More shale gas pipeline systems planned

Gulfport Energy Corp. and Rice Energy Inc., two companies active in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays, have entered into a letter of intent agreement that will have Rice will construct and operate gas gathering pipelines associated with Gulfport’s Utica shale interests.

The pipelines will be built in Belmont County through Smith Township, portions of Goshen, Wayne and Washington townships.

In conjunction with these agreements, Gulfport and MarkWest Energy Partners LP, have also signed a letter of intent in which MarkWest will construct gas gathering facilities to gather Gulfport’s dry gas production from Wayne and Washington Townships in Belmont County and from Sunsbury Township in Monroe County and parts of adjacent townships.

The agreements were discussed on Wednesday when Gulfport updated its midstream activities in the Utica Shale of Eastern Ohio, by announcing 2014 second-quarter production, financial and operational results in a conference call.

The companies said they want to develop synergies within the area of mutual interest (“AMI”) of the previously announced joint agreement between Gulfport and Rice Energy Inc.

The contracts are aimed at ensuring the efficient deliverability of Gulfport’s product to the market. Together, MarkWest’s and Rice’s dry gas systems will have the capacity to provide over 1 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas into multiple interconnections including, Rockies Express Pipeline and Texas Eastern Transmission Co. pipeline.

Also on Wednesday, maritime news and other news outlets reported the first export of condensate from the United States in almost 40 years.

Crude oil exports were outlawed in 1975 because of the Arab oil embargo that sent gas prices skyrocketing.

A tanker ship was loaded with ultra-light oil in Galveston, Texas, for shipment to South Korea where it will reach port in September with more than 400,000 barrels, according to Reuters and The Maritime Executive and other outlets.

Japan is another market expected to try the American-produced light oil.

As the horizontal drilling technology making Utica and Marcellus shale oil and gas more accessible, one major industry supplier, the Houston-based National Oilfield Varco company said the demand for land drilling rigs is “growing and growing quickly.”

National Oilwell Varco, known as NOV (it’s stock sticker symbol), is one of the big three (behind Haliburton and Baker Hughes) in oil and gas heavy drilling equipment, supplies, control systems and down-hole lubricants.

It markets around the world and both offshore and on land. It is showing a growing presence in the Utica Shale play through its newly formed DNOW distribution company.

During NOV’s second-quarter earnings call on Tuesday, Jeremy Thigpen, senior vice president and CFO, said, “… So, I mean, there is a lot of things cooking out there. Land rigs demand is ascending and it’s a small piece now, but it’s growing and growing quickly.”