EIA Drilling Report: Gas Prod to Hit Another Record High in April

Yesterday 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. For the past five reports, estimating production for November, December, January, February, and March, Marcellus natgas has increased. The trend continues in this latest report, which forecasts production for the coming month of April. In fact, EIA says natgas production for all seven major shale plays will go up–the first time we can remember that happening in more than a year. Last month EIA predicted the combined output of the seven major shale plays would hit 49.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), a new record (see EIA Feb Drilling Rpt: Gas Prod. to Hit New Record High in March). The trend continues. If the numbers hold, EIA predicts the combined natural gas production across all seven major plays will hit 49.6 Bcf/d in April–up 562 million cubic feet per day. The Marcellus (and Utica) will both hit record-breaking highs in April for natgas production as well…
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WV Sen. Charles Trump Introduces New Co-Tenancy, Joint Dev Bill

As MDN previously reported, perhaps the biggest energy-related issue for this year’s session of the West Virginia 60-day legislative session will not be a bill on forced pooling. Instead, the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) is pushing a legislation on co-tenancy and joint development (see WV Won’t Push Forced Pooling, Will Push Joint Dev. & Co-Tenancy). Senate Bill (SB) 244 was introduced in February to cover both co-tenancy and joint development (see WV Senate Bill 244 Introduced for Co-Tenancy & Joint Development). For an explanation of what co-tenancy and joint development means, read this post. WVONGA is supporting SB 244, but rights owners, including the West Virginia Royalty Owner’s Association (WVROA) is not. In an effort to get the two sides together and hammer out something that both could support, WV State Senator Charles Trump convened a meeting with both sides. He then drafted up new legislation to replace SB 244 (which was going nowhere fast). Last Friday, Trump introduced SB 576 (full copy below). Did Trump succeed in crafting something both sides can support?…
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TransCanada Says Plan to Lowball M-U Gas Worked, Shippers Sign Up

TransCanada, one of Canada’s leading midstream/pipeline companies, cooked up a deal last year to pipe natural gas from Canada’s West Coast to the East Coast in order to fend off cheap supplies of Marcellus/Utica gas that will flow into Canada when/if the NEXUS and Rover pipelines get built (see TransCanada Pipe Drops Price 42% to Compete with Marcellus/Utica). TransCanada dropped their pipeline price to lure drillers by (theoretically) making it less expensive to get gas from Western Canada, some 2,400 miles away, than from the Marcellus, just 400 miles away. In October, TransCanada launched an open season to lock up customers for the new, lower-priced option. The open season was a bust because TransCanada insists on a 10-year commitment (see TransCanada Plan to Lowball M-U Gas Using Canada Pipeline a Bust). TransCanada revived their plan in February. The original deal required a 10-year term with a long-term tolling rate between C$0.75/GJ to C$0.82/GJ. In February, the advertised deal was for a 10-year term and a simplified single rate of C$0.77/GJ (see TransCanada Revives Plan to Lowball M-U Gas Using Canada Pipeline). Although it looked almost like the same deal all over again with the same 10-year term and about the same price, TransCanada dropped a minimum amount to be shipped and is letting shippers opt out after five years under certain conditions. The changes worked…
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Spectra Energy Buys PSE&G’s Stake in PennEast Pipeline

That was fast. Last Friday MDN reported that New Jersey’s largest utility, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G), is shopping its ownership stake in the $1 billion PennEast Pipeline project (see PennEast Pipeline Investor Looks to Sell its 10% Ownership Share). PSE&G owns a 10% stake in the project primarily because it will be one of the biggest customers for the pipeline when (not if) it gets built. PSE&G wants to sell its share not because it has lost confidence in the project, but because of a change in corporate strategy. The bigwigs running PSE&G want to put their money into more power generating plants, rather than the pipelines that feed those plants. Fair enough. Yesterday Spectra Energy (now a part of Enbridge), another investor/partner in PennEast, said it will buy out PSE&G’s share. Spectra currently owns a 10% stake in the project, as does PSE&G, so it will double its ownership share…
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Report by Philly Antis Proves Mariner East 2 Pipeline is Safe

A group of anti-fossil fuel nutters from the Philadelphia suburb of Middletown, PA (Delaware County) spent good money to buy themselves a report from an “independent” consultant that they say proves the Mariner East 2 Pipeline is too dangerous to build through their township. We don’t know how much the Middletown Coalition for Community Safety blew on the study, but we do know that Middletown Township is blowing $45,000 of taxpayer’s hard-earned money for a similar study (see Middletown PA Decides to Blow $45K (not $100K) on Mariner 2 Study). The Middletown Coalition was antsy, they didn’t want to wait for the town study to be completed, and they couldn’t risk a truly independent study finding the pipeline will be safe. So the Coalition moved ahead, no doubt using money from Big Green organizations to produce a report titled “Hazard Calculations for the Mariner East II Pipeline” (full copy below). The Coalition asked Quest Consultants, an Oklahoma-based firm, to evaluate what would happen IF a bunch of unlikely events were to happen. The report concludes: “IF the pipe were to rupture in Middletown Township, and IF the pipeline were operating at 1,500 psi while transporting ethane, and IF the release were oriented near to horizontal in the direction of the wind, and IF there are few obstructions to vapor cloud dispersion, and IF the weather conditions were 5 mph winds and stable atmosphere, the flammable vapor cloud could extend up to 1,800 feet from the pipeline.” The huge, gaping omission, the question the report does not address, is this: How likely is it that any or all of those things would actually happen? Our answer: near zero percent. In other words, the report just released by the Middletown Coalition proves that ME2 is safe!…
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CONE Midstream 2016 – Profits Up, Volumes Up, Looking Good

CONE Midstream, a joint venture between CONSOL Energy and Noble Energy (CO from CONSOL and NE from Noble Energy) was formed in summer 2014 (see CONSOL & Noble Energy Form New Marcellus Midstream Company). CONE Midstream has been a small but stellar performer in the midstream (pipeline) sector. Although it’s been almost a month since they released their fourth quarter and full year 2016 update, we thought it important to highlight the latest from CONE. Once again, as with previous quarterly (and annual) updates, CONE continues to impress. For all of 2016, CONE made a $96 million profit, up from making $71 million in 2015. They report flowing an average of 933 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of gas through the system in 4Q16, up from an average of 760 MMcf/d in 4Q15. Below is the February update, along with the latest PowerPoint slide deck, the company’s 10-K filing with the SEC, and excerpts from their 2016 earnings call…
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Trump Spanks Radicalized Kids re “Climate Change” Lawsuit

In August 2015, MDN told you about a lawsuit brought by a group of left coast radicalized children who want to force the federal government to become communist and “force action” on mythical climate change (see Group of Kids Sues U.S. Govt to Force Action on “Climate Change”). In January 2016 we brought you an update, telling you that radicalized, fringe Catholic groups had joined the cause with the ignorant children (see Climate Change Lawsuit by Radicalized Children Gets Interesting). In November 2016, a lefty judge cleared the lawsuit to move to trial. And in January 2017, the radicalized kiddies (actually, the laywers abusing them) got to depose the incoming Secretary of State and former ExxonMobil CEO, Rex Tillerson (see Radicalized Kids Suing Over Global Warming to Depose Tillerson). The Trump Administration is not amused by the antics of these children and the adults manipulating them. Last week the Trump Administration filed a motion to overturn the November ruling that allows the lawsuit to go to trial. It’s time these children got a good (legal) spanking…
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4 Things to Know re Trump’s Energy Orders/Repeals

President Trump has issued a number of Executive Orders to overturn some of the egregious over-regulation that popped up during the reign of terror known as the Obama Administration. Some of the orders encourage new pipeline development (Keystone XL and Dakota Access). Some “require” American-made pipelines to be used when building new pipeline projects. Some roll back truly onerous regulations like Waters of the United States (WOTUS)–which puts all bodies of water down to the size of mud puddles under EPA authority. Trump has been going great guns. But, those orders may not be a slam dunk, given our court system populated with Obamadroids. Here’s four things to consider, to be aware of, when it comes to Trump’s Executive Orders and directives aimed at the energy industry…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Mar 14, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Rig counts remain same in PA, go up in OH; REX Pipeline in OH going down for maintenance for 2 days; Trumbull County meeting to address oil & gas prospects; gas industry gushes over positive signs; green billionaire Tom Steyer buys anti-fracking votes in Nevada; Chesapeake board members load up on cheap shares of stock; Saudis right back where they started; and more!
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