PA/MD/DE Pipeline Project Heats Up with Open House Mtgs This Week

ESNGThis pipeline project has been, until now, completely off our radar screen. As pipeline projects go, it’s pretty small. But building even a single square inch of new pipeline, or expanding a compressor station, is anathema to anti-fossil fuel nutters. So we expect this project will be in the headlines starting this week, with a pair open house meetings in the Philadelphia area (and one in Delaware) where the project will get built. The project is being built by Eastern Shore Natural Gas and is called the 2017 System Expansion project. In March 2015, Eastern Shore ran a non-binding open season to see if customers want more natural gas in the Delmarva Peninsula area (includes most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia). It looks like Eastern Shore’s customers expressed enough interest that they plan to move forward with an expansion project that will bring new sources of natgas from an interconnection Eastern Shore has with the mighty TETCo (Texas Eastern Company) pipeline near Philadelphia. Below we have details on the expansion project, and details for the open house meetings scheduled for this week in PA and DE…
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PA DEP Begins Review of Mariner East 2 Pipe; August Hearings

Mariner East 2
Mariner East 2 – click image for larger version

Seems like we’ve been talking about the Mariner East 2 pipeline proposed by Sunoco Logistics Partners, well, forever (see our list of ME2 stories here). Sunoco proposes to build a 350-mile natural gas liquids pipeline that will stretch from eastern Ohio to the Philadelphia area, bringing NGLs from Ohio and western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook refinery where those NGLs will get sent to both domestic and international customers. The project has faced stiff opposition and a number of lawsuits. Sunoco LP has had to file numerous eminent domain cases (some of which are still pending). Even though the project is opposed by radicals like THE Delaware Riverkeeper, it will get built–everyone knows it. And so the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has launched a review of the project and will hold a series of public meetings in August for the project. Below is the DEP’s announcement about their review and details for the meetings–meetings where supporters need to show up and make their voices heard to drown out the naysayers…
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Spectra’s NEXUS Pipeline Gets Favorable Draft EIS from FERC

Nexus Pipeline Route - Dec 10, 2014
Nexus Pipeline Route – click for larger version

The 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. One of the first and key parts of getting a pipeline approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is to submit the project for an environmental impact statement (EIS), performed by FERC. Good news. NEXUS received word late last week that FERC has granted the project a favorable draft EIS. That means FERC is of the opinion that the project will not unduly harm the local environment where it is to get built. A favorable EIS is an indication that FERC will grant its full approval for the project (in due time)…
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Long-Dead Wheeling Steel Plant Roars Back to Life Thx to Marcellus

Benwood WVIt’s not all doom and gloom in the Marcellus/Utica. Seems like for the best part of a year we’ve only heard about layoffs and companies filing for bankruptcy, due to the major slowdown in drilling in our neck of the woods. But that’s not an accurate picture. Take an old steel plant in the Wheeling, WV area that had been closed for 30 years. A new business now occupies the old Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. plant in Benwood, WV. JLE Industries has set up shop in the old plant with (so far) 25 full-time workers to inspect and repair metal tubes used in shale drilling. Chris Harris, the owner/operator, believes the company will continue to grow…
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US Rig Count Up by 9 in June, Marcellus/Utica Holds Even at 36

Baker Hughes logoWe’re starting to crack a smile of hope that drilling has once again picked up. Our first bit of evidence that the tide is turning came last week when we reported that Patterson-UTI Energy’s rig count had gone up by two in June (see Tide has Turned: Patterson-UTI June Rig Count Ticks Up by 2). We now have further evidence. Baker Hughes is fresh out with their broad-based rig count numbers. For June, the U.S. active rig count increased by nine! In the Marcellus/Utica, the rig count month over month remained the same. It was 36 active rigs in May, and once again 36 active rigs in June. Have we FINALLY hit bottom? We sure hope so…
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Statoil Completes Sale of WV Marcellus Assets to EQT

StatoilIn May MDN told you that EQT, a major Marcellus (and Utica) driller based in Pittsburgh, had cut a deal to purchase all of Norwegian Statoil’s Marcellus assets in West Virginia (see EQT Buying 62.5K “Core” WV Marcellus Acres from Statoil for $407M). The deal gives EQT another 62,500 net acres and 50 million cubic feet per day (50 Mcf/d) of natgas production for $407 million. The acreage is located in Wetzel, Tyler and Harrison counties in WV. The deal includes 31 Marcellus wells and ~500 drilling locations. It bumps up EQT’s available drilling locations by a big 29% and shows the company’s continued commitment to the mighty Marcellus Shale. Statoil reports the deal closed last Friday…
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Analysts Speculate on Future of Williams, Post-ETE Merger Debacle

Williams logoAre we finally, blessedly “done” with the ongoing soap opera that was the proposed takeover/merger of midstream giant Williams by fellow midstream giant Energy Transfer Equity? Can Williams now go back to its “considerable pile of knitting” (that pile meaning some 16 expansion projects)? Well, in a word, yes! Except….except if another suitor comes along who wants to buy Williams, which is a very real possibility. A couple of analysts mull over the possibilities now that the ETE plan to buy Williams is dead…
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Report: Energy-Related Job Cuts Jump 28% in 1H16 over 1H15

cutting jobsOutplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas is out with their Mid-Year Job Cut Report (full copy below). Overall, across all sectors, it seems that job cuts are slowing down–a good sign to be sure. But what about job cuts in the energy industry? The news there is mixed. While the pace of job cuts in the energy industry is slowing as the year progresses (a good sign), if you look at the raw numbers for the first six months of 2016 versus 2015, the news is not so good. For the first six months of 2015 the energy industry cut 60,500 jobs. For the same period in 2016, the number of jobs cut was 77,211, a 28% increase this year over last. Oy vey! Will the cuts never stop?…
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WVONGA Executive Director Corky DeMarco Dead at 68

Corky DeMarcoWe have sad news to report. Late last week Corky DeMarco, the well-loved executive director of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) died of an apparent heart attack. Corky was just 68 years old. Corky took up the leadership of WVONGA in November 2002 and guided (and grew) the organization through the turbulent shale years. Needless to say, he will be greatly missed…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Jul 11, 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: Baker Hughes Marcellus/Utica rig count steady; Willbros expands Marcellus Shale business dev team; PA Gov Wolf to allow PA budget to become law w/o severance tax; pipeline protesters in RI; VA Supreme Court rules natgas used to generate electricity tax free; powergen projects in the southeast; wet gas boosts local economy; and more!
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