Antero Resources Picks Up a Cool $1B from “Delevering” Initiative

Ever hear the word “delevering” used in a sentence? How about this: “Antero Resources announces completion of $1 billion delevering program.” Yeah, financial mumbo jumbo. What the heck is delevering? We’re not quite sure. But we can interpret Antero Resources’ announcement yesterday for you, which included the aforementioned sentence. Here’s the translation: Antero has raised $1 billion by selling new units (think shares of stock) in its pipeline subsidiary ($311 million raised), and by monetizing its natural gas hedge portfolio ($750 million raised). Yes, back into the financial lingo weeds to figure out what is meant by “monetizing” the company’s “hedge portfolio.” We’ll take a stab at explaining it, below. Bottom line up here at the top: Antero figured out how to raise another $1 billion, used to pay off money Antero had borrowed under its massive $4 billion line of credit. Antero is one of the biggest (and best) drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, which is why we care about where and how they raise money…
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Texas Private Equity Firm Forms to Invest in Marcellus/Utica

District 5 Investments, an energy-focused private equity firm based in Texas, has formed a new subsidiary called Pathfinder Resources in order to invest in the Marcellus/Utica region. According to an announcement yesterday, Pathfinder will focus on acquiring “producing and non-producing oil and gas mineral interests, royalty interests and non-operated working interested” across the U.S., but starting first in the Marcellus/Utica. Investment sizes range from $5 million to $35 million. Here’s the latest investor to grab a piece of the Marcellus/Utica pie…
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Civil Debate in Plum, PA re Proposed Wastewater Injection Well

As MDN reported in July, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency in charge of approving oil and gas wastewater injection wells, is currently reviewing an application and plan from Penneco Environmental Solutions (division of Penneco Oil Co.) to convert a plugged gas well into a brine (wastewater) injection well in Plum, PA–near Pittsburgh (see New Frack Wastewater Well on the Way in Allegheny County, PA). PA has just a handful of wastewater injection wells–less than 10. The most recent two such projects were vigorously opposed by the municipalities where they are located–Highland Township in Elk County, and Grant Township in Indiana County. The towns eventually backed down when they were sued by the PA DEP over their illegal actions (see PA DEP Issues 2 Wastewater Injection Well Permits, Sues 2 Towns). Although we expected a huge push-back in Plum, if a meeting held yesterday to debate the project is an indicator, perhaps the push-back won’t be as much as we thought. Yesterday a panel of experts–both pro and con–interacted with a crowd of around 100 people in Plum Council’s chambers. One of the people on the pro side was MDN friend Dave Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. One of the people on the con side was Doug Shields, former Pittsburgh councilman and now paid agitator/protester for the radical Food & Water Watch. You might think there would be fireworks at such a meeting–but there wasn’t. The biggest surprise of the meeting is that there were no surprises–it was civil. No shouting. No theatrics. No loud-mouthed protesters. Such a project comes with serious questions and concerns–like earthquakes and water contamination. Those issues and more were addressed at the meeting…
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First-Hand Account: Rover Pipe’s Negative Impact on One Ohio Farm

Not everyone on the “pro” side of the pipeline issue is happy with Rover Pipeline and the work they’ve done in Ohio. You know that MDN is supportive of the Rover project. You also know that MDN believes Craig Butler, director of the Ohio EPA, is way out of line with his campaign to fine Rover $2.3 million. However, Rover is not lily white in their handling of building the pipeline across Ohio. They’ve made mistakes. And they’ve made some enemies of the people who should be their biggest supporters–farmers whose land they cross. MDN editor Jim Willis recently spoke with one of those farmers, from the Definance, OH area. Ben Polasek owns a farm that has been in the family for four generations. He plants wheat, corn, and soybeans on his Ohio land. Polasek says he is a strong supporter of the energy industry–and of pipelines. However, he says, “Rover has not shown any respect for the landowners of this project.” Polasek says Rover made promises–like being able to access fields he needs to plant–only to see those promises broken. He also believes Rover didn’t properly plan for the heavy rains that caused his property to become a mud pit in areas where Rover was working. With pictures (below) and an impassioned letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (also below), Polasek is asking FERC to hold Rover responsible for the damage done to his, and other farmer’s, property…
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PA Sending Wrong Message to O&G, Petrochemical, Manuf Industries

Charlie Schliebs – Stone Pier Capital Advisors

Over the years MDN editor Jim Willis has had the pleasure of meeting many great people–both in the shale industry and in other industries that overlap with shale energy. One such person is Charlie Schliebs, managing director of the Pittsburgh-based Stone Pier Capital Advisors. Charlie is a long-time MDN subscriber (and friend). He’s a money guy, having had a hand in a number of deals to finance Marcellus/Utica drilling. He’s also smart, and a mover-and-shaker–well-connected with many of Pennsylvania’s top business and political leaders. Recently Charlie composed an editorial to share with his clients and friends. The original intent was to write about the severance tax and the sellout by PA’s Republican Senate. However, the editorial grew to encompass the state’s treatment of the petrochemical and even construction industries. We asked Charlie for permission to bring you his editorial, and he graciously agreed. In it, he offers some insight into his original support for Tom Wolf during the last gubernatorial election, his profound disappointment with Wolf (be sure to read about the event Charlie hosted in which then-candidate Wolf participated and made an arrogant fool of himself), and how Wolf settled on a 5% severance tax plan, based on an off-hand remark by EQT. This is great stuff–real behind-the-scenes stuff only someone like Charlie can write about. Take time to read the whole editorial…
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Corrupt DEC Bans PA Marcellus Brine in NY, Tightens Other Brine Use

The Andrew Cuomo-corrupted New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), run by NRDC gang member Basil Seggos, has just slammed the door on New York towns using brine from the Pennsylvania Marcellus. Earlier this week the DEC posted new final regulations as part of “strengthening” the state’s solid waste regulations, referred to as Part 360. Brine is another name for produced water. When you drill a hole deep in the ground, well below the water table (which sits at maybe 200 feet down), over time water from the depths (a mile or more down) will come to the surface. This is not wastewater used in fracking (called flowback), but naturally occurring water (brine). It’s called brine because it contains a lot of minerals–far “saltier” than ocean water. There are a number of ways to dispose of all that water coming out of drilled wells for years after they are drilled–dispose of it via an injection wells, recycle it, or in some cases, treat it and use it as a deicer on roadways. Many towns use brine for that purpose. The DEC’s new regulations stipulate that if a town wants to use brine from conventional oil and gas wells, that’s fine (with certain restrictions). But if the brine comes from a Marcellus Shale well–it’s banned. Keep in mind there is virtually no chemical difference between the two. Which leads us to the conclusion that this is one more very intentional swipe at the shale industry by a state that is closed for business…
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Community College of Beaver County Preps Students for Cracker Jobs

Looking to land a job at Shell’s $6 billion ethane cracker plant when it’s up and running in a few years? A new program set up by Shell with the Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) may give you a leg up. CCBC offers a program in process technology that leads to an associate’s degree. As of this spring, 45 people were enrolled. CCBC expects 70 people to enroll this fall. CCBC’s process technology degree is just one part of their effort to train people for advanced manufacturing careers with Shell and other petrochemical companies. CCBC is partnering with businesses, nonprofits, other colleges to form the Tri-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium which will help prepare students and retrain workers to meet the needs of energy and manufacturing companies throughout the region. More deets on getting trained for a future cracker job…
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Sourcewater Gets Investment from OH Cracker Plant Partner Marubeni

Sourcewater is a cool company. A lot of water is used, and generated, when it comes to shale drilling. Millions of gallons of water is used to frack shale wells, and over time, millions of gallons of wastewater (flowback and brine) is generated and must be disposed of. Companies have entire departments dedicated to the task. Sourcewater came along a few years ago and created an online marketplace where those who need to buy water, and those who need to sell water, can find each other. How cool is that? The company is a spinout from MIT’s Energy Ventures program. Smart people behind it. Currently Sourcewater services/covers water needs in the Marcellus/Utica (Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia), along with Texas, Oklahoma and Alberta (Canada). Sourcewater is about to grow. The company announced earlier this week that Marubeni Corporation (financial company based in Japan) is making an investment in the company. No numbers were shared. The news caught our attention because (a) Sourcewater operates in the Marcellus/Utica, and (b) Marubeni is the money behind the forthcoming ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Sep 22, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Wayne Forest lease sales change lives with nearly $7M to date; WV’s Charlie Burd ‘Man of the Year’; Shell teaches kids about energy jobs; corrupt Cuomo colludes with other governors to fleece residents re climate change; PA’s traitorous Republican Senate rejects House no-severance tax budget; stealth boom in forgotten shale competes with Marcellus/Utica; US LNG exports continue to rise; and more!
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