MDN’s 2013 Databook Vol 2 Finds Staggering $40B in NE Midstream Projects

MDN Databook 3 VolumesMarcellus Drilling News collaborates with the excellent ShaleNavigator service to publish a series of research reports called the Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook. MDN editor Jim Willis is super excited to announce that Volume 2 for the 2013 Databook series has just been released–and it is without question our best-ever. Among the pearls in this newest edition: Jim researched and developed a comprehensive list of 111 Marcellus/Utica Shale midstream and infrastructure projects which identifies the company building the project, a description of the project and its location, the amount of investment expected in the project and the target in-service date. Most of the midstream projects are pipeline and processing plants–no surprise there. What may surprise you is that when all of the projects are totaled, the number is a staggering $40 billion of investment coming to the northeastern U.S. in the coming years. The average project comes in at $364 million.

In addition to a comprehensive list of midstream projects, we also include (standard in each volume) maps for each county with active drilling/permitting activity in PA, OH and WV. Each map shows the location of wells with permits along with the driller’s name. In addition, Vol. 2 of the Databook contains charts showing how many permits have been issued by both driller and county from 2012 to 2013–showing the progression over the past two years. These charts are an important tool that can be used to identify the drillers and geographies where drilling is heating up, cooling down, or staying steady. It is a Databook first and the Databook is the only place where you’ll find it.

Here’s the press release we released today announcing this latest (we believe our best yet) Databook, Volume 2:
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60 Chesapeake OH Employees Getting Fired Just in Time for Xmas

Chesapeake Energy employees are still reeling from the announcement earlier this month that the company is firing an additional 800 employees company wide (see The Great Chesapeake Massacre: Lawler Fires 800 People in One Day). MDN speculates that Chessy may be for sale (see Chesapeake Energy Up for Sale? Maybe).

At the time of the mass(acre) firings we noted there were no firm numbers issued by Chesapeake as to how many of those lost jobs would be in the Marcellus/Utica region. We now have a bit more clarity on that. Chesapeake has filed paperwork with the federal government saying they will soon fire 60 people from their Uniontown, OH office–just in time for Christmas (Dec. 9)…
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577 OH Utica Shale Wells Drilled – 0 Water Wells Contaminated

My water will be polluted! Don’t frack here! It’s the end of water as we know it!! Such are the refrains from anti-drillers–all of them not true. Want proof? Ohio has now drilled 577 Utica Shale wells over the past four years. The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources’ Oil and Gas Resources Management division has investigated 183 water well contamination complaints related to drilling. Of those 183, six water wells were found to be adversely affected by drilling. But get this–none of them was from horizontal shale drilling–all six water well issues were caused by old vertical wells drilled in years gone by.

So let’s run those numbers: Of the 577 horizontal shale wells drilled so far in Ohio, there have been precisely zero nearby water wells adversely affected from that kind of drilling. Hmmm, sure paints a different picture than the doom-and-gloomer anti-drillers paint, doesn’t it?…
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Electronic Permit Filing for Marcellus Drilling Coming Soon in WV

In December 2011 a special session of the West Virginia legislature took up and passed a new Marcellus drilling bill in record time–four days flat–although in reality it took most of 2011 to prepare the legislation. The WV Senate passed the “Horizontal Well Act” 33-0 and the House passed it 92-5. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed it immediately. (For a summary of what’s in the “new” law, see WV Has New Marcellus Drilling Law in Record Time).

It’s now been nearly two years since then, time for a status report. WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) spokesman Tom Aluise says the new law is paying off. Aluise talked about a new electronic permit filing system on the way, and he identifies the top five counties in WV with Marcellus wells…
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Devon Energy & Crosstex Energy Form New Midstream Company in JV

Devon Energy (driller with midstream assets) and Crosstex Energy (midstream company) announced today they are merging their midstream operations into a new company. The new midstream company, which will have assets in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale (as well as other shale basins) will be majority owned by Devon. In fact, the biggest customer for the new joint venture will be…Devon itself. The announcement says Devon will dedicate drilling from 800,000 of its leased acres to the new (and as yet unnamed) midstream company.

The boards of directors for both Devon and Crosstex have already voted to OK the merger. Here’s the extensive announcement issued today, which contains details of the somewhat complicated corporate structure of the new company:
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Handful at Albany Anti-Fracking Rally Spout Lies About NE PA

Where two or more are gathered in the name of anti-fracking it’s a “movement” and a “rally” and worthy of media coverage by the reliably anti-fracking Albany Times Union. Such is what happened over the weekend at an Albany park where a handful of people turned up to protest against fracking.

Betty Head, an Albany-area resident and local head volunteer for the fanatically leftist moveon.org, was the main speaker. Ms. Head says she recently visited northeast Pennsylvania (Susquehanna County) and saw “dusty streets” and “vegetation [that]…looked burned and withered” because of fracking. MDN says Ms. Head’s whoppers would make even Mark Twain blush. We’ve visited Susquehanna County too (we live just across the border) and have seen no such thing–in proximity to drilling operations or not. But such is what gets picked up and amplified by lazy liberal media organizations that don’t bother to check the facts…
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OH Anti-Drillers Ask Gov. Kasich to Shut Down Injection Wells

Anti-drilling organization (and misnamed) Food & Water Watch (F&WW) is behind many attempts to slow down or halt shale drilling in Ohio (and Pennsylvania). Their latest strategy is to shut down deep injection wells which some drillers still use to dispose of leftover fracking wastewater. On Friday, a “handful” (which means less than five) protesters from F&WW hand delivered a letter to OH Gov. John Kasich’s office asking that he issue an executive order immediately shutting down all injection wells in the state (full copy embedded below).

The letter is signed by F&WW and 32 other fringe groups–mostly individuals masquerading as groups to make it seem like scads of people support this nonsense…
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Central PA Counties Cooperate on Infrastructure for More Gas Use

A new initiative in central Pennsylvania aims to make it easier for residents, businesses and drivers to take advantage of the abundant, cheap Marcellus Shale gas being produced all around them. The new initiative is being led by the SEDA Council of Governments (or SEDA-COG), a multi-county economic development agency in central PA.

The $160,000 project will identify areas where new infrastructure (pipelines, rail, filling stations, etc.) can be built to deliver natural gas for those hungry to begin using it…
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Drilling Impact: Rental Housing Soars Around Marietta/Parkersburg

One sector typically affected early in the drilling process is real estate. In some areas where drilling comes to town, sales of single family homes increase. So far there’s only been a slight uptick in home sales for the Marietta (Washington County), OH/Parkersburg (Wood County), WV area.

Apartment and house rentals, however, are a whole other matter. They’ve taken off like a rocket in the region. New hotel and motel construction is now under way as well…
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GE Report: Natural Gas Taking the Limelight in World Energy

Last week GE released a new report titled “The Age of Gas and the Power of Networks” (full copy embedded below). In the report, the brains at GE say that natural gas will soon rival coal use throughout the world, and is even starting to take some of oil’s market share away. By 2025 the report says 20% of the world’s natural gas supply will come from unconventional (i.e. shale) gas. Most that will come from the U.S. and Canada, and the majority of that will come from two shale plays: the Marcellus and the Eagle Ford. It shows the incredible importance of the Marcellus to the world’s energy supplies in the coming decades.

Other interesting factoids found in the report: 89% of natural gas is transported via pipelines, the rest by rail or truck or ship. LNG exports will play an increasingly important role as America continues to generate more natural gas that we can use here at home. And not surprisingly, the power sector (electric generation) will be the key future driver of demand for more natural gas, especially with tighter EPA regulations on coal generating plants…
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Kinder Morgan/MarkWest OH Midstream Projects Advance

In August, Kinder Morgan, MarkWest and The Energy and Minerals Group (EMG) announced a new joint venture on two projects aimed at the Marcellus/Utica Shale region. The first is a a 400 Mmcf/d cryogenic processing plant in Tuscarawas County, OH, and the second a new NGL pipeline from Ohio all the way to the Gulf Coast (see 2 New OH Projects: Cryo Processing Plant & NGL Pipeline to Gulf).

Speaking on an earnings conference call last week, Kinder Morgan CEO Richard Kinder gave a brief update on the two projects. Bottom line, the projects continue to advance, but still no mention of capital expenditure they expect to lay out. (Note: For details on these two KM/MarkWest midstream projects, along with a comprehensive list of 111 midstream infrastructure projects planned for the Marcellus/Utica, see the newly released Volume 2 of the 2013 Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook)…
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End of an Era? Sautner’s Dimock Home Leveled, Property Sold

It becomes harder and harder for mainstream media to keep the Dimock story alive. Dimock is a rural community in Susquehanna County, PA made famous by Josh Fox and his Gasland fictional movies. Without rehashing the entire story yet again, suffice it to say that nearby Marcellus drilling by Cabot Oil & Gas was said (by the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection) to have caused methane to migrate into some of the area’s water wells–especially around the Carter Road area.

The DEP ordered Cabot to install fixes on said wells and pay homeowners twice their property’s value, which they tried to do. Some of the families wouldn’t allow the fix and wouldn’t accept payment. Instead they sued, hoping for piles of money. One of those families was the Sautners…
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