Mountain Valley Pipe Gets FERC Approval to Begin WV Construction

MVP Map – click for larger version

Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP)–a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA, has just received permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin tree clearing and construction of access roads and construction yards in five West Virginia counties–Wetzel, Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis and Braxton counties. The work will be allowed only where MVP has already obtained leases from landowners. This is the first actual construction to be authorized for the project, a milestone! MVP was approved last October (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects). However, five national anti-fossil fuel groups filed a lawsuit two weeks ago to try and stop the project (see 5 Radical Green Groups Sue to Stop Mountain Valley Pipeline). Let ’em try! Here’s the great news that even as you read this, it’s quite likely the chainsaws are up and running…
Continue reading

Former GreenHunter Expanding in West Virginia with 160 Jobs

Fountain Quail Energy Services, which is the new name for the company that used to be called GreenHunter Resources, is planning to expand in Lewis County, WV. A WV lawmaker says he’s talked Fountain Quail into expanding in an industrial park in Jane Lew, bringing 160 jobs to the site. In December 2015 MDN reported that Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (see Sad Day: Magnum Hunter Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy). MHR has a variety of subsidiary companies. One of those companies, GreenHunter Resources (water and wastewater), also succumbed and filed for bankruptcy–in March 2016 (see Another Sad Day: GreenHunter Resources Files for Bankruptcy). Restructuring was completed for GreenHunter in May 2016 and the company emerged from bankruptcy under the ownership of a private equity firm. A few months later, GreenHunter shed its former name and merged with/took on a new name: Fountain Quail. The CEO of Fountain Quail is the former Executive Vice President and COO of GreenHunter, Kirk Trosclair. The COO of Fountain Quail also previously worked for GreenHunter. Here’s the update that Fountain Quail is once again on the road to expansion, putting the past behind it…
Continue reading

Lewis County, WV: Pipelines, Drilling Elsewhere Boost Local Economy

Lewis County, WV is not the first county you think of when it comes to the Marcellus/Utica Shale. While Lewis shares a border with the highly drilled Doddridge County, there have been very few shale wells drilled in Lewis. Perhaps we should say there’s been very few permits to drill shale wells in Lewis–we’re not 100% sure if any wells have actually been drilled. But no matter. Lewis has, in the past, benefited greatly from the shale industry. A number of companies are located in Lewis that serve the shale industry, providing jobs for Lewis residents. And pipelines are scheduled to cut through the county–both the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline. Those two projects alone have the potential to employ hundreds of Lewis County residents. A recent report from the WV Bureau of Business & Economic Research says some 2,000 Lewis County residents (16% of the working population) are employed by natural resources and mining. That number will grow 2% a year for the next five years. In other words, counties like Lewis don’t have to have shale wells drilled to see enormous economic benefits from the shale industry…
Continue reading

Southwestern Sells More Assets from 2014 Chesapeake Deal

southwestern energyAs we report today, Antero Resources is buying 55,000 acres of leases in the Marcellus (and Utica) Shale from Southwestern Energy (see Antero Takes Southwestern to Cleaners in Deal for 55K Marc. Acres). The acreage that Southwestern is selling comes from the massive $5.375 billion deal Southwestern made with Chesapeake in 2014 (see Chesapeake Using $1B from Southwestern Deal to Buy Back Stock). The interesting thing is that selling land is not the only recent deal Southwestern has brokered to dump assets from the Chesapeake deal. Southwestern cut a deal (in May) to sell 135 vertical (conventional) and 37 horizontal (shale) wells in West Virginia to HG Energy. Earlier this week Southwestern got approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to sell pipeline contracts to HG Energy too. Which begs the question: How many more Chesapeake deal assets is Southwestern going to sell off?…
Continue reading

US Well Services Lays Off Nearly 50 in Jane Lew, WV

cutting jobsU.S. Well Services, headquartered in Houston, TX but with a sizable office in Jane Lew, WV, is an oilfield services company providing hydraulic fracturing services in unconventional oil and natural gas basins–including the Marcellus and Utica Shale. According to their website, U.S. Well Services operates both diesel and electric fracking fleets. On Wednesday, with no warning, they laid off most of their workers in the Jane Lew office–just under 50 people, meaning the company was not required to give advance notice under the WARN Act. Here’s what happened on Wednesday, what U.S. Well Services calls an “unfortunate reduction”…
Continue reading

WV Roustabout Company Sells Itself to Another WV Company

M&ABasin Energy, which acts as a holding company to invest in (and run) other companies located in the Marcellus/Utica, is based in Bridgeport (Harrison County), WV. Basin’s first acquisition was ProActive Services, an operator of natural gas pipeline compressor stations and other related oilfield services. On Sept. 1, Basin closed a deal on their second subsidiary–the Jane Lew (Lewis County), WV-based Starett’s Well Service, a specialty roustabout services firm, focused on well site and midstream natural gas infrastructure in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions…
Continue reading

Columbia Pipeline Does it Right Way: $10K Gift to WV Fire Academy

Finally a case of what appears to us as not pipeline payola (buying support for a new pipeline project before it’s built or approved), but in fact a case of true community support for community support’s sake. Being a good neighbor. Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG), which operates a many hundreds of miles of pipelines in the northeast already, made a $10,000 donation to the West Virginia University Fire Service Extension/State Fire Training Academy in Weston, WV on Monday. Weston is located in Lewis County, WV, sort of in the center of the state. No new pipeline projects anywhere close. Congratulations to CPG for a selfless donation–perhaps the first true case we’ve seen!…
Continue reading

M3’s New Stonewall Gathering System Extends Existing AGS in WV

All the way back in 2011 MDN told you about M3 Midstream’s Appalachia Gathering System (AGS), a local gathering pipeline system to serve dry gas production areas in northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania (see New Marcellus Shale Pipeline Coming to Southwestern PA, Northern WV). AGS was slated to be approximately 130 miles of large diameter gathering pipeline spanning Washington and Greene counties (in PA), and Monongalia, Marion and Harrison counties (in WV). Since that time we haven’t heard much–the project has flown mostly under the radar. It has, however, popped back up in the news in WV, so we thought it would be a good time to give you an update on the project…
Continue reading

The Twisted Logic of an Anti-Driller: Blame Natgas for Everything

If you try to enter the mind of a devoted anti-driller to understand their viewpoint and how they think, you risk going insane. We caution against it.

Here’s an example of how “logic” works for anti-drillers. There’s a big chemical spill that affects the drinking water for 300,000 West Virginians–caused by the coal mining industry. You no doubt remember the headlines from a month or so ago. Since the coal industry caused the problem, we need new legislation that targets the shale drilling industry. Wait, what??? Yeah, that’s how logic works for an anti-driller…
Continue reading

Halliburton Shuts Down WV Cement Plant, Moves to OH

In a move that’s sure to anger West Virginians, but make Ohioans happy, Halliburton announced Tuesday they’re shutting down their cement plant operations in Weston (Lewis County), WV and moving it 150 miles away to a new service center they’ve opened in Zanesville (Muskingum County), OH. No word on how many jobs in Weston are affected…
Continue reading