PA Gov Wolf Vetoes Jobs-Creating Petchem Bill – Blames COVID-19

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf was less than honest when he vetoed House Bill (HB) 1100–a bill that would generate thousands of new jobs and cause money to pour into the PA economy by granting tax breaks (for a limited time) to companies willing to build *brand new* petrochemical plants ($450 million minimum investment) that use natural gas as the feedstock. In vetoing the bill on Friday, Wolf more or less blamed the coronavirus–even though he had promised to veto this bill in February, a month before the pandemic began in U.S. (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA)!
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Dominion Energy Buys 50% Stake in Jacksonville LNG

Last May MDN told you about JAX LNG in Jacksonville, Florida–a joint project between Pivotal LNG (a subsidiary of Southern Company Gas) and NorthStar Midstream (a pipeline company in the Bakken Shale), touted as the “first” small-scale LNG plant to be located along the shoreline, allowing it to fuel up LNG ships–ships that use LNG as fuel, instead of diesel–and also allowing the LNG to be loaded onto trucks and trains for transportation to power plants and industrial/commercial operators (see First US “Small-Scale” LNG Facility Launches in Jacksonville, FL). Last week Dominion Energy bought Pivotal from Southern, and along with it Pivotal’s 50% stake in JAX LNG (and 100% ownership of another LNG facility in Alabama). Yes, there is potentially a tie-in with the Marcellus/Utica.
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Will Shell Cracker Construction Delay Affect Ohio Cracker Timing?

Nearly two weeks ago Shell, at the prompting of local officials, shut down construction of the mighty ethane cracker plant the company is building in Beaver County, PA (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-19). How long will construction be stopped? According to a Shell spokesman, “I have no timeline for a return at this time.” What if the work stoppage drags on for months? It could, potentially, have a domino effect on another nearby cracker project–across the river in Belmont County, Ohio.
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Aborted Loan Threatens Gulf Coast, Nova Scotia Cracker Projects

LNG Limited, based in Australia, has been working on a couple of North American LNG export projects over the past half-decade or more. One of them, called Bear Head, would be built in Nova Scotia, Canada and (potentially) export Marcellus/Utica molecules. The other, Magnolia LNG, would be located in Louisiana and yes, potentially export M-U molecules as well. LNG Limited is in the process of selling itself and its LNG projects to Singapore investor LNG9 PTE for $75 million, a deal expected to close around the end of May. However, LNG Limited needs more cash to keep the doors open until then. First Wall Street Capital Corp. recently bailed on giving LNG Limited a bridge loan to get them through.
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How Oil Crash/Virus has Altered Future of NatGas, NGLs, Midstream

Everyone, and we mean everyone, is still reeling from the double shock of the COVID-19 coronavirus and its effect on the world economy, and the Saudis and Russians pumping more oil, driving oil prices into the ground. Frankly, the COVID-19 virus is the bigger deal. It will have long-lasting effects for years to come on the U.S. economy, including a big effect on the oil and gas industry. The question is, what kind of effect? Is there any way to predict what may happen in the coming couple of years and longer? No one can really predict, but if anyone could, it would be the bright minds at RBN Energy. They’ve attempted the near-impossible: Try to predict how things will change following the COVID-19 lockdown (around March 6). Try to divine how the oil and gas (and NGL and midstream) worlds will change in the coming months and years. Their assessment is sobering.
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Cheapest Way For Trump To Save U.S. Oil – Variable Tariff

The American oil industry is in crisis. This is undeniable. Some folks will point out this isn’t the first serious downturn for the oil industry, and it won’t be the last. True enough. But this one IS different. Not in recent memory (at least a generation) has there been both a shock in the supply picture (Saudis and Russians fully opening up the taps) and a shock in the demand picture (very little travel due to the pandemic). We at MDN have taken a view in favor of a tariff on imported foreign oil to encourage better behavior. Now comes a tweak to the tariff strategy.
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MDN Editor Jim Willis on The Crude Life Podcast – Listen Now!

MDN Editor Jim Willis had the pleasure of being interviewed on The Crude Life podcast last week. Jason Spiess, an award-winning multimedia journalist, hosts several radio shows in addition to the podcast. The podcast/radio shows focus mainly on the Bakken Shale (where Jason lives and works), but he also branches out to talk with those in other plays. This isn’t Jim’s first time appearing on The Crude Life (see MDN Editor Jim Willis Interviewed on “The Crude Life” Podcast). Last week Jim talked with Jason about the 1-2 punch of the supply shock and demand shock on the marketplace–from the coronavirus to Russia to Saudi Arabia to OPEC. The interview discusses whether pipelines are considered essential or not with states shutting down worksites and offices.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Mar 30, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Dominion Energy will hold virtual annual meeting in 2020; Businesses tied to Gov. Tom Wolf, top Pa. senator close after questions about ‘life-sustaining’ re pandemic; NATIONAL: Natural gas prices could double next year; Natural gas futures steady as oil patch in turmoil; COVID-19 exposes opponents of ‘fracking’ for oil and natural gas; This crushing double blow for the oil sector could force a wave of consolidation, say analysts; Oil market volatility is at an all-time high; Experts see a future for shale: ‘Rocks don’t go bankrupt’; IHS Markit predicts 50% drop in demand for gasoline in U.S., demand for EVs will falter too; Triple threat emerging as E&Ps confront coronavirus, oil price plunge and soon, bank redeterminations; The very real prospect of $5 oil; Oil for $1.75 a barrel?; New letter from Republican senators urges Trump to take action against Saudi Arabia; INTERNATIONAL: Now is a great time to get curious about CO2.
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