PA Dems Go Over the Cliff – Introduce Statewide Frack Ban Bill

driving over a cliffStupendously stupid and truly amazing, some Pennsylvania Democrats continue to push a statewide “open-ended” moratorium on shale drilling (in essence a ban). The party voted to adopt a ban as their official position at the statewide meeting in June (see PA Democrat Party Votes to End Marcellus Shale Drilling Statewide). Now, Democrat elected representatives have introduced a bill to do just that.

PA State Senator Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny) has just introduced Senate Bill 1100 which would institute an immediate ban (they call it a moratorium) on issuing new permits to drill until a 7-member panel can study it for “at least three to four years” and make a pronouncement about whether or not fracking is safe. Talk about insanity…
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New Trend? LNG for Domestic Transportation Bursts on the Scene

Is LNG used for domestic transportation in the U.S. about to take off in a big way? We’re not yet sure, but one thing is for sure: there are a number of companies investing in and talking about just that. MDN ran another LNG story today about a new initiative from GDF SUEZ called the advanceLNG Project (see Potential New Market for Marcellus/Utica Gas: LNG for Use in U.S.). And then–seeming out of nowhere–another LNG story. Boone Pickens’ Clean Energy Fuels company is partnering with with Ferus Natural Gas Fuels and GE to build “micro LNG” plants in five states, including Ohio.

So, what’s a micro LNG plant? We explain…
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Potential New Market for Marcellus/Utica Gas: LNG for Use in U.S.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) isn’t just for exporting to other countries. LNG is increasingly used right here at home, in the U.S. GDF SUEZ Gas has provided LNG to the northeastern U.S. for the past 40 years for use in ships, railroad locomotives, long-haul trucks, and heating/power generation. Earlier this week GDF SUEZ announced a sort of “open season” for bids on a massive increase in their capacity to provide more LNG in the northeast. They call it the advanceLNG Project.

The potential good news for producers of Marcellus and Utica Shale gas is that if the advanceLNG Project moves forward, it will need lots of natural gas from the region to feed it. advanceLNG is a potentially lucrative new market for the northeast’s abundant supplies of natgas…
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XTO Will Pay $20M+ to Settle PA Frack Wastewater Spill Case

XTO Energy (owned by Exxon) continues to fight against an egregious–perhaps illegal–abuse of power by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, an anti-driller who is attempting to criminalize an accidental spill of frack wastewater hoping to make “an example” of XTO (see PA AG Abuses Her Authority, Files Criminal Charges Against XTO).

Meanwhile, XTO has just settled the civil side of that accident by agreeing to pay more than $20 million–$100,000 in fines and $20 million to implement new procedures and technologies to ensure such a spill does not happen again…
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Production from 4 Marcellus Drillers Keeps U.S. NatGas Prices Low

An article on the investor website The Motley Fool does a good job of putting into context the enormous importance of the Marcellus Shale. According to the article, even though production from other major U.S. shale plays like the Haynesville has fallen in recent years, Marcellus production is up so dramatically it single-handedly keeps the price of natural gas low in this country.

The article (read it below) also gives a quick roundup of four key drillers driving the success of the Marcellus…
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PA Game Comm. Head Not Afraid of Gas Leasing Ethics Investigation

A month ago MDN highlighted the story of potential double-dipping by the director for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, William A. Capouillez, who moonlights as a consultant for landowners leasing their land for oil and gas development–sometimes signing deals with the same companies who do business with his agency (see PA Director of Game Commission Double-Dipping with Gas Leases?).

The pressure on Capouillez continues. An article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer announces that State Rep. Daryl D. Metcalfe (Republican from Butler, PA), who is the chairman of the House Committee on State Government, has asked the State Ethics Commission to investigate his activities. Capouillez’s response? Bring it on. He says he hasn’t taken on new clients for his moonlighting job in three years and has done nothing wrong…
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PA Landman Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Landowners, Off to Jail

A few weeks ago MDN told you about the arrest and charges against a Butler, PA landman–Derek Candelore–who is accused of an elaborate scam in stealing away mineral rights from unsuspecting landowners by forging signatures and using fake companies (see When Landmen Go Bad: Butler, PA Landman Arrested for Fraud). Candelore plead not guilty, but his partner, William Ray, has just pleaded guilty and when convicted will spend something like three years in the clink for his crime.

Mr. Ray will not only do the time, he’ll also have to give back over half a million dollars he received as part of the scam and continue to pay back what he stole from his future earnings after he’s done making license plates in the pen for ten cents an hour…
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Antero Ups 2013 Budget Extra $500M for Marcellus/Utica Drilling

Antero Resource provided an update yesterday on their Marcellus and Utica Shale operations. Among the interesting highlights: Antero has started using longer “shorter stage lengths” (SSLs) when fracking wells–going from 150-200 feet per frack stage to an average of 350 feet per stage. They report being “encouraged” by the results. Antero also announced they’re investing an extra $500 million in their 2013 capital budget for drilling in the Marcellus and Utica…

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Highland Park, NJ First Town in State to Ban Fracking – So What

Egged on by community agitators like the anti-drilling Food & Water Watch and Sierra Club, Highland Park, NJ just became the first municipality in the state to officially ban fracking. Big deal. There is no fracking in NJ right now, Highland Park is too populated to support fracking, and there’s nothing worth fracking under the land in Highland Park anyway. But don’t tell the potheads concerned citizens in the protest lines–they’re having too much fun protesting to be bothered with the facts…

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Marcellus Shale Causes Housing Prices in SW PA to Go Up

One of the oft-repeated lies by anti-drillers is that shale drilling causes property values to tank. “No one wants to live near active drill sites with truck traffic and water contamination,” is what they say. Never mind that once the drilling is done (within a few months) the trucks are gone–and there is no water contamination. But still, perception is reality in this Alice-in-Wonderland time in which we live.

However, the realty reality in southwestern Pennsylvania, a very active Marcellus Shale drilling area, puts to bed the “lowers property value” lie by those who want to stop drilling. According to a Realtor from the RealtyTrac Network, sales of homes in SW PA are way up (12.5% per year), and property values are increasing throughout the region–by 2-4% annually. In other words, it’s a red-hot sellers market in SW PA. Why? You guessed it: the Marcellus Shale…
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