Protesters Shut Down Anadarko Drill Site in Lycoming County, PA

confessions of an eco-terroristThe very twisted philosophy of so-called “Earth First” group members seems to be that humans are an infestation on Mother Earth, hence the name (full of self-loathing people, apparently). A group of Earth Firsters, most of them not from Pennsylvania, protested and shut down an Anadarko Petroleum drilling site in PA yesterday. Anadarko owns leases land in the Tiadaghton State Forest in Lycoming County, PA where they have an active drilling site (near Williamsport). Three of the protesters locked themselves to a solid concrete pipe embedded with shrapnel that reached across the road blocking the way to the drill site. The protesters had to be cut free at great personal danger to themselves and the first responders who cut them free. Five protesters in all were arrested.

MDN received exclusive photos from someone at the scene (below). We’ve also located a video showing the shrapnel embedded in a solid concrete pipe–and the gentle care the local first responders took in protecting the protesters as they cut them free. First responders put their own lives at risk to free these idiots. We would have been far less gentle (picking the whole thing up with a forklift and dropping it on the side of the road–with these kooks attached–comes to mind). Read the news, look at the photos, and be sure to watch the video below to see what we’re up against with extreme Earth First nutters…
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Fracking has (so far) Triggered Earthquakes 3x – Out of 60K Wells

MDN has been following the story of 11 small earthquakes in the Youngstown, Ohio area early last week (see # of Youngstown Earthquakes go from 2 to 11 – Fracking to Blame?). We pointed out in that story that we are aware of exactly one proven instance where fracking a well has caused an earthquake–in England. Yesterday we ran a story about the PA DEP granting permits to Hilcorp to drill 7 new wells just 6 miles away from where Hilcorp voluntarily stopped drilling in Ohio while Ohio officials check out a possible connection between their drilling and the earthquakes (see Hilcorp Awarded Permits to Drill 7 New Wells Near Earthquake Zone).

In yesterday’s story we made the statement that “fracking simply does not cause earthquakes.” That statement was our short-hand way of saying “almost never, statistically never” but as one MDN reader pointed out, “not” means “100% not” and so our statement was factually incorrect. For that we apologize and want to correct the record and tell you about the three known times fracking has caused earthquakes…
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PA Shale Industry Demonized for “Lack” of Severance Tax

The Democrats in Pennsylvania are bound and determined to impose a nosebleed severance tax on shale drilling in the state. Their latest effort comes from the partisan so-called Independent Fiscal Office, a branch of the state legislature, that just released an apples to oranges comparison of PA with other states claiming PA doesn’t pay as much in taxes as those other states. Of course what the very flawed analysis by the IFO doesn’t show are all of the other taxes and fees in PA not levied in those other states that more than make up for the “lack” of a severance tax.

PA Dems seem to have the philosophy that 100% of the money earned by other people (drillers in this case) belongs to the state (i.e. them) for redistribution purposes, and how dare the industry oppose them from extracting 5%, or preferably 10%, right off the top (see PA State Treasurer Rob McCord Unveils Gas Death Plan). Here’s the latest salvo in the PA Dem war to regain the governor’s chair this November by demonizing the shale industry as not paying their “fair share”…
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Chautauqua County Fed Pack of Lies about Fracking, Considers Ban

And so it begins. MDN told you yesterday about the City of Dunkirk, NY that has bitten off the natural gas hand that feed them–by passing a fracking ban (see Dunkirk, NY City Council Bites Off the NatGas Hand that Feeds It). The dolts on Dunkirk City Council said they want the entire county–Chautauqua County–to follow suit and ban fracking countywide. County legislators attended a special session Wednesday night where they heard some truth, and a whole lotta lies, about hydraulic fracturing.

Here’s how it went…
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Epsilon Energy’s 2013 Marcellus Strategy Change – Is it Working?

Canadian driller and midstream company Epsilon Energy had a shareholder rebellion last year and threw out the sitting board of directors. Epsilon CEO Michael Raleigh announced at the time that the company had embarked on a turnaround strategy of focusing on the Marcellus Shale–less than a year after saying they would scale back in the Marcellus (see Epsilon Energy Makes “About-Face” on Marcellus Drilling). How’s the turnaround going? Yesterday Epsilon released their fourth quarter and full year 2013 results. Looks like mixed results. Proved reserves are up, production is up, volumes are up on their gas gathering system, and revenues are up–8% over 2012. However, the company lost $13.5 million for the year (compared to a loss of $4 million in 2012).

Here’s the full update issued yesterday by Epsilon:
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MarkWest Line of Credit Extension – Can Now Borrow up to $1.3B

With dense financial talk about amendments, maturities and accordion options, MarkWest announced yesterday that they’ve bumped up the borrowing limit on their line of credit at the bank. They can now borrow up to $1.3 billion and not have to pay it back until 2019. And MarkWest is likely going to need every penny as they continue their rapid (and necessary) expansion in the Marcellus and Utica Shale.

MarkWest remains the region’s largest midstream company. Here’s their “we got an extension to our credit line” announcement from yesterday:
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Back to the Future (Fund) – WV Gov. Tomblin Signs New Law

Last year a bunch of West Virginia lawmakers went on a quick vacation to North Dakota (of all places), at a cost of $25,000 to WV taxpayers, to try and convince those lawmakers to look at and adopt a “future fund” similar to ND’s “legacy fund” (see 18 WV Lawmakers Flying to ND for a $20K Overnighter on Drill Tax). The Future Fund bill, which would set aside 3% of revenue raised from WV’s oil and gas severance tax in a rainy day fund, came up for a vote a few weeks ago. It passed, but not the way hoped for (see Fate of 3 WV Laws that Impact Marcellus/Utica Drilling). The final bill was altered so that only if certain economic conditions are met would the 3% be set aside.

However, that makes no difference when it comes to photo ops. Yesterday WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the bill into law and the headlines today all ready that WV now has a Future Fund and the state’s politicians are almost breaking their arms patting themselves on the back–even though it’s doubtful that money will be set aside for years to come…
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FL Company Gets Contract to Process Chemical Sludge in Marcellus

Handex Industrial Services (HIS), based in Winter Park, FL, announced yesterday that they’ve been awarded a $750,000 contract to clean and treat chemical “sludge” left over from treating frack wastewater for…someone. The customer is not named. Actually, we think the press release from HIS is a bit screwed up. It says the contract is with “an environmental engineering and consulting firm conducting hydraulic fracturing.” We think they mean “an oilfield services firm.” We’re not aware of any engineering firms that do fracking. Where is the unnamed company located? “…the Marcellus Shale Formation in east central Ohio.” Er, we think they mean the Utica Shale in east central Ohio. Is there Marcellus there? Yes. But not a lot of drilling in the Marcellus layer in that area at this time.

At any rate, our point is this: A Florida company is doing work on cleaning up leftover chemical waste from frack wastewater. Other drillers/oilfield companies may be interested in knowing that, and other companies that can do the same thing located in the northeast should pay attention to the opportunities in their own back yard. Here’s the somewhat hard-to-understand press release from HIS:
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America’s Cities Big Winners from Cheap Marcellus Shale Gas

Yesterday the U.S. Conference of Mayors released a new study from IHS that shows the positive impact inexpensive and abundant natural gas is having on the manufacturing sector. Titled “Impact of the Manufacturing Renaissance from Energy Intensive Sectors” (full copy embedded below), the report provides analysis and detailed data on the impact for jobs and the economy in 363 metro areas across the United States. Nine key sectors are analyzed, including: Basic organic chemicals; iron and steel mills; fabricated metals; machinery; nonmetallic minerals; resin, rubber and fiber; plastics and rubber; agricultural chemicals; and petroleum and coal products. According to the report, in 2011 and 2012, demand from the Marcellus and other growing shale plays for new pipelines and mining equipment ignited the nation’s steel, iron, fabricated metals, and machinery manufacturing industries. In U.S. metro areas, these sectors saw real sales and employment jump by 17% and 9.7%, respectively, during those years.

Through 2020, the report projects energy intensive manufacturing employment will expand by more than 1% annually nationwide, with 72% of those jobs coming in metro areas. That is, America’s cities are the beneficiaries, both economically and in job growth, because of cheap natgas. Below are the key findings of the report, followed by a full copy…
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