Midstream Soap: ETE Sues to Walk Away from Williams Takeover Deal

As the World TurnsIn last Thursday’s episode of “As the (Midstream) World Turns” (ATMWT) MDN told you that Williams still wants to marry Energy Transfer Equity (ETE), even though both companies are suing each other over the proposed merger (see As the M&A World Turns: Williams Still Wants to Marry ETE). Then we took a long weekend for Memorial Day and of course a lot has happened in the meantime. Let’s being with last Thursday: ETE sued to terminate the agreement to buyout Williams, and had the chutzpah to ask the court for a $1.48 billion breakup fee–after ETE themselves sought to change the terms of the merger throwing the deal into doubt! On Friday, sensing the deal is going south, Williams entered into private discussions with ETE about changing the terms of the merger–forgoing $6 billion in cash that was part of the deal, expressing their willingness to accept ETE stock insted. Here’s the latest episode of ATMWT…
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Trump’s Energy Speech Hits a Home Run: Regulate Less, Drill More

TrumpLast week presidential candidate Donald Trump gave a speech on energy and energy policies at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismark, North Dakota. By all accounts, Trump hit the ball out of the park. Before a crowd of some 7,000 people, Trump delighted the audience with a pretty simple message: cut back on regulations that choke America’s exploration and production of energy–and frack a lot more. Which is contrary to “crooked Hillary’s” vision of enacting new regulations to the point that fracking will be banned (see A President Hillary Clinton Would Ban Most Fracking). Trump addressed a variety of issues, including the now-canceled Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada. Trump said he would ask TransCanada to refile its application once he’s president–however, he also said America will keep part of the profits from the pipeline. You have to love a businessman like Trump! So practical and smart. Below are a couple of reports about the speech, to give you the highlights, followed by a video of the full, 44-minute speech itself…
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OH Dem House Member Proposes OH Version of PA Impact Fee

Jack Cera
OH Rep. Jack Cera

Every now and again an elected Democrat surprises us. Such is the case with Ohio State Rep. Jack Cera, Democrat from Bellaire (Belmont County), OH. In December of last year, Rep. Jack Cera was peddling the party line that Ohio needs to raise its severance tax, and we took him to task for it (see Don’t Know Jack: Politician Lobbies for High OH Severance Tax). However, Jack has seen the light. Don’t get us wrong, he’d still vote for a high severance tax in a heartbeat (zebras can’t change their stripes). But Jack has wised up, just a bit. Instead of working for a high severance tax that isn’t going to happen any time soon, Jack is now proposing to reallocate the existing severance tax under a different formula. In House Bill 540 (full copy below), Jack wants to funnel more money to those communities–in his district, of course–that are actually affected by shale drilling. Makes sense that communities with trucks lumbering over their roads, and more emergency services being used, and more strain on the local county clerk’s office, should see more of the tax revenue come to them to offset those impacts. In other words, Jack is proposing a system pretty much like what former PA Gov. Tom Corbett (a Republican) set in place in the Keystone State: an impact fee. See–Democrats can learn!…
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Chesapeake, Anadarko Try to Wiggle Out of PA Royalty Lawsuit

Sherman ActLast December Pennsylvania’s felony-indicted Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, brought a lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy, Anadarko and Williams accusing them of, among other things, royalty fraud (see PA Atty General Sues Chesapeake Energy, Williams for Royalty Fraud). Somehow the anti-drilling Kane, herself facing ejection from office over felony charges (namely perjury), is still in office and the case against Chessy, Anadarko et al is progressing. However, there is a new wrinkle to report. Chesapeake and Anadarko last week filed to dismiss Kane’s complaints against them accusing Kane of attempting to litigate federal antitrust claims in state court. As with many legal cases, this one is complicated. We’ll try and break it down into understandable form…
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NJ Enviro Groups Continue Attacks on Safe, Needed PennEast Pipe

Credit: Wikipedia

Grasping at straws is the closest analogy we can think of to describe the latest desperate attempt by environmental groups in New Jersey to stop the PennEast Pipeline from getting built. Lawyers for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association have written to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking FERC to suspend its review of the PennEast Pipeline application. Why? Because, they say, PennEast hasn’t provided data requested by FERC and several state agencies. Which is, of course, a joke. PennEast has provided everything requested. This is yet another smokescreen, a delay tactic by people who irrationally hate all fossil fuels…
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Crestwood Could Have Begun Construction on Seneca Lake Storage

propane storage at Seneca
Click for larger version

As MDN told you last week, Crestwood Equity (formerly Crestwood Midstream) applied for and got a two-year extension on a proposed liquid propane gas (LPG) storage facility along the shoreline of Seneca Lake in a depleted salt cavern (see Stalled Seneca Lake Propane Storage Project Gets FERC Extension). The new news (for us) is that Crestwood could have started construction on the facility even without permission from New York State’s dysfunctional Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). However, Crestwood chose to keep the peace with and not rile the DEC and so instead elected to keep waiting via the FERC extension. We know how filing for an extension worked out for the Constitution Pipeline (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). Yes, Crestwood could/should have begun construction–but didn’t. There’s a new wrinkle in this whole mess. The official NY State Geologist needs to approve the project before the DEC will sign off. The State Geologist, who works not for the DEC but for the state Dept. of Education, left and has not been replaced. The Dept. of Education has no plans to hire a new geologist any time soon. How convenient. Here’s the story of the ongoing delays with the Seneca Lake Storage Project, delayed since 2009 by the NY DEC and now by the NY Dept. of Education…
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Responding to Shameless Supporters of Fired DEP Sec. John Quigley

John Quigley
Fired Sec. DEP John Quigley

PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Quigley was fired for colluding with radical enviro groups (see Smoking Gun: Copy of the Email that Got John Quigley Fired). Watching those radical groups, and their lapdogs in the media close ranks to try and rewrite the facts and the story line has been truly illuminating. Jan Jarrett, former head of PennFuture (one of the groups Quigley was colluding with) came to his defense by attacking a fellow “apostate” Democrat (see PA Radical Enviros Blame Democrat Senator for Quigley Firing). State Rep. Greg Vitali, the ranking Democrat on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, attempted to pin the blame on conventional drillers in the state with the claim they are trying to exempt themselves from being regulated (see the Patriot-News op-ed: Here’s why all gas drillers need to play by the same rules: Greg Vitali). You simply can’t let lies like those from Jarrett and Vitali stand. When they utter such nonsense, we must set the record straight…
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Halliburton Dominates Marcellus Refracks; Utica Shifting to Sand

Halliburton logoEvery now and again it’s fun to delve into some of the technical aspects of drilling a Marcellus (and Utica) Shale well. We pick up on some of those particulars from a survey conducted by Hart Energy. Hart surveyed Marcellus and Utica drillers and found that, unsurprisingly, what has worked continues to work: When a Marcellus driller drills and fracks a well, the driller uses slickwater and up to 11 million pounds of white sand. What IS surprising to learn is that Utica drillers who had favored ceramic beads instead of sand are moving away from using ceramic beads and toward the Marcellus tried-and-true slickwater with sand approach. Here’s a few more interesting tidbits, including the fact that Halliburton is king of refracks in the Marcellus…
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Friendsville, Maryland Votes to Commit Fracking Suicide

FriendsvilleThere are precisely two counties in all of the State of Maryland that contain Marcellus Shale deposits under them–Garrett and Allegany counties, in the far western tip of the state. Maryland is currently under an idiotic temporary ban (see Maryland’s Pusillanimous Gov Allows Frack Moratorium to Become Law). In March we told you that Garrett County commissioners committed fracking suicide by banning fracking in 41,000 acres around a lake in the county (see Garrett County, Maryland Commissioners Commit Fracking Suicide). One day, even if fracking comes to Maryland, a large swatch in Garrett will be off limits. But why stop there? There’s plenty of dolts in Garrett County who want to join the suicide pact. The town of Friendsville, which isn’t so friendly, is about to pull the trigger and commit fracking suicide too…
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Electric Power Plants to Drive U.S. NatGas Demand

EIAThe reason the price of natural gas is so low, as we’ve long pointed out, is simple economics. Supply and demand. We have a steady-to-slightly-increasing demand, but we have a whole boatload of new supply–thanks to the miracle of hydraulic fracturing. How does this supply/demand imbalance get corrected? You either need more demand, or less supply. We can assure you the less-supply thing ain’t happenin’. That leaves more demand. Yes, there is some interest from other countries who want our cheap natural gas. But let’s face it–we need to create more demand right here at home. Will that happen any time soon? Perhaps. We’d long hoped that natural gas vehicles would come along to dramatically increase demand of our domestic gas. So far, that hasn’t happened. NGVs haven’t taken off. But there is one source that can’t seem to get enough natgas: electric power generation. Coal plants are shutting down at an alarming rate, thanks to Obama’s war on coal. Nuclear plants are also shutting down because they can’t compete with cheap natgas. The fantastic trend recently has been the planning and building of new natgas-fired electric plants. Will demand for natgas-fired electricity continue to grow? For a partial answer to that, we turn to the number crunchers at our favorite government agency, the U.S Energy Information Administration…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, May 31, 2016

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: Court approves sale of ANR’s Marcellus assets to Vantage Energy; shale grads become trailblazers; WV DNR provides advice on pipeline construction; natgas is killing nuke plants; $50 oil – here to stay?; GOP senators tell Obama Justice Dept. to drop climate change witch hunt; and more!
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