Rice Energy Inc. said a fire at its Papa Bear well pad in Washington County, PA, over the holiday weekend damaged six completion pumps. The equipment fire was reported at 4 p.m. EST on Sunday and was extinguished by 5:34 p.m., Rice said. There were no injuries. The fire damaged six of 20 pumps at the pad in Somerset Township, but no other equipment was damaged. Rice said equipment failure was to blame, adding that there was no explosion and stressing that it was not a well control incident. The company is currently working with regulators to determine the exact cause. Rice also met with area residents to address the incident.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. plans to drop down about $1.4 billion of assets to its midstream master limited partnership, MPLX LP, as soon as possible. The company is aiming to drop most of those assets in 2017 if it can get the regulatory approval it needs. About $600 million of MPC earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization is expected to be dropped by the end of this year. The other $800 million -- most of which is attributed to fuels distribution -- is subject to tax clearance from the Internal Revenue Service. If that is delayed, then $200 million would still be dropped to MPLX by the end of 1Q2018. MPC first announced the dropdown plan in October, but said it would occur over the next three years. The plan is being accelerated and is aimed at enhancing both shareholder and MPC value. The company offered few specifics about what assets it would drop. MPLX owns MarkWest Energy Partners LP.
An Ohio court has ordered state regulators and American Water Management Services LLC (AWMS) to submit a plan that would allow for a judgment order to reopen an injection well in Trumbull County that has been shuttered since September 2014. The Franklin County Court of Common Pleas ruled that while the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) had authority to order AWMS to shut down the well, it erred in not allowing the company to reopen it under a plan submitted to do so. The court noted that the company followed state guidelines. ODNR ordered the well shut down after a 1.7 magnitude earthquake and a 2.1 magnitude earthquake were recorded near the injection well, which accepts oilfield waste. A shallower injection well at the site operated by the company was allowed to reopen weeks after ODNR issued its order. The company has argued that it has not violated its permit and said the agency's move has unnecessarily cost it money.