Full Circle for Cabot O&G: From WV to PA and Back Again

full circleOn Monday, MDN highlighted a pair of stories from West Virginia in which we noted that Cabot Oil & Gas, a Texas-based company that (so far) has concentrated its Marcellus Shale drilling in Susquehanna County, PA, had drilled and plugged a well in West Virginia that seems to be aimed at the Utica Shale (and/or Marcellus) in that state (see Cabot’s Wood County, WV Utica Well – Vertical or Horizontal Miss?). Cabot is one of the most prolific producers of Marcellus Shale gas, producing an incredible 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from Susquehanna, a single county in northeast PA (see Cabot O&G 3Q14: A Wandering Eye + Welcome to the 2 Bcf/d Club!). It piqued our interest that Cabot may be nosing around a “new” area (for them) for horizontal shale drilling, so we asked George Stark, Cabot spokesman, about it. He called us yesterday to elucidate…
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Southwestern’s 5th Anniversary in Marcellus, Joins 1 Bcf/d Club

While researching another story for today about DTE Energy expanding their pipeline system for Southwestern Energy, we noticed a bit of news from Southwestern that had (until now) slipped by us. Southwestern is one of the oldest and top exploration & production companies in northeast Pennsylvania. On September 30, the company marked their fifth year of drilling in NEPA. So far the company has, according to their records, produced 348 billion cubic feet of natural gas in NEPA. The big news: Southwestern figures by the end of this year they will have spent $700 million on, and will be producing an average 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in, the Marcellus. Welcome to the 1 Bcf/d Club!…
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PennEast Tells DRBC Not So Fast, FERC has Final Say on Pipeline

An interesting battle is shaping up over just who has what say with respect to the PennEast Pipeline and their plan to build a $1 billion, 108-mile pipeline from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ–part of it through the Delaware River Basin area. Yesterday MDN told you that the Delaware River Basin Commission has notified PennEast that the pipeline is “subject to DRBC jurisdiction and must obtain a docket before it can proceed” (see DRBC Tells PennEast They Need DRBC (Not Just FERC) Approval). The DRBC seems to be saying if they don’t approve it, the pipeline won’t get built. But yesterday officials with PennEast pushed back and said, point blank, that while they welcome the DRBC’s review, the DRBC is not the agency that will approve whether or not the pipeline gets built…
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Trenton-Black River: New Natgas Rock Layer in Your Future?

You’ve heard of the Marcellus Shale layer, typically about a mile below the surface. You’ve heard of the Utica Shale layer, typically around 2 miles down. You may have heard (or read on MDN) about the Upper Devonian, located perhaps a thousand feet above the Marcellus (3-4,000 feet down). But we bet you haven’t yet heard about the Trenton-Black River limestone layer–nearly four miles down (around 20,000). According to the executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, the Trenton-Black River may be the next big natural gas producer that the miracle of horizontal drilling and fracking unlocks in the northeast…
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DTE Expanding NEPA Pipeline System for Southwestern Energy

DTE Energy and Southwestern Energy Co. signed an agreement yesterday to “significantly expand” their relationship in northeast Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County area. DTE provides gathering pipelines for Southwestern’s wells in Susquehanna County. Southwestern, along with Cabot Oil & Gas, is a top producer in Susquehanna County. The agreement calls for DTE to increase “gathering assets by approximately 50 percent in Susquehanna County” by 50%–meaning build new gathering pipelines. DTE will also increase the capacity of their Bluestone Pipeline which connects to both the Millennium Pipeline (in Broome County, NY) and to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (in Susquehanna County). Here’s the announcement from yesterday…
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Permit Filing Reveals NGL Mix Expected from Mariner East Pipelines

Earlier this month MDN told you that Sunoco Logistics has decided to move forward–if they get regulatory approval–with building the Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline which will stretch from eastern Ohio all the way to the Philadelphia area (see Sunoco Logistics Will Build $2.5B Mariner East 2 Pipeline). The pipeline and associated upgrades will cost Sunoco $2.5 billion. Some of the “associated upgrades” will be to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philly. A Reuters investigation, released yesterday, unearthed new details about Sunoco’s plans for the Marcus Hook refinery. Reuters got a hold of permit applications Sunoco filed with the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) in September which discloses the capacities and types of storage tanks Sunoco plans to build to hold all those incoming NGLs, which tells us what they expect to receive via the Mariner East I & II pipelines once both are operational…
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OH Regulators Issue Guidance to Landfills on Accepting Frack Waste

Three days ago the Ohio EPA, the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, and the Ohio Department of Health issued a joint 4-page “guidance letter” to landfills in Ohio that clarifies how and when they can dispose liquid and solid waste from oil and gas drilling (full copy embedded below). According to our friends at the Babst Calland law firm, “The letter addresses what waste is defined as solid waste that must be disposed in landfills, classification of certain drill cuttings as not constituting regulated solid waste, and substances classified as TENORM that must be analyzed for radioactivity prior to landfill disposal.” Ohio landfill operators and Ohio drillers will need to pay attention to these new guidelines, some of which recently went into effect…
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WV Lawmaker Threatens Marcellus Industry with New Safety Laws

The Marcellus and Utica Shale industry is laser-focused on the safety of its workers. MDN editor Jim Willis has witnessed it first-hand when touring active rigs, pipeline sites, compressor stations and even completed well sites. State and federal regulations are strictly followed. Even though Marcellus Shale workers in West Virginia are required to take either an 8-hour or 30-hour OSHA safety training course, depending on the job, WV lawmakers are still concerned that the industry is not “regulated enough” when it comes to safety. Those same lawmakers–namely Del. Randy Smith from Preston County, WV–are threatening to slap new safety laws on drillers in the Mountain State…
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Moxie’s NEPA Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Gets 1st Approval

MDN previously told you about a project under way by Moxie Energy to build an electric generation plant fired by Marcellus Shale gas in Salem Township (Luzerne County), PA. If the project goes forward, it would be Moxie’s third such power plant project in northeast Pennsylvania (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). The first two such projects begun by Moxie were both later sold to Panda Power–before being built. Moxie gets all of the permits and gets ready to begin construction, then turns around and sells the project to others–at least that’s what they’ve now done twice. Some of the neighbors living close to where the plant will be built, near Wilkes-Barre, have complained and pushed back (see Balancing Act for New Natgas-Fired Electric Plant in NEPA). However, Salem Township supervisors voted yesterday to approve the project, the first and perhaps most important step on the way to putting shovel to ground…
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Another Day, Another Lawsuit from Food & Water Watch

The anti-drilling Fresh Water Accountability Project (FWAP)–based in Ohio–along with the odious and litigious (and misnamed) Food & Water Watch have once again, sued. Surprise! This time they’ve sued OH Gov. John Kasich along with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) for what they claim are the “illegal approval of at least 23 fracking waste handling, storage, processing and recycling facilities to operate.” Lea Harper, head of the so-called FWAP, has been involved in other anti-drilling lawsuits, including one against the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District. FWW must have to employ a librarian to keep track of all their anti-drilling lawsuits. Here’s the latest bald-faced lies from these two litigious organizations:
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