Columbia Gas Transmission’s Mountaineer XPress pipeline project reached a key milestone at the end of July as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released a final environmental impact statement that favored it, according to Platts.

The FERC staff decided that although the project would have some adverse and significant impacts in West Virginia, those impacts could be reduced to acceptable levels with various environmental plans, mitigation measures and further staff recommendations. Around 490 acres of core forest areas would be affected by the project.

Other significant impacts cited in the FERC’s EIS include permanent conversion of upland interior forest habitat and effects on large core forest areas, mitigated by the collocation of about 22 percent of the route and additional measures in Columbia’s environmental construction standards. The FERC asked the pipeline company to work with West Virginia regulators to find further ways to reduce forest impacts.

Learn more: Platts > Proposed Mountaineer XPress gas pipeline clears environmental hurdles


Shale Gas Reporter

Energy Transfer Partners plans on selling a 32.44 percent stake in a firm associated with the Rover pipeline to Blackstone funds for about $1.57 billion, according to Reuters.

According to the agreement, Blackstone Energy Partners and Blackstone Capital Partners will purchase a 49.9 percent interest in ET Rover Pipeline LLC, or HoldCo. HoldCo owns a 65 percent interest in Rover Pipeline LLC. The two companies building the pipeline will operate it once it’s in service.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Learn more: Reuters > Energy Transfer to sell stake in Rover pipeline entity to Blackstone


Shale Gas Reporter

Chesapeake Energy Corp. surpassed its quarterly profit estimates but still plans on cutting its rig count and bringing fewer wells into production this year, according to Reuters.

Operating in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, the Utica Shale in Ohio and the Anadarko Basin in northwestern Oklahoma, the company said it would decrease its rig count from 18 rigs to 14 y the end of 2017.

The move is part of Chesapeake’s plan to deploy less capital to rigs next year, so it can spend more on other assets.

Learn more: Reuters > Chesapeake to cut rig count, bring fewer wells to production

Shale Gas Reporter

State environmental judge, Judge Bernard Labuskes Jr, recently approved Sunoco Pipeline LP to resume drilling at 16 of the 55 locations where work on the Mariner East 2 project was halted temporarily in July, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

In an order posted by the Environmental Hearing Board, Sunoco was allowed to restart drilling at 16 of 17 locations on the 350-mile pipeline route where work was incomplete.

Both Chester and Delaware counties have two locations, apiece, where drilling can resume.

Learn more: The Philadelphia Inquirer > Judge allows Sunoco to resume drilling at 16 Mariner East pipeline locations


Shale Gas Reporter

Energy Transfer Partners LP believes the Rover natural gas pipeline spill that polluted an Ohio wetland with diesel fuel and drilling fluid may have been the result of an accident or sabotage, according to Reuters. However, opponents of the project disagree with the theory.

ETP was banned from new horizontal directional drilling in May after it violated its permit when diesel contaminated 2 million gallons of drilling fluid that spilled into the Tuscarawas River wetland. The company believes the diesel concentrations could have been caused by an unreported spill, a leak from equipment operating during the cleanup or a deliberate attempt to sabotage the project by opponents.

Environmental agencies are determining whether ETP’s contractor used diesel as a catalyst to lubricate the drill, making it easier to cut through rock.

Learn more: Markets Insider > ETP says diesel at Ohio Rover natgas pipe spill may have been sabotage


Shale Gas Reporter

Eclipse Resources signed an agreement with Sequel Energy Group to enter a joint venture to drill in the Utica shale, according to The Business Journal.

According to a news release announcing Eclipse’s second quarter earnings, Sequel has committed up to $325 million to fund its portion of two drilling programs, including 34 existing wells and wells developed through the end of 2018.

Eclipse also reported net income of $11.5 million for the three-month period ended June 30, and average daily net production from the company’s wells stood at 287.8 million cubic feet per day.

Learn more: The Business Journal > Eclipse Resources Enters Into $325M Utica Joint Venture

Shale Gas Reporter

Pin Oak Energy Partners, an Akron, Ohio-based oil and gas producer, has acquired 10 wells in eastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania, along with 7,700 acres of leases, 22 miles of pipeline and an office in Hermitage from an undisclosed seller, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times.

The acquisition includes 10 wells in Mercer, Crawford and Venango counties, as well as three other counties in Ohio with a total production of 2.2 million cubic feet per day. It adds to Pin Oak’s 363 wells which produce 5.6 million cubic feet per day.

Pin Oak did not disclose the purchase price or financial terms of the deal.

Learn more: Pittsburgh Business Times > Pin Oak Energy Partners acquires Utica wells, other assets

Shale Gas Reporter

Now that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is whole once again, PennEast officials are requesting expedite approval of its 120-mile pipeline, according to The Morning Call.

Along with more than a dozen major projects and utility mergers, Penn East’s pipeline has been in limbo for months because of a lack of a quorum. However, at the beginning of the month, the U.S. Senate approved Senate aide Neil Chatterjee and Pennsylvania regulator Robert Powelson to the commission.

The PennEast pipeline will provide more direct and efficient service to homes and businesses, transporting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale region in northeast Pennsylvania to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and adjacent states.

Learn more: The Morning Call > PennEast requests expedited approval of its 120-mile pipeline project


Shale Gas Reporter

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection lifted their order halting Rover Pipeline construction on two segments where it found permit violations damaging streams in the northern part of the state, according to Kallanish Energy.

After inspectors found erosion-control failures that left sediment deposits in creeks and streams, the DEP ordered Rover Pipeline LLC to stop construction.

Last week the DEP found that permit violations were corrected. The reopened segments include a 36-mile stretch that extends from the Ohio border through Tyler and Wetzel counties to a compressor station at Sherwood in Doddridge County and a second that runs for six miles through Doddridge County.

Learn more: Kallanish Energy > West Virginia OKs construction on parts of Rover line


Shale Gas Reporter

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.