Big News: FERC Grants Final EIS for ET Rover Pipeline

ET Rover Pipeline map
ET Rover Pipeline map – click for larger version

In June the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) handed Energy Transfer’s proposed Rover pipeline project, a $3.7 billion, 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada, a big red light (see FERC Tells Rover, Leach XPress Pipes to Redesign Routes in SE OH). FERC told Rover and another pipeline project, Leach XPress, which will run from Marshall County, WV through Ohio to Leach, KY, that where their two projects meet something different would have to be worked out. Shortly thereafter the two projects being developed by different companies became best friends (see Rover, Leach XPress Pipelines Become BFFs to Fix FERC Objection). Apparently that fix helped clear the path and FERC, last Friday, issued a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) favorable to ET Rover. About the only left now is for a final approval to be issued by FERC for the project, which is now pretty much a foregone conclusion…
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Penn State Eats Crow: No Link Between Fracking & Earthquakes

eat crowIn May MDN highlighted news that Penn State University had set up a seismic monitoring system throughout Pennsylvania to track earthquakes in the Keystone State (see Penn State Claims Link Between Fracking & Earthquakes, Without Research). We pointed out at the time that researchers had jumped the gun by theorizing fracking may be the cause for some of the earthquakes. At the time they said: “We have not done enough analysis of the data to make any conclusions yet, but there is a correlation spatially and temporally between the fracking and the earthquakes.” In other words, “We haven’t actually done the research, but we’re going to say there’s a connection between fracking and earthquakes–because we feel like it.” Now that they’ve done some of the research, those same Penn State researchers have changed their tune. What they say in a recently issued report is this: “The report found no correlation between the seismic events during that period and Marcellus Shale fracking or gas injection wells.” Sounds to us like they’re eating crow…
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Cabot O&G Adds Crew, Drilling More Marcellus Wells than Forecast

Cabot logoCabot Oil & Gas, one of our favorite large independent drillers in the Marcellus, issued their second quarter 2016 update last Friday. There was plenty of good news, but we’ll start with the bad news first. Cabot lost $63 million during 2Q16 versus losing $27.5 million in 2Q15. Compared to some oil and gas companies with losses in the billions per quarter, Cabot’s loss is inconsequential. We’d call it treading water, financially. The good news is that they are planning to drill and complete more wells than originally planned for 2016. That is, the market is picking up again. Cabot announced they recently added back a second completions crew in Susquehanna County, PA, the only county where they drill in PA. They still operate just a single rig, but that rig is accomplishing a lot for the company. At the beginning of 2016 Cabot planned to drill 25 Marcellus wells (see Cabot O&G 2015 Update; Cutting 2016 Drilling Budget 58%). In Friday’s update, the company said they now plan to complete an additional 15-20 Marcellus wells, over that original number. Good news indeed! In 2Q16 Cabot averaged 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of net Marcellus production (1.8 Bcf/d gross operated)–an increase of 14% compared to 2Q15. Below is Friday’s update…
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Halcón Resources 2Q16: Still No Utica Drilling, Focused on ND

Halcon ResourcesLast week Halcon Resources, a Utica Shale driller that “guessed wrong” by leasing 140,000 Utica Shale acres in the northern part of the play (in Ohio) and currently doesn’t drill on any of that acreage, filed for bankruptcy (see Halcon Resources Files for “Pre-Packaged” Bankruptcy). On the heels of their bankruptcy filing, the company released an update for second quarter 2016. These days Halcon concentrates their efforts on oil drilling in the mighty North Dakota Bakken Shale play, where they currently operate a single rig. Here’s the latest on the latest driller to go bankrupt…
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PennEast Pipeline Responds to Sierra Club’s “Tittelations”

PennEast Pipeline Route Map
PennEast Pipeline Route Map – click for larger version

Jeff Tittel, director of the radical, fringe New Jersey Sierra Club, tried to “Tittelate” green wackos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to oppose the much-needed, completely safe Penn East Pipeline with a recent column (full of lies) published in the Easton (PA) Express-Times. Why mainstream newspapers continue to publish outright lies is beyond us–but that’s the day and age we live in. So it fell to Penn East to publish a response to Tittel’s column, to set the record straight…
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Marcellus Drillers Get Back in the Game; Cautiously Optimisitc

put me in coachAs you have no doubt noticed, we are in the midst of quarterly reports season. Public companies (those with stocks) must file quarterly financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Along with those filings comes a version of the same news constructed for consumption by investors and the general public. The overall “feel” of reports coming from most Marcellus/Utica drillers has been upbeat. The obvious trend is that the big drillers–EQT, Cabot, Southwestern, others–plan to drill more wells in 2Q16 than originally forecast. However, given the recent severe downturn, most drillers are sounding notes of caution as a balance to the good news that more drilling is on the way. Perhaps “cautiously optimistic” is the best way to put it…
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NextEra Energy Sells Philly NatGas Power Plant to Starwood

Marcus Hook Energy Center
Marcus Hook Energy Center

Here’s something you don’t see often: one energy company selling their natural gas-fired electric generating plants to another energy company. NextEra Energy announced last Friday they are selling their 790-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle Marcus Hook Energy Center and the 50-MW simple-cycle Marcus Hook 50 Energy Center (both in Marcus Hook, on the outskirts of Philadelphia) to Starwood Energy Group Global, an energy infrastructure investment firm. The price tag is a cool $760 million. NextEra’s CEO Armando Pimentel uttered an gobbledygook statement about how it fits their long-term plans to divest the Marcus Hook plant (gives them money to spend on other things). Here’s the press release from Starwood…
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Fairmount Santrol’s New Stock Offering Exceeds Expectations

Fairmount Santrol logoFairmount Santrol, an Ohio-based sand producer that sells sand as a proppant for use in Utica and Marcellus Shale drilling, recently released their preliminary second quarter 2016 results sounding a note of guarded optimism (see Crack of Light – OH Sand Producer Says Market Turning Around). Here’s another thing for Fairmount to be optimistic about. Two weeks ago Fairmount announced a new stock offering of 25 million shares, for which they hoped to raise $148.75 million. The good news is that when the dust settled and stock was sold, Fairmount received $161 million, or 8% more than they had hoped for…
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What if Government Banned All Fossil Fuels?

Xiuhtezcatl Marinez
Xiuhtezcatl Marinez

Ever hear of Xiuhtezcatl Martinez? No, we hadn’t either. He’s a 16-year old “hip-hop artist” (i.e. rapper) who is frankly about as stupid as they come. He’s a “cute” guy (androgynous) who wears his hair long and the teeny boppers all swoon over him. So that makes him an instant expert on the evils of fossil fuels–someone the Natural Resources Defense Council cites as an expert. This would be falling-down funny, if it weren’t so tragic. Martinez (or if you prefer, his unpronounceable first name, Xiuhtezcatl), is on a mission to dump the use of all fossil fuels within 10 years. Sounds like something Sandra Steingraber would say (actually, we’ve heard her mutter similar wacko statements). Let’s play a “what if?” game. What if the U.S. government, under a President Hillary Clinton, actually attempted to force our country (via illegal Executive Orders) to dump the use of all fossil fuels and change over to using so-called alternative forms of energy, like solar, wind, etc. What would happen? For one thing, you can kiss products like aspirin, toothpaste, sunglasses, shoes, tires, shag rugs, and tennis balls goodbye. And that’s just the beginning of what would happen if spoiled rotten children like Xiuhtezcatl get their way…
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Today is Last Day to Contact PA DEP re Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

please helpMDN sent an email to our list of daily headline subscribers last week (below). This is a quick reminder that today is the last day to show your support for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project, being built by Williams, to the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection. How? Just click this link and fill out the brief form to add your name to a letter being sent to the DEP. It will take you less than 60 seconds. It’s a small thing you can do to help this project get built–and to beat back the anti-fossil fuel naysayers. Please do it right now, as soon as you read this. Here’s the original letter we sent last week…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Aug 1, 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: Rig counts hold on cusp of more drilling; energy slowdown still affecting local banks; the coming fight between crackers and ethane exporters; Texas sues EPA over methane rules; Exxon’s 2Q income plunges; Chevron posts $1.5B loss; when will we see $60/barrel oil?; and more!
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