Posts Authored by Aaron M. Bruggeman

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

Shell’s ethane ‘cracker’ project strains construction workforce

The expected need for as many as 6,000 construction workers for Royal Dutch Shell’s ethane “cracker” plant project in Beaver County, Pennsylvania is “likely to put a strain on the [construction] industry, which is feverishly working to train new apprentices to build up the region’s workforce,” reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper also notes that firms “putting up stakes around the cracker” will need construction workers as will other projects throughout the region in a variety of industries. “What we foresee in 2018 into 2019 and going forward is billions of dollars of construction taking place in this region,” said Jeff Nobers, executive director of the Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania, “so the challenge for us is to recruit people.” For more, read the full story.

Pennsylvania

New Texas company wants to invest in Utica, Marcellus shale plays

Pathfinder Resources LLC, a new company created by private equity firm District 5 Investments LP in Irving, Texas, “has its eye on investments in the natural gas industry relating to the Marcellus and Utica shale [plays],” reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says Pathfinder is looking to make investments between $5 million and $35 million in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, starting with mineral and royalty interests in the shale plays. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Bidell ready to manufacture natural gas compression systems in Weirton

Bidell Gas Compression is ready to begin production of the company’s natural gas compressor systems at its new $3 million facility in Weirton, West Virginia, reports the Weirton Daily Times. The newspaper says Bidell renovated a 100,000-square-foot building formerly used as a machine shop by ArcelorMittal Steel and its predecessor steel companies. Bidell Vice President Dan Martin also announced the company has secured its first orders for the plant — three compressor systems for MarkWest Energy Partners estimated at $1 million each, according to the Daily Times. For more, read the full story.

West Virginia

Ohio law may derail Youngstown oil and gas ballot issue

A charter amendment aimed at banning hydraulic fracturing in Youngstown, Ohio could be kept off the city’s November 7 ballot by the Mahoning County Board of Elections because of a conflict with state law, reports the Youngstown Vindicator. The newspaper says Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill in January 2017 that included an amendment giving more discretion to county elections boards to invalidate local charter proposals that conflict with state law or the state constitution. The ballot proposal in Youngstown, rejected six previous times by voters, would require the city to ban hydraulic fracturing and any activity related to it, according to the Vindicator, even though state law gives jurisdiction over oil and natural gas operations to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. For more, read the full story.

Ohio

EQT looks at possible split of company in 2018

EQT Corp.’s board of directors will work on a plan in 2018 that could include splitting or selling a part of the Pittsburgh-based company “already poised to become the country’s biggest independently owned natural gas company with the expected acquisition of Rice Energy later this year,” reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the plan could include splitting EQT as well as divesting a portion of EQT Midstream Partners and EQT General Partners, two master limited partnerships started by EQT that are publicly traded. For more, read the full story.

Pennsylvania

Consol Energy plans to add third drilling rig in 2018

Consol Energy Inc. plans to add another drilling rig in 2018, boosting the company’s projections for natural gas production next year by 30 billion cubic feet, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says Consol has been operating two rigs, one in western Pennsylvania and the other in Monroe County, Ohio. The company did not disclose where the third rig will be deployed in those shale plays. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania

Mountaineer Xpress project receives favorable report from FERC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a favorable final Environmental Impact Statement for Columbia Gas Transmission’s Mountaineer XPress pipeline project, reports Gas Compression magazine. The news site says Columbia Gas is seeking FERC authorization to construct and operate a natural gas transmission pipeline and ancillary facilities in West Virginia. The project includes 165 miles of new pipelines and three compressor stations. For more, read the full story.

West Virginia

Production in Ohio helps fuel rise in Gulfport’s natural gas output

Gulfport Energy Corp.'s natural gas production surged in the second quarter of 2017 due to increased drilling in Ohio and development of recently purchased assets in Oklahoma, reports The Oklahoman. The Oklahoma City newspaper says Gulfport’s second-quarter gas production jumped 56% compared to the same period in 2016 and was 22% higher than in the first quarter of 2017. "In the Utica Shale [in Ohio], the Gulfport team continues to make great strides in the field, marking the second quarter as the most active from a tie-in line perspective the company has experienced since entering the play in 2011," CEO Michael G. Moore said in a statement For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio

Landowners file suit to block Mountain Valley Pipeline project

Some landowners in West Virginia and Virginia are trying to head off approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Mountain Valley Pipeline by launching a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, reports the Gazette-Mail in Charleston, West Virginia. The newspaper says the plaintiffs in Berkley v. Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC seek to block FERC from issuing a certificate approving the pipeline project and giving its developers the ability to use eminent domain to condemn property for its construction. The complaint argues that such an approval by FERC would violate the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states that private property can not be taken “for public use, without just compensation.”

Oil & Gas Litigation, West Virginia
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