3 Pipelines About to Change Marcellus/Utica, Spur More Drilling

Every now and again it’s helpful to step back and look at the big picture, in particular with respect to major pipeline projects. These projects have a deep and profound effect on drilling. In fact, the addition of just three pipelines in our region (currently under construction) will fundamentally change the price of gas in the Marcellus/Utica region–and ultimately lead to more drilling. How so? As part of an article on the Seeking Alpha investor’s website, author and investor Callum Turcan wrote about “Why Appalachia Matters” in which he details that three pipeline projects already getting built will provide an extra 6.45 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of capacity to flow our natural gas out of this region to other regions. Some of that capacity is already happening, with a partial startup of Rover Pipeline. When Rover is completed in early 2018, it will flow 3.25 Bcf/d of natural gas out of our region. Massive! In addition, Atlantic Sunrise is now under construction and when it is completed by the middle of 2018, it will flow 1.7 Bcf/d of gas out of the area. Finally, Leach XPress is due to be done by the end of THIS YEAR, and when it is, it will flow an extra 1.5 Bcf/d of gas out of the area. What will be the response? It’s pretty easy to predict that (a) prices for our gas will go up, and when prices go up, (b) drillers will complete wells already drilled but not yet completed (DUCs), and then (c) begin to drill more new wells. Those three pipelines aren’t the only ones that will get built…

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