Eclipse Sells 9,900 “Non-Core” Acres in OH for $6,444/Acre

Eclipse Resources, a Marcellus/Utica pure play driller headquartered in State College, PA that drills mostly in Ohio, announced yesterday they sold 9,900 net acres in eastern Noble County and western Monroe County, OH for $63.8 million to an undisclosed buyer. That works out to be $6,444 per acre. The assets are in areas that are (currently) undeveloped, according to the company, and not in the “core” of where Eclipse wants to drill. Here’s the company announcement…
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OH Wayne National Forest – List of Auction Winners

As we previously noted, last week the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proceeded with an online auction for BLM-controlled land in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest (see BLM Auction Leases 17 Parcels, 719 Acres in OH Wayne Natl Forest). The BLM plan was to auction 33 parcels totaling 1,600 acres. As it turns out, only 17 parcels totaling 719 acres actually got auctioned. At the last minute the BLM withdrew 881 acres (16 parcels) because there are remaining issues with ownership title of the mineral rights. Who purchased and how much? Just four drillers won the bids, which totaled $1.7 million. Three of the four have active drilling programs in the Utica Shale. Here is who won, and how much they paid (by parcel)…
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KM Files to Reverse Louisiana Pipe, Send Marcellus Gas to Gulf

Seems like every few weeks we read about yet another pipeline either getting built, or reversed, in order to send Marcellus/Utica gas to other parts of the country. The latest one that surprised us (hadn’t heard of it before) is Kinder Morgan’s plan to add bidirectional capacity to their Kinder Morgan Louisiana pipeline (KMLP) to flow gas to Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG export facility. KMLP is a pipeline in Louisiana–how does reversing it get Marcellus gas to Sabine Pass? As you might have guessed, KMLP connects with other pipeline systems, including Columbia Gulf Transmission and ANR Pipeline. Both of those pipeline systems, which flow Marcellus gas, are adding bidirectional capacity as well. When it’s all done, (more of) our gas will head to Sabine Pass for liquefaction and then export to other countries. How cool is that? Here’s an update on KMLP changing directions…
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Spectra, Enbridge Shareholders Approve $28B Merger

Combined infrastructure – click for a larger version

In September MDN told you about the proposed deal by Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge Inc. to buy out pipeline operator Spectra Energy (based in Houston) in an all-stock deal (see Canadian Enbridge Buying US Spectra Energy for $28B). Spectra has a number of critical pipeline infrastructure projects under way or planned in the Marcellus/Utica region, including the planned Access Northeast pipeline to New England, the mighty NEXUS pipeline planned to span Ohio, the currently under construction Algonquin Incremental Marketing (AIM) pipeline project, and three projects (Access South, Adair Southwest and Lebanon Express) under way to expand one of the largest natural gas pipelines in the U.S. (and in the northeast)–the Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) pipeline. This is a big deal for our region. Last week the shareholders of both companies voted to approve the proposed buyout/merger. Provided everything goes according to plan, the marriage will take place in 1Q17…
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Chesapeake Energy Out of Bankruptcy Danger, Hedges for 2017

In a rare sit-down interview, Chesapeake Energy’s CEO, Doug “the ax” Lawler told reporters the company is stable, strong and growing, and that is will not need to file for bankruptcy, as many had predicted would happen. Through hard work (and axing thousands of employees) Chesapeake has managed to cut an astonishing $10.9 billion worth of debt and leverage from its balance sheet. Hats off to Lawler. Total debt for the company has gone from $21 billion to $9 billion. At its height, Chessy employed 13,000 people. Today? Just 3,500 people. Hence our moniker for Lawler of “the ax” (see Chesapeake’s Doug Lawler Gave Himself a Raise After Firing 1,500+). As part of the “new” Chesapeake, the company recently dumped its old logo and replaced it with a butt-ugly new logo (see Chesapeake Energy Gets New Logo – Dumps Blue NatGas Flame). Chessy plans to stay out of the bankruptcy woods. They’ve cut deals to sell 2017 estimated production at pre-arranged prices (called hedging). Chesapeake has hedged 63% of its estimated 2017 natural gas production for a sale price of $3.07 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf). They’ve hedge 50% of their estimated oil production at $49.68 per barrel. Here’s an update on Chesapeake Energy’s exit from bankruptcy woods…
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Sierra Club Targets Marcellus Pipe Projects Using Antitrust Laws

The litigious and environmentally radical Sierra Club, backed by Big Green money from billionaires like Tom Steyer, is attempting to block two important pipeline projects in the Marcellus: Dominion’s $5 billion, 594-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina; and DTE Energy/Spectra Energy’s NEXUS Pipeline, a $2 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that will run from Ohio through Michigan and eventually to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada. It’s no secret groups like the Sierra Club have tried to stop such projects. But their latest strategy in opposing these two projects is worthy of examination. The Clubbers are claiming that ACP and NEXUS have an unfair competitive advantage over alternative energy sources, like wind and solar, and therefore should be stopped. That is, the Sierra Club is attempting to use U.S. antitrust laws dating back to the late 1800s in an attempt to claim these pipelines are anti-competitive and therefore should be canceled. Talk about chutzpah…
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NEXUS Pipeline Gets a President – Jim Grech

James “Jim” Grech

The NEXUS Pipeline project is a $2 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that will run from Ohio through Michigan and eventually to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada. It is a critically needed pipeline to move Utica and Marcellus Shale gas from an over-saturated market in the northeast to markets in the Midwest and Canada. It is a joint venture between DTE Energy and Spectra Energy. Earlier this month we brought you the great news that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the project (see FERC Approves NEXUS Pipeline, Project on Track for 2017). As we get close to beginning construction, which will happen sometime early next year, the project needs a leader. It now has one. James “Jim” Grech, formerly an executive vice president at CONSOL Energy, is the new president of NEXUS Pipeline…
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Elba Island LNG Update: Non-FTA Exports Approved, Dump Truck City

Elba Island LNG

Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island, Georgia (near Savannah) proposed LNG export facility received a green light from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in June (see KM’s Elba Island LNG Export Plant Approved by FERC). Kinder has since started construction at the site. Further good news: the U.S. Dept. of Energy has just granted Elba Island permission to export LNG to non-Free Trade Agreement countries. What does the Georgia’s Elba LNG plant have to do with Marcellus/Utica? The Williams Transco pipeline runs through Georgia. Kinder owns and operates the 200-mile Elba Express pipeline, which connects the LNG facility to the Transco. Currently Elba Island imports LNG, getting it to market via the Transco. However, Williams has been on a mission to send Marcellus gas south–including to Georgia (see Marcellus Gas Heading to Georgia via Transco Pipeline). Marcellus Shale gas will, via the Transco, be at least some of, if not the primary, source for gas exported from the Elba Island facility. After getting FERC approval, Kinder began work on the expansion project last month. Currently some 325 dump trucks come and go every day at the site (7,800 per month!). Below is the news about DOE granting permission for non-FTA exports to Elba, along with an update on the frenetic pace of activity to build the new facility…
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French Supermajor Total Buys 23% Stake in Tellurian LNG

Charif Souki

Total, a French multinational integrated oil and gas company and one of the six “Supermajor” oil companies in the world, has just purchased a 23% stake in Tellurian Investments for $207 million. Tellurian is building the Driftwood LNG export facility in southern Louisiana (see Fired Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki’s Revenge: Driftwood LNG). Tellurian CEO Charif Souki was fired one year ago this month by Carl Icahan from Cheniere Energy, the LNG exporting company he co-founded (see Evil Corporate Raider Carl Icahn Claims Another CEO Scalp). We used to feel bad for Souki, but no more–not since he made an ass of himself by saying in a CNBC interview he would reconsider his American citizenship if Donald Trump won the presidency (see Will Charif Souki Renounce His American Citizenship?). We’re still waiting for Souki to go back to his native Egypt–or perhaps now, to France. That would be fitting. At any rate, here’s the details on Total investing in Souki’s Tellurian investments, which is a play to get in on the hot LNG export action in the U.S….
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Dec 20, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: OH Utica Shale counties to watch in 2017; rig count keeps climbing in PA; Cheniere’s Corpus Christi project close to 50% done; Gulf oil rigs stagnate as shale rigs increase; a December to remember for natgas; Halliburton 2016 in review; Aramco snapping up refineries may end under Trump; and more!
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