Hopeful Signs for Turnaround in the Marcellus/Utica Industry

One of our favorite M-U reporters, Paul Gough of the Pittsburgh Business Times, went in search of news about Appalachian shale drilling and its future. He found some rays of light. Gough talked with several of our favorite M-U people–CNX CEO Nick DeIuliis, Deep Well Services CEO Mark Marmo, and Range Resources COO Dennis Degner. Those three (and others) are certainly not Polyanna about what the future holds. There will be bumps. But they do offer hope that on the other side of this pandemic the M-U will actually emerge stronger and better.
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Chesapeake Utilities Turning Chicken Poop into “Renewable” NatGas

We’ll say it right up front: We’re not impressed with so-called “renewable” natural gas (RNG) and all of the machinations companies go through to obtain and deliver it to their customers. RNG is chemically identical to regular old natural gas. It’s called methane (CH4). It burns the same and releases the same amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when it burns. Chesapeake Utilities (nothing to do with Chesapeake Energy), which operates in the Delmarva Peninsula (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia), is the latest utility company to cook up an RNG scheme–to use chicken “droppings” as the source of methane. Whatever.
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Obama Judge Overturns Air Permit for Weymouth, MA Compressor Stn

Activist Obamadroid Judge

The radical environmental activism of the dark Obama years continues to live on via our corrupted court system. After years of delays caused by colluding Big Green groups, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally green-lighted construction of a compressor station in Weymouth, Mass. late last year (see Stop Press! Enbridge to Begin Construction on Weymouth Compressor). And indeed, construction began in December with antis trying to block it (see 2 Dozen Antis Protest at Weymouth Compressor Site – 4 Arrested). Now a federal judge appointed by Lord Barack Hussein Obama has overturned a state permit for the project, a permit issued nearly a year ago.
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NJ AG Lies to U.S. Supreme Court re Impacts of PennEast Ruling

On Tuesday, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to not even consider hearing a case involving PennEast Pipeline. Grewal wants to deny the project its day in court. In the brief Grewal outright lies by saying “PennEast is wrong” in its claim that a lower court decision, if allowed to stand, would result in pipeline projects across the country getting blocked. That is a 100% lie and Grewal knows it.
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Shrill DRBC Tells FERC it has Oversight of PennEast Pipeline Too

Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Executive Director Steve Tambini is such a disappointment. He has totally caved to the hard-left environmental lobby that has its hooks deeply embedded in the DRBC. On June 1 Tambini sent a letter that’s, well, embarrassing. He sent the letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), telling FERC that the DRBC does have a say in whether or not the PennEast Pipeline can get built–even though not one inch of Phase 1 of the project will traverse DRBC’s jurisdiction.
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Radicals Ask FERC to Redo Enviro Review for Atlantic Coast Pipe

A coalition of so-called environmental groups (leftist, very radical organizations) filed an official request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Saturday calling on FERC to conduct a supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) for a project that’s already been studied to death: Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The once $5.5 billion project (now $8 billion because of delays caused by these nefarious groups) will run from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina.
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PTT Responds to “Indefinite Hold” on OH Cracker Decision

PTT Global Chemical, the huge Thailand-based petrochemical company looking to build a world-class ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH, has botched its messaging about when it will make a final investment decision (FID) about moving forward with the project. The latest FID was supposed to be now, by the end of June this year (see PTT CEO Sends Loud & Clear Signal of Positive FID on OH Cracker). Then the company said the pandemic would delay the FID, without giving any kind of time frame. We referred to that as an “indefinite” delay (see PTT Postpones Ohio Cracker Final Investment Decision Indefinitely). PTT disputes that characterization. Did we get it wrong by labeling the FID delay as “indefinite”?
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Braskem America Building New Petchem Export Hub in Charleston, SC

Braskem America, the largest petrochemical company in Latin America (headquartered in Brazil), at one time wanted to build an ethane cracker plant near Parkersburg, WV. They gave up on that plan last July (see Braskem Gives Up on WV Cracker – Parkersburg Site for Sale). Braskem has major petrochemical operations in the U.S. The company has just announced it will build a new petrochemical global export hub in Charleston, S.C. The hub will export polypropylene. Some of the exports will come from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
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Mariner East 2 Starts Up 13 Miles of Pipe in Southeast PA

The mighty Mariner East 2X (ME2X) pipeline project gets closer and closer to 100% completion, despite the efforts of anti-fossil fuelers to hassle and block the project. In a bit of news ignored by mainstream media, another 13-mile stretch of ME2X in southeastern PA between Chester and Delaware counties went online late last week.
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Summit Midstream Merges with Itself; Bob McNally Joins Board

Summit Midstream Partners, formed in 2009 and headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, operates natural gas, crude oil and produced water gathering (pipeline) systems in six unconventional resource basins, including the Marcellus and Utica. The company concentrates its time and money on four “core focus areas” including the Utica, the Williston (i.e. Bakken), the DJ Basin, and the Permian. The company announced yesterday it has completed the buyout of a subsidiary and merged it in. Hidden in the bowels of the press release we discovered Bob McNally, former (ousted) CEO of EQT Corporation, has joined the board of directors at Summit.
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PTT Further Delays Ohio Cracker Decision to 2021

In late April PTT Global Chemical, the huge Thailand-based petrochemical company looking to build a world-class ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH, announced it would not make a final investment decision (FID) about whether to build the Ohio cracker by mid-2020 (see PTT Postpones Ohio Cracker Final Investment Decision Indefinitely). The company would not give a new timeline, which led us to conclude this is an indefinite delay.
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PHMSA Finds TETCO Pipe Defects at Kentucky 2019 Explosion Site

The last nine months haven’t been the best for Enbridge’s Texas Eastern Pipeline Company (TETCO) pipeline in Kentucky. Last August one of the TETCO lines exploded in Lincoln County, Kentucky, killing one and sending six to the hospital (see TETCO Pipe Explodes in Kentucky Killing 1; Southbound M-U Gas Stops). Earlier this month TETCO exploded again, in Fleming County, Kentucky (see Texas Eastern Pipeline Explodes in Kentucky…Again). Fortunately, the second Kentucky explosion didn’t injure anyone.
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OH Nuclear Bailout Corruption: Gas Sacrificed for Nuke Investors

FirstEnergy, now calling itself Energy Harbor, somehow got into the pockets (via campaign donations) of enough Ohio politicians (many of them Republican) to convince them to pass a horrible law last year–House Bill (HB) 6. HB 6 grants the company $1 billion in corporate welfare over seven years in a deal to prop up its two “unprofitable” nuclear power plants. Now that the first $150 million is about to flow, how will Energy Harbor use it? To pay its so-called high operating costs? No. Energy Harbor will funnel the money right into the pockets of big investors. It was all a scam.
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Kinder Morgan Restarting 2 of 3 Shut Down Elba Island LNG Units

Last week MDN reported about a compressor fire at the Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island LNG export facility in Georgia (see Compressor Fire Shuts Down Three Elba Island LNG Export Units). The fire was in the compressor train #2. Just to be safe, Kinder Morgan shut down trains 1-3. The good news is that Kinder is restarting #1 and #3 this week.
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Cuomo Rejects NESE Pipe Again, Williams Walks Away

Is it time to turn the gas off for New York City and let the people there reap the “benefits” of having a dictator, Andrew Cuomo, as their governor? On Friday the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation, thoroughly and completely corrupted by Cuomo, issued yet another rejection for the critically-needed Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project. It was the last straw for Williams, the builder of the project, which has walked away from the project. Gas customers on Long Island, including parts of NYC, now face the real prospect of running out of natural gas (this is not an exaggeration). Andrew Cuomo is the grossest, most corrupt governor in NY’s history.
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