PA Study Finds Marcellus/Utica Can Support 4 More Ethane Crackers

Back in January MDN reported that Denise Brinley, a special assistant to the Secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, spilled the beans on an upcoming report PA had commissioned. Brinley said the report would be released “in the coming weeks” and it would show that Pennsylvania can easily handle another two ethane cracker plants (aside from the already under construction Shell cracker), and that Ohio or West Virginia could also handle another two cracker plants (see PA Report Says Marcellus/Utica Can Support Up to 4 More Crackers). In other words, there’s enough ethane in the Marcellus/Utica to support a minimum of five ethane cracker plants. It’s been more than a few weeks, but finally the report is out. On Monday, Team Pennsylvania Foundation co-chairs Gov. Tom Wolf and Stephen Tang, President and CEO of Philadelphia’s University City Science Center, released “Prospects to Enhance Pennsylvania’s Opportunities in Petrochemical Manufacturing” (full copy below). The report comes from a comprehensive study conducted by powerhouse oil & gas consulting firm IHS Markit. According to the study, natural gas from the Marcellus/Utica accounted for 25% of all natural gas produced in the U.S. in 2015, and is expected to account for more than 40% by 2030. Wow! Additionally, 40% of Marcellus/Utica natural gas produced is rich in natural gas liquids (NGLs). Most of the NGLs produced (70%) are ethane and propane, used by petrochemical plants and plastics manufacturers. You can see why our region can handle a lot of crackers. Here’s the announcement and a copy of the full (exciting) report…
Continue reading

FERC Green Lights Construction of Dominion Project in Upstate NY

In June 2014, MDN told you about the Dominion New Market Project–a project that will build two new compressor plants and upgrade one other compressor station in upstate New York–to help flow more abundant, cheap and clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania (and beyond) into the northeast (see Dominion Asks FERC for New Compressors in Upstate NY, WV). The project is projected to cost $159 million and provide 112,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of extra natural gas capacity along ~200 miles of existing Dominion pipeline across upstate New York. The existing Dominion pipeline runs through the Horseheads, Ithaca, Syracuse and Albany areas. In March 2015 MDN friend Andy Leahy wrote about the pitched battle antis waged against the project (see NY Antis Flood FERC in Fight Against Dominion’s New Market Project). The antis were unsuccessful. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Dominion’s New Market Project in October 2015 (see FERC Approves Expansion of Dominion Pipeline in Upstate NY). And then a REAL miracle happened. The corrupt New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) approved the New Market compressor stations on Dec. 23, 2016 (see Miracle! NY DEC Approves Dominion’s New Compressor Stations). Barbara Lifton, an eco-left Democrat from Ithaca who serves in the New York Assembly, recently tried to stop the project from proceeding by sending letters to both FERC and the DEC, hoping she could (ab)use her position to pressure one or the other (or both) to delay the project, which is the antis’ first step in killing a project (see NY State Legislator Tries to Derail Dominion New Market Project). We’re delighted to report she failed. Last Friday FERC sent a letter to Dominion to let them know, now more than three years after filing, they can start the bulldozers and begin construction. In Communist NY! Who woulda thunk?!…
Continue reading

MDN Exclusive: 2016 Ohio Wastewater Disposal Market Report

We are super excited to bring you an exclusive report that has just been released by MDN subscriber Andrew Kilgore. The report is titled “2016 Ohio Wastewater Disposal Market Report” (full copy below) and it details the wastewater injection well industry in Ohio. Andrew has spent most of his career working in the Appalachian Basin. He is an alumnus of BlueJack Energy (see Wastewater Co. BlueJack Energy Launches with $100M Investment), EnLink Midstream, and co-founder of UM Resources. Andrew authored the report and offered to let MDN be the first media outlet to release it. We thank him! The report finds that in 2016 the total amount of wastewater disposed of in Ohio was 29.4 million barrels–almost 2 million fewer barrels disposed of compared to 2015. The majority of the decline was from wastewater from out-of-state slowing down (i.e. from Pennsylvania and West Virginia). The report outlines a number of reasons for the decline in wastewater volume disposed in OH, with the primary reason being less drilling due to the low commodity price of natural gas. A few quick facts from the report: Washington County, OH saw the most volume of wastewater disposed. Buckeye Brine processed the most wastewater volume. Here’s the full report…
Continue reading

Potential FERC Com. Powleson Calls Anti-Fossil Fuelers “Jihadists”

Rob Powelson

We can’t speak highly enough of Rob Powelson, member of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) and currently the president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). As we recently reported, Powelson is one of three names being rumored as a nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see Names Mentioned for 3rd FERC Post, Incl. PA’s Powelson). It can’t happen soon enough! Yesterday Rob spoke at the Upstream PA conference in State College. He didn’t beat around the bush. In a very frank talk, Rob said equated fossil fuel nutters with Islamic terrorists when he said, “The jihad has begun…At the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission groups actually show up at commissioners’ homes to make sure we don’t get this gas to market. How irresponsible is that?” So true. These anti wackos have more in common with anti-American terrorists than they do with common, decent, ordinary Americans. They are so hyped-up and amped-up on global warming hysteria, they’re willing to use extreme tactics–even violence–to force their will on everyone else. It’s about time we started calling it like it is, and that’s just what Rob did yesterday. He also called Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (who just announced his support for a permanent frack ban) an ignoramus, in so many words…
Continue reading

WVONGA Delivers ~1,000 at Rally to Support Co-Tenancy, Joint Dev.

The West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) has just raised the stakes significantly in a bid to pass new “forced pooling lite” legislation. In the past six years, the oil and gas industry in WV has pushed for a forced pooling law five times. It’s failed every time. So this year the industry, represented by WVONGA, said it would not push forced pooling but instead would try to get a bill passed to address two of the issues that were previously part of a larger forced pooling bill–something called co-tenancy and joint development (see WV Won’t Push Forced Pooling, Will Push Joint Dev. & Co-Tenancy). Co-tenancy says 51% of the rights owners can vote to accept a lease for drilling. It corrects a situation in which multiple rights owners are listed for a property–and sometimes (often?) it’s difficult to track them all down and get them to sign on the dotted line. Joint development is a bit more nuanced. Currently there are a number of existing old leases, signed before shale drilling began, that prevents drillers from drilling a horizontal well across an individual property boundary line–until a new lease is signed. Joint development says if the driller already owns the leases on all adjoining properties they want to combine into a drilling unit, they can do so without signing a new lease. WVONGA says it corrects a loophole that prevents more drilling from happening. Rights owners say joint development legislation lets drillers have a freebie–instead of signing a new lease (for more money), the driller gets something never envisioned when the original lease was signed. Yesterday WVONGA bused a bunch of people (mostly oil & gas workers) from across the state to the Capitol steps in Charleston for a rally in support of new legislation to pass co-tenancy and joint development. Depending on the news source, “several hundred” or “nearly 1,000” attended the rally. It was a lot of people. One of the star speakers was newly minted Gov. Jim Justice (a Democrat who supports the industry). Justice came out in full-throated support of co-tenancy and joint development. The rally certainly seemed to have an impact on WV legislators, some of whom attended…
Continue reading

PA DEP Launches Online Access to Shale Driller Documents

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) yesterday released a new online search tool for the public which enables anyone to search through electronic documents filed by Marcellus Shale drillers. Last year the DEP created new regulations for shale drillers called Chapter 78a (see PA’s New Chapter 78a Drilling Regs Go into Effect Oct 8). Some of the new regulations were challenged in court by the Marcellus Shale Coalition in a lawsuit that is not yet resolved (see Marc. Shale Coalition Files Lawsuit to Block PA Chapter 78a Regs). However, a portion of 78a that requires drillers to file paperwork electronically was not challenged and has gone into effect. The DEP wants to share that information with the public via a new website (found here). While more information faster is generally a good thing, in this case we expect antis to use the information to try and spin and lie about the industry. Perhaps that’s the cost of free speech? Here’s the announcement about the new tool, along with a screenshot…
Continue reading

OFS Mammoth Buys Sand Co. to Ensure Steady Supply for Fracking

Oilfield services company (OFS) Mammoth Energy Services, headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, operates in both the Utica Shale and Permian Basin. Mammoth offers services like “completion and production services, natural sand proppant services, contract land and directional drilling services and remote accommodation services.” Mammoth is a baby company, formed in 2014, but growing rapidly. The company booked $243 million in revenue for the 12 months ended June 30, 2016 (see Mammoth Energy 3Q16: “Intense Fracs” in Utica Shale). OFS companies like Mammoth do a lot of fracking. Lately there has been talk and concern that there won’t be enough frack sand to meet all of the increasing demand (see Go Pound Sand, Please! Proppant Shortage on the Way?). Mammoth wants to reassure its customers that it will have plenty of sand for fracking–so it just went out and bought its own sand mine! Yesterday Mammoth announced it has cut a deal to buy Taylor Frac, which owns a 0.7 million ton per year sand mine and processing plant. In addition, Mammoth cut a deal to buy Stingray Energy Services and Stingray Cementing, which offer services in fresh water transfer, equipment rental, re-fueling and cementing, primarily in the Marcellus/Utica region. Here’s the lowdown on the baby Mammoth that’s growing up rapidly…
Continue reading

One of Biggest Drivers of New Demand for Marcellus Gas? Powergen

Jeff Quigley, director of energy markets at Stratas Advisors, says that electric power generation is “one of the biggest incremental drivers of new demand” for Marcellus Shale gas. A close second behind powergen, according to Quigley, are industrial sources. That is, big manufacturing plants. Also according to Quigley, while “there’s still a place for coal” in the U.S. energy mix, natural gas is “on pace to eventually displace coal for power generation.” Quigley is speaking today at the Guttman Energy 2017 Energy Forum in Canonsburg, PA. Here’s a preview of his comments…
Continue reading

How O&G Companies Survive & Thrive During Low Prices

Regina Mayor is leader of energy and natural resources for the consulting firm KPMG. She’s located in Houston. However, she recently made a trip to California to speak at the Stanford University Precourt Institute for Energy. Her topic? “How Energy CEOs are Adapting in the Downturn.” We have a video of her full talk below. It’s compelling. Mayor recounts how oil and gas companies had to figure out how to make money in a low price environment. She also observes that all sectors of the energy industry are pumped on Trump: “Everyone in the industry seems to think that they’re going to be a winner under this administration. The wind and solar guys and gals, the coal folks, the gas, the upstream, the downstream, everyone believes that they’re going to win…where I come from, you always know that that can’t be the case. Logic tells you that can’t be the case. But I do find the level of optimism quite fascinating.” Below is a summary of her talk, and the video…
Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Mar 22, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Fewer rigs, wells and less spending show in OH’s shale production for 2016; activists gather in Mass. to protest natural gas pipelines; Cheniere gets FERC permit to start Sabine Pass LNG Train 3; a new controversy over Dakota Access Pipeline – who will pay for protesters’ mess; conflict groups identify new boogeyman – pipelines; repeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate due to RINO dung; big oil’s plan to buy into shale; Saudis falter; and more!
Continue reading