How to Do Business with the Shell Ethane Cracker Plant

Some 400 business, education and government officials attended a sold-out forum last week in Titusville, PA to hear about doing business with the $6 billion Shell ethane cracker project in Beaver County, PA. The stakes are high. One PA official said, “This is the greatest generational economic development we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, maybe ever.” According to a Louisiana resident involved with crackers in his state, for ever job the Shell cracker creates there will be 8.3 jobs somewhere else–at other companies in the region–to support the plant. It is an incredible opportunity. The question, for businesses in the region, is: How do we get a piece of the cracker pie? We now have an answer–at least in part. If you want to supply goods and services for the construction of the plant, the key is in working with the main contractor building the plant–Bechtel. Below we have details on how to plug in to the Bechtel supply chain system, along with advice for job seekers who want to work at the cracker plant once it’s built…
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OH DeBrosse Report – Belmont Most-Drilled County in 2016

Last week the Ohio Oil & Gas Association (OOGA) held its 70th annual Winter Meeting in Columbus. One of the speakers was Martin Shumway, president of Shumway Resources–an engineering/geophysical consulting firm that specializes in the Appalachian Basin. Shumway shared details from the latest DeBrosse Memorial Report (full copy below). What does the report show for 2016? There were 620 oil and gas wells completed last year, of which 77% were Utica wells. Belmont Count saw the most wells drilled (120) with the most drilled footage (1.94 million vertical+lateral feet). Chesapeake Energy drilled the most wells last year in Ohio (99 wells), although that number is down 31% from 2015. The #2, #3 and #4 drillers last year were close: Ascent Resources, drilled 66 wells; Antero Resources drilled 64 wells; and Gulfport Energy drilled 62 wells. This is one of our favorite Ohio Utica reports each year, have a look…
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Biddel Gas Compression Selects WV Northern Panhandle for US HQ

Last Friday Bidell Gas Compression, a subsidiary of Canadian company Total Energy Services, announced it will establish its U.S. headquarters in Weirton (Hancock County), WV–in the northern panhandle of WV. According to their website, Biddel “is a leading supplier of reciprocating and rotary screw natural gas compressors from 20 to 8,000 brake horsepower.” That is, they manufacture and sell pipeline compressors. The site they chose includes a 100,000 square-foot building, part of the old ArcelorMittal machine shop operation. The investment will create 130 new jobs and spur new growth in other area businesses…
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WV Bill Would Exempt O&G Industry from Storage Tank Law

Three years ago in the closing hours of the 2014 legislative session, WV legislature passed SB373, the “storage tank” bill (see Fate of 3 WV Laws that Impact Marcellus/Utica Drilling). That bill was in response to a chemical leak that affected the drinking water for 300,000 WV residents. Even though the leak was not related to oil and gas drilling (it was related to coal mining), the new rules governing above ground storage tanks for chemicals affect a number of industries, including the Marcellus Shale drilling industry (see Impact of WV’s New Chemical Tank Law on Marcellus Drillers). There was a lot of confusion about the law which requires just about all aboveground tanks (except your toilet) to be registered. WV ended up creating a new website to handle the confusion around the law (see WV DEP Launches New Website to Assist with Storage Tank Law). The writing was on the wall. It was obvious the law, as written, was totally unrealistic and unworkable. During the closing hours of the 2015 legislative session, WV legislators passed a partial repeal of the 2014 law, to fix it so it’s more workable (see WV Fixes Above Ground Tank Law, Now Less Onerous for O&G Industry). The industry still isn’t happy and is lobbying for a total exemption from the law. House Bill (HB) 2811, introduced last week, would do just that…
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Epsilon Energy’s Marcellus Budget Inches Up to $1M in 2017

Last Friday Canadian driller and midstream company Epsilon Energy issued its fourth quarter and full year 2016 update. Epsilon, you may recall, had a shareholder rebellion in 2013 and threw out the sitting board of directors (see Shareholder Rebellion at Epsilon Energy – New Board as of Today). Epsilon CEO Michael Raleigh announced at the time that the company had embarked on a turnaround strategy of focusing on the Marcellus Shale–less than a year after saying they would scale back in the Marcellus (see Epsilon Energy Makes “About-Face” on Marcellus Drilling). Epsilon was and remains a very small player in the Marcellus, but the Marcellus is the company’s entire focus. Friday’s update shows Epsilon did not drill any new new Marcellus wells in 2016. They spent just $300,000 on capital expenditures for all of 2016, and that was money spent on the Auburn Gas Gathering system in northeast PA (they own a 35% interest in the system). What about 2017? Epsilon plans to spend $1 million in capex in the Marcellus–half of it “for the ongoing development of the midstream system” (i.e. the Auburn system) and the other half to complete four Marcellus wells previously drilled. In 2015 Epsilon lost $25 million. Last year they lost $3 million–so the bleeding has almost stopped. Here’s Epsilon’s 2016 update…
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WV Residents Sound Off on Mountain Valley Pipeline

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. 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. The project has faced stiff opposition from landowners in West Virginia (see Mountain Valley Pipeline Sues 103 WV Landowners for Survey Access). Last week the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection held three public hearings on the project. As usual, the root of opposition against the pipeline is based on an irrational hatred of fossil fuels. One of the speakers at the Clarksburg hearing, a retired liberal Democrat school teacher, believes man-made global warming is a disaster in the making and this pipeline will contribute to the problem. There’s just no reasoning with people like that…
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Has the Clock Run Out for NEXUS Pipeline?

Is there still a market need for the NEXUS Pipeline project? That is the $2 billion question. Last December, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a positive final Environmental Impact Statement (see FERC Approves NEXUS Pipeline, Project on Track for 2017). The remaining obstacle for NEXUS is to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity from FERC, to begin construction. NEXUS had hoped to have that approval in hand on Feb. 3rd, when FERC issued a flurry of such certificates. However, NEXUS didn’t get one (see In FERC’s Game of Musical Chairs, NEXUS Pipeline Left Standing). Here’s the facts. The main competitor to NEXUS, Energy Transfer’s Rover Pipeline, DID get a certificate from FERC and is now under construction (see FERC Green Lights Rover Pipeline Construction). In addition, TransCanada is trying, hard, to entice western Canadian drillers to ship their gas east to Ontario in order to undercut both Rover and (if it gets built) NEXUS (see TransCanada Revives Plan to Lowball M-U Gas Using Canada Pipeline). While Rover’s pipeline capacity is 95% sold, only 59% of the NEXUS project is sold. So when a full FERC quorum is once again in place and willing to consider NEXUS, the question becomes, is the need still there?…
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Construction Update on CPV NatGas Power Plant Near Middletown, NY

CPV Valley Energy Center – under construction

MDN previously reported on a $900 million natural gas-fired electric generating plant coming to Orange County, NY (see Orange County, NY Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant OK’d by Judge). The CPV (Competitive Power Ventures) Valley Energy Center project is being opposed by local anti-drilling ninny nannies, including Hollywood star James Cromwell. No matter. The plant is now under construction. Currently the natural gas pipeline that will feed the plant is in court, trying to sidestep foot-dragging by the corrupt Cuomo Dept. of Environmental Conservation (see Millennium Pipeline Sues Cuomo’s Corrupt DEC Over Expansion Delay). We expect that will be resolved soon, with permission granted. In the meantime, the new news is that not only is the $900 million plant itself under construction, high-voltage electric lines and substation are also under construction to connect the plant to the power grid…
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Mind-Numbed Antis Need Maya’s Instructions re DRBC Mar 15 Mtg

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), charged with overseeing potential impacts on the Delaware River and the various tributaries that feed it, has stepped outside of its legal bounds with plans to review the PennEast Pipeline, part of which will run through the Delaware River Basin area. In 2014 the DRBC tried to tell PennEast and its sponsors that the pipeline will need their approval before it can be built (see DRBC Tells PennEast They Need DRBC (Not Just FERC) Approval). There’s just one teeny tiny problem with the DRBC’s plan. It’s called the U.S. Constitution. PennEast is permitted solely by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), not any other agency including the quasi-governmental DRBC. No matter, the DRBC is plowing ahead with its plan and will hold a public hearing this Wednesday, March 15. We previously shared with you the secret marching orders from anti-pipeline Nazis called THE Delaware Riverkeeper (see THE Delaware Riverkeeper Plans to Pack DRBC Hearing to Oppose PennEast). Our insider has sent us two more communications from Riverkeeper to the apparently mind-numbed robots they call supporters. The first email went out last Wednesday with instructions for the protesters who will attend the meeting. Riverkeeper is providing comments for them to read at the hearing. All of it 100% scripted. The follow-up email on Friday had to re-instruct the faithful. Apparently there was confusion and Riverkeeper had to tell them, once again, that they are to read from what THE Delaware Riverkeeper herself (Maya van Rossum) has written. Listen up stupids: you read what Maya wrote–you don’t depart from the script–or you risk her considerable wrath. Apparently Riverkeeper’s protesting followers are not bright enough to form their own arguments against PennEast…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Mar 13, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Rover Pipeline ready to roll; President Trump to name 3 FERC nominees, including PA’s Rob Powelson; another taxpayer-funded green energy firm files for bankruptcy; CELDF wants to seize municipalities to use as “torpedos” against state and feds in fracking wars; greenhouse gas goals go up the smokestack; warm weather leads to first recorded natgas storage injection in February; and more!
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