Shale Gas News – March 10, 2018

shale gas news - desRosiers_headshotBill 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 a second fracking wave, U.S. oil production, steel tariffs 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, we had Donna Wheeler, Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit Manager at Offshore Energy Center;  Carl Beardsley, Executive Director of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and Jim Gallagher, CEO of Regional Sky Airlines.

shale gas news

The Shale Gas News, typically, is broadcast live. On the March 10th show (click above), we covered the following new territory (see news excerpts below):

  • A ‘Major Second Wave’ of U.S. Fracking Is About to Be Unleashed Upon the World. U.S. oil and natural gas is on the verge of transforming the world’s energy markets for a second time, further undercutting Saudi Arabia and Russia. The widespread adoption of fracking in the U.S. opened billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas to production and transformed the global energy sector in a matter of a few years. Now, a leading global energy agency says U.S. natural gas is about to do it again.
  • Oil prices stable as U.S. production stands at all-time high. U.S. crude oil prices were stable Tuesday as production in the nation is at an all-time high. Brent oil futures opened at 65.56 and were trading down 16 cents at 11 a.m. EST. Year-over-year, that’s a 17.71 percent increase.  The April crude oil futures started the session at 62.58, and was down 11 cents. “The market seems to veer back and forth between irrational exuberance and undue pessimism,” said Raoul LeBlanc, vice president of financial services and North American onshore at IHS Markit, told CNBC.
  • Energy execs says tariff gambit could hit shale, LNG project costs. Energy executives say the Trump administration’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs could bump up the cost of big-ticket projects needed for rapidly rising U.S. shale oil and gas output by three to 10 percent. Higher construction costs could slow growth in production and exports of crude and natural gas from shale that has made the United States the world’s largest gas producer and second largest oil producer.
  • Zinke Says Interior Should Be a Partner With Oil Companies. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says his agency should be a partner with energy companies that seek to drill for oil and gas on public land. Speaking Tuesday to a major energy-industry conference, Zinke described the Trump administration’s efforts to increase offshore drilling, reduce regulations, and streamline inspections of oil and gas operators. Zinke says the United States won’t exhaust its resource of fossil fuels in our lifetime, but that cleaner-burning natural gas will take on a bigger role.
  • Southwestern 2017: $3.5B Turnaround, Shopping Fayetteville Assets. Late last week Southwestern Energy, one of the biggest drillers in the Marcellus (4th largest natgas producer in the country), issued its fourth quarter and full year 2017 update. Southwestern drills in two plays: The Marcellus (i.e. Appalachia), and the Fayetteville (in Arkansas). The big news coming from last week’s update is that Southwestern signaled it wants to sell some–or all–of its “underperforming” Fayetteville assets, and use the money to pay down debt and drill more in the northeast. Largely on the back of prolific production in the Marcellus, Southwestern had a dramatic financial turnaround last year. In 2016, Southwestern lost $2.75 billion.
  • New Midstream Company Coming to Marcellus-Utica? Maybe. A brand new midstream (i.e. pipeline) company called Mettle Midstream Partners has just launched. Two private investment firms, Pearl Energy Investments and Natural Gas Partners, are investing a cumulative $100 million in the new venture. Quite a vote of confidence! Mettle is based in Dallas, TX, but is looking to buy or build “first-class midstream assets in resilient unconventional plays across the U.S.” Will one of those areas be the Marcellus/Utica? Consider this: The company’s president and chief commercial officer has worked in a number of shale plays, including the Marcellus/Utica.
  • Pin Oak Zigs to North Utica as Everyone Else Zags to South Utica. Pin Oak Energy Partners is an interesting company. As we reported in early February, the company recently closed on several deals to acquire 70,000 Utica acres in both Ohio and Pennsylvania, adding to its portfolio. The new acreage (and producing well assets) is located in Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio, and Mercer County in Pennsylvania. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed. Neither were the names of the sellers. However, we now have a pretty good idea of who did the selling: Halcon Resources and BP.

The Shale Gas News sponsored by Linde Corporation

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