The former CEO of EQT Corp. said both the natural gas driller’s current management team and the dissident shareholders led by former Rice Energy President Toby Rice are following the wrong strategy to bring it out of economic problems.
“I don’t think any of them are getting it,” said Steve Schlotterbeck, a longtime EQT executive who left the company in February 2018 after a pay dispute with the board of directors. EQT (NYSE: EQT) has had a new management team since November 2018, when the company split and Toby Rice began to challenge the management and board.
“EQT and Rice both are proposing the same strategy,” said Schlotterbeck. “That’s kind of where I think they both are wrong.” Schlotterbeck said the key issue was with EQT’s plans for 5 percent annual growth for the next five years, which points to an overall industry strategy over continuing to drill despite lower gas prices.
Schlotterbeck may have a point in theory but not in action. That's the problem. As far as I can tell as both shareholder and Rice/EQT landowner, EQT has no idea HOW to implement operation strategies to bring the company out of the nosedive its been in. I have spoken to many associated with EQT with boots on the ground, as well as personal experience as a landowner under their management and it is a nightmare. They run the company like the CIA and one dept (or even employee) is kept in the the dark from the next as to what is even going on. The closed door approach does NOT WORK and is a recipe for disaster, as can be seen by the EQT plummet in share value. I can also attest that our gas has been sold poorly, below area avgs for the first time since Rice owned our lease and production has plummeted, as well. If wells aren't producing and gas isn't being sold even at avg area prices then something is wrong with management's ability to successfully run the operation. This not only affects landowners, but also shareholders, and the company as a whole. Rice was open and honest and proactive with its operations; something that EQT seriously lacks. I can tell you that having had experience with BOTH companies and seeing the decline since EQT took over, they are doling out a lot of lip service with nothing to really back it up. Rice had its issues, just like ANY company but overall, was operationally more sound and produced. I have voted the Rice Team in and am hoping and praying that other shareholders have also taken the time to view the FACTS, ignoring the propaganda and hype. When EQT took over, the company rapidly went downhill and continues to head that way. Their gaffs and errors have cost too much, their lack of utilizing currently held Rice leases for expansion at lower cost has kept the company in the downward trend, and their secrecy style of operating has caused mayhem and confusion that isn't even being mentioned because no one is talking to the boots on the ground. If this company is to be saved, it needs immediate change.