New Infrastructure Group Makes Gives Shale Industry Helping Hand

The TriState Infrastructure Council (TSIC) was founded in Pittsburgh in late 2016 to “serve a broad-based business community during the critical next few years by attracting and deploying investments in infrastructure projects in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.” With infrastructure upgrades, the region will be able to realize economic growth resulting from petrochemical manufacturing and related industries in the Appalachian basin. One of the driving forces behind TSIC is a name you are likely familiar with: Kathryn Klaber. Katie Klaber founded and until a few years ago led the Marcellus Shale Coalition. She opted to focus on her consulting practice following the MSC and is now managing the TSIC. The TSIC organization was founded with a group of A-list companies located in the region. At this week’s Northeast U.S. Petrochemical Construction conference in Pittsburgh, Katie unveiled an exciting new project to map infrastructure in an 82-county region throughout the Ohio River Valley. The aim is to identify missing/key/critical infrastructure components and then work to set up public-private partnerships to get those components built. The TSIC is looking at “electric transmission and distribution, pipelines, natural gas and natural gas liquid storage capacity, reliable locks and dams, rail networks, roads and bridges, water and sewer, building sites, barge loading/unloading facilities, broadband, fiber optics, and air service, among others.” And yes, the Marcellus/Utica shale is the linchpin that holds it all together–makes it all possible–and the raison d’être for the TSIC. Here’s more on the new infrastructure database, the TSIC, and how they are giving the shale industry a big assist…
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Lying Letter from Anti Mayors in NJ Seeks to Stop PennEast Pipe

A total of 31 anti-drilling, leftist (almost all Democrat) mayors, council members and county freeholders (not freeloaders, but freeholders) from a dozen New Jersey townships begged and pleaded with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to kill the PennEast Pipeline project. The antis sent a letter to DEP Commissioner Robert Martin claiming PennEast will have “unacceptable” impacts in their towns if it gets built. We wonder, will they find it “unacceptable” to have their gas and electric turned off, because of lack of natural gas coming in via pipeline? It is yet another list of, frankly, nobodies who are desperately attempting to grab a headline from a sympathetic anti reporter (which they did,, to try and create the impression that masses of people are against the project. Fortunately, it will fail…
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WV Leads 11-State Group Supporting EPA’s Move to Delay Obama Rule

Kudos to West Virginia and its Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey, for leading the charge (along with 10 other states) to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of the Obama methane rule. Earlier this month the Trump EPA filed paperwork to stop implementation of the egregious and illegal rule (see Beginning of the End: EPA Issues 90-Day Stay for Methane Rule). The federal government cannot regulate oil and gas, that’s left up to the states under the Constitution. However, the Obamadroids found a way around that legal limitation by using lawsuits and naked power grabs. The Trump EPA is reversing it. Of course Big Green groups with deep pockets immediately sued to keep the rule going (see Liberal DC Court Asks EPA to Respond to Lawsuit by Radical Enviros). The EPA is defending its right to undo a rule it did, and Morrisey and the other AGs filed a motion to intervene in the case, to help out the Trump EPA…
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Trump White House Caves, Taps Establishment Insider for #2 Job @ EPA

We suppose it had to happen eventually. The Trump White House is backing a Washington insider, a swamp dweller, to become Deputy Administrator (#2 person) at the Environmental Protection Agency. Jeff Holmstead, a former top EPA official under President George W. Bush, is as inside Washington as inside gets. He’s a Washington lobbyist and a lawyer (already two strikes against him). His appointment is not yet official, but the rumor mill is working overtime. We find it disappointing that Scott Pruitt, the consummate outsider, is promoting Holmstead, the consummate insider, for the position…
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The Fourth Industrial Revolution is Powered by Oil, Not Renewables

Did you know that it is technologically impossible to create solar panels without using fossil fuels? The processing that takes place for the silicon at the heart of solar technology needs to be refined at temperatures of 1,500-2,000 degrees Celsius. The highest temps you can get from a solar-powered device is 1,380 C. That’s just one of the reasons why the fourth industrial revolution, which is happening now, will be powered by fossil fuels–not by renewables…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jun 20, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: NY Supreme Court justice to AG Schneiderman: “You are wasting my time”; Rover pipeline fine will be used for work at Ashland County Courthouse; Bailout of 2 Ohio nuclear plants stalls in Statehouse; Shell project manager says cracker plant ‘will change forever Pittsburgh’; Trillium CNG opens CNG station in York, Pa.; Need for natural gas supply growing in New England; Haynesville slowdown highlights bearish natural gas outlook; Exxon’s shale drilling unit XTO shifting 1,600 jobs to Houston; Are Russia and the Saudis planning a natural gas cartel?; U.S. drillers are hammering OPEC’s plans; and more!
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Eclipse Breaks Record Again – New Longest Shale Well in World!

Eclipse can’t help it–they keep setting new world records for the longest lateral (horizontal) wells drilled–in the entire world! It began last year when Eclipse drilled what they call their first “super lateral” Utica well in Guernsey County, OH–the Purple Hayes, at 18,500 feet long (see Eclipse Res. 1Q16: Drills Longest Shale Well Ever! “Purple Hayes”). Since that time, the Purple Hayes well has consistently been the #1 oil producing well in the state. Earlier this year Eclipse drilled a new longest-ever well, also in Guernsey County, the Great Scott 3H well at 19,300 feet long (see Great Scott! Eclipse Drills New Longest Lateral in World – in Utica). And now, Eclipse has drilled yet another record-breaker in Guernsey County. Last Friday the company reported it has drilled the Outlaw C 11H, a Utica well that is an incredible 19,500 feet long horizontally (total measured depth of 27,750 feet). That’s 3.7 miles long! Here’s the big news with more of the details for this newest record-breaker…
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Range Resources Drills Longest Marcellus Well Ever in Washington Co.

Somerset Township, Washington, PA

While it’s not as long as the longest Utica well in the world drilled by Eclipse Resources (19,500 feet long, see today’s lead story), Range Resources is tooting its own horn about drilling the longest Marcellus well–a huge 15,000 feet long horizontally. Range is the company that drilled the very first horizontal Marcellus Shale well, back in 2004. In those early days, the average length of the horizontal portion of the well (called the lateral) was around 2,500 feet long (half a mile). Today, the average lateral length is closing in on 3 miles! Recently Range was drilling a series of Marcellus wells in Somerset Township (Washington County), PA. When the lateral length hit 15,000, Range knew it was a new company record. As they began checking, they found it was also a Marcellus record–in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. The Range wells in Somerset are the (so far) longest Marcellus Shale wells ever drilled…
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Rover Pipe Settles with OH Historical Group, Pays Additional $1.5M

Rover Pipeline (i.e. Energy Transfer) has settled an ongoing dispute with the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office (a PRIVATE organization) to pay them $1.5 million in what MDN views as shakedown money. Which is far less than the “asking” price of $1.5 million PER YEAR over the next five years ($7.5 million total). The payment comes after Rover paid the same organization $2.3 million for knocking down a dilapidated old house that was under consideration to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to the $2.3 million paid for This Old House, the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office said they had worked out a deal with Rover to pay the organization $1.5 million as compensation for something they haven’t even done yet but presumably will do–disturbing other “historic sites” as the pipeline cuts across the state. Apparently the history buffs felt the agreement was for $1.5 million per year over the next five years. Rover said (in so many words), “in your dreams.” No way. So the matter was referred to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for dispute resolution. Before FERC could render a decision, the history buffs settled with Rover for a one-time additional payment of $1.5 million (a $1.5M bird in the hand is worth more than a $7.5M bird in the bush). Here’s the background for this shakedown, and a copy of the signed agreement stipulating a one-time payment of $1.5 million to the PRIVATE Ohio State Historic Preservation Office…
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Virginia Marcellus Power Plant Now Online, Boosts Local NatGas Price

Marcellus Shale gas is now powering a Panda Power Funds electric generation plant supplying electricity for 778,000 homes in the Washington, DC metro area. Panda announced that its 778-megawatt “Stonewall” generating station in Loudoun County, Virginia is now online producing electricity for Northern Virginia/District of Columbia customers. MDN first had its eye on this project in November 2014 when we brought you the news that South Jersey Gas had won the contract to provide Marcellus Shale gas to the plant when built (see NJ Utility to Provide Marcellus Gas to Virginia Power Plant). South Jersey Gas is using the Dominion Transmission pipeline to get the gas there. Dominion upgraded their system last year in order to flow more gas to the project (see FERC OKs 6 Dominion Compressor Station Upgrades in PA, MD, VA). Incredibly, the Panda Stonewall project is estimated to contribute a mind-blowing $7.1 billion to the Virginia economy during its recent construction and the first 10 years of operation. No wonder communities love these natgas-fired electric plant projects! Since Stonewall going online, the spot price of natural gas traded at the nearby Dominion South trading hub has gone up 50% from prices of gas traded there a year earlier…
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Italian Co. Breaks Ground on $5.5M Natgas Valve Manuf Plant in WV

Artist’s rendering of what Pietro Fiorentini will look like – click for larger version

In January, MDN told you about Italian company Pietro Fiorentini and their plans to build a factory in Weirton, WV (see Italian Co. Building $9M Natgas Valve Manufacturing Plant in WV). Since 2013, the company has warehoused and sold pressure regulators and valves for the natural gas industry out of rented office space in Wheeling, WV. Pietro Fiorentini actually manufactures the equipment they sell and for the past 4 1/2 years has held an option to purchase land in the Weirton Three Springs Business Park. In January the company committed to building a factory on the Weirton site to manufacture the equipment they sell. Eventually the manufacturing plant will employ 150 people. A week and a half ago, Pietro Fiorentini broke ground at the site, on a new $5.5 million, 100,000 square foot building. They expect the plant to be up and running next spring…
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NEPA Moxie Freedom Power Plant on Track for May 2018 Launch

Artist’s rendering for Moxie Freedom project – click for larger version

In June 2014 MDN broke the news that Moxie Energy was in the hunt to begin a third new Marcellus gas-powered electric plant project in Pennsylvania, near Wilkes-Barre (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). Indeed, our suspicions were borne out. In November 2015, Moxie selected Gemma Power to build the plant, and construction began a month later (see Moxie Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Breaks Ground in NEPA). The 850-megawatt plant will use local Marcellus Shale gas to power it. Last September, Moxie contracted with EthosEnergy to run and maintain the plant (see Moxie Chooses EthosEnergy to Run NEPA NatGas Electric Plant). And since then, we haven’t heard anything. What’s the status of the plant? We spotted an update in a Wilkes-Barre newspaper from Caithness Energy (project builder) that says the project is on track to be “fully commercial next May, generating over 1,000 megawatts of electricity.” That’s interesting. Somewhere along the way the plant increased in size from 850 to 1,000+ megawatts. The update also states 23 of the 24 permanent positions are already hired and currently in training. Here’s the update…
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More Clarity on Status of Mountaineer NGL Storage Facility in OH

In May, MDN conveyed the news that it appears Mountaineer NGL Storage, which wants to build a new underground NGL storage facility in Monroe County, Ohio, near Clarington, along the Ohio River (see New Company Announces Open Season for NGL Storage in Ohio Utica), had, according to the story we read, begun construction (see Mountaineer NGL Storage Facility in OH Under Construction). Based on a later article, we stated that our older story was in error (see Mountaineer NGL Storage Facility in OH Not (Yet) Under Construction). In October 2016, Mountaineer drilled and completed a test well in the salt formation. But in April of this year, Mountaineer said construction had not yet begun due to problems with red tape (see Mountaineer NGL Storage in Monroe County, OH Caught in Red Tape). An interview with a company official said nobody has (as yet) signed on the dotted line to use the facility, and that is the holdup now. Which has been, more or less, confirmed at the recent Appalachian Storage Hub conference, held last week in Canonsburg, PA. After reading an account of Mountaineer’s comments at the event, we now believe we have a fuller, even more accurate picture. The situation is this: Yes, they need customers to sign up to use the facility (minimum of 1 million barrels of storage would get it going). In addition, Mountaineer still needs to build a 3.25 million barrel brine pond, used to pump out the stored NGLs. Mountaineer is still waiting for a clearance from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources to build the pond, likely to take a few more months. So they need customers, and they need more regulatory approvals…
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Small Group of Antis Vent re Duke Energy Pipeline in Cincinnati

Duke Energy needs to replace an aging pipeline, built in the 1950s, near Cincinnati, OH–or some people in Cincy will have to go without natural gas. Last Thursday the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) held the first of two public hearings, to grant anti-pipeliners the opportunity to vent (see Hearings Scheduled for Proposed Duke Pipeline in Cincinnati). Duke has proposed a 13-mile, 20-inch pipeline along two potential routes. Both routes are opposed by antis, including a group calling themselves NOPE–Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension. We call them DOPEs–Dummies Opposing Pipeline Extensions. Will the DOPEs volunteer to shut off the natural gas to their homes and businesses if the pipeline doesn’t get built? Not on your life! Last week’s meeting didn’t disappoint. The DOPEs turned out and predicted Armageddon would occur if the pipeline gets built. However, something pretty interesting happened. Only ~100 people turned out to speak against the pipeline. The population of Cincinnati is around 300,000 people. So something like 3/100ths of a percent of the people turned up for the meeting. MDN editor Jim Willis has attended similar pipeline meetings in rural towns of 1,000 people where the auditorium was filled with 250-300 people! Some 100 people turning up to talk down a pipeline in Cincinnati says to us the fight is already over. There IS NO opposition to the pipeline. Not any real, meaningful opposition that will stop it, regardless of what anti publications like the Enquirer say. And then there was the ultimate salt in the DOPE’s wounds: not a single member of the OPSB turned up for their own hearing! They sent a court reporter to record/transcribe what the speakers said. Why should OPSB board members give up an evening to listen to nutters rant and rave?…
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Calendar of Marcellus/Utica Events for Jun 19 – Sep 18

Events related (or of interest) to the Marcellus and Utica Shale, primarily pro-drilling events.

To have your event included (or if you are aware of a worthy event you believe should be on this page), please send the details and/or a link to have it included [email protected] email address. Thank you!
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Jun 19, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Bombshell: NY AG Schneiderman used secret alternate email address while pursuing #ExxonKnew crusade; Mariner East 2 Pipeline construction underway in Lebanon County; Beaver County bucks statewide trend, will receive increased drilling impact fee money; Competition between coal and natural gas affects power markets; Natural gas’ path of least resistance; Shale efficiency has peaked… for now; Shell signs LNG deal with Qatar even as Arab countries cut ties to terrorist-funding country; and more!
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