Breaking: Who Needs Halliburton? Baker Hughes Merging with GE O&G

M&AAs this post is being written and published, the world’s third largest oilfield services company, Baker Hughes, is holding an investor webcast to announce it has struck a deal to combine/merge with/sell itself to GE’s oil and gas business. The deal, according to the Wall Street Journal, will result in a new company that will be 65.5% owned by GE and 37.5% owned by Baker Hughes shareholders. The deal, IF it gets approved by the Dept. of Justice, will create a company with $32 billion in revenues. Make no mistake, aside from all of the “partnership” talk, this is GE buying out Baker Hughes. The CEO of the new company will be Lorenzo Simonelli, chief executive of GE Oil & Gas. The board of directors for the new company will have 5 members appointed by GE and 4 members appointed by Baker Hughes. The deal, if it happens, would catapult the new Baker Hughes (or whatever it will be called) past Halliburton to become the world’s second largest oilfield services company. Get this: The deal may even catapult the new company to become the world’s number one oilfield services company–eclipsing Schlumberger! The question now is, will the Dept. of Justice approve the deal? Earlier this year the Obama DOJ killed the proposed Baker Hughes merger with Halliburton (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). We suppose it depends on who wins the White House next week. Look for Hillary to approve the deal. She’s in bed (figuratively) with GE chief executive Jeff Immelt. As Secretary of State, Clinton lobbied Alergia for a GE power plant contract. After Alegeria gave GE the $1.9 BILLION contract, Jeff Immelt gave a $1 million “donation” to the Clinton Foundation (see GE’s Jeffrey Immelt roped into Clinton cash scandal). That’s how it works in the corrupt world of Clinton Inc. We’re not sure what Trump would do about the proposed deal. Here’s the lowdown on GE’s proposed buyout of Baker Hughes…
Continue reading

Cabot O&G 3Q16: Record Production, 2018 an “Inflection Point”

Cabot logoOne MDN’s favorite Marcellus drillers, Cabot Oil & Gas, released their third quarter 2016 update on Friday. Production once again set a new record with Cabot producing 144.4 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas in 3Q16 (up from 133 in 3Q15). The number of wells drilled decreased from 27 new wells drilled in 3Q15 to 11 new wells drilled in 3Q16. However, Cabot has/had plenty of drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs). In 3Q15 Cabot completed 21 wells and in 3Q16 they completed 23 wells. Once again the company treaded water financial, losing $10 million in 3Q16 (down from losing $15.5M in 3Q15). Frankly, $10M is chump change in the o&g business. The biggest news (for us) in the Cabot update from Friday is their strategy announcement. It can be summed up in one slide from their analyst presentation (see it below) which is titled: INFRASTRUCTURE UPDATE: 2018 IS AN INFLECTION YEAR FOR CABOT. On that slide is a list of six infrastructure projects that are critical to the future of Cabot–all of them expected to go online in 2018. Yes, the Constitution Pipeline is one of the six. Can you guess the others?…
Continue reading

Williams Confirms Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Delayed Until Mid-2018

delayedOn Friday, ahead of releasing its third quarter update, Williams issued a press release to confirm what we already know: Atlantic Sunrise will be delayed. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. Two weeks ago the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced a delay in the environmental review of the project (see FERC Delays Enviro Review of Atlantic Sunrise Pipe to Dec 30). Williams is now acknowledging the FERC delay will delay the final in-service date for the project–to “mid-2018″…
Continue reading

OH Court Sides with Mariner East 2 Pipe in Eminent Domain Case

Mariner East 2
Mariner East 2 – click for larger version

An Ohio landowner whose land Sunoco Logistics Partners wants to traverse with the Mariner East 2 pipeline tried a novel legal argument. The landowner’s attorneys argued in the Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals that pure propane and pure butane–both of which would be transported through the pipeline from eastern Ohio all the way to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia–are not “petroleum.” At least, not petroleum for the purposes of the permit which grants Sunoco the right to use eminent domain to build the pipeline to transport petroleum products. The Court of Appeals justices rejected that argument and said, in essence, that propane and butane fit under the definition of petroleum as that word has been used for generations…
Continue reading

Mountaineer NGL Storage Test in OH a Success, Construction in 2017

Mountaineer NGL StorageIn April of this year, Mountaineer NGL Storage announced an open season for a new underground NGL storage facility in Monroe County, Ohio, near Clarington, along the Ohio River (see New Company Announces Open Season for NGL Storage in Ohio Utica). Natural gas liquids (NGLs), including ethane, would be stored at the facility. It is a key, missing component in a plan to build at least one, and likely more than one ethane cracker plants in the region. Storage facility for both natural gas and NGLs is a critical part of natural gas infrastructure. Mountaineer recognized the fact that the Marcellus/Utica will need such a storage facility. A month after the open season, Mountaineer announced it was successful and that they would move forward with the project (see Mountaineer NGL Storage Open Season Successful, Development Begins). An important, initial step in building such a storage facility has now taken place. Mountaineer completed a test well in the salt formation–testing it for thickness. The test was a success. Construction is planned for the latter part of next year…
Continue reading

PA Bill to Regulate Unregulated Gathering Pipelines Fails

failedTwo weeks ago MDN wrote a post outlining an initiative to begin regulating small, low-pressure gathering pipelines–something not now done (see PIOGA Opposes Bill to Regulate Unregulated PA Gathering Pipelines). Media articles about this issue misstate and obfuscate, purposely, what is happening. Senate Bill (SB) 1235 would “enhance” the existing 811 law in PA. (811 is the number you call before you dig, to be sure there are no buried pipelines or electric lines or other underground structures.) One of the “enhancements” in SB 1235 is that it removes an exclusion for low-pressure natural gas gathering pipelines from being required to be part of the 811 system. Many owners of excluded lines voluntarily participate in the programs. The bill would also transfer regulatory enforcement power over the lines from the Department of Labor to the Public Utility Commission. The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) pushed back against the removal of the exclusion for conventional production lines and rural (“Class 1” under federal law) gathering lines. PIOGA is not against knowing where pipeline are buried–they are against onerous new regulations on those pipelines. PIOGA instead pushed for another year to sort out the issue, instead of passing SB 1235 as/is and throwing the conventional oil and gas industry into regulatory chaos. PIOGA won…
Continue reading

PA Court Says Range Impoundment Did NOT Contaminate Water Well

Gavel-falling.jpgYou may recall that for some time we’ve been following the back and forth between Range Resources and their (former) wastewater impoundments in Washington County, PA. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined Range a whopping $4.15 million for violations in September 2014 (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). Some of the nearby neighbors claimed that Range’s leaky impoundments (a quarter of a mile away) contaminated their water wells. One of those landowners was Loren Kiskadden, who is suing Range in civil court. The problem is, the DEP found that the nearby Yeager impoundment had not contaminated Kiskadden’s well, which led to allegations that the DEP had bungled the investigation (see Did DEP Mishandle Range Wastewater Impoundment Investigation?). Kiskadden had to press on, because if the DEP doesn’t reverse its finding, he has no civil case against Range. Press on he did (see Hearing on Range Yeager Impoundment/Water Contamination Continues). The matter was heard by the DEP’s Environmental Hearing Board (EHB). The EHB found that Kiskadden didn’t have a case–his well was not contaminated by Range’s impoundment. So Kiskadden and his lawyers asked for a re-hearing. The result of that re-hearing came back in December and (we thought) closed the door, once and for all, on the case (see DEP Final Determination: Range Didn’t Pollute Kiskadden Water Well). But no, that was not the end. Kiskadden appealed again. Last week a Commonwealth Court appeals panel affirmed the EHB’s 2015 dismissal of Kiskadden’s appeal of the DEP 2011 ruling that Range’s Yeager site operations did not contaminate Kiskadden’s well water. Have we finally reached the end of this drawn-out saga?…
Continue reading

Marcellus/Utica Ethane Heads to India via Texas on Samsung Ships

Click for larger version

This interesting story caught our eye, and as it turns out, there’s a Marcellus/Utica connection. We spotted a story that India’s Reliance Industries, the largest private sector corporation in India with fingers in many pies (including energy), has just taken possession of the world’s two largest ethane carrier ships. The ships, built by Samsung (of exploding phone fame) are known as Very Large Ethane Carriers, or VLECs. The two ships will load liquefied ethane at a port on the Houston Ship Channel and transport the ethane to India, where it will supply three Reliance cracker plants. The connection with Marcellus/Utica? At least part of the ethane getting liquefied and loaded onto the ships comes from the Marcellus/Utica via the ATEX (Appalachia to Texas) ethane pipeline. How cool is that (pun intended)?…
Continue reading

There is Only One Candidate for President if You Support O&G

nov-8-electionThis is not an electioneering site. We are not on the payroll of any candidate. We have tried to avoid most comments on the upcoming presidential election. You obviously know where our political sympathies lie, if you’ve read this site for any length of time. Below we bring you someone else’s words outlining, in succinct form, the energy positions and proposed policies of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. When you read it, objectively, there is only one candidate who supports the oil and gas industry and is worthy of your vote next Tuesday, November 8th…
Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Oct 31, 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: DTE says NEXUS on schedule for 4Q17; rig counts stable in northeast; unbelievably biased green-sponsored push-poll; PA Sen Don White speaks frankly about energy & Clinton; slowdown in FERC approval for Texas LNG plants; Rockefeller family tied to corrupt Clinton Foundation; beginning of the end in Europe’s natgas war with Russia; and more!
Continue reading