FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise for Startup! Pipe Opens Sat. Oct. 6

Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally (finally!) granted Williams permission to open the taps up and let natural gas flow along the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, a 200-mile greenfield pipeline from northeastern to southeastern PA. Startup was delayed two months from Williams’ original estimate (due to Williams, not FERC). But that’s all behind us now. Beginning tomorrow, Marcellus molecules from Cabot Oil & Gas, Chief Oil & Gas, and Seneca Resources will begin flowing along the pipeline, heading out of our region where those molecules will fetch higher prices.
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FERC Approves Columbia WB XPress Pipe for Partial Startup

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Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) not only authorized the 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline to begin service (today’s top story), FERC also authorized a second project, Columbia Pipeline’s WB XPress, to begin service. Or at least, to begin partial service–of its “Western Facilities.” WB XPress, located in West Virginia and Virginia, expands capacity of the Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline system by 1.3 Bcf/d, linking Marcellus gas supplies to new markets.
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Rumblings that PTT Will Once Again Delay OH Cracker Decision

PTT Global Chemical announced in April 2015 they want to build a $6 billion ethane cracker plant complex in Belmont County, OH (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). Since that time PTT has purchased land, paid $100 million to get the cracker facility designed, and repeatedly said a final investment decision (FID) is imminent. It’s been imminent for more than two years now, and rumor has it the decision is delayed yet again.
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Catalyst to Restart Drilling Program in Kentucky Using Shale Tech

There’s only so much you can cram into a 65 character headline. We wanted to say more. Catalyst Energy was, until 2017 (when it quit drilling new wells) a conventional-only oil driller focused mainly on western Pennsylvania. It quit drilling due to low oil prices. Catalyst has just announced that, pending the outcome of a new round of investments it’s seeking, the company will restart its drilling program–but this time with a twist. Catalyst is transforming itself from a conventional to an unconventional driller.
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Huntley & Huntley Drilling Another 5 Wells in Upper Burrell, PA

Zeus

What a difference a year can make. In October 2017, Upper Burrell Township (Westmoreland County, PA) supervisors approved a plan by Huntley & Huntley to drill four shale wells in the town. The supervisors endured an extremely hostile crowd as they voted to approve the plan (see H&H Drilling in Upper Burrell Gets Final Approval, Raucous Crowd). Those wells, at lease some of them, have since been drilled. H&H came back with a plan to drill another five wells at the same location–the Zeus well pad. This time there was no crowd opposing the plan. Just a simple, quiet approval by town supervisors.
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JKLM Drilling 14 Utica Wells in Potter County, PA This Year

Potter County, PA

JKLM Energy, a Pennsylvania gas drilling company founded by Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula, recently hosted a tour of their active operations in Potter County, PA–the only county they drill in. The tour included “county and local government leaders, representatives of conservation organizations and other guests.” Drillers conduct such tours from time to time (go on one if you get the chance!). It wasn’t so much the tour, but a tidbit of information revealed on the tour that caught our attention: That JKLM is on track to drill 14 new Utica Shale wells in Potter County this year.
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WV Leaders Discuss “Downstream” NatGas Development

Some 200 business and government leaders in West Virginia attended the state’s Economic Outlook Conference in Charleston this past Wednesday. A key focus of the event was a panel discussion on the topic of “downstream” natural gas development–meaning ethane cracker plants and manufacturing plants to take advantage of the coming flood of cheap plastics from cracker plants. The speakers spoke of urgency, to prevent a generational opportunity from slipping away.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Oct 5, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: PA PUC sends inspectors to help Massachusetts following pipeline explosions; Large silos delivered via barge to Shell site; Antis gather to plan opposition to PTT Ohio ethane cracker; Massachusetts compressor foes warn of dangers with commercial; Florida governor delays vote on power plant; Natural gas prices are on fire this month — here’s why; FERC nominee’s path to confirmation could be circuitous; Both natural gas supply and demand have increased from year-ago levels; $32B worth of oil, gas M&A deals in 3Q breaks record; US Forest Service seeks ‘streamlined’ oil, gas permit process.
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