New Ormet Aluminum Plant Owner Shops Barge Facility to Shalers

Ormet Facility in Hannibal, OHThree weeks ago MDN highlighted news from NGI’s Shale Daily that Magnum Hunter Resources had purchased the mineral rights for two former Ormet properties in Ohio and West Virginia (see Magnum Hunter Buys Ormet Property in OH/WV, More Wells Coming?). Ormet, you may recall, had a big aluminum plant in Hannibal (Monroe County), OH that sits on the Ohio River (complete with a big barge facility) that was bankrupted because they couldn’t get Ohio to lower the electricity bills long enough for them to convert their own coal-burning electric generation plant into using natural gas mined from under the property (see Final Chapter of Ormet Plant Closing – Utica Could have Saved It). It was a big fail on the part of Gov. John “foreigner hunter” Kasich’s administration and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). Magnum now owns the mineral rights, and Niagara Worldwide LLC now owns the real estate and plant itself in OH. Niagara issued a press release today advertising that they’re looking to re-open the Hannibal site for business. The announcement has a big tie-in with the shale drilling industry…
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New Heinz-Funded “Study” on Marcellus Boom/Bust in SWPA

What's Sauce for the Goose...Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, PA (Pittsburgh suburb) has a Center for Energy Policy & Management–which makes sense since Washington County, PA sits in the middle of the wet gas Marcellus drilling zone. W&J recently teamed up with the Washington, DC-based Environmental Law Institute (ELI) to study the “boom and bust” cycle that communities face with resource extraction like the Marcellus Shale. The thought was to produce a document–in this case a series of documents–that can guide local and state politicians as they plan for the future. How can, and even *can* a community avoid a “bust” after a huge boom? That’s what the documents aim to answer. The only problem is, the ELI seems to tilt anti-drilling, and the entire study was funded by Mamma Teresa Heinz-Kerry and her Heinz Endowments–a strongly anti-drilling organization. So you know where this is headed…
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Southwestern 2Q14: Marcellus Output Doubles, Investment Lowered

Southwestern Energy released its second quarter 2014 financial and operating results last week. Among the big news is that Southwestern nearly doubled output in the Marcellus region from 34 billion cubic feet in 2Q13 to 61 Bcf for 2Q14–approximately 668 million cubic feet per day. Likewise Southwestern’s midstream division saw a 27% increase in revenue for 2Q14 over the year before. Noticeably, the company gathered 417 million cubic feet per day of natural gas from 61 miles of company-owned gathering lines in the Marcellus Shale. Unhappily, the company has revised down its project investment for drilling in the Marcellus from $760 million to $700 million in 2014. It appears the company will spend that (plus money from other scaled back plays) to invest in a new venture in the Niobrara basin in Colorado and Wyoming…
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NiSource 2Q14: Progress on Marcellus/Utica Midstream Projects

NiSource, a major gas & electric utility company operating in the northeast and southwest (and parent of Columbia Gas and Columbia Pipeline), is in the midst of investing 3/4 of a billion dollars investment in five Marcellus and Utica Shale projects (see NiSource: 5 Marcellus/Utica Projects, $744M Investment). Last week NiSource issued second quarter 2014 results, including an update on some of those projects. Here’s relevant portions of the update touching on the Marcellus/Utica:
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Wetzel County Tries to Derail New Rules for WV Drill Cuttings

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is expected to file revisions this week to 33CSR1, the Solid Waste Management Rule, that deal with landfill acceptance of drill cuttings. Until now the state has been operating under “emergency rules” put in place earlier this year. The WVDEP is expected to make those emergency rules permanent as part of of 33CSR1. This issue has been hotly debated in WV since last year when anti-drillers attempted to make a big deal of it (see WV Anti-Drillers Continue to Harp on Drill Cuttings in Landfills). The state legislature, in a special session, passed a bill earlier this year to allow the WVDEP to adopt the emergency rules until final rules are enacted after a process of public hearings (see WV Drill Cuttings in Landfill Bill Passes in Record Time). At the final public hearing in Charleston last week, the Wetzel County Solid Waste Authority submitted two studies they funded on this issue that they say raises troubling questions about the proposed “final” rules…
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PPG Uses Auditor General “Report” to Slam Shale Industry – Again

The increasingly anti-drilling Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PPG) continues to recycle a DOA crap report issued by the anti-drilling Pennsylvania Auditor General–who took office promising to give the drilling industry a black eye and further his own aspirations to one day be governor (see Anti-Drilling PA Auditor General Criticizes DEP in “Report”). As MDN pointed out, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale produced a report that uses data a) now more than two years old, and b) largely looks at the state Dept. of Environmental Protection as it was under Gov. Ed “Fast Eddie” Rendell (when John Hanger was Secretary of the DEP). Those little facts seem to escape the PPG who have just generated yet another anti-drilling article that supposedly finds drillers didn’t discover or report their own spills half the time (at least through the end of 2012)…
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Maryland Gov. O’Malley Spins Delay on Shale Drilling as Positive

Outgoing Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (Democrat), perhaps the worst governor vis–à–vis leadership that Maryland has had in the past two generations, attended a 6-Dem governor “discussion” at the liberal Aspen Institute in Colorado on Saturday (no doubt on Maryland taxpayers’ dime). The discussion was nominally to yak about education, a topic Dems think they own (unfortunately our kids are getting dumber year after year). Because one of the Dem governors present was John Hickenlooper, governor of Colorado (someone who supports shale drilling), the conversation inevitably turned to the topic of fracking. O’Malley made this hilarious statement:
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IMF Book Says Counties Should Tax Fossil Fuels Higher

The International Monetary Fund, a liberal quasi-governmental organization released a new book yesterday in which they say countries like the United States don’t tax energy, particularly fossil fuels, enough. For the first time ever the IMF lays out what it says is the appropriate level of taxation on coal, natural gas, diesel fuel and gasoline for 156 countries. Of course global warming nuttery plays a major role in their calculations–got to reduce that darned carbon dioxide, ya know (the stuff you breathe out with every breath). IMF chief Christine Lagarde made up some cockamamie excuse why the IMF is concerned about so-called environmental damage instead of sticking to monetary policy. At a gala event last week in Washington, DC, Lagarde, who arrived from Europe on a fossil fuel jetliner and was chauffeured to the event in a fossil fuel powered limousine, said countries shouldn’t wait for everyone to agree. Just start taxing the #[email protected]! out of their citizens now–to force them to give up those evil, nasty fossil fuels. Oh, and don’t forget to chip in a few billion to the IMF along the way…
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Some Vermonters Actually Want New Natural Gas Pipeline!

In the “wonders never cease” department, just when you’ve written New England states like Massachusetts and Vermont as being overflowing with wacko lefties who hate fossil fuels, along comes a story like this one. Vermont Business Magazine conducted a survey of its readers. Some 500 of them responded–certainly not a scientifically rigorous survey–but indicative all the same. The magazine asked whether or not respondents support the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project–a project that would lay new natgas pipelines to homes and businesses in Addison and Rutland counties. The top level survey shows that 80% of those surveyed are in favor…
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