Lightening Strike at MarkWest Chartiers Plant Causes Evacuation

lightening strikeAround 6:00 pm last night lighting struck a release valve at the MarkWest gas processing plant in Chartiers Township (Washington County), PA. It caused a small fire that was quickly extinguished. However, the valve remained opened for a short period after the plant was shut down which allowed some natural gas to leak, creating a “plume” or cloud of gas near the plant. MarkWest, in what they say was “an abundance of caution,” asked about 50 residents living near the plant to evacuate. The residents were back in their homes by 10 pm…
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Magnum Hunter Sells $150M in Stock Deal to “Activist Investor”

Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) has quickly become a big player in the Marcellus/Utica region. They have a laser focus on northeast drilling, quickly building up a 200,000 acre position, largely in West Virginia and Ohio. Yesterday MHR announced they’ve cut a deal with Relational Investors LLC, granting Relational common stock and stock options in return for a tidy $150 million in cash–money MHR intends to use for more drilling in the northeast. Who’s behind Relational Investors, and should landowners (and MHR investors) be concerned? The answers may surprise you…
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PEDF Sues to Stop Corbett Under (Not On) Forest Drilling Plan

The benign-sounding Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation (PEDF) has as its mission of filing frivolous lawsuits against legitimate businesses (or governments) who want to engage in sensible and safe commerce that involves natural resources. Last Friday, May 23, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed an executive order that continues a ban on surface drilling in PA state forests but allows drilling under a little bit more of the forests if the drillers do so from adjacent private land (see Corbett Keeps New Surface Drilling Banned in PA Forests). Two weeks before Corbett issued his executive order, the PEDF filed a motion with PA Commonwealth Court to block his executive order…
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More Details/Proposed Route of Dominion Marcellus to NC Pipeline

A month ago MDN told you the news that Dominion, a huge utility and midstream company operating in the Mid-Atlantic region, is considering building a 450-mile natural gas pipeline from West Virginia, through Virginia and all the way to southern North Carolina (see Dominion Announces 2 New Pipeline Projects from Marcellus/Utica). Dominion calls the potential pipeline the Dominion Southeast Reliability Project. A month later and mainstream media in that region finally woke up and has started reporting on “concerns” about the very preliminary and not yet decided project…
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Hess Drill Rig Ruins View for Warnock Cemetery’s Dead Residents

There goes the neighborhood. Back in December MDN told you that Hess had the unmitigated gall to drill a Utica well next door to a cemetery in Belmont County, OH (see Hess Has Gall to Drill Utica Well Next Door to a Cemetery in OH). The dead folks and those visiting them have reason to complain–a “huge” drilling rig has sprouted next to the cemetery, ruining their view…
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