Oil + Gas Update - Welcome to 2020.
Happy New Year and welcome back to At the Well Weekly. As 2019 ended, the oil-to-gas ratio widened since our last report as oil prices generally climbed before plateauing while natural gas prices across indices along with rig counts both hit low points the industry hasn't seen for some time. In pipeline news, Pennsylvania regulators lifted a permit ban and green-lighted construction of the company's various projects including Revolution Pipeline after settling violations for record amounts; the Fourth Circuit vacated a key permit for an ACP compressor station; and PennEast asked FERC for more time to build the pipeline. In Appalachia and other regions, courts were been busy dealing with lease disputes and related issues, regulatory matters, climate change, and a host of other topics.
Here's a review of the past several weeks...
Rig Counts, Spot Prices + Oil Prices
Rigs: National (-781); Marcellus (+41); Utica/Point Pleasant (-10)
Brent Crude: -$64.90/bbl
West Texas Intermediate: -$59.04/bbl
NYMEX: February 2020 @ -$2.141/MMBtu.
Spot Prices: Henry Hub (-$2.08/MMBtu); Dominion South (-$1.71/MMBtu); Tenn. Zone 4 (-$1.70/MMBtu)
("+" or "-" or blank denotes increase, decrease, or flat. )
WOPL - Appalachia
In our new section, WOPL ("waiting on pipelines"), we provide the latest news on the status of various pipeline projects in Appalachia:
Adelphia Project (Greater Philadelphia Region): FERC issued an approval for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Adelphia project.
Atlantic Coast (W. Va. to Va. and NC): ACP's appeal remains pending in the Supreme Court. The Fourth Circuit vacated a permit for a compressor station (see below for more case details).
Atlantic Sunrise (Northeastern PA to SE Pennsylvania): Nothing new to report.
Constitution (Northeastern PA to NY): FERC denied New York’s request for rehearing of the agency's decision that state environmental regulators waived their authority to issue or deny a water quality certification for the pipeline.
Empire Pipeline (NY to PA): Nothing new to report.
Leidy South - Benton Loop Expansion (PA): Nothing new to report.
Mariner East (Western PA to Eastern PA): An investor of Energy Transfer claims in a new derivative lawsuit that the company through its CEO coerced PA regulators and the Governor to approve pipeline projects. The case is pending. Recently, an administrative law judge fined Sunoco for safety violations.
Mountaineer XPress (WV): Nothing new to report.
Mountain Valley Pipeline (Northern WV to Southern Va. and NC): A court in Virginia approved a $2.15 million settlement of environmental issues associated with Mountain Valley Pipeline over the objections of environmental groups.
NEXUS (Ohio to Michigan): Nothing new to report.
NFG FM100 Project (NC PA to Transco): Nothing new to report.
Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NJ/NY): Nothing new to report.
Northern Access (NW PA to Western NY): Nothing new to report.
PennEast (PA to Central Jersey): PennEast requested a two-year extension to complete the construction of the pipeline given delays engendered by litigation and regulatory challenges.
Regional Energy Access (NE PA to PA/NJ): Nothing new to report.
Revolution Pipeline (PA): DEP and ETP reached a settlement in which ETP agreed to pay more than $30 million in civil penalties. The DEP lifted the company's permit bar and ETP projects halted by DEP may proceed.
Rover (OH, WV, PA to Michigan): Nothing new to report.
TransCanada Eastern Panhandle Project (PA to WV): Nothing new to report.