At the Well Weekly (v.7.26.2019)

Oil + Gas Update - Commonwealth Court Issues Decisions on Chapter 78a O+G Regs and Use of State Funds Under Environmental Rights Amendment.

Since our last report, gas prices continued to slide alongside declining rig counts despite a slight rise in oil prices. In pipeline news, Atlantic Sunrise settled lien disputes, Mountain Valley received a positive environmental review from FERC for its Southgate expansion project, the Fourth Circuit struck an FWS opinion that would've green-lighted Atlantic Coast's construction efforts, and PADEP started the public review process for permits and water quality certification for NFG's FM100 expansion project. In Appalachia court news, the Commonwealth Court issued its decision on challenges to Pennsylvania's Chapter 78a oil and gas regulations and ruled in another case that portions of bonuses and royalties payable to the Commonwealth from oil and gas leases are not part of the "trust" created by Article I, sec. 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Nothing much outside of Appalachia to report except for a couple of updates on climate change lawsuits.

Here's your week in review...

Rig Counts, Spot Prices + Oil Prices

  • Rigs: National (-946); Marcellus (-56); Utica/Point Pleasant (-15)

  • Brent Crude: +$64.21/bbl

  • West Texas Intermediate: +$57.35/bbl

  • NYMEX: August 2019 Contract @ ­-$2.220/MMBtu.

  • Spot Prices: Henry Hub (-$2.20/MMBtu); Dominion South (-$1.92/MMBtu); Tenn. Zone 4 (-$1.95/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 Fourth Circuit tossed a bio/take opinion issued by FWS for the project, concluding that the agency's decision was arbitrary (see below for more details).

  • Atlantic Sunrise (Northeastern PA to SE Pennsylvania): Atlantic Sunrise settled its case with contractors to remove all liens along the pipeline.

  • 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): A Berks County homeowner alleges that Mariner East pipelines affected his water supply and made him sick.

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

  • Mountain Valley Pipeline (Northern WV to Southern Va. and NC): EQT reported that it is considering a divestiture of its stake in the MVP project. FERC issued a draft impact assessment for MVP’s expansion of its line to add compressor stations and related facilities, finding that the project may result in some adverse environmental impacts that would be reduced to "less-than-significant levels" with certain recommended adjustments.

  • NEXUS (Ohio to Michigan): Nothing new to report.

  • NFG FM100 Project (NC PA to Transco): PADEP published notices of the project's permit applications along with the Section 401 Water Quality Certification.

  • 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.