WPX Energy, a company formed in January 2011 by Williams (created by spinning off the Williams exploration and production division) released their third quarter financial and operational update last week. The report losing $64 million in 3Q12. Most of WPX’s operations and focus has been in plays other than the Marcellus, including a big focus on the Bakken Shale, where they drill for oil, and the Piceance Basin in northwestern Colorado where they drill for wet natural gas.
In comparison, the Marcellus (where they drill for dry natural gas) is much smaller. However, the Marcellus was the only natural gas play in which WPX has production where the numbers went up in 3Q12. Production in the Piceance, Powder River Basin and San Juan Basin all went down between 7% and 16%. The Marcellus? Up an astonishing 333% from 3Q11 (although the overall numbers are still pretty small, see below). WPX reports they have drilled and completed 28 wells in the Marcellus so far in 2012—all of them in Susquehanna County, PA. They have two rigs operating in the Marcellus.
The Town of Onondaga, a bedroom community for Syracuse, NY, voted on Monday night to extend the fracking moratorium they previously enacted. The vote continues the moratorium for another month until board members meet again Dec. 3 and will presumably vote at that meeting to either further extend the moratorium or let it die.
In an unusual reversal, the New York Times tells the story of how some areas in New York City stayed online—lights burning and warm heat blowing—in the midst of power failures all around the city from Hurricane/Storm Sandy. How did these little islands of energy do it? You guessed it: because they were burning natural gas—using it for both heat and to generate their own electricity.
Of course the “article” was posted in the opinion section of the NYT site (they can’t be seen running a positive story about natgas in the news section, ya know). Still, it’s a startling turnabout for the bash-natgas newspaper of record. The article starts this way:
Good news: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Transco’s Northeast Supply Link project Friday afternoon. The Sierra Club and other anti-drillers opposed the northern New Jersey pipeline expansion project that will bring more Marcellus Shale gas to the metro NYC market—but cooler FERC heads have prevailed.
Here’s how the news was reported by an anti-drilling local New Jersey newspaper:
Crestwood Midstream Partners, a pipeline and processing plant company with operations across the U.S, including in the Marcellus, released their third quarter financial and operational update today. Unlike drillers, midstream companies are faring a bit better in this low natgas price climate. Crestwood’s 3Q12 financials show the company’s net profit rose 10% from 3Q11 and was up 12% from 2Q12.
The company owns 35% of Crestwood Marcellus Midstream (CMM). The volume of gas flowing through CMM’s pipelines increased by 32 million cubic feet per day from the second quarter of this year. Crestwood took over pipeline operations in the Marcellus from Antero Resources in April of this year.
A private firm representing landowners with 95,000 acres in southeastern Ohio issued a press release yesterday essentially saying, “Hey, we’re still here, and we still have 95,000 acres to lease to some lucky driller.” The land is located in Washington, Athens, Meigs, Muskingum, and Perry counties in southeastern Ohio.
MDN is not in the habit of running this kind of “news,” but we are today because a) it helps the landowners, and b) it’s more or less a large landowner group—even though it’s a for-profit venture. And so, without further ado: