Rumor: US Methanol Building 5 Methanol Plants in WV

rumor mongeringMethanol plants convert natural gas into methanol, used as a chemical feedstock (or raw material) to create other things, like gasoline, antifreeze and more. More commonly you may call it a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant. Methanol plants have the capacity to create a big demand for natural gas and sop up some of the oversupply we have in the Marcellus/Utica. In May we told you about Primus Green Energy’s plan to build a 160 metric tons per day (MT/day) methanol plant for Tauber Oil somewhere in the Marcellus (see Customer Announced for Primus Green Energy’s GTL Methanol Plant). We have more exciting news. US Methanol, according to their website, is working on two Marcellus methanol plants, coming to West Virginia. One plant, called Liberty One, will produce 175,000 metrics tons per annum, or about 480 MT/day. Liberty Two will produce 150,000 MT/annum, or a about 410 MT/day. Here’s the really really exciting news. We’ve stumbled across a rumor that U.S. Methanol is actually planning to build five methanol plants total. According to the rumor, we know where the first two plants already announced (Liberty One and Two) will be built–AND we know which driller they’ve contracted with to supply the natgas for those plants…
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Big Stakes: Gorsline Zoning Case Goes to PA Supreme Court

theyre backGuess who’s back with a case now before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court? Yep, the odious nutters from Big Green Groups PennFuture, THE (arrogant) Delaware Riverkeeper, and the Peters Township gang. You may recall we reported last September of the humiliating defeat suffered by these groups in the “Gorsline” case (see Major Victory for PA Landowners/Drillers in Lycoming County Case). It was a Lycoming County zoning case before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. In Gorsline v. Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township, anti-drilling neighbors, including Brian and Dawn Gorsline, Paul and Michele Batkowski and others (collectively “Gorsline”) sued to stop a conditional use permit granted by Fairfield Township to allow Inflection Energy to construct a well pad on the property of Donald and Eleanor Shaheen. The case was weak, but the lowest court in the PA court system–the Court of Common Pleas (i.e. county court)–said the ninny nanny neighbors had a right to strip away the Shaheen’s property rights to allow drilling on their own property. The PA Commonwealth Court obliterated the faulty reasoning of the lower court and, significantly, redefined how courts should interpret the results of the Act 13 zoning lawsuit that allows local municipalities the right to restrict shale drilling. Unfortunately the matter won’t rest there. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has taken up the Gorsline case on appeal. The PA Supreme Court has a 5-2 majority of left-leaning Democrats. Below we have a copy of the brief filed by PennFuture on behalf of the ninny nanny Gorslines, along with “friend of the court” briefs filed by THE Delaware Riverkeeper and Peters Township. Folks, this is a dangerous case the for drilling industry… Continue reading

Cayuga Power Plant Stays Open (Burning Coal) – Thx to Fractivists

Cayuga power plant
Credit: Ithaca Journal

In July 2013 we wrote this: “It would be hysterically funny if it weren’t so pathetically sad. So-called environmentalists don’t want an electrical generating power plant in Tompkins County, near Ithaca, NY, to switch from burning coal to natural gas because they’re afraid it will mean more fracking. Talk about cuckoo birds” (see NY Eco Group Protest to Stop Plant Converting from Coal to NatGas). In August 2013 we pointed out that if the plant can’t convert and ends up closing, the local school district is the biggest loser (see If NY Electric Plant Can’t Convert to NatGas, School Gets Screwed). The owner of the plant, Cayuga Operating Co., ended up selling it. The new owner, Riesling Power, tried to continue to process to get approval for converting the coal-fired plant to burn natural gas (not only cleaner, but also cheaper). Ultimately, the Cuomo-controlled Public Service Commission (PSC) turned down the request to convert. So guess what? The new owner certainly isn’t closing the plant after investing all that money. They’re going to keep operating it as a coal-fired plant–belching out far more pollution than a natgas plant would. Congratulations idiot fractivists (including obtuse Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, who wanted the plant closed). You’ve just screwed yourselves and all of your neighbors too!…
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NFG/Seneca Resources Expanding Utica Drilling Program

Seneca ResourcesLast week MDN reported on National Fuel Gas Company’s quarterly recently-filed quarterly report (see NFG Update: Seneca Gas Production Up 25%, Pipeline Profits Up Too). What we didn’t have at the time we wrote that story was comments from NFG’s drilling subsidiary, Seneca Resources. During the quarterly earnings phone call with analysts, Seneca head and COO, John McGinnis, said that Seneca is “quite pleased” with their very first Utica well which has been online for the past 45 days (drilled in northern PA). In fact, Seneca now plans to drill six more Utica wells over the next year, based on initial results. Here is what McGinnis had to say about the Utica, and the Marcellus–and what to expect…
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New (To Us) Gathering Pipeline in the Centre of the Marcellus

Unit-CorporationIt’s not often we miss something that happens in the Marcellus. No, we’re certainly not omniscient. But not much (we hope) escapes our eye when it comes to drillers, midstreamers and other participants in the Marcellus/Utica region. Here’s one that did! Unit Corporation is a Tulsa-based, publicly held energy company engaged through its subsidiaries in oil and gas exploration, production, contract drilling, and gas gathering and processing. Pretty much the whole upstream and midstream pie. In January 2016 Unit completed 49 miles of gathering pipelines in Centre County, PA. That’s the part we missed. Below are a few excerpts from their recent second quarter 2016 update talking about what they call their Snow Shoe Gathering system, along with a couple of screen shots from the most recent company PowerPoint presentation…
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Crestwood 2Q16: Bleeding Slows, the Stagecoach Rides

CrestwoodCrestwood Equity Partners (nee Crestwood Midstream) issued its second quarter 2016 update last week. In April Crestwood announced that New York City utility giant Consolidated Edison Inc. has formed a 50/50 joint venture to purchase ownership of pipelines and storage facilities in the PA and NY Marcellus region (see Utility Giant ConEdison Buys a Piece of the Marcellus Midstream). The newly formed jv, called Stagecoach Gas Services, became official in June (see Con Ed & Crestwood Seal the Deal on Marcellus Pipeline/Storage JV). Stagecoach and other projects in the Marcellus/Utica get an update in this latest quarterly report from Crestwood…
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US Silica 2Q16: So-So Quarter, Buys Frack Logistics Company

US SilicaLast week U.S. Silica, one of the largest frac sand providers in the U.S., issued their second quarter 2016 update last week. Frac sand providers are a good barometer for when/if drilling is coming back. You don’t order sand unless you’re drilling wells. The company lost $12 million in 2Q16 versus losing $10 million in 2Q15. However, $1.1 million of that was due to “restructuring costs.” What about revenue? Revenue was $117 million in 2Q16 versus $147.5 million in 2Q15. So we can sum up 2Q16 as “so-so.” Not terrible, not good. With luck, 3Q16 will look better (with drilling beginning to pick up). However, in a sign that U.S. Silica believes the market will come back, they also announced last week they are buying out Sandbox Enterprises, “a leading provider of innovative logistics solutions and technology for the transportation of proppant used in hydraulic fracturing in the oil and gas industry.” That’s a sure sign they think oil and gas is coming back…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Aug 9, 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: Climate change conspiracy; NY’s fracking hypocrisy; groups trying to kill SE pipeline; TVA building $975M natgas electric plant; Texas Independents sue EPA over drilling regs; feast or famine in US o&g fields; more asset sales coming for Chesapeake; dirty trickster Bill McKibben whines about dirty tricks; UK may pay landowners in shale areas; and more!
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