Shell Launches Open Season for PA-WV-OH Falcon Ethane Pipeline

open seasonIn February MDN brought you exclusive news that Shell had begun approaching landowners in Beaver County to get them to sign easements for two ethane pipelines to feed the mighty cracker plant they plan to build in the county (see Exclusive: Shell Leasing Land for 2 Pipelines to PA Cracker Plant). At that time Shell had still not fully committed to building the cracker–something they finally did in June (see Breaking: Shell Pulls the Trigger, PA Ethane Cracker is a Go!). NGI’s Shale Daily broke a story in August that shed new light on the project–news that Shell is working on a 94-mile ethane “pipeline system” with two “legs” to feed the cracker, confirming the tip we received in February (see Shell Working on 94-Mile Ethane Pipeline to Feed PA Cracker). As NGI reported at that time, the new ethane pipeline system has a name: the Falcon Ethane Pipeline System. Yesterday Shell launched a binding open season for the Falcon pipeline, complete with an official map and all sorts of details…
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EIA October Drilling Report: Marcellus Reverses, Increases Production

reversalYesterday 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. In September, the EIA added a new tab of information for Drilled but UnCompleted wells (DUCs), which showed the number of DUCs dwindling (see EIA Sept Drilling Report: Watching DUCs Fly Away). What does the November DPR show? For one thing, it is the 12th consecutive month that U.S. shale oil production will go down, and the 7th consecutive month natural gas production from shale plays will go down. Sooner or later demand will catch up with supply and prices will go up–which is what we’ve seen over the past month or so. As for the Marcellus and Utica, we have some rather big news: For the first time since July Marcellus production is expected to go up–by 73 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d)! And while the Utica has steadily increased natgas production month after month (the only play to do so), over the next month the EIA data crunchers predict Utica production will decrease by 10 MMcf/d. As for DUCs, the only play where new wells are being added, instead of worked down, is the Permian in Texas. Both the Marcellus and Utica are working down their inventory of DUCs…
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PennEast Responds to NJDRC with Study Proving Pipeline is Needed

refutationThe New Jersey Division of the Rate Counsel (NJDRC) is a state government agency responsible for representing the interests of residents, businesses and other rate payers in dealing with regulated public utilities and insurance firms. Apparently the NJDRC filed a so-called analysis with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in September slamming the need and cost recovery plan for the PennEast Pipeline, a $1 billion, 118-mile, primarily 36-inch pipeline that will get built from Dallas (Luzerne County), PA to Transco’s pipeline interconnection near Pennington (Mercer County), NJ. PennEast has responded to that analysis with an independent report written by Concentric Energy Advisors (full copy below). The Concentric report refutes (i.e. obliterates) the “incorrect assumptions” made in the NJDRC comments to FERC…
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Exxon Asks Judge to Dismiss NY AG Schneiderman’s “Flimsy” Subpoena

Eric-Schneiderman.jpg
Eric Schneiderman

Yesterday MDN brought you the news that a federal judge had voiced the suspicion that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has acted in “bad faith” with respect to her so-called investigation of Exxon Mobil over Exxon’s refusal to endorse her claims of man-made global warming (see Federal Judge Says MA AG Acted in “Bad Faith” re Exxon Witch Hunt). Healey along with her co-conspirator, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, are attempting to violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by denying Exxon and its employees the right of free speech–to disagree with a government or government official. Exxon is now on a roll. After getting the judge to force Healey to turn over email and phone records she’s desperately trying to keep secret, Exxon has asked the judge to quash Schneiderman’s “flimsy” subpoena that he’s been using to try and find something–anything–that he can use to indict Exxon. Schneiderman is trying to run a scam–a way to shake down Exxon for millions (or billions) that will go into state coffers. It’s sick. Let’s hope the judge does the right thing. If he does, Schneiderman will be totally and completely humiliated (and perhaps subject to charges himself)…
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AIM Pipeline Criminal Trespassers Arraigned in NY Town Court

handcuffsSpectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline project is an $876 million expansion of the existing Algonquin pipeline system that will carry 342 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas per day to New England states that badly need the gas. On March 3, 2015 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued their final approval for the project, allowing it to go forward. Construction began last year and continues now. Two weeks ago FERC issued an order allowing part of the AIM project–in Putnam County, NY, and Fairfield County, CT–to power up and begin service. However, not all of the project is yet built. Four nutjob protesters criminally locked themselves inside a piece of pipeline in Verplanck (Westchester County), NY last week (see Part of AIM Pipeline Begins to Flow; Protesters Hide in Pipe). They were there to protest “filthy fossil fuels” like natural gas. We’re happy to report the four criminal protesters had their first court appearance yesterday in Cortlandt Town Court. We’re happy that Spectra Energy intends to be sure they are prosecuted. The really good news is that the gas is scheduled to begin flowing in November–and at that point it’s all moot. The hippie criminal protesters can go bug someone else at that point…
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Site Prep Begins @ Georgia LNG Export Plant, New Marcellus Market

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Elba Island LNG Terminal

For more than two years MDN has tracked the progress of a proposed LNG export facility to be located at Elba Island (Georgia, near Savannah), a project of Kinder Morgan, the largest midstream company in the U.S. In June we reported that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the project a green light (see KM’s Elba Island LNG Export Plant Approved by FERC). We said at the time, “We don’t think it’s much of a stretch that Marcellus Shale gas…will be at least some of, if not the primary, source for gas exported from the Elba Island facility.” Our suspicion was correct. Yesterday FERC authorized the Elba Island project to begin initial site preparation. FERC has not yet authorized the beginning of construction. Each step of the process must receive a “Mother, May I?” authorization from FERC before it gets done. However, an article published yesterday mentions that the Elba Island project will get fed with gas “from a number of producing basins, including the Marcellus shale”…
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Judge Drops Testing Lab from Ongoing Range Res. Lawsuit in W PA

Gavel-falling.jpgIn June MDN brought you a report about a family (John and Ashley Voyle) living near a former Range Resources wastewater impoundment in Washington County, PA who had sued not only Range, but a water testing company (TestAmerica Laboratories) in a lawsuit alleging their water well had been contaminated by Range’s impoundment. The water testing company was made part of the lawsuit because, said the Voyles, the company allowed their test results to be doctored by Range before the results were reported to the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection. That aspect of this long, drawn-out lawsuit has been decided. The judge in the case said TestAmerica is not at fault and has been removed from the lawsuit…
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Gulfport 3Q16 Operations Update: Production Up 13%, Prices Up Too

Gulfport logGulfport Energy, an Oklahoma City-based independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company (“driller”) that is a “top 5” driller in the Ohio Utica Shale, issued their third quarter operation update yesterday. Gulfport is one of a growing number of companies that issues their financial update separate from the operational update. Typically the operational update is the “good news” and the financial update the “not so good news,” so we’ll see what the financial update brings. In the meantime, let’s bask in the good news. Gulfport reports production is up 13% year over year, and the price they’re receiving for that production is also up. Here is Gulfport’s 3Q16 operational update…
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Roanoke Gas Wants More Mountain Valley Pipe Gas via 2nd “Tap”

Mountain Valley Pipeline proposed route
Mountain Valley Pipeline proposed route – click for larger version

In September the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave a preliminary thumbs up to the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA (see FERC Gives WV to VA Mountain Valley Pipeline Provisional Thumbs Up). The project, which filed an official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October 2015, is being built by EQT, NextEra Energy and several other partners (see Mountain Valley Pipeline Files FERC Appl, Now Just Matter of Time). The project has faced stiff opposition from landowners in West Virginia (see Mountain Valley Pipeline Sues 103 WV Landowners for Survey Access). The project has also faced opposition from landowners in Virginia (see Mountain Valley Pipeline Wins Right to Survey in VA w/o Permission). One of the customers for the pipeline is Roanoke Gas Co.–a local distribution company, or LDC (i.e., a local utility). Roanoke Gas has plans to tap into MVP in Franklin County, VA. The company has just announced plans to tap into MVP in a second location–in Montgomery County, VA. That’s good news because it means even more Marcellus/Utica gas will flow to Virginia…
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PA Sen. Gene Yaw Speaks Out on Marcellus, Pipelines, Taxes & More

gene-yaw.jpgLast week we reported on a half joking (half not joking) comment by Pennsylvania State Senator Gene Yaw made at a PA midstream conference, in which he said maybe PA should stop sending its fracked gas to New York State (see PA State Senator Says Let’s Stop Fracked PA Gas Going to NY!). Propagandists from the taxpayer-funded PBS StateImpact Pennsylvania were on hand at the event and have provided an edited and abridged version of Yaw’s comments. Nowhere to be found are his comments on not sending fracked gas to NY. However, Yaw had some interesting things to say about other issues. Here, edited with the intent to make him look as bad as possible, are some other things Yaw said…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Oct 18, 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: CELDF’s huge fundraising flop – and drive to continue OH lawsuits; PA regs could further boost natgas prices; CONSOL named Virginia “Operator of the Year”; latest research debunks EPA nonsense about global methane emissions from o&g; Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG export facility hits 89.44 Bcf; and more!
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