Dead as a Doornail: ETE Terminates Merger with Williams

It's Dead JimAs we previously reported, last Friday a Delaware court ruled that Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) has the right to terminate its merger agreement with Williams (see Court Says ETE Can Terminate Williams Merger; Williams Votes Today). But as we also said, at that time ETE had not officially announced they were terminating the merger. They now have. Yesterday ETE said they have filed the official paperwork to dump the merger/takeover of Williams. Williams is continuing to litigate to try and force ETE to do the deal by appealing the court’s decision (see Williams Shareholders Vote “For” ETE Merger; Appeal Court Ruling). This deal is as dead as a doornail and everyone knows it–including Williams. What’s going on is legal posturing so Williams can try and extract money from ETE over the now-abandoned takeover attempt. In some ways we don’t blame Williams–they resisted ETE’s overtures for nine months before caving and agreeing. Of course, Williams caved and agreed because there are evil corporate raiders on the board pressuring the company to do so. As we’ve maintained all along–no one comes out of this smelling pretty…
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Eclipse Resources Ramps Up Drilling; Floats More Stock to Raise $

Eclipse_logo_hiresYesterday Eclipse Resources, a Marcellus/Utica pure play driller headquartered in State College, PA (but drilling mostly in Ohio) released a mid-year update on its drilling program. It’s good news, for a change! Earlier this year Eclipse said they would drill only one new well and that they were curtailing, or shutting in, production from some of their wells (see Eclipse Resources Drilling 1 Well in 2016, Restricting Production). This latest update changes that. Eclipse says given the expected higher price for natural gas as reflected by the forward market, they now intend to drill 10-12 new wells this year, and they’re turning the spigots back on for the curtailed wells. The Eclipse board has also voted to increase the capital expenditures budget by $28 million. No doubt that money will come from a new stock offering the company also announced yesterday–floating 37.5 million shares of stock, looking to raise $131 million…
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Shell Exec Shares Inside Story of Why They Chose PA for Cracker

Ate Visser – Shell Chemical

Yesterday was the second and final day of the Northeast U.S. & Canada Petrochemical Construction Conference being held in Pittsburgh. And boy oh boy what a day it was! Ate Visser, vice president of Appalachia petrochemicals at Shell Chemical took to the stage and shared with attendees the behind-the-scenes reasons for why Shell elected to build a cracker plant in Pennsylvania. There were three reasons: (1) cheap ethane from the Marcellus/Utica; (2) close to major northeastern markets; (3) tax breaks offered by PA. Here’s comments made by Visser, as reported from several journalists in the audience…
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Dem Congresswoman Wants to Stop PennEast Pipe by Neutering FERC

US Rep Bonnie Watson Coleman – wants to neuter FERC

Today, far-left Democrat U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (from New Jersey) will introduce a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives intended to hamstring the approval process of new pipelines at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Coleman’s bill, which doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting passed, is a ploy to block the PennEast Pipeline. Since that won’t happen, what this really is, is a political stunt–to improve Coleman’s chances of getting re-elected. She’s playing to her fringe/left base of supporters–people who irrationally hate fossil fuels and want to block anything to do with natural gas…
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Big Green Groups Try to Stop 3 TG Pipeline Projects in PA

TGP logoThree radicalized environmental groups–the Allegheny Defense Project, the Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Damascus Citizens for Sustainability–have filed a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to challenge FERC’s approval of three tiny pipeline expansion projects in Pennsylvania. Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s 300 line is proposing to expand three different segments of the line, serving different customers, and rightfully asked FERC to consider the three projects as separate and to not commingle them together. The radicalized groups are insisting FERC evaluate all three bundled together, in an attempt to slow down and hopefully stop progress on the projects…
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Kinder Morgan Gets a 50% Partner for Utopia Ethane Pipeline in OH

Utopia map
Utopia map – click for larger version

In December 2013 Kinder Morgan announced they plan to build a new 12-inch ethane pipeline through Ohio, dubbed “Utopia” for Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access (see UTOPIA is Coming! The UTOPIA Pipeline, that is…). Utopia will run ~215 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 the pipeline. Utopia has been less controversial than other pipeline projects in Ohio, like NEXUS (see Why is UTOPIA Pipeline Less “Controversial” than NEXUS in Ohio?). The 50,000 barrels per day of ethane flowing through it will go to NOVA Chemical’s Corunna cracker plant in Sarnia–a plant we wrote about just yesterday (see Canadian Cracker Eyes Utica Ethane, Adding $2B Polyethylene Plant). Kinder Morgan has announced they are taking on a joint venture partner in the Utopia project. Riverstone Investment Group will become a 50% owner in the project in return for putting up 50% of the cost–or $250 million out of the $500 million it will take to build it…
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Maryland Holds Hearings on Fracking, Crazies Turn Out to Complain

MDELogo_Horizontal_GreenTextMaryland is a lot like New York–populated with lefty liberals who love to tell other people how to live their lives. Maryland is at least, and perhaps more, “progressive” than New York. So it’s no surprise to us to read how the Dem libs are having a cow over proposed regulations that would allow fracking to begin in the state starting in October 2017. Maryland went through a years-long process, just like New York, and eventually released what would likely be the strictest drilling regulations in the nation, in late 2014 (see Fracking in Maryland (!) in 2015? Quite Possibly). On his way out of office, then-Gov. Martin O’Malley (a Democrat!) published the regs and prepared the state to frack (see Maryland Gets Ready to Frack! Gov O’Malley Files New Regulations). But then the Maryland legislature passed a temporary moratorium which the newly elected Republican Governor, Larry Hogan, allowed to become law (see Maryland’s Pusillanimous Gov Allows Frack Moratorium to Become Law). Hogan and the Maryland Dept. of the Environment (MDE) are back, with more tweaks which tighten the proposed regs even more–to the point no one would want to drill and frack anyway. But still the crazies are bleating and blating like wounded animals. Typical…
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NatGas Industry Steps Up with $350K to Help WV Flood Victims

WV floodIf you watch the evening news, you cannot escape the story of devastating floods in West Virginia last week. The floods raged across several counties and killed at least 23 people. Very sad. It seems it is during our darkest hours and trials that sometimes the brightest light shines. A group of 21 Marcellus/Utica companies have stepped up and have donated a collective $350,000 to the Red Cross to aide in flood disaster relief. Put a gold star next to their names. Here’s the list of companies that stand out for doing the right thing…
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Columbia Pipeline Shareholders Approve July 1 TransCanada Buyout

Columbia Pipeline GroupThe July 1st merger (buyout) of Columbia Pipeline Group by TransCanada barrels on. In March MDN reported that Canadian midstream giant TransCanada wants a bigger piece of the Marcellus/Utica pipeline pie and has decided to buy Columbia Pipeline Group for $10 billion (see TransCanada Makes Play to Buy Columbia Pipeline for $10B). Last week 95% of Columbia’s shareholders voted to approve the merger. TransCanada says everything is on track for a July 1 closing…
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New Group Aims to Counter Big Green Opposition to Pipelines

EEIAThe Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) is an association of associations. EEIA represents the shale energy supply chain. The groups that make up the EEIA represent more than 600,000 workers, employed in over 120,000 companies in 60 industries, annually contributing more than $170 billion to the U.S. economy, working in every state of the union. EEIA’s mission is “to mobilize and lead the supply chains voices to achieve policies at all levels of government that encourage full development of shale resources, while protecting the environment, health and safety; and to gain widespread public support for shale energy development.” So it is welcomed news that the EEIA has formed a special group called the Pipeline Support Network. The purpose of the group is to counter opposition from Big Green groups that are trying to stop pipeline projects. We sincerely hope the EEIA is effective!…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Jun 29, 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: Ohio has 10 Utica rigs working; Wolf won’t endorse PA House budget plan, wants more tax revenue; skilled labor needed for cracker plants; new CNG station in Pittsburgh; court rejects Sierra Club case against LNG exports; Chesapeake’s dilemma; the economics of a new gas pipeline; and more!
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