DEP Issues Final Report – What Caused Chevron Well Fire?

case closedIn early February, a well already drilled and completed by Chevron in Greene County, PA was in the process of being connected to a pipeline system. The well caught fire and exploded, eventually spreading to a second well close by (see Explosion & Fire at Chevron Well in SWPA – 1 Person Missing). The fire and explosion killed a worker at the site, a contractor with Cameron International (see Remains of Chevron Contractor Found at Greene County Well Site). The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection did a thorough investigation and has just released its After Action Review of the incident (below). Here, in a nutshell, is what the DEP says caused the fire and death…
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7 Small Marcellus-Powered Electric Plants Coming to NEPA

With the recent war on coal announced by President Obama and his administration’s EPA (and make no mistake, it is a purposeful war to eliminate the use of coal), the big story in the coming years will be a massive change to powering electric generating plants with…solar? wind? Nope. Natural gas is the big winner–the only source of energy that can meet our growing demand for electricity. We’ve been following, with interest, the story of the Panda Liberty and Panda Patriot Marcellus gas-powered electric plants being built in Bradford and Lycoming counties, respectively (see Plugging in to Panda Power’s Electric Generation Supply Chain). Panda is spending a massive $1.3 billion to build the two plants. Each one will generate 829 megawatts of electricity. Now comes word that IMG Midstream is planning to build a dozen (!) small electric generating plants across Pennsylvania–seven of them in the same region of northeast PA as Panda’s two plants…
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More Problems for Range Resources with SWPA Impoundments

Range Resources has had ongoing problems with the neighbors and townships where they’ve built and maintained several frack wastewater impoundments (large ponds) in Washington County, PA for the past several years. MDN has chronicled the push back, threats, lawsuits and shenanigans (see our list of Range impoundment stories here). The saga continues. Late last week residents living near the Cecil 23 impoundment–formerly known as the Worstell impoundment, located in Cecil Township–were informed by the town that the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) would be testing the ground (and water supplies?) following an alert from Range that the impoundment may have leaked in the past. Then, on Tuesday of this week, Range received a Notice of Violation from the DEP for leaks found at the Yeager impoundment in Amwell Township…
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WPX Energy 2Q14: No Mention of Marcellus; Focused on Oil

WPX Energy, the former drilling arm of Williams spun off into its own company back in January 2012, issued their second quarter 2014 update on Tuesday. The company has lately focused their efforts on oil and it shows. They report a 57% increase in oil production and “stronger than expected natural gas production” than for the same period a year ago. That news sent WPX’s stock price soaring–the biggest increase the stock has seen since it debuted in 2012. Although WPX has invested $1 billion to drill 100 or so Marcellus Shale wells (all of them in Pennsylvania), the one word you don’t find anywhere in WPX’s 2Q14 update is, “Marcellus”…
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Final Chapter for Youngstown Illegal Wastewater Dumper: Prison & Fine

The long, sad and maddening saga of Ben Lupo is now just about complete. Lupo, previous owner of D&L Energy and its associated company Hardrock Excavating, directed employees to dump frack wastwater hauled by Hardrock into a drain that emptied into a stream that emptied into the Mahoning River near Youngstown, OH (see Youngstown Business Dumped >200K Gal of Untreated Wastewater). It was later discovered that from September 2012 to end of January 2013, Lupo was responsible for dumping at least 30 loads of frack wastewater literally down the drain and into the river. It was a breathtaking environmental crime, of that there is no doubt. After a long investigation and criminal charges, Lupo finally plead guilty and earlier this week he was sentenced–to 23 months in prison and a $25,000 fine (although it cost over $3 million to clean it all up)…
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Chesapeake Energy 2Q14: Profits Down, Gas & Oil Production Up

Chesapeake Energy issued their second quarter 2014 update yesterday–and there’s a lot in there. Chessy has been slashing and burning, selling assets all over the place, scaling back in certain areas, expanding in (precious few) others–all in the quest of “fiscal discipline” as is mentioned over and over in yesterday’s announcement. It may sound bad, but is being spun as good, that Chesapeake’s 2Q14 profits dropped 68% from a year ago at the same time. Meanwhile, net income for 2Q14 was $191 million, down from $457 million a year ago…
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Crestwood Midstream 2Q14: Marcellus Volumes up 10%, Revenue Up

Crestwood Midstream, which merged with (took over) Inergy Midstream last year, issued its second quarter 2014 financial and operational update yesterday. Crestwood/Inergy has a meaningful and growing presence in both the dry gas northeastern PA Marcellus and wet gas southwestern PA Marcellus region. Overall Crestwood reports Marcellus shale volumes flowing through their pipelines increased 10% in 2Q14 over 2Q13, resulting in higher revenues and smiling faces. Here’s a few select portions of yesterday’s update that touch on the Marcellus…
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Utica Shale Academy Gets Enough Students to Open, Help from TX Co

Good news for the Utica Shale Academy. The Academy is slated to open its doors on August 19–just two weeks away. At last check (in June) they only had 10 students signed up (see Utica Shale Academy Having Tough Time Finding Students). They need 25 to begin operating. As of last Friday they’re up to 24–so looks like it’s a go. Further good news: The Houston, TX-based company Express Energy Services, an oilfield services company with operations in the Utica Shale, is supporting the school and will be one of the businesses featured in a special lecture series for students…
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