PA Gov Corbett Makes Political U-Turn on Pipeline Project

No U-TurnLast week Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett waded into the thorny issue of whether or not the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) should approve the Williams Tranco pipeline expansion project. Dubbed the Atlantic Sunrise project, the $3 billion project which reaches far beyond just PA, would carry PA Marcellus Shale gas to the East Coast and to southern states (see Williams Open House Sheds more Light on Transco Atlantic Sunrise). Last week Corbett sent a letter to FERC asking the feds to look carefully at the Atlantic Sunrise expansion project because he’s hearing a lot of noise from voters about it. He also requested FERC to zoom out and look at the big picture–consider all of the proposed pipeline projects for PA and whether as a whole it makes sense–and not just look at each project individually…
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Talks for Repsol to Buy Some/All of Talisman Energy are “Frozen”

Frozen - Let it GoOh oh. Corporate raider Carl Icahn won’t be happy about this one. MDN told you a month ago that Spanish energy company Repsol was seriously considering buying some, or all, of Canadian company Talisman Energy (see Repsol Eyes Talisman Energy for “Assets” – Takeover Target?). Talisman has substantial Marcellus Shale drilling operations in Pennsylvania. Last October, just as he had previously done with Chesapeake Energy, corporate raider Carl Icahn increased his ownership of Talisman stock (see Carl Icahn Snaps Up 6% of His Next E&P Victim: Talisman Energy). That means big changes are coming for Talisman–and not necessarily good changes. When Repsol came sniffing around everyone thought a deal would be likely. But according to an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, the talks for Repsol to buy some or all of Talisman have stalled. The word they use is “frozen”…
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PA Driller Slapped with $250K Fine for Dumping Brine, Erosion

UPDATE: An alert MDN reader from Venango County with industry knowledge contacted MDN to say he very much doubts Henderson has done any Marcellus Shale drilling. Henderson’s history is as a shallow/conventional driller and not a shale driller. Thanks for that clarification!

William Henderson, the president and operator of three companies–Titusville Oil & Gas Associates Inc., Eagle Line Corporation, and Olympia Oil Services Inc.–has been fined $250,000 by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for violations of the Clean Stream Law, Solid Waste Management Act, and Oil and Gas Act. The DEP says Henderson and his companies have caused environmental damage from illegal discharges of production fluids (brine), for causing erosion, and more. The violations occurred from 2010 to 2014. It’s not clear to MDN that any of the violations were from Marcellus Shale drilling activities, but it seems likely. Here’s what the DEP said, along with information not provided by the DEP that MDN has dug up on Henderson from 2011…
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Williams to Expand Transco Pipeline Again, More Marcellus to NE

There’s no doubt that Williams is a major midstream player in the Marcellus and Utica Shale. Williams is in the process of growing–massively–by purchasing Access Midstream (see Big News: Williams Partners Buying Access Midstream for $6B). Williams is also the owner of the Transcontinental (or Transco) pipeline, a 10,200-mile pipeline system, extending from South Texas to New York City. Williams wants to further expand the Transco with it’s Atlantic Sunrise project to bring Marcellus gas to the northeast and southern states (see Williams Plans $2.1B Transco Pipeline Expansion, 100% Sold Already). Yesterday Williams announced an open season (period of time when new customers can sign up) for yet a another expansion of the Transco, this time to bring more Marcellus Shale gas to places like New Jersey and New York City. This newest expansion is being called the Diamond East Project and Williams expects to pony up $500-$800 million to make it happen by 2018…
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DEP Says WPX Needs to Replace 3rd Water Supply in SW PA

In July, MDN told you the water wells for two of three families living near a WPX recycled frack wastewater impoundment (i.e. “pond”), near Ligonier (Westmoreland County), PA, were determined to have been contaminated by that impoundment. That is, the Kalp impoundment leaked into the ground, according to the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), and that has caused a long-term problem with those wells (see WPX Wastewater Impoundment Source of Water Contamination in W PA? and our follow-up story Important Update on WPX Energy Leaking Impoundment in SWPA). The DEP has made a final determination that the third family’s well, the elderly Ken and Mildred Geary, was also affected and that WPX will need to find a permanent water replacement solution for them too…
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Mystery Solved: GreenHunter Pipelines to Terminate Near…

Now that U.S. Coast Guard’s comment period for barging frack wastewater is officially closed and a positive decision to move forward is likely, we expect to see more movement from GreenHunter Water on building out their barge facility near Wheeling, WV. As part of GreenHunter’s master plan, the company announced at the end of June that they will build three new (short) pipelines, one each dedicated to brine/wastewater, fresh water, and condensate (see 3 New (Short) Pipelines from GreenHunter in Tri-state Area). The three pipelines will all terminate in the same location–but until now, GreenHunter has been cagey about where (see GreenHunter’s Unidentified Barge Facility Pipeline Destination). We said at the time the betting money is on GreenHunter’s facility in Wheeling. Were we right?…
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PA DEP Rescedules Hilcorp Forced Pooling Hearing 4th Time

Hearings on Hilcorp’s request to force a few recalcitrant property owners with a total of 35 acres in the middle of land leased by Hilcorp to allow Hilcorp to drill have now been rescheduled for the end of October. This is the fourth time these hearings have been rescheduled by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). Why the ongoing delays for these hearings?…
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AAF Fails to Get Many to Oppose Barged Frack Wastewater

Americans Against Fracking (AAF), a loose confederation of virulent anti-drilling groups who oppose fossil fuels and their use in society, has issued a press release to commemorate/mourn the closing of the comment period on whether or not the U.S. Coast Guard and a myriad of other federal agencies should allow barging of frack wastewater on the Ohio River. Even though AAF has multiple groups backing it–including the odious and misnamed Food & Water Watch–they were only able to get 3,400 people to sign form letters opposing federal approval for barging of frack wastewater. And so the propaganda machine at AAF has tried to spin that into a positive. What other choice do they have?…
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Rex Energy Chimes In on MarkWest Expansion Announcement

Yesterday MDN told you the news that MarkWest Energy is building two additional natural gas processing plants at their Keystone processing complex in Butler County, PA–one for EdgeMarc Energy and the other for Rex Energy (see MarkWest Expanding Again in Butler County, PA with Rex & EdgeMarc). Today we bring you Rex Energy’s press release announcing the same news. We don’t detect any real new news in Rex’s version of the release, although there are a few additional details not found in the MarkWest release. We bring it to you because it’s always fascinating to us to see how different companies present news that highlights what they want it to highlight…
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