Trump’s Energy Speech Hits a Home Run: Regulate Less, Drill More

TrumpLast week presidential candidate Donald Trump gave a speech on energy and energy policies at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismark, North Dakota. By all accounts, Trump hit the ball out of the park. Before a crowd of some 7,000 people, Trump delighted the audience with a pretty simple message: cut back on regulations that choke America’s exploration and production of energy–and frack a lot more. Which is contrary to “crooked Hillary’s” vision of enacting new regulations to the point that fracking will be banned (see A President Hillary Clinton Would Ban Most Fracking). Trump addressed a variety of issues, including the now-canceled Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada. Trump said he would ask TransCanada to refile its application once he’s president–however, he also said America will keep part of the profits from the pipeline. You have to love a businessman like Trump! So practical and smart. Below are a couple of reports about the speech, to give you the highlights, followed by a video of the full, 44-minute speech itself…
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OH Dem House Member Proposes OH Version of PA Impact Fee

Jack Cera

OH Rep. Jack Cera

Every now and again an elected Democrat surprises us. Such is the case with Ohio State Rep. Jack Cera, Democrat from Bellaire (Belmont County), OH. In December of last year, Rep. Jack Cera was peddling the party line that Ohio needs to raise its severance tax, and we took him to task for it (see Don’t Know Jack: Politician Lobbies for High OH Severance Tax). However, Jack has seen the light. Don’t get us wrong, he’d still vote for a high severance tax in a heartbeat (zebras can’t change their stripes). But Jack has wised up, just a bit. Instead of working for a high severance tax that isn’t going to happen any time soon, Jack is now proposing to reallocate the existing severance tax under a different formula. In House Bill 540 (full copy below), Jack wants to funnel more money to those communities–in his district, of course–that are actually affected by shale drilling. Makes sense that communities with trucks lumbering over their roads, and more emergency services being used, and more strain on the local county clerk’s office, should see more of the tax revenue come to them to offset those impacts. In other words, Jack is proposing a system pretty much like what former PA Gov. Tom Corbett (a Republican) set in place in the Keystone State: an impact fee. See–Democrats can learn!…
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Chesapeake, Anadarko Try to Wiggle Out of PA Royalty Lawsuit

Sherman ActLast December Pennsylvania’s felony-indicted Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, brought a lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy, Anadarko and Williams accusing them of, among other things, royalty fraud (see PA Atty General Sues Chesapeake Energy, Williams for Royalty Fraud). Somehow the anti-drilling Kane, herself facing ejection from office over felony charges (namely perjury), is still in office and the case against Chessy, Anadarko et al is progressing. However, there is a new wrinkle to report. Chesapeake and Anadarko last week filed to dismiss Kane’s complaints against them accusing Kane of attempting to litigate federal antitrust claims in state court. As with many legal cases, this one is complicated. We’ll try and break it down into understandable form…
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NJ Enviro Groups Continue Attacks on Safe, Needed PennEast Pipe

straws

Credit: Wikipedia

Grasping at straws is the closest analogy we can think of to describe the latest desperate attempt by environmental groups in New Jersey to stop the PennEast Pipeline from getting built. Lawyers for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association have written to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking FERC to suspend its review of the PennEast Pipeline application. Why? Because, they say, PennEast hasn’t provided data requested by FERC and several state agencies. Which is, of course, a joke. PennEast has provided everything requested. This is yet another smokescreen, a delay tactic by people who irrationally hate all fossil fuels…
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Crestwood Could Have Begun Construction on Seneca Lake Storage

propane storage at Seneca

Click for larger version

As MDN told you last week, Crestwood Equity (formerly Crestwood Midstream) applied for and got a two-year extension on a proposed liquid propane gas (LPG) storage facility along the shoreline of Seneca Lake in a depleted salt cavern (see Stalled Seneca Lake Propane Storage Project Gets FERC Extension). The new news (for us) is that Crestwood could have started construction on the facility even without permission from New York State’s dysfunctional Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). However, Crestwood chose to keep the peace with and not rile the DEC and so instead elected to keep waiting via the FERC extension. We know how filing for an extension worked out for the Constitution Pipeline (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). Yes, Crestwood could/should have begun construction–but didn’t. There’s a new wrinkle in this whole mess. The official NY State Geologist needs to approve the project before the DEC will sign off. The State Geologist, who works not for the DEC but for the state Dept. of Education, left and has not been replaced. The Dept. of Education has no plans to hire a new geologist any time soon. How convenient. Here’s the story of the ongoing delays with the Seneca Lake Storage Project, delayed since 2009 by the NY DEC and now by the NY Dept. of Education…
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Responding to Shameless Supporters of Fired DEP Sec. John Quigley

John Quigley

Fired Sec. DEP John Quigley

PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Quigley was fired for colluding with radical enviro groups (see Smoking Gun: Copy of the Email that Got John Quigley Fired). Watching those radical groups, and their lapdogs in the media close ranks to try and rewrite the facts and the story line has been truly illuminating. Jan Jarrett, former head of PennFuture (one of the groups Quigley was colluding with) came to his defense by attacking a fellow “apostate” Democrat (see PA Radical Enviros Blame Democrat Senator for Quigley Firing). State Rep. Greg Vitali, the ranking Democrat on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, attempted to pin the blame on conventional drillers in the state with the claim they are trying to exempt themselves from being regulated (see the Patriot-News op-ed: Here’s why all gas drillers need to play by the same rules: Greg Vitali). You simply can’t let lies like those from Jarrett and Vitali stand. When they utter such nonsense, we must set the record straight…
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Halliburton Dominates Marcellus Refracks; Utica Shifting to Sand

Halliburton logoEvery now and again it’s fun to delve into some of the technical aspects of drilling a Marcellus (and Utica) Shale well. We pick up on some of those particulars from a survey conducted by Hart Energy. Hart surveyed Marcellus and Utica drillers and found that, unsurprisingly, what has worked continues to work: When a Marcellus driller drills and fracks a well, the driller uses slickwater and up to 11 million pounds of white sand. What IS surprising to learn is that Utica drillers who had favored ceramic beads instead of sand are moving away from using ceramic beads and toward the Marcellus tried-and-true slickwater with sand approach. Here’s a few more interesting tidbits, including the fact that Halliburton is king of refracks in the Marcellus…
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Friendsville, Maryland Votes to Commit Fracking Suicide

FriendsvilleThere are precisely two counties in all of the State of Maryland that contain Marcellus Shale deposits under them–Garrett and Allegany counties, in the far western tip of the state. Maryland is currently under an idiotic temporary ban (see Maryland’s Pusillanimous Gov Allows Frack Moratorium to Become Law). In March we told you that Garrett County commissioners committed fracking suicide by banning fracking in 41,000 acres around a lake in the county (see Garrett County, Maryland Commissioners Commit Fracking Suicide). One day, even if fracking comes to Maryland, a large swatch in Garrett will be off limits. But why stop there? There’s plenty of dolts in Garrett County who want to join the suicide pact. The town of Friendsville, which isn’t so friendly, is about to pull the trigger and commit fracking suicide too…
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Electric Power Plants to Drive U.S. NatGas Demand

EIAThe reason the price of natural gas is so low, as we’ve long pointed out, is simple economics. Supply and demand. We have a steady-to-slightly-increasing demand, but we have a whole boatload of new supply–thanks to the miracle of hydraulic fracturing. How does this supply/demand imbalance get corrected? You either need more demand, or less supply. We can assure you the less-supply thing ain’t happenin’. That leaves more demand. Yes, there is some interest from other countries who want our cheap natural gas. But let’s face it–we need to create more demand right here at home. Will that happen any time soon? Perhaps. We’d long hoped that natural gas vehicles would come along to dramatically increase demand of our domestic gas. So far, that hasn’t happened. NGVs haven’t taken off. But there is one source that can’t seem to get enough natgas: electric power generation. Coal plants are shutting down at an alarming rate, thanks to Obama’s war on coal. Nuclear plants are also shutting down because they can’t compete with cheap natgas. The fantastic trend recently has been the planning and building of new natgas-fired electric plants. Will demand for natgas-fired electricity continue to grow? For a partial answer to that, we turn to the number crunchers at our favorite government agency, the U.S Energy Information Administration…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, May 31, 2016

best of the restThe “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Court approves sale of ANR’s Marcellus assets to Vantage Energy; shale grads become trailblazers; WV DNR provides advice on pipeline construction; natgas is killing nuke plants; $50 oil – here to stay?; GOP senators tell Obama Justice Dept. to drop climate change witch hunt; and more!
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PA Firm Helped Drill ‘Purple Hayes’ – World’s Longest Shale Well

Deep Well ServicesEarlier this month MDN told you about the “Purple Hayes”–a Utica Shale well drilled by Eclipse Resources in Guernsey County, OH that is thought to be the longest shale well every drilled, at 3.5 miles (see Eclipse Res. 1Q16: Drills Longest Shale Well Ever! “Purple Hayes”). The well was drilled in just 18 days and included 124 frac stages–truly astonishing! Not long after Eclipse announced the completion of Purple Hayes, Nine Energy stepped up to say they helped drill the well (see Nine Energy Completed World’s Longest Shale Well – in the Utica). Another company has just stepped up to say they also had a hand in drilling and completing the well–Deep Well Services (DWS). We’ve told you about DWS in the past, a Pennsylvania-based “snubbing” company (see PA “Snubbing” Company DWS Experiences Rapid Expansion). What’s a snubber and what role did it play in completing the Purple Hayes?…
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As the M&A World Turns: Williams Still Wants to Marry ETE

As the World TurnsBoth Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) and Williams yesterday issued statements about their proposed/impending merger that say Form S-4 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been ruled “effective.” As we so often point out, we’re not Wall Street wizards. From what we can determine, an S-4 is a filing between companies that propose to merge. The SEC is (we think) saying that the proposed stock swap between ETE and Williams can move forward, when and if the merger closes. That is, the SEC is cool with the proposed plan to merge. ETE points out there are still roadblocks to such a merger, and Williams continues to press several lawsuits to force ETE into the merger they (ETE) wanted in the first place. Below we have yesterday’s statement about the S-4 along with ETE’s continued “but but but” statement. We also include some interesting and insightful analysis from a writer on the Seeking Alpha investors website…
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Baker Hughes Reorg/Leadership Change; Buying Back $1B in Debt

Baker Hughes logoRecently the proposed merger/buyout of Baker Hughes (BH) by Halliburton crashed and burned (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). So what happens now? It certainly helped that BH got a $3.5 BILLION break-up fee from Halliburton (see The Road Ahead for Baker Hughes – Post Halliburton Deal). They’ve received the money and per their previous statements, BH is now paying off debts with the money. The company is also changing up its leadership structure, combining and eliminating certain operations–all in a move to make the company stronger to weather the severe downturn in the oilfield services market. Below we have a pair of announcements on the post-Halliburton evolution of BH…
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Shell Cutting Another 2,200 Jobs Post-BG Merger, 12,500 Total

cutting jobsIn February Shell completed the merger with/purchase of BG Group–the largest such megamerger since Exxon bought Mobil in the 1990s (see Shell & BG One Company After Today, Shell Ponies Up $14.4B Cash). Shell’s purchase of BG was all about LNG–liquefied natural gas (see LNG Love Story: Shell Makes Play to Buy BG in $69.7B Megamerger). As part of the purchase, Shell was up front about the fact that they would lay off some 10,000 people in the combined company (see Shell to Cut 10,000 Jobs After Buying BG; Exiting Shale Drilling). That process has already begun. And unfortunately, Shell announced yesterday they will cut an extra 2,200 jobs, taking the grand total to nearly 12,500 job cuts from 2015 through the end of 2016…
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Boston “Religious” Leaders Arrested for Blocking Pipeline Work

Left your first loveLast July MDN told you about a group of so-called religious leaders from the Boston area who have taken to worshiping Mother Earth (the creation) instead of worshiping the Creator (see Group of Bostonians Use Religion to Protest 5-Mile Natgas Pipeline). We won’t belabor the point we’ve made so often, that these people are hypocrites in the extreme by protesting “fossil fuels” when their very existence is dependent on fossil fuels. This group of so-called religious leaders are against a 5-mile natural gas pipeline that will deliver more cheap, abundant, clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas to local residents in the Boston area. Their sole objection to the pipeline is that natural gas is a fossil fuel, and they object to burning fossil fuels based on twisted religious grounds (even though they arrive at protest events in vehicles powered by fossil fuels). Fine. Let them spout off and make jerks of themselves. We have a First Amendment that allows them to do just that. But spouting off is not enough for this crew. They’ve taken to breaking the law. A group of these misguided “religious leaders” were arrested yesterday because they blocked a construction site for the pipeline, shutting down construction and costing Spectra Energy, the company building it, a load of money. Perhaps the parishioners at the “churches” (and synagogues and mosques) led by these “leaders” will enjoy seeing their offering money go to fund damages?…
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The Carbon Crazies Turn Out at Exxon Mobil’s Annual Meeting

System ChangeThe climate changer crazies were in full regalia outside of the Dallas, TX facility where Exxon Mobil was holding its annual meeting yesterday morning. Sporting signs that said “Keep It in the Ground” and “System Change not Climate Change” (which was from “an ecosocialist coalition”) and many others, these nutjobs shouted at investors filing in to the facility. Christopher Helman, a reporter from Forbes, was on hand–both inside the meeting and outside to talk with the crazies (give that man hazard pay!). Helman files this report…
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