Shale Gas News – June 29, 2019

Bill desRosiers
External Affairs Coordinator, Cabot Oil & Gas

The Shale Gas News, heard every Saturday at 10 AM on 94.3 FM, 1510 AM and Sundays on YesFM, talked about impact fee distribution, EQT, PPT Cracker Plant and much more last week.

The Shale Gas News has grown again; welcome Gem 104 as our FOURTH station! Gem 104 helps to solidify the Shale Gas News coverage in an important Marcellus region, PA’s northern tier. The Shale Gas News is now broadcasting in Bradford, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and Wayne Counties, as well as in greater central PA. The Shale Gas News is aired on Saturday or Sunday depending on the station.

Every Saturday Rusty Fender and I host a morning radio show to discuss all things natural gas. This week, as guests, Charles A. Schleibs, Managing director of Stone Pier Capital Advisors, LP and Jim Willis of Marcellus Drilling News.

Shale Gas News

The Shale Gas News, typically, is broadcast live. On the June 29th show (click above), we covered the following new territory (see news excerpts below):

  • PUC Details Nearly $252 Million Distribution of Gas Drilling Impact Fees; Largest Distribution to Date. HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today posted detailed information about this year’s distribution of impact fees on natural gas producers – totaling $242,964,000 – on the PUC’s Act 13 website. Additionally, another $8,866,900 is being distributed to municipalities and counties where producer payments had been withheld during a long-running court case concerning the definition of a “stripper well.”  Because of the unique circumstances surrounding this issue, and the potential financial impact on municipalities where the disputed wells were located, the Commission felt it was important to thoroughly calculate the stripper well collections and allocate the corrected well distributions to the municipalities that did not receive those impact fees during the years the well status had been disputed.
  • Explosions At Philadelphia Oil Refinery Send A Giant Ball Of Fire Skyward. A fire at an oil refinery in South Philadelphia caused a series of explosions before dawn on Friday, unleashing a giant ball of flames and plumes of smoke into the air. The incident prompted a shelter-in-place order for a nearby neighborhood and sent more than 100 firefighters to the scene. Several people were treated on the scene for minor injuries, WHYY’s Tom MacDonald reported. The fire is “confined and being addressed, but it is not under control,” Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said at a morning media briefing. He said Murphy said the shelter-in-place order was lifted after test samples of the air revealed no danger to the public.
  • Progress on $5M Office in NEPA for Marcellus Co. from Thailand. We received some pictures from a loyal MDN subscriber (S.B.) showing progress on clearing a site where a new $5 million office and warehouse facility in Tunkhannock Township (Wyoming County), PA. Ever hear of BKV Operating? No? How about Kalnin Ventures? Or if not Kalnin, how about Banpu, the largest coal producer in Thailand? Like a Russian matryoshka (nesting) doll, BKV Operating is a subsidiary of Kalnin Ventures, and Kalnin is the American agent/partner representing Banpu here in the U.S. Ultimately it is Banpu money that is building this new facility, and major Banpu money being invested in PA Marcellus drilling in northeastern PA.
  • EQT Claims Toby Rice Mismanaged Rice Energy, Not Fit to be CEO. The nasty proxy war between EQT CEO Rob McNally and Toby Rice over who will control the company following a July 10 annual meeting just got a whole lot nastier. Last Friday, McNally revealed that a review of internal documents they received as part of their purchase of Rice Energy in 2017 show that in the span of two weeks in 2015 some 25 complaints by Rice employees were made against Toby with the Rice HR department, although the nature of the charges are not detailed, leaving it open to shareholders to speculate.
  •  Ohio Says PTT Cracker Will Get Built – Bechtel Confirms EPC Contract. Last Thursday and Friday, MDN attended the Northeast Petrochemical Conference & Exhibition in Pittsburgh. There were a number of interesting stories coming from the event that we will chronicle this week. However, there was one bit of breaking news from the event: Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals Senior Project Manager of Pennsylvania Chemicals, Paul Marsden, made official what we previously shared as a rumor–that Bechtel has been selected as the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor to build the PTT cracker plant complex, when and if a positive final investment decision is made. According to a number of sources, that decision will get made this year.
  • PA Rig Manufacturer Schramm Files for Ch. 11 Bankruptcy. From time to time we’ve mentioned shale drilling rigs manufactured by Schramm. The company is headquartered near Philadelphia, in West Chester, PA. Because of the “prolonged downturn” in the oil and gas industry (i.e. less drilling), Schramm has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company has defaulted on $70 million of secured loan obligations. Schramm is shopping for another company to buy it.
  • Former EQT CEO: Shale Revolution a “Disaster” for Investors. One of the highlights for MDN editor Jim Willis in attending last week’s Northeast Petrochemical Conference in Pittsburgh was the opportunity to meet and hear speak Steve Schlotterbeck, former CEO of EQT. Steve is the guy who pulled off the buyout/merger of Rice Energy into EQT, creating the largest natural gas producing company in the United States. He had the guts to walk away from EQT when the board refused to pay him what he was worth. Last Friday morning Steve opened the final day of the conference with more guts and plain talk. He said the shale industry has been “an unmitigated disaster for buy and hold investors.” Whoa! What did he mean?

The Shale Gas News sponsored by Linde Corporation

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