FERC approves construction of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

Three years after it was proposed, Williams Partners’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline has received federal approval to begin construction, reports LancasterOnline. The news site in Lancaster, Pennsylvania says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued its “notice to proceed” for the 197-mile, $3 billion natural gas project. The pipeline will carry gas from wells in the Marcellus shale region in northeast Pennsylvania to markets up and down the East Coast, as well as for transport overseas. For more, read the full story.

National, Pennsylvania

Hedge fund presses EQT to split company after Rice Energy acquisition closes

Reuters reports that hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. LP has urged Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp. to split into two parts after the company closes its $6.7 billion acquisition of Rice Energy Inc. and to speed up efforts to boost EQT’s stock price. The news service says the move by D.E. Shaw “marks a rare activist stance taken by the $40 billion hedge fund and pits it next to activist fund Jana Partners, which is urging EQT to scrap the Rice deal.” EQT and Rice have large oil and natural gas holdings in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Ridgetop Capital raises $200 million to acquire oil and gas rights

Ridgetop Capital Partners, a private institutional investment firm focused on the oil and natural gas sector in the Appalachia basin, has closed on another round of fundraising, reports Marcellus Drilling News. The news site says Ridgetop, based in the Pittsburgh area, has raised $200 million to buy natural gas mineral rights in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. Click here to read more.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Patterson-UTI acquires directional driller MS Energy

Nasdaq.com reports that Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Multi-Shot, LLC, which does business as MS Energy Services, for approximately 8.8 million shares of Patterson-UTI common stock and $75 million in cash. Based in Conroe, Texas, MS Energy provides directional oil and natural gas drilling services and has operations in U.S. shale plays, including the Marcellus and Utica region. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

FirstEnergy lowers sale price for natural gas-fueled power plants

Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. has dropped the sale price for five natural gas-fueled power plants and a hydroelectric facility in an effort to close a “drawn-out deal” with a New York-based private equity firm, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The newspaper says First Energy had announced in January 2017 that it would sell four natural gas power plants in Allegheny, Greene, Luzerne and Franklin counties in Pennsylvania and a hydroelectric plant in Virginia to LS Power Equity Partners III LP for $925 million. But FirstEnergy has now amended its agreement with LS Power, lowering the overall sale price to $825 million and adding its interest in another natural gas plant in Virginia, according to the Post-Gazette. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania

Construction begins on natural gas-fired power plant in Pennsylvania

Construction has started on an $863 million natural gas-fueled power plant in Lawrence County in western Pennsylvania, reports the Youngstown Business Journal. The newspaper says the 1,000-megawatt Hickory Run Power Station, located off Route 551 in North Beaver Township, is being developed by Tyr Energy, a U.S. subsidiary of Japanese energy company Itochu, and partners Kansai Electrical Power Co. and Siemens Group. For more, read the full story.


EIA: Natural gas processing capacity soars in Appalachia

A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) finds natural gas processing capacity in the Appalachian region has grown dramatically over the past several years as energy companies try to keep pace with increasing natural gas production. EIA estimates processing capacity in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia grew from 1.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) to 10.0 Bcf/d between 2010 and 2016. The additional processing capacity has supported growth in natural gas production in those states, increasing from 2.0 Bcf/d in January 2010 to 22.9 Bcf/d in May 2017. For more, read the full report.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Tetco pipeline expansions to benefit Marcellus, Utica shale plays

Expansions on the Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) natural gas pipeline, which runs through Ohio, will increase flows on that line by nearly 1 billion cubic feet per day by the end of 2017, according to Argus Media. The news service says the pipeline's Gulf Markets Expansion Phase 2, Access South, Adair Southwest and Lebanon Extension projects will add more takeaway capacity for natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, and “should alleviate what has become a bottleneck at the Berne, Ohio compressor station.” Argus says Tetco “opened the door to higher southward flows” of natural gas with the completion of its Gulf Markets expansion in August. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Shell, environmentalists agree on air monitoring for ethane ‘cracker’ plant

Shell Chemical Appalachia and two environmental groups have reached an agreement on air quality monitoring for the company's ethane “cracker” plant now under construction in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. Citing a news release from the Clean Air Council and Environmental Integrity Project, the newspaper says Shell has agreed to build a fence-line air monitoring program that will complement another system at the plant site, and conduct more tests for flares from the facility. For more, read the full story.


Report: Natural gas boom has hurt coal, nuclear power

The U.S. Department of Energy’s long-awaited report on electricity markets and the power grid says the rise of natural gas has hurt the coal industry, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the report finds the natural gas boom — seen in southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia with the Marcellus and Utica shale plays — has been a big factor in the closing of coal-fired power plants and lower demand for coal and nuclear power. “The development of abundant, domestic natural gas made possible by the shale revolution also has produced significant value for consumers and the economy overall,” the report said. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
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