A Pulse! WV Ethane Cracker Project Comes Back from the Dead

pulseWhat’s this? The all-but-dead ethane cracker project planned for West Virginia has new life! (Perhaps the Shell announcement has something to do with it?) Brazilian company Odebrecht has pulled out of the Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise (ASCENT) project previously announced for the Parkersburg, WV area (see Odebrecht Pushes the Pause Button on WV Ethane Cracker). However, Odebrect subsidiary Braskem has confirmed they will now move forward with developing the project on their own. If this bears out, it is fantastic news for a state that (in our opinion) deserves a cracker. But before you get overly excited, Braskem’s announcement that they are now the lead on the project is still not a confirmation they will build it. Braskem is still in the evaluation stage…
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Antero Takes Southwestern to Cleaners in Deal for 55K Marc. Acres

take to the cleanersAntero Resources announced yesterday that the company has just cut a deal with Southwestern Energy to purchase 55,000 net acres located in Wetzel, Tyler and Doddridge Counties in West Virginia for $450 million. Antero says the acreage is in the “core” of the Marcellus and some 75% of the acreage also includes Utica Shale rights. The acreage Southwestern is selling is acreage they themselves bought in 2014 from Chesapeake Energy. Chessy originally signed the acreage with landowners for $5 per acre (peanuts). Southwestern paid Chesapeake $12,000 per acre (see Southwestern Paid Chesapeake $12K/Acre for Land Signed @ $5/Acre). Antero picked up the acreage for $8181 per acre–about $4K/acre (one-third) less than what Southwestern paid for it. Oops. No wonder Antero is crowing about the deal! Here’s the lowdown, with announcements from both Antero and Southwestern…
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Antero Resources Floats 27M Shares of New Stock to Buy Acreage

antero resourcesAs we pointed out in our companion story today, Antero Resources took Southwestern Energy to cleaners in buying 55,000 of Marcellus/Utica acres for about one-third less than Southwestern paid for the acreage just two years ago (see Antero Takes Southwestern to Cleaners in Deal for 55K Marc. Acres). Antero is purchasing the acreage for $450 million. They don’t just have that kind of cash laying around, so they have to get the cash. In addition to announcing the deal yesterday, Antero also announced a new stock offering–selling off more ownership in the company. Antero plans to float 26,750,000 new shares of stock and hopes to get $762 million for it–covering the cost of the acreage deal with Southwestern plus some extra for “general corporate purposes”…
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Southwestern Sells More Assets from 2014 Chesapeake Deal

southwestern energyAs we report today, Antero Resources is buying 55,000 acres of leases in the Marcellus (and Utica) Shale from Southwestern Energy (see Antero Takes Southwestern to Cleaners in Deal for 55K Marc. Acres). The acreage that Southwestern is selling comes from the massive $5.375 billion deal Southwestern made with Chesapeake in 2014 (see Chesapeake Using $1B from Southwestern Deal to Buy Back Stock). The interesting thing is that selling land is not the only recent deal Southwestern has brokered to dump assets from the Chesapeake deal. Southwestern cut a deal (in May) to sell 135 vertical (conventional) and 37 horizontal (shale) wells in West Virginia to HG Energy. Earlier this week Southwestern got approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to sell pipeline contracts to HG Energy too. Which begs the question: How many more Chesapeake deal assets is Southwestern going to sell off?…
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Shell Cracker Plant Will Spur Real Estate Deals 150 Miles Away

Shell ChemicalsGentlemen, start your engines! Your economic engines, that is. The news earlier this week that Shell has made the commitment to move ahead and build an ethane cracker plant in Monaca, PA has, as we knew it would, set the region buzzing (see Breaking: Shell Pulls the Trigger, PA Ethane Cracker is a Go! and Shell PA Cracker Plant Project a Lot Bigger Than First Thought). With the decision now made, those in the real estate community are salivating over how that decision will reverberate throughout the region. There is now an effort underway to lure manufacturers in Texas and along the Gulf Coast area to consider setting up in the western PA (and eastern OH and northern WV) area instead–to take advantage of being that much closer to the biggest market in the country–the East Coast. One real estate pro says commercial real estate for up to 150 miles away is likely to be impacted by the decision to build the cracker plant in Monaca…
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CORNballs Claim Most OH Landowners Won’t Sign NEXUS Pipeline Lease

cornballsThe NEXUS Pipeline 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. A group of anti-fossil fuelers calling themselves the Coalition to Reroute Nexus, or CORN, is trying to stop the project (not reroute it). We affectionately call the nutters, “CORNballs” here at MDN. Earlier this year the CORNballs tried to incite trouble by telling landowners to call the police if NEXUS surveyors showed up on their doorstep to ask permission to survey (see CORNballs Tell OH Landowners to Call Police & AG to Stop Pipeline). The CORNballs are back, claiming that the vast majority of landowners along the proposed route for NEXUS have not, and will not, sign an easement to allow the pipeline…
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Group Promotes Mid-Ohio Valley for Petrochem: Shale Crescent USA

Shale Crescent USAA group of business and government leaders from Ohio and West Virginia in what is called the Mid-Ohio Valley have banded together to form an economic development group called Shale Crescent USA. The group has been some two years in the making and officially launched yesterday at a public event in Washington County, OH. The aim of the group is to attract manufacturers (particularly petrochemical manufacturers) to set up shop in the region. Leaders of the new organization point out the unique location, with the mighty Ohio River to barge materials and products in and out, and the location right on top of the most abundant supplies of cheap natural gas in the entire world. In addition to yesterday’s event, the group launched a website: ShaleCrescentUSA.com. Unfortunately, as of the time this article was posted, the site seems to be off the air (a public relations disaster the day after the big unveiling). Perhaps by the time you read this it will be working. (Working now!) We were able to locate a very slick video promo which we’ve embedded below…
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Wolf Really Didn’t Wise Up, He Just Took Half a Loaf re Drilling Regs

tom wolf
PA Gov Tom “half a loaf” Wolf

Yesterday MDN held out hope that PA’s far-left Governor, Tom Wolf, had actually wised up with respect to blocking new drilling regulations for conventional drillers in the state (see Wolf Wises Up – Agrees to Block/Rework Conventional Drilling Regs). We thought perhaps the Wolf was learning to moderate his hard-left stances and work with the more reasonable Republican Party to advance the state. Ha ha ha. We should have known better. How very Pollyanna of us. We spotted an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that gives us the real reason Wolf agreed to sign off on a deal to block new Article 78 regulations for conventional drillers: Because if he didn’t, Republicans AND Democrats were waiting to block ALL of the new drilling regs–including regs for shale drillers. Members of his own party told him they would vote to override his veto, if it came to that. Wolf knew he had lost the fight and rather than go down to defeat, he grabbed onto a half a loaf–allowing shale regs to advance–to salvage what little reputation he has left…
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PA Paper Manufacturer Converting Coal to NatGas Boilers

GlatfelterIt’s not only power generating plants that are converting from burning coal to burning natural gas. York, PA paper manufacturer Glatfelter is working on a $63 million conversion project from coal-fired boilers to Marcellus Shale gas-fired boilers. Glatfelter considered other alternatives, like scrubbers for the current coal-fired boilers and using biomass boilers. In the end, Glatfelter said Marcellus Shale gas has “lower emissions, increased efficiency, lower variable costs” and supports “a resource critical to the state’s economic health.” Wise choice. The Glatfelter decision to convert to Marcellus Shale gas was highlighted yesterday at an economic forum in southcentral PA…
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As the (Midstream) World Turns: FTC Approves ETE/Williams Merger

As the World TurnsIn our ongoing soap opera of whether or not Energy Transfer Equity and Williams will tie the knot, another new development to report. Yesterday the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gave the deal its stamp of approval–providing Williams sells its 50% ownership in Gulfstream Natural Gas System LLC (located in Florida). Yesterday both Williams and ETE issued the same, nearly word-for-word identical statements, indicating some level of communication between the two still exists…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Jun 10, 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: PA ethane cracker will boost NGL production; OH says PA cracker is good news for their cracker too; PA chemical industry supports PennEast Pipeline; paying for pipelines in New England; record high natgas trading volumes in 2015; natgas prices jump 6% while oil stalls; what is the future of natgas price?; cheap Canadian gas aggravates US; and more!
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