PA Democrat Party Votes to End Marcellus Shale Drilling Statewide

insanitySome of the biggest news we’ve ever heard from Pennsylvania dealing with the Marcellus Shale happened last Saturday, and we’re only now just catching wind of it. In fact, if you search mainstream media high and low, we challenge you to find even a single reference to it. We found precisely one reference, in an obscure and short editorial in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The news is this: Last weekend the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee–representatives from the entire Democrat party from around the state–met in beautiful Lancaster, PA and voted by an overwhelming majority (115 to 81) to pass a resolution calling for the immediate halt to fracking in the state. That is, they want to kill Marcellus Shale drilling in PA–snuff out the economic miracle in their midst. You have to wonder just how deeply insanity runs in the Democrat party. You also have to wonder why no one is reporting this…
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USGS Tests PA Water Wells Before Drilling, Finds Methane

Thank you U.S. Geological Survey and the scientific method for once again proving what we’ve known all along–there’s a LOT of naturally-occurring methane in Pennsylvania well water. On Tuesday, the USGS released their latest testing survey of 20 water wells in Sullivan County, PA–in the northeastern part of the state (full copy of the report embedded below). What did the survey find? Seven of the 20 water wells contain dissolved methane. Two of the wells (10% of all wells tested) had “elevated concentrations of naturally dissolved methane.”

Oh, and there hasn’t been any Marcellus Shale drilling in those areas. This is a pre-drilling baseline test…
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PA Marcellus Health Study Still No Pulse – Needs Extra $24M

The much-ballyhooed “first ever” study of the health impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling announced in August 2012 by Geisinger Health System and Guthrie Health (later joined by Susquehanna Health) still does not have a pulse (see Health Care Systems Partner to Study Marcellus Impacts). After the study was announced with great fanfare, the organizations performing it (Geisinger et al) stuck their hands out and said “we need money to do it.” Finally, six months later, the Degenstein Foundation of Sunbury, PA stepped up and gave the group $1 million to get the ball rolling.

Problem is, according to a Geisinger spokesperson, the study is still $24 million short…
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M3 Midstream’s Kensington, OH NGL Plant Launch Date Slips

In May 2012, MDN told you about a new $400 million natural gas liquids (NGL) processing plant that would be built in Kensington, about a mile south of Hanoverton, OH, by a joint venture involving M3 Midstream, Chesapeake Energy and EV Energy Partners (see Location for OH NGL Processing Plant Identified). M3 said the Kensington NGL plant was on track for an “aggressive” May 2013 opening as late as December last year (see Columbiana County NGL Plant On Track for May Opening). It’s end of June and the plant is still not running.

We do, however, have a new estimated start date…
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New IEA Report: NatGas in Transportation About to “Take Off”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) today released their Medium-Term Gas Market Report (MTGMR), in which they say U.S. natural gas production will accelerate from 2014 through 2018 as higher prices spur drilling and infrastructure expansion brings more shale supplies to market. There are a number of interesting tidbits in the study (see a summary and slide show embedded below).

Among the predictions in the report is that natural gas is about to take off in a major way as a transportation fuel, making a serious dent in oil: “Thanks to abundant shale gas in the United States and amid more stringent environmental policies in China, gas is expected to do more to slow oil demand growth than electric vehicles and biofuels combined.”

The IEA press release announcing the latest MTGMR:
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Crestwood Midstream & Inergy Tie 2/3 of the Merger Knot

In early May, MDN told you that Crestwood Midstream (with pipelines and processing plants in the Marcellus) and Inergy Midstream will merge to form a $7 billion midstream behemoth (see M&A Mania: Crestwood Midstream & Inergy will Merge). Yesterday, the first step along the road to marital bliss was completed when Crestwood paid $80 million cash for Inergy, L.P. and both Crestwood and Inergy did a complicated stock swap. The third and final step on the merger road will happen in the third quarter when Crestwood Midstream will be formally merged into a subsidiary of Inergy Midstream.

The announcement from yesterday updating us on Crestwood and Inergy’s elaborate dance:
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