At the Well Weekly (v.2.14.2020)

Oil + Gas Update - Third Circuit Throws Out Speculative Valuation Testimony in Eminent Domain Case.

Natural gas prices inched up a few cents since our last report alongside a small spike in oil prices and a steady rig count. The pipeline scene is relatively quiet. In Appalachia court news, the Third Circuit addressed proper expert testimony in condemnation cases under the Natural Gas Act and separately denied a bid to force class arbitration in a royalty dispute; the Ohio Supreme Court held that tax exemptions did not apply to receipts for the intrastate portion of natural gas transportation on an interstate line; and DRBC must turn over some docs in the ongoing battle over the agency's jurisdiction to regulate (or prevent) oil and gas projects in the basin. In other news, the Fifth Circuit addressed royalty payments, pipeline trespass damages, and FLSA requirements for gas lawyers/consultants; a Montana federal court addressed obligations to pay well costs over and above AFE estimates; North Dakota's Supreme Court tackled the open-mines doctrine; and a federal court in Texas said no to a TRO request to block an assignment of an oil and gas lease.

Here's the week in review...

Rig Counts, Spot Prices + Oil Prices

  • Rigs: National (790); Marcellus (-38); Utica/Point Pleasant (11)

  • Brent Crude: ­+$56.42/bbl

  • West Texas Intermediate: ­+$51.06/bbl

  • NYMEX: March 2020 @ -$1.844/MMBtu.

  • Spot Prices: Henry Hub (­+$1.87/MMBtu); Dominion South (­+$1.62/MMBtu); Tenn. Zone 4 (+$1.59/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): Southern Company is out as an equity partner in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline after majority owner Dominion Energy agreed to buy its stake amid ballooning costs and legal challenges that have stalled the 1.5 Bcf/d US Northeast natural gas project. The FERC asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reinitiate formal consultation so the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline project can resume construction.

  • 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): Nothing new to report.

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

  • Mountain Valley Pipeline (Northern WV to Southern Va. and NC): The FERC green-lighted MVP’s Southgate Extension despite conclusions that although there would be some environmental damage caused by building the so-called MVP Southgate, it could be minimized to “less than significant levels.”

  • 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): Nothing new to report.

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

  • Revolution Pipeline (PA): Nothing new to report.

  • Rover (OH, WV, PA to Michigan): Nothing new to report.