Impeachment, Arrest Looms for PA AG Kane, Caught Leaking Info

handcuffsIt seems no one IS above the law, including Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Kathleen Kane. She is, you may recall, anti-drilling and has targeted both large and small companies related to the Marcellus industry. She abused her office by filing criminal charges against XTO Energy for an accidental spill that occurred two years before she took office (see PA AG Abuses Her Authority, Files Criminal Charges Against XTO). She also abused her office by filing criminal charges against EQT (see PA Attorney Gen. Kane Abuses Office Again, Arrest Warrant for EQT). But it’s not only the big boys she has a vendetta against. She also shut down a small company that does environmental remediation and wastewater disposal (see Minuteman Enviro Says PA AG Office “Terrorized” Family Members, Filing Lawsuit). Now Kane has been caught red-handed leaking privileged grand jury information to a newspaper and she’s resorted to crying about men bullying her. So predictable…
Continue reading

“New” Pittsburgh Company Forms to Target Marcellus/Utica in W PA

A brand new baby is born! Or is it? Using money from private equity firm TPH Partners, the father-son team of Clark and David Nicklas have just given birth to a new “upstream” (exploration and production) company called Laurel Mountain Energy which will be headquartered in Pittsburgh and target the Marcellus, Upper Devonian and Utica layers in western PA. Dad Clark founded Vista Resources in 1987 and since that time the company has drilled over 1,000 wells in the northeast. This is Houston, TX-based TPH’s first investment in the Marcellus, and they couldn’t be happier…
Continue reading

Halcon Resources: Slashes Drilling Budget 50%, No Utica for 2015

As MDN chronicled in March 2014, Halcon Resources, with some 140,000 net acres in the Ohio Utica Shale, quit drilling in the Utica, at least for the balance of 2014 (see Halcon Resources Stops Drilling, Gives Up on the Utica Shale). That now holds true for 2015 as well. In a statement about their drilling program released late last week, Halcon indicated they have revised their drilling budget down by nearly 50%–from the previous $750-$800 million to $375-$425 million. They’re also reducing the number of drilling rigs from 11 rigs to 3–and none of them will be operating in the Utica Shale…
Continue reading

Southwestern Energy Floats 20M New Shares of Stock

As we’ve previously noted, Southwestern Energy has been on a tear, snapping up Marcellus and Utica Shale acreage (see Southwestern Energy on a Tear – Doubles Marcellus Budget for 2015). All of that new acreage and plans to drill means the company needs more money. Today, Southwestern announced they will float an additional 20 million shares of stock in an effort to raise more cashola to drill baby drill…
Continue reading

Hazleton, PA Drill Cuttings Project Opposed by Competitors, Enviros

On Dec. 1, MDN told you about a cool idea: Use non-toxic, non-polluting shale cuttings (leftover rock and dirt that comes out of a borehole when a well is drilled) to reclaim former coal mining land that sits barren now, so the land can host businesses and even a huge outdoor amphitheater (see Shale Cuttings Used to Rehab Site of Future Business, Amphitheater). That’s the idea of Hazleton Creek Properties (HCP) for reclaiming a 270-acre site with abandoned coal mines and an old landfill on the edge of Hazleton, PA. Local “environmentalists” from a nutty-sounding group called SUFFER (Save Us From Future Environmental Risks) used a Philadelphia law firm to oppose the original “demonstration” project, settling in 2012 (see this background the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia). SUFFER is still suffering from FDS (Fracking Derangement Syndrome) and is critical of the new plan, approved last November by the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). However, in a strange twist, it’s not SUFFER that’s challenging the plan, but instead it’s competitors that belong to the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association–other landfills that presumably want the cuttings that would go to Hazleton. The Association, on behalf of their members, have filed an appeal of the DEP decision that allows the cuttings to be used in Hazleton. It appears the other landfills are trying to stop the cuttings that presumably now go to their own landfills from slipping away to Hazleton…
Continue reading

ODNR Appeals Decision Overturning Drilling Permit Near Cleveland

A squabble has erupted near Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County, OH, between the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission (OOGC). The ODNR is responsible for evaluating and issuing permits to drill oil and gas wells in the Buckeye State. The OOGC is the body that hears appeals from people who disagree with a permit issued by the ODNR. Such an appeal was filed for what we believe is a conventional (vertical only) oil well to be drilled in North Royalton, OH to Cutter Oil Company. The OOGC says yep, the ODNR didn’t take into consideration “safety concerns” by the city in issuing the permit. ODNR disagrees and is appealing OOGC’s decision to un-permit the permit granted by ODNR. Yes, it’s about a conventional well, but it has implications for unconventional (shale) drilling as well if the OOGC becomes activist in overturning permits based on the nebulous “safety concerns” of citizens and municipalities…
Continue reading

League of Women Voters Questions New PA Reps on Fracking

Too funny. The League of [Liberal Democrat and Anti-Drilling] Women Voters held their annual beat-up-on-Republicans, er, a, “legislative coffee” with newly minted state representatives on Saturday at the Hughes Library in Stroudsburg (Monroe County), PA. All of the questions were, apparently, asked by the moderator of the event, the liberal Democrat editor of the Pocono Record, Paula Heeschen. On the hot seat were two newly elected Republicans to the PA House: Rep. David Parker, R-115, and Rep. Jack Rader, R-176. Heeschen tried her best to bait the pair with patently loaded and in many cases questions with false premises, like this one about fracking…
Continue reading

OH Anti-Drillers Propose Taxing Gas in Interstate Pipelines

Anti-drillers looking to a) stop shale drilling in Ohio and b) barring that, slow it down by taxing the #[email protected]% of out the industry, met with a couple of members of RINO Gov. John Kasich’s staff last Friday to present what they hoped would be a proposal Kasich’s socialist-high-taxing nature would find appealing: tax natural gas flowing through interstate pipelines in Ohio. No word from the staffers whether or not they found merit in the proposal by the Ohio division of Citizens Against the Nexus/?Spectra Pipeline…
Continue reading