Shale Gas News – March 6, 2021

Shale Gas NewsBill desRosiers
External Affairs Coordinator, Cabot Oil & Gas

The Shale Gas News, heard every Saturday at 10 AM on 94.3 FM, 1510 AM, 1600 AM, 104.1 FM and Sundays on YesFM, talked about President Biden, carbon tax, natural gas storage and much more last week.

The Shale Gas News has grown again to the Williamsport area on stations WEJS 1600 AM & 104.1 FM. 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 and now the Williamsport area. The Shale Gas News is aired on Saturday or Sunday depending on the station.

Every Saturday Rusty Fender, Matt Henderson and I host a morning radio show to discuss all things natural gas. This week, as a guest, we had Joe McGinn, Vice President of Public Affairs at Energy Transfer. We also had Senator Gene Yaw, of Pennsylvania’s 23rd District.

Shale Gas News

The Shale Gas News, typically, is broadcast live. On the March 6th show (click above), we covered the following new territory (see news excerpts below):

  • Biden’s promise to unions: ‘I’m all for natural gas’ – Union bosses gave Republicans a political gift during the run-up to President Biden’s Cabinet confirmation hearings: They blasted the White House for canceling the Keystone XL pipeline.  Senators confronted Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and EPA administrator-designate Michael Regan with the unions’ complaints during their hearings. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) read Buttigieg verbatim quotes from the plumbers and pipefitters union decrying “thousands of union workers out of work.”
  • Biden’s Hurdle: Courts Dubious of Rule by Regulation. President Biden is moving swiftly on his agenda to remake large parts of the economy by wielding the powers of the executive branch. He signed more than 30 executive orders in his first month, nearly as many as the past four presidents combined at this point in their terms. He is about to run into a formidable obstacle: a judiciary turned increasingly skeptical of regulatory authority, and conservatives determined to tap into that skepticism.
  • Top oil and gas lobbying group close to backing a carbon tax. The American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry’s top lobbying arm, is edging closer to endorsing a carbon tax, a tool that would make fossil fuels more expensive, boost prospects for renewable and nuclear energy, and curb pollution that is driving climate change.  But a paper being weighed by an API policy committee would back a carbon tax as an alternative to federal regulation and policies aimed at slowing climate change.
  • Biggest Withdrawal from Underground NatGas Storage in 2 Years. While the weather is, without a doubt, the biggest influence on the price of natural gas, there is another key influence that traders watch closely: storage numbers. Natural gas is stored mainly in large underground caverns during in the “summer” months (called “injection season,” April through October). Natgas is later withdrawn for use during the “winter” months (“heating” or “withdrawal” season, November through March).
  • Prediction: The U.S. is Heading for NatGas Storage Crisis Next Winter.  While the recent spike over the past week in natural gas prices was a fluke, an anomaly due to a rare snow and freezing cold event in the nation’s southwest and Midcontinent regions, the long-term price of natural gas has not moved all that much. The NYMEX futures prices for natgas month by month for the foreseeable future has stayed under or just above the $3/MMBtu mark. Yet we continue to see predictions of alarm that we’re heading for a natgas shortage and with it, a rise in gas prices.
  • Construction Continues at Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant in Ohio.  From time to time we check in on the Guernsey Power Station, a mammoth 1,875-megawatt Marcellus/Utica gas-fired electric generating station being built in southern Guernsey County in Ohio. As near as we can tell, it is the biggest natgas-fired plant anywhere, period. We spotted a story about work being done to extend a sewer line to the plant, meaning the project remains active and on track to come online in the fall of 2022.
  • EQT Update – Making Moves to Drill More in WV in 2021. Yesterday the country’s largest natural gas producer, EQT Corporation, released its 4Q and full-year 2020 update, holding a conference call with analysts to discuss the results. The update shows the company produced an average of 4.45 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas in 4Q. Although there was plenty of “free cash flow” for the year, on paper the company lost $967 million in 2020, which is an improvement over the year before when it lost $1.2 billion.

The Shale Gas News sponsored by Linde Corporation

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