PA Supremes Reject Effort to Block Apex Shale Drilling in Penn Twp

Last November the judges in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court issued a ruling in favor of Penn Township (Westmoreland County) granting “special exception” permits to Apex Energy, allowing them to drill four shale wells (see Anti Group Loses Penn Twp Frack Ban Case in PA Commonwealth Court). Anti fossil fuelers, backed by Big Green lawyers, appealed the decision to the PA Supreme Court. Yesterday the Supremes denied the appeal, meaning it’s A.O.K. for Apex to begin drilling in Penn Township.
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Gov. Wolf Holds Hiking Trail Hostage – Won’t Reopen w/o Sev. Tax

Pennsylvania’s worst governor in a generation, Tom Wolf, continues his Santa Claus routine. Only this time with a twist…he’s become Bad Santa. Wolf has traipsed around the state for the past few months touting his so-called Restore PA program–a program that will fund all sorts of projects around the state–to the tune of a massive $4.5 billion. However, the only revenue source Wolf will consider to fund his Santa Claus giveaways is a Marcellus-killing severance tax.
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Antis Try Last Desperate Attempt to Block Mass. Compressor Station

Anti-fossil fuel kooks in Massachusetts are desperate to block a federally (and state) approved compressor station from getting built in Weymouth, MA. Antis have one remaining, way-outside chance of blocking the project: Bully the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) into reversing the permit it has already issued for the project.
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Columbia Pipeline Shareholders Sue re 2016 Sale to TransCanada

TransCanada Corporation, which renamed itself TC Energy earlier this year, made a play for and bought out/merged in U.S.-based Columbia Pipeline Group in 2016 (see TransCanada and Columbia Pipeline Tie the Knot Today). TransCanada paid $13 billion for Columbia, including assumption of $2.8 billion of debt. Columbia has major pipeline operations throughout the Marcellus/Utica region.
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PA First Responders: Apply for $6K Act 13 Grants…NOW

Ever notice the tagline under the MDN logo? It says: “Helping People & Businesses Profit from Northeast Shale Drilling.” Not mentioned are non-profits, but even non-profits can “profit” from shale drilling. How? By applying for grants awarded either by the industry itself (drillers, pipeline and utility companies), or, in this case, by applying for grants from the PA state government.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, May 22, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Passman leaves post as SVP of operations at CNX Resources; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Texas toughens laws against pipeline protesters; Oklahoma quake shuts down three injection wells; NATIONAL: Dallas Fed: Shale gains bring U.S. oil breakeven price down to $50 a barrel; ‘Earthworm dilemma’ has climate scientists racing to keep up; The Green New Deal’s bad science (video); INTERNATIONAL: Sempra Energy strikes deal to sell liquefied natural gas to Saudi Arabia.
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EQT Urges Shareholders to Skip White Proxy Card, Wait for Gold Card

The battle to control EQT continues. Yesterday we brought you the news that Toby and Derek Rice–the Rice brothers, formerly owners of Rice Energy that sold itself to EQT in 2017–sent an open letter to EQT shareholders asking them to vote on the white proxy card that will soon be issued (see Rice Brothers Drop 2 Proposed Board Members from Rice Proxy Card). Today we have EQT’s response, which is a letter to shareholders asking them to “ignore any solicitation materials and discard any white proxy cards you may receive” and instead wait for EQT’s soon-to-be-issued gold proxy card.
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Diversified G&O Production Soars 30% with Added Shale Wells

Diversified Gas & Oil owns close to 3 million acres of leases with some 60,000 (mostly) conventional oil and gas wells. In March Diversified announced it had cut a deal to buy 107 operating shale wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia for $400 million from HG Energy II (see Diversified Pays $400M for HG Energy’s Shale Assets in PA, WV). Those shale wells have already made a big difference by boosting Diversified’s natural gas production 30% in just one month!
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Buckeye XPress Pipe Project in OH, WV Gets Favorable FERC Review

Buckeye XPress project map (click for larger version)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seems to have its own version of time. On February 28 this year, FERC promised to issue an environmental assessment (EA) for the Buckeye XPress (BXP) pipeline project no later than April 8 (see OH/WV Buckeye XPress Pipe Project Moves to Front of FERC Queue). Errr, right. FERC finally issued their EA (which was favorable, by the way), yesterday, on May 20. So in FERC-speak, April 8 actually means May 20. Got it?
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Sunoco Gets FERC Permission to Sign Up New ME2 Shippers for C3+

click for larger version

Last December MDN brought you news that at the time seemed a bit odd to us at the time–that Sunoco Logistics Partners (division of Energy Transfer) was floating a new open season for NGL shipments along the Mariner East pipeline system (see Open Season – for Mariner East Pipelines?!). In late December, following that announcement, Sunoco filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to allow them to change up the mix of NGLs flowing through Mariner East 2, and for permission to lock-in long-term customers for new C3+ capacity. FERC (finally) approved the request yesterday.
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Why Solar and Wind Will Never Replace NatGas in New York State

Cost per Megawatt-hour (click for larger version)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo maintains that in 20 years’ time the Empire State will get 100% of its electricity from “carbon-free” sources–like wind and solar. In fact, Cuomo says he’s waved his magic wand and 50% of NY’s electricity will come from so-called renewables in just 10 years, by 2030. It’s a pipe dream. A truly deluded fantasy that has zero chance of ever becoming reality. Based on this hyped up fantasy, Cuomo now rejects all new natural gas pipeline projects into the state. Here’s how and why that strategy, the strategy of switching to renewables, will soon come crashing down around him.
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75+ Gas and Oil Related Careers in the Marcellus/Utica

A few weeks ago the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) published a new resource for those interested in checking out the many (many!) job opportunities there are working in the oil and gas industry. Not a list of open positions at specific companies, but a list of jobs and careers. Everything from administrative assistant and attorney to welder and workover rig supervisor. But this isn’t just a laundry list of 75+ careers/jobs, it includes a detailed explanation of what each job does, the amount and type of education required, and a list of places (in Ohio, of course) where you can receive training for that type of job. This is an awesome resource!
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Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, May 21, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Courts clarify: Fractivists aren’t experts; Gulfport Energy selects Patrick Craine as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary; As coal retires in PJM, why aren’t renewables filling the vacuum?; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Saltwater disposal well boom in the Permian Basin; INTERNATIONAL: Why China hasn’t slapped tariffs on U.S. oil imports.
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Rice Brothers Drop 2 Proposed Board Members from Rice Proxy Card

A few new developments to report in the war to control EQT. Late last week brothers Toby and Derek Rice, formerly of Rice Energy, announced they are trimming their slate of proposed EQT board members by two (from nine to seven). There was no explanation for why the two were dropped from consideration, other than the Rice boys said they had reviewed EQT’s proposal to add three new board members (replacing three existing board members), and that two of the three, in the Rices’ opinion, “appear qualified” to serve on the board and “as a result” Rice dropped two of its proposed slate of board members.
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Columbia Gas Sues Maryland to Allow Pipeline Under Potomac

Expressing dismay at needing to do so, Columbia Gas Transmission has been forced to haul the State of Maryland into court over the state’s refusal to grant an easement to drill a tiny 3.5-mile pipeline under the Potomac River. In January, Maryland’s emasculated RINO governor, Larry Hogan, along with two other state officials (both Democrats) who sit on what is called the Maryland Board of Public Works, voted unanimously to deny an easement and permission to build the federally-approved pipeline (see Maryland Pulls a NY, Rejects Pipeline Under Potomac River).
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Another Post-Gazette Smear Job: Drill Cuttings Pollute Rivers

Yet another attack on the shale industry by two Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “reporters” (propagandists) who have made a career of unfairly attacking shale–Don Hopey and David Templeton. This latest smear job makes the claim that leachate coming from a landfill piped to a municipal wastewater treatment facility is “contaminated” with all sorts of nasty chemicals (what the heck do you think is in leachate, anyway?!). The claim is the chemicals in the leachate are present because of drillers dumping leftover rock and dirt that comes out of the ground when drilling new holes for shale wells into the landfill.
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