For the second time since its ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing was ruled illegal, the Morgantown City Council voted to table a decision to repeal the ban in order to make a “political statement” against the West Virginia state government.
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Now that the shale-driven natural gas supply renaissance has spread to natural gas liquids, namely ethane, multiple companies have announced ideas for doing something with it. Royal Dutch Shell plc has set its sites on the Marcellus Shale region for the possible construction of a world-class ethane cracker.
Although Norse Energy Corp. ASA has put most of its leasehold in New York up for sale, the company said it hopes to continue doing business in the state — especially through a joint venture (JV) — and is currently in negotiations with several interested parties over its assets.
Although a shale-produced natural gas surplus remains, it is at a lower level than many expected and thus a couple of drivers could send prices back into a period of volatility, according to Jim Duncan, chief analyst and commodity market strategist for ConocoPhillips in Houston.
The proposed merger of Southern Missouri Gas Co. — doing business as Southern Missouri Natural Gas (SMNG) — and Missouri Gas Utility (MGU) has been approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC). The merger would not result in any rate changes or a reduced level of service or reliability, the companies said in their application to the PSC. SMNG serves about 8,000 customers in Greene, Webster, Laclede, Wright, Douglas, Texas, Howell, Stone and Taney counties;. MGU serves about 1,500 customers in Harrison, Daviess, Caldwell, Pettis and Benton counties. The post-merger company would operate as Missouri Gas Utility.
Calgary-based NOVA Chemicals Corp., which has been doing deals to ensure it has enough natural gas liquids (NGL) for its Canadian chemicals facilities, has secured a lease with midstream operator Provident Energy Ltd. for two underground NGL storage caverns now being developed.
Hurricane Irene turned out the lights on millions of East Coast residents and in doing so cut demand for natural gas by about 2.8 Bcf, according to an analysis by Bentek Energy LLC. The firm on Aug. 29 said the storm dropped gas demand by 1.3 Bcf in the Northeast since the previous Saturday (Aug. 27) and another 0.8 Bcf of demand loss was expected. About 0.7 Bcf of demand had been lost in the Southeast. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity Inc. also noted the storm’s gas demand destruction. “…[G]as-fired generation has declined by 2-plus Bcf/d over the past couple days, with the heaviest declines, not surprisingly, occurring in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions,” the firm said. “At the same time, precautionary refinery shutdowns in conjunction with activity-limiting flooding suggest industrial demand is likely to see some degradation in these regions as well. Putting it all together, Irene was clearly a net bearish event for the gas complex and, depending on the length of outages, will likely lead to a cumulative natural gas demand loss of 30-plus Bcf over the next couple [of] weeks.”