NTE Energy Developing 3 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in CT/NC/OH

NTE EnergyNTE Energy, headquartered in St. Augustine, Florida, builds new natural gas-fired electric plants. Currently the company is building plants in Southwest Ohio, West Texas and North Carolina. Last Friday NTE announced three more new natgas-fired power plant projects–one in Connecticut, one in North Carolina and one in Ohio. There’s no doubt these plants will use shale gas from the Marcellus/Utica to power them–which is good news for producers in the northeast. Here’s the details from NTE…
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Radical Groups Claim Range Resources Avoids Rich Neighborhoods

Range ResourcesThree radical environmental groups well-known for lying about fracking and the oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania–The Center for Coalfield Justice, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Clean Air Council–are accusing Range Resources of intentionally avoiding “wealthy” neighborhoods and instead targeting low-income neighborhoods when drilling wells. The three groups make the claim that Terry Bossert, Range VP for legislative and regulatory affairs, told a meeting of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute that his company company tries to avoid siting shale gas wells near “big houses” where residents might have the financial resources to challenge drilling. Reps from the radical groups claim they heard him say this at the meeting. Range has responded that the comment was a joke–made in jest. The radical groups say it certainly didn’t seem that way to members of the audience. If the comment was not made in jest, it’s deeply troubling and, frankly, boneheaded. The problem is, the groups doing the accusing have lied so much about fracking and frackers, you simply can’t believe what they say. Is this a case of yet another ginned up lie by Big Green groups, or a case of the “boy who cried wolf” by those groups?…
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CONSOL Energy CEO Predicts 2 Ethane Crackers Coming

Nick DeIuliis
Nick DeIuliis – CEO CONSOL Energy

Looks like MDN is not the only source that believes both the Shell and PTT Global ethane crackers will (eventually) get built. After all, Shell has spent half a billion (out of $2-$3 billion) on their PA-based project already (see Shell has Spent “Half a Billion Dollars” on PA Cracker Already!). They’re 20-25% of the way there! Doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots with that project. PTT Global has purchased land, is leveling the site and paid for design work on their OH-based site, spending upward of $200 million (see our PTT stories here). Now, none other than Nick DeIuliis, CEO of CONSOL Energy, is predicting both the Shell and PTT Global ethane crackers will get built…
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Judge Won’t Grant Request to Stop Adoption of New PA Drilling Regs

lawsuitIn March MDN told you about a lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania Independent Petroleum Producers Association (PIPP) against implementation of new rules and changes to existing rules known as Chapters 78 & 78a (see PA Conventional Drillers File Lawsuit to Stop New DEP Regulations). PIPP objects to conventional drillers being subjected to many of the same rules as unconventional (shale) drillers. PIPP says the two types of drilling are apples and oranges and to make small drillers jump through the same hoops as big shale drillers will literally eliminate small drillers from the Keystone State–making it unprofitable to continue drilling. So PIPP, on behalf of those drillers, sued to stop the new regulations. Unfortunately (for PIPP and all drillers) a judge ruled against PIPP and will allow the rules to move forward in the process to be adopted…
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PA Superior Court Rules in Favor of CNX in Royalty Case

courtgavel.jpgAn important case regarding royalties was ruled on in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania on April 7th. As with many of these cases, this one is complicated. We’ll do our best to summarize it. A husband and wife leased their property in the 1990s to a company that eventually sold the least to CNX (i.e. CONSOL Energy). The couple later signed another lease with CNX in 2002. Both leases states that CNX will pay the couple one-eighth of the sale price for the gas as a royalty. But more than just the wells on the couple’s land are commingled in a drilling unit, so the way CNX calculate the royalties (as per the lease) is to measure the amount of production at the wellhead and divide accordingly. If the couple’s well produced 20% of the overall volume produced by all the wells in the unit, they get 20% of one-eighth of the sale price. But here’s the thing: the amount of gas that eventually gets sold “down the pipeline” is less than what is produced at the wellhead. As gas travels through pipelines and compressor stations, some of it disappears. The couple’s attorney says because CNX can’t account for 100% of the gas that disappears (maybe more disappears from the neighbor than his client), that CNX is in breach of the lease and owes the couple a royalty based on the gas produced at the wellhead and not based on what is eventually sold “down the pipeline.” A lower court ruled in favor of CNX. Now, the Superior Court of PA has also ruled in favor of CNX and says the clever legal reasoning by the couple’s attorney doesn’t hold water…
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Eclipse Resources Dodges a Bullet – Stock Won’t Get De-Listed

Eclipse_logo_hiresWhew. Eclipse Resources dodged a bullet! In February MDN told you that Eclipse Resources, a Marcellus/Utica pure play driller headquartered in State College, PA (but drilling mostly in Ohio) had been put on notice by the New York Stock Exchange that the company’s stock had fallen below $1 per share for too long and would be de-listed if they couldn’t get the price up (see NYSE Threatens to De-list Eclipse Resources’ Stock – Price Too Low). Good news: they got the price up. And now the NYSE that the company is once again in compliance…
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Why is UTOPIA Pipeline Less “Controversial” than NEXUS in Ohio?

UTOPIA Pipeline map – click for larger version

For some reason antis in Ohio seem to have more of a problem with Spectra Energy’s proposed NEXUS natural gas pipeline than with Kinder Morgan’s UTOPIA ethane pipeline–at least that’s what the Toledo Blade claims. The NEXUS is a $2 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that will run from Ohio through Michigan and eventually to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada (see Spectra Energy Files Formal FERC Application for NEXUS Pipeline). It is a critically needed pipeline to move Utica and Marcellus Shale gas from an over-saturated market in the northeast to markets in the Midwest and Canada. UTOPIA is a 12-inch ethane pipeline will run 240 miles and will only be built in Ohio before it connects to another pipeline that goes to Canada–therefore the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) won’t be involved in permitting UTOPIA. As we’ve previously noted, it seems like there’s been very little opposition to UTOPIA (see UTOPIA Ethane Pipeline Faces Virtually No Opposition in OH). It also seems the antis believe the NEXUS is more of a threat than UTOPIA–even though pipelines are THE safest form of transportation in the country, bar none…
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Rice Energy Sold All the Stock They Wanted at Price They Needed

Rice EnergyLast week MDN told you that Rice Energy had floated stock offerings hoping to raise enough money to buy the Marcellus/Utica assets from the now bankrupt Alpha Resources (see Rice Energy Floats New Round of Stock, Hopes to Raise $488M). Rice sold the entire offering and got net proceeds of $312 million–meaning they have the $200 million needed to buy those assets from Alpha. If no one else comes along and makes a higher bid. The interesting thing to us is that it seemed like it took no time at all for Rice to sell all of the stock they offered at the price they asked for. Which means there’s still an appetite in the investment community to own shares of quality oil and gas company stock…
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SWPA Hotel Owners Catering to Marcellus Auctions Properties

auction-gavel.jpgSince 2012 MDN has had our eye on a “feel good” story–about a physician who immigrated from India to Bentleyville, PA and his son. The Gosais (doctor father and son) took to investing in hotels in western PA (they began building them in 2000). With the fracking boom, the Gosais began to cater to the Marcellus industry (see Hotel in Rural Western PA Makes it Big from Marcellus/Utica; Marcellus Workers First to Get Studio 6 Motel in PA; and Washington County, PA Hotelier Adapts to Serve Drilling Industry). But then the market turned and it turned fast. In a not-so-happy ending, the Gosais have put several of their hotels on the auction block…
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Natural Gas Production Hits All Time High in 2015, Thx to Marc/Utica

According to our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. natural gas production reached a record high level of 79 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015. That’s an increase of 5% from the previous year, even though natural gas prices remained at historically low prices. Production from five states responsible for the lion’s share of the growth. Three of those states were Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia–the Marcellus/Utica. The other two were Oklahoma and North Dakota. In other words, Marcellus/Utica production increased so much it offset lower production in other regions…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Apr 18, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: FERC review of Northern Access due “in months”; Cruz on fracking; natgas replacing coal electricity in OH; energy jobs in PA down sharply; Kane lawsuit holding up royalty settlement; fracking cuts PA’s CO2 emissions by 30%; low prices don’t slow WV’s production; rig decline slows; JPMorgan says US shale defaults will creep up; and more!
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