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Friday, April 29, 2016

04/29/16 Links of the Day: Oil & Gas Expo in Belmont County, New Pipeline Safety Bill Approved, and More

Bloomberg:  Schlumberger CEO Sees 'Full-Scale Cash Crisis' in Oil Sector   -   "Schlumberger Ltd. cut more jobs in the first quarter as the world’s largest provider of oilfield services sees the industry in an unprecedented downturn. The global headcount dropped to 93,000 at the end of the first quarter with the..."

Business Journal Daily:  ODNR Officials Tout Well Oversight at Chamber Event   -   "The plugging of the injection well blamed for a dozen tremors of the Mahoning Valley in 2011 should be on its way to being completed, an official with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday. The plugging of the Northstar No. 1 well, one of the assets of the former D&L Energy, went through the appeals process..."

WTOV News:  Oil and Gas Expo Draws Thousands to Belmont County   -   "It's an industry meeting of the minds each year; the annual Belmont County Oil and Gas Expo is underway. Belmont County has hosted the expo for five years now. The event draws thousands of people to the area. More than 100 businesses signed on to take part in..."

Forbes:  Why Pipelines Could Soon Feel the Next Devastating Phase of the Oil Bust   -    "When oil and natural gas prices began their swan dive in 2014 and continued their descent in 2015, the casualties seemed obvious. Exploration and production companies would need to file for bankruptcy protection and restructure en masse. Banks that financed these companies would need..."

Press release:  Range Announces First Quarter 2016 Results   -   "Commenting, Jeff Ventura, the Company's CEO said, "Range continues to achieve excellent operational results with unit costs declining by 10% year-over-year and significant operational efficiency gains being realized. The improvements in our unit cost structure combined with our best-in-class well costs make Range resilient..."

Press release:  EV Energy Partners Announces Suspension of Cash Distribution, Repurchase of Senior Notes and Schedules First Quarter 2016 Earnings Release   -   "EV Energy Partners, L.P. (Nasdaq:EVEP) today announced that it has elected to suspend distributions to unit holders, effective immediately. As part of the amendment to its senior secured credit facility signed earlier this month, the Partnership was authorized to use up to $35 million of balance sheet cash or available borrowing base capacity to repurchase..."

Press release:  EQT Reports First Quarter 2016 Earnings   -   "EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT) today announced first quarter 2016 net income attributable to EQT of $5.6 million, or $0.04 per diluted share (EPS), compared to earnings of $173.4 million, or $1.14 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2015. Adjusted net income was $10.5 million in the first quarter..."

Press release:  EQT Current 2016 Operational Forecast   -   "EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT) issued a 2016 capital expenditure (CAPEX) forecast of $1.0 billion, excluding business development, land acquisitions and Midstream capital associated with planned asset dropdowns in 2016; and including $820 million for..."

Press Connects:  MYSTERY OF SICK FOALS: Was fracking to blame on PA farm?   -   "From a mile away, Allerage Farm’s magnificent barn can be seen amid rail fences, rolling pastures and red and white outbuildings on a hill rising some 1,500 feet from the Susquehanna River basin. Drawing near, the Bradford County, Pennsylvania postcard..."

Natural Gas Now:  Tom Wilber Trashes Fracking with Foal Fairy Tale   -   "Tom Wilber is a good writer, if only it wasn’t fracking fairy tales that he wrote. He’s a fractivist groupie. I like his writing style because it flows so naturally, which is, I suppose, why he’s so good at telling fairy tales. It’s like he’s right there with you in your living room doing a master storyteller routine, complete with a full repertoire of voice modulations, wild gestures and big eyes, pulling you..."

NGI:  Pipeline Safety Bill Unanimously Approved by House Energy Committee   -   "After tweaking a controversial section on emergency orders, the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee unanimously approved a pipeline safety bill to reauthorize the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act for five years, beginning in..."

NGI:  House Republicans, State Regulators Skewer BLM Over Flaring, Venting Rules   -   "House Republicans and state regulators sparred with Democrats and the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at a hearing Wednesday to discuss proposed rules governing flaring and venting of associated natural gas on public and tribal lands, with both sides in open disagreement..."

Press release:  Hess Reports Estimated Results for the First Quarter of 2016   -   "Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) today reported a net loss of $509 million, or $1.72 per common share, in the first quarter of 2016 compared with a net loss of $389 million, or $1.37 per common share, in the first quarter of 2015. On an adjusted basis, first quarter 2015 adjusted net loss was $279 million. Lower realized selling prices reduced..."

Seeking Alpha:  Hess (HES) John B. Hess on Q1 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript   -   "Our strategy in this lower for longer price environment is guided by three principles: preserve our balance sheet, preserve our operating capabilities and preserve our growth options. To preserve our balance sheet, on February 4, we successfully executed a capital raise of $1.6 billion through common and mandatory convertible preferred stock..."

Press release:  Antero Resources Reports First Quarter 2016 Financial Results and Increases Production Guidance   -   "Antero Resources Corporation (NYSE: AR) ("Antero" or the "Company") today released its first quarter 2016 financial results and announced increased 2016 production guidance. The relevant consolidated financial statements are included in Antero's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, which has been filed with..."

Natural Gas Now:  An Insane Dimock Verdict Gets Challenged   -    "Cabot Oil & Gas has filed its detailed challenge of the Dimock verdict with the court and the introduction is a thing of beauty. We have reproduced it below for interested readers and highly encourage all to review it and also peruse the entire filing, which may be found here. The Dimock verdict was, as Cabot’s attorney’s demonstrate, “an aberrant result..."

SNL:  EPA Wants Closer Look at Energy Transfer's Rover Gas Pipeline   -   "The U.S. EPA requested more involvement from federal and state agencies in feedback on FERC's draft environment impact statement for three connected Energy Transfer Partners LP natural gas pipeline projects. In response to a draft environmental impact statement, or EIS, released April 18, EPA recommended further efforts to remedy the "insufficient information" provided in the draft..."

Press release:  CONSOL Energy Reports First Quarter Results; Record Quarterly E&P Production of 97.5 Bcfe; Total E&P Division Cash Costs of $1.33 Per Mcfe; Borrowing Base Reaffirmed at $2 billion; Liquidity Increases to $1.3 billion

Seeking Alpha:  CONSOL Energy (CNX) Nicholas J. DeIuliis on Q1 2016 Results – Earnings Call Transcript   -   "We’re starting to see the dry Utica Shale play into the mix and help further lower cost. And we expect the exciting play to become a much bigger part of our future development program. Now, as for our gas hedging program, we layered in a substantial amount of hedges in the out-years. By layering in these hedges, we’re able to lock in our revenue..."

Huffington Post:  Fossil Fuel Companies Need to Become Renewable Energy Companies   -   "It seems clear that Exxon Mobil and other parts of the fossil fuel industry have tried to suppress the science of climate change. I am not surprised that these companies acted in their short-term self-interest, and I expect them to continue to advance those interests. Their deception is disappointing and..."

Press release:  Southwestern Energy Announces First Quarter 2016 Financial And Operating Results   -   "We began the year by leveraging the momentum built by our operational teams in 2015 and are making good progress executing on our strategic initiatives to position the Company for long-term value creation," remarked Bill Way, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southwestern Energy. "While adjusting activity levels to align with the commodity prices, we exceeded guidance on production volumes and associated costs by..."

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Washington County Man Says Pipeline Construction Caused His Car Crash

From the Marietta Times:
Heavy rain and heavy construction created a perfect storm for one Coal Run resident’s car to slip into a muddy, watery ditch last weekend, creating a clash with the company working to lay 9,000 feet of pipeline through local rural areas. 
Mitchel Barth, a 22-year-old in the process of purchasing his family’s home on Weppler Road, claims that the construction company’s project is destroying the roadway and making it unsafe for residents and drivers. 
The firm, Two Guns Consulting and Construction out of Dallas, was recently awarded a project to lay 8-inch pipeline in a right-of-way along Weppler Road or Blue Racer Midstream, which develops and operates oil and gas assets, and will likely be in the area into early summer. 
“There was about two inches of rain that (Friday) night, and when I was coming home Saturday I went straight into a ditch,” Barth said. “They did the tracks about three months ago and put gravel across for my driveway, but with all the rain, there was nothing holding the gravel in place.”
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Newsweek Op-Ed Asks Why News That Might Make Fracking Look Better Gets Hidden

From Newsweek:
Why would a public research university boasting a top-100 geology program deliberately hide its work? Because, as lead researcher Amy Townsend-Small explained, "our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results. They feel that fracking is scary and so they were hoping our data could point to a reason to ban it." 
That an environmentalist ideologue would see evidence of fracking's safety as "disappointing" is to be expected. But that a university would so flagrantly put politics before science is deeply troubling. 
Hydraulic fracturing has significantly bolstered America's energy independence by unlocking an abundance of domestic oil and gas. In fact, our country has officially surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the global leader in natural gas and oil production, respectively. 
Just as important, these newfound energy resources have delivered economic benefits to Americans. In 2012, the average U.S. household had an extra $1,200 thanks to the energy boom. The oil and gas industry, meanwhile, supports more than 2 million jobs—a number that is expected to grow to nearly 5 million by 2025.
The rest of the article can be read by clicking here.

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Preparation Continues on Ethane Cracker Site in Belmont County

From The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register:
Today, contractors working for FirstEnergy Corp. are demolishing the shuttered power plant to make room for the massive petrochemical complex, which would cover nearly 500 acres between the Ohio River and Ohio 7. Instead of watching pipelines ship lucrative Marcellus and Utica shale ethane to cracker plants along the Gulf Coast or in Canada, the Upper Ohio Valley could see a manufacturing renaissance if PTT Global Chemical proceeds with its planned multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex. 
A final investment decision is expected by the end of this year. 
“We have made great progress over the past year,” Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas said. “We have held numerous meetings with the company leaders and their representatives. Everyone is working collaboratively to make sure we have everything in place.” 
Toasaporn Boonyapipat, president and CEO of PTT Global Chemical America, agreed with Thomas in terms of the cooperation and communication. 
“A slowdown in drilling and decrease in oil prices will pose an opportunity for the project, as construction costs will likely fall, not to mention construction companies are likely to be more competitive in securing major projects as well,” he said. “PTT Global Chemical America’s decision will be based upon the cost and operational analysis we receive from the firms performing the front-end engineering design.”
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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Arguments Heard in Appeal of Rulings on NEXUS Pipeline Survey Access

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Three appeals court judges today heard 33 minutes of oral arguments in the continuing fight over survey access in Medina County for the $2 billion Nexus Pipeline. 
The Akron-based 9th District Court of Appeals will decide the case at sometime in the future, Judge Donna Carr said at the conclusion of the short hearing. About 35 Medina County landowners attended the session. 
Also hearing the arguments were Judges Carla Moore and Beth Whitmore. 
The Texas-based Nexus Gas Transmission LLC has won 17 court decisions on access in 11 counties along the pipeline’s route including appeals’ court decisions, said attorney James Hughes of Bricker & Eckler LLP in Columbus, who was representing the pipeline company. 
Ohio state law grants the pipeline companies access to private property to determine if it is suitable for a pipeline, he said.
The rest of the article can be read by clicking here.

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New Gas-Fired Power Plants Will Create 4,000 Local Jobs, Fuel Every Household in Ohio

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth

Thanks to the Utica Shale formation’s staggering production and associated infrastructure needs, Ohio is experiencing an enormous influx of investment.  Last year, EID investigated Ohio’s newly announced pipeline and natural gas-fired power plants, and found that billions were slated to come into the state from these projects. The natural gas-fired power plants, either currently under construction or planned, will provide over $6 billion and more than 4,000 jobs to Ohioans, all while generating power for up to 5.85 million homes. With approximately 4.5 million homes statewide, that means that natural gas plants will literally fuel the entire state of Ohio.  Here’s a look at the newly announced projects along with those currently under construction.
Ohio Natural Gas Power Plants
CompanyProjectInvestmentMegawattsHouseholds ServicedJobsStatus
Advanced Power ServicesCarroll County Energy$900 million700750,000730Under Construction
South Field Energy LLCColumbiana County Energy$1.1 billion1,100900,000900Pending
Oregon Clean Energy LLCOregon Clean Energy$860 million869500,000475Under Construction
NTE EnergyMiddletown Energy Center$600 million475600,000430Under Construction
Rolling HillsRolling Hills Generating Station$700 million1,4141,400,000400Completed
Clean Energy Future LordstownLordstown Energy Center$850 million800700,000700Under Construction
Apex Power Group LLCGuernsey Power Station$1 billion1,1001,000,000525Pending
$6 billion6,4585.85 million4,160

According to the 2015 U.S. Census, Ohio has a population of just over 11.6 million statewide, an average of 2.58 people per household, and 4.5 million homes statewide.  With the recent announcement of the Guernsey Power Station, our analysis shows that projects currently under construction and those about to break ground will in fact power the entire state of Ohio, all while providing the critical construction jobs our state so desperately needs.
These jobs are great jobs for Ohio.  In fact, just this week construction started at the Clean Energy Future Lordstown Power Plant in northeast Ohio. Don Crane, President of the Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades Council, said,
“This is touted as the best labor agreement that anyone has ever seen on either side of the table in the oil and gas industry. It will be a model going forward that gets used often.”
Mr. Crane is correct, in fact every one of the plants currently under construction are using local labor and more specifically the building and construction trades, debunking a long-standing talking point used by environmental activist groups:  that the oil and natural gas industry does not hire local.  In fact, the General President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) recently spoke out in support of shale development saying,
“Natural gas is the most viable … and economical solution to meet future electricity needs and clean energy goals.”
So what does this mean for local communities?
Well, the $850 million Lordstown plant which started construction this week, means 700 jobs for local workers.  A reality that has been described by Arno Hill, mayor of Lordstown, as a “dream come true.”  This is not a surprising statement, especially given the fact that the company will pay the local school district $20.25 million, starting with $500,000 next week. The plant will spur economic growth in the Youngstown region that is estimated in the range of $30 billion, according to the Youngstown Regional Chamber.  What’s more is that there are already talks of a second plant to come!
The same thing was true for the Carroll County Energy plant, which is currently under construction. Again, a $900 million project that is currently employing 700 local workers, using 100 percent union labor, and stimulating the regional local economy in a host of different ways, including  a pay out to the local school district to the tune of $1.3 million year for 30 years (that’s a total of $39 million to Carroll County local schools.)  What’s more is practically as soon as they broke ground in Carroll County, the company announced an even larger plant was slated for eastern Ohio.
It’s likely that the good news will continue as natural gas is expected to become the most widely used fuel for electricity generation in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) short-term market forecast released this week. As EIA explains, natural gas will provide 33 percent of generation in 2016 while coal’s share will likely fall to 32 percent. Natural gas has been the number one source on a monthly basis previously, but this would be the first time in modern history that natural gas has overtaken coal on an annual basis.
From EIA’s outlook:
“EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) is now forecasting that 2016 will be the first year that natural gas-fired generation exceeds coal generation in the United States on an annual basis. Natural gas generation first surpassed coal generation on a monthly basis in April 2015, and the generation shares for coal and natural gas were nearly identical in 2015, each providing about one-third of all electricity generation.”
This is good news for Ohio.  Within the next few years, locally-produced natural gas will power all of Ohio households.  None of this could be achieved without the hard work of local men and women who are currently building these plants and therefore ensuring that families across the state will be able to keep their lights on for years to come.
Copyright Energy in Depth. Reprinted with permission. Original article:

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Gas Development Credited for Monroe County's 340% Tax Revenue Increase

From Gas & Oil:
Just two years ago, the Appalachian region in Ohio suffered one of the most devastating job losses of 2013: the Ormet aluminum smelting plant in Monroe County, located along the Ohio River closed, leaving 1,000 people out of work in Ohio and West Virginia. If the job losses weren’t bad enough, the closure also meant that millions in tax revenues would also be lost. But then along came the development of Ohio’s Utica Shale. 
Thanks to natural gas development in the area, Monroe County has had an over 340 percent increase in tax revenue, which has not only filled the void left by the plant closure, but has also brought back hope to the community that had been shattered two years ago. Today, natural gas development has been said to be the “lifeline” for Monroe County. 
Tax revenues increased from $1.5 million in FY2010 to a whopping $6.8 million in FY2015. The tax loss from Ormet, during the same period of time, would have created a $4.5 million deficit from the county budget. 
Instead, the oil and natural gas industry not only covered that loss but added supplementary millions, as is evident by the county sales tax records.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

T. Boone Pickens Outlines a Plan to Make OPEC Irrelevant

From a T. Boone Pickens article written for Forbes:
Thankfully, we’re now a nation with options. Credit stunning advances in horizontal drilling and fracking that position us rich in energy resources. We’re now the number one natural gas producer in the world, and in the top three for crude oil production. 
America’s potential energy future has never been brighter. But there’s a challenge, and that’s whether we – as a nation – are willing to learn a lesson we should have learned 40 years ago, and that’s putting our own energy future in our own hands. 
The best way to do that is to utilize free market principles and inject serious fuel competition in the transportation mix. Governments at all levels can and should lead the way. One way to start: Open their fleet vehicle and fuel purchasing to competing domestic fuels. Let the cleaner, cheaper, domestic option – and taxpayers – win. Let’s make OPEC and those other oil-producing nations irrelevant.
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