Anti Group Loses Penn Twp Frack Ban Case in PA Commonwealth Court

The last time we checked in (June) on a brewing frack ban in Penn Township (Westmoreland County), PA, a challenge to a local ordinance which allows Apex Energy and Huntley & Huntley to drill and operate wells rested with a county judge. Things have since rapidly progressed. We’re guessing the local judge ruled in favor of allowing the wells to be drilled because the case was appealed to PA Commonwealth Court. Late last week the judges in Commonwealth Court issued a ruling in favor of Penn Township’s “special exception” permits awarded to Apex Energy, allowing them to drill shale wells.
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Eversource Gives Up on New England Pipe, Blames Boston Tragedy

Utility giant Eversource (formerly Northeast Utilities), one of the companies backing the Access Northeast pipeline project, is calling it quits on the project. At least for the foreseeable future. Access Northeast, a proposed ~$3 billion project, would connect four different pipeline systems: Texas Eastern, Algonquin Gas Transmission, Iroquois and Maritimes & Northeast. Eversource desperately needs the gas that would flow through the connected system, but after the Columbia Gas tragedy near Boston in September (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25), Eversource says completing the Access Northeast project is unlikely, due to public opposition. So the bean counters inside Eversource have written off the company’s $33 million stake in the project, reckoning its worthless.
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Marcellus LNG Export Plant in NEPA Will Generate Lots of Traffic

Last week MDN brought you the exciting news that New Fortress Energy is planning to build an LNG (liquefied natural gas) liquefaction plant in Wyalusing (Bradford County), PA (see Big News! Marcellus LNG Export Plant Coming to Landlocked NEPA). The $800 million plant will supercool and liquefy locally extracted Marcellus Shale gas and ship it first by truck, eventually by rail, to “customers in the U.S. as well as abroad.” The plant received initial blessing from the Wyalusing Town Planning Commission last week. But not all is butterflies and unicorns. At a planning commission meeting, a New Fortress Energy official revealed that the plant will generate 10-15 tractor trailer trips per hour–24/7/365. That’s a truck turning in to the facility once every 4-6 minutes–call it an average of one every 5 minutes.
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Philly Antis Furious that ME2 Pipe Going Online by Christmas

Last week MDN picked up on news shared by top management for Energy Transfer that their long-delayed Mariner East 2 pipeline system will be up and running by the end of the year (see Energy Transfer 3Q18: Mariner East 2 Pipeline Online by Christmas). In order to get the full pipeline running, they’ve had to patch together substitute pipelines in a few areas where construction of the final pipeline is stalled due to problems like sinkholes. Antis have now picked up on the fact that ME2 will be live “by Christmas” and are furiously crying foul–that they couldn’t stop the project. They claim the “patchwork” of substitute pipelines will be dangerous and unsafe. Their complaints amount to a lot of spitting and sputtering.
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NY Antis Prefer Burning Coal to NatGas at Ithaca Power Plant

The battle continues to rage in the lib Dem socialist utopia of Ithaca (Tompkins County), NY over a plan to convert a local coal-fired electric generating plant to use much better-for-the-environment and far-less-polluting natural gas. Yet local antis, who irrationally (and we mean clinically insane) hate fossil fuels, continue to object and preen themselves at county board meetings to object to converting the plant. They object to the conversion because natural gas is a “fossil fuel”–the modern form of eeeeevil in their eyes. And so (once again, demonstrating clinical insanity), they prefer to keep the plant burning coal. The plant will have to burn something. We don’t see any of these same antis volunteering to unhook themselves from the electric grid. The electricity flowing to their homes needs to get generated somehow, and it sure ain’t renewables doing it.
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Study: Marcellus Drilling Doesn’t Affect Brook Trout All That Much

Trout Unlimited (TU), previously outed as an anti-fracking organization (see Trout Unlimited, Other Groups Outed as Radical Green Groups), is promoting a research study recently authored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) titled “Brook trout distributional response to unconventional oil and gas development: Landscape context matters” (full copy below). TU believes the study offers proof that fracking hurts brook trout. We scanned the study and came to the opposite conclusion. Using a count of the number of certain kinds of trees in a given habitat as a proxy for how well trout will do, or not do, the study concludes that there is some minor degradation in brook trout habitat when drilling comes to town. But only in places where the habitat had already been damaged by other non-drilling activities.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Nov 12, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Philadelphia Bar Assn pushes lawyers to become radicalized on global warming; Eight permits issued in Ohio’s Utica shale; Using Marcellus gas in area becomes a priority; Pennsylvania Auditor General gives DRBC a whitewash; The fractivist trail of hypocrisy and double standards; DOE names well-known WVU professor to lead NETL; IPSCO Tubulars opens coating facility in Wilder, Kentucky; Utility to provide Thanksgiving to victims of gas disaster; The never-ending saga of the Keystone Pipeline; NJ nutjobs go on 14-day fast to protest global warming; Natural gas prices are jumping today, and this move could continue; Millennials, oil and gas and the “energy transition”; China passes Japan to become world’s largest natural gas importer; Saudi Aramco ‘on way to becoming gas powerhouse’; Oil is oversold.
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Energy Transfer 3Q18: Mariner East 2 Pipeline Online by Christmas

Yesterday the muckety-mucks from Energy Transfer (ET) held a conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss the company’s third quarter 2018 update. Inevitably on such calls there’s talk about what’s coming up in addition to what happened in the previous quarter. ET is a big midstream (pipeline) company. Among their projects are the mighty Rover Pipeline, which reaches from Pennsylvania, West Virgina, and eastern Ohio all the way into Michigan, and the Mariner East 2 Pipeline, which runs from eastern Ohio all the way through Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area. Rover flows natural gas, ME2 (and ME2X) will flow NGLs, mainly ethane and propane. According to Tom Long, ET’s Chief Financial Officer, ME2 will be up and running sometime this quarter. Since the end of this quarter is around Christmastime, we prefer to think of ME2 as a Christmas present for Marcellus/Utica drillers.
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MarkWest 3Q18: Gathered Volumes and Profits Soar, M-U Expanding

Last week MPLX (i.e. MarkWest Energy) issued its third quarter 2018 update. MarkWest, since merging into Marathon Petroleum, has become a big, major player in a number of shale plays across the country. Our interest and focus is, of course, on the Marcellus/Utica. Did this recent update yield any interesting insights? It sure did! Gathered and processed volumes in the Marcellus/Utica are up, significantly, for MarkWest. The amount of gas (and NGLs) gathered in the M-U was up a huge 35% from the same period last year (3.1 Bcf/d), and processed volumes at MarkWest plants was up 10% year over year (5.5 Bcf/d). Here’s a look behind the curtain at MarkWest/MPLX.
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PA DEP Spends $2.6M for “Clean Energy Vehicles” – Mostly NatGas

It must really grate on Big Green supporters that their hero, lib Dem Tom Wolf (who just won reelection as governor of PA), continues to support fossil fuel projects. It must doubly grate on them that Wolf’s Dept. of Environmental Protection, when funding such projects, calls them “clean energy.” We love it! The PA DEP announced yesterday, two days after the big election, that they’ve just awarded $2.6 million in grants to 16 different “clean energy vehicle” projects. When you look at the list, all but $32,077 of that amount is going to fund either CNG or propane-powered vehicles. That is, fossil fuel-powered vehicles (mostly buses and trucks). And the DEP has the *audacity* (in the opinion of Big Green nuts) to call all of these projects “clean energy”! We’re laughing our considerable rear-end off.
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MVP, ACP Pipes Receive Very Few Violation Notices in WV

It would be great when you are drilling a well, or building a pipeline, that when a state government inspector swings by to check up on the project, they don’t spot any problems. Especially for big projects like pipelines that run hundreds of miles. It would be nice, but not reality. Something always happens here and there. Unforeseen. Like weather with torrential rain, resulting in runoff from a ditch you just dug. The inspector swings by the next day and notices water and dirt where it’s not supposed to be, and voila, a “notice of violation” (NOV) is issued. It happens. That’s the way the world works. For Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), both with segments in West Virginia, NOVs have been and no doubt will continue to be issued. How many NOVs would you imagine have already been issued for each project in WV? How many is “too many” and indicates the project builders are being sloppy?
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9th Circuit Temporarily Halts Global Warming Lawsuit by 21 Kids

Last Friday the supremely disappointing U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop a lawsuit brought by lawyers (ab)using a group of 21 children against the United States for not doing enough about mythical man-made global warming (see U.S. Supreme Court Allows Climate Lawsuit by 21 Kids to Proceed). Both the Obama and Trump Dept. of Justice have asked various courts to stop this lunacy. The lawsuit aims to force the end of using all fossil fuels in the United States, to address so called man-made global warming. It would plunge our country back into the Stone Age, with people living short, brutish lives, should such a thing occur. But we digress. That case survived numerous challenges and was set to go to trial Oct. 29 in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon when it was briefly paused by the Supremes. The case, as of last Friday, was back on. But now this: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stepped in and temporarily stopped the lawsuit again–for the next 15 days.
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House Flipping Democrat Portends Trouble for O&G Industry

The results of Tuesday’s elections, with the House of Representatives flipping to Democrat control, is a disaster. That is our considered opinion. And not just because we’re died-in-the-wool conservatives and believe in freedom and the rule of law. But for what it portends for the oil and gas industry. Some on our side, the pro-fossil fuel side, think everything’s just fine with Dems in control of the House. They say the oil and gas industry likes “divided government” because it ensures any changes that happen will happen slowly. We’re not convinced. Why? We look at the actual words of those seizing (and we use that word intentionally) power come January. The House, under Democrat tyranny, is gearing up to hold hearings on everything, including so-called “climate change” and Trump’s efforts to roll back egregious Obama regulations related to “climate change.” Dems plan to use the power of subpoena to try and stop efforts to right-size and eliminate unnecessary regulations in agencies like the EPA. We think the oil and gas industry, whether they admit it or not, is in for the fight of its life come January 1. We hope we’re wrong. We fear we are not.
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Eni’s World Oil, Gas and Renewables Review – Download

Eni, an Italian oil and gas company (11th largest in the world), recently issued Volume 2 of its annual Global Energy Outlook. It’s titled “World Gas and Renewables Review” (full copy below) and it’s full of interesting statistics about natural gas and the U.S.’s role in producing it. For example, when it comes to estimated reserves–how much natural gas is in the ground that we might conceivably be able to extract–Russia, Iran, Qatar and Turkmenistan (!) all have more natural gas reserves than the U.S. We’re #5 down the list, after Turkmenistan. And yet, when it comes to production, the U.S. is #1. The difference is, of course, fracking.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Nov 9, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Democrat Senate gives fresh energy to environmental advocates in NY; Keystone XL Pipeline project blocked by Obama judge in Montana; More coal-fired power plants closing on uncompetitive economics; LNG carrier attacked off Nigeria; Poland signs deal for long-term natural gas deliveries from Louisiana, Texas; Armenian government seeks cuts in gas prices from Russia; Higgs government looking to partially lift fracking moratorium; As renewables drive up energy prices, voters in U.S., Asia & Europe are opting for nuclear power.
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