Enerplus Energy Puts 47K Marcellus Acres Up for Sale, Wants $500M

for-sale-sign.jpgCanadian energy company Enerplus Corp owns some 47,000 acres of Marcellus Shale leases in northeastern Pennsylvania representing 841 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of reserves. Most of that acreage, according to the company’s website, is currently “non-operated.” Enerplus does actively drill in the North Dakota Bakken Shale play. Enerplus has a problem: the company is about $530 million in the hole (in debt). The way out of that hole? Sell off their non-operated Marcellus acreage for ~$500 million (works out to be $10,638/acre). Reuters is reporting that three sources have confirmed Enerplus has put their Marcellus acreage up for sale–and the the “for sale” sign has caught the interest from investment firms here at home, and in Asia…
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Duke Energy/Piedmont Merger Closes, Dominion Keeps Control of ACP

top-dogIn October of last year, MDN shared the news that Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States and a utility with 7.3 million customers in the southeast and Midwest, announced they are buying Piedmont Natural Gas (see Duke Energy Buys Piedmont NatGas for $6.7B, Marcellus Connection). Piedmont is a midstream and natgas LDC (local distribution company, or utility) with operations primarily in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. It is a story of a big southern electric utility buying a smaller southern natural gas utility. But there’s more to the story. Part of the purchase includes ownership in two very important Marcellus pipeline projects: the Constitution Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). With respect to ACP, Duke was already one of the project owner/investors. Together with Piedmont’s share of ACP, Duke’s combined new ownership share (47%) threatened to be larger than the builder/sponsor of the project, Dominion (45%). The Duke/Piedmont merger happened on Monday. At the same time, Dominion exercised a clause in the partnership allowing them to purchase another 3% share, making Dominion’s new ownership stake 48%–still the top dog…
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SRBC Amending Water Regs, Schedules 4 Public Hearings for Nov/Dec

srbcThe Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC), charged with protecting and managing the water resources in the Susquehanna River Basin, continues to perform its duty with distinction–unlike the completely dysfunctional Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). A fair share of Marcellus drilling happens within the SRBC’s jurisdiction in Pennsylvania. The SRBC has worked with the Marcellus industry, instead of against it (as the DRBC has done), to ensure drilling does not harm the Susquehanna River Basin water supply–a supply that eventually empties into the Chesapeake Bay. We credit the SRBC’s excellent performance to leadership (see SRBC Tells Anti-Drillers “We’ll Stay in Our Lane” on Water Study). The SRBC is about to embark on an effort to update its water regulations–updates that will have an impact on the drilling industry…
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Time to Recognize the Best O&G Companies in the Marcellus/Utica

Oil & Gas AwardsEach year MDN partners with the Oil & Gas Awards to promote their Northeast Awards–a way for companies in the industry that operate with distinction to get recognized by their peers. In March 2017 the Northeast Oil & Gas Awards will celebrate their 5th year. Over the past five years there have been thousands of entries and hundreds of finalists and winners. While the O&G Awards boys keep their ears to the ground to discover stellar performers, they want to know who YOU think are the best companies in the region. Therefore, they have put together a very brief survey (takes less than two minutes). This is your chance to bring a worthy company to the attention of the O&G Awards–perhaps even your own company!

Fill out the survey here

Michigan AG Lends His Full Support to NEXUS Pipeline

Michigan AG Bill Schuette

In June 2012 Reuters tried to stir up trouble against Chesapeake Energy by broadcasting “leaked” emails that somehow magically appeared on the Reuters doorstep that supposedly show Chesapeake trying to collude with Encana Energy to keep the price of Michigan state land oil and gas leases artificially low (see Did Reuters Break the Law with Latest Chesapeake Story?). Eventually Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed charges against Chesapeake, even though the federal government investigated and didn’t find anything worth pursuing. Schuette put his reputation on the line and was hell-bent to ensure he got something/anything out of Chesapeake. Schuette finally has a settlement–for a measly $25 million (see Michigan Succeeds in Shaking Down Chesapeake for Measly $25M). It likely cost Schuette’s department more $25 million to pursue Chesapeake. But, Schuette’s shakedown let him save face. Perhaps in an effort to repair the damage done to his reputation with the drilling industry, Schuette recently delivered the keynote speech at the Michigan Oil and Gas Association’s Annual Meeting. We have a copy of the speech below. The interesting part is Schuette’s full-throated support for the NEXUS Pipeline: “A great example of the work being done in the energy industry is the DTE NEXUS pipeline. The NEXUS project is a way to look to the future, and ensure that Michigan customers have the natural gas supply we need. I applaud the work being done to make sure we have efficient, modern pipelines in our state.” We’re glad to see Schuette, a Republican, back on the right side of the ledger…
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Duke University Exposed for Scientific Grant Fraud

fraudDuke University, as MDN has chronicled, has a long history of pumping out faux research that bashes fracking and fossil fuels, “research” that’s bought-and-paid-for by the Park Foundation, one of Duke’s major contributors (see What’s Missing in Latest Duke “Radioactive” Study? Real Science; Yet Another Duke University Study Smears the Marcellus Industry; Duke Hit Piece on Shale Water Usage from Same Park-Sponsored Prof; Duke U Study: Property Values Drop When Marcellus Drilling Begins; and Latest Case of Duke U Bought & Paid “Research” by Park Foundation). Higher education is a cesspool of such sponsored junk science. Now comes word that a whistleblower is accusing Duke of doctoring research data in a scheme to grab $200 million in grant money. While this particular instance does not appear to be connected to previous faux research that bashes the Marcellus Shale, we will point out is that there appears to be a climate (pun intended) of dishonest research occurring at Duke University. It always boils down to “follow the money”…
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Obama and Man-Child Leo DiCaprio Talk Global Warming at WH Event

sxsl-climate-talkRight at the top of our list of things that tick us off are uber-arrogant Hollywood actors who pretend to have gray matter in their heads, especially on the issue of man-made global warming. At the top of that list, for us, is the man-child pretender Leo DiCaprio. He parades around pretending that he’s some sort of expert on global warming. He nakedly states that if you have a different opinion from him on the topic of global warming, your right to free speech should be yanked away. He is, as most leftists are, a totalitarian at heart. Someone with more in common philosophically with Adolf Hitler than with Mahatma Gandhi. Man-child DiCaprio was parading his stuff on Monday at the White House, hosting a talk with Our Supreme Leader, B.H. Obama. Although Obama is a full-throated global warming fanatic who wants to end the use of fossil fuels, he is, nevertheless, a pragmatist. To his credit, Obama gave lukewarm support to natural gas as a “bridge fuel” that will (for now) lower carbon emissions, while waiting for his so-called precious renewables to become commercially viable and take over the energy world. Here’s how it went down on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday…
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The Many Flaws with President Obama’s Clean Power Plan

guest postStephen Heins, an energy and regulatory consultant for a Wall Street firm, and former vice president of communication for Orion Energy Systems, is an occasional guest blogger here on MDN. Steve calls himself a “luke warmer” when it comes to the fairy tale that mankind is causing Mom Earth to toast. That is, he’s not convinced that man-kind is causing a catastrophic warming up, but he’s also not ruling it out. That’s OK, we forgive him. A lot of intelligent people believe in such things. At least he’s a skeptic! Steve recently penned an article that finds “several flaws” with President Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan (which has been challenged in court by 29 states). The CPP outright kills coal, and it mortally wounds natural gas, as we’ve previously written (see Obama’s CPP Targets Not Just Coal, but NatGas for Termination). Steve’s article does more than find flaws, it shreds the CPP into tiny atoms of carbon…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Oct 5, 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: Utica Shale drilling rigs now at 22, wells drilled 1,807; union members pack the hall to support OH pipeline; sales tax revenue up 65% in Utica counties; manufacturing jobs are the “crown jewel” of the shale revolution; oil and gas prices will rally, but it won’t last long; natgas rig count matters more than oil rig count; and more!
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