FREE Audio: MDN Top 5 Stories for Week of July 30, 2018

Below is an audio recording (“podcast”) featuring the Top 5 stories most read over the past week on MDN. Just click on the green button to listen. Below the recording is a list of the Top 5 with links to click to read the full stories (available only for subscribers). This list is meant as a way for folks to quickly catch up on the most essential news of the week–“essential” as determined by MDN’s audience of readers. Enjoy!


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PA PUC Allows ME2 Pipeline Work to Restart Near Philly

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) yesterday voted 3-2 to allow construction to resume on the Mariner East 2 and 2x pipelines in West Whiteland Township, Chester County (near Philadelphia), ending a weeks-long stoppage specific only to that area. The shutdown began in May after a PUC administrative law judge’s highly questionable ruling, which affected ME1, ME2 and ME2x (see Antis Get Lib Judge to Shut Down All Mariner East Pipes, Dems Rejoice). After an initial three-week shutdown, the PUC voted in June to approve the restart of ME1 (see PA PUC Overrules Lib Judge – Mariner East 1 Returns to Service). It was the second time in a little more than a month that the PUC voted to restart the line after finding it poses no risk. Work in West Whiteland Township for ME2 has been paused since the administrative law judge’s May ruling. With the PUC’s action yesterday, Sunoco can resume work on the project in Chester County. Although they can’t resume work on all of it. The vote yesterday does not lift the construction ban on four locations in West Whiteland waiting for new/revised permits from the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). Still, this is a big positive, and a major blow to antis who are not happy…
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Antero 2Q18: 2.5 Bcfe/d; $136M Loss; No More Utica Drilling This Yr

Antero Resources released its second quarter 2018 update yesterday. Antero is one of the largest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica with massive amounts of acreage in West Virginia (and elsewhere). Revenue was up in 2Q18 to $989 million, compared to $790 million in 2Q17. However, profits were down. In 2Q17 Antero lost $5.1 million, while in 2Q18 they lost $136 million. Antero produced a record 2.52 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d) of natural gas–27% of that was liquids, including oil. In 2Q the company drilled 22 new Marcellus wells and brought 25 Marcellus wells online. They drilled 6 Utica wells and brought 5 Utica wells online. The company is pausing any new OH Utica drilling for the rest of this year in order to concentrate on the liquids-rich Marcellus region. Antero would have drilled and produced more except there is a trucking shortage in WV. Antero uses trucks to get its crude to market, and lack of trucks meant 100,000 barrels of crude are stored and can’t be moved, and that means the company has curtailed production in a number of WV wells. Antero expects the situation to improve by September. During 2Q Antero drilled what is (so far) the longest lateral for a WV shale well–15,100 feet!…
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CNX 2Q18: 1.3 Bcfe/d; $61M Profit; Utica Production Thru Roof

CNX Resources released their second quarter update yesterday. On the financial front the company made $61 million in profit during 2Q18, down from making $170 million in 2Q17. Hey, at least they’re in the black! During Q2 CNX produced and sold 1.3 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d) of gas, which is up 33% over the same quarter last year. Nice! Much of the increase was due to a huge 277% jump in Utica Shale gas volumes. CNX ran three drilling rigs for most of 2Q, bringing on a fourth rig in late June. The rigs drilled 16 wells in 2Q, including three dry Utica Shale wells in Monroe County, OH; four Marcellus Shale wells in Greene County, PA; six Marcellus Shale wells in Washington County, PA; and three Marcellus Shale wells in Tyler County, WV. However, CNX only brought online three wells during 2Q. Here’s the details…
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Gulfport Energy 2Q18: 970 MMcfe/d in Utica; Drilled 9 Ohio Wells

Gulfport Energy, an independent oil and gas driller with significant acreage positions in the Utica Shale of eastern Ohio and the SCOOP Woodford and SCOOP Springer plays in Oklahoma, issued its second quarter update yesterday. The company made $111 million in profit (net income) in 2Q18, vs. making $106 million in 2Q17. They produced an average of 1.33 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d) across all of the plays where they are active. Of that, the vast majority of production (73%) came from the Ohio Utica Shale, which was 970 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d). During Q2, Gulfport drilled nine Utica wells, giving it a total of 21 Utica wells drilled so far this year (out of 35 planned for 2018). They operate two rigs in the OH Utica currently. Here’s the complete update from Gulfport…
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Williams 2Q18: Jazzed About Atlantic Sunrise, Hopeful for NESE

Yesterday Williams issued its second quarter 2018 update. Williams is one of the biggest midstream (pipeline) companies in the Marcellus/Utica region. They’re also a big player in many other shale plays. The update focused on a number of those other plays and some recently cut deals to expand in other plays. Williams knows how to walk and chew gum at the same time–they have a lot happening. Of course we’re interested in what was said about the Marcellus/Utica region, including the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline and other projects, like the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project, that impact our ability to move gas from here to other parts of the country. Below are excerpts lifted from various sources issued by Williams yesterday that focus on our region…
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FERC Continues to Block Rover Laterals Until Restoration Work Done

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) continues to play hardball with Energy Transfer over the Rover Pipeline. FERC refuses to allow four Rover laterals–feeder pipelines to shuttle gas from where it’s produced into the main Rover pipeline–to start up (see FERC Plays Hardball with Rover – Refuses to Certify 4 Laterals). The reason? ET hasn’t, according to FERC, lived up to its word on restoration work. Things like smoothing over the dirt and replanting grass and other vegetation over top of the buried pipeline. In a letter to FERC on Tuesday, ET said more work will be completed by the end of this month. In other words, “We’re bustin’ our hump here, please please please let us start up those laterals.” So far, silence from FERC. The game of hardball continues…
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Marcellus Prices Improve with New Pipelines

Natural gas produced in the Marcellus region historically has had a hard time fetching prices anywhere close to the benchmark Henry Hub price in southern Louisiana. Why? Because we have so darned much of it! Too much. Not enough ways to get our gas to other markets where it would fetch a higher price. That’s beginning to change. The “differential” (the difference between HH and our prices) is starting to narrow. Marcellus prices are coming much closer to the prices HH gas gets. That’s because of new pipelines coming online to cart our gas to other markets. Our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, wrote a post yesterday on their Today in Energy website pointing out the decreasing gap in prices between the Marcellus and HH…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Aug 3, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: WV #1 in economic growth for 2017 – thx to shale; push on for 4-lane highway between Columbus & Pittsburgh; Porter Wright adds energy partner in Pittsburgh; Permian drillers beginning to use LNG to power rigs; lessons from country’s largest wind farm project (now canceled); EIA storage report may lead to higher prices; ETE buying ETP in $27B all-unit deal; and more!
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