Cool Charts: Top 20 Marcellus Drillers, Top 20 Utica Drillers, More

Important Correction: Although the data, charts and graphs shared by MDN below did not originate with MDN, we should have noticed a glaring error. Production numbers for Antero Resources for the Marcellus were not included! (Antero numbers in the Utica were included.) Antero’s drilling and production is prolific in the Marcellus–easily putting Antero in the top 3 or 4 for production in the Marcellus. We regret the error in not noticing and calling attention to this whopping oversight sooner. – Jim Willis, 12/14/17

Hart Energy publishes an excellent magazine called Exploration & Production (E&P). A recent article published on the E&P website reports on rising production of natural gas in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays. As MDN has continued to report month after month with the release of each monthly EIA Drilling Productivity Report, our region consistently hits new production records (see EIA Nov ’17 Drilling Report: Record-Breaking Year-End on the Way). The E&P article recounts some of those EIA record-breaking stats, and then inserts a series of charts that we found extremely interesting and useful–because they convey so much information in a visual, fast way. Below are those charts. When you look at the Top 20 Marcellus Operators by production, you will immediately notice that the three largest producers (Chesapeake, Cabot Oil & Gas, and Southwestern Energy) take up nearly half the pie–and those three have wells almost exclusively in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania (Chessy and Southwestern have some wells in other parts of the state). What’s even more mind blowing: Cabot’s massive production at #2 in the Marcellus (just barely behind Chesapeake) all comes from a single, northeastern county: Susquehanna County, PA. Enjoy this visual feast…
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Crestwood Scores Big Victory in Seneca Lake LPG Storage Project

This news is a bit dated, but still important. Crestwood Equity (used to be called Crestwood Midstream) won an important court victory in September regarding its plan to build an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas, or propane) storage facility in depleted salt caverns in New York. In 2009 Inergy filed a request to convert a depleted salt cavern along the shore of Seneca Lake (in Schuyler County, NY, near Watkins Glen) into a propane/natural gas storage facility. Inergy was later bought by and merged into Crestwood Midstream, and Crestwood Midstream later renamed itself Crestwood Equity Partners. The New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been sitting on its hands from the beginning, refusing to grant the necessary permits to allow the facility to open. Earlier this year Crestwood scaled back its plans, dropping natgas storage but keeping LPG storage (see Crestwood Drops Seneca Lake Natgas Storage Plan, Keeps LPG Plan). In September, a chief administrative law judge, part of the DEC, ruled against antis who are demanding ongoing, never-ending hearings about the project–a transparent tactic to continue the years-long delay in perpetuity. The judge said the DEC has all the evidence it needs to make a decision. Of course, the decision will get made by a radical anti who heads up the DEC–Basil Seggos (part of the National Resources Defense Council cabal that opposes all fossil fuel projects). So the project still has miles to go before it becomes reality. Perhaps insurmountable miles. But, let’s enjoy this major victory against antis, spun as a minor victory by profoundly biased “reporter” Tom Wilbur in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
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MDN Guide to Finding a Job at the Shell Cracker Plant

Although Shell’s mighty $6 billion ethane cracker chemical complex won’t be completed until around 2020, Shell is not waiting with respect to recruiting talent to operate the plant. Shell recently launched a page on their main website dedicated to recruiting people for cracker plant jobs (see that page here). Please note these are not jobs building the plant, but instead are jobs working at the plant, after it’s built. The CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, KDKA Channel 2, noticed the Shell jobs page for the cracker project and reports that “there are no job listings yet, those interested can sign up to receive email alerts when job listings are posted to the site.” It’s true folks can now sign up to receive new job postings via email. However, KDKA missed the fact that there are several jobs already posted related to the cracker facility…
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FERC Clears TGP Orion Expansion to Begin Service to New England

In October 2015, Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) filed their official, full application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking approval for their Orion Project (see Tennessee Gas Pipeline Files PA Orion Project with FERC). The $109 million project consists of 13 miles of new “looping” pipeline in Pike and Wayne counties, Pennsylvania. The project will boost capacity on the TGP by another 135 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), allowing TGP to pump more yummy Marcellus Shale gas to Mid-Atlantic and New England states. FERC gave final approval for the project in February of this year (see TGP Orion Project in NEPA Gets Final Approval by FERC). In March, Big Green group THE Delaware Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District requesting the court overturn a Clean Water Act permit granted to the project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In August, the Third Circuit rejected Riverkeeper’s request in a humiliating defeat (see Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Fed. Court Case Against NEPA Pipeline). According to the original plan, the TGP Orion upgrade will be complete and in-service by June 2018. December 2017 is certainly “by June 2018” and that’s a good thing, because Orion is now done and FERC has just given TGP the green light to start it up…
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Lancaster Farmland Trust Settles Lawsuit Against Atlantic Sunrise

Lancaster Farmland Trust, a leftist group that seeks to stop all development of land in and around Lancaster County, PA, sued a farmer and Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline after the Lancaster farmer signed an easement on a piddly 1.5 acres of land. The Trust claimed according to the terms of the deed the landowner didn’t have the right to sign the easement (see Atlantic Sunrise Files 13 Eminent Domain Cases in 4 Counties). The previous owners of the property “donated a conservation easement to the trust that specifically stated various man-made activities, and specifically listing pipelines, could not be built on the property.” We think that’s particularly sleazy (and should be illegal)–forever saddling future owners of the property with restrictions. No matter–it’s frequently done, and a lesson to landowners to beware, DON’T buy properties with such restrictions. If enough people refused to buy such properties, property owners would quit doing it because their property is no longer salable. But we digress. Transco Pipeline (of which Atlantic Sunrise is a part) tried to get the case tossed, but a Lancaster County judge refused. So Transco terminated the easement with the property owner, then turned around and filed a eminent domain lawsuit against the property owner and the Trust, which got the Trust’s attention. They’ve just settled the case, fearing (knowing) a judge would rule against them anyway. In the end, it seems to have come down to the Trust wanting money. They got $12,470 for the easement plus another $25,000 to cover their legal fees. The actual landowner got (as near as we can tell), nothing…
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Marcellus/Utica Gas Soon Heading to Canadian Capital of Ottawa

Iroquois Gas Transmission System is a natural gas pipeline that brings gas from eastern Canada to the New York City area. It is owned by TransCanada Corporation, Dominion Resources, KeySpan Corporation, New Jersey Resources Corporation, and Energy East Corporation. There have been plans, for years, to connect the Constitution Pipeline to the Iroquois and flow Marcellus/Utica gas to Canada by converting Iroquois to be bidirectional. As we all know, the Constitution has been stalled since 2014 because of the corrupt State of New York blocking it. There’s still hope that Constitution will get built. In October they asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to override the New York and allow the project to proceed (see Constitution Pipeline Asks FERC to Override NY DEC). Iroquois is no longer waiting on the Constitution. They’ve pushed forward and recently Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) voted to approve changing the Iroquois on their side of the border to be bidirectional, allowing Marcellus/Utica gas to begin flowing into Ontario–eventually all the way to the capital city of Ottawa by hitching a ride on TransCanada’s pipeline network. How cool is that? Marcellus/Utica gas supplying the capital of Canada. A report by the Ontario Energy Board says Marcellus/Utica gas is projected to supply up to 74% of Ontario’s natgas demand!…
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FERC Says Emails Prove Rover Lied About Demolishing This Old House

In May 2015, Rover purchased a house in Carroll County, OH, located near where the pipeline, and a compressor station for that pipeline, is due to run. Rover bought the house to use for offices for several Rover affiliate companies. After buying it, Rover determined the house was “ill-suited for its intended purpose” and decided to demolish it. Problem was/is, that house was under consideration to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The house was not yet on the list of Historic Places, but was on a list of properties under consideration. Their action in demolishing the house landed Rover in hot water with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see Rover Pipeline in Hot Water Over Demolishing Historic House in OH). FERC said Rover should have reported their decision to demolish the house. Rover had to pay a “fine” of $2.3 million “to a fund administered by the Ohio History Connection Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office” (see Rover Pipeline Paying $2.3M for Knocking Down Historic OH House). FERC issued a “Staff Notice of Alleged Violations” related to this old house in July of this year (see Rover Still in Hot Water w/FERC Over Demolishing This Old House). The notice says Rover “did not fully and forthrightly disclose all relevant information.” FERC also said, “Rover falsely promised it would avoid adverse effects to a historic resource that it was simultaneously working to purchase and destroy.” Because of the house demolition, FERC refused, and continues to refuse, to issue a blanket authorization for routine construction. In a FERC communication from last week, FERC says they have a smoking gun–copies of emails that prove Rover bought this old house with the intention of demolishing it right from the beginning…
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Antis “Shocked” Philly Approved Marcellus Power Plant for SEPTA

A few weeks ago a group of environmental Nazis pledged to “swarm” and shut down a SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) meeting where a vote would be taken to build a Marcellus gas-powered electric plant that would provide electricity to SEPTA’s northern Regional Rail lines–a win/win for all Pennsylvanians (see Antis Plan to Shut Down Philly Transit Meeting re NatGas Powergen). The reason the enviro bullies wanted to shut down the meeting was to stop the vote because the clean-burning plant being proposed would burn a “fossil fuel.” When they weren’t looking, Philadelphia Air Management Services (AMS) went ahead and issued the permit that allows SEPTA to move forward with the proposed natgas power plant, which will get built in a place called Nicetown. Nice. The AMS vote “came as a surprise” to the antis. It was their “last hope” to stop the plant. So what happens now? Big Green group Clean Water Action says they will litigate, attempting to use a strategy that has worked lately–invoking the Pennsylvania Environmental Rights Amendment…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Dec 4, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Inflection Energy offers update on 60K gallon spill in Edlred Twp; Cove Point LNG export plant no 99.3% done; UGI cuts residential electric rates 2.4%; is PA Rep. Garth Everett slinking toward supporting severance tax?; hundreds gather to protest pipelines in Virginia; EQT hands out scholarships; Democrat governors caught colluding & outsourcing climate work to anti groups; small player on Wall Street carves out niche in shale; does OPEC have an exit strategy?; and more!
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