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The Link-Up: 12/20

Welcome back to The Link-Up, your weekly rundown of our favorite stories from the past seven days in the oil and gas industry!


Rising Forecasts For 2019 U.S. Natural Gas Production Keep Prices Low

Forbes


We got a little bit into the whole oil price situation last week, and here's some deep analysis on the natural gas side of things, where the outlook isn't nearly as bleak.

Holding the mighty Marcellus and Utica shale plays, Appalachia this month is producing an astounding 30.4 Bcf/d, more than a 15% increase since last December. And the region will supply the largest incremental growth of all fields in the country, surging to a total output of 45 Bcf/d within five years.

Despite that production, we apparently have the lowest amount of gas going into winter in 15 years, and that's helped stabilize prices. There's a ton more to it than that, and Mr. Clemente (Jude Clemente, that's a cool name) gets into the impacts of increased investment in light of the downturn in oil prices, the sources of demand going forward both domestically and internationally, and even drops conclusion bombs like...

Simply put, the "dash to gas" is increasingly making the price of gas irrelevant: it has to be used.

It's a solid, if a bit dense, read...but that's why I started with it.


Marcellus Shale Update: Pipelines, Courts and Reports

JD Supra


Here's a nice little blog post, highlighting some recent news - as well as the tedious nature of getting a pipeline done - including...

  • The Mariner East 2 pipeline in eastern Pennsylvania, which had been hung up in bureaucracy and the courts for quite some time, is just about ready to go, although with some smaller and older pipe in some spots, which rankles the author. Regardless, ME2 should be an important development in terms of spreading our sweet, sweet gas both domestically and internationally.

  • Penn East pipeline also scored a court victory, and will be allowed to use eminent domain to go where it has to go, primarily in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with eventual service to New York City possible.

  • On the "bad news" side of the ledger, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina) had its previously-granted permits to go through a pair of national forests vacated by the U.S. District Courth, Fourth Circuit. The court, essentially, said that the U.S. Forest Service wasn't doing its job properly when it issued the permits.

  • Pacific Gas & Electric was busted by California's Public Utilities Commission for falsifying safety and maintenance records. Our blogger tries to turn it into some sort of existential threat by tying in the recent wildfires out west, but...maybe pump the brakes on that one, given that there's literally no road between points A and B. I'd call it clickbait, except it's not mentioned in the headline, so who knows.



11th Circuit Issues Pipeline Ruling Against Landowners

Law dot com


The post above missed this pipeline win, another eminent domain situation, in Georgia. Of course, the pipeline in question has already been operational for over a year (the one above is a stock image of something else and just used for visual interest, I promise), so we're mostly talking about compensation here.


Alaska oil and gas lease sale nets $1.5 million

The Hill


We mentioned the existence of this sale last week or the week before, and now...it has taken place. ConocoPhillips, Emerald House, and Nordaq Energy were the three bidding companies, and the giants are hoping that there is, indeed, oil in them thar hills.


Led by Frac, The Oilfield Services Space Could Get Interesting in 2019

Journal of Petroleum Technology


Here's someone else who isn't worried about prices in the long term, pointing out that even with the recent dip, oil prices posted their highest yearly average since 2014, while also buying in on projections that it will average $60/bbl next year. If that comes to pass, oilfield services and equipment could grow by 9 percent. So that's good.



No. 2 gas producing PA moves to curb air pollution

WJAC


Like Colorado (we'll get to them later), Pennsylvania is a bit unique as a big oil and gas state that isn't also red politically. So, much like the tug-of-war we see out west (and the relative lack thereof we see in places like Texas and Ohio), PA is prone to do things like dial up tougher regulations even as they're being rolled back at the federal level. What happens next? Stay tuned I guess, although both sides tend to overreact as far as the impact of stuff like this goes.


New proposal would push oil, gas operations 1,000 feet from school campuses

The Denver Channel


The "new" rule would essentially just be a slight modification of the existing rule, which already requires 1,000 feet from school buildings. This just expands it to include outdoor facilities as well. Recently-defeated Prop 112, of course, was asking 2,500 feet.


Colorado Rising to take another shot at an oil and gas ballot initiative

The Journal


Oh COME ON.


Have a great Christmas everyone!


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