Unscheduled Day Off Today, Friday Sept. 13

MDN is not able to post today–please accept our apologies. A friend of the family suddenly and unexpectedly died earlier this week and the funeral is this morning. We pride ourselves on publishing each weekday with very few days off. This is a rare exception. We will be back Monday with all the latest news. In the meantime, we’ve published the latest version of our Calendar of Events of interest.

Report: Marcellus/Utica Contains 41% of ‘Potential’ NatGas in US

The Potential Gas Committee (PGC), a private non-profit organization loosely affiliated with the Colorado School of Mines, performs a comprehensive study of potential supplies of natural gas in the United States every two years. The latest biennial study has just been published and finds natural gas supplies in the “Atlantic” area, which includes the Marcellus/Utica (is primarily the M-U), once again leads the country–now with the highest supplies ever.
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Worst Fears May Come True with PennEast Pipeline Court Decision

Yesterday MDN brought you news of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruling that disallows PennEast Pipeline from using the delegated power of eminent domain to cross properties either owned by, or with easements granted to, the state of New Jersey (see Federal Court Rules PennEast Pipe Can’t Run Thru NJ State Land). We expressed a grave fear that this ruling, which sets a precedent, may result in new pipeline projects in lefty states (like NY, NJ, MD, CA, etc.) getting blocked. Turns out we’re not the only ones who believe that may happen.
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Dominion Confident Courts Will Restart Atlantic Coast Pipe

What’s the status of Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), a 600+ mile pipeline that will run from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina? Only 35 miles of pipeline is currently built, and all construction, at the moment, is blocked by the U.S. Fourth District Court of Appeals. Almost all of the workers for the project (thousands of them) have been laid off. Big Green groups with deep pockets have harassed the project from the beginning by filing lawsuits, blocking construction. Yet Dominion Energy, the primary partner and builder of ACP, remains “confident” the pipeline will, eventually, get built. When?
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Ohio Issues New Form Landmen Must have Landowners Sign & Return

You may recall news from last year that an Ohio Supreme Court ruling requires landmen to have a real estate license in order to get paid–IF they are compensated via a commission and/or royalties for the deals they broker (see OH Supreme Court Rules Independent Landmen Need Real Estate License). However, IF a landman is paid a “day rate,” (flat rate by the day) or if the landman is an employee of the drilling company–someone whose compensation is not directly tied to the number and value of deals–that landman does not need a real estate license. But they do need landowners to fill out a new form and sign it in six places.
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LNG Export Facility Review Part 1: Elba, Freeport and Cameron

Any LNG (liquefied natural gas) export facility built or planned along the Eastern seaboard or Gulf Coast is critically important for the Marcellus/Utica. Why? Because they are BIG users of natural gas, big important (new) markets for our gas. Yes, M-U gas flows all the way to the Gulf Coast, to both Louisiana and Texas. Our friends at RBN Energy recently published the first in a short series providing an update on where U.S. LNG export demand and new projects stand. First up is a close look at LNG facilities at Elba Island (Georgia), Freeport (Texas) and Cameron (Louisiana).
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PA House Committee to Consider 2 Bills to Fix Sloooow DEP Permits

Two of the eight Pennsylvania House bills that are part of an initiative called Energize PA will be considered and debated before the PA House State Government Committee on September 17. Both bills, House Bill (HB) 1106 and 1107, are aimed at streamlining and speeding up the permitting process at the semi-dysfunctional Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). Enviro-leftists are screaming–they don’t want the dysfunction to stop. Having shale permits issued more quickly is not in their game plan.
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Why NY is Doomed without Constitution, Other NatGas Pipelines

We recently spotted a column on the Forbes website by one of our favorite authors, Jude Clemente, under the title that “Gov. Cuomo Should Support The Constitution Natural Gas Pipeline.” Well, of course he should! We’ve argued that for years. In digging into the article, we found Clemente uses facts and figures to build his case for *why* Cuomo should support it–indeed, why it would be stark…raving…mad not to support it. For example, did you know that natural gas is the main source of energy in NY–double that of gasoline? Who knew?!
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Sep 12, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Pennsylvania orders Sunoco to cover exposed pipelines; CCAC is offering free training for workers in PA’s future plastics economy; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Minnesota oil pipeline fight highlights Democratic dilemmas; Natural gas-fueled electricity is replacing coal, oil in Florida; Veolia wins $2M tax refund at Mass. high court; NATIONAL: IHS Markit sees Henry Hub averaging under $2 in 2020, sharply below EIA, independent consensus; U.S. oil and gas jobs fall as shale boom cools; Natural gas vehicle stakeholders meet with Sen. Ted Cruz; More natural gas is needed as low power prices dent solar.
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EQT “Streamlines” 196 Employees Right Out the Door

Ever wonder how it feels to be “streamlined” (laid off, fired) to help the company’s “bottom line”? We can assure you, it feels lousy. It feels like the end of the world has just happened. The future is now uncertain. Will you have to sell the house? Pull the kids out of school? File for food stamps (something you’ve never had to do)? Those are some of the thoughts that are swirling through the heads of 196 soon-to-be former employees of EQT after the latest round of “streamlining” and “workforce reductions.”
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Federal Court Rules PennEast Pipe Can’t Run Thru NJ State Land

Well, score a victory for the forces of evil. Sometimes Darth Vader wins–that’s life. Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that PennEast Pipeline cannot use the power of eminent domain to “condemn” (take possession of) land that is owned or otherwise controlled by the State of New Jersey because it violates the Eleventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. According to the judges, the Eleventh Amendment says states have sovereign immunity from such actions.
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Italy’s Snam Wants to Buy and Operate Rover Pipeline

In July rumors circulated that Energy Transfer is looking to sell its 33% ownership stake in Rover Pipeline, a project they worked so hard to build (see Energy Transfer Considers Sale of Rover Pipeline for $2.5B). Tongues are wagging once again. The rumor now is that Snam, an Italian natural gas infrastructure company, is interested in buying Rover and is, even as you read this, conducting due diligence to make it happen.
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Orion Drilling Sued EQT for Canceling 2 Rigs, EQT Won

EQT contracted two drilling rigs from Orion Drilling in 2014 that later, in 2015 and 2016, experienced trouble–like a 50,000-pound drilling block slamming to the ground kind of trouble. EQT canceled the contract and would no longer use the two rigs. Orion sued claiming breach of contract. A jury decided EQT was in the right by canceling the contract. Orion asked a judge to overturn the jury decision and order a new trial. Yesterday the judge refused, meaning the jury decision stands and Orion now owes EQT $2.8 million to cover EQT’s attorneys’ fees and costs. Ouch, that didn’t go as planned.
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Major Investor Lectures Gulfport Energy to Cut 2020 Budget by 29%

Shah Capital, which owns three million shares (about 1.9%) of Gulfport Energy stock, last week sent an open letter to the Gulfport board strongly recommending the company trim next year’s budget by 29% (maybe more) in an effort to generate more cash for investors. Gulfport Energy, one of the biggest drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale (210,000 acres), concentrates its drilling in the Ohio Utica and the Oklahoma SCOOP plays.
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Broader (Serious) Implications from NEXUS Pipe Court Ruling?

On Monday MDN told you that radical anti-fossil fuelers and the City of Oberlin, OH won a minor victory of sorts against the long-completed NEXUS Pipeline project (see DC Circuit Court/Antis Continue to Hassle Long-Done NEXUS Pipe). We’d like to further unpack that decision and possible (serious) implications it may have for other pipeline projects. Let’s dig deeper.
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