Carrizo Sells 26K Prime Utica Acres for $62M

This morning Carrizo Oil & Gas announced it has sold “substantially all” of its Utica Shale assets, located primarily in Guernsey County, OH, for a grand total of $62 million. The Carrizo website says the company owns 25,900 acres in the Utica. Do the math, and if they sold all 25,900 acres for $62 million it works out to a relatively low $2,394 per acre–essentially a fire sale compared with lease prices in that area which are double that amount. Once upon a time Carrizo had big plans for the Utica. They (wisely) sold off their northern Utica acreage and retained their southern acreage in 2012 (see Carrizo Exits Northern Utica Shale, Retains Southern Acreage). The company has drilled four Utica wells–all of them in Guernsey County, with three of the four producing gas and oil. But the oily Eagle Ford play caught the company’s eye and in 2015 Carrizo quit drilling in the northeast (see Carrizo Cuts Budget 35%, No Drilling Planned in Utica/Marcellus in 2015). Since that time, they have not drilled any new wells in the Marcellus/Utica. In May of this year, Carrizo put all of their Marcellus/Utica assets up for sale (see Carrizo O&G Puts Up ‘For Sale’ Sign on Marcellus/Utica Assets). So it should be no surprise they’ve found a buyer (unnamed) to pick up prime acreage in the Utica…
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OH Utica Production 2Q17: Oil Down, Gas Up, Purple Hayes Slips

The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) has just issued production numbers for the second quarter of 2017. In a pattern that keeps repeating, oil production was down in 2Q17, down 17% from the same quarter in 2016. However, that’s an improvement from 1Q17 when oil production was down 29% from the year before, and 4Q16 when oil production was down 44% from the year before. So oil is down, percentage-wise, but down less than last quarter. The good news continues to be natural gas production, which was up 16% over the same period in 2016. In 1Q17 natgas production was up 13% over the same period in 2016. Eclipse Resources once again dominated with four of the top 5 spots on the natural gas production list, all of those wells drilled in Monroe County. Ascent Resources continued to dominate oil production with 17 of the top 25 most productive wells. Eclipse had the #2 most productive oil well, the first time the record-breaking Purple Hayes (at one time the longest on-shore lateral well in the world) has slipped from it’s #1 spot since it went online in 2016. Below we have the ODNR’s high level overview of the numbers, along with MDN’s own exclusive analysis showing: the top 25 producing gas wells, the top 25 producing oil wells, and then the top 25 gas and oil wells as ranked by average production per day. There is a difference…
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WVU Appalachia Ethane Storage Hub Final Report – We Need it Bad

A research team from West Virginia University spent the past year studying geologic regions in 50 counties in the Marcellus/Utica Shale region to see if our region would support a proposed $10 billion ethane storage hub. The conclusion was delivered last week at a meeting in Southpointe, PA: Heck yeah! Some 100 geologists, chemical engineers, oil and gas people members of academia gathered to hear about the results. WVU researchers released their findings in a published 181-page report titled “A Geologic Study to Determine the Potential to Create an Appalachian Storage Hub for Natural Gas Liquids” (full copy below). Among the study’s findings: A shale ethane storage hub could help create $36 billion in investment and more than 100,000 permanent jobs. It’s HUGE! Our region currently produces three times the amount of ethane that can be used by the mighty Shell ethane cracker, pointing out the need for more cracker plants. Here’s the exciting news that we need an ethane storage hub, and we need it bad…
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Mountaineer NGL Storage Connecting w/3 Pipelines Under Ohio River

The president of the company looking to build the Mountaineer NGL Storage facility in Monroe County, Ohio, near Clarington, along the Ohio River says operating the facility close to the Ohio River is safe and “is not rocket science.” Last week West Virginia University researchers released a report that the Marcellus/Utica region needs an ethane storage hub (see today’s companion story, WVU Appalachia Ethane Storage Hub Final Report – We Need it Bad). Most of the talk has been about a massive, $10 billion ethane storage facility to help feed cracker plants and other petrochemical facilities that will locate in our region. At the meeting last week, David Hooker, president of Energy Storage Ventures which wants to build the Mountaineer NGL Storage facility, made the point that his company is already working on what will likely be multiple NGL storage facilities. MDN has been following the Mountaineer NGL project. At least check in June, Mountaineer still needs customers to sign up, and they need more regulatory approvals from Ohio (see More Clarity on Status of Mountaineer NGL Storage Facility in OH). We got an update last week from Hooker, including details new for us: the storage facility will connect with three pipelines running beneath the Ohio River…
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New Project Seeks to “Uprate” Transco Pipeline in Northern NJ

On Friday Williams announced a new pipeline project sure to spur controversy in nutty New Jersey. On Friday Williams filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Rivervale South to Market project. The Rivervale project will expand the mighty Transco pipeline in northern New Jersey to deliver an extra 190 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of low-carbon, clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas to markets in northern NJ and New York City. The project calls for “uprating” a little over 10 miles of pipeline (same pipeline with more pressure and more gas), and adding a half mile of new looping pipeline–which is more than enough to set off the environmental whackadoodles at the NJ Sierra Club. Here’s the good news that more fracked shale gas will be on the way to the NYC metro area in time for the 2019/2020 winter heating season…
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PA-Based Talen Energy (Elec Generator) Sells NatGas Trading Biz

Talen Energy was birthed in June 2015–a combination of PPL Energy Supply and certain assets of Riverstone Holdings. The company, headquartered in Allentown, PA, is one of the largest competitive energy and power generation companies in North America. Talen owns or controls 16,000 megawatts of generating capacity in wholesale power markets, primarily in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southwest regions of the U.S. Talen has gotten into converting and building natural gas-fired electric plants, stories we’ve covered over the past few years (see our Talen Energy stories here). At one time Talen employed around 500 people in Allentown at its HQ. In summer 2016 the company announced layoffs for 131 people. In May of this year, the trend continued (see Allentown-Based Talen Energy (Elec Generator) Laying Off Workers). Now comes word that the company is selling off its natural gas trading business for $54 million, transferring another 11 Talen employees from its Allentown HQ to the company buying the business. Talen considers buying and selling natgas on the commodities markets as “noncore” to its power generation business…
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TGP’s Susquehanna West Project Gets Green Light to Begin Service

In April 2015 Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) subsidiary filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build 8.2 miles of new looping pipeline in Tioga County, PA and beef up two compressor stations in Bradford County, PA. The $142 million project is called the Susquehanna West Project. It will increase capacity along the 300 Line section of TGP, bumping it up by 145 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d). All of the extra capacity is spoken for by Statoil and the wells they’ve drilled in NEPA. Last September, FERC approved the project (see FERC Approves Another KM Pipeline Project in the PA Marcellus). The project was forecast to be done and dusted, going online, by Nov. 1. Usually we bring you news about such projects being delayed. In a happy reversal of that trend, last week FERC granted Kinder Morgan permission to bring the project online, NOW, a full two months ahead of schedule. Christmas came early this year…
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Not Lights Out for Constitution Pipe Just Yet – Rehearing Request

In August MDN brought you the sad news that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled against the Constitution Pipeline and their lawsuit against the Cuomo-corrupted New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (see Court Rejects Constitution Pipe’s Case Against NY DEC; Now What?). To boil it down to its essence, the court said the DEC had the right to reject issuing stream crossing permits for the critically-needed pipeline, even though it would shut down the project. The legal upshot is that individual states have the right to stop a federally-approved project. Which appears to upset the legal principle that federal law trumps state law, and state law trumps local law. It’s always been that way. Until now. Given the Second Circuit’s ruling, some energy attorneys were whispering it’s likely “lights out” for the Constitution (see Energy Attorneys Hint it’s ‘Lights Out’ for Constitution Pipeline). However, that pessimism may be premature. Last Friday attorneys for the Constitution filed a request with the Second Circuit for a rehearing of the case–this time before ALL of the active judges sitting on the Second Circuit bench–something called an en banc hearing. Their reasoning? If the original decision stands, it will overturn decades of established legal principle and (our words) neuter FERC’s ability to approve pipeline projects…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Sep 5, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Hurricane Harvey highlights over-reliance on Gulf; NY freezing out Marcellus natgas infrastructure; former Sec. DEP Quigley lands at Harrisburg U; DEP air emission report based on formulas, not samples; Illinois begins to frack; 10% of US fracking delayed due to Harvey; storm’s impact on natgas prices; US DOE wants to speed up approvals of small-scale LNG export plants; natgas to become world’s primary energy source by 2035; and more!
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