A Novel Approach to Deliver Cheap Marcellus Shale Gas to Philly

novel approachProblem: How can Philadelphia benefit from cheap, abundant Marcellus Shale natural gas being produced in such large quantities in Pennsylvania that the state can’t use it all and is now a net exporter? Yes, as Drexel president John Fry said at Shale Insight last week, Philly can provide education and research to assist the shale revolution (see Shale Insight 2013: Final Wrap-Up, The Big Surprise). But aside from education and research, how can Philly realize the tangible benefits of low-cost shale gas? Answer: Install a big, fat pipeline into Philly to deliver cheap Marcellus Shale gas to residents and businesses that can use it.

New Problem: Where do you run a new pipeline in a densely populated city like Philly? New Answer: Under the Delaware River (?!?!)…
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WV Landowner Tries to Stop Shale Drilling with New Water Wells

Here’s a novel approach by a landowner to try and stop drilling on land already leased. A landowner in Doddridge County, WV didn’t like how he was being treated by driller EQT, so he drilled several water wells close to where EQT planned to drill Marcellus Shale gas wells on his property. In WV, you can’t drill within 250 feet of a water well–so the water wells effectively shut down drilling on his property.

Except… EQT is now suing the landowner for bad faith and intentionally trying to obstruct a signed contract. Based on the facts in the case, we expect EQT will prevail. Drilling the water wells was “cheating” to prevent drilling and ultimately to get out of the lease. Creative, perhaps–but misguided…
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Antero Resources Offers 30M Shares of Stock in IPO

Antero Resources is a major privately-owned driller operating in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays. Antero is aggressively pursuing both plays as well as aggressively pursuing the money they’ll need to drill in them. In early September, Antero secured a $250 million line of credit for drilling (see Antero Resources Gets Extra $250 Million Credit Line). Just two weeks ago Antero announced they were investing an extra $500 million in Marcellus/Utica drilling–this year (see Antero Ups 2013 Budget Extra $500M for Marcellus/Utica Drilling). In August, Antero announced they’re building a $525 million water pipeline from the Ohio River to their well sites (see More on that Half Billion Dollar Antero Water Pipeline in WV).

The nosebleed rate of Antero’s spending almost leaves one out of breath! So where will the company get the money to do it all? A $250M LOC won’t do the trick by itself. We know, we know! Go public. And so they are. Antero announced this morning they will offer 30 million shares they hope will raise in the neighborhood of $1.4 billion for the company. Just one word of advice to Antero: watch out for corporate raiders like Carl Icahn…
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OH Antis Force Change in Chemical Reporting, Everyone Less Safe

Ohio’s anti-drillers, in their zeal to needle the drilling industry, have just put everyone who lives near active drill sites at more risk than they once were. Following state law, drillers (until now) have filed a list of the chemicals they store and use for fracking with the Ohio Department of Environmental Resources (ODNR). Local first responders–police and firefighters–could then electronically retrieve that information from the ODNR website for any given well if an incident occurred, like a fire. But anti-drillers asked the federal government to intervene and that has now happened. The feds have said drillers must file paperwork listing the chemicals stored and used directly with local counties and municipalities.

Now, firefighters will have to haul out a paper file from some filing cabinet and rifle through it if there’s any kind of emergency–instead of using the much faster online version from ODNR. Congratulations Ohio anti-drillers! You’ve just made everyone in Ohio more unsafe…
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Mt Pleasant Tells Range Resources “No Deal” on Water Impoundments

An update of the ongoing kerfuffle between Range Resources and their four water impoundments (i.e. ponds) and Mt. Pleasant Township officials in Washington County, PA (for background, see Range Water Impoundment Public Hearing Postponed 2nd Time). Mt. Pleasant recently served Range with zoning violation notices for the four impoundments–they want them all closed. Range recently proposed a compromise that would allow them to keep three of the four impoundments open.

The town board of supervisors met and discussed Range’s proposal during a rare Saturday session–and said “no thanks” to the proposal…
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Spectra’s TEAM 2014 Pipeline Loops Coming to Berks County, PA

Spectra Energy is in the midst of a multi-year $500 million project to expand its Texas Eastern pipeline in the northeast to boost capacity to bring Marcellus and Utica Shale gas to markets in the northeast, Midwest and south. The project, called the Texas Eastern Appalachia to Market Expansion 2014 (or “TEAM 2014”) involves upgrading existing compressor plants and building new “loops” of pipeline next to existing pipeline in southeastern Pennsylvania.

One of the counties where Spectra plans to build new looping pipeline is Berks County, where residents have until mid-October to make comments on (and support!) Spectra’s proposed TEAM 2014 plans…
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MarkWest Says NGL Pipeline in Wetzel County Repaired by Mid-Oct

In August, a landslide in Wetzel County, WV hit a MarkWest natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline that connects MarkWest Energy’s Mobley and Majorsville processing plants. The landslide caused the NGL pipeline to rupture, spilling NGLs onto the ground and into a local creek (see MarkWest Continues Cleanup at NGL Pipeline Spill in WV).

Last Friday, MarkWest provided the following update (below) which says they are working diligently to get the pipeline repaired and the Mobley facility operating again (which remains closed until the pipeline is working). Their current estimate for when the pipeline and Mobley will be back online? Mid-October…
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Handful of Medina, OH Anti-Drillers Oppose Ethane Pipeline

A handful of residents in Medina, OH are opposing an update to a pumping station that sits on the Mariner West pipeline. Sunoco Logistics owns and operates the pipeline which they are converting to handle ethane, a natural gas liquid. The plan is to pipe ethane from the Marcellus and Utica Shale region all the way to Sarnia (Ontario), Canada to an ethane cracker plant located there.

Local anti-drillers in Medina don’t like fracking (even though it’s perfectly safe) so they’ve decided to focus on stopping the pipeline as a deterrent to more fracking…
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PA DEP’s O&G Division Gets High Marks from Independent Review

An independent, third-party peer review organization–State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations, Inc.–has given the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Office of Oil and Gas Management a very close examination. What did they find? They found it to be “proficient” and “ready to address the increase in oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania.” The review gave the DEP high marks for the actions they’ve taken (and new regulations instituted) over the past two years under Gov. Tom Corbett.

DEP Acting Sec. Chris Abruzzo said this independent review proves that PA’s world class shale drilling is matched by world class oil and gas management and regulations…
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Utica Shale Transfer Facility Gets Road Upgrade

In February, MDN brought you the news that the Columbiana County Port Authority would spend nearly $1 million to improve a stretch of road leading to the Wellsville industrial park where Arrowhead Utica Pipelines, a Hilcorp subsidiary, is building a shale gas transfer facility (see Hilcorp Subsidiary Leases Property for Utica Transfer Facility). Looks like it won’t take anywhere near that much money to get the project done.

Last Friday the Port Authority voted to accept a bid and move forward to have the work done–at a cost of $526,000…
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U.S. Chamber’s Chris Guith Talks About Ohio Utica Shale

Chris Guith is vice president for policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. He’s also very familiar with the development of Ohio’s Utica Shale play. In a recent interview, Guith had some interesting comments on Ohio’s prospects for oil, NGL pipelines, industry jobs, regulations and more…
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