Fracking Justice Denied NY Landowners Yet Again Thanks to NY AG

justice delayed is justice deniedA liberal New York judge has just just granted New York State an additional month and a half to get their act together to respond to the Article 78 lawsuit filed by attorney Tom West on behalf Norse Energy. You may recall West filed the lawsuit in the middle of December in an attempt to force Gov. Andrew Cuomo, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, and Health Commissioner Nirav Shah to actually do their jobs (see Norse Energy Sues Gov. Cuomo to Force Release of Fracking Regs). It’s been 5 1/2 long years and the state continues to intentionally delay the release of fracking regulations–the delay, which is now obvious to everyone, is for political reasons. The delays eventually sent Norse Energy into bankruptcy. The company can’t even sell their leases via auction to compensate shafted investors because of the continuing delay by Cuomo. West was hired to force the governor and his minions to suck it up and do their jobs.

How does the state respond? Cuomo’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (a strong anti-driller himself) has found a sympathetic lib judge to, incredibly, further delay! Until March 7 (instead of the scheduled January 24)–to give the state “more time” to…I don’t know, to do what? Make more coffee runs to Dunkin Donuts? Apparently 5 1/2 years isn’t enough time! West said it’s this very kind of delay tactic that prompted Norse to file the lawsuit in the first place! So now, justice is delayed yet again. You know the old saying, justice delayed is justice denied. Landowners in NY have certainly been denied justice under this corrupt governor and his AG…
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Magnum Hunter’s Proved Reserves Jump 23% Thanks to the Marcellus

Magnum Hunter Resources published numbers yesterday for their total proved reserves (how much recoverable oil and gas they have in the ground) for 2013–sort of a scorecard for how they ended the year. They report that total proved oil and natural gas reserves increased by 23% in 2013. Magnum Hunter CEO Gary Evans says the increase was primarily due to their Marcellus Shale drilling program. He said he expects 2014 to be another banner year for the company because of the Marcellus, and because of their drilling program just getting started in the Utica Shale. The company owns 97,000 acres of leases in the Utica and that program is just getting off the ground, so they expect to really pump up proved reserves in the Utica in 2014.

Here’s the full statement from Magnum Hunter. Lots of numbers–don’t go cross-eyed reading it. The interesting stuff is further down the statement…
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Kinder Morgan’s 4Q13 Update for Marcellus/Utica, Condensed

Kinder Morgan, a $110 billion company with 11,000 employees, is the largest midstream (pipeline and processing plant) company in North America. As you might imagine, their vast operations include pipelines and plants in all of the major shale plays, including the Marcellus and Utica. Yesterday KM issued their fourth quarter 2013 update, which is extensive. Really long, like you may turn another year older by the time you finish reading it! So we “took one for the team” and scanned through it to bring you all of the references to either the Marcellus or Utica, which we’ve extracted and list below (saving you a lot of time).

KM’s update for the northeast centers on its $500 million Northeast Upgrade Project for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, new pipelines they plan to build, including the UTOPIA NGL pipeline, and on their joint venture deals with MarkWest. Here’s the greatly condensed version of the KM update relevant for the Marcellus/Utica:
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Rex Energy 4Q13: Several Marcellus Experiments Paying Off

The “little” driller in the Marcellus, Rex Energy, posted impressive gains in production for the fourth quarter of 2013. According to their 4Q13 update issued yesterday, Rex’s production, nearly all of which comes from the Marcellus and Utica Shale region, was 110 million cubic feet per day–a 12% increase over 2012. Of keen interest to investors is that 31% of net production for 4Q13 was oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The company gets a lot more money for those products than just plain “dry gas” methane.

Rex has operations in western PA and eastern OH. Of interest to MDN is that Rex is testing a strategy of drilling both the Marcellus and the shallower Upper Devonian layers in a single well, apparently with good success. They’re also experimenting with spacing wells closer together–at 600 feet apart instead of the traditional 750 feet. Rex is innovating, and reaping the rewards. Here’s their full 4Q13 update:
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Murrysville Park Lease to be Discussed at Meeting

Last June MDN told you that Huntley & Huntley, a small conventional gas driller, had leased land surrounding the Murrysville Community Park in Westmoreland County, PA. At that time Huntley made overtures to Murrysville officials about leasing the land under the park for drilling from neighboring properties they already have under lease (see Conventional Driller Eyes Marcellus Under Murrysville, PA Park). Since that time MDN has learned that Huntley often works with and for Range Resources. Although it’s not clear if Range is the client in this case, we suspect that is the case.

Next Wednesday, Murrysville Council will take up a proposal from Huntley & Huntley (Range?) at their regularly scheduled public meeting. Both council members and Huntley want the public to attend and hear more about Huntley’s (Range’s?) plan, “in the interests of good communication.” Should be interesting…
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BP’s Annual Energy Outlook Through 2035 – Fool’s Errand?

Yesterday BP, a huge driller with a sizable acreage position in the Utica Shale (84,000 leased acres), issued its annual BP Energy Outlook 2035 (full copy embedded below). The 96-page report sets out BP’s view of the most likely developments in global energy markets to 2035, based on up-to-date analyses. BP experts expect global energy demand to rise 41% from now until 2035 with 95% of that growth coming from “emerging economies.” According to BP, gas as a source of energy is growing fastest among the fossil fuels and by 2035 gas is expected to be at parity with coal–each providing about 27% of power needs in 2035. BP says shale gas will make up 68% of U.S. gas production by 2035.

Of course, all of this speculation is fun to read, but frankly is just so much folly. MDN editor Jim Willis heard Charif Souki, CEO of Cheniere Energy address the predictions game at the Platts Global Energy Forum in New York City last December (see Energy Industry Leaders Gather at Platts Forum in NYC). At that forum, Souki said any kind of prediction beyond 2-3 years in the rapidly changing energy industry is meaningless. He said if you go back 20 years and look at those predictions about today, none of them predicted shale and how the industry would change so dramatically. We concur with Souki–making these kinds of predictions is a fool’s errand. Still, it’s fun to read and muse about what might be…
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Quarterly OH Utica Shale Report from CSU: Huge Economic Impact

Each quarter, researchers at Cleveland State University publish the Ohio Utica Shale Gas Monitor, a report that looks at the economic impacts of Utica and Marcellus Shale drilling in Ohio. The latest report was issued a few weeks ago and MDN has just now been able to locate a copy to share with you (full copy of the 39-page report embedded below). What does the report tell us? The number of counties with “strong” shale activity has gone to eight from 15, and the number of counties with “moderate” shale drilling activity has gone to five from 30. That’s a head-turner! The “strong” counties, in addition to producing methane (or dry gas), are also producing “commercial amounts” of natural gas liquids (wet gas).

Here’s a good overview of the report as provided by NortheastPA.com:
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Out of Control EPA Exposed, Indicted by their Own Emails

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting that through Freedom of Information requests, a link has been exposed between the federal Environmental Protection Agency and national so-called environmental groups. Emails show close coordination of “messaging” (i.e. propaganda campaigns). The emails also show, in MDN’s opinion, how these environmental groups and the federal government itself is manipulating rank and file citizens–shaping and influencing their opinion to get them to do the bidding of the elitists who run those organizations. What the evidence shows is that truth is a casualty and coordination of propaganda reigns supreme inside the Barack Obama/Gina McCarthy EPA.

We certainly hope Congress initiates hearings to get to the bottom of these unethical and likely illegal activities–and put a stop to it…
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Tesla Thumper Trucks Arrive in Murrysville, PA This Month

Seismic testing thumper trucks will arrive in Murrysville (Westmoreland County), PA at the end of this month, according to Murrysville Chief Administrator Jim Morrison. MDN told you in December that Murrysville residents were being approached by ION Geophysical to allow testing on their land for $5 per acres–Starbucks coffee money essentially (see Thumper Trucks Coming to Murrysville – Make a (Very) Few Bucks?).

According to MDN’s December story, the seismic testing would be performed by ION and begin in February. The testing that starts later this month, in January, is from Tesla Exploration–a different company. What’s not clear to MDN is whether or not Tesla is doing their testing on behalf of ION, or in addition to ION. Maybe a sharp MDN reader with knowledge of the situation can elucidate? At any rate, one thing is for sure–seismic testing is coming to Murrysville, and soon…
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