Williams Building Alabama Pipeline with Marcellus Connection

On Friday Williams announced it will begin construction in May on the Hillabee Expansion Project, a new pipeline spur built off the huge Transco pipeline system. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the project in February. The Hillabee Expansion Project is designed to expand the existing Transco pipeline’s capacity in Alabama beginning in May 2017, supplying gas to the proposed Sabal Trail pipeline. The Hillabee Expansion is designed to be constructed in three phases, adding a total of approximately 1,131,000 dekatherms per day (dt/d) of pipeline capacity to the Transco system by May 2021–enough natural gas to meet the needs of over 4 million American homes annually. So what does a new pipeline being built in Alabama have to do with the Marcellus/Utica? Quite a lot, as it turns out…
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Marcellus/Utica Gas Increasingly Heads to Canada via Pipeline

In a low-price environment for natural gas, like the one we are in now, it’s every man (and woman) for himself. Marcellus/Utica drillers are scrambling to get their production to markets that pay enough to stay in business. While we still don’t have our own LNG export facility in the northeast, Cove Point, Maryland is under construction. But it won’t be ready for several more years. In the meantime, how can our drillers get product to international markets? One international market is obvious: Canada. It used to be that Canada sent natural gas to the U.S. It still does, but increasingly the flows are reversing and the U.S., especially in the Marcellus/Utica region, is sending natural gas to Canada. How? Using pipelines. Some of the pipelines are being built new. Some already exist and are getting reversed…
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PDC Energy Gets More than Asked For in New Stock Offering

Last week MDN told you that PDC Energy, a driller with operations in Ohio’s Utica Shale, floated another 5+ million shares of company stock looking to raise ~$263 million (see PDC Energy Offers 5.15M Shares of New Stock, Wants to Get $263M). In what is perhaps a good sign that investors haven’t abandoned drillers, PDC actually got $296.8 million, floating nearly 6 million shares. Seems there are still investors willing to back nasty, evil, vile fossil fuel companies. Who knew?…
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PA RINO Rep. Kate Harper Trots Out Severance Tax, Again

What is it about elected “Republicans” in the Philadelphia orbit? Seems to us most of them are Republicans in Name Only (RINOs). One such elected RINO, PA House of Representatives member Kate Harper, R-61, is once again floating a severance tax plan. Her 3.5% tax plan sounds better (on the surface) than Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf’s 6.5% plan–except she also wants to keep the impact fee and not allow that fee to be deducted from the 3.5% tax she wants to raise for the teachers’ unions. At least Wolf allows impact fees to be deducted from his plan. The point is, Harper is completely bonkers. Out of her mind. Read today’s companion story about rig counts and how PA has been decimated. And she wants to slap a tax on production?…
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Calendar of Events for Mar 14 – Jun 13 (90 Days)

Below are upcoming events for the next three months (90 days). To see the full list of future events, visit this page: http://marcellusdrilling.com/calendar/.

NOTE: To have an item included, please email it to: [email protected].
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Mar 14, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Southwestern Energy expecting massive writedowns; PA rig count goes up by 3 last week; lessons learned from Dimock trial; legal implications of Dimock case; PA issuing “administrative concern” violations; inside the PA pipeline task force; NGL prices recovering faster than oil prices; Hillary’s fracking blunder; NASA study refutes EPA statement on methane emissions; and more!
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Dimock Jury Levies $4.25M Judgement Against Cabot in Dimock Case

sad-face.jpgHere’s what just happened. A family in Dimock, PA admits, under oath on the witness stand, that their water had too much methane in it BEFORE Cabot Oil & Gas began to drill nearby. The same family, the Elys, later built a 22-room, $1 million mansion on the same property AFTER they admit there was trouble with the water. And a jury decides to find Cabot at fault–and award that family $2.75 million. The other family got $1.49 million. That’s called brain-dead. A total miscarriage of justice–stupidity on the same level as the OJ Simpson jury. The AP has written a story trumpeting the verdict, and every liberal backwater newspaper across the continent is now carrying it. It makes no difference that Cabot has asked the judge to set aside the verdict–a very real possibility. It makes no difference that Cabot will appeal the verdict if the judge doesn’t set it aside (there was no evidence in the case!)–and will likely win such an appeal. The damage is now done in the court of public opinion. No-nothings will read the headline and say, “Yep, Josh Fox had it right in Gasland. That nasty gas driller polluted those poor people’s wells in Dimock. Jury said so.” Case closed. This is a dark day in our fight against fossil fuel haters and climate change radicals. They will regurgitate this verdict from now until long after we’re all dead…
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Cabot Says Constitution Pipeline Delayed Yet Another Year – Thx NY

In what appears to us to be a “might as well get all of the bad news out in one day” strategy, Cabot Oil & Gas announced yesterday (after losing a case related to water contamination in Dimock, PA) what everyone already knows: The Constitution Pipeline is delayed for yet another year. The Constitution is illegally being held up by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The pipeline, approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2014, will run from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY where it will connect with two interstate gas pipelines. You can only clear trees until the end of March because threatened and endangered bats (don’t ask). New York has managed to delay the pipeline for another entire season. Instead of being ready later this year, the pipeline is now delayed until the second half of next year. Here’s what we want to know: When will Williams (building the pipeline) and Cabot, the major backer and beneficiary of the pipeline, sue New York in federal court to force the issue? When will they realize that Cuomo is NEVER going to approve it–that they will have to force the state to allow it? It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. New York is run by a dictator…
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TransCanada Makes Play to Buy Columbia Pipeline for $10B

It was only in mid-2015 that Columbia Pipeline Group broke away from parent NiSource to become it’s own company (see NiSource/Columbia Pipeline Divorce is Final). And lookie here… TransCanada, the company that Obama screwed out of building the Keystone XL Pipeline, is in serious talks to buy out/merge with Columbia. The deal being rumored is on the order of $10 billion. TransCanada confirms they’re talking with someone, but won’t specifically name Columbia. But everyone knows its Columbia. Such a combination would create a powerhouse midstream company in North America…
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Canadian Prime Minister Joins Obama’s War on Natural Gas

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Yesterday, looking like a pimply teenager engaged in hero worship, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined President Obama in Washington, D.C. to declare he’s willing to strangle the Canadian economy as much as Obama is willing to strangle our own economy. The DC confab was to announce new rules in Canada and here at home by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that supposedly will cut down on fugitive methane leaking from oil and gas wells. The EPA, under the clueless and arrogant Gina McCarthy, will soon release new regulations (unlegislated laws) that require drillers and others in the industry to jump through new hoops to prove they’re capturing every last molecule of methane, i.e. natural gas–and not letting any escape into the atmosphere where they claim it contributes to man-made global warming. Which is simply a ruse. They know global warming doesn’t exist. This is a political ploy to grab more control over the governed, all in the name of saving them. God save us from politicians who want to save us! Below is the news of this latest bit of Kabuki theater, with reaction from radical environmentalists and from the drilling industry…
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Pretty in Pink? Warren Resources Put on Notice for Stock Delisting

As MDN pointed out last month, Warren Resources is on the cusp of bankruptcy (see Warren Resources: Potential Bankruptcy, No Drilling in 2016). They are a small driller (drilled two Marcellus wells last year), and they’re trying their hardest–but it’s tough out there. Add one more problem to the pile for Warren. The company’s stock is currently traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange. NASDAQ has let Warren know that unless the company can get the stock price above $1 for ten consecutive days by June 20th, they will be delisted. Meaning they become a penny stock traded on what is known as the pink sheets. The last time the stock was $1 or above was May 2015. We hope they like the color pink…
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Sunoco LP Takes a Bow for Mariner East 1, Looks Ahead to ME2

Sunoco Logistics Partners issued an update yesterday to discuss the success they’re having with the Mariner East 1 pipeline–and to talk about what’s coming for the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Mariner East 1 began carrying propane in December 2014. Ethane shipments went online just last month, and the very first shipload of exported ethane left port two days ago (see Bon Voyage! First Ethane Export Ship Leaves Marcus Hook in Philly). The Mariner East 2 pipeline is on track to be completed by mid-2017, which will bring online another 275,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids shipping capacity from western PA and eastern OH. What’s funny is that Sunoco got a bunch of politicians to say nice things about the Mariner East project. Why is that funny? Because two of them–PA Gov. Tom Wolf and US Senator Robert Casey (both Democrats)–hate pipelines and hate fossil fuels! But they said nice things about Sunoco and Mariner East likely as a future chit to raise money from Sunoco for their campaigns. Hypocrites…
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PA Auditor General Commits to Half-an-Audit of Shale Impact Fee $

Coming soon to a Pennsylvania township near you: the jackbooted thugs from the office of the PA Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale. You may recall that since he assumed office, DePasquale has had a chip on his shoulder when it comes to the Marcellus Shale (see Newly Elected PA Auditor General Targets DEP First Day on Job). He put together a sham report on the DEP, calling attention to “problems” fixed years earlier, before he assumed office (see DEP to DePasquale: Problems Fixed Years Ago, Where Have You Been?). He couldn’t discredit the Marcellus industry via the DEP, so recently he started on a new track–the millions of dollars raised in a severance tax-like fee called the impact fee (see PA Auditor General to Investigate “Lost” $30M Marcellus Impact Fee). On Thursday DePasquale announced he will conduct a thorough anal exam, er, a, audit of all Act 13 impact fee money distributed to towns and municipalities. Just to be sure they aren’t blowing it on trips and new cars, but actually spending it as intended under the law. Ah, Mr. Auditor General sir? Some 60% of the impact fee revenue raised goes to local towns and municipalities where drilling occurs. The other 40% goes into the black hole of politicians’ sticky fingers in Harrisburg. Are you also going to audit the 40% that stays in Harrisburg and gets redistributed as political favors? If he doesn’t also audit the 40%, we’d call his audit “half-an-audit”…
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Gastar 2015: Paper Loss of $429M; Ending Preferred Dividends

As MDN previously reported, Gastar Exploration is throwing in the towel in the Marcellus/Utica (see Gastar Leaving Marcellus/Utica, Sells Assets to Tug Hill for $80M). Gastar is selling its Marcellus/Utica assets–mainly located in Marshall and Wetzel counties in West Virginia–to Tug Hill for $80 million. Before they go into the long, dark night, Gastar has just filed its fourth quarter and full year 2015 operating and financial update. During 2015 Gastar lost $429 million–but virtually all of it was a paper loss of writing down assets (not out of pocket money loss). Gastar also announced yesterday that after this month, the company will no longer pay dividends on its preferred stock. Here’s the updates from yesterday…
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Dela. Riverkeeper Sues FERC Again – Over Leidy Pipeline Expansion

It’s another week, so it must be time for another lawsuit from THE Delaware Riverkeeper against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Literally. Last week THE Delaware Riverkeeper, aka Maya van Rossum, filed a lawsuit against FERC to try and shut the agency down (see THE Delaware Riverkeeper Sues FERC, Tries to Close it Down). Not trusting their frivolous lawsuit will actually go anywhere, this week Riverkeeper filed another lawsuit (in a string of many)–this one aimed at making FERC reverse a decision to allow an expansion of Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co.’s (Transco’s) Leidy Southeast pipeline. A year ago Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit against the same project in an attempt to stop tree clearing–a tactic that ultimately failed (see Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Bid to Stop Transco Expansion in PA). When will a judge slap Riverkeeper with a fine for its continued practice of filing frivolous lawsuits? Here’s the latest…
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Trailer Park Company Credits Marcellus/Utica for Record Profits

A company we’ve written about for the past few years is UMH Properties–a real estate company that keeps snapping up trailer parks in the Marcellus/Utica region (see our UMH Properties stories here). UMH is a public company with shares of stock. Therefore, it files quarterly and annual reports, and hosts analyst conference calls. MDN picked through the latest from UMH to find some interesting quotes. In essence, UMH still loves the Marcellus/Utica and will continue to look for new acquisitions in our neck of the woods. The company made $14 million last year (in the black). So you see, not everyone in the Marcellus/Utica is going through tough times. Here’s a few select quotes from the annual report and from the UMH earnings phone call with analysts…
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