared the U.S. shale industry to the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, who quipped that "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."
Back on June 21, 2011, The New York Times ran a now forgotten piece also questioning the viability of shale: "Insiders Sound an Alarm Amid a Natural Gas Rush." Read the article for yourself, but it cited the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and a few geologists on their skepticism over the survival of the U.S. shale industry. To them, the bubble was about to burst.Read the whole article by clicking here.
Many years have passed, and the reality is that shale production has surpassed all expectationsnamely through the constant advance of technologies and improvement of operations.
EQT Corp. laid off more than 100 people Monday as the natural gas producer cut costs amid a power struggle at the top of the company.
EQT (NYSE: EQT) confirmed Monday the layoffs had occurred, but did not confirm the number or the timing. Two sources who chaired to remain anonymously showing that more than 100 people lost their jobs, and it could be as many as 132 were laid off.
"With November, the new management team has taken a number of decisive actions to improve operational efficiency, cash flow and EQT's financial position," With this reduction in force "With EQT's financial position," EQT said in a statement to the Business Times in response to in inquiry Monday. " The decision to reduce head count was a difficult but necessary step in our ongoing effort to enhance performance ."
It was not clear the departments that were cut the most, and how many have been in exploration and production.Click here to read more.
Monday, January 14, 2019
WEEK ENDING 01/05/19
New permits issued last week: 11 (Previous week: 4) +7
Total horizontal permits issued: 2968 (Previous week: 2957) +11
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2498 (Previous week: 2491) +7
Total horizontal wells producing: 2124 (Previous week: 2120) +4
Utica rig count: 17 (Previous week: 19) -2
WEEK ENDING 01/12/19
New permits issued last week: 7 (Previous week: 11) -4
Total horizontal permits issued: 2976 (Previous week: 2968) +8
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2505 (Previous week: 2498) +7
Total horizontal wells producing: 2128 (Previous week: 2124) +4
Utica rig count: 18 (Previous week: 17) +1
Thursday, January 3, 2019
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has issued an air permit for a potential cracker plant in southeastern Ohio, about 65 miles southwest of Beaver County.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has issued an air permit for a potential cracker plant in southeastern Ohio, about 65 miles southwest of Beaver County.
The decision is seen as the last major regulatory hurdle needed to be cleared before the two companies overseeing the potential project make a final investment decision. Those two companies are Thailand-based PTTGCA and South Korea-based Daelim Industrial Co.
If those two companies agree to build the ethane cracker plant, the development could look a lot like what’s happened in Beaver County. According to a news release from the Ohio EPA, the potential cracker plant could result in hundreds of permanent jobs and thousands of construction jobs in the region.Read the whole story by clicking here.
Since the Ohio Supreme Court’s September decision in Dundics et al. v. Eric Petroleum Corp., Ohio’s oil and gas landmen have found themselves in a precarious position. That decision held that oil and gas landmen, specifically leasing agents and mineral rights brokers, are subject to the requirements of R.C. 4735. Effectively, that statute would require landmen who negotiate oil and gas leases or the sale of mineral rights, as well as pipeline rights-of-way, to become licensed real estate brokers, or face potentially severe penalties.Read more by clicking here.
Because the requirements of R.C. 4735 bear little to no relation to their long-established and highly-specialized profession, many landmen had hoped for a wholesale evisceration of the Dundics holding by the Ohio General Assembly. On December 19, they received good, if slightly disappointing news in the form of SB 263. That bill, which passed in the Ohio Senate by a 31-0 vote and was signed into law by Gov. John Kasich, generally resolves the most burdensome implications raised by Dundics, but also includes some compromises and additional requirements that many will undoubtedly find bothersome.
SB 263 adds section GG to R.C. 4735.01, defining an “Oil and gas land professional” as “a person regularly engaged in the preparation and negotiation of agreements for the purpose of exploring for, transporting, producing, or developing oil and gas mineral interests, including, but not limited to, oil and gas leases and pipeline easements.”
Oil had a tumultuous 2018, with prices rising to a four-year high in October before plunging more than $30 in the following months. Oversupply and demand worries are high on the concern list for the industry, making volatility a buzzword this year as well.To see what different insiders have to say, click here and read the rest of the article.
There are other power dynamics at play. OPEC’s Viennese waltz in early December was a perfect example of a shift, with Russia brokering a deal to curb output and sharing the reins with traditional leader Saudi Arabia. President Donald Trump’s tweets demanding lower oil prices and U.S. shale producers pumping out unprecedented volumes of crude, threaten to undo all of OPEC and Russia’s years-long work.
There are “major uncertainties” and forecasting trends in 2019 is “even more hazardous than usual,” said Neil Atkinson, head of oil markets at the International Energy Agency. Geopolitical uncertainty is a serious risk to the industry, according to Ryan Lance, chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips. Still, there is likely to be a lack of “shock and awe” in OPEC policy, which could temper volatility, said Greg Sharenow, a portfolio manager at Pacific Investment Management Co.
The shale gas industry’s impact on the Weirton-Steubenville metropolitan area is expanding.
The Associated General Contractors of America reported the largest percentage gain in construction jobs in the nation — 26 percent, or 500 jobs — occurred in the Weirton-Steubenville corridor, which consists of Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia and Jefferson County in Ohio.
AGCA said there are now 2,400 people working in the construction industry in the Weirton-Steubenville corridor, up from 1,900.
“It tells you we’re reaping the benefits of the growth in the shale gas industry,” said Pat Ford, executive director of the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, citing investments in public infrastructure, pipelines and private investments in energy, the chemical industry, value-added metals, transportation logistics, and retail services.Read on by clicking here.
The Ohio city of Oberlin along with a fellow opponent of the $2 billion Nexus pipeline told the D.C. Circuit that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was wrong to approve the project, saying its need was overstated and it was not in the public interest.
Oberlin and the Coalition to Reroute Nexus said Monday that much of the pipeline’s capacity was not committed and that a significant amount of the existing commitment was with affiliates of the owners of the pipeline, Enbridge Inc. and DTE Energy Co., which each have a 50 percent share of Nexus. That low commitment was part of the reason the project couldn’t demonstrate it was truly needed, according to the brief.
That was one of several alleged faults highlighted in Oberlin’s petition, which also said the pipeline was not approved under the correct section of the Natural Gas Act. The project includes about 255 miles of greenfield pipeline and affects areas in Michigan and Ohio.Continue reading by clicking here.
The Chamber of Commerce and trade unions took aim at anti-fossil fuel activists in releasing a scathing report on Tuesday that concluded that their form of environmentalism slowed economic activity by over $91 billion in the U.S. in 2018.
“Taken together, anti-energy activism has helped prevent at least $91.9 billion of economic activity in the United States, which is larger than the entire economies of 12 states,” according to the report, “Infrastructure Lost: Why America Cannot Afford To ‘Keep It In the Ground.’”
The report was issued by the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute and the Laborers’ International Union of North America.
The Keep It In the Ground movement began in the latter years of the Obama administration, with the aim of ending all fossil fuel production by blocking pipelines, coal export terminals, and similar projects.You can read the rest of this article by clicking here.
The number of new oil and gas projects will rise five-fold next year from a 2015 trough but overall spending is still unlikely to be enough to meet future demand, consultancy Wood Mackenzie said in a report.
Shaken by a sharp drop in oil prices in recent months, boards are generally expected to stick to spending discipline imposed following the 2014 price crash.
Global investment in oil and gas production, known as upstream, is expected to reach around $425 billion next year, according to WoodMac analyst Angus Rodger.
That compares with a total spending of $770 billion in 2014, which dropped to $400 billion in 2016 and 2017.Click here to read more of this article.
Though a lawsuit filed by an environmental group against the company Patriot Water is still pending, the recent settlement by Warren would suggest Patriot’s experiment in treating wastewater from the gas and oil industry and have it end up in the Mahoning River might be over.
An attorney for Freshwater Accountability Project of Grand Rapids, Ohio, and Warren Law Director Greg Hicks say Warren resolved its part of the case by agreeing to pay $116,616 of Freshwater’s legal fees and no longer allowing Patriot to discharge “drilling mud,” which is wastewater from the gas and oil industry, into the city sewer system, as it did starting in 2011.
Patriot, which is located on Sferra Avenue in the Warren Industrial Park, stopped discharging wastewater into Warren sewers June 16, 2017, after the Freshwater suit was filed June 27, 2017, and has not resumed.
The plant is still open, however, its president, Andrew Blocksom, said earlier this month. Blocksom said he could not comment on the matter because legal action with Freshwater Accountability is still pending.Read more by clicking here.
WEEK ENDING 12/22/18
New permits issued last week: 4 (Previous week: 9) -5
Total horizontal permits issued: 2953 (Previous week: 2953) +-0
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2490 (Previous week: 2467) +23
Total horizontal wells producing: 2116 (Previous week: 2088) +28
Utica rig count: 18 (Previous week: 19) -1
WEEK ENDING 12/29/18
Total horizontal permits issued: 2957 (Previous week: 2953) +4
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2491 (Previous week: 2490) +1
Total horizontal wells producing: 2120 (Previous week: 2116) +4
Utica rig count: 19 (Previous week: 18) +1