Arsenal Heads into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy for Second Time

On Feb. 4, 2019, the parent holding company for Marcellus driller Arsenal Resources, Arsenal Energy Holdings LLC, applied for what has to be the fastest “prepackaged bankruptcy” we’ve ever heard of. They sailed through the whole process in 10 days flat (see Arsenal Energy Exits Bankruptcy in 10 Days Flat). Less than 10 months later and the company is heading back into bankruptcy. However, this time it is Arsenal Resources, the driller itself (not the holding company) that’s heading into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Arsenal drills on acreage in northern West Virginia.
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Dirt Being Moved at PTT Ohio Ethane Cracker Site – Still no FID

Credit: WTOV (click for larger version)

It’s that time of year again, when we hear rumors that PTT Global Chemical will make a final investment decision (FID) about their $7.5 billion ethane cracker project planned for Dilles Bottom in Belmont County, OH. The decision is always “coming soon.” Hopefully. Maybe. Any day now. But maybe not until next year. Can you tell we’ve grown weary of the rumors? This time it might (underscore MIGHT) be different. This time it’s not rumor but some action that caught our interest. Steubenville, Ohio TV station WTOV has video of dirt being pushed around at the site. Which we take to be a good omen.
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UGI Completes 4th Expansion of NEPA Marcellus Gathering System

UGI Energy Services, the pipeline subsidiary of UGI Corporation (utility company) has just completed the fourth expansion of their northeastern PA pipeline gathering system called the Auburn Gathering System. In May 2018 MDN told you about UGI’s plans to add another two compressor stations and more gathering pipelines to benefit Cabot Oil & Gas (see UGI Expanding NEPA Gathering System to Flow More Cabot Gas).
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WVONGA Fall Meeting Wraps Up with Talks on Pot, Petchem

Last week the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) held its two-day 2019 Fall Meeting in Morgantown. We previously reported talk about WV’s new co-tenancy laws dominated the first day (see WVONGA Meeting: New Co-Tenancy Law Working, Still a Few Kinks). One of the key topics for the second day was the state’s medical cannabis program and how those in the oil and gas industry deal with it next year when a new state law goes into effect. The other key topic of the day was downstream (petrochemical) plants.
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NatGas in Storage Triples from April 1 to October 31

On April 1 of this year the U.S. exited natural gas consumption season (“winter”) with a relatively low value of 1,155 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in storage. Fast forward to October 31 and the end of the injection season, when gas is stored away for the winter months, and that number had soared more than 3X to 3,724 Bcf. Underground storage of natgas as of October 31 was 37 Bcf higher than the previous five-year end-of-October average. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, our favorite government agency, calls this year’s injection season ramp-up pace a “near-record.”
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MDN Back Online – One of “Those” Kind of Weeks

Thank you for your patience while we navigated through web server hell this week. The MDN website was finally reactivated yesterday on its new server (computer). But then, as soon as that happened, MDN’s email account went offline due to some technical explanation we don’t fully understand, having to do with domain name servers and such. So if you sent MDN (or editor Jim Willis) an email yesterday afternoon/evening, he may not have received it. Feel free to re-send any messages you sent yesterday.

Where do things stand now?…
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MDN Off Today – Veteran’s Day

MDN will not publish today, Veteran’s Day. We thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice.

A quick update on the website: There may still be a few bumps as we are in the process of migrating the entire site to a new hosting plan that gives us a faster server with more space. Please bear with us. We will let you know when that process is complete. Also, MDN editor Jim Willis will attend the MidStream PA 2019 event in State College on Tuesday. We’ll bring you news from the event as the week progresses.

Exxon Widens Search to Build SWPA Cracker Plant to Other Counties

Pittsburgh Business Times ace reporter Paul Gough has done it again–breaking big news related to ExxonMobil and their very active search to locate a site in the Pittsburgh region to build a gigantic ethane cracker plant. This time Paul’s sources are telling him Exxon has widened their search. A few weeks ago we told you Exxon was looking for potential locations in Beaver County, PA, near where Shell is building their $8 billion cracker plant (see Exxon Mobil Sniffing Around SWPA to Build Second Cracker Plant). Paul learned the search has widened to at least two other southwest PA counties.
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Making the Case for Crackers, Other Petchem Plants in SWPA

Speaking of cracker plants and the exciting news that ExxonMobil is very actively searching for a location in the Marcellus/Utica region to build one (see today’s lead story), the fact that Exxon is looking is driving leftist environmental kooks bonkers. They hate the Shell cracker going up in Beaver County, and they want to ensure there are no other such plants built anywhere in the region–or at least in Pennsylvania. The eco-leftists have bullied Pittsburgh’s Mayor Bill Peduto to join their cause, who recently stated in a speech, “I oppose any additional petrochemical companies coming to western Pennsylvania.” The president of the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council has responded to Peduto’s inane comments, exposing him for the dunce he is.
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WVONGA Meeting: New Co-Tenancy Law Working, Still a Few Kinks

West Virginia’s new co-tenancy law is working, according to speakers at the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) 2019 Fall Meeting held yesterday and today. Several speakers from major WV drillers, including Antero Resources and CNX Resources, sang the praises of the new co-tenancy law. WVONGA executive director Anne Blankenship also sang its praises, but said there’s still a few things to work out before the new law is “fully understood.”
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Energy Transfer 3Q – Mariner East Shines, Revolution Back Soon

Energy Transfer (ET), the big pipeline company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, issued its third quarter 2019 update yesterday. ET is the builder of the Rover Pipeline in the Utica Shale, the Mariner East trio of pipelines in the PA Marcellus, and the Revolution gathering system in southwestern PA. With Rover built and fully operational, our interest was in locating information/updates on the ME and Revolution projects. We hit paydirt in yesterday’s update.
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91% WV Gas Customers Get Lower Bills This Winter Thx to Marcellus

We often spot stories in the press about the price of natural gas for end-user customers going down. A utility here and a utility there will announce a rate reduction. Most of the time we don’t bring you those kinds of stories because they’re pretty common. However, we spotted a story that’s different. The Public Service Commission in West Virginia says natural gas utility companies that serve 91% of the gas customers in the state have filed requests to LOWER the rates they charge for their gas–thanks to abundant supplies of Marcellus Shale gas being extracted in the state.
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NY AG Case Against Exxon “Knowing” About Global Warming Collapsing

New York’s Attorney General has viciously gone after ExxonMobil in state court hoping to prove the company knew, for years, that burning its oil and gas would lead to so-called man-made global warming and eventually kill the planet. And, says the vicious AG, Exxon covered it up from investors because someday their stock will be worthless when everyone finds out, and they don’t want investors to know about it just yet. The AG is trying to prove the company has engaged in securities fraud.
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The Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Oil & Gas Industry

Even though the oil and gas industry is currently going through another “down” cycle, make no mistake–some of the best and highest paying jobs in the country are still to be found in the fossil fuel industry. We have a list of the top 10 highest paying jobs below. We’ll state right up front they all require an advanced degree–bachelor’s degree or higher. But man oh man, do they pay! In 2018 some 1.5 million people were employed directly in the oil and gas industry, and another 1.2 million are employed in the closely-related power generation industry.
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