Out with the Old: Rice Energy Sign Comes Down Day of EQT Merger

Yesterday the Marcellus/Utica experienced a fracking earthquake of historic proportions. That is, a fracking earthquake metaphorically speaking. Yesterday Rice Energy was merged into EQT, creating the largest onshore natural gas producing company in these United States. The $8.2 billion deal was first announced back in June (see EQT Buys Rice Energy in $8.2B Deal, Becomes #1 Gas Producer in US). There was plenty of drama along the way–primarily opposition to the deal by evil corporate raider Jana Partners, in collusion with Atlas Energy (see Proxy Fight: Jana Partners, Atlas Tries to Stop EQT/Rice Deal). Shame on both of them. Fortunately their effort to stop the deal didn’t gain traction. Yesterday was the day when the two companies became one. Two Rice Energy board members, Dan Rice IV and Bobby Vagt, joined the EQT board. Another two independent (outside either firm) board members were also added–Thomas Karam, founder and Chairman of Karbon Partners, and Norman Szydlowski, former president and CEO of SemGroup Corporation. Standing by the virtual water cooler, MDN has overheard that many Rice personnel were nervous about what yesterday would bring. You know the routine: Two rooms–one for those staying, and one for those getting the heave-ho. Everyone waiting to get “the call” to whichever room they’re assigned. We’ve been there. It sucks. But that’s the reality in today’s corporate world. One thing we found interesting is that the huge Rice Energy sign on the company’s (former) HQ building was taken down yesterday–the very day the two merged. An MDN friend caught some of it on a smartphone video (below). EQT isn’t wasting any time making a statement: In with the new, out with the old…
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3 Old Ladies Cause 3 Hr Delay in Atlantic Sunrise Construction

When did little old ladies become climate jihadists? That’s what happened yesterday in Lancaster County when three old ladies, obviously radicalized at some point (maybe they’re old hippies who have always been radicalized?), tied themselves together with a plastic pipe device that needed to be cut away so they could be removed from the spot where they were blocking Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline construction equipment. The entire episode took three hours. When asked nicely by the police to remove the plastic device and unhook themselves, the old ladies refused. So the police had to carefully operate to cut them apart. We figure their stunt easily cost $3,000 in delays–so we sincerely hope Williams sends each of them a bill of $1K to cover the downtime. Plus the old ladies will need to compensate the police and court system for handling their unnecessary case. These three added to the 29 previously arrested in two other episodes now make 32 arrested opposing Atlantic Sunrise–out the “thousands” the clattering Clatterbucks (Mark and Malinda, the radicals spearheading these actions) claim said would rise up to illegally block construction. So much for the big boasts of radical antis…
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How Soon Will WV See Chinese Money? “Immediately” Says Official

Last week’s big news that China committed to invest $83.7 billion in shale and petrochemical projects in West Virginia continues to reverberate (see China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem). Almost as soon as the deal was announced, so-called experts came out of the swamp to say, “Won’t ever happen, ain’t a big deal, move along, nothing to see here.” Such was how Bloomberg reported it (see Why $84 Billion From China Can’t Buy a U.S. East Gas Hub), and how the sometimes-swamp dwelling Wall Street Journal reported it (see A U.S. Natural-Gas Bonanza in China Isn’t a Done Deal). Such is the irrational hatred of Donald Trump and anyone who supports him, like WV Gov. Jim Justice. This is a time for celebration. The Chinese are sending money HERE, instead of the other way around, as it has been under Lord Obama and presidents going back for decades. Yet the swamp dwellers attempt to throw excrement on the good news. Let them. They expose themselves for the shallow, leftist shills they are. Here’s an important question on everyone’s mind: When will Chinese money begin to flow for some of these projects? The answer, according to WV Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher, is “immediately”–meaning within the next six months when ground will be broken on one, possibly two, natural gas-fired electric plants in the state. Below are insights into when the state will see the money, how the money will get distributed, and how this deal actually came together in the first place…
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EIA Nov ’17 Drilling Report: Record-Breaking Year-End on the Way

History will have been made this year in America’s shale plays. That’s according to our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Yesterday the 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. Last month was a record-breaker when total shale gas output blew by 60 billion cubic feet per day (see EIA Oct Drilling Report: NatGas Production Flies by 60 Bcf/d). EIA says in December production will fly by 61 Bcf/d! A new record. Not only that, EIA predicts that Appalachia (the Marcellus/Utica shale region) will increase its output by 394 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). Put another way, M-U output will go up close to another 1/2 Bcf/d–all by itself. Incredible. Finally, as almost every news story about the DPR is pointing out, December will be the 12th month in a row that shale output has gone up. Welcome to the miracle of American shale energy…
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Penn Twp Ninny Nannies File Lawsuit to Block Apex, H&H Wells

A group of ninny nannies calling themselves Protect PT (Penn Township, Westmoreland County), backed with money and legal help from Big Green group PennFuture, filed a lawsuit to try and stop Apex Energy and Huntley & Huntley (H&H) from drilling wells in the township. We first alerted you to the lawsuit in October, when we were only aware of Apex being in the group’s sights (see Judge to Rule on Apex Energy Well Drilling in Westmoreland County). Since then, we’ve learned that the partial injunction blocking well drilling not only bars Apex drilling wells, but H&H as well. Gillian Graber, Executive Director of Protect PT, fibbed when she said, “We’re not saying don’t frack in Penn Township or ban fracking. We never took that position. We disagreed with where [the drilling companies] put it.” We think that’s BS–Barbara Streisand. They want all drilling stopped period. That’s the aim of the lawsuit. Below is a somewhat biased article, but useful nonetheless, with insight into the legal tactics (bastardizations) being used by Protect PT’s PennFuture lawyers, hoping to overturn settled Act 13 law. We also have a copy of a brief filed by H&H, pushing back against this latest assault on Marcellus drilling in southwestern PA…
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“Health Experts” Meet in Pitt. to Demonize Shale, Shell Cracker

A group of so-called “health experts” pontificated at an event yesterday hosted by the League of [Liberal Democrat] Women Voters in Pittsburgh. They were supposedly there to discuss shale and public health. One of the gripe sessions took aim against Shell’s now-under construction ethane cracker facility. Speakers tried hard not to come right out and curse shale and the cracker–but they couldn’t help themselves. In the end they made untrue statements that imply the cracker will poison the community and make it unlivable. One speaker’s solution? “Don’t build it.” Typical. All you need to know about yesterday’s meeting is that one of the panelists is the staff attorney for the radical enviro organization Earthjustice. Truth was the main casualty at yesterday’s meeting…
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Little Green Takes 1st Step in Suing to Block Atlantic Coast Pipe

No doubt being advised and funded by national Big Green groups, a group of backbencher local green groups (Little Green) have taken the first step in what will no doubt turn into a lawsuit to try and stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project from getting built. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Atlantic Coast, a $5 billion, 594-mile natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina, in October (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects). A group of 21 backbencher local green groups located in VA and NC filed a petition with FERC on Monday, asking the agency to “rehear” (reconsider) it’s approval of the project. Among the claims made by the backbenchers: “Federal regulators cut corners, ignored environmental injustice and climate destruction, and usurped state authority in approving construction,” according to NC Warn, one of the backbenchers. Of course all of this is political theater. Grandstanding. Showboating. They don’t really believe FERC will change it’s mind. What happens next is FERC will tell the backbenchers they’re full of beans and to go away, and then the backbenchers can legally file a lawsuit with the Federal Court of Appeals (preferably with the liberal DC Circuit). Filing a petition for a rehearing with FERC is Step #1. Federal lawsuit is Step #2. Below is news about the petition, a copy of the 40-page petition, and a press release from one of the backbencher groups…
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Longer Laterals Major Trend in 2017 Marcellus-Utica Drilling

Yesterday MDN updated you on Eclipse Resources’ program of drilling looooong laterals–the horizontal part of shale wells (see Eclipse Res. 3Q17: Super-Laterals Proving to be Super Productive). Eclipse is the reigning champ, having drilled the three longest onshore horizontal wells–in the WORLD. Upward of 3.5 miles underground! All three of Eclipse’s record-breakers are Utica wells. However, Eclipse isn’t the only driller hopping on the long lateral bandwagon. In June, Range Resources reported drilling the longest Marcellus lateral well (see Range Resources Drills Longest Marcellus Well Ever – in Washington Co.). If you compare the lateral length of Range’s wells from 3Q17 with 3Q16, they are drilling laterals 90% longer than they were just one year ago! EQT and Antero Resources are also experimenting with longer laterals. All of which leads us to christen 2017, “the year of the longer lateral”…
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1st Marietta College Oil and Gas Technical Exposition Big Success

Credit: Marietta College

Hats off to the smart and ambitious kids at Marietta (OH) College. A group of students in the college’s oil and gas program planned and hosted the first Marietta College Oil and Gas Technical Exposition (MCOGTE) last Friday. There were 51 companies exhibiting at the event. The event drew over 400 attendees–students, members of the oil and gas industry, and members of the local community. There were five large pieces of equipment prominently on display: Halliburton’s Data Van, a Halliburton 30-foot long mud motor, a Nine Energy wireline truck, a Wagner torque and test unit, and an Aqua Source lab. These kids know how to put on a good show! The event offered opportunities to learn and network. Callum Streeter, COO of EdgeMarc Energy and president of Appalachia AADE (American Association of Drilling Engineers) was the keynote speaker. Below is a roundup of what happened at the event…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Nov 14, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: New energy milestone thx to natgas; value of OH oil & natgas increased sharply in 2016; FERC permits Cove Point LNG commissioning cargo; Norfolk debates allowing Atlantic Coast Pipe under water reservoir; Gulf Coast natgas export hub for years to come?; US rig count up by 9, WV loses 1 rig; natgas prices “on a tear”; friends and foes oppose Trump energy plan; should U.S. limit natgas exports?; natgas demand to see big growth this year–in China; Pakistan starts looking for shale oil & gas; and more!
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