Rutgers Study Says Williams Pipeline to NYC Econ Boost of $327M

Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement Project map – click for larger version

In May 2016, Williams’ Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company (Transco) pre-filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a project called the Northeast Supply Enhancement project (see Williams Pre-Files with FERC to Expand Transco Pipeline in PA, NY). The new project will increase pipeline capacity and flows heading into northeastern markets. In particular, Transco wants to provide more natural gas to utility giant National Grid beginning with the 2019-2020 heating season. National Grid operates in New York City, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. At the time of pre-filing, Williams ran an open season to lock up commitments for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project (see Williams Announces Open Season for Northeast Supply Enhancement). The open season worked. National Grid committed to all 400,000 dekatherms (400 million cubic feet per day) of extra gas the project will provide. In March 2017, Williams filed a full, official application for the project (see Williams Files with FERC to Expand Transco Pipeline to NYC, NE). No doubt anticipating stiff opposition from lunatic anti-fossil fuelers, Williams commissioned an independent, third party study of the project with Rutgers University. Yesterday the Rutgers researchers released their comprehensive study (full copy below) that finds the Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement project, which will cost $1 billion to build, will generate $327 million in additional economic activity (GDP) in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. In addition, the project will directly and indirectly generate 3,186 jobs during the one-year construction period, resulting in an estimated $234 million in labor income. This is great news for PA, NJ and NY residents…
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Rex Energy’s Stock Out of Woods, NASDAQ Won’t De-List

Rex Energy, a driller focused mainly on the Marcellus/Utica (headquartered in State College, PA), has had its share of financial challenges. It has swapped out IOUs for new IOUs, converted debt into equity (shares of stock), sold off assets in other basins–a whole lotta stuff to keep on drilling (see our Rex Energy stories here). The company’s stock has taken a big hit over the past five years. Rex’s stock (REXX) is traded on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange and last December Nasdaq told Rex the stock would remain listed for the time being–but only if the company could get meet the minimum requirement of the per share price trading for at least $1/share for 10 consecutive trading days (see Rex Energy Stock Threatened with De-Listing by Nasdaq). Nasdaq gave Rex until June 17 of this year to comply–or get banished to the penny stock pink sheets. A common “fix” for low per-share stock prices is to combine outstanding shares into a smaller number of shares–something called a reverse stock split. In May, Rex conducted a 1-for-10 reverse stock split, combining 10 outstanding shares into 1 outstanding share, thereby boosting the per share price (see Rex Energy Offers 1-for-10 Stock Split, Updated 2-Yr Plan). The plan worked. On May 30, Nasdaq informed Rex they are now out of the woods and no longer in danger of being de-listed…Continue reading

Senate Committee Votes to Approve Trump’s FERC Nominees

In May, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a confirmation hearing for two nominees for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see 5 Climate Jihadists Disrupt Senate FERC Nominee Hearing). Neil Chatterjee, energy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Robert Powelson, a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission member and president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, were put through their paces, questioned by Senators for two hours. Yesterday the Senate committee members voted 20-3 to send these well-qualified men up for a vote from the entire Senate. Three far-left (frankly kooky) Democrats voted against: Crazy Bernie Sanders (Vermont), Ron Wyden (Oregon, need we say more?), and Mazie Harano (Hawaii, the senator nobody ever heard of). There is no word on when the glacial Senate will schedule a full vote–but it can’t come soon enough. FERC has been without a voting quorum since February. One person who eagerly anticipates the final confirmation is current Acting FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur who has “expressed relief…the restoration of the commission’s quorum is within sight.” LaFleur said while FERC is “piling up quite a few cases for potential voting,” when the new boys arrive, there are bigger policy issues that the full commission needs to urgently address, including “taxation [and] master limited partnerships in the pipeline area.” FERC does a lot more than approve gas pipelines. Here’s the news of yesterday’s Senate vote, along with a look at what FERC’s current head sees as near-term priorities…
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TransCanada Sells 4 Northeast Powergen Assets, 1 in Marcellus

Canadian-based TransCanada, famously known for wanting to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast, didn’t want to be left out of the most important midstream story of the century (the Marcellus/Utica), so they bought Columbia Pipeline Group–closing on the sale in July 2016 (see TransCanada and Columbia Pipeline Tie the Knot Today). The original deal cost TransCanada $10 billion (U.S. dollars), and later TransCanada bought out the remaining portion of Columbia it didn’t own for another $915 million (see TransCanada Raising Big $ to Complete Buyout of Columbia Pipeline). In order to pay for everything, both the original purchase and buying out the rest of Columbia, TransCanada announced floated $3.2 billion (Canadian) in new stock, and entered an agreement to sell off their electric power assets in New England for $3.7 billion (U.S.). On Monday, TransCanada announced the closing of the deals and the transfer of their electric power assets–3 natgas-fired plants, including one located in the Marcellus region (Lebanon, PA), and one wind farm. According to their announcement, TransCanada will hit their asking price of $3.7 billion, using the money to pay off “bridge loans” involved in financing the Columbia Pipeline deal…Continue reading

Youngstown Antis Float New Ballot Measure to Rig Elections

Anti-fossil fuel agitators in Youngstown, aided and abetted and whipped into a frenzy by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), have grown tired of losing. Six times now they have gotten enough signatures to put a so-called Community Bill of Rights (i.e. anti fracking) measure on the ballot for voters. And six times they have lost. As we reported in May, the nutters are making another run at it, placing an anti-fracking measure on the ballot for the seventh time. But this time there’s a twist–they want to legalize illegal actions of “civil” disobedience (see Youngstown Antis Seek to Legalize Anarchy with 7th CELDF Petition). That is, they want to break the law but not be held accountable for their actions. Now comes word the nutters aren’t stopping there. They plan to put a second measure on the Youngstown ballot in November. Both measures are loaded with anti-democratic regulations that would, if enacted, eliminate free speech by capping the amount of money that can be spent to campaign against their ballot measures. Nothing better than a loaded deck of cards when you sit down to play, right? The nutters also want to ban the use of money raised from wastewater treatment to be used on economic development projects. Let’s sum it up this way: Youngstown antis lose every time they float ballot measures related to fracking and fossil fuels, so know they want to change the rules (i.e. laws) to stack the deck in their own favor. What they can’t get at the ballot box, they now want to get by force, in legalizing civil disobedience. What they want to bring to Youngstown is, in a word, anarchy…Continue reading

DOPEs Get Ready to Fight 13 Mile Pipeline Near Cincinnati

As MDN previously reported, Duke Energy needs to replace an aging pipeline, built in the 1950s, near Cincinnati, OH–or some people in Cincy will have to go without natural gas (see Hearings Scheduled for Proposed Duke Pipeline in Cincinnati). Duke has proposed a 13-mile, 20-inch pipeline along two potential routes. Both routes are opposed by antis, including a group calling themselves NOPE–Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension. We call them DOPEs–Dummies Opposing Pipeline Extensions. Will the DOPErs volunteer to shut off the natural gas to their homes and businesses if the pipeline doesn’t get built? Not on your life! Two public hearings have now been scheduled, one for June 15 and the other July 12. Ahead of those hearings, the Ohio Power Siting Board recently released a 71-page report outlining the potential impacts of the pipeline (full copy below). In the report, staffers conclude that Duke Energy’s proposed Alternate Route represents the minimum adverse environmental impact (the best route) when compared to the Preferred Route. The staff recommend that a number of conditions become part of any certificate issued by the Board for the proposed pipeline. DOPErs are busy reading the report and gearing up to fight the pipeline at the two upcoming public hearings…Continue reading

Crystal Ball: Marcellus/Utica Production Over the Next 5 Years

When it comes to analysts and those who evaluate the oil and gas industry, one of the brightest stars in the firmament is RBN Energy. RBN is founded and directed by Rusty Braziel, one of the co-founders of Bentek Energy (now owned by Platts). Jim Cramer, host of Mad Money on CNBC, calls Rusty “the smartest man on the oil patch” and the only person he consults with when it comes to the price of oil and gas and what’s happening (see The Smartest Man in the Oil (& Gas) Patch: Rusty Braziel). Rusty has assembled a top notch team that writes and consults on oil and gas. In a series of posts on the RBN Energy website, Rusty’s team has looked at “takeaway capacity” for pipeline projects planned in the Marcellus/Utica, taking into account which projects have been canceled, delayed or are on track. Rusty and the team predict how much new capacity is coming to cart our gas to various outside regions. Based on that analysis, RBN has just released their best guess for how much natural gas will get produced in the Marcellus/Utica over the next five years. In fact, RBN runs four different scenarios for how much gas might get produced, from pessimistic to optimistic. Even under the most pessimistic scenario, RBN predicts natgas production will grow by 9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) by 2022. Let’s haul out the RBN crystal ball and predict the future of our region’s production…
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Beginning of the End: EPA Issues 90-Day Stay for Methane Rule

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the Obama/McCarthy reign of terror, far overstepped its charter by seizing power that didn’t belong to it. In May 2016, the EPA issued new methane rules in a back-door way to try and regulate the oil and gas industry (see EPA Does it Again: Tries to Destroy O&G with New Methane Rule). In pretty short order several states sued to stop the order, which eventually turned into 15 states (see 15 States File Lawsuits to Block EPA O&G Methane Rule). The EPA claimed, at that time, that methane is leaking out of bore holes, pipelines, valves–just about everywhere on a well pad. And methane (as the fairy tale goes) is a gajillion times more “potent” than carbon dioxide when it comes to causing man-made global warming. The problem is, the EPA used estimates, calculations, algorithms, and spreadsheets as their “evidence.” They never went into the field and actually measured anything. Such a field study was done–by the EPA–in the Uinta Shale Basin in Colorado. In research published just last month, the EPA found it had overestimated methane leakage by 97% (see Study Finds Fugitive Methane from O&G 97% Less than EPA Estimates). The only rational thing to do is to stop the EPA’s rule and reevaluate it in light of this new evidence, which the EPA did last week. The EPA put a 90-day “stay” on implementing the Obama methane rule–which marks the beginning of the end for this terrible rule. Earlier this week, a group of radical environmental organizations (some of the worst of the worst) sued the EPA for stopping implementation of this illegal rule based on faulty science…
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Sec. Perry: Obama Talked Clean Energy, Trump Will Actually Do It

So often, what passes for “action” in the land of liberal Democrats is talk. As long as you mouth the right words, and as long as your intentions are “good,” that’s good enough. They never seem to be held to the standard of evaluating whether or not all of their hot air actually *produces* the intended result. The Obama administration was full of that kind of well-intentioned talk–but no results to show for all of their talk. Take the jobs and economy-killing Paris climate treaty as an example. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said, in a recent editorial, that Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris agreement is the right decision, one he fully supports. In responding to the hysterical Chicken Little “the sky is falling” enviro weenies now running around apoplectic about Trump’s action in ending a very poor agreement, Perry said: “Our work and deeds are more important than unenforceable words in a nonbinding agreement. Rather than preaching about clean energy, this administration will act on it.” Lib Dems just hate it when the truth is exposed for all to see…Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Jun 7, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Rig count in tri-state area down by one; NY AG witch hunt now says Exxon TOO alarmist on global warming; small O&G, pipeline companies push back against One Call expansion; public bus natural gas fueling station opens in Donora; Cheniere cleared to introduce gas to Sabine Pass LNG Train 4; analysis of FERC Form 552 data finds natgas trading volumes rose 4.4% in 2016 from 2015; U.S. drillers add oil rigs for record 20th week in a row.Continue reading