CONSOL’s #1 Stockholder Says Spin Off CNX Gas…or Sell It

told you soThe plot thickens. Last week MDN was the first, and until now the only, source reporting on rumors that CONSOL Energy may sell it’s CNX Gas division (see Rumors Circulate that CONSOL May Sell Itself to Noble Energy). We were roundly criticized (privately) for our speculation and reportage of gossip heard round the water cooler–even though we made it clear it’s just rumor and speculation. We told you on Monday that rumors continue to persist (see CONSOL Energy/Noble Energy Rumors Continue to Swirl). Indeed, the rumors of a CNX sale DO continue to persist–but now it’s not just some obscure industry blog like MDN doing the speculating. Now it’s none other than CONSOL Energy’s #1 investor–corporate raider Mason Hawkins–the guy who owns 21% of CONSOL’s stock. Yes, the same Mason Hawkins who conspired with villainous corporate raider Carl Icahn to oust Aubrey McClendon from Chesapeake Energy and has since caused Chessy to sell off many of its assets. According to an SEC filing on July 20, Hawkins is actively talking to CONSOL and to potential buyers of the CNX Gas division. Hawkins is telling CONSOL to either spin off CNX Gas into its own company–or sell it…
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Tough Times: Baker Hughes Net Income Drops 153% in 1 Year

chart going downYesterday MDN told you about the tough times in the oil patch for Halliburton, the second largest oilfield services company in the world (see Tough Times: Halliburton’s Net Income Drops 93% in 1 Year). Today, the “other shoe” drops. Halliburton, you may recall, is buying out the fifth largest oilfield services company in the world (and the third largest in the U.S.)–Baker Hughes (see Halliburton & Baker Hughes Announce a December Wedding Date). Baker Hughes released their second quarter financial and operating results yesterday and the picture is even bleaker than it was for Halliburton. Baker Hughes’ revenue for 2Q14 (a year ago) was $5.935 billion. Revenue for 2Q15 was $3.968 billion–a drop of 33% year over year. When you add in expenses of all types, the picture is apocalyptic: In 2Q14 Baker Hughes’ net income was $359 million. In 2Q15 it was minus $190 million, or $190M in the hole–which is a 153% drop year over year. Not pretty! The company predicts “unfavorable market conditions to continue across all segments” for the balance of 2015…
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Mickey Mouse Loves Marcellus Shale Gas – More Gas Heading to FL

Sit tight Florida: Marcellus Shale gas is on the way! That’s the message from Genscape and Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. When will Marcellus gas make its way to Florida? Actually, it already is. In fact, Mickey Mouse (i.e. Disney World) is already benefiting from cheap, abundant, clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas. But there’s plenty more on the way beginning later this year when both Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline system and Spectra Energy’s Ohio Pipeline Energy Network are completed and begin sending gas to the Sunshine State…
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$800M Utica Gas-Fired Electric Plant Breaks Ground in Carroll Cnty

Exactly two years ago this month MDN brought you news that Carroll County Energy in Carroll County, OH–a subsidiary of Advanced Power Services–would spend $800 million to build a new 700-megawatt natural gas electric generating plant in the county to be fed by Utica Shale gas (see New NatGas Powered Electric Plant Coming to Carroll County, OH). It took a while, but yesterday officials held the official ground-breaking ceremony for the plant. Over the next 30 months Advance will create some 700 “temporary” jobs to build the plant–and when it goes live, the plant will employ 25-30 permanent full-time employees…
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Report Says New England Pipelines Not Cost Effective for Maine

A disappointing report was recently delivered to the Maine Public Utility Commission (PUC) that may result in Maine sticking its head in the proverbial sand along its lovely coastline and miss out on cheap, abundant, clean-burning natural gas. In an effort to lower electric power prices, in 2013 the Maine Legislature authorized the PUC to spend up to $75 million a year to buy up to 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas through an “energy cost reduction contract” (ECRC) that would be paid for by electric ratepayers if it is cost effective. Three companies provided proposals to the PUC: Spectra Energy, Tennessee Gas Pipeline and Portland Natural Gas Transmission System. The PUC hired the Boston-based London Economics International (LEI) to evaluate the proposals and the report is in (full redacted copy below). LEI says none of the three proposals provide enough cost savings to Maine consumers to make them worthwhile…
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OH Gov. John “Utica Severance Tax” Kasich Runs for President

jerkOhio Gov. John “foreigner hunter” Kasich announced yesterday he’s running for president, as we predicted he would back in May (see John “Foreigner Hunter” Kasich Ready to Announce Run for President). Kasich is, like Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, Chris Christie and perhaps a few others in the Republican presidential race, a RINO–a Republican in Name Only. He left the conservative (i.e. common sense) side of the party long ago and does not deserve your vote. He’s trying to slap a high tax on Utica Shale in Ohio and transfer the money it raises to those who didn’t earn it in the form of an income tax break. We’re all for income tax breaks–as long as they don’t come at the expense of a single industry or group of people (like drillers and landowners). We’ve long considered Kasich to be, well, a jerk. It seems we’re not the only ones. A Cleveland Plain Dealer article examines Kasich’s “jerk” image problem…
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White Paper Shines Light on Marcellus/Utica NGL Supply Chain

One of the great stories about shale drilling in the Marcellus/Utica that often gets overlooked is the story of NGLs–or natural gas liquids. NGLs include “other” hydrocarbons that come out of the borehole–like ethane, pentane, butane, isobutane and propane. Ethane is typically the most voluminous NGL coming out of the ground and is the chemical that feeds giant cracker plants that turn it into ethylene–the raw feedstock used to make plastics and anti-freeze. The NGL market has been transformed, seemingly overnight, by the abundance of NGLs in the Marcellus/Utica region–now the #1 NGL producing region in the country. Tracking how much natural gas and NGLs flows through pipelines is a service offered by Genscape–a great company with great people. They use innovative technologies and techniques to figure out how much gas and/or liquids are flowing in a pipeline–including infrared cameras! They also use cameras mounted near facilities to snap pictures of tanker trucks exiting a facility. All in an effort to estimate how much of a given product is moving through the system. It’s really cool stuff. If you want to know who’s processing and flowing how much natural gas, NGLs or other types of power (even including electric power), Genscape is the company to use. So when we spotted a new white paper from Genscape titled “Disruptions & Vulnerabilities Impacting the Evolving Marcellus/Utica NGL Supply Chain,” we knew we had to read it. The white paper highlights the impacts of NGL expansion in the northeast, vulnerabilities to the NGL supply chain, infrastructure trends, and expectations for pricing…
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GE/Statoil Announce Winners of Sand-Alternatives Contest

Quick–what two things do you need in abundance in order to horizontally drill and frack a well? Yep–water and sand. The two together make up 99.5% of what goes down the borehole to drill and frack a shale well. Water is used to fracture or break open the rock and deliver the sand, which is called a proppant because some of it stays behind and “props open” the fractures in the rock, allowing gas and oil to escape into the borehole. The vast majority of truck trips to a well pad are to deliver water and sand. GE and Norwegian giant Statoil have teamed up to run an “Open Invitation Challenge” which is a contest for technology innovators to propose alternatives to water and sand, to reduce the amount of each and therefore reduce truck trips to and from well pads. The results are in for the sand challenge and five winners will each take home a check for $25,000. The winners have some fascinating technologies and if they meet certain other criteria are eligible for more money to develop and commercialize their technologies. And what are some of these interesting bits of tech? How about a polymer that swells to 10 times its initial size when liquid is added. Or a ceramic proppant that’s shapped in the form of an X acting like a tiny steel girder to keep rock fractures propped open. This is truly creative and potentially industry changing stuff…
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