Lancaster Antis Try to Bully Pipeline Supporters, FERC Reps

Atlantic SunriseMDN has attended several Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) “scoping hearings” in the past (see Vicariously Attend FERC Scoping Hearing on Constitution Pipeline). So we’ve seen first-hand the kind of antics that virulent anti-fossil fuelers engage in at such hearings. Which has led us to comment these hearings are often freak shows–a forum for these people to vent and verbally vomit all over FERC representatives. Such was the case last night in Lancaster, PA at a public hearing held by FERC for the much needed, largely noncontroversial Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, to be built by Williams. A group of 250-350 (depending on the media source) showed up to listen, with some speaking, at last night’s hearing. Not all in the audience were antis–but many were. People who support the pipeline have better things to do with their time than listen to nutters bleat and blat and carry on. Let’s put the numbers in perspective. Lancaster and Lebanon counties have a combined total population of 653,000 residents. Of that, 350 showed up for the hearing. If all 350 were against the pipeline (which wasn’t the case, but bear with us), that would be .05% of the population–statistically zero. And yet this very small group with very big mouths get all of the media coverage from the event…
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Seneca Resources & IOG Extend JV to Drill More Wells in PA

Seneca ResourcesIn December MDN told you that Seneca Resources (a wholly owned subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company) had cut a deal with energy investor IOG Capital to essentially fund Seneca’s Marcellus drilling program in Elk, McKean and Cameron counties in north-central Pennsylvania (see Seneca Res. Cuts Deal with IOG Capital to Fund Up to 80 PA Wells). The deal was for IOG to fund development for an initial 75 wells. So far 39 of the 75 wells have been drilled. Yesterday Seneca announced that their deal with IOG has been revised and extended. The new total well count that IOG will participate in is 82. The royalty split has also been revised with Seneca’s royalty in 36 of the wells going down–from 10% to 7.5%. Here’s the full details on this somewhat complicated arrangement that allows Seneca to keep on drilling…
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Is New England Heading for Huge NatGas Price Spike this Winter?

told you soMDN has covered, endlessly, the story of opposition to any kind of pipeline in New England. That opposition is largely responsible for Kinder Morgan throwing in the towel on their planned Tennessee Gas Pipeline extension called Northeast Energy Direct, or NED (see NED is Dead – Kinder Morgan Suspends $3.3B New England Pipeline). Another pipeline project for New England, Spectra Energy’s Access Northeast project also faces stiff opposition–even though it involves very little greenfield development (cutting across areas without existing pipeline rights of way). Access Northeast beefs up several existing pipelines and ties them together to shuttle more Marcellus and Utica gas to natgas-fired electric power plants in New England. One of the opponents of new pipelines to New England has been LNG importers in the region–specifically GDF Suez importing gas at the Everett, MA LNG import terminal, near Boston (see New England Importer Received 59% of All LNG Ship Imports 1H15). LNG imports are one of the primary sources of natgas for New England. The antis holler and scream, “Forget the pipelines. If you must use gas, use LNG. There’s more than enough LNG to supply New England.” In a macro sense that may be true–the world is awash in LNG. But arranging shipments and sources for it takes months, even years. Right now most of the LNG GDF Suez imports comes from Trinidad. Uh oh. Word has leaked that Trinidad’s natgas is drying up and the country is falling behind and not meeting their LNG commitments. It’s not a stretch to imagine that even an average New England winter, coupled with fewer imports from Trinidad, means trouble ahead for the squawking antis of New England. And when they begin to moan and complain about high natgas (and electricity) prices this winter, we’ll be laughing at them the whole time, saying “We told you so”…
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EIA June DPR: The Worm Turns for Utica NatGas Production

EIAYesterday MDN’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report–the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR is the EIA’s best guess, based on expert data crunchers, as to how much each of the U.S.’s seven major shale plays will produce for both oil and natural gas in the coming month. One observation from the June report: The worm has turned for natural gas production in the Utica Shale. Until this report, the Utica has stood alone among nation’s seven major plays in a trend of producing more natgas month over month. The EIA now predicts next month that trend will reverse and the Utica will begin to produce less natgas month over month. Not a lot less! Just 4 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d). But still, it’s worth noting. Another observation: When you combine all of the plays for both oil and natgas production, the rate of decrease for both is picking up. That is, month over month we’re now producing less and less of both oil and natgas from our shale plays. Which will likely be good for prices (less supply, the same or more demand equals higher prices). Here’s the latest from the EIA…
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Westlake Chemical Buys Axiall, Enters NE Cracker Market

bigger fish smaller fishIn December MDN told you that Axiall Corporation, a large petrochemical manufacturer, had made a final investment decision to move ahead and build a $3 billion ethane cracker/petrochemical facility in Louisiana (see Final Decision: Axiall Building Ethane Cracker in LA…NE Ethane?). Based on comments and various news accounts, we shared with you the opinion that its almost certain the plant will be supplied by shale gas from the Marcellus/Utica region (see Axiall Announces New Cracker Plant for LA, Fed by NE Ethane). Axiall owns, among other things, a large petchem plant in Marshall County, WV, the former PPG chemical plant along W.Va. 2 which Axiall bought just three years ago. Last Friday Westlake Chemical, another large petchem manufacturer, announced they are buying Axiall lock, stock and barrel–for $3.8 billion. Among the comments Westlake made is that it “looks forward” to working on the ethane cracker plant in Louisiana. Welcome to the Marcellus, Westlake!…
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PHFA Seeks Requests to Fund Housing Projects in PA Marcellus

PHFA logoListen up Pennsylvania communities with shale drilling: The PA Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) wants to hear from you with proposals for improving the “availability and affordability of housing in the Marcellus Shale region of the state.” The PHFA is back for a second year in a row with $5 million from impact fee revenue to spread around in communities affected by shale drilling (see last year’s story: PHFA Looking to Build Low Income Housing in Marcellus Region). We sometimes read stories complaining that housing is scarce and rents for apartments in shale areas are driving local welfare recipients to other regions of the state where it’s cheaper to pay rent. Here’s your chance to keep the slugs–er, a–low income folks in your own area…
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What Happens to Marc./Utica Ethane Until Cracker Plant Launches?

rejected.jpgThe Shell ethane cracker plant “yes” announcement is still, a week later, reverberating across the northeast (see Breaking: Shell Pulls the Trigger, PA Ethane Cracker is a Go!). However, it’s going to be five, loooong years before the plant is actually up and running and processing ethane. So what happens to all of the excess ethane in our region in the meantime? There are some (precious few) pipelines to carry it to markets where it can be cracked, including Canada and the Gulf Coast. Or perhaps pipelined to Philadelphia where it can be loaded on ships and exported to Europe. But those options only handle a relative thimbleful of the ethane we have. Most ethane is blended with methane and sent down the pipeline to be sold as “natural gas”–something called ethane rejection. Separate and sell? Or reject? It all depends on the economics and available markets. Here’s a closer look at what happens to Marcellus/Utica ethane for the next five years, until the Shell cracker goes online…
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BP’s 65th Statistical Review – Fossil Fuels Going Strong

simply the bestLast week BP released its annual Statistical Review of World Energy–the 65th edition! (We have a full copy embedded below.) A number of big energy companies, like Exxon Mobil, as well as government agencies, publish similar reports that characterize current and future world energy trends. However, one analyst we read says BP’s report is the best: “I have relied upon the BP World Energy report for years. It is not a report to be viewed with a partisan eye, but as merely one of the best, if not the best, energy trend device available anywhere. In comparison to government agencies like the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) the global International Energy Association (IEA) or OPEC’s own World Oil Outlook, the BP report has proven itself to be far more valuable in finding investable trends. I would never recommend any oil sector without having the statistical evidence of the BP World Energy Report behind me.” In scanning a summary of this year’s report, one statistic stands out for us. Environmental radicals constantly prattle on that renewable energy sources could replace fossil fuels, if we only had the will to change. What utter rubbish, as proven by this stat: In 2015 renewable energy, mostly used to generate power, reached 2.8% of global energy consumption, up 2% in the last ten years. Did you get that? Only 2.8% of the energy used in the world is generated by wind, solar, etc. Fossil fuels are here to stay through not only our own lifetimes, but the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren. Someday maybe we’ll be famous for having been prescient in penning these words (we’ll be long dead and gone)–but mark our words, fossil fuels are not going away any time soon…
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Siluria’s Disruptive Technology Gets French Partner – Air Liquide

Siluria TechnologiesWe’re keeping a close eye on Siluria Technologies. In May we told you the company has pioneered a way to convert methane (i.e. natural gas) directly into ethylene, the raw material used to make plastics (see New Tech Converts NatGas into Ethylene, Bypassing Cracker Plants). Siluria’s disruptive technology has the power to bypass the need for large ethane cracker plants, like the one Shell recently announced for PA. Very cool stuff. Earlier this month MDN told you that Siluria had taken on an Italian partner (see Siluria Gets Partner to Convert Methane Directly into Petrochems). The company continues on its aggressive push. Last week the company announced yet another partner–this one from France…
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90K Radicals Ask Democrat Party to Add Frack Ban Plank to Platform

Rules for RadicalsThe odious and misnamed Food & Water Watch, a virulent anti-drilling organization, along with several other Big Groups, has just delivered a petition with the signatures of 90,000 wacko radicals to the Democrat National Committee to demand that the DNC add a fracking ban plank to the Party’s platform. Outlandish? Would never happen? Hey, radicals in Pennsylvania got the Dems there to adopt such a plank before the last gubernatorial election (see PA Democrat Party Votes to End Marcellus Shale Drilling Statewide). Could one of the two major parties actually adopt a plank that would commit our country to energy suicide? With the Democrat Party, you never know…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jun 14, 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: Manufacturing resurgence, thx to Marcellus/Utica; how will my pipeline easement be taxed; do I need insurance to protect my o&g interests; Penguins are the energy story of the year; PA rig count falls for second week; $50/barrel is the new $100/barrel; natgas price heading higher; natgas glut through end of decade; and more!
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