Pennsylvania’s natural gas fee revenue falls again

Pennsylvania’s counties and municipal governments will see another drop in the annual fee revenue they receive from natural gas wells in the Marcellus shale play, reports the Associated Press. The news service says the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission announced that impact fee revenue dropped by almost $15 million to about $173 million in 2016, marking a third straight year of decline. The utility commission said the revenue drop is due to a persistent slump in natural gas prices and the increasing age of many of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale gas wells. For more, read the full story.


Natural gas equipment manufacturer breaks ground for West Virginia plant

Representatives of Pietro Fiorentini and state and local government officials recently broke ground for the company’s new Weirton, West Virginia facility that will manufacture equipment for the natural gas industry, reports the Wheeling Intelligencer/News-Register. The newspaper says the $5.5 million investment marks Italy-based Pietro Fiorentini’s first permanent manufacturing operation in the United States. The company makes pressure regulators and valves, as well as pressure reducing and metering systems for the oil and gas industry, according to the Intelligencer.  For more, read the full story.

West Virginia

Ineos to expand European ‘cracker’ plants that use U.S. shale gas

The BBC reports that Ineos plans to build a new European petrochemical production plant and boost capacity at its ethane “cracker” plants in Scotland and Norway. The news network says the projects include a new propylene production unit, with sites in Belgium among locations being considered. Ineos will also increase the ethylene capacity of its crackers at Grangemouth, Scotland, and Rafnes, Norway that rely on U.S. shale gas being shipped to Europe. For more, read the full story.

Global, National

XcL lands shipper commitment for Appalachia connector system

Looking to capitalize on the expected build-out of interstate pipelines for Appalachian natural gas, XcL Midstream has received a binding anchor shipper commitment from an affiliate of Tug Hill Inc. for its new gathering and transport system, according to Platts. The energy site says Pennsylvania-based XcL hopes its Appalachia connector system, now under construction, will be online in time to access the more than 14 billion cubic feet of natural gas takeaway capacity that is expected to enter service in West Virginia, Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania by the end of 2018. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Oil supply glut may cause retrenchment by drillers

Oil and natural gas shale drillers are contemplating the possibility of retrenchment from previously expected double-digit production increases as a global supply glut pushes oil prices below $45 a barrel, Bloomberg reports. The news service says such a reversal “could accomplish what OPEC and other global producers have failed to do this year: slow down America’s booming shale industry." Analysts and company officials told Bloomberg that a drop in price to $40 a barrel could halt rig growth for smaller drillers in less active U.S. shale basins. For more, read the full story.


West Virginia senators pursue financing for natural gas storage hub

U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia have introduced legislation to secure financing for a natural gas storage hub in their state, reports Oil & Gas Journal. The news site says Senate Bill 1337 would make the proposed Appalachian Storage Hub eligible for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Title XVII loan guarantee program. Manchin said that program would help secure private-sector investment for a natural gas liquids storage hub and “create economic benefits and resilience for the surrounding communities by attracting related investment.” For more, read the full story.

West Virginia

GE, Baker Hughes receive federal approval for merger

General Electric Co. and Baker Hughes Inc. have reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding their merger agreement, according to the Houston Business Journal. The newspaper says the federal agency has agreed to approve the combination of Baker Hughes, which has operations in Ohio's Utica shale play, and GE Oil & Gas contingent on the companies divesting GE’s Water & Process Technologies business. GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes plan to combine their operating assets to form a new $32 billion company. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio

EQT to acquire Rice Energy in $6.7 billion deal

EQT Corp. is acquiring Rice Energy Inc. in a deal that combines two of western Pennsylvania's largest natural gas-drilling firms, reports the Associated Press. The news service says EQT will buy all outstanding shares of Rice common stock for about $6.7 billion and assume $1.5 billion in net debt and preferred equity. AP says the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter this year. For more, read the full story.


Poland receives first shipment of LNG from U.S.

The first tanker with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States recently arrived in Poland as part of a regional effort to cut energy dependence on Russia, reports the Associated Press. The news service says the delivery marked the first shipment of U.S. natural gas to eastern and northern Europe, which are building a network of energy sources and transportation sites that include Poland’s first LNG terminal in Swinoujscie on the Baltic Sea. For more, read the full story.

Global, National

Shell ‘cracker’ tops list of Pennsylvania construction projects

Royal Dutch Shell’s ethane “cracker” plant that will be built in Beaver County, Pennsylvania was the largest construction project announced in the state during 2016, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. Citing a new ranking by, the newspaper says the $6 billion price tag for the Shell cracker “far outweighs” the second project on the list -- FedEx Corp.'s planned $227 million investment in a distribution center in Northampton. For more, read the full story. More stories about the Shell cracker project can be found here.

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