Corbett Story Changes: Decision on PA Cracker Plant Delayed Again

backpedaling In what looks to be like more backpedaling, PA Gov. Tom Corbett told the Pittsburgh Business Times on Friday he now doesn’t expect a final decision on whether Shell will build a new $2 billion ethane cracker plant in Monaca, PA until 2014. Last December he said Shell needed another six months (until the end of June) for lawyers “dotting I’s and crossing T’s” (see Gov Tom Corbett: Shell Cracker Plant in PA Not “Off the Rails”). Now the story is, “I’ve always thought it would be early next year,” meaning 2014. Hmmm. Then why didn’t he say that last December?

From the Pittsburgh Business Times:

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OH School District Gets $400K Lease Bonus from Antero Resources

The Barnesville Exempted Village School District in Belmont County, OH has just signed a lease with Antero Resources for $5,700 per acre plus 20% royalties. Antero also kicked in an extra gift of $37,500 making the grand total for the lease bonus just over $400,000 for the school district. The school’s superintendent Randy Lucas said Antero plans to start drilling “sometime over the next two years”…

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New Processing/Fractionation Plant Coming to Tuscarawas County OH

MDN first told you about a new natural gas processing and fractionation plant that may be coming to Tuscarawas County, OH back in early March (see Kinder Morgan to Build Processing & Fractionation Plants in OH?). Good news for Ohioans—Kinder Morgan has confirmed that the necessary EPA permits have been secured and once they have customers lined up, they plan to move forward with construction…

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Ohio Moves One Step Closer to Quarterly O&G Production Reports

It looks like Ohio may finally move from reporting oil and gas production every 12 months to every three months. A provision in the state budget (passed by the Ohio House nearly two weeks ago) will require drillers in Ohio to provide production numbers every three months. According to the head of Ohio’s Oil and Gas Resources division at the Dept. of Natural Resources, Rick Simmers, drillers have dropped their opposition to more frequent reporting…

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Fired Pipeliner Sentenced to Year in Prison, Fined for Vandalism

Henry Benton, a fired pipeline worker used a backhoe to intentionally damaged a buried pipeline in northern Lycoming County, PA on three separate occasions in June 2011. He recently plead guilty and has just been sentenced. Benton was ordered to pay $150,000 to the company installing the pipeline ($50K in damages from what he did). He’s also been sentenced to a year in prison:

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CONSOL 1Q13 Update: Transition from Coal to NatGas Continues

CONSOL Energy is one of the largest drillers in the Marcellus Shale. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, CONSOL is also one of the country’s largest coal producers–and the coal portion of the company weighs down its financial performance, as evidenced by their most recent financial update. Last week, CONSOL released its first quarter 2013 financial and operational update and although earnings were disappointing, Marcellus Shale gas production was up a very healthy 60% over the same period in 2012. CONSOL is transforming itself from coal company to natural gas company that concentrates on the Marcellus and Utica Shale region.

Portions of the 1Q13 update, including a very interesting breakdown of the costs to extract gas, which shows in that CONSOL sold gas for an average $4.30 per thousand cubic feet in 1Q13, of which $0.77 per Mcf was profit:

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House Members to EPA: More Details on Fracking Research or No $$

On Friday, House Republicans at a hearing of the Energy and Environment subcommittee focusing on fracking raked the EPA representative over the coals because of the agency’s so-called research that has “misled the public” on the environmental and health risks of fracking. The House spent $45 million last year on said research, and the EPA is requesting another $38 million this year. House Republicans want to know more about that research before they’ll spend another dime on it…

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EPA Says Oops, Methane Leaks Much Less than We Thought

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has “dramatically lowered” its estimate of just how much methane leaks into the atmosphere during the drilling/extracting process. The EPA considers methane a potent so-called greenhouse gas with the power to elevate the earth’s temperature.

The EPA data is “kind of an earthquake” in the drilling debate according to the Breakthrough Institute. Of course the unreasonable anti-drilling nutters like 350.org refuse to believe it, calling natural gas the energy equivalent of a “fad diet”…

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Feds Win Court Case for Pipeline Agency to Inspect NGL Plants

A recent U.S. District Court case has decided that the U.S. Dept. of Transporation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has the right not only to inspect pipelines, but also natural gas liquids (NGL) plants as well. ONEOK Partners argued that PHMSA does not have the right to inspect the pipes and equipment inside NGL plant boundaries at its facility in Bushton, Kansas. However, the District Court said “yes they do.” And so just like that, a new law is born (forget about going through proper legislative channels) and the feds now have the right to inspect NGL plants when they want to…

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Obama Slashes EIA Budget, Nixes Annual Energy Review

The Obama administration, in a juvenile, punitive exercise to punish as many Americans as possible to make a political point about the recent budget sequestration vote to reduce the rate of increase in federal spending by 2%, continues to select key agencies like the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) and now the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to make highly visible, draconian cuts, instead of shaving a dollar or two off the monthly welfare checks for those who refuse to work.

Last week the EIA announced because of budget cuts they will no longer publish their Annual Energy Review and its companion publication, Energy Perspectives—publications they’ve issued for decades. Once again the Obama administration behaves like a petulant child…

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GreenHunter Water Sells First "MAG Tank" to Utica Driller

GreenHunter Water is crowing about the sale of its first MAG Tank, a new above-ground storage tank that uses a unique design and is modular, letting drillers add to or subtract from the tank as needed at the drill pad site. The new tank was sold to an unidentified “large independent oil and gas producer” that will use the new tank at a multi-well Utica Shale drill pad site in southeast Ohio. MDN’s guess is that it was sold to either Chesapeake Energy or Gulfport Energy. Increasingly, open pits (so-called “frack ponds”) used to store fracking fluids and brine are being regulated out of existence, which means tanks will be required to replace them. Enter the MAG Tank.

Today’s announcement from GreenHunter:

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