One of the companies that has been sniffing around the concept of building an ethane cracker plant in the Marcellus/Utica region is Aither Chemicals. MDN wrote about Aither’s interest in building a cracker plant in West Virginia back in January (see this MDN story). Aither retained a Pittsburgh investment firm to help them secure funding for the project.
It appears Aither has found a couple of partners and will make an announcement on Wednesday about their plan to build an ethane cracker plant in Institute Industrial Park, located near Charleston, WV. One of the partners is the current owner of the site: Bayer CropScience. The other partner is pipeline giant MarkWest Energy.
Williams announced yesterday that it will buy Caiman Energy subsidiary Caiman Eastern Midstream for $2.5 billion. Caiman Midstream has a major presence in the wet gas area of the Marcellus and Utica Shale play. The acquisition will give Williams a major pipeline gathering network in northern West Virginia, southwestern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, along with two processing facilities and a fractionator. Williams says by 2020 the Caiman system will be gathering more than 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas along with 300,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids and condensate.
In addition to the acquisition, the Caiman Energy parent company will partner with Williams in a new joint venture to further develop new midstream infrastructure in the Utica Shale. From the Williams press release:
A helpful article in The Marietta Times helps Ohio landowners better understand the complicated issue of old mineral leases signed decades ago that may still be in force. Before landowners can sign a new lease, the old claims must be officially removed.
The article advises landowners to get a lawyer’s assistance. Leases are often reassigned to new companies–some leases have been reassigned more than a dozen times. In order to get a release, you must first track down the current company that holds the lease, and then get them to sign off.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sent a letter last Friday to WPX Energy (spin-off from Williams) asking them to help three families who live near shale wells being drilled by WPX in Franklin Township (Susquehanna County, PA). The families’ water wells contain high levels of methane.