PTT Global Final Decision re Belmont Cracker Plant Late Again

An MDN reader recently asked us, “Hey, what’s up with the Belmont County, OH ethane cracker? We haven’t read anything in a while.” You haven’t read anything on MDN, nor anywhere else, because there’s been nothing to read. PTT Global Chemical, based in Thailand, announced in April 2015 they are interested in building a $5 billion ethane cracker plant complex in Belmont County, OH (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). In May 2016, a story in the Bangkok Post said the final investment decision (FID) will definitely come in 2017, but they called the decision “delayed.” PTT disagreed with that assessment, saying a decision coming in 2016 or 2017 is not “delayed” (see PTT Global Says Belmont, OH Ethane Cracker NOT Delayed). In December 2016, Belmont County officials said the FID would come by the end of March this year (see OH Cracker Final Decision Coming Soon, Site Now Cleared & Ready). But in February, PTT said the FID won’t come until “late 2017,” which is “several months later than we originally announced” (see PTT Global Delays Final Investment Decision for OH Ethane Cracker). It’s pretty “late” in 2017, wouldn’t you say? A company representative says the company will make some sort of an announcement “by the end of the year,” but that’s all he will say. It certainly doesn’t seem as if an FID is in the cards in the next three weeks…
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Millennium Begins Building 7.8 Mile Pipeline in Orange County, NY

Last Thursday the the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) request to block of construction of Millennium Pipeline’s Valley Lateral Project (see Fed Court Denies NY DEC Bid to Block Power Plant Pipe Construction). As a quick reminder, Valley Lateral is a tiny, 7.8 mile pipeline in Orange County, NY that will connect the main Millennium pipeline to the CPV Valley Energy Center gas-fired electric plant, currently under construction. Even though there is still a court case hanging out there (DEC suing FERC) scheduled for a hearing in late January, we said this on Friday: “Construction will likely begin TODAY.” We were right. Millennium fired up the chainsaws and began cutting down trees along the pipeline’s future path, on Friday, the day after the court ruling. Millennium plans to have all trees cleared along the path of the pipeline by Dec. 31. This is a major victory for truth, justice and the American way…
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Noble’s 50% CONE Midstream Sale in Trouble – Shopping Deal to CNX

In May MDN brought you the news that Noble Energy dropped a bombshell, selling its 100% interest in 385,000 Marcellus/Utica acres and wells producing 415 million cubic feet equivalent of natural gas in West Virginia and Pennsylvania for $1.225 billion to HG Energy (see Noble Energy Sells Remaining M-U Assets for $1.2B – Who Bought?). A couple of weeks later the other shoe dropped when Noble announced they would sell their 50% stake in CONE Midstream, a 50/50 joint venture with CONSOL Energy (now CNX Resources), to Quantum Energy Partners for $765 million, meaning a total exit for Noble from our region (see Noble/CONSOL Breakup Continues: Noble Sells 50% of CONE Midstream). When we say Noble “sold” their CONE stake we mean “will be sold after all the lawyers and bean counters get done with drawing up the necessary paperwork.” Fact is, the CONE sale has still not happened, even though there is a Dec. 31 deadline for the deal to be completed. It appears Noble’s deal to sell it’s CONE stake to Quantum is now in jeopardy. We base that observation on information from a filing Noble made with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week. In an 8-K filing, Noble said (a) they’ve extended the deadline to complete the deal to sell CONE to Quantum from Dec. 31, 2017 to June 30, 2018, and (b) Noble has opened up discussions/negotiations with CNX to sell their half of CONE to CNX instead of selling it to Quantum–which would make CNX the 100% owner of CONE…
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Atlantic Coast Pipe Gets Ready to Build: Union Help, Eminent Domain

We have a couple of important signs that Dominion and Duke Energy, the main sponsors of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, are getting ready to begin building the pipeline. Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a $5 billion, 594-mile natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. Years after the project filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), it was finally approved by FERC in October (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects). In November, the U.S. Forest Service granted its blessing for the pipeline to traverse small portions of two national forests (see USFS Approves Atlantic Coast Pipeline Thru 2 National Forests). Although some of the state water crossing permits are still an issue, it’s a pretty much foregone conclusion WV, VA and NC will not hold up construction of this important project. An announcement from Dominion on Friday to say the company has cut deals with four labor unions for workers, and a story in NC about the pipeline being forced to use eminent domain proceedings with some holdout landowners, combine to paint the picture that this project will soon begin construction…
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Recent Important Ohio Oil and Gas Court Decisions

The legal beagles at the Vorys energy law firm have been keeping a close eye on court cases in Ohio that affect the oil and gas industry. Two of those cases caught our attention as being worthy of mention because they have the potential to affect Utica Shale rights owners, and conversely drillers, in the Buckeye State. In one case, a landowner thought she could terminate a lease by not picking up her mail and depositing royalty checks in the mail. Just ignore the mail and claim the driller wasn’t paying up. Oops. Nice try, but that didn’t fly in court. In another case, a landowner with an old oil & gas lease (dating back to the 1970s) tried to break the lease because the driller is happy as a clam to simply get gas out of conventional/vertical/shallow wells, and not go after (or allow someone else to go after) the deeper shale layers. The landowner tried to get the court to at least agree to free up the deeper layers so he could lease those–but no dice. The court found the existing lease is producing in “paying quantities” and under the terms of the lease, the landowner does not have the right to sever the lower layers from the upper layers. Here’s the details, with copies of the respective court decisions…
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Marcellus/Utica Gas Exports Increase with New LNG Plants

Last week MDN’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, posted an article about the increase in LNG exports from the United States. The article highlighted the one existing and five forthcoming LNG export facilities that are changing the world energy picture by exporting (literally) boatloads American natural gas. The existing, going-full-bore LNG export plant is Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant, located on the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Two of the five forthcoming plants (Cove Point and Elba Island) are located on the East Coast–Maryland and Georgia respectively. Cove Point is due to begin exports this month (see Dominion Cove Point LNG Export – Dress Rehearsal Begins). The other three plants (Freeport LNG, Corpus Chrisi LNG, and Cameron LNG) are located along the Gulf Coast–the first two in Texas and the third in Louisiana. What struck us about the list is this: Most, if not all, of the facilities either already do, or will export Marcellus/Utica gas, an extremely important new market for our ever-increasing production…
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Post-Gazette Editors Show Total Ignorance re Severance Tax

The lefty propagandists, who refer to themselves as “editors” of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, are at it again. Last Friday they ran an editorial calling out State Rep. Eli Evankovich, a Republican from Murrysville, saying he should be “ashamed of himself.” Why? Did he secretly use false personas of his own constituents to attack the oil and gas industry? No, that was State Rep. Jesse White, whom the Post-Gazette “editors” were strangely silent about (see PA Rep. White Says Fake IDs were “Error in Judgment”). Rep. Evankovich’s transgression is that he offered an amendment to the insane severance tax bill being considered in the PA House, HB 1401. Evankovich’s amendment would require natural gas utilities to add a line item in the gas bill consumers get in the mail each month. The line would have the names of the governor and the local representatives who voted for the severance tax, along with the portion of the gas bill that goes to pay for the tax. Heresy! Off with his head! You NEVER actually tell the hoi polloi, the common people, the truth! That’s just not done. And so the editors of the Post-Gazette want to shame (better yet vote out of office) Evankovich for daring to throw this disgusting tax–all of which will go to Philadelphia teachers to repay them for voting for Wolf–right back in their leftist faces. Unfortunately Evankovich’s amendment was voted down…
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Climate Case by Brainwashed Kids Argued in Federal Court Today

This is sick. Grab your barf bag before you read it. A group of radical adults have brainwashed (we’d call it mentally abused) a group of children to the point the children are allowing their abusers to use them in a lawsuit against the United States government–to force the government to turn over its sovereignty to other nations in the name of man-made global warming. In August 2015, MDN told you about a lawsuit brought by a group of left coast radicalized children who want to force the federal government to become communist and “force action” on mythical climate change (see Group of Kids Sues U.S. Govt to Force Action on “Climate Change”). In January 2016 we brought you an update, telling you that radicalized, fringe Catholic groups had joined the cause with the ignorant children (see Climate Change Lawsuit by Radicalized Children Gets Interesting). In November 2016, a lefty judge cleared the lawsuit to move to trial. And in January 2017, the radicalized kiddies (actually, the laywers abusing them) got to depose the incoming Secretary of State and former ExxonMobil CEO, Rex Tillerson (see Radicalized Kids Suing Over Global Warming to Depose Tillerson). The Trump administration is not amused by the antics of these children and the adults manipulating them. In March, the Trump Administration filed a motion to overturn the November ruling that allows the lawsuit to go to trial (see Trump Spanks Radicalized Kids re “Climate Change” Lawsuit). However, the lefty/liberal judge didn’t back down. In July, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin ordered that the trial begin Feb. 5, 2018 (see Climate Lawsuit by Brainwashed Children Gets Court Date – Feb 2018). Today, Dec. 11, both sides will be in court. The Trump Administration will argue the lawsuit, scheduled for February, should be thrown out. The brainwashed kids and their abusing lawyers will argue it should continue…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Dec 11, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Pipeline expansions feeding more Marcellus gas to New England & NY; Chinese investment in WV could include PE resin; the super basin behind US natgas dominance; DOE Sec. Perry discusses LNG exports to Saudi Arabia; shale producers, OPEC playing two different games; Moody’s says o&g industry to continue recovery in 2018; shale oil myths; and more!
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