Anti-Drilling Christmas Carols: Climate Change is Coming to Town [Video]

GrinchJust when you thought it was the season of peace on earth and goodwill toward men (and women), the season of cheer and good tidings, eggnog and presents–along come wacky anti-drillers to screw up Christmas. Members of the radical Clean Air Council in Philadelphia are rewriting Christmas carols to include messages about nutty man-made global warming. Here’s some real creativity: “You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why. Climate Change is coming to town.” Wow. How much did these kids’ parents waste pay for a college education? Watch the video below and marvel at youthful stupidity…
Continue reading

Will Low Oil Prices Slow Northeast (Indeed All) Shale Drilling?

Today seems to be oil day on MDN. Which is kind of funny–a blog/news site about shale drilling in the northeast (largely natural gas drilling) focusing on oil. However, a fair bit of condensate and light sweet crude oil is extracted in the northeast, mostly in the Utica but some of it from the Marcellus too. The reason to talk about oil, and its price, is not because of the volume of oil being produced in the northeast, but rather because many of the companies that operate in the northeast operate elsewhere and the price of oil affects their overall operations everywhere. When the price of oil dips below a certain point, it makes it unprofitable to drill and harder to get money for all operations. Below we have a couple of fascinating charts that show the breakeven price for drilling as tied to the price of oil. Presumably at, or even near, that price, companies will stop drilling for oil (and in many cases stop drilling for natural gas as well). What’s really interesting, for MDN, is that the Marcellus and Utica appear on both of these charts…
Continue reading

Aubrey McClendon Raises Another $500M for More Leases

Low oil prices don’t seem to be affecting Aubrey McClendon’s ability to raise cash. He’s just landed another half a billion dollars, which he plans to use to lease more land in the Utica, Marcellus and two other shale plays. McClendon and his American Energy Partners is also looking for new employees. Hey Chesapeake workers–tired of answering to Carl Icahn and seeing your friends axed from the payroll (wondering if you’re next)? Send your resume to Aubrey! Here’s the AEP announcement from yesterday…
Continue reading

Bloomberg Whispering Campaign: Halcon in Trouble

A new whispering–actually shouting–campaign has begun in mainstream media. The new meme we noticed over the past few weeks is this: Shale drilling is the next dot com bubble that’s about to burst. America’s enemies, like Russia, happily make such proclamations to anyone who will listen (see the comments of Lukoil vice president Leonid Fedun here). Bloomberg is the latest to pile on. Their angle: some exploration and production companies, specifically Halcon Resources (and several others) are “leveraged” to the neck with “junk bond” financing and now, with the price of oil so low ($69 at close of yesterday), those companies will have a hard time paying their obligations and securing new credit lines. It’s as if they’re cheering and actually hope a new financial disaster occurs–this time in the energy sector. Is there any truth to the whispering campaign?…
Continue reading

PA DEP Says Compressor Stations Not Major Source of GHG Pollution

Good news for midstream operators in Pennsylvania: The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection has decided not to slap compressor stations with the onerous regulatory label of being a “major source” of air pollution simply because they belch out carbon dioxide–the stuff you breathe out with every breath. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June said environmental regulators can require facilities to limit GHGs only if the facility also emits other nasty stuff, like soot and smog. Since compressor stations don’t emit high volumes of soot and smog, the plants are off the hook as being a “major source” in PA…
Continue reading

EIA Says 1/3 Natgas Pipelines in Northeast Bidirectional by 2017

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is out with a new report today that says fully 1/3 of the major interstate natural gas pipelines that serve the northeast will be bidirectional by 2017–in just three years. That is, instead of bringing gas to the northeast, those same pipelines will be flow gas out of the northeast. Why? One word: Marcellus. Here’s the expert analysis by some of the best minds in the business (and we sincerely mean that)…
Continue reading

More Marcellus Gas Set to Flow into Canada Following NEB Approval

TransCanada, one of North America’s largest midstream (pipeline) companies, has just received a key approval from the Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) that allows the company to raise rates on their main natural gas pipeline. The NEB approval ratified an agreement between TransCanada and its shippers worked out some two years ago. The reason the approval is news is this: “It gives all shippers the flexibility to source gas from various geographic locations including the Marcellus shale plays in the U.S., while ensuring that tolls are stable and set at levels that allow TransCanada to recover its system-wide costs.” In other words, more (cheap and abundant) Marcellus Shale gas will likely begin to flow into Canada. And that’s a good thing, as Martha Stewart says…
Continue reading

Marcellus Supply Chain Success for PA Company Producing Mulch

We love a good supply chain story, and we’re always surprised at the innovations small business owners create to meet the demands of the growing Marcellus Shale industry. Here’s a new one for us: A company in southwestern Pennsylvania has quadrupled the number of employees–from 25 to 100–over the past five years by creating…mulch?! Yep, mulch. You know, wood chips. And the business has grown like a rocket because of the Marcellus Shale…
Continue reading

New Brine Processing Plant Coming to Panhandle of WV

The new owners of what was the AOP Clearwater brine processing plant in Marion County, WV (renamed to Fairmont Brine Processing) plan to grow their successful operation by opening a much larger, second plant in Wheeling, WV. The last time MDN wrote about the AOP Clearwater plant was in March 2010 (see AOP Clearwater Plant in WV a Big Success in Treating Marcellus Shale Wastewater). Apparently the “big success” didn’t last for AOP. An engineering firm was called in to evaluate the plant and told them they would need $10 million in upgrades, so AOP Clearwater cleared out. The guy who owned the engineering firm believed in the project, got some investors and bought the plant himself. Dave Moniot, CEO of both Venture Engineering and now Fairmont Brine Processing, turned the plant around. He’s now using that success to expand with a second plant in Wheeling…
Continue reading

New LNG Plant for Drillers Coming to Panhandle of WV

LNG (liquefied natural gas) use is beginning to pick up in the Marcellus/Utica. Demand for LNG is increasing as drillers shift away from using diesel fuel to power rigs and instead use field gas, CNG (compressed natural gas) and LNG. Sensing an opporunity to serve drillers in the tri-state area of PA, WV and OH, Dave Moniot, CEO of Fairmont Brine Processing, who is also building a new brine plant in Wheeling (see today’s related story), is investing in an LNG plant in the Wheeling area–likely at the same site where he’s building a new brine processing plant. Moniot is partnering with Plum Energy to build the new plant under the name of TriState LNG…
Continue reading