MarkWest Hopedale Plant Problem Knocks 2 Bcf/d Offline in OH, WV

A pipeline feeding the MarkWest Hopedale Fractionation Facility in Jewett, Ohio was knocked offline last Sunday, and that outage caused a cascading effect throughout the region that forced three gas processing plants in West Virginia to temporarily scale back (or stop) operations, which further caused a ~2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) decrease in gas flows on two interstate gas transmission pipelines. The good news is that the problem is now resolved.
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Shale Industry Impacts on WV Roads Big Topic at WVONGA Meeting

WV roadway with potholes

The condition of roads in West Virginia, and how/why they are as bad as they are, was a big topic on Day Two of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) spring meeting. A rep from the WV Dept. of Transportation talked with oil and gas folks about WV roads and what can be done. Much of the conversation, judging from reports, revolved around perceptions.
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Pin Oak Buys Protege Energy’s Utica Assets in Ohio, W.V.

Listen up landowners in Washington County, OH: For some of you, your shale lease may now be owned by someone else. Pin Oak Energy Partners, a relatively young Marcellus/Utica driller based in Akron, OH, has purchased all of Protégé Energy’s Utica Shale leases (and other assets) located in Washington and Noble counties in Ohio, and Wood County in West Virginia. The vast majority of the lease transfers are in Washington County.
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WV Gov. Justice’s Top Adviser Bray Cary Leaving EQT Board in July

Bray Cary

Bray Cary, the EQT board member who refused to leave the administration of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice even though many said he had a conflict of interest by staying, is finally leaving the EQT board in July. We first told you about Cary’s exit last week (see EQT Issues List of Board Nominees; Adopts Universal Proxy Card). Cary had a few comments for the media about his departure.
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Saudi Arabia Wants to Buy Piece of the Marcellus via Equinor

Saudi Arabia is sniffing around the Marcellus Shale. Bloomberg reports that super secret talks are happening between Saudi Aramco (largest oil company in the world, owned by the Saudi government) and Equinor, which until recently was called Statoil. Equinor is majority-owned by the government of Norway. The Saudis are considering “buying a stake” in or possibly a joint venture with Equinor. It seems Norway is hesitant to hop into bed with the Saudis. We don’t blame them.
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DTE Midstream Buys Another 30% of WV Gathering System

click for larger version

In 2016, DTE Energy, a BIG utility and midstream company based in Detroit, MI, purchased 100% of M3 Midstream’s Appalachia Gathering System (AGS), located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and 40% of M3’s Stonewall Gas Gathering (SGG), located in West Virginia (see DTE Energy Buys Marcellus/Utica Pipelines for $1.3B). The reason? To feed natgas-fired electric plants the utility wants to build (see DTE’s Reason for Buying M-U Pipes: NatGas-Fired Electric Plants). DTE has just cut a deal to buy another 30% of the Stonewall system in WV.
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MVP Work on Streams/Rivers in WV & VA May Restart Soon

Last week the Mountain Valley Pipeline project, being built by Equitrans Midstream, got a boost from the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP). WVDEP has submitted a revised stream/river crossing permit previously rejected by a federal court. The reworked permit means construction will once again resume in some areas where it’s currently stalled, maybe by mid-year.
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WV Gov. Justice Blames Shale for Bad Roads, Wants Higher Taxes

WV Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is turning out to be a major disappointment. He’s pro-coal (because much of his personal fortune comes from coal), and increasingly anti-shale. The latest evidence is an attack on the shale industry claiming shale is responsible for the poor condition of roadways in the Mountain State.
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WV’s Republican AG Sues Shale Energy Alliance Claiming It’s a PAC

West Virginia’s Republican Attorney General, Mac Warner, for some reason is suing the Shale Energy Alliance (SEA), claiming the group (a non-profit) is withholding a list of donor’s names that should be made publicly available. SEA engaged in “electioneering” according to Warner’s office, by paying for ads supporting certain candidates in the 2018 election. Yet Warner’s office isn’t going after non-profit Big Green groups that are doing the same thing. Why not?
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Woody Thrasher Returns to Challenge WV Gov. Jim Justice in 2020

Woody Thrasher

Perhaps we now know why West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice fired Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher last June (see WV Commerce Secretary Who Brokered $83B China Deal…Fired). Thrasher took over as Commerce Secretary in January 2017, as part of the new Justice Administration. Thrasher is “the guy” most responsible for putting together the massive $83.7 billion deal signed by China in November 2017 to invest in WV shale and petrochemicals (see China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem).
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Antero’s WV Frack Wastewater Plant “Best Project Like it in World”

Clearwater Facility

Antero Resources’ innovative wastewater recycling facility in Doddridge County, WV began operation in November 2017 (see Antero’s $275M WV Wastewater Recycling Facility Ready to Launch). Since that time, the Clearwater Facility has continued to expand. Today it operates at about 70% of its full capacity.
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WV’s First Gas-Powered Elec Plant Begins Construction This Summer

Energy Solutions Consortium (ESC), based in Buffalo, NY, will begin construction on West Virginia’s very first Marcellus gas-fired electric generating plant sometime “this summer.” The exact date has not yet been set, but should be announced soon. However, in a bit of a surprise (for us), the state’s first natgas-fired plant to get built will not be (as we thought) in Brooke County. Instead, it will be in Harrison County.
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Nation’s Biggest NatGas Processing Plant (in WV) Getting Bigger

MarkWest Sherwood Complex

MarkWest Energy, now part of MPLX (Marathon Petroleum) operates the nation’s largest cryogenic gas processing plant operation in the country–in West Virginia. The Sherwood Complex in Doddridge County, WV has the capacity to process up to 2.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natgas, along with fractionation (separating out ethane) of up to 60,000 barrels per day (bpd). This year the facility will expand.
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West Virginia’s Top 10 Gas & Oil Producers, According to WVONGA

According to Anne Blankenship, executive director of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA), “We have only begun to scratch the surface of developing this enormous resource beneath us,” referring to shale oil and gas in the state. As part of a larger interview with WV media, Blankenship shared a list of the 10 biggest natural gas producers in the state, along with the top 10 biggest oil producers in the state. We always dig that kind of information and thought you would too.
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Big Green Kills 1000s of WV Jobs via Atlantic Coast Pipe Lawsuit

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Groups like the Sierra Club are jobs killers. When was the last time you heard about a Big Green group actually creating new jobs–except for paying a few protesters? They NEVER create jobs, they ALWAYS kill jobs via lawsuits. And so it is with lawsuits that have stopped work on the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from West Virginia to North Carolina. Lawsuits launched by Big Green groups against ACP have resulted in thousands of people now out of work. Many of them worked for small companies.
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