Constitution Pipeline Reps Met with Cuomo Aide – April Deadline

Constitution PipelineThe Constitution Pipeline is a badly needed natural gas pipeline that would run ~125 miles from the gas fields of Susquehanna County, PA up into New York–all the way to Schoharie County, NY–where it would intersect with the Iroquois Pipeline and the Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The $683 million project would pump 650 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of PA shale gas to markets throughout the northeast and potentially into New England. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the project in 2014. Pennsylvania cleared the way for the pipeline in 2015. New York is holding it up–the tail wagging the dog–by not issuing stream and swamp crossing permits. We have repeatedly called on Williams, the main sponsor of the project, to take New York to court to strip them of their right to have any say in the matter since Cuomo is intentionally stopping the project for political reasons (see Time to Force NY DEC to Issue Permit for Constitution Pipeline). We’re just now hearing that representatives from the Constitution met with a top Cuomo aide in February to answer questions. The clock is ticking and Cuomo is almost out of time. New York has until April 29 to issue the permits or the application made to the state one year ago will expire. Perhaps that will be the triggering event for a massive lawsuit against the state…
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Go Big or Go Home: Cabot O&G Wells Average EUR of 27 Bcf

The indefatigable Cabot Oil & Gas continues to improve efficiency, increase production and lower costs–all at the same time. Last week Cabot presented at the Soctia Howard Weil Energy Conference in New Orleans. We have a full copy of the PowerPoint slides used during the presentation (below). What did Cabot have to say? They plan to complete 40 wells in the Marcellus this year and grow production slightly–up to 7% in 2016 over 2015. We also learn that the length of Cabot’s horizontal wells–their “laterals”–are getting longer, an average 7,000 feet long in 2016 vs. 5,900 feet in 2015. Perhaps most astonishing is that the average Cabot well is expected to see an average EUR (estimated ultimate recovery) of 27 billion cubic feet. How much is that? That’s enough natural gas that, if used to generate electricity, would power 656,000 homes for a whole year. From one well! Think about 40 new such wells going online this year. Collectively those 40 wells will end up providing enough energy for 26 million homes. Coming from one small county in northeastern PA. That is the awesome miracle of fracking for Marcellus Shale gas…
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Ongoing Demolition Work at Future Belmont OH Ethane Cracker Site

Bulldozers and heavy equipment continue to demolish an old coal-fired electric plant in Belmont County–at the site where PTT Global Chemical says they want to build a $5.7 billion ethane cracker plant. It’s a good sign that PTT continues to spend big money on the project. PTT is in the midst of spending $100 million on engineering plans for the plant (see PTT Announces 2 Contractors Working on Belmont Cracker Plant). The project is the first of all the announced cracker projects in the northeast to get its own website (see Getting Serious: Ohio Ethane Cracker Gets its Own Website). And now, demolition at the FirstEnergy R.E. Burger power plant site…
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Court Grants Mariner East 2 Right to Clear Trees in Huntingdon, PA

chainsawIt’s always sad when a pipeline company has to resort to eminent domain in order to install a pipeline through/under a property. Once the pipeline is there, you don’t even know it. Our observation is that pipeline companies bend over backwards to avoid sensitive areas and to reroute away from properties that don’t want it. Sometimes that’s not possible. It seems to us like reasonable people should be able to come to terms when it’s not possible to avoid having a pipeline installed. However, some people are not reasonable (able to be reasoned with)–that’s life. And that’s why eminent domain exists. A sad necessity. Such is the case with the Mariner East 2 pipeline being built by Sunoco Logistics Partners. Many landowners have signed agreements with Sunoco LP for Mariner East 2–but some have not. Those not granting permission have been sued using eminent domain, to allow Sunoco to clear trees and begin building. In almost every case Sunoco has won the eminent domain argument in court. The latest instance of victory for Sunoco comes in Huntingdon County, PA. Start the chainsaws! Today more trees are coming down in Huntingdon to make way for Mariner East 2…
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Range Resources Gets $110 Million for Bradford County, PA Assets

In February MDN told you that Range Resources had inked a deal to sell non-operated assets–some 11,000 acres of leases along with shale wells located in Bradford County, PA–for $112 million (see Range Resources 2015: $714M Loss, Sells Non-Operated Marcellus). Range is famously tight-lipped about these kinds of deals and didn’t identify who the buyer is. Yesterday Range issued another press release to say that the deal is now done and dusted–the money received and already spent. In the end, Range got $110 million (not $112 million). They still don’t say who the buyer is…
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Bear Head LNG Facility Buys More Land, Opens Halifax Office

A Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility planned for Nova Scotia received final authorization from the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) to export LNG to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the United States (see Bear Head LNG Exports Get Final DOE Approval – Good for Marcellus. Bear Head LNG, a $2.2 billion project proposed by Australian company Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (LNGL) received Canadian approval a year ago (see Canada’s 1st LNG Export Facility Gets Green Light; Marcellus Gas?). The project then received DOE approval to export to free trade agreement countries in July of 2015 (see 2nd Canadian LNG Plant Gets U.S. Approval to Export Marcellus Gas). This project is keeping its foot on the pedal. LNGL announced today they’ve purchased more land surrounding the site where they plan to build. Companies don’t sink this kind of money into projects they are not serious about. Here’s the latest on Bear Head LNG…
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Antis Stitch Together Pipeline Quilt in Lancaster County, PA

Last Thursday MDN editor Jim Willis and his wife made a day trip to Amish country–Lancaster County, PA. Jim loves the region. Jim’s wife loves to shop in the region! The flowers were already blooming, the grass green and being mowed, and the crops planted. Nothing like a good whiff of manure from a nearby farm! Wouldn’t you know that a small group of anti-fossil fuelers opposing pipelines in the region would wait until Monday to stage a media event? Why couldn’t they have done it while Jim was there?! The protesters got the bright idea of creating a quilt 50 feet wide–the distance of a pipeline right-of-way–and getting sympathetic media types to come take pictures…
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OSHA Publishes New Silica Dust Rule, O&G Must Comply by 2018

Last December MDN warned you that the Obama Administration’s latest attempt to regulate the oil and gas industry was coming from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)–via new silica dust regulations (see New Dust Regulation Latest Obama Attempt to Regulate O&G). As predicted, last week OSHA published their new rules (full copy below). We certainly have nothing against being safe and guarding the safety of workers. Silica dust is nasty stuff–effectively like asbestos particles. But once again the Obamadroids have taken a serious issue and have gone to extremes. The “good news” if there is any, is that the new rules don’t take effect for the oil and gas industry for two years…
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Antero Sells 8M Units in Midstream Subsidiary, Looks to Raise $179M

There’s a handful of Marcellus/Utica drillers who are still making money and still drilling in the northeast. One of the few is Antero Resources. In 2015 Antero made, after expenses, nearly $1 billion in profit (see Antero Resources Stands Above the Rest – Nets $941M in 2015). Impressive. For 2016, even though Antero will scale back on spending, they still plan to drill 110 wells in the northeast (see Antero Resources 2016: Spending 23% Less, Drilling 110 Wells). Really impressive. Although they’ve had enormous success, you can never have too much cash if you’re a driller. Last week Antero announced they are selling 8 million new “common units” (think shares of stock) in Antero’s midstream subsidiary, hoping to raise $179 million of cold, hard cash to keep the drill bits turning. After the announcement, Antero Midstream’s unit prices plunged…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Mar 29, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Rig counts continue to fall, everywhere; more CNG stations coming to PA; anti-pipeline bills in NH go nowhere; USGS issues report on induced earthquakes; Love’s loves CNG, completes Trillium deal; the devil is in the details of the PHMSA’s pipeline regs; the case for a free energy market; Krispy Kreme victim of low oil prices; and more!
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