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Marcellus Drilling News The Last 30 Days February 2017

Each weekday Marcellus Drilling News locates and shares news, along with a healthy sprinkling of commentary, for the Marcellus and Utica Shale. Over 50,000 people read MDN each month, making it an excellent barometer to inform ONG Marketplace readers which topics generated the most interest for those who work in the oil and gas and associated industries. Below is a summary of the top 5 stories that were most-read over the past 30 days on MDN.

#1 Most Read: ET Rover Pipeline Gets Final Approval by FERC
Perhaps the second most important (some might argue first in importance)pipeline to be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Friday, Feb. 3, is Energy Transfer’s Rover Pipeline project. Rover is a $3.7 billion,711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will run from Pennsylvania,West Virginia and eastern Ohio through Ohio into Michigan and eventually into Canada. Energy Transfer says with certificate in hand, they will have Phase 1 of the project done by July of this year, and Phase 2 by November of this year. Does that mean the bulldozers are already moving? Not just yet. The first thing to happen is tree clearing, which must be done by March 31 (you can be sure the chainsaws are already going). Then FERC staff will check on things. There is still the outstanding issue that ET knocked down a historic house without permission. FERC is still sore over that one and withholding permission to begin the bulldozers until they decide on just how expensive the punishment will be. But the good news is that FERC has signed off, and the project will now get done- this year. Which drillers reserved capacity on Rover? Antero Resources, Eclipse Resources, EQT, Gulfport Energy, Rice Energy, Range Resources and Southwestern Energy. Read the full story on the FERC approval of Rover at: https://goo.gl/V2hzls.

#2 Most Read: Marathon Begins to Build New 49-Mile Utica Pipeline in Ohio
In December 2013 MDN first reported a new $250 million pipeline on the way in the Utica Shale from Marathon Petroleum Corporation, the largest refiner in the Utica Shale region, Marathon’s Cornerstone Pipeline. Cornerstone stretches nearly 50 miles from MarkWest’s cryogenic processing plant in Cadiz, OH northwest connecting to M3’s fractionator plant in Scio and M3’s cryogenic processing plant in Leesville along the way as it terminates and connects to Marathon’s refinery in Canton, OH. The pipeline will carry, at various times, crude oil, condensate and natural gasoline. Cornerstone went online in September 2016. What we didn’t know/hadn’t noticed with all the talk and focus on Cornerstone, is that Marathon had also floated another 49-mile condensate pipeline project further west of Cornerstone, called HALI–the Harpster to Lima Pipeline. The purpose of the project is a pipeline “for efficient and safe delivery of condensate from the Utica Shale to refineries where it can be processed into gasoline and diesel in order to meet the needs of producers, mid-streamers, marketers, diluent blenders, and refiners as the Utica Shale continues to develop.” The HALI project is now under construction and expected to go online in July. Although Marathon doesn’t really provide any details for the project on their website, we were able to locate a good bit of information about the project, which we shared in this story: https://goo.gl/nr6DS4.

#3 Most Read: EQT Snaps Up Another 14K ‘Core’ Acres in WV for $130M
EQT, one of the biggest and best drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, issued their fourth quarter and full year 2016 update in February. As is typical when issuing the updates, EQT’s top brass held a conference call with analysts to discuss results and take questions. In reading through a transcript of the call, one of the most interesting passages (for us) was in the prepared comments by incoming EQT CEO (then President) Steve Schlotterbeck. In a brief passage excerpted in this article, Steve provided a quick update on several items: the Mountain Valley Pipeline project, EQT’s Utica drilling program, and the fact that “this week” EQT had purchased an additional 14,000 “core” West Virginia acres in Marion and Monongalia counties for $130 million, which works out to be $9,286 per acre. No details (yet) on who EQT purchased the acreage from. We did note that last year EQT purchased 62,500 acres from Statoil in the “core” WV area, which is an average price of $6,512/acre. To read more about EQT’s WV purchase, read: https://goo.gl/Pufhho.

#4 Most Read: New Driller is Born in PA Marcellus, Buys 8K Acres of Leases
(More Coming)
It’s not often these days we get to witness the birth of a new driller in the Marcellus/Utica, so it’s with great pleasure we announce the birth of S.T.L. Resources. According to an announcement, S.T.L. recently closed on the acquisition of 8,000 acres in the “core of the Marcellus Fairway” in north central PA. Along with the acreage comes “significant in-place infrastructure, current Marcellus production and is prospective for the Marcellus and Utica Shale as well as the Upper Devonian.” The privately-held S.T.L. declined to say exactly where the acreage is located, who they purchased it from and for how much. Why? They continue to try and lease more acreage in the same area and would rather keep competitive information close to the vest. S.T.L. was founded and is run by three veterans in the O&G industry with deep experience in the Marcellus/Utica: William Dressel, Founder and Managing Partner; William Hayward, Chairman & Senior Geological Advisor; and Clinton Coldren, CEO. When you look at a map you find that north central PA includes counties like Potter, Tioga and Lycoming. Which got us to thinking–who might have sold some acreage there? We made a guess, which you can read here: https://goo.gl/SwE09I.

#5 Most Read: Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Gets Final Approval by FERC
Friday, Feb. 3, saw a flurry of activity at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)–the federal agency in charge of evaluating and authorizing interstate pipeline projects. Perhaps the most important news coming out of a list of approvals was FERC’s final blessing on Williams’ $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project–a 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. In addition to the pipeline, two new compressor stations will get built, and when the whole thing is done, an extra 1.7 billion cubic feet per day of northeast PA Marcellus Shale gas (from Cabot Oil & Gas and Seneca Resources) will flow south. On Feb. 3, FERC issued a final certificate for the project, allowing Williams to build it. We can’t wait until Williams goes through and knocks down the magic tree house built by environmental wackos in an attempt to stop the project. That’ll make for some great headlines when it happens. However, Williams isn’t starting up the bulldozers just yet. Before they can begin, Williams still needs permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, permits from PA DEP & the Army Corps is perfunctory. It’s now over. The antis have lost and the good guys have finally scored a victory! Construction will begin on the main portion of the pipeline in mid-2017. For more on the Atlantic Sunrise project approval, read: https://goo.gl/CjqmaA.

 

 

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