UGI Expanding NEPA Gathering System to Flow More Cabot Gas

UGI, a large utility (and pipeline) company located in Pennsylvania, has announced they will expand a northeastern PA pipeline gathering system. UGI built what they call the Auburn Gathering System between 2011 and 2015–46 miles of pipe, two compressors stations and various other pipeline related facilities located in Susquehanna, Wyoming, and Luzerne counties (near Scranton). UGI spent $215 million to build the system, a system that currently flows 470 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas. Much (most?) of that the gas comes from Cabot Oil and Gas in Susquehanna County. The new news is that UGI build two new compressor stations, adding to the existing two, which will increase flows through the system by another 150 MMcf/d–all of the increase coming from Cabot. Here’s the good news that more Cabot gas will soon flow through the Auburn System, connecting with two of the biggest pipeline systems in the country–the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (Kinder Morgan) and the Transco Pipeline (Williams)…
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Banpu/Kalnin Buys 5,289 Ac & 35 Wells in NEPA Marcellus for $105M

Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer, in cooperation with their American-based partner Kalnin Ventures, has just snapped up their sixth piece of the Marcellus Shale–once again in northeast Pennsylvania. Kalnin announced this morning they have cut a deal, using $105 million of Banpu’s money, to buy an unspecified amount of Marcellus acreage and 35 producing shale wells in Wyoming County, PA from Warren Resources. Based on a previous Kalnin story, yesterday’s announcement, and the Warren Resources website, MDN believes the total acreage involved is 5,289 net acres (6,982 gross). Which doesn’t seem like much. But you have to view the purchase in context. That $105 million paid is mostly for the producing 35 wells (roughly $3M per well). Plus, the acreage is no doubt adjacent to previous acreage and wells Kalnin/Banpu bought in Wyoming County back in May (see Thai Company Banpu Invests in Another 34 Marcellus Wells in NEPA). It was just last week we spotted and highlighted a story that quotes Banpu’s CEO Somruedee Chaimongkol as saying her company is considering “putting more money on top of the $500 million” already committed for shale gas purchases in the Marcellus (see Thailand’s Banpu Looking to Invest More Money in NEPA Marcellus). The “considering” period didn’t last long! This sixth investment now puts Banpu’s investment stake in the NEPA Marcellus at $522 million, with no end in sight…
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PA Approves $2.4M Project to Run NatGas Pipes in Wyoming County

Although we consider Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to be a failure, every now and again (rare as hen’s teeth), he swerves into doing something good. Or perhaps we should say he takes credit for doing something good, whether or not he actually had anything to do with it at all. Yesterday Gov. Wolf’s office issued a press release to announce that the state will spend $2.35 million via the Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) to install natural gas lines in Tunkhannock Township (Wyoming County), which will provide clean-burning, locally extracted Marcellus Shale gas to 102 residential homes, 13 businesses and several civic buildings. The project will create something like 200 temporary construction jobs. Kudos to Wolf for not screwing this one up…
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Cabot O&G 3Q17: Marcellus Production 2 Bcf/d, $32M Profit

Cabot Oil & Gas, one of our favorite Marcellus drillers, released its third quarter 2017 update on Friday. Some of the things we learn from the report and the analyst phone call held by Cabot’s top brass: Production grew another 12% during 3Q17. In the Marcellus, Cabot’s natural gas production averaged just over 2 billion cubic feet per day gross (Bcf/d). If you use U.S. Energy Information Administration numbers from the most recent monthly drilling report, Cabot’s 2 Bcf/d equals 8% of all Marcellus production, and 3.3% of all shale gas production in the U.S! That’s truly amazing, considering it all comes from Susquehanna County (with a couple of wells in neighboring Wyoming County), in northeast PA. Profitability returned in 3Q17 with net income of $32 million, versus a net loss of $16.7 million in 3Q16. In the Marcellus, Cabot drilled and completed 13 net wells and placed online into production 15 net wells. They now have 49 “fourth generation” wells online and producing at an average of 4.4 Bcf per 1,000 feet. They also have 12 “fifth generation” wells online. One of the highlights for Cabot during 3Q17 was the announcement that Williams is now building their $3 billion, 198-mile Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline project. Cabot says when the pipeline is done in mid-2018, Cabot will flow 1 Bcf/d of gas to new markets. Cha ching! New markets equal higher prices and more profitability for the company. Below is the full 3Q17 update, followed by remarks from CEO Dan Dinges made during the analyst call…
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Atlantic Sunrise Work in NEPA Beginning “Very Soon,” Locals Hired

Williams representatives were on hand earlier this week in Tunhannock, PA (Wyoming County) to present a briefing to local politicians and community leaders on the status of the now-under construction Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile natural gas pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. Much of the attention has focused on Lancaster County and a small group of antis who oppose the project there. However, Atlantic Sunrise will begin its journey to Lancaster in Susquehanna County, PA–in the northeastern tip of the state. Construction in Susquehanna and adjacent counties is scheduled to begin “very soon,” according to Williams rep Mike Atchie. When it does begin, some of the people working on it will come from the same counties where it’s getting built. Last week the Teamsters held a job fair in Harrisburg (see Harrisburg Job Fair Oct 6-7 Looks to Fill 400 Pipeline Jobs). Of those streaming through, nearly 200 people filled out job applications. Five of the people who showed up have already been hired and are on job sites working–less than a week later! Another 100+ were enrolled in safety training classes and instructional courses. Here’s an update on the advent of Atlantic Sunrise construction in NEPA…
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India’s RIL, Carrizo Sell NEPA Marcellus Assets for $210M

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is the single largest company in India, and one of the largest energy companies in the world. RIL invested $3.5 billion in a Marcellus joint venture with Atlas Energy in 2010, and later battled Chevron to buy Atlas–but Chevron won, so RIL became a jv partner with Chevron. RIL currently has 3 U.S. shale joint ventures: the Chevron jv in the Marcellus (owns 40% of that acreage), a jv with Carrizo Oil & Gas in the northeast PA Marcellus (owns 60% of that acreage), and a jv with Pioneer Natural Resources in the Texas Eagle Ford (owns 45% of that acreage). Back in 2015, RIL signaled they are looking to dump all of their U.S. shale assets (see Indian Giant RIL Looking to Dump its Marcellus Joint Ventures). It took a few years, but earlier today Banpu, Thailand’s largest coal producer, announced that is has purchased all of the RIL/Carrizo jv (from both RIL and Carrizo) in northeastern PA–for $210 million. Does Banpu sound familiar? It should. This is the fifth investment Banpu, via its American subsidiary Kalnin Ventures, has made in the northeast Marcellus…
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PA Gov. Wolf Visits NEPA to Barter for Marcellus Severance Tax

Hoping to pressure the Republican legislature to adopt a budget with a new severance tax, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (Democrat) visited two towns in northeast PA yesterday that are in the heart of Marcellus Shale country. One of those towns is the bucolic village of Tunkhannock, in Wyoming County. MDN editor Jim Willis visited Tunkhannock a few months ago to attend an Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline rally (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Rally: ‘Time to Kick Politicians in the Ass’). During his visit yesterday, Wolf said there has been progress in the budget talks, but things are stalled at the moment. The big point Wolf made, the reason for the visit, is that $1 million of state money promised to Tunkhannock to run gas lines in the area for local utilities to tap into abundant, local Marcellus gas is on hold because of the budget impasse. Wolf was dangling a $1 million carrot, implying that if the local yokels want that money to run new gas lines, they dang well better support his plan to pass the budget–a plan that includes a severance tax on the Marcellus. That’s how we read it. From Tunkhannock, Wolf traveled north to Montrose, in Susquehanna County, where he visited the Endless Mountains Hospital–a hospital largely built with Marcellus money from Cabot Oil & Gas. If Wolf’s severance tax had been in place, that hospital would not have gotten built…
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Williams Breaks Ground on Atlantic Sunrise Pipe, Ahead of Schedule

Earth moving has begun for a compressor station in Columbia County. (Williams Partners)

Well that didn’t take long! Yesterday MDN brought you the fantastic news that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had granted Williams a certificate/go-ahead to begin construction on Atlantic Sunrise, a $3 billion, 198-mile natural gas pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County (see FERC Greenlights Construction of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline). FERC issued their permission to begin construction last Friday. Based on a previous Williams statement, we expected construction to begin tomorrow, on Sept. 20th. However, as soon as Williams had the certificate in their hands, they began construction–LAST FRIDAY. Where? Williams fired up bulldozers at two locations–one in Wyoming County, the other in Columbia County (both in northeast PA), to clear land for two new compressor stations they will build as part of the project. Yesterday both Williams AND Cabot Oil & Gas issued the same press release to announce construction has begun. Interesting that Cabot issued the release too, showing just how important this project is to Cabot’s future (and to their stock price)…
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Chesapeake 2Q17: “Rambo” Marcellus Well Produces Record 61 MMcf/d

Chesapeake Energy reported second quarter 2017 results last week. As is typical, the company hosted a conference call with analysts to discuss those results. However, Chesapeake CEO Doug “the ax” Lawler had some rather exciting news about the Marcellus to report–late breaking news. In recent weeks Chesapeake has brought online an experimental well drilled in Wyoming County, PA (northeastern part of the state) with an initial production of 61 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d). This is a MONSTER Marcellus well! The most productive onshore shale well we know of is EQT’s Utica well in Greene County, PA, with a 72.9 MMcfe/d IP rate, drilled in July 2015 (see EQT’s 1st Utica Well Shatters Record – 72.9 MMcf/d IP Rate!). The Chesapeake McGavin well in Wyoming County, with a 10,500 foot lateral, has the highest IP of any Marcellus well we’ve heard of. How did Chessy do it? They unleashed “32 million pounds of Hell on Earth” (meaning frac sand) to frack the well. Workers called it “the Rambo frac” because they needed to attack the formation like Rambo would a POW camp. The well cost is estimated to be $8.5 million–a tad more expensive that others they’ve drilled in the area, but a bargain with those kinds of flow rates. Below is the information we could glean about the “Rambo” well, along with the full update from Chesapeake for 2Q17…
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UGI Marcellus-fed LNG Plant in NEPA Now Online

In May 2015, MDN brought you news that UGI Energy Services, a subsidiary of northeast PA utility giant UGI Corporation, announced they will spend $60 million to build a new LNG production plant in Wyoming County, PA (see UGI Building LNG Plant in NEPA, Local Marcellus Gas to Feed It). The facility will liquefy locally produced Marcellus Shale gas–with a capacity of up to 120,000 gallons of LNG per day. There will also be a storage facility on site. UGI said the market for LNG is rapidly growing. Not only do trucking fleets, like UPS, use it, but drillers use it to power rigs and industrial plants use it in locations where there are no natural gas pipelines. Some good news to report: The plant is built and now in operation…
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Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Rally: ‘Time to Kick Politicians in the Ass’

Last Thursday some 450-500 supporters, oil and gas industry workers and politicians gathered at the Shadowbrook Golf Course in Wyoming County, PA to express support for Williams’ $3 billion, 198-mile Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project, most of which will get built in northeast Pennsylvania. The event was organized and sponsored by Cabot Oil & Gas, one of the major beneficiaries of the pipeline, and Williams, which will build and operate the pipeline. The overall purpose of the event was to give a metaphorical kick in the rear-end of Gov. Tom Wolf and his Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), which appears to be intentionally dragging its feet with granting stream crossing permits–about the only thing left before the backhoes fire up and start digging. The event, held from noon to 2pm, began with lunch–barbecue pulled pork and chicken–followed by a series of short speeches by political leaders from the region. With people gathered at tables, and some standing, a half dozen speakers stood on a giant flatbed trailer underneath what has to be the biggest American flag MDN editor Jim Willis has ever seen, hoisted and held between two large cranes (see the pic). The upshot of the speeches can best be summarized in a single statement delivered by Alan Hall, Chairman of the neighboring Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners, when he said: “It’s time to kick the politicians in the ass and get this [pipeline] done.” There were some other great one-liners too…
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Atlantic Sunrise Supporters Far Outnumber Antis at PA DEP Hearings

Yesterday saw the first two (of four) public hearings being hosted this week by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to elicit comments on the proposed $3 billion, 198-mile Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, an expansion of Williams’ Transco Pipeline system. One of yesterday’s meetings was held in Lancaster (Lancaster County), and the other in Tunkhannock (Wyoming County). The striking thing about both meetings is that they were not the usual circus freak shows by anti-fossil fuelers we’ve come to expect. Indeed, in both venues, an overwhelming majority of those speaking were there to speak IN FAVOR of the projects. Oh, there were detractors, to be sure. Nonsensical statements made by people like Malinda Clatterbuck, one of the locals in Lancaster who is attempting to turn Lancaster into another North Dakota fiasco. Clatterbuck said “angst over the pipeline has caused premature births, divorces and heart attacks” among people she knows. Complete rubbish. Anyone can say (or do) anything at these hearings. Mark Clatterbuck (Malinda’s husband) also spoke. Mark was a protester in North Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline. He warned (threatened?) DEP representatives of a coming “community uprising” against the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. Even though there was some opposition like the clattering Clatterbucks at last night’s hearings, the big news is that their opposition was drowned out by supporters of the pipeline project. And that’s good news for all Pennsylvanians…
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Wyoming County Landowners Organize re Low Royalties; Arbitration?

Pennsylvania’s landowners, at least many of them, continue to be angry about getting low–or no–royalty checks. That’s not what they signed up for when leasing their property. A group of 200+ landowners packed a meeting last week in Wyoming County, PA to discuss the situation, and what to do next. The meeting was organized by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO). One distinct possibility raised at the meeting: force Chesapeake (and others) into arbitration. NARO’s approach is to push for legislation, specifically PA House Bill (HB) 557 (see PA Rep. Garth Everett Reintroduces Minimum Royalty Bill, 3rd Time). NARO encouraged attendees to share their royalty stories with lawmakers, telling attendees such stories have an impact. Here’s what happened last week in Wyoming County…Continue reading

Thai Company Banpu Invests in Another 34 Marcellus Wells in NEPA

One year ago, Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer, invested $112 million to purchase Range Resources’ Marcellus non-operated JV operations in Bradford County, PA (see Thai Company Buys Out Range Resources’ JV in NEPA for $112M). The “Chaffee Corners Joint Exploration Agreement” gave Banpu an ownership share in 62 producing wells and another 14 wells waiting on completion, and a share in 170+ more drilling locations. Talisman is the operator of the wells and the company that does the drilling (Banpu is just an investor). Banpu liked it so much, they did it again in January of this year (see Thai Company Banpu Makes 2nd Investment in Northeast Marcellus). The January deal gave Banpu a 10.24% stake in 10,000 acres of Marcellus leases, once again in northeastern PA, for $63 million. Chief Oil & Gas is the driller on the acreage in the second deal. Then in March, Banpu signed an agreement to invest $16 million into a venture with Tug Hill Marcellus (see Thai Company Banpu Invests Another $16M in PA Marcellus Wells). It seems that Banpu can’t get enough of the Marcellus in northeastern PA. The company just announced a fourth deal to invest in more NEPA acreage and wells. How many wells? What county is the new deal located in? And which driller is the operator of that acreage? We give you the details you won’t find elsewhere…
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2nd NEPA County Attracting Business with Locally Produced Gas

Click for larger version

MDN has spotted what we believe is a rather ingenious trend in Northeastern Pennsylvania. One of the ongoing “problems” with drilling in gas-rich, rural counties like Susquehanna and Wyoming counties is that the gas gets extracted–and promptly exported out of the region via pipelines. Locals don’t have the option of tapping in to the cheap, abundant, clean-burning source that comes out of the ground beneath them. Susquehanna County has 43,000 residents (11,700 families). The largest “city” in Susquehanna County is the county seat of Montrose, population 1,600 (750 households). It’s just not all that economical to run natural gas pipelines to homes around the county–even though residents live atop an embarrassing riches of natural gas. One company, Leatherstocking Natural Gas, changed all that in early 2014 when they started to run pipelines to residences and businesses around Montrose (see PA Rural Residents Burn Marcellus Gas, Save Big Bucks on Heating). Last year Montrose held a business expo–an attempt to lure businesses to start or relocate in Montrose’s bucolic community. One of the key advantages? Hook up to cheap natural gas. It’s working. And that example is now being copied by neighboring Wyoming County, just to the south of Susquehanna County. The Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and UGI Energy Services are working on a deal to bring locally produced natural gas to residents and businesses in Wyoming’s largest “city”–Tunkhannock (population 1,836). The Chamber is trying to get a $1 million grant from the state to help defray the cost for locals to connect to a new pipeline system that will flow local gas…Continue reading

IMG Midstream: Army of Tiny PA Marcellus-Powered Electric Plants

MDN first told you about IMG Midstream in August 2014 (see 7 Small Marcellus-Powered Electric Plants Coming to NEPA). At the time, IMG was proposing to build seven “tiny” natural gas-fired electric plants–each plant producing on the order of 20-22 megawatts of electricity (enough to power 13,000 homes). IMG added a couple of more to their plans in November 2014 (see Details on IMG’s “Tiny” Marcellus-Powered Electric Plants in NEPA). The beauty of IMG’s tiny natgas electric plants is that they are really small–about the size of a basketball court; they produce almost no air pollution; and they are quiet. It’s a really cool concept. IMG’s very first tiny electric plant, in Susquehanna County, PA, went online in October 2015. The second plant, in Bradford County, PA, went online this past June (see IMG’s Tiny NatGas-Fired Electric Plants Take Off in the Marcellus). The former 9 planned plants ballooned with plans for 25 plants operating within the next five years! We spotted a recent article about IMG’s activities in southwestern PA and that got us to thinking. How are they doing with their plan to build 25 plants? So far, they’ve built 11 and are on the prowl for more locations. We have the latest update on IMG and their startegy of zigging (building small power plants) when everyone else is zagging (building large plants)…
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