EQT completes $6.6 billion acquisition of Rice Energy

EQT Corp. has completed its acquisition of Rice Energy Inc. following the recent approval of the $6.6 billion deal by EQT and Rice Energy shareholders , reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the merger of the Pennsylvania-based companies, which operate in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, creates the largest independent natural gas producer in the country. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Official says Weirton area should be considered for ethane 'cracker' plant

Upon learning of China Energy's plans to invest $83.7 billion to develop West Virginia's shale gas and chemical industries, Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle Director Patrick Ford said the Chinese firm should look at the Weirton, West Virginia area as a site for an ethane "cracker" plant, reports the Times Leader in Martins Ferry, Ohio. Ford said Weirton was in the running for the Royal Dutch Shell and PTT Global Chemical cracker projects, but did not have enough contiguous acreage to offer the companies at the time. "Now, we are ready," he said, pointing to potential sites that include the former Weirton Steel Corp. property along the Ohio River. For more, read the full story.

Global, West Virginia

Chinese company to invest $83.7 billion in West Virginia shale, chemical industries

West Virginia officials say they have an agreement that calls for China Energy Investment Corp. to invest $83.7 billion in shale gas development and chemical manufacturing in the state over 20 years, according to the Associated Press. The news service says West Virginia Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher and China Energy President Ling Wen signed the memorandum in Beijing as part of a U.S.-China trade mission during President Donald Trump's recent visit there. West Virginia officials say project planning will focus on power generation, chemical manufacturing and underground storage of natural gas liquids and derivatives. For more, read the full story.

Global, West Virginia

Energy Transfer Partners closes sale of stake in Rover Pipeline

Business Wire reports that Energy Transfer Partners has announced that its subsidiaries, Energy Transfer Interstate Holdings and ET Rover Pipeline (“HoldCo”), have closed the previously announced sale of a 49.9% interest in HoldCo to Blackstone Energy Partners. As a result of the closing, HoldCo is now owned 50.1% by Energy Transfer and 49.9% by Blackstone. Upon completion, the 713-mile Rover Pipeline will be able to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to markets across the United States and in Canada. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

South Korean company acquires stake in Eureka Midstream Holdings

Eureka Midstream Holdings LLC, which is focused on the Appalachian oil and natural gas basin, has announced a new ownership structure in which SK Holdings Co. Ltd. of South Korea takes an ownership stake in the company, according to Oil & Gas Financial Journal. The news site says Blue Ridge Mountain Resources Inc., formerly known as Magnum Hunter Resources, has agreed to divest 100% of its equity investment in Eureka Midstream. Blue Ridge had been in an equity partnership in Eureka with Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Inc., which now has entered into a new partnership with SK Holdings. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Federal court upholds approvals for LNG projects

The Associated Press reports that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has upheld U.S. Department of Energy decisions approving three projects to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), including Dominion Energy's export terminal in Cove Point, Maryland that will use natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. The news service says the Sierra Club was seeking to overturn approvals for Dominion’s terminal as well as ones in Louisiana and Texas, claiming they would increase air and water pollution and contribute to global warming. But the three-judge panel ruled in a unanimous opinion that the Energy Department fulfilled its legal obligations in approving the projects under the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws. For more, read the full story.
 

National, Ohio, Oil & Gas Litigation, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

West Virginia lifts suspension of Mountain Valley Pipeline permit

West Virginia environmental regulators have lifted their suspension of a permit for building the Mountain Valley Pipeline that would carry natural gas down the center of West Virginia to Virginia, reports the Associated Press. The news service says West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) had issued the water quality certification permit in March 2017, but vacated its approval in September to re-evaluate the application and determine whether it complied with the federal Clean Water Act. DEP Secretary Austin Caperton said as a result of that action, stronger safeguards for West Virginia waterways are now in place. For more, read the full story.

West Virginia

Range Resources executive says Appalachian basin can expect lower production

A Range Resources executive says natural gas production in the Appalachian basin cannot continue on its current rapid upward trajectory despite improved drilling and well-completion techniques, Platts reports. Range Senior Vice President Alan Farquharson told the energy news site that Appalachian producers will eventually experience “sweet spot exhaustion,” and will have to turn to tier two and tier three wells resulting in lower productivity per well. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

EQT confident Mountain Valley Pipeline approvals are on track

With one federal approval in hand and other state and federal approvals in process, oil and natural gas company EQT Corp. thinks its Mountain Valley Pipeline could start on schedule in early 2018, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. "We don't see any major obstacles," said Jerry Ashcroft, chief operating officer of EQT Midstream Partners during a recent conference call. The Business Times says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has already voted to issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the 303-mile pipeline that would carry natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia, and state environmental permits are pending. For more, read the full story.

National, West Virginia

Natural gas power plant developers urge FERC to reject special rates for coal, nuclear facilities

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports developers of 29 independently owned natural gas-fired power plants in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania are warning federal regulators that the future of competitive electric markets would be destroyed by special pricing for older coal and nuclear power facilities. In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the developers urge the commission to reject the U.S. Department of Energy's recommendation to provide full rate recovery to legacy coal and nuclear power generation units. Additionally, Energy in Depth Ohio has compiled a list of natural gas power plant projects in various stages of development in the three states, noting they represent $21 billion in private-sector investment and have the potential to create 21,000 jobs.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
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