Shale Gas News – May 6, 2023

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Shale Gas NewsBill desRosiers
External Affairs Coordinator, Coterra Energy
Host, Shale Gas News

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 EQT, Free Cash Flow, CoBank 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 shale gas.

Shale Gas News

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

  • US Supreme Court Keeps MVP Eminent Domain Case Alive in Lower Court. Disappointing news has been a constant this week–and it’s only Tuesday! Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court proved that sometimes it’s not so supreme. The high court breathed new life into a long-running lawsuit funded by Big Green groups using (abusing) a small group of uppity Virginia landowners who are arguing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had no right to delegate authority to Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) to use eminent domain to cross land, including the land owned by the small group of uppity landowners in Virginia.
  • EQT CEO Toby Rice Made $11.6M in 2022, Down from $16.9M in 2021. Yesterday EQT Corporation held its annual meeting in Pittsburgh. It was short and sweet. Everything presented in the company’s previously filed (with the SEC) notice about the meeting was approved at the meeting via proxy vote. Among the items approved was the always-ticklish issue of executive (and board) compensation. EQT has five named executive officers, including CEO and President Toby Rice. Toby’s regular annual salary is exactly $1 (not a typo). However, Toby gets bonuses based on the performance of the company. The board voted to grant Toby $780,000 in cash, and $10.8 million in company stock, for a total of $11.6 million in total compensation for 2022. And that’s down from 2021, when he made total compensation of $16.9 million.
  • $8 Billion in Free Cash Flow for Shale Gas Drillers “Off the Table” – Free cash flow (FCF) refers to a company’s available cash repaid to creditors and as dividends and interest to investors. Companies typically use FCF to buy back shares of stock, pay fatter dividends, or pay off creditors. When the price of natural gas went through the roof last year, natural gas drillers were rolling in the FCF. Now with natgas commodity prices in the basement, FCF money has been wiped off the table. How much? For six large natural gas-focused drillers (five of them focused on the Marcellus/Utica, one on the Haynesville), some $8 billion of FCF is “now off the table” according to an article by Bloomberg.
  • Another False Prediction of “The End of American Shale Revolution” – We read with some amusement a column by the CEO of Qamar Energy (an OPEC-tied consultancy based in Dubai, UAE) that says yep, American shale oil output has hit its zenith. It’s all downhill from here. The Big Oil companies have taken over all of the good shale assets in the States and they plan to drill less in places like the Permian Basin (in West Texas and eastern New Mexico). This latest prediction makes us laugh out loud. How many times before have we heard the same thing uttered from noobs, both domestic and (in this case) foreign. They consistently underestimate American ingenuity. Just when everyone predicts “peak oil” and declares shale production is all over, a new discovery is made. A new piece of technology is introduced. A new shale layer is explored. A new technique is adopted. This is the American way. And it confounds the “experts” every single time. Such is the power of free enterprise and capitalism.
  • CoBank: The Beginning of the End for Cheap Shale Gas. Lately, we keep reading predictions that the price of natural gas, while in the basement right now (low $2 range), will soon begin to go higher. And the price will stay higher. So say some experts. We just ran across another such prediction, this one from CoBank, a bank that provides loans, leases, export financing, and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water, and communications providers in all 50 states. CoBank has just published a report (copy below) that hints this is the beginning of the end of cheap shale gas.

The Shale Gas News sponsored by Linde Corporation

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