Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Jul 14, 2014

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading:

New York

Coming Soon to Town Hall Near You: Upstate NY Localities Face Fallout from Home Rule Decision
Shale Gas Review/Tom Wilbur
Late last month, New York’s high court issued a ruling that put the debate over the merits and risks of shale gas development in the hands of local governments. The much-anticipated ruling – a monumental victory for grassroots political action — settled a long-standing question regarding the state’s jurisdictional control over the matter. Yet it raised many other questions about how local governments will respond.

Hydrofracking Protestors Welcomed Cuomo to Skaneateles Shortly After Ceremony
Time Warner Cable News
Protestors welcomed Governor Cuomo to Skaneateles shortly after the groundbreaking ceremony. He was in the village for a campaign fundraiser. The message was loud and clear, a permanent ban on hydrofracking. Gas industry supporters say it could bring jobs and money to cash strapped parts of the state. Demonstrators say drilling could have a devastating impact on the environment, a message they wanted to make sure the governor heard.


Chesapeake: NGLs To Deliver Long-Term Growth
Seeking Alpha
Chesapeake has raised its production growth target, driven primarily by better natural gas liquids volumes. The company expects NGL production to grow by 63%-68% during 2014. With the newly built ATEX pipeline in the Utica shale, the company is positioned to transport much-needed capacity from the shale. The increased capital spending signifies that the company is on-track to meet its long-term production targets. The spin-off and divestment of assets resulted in a decreased burden of debt for the company.

Oil and Gas Equipment Show Held in Buckhannon
WBOY Channel 12
The oil and gas industry plays a growing part in the state’s economy. On Thursday, businesses got together to showcase what they know. This is the seventh year the oil and gas equipment show has been held by the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia. IOGA President Jim McKinney said the show showcases the industry that supports the state. “It’s an opportunity for our producers, our vendors, the service providers to get together and display some of the new products or services they provide to our members, to network to learn more about their products and meet new customers,” said McKinney.


The Upper Delaware PovertyKeepers
Natural Gas Now/Tom Shepstone
There may be no organization doing more economic damage to the interests of the Upper Delaware region of New York and Pennsylvania than the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. It is committed to keeping the region in a state of perpetual pastoral poverty for the sake of the big money funders who pay its bills, especially the William Penn Foundation. Together with the Open Space Institute and its progeny, the Catskill Mountainkeeper, they are now engaged in a two-faced campaign to depress property values by preventing gas drilling and then acquire the land on the cheap to create a playground for the wealthy.

Rex Energy: A Closer Look At This Compounding Machine
Seeking Alpha
Rex Energy is an independent oil and gas company with operations located in the northeast region of the United States. The company mainly operates in two locations: the Appalachian Basin (where Rex is focused on natural gas and natural gas liquids production) and the Illinois Basin (where Rex is focused on conventional oil well production). As shown by the graphic below, most of Rex’s focus is in the Appalachian Basin which is located in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. 88% of the company’s capital expenditures in 2014 will be located in the Application basin. Likewise most of Rex’s reserves (94.3%) also lie in the Application Basin.

Fracking Critic’s Arguments are What’s Odd: PennLive Letters
Harrisburg Patriot-News
Steve Todd’s recent commentary (“Some things about fracking and drilling in PA are a little odd”) is, well, quite odd itself. Mr. Todd conveniently overlooks facts that do not reflect his particular world view. For example, Mr. Todd would have us stop developing Pennsylvania’s own energy that are helping to support over 200,000 Pennsylvania jobs and saving the average homeowner $1,200 a year – so that our dependence on foreign energy can be perpetuated. How odd.

Cabot: 122 Miles Of Profit
Seeking Alpha
Cabot has great positions in the Eagle Ford and Marcellus Shale. The Constitution pipeline represents huge potential for profits to increase at the firm. The FERC and the NY DEC stand in the way of the pipeline being built. The chart is bullish which adds to my conviction that this stock is a buy.

Pa. Allows UGI to Hit Customers with Pipeline Replacement Fees
Allentown Morning Call/
State regulators have approved UGI Utilities’ long-term plan to speed up replacement of aging natural gas distribution lines like the one implicated in Allentown’s deadly February 2011 gas explosion. That opens the door for UGI to begin passing the cost of those upgrades along to customers via a special fee as early as next year, although a spokesman for the utility said it has no immediate plans to do so. UGI committed to hasten replacement of cast-iron and bare-steel pipelines as part of a September 2012 settlement with the state Public Utility Commission over the blast, and the plan complies with that agreement, officials said.


Chesapeake Faces Trial on Bid-Rigging in Michigan Lease Sale
A judge in Michigan has ruled that Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp must face a criminal trial on a charge of bid-rigging with competitor Encana Corp at a 2010 state land lease auction, citing evidence of a conspiracy between the companies that drove state lease prices down sharply. The ruling, issued on Wednesday by Judge Maria Barton of Michigan’s Cheboygan County District Court, dismissed two other criminal charges brought against Chesapeake by the office of Michigan’s Attorney General. The other charges alleged that the company struck a deal with Encana to avoid competing for land leases from private landowners in Michigan, and had attempted antitrust violations against those landowners. “The direct and circumstantial evidence established that the parties did in fact strike an agreement to bid-rig the State sale,” Barton’s ruling says.

Natural Gas Pipeline Plan Creates Rift in Massachusetts
New York Times
Standing on a dirt road outside his aging barn, Walter Jaworski, a former veterinarian turned cattle rancher in this rural part of north-central Massachusetts, points south across his 200 acres of forest and pasture to a nearby tree line. If things don’t go his way, he says, that’s about where a new natural gas pipeline will slice through his land on a 180-mile journey from central New York to a transmission hub north of Boston. The project, proposed by the pipeline giant Kinder Morgan at a cost of $2 billion to $3 billion “or more,” according to the company, is only in the earliest stages of consideration. But debate over its placement — and even its overall need — is in full swing, with anti-pipeline yard signs and heated public meetings.

API VP: ‘Irresponsible’ to Deal with Fracking at Ballot Box
The Hill
Newly appointed vice president at prominent oil lobby American Petroleum Institute Louis Finkel says concerns over the booming hydraulic fracturing of natural gas should not be dealt with in the voting booth. As natural gas extraction continues to grow as a lucrative enterprise in states like Colorado, Texas and New York, a number of measures have sprung up to ban the practice. In fact, in a ruling last week New York allowed its cities and towns to ban the controversial extraction technique of fracking. But Finkel, who was tapped by API in May and boasts a unique background as a Democratic strategist, said dealing with fracking through a ballot measure is “irresponsible.”

Don’t Expect the Federal Government to Add to the Oil Boom
The Motley Fool
A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that the production of fossil fuels from federal lands fell in 2013 (the latest reporting period). This is a continuation of a long-term decline evident since at least 2003 (the earliest reporting period). The decline is evident for all fossil fuels production from federal lands except for a slight 1% increase in crude oil production from 2012-2013 (following an overall decline of 11% since 2003). Total fossil fuels production from federal lands has declined 21% since 2003 with nearly 75% of that decline occurring since 2009.

A California Oil Field Yields Another Prized Commodity – Water
New York Times
The 115-year-old Kern River oil field unfolds into the horizon, thousands of bobbing pumpjacks seemingly occupying every corner of a desert landscape here in California’s Central Valley. A contributor to the state’s original oil boom, it is still going strong as the nation’s fifth-largest oil field, yielding 70,000 barrels a day. But the Kern River field also produces 10 times more of something that, at least during California’s continuing drought, has become more valuable to many locals and has experienced the kind of price spike more familiar to oil: water. The field’s owner, Chevron, sells millions of gallons every day to a local water district that distributes it to farmers growing almonds, pistachios, citrus fruits and other crops.

Baker Hughes: Well, Rig Counts Both Increased in 2Q2014
NGI’s Shale Daily
The well count and rig count in the U.S. onshore both increased slightly during the second quarter of 2014. The former was boosted by strong gains in the Permian Basin, Marcellus Shale and Granite Wash formation, while the latter reflected a slight improvement in drilling efficiencies, Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) said Friday.

Natural Gas Supply Gains Keep Driving Bulls From Market
Bloomberg/Washington Post
Twelve weeks of above-average gains in U.S. natural gas supply are easing concern over winter fuel shortages and spurring speculators to cut their bets on rising prices. Hedge funds reduced net-long positions by 8.1 percent in the week ended July 8, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said. Bullish wagers have fallen 43 percent from February and gas dropped last week to a six-month low, wiping out an advance of as much as 53 percent after frigid weather pushed consumption to a record.

Pessimists’ Glass-Half-Empty Storage View Changes as Refills Feed End-of-Season Optimism
SNL Financial
Natural gas inventories have shown impressive resilience this injection season. After starting slowly, as of the week to June 27, builds had been above historical averages for 13 weeks, with eight consecutive weeks of builds above 100 Bcf. Reaching those impressive levels has been the result of strong production and limited demand as weather has cooperated with market needs.

US Silica Boosts Production to Meet Growing Frac Sand Demand
Northern Miner
U.S. Silica Holdings, like many other U.S.-based frac sand miners, is boosting its production capacity to meet the growing demand for this special type of sand used in oil and gas drilling. By the end of 2013, U.S. Silica, which has two operating segments — oil and gas, and industrial and specialty products — grew its total oil and gas capacity to more than 4.5 million tons a year, up 50% from 2012, as it opened two new production facilities.

Louisiana Offshore Wants to Reverse Flow Due to Shale Oil
Bloomberg/Akron Beacon Journal
For more than 30 years, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port LLC has been a symbol of U.S. dependence on foreign oil, pumping Nigerian and Saudi Arabian crude from the world’s biggest supertankers into underground storage caverns beneath the marshes of southern Louisiana. For more than 30 years, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port LLC has been a symbol of U.S. dependence on foreign oil, pumping Nigerian and Saudi Arabian crude from the world’s biggest supertankers into underground storage caverns beneath the marshes of southern Louisiana. Now, with domestic production at a 28-year high, LOOP’s managers are thinking the previously unthinkable: They want to reverse the flows and send North American oil out as well as take foreign oil in.

Exelon Buys Texas LNG Project That Will Export Shale Gas
Exelon Corp., operator of the largest U.S. network of nuclear power stations, has acquired a company that plans to export natural gas from the shale boom. The company bought a 96 percent stake in Annova LNG, a startup in the early stages of building a $1.3 billion liquefied natural gas-export terminal in Brownsville, Texas, David Chung, founder of Annova and now an Exelon vice president, said in an interview today. Chung, who retains a minority stake in Annova, oversees Chicago-based Exelon’s liquefied natural gas business.

U.S. Oil Imports Forecast to Hit 45-year Low Next Year
The Globe and Mail
The U.S. Energy Department expects oil imports to hit their lowest level since 1970 next year, a forecast that is adding fuel to demands for the Obama administration to end a prohibition on crude exports that has been in place since 1973 Arab oil embargo. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast that, by the end of next year, imported oil will account for only 22 per cent of U.S. consumption, or about four million barrels a day.