New Life for Constitution Pipe – Williams Asks White House for Help

In April 2016 the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) caved to corrupt political pressure from Andrew Cuomo and denied the Williams Constitution Pipeline a necessary federal 401 stream crossing permit, blocking the project (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). At that moment, the DEC stepped off a cliff. It’s been a long, slow process, but we’ve watched them fall ever since. And now, they will soon hit the bottom. They were dead (metaphorically) the moment they issued their denial. It was a foregone conclusion that their illegal action would not stand–that the DEC would eventually be overruled and their role in permitting such projects would be stripped away. But you have to remember those were heady days for the left, when Cuomo was full of himself and the future seemed certain that the hapless Hillary would win the White House and further corrupt federal agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the agency that oversees projects like the Constitution. But the unthinkable happened. Hillary lost (thank God!). And now Cuomo and his corrupted DEC have no backstop at the federal level. Last week on a conference call to discuss second quarter earnings, Williams CEO Alan Armstrong responded to a question about the long-stalled Constitution Pipeline. He said Williams is working with The White House to get the Constitution project back on track. Reading between the lines, Williams is asking The White House to ask FERC to overrule the NY DEC and grant the stream crossing permits for the project. Armstrong now says he believes it will get built, and will be up and running, sometime in the second quarter of 2019…
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Antero 2Q17: Record High 2.2 Bcfe/d Production, Gets $3.41/Mcf

Antero Resources, one of the biggest and best drillers in the Marcellus/Utica concentrating on just those two plays, turned in their second quarter 2017 numbers last week, and held an earnings call to discuss the results. The company has a lot to crow about. Antero’s gas (and liquids) production hit a new record high of 2.2 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d) in 2Q17. They continue to be the best hedging company in the Marcellus/Utica, getting an average of $3.15 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) for the gas they sold BEFORE hedging. After hedging Antero got $3.41/Mcf for gas and equivalents (oil, NGLS). Antero’s hedging program is one of the greatest untold success stories of the Marcellus/Utica. The company lost $5 million in 2Q17, a vast improvement over losing $596 million in 2Q16. Antero completed and placed online 29 horizontal Marcellus wells during 2Q17 with an average lateral length of 9,380 feet. They drilled an average of 5,200 lateral feet per day, a 50% increase compared to 2016. In the Utica, Antero completed and placed online 5 horizontal wells with an average lateral length of 11,222 feet. During 2Q17, Antero set a record for drilling its longest lateral to date at 17,380 feet. The company also announced a big bump up in proved reserves…
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NFG 2Q17: NY Pipeline Holdup Causes Shift to More Utica Drilling

Last week National Fuel Gas Company, headquartered in Western New York State with drilling subsidiary Seneca Resources and pipeline subsidiary Empire Pipeline, issued its third quarter (everyone else’s second quarter) 2017 update. NFG produced 567 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas last quarter, a 6% increase over the same quarter a year ago. NFG realized an average price of $2.94 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf), up $0.08 per Mcf from the prior year. Compare that with Antero’s hedged average of $3.41/Mcf (see today’s story about Antero 2Q17). NFG CEO Ronald Tanski had some interesting remarks with respect to the company’s stalled Northern Access Pipeline project. As you may recall, the Andrew Cuomo New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is blocking Northern Access, like they blocked the Constitution Pipeline and a tiny spur project for the Millennium. Because NFG’s Northern Access project is stalled, they are shifting their budget and drilling further west, to do Utica drilling in locations where there is already pipeline infrastructure. So this is yet another case of the NY screwing up Marcellus drilling PA that would otherwise be happening. Landowners in PA can thank NY Gov. Cuomo for screwing them over. Tanski also mentioned the court case for Northern Access, and that FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) may step in and overrule the NY DEC, as is now being considered in the Constitution Pipeline case (see today’s lead story). Here’s the update from NFG…
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PA DEP to Hold Final Atlantic Sunrise Hearing, Antis Plan Walkout

For those of us who have long supported the Williams Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project, it seems like it has taken FOREVER for the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to issue final water and air permits for the pipeline. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile natural gas pipeline project, most of which will get built in northeast Pennsylvania. In an attempt to get the DEP moving, Williams co-hosted an event a few weeks ago in Wyoming County to pressure the DEP into granting final permits (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Rally: ‘Time to Kick Politicians in the Ass’). Perhaps the event helped. On the very same day as the event, the DEP announced a supplemental 30-day public comment period to begin on July 22. During this time, the DEP will hold one final public hearing–for feedback on an Air Quality Plan Approval for construction activities related to Atlantic Sunrise. That final public hearing will be held on Monday, August 14, in Lancaster. The anti-pipeline group Lancaster Against Pipelines (organized by some of the same people who illegally protested against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota), are planning a mass temper tantrum at the hearing. They will stage a “walkout” at the meeting. Adults behaving like spoiled rotten children. We’ve come to expect it from them. MDN encourages pro-pipeliners (i.e. adults) to show up in large numbers so that when the 10-15 antis walk out, nobody will even notice…
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NEXUS Pipeline to FERC: Please Approve Project – NOW

In late January, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Norman Bay announced he was quitting, in a huff, because President Trump has elevating another commission member to be chairperson (see FERC Commissioner Resigns Threatening Major M-U Pipeline Projects). That announcement set off a flurry of activity. After Bay left, there would no longer be a quorum of voting members to approve projects. On his way out the door, Bay and the other two commission members approved a list of major Marcellus/Utica projects. But time was limited and there was one project left standing in the FERC game of musical chairs (see In FERC’s Game of Musical Chairs, NEXUS Pipeline Left Standing). NEXUS is a $2 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that will run from Ohio through Michigan and eventually to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada. Originally the project was due to be up and running this year, but in July NEXUS officials admitted that ain’t gonna happen (see NEXUS Pipeline Startup Slips to 2018 Due to Quorumless FERC). In addition to lack of a voting quorum at FERC, NEXUS faces legal action by a small group of antis (see CORNballs Accuse FERC of Illegally Approving NEXUS Pipeline in OH). However, now that FERC does have a quorum, NEXUS is wasting no time. They want to be first in line for an approval. Last Friday NEXUS sent FERC a letter “respectfully” requesting “immediate issuance” of the certificate so they can begin construction NOW…
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OH Landowner Vents Frustration with Rover Work on His Land

Below is a story of an Ohio landowner who “worked to get good easements and good language” in the contract he signed with Rover Pipeline. But, according to the landowner, once construction began, “everyone seemed to forget” what they promised in the contract. And so landowner Roger Meggyesy has been vigilant to point out violations to third-party pipeline inspectors who report on Rover’s activities to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). As Meggyesy rhetorically asks, “Why do we have to come and fight after the fact?” It is disheartening to read these kinds of accounts. This guy did everything right, got it all in writing–and yet it’s still an uphill fight. We bring you this story because it’s important to air the problems along with highlighting the good stuff when it comes to these big pipeline projects…
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3 PA Senate Bills Would Fundamentally Change Pipeline Economics

Senator Andy Dinniman

Pennsylvania State Senator Andy Dinniman (Democrat from Chester County, PA, near Philadelphia) is an anti-driller and anti-pipeliner. Dinniman recently introduced three bills that would, if passed, fundamentally change the economics and likelihood of whether or not pipelines are built in the Keystone State. The first bill Dinniman sponsored would create an “impact fee” on pipelines: 50% of the fee raised would go to the counties where the pipeline crosses, 40% would go to the local municipality where the pipeline is located, and 10% would go to the PA Public Utility Commission. The next bill would allow local municipalities and school districts to slap a big tax on pipelines–on top of the impact fee previously referenced. The final bill requires pipeline land agents to be registered with the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission. There are elements in each of the bills that, under other circumstances, are interesting and we might even be able to support. SOME elements–not all. But coming from Dinniman the purpose is clear–he aims to shut down natural gas pipelines in PA…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Aug 8, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Natgas producers drilling longer wells in Marcellus/Utica; what the new FERC quorum means for Marcellus/Utica; Upstate NY dying as antis hold up pipelines; natgas efficiency improvements ‘terrifying’; Trump files official notice to withdraw from Paris climate deal; news media finally wakes up and notices Trump is getting a lot done–in energy; peak oil demand fantasy; EPA resignation facts; and more!
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