McClendon Buys 48K WV Marcellus Acres, 27K More OH Utica Acres

silhouette questionYet another major announcement yesterday from Aubrey McClendon, former CEO of Chesapeake Energy and current CEO of a new company he founded, American Energy Partners (AEP). Aubrey is spending another $1.75 billion to buy more acreage (and functioning wells) in both the Ohio Utica and now, for the first time, in the West Virginia Marcellus Shale. The WV acreage is in the wet gas areas of the state. According to the AEP press announcement, East Resources is the seller. Which is interesting to MDN since Shell bought all (or nearly all) of East’s northeast shale acreage in 2010 (see East Resources Sells to Royal Dutch Shell for $4.7 Billion, Deal Includes All of East’s Marcellus Shale Operations). So was the deal actually with Shell using the East name on paper? Or leftover vestiges of the old East Resources?…
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Minuteman Enviro Says PA AG Office “Terrorized” Family Members, Filing Lawsuit

Yesterday MDN brought you the news that Pennsylvania’s anti-drilling Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, had spearheaded an “investigation” against Minuteman Environmental Services, a PA company that serves the shale industry with several different businesses (see PA’s Anti-Drilling AG Charges Minuteman with Enviro Crimes). It now appears it was less investigation and more witch hunt. Minuteman sent MDN a press release yesterday in which they make very strong allegations against the AG’s office, stating members of the family-owned business have been “terrorized” and its employees “abused” by the AG and her cadre of witch hunters. Minuteman states they are about to file a lawsuit against the AG and her office for abuses suffered at their hands…
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More Sightings of “Bigfoot” (Well) in Belmont County, OH

Rice Energy’s “monster” well in Belmont County, OH, called the Bigfoot 9H, is still making waves (see Rice Energy’s Bigfoot New Reigning Utica Well Champ – 42 Mmcf/d!). After five days of production, the well settled in at an initial production flow rate of 42 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d)–the best ever IP for a Utica Shale well. MDN told you what Dan Rice IV, CEO of Rice Energy, said is the secret to their success with Bigfoot (see The Secret of Rice Energy’s Success with the Utica Bigfoot Well). Now comes word that Rice is drilling another well very close to Bigfoot. And we’ve found a second secret to Bigfoot’s success…
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Federal Court Slaps FERC Over TGP Northeast Pipeline Approvals

Even though Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline is thousands of miles long, and even though upgrades to a 200-mile section in the northeast are now complete, a federal appeals court last Friday faulted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) oversight of those upgrades. In 2012 FERC approved construction of five pipeline “loop” (or extra lines laid near existing lines) segments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The projects included upgrades at two PA compressor stations. The total project cost was $500 million and the projects together were/are badly needed to boost pipeline capacity for new quantities of Marcellus Shale gas. But that makes no difference to the ideologues at the petulant Delaware River Keeper, the New Jersey Highlands Coalition and the New Jersey Sierra Club. They sued when FERC wouldn’t re-hear their bleating and blatting. So the enviro groups took it to federal court and judges ruled last week that FERC should not have treated the projects individually when considering an approval…
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PA Budget & Policy Center Issues Repeated Call for High Drill Tax

The extremely partisan, left-wing Democrat Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has once again issued more toilet paper, er, yet another report saying PA drillers don’t pay enough taxes, even though with the impact fee combined with state corporate taxes (something other states like Texas don’t have) combined represent already high tax rates on PA drillers. You may recall that MDN has covered this group’s self-serving “reports” in the past (see Partisan PA Budget & Policy Center Pushes Extreme Tax on Marcellus). Well, they’re at it again, and every time they issue one of these so-called reports, the PA media laps it up like the pusillanimous libs they are…
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Chesapeake Oilfield Services Birth Date: June 17, 2014

Since February we’ve been hearing for Chesapeake Energy that they would either sell or spin-off the Chesapeake Oilfield Services division (see Chesapeake Energy Looks to Dump Oilfield Services Division). In March they decided to spin it off rather than sell it (see Chesapeake Rushes to Spin Off Oilfield Services into New Company). So we’ve heard for quite a while, “it’s coming.” But it hasn’t. Until now. Yesterday Chessy said the date when the new company, which has been renamed to Seventy Seven Energy Inc., will be born on or about June 19th…
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Earthworks Lies About Fracking Yet Again (No Surprise There)

Earthworks–a radical environmentalist group–plays fast and loose with language and the truth. Nothing new there–they always have. (Yes, we’re calling them liars.) The latest instance is a press release that is being picked up by some doltish news outlets that makes this claim: “…a Texas TV station broke the news that new independent analysis refutes the oft-repeated claim by the oil and gas industry that ‘there’s never been a confirmed case of fracking polluting drinking water’.” The release goes on to explain the so-called pollution is methane migration. Which, of course, is not pollution. Methane may make the water distasteful, but the water is still drinkable and the presence of methane can be mitigated and usually fixed. Completely. You can drink water with methane from sunup to sundown and it won’t kill you (although it may give you gas)…
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