FREE Audio: MDN Top 5 Stories for Week of July 9, 2018

MDN is taking a rare vacation today, Friday the 13th. Instead of posting new stories today, we are bringing you a recent addition to the site, our “Top 5” podcast–an audio recording featuring the Top 5 stories most read over the past week on MDN. Just click on the green button to listen. Below the recording is a list of the Top 5 stories complete with links to click to read them. This list is meant as a way for folks to quickly catch up on the most essential news of the week–“essential” as determined by MDN’s audience of sharp readers. Enjoy!

#5 – Anti-Fossil Fuel CA, NY, MA Scramble to Avoid Electric Blackouts

#4 – Appalachia Resist! OH “Camp” Trains Children to be Eco-Jihadists

#3 – Oil & Gas Workers Make Highest Average Paychecks in U.S.

#2 – Top 25 Producing Gas & Oil Wells in Ohio Utica for 1Q18

#1 – Where is Production Increasing (& Decreasing) in Marcellus/Utica?

Top 25 Producing Gas & Oil Wells in Ohio Utica for 1Q18

The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) issued production numbers yesterday for the first quarter of 2018. Natural gas production was up an astounding 43% over the same period last year. In fact, Utica natgas production hit a new all-time high of 531.3 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 1Q18. However, Utica oil production was down 3.6% over the same period last year. Ohio’s oil production has seesawed over the past few years. It increased last quarter and the quarter before. But prior to 3Q17, oil production was mostly down. Once again Ascent Resources, founded by the late Aubrey McClendon, dominated the top 25 highest-producing gas wells (17 of the top 25). However, Eclipse Resources grabbed the top slot in 1Q18 with a well in Monroe County that produced an amazing 2.9 Bcf all by itself! Eclipse also (as in the previous quarterly report) grabbed a majority of the top 25 most-producing oil wells, with 13 of 25 wells on the list. The top 4 oil wells were Eclipse wells, all located in Guernsey County. Below we have the ODNR’s high level overview of the numbers, along with MDN’s own exclusive analysis showing: the top 25 producing gas wells, the top 25 producing oil wells, and then the top 25 gas and oil wells as ranked by average production per day. There is a difference. The longer an oil or gas well is online, the less it produces. Newer wells produce more. We show you which wells are not just producing the most quantity overall, but which wells are producing at the fastest (most productive) rates–even if those wells haven’t yet been online a full three months. We also include a link to the complete list (Google Spreadsheet) of 1,949 wells included in the 1Q18 ODNR report, in a more useful format than that provided by ODNR…
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Accident: CNG “Virtual Pipeline” Truck Rolls Over in Upstate NY

One of the arguments/concerns used to defeat a facility near Binghamton, NY that would fill trucks transporting CNG to large customers not lucky enough to be located close to a natgas pipeline is that the trucks used to haul the CNG are “bomb trucks.” Just waiting to explode if they should be in an accident. And you know that sooner or later there will be an accident. NG Advantage had big plans to build a virtual pipeline (gas compression & trucking facility) on the outskirts of Binghamton, in the Town of Fenton. The facility would use gas from the Millennium Pipeline to fill trailers outfitted with a series of CNG canisters. We sat through several information sessions where the safety of those trailers was explained. We looked at one of the rigs, up close and personal. We recall one woman from Hillcrest screeching “It’s so BIG!” upon seeing the tractor trailer–which is much shorter than a standard tractor trailer rig. We heard NG explain that if a truck should be so unfortunate to be in an accident, the safety design would automatically release the gas, which dissipates into the atmosphere immediately–making an explosion or fire extremely unlikely. But facts make no difference in a heated, emotional debate. NG isn’t the only company attempting to service businesses in Upstate with CNG, to compensate for Cuomo’s ban on safe pipelines. Another company, Xpress Natural Gas (XNG), has a virtual pipeline operation based just south of Binghamton in Susquehanna County, PA. Things are so much easier in PA (sigh). An XNG truck was traveling through Otsego County, NY, when the truck overturned on a rural roadway. We thought, this is it. Major explosion, right? Scorched earth everywhere. Ball of fire. Driver burned to a cinder. But no, none of that happened. In fact, NOTHING HAPPENED. The truck overturned, and there it sat until it was pulled back upright again. Perfectly safe, as designed. Which illustrates and exposes the lies so often spread about virtual pipeline operations…
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Columbia Says Landslide Caused Leach XPress Explosion/Fire in WV

TransCanada’s Leach XPress is a 160-mile natural gas pipeline (and compression facilities) located in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle. Leach XPress flows 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas all the way to Leach, Kentucky–hence the name. The pipeline went online January 1st, and a section of it exploded and burst into flames on June 7 (see Leach Xpress Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County, WV). TransCanada (their Columbia Gas Transmission subsidiary) is working hard to get the pipeline back online by “mid-July” (see Exploded Leach XPress Pipe Won’t be Online Until Mid-July). What caused the explosion? That’s been the burning question (no pun intended) since it happened. A stray comment we spotted seemed to indicate it may have been a faulty welding job. But apparently such is not the case. Columbia has told federal regulators that a landslide is the cause of the leak and explosion…
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“Strong” Well Results in Northern Utica During 1Q18

As MDN reports in today’s lead story, Ohio has just achieved a new milestone by producing more natural gas than the state has ever produced during the first three months of this year (see Top 25 Producing Gas & Oil Wells in Ohio Utica for 1Q18). The best performing individual wells are located in the southern part of the Utica play–in Belmont, Jefferson, Monroe, and Guernsey counties. However, don’t overlook the wells and overall performance of counties in the northern part of the play–places like Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties. Particularly Columbiana County. The Youngstown Business Journal does a deep dive into the numbers for the northern tier counties and finds that wells drilled by Hilcorp in Columbiana produced “strong results” in 1Q18. Here’s a closer look at the northern Utica counties and the drillers who work there…
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Crestwood’s Seneca Lake, NY LPG Storage Facility Effectively Dead

How LPG storage works – click for larger version

One by one the nails have been driven into the coffin of a much-needed project in Upstate New York to store LPG–liquefied petroleum gas (i.e. propane). In 2009 Inergy filed a request to convert a depleted salt cavern along the shore of Seneca Lake (in Schuyler County, NY, near Watkins Glen) into a propane/natural gas storage facility. Inergy was later bought by and merged into Crestwood Midstream, and Crestwood Midstream later renamed to Crestwood Equity Partners. The New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been sitting on its hands from the beginning, refusing to grant the necessary permits to allow the facility to open. We won’t recount all of the ins and outs, ups and downs, of this project (most of them legal). You can read our previous stories here. The one thing the Seneca Lake LGP project has always had going for it, the spark and glimmer of hope, is strong local support from the Schuyler County Legislature. That is, until now. In a unanimous vote Monday night, the legislature voted to rescind its support for the project. It’s not the final nail in the coffin, but we’d call it the next-to-final nail…
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Columbus Radical Admits Frack Ban Ballot Measure Not Legal

Just a few days ago we told you about a group of anti-fossil fuel nutters, backed by the Big Green group CELDF, making yet another run at an illegal frack ban in Columbus, OH (see CELDF Finds New Group of Suckers in Columbus for Utica Frack Ban). Columbus, with a population of 2,078,725 people, found 12,134 suckers (1/2 of 1% of the entire population) to sign a petition to get a so-called Community Bill of Rights on the ballot in November. As we previously pointed out, this initiative is illegal. State law specifically reserves the right to regulate oil and gas activity at the state level–local towns, cities, etc. don’t have the staff or expertise to regulate such activities. In a new article, one of the main agitators behind the ballot measure admits the so-called Community Bill of Rights is likely illegal. But that doesn’t matter to him: “[T]he initiative is still worth pursuing because it brings attention to what he believes is the unfairness of cities not having a say in oil and gas drilling.” So the antis know it’s illegal, it will never stand, but they want taxpayers to have to burn money and time to challenge it anyway. Just because they don’t like fossil fuels and activities to extract them. How do you even have a conversation with someone who is totally irrational?…
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Trump Rips into Germany re Russian NatGas Pipe at NATO Meeting

Trump at NATO breakfast – credit: CNN

At first blush this story, which is an international story in the news yesterday and today, may not seem to have a tie-in with the Marcellus/Utica. But it does, very much so. President Trump, in addressing a NATO meeting yesterday in Brussels, Belgium, delivered a blistering verbal attack against Germany. He told those assembled that (1) the U.S. is done being the Europe’s piggy bank, we pay the lion’s share of the NATO budget to defend Europe against Russian aggression, and yet (2) Germany, whose defense bills we’ve been paying for, for more than a generation, insists on building a natural gas pipeline (the Nord Stream 2) that will further enrich Russia and make all of Europe virtual slaves to Russia via natural gas supplies. What’s wrong with this picture?! We’re paying to protect Europe from Russia, and they turn around and spit in our faces by deeply embedding Russia into their own economic futures. Enough. What’s worse is that a former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, is a senior official in Russia’s state controlled energy companies Gazprom and Rosneft that will build the pipeline. He is enriching HIMSELF. It is totally disgusting. Trump told current German Chancellor Angela Merkle, ENOUGH! We will not stand for it. The not-so-subtle threat made by Trump at the NATO meeting is that if Germany persists in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, NATO can forget about our money to protect them. They will have to pay their own bills from now on. It’s about time somebody told Europe if they would rather get into bed with Russia rather than us, fine. You go right ahead. You’ll loose our $upport. How does all this relate to the Marcellus/Utica? Via our LNG exports to Europe…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Jul 12, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: PA Gov Wolf pushing special interest solar ripoff; OH State Senator urges Congress to support Appalachian storage hub; PA gov candidate Wagner supports natgas at town hall; largest CNG fueling station in Columbus opens; why sand from this Texas town is worth $80/ton; green radicals served with subpoenas in Colo.; natgas-fired electricity may hit new high this summer; Kavanaugh’s record on regs, pipelines, LNG and more; Trump plan to replace Obama climate plan makes progress; OPEC chief says he’s glad shale came along; and more!
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Where is Production Increasing (& Decreasing) in Marcellus/Utica?

Natural gas production in the U.S. has rocketed skyward in just the past few weeks. According to the experts at RBN Energy, “the abruptness and sheer strength with which production has surged” has “taken the market by surprise.” Gas production rose in every region of the country, but it rocketed in one region in particular. Yep, in the Marcellus/Utica. When you look at how much our region was producing on June 7, and then again on June 28, the difference in just those three weeks is astonishing. Production of natgas soared and was 600 million cubic feet per day higher on June 28 than three weeks prior. Amazing! But production did not increase in every area of the Marcellus/Utica region. In one area, production decreased. Below you’ll find out where production went up, and where it went down in the M-U in June…
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MVP Construction in Virginia Resumes – Who Pays for Pipe Police?

Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) voluntarily stopped construction along the pipeline in Virginia on June 29, following heavy rains that resulted in erosion and runoff from the pipe’s pathway (see Mountain Valley Pipe Voluntarily Shuts Down Construction in Va.). At that time, an MVP spokesperson said: “There is no specific timeline for the suspension, however, as soon as upgrades are completed and approved by DEQ, construction can resume.” A week later, on July 6, the DEQ (Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality) identified two locations where MVP could resume construction. A few days later that number rose to five locations. Work is once again progressing nicely. Of course anti-fossil fuel ninny nannies are carping that the shutdown wasn’t long enough. Some of the complainers promoted (and possibly engaged in) illegal protest activities to try and defeat the project. Which leads us to a second bit of news about MVP. Roanoke and Franklin counties want MVP to pay them back for the cost of police activities required because of the ninny nanny illegal protesters. That’s right! The two counties want to send MVP a bill because protesters engaged in illegal activities that required a police presence. We find their request bass ackwards. The counties should be going after the protesters who broke the law–and the Big Green groups that backed them and agitated them and supported them in their efforts to break the law. That’s who should pay! Not MVP. MVP is performing a legal, publicly beneficial service by building the pipeline. Why should MVP pay for police protection from malcontents and lawbreakers?…
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Rex Energy Settled Butler County Water Lawsuits for $159K

Beginning in 2012, MDN reported on the story of a community in western Pennsylvania (in Butler County) whose residents said that nearby drilling by Rex Energy led to contamination of their water wells (see PA Residents Weary of Fight with Rex over Water Contamination and Rex Energy Water Contamination Case Shifts Focus to Water Pipeline). Several of the families sued Rex. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection, after an extensive investigation, said that Rex’s drilling did not cause the situation. Apparently water quality in the area was never the greatest to begin with. Rex had built a water line in the area to supply water for fracking and had expected to turn over control/ownership of that line in 2013. That water line could be used to supply fresh water to the affected homes. The debate has been: Who will pay to hook up the homes and to maintain the pipes and infrastructure required? Since Rex, according to the DEP, is not to blame for the poor water quality in the area, the company understandably doesn’t want to pay big bucks to connect and maintain the line to residences in the area. As far as we can tell, the water line never got hooked up. However, there has been a resolution of the situation, of sorts. What had been sealed court documents (unsealed because of Rex’s bankruptcy proceedings) show that in April of this year Rex settled with the suing families, paying them between $16,250 and $27,125 each–a cumulative $159,000. Rex maintains the settlement is not an indication of guilt…
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Big Green Pressures Gov. Wolf to Expand Onerous Methane Regs

This one was easy to predict, because it follows a tried-and-true pattern used by leftists for decades. PA Gov. Wolf’s Administration has been fiddling with proposed regulations to cut down on fugitive methane emissions from drilling and pipelines for years. The regulations are known as General Permit 5 (GP-5) and General Permit 5A (GP-5A). GP-5 applies to pipelines and compressor stations, while GP-5A applies to well pads and drilling. In June, the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection, author of the revised regs, floated its final final final final version of the regs (see PA DEP Releasing Onerous New GP-5 & 5A Methane Regs June 8). The new regs will go into effect in August. But here’s the thing. These onerous regulations apply only to *new* and not *existing* sources of methane emissions. Now that the revised regs are about to go into effect for new sources, right on cue Big Green groups are pressuring Wolf to apply them to existing sources too. That was, of course, the intention all along–to hamstring (and shut down) the Marcellus industry by saddling it with insanely high costs to comply with regulations that won’t do a thing to “save the planet” from methane poisoning. A classic “bait and switch” routine…
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Ulster County Executive Opposes Tiny 20 MW Gas-Fired Plant

Another case of irrational fossil fuel hatred has cropped up in (surprise!) New York State, in Ulster County (Hudson Valley area). This time the hater is Democrat County Executive Michael Hein. He doesn’t want a teeny tiny 20 megawatt gas-fired electric generating plant because he’d rather have thousands of acres plastered with solar panels and/or windmills–to produce the same drop of electricity this small gas-fired plant would produce. We have to wonder: Why is no one calling for psychological tests of these people? They are literally insane! Pathological conditions. Hein is fine with solar panels and windmills junking up the landscape, but not with a single tiny power plant that nobody would even see. Why? Because it doesn’t have the word “renewable” in the title. And because it uses an evil, vile, nasty “fossil fuel” called natural gas to power it. The plant, proposed by GlidePath, is a “peaker.” It’s a small electric generating plant (powered by natural gas) that doesn’t even run most of the time! It only comes online during “peak” electric demand periods–times when the grid needs some extra juice. It’s used to avoid blackouts, like the one happening right now in Los Angeles. But perhaps Hein and his buddy Andy Cuomo actually *want* New Yorkers to experience prolonged blackouts? GlidePath has responded, strongly, to the blithering idiot Hein, to set the record straight and correct Hein’s lies. Prepare to enter through the Looking Glass…
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Shell Cracker to the Rescue – Saving the Erie, PA Plastics Industry

The benefits of the mighty Shell ethane cracker now under construction in Beaver County, PA just keep multiplying. In April MDN brought you news that Penn State Behrend (in Erie County) had been tapped by the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to be the “lead partner” with a $250,000 grant for developing business and market opportunities for the state related to the cracker (see Penn State to Help Create New Biz Opportunities from Shell Cracker). Erie County, where Behrend is located, is certainly not next door to the cracker. It’s two hours away! There are several other Penn State campuses closer to the cracker. So why was Behrend selected? In a word, plastics. “The strength of Erie’s plastics industry and the success of Penn State Behrend’s School of Engineering, which offers one of only six accredited U.S. plastics undergraduate programs, makes Erie of particular interest to DCED.” A new article says that the cracker will not only preserve the 4,300 plastics-related jobs in and around Erie, there’s reason to believe the plastics industry in Erie will “grow larger and stronger” because of the two-hours-away cracker. Again we ask the question, Why? Answer: Because buying plastics pellets from the Shell cracker two hours away is a whole lot cheaper (due to shipping costs) than buying plastics pellets from the Gulf Coast, as happens now. One would be justified in saying, Shell cracker to the rescue!…
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Want a Great Job in the M-U Industry? Take a FREE Pipeline Class

The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) continues to offer its popular 100% free training program for those interested in a career building pipelines in the Marcellus/Utica region. Starting salaries often exceed $40,000 per year, and a six-figure income is attainable for employees with time and experience. Hey, where do we sign up! Get this: Companies supporting the GTI program have told GTI they anticipate hiring 1,100+ workers over the next two years. And that comes from an informal survey of just 11 (of the many) companies working and hiring in the region. There’s no excuse. If you want a high-paying job, get the 4-week training and get yourself to work. Because of ongoing construction programs within the utility and pipeline industry, and because of aging workforce retirements, the M-U pipeline industry has an acute need for reliable gas pipeline workers. Below are details of how to enroll for FREE in this valuable training course–a course worth $3,500…
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