Panhandle WV Landowners Broker $100M Deal with Tug Hill Operating

Bag of moneyWe have some information, but not a lot, on a recent deal to lease land in Marshall and Ohio counties in West Virginia. Tug Hill Operating, a small, privately owned exploration & production company headquartered in Fort Worth, TX, has just brokered a deal with the Marshall and Ohio County Landgroup. We don’t know how many acres are involved in the lease, nor how many families. What we do know is that the money Tug Hill is paying the landowners, collectively, is an eye-popping $100 million. We don’t have a copy of the lease, but we have little doubt that both Marcellus and Utica layers are part of the deal. Here’s what we do know about Tug Hill and the deal:
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EVEP Selling More Ohio Utica Acreage in 2015

When you’ve been writing about the Marcellus and Utica since 2009, you notice some stories that just keep repeating–year after year. EV Energy Partners selling (more of) their Utica acreage is one of those stories. EVEP is still one of, if not the, largest acreage holder in the Ohio Utica Shale. The company is a master limited partnership, or “MLP”, which means it’s organized to distribute all profits to shareholders (or unit holders) instead of plowing profits back into investments and large projects. MLPs don’t make good exploration and production companies. The way MLPs are structured makes them more suited for mature, already-drilled wells and businesses like pipelines. They want less risk and more long-term revenue potential. So it’s no surprise that EVEP has, since 2012, tried to sell large swaths of their massive holdings (see EnerVest Puts 539,000 Utica Shale Acres on Auction Block). Over time they’ve sold some of that acreage, but they still hold hundreds of thousands of acres. On an analyst phone call Monday, EVEP President & CEO Mark Houser once again said “next year” the company will sell more Utica acreage. How much acreage, and where?…
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Sunoco Presents on Mariner East Pump Station in Lebanon, PA

On Monday we told you that a few committed anti-drillers in Lebanon County, PA have been distracted from opposing the Williams Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project by shiny object syndrome–another pipeline project, from Sunoco Logistics (see New Target for Lebanon, PA Antis: Mariner East Pipeline). The Mariner East pipeline has been in the ground for decades, but Sunoco is repurposing the pipeline to flow natural gas liquids and that requires building a new pump station. A Sunoco rep presented information about the pipeline and the pumping station last night at the West Cornwall town board meeting–but the three Lebanon residents appealing the permits for the station with the zoning board weren’t allowed to ask questions, and boy oh boy did that tick them off…
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Allegheny, PA Councilman Reveals Why He Voted Yes on Park Lease

Pretty soon drilling will begin under (not on) Deer Lakes Park in Allegheny County, PA. After months and months of anti-drillers showing up at county council meetings to drone on and on about the disaster that awaits us all if drilling takes place a mile below the earth underneath the 1,180-acre park, council members voted to approve the plan (see Allegheny Cty Approves Deer Lakes Park Lease, Antis Throw Tantrum). The deal gives the county a $4.7 million signing bonus and 18% royalties. Sweet. It’s not often you get a full explanation from one of the politicians who faced the droning anti-drillers and then voted in favor of a project like this–but we have such a unique opportunity. Councilman Tom Baker, who cast one of two deciding votes in favor of the project, recently published his thinking and explanation for why he cast a “yes” vote for the Deer Lakes Park deal…
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PA Utility’s Innovate Plan to Deliver Marcellus Gas to Customers

Although there’s a lot a cheap, abundant, and clean-burning natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, there’s still a lot of customers who can’t burn it because of lack of pipelines through their neighborhoods. Natural gas prices currently are 61% less than fuel oil and 68% percent less than propane. But when it costs between $500,000 and $1 million a mile to install the pipelines to carry the gas–you need a lot of customers to sign up to make it work. Not everyone signs up at the beginning–some wait and see. So in places like the suburbs of Philadelphia where there’s a lot of people, it has still been a conundrum–a complex problem with no obvious solution. One of the utilities serving the Philly area, Peco, believes they have solved the problem. Peco has proposed a new formula to the Public Utility Commission (PUC) that will allow them to assume that 75% of their customers will sign up for gas over the next 20 years. The Peco plan will allow current customers to stretch the natgas hook-up fee across 20 years, radically changing the economics and lowering the hook-up price for customers–making it a no-brainer to make the change–now or in future years. Here’s the details of Peco’s plan…
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10 Antis Arrested for Blocking Crestwood Facility at Seneca Lake

It’s sad to see a member of our highly esteemed and respected armed forces fall for the lies of those who hate fossil fuels. Apparently the nutty Sandra Steingraber, the so-called “distinguished scholar in residence” at Ithaca College (meaning the Park Foundation funds her inane headline-grabbing hippie protests while she does precisely nothing at Ithaca College and earns a big salary) has hoodwinked U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Colleen Boland (retired) into supporting her extreme views. The two women were part of a small group who showed up outside of a former salt mine along the shore of Seneca Lake (near Watkins Glen, NY), the site of a proposed underground storage facility for liquefied petroleum gas (or propane) to illegally block the entrance. They were arrested and removed. This isn’t the first time Steingraber has been arrested at the facility…
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New EIA Study: LNG Exports Covered by Increasing Shale Supplies

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released the results of in-depth research to answer the question, will we have enough natural gas if we start exporting a boatload of it? The study/research report EIA recently released, titled “Effect of Increased Levels of Liquefied Natural Gas Exports on U.S. Energy Markets” (full copy embedded below) finds that yes, we’ll have more than enough natural gas to keep prices low here at home AND export a boatload of it to other countries. It won’t even raise the price all that much, if at all…
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