WV, OH, PA, KY Should Cooperate on $10B NGL Storage Hub

cooperationIn May MDN brought you the news that a researcher at West Virginia University believes an natural gas liquids (NGL) storage hub is what the Marcellus/Utica region really needs (see WVU Researcher Says Marcellus/Utica Needs an Ethane Storage Hub). According to Brian Anderson, director of WVU’s Energy Institute, without ethane storage (and pipelines) the Marcellus/Utica region risks seeing its abundant ethane leave the area, mostly heading to the Gulf Coast. We need that ethane here, in our area. Kevin DiGregorio, executive director of the Chemical Alliance Zone, is also taking up the cause. Writing an opinion article in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, DiGregorio says West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky need to band together to build such a project. Set aside their competitive natures and cooperate? Yes. Why? Such a project will cost an estimated $10 billion–far more than a single ethane cracker project. No one state can do it on its own. It will take all our states cooperating to pull it off. Below is DiGregorio’s op-ed along with more details about the proposed NGL storage hub…
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600 Days & Counting to Build a 7-Mile NatGas Pipeline in PA-DE

ESNGA Bloomberg article takes a look at the ongoing and unnecessary delays companies face in building new pipelines–particularly in the Marcellus/Utica region. The Eastern Shore Natural Gas (ESNG) company, serving the Delmarva Peninsula (includes most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia), filed an application to build a measly 7 miles on Nov. 21, 2014. The $29.8 million pipeline project, called the White Oak Mainline Expansion Project, will “ease bottlenecks in transporting gas from the Marcellus shale formation” from Pennsylvania into Delaware. Why the horrific delays? Mostly because of opposition from insane anti-fossil fuelers who flood the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with comments, protest meetings, launch lawsuits and in general attempt to slow or stop FERC authorizations. ESNG’s projects aren’t the only ones stretching out to years before authorization is granted…
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Southwestern Energy 2Q16: Bleeding Slows, 17 New Marc/Utica Wells

southwestern energySouthwestern Energy, a major Marcellus and Utica Shale driller, filed its second quarter 2016 update yesterday. Bill Way, Southwestern CEO, called 2Q16 a “defining time” for the company. During 2Q the company has extended and delayed debt payments, and sold more stock. Financially the company is improving. In 2Q16 Southwestern lost $620 million, versus losing $815 million in 2Q15. The patient is still bleeding, but not as bad. The vast majority of their planned capital spending ($395M out of $750M) will get spent on Marcellus/Utica drilling. Speaking of which, the company placed 17 new Marcellus/Utica wells online in 2Q16, with plans to drill another 50 or so wells in the second half of this year. Here’s the extensive update from Southwestern…
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Schlumberger 2Q16: The Worst is Over, Drilling on the Upswing

SchlumbergerEarlier this week MDN brought you the second quarter update from Halliburton, the world’s second largest oilfield services company (see Halliburton 2Q16: $3.2B Loss, Lays Off Another 5K, Thx to Obama DOJ). One of the (many) things said by Halliburton in their update is that it appears to them that the worst is now over–that drillers are beginning to drill again. Yesterday the worlds largest oilfield services company, Schlumberger, agreed. Sclumberger issued their 2Q16 update. The big news is that both Schlumberger and Halliburton have “called the bottom” of the oil and gas market. When they both agree, it’s a sure thing. Like Halliburton, Schlumberger also lost big money in 2Q16–$2.16 billion (vs. a $3.2 billion loss for Halliburton). In 2Q15 Schlumberger made $1.12 billion in profit. What a difference a year makes! At least we’re now turning it around. Here’s the Schlumberger 2Q16 update…
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Guidelines for Using Drones in the O&G Industry

drone pipelineOn July 13, 2016, Congress passed legislation to allow limited drone use by the energy industry as part of the reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration (see Congress Approves Unmanned Drone Use in O&G Industry). The legislation defines drones as “small unmanned aircraft” weighing less than 55 pounds. Pipeline companies, in particular, can make use of drones with cameras to fly along pipeline routes to spot hazards or potential problems. And they can do it much more quickly and efficiently than having boots on the ground. The legal beagles at top energy law firm Babst Calland have written a “Pipeline Safety Alert” briefing paper that tackles the updates to the FAA regs allowing drones in the oil and gas industry–what’s allowed, and what isn’t. If you’re a midstreamer or even a driller, it’s worth your time to read this short paper…
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ExxonMobil Buying InterOil for $2.5B – Another LNG Love Story

Love StoryIn early 2015, MDN brought you the news that Shell was making a play to buy BG Group for $69.7 billion (see LNG Love Story: Shell Makes Play to Buy BG in $69.7B Megamerger). As we pointed out, the purchase was all about LNG, or liquefied natural gas. Shell consummated the deal in February of this year (see Shell & BG One Company After Today, Shell Ponies Up $14.4B Cash). The “man on the street” may not realize it, but the Shell/BG merger was the biggest such merger in the oil and gas industry since Exxon purchased and merged with Mobil in an $89 billion deal, back in 1999. ExxonMobil is now making its own LNG play. Yesterday the company announced a deal to purchase InterOil, an LNG company based in Papua New Guinea, for $2.5 billion. Yes, a MUCH smaller deal than the Shell/BG merger–but it points out the direction things are heading. Big Oil is making tracks to become Big Gas. The writing is on the wall. Eventually oil and petroleum-based products will recede. The obvious alternative is clean-burning natural gas. When the world’s largest oil companies say (and prove with their actions) that the future is in natural gas, well, that’s a tectonic shift in the oil and gas industry…
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EIA: NatGas the Biggest Gainer as an Energy Source in 2015

EIAYet another report from our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, points out the overwhelming use of fossil fuels as the primary energy source in the U.S. This most recent report highlights the changing mix used in our country to power our homes, vehicles and everything else that uses energy. The EIA reports that energy coming from nuclear plants stayed even in 2015. So-called renewable energy sources–which include solar, wind and hydro–increased by 1% in 2015. Coal took a nose dive and decreased 12% in 2015, thanks for Obama’s war on coal. Petroleum and its derivatives (oil, gasoline, etc.) increased by 2% in 2015. Natural gas? Consumption of natural gas increased 3% in 2015–the top mover among all energy sources…
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Fracking Legend Harold Hamm – Next Secretary of Energy?

Harold Hamm
Harold Hamm

Harold Hamm is the legendary CEO of Continental Resources. Hamm is, along with George Mitchell, Aubrey McClendon, and a few others, one of the original pioneers who figured out how to combine fracking with horizontal drilling to access previously-trapped oil in shale deposits. Hamm’s claim to fame is drilling in the mighty Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. Harold Hamm is, by all accounts, one of the biggest frackers in the world. Hamm addressed the Republican National Convention this week, at the request and invitation of Republican nominee for President, Donald Trump. We are super excited to fan the flames of the rumor mill. Hamm is a leading contender to be the Secretary of the Dept. of Energy under a President Trump. What a coup! Can you imagine having someone who “gets it” with respect to the energy industry guiding the agency tasked with developing our national energy policy? Someone like Hamm who would have the President’s ear? This is VERY exciting…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Jul 22, 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: Fractivist puts on doctor’s clothese to hide hypocrisy; NH steam plant closing, customers switch to natgas; US drillers cutting another $150 billion in spending in 2017; Range shareholders meet to vote on MRD merger in Sept; Canada turning away from US to sell oil abroad; and more!
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