Oil + Gas Update - D.C. Circuit Rejects FERC's Approval of Higher Rates for New Shippers Using New Pipeline Facilities.
Natural gas spot prices showed signs of life since our last report even though the rig count plummeted as oil producers shut in production due to falling prices. The pipeline scene is relatively quiet. In Appalachia, courts addressed royalty and implied covenant claims while courts in other regions grappled with challenges to well bond forfeiture orders and shipper rates set by FERC to cover increases in costs of pipeline expansion projects.
Here's the week in review...
Rig Counts, Spot Prices + Oil Prices
Rigs: National (-602); Marcellus (-38); Utica/Point Pleasant (9)
Brent Crude: -$31.20/bbl
West Texas Intermediate: -$22.79/bbl
NYMEX: May 2020 @ +1.783/MMBtu
Spot Prices: Henry Hub (+$1.80/MMBtu); Dominion South (+$1.44/MMBtu); Tenn. Zone 4 (+$1.36/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): A farmer living along the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline route is asking Nash County officials to halt appraisers from entering his home during a statewide stay-at-home order meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.
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 pipeline company had back-and-forth with state regulators over whether Mariner East could resume construction under the PA Governor's order shutting down most businesses in the state.
Mountaineer XPress (WV): Nothing new to report.
Mountain Valley Pipeline (Northern WV to Southern Va. and NC): MVP backer Equitrans’ in-house lawyer fired back at attempts to shut down construction allegedly based on COVID-19 fears when the groups backing the push – Sierra Club and the like – are using the crisis to push their misguided environmental agenda.
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.
TransCanada Eastern Panhandle Project (PA to WV): Nothing new to report.