PA Senators Have Some Tough Questions for DEP Nominee John Quigley

Lucy, you have some 'splainin to doAs the time approaches for hearings on newly-elected Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s choices to head up key agencies, like John Quigley nominated to heard the Dept. of Environmental Protection, some senators will have some pointed questions for him. MDN has covered some of Mr. Quigley’s controversial positions–things he’s written on his blog and the time he has spent at the anti-drilling PennFuture (see In His Own Words: Quigley’s Positions on Fracking, NY Ban, Etc.). He’s a true believer in global warming and thinks the heavy hand of government should do more to stop it. He’s also on record as saying in PA “in large measure, we have not gotten it right in the past”–referring to Marcellus Shale drilling (see Quigley Says Opportunity to Get Marcellus Drilling “Right” in PA). It’s statements like that that are giving some senators, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, “indigestion”…
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Full Speed Ahead for Hilcorp in the Northern Utica in 2015

In 2014 Hilcorp spent some $400 million on drilling in the *northern* Utica Shale play–an area that virtually everyone else has abandoned for the more alluring wet gas to be found in the southeaster portion of the play. According to Hilcorp, they are enjoying success in the northern Utica and that’s where they will continue to focus their efforts…
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Devon Puts 2 Utica Wells Up for Sale, Not Happy with OH Utica

Devon Energy has put Wayne County, OH’s lone Utica shale well up for sale, along with another Utica well they own in Guernsey County. To which we say we were surprised. We had forgotten Devon had drilled (or owned) any Utica wells in the first place. Perhaps the reason they’re dumping the Wayne County well, which the say has “future utility,” is because it hasn’t produced a thing–oil or natural gas. The well in Guernsey also appears to be a bust. Here’s the brief blurb we caught on Devon exiting the Utica…
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Marathon Announces Open Season on New Wet Gas Pipelines

Marathon Pipe Line and Ohio River Pipeline, both subsidiaries of Marathon Petroleum Corp., announced binding open seasons on two new pipeline projects in Ohio and beyond. The first is called Cornerstone Pipeline is a 16-inch pipeline for condensate, natural gasoline, diluent and butaine (NGLs) that will begin in Harrison County, OH and run for about 50 miles to Marathon’s refinery in Canton, OH. Along the way it has the potential to connect various processing facilities. The second project is something they’re calling the Utica Build-Out Projects–a pipeline or pipelines that will carry product beyond Canton to other Midwest refineries, reaching Chicago and even into Canada…
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Rice Midstream Building New “Zeus” Pipeline in Belmont/Monroe OH

ZeusMDN picked up on a bit of news we had not previously heard about. Rice Midstream, the newly formed subsidiary of Rice Energy launched in December (see Rice Midstream IPO Falls Short of Goal by Approx. $134M), is busy at work. They are building eight miles of 30-inch pipeline through portions of Belmont and Monroe counties (in Ohio) as part of their “Zeus” project. This is the first time we’d heard of Zeus (the pipeline). The project will last four months and employ 350 temporary union workers–welders and construction workers…
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Columbia Pipeline IPO Blows By Rosiest Expectations, Nets $1.1B

Last week MDN told you that NiSource was launching an initial public offering (IPO) and spinning off its Columbia Pipeline Group subsidiary into its own subsidiary. NiSource and Columbia were hoping to raise upward of a huge $1 billion (see Columbia Pipeline Floats IPO, Hopes for Upward of $1B). Guess what? They got MORE than $1B! They ended up netting $1.1 billion after pricing units at $23 each (their target was $19-$21). When the units started to trade, they hit $28.01 per unit for a time before falling back to $26.79. How did Columbia’s IPO measure up with some other recent northeast midstream IPOs, like CONSOL, Rice Energy and Antero Resources?…
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Canadian EmberClear Aborts Plan to Build $1B GTL Plant Near Philly

Nearly a year ago MDN told you about another plan to build a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Berks County, near Philadelphia (see Another New Gas-to-Liquids Plant Coming in PA – Near Philly). GTL plants convert natural gas into other products, like diesel fuel. Canadian company EmberClear planned to sink $1 billion into the project, but almost immediately the wacko anti-drillers came crawling out of the woodwork (see 0.0024 of Berks County Population Opposes New $1B GTL Plant). Even though fairly small in number, they are mouthy and they are dedicated. So much so that EmberClear has just announced they’re giving up on the project, partially (mostly?) because of the wackos who oppose it…
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OH Coal Company Sues McClendon to Obtain Copies of Leases

Robert Murray, who owns a coal company that operates under the name Murray Energy, sued Aubrey McClendon in 2013 when McClendon used the name American Energy Partners for his new company. Murray, you see, owns a subsidiary company in Ohio named American Energy Corp. Murray says ole Aubrey has infringed on his company’s name and trademark, so he sued (see McClendon Gets Sued in OH Over New Company’s Name). That was the last we had heard of it, until now. It seems the case is alive and well and Murray has just filed brief saying ole Aubrey should be forced to produce copies of leases he has with landowners in Ohio…
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New Research: USGS In-Depth Study of Fracking from 1947-2010

The U.S. Geological Survey recently released two new comprehensive studies on fracking. The publications are a “first of their kind” and look at the history of fracking and how it’s changed from 1947 to 2010. The report is a nationwide study of hydraulic fracturing trends, but most of the data comes from (unsurprisingly) Texas, where fracking was born. The report is an analysis of data on nearly one million hydraulically fractured wells and 1.8 million fracturing treatment records. Dunderheaded anti-drillers believe fracking is some new fangled, dangerous technology. It’s not. It’s been around for nearly 70 years! Horizontal drilling has been around for decades too. It is the combination of horiztonal drilling and fracking that is relatively “new”. The more you know about fracking, the more you love it. This pair of studies helps us understand how the technology has changed and evolved over the past seven decades…
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Vallourec Star Pipeline Plant in OH Shutting Down for 3 Weeks

Vallourec Star, a steel pipe manufacturer in Youngstown, OH, has had more business than it knows what to do with since it opened in 2012. That is, until recently. With the plunging price of oil and gas comes scaled back budgets for drilling in 2015. Vallourec Star has been experiencing a slow down. In anticipation of even more slowing down, they’ve announced a three week shut down of the plant, meaning hundreds of families will have a big hole in their family budgets. For those that can do without a paycheck for a while, the company is also offering a 6-month voluntary layoff, which signals they think the “slow down” may be with us for while…
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