Blue Racer Berne Processing Facility Construction Set to Begin

please expediteBlue Racer Midstream is asking Monroe County, OH to approve a new, large electric transmission line that will run about 2,000 feet from a mainline to its Berne processing complex site. When the first phase of the Berne site is complete it will process 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas. If all goes according to the new plan, construction will begin in early June and be completed in late August. Blue Racer has asked for approval of the new 138 kV transmission line, which will power some really big compressor engines, to be “expedited” by the county.

Here’s more on the Berne facility…
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Utica Driller Eclipse Resources Files IPO – Wants to Raise $100M

Last November MDN told you that Utica Shale driller Eclipse Resources was talking about a possible initial public offering (IPO) in 2014 (see Utica Driller Eclipse Resources Talking IPO in 2014). It’s no longer just a possibility. Yesterday Eclipse filed with U.S. regulators for an IPO in which they hope to raise $100 million.

Eclipse has 90,000 acres in the Utica shale and 20,000 acres in the Marcellus shale–both in Ohio…
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WPX Names New CEO 5 Months After Investor Rebellion

Last December MDN told you about the sudden departure of Ralph Hill as CEO of WPX Energy. James Bender, a VP with WPX was installed as interim CEO (see WPX Energy CEO Ralph Hill is Out, Interim CEO James Bender is In). The reason was then revealed: meddling by a big investor (see CEO Shake-up Explained: Taconic Capital Jerking WPX’s Chain).

Some five months later and apparently Taconic has found it’s new CEO to take over. He is Richard E. (Rick) Muncrief, former senior VP of operations and resource development at Continental Resources. The announcement from last Thursday…
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Sen. Chuck Schumer Supports Fracking in NY – Sort of

Windbag U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democrat from the great state of New York, appeared yesterday on the cable news station no one watches–MSNBC. He was on Joe Scarborough’s “Morning Joe” program ostensibly to talk about the Keystone XL pipeline and the minimum wage. However, the conversation turned to shale drilling in general, and shale drilling in New York in particular. Sleazeball Schumer was quick to say yeah yeah yeah us Democrats love frackin’ too. Frack on! But when asked if fracking should be done in NY, he backpedaled so hard he just about pulled a hamstring. He doesn’t want to get in man-child Andy Cuomo’s mess when it comes to fracking in the Empire State.

Here’s how it went with Chucky yesterday…
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New Research Project Samples Water Wells in E Ohio Near Fracking

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati are looking for homeowners with private wells willing to have their wells sampled as part of ongoing research into the effects (or lack thereof) from nearby fracking. The idea is to do some real science for a change–that is, to take samples before drilling begins and then again during and after–to see if shale drilling has an effect on ground water supplies. What a brilliant concept! Real, in the field research and done before, during and after. Sharp folks at UC.

Here’s the details from the UC on what they play to do, and how to contact them if you live in Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Belmont, Noble, or Guernsey counties in Ohio…
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Lancaster OH Commissioner Says Bluegrass Pipeline was Trigger-Happy

Lancaster (Fairfield County), OH Commissioner Steve Davis is also an attorney who represents landowners who sign leases to allow pipelines to cross their property. Davis has been around the block a few times and has brokered numerous deals with different pipeline companies–so he’s well qualified to offer an opinion about the now delayed, and possibly cancelled, Bluegrass Pipeline project from Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners. Davis isn’t shy about his opinion, saying Williams didn’t have a good strategy for the way they were buying leases for the Bluegrass–calling them “trigger-happy,” changing strategy every few weeks.

Davis also offered up some numbers as to how high (per acre) some landowners received for Bluegrass signing bonuses–numbers that make the best Utica lease bonuses look like pocket change…
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White House Professes to Love Fracking – Yeah, Right

Yesterday senior White House officials, in a press briefing, went on the record with a “strong endorsement” of the U.S. oil and gas industry and its resurgence due to shale drilling and fracking. John Podesta, a top adviser to President Obama, essentially said the White House loves fracking. He then said fracking is a bridge to the libs’ ultimate dream of an alternative energy nirvana future. In the meantime, fracking will be tolerated by our benevolent and beloved Dear Leader, Herr Barack.

Yes, it was all theater as it always is with this bunch. They didn’t mean a word of it. How can we make such a bold statement? Because their actions speak way louder than their lying words. The Obama White House is doing everything they can to make fracking harder–from punitive and restrictive BLM regulations to new EPA regulations. They just as soon strangle fracking as allow it–so in the meantime, they’ll just take credit for something they’ve had NOTHING to do with. Oh, and the timing of the White House “we love fracking” statement sure is curious–coming the day before the White House will release their third “climate assessment” to let us all know that carbon is set to make Mother Earth bake…
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Expensive New OSHA Regulations on the Way for Shale Industry

Mainstream media has found a new issue to focus on in shale drilling–death. As in the death of shale workers. The Charleston Gazette reports on the job deaths in the oil and gas industry in West Virginia over the most recent five year-period have gone way way up–all the way to 13 over the past five years (up from 5 for the previous five years). We’re not making light nor minimizing the risks to workers–far from it. However, if the number of people working in the industry doubles or triples (as it has), the law of averages say accidents and fatalities will double or triple too. It’s, uh, common sense.

To provide a little perspective, a worker is more like to die on the job working in a restaurant or hotel than in the oil and gas industry (see Explosion & Fire at Chevron Well in SWPA – 1 Person Missing). Why the hue and cry over death in the shale industry? To justify expensive new regulations on the way from Obama’s OSHA, of course…
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