The Curious Case of First Penn Oil & Gas in Noble County, OH

Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonMDN spotted a very brief mention that Noble County, OH signed a lease in February with First Penn Oil & Gas for 6.71 acres of county-owned land for $36,657, or $5,463 per acre. Which on the surface seems like a pretty good deal. We dug some more, having not heard of Penn Oil & Gas, and found that the Caldwell (Noble County), OH School Board also signed a lease with Penn, just a few weeks ago. The school is raking in the dough: terms were $5,400 for 38.6846 acres, or roughly $209,000.

Who is Penn Oil & Gas? They’re not a driller as far as we can tell. Likely a land company, or more pejoratively, a “lease flipper” that will lease the land then turn around and sell the lease to a driller. Who might the driller be that will ultimately inherit those leases? We have a guess or two…
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CONSOL Gets FAA Clearance for Take Off with Pitt Airport Drilling

Really good news for CONSOL Energy and their CNX Gas subsidiary: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given their blessing for CONSOL’s plan to drill at Pittsburgh International Airport. Not only has the FAA granted it’s approval, so too has the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For more than a year CONSOL has been working on a plan that will please everyone so they can drill on Pittsburgh Airport property–a plan that the Airport hopes will ultimately net them $1 billion or more (see CONSOL Energy Reveals Drilling Plan for Pittsburgh Airport). Just about every letter in the alphabet soup of Washington, DC agencies has now reviewed and approved CONSOL’s plan to drill at the Pittsburgh Airport. So, can we get drilling already?!…
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NY AG Schneiderman Files to Dismiss JLCNY Lawsuit Against Cuomo

In early March MDN told you the sad news that New York’s own Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, is actively working against the residents of the state of New York by filing to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Norse Energy that would force Gov. Andrew Cuomo, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah to do their jobs and release new drilling regulations (see NY Attorney General Files to Dismiss Norse Lawsuit, More Delays). The 70,000-member Joint Landowners Coalition of New York also filed an “Article 78” lawsuit, similar to the Norse lawsuit.

NGI’s Shale Daily is reporting that AG Schneiderman’s office has now filed a motion to dismiss this second lawsuit–fantastically claiming the JLCNY, which represents more than 70,000 New York landowners who want to see drilling commence, has “no standing.” Talk about chutzpah. Here’s the latest on the dysfunctional mess that is called New York State:
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Duke Energy & Piedmont NatGas Want New Marcellus Gas Pipeline

Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is the largest electric power holding company in the U.S. with a number of electrical generating plants in the southeast. Piedmont Natural Gas is a utility company delivering natural gas to more than one million residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout NC, SC and TN. The two companies have something in common: a desire to use cheap, abundant natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. Duke wants it to power its electric generating plants. Piedmont wants it to deliver to customers like Duke and others. The two announced yesterday they want it so bad they’re willing to together invest in a new natural gas pipeline to bring it into NC.

Williams is currently in the midst of a multi-year project to expand and extend the Transco pipeline into NC to, in part, Piedmont Natural Gas. The Transco Virginia Southside Expansion project is approximately 100 miles of new 24-inch diameter pipeline extending from the Transco mainline in Pittsylvania County, VA into Halifax, Charlotte, Mecklenburg, and terminate in Brunswick County, VA. The interesting thing (to MDN) is that Duke and Piedmont specifically say they want a new/different/second pipeline to be built. Apparently they’re not happy with a single source (from Williams) and want a little more competition in the region–so the two companies jointly announced yesterday they’re shopping for midstreamers willing to build a second pipeline to flow Marcellus gas…
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8 Servile Congressman Obey Anti-Fracking Masters, Sign Ltr to EPA

Here we go again. Out of ideas and running out of money, a bunch of loony toon organizations like 350.org and the odious Food & Water Watch need a new fundraiser. What to do…what to do? We know! Get a few anti-drilling lackeys Congressman (every one of the a Democrat) on your political contribution payroll to sign a letter to the EPA asking them to re-open three cases both the EPA and state agencies have already investigated to death for years: Dimock (PA), Pavillion (WY) and Parker County (TX). Make some more wild claims that fracking pollutes water supplies–even though it doesn’t. And, voilà! A new fundraising campaign is born.

And so the brain trust at Americans Against Fracking (AAF) has done just that. So worn out and bankrupt for new ideas, AAF has to pathetically, once again, attempt to make an issue of a dead issue. Here’s the latest fundraiser from enviro-snobs at AAF, along with the political patronage letter to the EPA obediently signed by eight servile Democrat Congressmen:
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Athens County Anti-Frackers Continue to Fight Injection Well

In January, MDN told you that a group of anti-drilling nutters in Athens County, OH had sued to try and stop a new, second injection well from being drilled by K&H Partners at the same site where there is currently an operational injection well (see Athens County, OH Anti-Drillers Sue to Stop New Injection Well). The Athens County Fracking Action Network (ACFAN) objected to the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) decision to issue a permit for the new, second injection well.

ACFAN is continuing their legal challenge. The group has filed a new complaint against the ODNR saying the ODNR has not been forthcoming with certain public records sought by ACFAN as part of their original lawsuit. In other words, ACFAN is trying to abuse the law to slow down, delay and kill a legitimate and legal business from doing business in Athens County, OH. But then, that’s how petulant children who grow up to be petulant adults behave…
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Dangerous Economic Road Ahead for PA if Shale Economy is Topedoed

In a letter to the editor published (amazingly) in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Consumer Energy Alliance Mid-Atlantic executive director Mike Butler points out, in just a few paragraphs, the grave danger now hovering over Pennsylvania because of the PA Supreme Court’s poor decision to side with seven selfish towns to overturn important and large portions of the Act 13 law, and in danger from PA Democrats who want to stop all future Marcellus drilling in the state with an ongoing moratorium.

Pennsylvania is at a crossroads and if her citizens choose poorly in the next election, they risk plunging the state into an economic disaster, as eloquently pointed out by Mr. Butler:
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Rogue Obama EPA Goes on Methane Witch Hunt

The recent Climate Action Plan to cut methane emissions emitted by the White House last week contains this ominous bullet point: “EPA will assess several potentially significant sources of methane and other emissions from the oil and gas sector. EPA will solicit input from independent experts through a series of technical white papers, and in the fall of 2014, EPA will determine how best to pursue further methane reductions from these sources.”(1) The good news is that the overbearing, out-of-control actions by the Obama EPA will only apply to drilling on federal lands. The bad news is that they will try to bully individual states to adopt the same new onerous regulations, thereby making federal regulations de facto in many locations.

Will the EPA methane witch hunt affect the Marcellus and Utica region? Too early to tell whether PA, OH and WV will cave to Obama EPA pressure. Here’s an analysis of how onerous new regulations may affect several drillers with major operations in the Marcellus…
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Fox Business Energy Expert Talks Storage, Pipelines & LNG Exports

HardAssetsInvestor (HAI) recently interviewed Phil Flynn, a senior energy analyst and a futures account executive at Chicago-based The Price Futures Group. Phil is one of the world’s leading energy market analysts and a daily contributor to the Fox Business Network. The interview ranges from speculation on what the price of natural gas will do in the short term and over the next few years, storage levels, lack of pipeline infrastructure in the Marcellus, and a refreshingly frank look at LNG exports.

We enjoyed reading the HAI interview with Phil and thought you would too…
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