FERC Gives Rover Phase 1B Permission to Begin Service, 1.7 Bcf/d

Energy Transfer Partners (ET) announced on Friday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has granted ET permission to bring Rover Pipeline Phase 1B online–as of now. Building the mighty Rover, a $4.2 billion, 713-mile Utica/Marcellus natural gas pipeline that will stretch from PA, WV and eastern OH, through OH, into Michigan, and eventually on to Canada, has always been a two-phase project–Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase 1 was further broken down into 1A and 1B. Phase 1A, which is the main line through most of Ohio, went online Sept. 1 (see Big Portion of Rover Pipeline Now Up & Running – Thru Most of Ohio). Phase 1B is the completion of several important “laterals” (or offshoot pipelines), along with compressor stations. This new segment will serve to feed more gas to the main Rover pipeline. It was Phase 1B that got approved on Friday, and is presumably now up and running as you read this. With the addition of Phase 1B, Rover now has the capacity to flow 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas. When Phase 2 is done in 1Q18, the pipeline’s full capacity of 3.25 Bcf/d will go online…
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Leach XPress Starting Up Jan 1 – Marc/Utica Gas Heading to the Gulf!

Last week Columbia Pipeline Group (now part of TransCanada) filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin service on their Leach XPress pipeline. This is BIG and important news. In August 2014, MDN told you that Columbia Pipeline Group decided to move forward with investing $1.75 billion dollars for two new projects: Leach XPress and Rayne XPress (see Columbia Gas: $1.75B for 2 Projects to Send Marcellus Gas to Gulf). The Leach XPress project involves building ~160 miles of natural gas pipeline and compression facilities in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle, flowing 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas all the way to Leach, Kentucky (hence the name). Rayne XPress works hand in glove with Leach. There is an existing natgas pipeline from Leach, KY all the way to the Louisiana Gulf Coast, called Rayne. The pipeline is named for the location it flows to: Rayne, Louisiana. The Rayne Xpress project beefs up the Rayne pipeline with new compressor stations to add an additional 1 Bcf per day of capacity–Marcellus and Utica Shale gas capacity that will flow to the Gulf Coast. Rayne went online in early November (see FERC Clears 1 Bcf/d Rayne Xpress Pipe to Begin Service). When Leach goes online Jan. 1, 2018 (yes, we expect FERC will approve it), Marcellus/Utica gas will begin flowing along the combined pipelines all the way to the Gulf. That’s big news!…
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IOGA WV Gets it Right on Co-Tenancy & Joint Development

For some time we’ve reported on the effort to pass new legislation in West Virginia on co-tenancy and joint development (see WVONGA Makes Plans to Push Forced Pooling Lite in 2018). These two concepts together somewhat replace what the oil and gas industry once wanted in WV–a forced pooling law. The West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) has been the driving force behind the effort to adopt co-tenancy and joint development. MDN has been right up front about our views: co-tenancy is fair and reasonable, joint development is not. WVONGA continues to push for both. However, WVONGA is not the only oil and gas trade association in the Mountain State. WV also has the Independent Oil & Gas Association of West Virginia (or IOGA WV), which broke off from WVONGA in 1959. We were delighted to spot an article that reports IOGA WV is pushing for co-tenancy, but NOT for joint development. IOGA of WV recognizes joint development for what it is–an attempt to allow drillers to use old leases for shale drilling without having to negotiate new terms (i.e. pay more to rights owners). Kudos to IOGA WV for getting it right. What, precisely, is co-tenancy and joint development? Glad you asked…
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Plan to Frack Shale Well in New York State Using LPG Still Alive

Whatever happened to the idea of fracking a shale well in Tioga County, NY using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG, or propane)? We sometimes get asked that question. In July 2015 a group of landowners flying under the name of The Snyder Farm Group (five families make up the group) contracted with Tioga Energy Partners (based in Texas) to drill a fracked Utica Shale well, and follow it up with drilling a fracked Marcellus Shale well, using LPG and sand (see NY Landowners File to Frack Horizontal Well w/Waterless Tech and NY Heroes: More Details on NY Propane Fracking Proposal). The wells would not use water for fracking–and therefore, according to the landowners, avoid New York’s ban on high volume fracking imposed by NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo. NY’s corrupt Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) does not disagree with the Tioga landowners. It certainly *may* be possible to use LPG fracking and avoid the prohibition on water-based fracking. Yet the DEC continues its standard operating procedure of delay by declaring they don’t have enough information (we’ve seen this movie before). The last time we reported anything about the Tioga project was May 2016, when the DEC began its latest round of death-by-delay tactics (see NY DEC Calls Propane Fracking “Unique Technology”; Wants More Info). So where does the Tioga project stand now? Same. The DEC says they still don’t have all the answers they want about LPG fracking, leaving the project in limbo. But that’s better than declaring it dead–maybe. The good news is that after 2 1/2 years, the Tioga project is still alive because the farming families involved are still pushing for it have not given up. Neither should we…
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NYSE Threatens EXCO Resources with Stock Delisting – 4th Time

EXCO Resources continues to be a company in trouble. The company flirted with bankruptcy for some time, but in the end they effectively turned over control of the company to creditors this past summer in order to stay out of bankruptcy court (see EXCO Issues 2.7M Shares of New Stock in Lieu of Paying $23M). As we pointed out in early November, the turnaround expert EXCO hired to continue keeping the company out of bankruptcy flew the coop (see EXCO Resources Heading for Bankruptcy, Turnaround Expert Resigns). EXCO is now in trouble with the New York Stock Exchange–for the fourth time! Two times in the past the New York Stock Exchange notified the company it had fallen below the NYSE’s standards for listing and trading the stock because the share price was too low (see EXCO Resources Stock Threatened Again with De-Listing by NYSE). EXCO was able to fix the low stock price by crafting a reverse stock split–combining outstanding shares into fewer shares worth more. Then in August, NYSE threatened EXCO with delisting a third time, but for a different reason: Because EXCO’s market capitalization has fallen below $50 million (see EXCO Resources Receives 3rd NYSE Notice of Delisting). EXCO pulled their bacon out of the fire with NYSE in August by cutting a deal that allows them until February 2019 (yes, 2019) to get company valuation back up over $50 million. So why the new/fourth threat from NYSE? Same reason as the first two times–the stock price is once again in the toilet–well below $1 per share. We doubt they can do another reverse stock split to save the share price this time…
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EQT Bd Member Continues to Stir Controversy in WV Gov Office Role

Bray Cary

This is a story that won’t go away. Last week MDN told you about the kerfuffle over EQT board member Bray Cary and his work as an unpaid, “informal” adviser to WV Gov. Jim Justice (see EQT Board Member Unofficial Adviser to WV Gov Justice and More on EQT Board Member Serving in WV Gov’s Office). Cary has his own “swipe card” giving him 24/7 access to the Capitol. Cary has been “taking part in policy-oriented meetings.” He’s not on the payroll and he doesn’t answer to anyone. He’s also not subject to the state Ethics Act. Because Cary sits on the EQT board, and EQT has big assets in WV, critics see a conflict of interest. In our own simple words, Bray Cary has become a problem for EQT–a problem that needs to get fixed, fast. He either needs to end his role as unpaid adviser to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, or resign from EQT’s board of directors. Continuing to function in both roles is clearly a distraction EQT doesn’t need–and doesn’t want…
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Monroeville Council Approves Seismic Testing Court Settlement

Monroeville, PA (Allegheny County, suburb of Pittsburgh) is hostile toward the shale industry. In September, Monroeville Council voted to enact a super-restrictive seismic testing ordinance (see Monroeville, PA Passes Restrictive Seismic Testing Ordinance). The ordinance is meant to hassle Huntley & Huntley (H&H), which wants to conduct seismic testing in two rural areas of the municipality. In October, the contractor hired to do the seismic work for H&H, Geokinetics, took Monroeville Council to court over their punitive seismic ordinance (see Monroeville Seismic Testing Ordinance Challenged in Court). Both sides compromised and in November settled the case (see Monroeville Seismic Testing Ordinance Court Case Settled). Although the court case was settled, there is a final step required before the thumper trucks can begin their work. Monroeville Council must officially vote to accept the court agreement with the revised regulations. That vote happened last week…
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Cabot Asks Court for Stiffer Fine Against NEPA Lawbreaking Anti

A little-known (outside of northeast Pennsylvania) anti-driller, Vera Scroggins, was fined $1,000 in April 2015 in Susquehanna County court (see PA Anti-Driller Fined $1K for Trespassing on Cabot O&G Site, Jail?). Vera’s biggest claim to fame is her potty mouth treatment of FrackNation filmmaker Phelim McAleer (watch it here). She is a repeat trespasser on Cabot Oil & Gas drilling sites and has been warned, repeatedly, to stay off their land–for her own safety and the safety of others. Scroggins runs so-called tours where she shows New York City celebrities and other urbanites (who don’t know the difference between a cow’s udder and a roof gutter) the gas fields of Susquehanna County, claiming drilling operations somehow harm local residents. In 2015, the judge had enough. He said at the hearing that Vera had 45 days to pay the $1,000 fine for her latest violation and if she didn’t, she was going to jail. Apparently she paid. However, she’s at it again. Cabot says Vera has continued her trespassing ways and is now (allegedly) in contempt of court for disobeying the judge’s orders. Cabot is requesting Vera be find $5,000 and chip in money for their legal fees. Some people never learn…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Dec 18, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Shale tax supporters face slow go in PA House; SEPA RINO Congressman attacks Mariner East 2; 2017 is the year shale went global; industry organizations counter activist lies; why condensate flipped from cheap to pricey and why it map flip back; Canada’s first LNG shipment reaches China; the biggest voices in oil disagree on 2018 outlook; and more!
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