TC Energy Says Marcellus/Utica Drillers “Tapping the Brakes”

TC Energy (once upon a time called TransCanada Corporation) is a major pipeline company in North America. The company has a big presence in the Marcellus/Utica region via its Columbia Pipeline subsidiary. Last week TC Energy issued its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 update and hosted a quarterly conference call with analysts. While the official update contains a mention about the company’s Buckeye XPress project (see TC Energy/Columbia Finally Get FERC Approval for Buckeye XPress), of primary interest for us were comments by TC management about Columbia’s M-U customers and what the company might do if drillers come knocking on the door in “financial distress.”
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PA Court Turns Down Chester Co. Request to Block ME Construction

Score another victory for the Mariner East Pipeline project in southeast Pennsylvania. On Tuesday Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled against Chester County Commissioners and their attempt to obtain an injunction to stop construction of the Mariner East pipeline project. The petition fought to curtail open trench construction rather than horizontal directional drilling on two easements the county gave to the pipeline. Energy Transfer/Sunoco Logistics wants to change from using underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to instead use conventional bore or open trench technology on those easements, which would avoid more problems with HDD already experienced during construction.
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WV Advances Bills to Attract NGL Hub, Cracker Plant, Downstream

The West Virginia House of Delegates Finance Committee approved two bills yesterday that would create two new tax credits. The aim is to boost more development in the natural gas industry in the Mountain State. One bill, House Bill (HB) 4421, is meant to attract a natural gas storage hub and an ethane cracker plant to the state. The other, HB 4019, is meant to attract “downstream” natural gas manufacturing facilities. Both bills now go to the full House for a vote.
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Economist Reveals What Happens if Frack Ban Becomes Reality

You’ve read the news that Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with most (if not all) of the Democrat presidential candidates, support a full-on ban of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas (see Crazy Bernie & AOC Intro Bill to Ban ALL Fracking in 5 Years). What, specifically, would happen to the American economy if that actually happened? We have the answer, and it’s not pretty. Forbes contributor and Distinguished Fellow at the Energy Policy Research Foundation (EPRINC), Michael Lynch, has just published a new study (full copy below) that answers the question of what happens if America bans fracking.
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EIA Says NatGas Production Continues to Increase Until 2050

Our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, is out with another intriguing post. EIA takes a look at their best estimates of natural gas production in the U.S. over the next 30 years, to 2050. When the number crunchers at EIA analyze this stuff, they run multiple scenarios. One scenario (or “case”) assumes a rosy picture, with high oil and gas supplies. Another case assumes high oil prices. Another case assumes low oil prices. And yet another case assumes low oil and gas supplies. Finally, there is the “reference” case–or the scenario EIA thinks is most likely to happen. As the data geeks look out over the next three decades, in all but one of their scenarios/cases they see natural gas production increase.
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US Produces Too Much LNG Right Now, but Shortage Coming in 5 Yrs

LNG (liquefied natural gas) is one of two primary new “demand centers” for the natural gas produced in the Marcellus/Utica. The other demand center is gas-fired electric power plants. Last week S&P Global held its 19th annual S&P Global Platts LNG Conference in Houston. The message was loud and clear: U.S. LNG producers are being told to either shut in some of their production (for now), or find new markets (beyond Asia and Europe). Otherwise, prices for LNG will continue to crash worldwide and new plants may not get built.
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Shell Annual Outlook Says LNG Demand to Double by 2040

Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world’s supermajors (oil and gas driller), is, in fact, one of (perhaps THE) largest producer of LNG, or liquefied natural gas, in the world. The company has just released its fourth annual LNG Outlook 2020 (full copy below) which highlights key trends in 2019 and hauls out the crystal ball to predict where things are heading over the next 20 years. Shell says global demand for LNG is expected to double to 700 million tonnes by 2040. Why? Because natgas emits less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than other alternatives.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Feb 20, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Toomey ‘pushes back’ on Dems’ efforts to ban fracking; NATIONAL: Moody’s – North American E&P firms face high debt maturities, tighter access to capital; DOE proposes to extend natural gas export authorizations to non-FTA countries through 2050; PHMSA issues final rule on underground natural gas storage facilities safety; Trump announces nominations of deputy chiefs for EPA, Energy Department; INTERNATIONAL: Transport minister confirms anti-pipeline protestors tampered with railroad crossings; Donald Trump’s India visit: Deal likely for more US oil, gas to trim trade gap.
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