Corp Raider Continues to Trash Talk EQT/Rice Merger, Vote Set Nov 9

The disgusting corporate raiders at Jana Partners are fighting to the bitter end in their attempt to stop the merger/takeover of Rice Energy by EQT. In June EQT and Rice Energy announced that EQT will buy out and merge in Rice Energy, to create (in EQT) the largest natural gas-producing company in the United States (see EQT Buys Rice Energy in $8.2B Deal, Becomes #1 Gas Producer in US). A few weeks later, so-called “activist investor” (i.e. corporate raider) Jana Partners, in league with the Cohen family (Atlas Energy) started a proxy fight to block EQT’s takover/merger with Rice (see Proxy Fight: Jana Partners, Atlas Tries to Stop EQT/Rice Deal). Jana is the same company that recently helped Amazon in its hostile takeover of grocery company Whole Foods. Unfortunately (for Jana), their strategy isn’t working this time around. Over the past few weeks Jana has sent a couple of nasty letters to EQT’s board, making some rather wild claims. The tone of Jana’s communication is becoming more shrill as time goes on, as desperation sets in and a vote by EQT shareholders on the deal draws near (Nov. 9). The problem is the financial press picks up on these wild claims and repeats them, so yesterday EQT felt it necessary to (once again) respond and set the record straight–to debunk the lies Jana is spreading about the deal and about EQT’s past performance…
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2 Marcellus-Fired Electric Turbines Coming to Downtown Pittsburgh

Two (2) Capstone C65 Microturbines provide Combined Cooling, Heating & Power (CCHP) to the Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

This story has delicious irony. Pittsburgh proper, like most large cities, is mostly populated with lefties, including anti-drilling zealots. There has been some shale drilling in outlying areas of Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located (MDN’s forthcoming Marcellus & Utica Shale Almanac shows 65 producing shale wells in 2016 in Allegheny County). Pittsburgh prides itself on its green/sustainable energy initiatives. So when we saw the news that two microturbines using natural gas (i.e. Marcellus Shale gas) to generate heat and electricity are coming to downtown Pittsburgh, well, we just knew we had to spread the good news. Do Pittsburgh antis realize that shale gas will produce electricity in *downtown* Pittsburgh? Capstone Turbine Corporation, a California company that manufactures small electric-generating plants that run on natural gas, announced two of their microturbines will power the Energy Innovation Center (EIC) in downtown Pittsburgh. The two units will provide cooling, heat and power for the downtown EIC building, using natural gas to do so. This isn’t the first time we’ve written about Capstone. In February, Capstone sold three of their microturbines to midstreamers in the Marcellus Shale play (see Calif. Microturbine Company Sells More Units in the Marcellus). In August, Capstone sold a microturbine to a driller operating in Monroe County, OH, in the Utica Shale (see Calif. Microturbine Company Sells First Unit in Utica Shale). And now they’ve sold two units to power a building in downtown Pittsburgh. Love it!…
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Lancaster Pipeline Protesters ‘Do the Hokey Pokey’ & Get Arrested

Although the anti-fossil fuel group Lancaster Against Pipelines claims “over 1,000 people” have pledged to protest the pipeline in the county, only 26 (or 23, depending on the news source) showed up to get themselves arrested for attempting to stop the pipeline. We’ve previously written about the hypocritical Catholic nuns who operate a retirement home that uses fracked natural gas to heat it, yet oppose a pipeline to flow the same fracked gas under their property. The nuns, called Adorers of the Blood of Christ, have tried several strategies to derail the Williams Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. One of stunts they pulled, in league with the radicals from Lancaster Against Pipelines, is to stick a few wooden park benches in the middle of a corn field that they own (leased to a local farmer), and call it a “chapel”–which is why MDN dubbed them Sisters of the Corn. The sisters sued to stop the pipeline on religious grounds, claiming it violates a core religious belief in preserving Mom Earth. A judge saw through that sham and threw out the case (see Fed Judge Tosses Lancaster Nuns’ Freedom of Religion Lawsuit re ASP). So Lancaster Against Pipelines pledged to show up and attempt to block machinery when it begins construction on the sisters’ property. That happened yesterday. As they always do, the antis put on a circus freak show–singing the song “Hokey Pokey” as they were arrested and removed. But it wasn’t 1,000 people–it was just 26 (or 23) from the same small, core group of leftists. Everybody sing along: “Put your right wrist in…Put your left wrist in…Put both wrists in as the officer clicks the handcuffs…You do the hokey pokey…And get yourself arrested…That’s what it’s all about!”…
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EIA Oct Drilling Report: NatGas Production Flies by 60 Bcf/d

MDN’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report, the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), yesterday. 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. Last month the EIA predicted combined natural gas production across all of the major plays they track would hit 59.7 billion cubic feet per day (see EIA Sept Drilling Report: Marcellus/Utica Production Hits New High). In this month’s report, the numbers are revised. Now EIA says October production will have surpassed 60 Bcf/d, and next month is projected to hit nearly 61 Bcf/d! What else does this month’s report show? The Marcellus/Utica region (i.e. Appalachia) will hit 25.7 Bcf/d of production, up 398 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) from the previous month. This is yet another all-time record high and represents 42% of the entire country’s natural gas production from shale plays. You read that right. Our beloved Marcellus/Utica is coming to close to half of all natgas production for the entire country…
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RINOsaur DiGirolamo Says Vote on PA Severance Tax Coming Soon

RINOsaur /ri-no-sor/ (noun) – 1. a very old (fossil-worthy) Republican-In-Name-Only, someone who, if he were truly honest, would have registered as a Democrat decades ago. 2. so-called moderate Republican whom voters should have been put out to pasture decades ago. 3. Gene DiGirolamo. Pennsylvania State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, a Republican-in-Name-Only (RINO) from the Philadelphia area, has been trying to punish the Marcellus industry in the state since 2011 when he first introduced legislation to impose a Marcellus-killing severance tax. And pretty much every year since then he has re-introduced a severance tax bill. Sometimes it’s for 3.2%. Other times 4.9% (see our DiGirolamo stories here). It appears DiGirolamo just plucks a number out the air at random and goes with it. He plucked another one in May, introducing House Bill (HB) 1401, which would slap a 3.2% severance tax on all shale gas production, on top of the existing impact tax (see Tiresome: Philly RINO Rep Gene DiGirolamo Intros Severance Tax Again). At a rally to support the new bill, DiGirolamo was the only Republican. All the rest were socialists or Democrats. You have to hand it to old Gene–he is determined. Yesterday DiGirolamo said he thinks he now has enough fellow RINOs who will support his severance tax bill to report it out of committee and to the House floor for a full vote…
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Va. Non-Profit Trades 53 Acres for 1,130 Acres in Pipeline Deal

We’d call this a case of Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) getting taken to the (pipe) cleaners. The anti-fossil fuel (and far-left) Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) warned both Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley, years ago, that land the non-profit previously tied up with non-development easements is off limits for their respective pipeline projects. So-called “open space” organizations like VOF get private landowners to sell them easements to their properties–the right to disallow any kind of development on the land, no matter who buys it in the future. But sometimes “no development” doesn’t actually mean “no development”–it’s just a bargaining position. The VOF has just cut a deal to allow ACP and MVP to cross a cumulative 53 acres of land, land with no-development easements, in exchange for adding 1,130 acres in other places to the their no-development easement stash. Oh, and $4,075,000 in cash for VOF’s coffers will be chipped in too. A true shake-down by shake-down artists, all to stick a couple of pipelines in the ground for a few hundred feet where nothing will get built over top of them anyway…
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Bill to Reign in PA DEP, Other Agencies Takes Next Step

Yesterday MDN told you about an effort under way in Pennsylvania to reign in the ever-expanding power of executive agencies in Pennsylvania, like the Dept. of Environmental Protection, by passing a law that requires the PA legislature to approve “economically significant” final regulations (see PA DEP Tries to Expand Its Power, Republicans Try to Reign It In). PA Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-Cumberland) previously introduced House Bill (HB) 1237, a common sense approach to step up the legislature’s oversight of regulatory agencies in PA. The House Commerce Committee reported the bill out yesterday. It now heads to the House State Government Committee, a committee working on the regulatory reform issue for some time. Below is a good description of the bill and what it would accomplish if enacted…
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Marcellus/Utica Gas “Briefly Trapped” by Tetco Pipeline Outage

Canadian company Enbridge owns the mighty Texas Eastern Transmission Company (Tetco) pipeline system in the U.S. Last Wednesday, as workers were installing test equipment along the line in Noble County, OH, the workers noticed soil around the pipeline moving around. Not a good situation. So they shut off the flow of gas through that section of the pipeline, south of the Berne compressor station in Noble County. That portion of the pipeline went from flowing 1.6 to 2.3 billion cubic feet of gas per day (depending on the news source), down to flowing zero. The situation was investigated and the pipeline returned to service on Sunday, Oct 15th. In the meantime, from the 11th to the 15th, Tetco declared the situation “force majeure”–meaning “due to circumstances beyond our control we have to shut it off.” We assume force majeure was declared because shippers who wanted to move gas through the pipeline, and buyers on the other end, were screwed for a few days. Shippers lost money from gas they could have sold and buyers had to scramble to try and find other sources to meet demand. Economic losses for both. We’re guessing declaring force majeure lets Tetco off the hook legally for any potential monetary damages its customers experienced during the outage…
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Mountaineer NGL Says 20 Drillers Interested in Ethane Storage

For some time we’ve had our eye on a project to store ethane in underground caverns in Ohio. Mountaineer NGL Storage wants to build a new underground NGL storage facility in Monroe County, Ohio, near Clarington, along the Ohio River (see New Company Announces Open Season for NGL Storage in Ohio Utica). As we reported in April, the company need customers to sign up to use the facility–a minimum of 1 million barrels of storage would get it going (see More Clarity on Status of Mountaineer NGL Storage Facility in OH). Mountaineer still needs to build a 3.25 million barrel brine pond, used to pump out the stored NGLs. Mountaineer is waiting for a clearance from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources to build the pond, which (in June) we said would likely to take “a few more months.” Strike that. The CEO of the project recently said he now does not expect to get those permits until “first or second quarter of next year” (see Mountaineer NGL Storage Project Delayed Until 2018). Mountaineer CEO David Hooker recently spoke at the Utica Summit V in North Canton. Here’s the latest he shared about this important project…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Oct 17, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: OH cracker main topic at upcoming Wheeling/WVU conference; Washington & Jefferson College to hold shale gas planning discussion; coal takes back seat to natgas in Ohio; WV regulatory environment differs from PA; Cabot raises $200K for college with sporting clay tournament; OOGEEP & Gov. Kasich tout energy awareness; Cheniere’s gamble on LNG; boom in LNG shaking up the energy world; EPA moves to end practice of “sue and settle”; and more!
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