Coast Guard Green Lights Barge Transport of Frack Wastewater

greenlightGood news for GreenHunter Water and their multiple barge facilities located along the Ohio River: The U.S. Coast Guard issued a proposal on Tuesday that will allow GreenHunter (and other companies) to barge frack wastewater from one point to another for eventual disposal by injection well. MDN reported back in August that the federal government, including the Coast Guard, was “very close” to approving barge transport for frack wastwater (see Federal Approval for Barging Frack Wastewater Very Close).

After a 30-day comment period the Coast Guard will move forward with their proposal and announce a date on which transportation by barge can begin. This is very good news for GreenHunter and others who have been waiting for more than a year to begin barge transport…
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LNG Storage/Fueling Stations Latest Anti-Drilling Target in NY

New York State is first in all of the things you don’t want to be first in–like having the highest unemployment and taxes of any state in the union–and dead last in all the things you don’t want to be last in. Example: New York is the only state that does not allow liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and LNG fueling stations. Translation: All of those new trucking fleets being purchased by UPS and other companies can’t operate in New York because there’s no place to fuel up.

LNG fueling stations have nothing to do with whether or not NY decides to allow fracking, but anti-drillers are attempting to make a connection anyway. A group of more than 100 anti-drillers piled into a hearing room in Albany yesterday to tell the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation they oppose the DEC’s plan to allow LNG storage and fueling stations. The usual crowd of hippie retreads from groups like Catskill Mountainkeeper and NY Public Interest Research Group showed up to mouth off–then they piled back into buses powered by dirty diesel fuel to head back to New York City from whence they came. Rank hypocrites, the lot of them…
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2 Ethane Pipelines May Cause Marcellus/Utica Production to Jump

Is production in the Marcellus and Utica Shale about to increase–dramatically? It may, and not because of a flurry of new wells coming online. Production may soon increase because of two new ethane pipelines due to go online in the next few months–the Mariner West pipeline to Sarnia, Canada, and the ATEX pipeline to the Gulf Coast. When those pipelines become fully operational, drillers that had been scaling back production because of no markets for their ethane will likely turn the valves wide open and let it flow.

An excellent bit of analysis about the impact of these two new pipelines from Platts…
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Range Resources 3Q13 Investor Call: Bull’s-eye in the Marcellus

Range Resources, the very first driller to sink a well into the Marcellus, is also perhaps the biggest cheerleader and booster of the Marcellus. And why not? The Marcellus has been very good to Range.

Most of Range Resources’ wells and acreage is located in southwestern PA, in the “wet gas” area of the play. On a call with analysts yesterday discussing third quarter results, Range officials, including CEO Jeff Ventura, effused about the Marcellus, saying Range has enough acreage and opportunity in the Marcellus to allow them to continue drilling new wells for at least another 20 years. That is, they’ve hit the bull’s-eye (our words) in the Marcellus…
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Deniers Would Rather Penn State Keep Burning Coal than Use NatGas

Witnessing the psychology of those who are anti-drilling, and the reasons for being anti-drilling, is instructive. Some people are honestly afraid that fracking and an increased use of natural gas will lead to an environmental holocaust. We’ll call them lazily ignorant. They don’t bother to investigate or think through the information being spoon fed to them with a critical, logical mind. They just accept the fantastical yarns they hear as the truth. Then there are the true believer fanatics who have gone on over the edge, believing mythical “renewables” can power the planet–now–if only we had the political spine to man-up and change. Bring back the horse and buggies! We’ll call them dangerously stupid.

Regardless of whether you’re lazily ignorant or dangerously stupid (i.e. regardless of why you believe), what you believe does matter. Case in point: A “few dozen” residents and students who live near Penn State in State College, PA want the university to forget about their plan to convert their electric generation plant from being powered by coal to being powered by cheaper, clean-burning natural gas…
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Access Midstream Will Invest $3.8B in Marcellus/Utica by End 2015

Access Midstream Partners is heavily involved with the pipeline/processing plant infrastructure buildout happening in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale region. Access is the lead company in the joint venture known as Cardinal Gas Services (the other partners being TOTAL and EnerVest), and an important partner in Utica East Ohio Buckeye (along with M3 Midstream and EnerVest). According to Access CEO Mike Stice on an investors call yesterday, his company’s total investment in the Marcellus Shale by the end of 2015 will be $1.8 billion, and the total investment in the Utica will be $2 billion.

A combined $3.8 billion investment in the northeast spanning 2012-2015–from one company. Simply astonishing! Here’s a few highlights from Stice’s talk yesterday…
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House Dems Want OMB/EPA Tag Team to Ban Diesel in Fracking Fluid

More federal interference in fracking appears to be on the way. Two House Democrats–Henry Waxman and Diana DeGette–have “asked” (demanded?) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize a permitting guidance rule from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that disallows using diesel fuel in fracking fluids. Waxman and DeGette say the current rule in place is not specific enough and that some drillers continue to use diesel in fracking fluids. Accusing drillers of using diesel fuel in fracking fluid gives politicians a talking point to stoke their radical green supporters (and increase campaign contributions).

MDN asks: Is the OMB/EPA rule a good thing, or a bad thing?…
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WVU & OSU Score $2M from NSF for Shale Energy Research

The Marcellus and Utica Shale is not only good for landowners (big bonuses, lucrative royalties), for drillers (can’t drill fast enough, making boatloads of money), and of course the rest of us (all that money ripples throughout local economies and gets reinvested). The Marcellus/Utica is also good for academic types too. West Virginia University and Ohio State University together have just been awarded an eye-popping $2 million grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for shale energy research.

Some of that money will go to a researcher MDN previously highlighted back in 2011–Dr. Shikha Sharma, an assistant professor at WVU. At the time Dr. Sharma delivered what was bad news for anti-drillers: methane found in water samples she analyzed was not from shale drilling but is naturally occurring (see WVU Prof: Methane in Water Supplies is Not from Fracking). Dr. Sharma has been awarded $351K from the NSF grant to “probe the chemical and isotopic biomarkers that microorganisms leave behind during their growth and respiration process.” Er, right. A bit beyond our comprehension, but we’re sure it’s valuable research nonetheless! Here’s the announcement from WVU about the grant and what researchers will be doing with the money (if you understand it)…
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PA Anti-Driller Claims She was Disrespected at County Meeeting

A few days ago MDN told you about Susquehanna County, PA’s minor anti-fracking celebrity Vera Scoggins (see NE PA Anti-Driller Slapped with Trespassing Injunction). We’ve recounted a number of instances of Vera’s bad behavior. Being slapped with a court order hasn’t slowed her down. Vera showed up at the recent Susquehanna County Commissioner’s meeting to continue her antics.

The following story is self-explanatory. Here’s the real laugh line: Vera says she was disrespected at the meeting! That’s after she refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance…
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