2 Bills on PA Gov’s Desk: Monthly Production #s, Lease Termination

happy - sadA pair of bills recently passed both the Pennsylvania House and Senate now sit on Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk that are sure to delight landowners and (likely) frustrate drillers. The prime sponsor and author of both bills is PA Rep. Tina Pickett (Republican, Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna). House Bill (HB) 2278 will require drillers to file monthly production numbers with the Dept. of Environmental Protection. They currently file every six months. The second bill, HB 402, requires a driller to present a “recordable surrender document” to a landowner within 30 days of a lease cancellation/termination. With such a document, landowners know for sure, they have proof, that they can re-lease with someone else if they so choose…
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NSF/Park Found. Research Claims Frack Fluid Tracking with Tracers

Last year MDN endorsed a proposal put forth largely by anti-drillers–a proposal that tracers be used in fracking fluids to put to rest, once and for all, the silly notion that frack fluids are rising from the depths to “contaminate” water aquifers (see Using Tracers in Fracking Fluid – Ready for Prime Time?). Using tracers, or unique “fingerprints” that positively identify fluid as coming from shale drilling, can be used to check nearby streams and rivers to ensure such fluids have not somehow been released into the environment after they’ve come back to the surface for disposal by recycling or injection well. Our only concern was/is that the science is solid. Yesterday, the National Science Foundation announced researchers (using NSF and Park Foundation grant money) have field tested and pronounced they now have a solid solution…
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Dela. Riverkeeper, Sierra Club Hold Stop PennEast Pipeline Mtg

THE Delaware Riverkeeper herself, Maya van Rossum, has apparently been called back from outside the orbit of the Delaware River Basin (see Martian Chronicles: Delaware River Basin Shifts to Western PA?). What urgent matters would draw Ms. van Rossum from trying to stop evil shale well drilling in western PA all the way back to the Delaware River Basin in eastern PA? Why, a pipeline, of course. She, along with a contingent of Sierra Clubbers, held a “stop the PennEast Pipeline Project” meeting at Northampton Community College last night. There were lots of words like “dangerous” and “devastation” bandied about, in an attempt to fire up ~125 of the faithful who attended…
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Crestwood Announces Successful Open Season for MARC II PA Pipeline

Speaking of the PennEast Pipeline, yesterday Crestwood Midstream announced a successful non-binding open season (a yeah, we’ll use your pipeline when you build it) for their MARC II Pipeline in the Marcellus Shale. The MARC II is a new 30-mile pipeline extending the Central New York Oil & Gas Company (owned by Crestwood) to connect with the proposed new PennEast Pipeline along with a connection to the Transco Pipeline and the proposed new Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline–all three connections happening in Luzerne County, PA…
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Done Deal: S Koreans Buy 34% of Cardinal Gas Services for $612M

As MDN told you a month ago, South Korea wants in on the Marcellus/Utica action and two South Korean companies had committed to buying up to a 34% stake in Cardinal Gas Services (see Total, EVEP Sell Interest in Cardinal Midstream to S Koreans for $612M). The deal is now done. Yesterday Samchully, the lead South Korean company, announced they have completed the purchase of the full 34% stake in Cardinal for $612 million…
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Water Pipelines for Drillers Great Idea, But Few & Far Between

An excellent article appears in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, written by one of the few (perhaps only) reporters they have who is objective when it comes to writing about the natural gas industry: Anya Litvak. Anya used to write for the Pittsburgh Business Times before the Post-Gazette poached her. Anya’s article addresses the issue of using water pipelines to feed the growing demand for water used by shale drillers. It’s a win/win because it tends to be cheaper and it reduces truck traffic. However, the up-front cost to build a pipeline (on the part of a water company) is not cheap and many drillers aren’t willing to commit to the 3-15 year term that water utilities want to have before they are willing to build such a pipeline. As part of the article we get this interesting update on PA water company Aqua America…
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Cleveland Fed Bank Report Addresses Boom & Bust in Shale Drilling

An analyst with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland authored and released an article addressing the concerns over shale gas and oil development. The article, titled “Deep Wells, Deep Pockets, and Deep Impact” (full copy embedded below) purports to address the issue of what can communities do about the boom and bust cycle attached to any natural resource extraction process? We were excited to read what the Fed’s learned analyst would say about an important issue like this one. We were disappointed that he did a lot of problem identification, but offered little in the way of problem resolution…
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Fortis Energy Adds New Workover Rig in Marcellus/Utica

Workover rigOilfield services companies span the range from the Halliburtons and Schlumbergers to the mom and pop companies with a single drilling rig. Fortis Energy Services, a privately held company headquartered in Michigan (but with operations in the Marcellus/Utica) is not nearly as big as Halliburton, but it’s way bigger than a mom and pop. Fortis operates in the Midwest and northeast with a number of rigs. They’ve just added two more “workover” rigs to their fleet–one of them dedicated to the Marcellus/Utica. What’s a workover rig?…
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The Big Change from Coal to Natgas in Electric Generating Plants

We take no pleasure, as some do, in the demise of the coal industry. Yes coal pollutes more than other fossil fuels, but there are newer technologies that can be used to ease emissions from coal. But it seems it is an uphill battle and a battle that is (unfortunately) already lost. Once “environmentalists” have put the last nail in the coffin of the coal industry, they’ll be sharpening their axes to come after natural gas. It’s already starting to happen. However, the fact remains that many coal-fired electric generating plants in the U.S. are in the process, or soon will be, of converting to use natural gas. It’s good news for natgas, but the good news comes at the expense of coal. SNL Energy has just published a report tracking the conversion of these plants–plant by plant–from coal to (mostly) natgas…
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MDN Quote on Obama EPA/BLM Featured in National Publication

hat tipA hat tip and big thank you to national conservative news/blog site The Daily Caller–a major source of news both inside and outside the Washington, DC beltway. MDN was reading a story on a topic of interest to us in The DC–about President Obama’s EPA and Bureau of Land Management waiting until after the election until they unveil more onerous new regulations on the oil and gas industry–when early in the story we spotted this quote from/reference to MDN…
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