Stone Energy in Talks to Sell 90K Acres of Marcellus Leases/Wells

Stone EnergyStone Energy, an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company (E&P) headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana drills mainly in the Gulf of Mexico but also has a presence in the Marcellus/Utica Shale with 90,000 acres of leases. Last year Stone quit drilling in the northeast and actually shut-in part of their production due to low prices (see Stone Energy 3Q15: Shut Down 110 Mmcfe/d of Marcellus Production). In June Stone cut a new midstream gathering agreement with Williams to return some of their shut-in Marcellus wells to full production (see Stone Energy Opens Marcellus Spigots Again; New Midstream Deal). Although threatened with de-listing by the New York Stock Exchange and under threat of bankruptcy, Stone has (so far) managed to avoid both fates. Earlier this month MDN reported that although the company still faces stormy weather, they had committed to ramping up their Marcellus program again (see Stone Energy Ramps Up Marcellus Again in 2Q16, Loses $196M). Perhaps that was just marketing? Or perhaps Stone has been backed into a corner? Word has leaked, via a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 8-K filing (full copy below), that Stone has “commenced negotiations to sell its Appalachian assets to a third party” as part of restructuring talks. That is, Stone is trying to stay out of bankruptcy, or if they have to declare bankruptcy, get a deal in place first–and as part of that process, they’ve disclosed they are actively trying to sell their 90,000 acres of leases and existing drilled wells in the Marcellus to help pay down debt…
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Corp Raider Who Quit Williams Board Wants Now Wants Back On

As the World TurnsKeith “Mini-Me” Meister, a protege of Carl Icahn and disgusting corporate raider bent on ruining Williams, just can’t stay away. He owns a lot of Williams stock (something like 4% of all Williams stock), and when Mini-Me Meister couldn’t get his own way in forcing Williams to merge with Energy Transfer Equity (see Dead as a Doornail: ETE Terminates Merger with Williams), and when Mini-Me and five other Williams board members couldn’t subsequently force Williams CEO Alan Armstrong to resign, he and the other others quit in a huff (see Half of Williams Board, Including 2 Corporate Raiders, Quit ). We told you earlier this week that Mini-Me Meister is trying to incite a shareholder revolt (see Corporate Raiders Try to Incite Shareholder Revolt at Williams). Now comes word that Meister has put his own name and nine others (from his corporate raider company, Corvex) forward to stand for election to the board of directors. It’s called a proxy fight to win control of the company. It will be expensive to combat, but Williams must combat it if they want to keep an independent company and not layoff thousands of people…
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NJ Anti Indicted for “Terroristic Threats” Againt PennEast Workers

PennEast in NJ
PennEast in NJ

In April MDN told you about the case of an anti-driller who crossed the line into terrorism (see Anti Arrested for Terrorist Threats, Waves Gun at PennEast Workers). Three surveyors working on the PennEast Pipeline in Holland Township (Hunterdon Township), New Jersey were approached by a man with a rifle. The man asked them if they were there working on the PennEast. When the 3-man crew responded “yes,” the man waved the gun in the air, shouting at them that he would stop the pipeline. It was a clearly a menancing threat to the men who were doing nothing more than a survey. Holland Township Police later arrested Lester Kinney Jr., charging him with “making terroristic threats and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.” Although arrested for his crimes, you need an indictment (from a grand jury) in order to prosecute such a crime. The wheels of justice grind sloooooooooowly. We finally have some good news. A grand jury has indeed indicted Mr. Kinney for his criminal act. He will now either plead guilty, or go to trial…
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CONSOL Fined $184K for Sloppy Pipeline Construction

finedThe Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has fined two CONSOL Energy subsidiaries, CNX Gas (the drilling division) and CONE Midstream (co-owned by CONSOL and Noble Energy) for coloring outside the lines when they built some gathering pipelines in four western Pennsylvania counties. CNX was fined $139,000 and CONE was fined $45,000 for veering off the path officially filed with the DEP. According to DEP spokesman John Poister, the numskulls didn’t pay attention and were sloppy (our words, his sentiment). Here’s the official announcement from the DEP, along with comments from Poister…
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Spectra Spits in MA High Court’s Eye – We’ll Still Build Pipeline

spit.jpgLast week MDN reported on the decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court to deny utility companies operating in the state to pass along potential costs of a new natural gas pipeline to electric rate payers–the people who would most benefit from such a pipeline (see MA Supreme Court Ruling Endangers New England Gas Pipelines). Several utilities had entered into long-term agreements with Spectra Energy’s proposed Access Northeast pipeline on the basis of recovering their costs by passing along pipeline costs to ratepayers. We previously took great pains to explain this complex issue, of government-regulated companies and how they make money. We speculated last week that this decision may indeed imperil the building of Spectra’s Access Northeast pipeline. Good news! Spectra is metaphorically spitting in the eye of the MA Supremes. The company says it will move forward with building the pipeline anyway, regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision…
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PA Econ Dev Secretary Hits Road to Promote Shell Cracker

roadshowWe suppose we should have known, but we didn’t. We didn’t know that Pennsylvania has a Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). In fact, the DCED has its own cabinet-level Secretary–Dennis Davin–appointed by Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf in January 2015 when Wolf assumed office. Davin has stayed largely under the radar–until now. Wolf has sent Davin out on a road show to promote the forthcoming Shell ethane cracker plant. Davin is conducting roundtable discussions in various communities around PA to generate ideas on how local businesses can benefit from the cracker. So far he’s visited Beaver County (where the cracker will be built), Lawrence County and Washington County. The DCED is flooding the airways with press releases about Davin’s cracker road show…
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Half of UTOPIA Pipeline Jobs in OH May Go to “Foreigners”

Utopia map
UTOPIA Pipeline map – click for larger version

Now that Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s grandiose delusion of becoming the next president of the U.S. has been shattered and he’s had time to lick his wounds, it’s time to drag old “foreigner hunter” out for a new round of tracking down out-of-state workers. We have a mission for him: UTOPIA. As in Kinder Morgan’s UTOPIA ethane pipeline, planned to run 240 miles across Ohio. As pipelines go, it’s pretty small at only 12 inches in diameter. But ethane (a natural gas liquid) doesn’t need a huge pipeline to cart it across the Buckeye State. UTOPIA (named for Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access) will cross the state and connect to another pipeline that will carry Utica/Marcellus ethane to Michigan and on from there to Canada to feed the NOVA ethane cracker in Sarnia (see UTOPIA is Coming! The UTOPIA Pipeline, that is…). Kinder has just released a new study conducted by Kent State University researchers that outlines the huge economic benefits for Ohio in building UTOPIA. One of the interesting factoids: The pipeline will create over 2,000 temporary jobs–900 of them in construction. The report estimates that half of those construction jobs will go to out-of-state workers. Since Gov. Kasich is a jingoist with a problem employing out-of-state workers from exotic places like Texas and Louisiana (he calls them “foreigners,” see OH Gov. Kasich Continues Trash Talk Out-of-State Workers), we expect he’ll be prowling around to see if he can “fix” the situation…
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4 Pipelines Critical to Future of PA’s Marcellus Industry

3plus1Gene Barr is the president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. The PA Chamber is a big supporter of the Marcellus industry. Writing a column that appears in a recent edition of the York Dispatch, Barr gives full-throated support to three pipelines “critical” to PA’s future: Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise; Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East 2; and UGI Energy Services’ PennEast. We really liked Barr’s column (read it below). However, we would add a fourth pipeline to his list of critically important pipelines for PA drillers: the Williams Constitution Pipeline. While the three projects Barr names will be mostly built in PA, the Constitution Pipeline will be mostly built in New York State. We suppose that’s all we have to say for you to know why that project is in trouble. At any rate, here’s the reasons Barr offers for supporting the three pipelines he mentions in his column, reasons that equally apply to the much-needed Constitution Pipeline too…
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UGI Breaks Ground on Sunbury Pipeline for NEPA Electric Plant

Sunbury-pipeline
Sunbury Pipeline – click for larger version

In December 2014 Pennsylvania utility company UGI pre-filed an application to build a new 35-mile pipeline to feed a natgas-powered electric generating plant in Snyder County, PA (see UGI Pre-Files with FERC for New Marcellus Pipeline in Central PA and UGI Building 35-Mile Pipeline for Panda Power Electric Plant). The project is estimated to cost $150 million. It took long enough, but in May the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally approved the project, with the seemingly impossible prospect it would be built by this November (see UGI Sunbury Pipeline Gets FERC Approval, Built by November?). The 20-inch Sunbury Pipeline will start in Lycoming County and travel through Montour, Union, and Northumberland counties, cross the Susquehanna River and ending up at Hummel Station Plant in Shamokin Dam in Synder County. On Wednesday, UGI broke ground on the new pipeline. The impossible just became possible!…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Aug 25, 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: EIA says Marcellus/Utica production will increase for decades; NOVA’s plan to flow more Marcellus/Utica ethane to Canada; NY AG Schneiderman continues to get trapped in his own ExxonKnew lies; poetic justice for Constitution Pipeline; CONSOL starts drilling again in the Utica; Utica Shale Academy enters third year; DEP chief runs around checking “backyards”; natgas heading to $3 again, going higher?; the “shale-band” test; and more!
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