Rex Energy to Ship Marcellus Gas to Midwest & Gulf Coast in Nov

go west young manHigher prices for Rex Energy’s Marcellus/Utica gas are on the way. Why? Because the company will, beginning in November, begin to ship some of its gas out of the northeast–to the Midwest and Gulf Coast, where it can get higher prices. So says Rex in an update issued yesterday. Rex issued an operational update yesterday to discuss recent results and the next round of drilling they plan to do–4 more wells on the Vaughn pad in Carroll County, OH–and the news that a new high pressure gathering system is on the way in Butler County, PA. Included in the update is the good news that Rex will begin to ship 100 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natgas to the Gulf Coast and 30 MMcf/d to the Midwest, starting in November, via two different pipelines. Which pipelines?…
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EIA Sept Drilling Report: Watching DUCs Fly Away

ducks-flyingYesterday MDN’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report–the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR is the EIA’s best guess, based on expert data crunchers, as to how much each of the U.S.’s seven major shale plays will produce for both oil and natural gas in the coming month. The September marks a new milestone–the EIA has added a new tab of information for Drilled but UnCompleted wells, called DUCs in the business. Beginning with this month’s report, the EIA now includes estimates for how many DUCs there are, by shale play. The ongoing meme for sometime has been that the DUC inventory has been dwindling, with drillers not willing to drill new wells given the low price of oil and gas. To keep things moving (and revenue coming in the door) drillers have taken to completing wells they drilled but never finished, or “completed” as it’s called in the business. Completing a well includes fracking it and hooking it up to production. As DUCs go down, and as new wells are not begun, it portends a coming decrease in supply and therefore a coming rise in prices. That’s what drillers, midstreamers, gas traders and others watch for. So this new section in the monthly DPR will be eagerly watched. So what does the September DPR show for predicted production in the Marcellus and Utica?…
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WVU Scores Another $4M Grant – to Study Produced Water

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(WVU Photo by M.G. Ellis) — Paul Ziemkiewicz, Director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at WVU, and Jay Hewitt, Northeast Natural Energy, work at the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory in Morgantown.

At the end of 2014 West Virginia University (WVU) scored a major grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy, which forked over $11 million to WVU and Ohio State University to conduct a five-year project to study “baseline measurements, subsurface development and environmental monitoring” in the Marcellus and Utica Shale (see WVU/OSU Get $11M Grant to Study Shale Energy Best Practices). WVU’s efforts are yielding fruit. In July we told you that WVU had studied frack waste and pronounced it safe (see Independent Research @ WVU Concludes Frack Waste is Safe). We’d call that a good use of taxpayer money! One of the innovations WVU has been working on is “green” drilling mud, a more environmentally-friendly drilling mud used to drill Marcellus/Utica wells (see WVU Effusive Over “Green” Drilling Fluid Used in Test Wells). WVU has done it again. WVU, along with the University of Kansas, has just been awarded a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study “produced water”–which is water from the depths that comes out of the borehole long after drilling and fracking are done. This naturally occurring water is super salty–far more salty (with minerals) than sea water. Typically drillers will either recycle it and reuse it for more drilling and fracking, or dispose of it via an injection well. WVU and KU are charged with developing “cutting-edge strategies for better management, treatment, protection and recovery of produced water.” Here’s the announcement and good news that WVU is on the case for better handling of produced water…
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DOE Gives $13M in Grants for Methane Emissions, Some in PA

money-bag.jpgLast week the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) doled out a total of $13 million in grants for twelve multi-year research projects. The aim of the projects is to develop ways to mitigate methane emissions from natural gas pipelines and storage infrastructure, ways that don’t break the bank. Two of the twelve projects will be run in Pittsburgh. PPG Industries, the Gas Technology Institute and RTI International received a combined $876,639 to study remote monitoring of natural gas pipelines. The University of Pittsburgh and Corning together got a whopping $1.2 million to develop an advanced distributed optical fiber technology for natural gas infrastructure monitoring. Here’s the lowdown from the DOE…
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Twitter Fight Over PA HB 1391 Royalty Bill

tweetmeChanneling our inner Joan Rivers: Can we talk? It hurts when a good friend publicly criticizes you. It feels like you’ve been stabbed in the back. Perhaps a case of public criticism is one of the reasons for the developing rancor (we call it a civil war) between landowners and the Marcellus industry in Pennsylvania. Landowners are upset that their royalty checks are, in some cases, pennies–as in less than one dollar. Drillers claim that super low prices they receive for the gas are to blame–that nobody is making money right now. Landowners say that drillers (e.g. Chesapeake Energy) are deducting post-production costs that they shouldn’t be allowed to deduct, resulting in worthless royalty checks. For a number of years landowners in Pennsylvania have supported legislation to force drillers to pay a minimum 12.5% royalty, which is stipulated under a 1979 law. Drillers say post-production costs are written into many contracts and if it’s there, landowners must live by the contract. It’s turning into a mess. We’ve covered it extensively (see our articles on HB 1391). When we write about it, it’s from the perspective of a broken heart that we have a civil war brewing. When mainstream media writes about it, it’s typically with some degree of glee and happiness that “the other side” has infighting going on. An article appearing in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette does a good job of summarizing what we’ve previously posted on the issue. However, the Post-Gazette article adds one new bit of information we didn’t know about: earlier this summer there was a Twitter fight/dust-up between PA-NARO (National Association of Royalty Owners) and the MSC (Marcellus Shale Coalition)…
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Bought & Paid For “Research” Says 2 Marcellus Pipelines Not Needed

cest-fauxTwo Democrat-run anti-fossil fuel organizations–the Southern Environmental Law Center and Appalachian Mountain Advocates–pooled their donated money together and went out to find a consulting firm with the veneer of respectability that could be bought off to produce a faux “report” slamming two much-needed pipelines. They found an easy mark in Synapse Energy Economics, headquartered in ultra-liberal Massachusetts. The “report” Synapse produced says neither Dominion’s $5 billion, 594-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina), nor EQT’s $3.5 billion, 301-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline (from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA) are needed. The sham report, titled “Are the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline Necessary?” (full copy below) is getting picked up by lazy (or propagandist) mainstream news organizations and reported as real news. It’s nothing of the sort. It’s a joke…
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NatGas Production in Lower 48 Goes Up in August, Thx to Utica

ihs-markitAlthough there’s less new drilling for oil and gas (at least there’s less if you believe press reports), and although DUCs (drilled but uncompleted wells) are decreasing, overall production in the lower 48 states is actually increasing. IHS Markit says natgas production in August increased month over month for the second month in a row–something that hasn’t happened in a year. Markit says the main reason is an increase in production in the northeast–specifically an increase in production in the Utica Shale. However, there were also increases in other plays. Here’s the full update…
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New Research Finds Natural Gas Can (Literally) Save Your Life

save-your-lifeUsing natural gas may literally save your life. Researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) recently conducted research using the country of Turkey because that country has made a big shift over the past couple of decades, moving away from other forms of energy and to natural gas. The researchers looked at mortality rates for adults and the elderly and found that mortality rates for both groups dropped, dramatically, over that period. Why? How? Good questions. Because the air is now cleaner thanks to an increase in natgas use, there has been a decrease in pollution linked and a correlating decrease in lung and heart disease deaths among adults and the elderly. It’s in the report. Of course people living longer because of natural gas isn’t good news for anti-fossil fuel nutters…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Sep 13, 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: Why Summit Midstream is focusing on the Utica; DOE Sec. Moniz visits WV; LNG imports coming back to US this winter; onshore drilling heading for a big comeback?; gas traders caught short by Cheniere; and more!
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