PA Ethane Cracker – On Again, Off Again…Now On Again?

make up your mindMDN recently brought you rumors (evidence?) that the prospects of Shell building a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant in western Pennsylvania were seriously dimming (see Rumor Mill: PA Ethane Cracker Plant on Shell Chopping Block?). The most ominous two pieces of evidence against Shell moving forward was doubt cast by industry expert Rusty Braziel and the statements from Shell’s outgoing CEO Peter Voser who said that Shell would not be able to build all three major projects they now have on the books (one of the three being the PA cracker plant). Delays in committing to the project, negative speak from the CEO and numerous NGL and ethane pipelines coming online seem to cast doubt on Shell building the cracker.

But wait, what’s this? We have a new, happier rumor to share with you. According to a reliable source, Shell has hired Linde and Bechtel to perform front end engineering and design (FEED) work on the PA cracker plant! It seems to us if the cracker were truly dead Shell would not spend big bucks to design it (although we may be wrong on that score). Here’s the latest rumor courtesy Gas Business Briefing:
Continue reading

EIA Drilling Report Nov 2013: Marcellus Ready to Blow by 13 Bcf/d

Last month the U.S. Energy Information Administration launched a fabulous new Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) that covers six of the key shale formations producing oil and gas in the U.S. Last month we learned that the Marcellus had just blown by an astonishing 12 billion cubic feet of natural gas production per day, and if the Marcellus were its own country, it would be the eighth largest producing natgas country in the world (see New EIA Drilling Productivity Report: Marcellus Passes 12 Bcf/d!).

The November DPR from EIA came out yesterday. What do we learn from it? The Marcellus is on the cusp of passing 13 Bcf/d in natural gas production! The numbers just continue to astonish and amaze everyone, and confound anti-drilling critics who keep saying “it won’t last–not long from now it’ll all just peter out and decline.” Yeah right, you keep telling yourself that one. Here’s the latest full DPR from the EIA:
Continue reading

The Marcellus/Utica Games: MarkWest Catching Fire

With more infrastructure projects than you can shake a stick at (22 under construction right now, most of them in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region), and with revenue up, pumping capacity up–with everything up that should be up–you’ll pardon our pun on the forthcoming Hunger Games movie by saying that MarkWest Energy is truly catching fire in the Marcellus and Utica Shale!

Yesterday MarkWest released their third quarter 2013 operations and financial update, and there’s a LOT in there about the Marcellus/Utica:
Continue reading

MDN Digs FC’s NatGas Vehicle Whitepaper – You Will Too

Need to get a really good handle on what’s happening right now in the natural gas vehicles (NGV) market? Oh, and please throw in your best thinking on what will happen over the next 12 months? We have the answer. FC Business Intelligence, a UK-based conference and events company–knows a thing or two about the natural gas market. They’ve been hosting must-attend natgas industry events for quite a while, including a yearly event on NGV. In advance of next year’s event, the 3rd Natural Gas Vehicles USA (June 11-13 in Houston, TX), FC Business Intelligence has authored a 44-page white paper on NGVs in the US–a sort of “state of play” for the NGV market.

MDN downloaded the white paper (see it below). It’s chock-full of great information. This is not a generic-lightly-gloss-over-warmed-up-rehash-of-other-information treatment. There’s meat in this paper–serious research–and it’s well worth your time to read it if you have an interest in NGVs and what will be one of the most important sources of demand for natural gas in the coming years. MDN has chronicled how fleets, like that of UPS, are dumping diesel and changing to LNG (liquefied natural gas) and CNG (compressed natural gas). Problem is, where do NGVs fill up on either CNG or LNG? Where are there plants (supply) in the US that create LNG? It’s all in this white paper, and more…
Continue reading

Ithaca, NY Bank Won’t Grant Mortgage on Land with Drilling Lease

New York landowners who are pro-drilling may want to consider whether or not to continue doing business with Tompkins Financial Corporation, a bank/wealth management/insurance firm based in Ithaca, NY. Why? They refuse to give a mortgage on any property under lease with a drilling company. They’re attempting to blame federal guidelines from Fannie Mae as their excuse. Sorry Charlie, that doesn’t fly. It’s anti-drilling prejudice plain and simple.

Two other banks you may want to reconsider doing business with: Spain’s Santander Bank and State Employees’ Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C. Same reason…
Continue reading

Altoona’s Marcellus Gas-to-Liquids Plant Slightly Delayed

An update on a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant to be built near Altoona, PA that will convert abundant and cheap Marcellus Shale gas produced in the area into diesel fuel. MDN told you in March that Marcellus GTL announced they will build a new GTL plant in the area (see Altoona Area Getting $200M Marcellus Gas-to-Liquids Plant). Plans called for construction to begin on the new facility by the end of this year.

The bad news is that construction on the new GTL plant will not begin by the end of this year. “Typical project optimism” is the explanation offered by Marcellus GTL’s executive VP Paul Hamilton. The good news? The project is still on and construction is now estimated to begin somewhere between April and June 2014…
Continue reading

Northeast Oil & Gas Awards – Time to Nominate is NOW

A few weeks ago MDN told you about a fast-approaching deadline to be considered for the Northeast Oil & Gas Awards (see Deadline Approaching for 2013 Northeast Oil & Gas Awards). The deadline has been extended by a few weeks. The new deadline to be nominated in one of 25 categories is now December 12–so you have a month from today. MDN is proud to be working with the great people who host the Northeast Oil & Gas Awards. In fact, MDN editor Jim Willis will be involved in a conference program and attending the award ceremony in Pittsburgh in March 2014 (more on that in coming months).

However, right now it’s time to nominate and be nominated for an award! The Oil & Gas Awards celebrate the success and excellence of companies working in the upstream and midstream oil & gas industry in the Northeast region. Below are links to the criteria used for evaluating entrants in each of the 25 different categories. Click on a link to find out what it takes to be considered for a prestigious award in that category…
Continue reading