XcL Midstream Building New Dry & Wet Gas Gathering Pipes in WV

It doesn’t happen often, but every now and again we read about driller or (in this case) pipeline company operating in the Marcellus/Utica we had never heard of before. Such is the case today. A new (to us) midstream company, XcL Midstream, has formed and is already building a dry gas gathering pipeline system in West Virginia, with plans to build a wet gas gathering system in WV too. According to its website, XcL “operates in the premier region of the Appalachia basin in Marshall and Wetzel Counties, West Virginia. XcL Midstream’s Appalachia Connector Pipeline is strategically located at the intersection of every major long-haul interstate pipeline system in Southwest Appalachia and provides shippers with market price optionality.” XcL plans to gather and process dry gas, wet gas (i.e. natural gas liquids), and transport water for its customers. XcL has its headquarters in Canonsburg, PA, near Pittsburgh. The reason that the company popped up on our radar is because Platts ran an article announcing that XcL has signed a customer–THQ Appalachia I, an affiliate of Tug Hill–to use 600 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) on the dry gas pipeline, 200 Mmcf/d on the wet gas pipeline system, and to use a forthcoming water pipeline to boot. Here’s the thing: both XcL and THQ/Tug Hill are backed by private equity company Quantum Energy Partners. So apparently this is one of Quantum’s portfolio companies doing business with another of Quantum’s portfolio companies. In essence, one cousin helping out the other cousin. Perhaps we can call them kissin’ cousins?…
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Atlantic Sunrise Supporters Far Outnumber Antis at PA DEP Hearings

Yesterday saw the first two (of four) public hearings being hosted this week by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to elicit comments on the proposed $3 billion, 198-mile Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, an expansion of Williams’ Transco Pipeline system. One of yesterday’s meetings was held in Lancaster (Lancaster County), and the other in Tunkhannock (Wyoming County). The striking thing about both meetings is that they were not the usual circus freak shows by anti-fossil fuelers we’ve come to expect. Indeed, in both venues, an overwhelming majority of those speaking were there to speak IN FAVOR of the projects. Oh, there were detractors, to be sure. Nonsensical statements made by people like Malinda Clatterbuck, one of the locals in Lancaster who is attempting to turn Lancaster into another North Dakota fiasco. Clatterbuck said “angst over the pipeline has caused premature births, divorces and heart attacks” among people she knows. Complete rubbish. Anyone can say (or do) anything at these hearings. Mark Clatterbuck (Malinda’s husband) also spoke. Mark was a protester in North Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline. He warned (threatened?) DEP representatives of a coming “community uprising” against the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. Even though there was some opposition like the clattering Clatterbucks at last night’s hearings, the big news is that their opposition was drowned out by supporters of the pipeline project. And that’s good news for all Pennsylvanians…
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NY School Saddles Taxpayers w/Legal Fees to Oppose Virtual Pipe

We just knew getting a “virtual pipeline” facility built in ultra-liberal Broome County, NY was proceeding a little too easy. MDN recently told you about a proposed virtual pipeline (i.e. natgas trucking system) coming to MDN’s neighborhood. NG Advantage wants to build a new compressor station and tap into the Millennium Pipeline where it crosses the Chenango River near Port Dickinson, a suburb of Binghamton, in Broome County (see NG Advantage Virtual Pipeline May be Coming to MDN’s Backyard). NG already has three businesses lined up to buy CNG (compressed natural gas) from the project. So-called virtual pipelines compress natural gas and load it onto tanker trucks, and then distribute that gas to businesses that are not fortunate enough to be located near a natgas pipeline. It’s a cool concept that bypasses anti-drilling objections to pipelines. However, virtual pipelines have one negative side-effect for local residents: LOTS of truck traffic. The Town of Fenton Planning Board recently approved the project and although we thought it wasn’t quite yet a done deal, apparently it is a done deal, as a small group of antis learned earlier this week at a Town of Fenton meeting (see NG Advantage Virtual Pipe “Done Deal” in Broome County, Antis Stymied). However, that may not be the end of it. Antis (in New York as elsewhere) don’t fade away without a LOT of loud-mouthed opposition, and a LOT of legal action. Antis are now pegging their hopes to defeat this fossil fuel intruder on the actions of a local school district. The Chenango Valley School District operates the Port Dickinson Elementary school close to (half mile? quarter mile?) the proposed compressor station for the virtual pipeline project. The CV school board voted last night 8-0 to hire a law firm to fight the project, with no cap on how much in legal fees local taxpayers will have to pay for this folly. The clock is now ticking. It’s quite likely the project will get built before it ever sees its first court hearing–and antis know it…
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Rex Energy Crows re Results from New 4-Well Pad in Butler County, PA

Rex Energy began selling natural gas, gas liquids and condensate from its four newest wells, part of the “Baird” pad (in Butler County, PA) on May 31st. The company issued a press release yesterday to do some well-deserved crowing about their wells. Two of the wells (the 1H and 4H) are Marcellus wells and initial production is averaging 12.1 million cubic feet equivalent per day (Mmcfe/d). The other two wells (the 2H & 3H) target the Upper Devonian layer and initial production for those wells has been 8.1 Mmcfe/d. Rex also posted a new company PowerPoint presentation (full copy below) which shows a new 6-well pad in Butler County will go online to sales in August, another 4-well pad in September, and a 2-well pad and 4-well pad sometime in the fourth quarter. In addition, Rex expects to begin drilling a 3-well pad in the Ohio Utica (in Carroll County) in July…
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Trump DOJ Blesses GE Takeover of Baker Hughes, Merging Soon

During the Obama reign of terror, the world’s #2 largest oilfield services company, Halliburton, tried to buy the world’s #3 largest oilfield services company, Baker Hughes. The Obama Dept. of Justice (DOJ) killed that deal (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). It was a costly mistake for Halliburton–they had to pay Baker Hughes a $3.5 billion breakup fee. Baker Hughes was on a mission to sell itself to someone, and eventually found a new suitor last October: GE Oil & Gas (see Breaking: Who Needs Halliburton? Baker Hughes Merging with GE O&G). Since then the two have worked hard to ensure there will not be a repeat of the Halliburton disaster. Earlier this month we told you that Europe has blessed the deal (see Europe Approves GE Takeover of Baker Hughes, Co Gets a New Name). Now the Trump DOJ has blessed the deal too. GE had to agree to sell its Water & Process Technologies business (called GE Water). Small price to pay. The two maintain that the merger will take place “mid-year”. Since it’s already mid-year, we expect that translates to July or August…
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EIA June Drilling Rpt: Another New High in Gas & Oil Production

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. Get ready to break new records–again! In July, we will once again hit the highest output of shale gas we’ve seen, ever. All seven major plays will produce an amazing 51.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas, and 5.5 million barrels of oil per day. In the Marcellus, natural gas output will hit 19.4 Bcf/d. In the Utica, output will reach 4.3 Bcf/d. The biggest natural gas story continues to be the Texas Permian–an oil play! When you drill like crazy for more oil, you also get natural gas out of the hole along with the oil. It’s called “associated gas.” And because the Permian is red hot with drilling, it makes sense natural gas production will spike up too. The Permian will add 161 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of natural gas production in July and hit a total output of 8.5 Bcf/d, now #2 behind the mighty Marcellus…
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NatGas Grudge Match II: Marcellus vs Permian

Competition is good. Last week we told you about the coming competition between the Marcellus/Utica Shale play in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, and the Haynesville Shale play in Louisiana (see NatGas Grudge Match: Marcellus vs Haynesville). The Haynesville was not so long ago dead–no new drilling. But that is no longer the case. The Haynesville is gearing up to compete against the Marcellus/Utica (or perhaps it’s the other way around?) to sell gas into the Midwest and along the Gulf Coast. The Marcellus/Utica is getting a flurry of new pipelines to make sales to other regions possible. But the Haynesville is not the only new competition coming for Marcellus/Utica. The Permian Basin shale play, located in Texas, is coming on super strong. Why? As we point out in today’s companion story about EIA’s June drilling report, drillers in the Permian are drilling new oil wells like crazy. Thing is, when you drill a new oil well, you don’t ONLY get oil–you get other hydrocarbons too, like natural gas and gas liquids (propane, ethane, butane, etc.). Because the Permian is drilling so many new oil wells, it’s also causing a flood of new natural gas into the market. The Permian is now the #2 natural gas producing shale play in the U.S., behind the Marcellus. What does this clash of the titans mean? According to one analyst, “Everyone can’t grow and everyone can’t win”…
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WV Sens. Capito & Manchin Introduce 2 More Ethane Storage Hub Bills

Senator Shelly Moore Capito

In May, both West Virginia U.S. Senators, Shelley Moore Capito (Republican) and Joe Manchin (Democrat), along with Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, introduced and co-sponsored a bill to study if and how an ethane storage hub can be constructed in the Marcellus/Utica region (see WV/OH Senators Intro Bill to Study Appalachian Ethane Storage Hub). Apparently the issue is more important that just a single bill. Yesterday Sens. Capito and Manchin introduced/sponsored another new bill. Called the “Capitalizing American Storage Potential (CASP) Act,” this new bill would make a regional ethane storage hub (the one envisioned for West Virginia) eligible for the Department of Energy’s Title XVII loan guarantee program. According to the Dept. of Energy website, Title XVII “provides broad authority for the Department to guarantee loans that support early commercial use of advanced technologies, if there is reasonable prospect of repayment by the borrower.” In other words, if the federal government guarantees a loan, lenders are more likely to make said loans at more favorable interest rates. Such a loan is “another tool that the Department will use to promote commercial use of innovative technologies” and is targeted for commercial operations only–not for use in energy research. If the bill passes, it will make building the ethane storage hub that much more attractive. In addition to the Title XVII bill, Sen. Capito also introduced a bill to hack through the red tape and streamline an approval process for the storage hub…
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Halliburton Hires New CFO After Old CFO Left to Run Weatherford

In March, Mark McCollum, who had been Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Halliburton, the world’s second largest oilfield services company, left to become the CEO of Weatherford, the world’s fourth largest oilfield services company (see Halliburton CFO Leaves to Become Weatherford CEO). Not long after McCollum took the helm of Weatherford, the world’s largest oilfield services company, Schlumberger, gave Weatherford a helping hand (see Schlumberger Throws Weatherford a Lifeline, Challenges Halliburton). The chain reaction (and drama) continues to unfold. Halliburton announced yesterday they’ve lured away the CFO from smaller competitor Parker Drilling Company. And now Parker is looking for a new CFO…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jun 13, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Appalachia gas supply outlook vs. takeaway capacity; critics see Cuomo power play at the PSC; Beaver County developer buys 63 acres behind Beaver Valley Mall near Shell cracker site; ethane cracker tops Pennsylvania’s top construction projects; shale-oil boomtown climbs back from the bust; be happy that natural gas and fracking are here to stay; fracking says “You’re welcome, America” for low gasoline prices; Harold Hamm says American natgas is going to have “world impact”; Trump wants to boost natgas exports to India; and more!
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