At the Well Weekly (v.12.6.2019)

Oil + Gas Update - OH Supreme Court Says Plaintiffs Get 21 Years to Assert O+G Lease Expiration Claims.

Since our last report, the rig count dropped below 800, down 276 units since December 2018, while gas prices declined alongside a slight increase in oil prices. In pipeline news, a local DA brought charges against ETP and security company employees for bribery, the Trump Administration weighed in at the Supreme Court regarding ACP's easement through the Appalachian Trail for the pipeline project, FERC pushed back MVP's project review, and NJ's DEP denied permits based on the Third Circuit's decision that PennEast lacks condemnation authority over state-owned certain lands along the pipeline route. In Appalachia court news, the Ohio Supreme Court weighed in on the statute of limitations that applies to oil and gas lease expiration claims while the Superior Court of Pennsylvania denied another attempt to invalidate a tax sale of lands in 1908 that merged oil and gas rights with the surface estate. In other regions, courts addressed FERC's tolling practice, royalties, class actions challenging post-production costs, royalty accounting obligations, and the timing of challenges to oil and gas emission regulations.

This'll be the last installment of At the Well Weekly until after the new year. Enjoy the holiday season. Here's your week in review...

Rig Counts, Spot Prices + Oil Prices

  • Rigs: National (-799); Marcellus (+37); Utica/Point Pleasant (13)

  • Brent Crude: +$64.39/bbl

  • West Texas Intermediate: +$59.20/bbl

  • NYMEX: January 2020 @ -$2.399/MMBtu.

  • Spot Prices: Henry Hub (-$2.37/MMBtu); Dominion South (-$1.80/MMBtu); Tenn. Zone 4 (-$1.79/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): Nothing new to report.

  • Atlantic Coast (W. Va. to Va. and NC): The Trump Administration argued in briefs before the Supreme Court that the Forest Service has the right to grant easements for natural gas pipelines through the Appalachian Trail (see below for more details).

  • Atlantic Sunrise (Northeastern PA to SE Pennsylvania): Nothing new to report.

  • Constitution (Northeastern PA to NY): Nothing new to report.

  • 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): The Chester County DA filed criminal charges against employees of Energy Transfer and contracted security firms for bribery, conspiracy, and related offenses regarding the Mariner East Pipeline

  • Mountaineer XPress (WV): Nothing new to report.

  • Mountain Valley Pipeline (Northern WV to Southern Va. and NC): FERC pushed back the environmental review schedule for the MVP Southgate project due to recently proposed route changes. A coalition of groups that oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline are asking a court to reject an agreement between the pipeline company and the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.

  • 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): The NJDEP denied PennEast’s application for multiple permits and water quality certifications based on the Third Circuit’s decision that the company lacks authority to condemn multiple properties along the route.

  • Regional Energy Access (NE PA to PA/NJ): Nothing new to report.