Shale Insight 2015: Opening Panel on Philadelphia as Energy Hub

Shale Insight 2015At last week’s Shale Insight conference, MDN editor Jim Willis sat in on a few of the main sessions. One of those sessions was the opener on Wednesday–a panel discussion moderated by the inimitable and always interesting Michael Krancer, a partner at the Philadelphia-based Blank Rome law firm and formerly the Secretary of the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection during Tom Cobett’s administration. The panel discussion was titled “Philadelphia – The New Northeast Energy Hub” and featured an all-star lineup: Joe Colella, senior VP at Sunoco Logistics; Phil Rinaldi, Chairman and CEO at Philadelphia Energy Solutions; and John Walsh, President and CEO of UGI Corporation. Mike Krancer kicked off the session with a bold statement: He believes Philly will rival and soon pass Houston, Texas as the dominant energy hub in the United States…
Continue reading

“Philadelphia as Energy Leader” Session Captured Live by Cartoonist

Shale Insight 2015At last week’s Shale Insight event in Philadelphia, MDN editor Jim Willis took in a few of the main/general sessions, but could not make it to all of the sessions. One of the session he wishes he attended was one called “Pennsylvania as an Energy Leader: The Role of Producers, Pipeline and Philadelphia.” Sean Moran of energy law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney moderated a panel that discussed what role Philadelphia can play as a northeast “energy hub.” That concept has been around for a few years now and was front and center at this year’s Shale Insight. Here’s the unique thing about this particular session: as the panelists talked, the very gifted artist Jim Nuttle made a “graphic recording” of the session–creating an illustrated cartoon/mindmap of the concepts discussed. Have a look…
Continue reading

MarkWest Fined $76K for Water Quality Violations in WV

finedMarkWest Energy has been fined $76,405 by the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) for a series of water quality violations in connection with projects they’ve built in West Virginia from 2013 to this year. In addition to the fine, MarkWest is required to submit a plan to correct problems that still exist. This isn’t the first time MarkWest has been to the WVDEP wood shed. In 2013 they were fined $306,000 for polluting a small stream near their new Mobley processing plant in Wetzel County (see MarkWest Fined for Soil Erosion/Creek Damage Near WV Plant). WVDEP is also putting MarkWest on probation–requiring the company to file monthly reports for the next 18 months listing all “slips” (erosion incidents) that have the potential to impact WV state waters…
Continue reading

End is Near: PA AG Kane’s Law License Suspended by Supreme Court

time to goAs we have been reporting for months, Pennsylvania’s anti-drilling Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, committed perjury (a felony) by lying under oath about leaking grand jury information to a reporter in an attempt to smear a political “enemy” and she should have resigned and left office long ago–but she’s too obstinate to do that. In PA the AG is required to have a license to practice law. Her license has just been suspended (not yet revoked) by the PA Supreme Court, which raises an interesting constitutional question: Can Kane be forced from office because she can’t practice law, the thing she was elected to do? Everybody, including American’s most liberal governor, PA Gov. Tom Wolf, wants her gone. But she refuses to leave and continues to stammer and yammer about porno emails and conspiracies by old men out to get her…
Continue reading

Lordstown $800M Gas-Powered Electric Plant Gets OH State Approval

stamp of approvalIn April 2014, MDN told you about a proposal from Clean Energy Future to build an $800 million electric generation plant in Lordstown (Trumbull County), OH. The plant will be fired by natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus (see Clean Energy Plans NatGas Electric Generation Plant in Lordstown). In May, Lordstown Village Council gave their blessing for the project (see Lordstown $800M Gas-Powered Electric Plant Gets Village Approval). Last week, the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) gave its stamp of approval on the project and, as far as we can tell, nothing else remains before the backhoes begin to work. Clean Energy Future plans to begin work this year and have the new electric plant operational by May 2018…
Continue reading

Shell Paying $80M to Clean Up PA Site for Ethane Cracker Plant

positive signShell continues to work (and spend money) on a site in Beaver County, Pennsylvania that will one day hopefully be the home of an ethane cracker plant. The most recent positive sign that Shell will move forward with the project is that they are in the process of building a bridge over a highway for trucks to access the site as they work on site preparation and building (see Shell Begins Building Bridge to PA Cracker Plant Site). The newest evidence that Shell will move forward with the project is their plan to deal with leftover contamination at the site. The site is a former zinc smelter and there are high levels of very nasty stuff in the soil at the site, including lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury. Shell plans to cover the site, locking in the nasty stuff–a project that will cost them $80 million and take two years to complete…
Continue reading

FERC Approves Columbia Project Connecting NE Gas to La. LNG Export

approvedSeems like just about every pipeline project out there is, in one way or the other, connected to the Marcellus/Utica Shale and moving northeast shale gas to other markets. Example: Yesterday Columbia Pipeline Group announced they have received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval to proceed with the Cameron Access Project in Southwest Louisiana. The $310 million project includes improvements to Columbia Gulf’s existing pipeline system, as well as ancillary facilities, a new compressor station near Lake Arthur, Louisiana, and the installation of an approximately 26 mile greenfield pipeline lateral in Cameron Parish that provides direct access to the Cameron LNG export facility. The purpose of the project? It “further connects abundant, but constrained, Appalachian supplies to higher value markets.” In other words, Columbia will offer a new export market for Marcellus/Utica gas via the Cameron LNG export terminal. The project is due to begin construction in the spring of 2016 and be placed in service during the first quarter of 2018…
Continue reading

Wood Mackenzie: “Raft” of Planned LNG Projects Won’t Get Built

postponedGlobal research firm Wood Mackenzie recently published a brief analysis of LNG export facilities asking the question, Where are all the LNG project postponements? According to Wood researchers, the outlook for global LNG demand is looking increasingly subdued–particularly in China. The number of LNG projects proposed to make a Final Investment Decision (FID) in 2015 and 2016 has not reduced significantly. If all or close to all of the projects on the books make a FID to move forward, there would be an unsustainable glut of new LNG supplies–without a corresponding amount of demand around the globe. Wood Mackenzie’s conclusion? Companies will soon wake up to the fact that there won’t be enough demand and we will see “a raft of project postponements” in the next 6-18 months…
Continue reading

$1.5T in Shale Projects “At Risk” Unless Drillers Lower Costs More

profit loss riskIn another sobering bit of analysis by global research firm Wood Mackenzie, the company tells drillers that while their hammering of the supply chain (like oilfield services companies) to reduce prices by 20-30% will help, it will only result in an overall 10-15% savings. If drillers want to keep their drilling projects “viable” (i.e. profitable), “additional measures” will be needed to manage costs. Wood Mackenzie researchers have a few suggestions for how drillers can continue lowering costs to the point their projects are, once again, turning a profit in a low oil and gas price world. If they don’t lower costs more, there’s a mind-blowing $1.5 trillion worth of shale projects that are “at risk” of not happening…
Continue reading

Vermot May Replace Closed Nuclear Plant with Fracked NatGas

hypocriteVermonters have finally woken up to the fact that they’re paying obscenely high electric rates–especially since they mothballed the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, VT. The pastoral, gentile and very green residents of Vermont, you may recall, decided to become the first state in the union to ban fracking, back in 2012 (see Vermont Becomes First State to Ban Fracking). With the absence of power generation at Vermont Yankee, and nothing on the horizon to take it’s place, they’re becoming a bit desperate. In a deliciously ironic move, Vermonters are now seriously considering a plan to turn the Vermont Yankee site into a an electric generating plant that uses (yes) fracked natural gas from the Marcellus/Utica to power it…
Continue reading

Get the Low Down on PA’s Midstream Next Week in State College

shaledirectoryListen up everyone who has an interest in Pennsylvania’s midstream–pipelines and processing plants. Billions of dollars are being spent in Pennsylvania as the gas industry builds out its pipelines to all parts of the northeast, Middle Atlantic, southeast and Midwest regions of the U.S. The two questions everyone wants to know: (1) Who is spending the money? and (2) Where is the money being spent? The answer to those two questions and more will be answered at the Midstream PA 2015 Seminar on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA. MDN is proud to support this event…
Continue reading

WSJ Reporter Russell Gold to Keynote Fracking Forum at WVSU

Russell Gold - Wall Street JournalNext Tuesday, Sept. 29, West Virginia State University (WVSU) will sponsor a forum on fracking and shale at WVSU’s James C. Wilson University Union in Institute, WV. The forum, titled “Fracking: In the Beginning Was the Source Rock” is free and open to the public. Keynoting the event will be award-winning Wall Street Journal energy reporter Russell Gold, who authored the book “The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World.” This is a unique opportunity to hear (and ask questions) of someone with expert insights into the shale revolution in the Marcellus/Utica and beyond–and what he sees on the horizon for the future…
Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Sep 22, 2015

best of the restThe “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: OH landowners ask FERC to delay Rover; DEP continues listening sessions in Pittsburgh; fossil fuels not going away; another natgas boom on the way; rig counts continue to slide; tortoises win over hares in unconventional; producers’ margins razor thin; throwing out the lending rulebook; and more!
Continue reading