A subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc has signed a second, six-month extension that gives it more time to decide whether to purchase property in western Pennsylvania that could ultimately be used for a “world scale” ethane cracker in the heart of the Marcellus Shale region.
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Natural gas producers in Pennsylvania have paid most of the $202.7 million owed under the drilling impact fee enacted under Act 13, the state’s omnibus Marcellus Shale law.
BP plc completed a landmark transaction with Russian oil giant OAO Rosneft, which gives the London-based major a 20% stake in what now is the world’s largest publicly traded oil company. BP is using some of the proceeds to buy up to $8 billion of its shares over the next 12-18 months. BP agreed to sell its half-stake in Russian explorer TNK-BP to Rosneft for $17.1 billion in a cash-and-stock transaction, which gave it a 12.84% stake in the company (see NGI, Oct. 29, 2012). BP already held 1.25%, and it used $4.8 billion of the cash it received to buy another 5.66% stake. Rosneft bought the other half of TNK-BP from Alpha Group Consortium. In total, Rosneft’s transactions are worth an estimated $55 billion.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) said Monday that natural gas producers have paid most of about $206 million owed under the drilling impact fee enacted under Act 13, surging past the $180 million the state thought it would take in this year from its new omnibus Marcellus Shale law.
Williams Olefins LLC has awarded CB&I a $300 million contract for expansion of ethylene production capacity in Geismer, LA (see Shale Daily, Sept. 21, 2011). The award includes the license and basic engineering for the ethylene technology, the supply of the cracking furnaces and engineering, procurement, and construction of the expansion. Plant capacity is expected to be increased from 1.35 to 1.95 billion pounds per year. “The petrochemicals market is re-emerging in the U.S. due to the abundance of lower-cost ethane feedstock, directly attributable to increased shale gas production,” said CB&I CEO Philip K. Asherman. Ethylene, mainly produced via steam cracking, is the primary building block for the chemical industry and is used to produce a variety of products including plastics, fibers and rubbers.
Abundant natural gas, including shale, is playing a significant role in continuing the three-year slide in electric power prices and the downbeat outlook for independent power producers, say analysts.
In the environmental debates raging around natural gas and oil drilling in North America, one thing until now has not been in dispute: it takes huge amounts of water to open up reservoir fractures deep underground. However, new technologies developed in Canada, which have been tested in the United States, may offer the energy industry a waterless way forward.
Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. and a unit of India’s Gail (India) Ltd. have closed on a joint venture (JV) that gives Gail 20% of Carrizo’s interest in about 20,200 net acres in the condensate zone of the Eagle Ford Shale for $95 million.
Noble Energy Inc. on Thursday added the Marcellus Shale to its core U.S. holdings after securing a $3.4 billion deal with CONSOL Energy Inc. that gives it half of a 663,350 net-acre leasehold in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, including existing wells and midstream infrastructure.