At the Well Weekly (v.3.27.2020)

Oil + Gas Update - Courts Slowing Down but Still Grappling with O+G, Pipeline Cases Amidst COVID-19.

Oil prices fell again since our last report amidst the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic while natural gas spot prices hover around an average of $1.50/MMBtu in Appalachia. In pipeline news, Mariner East construction resumed after the company sought and received a waiver from the Governor's order to shut down non-life-sustaining businesses in the Commonwealth. In Appalachia, courts addressed royalty claims, lease expiration claims, and disputes over mineral rights while courts in other regions tackled bans on frac sand mining, consent-to-assign provisions in oil and gas leases, bonus payments, and surface rights.

Here's a review of the past several weeks...

Rig Counts, Spot Prices + Oil Prices

  • Rigs: National (-728); Marcellus (39); Utica/Point Pleasant (9)

  • Brent Crude: -$27.95/bbl

  • West Texas Intermediate: -$21.51/bbl

  • NYMEX: April 2020 @ +$1.659/MMBtu.

  • Spot Prices: Henry Hub (+$1.71/MMBtu); Dominion South (+$1.31/MMBtu); Tenn. Zone 4 (+$1.32/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): DEP issued a Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the Adelphia Gateway Natural Gas Pipeline Project.

  • Atlantic Coast (W. Va. to Va. and NC):

  • 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): Gov. Wolf issued an executive order shutting down all business that are not “life-sustaining,” including Mariner East construction. The pipeline operator however requested and obtained waivers to resume construction. In other news, a pipeline worker from Westmoreland County is expected to plead guilty to a felony for forging documents that said a weld on the Mariner East pipeline was properly X-rayed.

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

  • Mountain Valley Pipeline (Northern WV to Southern Va. and NC): The Fish and Wildlife Service and Mountain Valley Pipeline agreed to additional time for FWS to conduct review before FERC decides a reconsideration request.

  • 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 Pipeline’s pitch to split the project into two phases has drawn a flood of objections at FERC. Meanwhile, industry groups backed PennEast's cert petition before the Supreme Court.

  • 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.