PA’s State Energy Plan: All of the Above…AND Below!

above and belowPennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett continues to impress and confound Democrat governor wannabes like John Hanger who seek to replace him. The Dems have been salivating like mad dogs at the prospect of winning back the governor’s chair in November. For them and their mainstream media accomplices (we were going to say media whores, but thought that may be a tad to strong from the family-friendly MDN), it’s a foregone conclusion that Corbett is history…toast…on the way out. But Corbett, long accused of being a “tool” of the drilling industry by jealous Luddites on the anti-drilling side, still has some fight left in him, and he came out swinging earlier this week when he introduced his PA State Energy Plan. In stark contrast to the puffery and flummery offered up by NY Gov. Andrew “the ditherer” Cuomo with his energy plan from a few weeks ago (see NY Releases a Draft (Frackless) State Energy Plan), the PA plan is a breath of fresh air for Pennsylvanians.

The title of Corbett’s energy plan says it all: Energy = Jobs. In a turn of phrase we absolutely love (taking a jab at the empty PR platitudes from Obama), Corbett’s plan doesn’t pick any winners or losers to support, he supports all options, something he calls an “all of the above — AND below” strategy. Love it! Something else we love about Corbett is his philosophy of government: Corbett says government doesn’t create jobs, private industry does. Government’s job is to protect public health and safety and create an positive atmosphere for job creators. Wow! When was the last time a politician finally “got it”? A politician whose actions back up his words? A politician with guts? That’s Tom Corbett…
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Rice Energy IPO Launches Tomorrow, Fri Jan 24

MDN previously told you that Rice Energy, a northeast-only driller with operations and acreage in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale, would soon go public with an IPO (see Rice Energy Launches IPO, Hopes to Raise $840M). The date for the IPO–the initial public stock offering–is now fixed: Friday, Jan. 24. Tomorrow. Rice hopes to raise $840 million in new investment to help with their planned $1 billion of drilling investment in the Marcellus/Utica for this year. Will they get it? That’s the million, or rather billion dollar question. We hope so!

MDN has covered various parts of the Rice story previously (see our Rice Energy category listing for all past MDN stories). However, an article published yesterday on the Seeking Alpha website does a good job of corralling all of the details into a single, easy-to-read article. While the article is aimed at those considering an investment in Rice, we found the information helpful for landowners, supply chain businesses and others with an interest in Rice. Forthwith:
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PA DEP Extends Roadshow for Public Comment on New Drilling Rules

Roadshow! The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB), a division of the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), has been in the midst of a 60-day tour, visiting different locations across the state, to elicit public comment on proposed new Marcellus Shale drilling rules called for under the Act 13 law passed in early 2012 (see PA DEP Launches Public Comments on New Drilling Rules, Roadshow).

Must be the EQB is having fun because they’ve just extended the roadshow for another 30 days. Instead of wrapping up public comments on the proposed new drilling rules by Feb. 12, the new deadline will be Mar. 14. Oh, and they’ve added a couple of more stops to the roadshow tour: Troy and Warren, PA. Here’s the EQB roadshow extension announcement:
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Bumpy Ride for GreenHunter Because of WV Coal Chemical Spill?

Is there a connection between the recent chemical leak in West Virginia that cut off water for 300,000 people–a leak related the coal industry–and GreenHunter Water’s plans for a frack wastewater recycling plant in Wheeling, WV? Perhaps. No, GreenHunter had nothing to do with the chemical spill that made national headlines for weeks (see Coal Industry Blamed for West Virginia Chemical Spill). But because GreenHunter plans to store fracking wastewater in tanks above ground “mere yards from the Ohio River” as one article says, they are now coming under increased scrutiny. One might say they’re now under a microscope.

MDN has covered the long road for GreenHunter in establishing the Wheeling wastewater recycling facility (see these MDN articles). Just when it appeared that the path was clear–and that even the U.S. Coast Guard would finally grant GreenHunter permission to barge frack wastewater from the Wheeling facility–the coal-related chemical spill happened, which may end up adversely affecting the GreenHunter project…
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Trans Energy’s WV Focus Paying Off – IP Numbers for 8 Wells

Trans Energy is a smaller, “pure play” driller in the WV Marcellus Shale. MDN told you last October that Trans Energy had sold off it’s holdings in Tyler County, WV in order to focus on drilling in Marshall, Wetzel and Marion counties (see Trans Energy Sells Off Holdings in Tyler County, WV – Who Bought?).

Looks like focusing is paying off for Trans Energy. Tuesday the company provided an update on production for 8 of their wells in Marion and Marshall counties. The IP (initial production) numbers look pretty darned good to us…
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Former Marcellus Coalition CEO Katie Klaber Starts Consultantancy

Con•sult•ant: a person who provides expert advice professionally. Synonyms: adviser, expert, specialist, authority, pundit. One of our favorite Marcellus personalities, Kathryn (Katie) Klaber, former CEO of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, has finally turned up again–as a consultant. Katie has begun her own consulting practice along with partner Ron Pettengill, a Wall Street IT wizard. It will be no surprise that Katie’s new consulting firm will focus on shale, and, if we read her press announcement correctly, help companies navigate the tricky PR waters of aggressive development while maintaining good relations with the public. And Katie should know, because she helped build the enormously successful MSC to its current 300 members–those members being some of the largest upstream (drilling) and midstream (pipelines) companies in the world.

The Marcellus Shale has become the hottest of the hot shale plays in the United States–and Katie Klaber had a hand in that success. She’s now turning her expertise, specialization and authority into a consulting practice that will deliver her knowledge to companies across the country. Here’s the press announcement from Katie about her newly formed consulting practice, including a couple of customers she’s already serving (advising the Babst Calland law firm and working with global consulting firm Blue Water Growth)…
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Lease Signing 101 for Landowners – A Short Q&A with OH Attorney

What should landowners know–what questions should they have answers for–before they sign an oil and gas lease? Attorney Dan Gerken from Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler tackles the important questions landowners should know the answers to in an online post that we think of as “lease signing 101.” It doesn’t hurt to cover the basics from time to time as new landowners are approached and begin the process of trying to figure out what they should do.

Here’s Dan’s good all-around “basics” Q&A advice:
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Williams Expands in PA Again, Adds Local HQ in Fayette County

Although headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Williams–one of the largest (perhaps the largest) midstream company in the Marcellus and Utica Shale–continues to expand its footprint in the northeast. The latest area where Williams is expanding is southwest PA–Fayette County to be precise. Williams recently opened a new local headquarters for their Williams Energy division in Fayette. The new location currently employs 75 people (so far).

Here’s the story of Williams’ ongoing expansion in SW PA…
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Chief O&G Adds Field Office/Jobs in Bradford County, PA

Chief Oil & Gas is expanding–in Wyalusing, PA. Where the heck is Wyalusing (population 564)? Smack in the middle of Bradford County, not far from Towanda, PA. Bradford is one of (perhaps the most) drilled Marcellus Shale counties in the state. It certainly makes sense for Chief to set up shop there–especially since Chief owns 210,000 acres of leases and operates 100 wells in the area!

The new field office in Wylausing consists of three trailers and 12 employees–at least for now…
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Japan Researchers Say Life Wouldn’t have Begun without Natgas

Anti-drillers seems to be susceptible to believing in fairy tales–like the myth of man-made global warming. Here’s a new fairy tale anti-drillers may not like so much. This one comes from researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT). In a press release laced with a lot of maybes, could-of’s and probably’s, the bright minds at TIT have a new theory: One of the key substances found on earth today was a necessary component in the formation of life on earth–it was a necessary ingredient in the primordial soup of life. And what, you may ask, is that key, critical chemical compound? CH4…otherwise known as methane…otherwise known as natural gas.

Oh no! Say it ain’t so!! Not natural gas?! Yep. The same anti-drillers who tell you the world will end by burning natural gas wouldn’t even be here (according the TIT fairy tale) without it. Talk about ironic…
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