1,000 More Miles of Pipeline Planned to Help Move Marcellus and Utica Shale Gas

Several regions plan to add significant amounts of pipeline to move the large amount of natural gas and natural gas liquids coming from the Marcellus and Utica Shales.

As it stands right now, there is not enough pipeline to move the massive amount of gas being retrieved in the two shale plays. And, even though the costs are high, regulations are tight and opposition exists, plans are moving forward for 1,000 new miles of pipeline infrastructure.

Click here to read Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Association’s breakdown on where the new pipelines are being proposed.

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West Virginia’s Utica Shale Producing the Largest Well – Ever

Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. has announced their well in Tyler County, West Virginia is the largest in the Utica Shale to date – and one of the biggest in the United States.

Gary Evans, CEO of Magnum Resources, had predicted the well’s success back in June of this year. The well was put into production in September and produced 46.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Is this a sign of things to come for the Utica? Click here to read the entire Columbus Business First article.

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Is Another Pennsylvania Cracker Plant Almost a Done Deal?

Shell Chemicals is expected to build an ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. The $2.5 billion refinery would employ 400 people and up to 10,000 construction workers.

The plant would convert ethane from Marcellus Shale into ethylene, necessary for the petrochemical industry, and then into polyethylene (plastics).

Because of the quantity of natural gas found in the Marcellus and Utica Shales, other cracker plants have been proposed. Two additional proposed plants include the Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise near Parkersburg, West Virginia and Appalachian Resins Inc.’s recently announced plans for a $1 billion refinery in Ohio on a 50-acre site in Salem Township, Ohio.

Click here to read the entire State Journal article.

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Marcellus Shale Surpasses Louisiana as the Most Active Place for Trading U.S. Natural Gas

For more than 25 years, the Henry Hub area in southern Louisiana has been the most active place for trading the nation’s natural gas. However, the Marcellus Shale has now surpassed the Henry Hub.

Henry Hub trading was down 70 percent this year, while the Marcellus pumps one-fifth of the the nation’s gas.

Just a decade ago, the Gulf of Mexico pumped about 20 percent of all U.S. natural gas, much of which flowed through the Henry Hub. Now it produces just 4 percent of the nation’s total. Five years ago, the Marcellus produced barely 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day (“Bcfd”). Now it pumps 16 Bcfd, a fifth of America’s gas.

Click here to read the entire Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association’s article.


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Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia Can Support Several Large Cracker Plants

At the recent Utica Summit II, Cleveland State University economist Iryna Lendel stated that the three states’ shale is producing large amounts of liquid ethane — enough to support a multitude of processing plants.

To date, at least four of the cracker plants (turning ethane into ethylene, a key ingredient in making plastic) have been proposed in Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania.

Depending on the size, cracker plants can cost between $1 and $7 billion and can take several years worth of construction.

Click here to read the entire story from Marcellus.com.




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First Long-Term Comprehensive Field Study of Natural Gas Underway

West Virginia University, along with other researchers such as The Ohio State University and industrial partners have engaged with the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) in a five-year, $11 million agreement to create and manage the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory.

The DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory and Northeast Natural Energy (“NNE”), a private oil and natural gas company, will develop research techniques and objectives headquartered at NNE’s field site at Morgantown Industrial Park.

The group of geoscientists, hydrologists, engineers, ecologists, social scientists and public health professionals will address baseline measurements, subsurface development and environmental monitoring with unconventional resource development.

According to the Independent Herald, “The Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory will allow the team to address critical gaps of knowledge of the characterization, basic subsurface science, and completion and stimulation strategies that enable more efficient resource recovery from fewer wells with reduced environmental impact. The primary objectives of the project include providing a long-term research site with an existing well and documented production and environment baseline from two previously completed wells.”

Click here to read the entire article.

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Latest Aboveground Storage Tank Act Developments: Interpretive Rule Adopted and Comments Filed on Draft Emergency Rule

On October 21, 2014, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) filed with the West Virginia Secretary of State its finalized Interpretive Rule outlining mechanisms for compliance with the imminent deadlines under the Aboveground Storage Tank Act (the “AST Act”), W. Va. Code §§ 22-30-1
et seq., for (1) spill prevention response planning and (2) initial inspection and certification. See 47 C.S.R. 62. The effective date of the Interpretive Rule is November 20, 2014. A copy of the final Interpretive Rule is available for download.

The final Interpretive Rule is very similar to the proposed version of the rule filed on September 9, 2014 for initial public review and comment. The rule’s basic structure and approach are unchanged: the final rule retains the proposed three-tiered approach to categorization of ASTs based on their potential harm to health and the environment, and establishes options for compliance with certain requirements of the AST Act based on these levels. Level 1 ASTs are those ASTs determined by WVDEP to have the highest risk of harm to public health or the environment due to their size, location or contents, and therefore these ASTs are subject to the more rigorous requirements of the AST Act for (1) the submittal of Spill Prevention Response (“SPR”) Plans by December 3, 2014 and (2) the inspection and certification of the tanks by January 1, 2015. Because Level 2 ASTs and Level 3 ASTs have been determined to have a reduced potential to harm public health or the environment, the Interpretive Rule establishes alternative options for compliance with these requirements for owners of these tanks.

The agency did make certain changes to the final Interpretive Rule that are worth noting, however.

Click here to read the entire article.


Although the AST Act, enacted this spring, is comprehensive in its scope, many of the key details of the new regulatory program for ASTs were left to the rulemaking process. This webinar walks viewers through the current status of the rulemaking process and what to expect in the coming months.

Click here to watch our webinar.

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Pennsylvania Contributes to a Large Portion of the Nation’s Gas Supply

Not only does Pennsylvania produce 20 percent of the national gas supply, but the Commonwealth also saw record production for the first six months of 2014 – an increase of 14 percent from the last six months of 2013.

According to David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, unconventional wells produced one-quarter of Pennsylvania’s gas supply in 2008. Now, they’re producing 20 percent of the national supply.

Most of the gas produced came from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.

Click here to read the Pittsburgh Business Times article.


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Monroe County, Ohio Lands Ethane Cracker Plant

Appalachian Resins, Inc. was slated to build the billion-dollar ethane cracker plant in West Virginia. Now, the company crossed the Ohio River and has leased land in Salem Township for the highly sought after plant that benefits the oil and gas industry.

Once completed, 18,000 barrels of ethane would be processed per day.

Click here for the entire Columbus Business First article.

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Dominion Cove Point Gets Federal Approval for LNG Terminal

The $3.8 billion Cove Point terminal in Maryland will be the nearest export location for the Marcellus Shale.

This authorization will allow Dominion to transport up to 860,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas from existing pipeline interconnects of the Cove Point pipeline to the Cove Point terminal and export up to 5.75 million metric tons of LNG per year.  By June 2017, Dominion expects to begin services at the liquefaction facilities and the related Virginia facilities in March 2017.

Click here to read the entire article.

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