Cove Point Protesters Disrupt Monday Night Football Game on TV

Cove Point Protesters2The crazies have done it again. Did you happen to watch Monday Night Football this past Monday? It was the Indianapolis Colts playing the Carolina Panthers at the Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, NC. During the game, protesters of the Dominion Cove Point LNG plant “dramatically” rappelled from an upper deck and unfurled a banner that said “BoA: Dump Dominion”. Note that the teams are from North Carolina and Indiana, nothing to do with Maryland where the Cove Point plant is. The only tie-in is the stadium is named after Bank of America and BoA has some financial/commercial connection to Dominion. In fact, 99.9% of the people in the stadium or watching by television didn’t even know what was meant by the banner! The protesters not only endangered themselves, they endangered the people underneath them. What if the protesters had fallen? No, we’re not concerned for the nutjobs if they had Darwined themselves and dropped like a rock. We’re concerned about the people underneath them. What if the banner had fallen on people? What if a shoe had flown off one of these nutters and hit a baby on the head? The protesters finally came down and were promptly arrested for their crime…
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Range Sells Coal Bed Methane Wells in VA, Focusing on Marcellus

Range Resources announced yesterday they are selling off 3,500 operated wells and approximately 460,000 net acres in the Nora/Haysi combined fields located in southwestern Virginia for $876 million to an unnamed buyer. The reason for the sale? Range is using the money to reduce debt and further concentrate on the “core” of their operations in the Marcellus/Utica. Range’s Nora/Haysi wells are coal bed methane wells. Drilling coal bed methane is akin to conventional drilling. All 3,500 of those wells produce an average of 109 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of natural gas. By comparison, using a very low number of 5 Mmcf/d for an average Marcellus well, it only takes 22 Marcellus wells to equal those 3,500 coal bed methane wells. Behold the power of fracking. Here’s what Range said yesterday about the sale…
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Magnum Hunter’s Latest Woes: More Investor Unrest, $29M Payment Due

MDN has recounted numerous Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) woes, including a threat to de-list their stock on the New York Stock Exchange (see Magnum Hunter Stock Avg Falls Below $1, Receives NYSE Warning), the threat of a takeover by a plucky young investor who owns 5% of the company (see Activist Investor Threatens Magnum Hunter with Takeover Unless…), and rumors the company may be preparing to file for bankruptcy protection (see Magnum Hunter: Preparing to Sell, or Filing for Bankruptcy?). A few new woes to add to the list: Another investor is threatening to form a coalition to “protect our interests” (i.e. force MHR to sell), and MHR needs to make a $29 million interest payment on bonds, due Nov. 15. The bondholders have hired lawyers in anticipation they may not get paid…
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PA Allows Wastewater Pipelines to be Buried – With No Regulations

A last minute change made to proposed new drilling regulations in Pennsylvania will mean (if adopted) that drillers can bury wastewater pipelines instead of being required to run them on top of the ground. Companies typically use pipelines in areas where it would be disruptive to have multiple truck trips in and out of an area. They’re also used to lower the cost of transporting wastewater (cheaper through a pipeline than by tanker truck). The change came after a letter-writing campaign launched by CONSOL Energy and their joint venture partner Noble Energy. But there’s a bit of controversy over the new standard that permits lines to be buried: the buried wastewater lines aren’t regulated. Not yet anyway…
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Unimin Energy Expands Frac Sand Terminal in Benwood, WV

Unimin Energy Solutions - Marcellus/Utica Terminal Network (shown with 50 mile service radius) (PRNewsFoto/Unimin Energy Solutions)
Unimin Energy Solutions – Marcellus/Utica Terminal Network – click for larger version

A Texas-based company, Unimin Energy Solutions, has 11 frac sand terminals throughout the Marcellus/Utica region (see the map). The most recent terminal they opened was this past June in Jerry Run, WV (see Unimin Energy Opens 11th Marcellus/Utica Frac Sand Terminal). Another of those 11 sites is in Benwood (Marshall County), WV. Last week Unimin held a grand opening of its 2nd unit train capable terminal at Benwood. The Benwood terminal now has almost 20,000 tons of silo storage capacity and can load up to 55 frac sand trucks per hour. CSX Railroad shuttles unit trains continuously to replenish frac sand inventory at the site. Details on last week’s soirée…
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Dunkirk, NY Coal-Fired Electric Plant Closing in January 2016

As MDN previously reported, a coal-fired electric generating plant near Buffalo (in Dunkirk) was slated to be converted to burn natural gas–a win/win for everyone (see Dunkirk, NY Electric Plant Saved – Converting from Coal to NatGas). Oh sure, radical environmentalists like the Sierra Club opposed it, but that’s to be expected. Crazy people do crazy things. Everything seemed to be fine until a competitor hauled NRG, the plant’s owner, into court to dispute the change from coal to natgas. Sounds equally crazy that a competitor can stop the change, but NRG says fighting the case will take years, so they’re just going to close the plant down (see Lawsuit Prevents NY Power Plant from Converting to NatGas, Closing). Sadly, last week the New York State Independent System Operator (NYISO) gave its blessing to NRG to close down the Dunkirk plant. This is an economic nuclear bomb for that community. The Town of Dunkirk gets 40% of its tax revenue from the plant. What will they do now?…
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Columbia Pipeline 3Q15: Update on Numerous Pipeline Projects

Yesterday Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG) issued its very first, fully independent quarterly update and financial report since being separated from NiSource into its own 100% independent company. Income was up year over year. The CPG update includes a section devoted to the status of pipeline projects they’re working on. It’s a considerable list of important (for the Marcellus/Utica) projects, including: East Side Expansion, Mountaineer XPress, Gulf XPress, Leach XPress, Rayne XPress, WB XPress, Washington County (PA) Gathering project, Big Pine Expansion project and the Pennant Joint Venture. Here’s the update…
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CONE Midstream 3Q15: Continued Pipe Expansion in West Virginia

CONE Midstream is a joint venture between CONSOL Energy (the CO in CONE) and Noble Energy (the NE in CONE), formed in August 2014 (see CONSOL & Noble Energy Form New Marcellus Midstream Company). Yesterday CONE issued their third quarter 2015 update. While CONE touted their exponential growth in the volume of gas flowing through their system earlier this year (see CONE Midstream’s Strong Beginning, Hits 500 Mmcf/d 6 Mos Early), there was no mention of current or predicted future flow volumes in the update, nor in the investors conference call. Although there was one vague reference that we found. The 3Q15 update (below) provides the financials for the company and does mention where they have been spending money to expand their system–mainly in West Virginia. Here’s the low down…
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Crestwood Midstream 3Q15: Marcellus/Utica Pipeline Volumes Drop

The Houston, TX-based Crestwood Midstream, which these days calls itself Crestwood Equity Partners, operates midstream businesses in multiple shale resource plays across the United States. Crestwood is engaged in the gathering, processing, treating, compression, storage and transportation of natural gas; storage, transportation, terminalling, and marketing of NGLs; and gathering, storage, terminalling and marketing of crude oil. Whew. Lots of different things! Yesterday Crestwood issued its third quarter 2015 financial and operational update. We’ve snipped out just those brief sections that touch on the Marcellus/Utica region, below. Among the news you’ll be interested in: The gathering pipelines operated by Crestwood in the southwest saw lower volumes in 3Q15 than in 3Q14, a result of low prices for natural gas and drillers deciding to shut-in some of their production. Crestwood continues to believe Antero Resources will soon complete 22 wells that will hit the Crestwood system sometime in 2016. And in the northeast part of the play, Crestwood expects to complete an expansion of the MARC I pipeline, connecting to the mighty Transco, “in the coming weeks.” Meanwhile, system volumes in the northeast are also down year over year…
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NY Gov Cuomo Vows to Fight FitzPatrick Nuke Plant Closure

Two days ago MDN told you that the FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in Oswego, NY will shut down, largely because it can no longer compete with electric plants powered by cheap Marcellus Shale gas (see PA Marcellus Gas Claims a Nuclear Scalp in Central NY). New York Gov. Cuomo banned fracking, so NY doesn’t produce any cheap, abundant, clean-burning natural gas. That’s a burr under Andy’s saddle. He detests closing the nuke plant because gas has won. So instead of letting market economics (you know, free enterprise) dictate what happens in NY, Cuomo is gearing up to fight the closure of the FitzPatrick nuclear plant. The company that owns FitzPatrick also owns another nuke plant in NY called Indian Point. Cuomo WANTS to shut down Indian Point–has been trying to for years. But he doesn’t want to shut down FitzPatrick. What kind of crazy man is he?…
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CONSOL Board Member Snaps Up $70K of Company Stock

From time to time we highlight “insider buying” and “insider selling”–when top management either buys or sells their own company’s stock. Here’s one we’ve not seen before: A member of the board of directors for CONSOL Energy, Alvin R. Carpenter, has just bought himself 10,000 shares of CONSOL stock for $70,400. What does Carpenter know about CONSOL that we don’t? That’s the question that always runs through our heads when we read about these transactions. Here’s the low-down on Mr. Carpenter…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Nov 4, 2015

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Hess mum on Utica Shale sale; OH has 1,032 producing Utica wells; CONSOL name coming off ballpark; FERC reviewing Transco to Charleston project; revisiting the EPA fracking doesn’t pollute water report; this oil bust is different; the gaping axe wound for natgas; propane exports increase; will FERC stick to its (comparative) knitting; and more!
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