Sunoco Logistics Will Build $2.5B Mariner East 2 Pipeline

Mariner East Pipeline Project map
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Big news from Sunoco Logistics. Yesterday the company announced they’ve now signed up enough customers that they will proceed (if they get regulatory approval) to build a second Mariner East pipeline–Mariner East 2–which will run alongside the existing Mariner East pipeline from eastern OH and western PA all the way to the Philadelphia area and the Marcus Hook refinery. Sunoco Logistics did not mention who those customers are who have signed up, but they did say based on the commitments, they will spend $2.5 billion (!) to build the new pipeline and to expand the Marcus Hook operation by adding a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant to manufacture propylene. The new pipeline will flow natural gas liquids including propane, butane and ethane…
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Shell (Finally) Buys Site for Cracker Plant in Beaver County, PA

We’re still a long way from a decision by Shell on whether or not they will build a $2-$3 billion ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, PA. However, today the company took another giant step forward in that process. Shell has told the current owner of the site, Horsehead Corporation, that Shell is exercising their option to buy the property…
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Leasing Activity Picks Up in Northern PA – for Utica!

One of the most-drilled Marcellus Shale counties in Pennsylvania has been Tioga County–just about dead center (horizontally) and at the top (vertically) of the state, sharing a boarder with New York State. Four to five years ago there was a leasing frenzy in Tioga and Potter counties, followed by a lot of drilling in Tioga and a little bit of drilling in Potter. Leasing activity all but stopped–then something really interesting happened. Recently Shell reported drilling 6 Utica Shale wells in Tioga County, the first two of which have turned in truly impressive production rates (see Shell Drills 2 Successful Utica Wells in NEPA Marcellusland). Apparently because of Shell’s success, leasing activity in Tioga and Potter (and even in McKean County) has once again picked up the pace–this time for leases to drill Utica wells…
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Stone Energy Fined $177K by EPA for Fouling WV Creeks

Stone Energy has been slapped with a fine of $177,500 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for violating the Clean Water Act and dumping dirt and stone into a couple of creeks (without a permit) in Wetzel County, WV during well pad and roadway construction related to Marcellus Shale drilling. Here’s the details from the EPA…
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WV Gov. Tomblin Leads Trade Mission to Brazil re Cracker Plant

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s office has announced that the Governor and first lady, along with Keith Burdette, Secretary of the West Virginia Dept. of Commerce and several other officials, are going on a road trip to Brazil to babysit, er advance the ball on the ethane cracker plant planned for the Parkersburg, WV area by Brazilian company Odebrecht and its sister company Braskem. The trade delegation will discuss “next steps” with their counterparts–to ensure everything is on track. It’s also a nice little junket/vacation to get the Guv (a Democrat) out of town after his state essentially turned Republican underneath his feet in Tuesday’s election…
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WVU/OSU Get $11M Grant to Study Shale Energy Best Practices

5 Year MissionThe mother’s milk of academe is grant money–and West Virginia University is happy to announce a new grant related to the Marcellus Shale. The U.S. Dept. of Energy is forking over $11 million to WVU and Ohio State University for a five-year project to study “baseline measurements, subsurface development and environmental monitoring” in the Marcellus and Utica Shale. The money will be used for research and to establish a first-of-its-kind Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory–a field site and dedicated research laboratory to be located at the Morgantown (WV) Industrial Park…
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Antero Midstream IPO Hauls in $1B, Stock Trading High

Amidst the flurry of news about third quarter updates, we almost overlooked one important piece of news about Marcellus/Utica driller Antero Resources. As you may recall, Antero floated an initial public offering (IPO) of stock last year hoping to raise $1.4 billion. They got $1.57 billion (see Antero’s IPO Fetches $1.57B, Company Valued at $11B!). Just a few weeks ago Antero announced they were spinning off their midstream operation into its own company and floating an IPO for that new entity–hoping to raise nearly $1 billion more (see Antero Resources Launches Midstream IPO, Seeks $1B+). We’re happy to report–mission accomplished. Antero reported earlier this week they sold 40 million “units” (think shares of stock) for $25 each, which is higher than they were hoping–bringing in $1 billion…
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EnLink Midstream Floats Notes, Hopes to Raise $400M for Expansion

EnLink Midstream, the merger of the old Crosstex Energy and Devon Energy midstream division, has major operations in the Marcellus/Utica region. So it was with interested we noticed the company is raising more cash by floating notes (pieces of paper, debts to be repaid at a future date) with the goal of getting $400 million to use in expanding their operations…
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PDC Energy 3Q14: Drills 3 New Utica Wells, 11 Utica Wells Online

PDC Energy, an independent exploration and production company that produces, develops, acquires and explores for crude oil, natural gas and NGLs with primary operations in the Wattenberg Field in Colorado and in the Utica Shale in southeastern Ohio, provided their third quarter 2014 update yesterday. PDC has sold their Marcellus operations and now concentrates on the Utica in the northeast (see PDC Energy to End Marcellus Drilling in 2014, Continue in Utica). PDC reports adding a second drilling rig to their OH Utica operation in July and, as a result, they’ve drilled 3 new Utica wells during 3Q14. Below we’ve pulled out relevant portions of the update dealing with the Utica Shale…
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US Breaks Another Natgas Record: 69.9 Bcf/d Production in October

Bentek Energy, the analytics and forecasting unit of Platts, is fresh out with numbers that the U.S. Energy Information Administration won’t release until Dec. 31. Namely, natural gas production in the lower 48 United States averaged 69.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in October–breaking its previous monthly average high for the 10th consecutive month. Production was up up 7.9% (or 5.2 Bcf/d) from average production a year ago, and according to Bentek, there’s no end in sight for how high production will go…
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Washington County Votes to Establish “Ring of Fire” at Mingo Park

Two days ago MDN told you that Range Resources is the winner of a contract to drill under (not on) Mingo Creek County Park in Nottingham Township in Washington County, PA (see Range Resources Wins Contract to Drill Under Mingo Creek Park). Precisely 2 (out of 207,820) Washington County residents turned up Thursday night to ask county commissioners to delay their impending vote to move forward with the lease. Certainly nothing out of the ordinary about that–except that the language used by those who oppose drilling (and fossil fuels) never ceases to surprise and amuse us. They intentionally attempt to conjure up images of environmental disaster and holocaust, even though there is no evidence to support their claims. For example, one of the two last night told commissioners by drilling under the park from land adjacent to the park it will create “a ring of fire” around the park. Of course, we immediately thought of Johnny Cash…
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