Oil + Gas Update | Cold Front Drives Up NatGas Prices.
Gas prices climbed in the basin and soared to hundreds of dollars per MMBtu throughout southern parts of the United States as unusually cold weather curtailed production and drove up heating demand. Oil prices surpassed $60/bbl since our last report while the number of rigs in the basin remained flat despite the national rig count adding several units. In pipeline news, MVP fired back in a bid by enviros to stop work on the project pending appeal. In court news, a panel in Colorado lacked jurisdiction to consolidate multiple arbitrations involving gas purchase agreements for oil and gas assets and a federal court in Utah denied claims asserted by environmental groups that oil and gas leases on federal lands fell short of environmental review standards.
Here's your week in review:
Rig Counts, Spot Prices + Oil Prices
Rigs: National (+397); Marcellus (30); Utica/Point Pleasant (+7)
Brent Crude: +$63.28/bbl
West Texas Intermediate: +$60.58/bbl
NYMEX: March 2021 @ +$2.911/MMBtu
Spot Prices: Henry Hub (+$3.68/MMBtu); Dominion South (+$3.32/MMBtu); Tenn. Zone 4 (+$3.21/MMBtu)
WOPL - Appalachia
Mountain Valley Pipeline. In response to a motion from various environmental groups that asked the D.C. Circuit to stop construction on the project, Mountain Valley Pipeline fired back, arguing in a brief that natural gas users, landowners, and the environment would benefit from finishing construction and finally placing the much-needed pipeline infrastructure into service. The environmental groups argued that FERC ignored evidence suggesting that the pipeline is no longer necessary given the alleged drop in demand for natural gas nationwide.
Headlines & Holdings - Appalachia
Colo. Appellate Court Lacks Jurisdiction Over Appeal Denying Consolidation of O+G Arbitration. An appellate court in Colorado upheld an order denying a petition by gas companies to consolidate three separate arbitrations involving various agreements for the sale of oil and gas interests, holding that an order denying consolidation is neither one of two pre-arbitration orders subject to appeal nor a "final judgment" subject to appellate review. Tug Hill Marcellus LLC v. BKV Chelsea LLC, --- P.3d ---, No. 19CA2234, 2021 COA 17, 2021 WL 501117 (Colo. Ct. App. Feb 11, 2021).
Headlines & Holdings - Beyond Appalachia
Federal Court Nixes Challenges to O+G Leases in Ashley National Forest. A federal judge in Utah denied claims by an environmental group challenging BLM's decisions regarding oil and gas leases in the Ashley National Forest, holding that the agency appropriately assessed potential impacts of development on the sage grouse and otherwise took the necessary "hard look" at potential environmental impacts required by NEPA and other statutes. Wildearth Guardians v. BLM, --- F. Supp. 3d ---, No. 2:14-CV-00349-DN, 2021 WL 409827 (D. Utah Feb. 5, 2021).
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