When Landmen Go Bad: Butler, PA Landman Arrested for Fraud

rotten appleA landman for Penn-Star Energy of Butler, PA, working to secure leases for Range Resources, is accused of a huge scam.

Apparently he used fake companies and forged signatures to steal away mineral rights from some landowners in Washington County, PA–worth more than $1 million…
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Blue Racer Gets $1B Line of Credit for More Utica Projects

Blue Racer Midstream, a 50/50 midstream joint venture between Dominion and Caiman Energy II, was formed last December (see Dominion, Caiman in $1.5B Utica JV: Blue Racer Midstream). One of the assets that belongs to the Blue Racer jv is the newly online Natrium, WV NGL plant (see Dominion Sells $500M Natrium NGL Plant to… Itself).

In order to expand and fulfill their vision of becoming the leading midstream company in the Utica Shale, Blue Racer needs money to build things. They now have it. Blue Racer announced yesterday they’ve secured an $800 million line of credit with a group of banks–a line of credit which can be (under certain conditions) expanded to a whopping $1 billion. That kind of money will easily build you another couple of Natrium NGL plants…
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Dueling Full Page Frack Ads Greet President Obama in Binghamton

Well looky here, what do we have? In the first section of today’s Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin we find a full page anti-fracking advertisement addressed to President Obama on page A8 (see it below) to try and grab his attention while he’s in town delivering an address today at Binghamton University. The ad is paid for by the odious Food & Water Watch, on behalf of a local batch of loonies called New Yorkers Against Fracking. The ad insults President Obama and claims his administration is covering up “the truth” about fracking. It says that fracking can never be done safely. We’re sure the President appreciates their kind help in enlightening him on the error of his ways.

But don’t despair! On the previous page, A7, is also a full page ad addressed to President Obama. This one is from pro-drillers congratulating him and telling him they agree with his previous statements that shale drilling for natural gas is good for the country (see the ad below). The pro-drilling ad is paid for by ANGA–America’s Natural Gas Association. Once again we see a stark contrast between negative, backward-looking fearmongers who oppose fracking (simply because natural gas is a hated fossil fuel), and positive, forward-looking supporters. It is the difference between unreasonable and reasonable…
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CSSD Says First Marcellus Certifications Coming Later this Year

MDN previously told you about a new, independent group–a cooperative between the drilling industry and environmentalists–called the Center for Sustainable Shale Development, or CSSD (see Important: Drillers & Enviros Form New Group, Launch Cert Program). Members of the group on both sides have taken heat for working together to create very strict standards for Marcellus and Utica Shale drillers (see Eco Groups Shun EDF over Membership in Sustainable Shale Center).

The CSSD created a list of 15 standards they want drillers to conform to–some of the standards very costly, especially to small drillers. The group is moving forward with their plans and intends to begin certifying drillers “later this year”…
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Athens Election Board Votes Against Anti-Frack Ballot Measure

Members of the Athens County, OH Board of Elections voted last Thursday to not put a proposed anti-fracking measure on the ballot in the November election that would not only ban fracking in City of Athens, but also up to 20 miles outside of the city–a breathtaking, egregious power grab that the election board’s attorney advised them against supporting. One member of the Election Board who is anti-fracking, having signed an anti-fracking petition before assuming her office, properly recused herself from the vote citing ethics requirements. The rest of the board members unanimously voted against running the wrong-headed proposal on the ballot this fall.

Anti-drillers from the misnamed “Athens Bill of Rights Committee” are considering their next move, likely legal…
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Moxie Liberty Sells PA Electric Plant Project to Panda Power

Last October, Moxie Liberty LLC (i.e., Moxie Energy) of Vienna, VA applied for and received permission from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to build Pennsylvania’s first new electric generation plant to use Marcellus Shale gas to power it (see PA DEP Approves 1st New Electric Plant to Use Marcellus Gas). The plant will be built in Bradford County, PA–the state’s most heavily drilled Marcellus county. However, Moxie will no longer build it. Word came yesterday that Moxie sold the project to Panda Power Funds of Dallas, TX. Henceforth the project will be called Panda Liberty.

Yesterday’s announcement from Panda Power Funds:
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Consultant: Retooling PGW LNG Terminal for Exports Problematic

MDN previously told you that the 176 year-old Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) natural gas utility company went on the auction block in July with the aim of privatizing it (see Phila. Gas Works Goes on Auction Block – Marcellus Key in Sale?). At the time, it seemed like one of the keys to a sale would be converting an existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility owned and operated by PGW into an export facility for exporting Marcellus Shale gas.

However, according to a confidential report issued earlier this year by a PGW consultant, such a scenario would not be all that attractive for a potential buyer. The cost to convert the facility would be far more than the existing value of the entire company, plus there are real estate issues to contend with…
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