WSJ Says PA Cracker Plant May Not Happen After All

yes no maybeIt seems like MDN has been writing about Shell’s proposed $2 billion ethane cracker plant for like, ever. You can scour our archive of stories mentioning the Shell cracker plant. We’ve chronicled the ups and downs. Where is this important project at right now?

According to the Wall Street Journal, the prospects that Shell will build an ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania have now “faded”…
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Water Cooler Talk: CONSOL Energy Splitting?

Is CONSOL Energy/CNX Gas getting ready to split? As in, spin-off the company into two pieces, one for its traditional coal business (CONSOL’s coal business has been around since the Civil War), and one for natural gas drilling? Apparently that’s the speculation “going around”–at least among energy industry analysts who seem to have ADHD when it comes to predicting mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and now–it seems–spin-offs.

An interesting (and balanced) article appears on yesterday’s Seeking Alpha investor’s website talking about the prospects of a CONSOL spin-off…
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Looking for a Job in the Marcellus? Think WV

If you’re looking for a job in the natural gas industry, you may want to consider…West Virginia. According to a new report from the Workforce West Virginia Investment Council, employment in the oil  and gas industry in WV jumped a dramatic 20% last year. Not only that, but the average wage of the average o&g worker in WV jumped $5,500 in just one year–to $75,580.

Perhaps a jump in o&g workers in WV is not all that surprising, but what may surprise you is that employment in the o&g pipeline sector doubled last year from around 2,000 to around 4,000–up more than 100%! Yes, WV is a happenin’ place when it comes to shale drilling…
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Buckeye Brine Adds Second Injection Well, Business Expands Rapidly

Buckeye Brine is a relatively new Ohio company that has so far built one brine injection well in Coshocton County, OH and is drilling a second injection now and considering adding a frack wastewater recycling facility. Quick tutorial: After an oil or gas well is drilled and fracked, wastewater from fracking flows back out for a week or two. After that, over time (years in some cases) naturally occurring water from deep underground–not fresh water from near the surface, but water from thousands of feet down–continues to flow from some wells. That naturally occurring water contains a lot of dissolved minerals in it, making it much “saltier” than even ocean water–hence the term brine.

Buckeye injects brine back into the ground. A bit more about Buckeye’s operation to date, and what they have planned…
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PA Drillers Need to be Better Communicators

Not everyone wants their land to be drilled for natural gas–even in Susquehanna County, PA where methane has been seeping out of the ground for 150 years. We respect that. In fact, we believe property rights are sacrosanct–if you don’t want drilling, you shouldn’t be forced to allow it. And conversely, those who want to lease their land and see drilling should be allowed to do so. Their neighbors should not be able to force them to abandon their rights either. Works both ways.

A story from Susquehanna County illustrates the tension landowners sometimes face in a decision about whether or not to lease. It also illustrates the sometimes confusing process that surrounds drilling a new gas well. One couple, not yet leased, learned (by accident) of a permit to drill a well on their neighbor’s property by Talisman Energy. There was nothing underhanded or wrong about Talisman’s application for a permit. However, this case points out the sometimes disjointed process landowners face in PA when it comes to leasing and drilling, and how drillers need to go the extra mile in communicating with them…
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Philly Conference: Dramatic Ramp-up & Challenges in PA Midstream

A conference in Philadelphia yesterday, hosted by the law firm Blank Rome and by engineering firm Hull and Associates, focused on the importance of the midstream–pipelines and processing plants. And for good reason–there’s an incredible amount of money being spent in the midstream sector. Here’s what grabbed our attention about the conference: One of the speakers quoted numbers from Oil and Gas Journal that say spending on pipelines across the U.S. was $8.6 billion last year, in 2012–but this year, that number is zooming to $38 billion!

We will add our own number to that mentioned at yesterday’s conference. MDN has just published Volume 2 of the Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook. In our new volume we compiled a comprehensive list of 111 midstream and infrastructure projects that either already are being built or have been announced. MDN found that from 2013 and spanning the next 10-15 years, announced midstream projects in the Marcellus/Utica region will top $40 billion of investment! That’s investment in just the Marcellus/Utica…
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EQT Midstream 3Q13: Income Up 67%, Pipeline Upgrades

EQT Midstream, the pipeline and processing plant subsidiary of Marcellus/Utica driller EQT Corporation, released their third quarter financial and operations update today. The midstream company reports income was up a very healthy 67% over the same quarter last year.

Here’s the operational update portion of today’s update, which includes details about pipeline maintenance and expansion:
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EQT Corp 3Q13: Marcellus Production Up 74%

Marcellus and Utica Shale driller EQT Corporation issued their third quarter financial and operations update today, and wow, what an update! The company reports 3Q13 revenue was up 177% over 3Q12. Also of note: Marcellus production has hit 787 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d), which is up 74% from last year. Production from all of EQT’s drilling is now producing an average 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Production is up. Revenue is up. Midstream is up. Everything appears to be looking up for EQT…
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PVR Partners 3Q13: Earnings & Flow Rates Way Up

Seems there is no end of good news for midstream companies operating in the Marcellus/Utica region. Midstreamer PVR Partners released their 3Q13 financial and operations update today–’tis the season for quarterly reports. Among PVR’s highlights: Earnings are up a very healthy 31% for 3Q13 vs. 3Q12; they’re pumping an average 1.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas now vs. 1 Bcf/d a year ago; and PVR’s northeastern midstream segment is humming along.

No wonder Regency Energy announced two weeks ago they’re buying PVR Partners (see Marcellus/Utica Midstreamer PVR Bought by Regency Energy for $5.6B). Here is the penultimate quarterly report issued by PVR:
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