Natural Gas Now Best Picks of the Week – September 26, 2020

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy. As usual, emphasis is added.

Working Families Are Being Forced to Pay for Green Energy Fantasies

While I don’t agree global warming is causing California’s fires or that our nation is absolutely beset with institutional racism, there is a lot of wisdom in this article, including this:

For Central Valley and inland region residents, the push toward renewable energy is adding to their struggle. For example, the extra $65 a year state residents pay to subsidize solar power amounts to a regressive tax mainly paid by working families who cannot afford to have solar themselves. The current structure allows solar customers to avoid paying for specific fixed costs that are a monthly expense for maintaining and operating the grid. The working poor and middle-class should not subsidize California’s lofty solar mandates for those who can afford to buy and install a solar system…

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The disparity between the haves and have-nots becomes clearer when you consider Californians pay the highest energy prices in the country. If you live inland, whether in the Central Valley or the Los Angeles basin, temperatures are hotter and commutes to work are longer. Californians pay over a dollar more per gallon of gas than the national average, and when it comes to electricity, data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency shows Californians pay 55% more than the rest of the nation.

California policy leaders talk about income inequality, but it’s our policies that are driving a wider economic divide between the working-class, the poor and the rich.

…California cannot continue heaping the cost of “green” policies on marginalized and impoverished communities. People of color already face the brunt of COVID-19. Meanwhile, liberal elite policymakers sit, charging their electric cars (for which they received taxpayer rebates), straining the grid while working families lose their electricity and air conditioning during a horrendous heatwave.

It’s encouraging to see a California Democrat recognize environmentalism (what we once wisely called conservation) has morphed into a gentry class enterprise designed to reward elitists with green virtue badges at the expense of blue collar middle class folks as the former lock up land for rich playgrounds and scoop up government rent for green eggs and scam. What’s next? Support for natural gas? We can hope!


Justin Bieber may be world-famous but his heart is still in Canada where oil and natural gas jobs are critical to many and he has just released a music video, sympathizing with industry workers laid off due to the Chinese virus:


Rig Count Goes Up!

Oil and natural gas are commodity businesses that invariably vary, with ups and downs at in response to supply and demand. Natural gas in no different than milk or steel or any other commodity enterprise. Those who learn to ride the roller-coaster and adapt prosper and those who don’t die. It’s that simple. Things are now turning the corner again:

A positive development in an otherwise profoundly challenging stretch for the energy industry, the week ended Friday saw gains in both oil and natural gas drilling, according to the latest numbers from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).

The U.S. natural gas rig count gained two units to finish the week at 75. Alongside the addition of four oil-directed rigs, the combined domestic tally climbed to 261 as of Friday, still down nearly 600 units compared to the year-ago period, according to BKR…

The Canadian rig count gained seven units for the week to end at 71, down from 127 a year ago. Gains there were split between three oil-directed units and four gas-directed.

natural gas

The combined North American count rose 13 units for the week to end at 332, down from 987 at this time last year.

Among the major plays, it was not the Permian Basin but the Eagle Ford Shale that led the charge during the week. The Eagle Ford added three rigs, upping its total to 12, versus 62 a year ago. The Permian, meanwhile, picked up to two rigs to end with 125, off from 414 a year ago.

Also among plays, the Marcellus and Utica shales in the Northeast each added one rig to their respective totals.

Good to see!

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1 thought on “Natural Gas Now Best Picks of the Week – September 26, 2020

  1. The massive amount of mis/disinformation in the general media concerning this ‘Shale Revolution’ has been something to behold.

    People will be absolutely stunned to recognize how economical it is to develop these unconventional wells … most especially in the Appalachian Basin.
    With operators routinely drilling and completing wells at the $700/foot mark, a 10,000 foot lateral may cost ~$7 million. (Some operators have wells being D&C at the $600/foot threshold).

    New NEPA wells are now producing near – or above – 10 billion cubic feet first year online. At $2/mmbtu, these wells will gross over $20 million in their very first year of production.

    Just as Seneca ‘stole’ the Tioga acreage from SWEPI, EQT may do the same with Chevron’s near million acre leasehold. This will VASTLY improve the economics in this area … all the moreso as land swapping may accelerate to the benefit of all.

    Without delving too deeply into the weeds, the recent Liberty/Schlumberger ‘merger’ will unleash major innovations and cost reductions for completions as both electric frac’ing and new hardware involving fluid pressure transfer will be unveiled within the next several months.

    American resources, ingenuity, tenaciousness and the Free Market will continue to displace foreign competitors on a global scale.
    In fact, it is already happening.

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