Last Tuesday evening a 68-year-old woman was home in her bed in Clarion County, PA when she heard an explosion and a wall collapsed on her. She freed herself from the rubble and drove to a neighbor’s house for assistance. The home, a garage and greenhouse were all destroyed as a result of the explosion and fire. The cause? Natural gas “migrating” in the basement of the home. A local delivery pipeline and a nearby transmission pipeline were both taken out of service while the PA Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) investigation unit takes a look at the cause.
We pride ourselves on keeping close tabs on the market. Yet somehow the construction of a smallish NGL (natural gas liquids) pipeline gathering system in western PA slipped by us. The pipeline is now built and the builder, Stonehenge Energy Resources, is putting the “finishing touches” on the Stonehenge Laurel – Clarion Pipeline System before it goes live. The pipeline will connect to Laurel Mountain Energy’s wells in Clarion County and collect up the NGLs (things like ethane and propane) from those wells and flow it neighboring Butler County where the NGLs will hitch a ride via Energy Transfer’s Revolution Pipeline system to Washington County, PA where they will get cleaned up and separated.
The sharp folks over at the Pittsburgh Business Times have been looking through data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and have compiled a list of 20 drillers who have at least a dozen shale wells in the southwest PA region. And they ranked them from lowest to highest. We’ve grabbed the list below. The interesting thing for MDN is that there is one name in the list not familiar to us, and we’ve been watching this space since 2009. Always fun to learn something new. Here’s the list of southwest PA’s “Top 20” Marcellus drillers…
One of our ace tipsters alerted us that Laurel Mountain Energy, a relatively new E&P (exploration and production) company is firing up a drilling rig to drill one, possibly two new Utica wells in Pennsylvania. You may recall MDN brought you the news one year ago that Laurel Mountain, essentially a reborn Vista Resources with big money backing from TPH Partners (Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.), had formed and set up headquarters in Pittsburgh (see “New” Pittsburgh Company Forms to Target Marcellus/Utica in W PA). Since that time we’d not heard anything about Laurel Mountain Energy–until now. Below we’ve pieced together information from our tipster and from the forthcoming edition of the Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook…
Endeavour International, a driller with operations in both the North Sea (off-shore) and the U.S. (on-shore) issued their second quarter 2014 update yesterday. Does the Endeavour name sound familiar? Three years ago MDN told you about Endeavour’s deal to buy 50,000 Marcellus Shale acres, a pipeline and three working Marcellus wells, all located in McKean and Potter counties in Pennsylvania (see Endeavour International Buys Lease for Additional 50K Marcellus Acres & Local Pipeline in PA from SM Energy). Five months later Endeavour backed out of the deal and 2 1/2 years of litigation ensued, finally settling in April of this year (see Endeavour & SM Energy Settle Lawsuit over PA Marcellus Properties). Endeavour still owns 27,200 gross Marcellus acres in Elk, Cameron, Clarion, Jefferson and Clearfield counties, and in 2Q14 they successfully completed their third frack job…
In August MDN told you the news that Chief Oil & Gas has struck up a deal with IMG Midstream (sort of misnamed, IMG is not a pipeline company) to provide IMG with Marcellus Shale gas to power several small regional, super efficient and low-polluting electric generation plants they plan to build in northeastern Pennsylvania (see Chief Strikes Deal to Provide Marcellus Gas for Electric Plants). We have good news: projects to build those plants are moving forward with all due speed.
We now know that there are four plants planned for Pennsylvania and one for West Virginia. We also know where those plants will be built…
Two new fracking wastewater treatment plants will come online in Pennsylvania on August 1st—one in Clarion County, the other in McKean County. As MDN reported back in November, Altela Inc. will use a distillation process to purify fracking wastewater, a “green” alternative instead of chemically treating the water (see this MDN story).
The new news is that Altela is almost ready to open two new plants using their green technology.
The recently announced joint venture between Atlas Energy and Indian energy giant Reliance Industries (a deal worth $3.5 billion over 10 years) is already bearing fruit. Together they’ve just forked over $192 million to secure leases for more land in Pennsylvania.
Independent oil and gas company Atlas Energy will buy 42,344 acres in the gas-rich Marcellus shale along with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), weeks after the two announced a joint venture.
The companies will buy the acreage in Fayette, Washington, Indiana, Westmoreland, Armstrong and Clarion Counties of Pennsylvania at an average price of $4,532 per acre.
Following Wednesday’s deal, the Atlas-RIL joint venture will control about 343,000 Marcellus Shale acres, of which about 206,000 acres are net to Atlas.*
According to the Atlas Energy website:
Substantially all of the acreage to be acquired is held by production and is either contiguous with the joint venture’s existing acreage or is in concentrated blocks of acreage. [Atlas] believes that it will be able to drill over 450 horizontal wells on this acquired acreage assuming 1,000 foot spacing between lateral wells.**
*Hindustan Times/Reuters (Apr 22) – Atlas, RIL to buy more shale acreage for $4,532 per acre
**Atlas Energy Press Release (Apr 21) – Atlas Energy, Inc. and Reliance Industries Jointly Acquire over 42,000 Additional Acres within Their Core Marcellus Shale Position