At the Well Weekly (v.9.13.2019)

Oil + Gas Update - PA Supreme Court Argument on the Rule of Capture; Third Circuit Denies PennEast's Condemnation Authority Over State-Owned Properties; Commonwealth Court Rejects Standing of State Senator.

Oil and natural gas prices increased slightly since our last report alongside a steadily falling rig count. In pipeline news, NJ gave PennEast a mulligan to correct its application for permits, the PUC and DEP responded to sinkholes near Mariner East lines, and NC regulators challenged Transco's Leidy expansion. In Appalachia court news, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral argument from the parties in the Briggs case on the rule of capture vs. trespass by hydraulic fracturing activities; the Third Circuit held that pipeline companies certified under the NGA can't condemn state-owned property in New Jersey; and the Commonwealth Court rejected an attempt by a state senator to ask the PUC to stop Mariner East construction activities for lack of standing. In other news, another federal court remanded a removed a climate-change case in Colorado back to state court.

Here's your week in review...

Rig Counts, Spot Prices + Oil Prices

  • Rigs: National (-886); Marcellus (-50); Utica/Point Pleasant (-12)

  • Brent Crude: +$60.82/bbl

  • West Texas Intermediate: +$54.85/bbl

  • NYMEX: October 2019 @ ­+$2.552/MMBtu

  • Spot Prices: Henry Hub (+$2.59/MMBtu); Dominion South (+$2.00/MMBtu); Tenn. Zone 4 (+$1.99/MMBtu)

("+" or "-" or blank denotes increase, decrease, or flat. )

WOPL - Appalachia

In our new section, WOPL ("waiting on pipelines"), we provide the latest news on the status of various pipeline projects in Appalachia:

  • Adelphia Project (Greater Philadelphia Region): Nothing new to report.

  • Atlantic Coast (W. Va. to Va. and NC): .

  • Atlantic Sunrise (Northeastern PA to SE Pennsylvania): .

  • Constitution (Northeastern PA to NY): NY Governor vows to fight the Constitution Pipeline project any way he can after FERC concluded that the state waived its right to deny the project a section 401 permit.

  • Empire Pipeline (NY to PA): Nothing new to report.

  • Leidy South - Benton Loop Expansion (PA): The North Carolina Utilities Commission is protesting Transcontinental Gas Pipeline’s proposed Leidy South expansion project, contending that Transco has not shown that existing shippers, including those in North Carolina, would not be harmed, nor that proposed rates follow FERC policy and precedent. .

  • Mariner East (Western PA to Eastern PA): A swimming sinkhole developed along the construction route of the Mariner East pipeline in Delaware County. The DEP said heavy rain caused the hole and that there was no contamination or environmental impact.

  • Mountaineer XPress (WV): Nothing new to report.

  • Mountain Valley Pipeline (Northern WV to Southern Va. and NC): More protests along MVP's route.

  • NEXUS (Ohio to Michigan): The D.C. Circuit remanded FERC's approval of the project for additional market demand analysis (see below for more details).

  • NFG FM100 Project (NC PA to Transco): Nothing new to report.

  • Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NJ/NY): Nothing new to report.

  • Northern Access (NW PA to Western NY): Nothing new to report.

  • PennEast (PA to Central Jersey): The NJ DEP asked PennEast to rectify omissions in its applications for a series of wetlands and flood hazard permits. The Third Circuit concluded that pipeline companies can't condemn state-owned property under the Natural Gas Act (see below for more details).

  • Regional Energy Access (NE PA to PA/NJ): Nothing new to report.