Shale Gas News – February 15, 2020

Bill 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 Cuomo’s pipeline ban, S&P credit ratings, Baupu stops drilling 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 we ran some interviews which were recorded in the past couple months. One interview was from Mike Sommers, API President and CEO, from early January at the American Petroleum Institute (API) State of American Energy Event.

Shale Gas News

The Shale Gas News, typically, is broadcast live. On the February 15th show (click above), we covered the following new territory (see news excerpts below):

  • EQT Subleasing Most of its Downtown Pittsburgh Office Building. EQT is downsizing its footprint in the city of Pittsburgh–again. Last October we told you that EQT was looking to sublease space in its mammoth downtown office building. The EQT building has 32 floors. Lately, the company has occupied 15 floors. By next month EQT’s occupancy will shrink to just five floors. Is EQT getting ready to leave downtown?
  • Due to Cuomo Pipeline Ban, Iroquois Imports Canadian Gas for NY. Andrew Cuomo’s blockade of important pipeline projects like the Williams Constitution Pipeline (from northeast PA into NY) continues to keep the price of natural gas high in the Empire State. The Constitution, which was supposed to be built years ago, is supposed to connect to two other interstate pipelines, one of them the Iroquois. That never happened, and because of it, the Iroquois must import Canadian natural gas *every single day* in order to meet demand–gas that costs much more than the cheap, abundant and clean-burning gas from a few miles away in the PA Marcellus.
  • The Big Write-Down for M-U Drillers; Banpu Stops New Drilling. A Reuters article warns that U.S. shale gas investors are “bracing” for write-downs by major drillers, particularly in the Marcellus/Utica region. The article chronicles the write-downs we already know about (EQT, CNX, Shell and Chevron) and speculates that others (like Antero and Cabot) may make announcements in the coming days. And then, in a bit of a twist, the article ends with information about BKV (Banpu Kalnin Ventures), to say (a) Banpu’s American shale assets have already been written down before they purchased them, and (b) Banpu will not do any new drilling until the price of gas recovers to at least $3.50/Mcf. They may wait a looooong time.
  • Chevron Hires Barclays to Help Sell Its Marcellus/Utica Assets. In December Chevron announced it was writing down over $10 billion worth of its U.S. onshore shale assets, with $6.5 billion of that number coming from their Marcellus/Utica assets (see Chevron Writes Down $5B+ in Marc/Utica Assets, Looks to Sell All). In addition, the company announced it is putting all of its M-U assets up for sale (see Chevron Confirms M-U Assets for Sale, Asks Vendors to Avoid Media). Just sticking a “for sale by owner” sign on more than a half-million acres of leases and over 500 wells doesn’t appear to be working. So Chevron has hired investment bank Barclays to help shop their M-U assets.
  • S&P Downgrades Credit Rating for Six Big Marcellus/Utica Drillers. Large Marcellus/Utica drillers continue to take it on the chin in the financial markets. The stock prices for almost all M-U drillers have tanked, and now (at least for some of them), their credit ratings have been downgraded too. Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings recently downgraded the credit rating for six of the biggest M-U drillers…

The Shale Gas News sponsored by Linde Corporation

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