NY Econ Dev Grant Signals Constitution Pipeline Approval Imminent

celebrateSome very good news for supporters of the long-overdue Constitution Pipeline slated to run from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY. So far, New York has delayed granting stream-crossing permits for the project. We’ve advocated that it’s time for Williams and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take NY to court (see Time to Force NY DEC to Issue Permit for Constitution Pipeline). In fact, a Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) official has said the DEC is in danger of permanently losing control over issuing such permits if they don’t approve the Constitution’s request (see DEC Official Says NY in Danger of FERC Taking Over Pipeline Permits). The good news is that NY has approved funding for a project that will build a $1.5 million, 18-mile feeder pipeline from the Constitution Pipeline to a forklift manufacturing plant in Chenango County. After banning fracking and the multi-billion dollar economic bonanza it would have brought to upstate NY, Andrew Cuomo has stolen $2 billion from taxpayers statewide to fund “economic development” via something called Upstate Revitalization Initiative grants. There are four grants of $500 million. One of those grants was just made to the Southern Tier area, where fracking would have been the strongest had it been allowed. In other words, this is a bribe being paid to upstate voters. But we digress. Tucked into the $500 million “grant” (i.e. bribe) for the Southern Tier is $1.5 million to build a feeder pipeline from the Constitution Pipeline to Raymond Corporation in Greene, NY. Why approve $1.5 million for a feeder pipeline if you’re not going to approve the Constitution Pipeline itself? You wouldn’t–ergo the Constitution is about to get approved…
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Range Resources’ Executive Chairman Sells 468K Shares of Co Stock

After serving 20 years as the CEO of Texas-based Range Resources–the first and one of the largest drillers in the Marcellus Shale–John Pinkerton retired and Jeffrey Ventura became the new Range CEO on Jan. 1, 2012 (see Range Resources Names Early Marcellus Advocate as Next CEO). Even though he retired as CEO, Pinkerton stayed on the board of directors, becoming executive chairman. Over the past two weeks Pinkerston has sold 467,521 shares of Range stock that he owns, leaving him with just 390,343 shares. The grand total of his stock sales was $10.6 million. Knowing it doesn’t look good that the executive chairman has just dumped more than half of his stock when the stock price is half what it was just three months ago, Range issued a statement to explain why Pinkerton engaged in a fire sale of his company shares…
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Halcon Resources Announces 1-for-5 Stock Split to Avoid De-Listing

Halcon Resources is a driller that “guessed wrong” by leasing 140,000 Utica Shale acres in the northern part of the play and currently doesn’t drill in any of that acreage. Halcon is one of the one of eight Marcellus/Utica companies on David Fessler’s “Oil Company Death List” (see 19 Oil/Gas Companies on “Death List” – 8 are in Marcellus/Utica). As an interesting aside, the “Death List” also includes Marcellus/Utica driller Magnum Hunter, a company filing for bankruptcy earlier this week (see Sad Day: Magnum Hunter Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy). In August Halcon refinanced $1 billion worth of outstanding IOUs with a third lien, paying a 13% interest rate on debts that had been 8.875% to 9.75%, and in November Halcon offered second liens for certain other IOUs, offering a new interest rate of 12% for debts that previously had rates of 8.875% to 9.75%. Halcon’s latest move came yesterday when the company announced a reverse stock split in which they will combine five shares into one share effective Jan. 5. What’s a reverse split and what does it mean?…
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DOJ Tells Halliburton/Baker Hughes “No Deal Yet” – What’s Next?

As we told you yesterday, the Halliburton buyout of Baker Hughes continues to be in trouble due to regulators (see Whispers Turning in Chorus, Halliburton/BH Deal in Trouble). Regulators in Australia and Brazil are balking at the deal, and there’s grumbling in the European Untion. But that’s all inconsequential compared to the main obstacle–the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ). Earlier this week Halliburton/BH announced the timing agreement to reach a deal with the DOJ will expire with no deal worked out with the feds. However, they will keep working on a deal with the DOJ–they haven’t given up. What it means is that the new marriage date, which had slipped from December 1st to “early 2016,” will now be April 30, 2016–more than a year after announcing their nuptials. That is, IF they can hammer out a deal that pleases the bureaucrats at the Obama DOJ. Here’s the statement from Halliburton/BH issued earlier this week…
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The One Thing Everyone Agreed on at PA Pipeline Task Force Mtg

Yesterday saw another in a series of meetings by the Pennsylvania Task Force on Pipeline Infrastructure Development–the penultimate meeting for the group of 48 members appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf and the PennFuture Dept. of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley. At the last meeting, in November, the group introduced a list of 184 “recommendations” in a 335-page document that would “guide” future gathering pipeline development in the state (see PA Gathering Pipeline Draft “Recommendations” from Wolf Task Force). At yesterday’s meeting the usual anti-fossil fuelers were present to complain, which is what they always do. Seems they’re only happy when they can make other people’s lives miserable–and they did their best to do just that at yesterday’s meeting. According to one report, there was one thing (amazingly) everyone agreed on yesterday…
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Will EPA Whore Itself to Antis and Change Fracking Water Study?

The one great, huge, towering problem that anti-drillers have is that there is no scientific evidence that supports their wild claims that fracking contaminates water–which is their favorite lie to spread. When the Environmental Protection Agency arrived at the same conclusion–fracking doesn’t pollute water–after four years of studying it, that really took the wind out of the sails of rabid fossil fuel haters (see EPA Draft Report Says Fracking Doesn’t Pollute Groundwater Supplies). The EPA reviewed research from over 950 studies and even conducted nine of their own primary studies. Conclusion: fracking doesn’t pollute water supplies. What’s a good fossil fuel hater to do? Pressure the EPA to change the outcome of their study. True science means nothing to liberals–science is not objective for them, it’s political, a tool to be used. The Independent Petroleum Association of America recognizes that and apparently has some intel that the EPA may bow to pressure and reverse its previous finding to state that fracking does cause harm to water supplies, contra to their four-year-long review and all of the facts that say otherwise. Will the EPA whore themselves for radical environmentalists and change course?…
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How Low Will it Go? Traders Say NatGas Price Will Hit 20-Year Low

Two days ago we highlighted stories about the price of natural gas, noting it had hit a 14-year low (see Natural Gas Prices Hits 14-Year Low – When Will it Rebound?). On Monday the CME price (the price for futures contracts based on the Henry Hub price) closed at $1.89/Mcf (Mcf is thousand cubic feet, the equivalent of MMBtu, or one million British thermal units which the price is often quoted in). Yesterday the price closed at $1.79/Mcf. Just how low will the price go? A number of traders now believe it may hit $1.60/Mcf, which would represent a 20-year low. Some are saying it may hit (gasp) $1.50/Mcf. A lot of the “blame” for the historic low price of natgas is the prolific output from the Marcellus/Utica…
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South Jersey Gas Customers Get $58 Xmas Present Thx to Marcellus

Customers of natural gas utility company South Jersey Gas will get a nice Christmas present from the company next month–a credit on their bill for an average $58 per customer–collectively $20 million. Why? Because wholesale natural gas prices paid by the company are so low–thanks to the Marcellus Shale. So said South Jersey Gas in an announcement yesterday…
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New EIA Report Shows Huge Growth in NatGas Electric Generation

We talk a fair bit about the price of natural gas, which drives how willing drillers are to drill for it. The higher the price, the more willing they are to drill. The converse is also true. If you can’t make a profit, why drill? One of the major users of natural gas, a source that is increasing its use, are electric generating plants. Price is driven by supply and demand. More demand is good–and using natural gas to power electric generating plants is one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly ways of producing electricity. So when we saw a new report being published (monthly) by our favorite government agency, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) that covers the monthly inventory of electric plants–what’s powering them and how much electricity they’re producing–we perked up. In reviewing the stats, two things clearly stand out: using coal for electric generation is cratering, and using natural gas to power electric generating is rapidly rising…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Dec 17, 2015

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Kinder Morgan considers relocating compressor station, defends pipeline proposal; record wastewater in OH’s injection wells; investors dump large number of shares in EQT Midstream, CONSOL Energy; local pediatrician says compressor station would be “toxic”; winners & losers with low oil prices; fractivists plan to repeatedly break the law; UK to allow fracking under national parks; and more!
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