Major WV Court Case Goes Against Surface Landowners

court gavelA major court case before the West Virginia Supreme Court was decided last week, and the decision is not favorable to surface rights landowners. MDN previously alerted you to the case as it went to court back in September (see this MDN story). In brief, in WV the sub-surface mineral rights in many cases were severed and sold separately from the surface landowner rights—years ago. Surface rights landowners understand that mineral rights owners (and drillers) need access, but they want the right to have a say in where a drilling pad will be located on their property—and just compensation for taking the property for that purpose.

The WV Supreme Court decided last week (a copy of the decision is embedded below) that surface rights landowners cannot challenge WV DEP permits for drill pads, and where the pads are located, on their property:

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New York Towns Vote to Ban… Wind Energy

The mainstream media loves to run stories about the dozens of townships in New York state that voted to ban hydraulic fracturing. What the media doesn’t cover are the dozens of townships in New York state that have voted to ban or restrict wind power in their communities. You read that right. Many communities in New York don’t like the noisy, disruptive (and permanent, unlike natural gas drilling) presence of huge wind turbines.

Take the case of 60 residents in Herkimer County who are suing Iberdrola, the parent company of New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG), over a wind farm in their community:

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Crestwood Midstream Buys 4 Compressor Stations in WV

Crestwood Marcellus Midstream announced yesterday they have purchased four compression/dehydration stations from Enerven Compression for $95 million. The stations service Crestwood’s own gathering pipelines in Harrison and Doddridge counties in West Virginia. Antero Resources is the driller in the area using the Crestwood pipeline system. Crestwood’s CEO calls it a “bolt-on acquisition” for the company.

From the Crestwood press release, which includes an update on their Marcellus-related business with Antero:

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Regulatory Hurdles in Converting Vehicles to NatGas

MDN has highlighted plenty of stories about companies and governments hopping on the bandwagon to convert vehicle fleets to run clean-burning natural gas. Why wouldn’t you? It’s half the cost of gasoline! There are, of course, some hurdles along the way—namely finding filling stations. But ever-so-gradually more filling stations are appearing. But in addition to the problem of lack of filling stations, there are federal, and often state, regulatory hurdles to consider as well.

A new white paper from the Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center takes a look at both Pennsylvania and federal regulations when it comes to converting vehicles to run on natural gas (a copy of the white paper is embedded below). Here’s the press release announcing the white paper, which provides a good overview of what’s in it:

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PA Marcellus is “Global Superstar” of NatGas Plays

An opinion-editorial piece in today’s Harrisburg Patriot-News co-written by PA Dept. of Environmental Protection Sec. Michael Krancer and Gov. Tom Corbett’s energy executive Patrick Henderson touts Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale as the “global superstar of natural gas formations.” Referring to recently released reports from the IEA and S&P, here’s what else they said about the mighty Marcellus:

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3Q12 M&A Deals in the Marcellus Fall to Zero

For the past five years one of the key indicators that the Marcellus Shale has been red hot is the level of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity among energy companies. That is, companies doing deals to work together, or to buy outright, leased acreage, drilling operations or pipelines and other infrastructure. For the first time in several years, there was no significant M&A activity for an entire 3-month period (third quarter 2012) in the Marcellus, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, a consulting and research firm that tracks it.

What, exactly, does that mean?

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