Southwestern Energy on a Tear – Doubles Marcellus Budget for 2015

double or nothingSouthwestern Energy is on a tear in the Marcellus/Utica region. In 2014, the company picked up 413,000 acres and some 1,500 wells from Chesapeake Energy for $4.975 billion and paid another $394 million to Statoil as part of that same deal (to get more ownership of the jointly-owned acreage); Southwestern purchased all of WPX’s acreage–46,700 acres and 63 Marcellus Shale wells–in northeast Pennsylvania for $300 million; and Southwestern cut a deal with DTE Energy to significantly expand their pipeline gathering system in northeast PA. They’ve also been busy in several other shale plays. On Monday, Southwestern issued a company update and guidance for 2015. The very notable thing about that update: Southwestern, contrary to almost every other major and minor shale player, is increasing spending on shale drilling in 2015, by $200 million…
Continue reading

Explosion, Fire at Meter Station Along Williams Ethane Pipeline in SWPA

A meter station along the Williams Ohio Valley Ethane pipeline reportedly exploded and caught fire in in Chartiers Township (Washington County), PA–about four miles from Houston, PA–on Christmas Eve. The fire has caused the shut-down of the ethane pipeline that runs some 50 miles from Marshall County, WV to an ethane hub in Houston…
Continue reading

Anti Groups Ask FERC to Stop Construction on Cove Point LNG Plant

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently concluded a years-long process of evaluating all of the ins and outs, environmental and otherwise, for the proposed LNG (liquefied natural gas) export facility in Cove Point, Maryland. FERC decided, after years of research, untold thousands of comments and hundreds of hours of testimony, to approve the project (see Dominion Gets Final Fed Approval to Build Cove Point LNG Plant). Dominion has since broken ground and is actively building the new plant. So what do the environmental extremists from the Allegheny Defense Project (ADP) and Wild Virginia, people who hate fossil fuels, do? They tell FERC, “You didn’t do your job right, stop Dominion’s construction until we can file a lawsuit to block the project.” Before ADP and Wild Virginia can file a lawsuit, they must first get a “rehearing” with FERC, something they’ve requested. FERC takes its time with these things, and the groups are afraid Dominion’s construction will get far enough along that the project can’t be stopped. So ADP and Wild Virginia are asking FERC to temporarily stop the Dominion project until the rehearing, the inevitable ruling in favor of Dominion, and then a newly-minted lawsuit can be filed in federal court. In other words, ADP and Wild Virginia want FERC to help them stack the deck against Dominion. FERC isn’t playing along…
Continue reading

GreenHunter Cancels Deal with Michigan Co to Build 3 Pipelines

In June, GreenHunter Resources (water subsidiary of Magnum Hunter) announced it would build three new shortish pipelines in the Tri-state area–one each for brine/wastewater, fresh water, and condensate (see 3 New (Short) Pipelines from GreenHunter in Tri-state Area). We later learned that the three pipelines would terminate at a facility located near Wheeling, WV (see Mystery Solved: GreenHunter Pipelines to Terminate Near…). GreenHunter cut a deal with Major Pipeline of Michigan, which was supposed to build and operate the pipeline system on behalf of GreenHunter. But something happened on the way to the Forum. Major Pipeline couldn’t raise the money it needed to fund the projects, so GreenHunter has canceled the plan to use Major Pipeline…
Continue reading

Remarkable Change in PA Jobs Since Pro-Gas Corbett Lost Gov Race

Funny how prior to the election on Nov. 4 you couldn’t read, watch or listen to a mainstream media report about employment in Pennsylvania without hearing how the job market under the Satantic Gov. Tom Corbett (Republican) sucked big-time. Ole Tom had sold his soul to Big Gas, ya see, with the promise of jobs jobs jobs. And guess what? No jobs. And if there were more jobs–they all went to foreigners–people from exotic places like Texas and Oklahoma and Louisiana. We can’t count how many such (false) stories we saw. After Nov. 4? Voilà. Something changed. Even though the pure-as-the-wind-driven-snow Angelic Gov.-elect Tom Wolf (Democrat) hasn’t yet taken office–somehow, magically, unemployment is at historic lows and there’s jobs popping up everywhere in the Keystone State. Why? The Marcellus Shale, of course…
Continue reading

Rural Virginians Want Internet, but Not Natgas Energy to Access It

The publisher of Virginia Business, Bernie Niemeier, has a fascinating perspective on Dominion’s proposed $4.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline project that would run through the Old Dominion state. Niemeier supports the pipeline, not the least of which because it will provide a huge economic boost ($450 million in direct benefit to the economy) and a jobs creator (2,800 jobs to build it). Niemeier notes the rapid objections to the pipeline–the “not here, not now, not ever” crowd that has come out of the woodwork. He compares their knee-jerk objections to efforts to build out internet access in rural areas, another project that would cut through the same “wilderness” areas and cause environmental “damage”. We love his observation at the short-sighted obtuseness of those who want access to the internet, but not the power that allows them to access it…
Continue reading

Top 15 Most-Read Stories on MDN for 2014

top 15Yes it’s trite, yes it’s overdone, yes it’s a lazy way for an editor to gin up another story (aren’t you glad we’re honest?)…but we’ll do it anyway. MDN wondered, of the 2,500+ stories we published in 2014, which ones garnered the most views? Bear in mind that non-paying readers sometimes read entire articles (if they find them via a Google search). So we looked at overall, for paying and non-paying readers, what caught your interest in 2014? Here’s the top 15 most-read stories in 2014…
Continue reading