Sky is the Limit: CONSOL Begins Drilling at Pittsburgh Airport

sky is the limitYesterday was a special day at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). Yesterday CONSOL Energy, winner of the right to drill on airport property, broke ground in a big ceremony that included Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and CONSOL Energy President and CEO Nick DeIuliis. A host of other politicians and business leaders were also present. CONSOL previously paid PIT a $50 million signing bonus, after initially floating a lowball offer of $20.8 million for a signing bonus, plus 18% royalties (see CONSOL Increases Bonus Offer to Pgh Airport by 2.4 Times to $50M). CONSOL later raised their price and won the contract, which will eventually pay out something like $500 million to PIT. Beyond drilling 45 wells in the Marcellus layer, CONSOL has the option to later drill even more wells in the Utica and Upper Devonian layers at PIT. In other words, the sky’s the limit for both CONSOL and PIT…
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State of WV Looks to Lease Area Under Ohio River for Drilling

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is a pro-drilling Democrat–an unusual occurrence. In fact, Tomblin is so pro-drilling, he’s looking to lease the land underneath the Ohio River for drilling! That’s sure to give the nutters in the WV Sierra Club heartburn. The governor and his Commerce Secretary, Keith Burdette, have published an official notice seeking bids from drillers. Tomblin and Burdette want a signing bonus AND a hefty royalty to boot. Although a target per-acre bonus amount has not been specified, Tomblin has publicly stated he’d like to see a 20% royalty on any such under-the-river leases…
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Tug Hill’s Wandering Eye – JV with Quantum Targets Non-Marcellus

Tug Hill, Inc., an investment firm owns an oil and gas drilling subsidiary called Tug Hill Operating. Tug Hill, to date, has been bosom buddies with Chief Oil & Gas in the Marcellus Shale region (see these MDN articles). Together Tug Hill and Chief have established a lease position of a massive 600,000 Marcellus Shale acres. But what’s this? Tug Hill has a new dance partner. While Tug Hill is not abandoning Chief and their current joint drilling program in the Marcellus, they went looking and found some big money backing from Quantum Energy Partners, a Houston, TX-based private investment firm. Quantum and Tug Hill together (mostly Quantum) is pumping $450 million into a brand new joint venture between the companies to drill in other shale (and perhaps non-shale) plays across the U.S….
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CONSOL & Noble Energy Form New Marcellus Midstream Company

Rather than contract with MarkWest Energy, Williams, or another midstream company, CONSOL Energy and Noble Energy, who together have a joint venture to drill in certain areas of the Marcellus Shale (or “upstream” venture), have now decided to form their own “midstream” (or pipeline) company too. Dubbed CONE Midstream–perhaps some weird amalgamation of the CONSOL and Noble Energy names–the new midstream company will take the form of a master limited partnership, or MLP. So far CONSOL and Noble have only filed paperwork and announced who will sell units (rough equivalent of shares of stock). While the announcement from CONSOL doesn’t say who will operate the new midstream company, it sure looks to us like CONSOL will be the one calling the shots…
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MarkWest Expanding Again in Butler County, PA with Rex & EdgeMarc

When you have a good thing going, like MarkWest Energy does with its Keystone processing complex in Butler County, PA, you keep growing it. And that’s just what MarkWest is doing. The company announced today they have a couple of new customers for the complex–Rex Energy and EdgeMarc Energy. The new customers will each get their own 200 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) processing plants in the Bluestone facility–part of the Keystone complex that includes Bluestone and Sarsen facilities. In addition, MarkWest is also adding an additional 40,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) of de-ethanization capacity and over 20,000 Bbl/d of additional propane and heavier NGL fractionation capacity. It means more capacity, more production, more money for landowners, and more major money will be invested in Butler County…
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Antero Boasts 5K Potential Drilling Locations in Marcellus/Utica

Antero Resources continues to impress. The company has now amassed 493,000 acres of leases in the Marcellus/Utica, which includes access to the Devonian layer as well. As we told you a month ago, their drilling program is rapidly expanding (see Antero Resources: Marcellus/Utica Program Going Gangbusters). And as we told you barley three weeks ago, they had a tremendous second quarter (see Antero Resources 2Q14: Gas Production Doubles, NGLs Quadruple). Following on their 2Q14 update, MDN has located a copy of the Antero PowerPoint slide deck, recently updated and jam-packed with charts and maps and graphs. One very interesting statistic is Antero’s 3P (proved, probable and possible) drilling locations…
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Cracker Race Continues: Odebrecht Files Remediation Application

The race continues to see who will build the first multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant in the Marcellus/Utica region. Yesterday MDN brought you the news that Shell had filed, back in May, a detailed air pollution application with the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for their proposed cracker plant in Beaver County, PA (see Details for Shell Ethane Cracker Revealed in Air Pollution Application). Although arriving on the scene several years after Shell’s project, Odebrecht announced last November they want to build a cracker plant near Parkersburg, WV (see WV Announces Brazilian Company to Build Ethane Cracker Complex). Odebrecht has now filed a similar document–a Voluntary Remediation Program application–with the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP)…
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Final EIS for Constitution Pipeline Delayed Another 2 Months, Ugh

The Constitution Pipeline, which MDN has covered for more than two years, is a $683 million Williams pipeline project with backing from Cabot Oil & Gas that will run from Cabot’s gas fields in Susquehanna County, PA all the way to Schoharie County, NY. It’s an important project for Cabot Oil & Gas since it will move an additional half billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for the company. A month ago MDN told you the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was due “any day” (see Constitution Pipeline Update from Cabot – Final EIS Due Any Day). The EIS was already delayed, and now we learn that it’s delayed yet again. According to top energy blogger and analyst Richard Zeits, the EIS for the Constitution is now delayed until the end of October–another two months…
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