Pipeline Rage: Anti Hits Flagger with Car in Lancaster Co.

Daniel Forry

This is “old” news. An old man (77 years old) got so “riled up” against Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline work happening near him in Lancaster County, PA that in three separate incidents he either engaged in violent acts, or threatened to. It’s old news in the sense that two of the incidents happened in March and one in June. However, the three incidents are just now coming to light. In one case, the crotchety old anti inched his car forward and “tapped” a flagger–someone standing on the roadway to prevent cars from passing and hitting workers who were crossing the road. In another incident, the man attempted to drive around a flagger, actually hitting him. The man’s actions are not only threatening and menacing, they are illegal and violent. What’s to say that next time the old man won’t simply run someone down? According to the District Attorney’s office no one was injured during his bouts of “pipeline rage.” The man has been served with papers to appear in court to answer for his illegal actions. Here’s the kicker. The old man, Daniel K. Forry, is a member of the board of education for the Hempfield School District…
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CNX Resources Fined $250K for PA Pipe Construction Violation

CNX Resources was installing a pipeline in Indiana County, PA and apparently didn’t, according to the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), properly construct erosion barriers for the project. It rained, hard, and sediment-laden water went over the erosion barriers and got into an unnamed stream, which empties into Mudlick Run, a “high quality water” creek. In other words, a tiny creek got muddy, and some of that muddy water *may have* entered a slightly bigger creek. And for that violation, CNX is going to pay a whopping $250,000 fine. The DEP says following an inspection in March, the DEP ordered CNX to fix the problem by April 3, but as of May 16 the problem had still not been fixed. CNX disputes that they violated their permits and has told the DEP they’ve quit building that particular pipeline. In order to make it all go away, CNX is paying the DEP a $250K negotiated shakedown, PLUS pay to fix the “problem”…
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Duke Energy Plans 1 Bcf/d LNG Plant in NC Fed by Marc/Utica Gas

Robeson LNG facility location – click for larger version

Some exciting news from Piedmont Natural Gas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duke Energy. The company recently announced it plans to spend $250 million to build a 1 billion cubic feet LNG storage facility in southern North Carolina, in Robeson County. Gas is liquefied and stored as backup for residential customers to use during periods of high demand–mainly wintertime. And guess which pipeline (now under construction) will terminate right there, in Robeson County? That’s right, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline–a joint venture between Dominion Energy and Duke Energy. The new LNG facility will also be able to use gas from a second pipeline in the county–Williams’ Transco. The Transco pipeline flows Marcellus gas all the way from northeastern PA. Translation: Marcellus/Utica gas will feed the 1 Bcf LNG plant, an important new (big) customer for our our natural gas…
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Misguided Philly Moms Arrested for Illegal ME2 Pipeline Protest

Last week two young mothers, no doubt radicalized by watching Captain Planet cartoons when they were growing up, sat themselves down in front of construction equipment in Middletown, PA (Delaware County, near Philadelphia) in an attempt to block construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline. The two, along with a handful of other mothers (and grandmothers) call themselves the “Mama Bear Brigade.” They held a “Teddy Bear Picnic” at the construction site, and sang children’s songs with new non-children lyrics. The “mama bears” have decided our nation’s laws no longer apply to them if they don’t happen to like the law, so they elected to take the law into their own hands. Frankly, they’re just a handful of misguided and misinformed moms who believe the pipeline will explode and kill everyone living in “the blast zone.” What’s funny about the story are the comments. One commenter said this: “Why do liberal losers always give themselves stupid nicknames…Lock them up and build the pipeline!” There were other comments we can’t repeat here since we’re a family-friendly blog. Here’s the story of some misguided moms who believe they’re protecting their kids by breaking the law…
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$83.7B Chinese Investment in WV Shale & Petchem Still Alive?

Chinese yuan

Is China’s $83.7 billion investment in West Virginia’s shale and petrochemical industries, announced last November, on hold or not? In early April, when the current “trade war” with China began to heat up, we said this with respect to the deal China signed to invest $83.7 billion in West Virginia shale and petrochemicals: “However, if a trade war does develop, it would be foolish to not think those investments (withholding them) will be used against us.” (see Will Trade War with China Affect $83.7B Investment in WV Shale?) In June at the Northeast U.S. Petrochemical Construction Conference in Pittsburgh, our fears (and prediction) were confirmed. Chinese officials were due to attend the event and announce the first round of investments in WV. However, Brian Anderson, director of the West Virginia University Energy Institute, said given the trade war now on with China, the officials elected to stay home instead. Anderson said, “The pending trade war has put this project in jeopardy” (see Trade War Puts $83.7 Billion Chinese Investment in WV on Hold). But what’s this? Anderson now appears to have changed his tune. He recently told a reporter, “In terms of the development process, we continue to move forward…We’re even working on the next potential visits by officials and team members, so it’s not just the high-level executives, but development teams.” Hmmm. Which is it? Is the deal in jeopardy or moving forward?…
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Seneca Lake LPG Storage Project is Now Officially Dead

Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (and tool of Andrew Cuomo and Big Green radicals) has officially killed the Seneca Lake LPG storage project planned near Seneca Lake. In May, Crestwood, the project’s sponsor, said the depleted salt cavern that would house the LPG (propane) underground may leak in one small area (see Crestwood Testing Proposed LPG Storage Site @ Seneca Lake for Leaks). That was all the Big Green radicals, including Seggos, needed as an excuse to kill the project. Seggos saw his opening and took it. Last Thursday Seggos issued a 31-page ruling denying the project (copy below). It’s obvious from the length of the report and the stated reasons that he uses, that Seggos had already, long ago, decided to deny the project. He talks about cockamamie, airy fairy things like the project is “inconsistent with the character of the local and regional Finger Lakes community.” Really? As if the salt mining operation that used to be there was consistent with the character of the region? It’s all nonsense. This report was written months ago, before the “leak” issue was known. The fact that one small part of the underground storage caverns (plural) is not airtight was the magic bullet Seggos needed to pull the trigger. And he did. While Crestwood has not yet responded and admitted that the project is dead, we see no way it can now move forward. Hey Schuyler County, how does it feel to kiss a $30 million addition to your tax base goodbye? What’s that? Nobody is left who lives in Schuyler County any more? Guess we know why…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Jul 16, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: New date for PA impoundments to register, comply with regs; time to comment on PA revised regs for erosion & sedimentation control at drilling sites; Earthworks releases Ohio air quality “study” with no actual air quality data; California continues to slip, now #6 producer of oil in the U.S.; Cali cities desperately try to avoid counterlawsuit from Exxon; surge in drilled natgas wells; U.S. on pace for “record smashing” oil and gas year in 2018; natural gas prices melt; Trump exposes Germany’s natgas hypocrisy; and more!
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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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