Constitution Pipeline Appeals NY Fight Directly to U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated” – Mark Twain (and Constitution Pipeline). Last week it was our duty to report the sad news that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found they could not override the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) decision (under pressure from the corrupt Andrew Cuomo) to block the Constitution Pipeline (see Death of the Constitution Pipeline? FERC Refuses to Overrule NY DEC). FERC found, after an exhaustive investigation, that the DEC had suckered Constitution into refiling a second time, restarting the one-year clock under which NY could render a decision about the pipeline. With four days left on the reset clock, DEC issued a denial of Constitution’s request for a federal water crossing permit (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). Constitution went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to overturn DEC’s decision, but ultimately failed (see Court Rejects Constitution Pipe’s Case Against NY DEC; Now What?). With FERC refusing to act, we asked the question last week, Is this the death of the $683 million, 124-mile pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY to move Marcellus gas into NY and New England? We reached out to Williams and MDN was first to report that Williams said they would continue to fight. And so they have! In a statement issued Tuesday, Williams (i.e. Constitution Pipeline) said they have appealed the Second Circuit’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court (full copy of the appeal below). Williams maintains if the Second Circuit’s decision upholding the corrupt DEC is allowed to stand, it sets a dangerous precedent for rogue states like NY who refuse to obey the strict interpretation of the law. That is, it allows states like NY to simply reinterpret the law any old which way they want. And that can’t stand…
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Antero 2018: $1.45 Billion to Drill 125 Marcellus & 25 Utica Wells

Yesterday Antero Resources, one of the biggest and best drillers in the Marcellus/Utica (concentrating on just those two plays), released highlights of their 2017 performance and “guidance” for 2018–their plan for what they will do in 2018. In 2017 the company reports average net daily gas equivalent production was 2.3 billion cubic feet per day, an 18% increase over the same quarter in 2016. In 2018, Antero plans to spend $1.45 billion. What will that buy them? In the PA and WV Marcellus, Antero will run five rigs and drill 120-125 wells, with an average lateral length of 9,300 feet. The company says they will average 9 wells per well pad this year. In the Ohio Utica, Antero will operate one rig and drill 20-25 wells with an average lateral of 11,600 feet. In both the Marcellus and Utica, Antero says the cost to drill those wells will go down another 9% this year over what it cost them last year. Antero continues to be one of (if not THE) best “hedgers” in the business–realizing more money for their gas and NGLs than any other driller in the region…
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Mountain Valley Pipe Tweaks Route, Asks VA Judge for Eminent Domain

Credit: Roanoke Times – click for larger version

Attorneys for holdout landowners along the path of Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) are using MVP’s willingness to tweak the route of the pipeline to avoid certain areas, against it. Yes, try to work WITH folks–and they turn around and use it against you. MVP is a $3.5 billion, 303-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. In October, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave final approval for the project (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects). In early November, the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection gave the project its approval (see WVDEP Reverses, Waives Water Permit for Mountain Valley Pipeline). And in December, the Virginia Water Control Board voted to approve the project (see Virginia Water Board Approves Mountain Valley Pipe – Antis Erupt). So it should be clear sailing for MVP–except for some 15% of holdout landowners along the pipeline’s route who refuse to sign easements. MVP has taken them to court, asking a federal judge for permission to use eminent domain to gain access to those properties. But the holdouts’ lawyers are saying continued tweaks to the pipeline route are evidence MVP doesn’t know what the heck it wants and who to “condemn” with eminent domain–and that’s enough reason for the judge to refuse granting blanket condemnation for eminent domain…
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Adelphia Gateway Pipeline Near Philly Files with FERC

Adelphia Gateway Pipeline map – click for larger version

In November MDN shared the exciting news that an old oil pipeline stretching from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook, had been purchased by a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources and will get converted to flow Marcellus natural gas to the greater Philadelphia region (see Oil Pipeline Near Philly to be Converted to Flow Fracked NatGas). The project/pipeline is called the Adelphia Gateway. Adelphia ran an open season–a period of time when shippers can reserve capacity along the pipeline–and got requests for twice the amount of capacity the pipeline will hold (see Converted Pipeline Near Philly Gets 2X More Interest than Capacity). That was more than enough for NJ Resources to move forward with the project. Last week they filed an official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to convert the existing pipeline to flow natural gas, and add various facilities (like meter stations) along the way…
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Get Tomorrow’s Marcellus/Utica NatGas Prices Today!

Anyone with even a passing interest in the natural gas market–either the Marcellus/Utica or elsewhere–knows there is one dominant factor that drives exploration and production: PRICE. The price of natural gas is the tail that wags the entire natgas dog. Low price? Less (or no) drilling, shut-in wells, less leasing–everything is less. High price? Pop the cork on the champagne bottle! When the price goes up and stays up, drillers begin seismic surveys, then leasing, then permits, then drilling. After drilling comes pipelines–both to the well and to market. And businesses tend to gather around points where there is access to natgas (and its byproducts). It’s a virtuous cycle, from upstream (drilling) to midstream (pipelines) to downstream (end users of the gas)–that all starts with price. Who should have an interest in price? Everybody! However, there are some whose jobs and livelihoods depend on price–gas traders, industrial buyers, drillers who need to sell their gas, etc. Those people need a daily update on the price. Who do they turn to? There are several price reporting authorities that monitor trade information for natural gas trading. There is no single price for natural gas–there are hundreds of prices. Gas is traded at trading hubs or points along major pipelines across the country. Each time a trade is done (price requested, price offered or “ask” and “bid”), that valuable information gets recorded and sent to a price recording authority. Each day around 1:30 PM Central Time, NGI gathers up trade information for THAT DAY, trades that have occurred so far at trading points all over the US and Canada, and posts/emails the information to subscribers. It is like getting tomorrow’s prices–the prices everyone else will base their trades on–today! How can you get tomorrow’s prices today? Glad you asked. Request a trial to NGI’s MidDay Price Alert here. Below we have a section of a recent edition showing prices in Appalachia (the Marcellus/Utica), and for the entire northeast…
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2 Landowner Groups Merge to Fight DRBC’s Theft of Drilling Rights

Landowners who live in the Delaware River Basin feel betrayed and disenfranchised following the actions of the aggressive, malignant Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC)–a quasi-governmental agency set up to oversee and protect water usage within the Delaware River Basin. The DRBC colors WAY outside the lines of its charter by limiting not just water use, but land use within the basin. The Delaware River and its tributaries supply fresh drinking water for some 14 million people, including New York City. The DRBC, under the pretense of protecting water, issued draft regulations on Nov. 30 that will permanently (!) ban hydraulic fracturing in the basin (see DRBC Drops Permanent Frack Ban Bomb – Public Hearings in January). Residents in Wayne and Pike counties in PA are furious. They could have, long ago, leased their land for drilling had it not been for the DRBC. And a drilling ban isn’t the only way the DRBC is screwing the residents who live within the basin. The agency has become an arm of the Rockefeller/gentry clan who want to make the region their own personal, private playground. Enough is enough. Two different landowner groups in the basin–Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance (NWPOA) and the Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens (UDRBC)–are merging together to fight the DRBC beast. Their philosophy is “better together.” Their mission is righteous and the stakes are critical. We applaud these groups joining together to beat back the tyrannical DRBC…
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Rig Counts No Longer Reliable Barometer of Production

Once upon a time, it was pretty easy for commodities traders (and others) to predict oil and gas production. You just watch the Baker Hughes rig count. When the number of rigs actively drilling goes up, production will follow X months later. And when active rigs go down, production goes down too. But that is no longer the case! Why? Shale wells are producing more over a longer period of time. And the technology used when drilling today is radically different than tech from just a few years ago. Drillers now drill wells faster–much faster–meaning they can use fewer rigs. And frackers are using “hellish” amounts of sand to frack wells, producing ever-more quantities of oil and gas. What it all means is this: If you’re a trader, you can no longer depend on rig counts as your main metric to calculate production. You need new metrics, such as…
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Tellurian Founder Says U.S. Needs $150B in Gas Infrastructure

Charif Souki

In December 2015, evil corporate raider Carl Icahn (invests in companies so he can fire a bunch of people, boost the stock and pocket the profit) fired Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki (see Evil Corporate Raider Carl Icahn Claims Another CEO Scalp). Souki didn’t let it slow him down. He started a new LNG export company, Tellurian, to compete with his old company (see Revenge: Fired Cheniere CEO Starts Competing LNG Company). We kind of had (past tense) a soft spot for Souki, getting tossed from the company he started. But then we read comments he made about Donald Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election. Souki thought (like many) that Trump had no chance of winning, but if he did, Souki said he would “reconsider my nationality.” Souki was born in Egypt but is an American citizen now. After Trump’s victory, Souki forgot about his threat to leave the country and change his citizenship. We didn’t. We’re still waiting. Souki turned up on CNBC again yesterday, this time with faint praise for Trump (but also words of praise for the abysmal failure Obama). Souki had a chat with Jimmy Cramer, telling Cramer the U.S. urgently needs $150 billion worth of infrastructure investment (i.e. pipelines) in order to get our prodigious amounts of natural gas from inland places where’s extracted to the shoreline–so it can be exported…
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How Does Shale Industry Counter Emotional Antis? Lessons from UK

Sometimes it’s hard not to grow weary fighting against Big Green and their seemingly endless sources of funding (and a sympathetic mainstream media) when it comes to the issue of fracking. The very word itself, fracking, is a moniker slapped on the industry as a way of implying there’s something dirty and vulgar about what we do. We can’t tell you how many times readers have lectured us to not use that word–fracking. But the word is now entrenched in the public psyche, so we use it. How do we effectively counter the wrong/false statements and arguments used by Big Green and their supporters? Simply using facts and science, to counter the emotional puking that comes from Big Green, is not enough. The United Kingdom is now entering a phase long past here in the U.S. The U.K. is just now beginning to drill and frack its very first wells. There are more than 300 anti-fracking groups in the U.K. and an almost endless barrage of negative press about fracking in the country. The head of communications recently granted an interview to PR Week about how they are countering the opposition there. It’s an excellent interview and gives us some ideas about how we might counter the opposition on this side of the pond…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Jan 18, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye over the break that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Ohio firefighters take part in Utica training program; New Englanders have only themselves to blame for spike in energy prices; North Dakota cuts back oil output due to gas flaring; shale oil output poised to pass 6.5 million barrels in February; oil prices in trouble?; API president Jack Gerard stepping down; Quantum forms new PetroLogistics II; natgas processing economics; the challenge at EPA is deeper than policy; and more!
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