Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conf: $30B of NE Infrastructure Needed

more more moreDay two, and the concluding day at the Hart Energy Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference in Pittsburgh, proved as interesting as the first day (for a day one recap, see Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conf: Marcellus is “Best of the Best”). One of the speakers on day two was Scott Williams, executive VP and chief commercial officer for Blue Racer Midstream, who spoke about his company’s processing plants in the northeast. Blue Racer’s Natrium, WV plant connects to Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner West ethane pipeline, which carts Blue Racer’s ethane to Sarnia, Ontario (Canada) and the Nova Chemicals Corunna ethane cracker. Blue Racer also operates the Berne processing plant in Monroe County, OH. According to Williams, “in excess of $30 billion worth of infrastructure still needs to be built” in the northeast. Wow! That should keep a variety of companies busy for a while. A VP from midstream giant Williams (which recently bought out Access Midstream) agrees…
Continue reading

CONSOL Energy 2015: E&P Budget Cut 33%, Utica Expands

CONSOL Energy released its fourth quarter 2014 and plans for 2015 today. Overall CONSOL’s revenues were way down for 4Q14 over 4Q13–down 90%. But that was due to a number of coal operations they discontinued in 2014. The gas drilling division had another outstanding quarter–pumping 70.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas for the quarter, up 45% year over year. For 2015 CONSOL plans to spend $1 billion on their Marcellus drilling budget (down from $1.5 billion in 2014). Marcellus Shale costs for CONSOL were $2.83 per million cubic feet equivalent (Mcfe) in 4Q14, a $0.18 per Mcfe improvement from 4Q13 which saw costs of $3.01 per Mcfe. The company achieved “all-in cash costs” of only $1.71 per Mcfe in the Marcellus Shale. And no, we’re not sure what the difference is between costs and “all-in cash costs.” Perhaps one of our smart readers can enlighten us in the comments? The trend is obviously good–it’s costing them less and less to produce more and more gas. CONSOL says in their update that the Utica Shale continues to grow in importance for the company…
Continue reading

PDC Energy’s Interesting 2014 – “Dynamite” in the Utica

PDC Energy had an interesting 2014 in the Marcellus/Utica. During the year they sold off their 131,000-acre Marcellus Shale operation to Mountaineer Keystone for $500 million (see Major New Player in the Marcellus Emerges: Mountaineer Keystone). They entered the year intending to drill 18 Utica Shale wells (they came close). Along the way they had an accident and spilled drilling mud into a creek (see PDC Accident: Drilling Mud Spills into Creek in Morgan County, OH). During the year they fired (?) reassigned (?) their CEO back to the board and promoted the COO to be CEO (see Changing Chairs at PDC Energy: New President/CEO). And at the end of last year, the company announced they will push the pause button on new Utica drilling in 2015 (see PDC Energy Pushes Pause Button on OH Utica Drilling for 2015). Yesterday PDC provided a high level overview of 2014 (none of the above items mentioned) which includes a few brief statements about the Utica and Marcellus. One of the items their most excited about? A 4-well Utica pad called (we kid you not), “Dynamite”…
Continue reading

Shell Trimming $15B in Spending Next 3 Years – PA Cracker?

Shell released their fourth quarter 2014 results yesterday, along with comments on what’s ahead for 2015. Full year profits for Shell were up in 2014–to $19 billion (a mind-blowing number). However, the company plans to trim $15 billion worth of spending in over the next three years. Ouch. MDN wondered if the Shell ethane cracker plant planned for Monaca, PA is on the list to trim…
Continue reading

PHMSA Update on ATEX Pipeline Explosion in WV – Faulty Weld?

It’s been five days since a section of the Appalachia to Texas (ATEX) Express ethane pipeline ruptured/exploded and burned in Brooke County, WV (see ATEX Ethane Pipeline Explodes, Burns near Follansbee, WV). Since the pipeline is under the regulatory oversight of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), that organization is doing the investigation into the accident. The rupture and resulting fire burned approximately 24,000 barrels of ethane and scorched some 5 acres of woodland. What has the PHMSA learned so far? Not much. They have some theories, according to an initial report. It appears that the 20-inch pipeline ruptured near a section that had been welded together…
Continue reading

PA-Based Air Products Wins Another Gulf LNG Plant Contract

Air Products is a Wilkes-Barre, PA manufacturer that builds huge rocket-looking “production trains” or “heat exchangers”–pieces of equipment that turn natural gas into liquefied natural gas, or LNG. Last September, Air Products signed a deal to produce two heat exchangers for an LNG export plant in Texas (see Air Products Wins Contract for TX LNG Plant, Marcellus Connection?). They’ve done it again! Air Products announced Wednesday they’ve signed another agreement–this one is to produce three heat exchangers for the Cameron LNG Liquefaction Project, located in Hackberry, Louisiana. As with the Texas plant, we believe there’s a connection to the Marcellus in this new sale…
Continue reading

NJ Conservation Group Opposes PennEast Pipeline – Self Interest

Bet you didn’t know that if the PennEast Pipeline, a 110-mile pipeline from Wilkes-Barre, PA to Trenton, NJ is built, it will pollute the drinking water for 2.5 million people. That’s the faux claim made by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation in a resolution they’ve just passed opposing the project. It’s pretty obvious the board of the Foundation is packed with anti-fossil fuelers (all of whom use fossil fuels every day of their lives). Such is the wacky world of anti-drillers. Make reckless and false claims, have those claims picked up and amplified by a sycophantic media that NEVER challenges them on those claims, and try to bend the unthinking public’s will against a project like the PennEast. Standard play book…
Continue reading