Triassic Park: North Carolina Becomes 34th State to Frack Shale

Jurassic ParkYesterday some 120 new rules that govern oil and gas drilling in North Carolina–including a rule that lifts the moratorium on fracking shale deposits–went into effect. In just a couple of years NC was able to do what so far New York hasn’t been able to do in nearly seven years–it became the 34th state to allow shale drilling. While all shale layers are now open for business, the initial flurry of interest seems to be centered in the center of the state in Lee, Moore and Chatham counties. Popularly its called the Triassic Basin, although technically it’s part of a broader area called the Deep River Basin. Within the Triassic is a sub-basin called the Sanford, and it’s there that two companies are already “aggressively” leasing in the area…
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Investigation: Delaware Riverkeeper Violates Non-Profit Charter

Two days ago MDN brought you the story that two Philadelphia-area so-called non-profit organizations–THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Clean Air Council–are not only interfering in a town on the opposite side of the state, they’ve caused the residents of that town to pay (so far) over $35,000 in legal fees (see Dela. RiverKeeper, Clean Air Council Cost Middlesex Residents $35K+). Our good friend Tom Shepstone from the always-excellent Natural Gas Now website did some digging and has found Delaware Riverkeeper is violating the terms of their non-profit charter by doing what they’re doing in Middlesex–something the IRS should investigate post haste…
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Rex Energy 1Q15 Update: 6 New Wells Online in Butler County

The first quarter of 2015 hasn’t quite come to an end just yet (that happens on March 31)–but it’s not stopping Rex Energy from issuing a first quarter operational update. Rex, headquartered in State College, PA, is mainly focused on drilling in the Marcellus/Utica–in Butler County, PA and Carroll County, OH. According to Monday’s update, Rex placed six more wells (on two pads) in Butler County into sales during 1Q15. Because of problems with a Blue Racer compressor station, Rex reports production in Carroll County was constrained in 1Q15–but they’re quick to add those problems are over and the gas is now flowing again. Here’s yesterday’s update…
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Marathon Utica Wet Gas Pipeline Extends Open Season Extra 30 Days

In December 2013 Marathon Petroleum, Ohio’s largest refiner, announced they would build a new Utica Shale pipeline, called Cornerstone (see Marathon Petroleum’s Newly Announced “Cornerstone” Utica Pipeline). Cornerstone will stretch nearly 50 miles from the MarkWest cryogenic processing plant in Cadiz, OH, heading northwest and connecting to M3’s fractionator plant in Scio and M3’s cryogenic processing plant in Leesville on its way to connecting with and terminating at Marathon’s refinery in Canton, OH. The pipeline will flow crude oil, condensate and natural gasoline. In February, Marathon launched an open season to sign up shippers for the new pipeline (see Marathon Announces Open Season on New Wet Gas Pipelines). The open season was due to end on March 13, but Marathon has extended it an extra month–a sign that there may not be as much interest as originally thought for this project (although Marathon says the extra time allows them to handle “significant interest” in the project)…
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Enterprise Products Partners Just Raised $100M from Itself

Enterprise Products Partners is a very big midstream company (pipelines and processing plants). They are the builder of the Appalachia-to-Texas Express (ATEX) ethane pipeline, which stretches from the Marcellus all the way to the Gulf Coast. Enterprise joins a list of companies doing creative things to bring cash through the door. On Monday, Enterprise announced that one division (or affiliate) of the company has purchased 3.2 million “units” (think shares of stock) in another division–bringing in $100 million that Enterprise will use “to fund a portion of its growth capital investments and for general company purposes.” That is, one set of investors just handed over $100 million to another set of investors in essentially the same company. Kind of mind-bender…
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Chesapeake: Next Few Years Will Separate Weak & Strong in Utica

Chris Doyle is executive vice president of operations for Chesapeake Energy’s northern division. He previously held a similar position with Anadarko Petroleum. Doyle recently spoke to Columbus Business First about Chessy’s prospects, indeed everyone’s prospects, in the Ohio Utica Shale. Sounding rather Darwinian, Doyle said we’re now entering a phase in the Utica where the strong will survive, and the weak won’t. Obviously he believes Chesapeake is in the “strong” category…
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OH Antis Handed Crushing Defeat in Broadview Hghts Home Rule Case

anarchyWe’ve commented before on the lawless tendencies of anti-drillers, particularly in Ohio where, when they lose a court case, they declare the government is illegitimate (see OH Anti-Drillers on Rampage after Supreme Court Home Rule Decision). It hasn’t been a full month since the Ohio Supreme Court ruling and now a second, crushing defeat for anti-fossil fuelers. Last week a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge struck down the Cleveland suburb of Broadview Heights’ so-called community bill of rights that bans all, including shale drilling. Once again, as with the Supreme Court “Munroe Falls” case, we see what sore losers anti-drillers are. If a court case like Broadview Heights doesn’t go their way, they immediately start talking about anarchy–that the government has “ceased to be legitimate.” These are not only stupid people, they’re dangerous too…
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Kathleen “Wag the Dog” Kane Says Chessy Investigation Almost Done

One of the Democrats’ favorite tactics: When the spotlight is on you because of your own criminal behavior, try to turn it elsewhere. Quick, anywhere! Bill Clinton tried it when he was being dogged by the Monica Lewinsky scandal–he bombed an aspirin factory in the Sudan. It’s called Wag the Dog–as in create a new issue to distract people from the old issue you don’t want them to focus on any more. Apparently Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, is using the same tactic. A grand jury says Kane broke the law herself in her role as AG by committing perjury (see PA Grand Jury Finds Anti-Drilling AG Kathleen Kane Lied Under Oath). Kane is fighting the charge in court by using Bill Clinton’s lawyer attack dog Lanny Davis. Apparently Lanny is now advising Kane to Wag that Dog too. So Kane is saying her investigation of Chesapeake Energy over shorting landowners out of royalties due to them is “almost wrapped up”–which of course has everyone buzzing and forgetting about her own criminal behavior…
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Marcellus Pipeline Likely Coming to S Jersey, Confirmation Vote

Since early 2014, MDN has chronicled the almost impossible task that utility company South Jersey Gas set before themselves–running a very short 22 miles of pipeline to an electric generating plant that has been ordered to switch from burning dirty coal to burning clean Marcellus Shale gas (see Sierra Club, LWV Chooses Coal over NatGas in South Jersey). It’s an almost impossible task because the pipeline would need to run through 10 miles of scrub pine trees that some in the region believe are sacred. In particular, the NJ Sierra Club and the League of [Liberal Democrat] Women Voters are opposed to the plan and pressured the Pinelands Commission, the state regulatory body that oversees the area, to not approve the plan. NJ Gov. Christie then booted two of the members of the Pinelands Commission last May and nominated two new members, bringing us a step closer to achieving the impossible (see Marcellus Pipeline May Come to South Jersey After All). It’s taken almost a year, but the NJ Senate has just confirmed the second of those two new members, which most people read to mean that the Pinelands Commission will now vote to approve the South Jersey Gas pipeline…
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OPEC Says American Shale Boom Over by End of 2015

It seems that our enemies–countries that belong to OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) are gloating they believe their strategy of allowing the price of oil to collapse is “working” and that they are driving shale drillers in the U.S. out of business. OPEC is predicting the shale boom will be “over by the end of 2015,” after previously predicting the same thing by the end of 2018. Excuse us while we pick ourselves up off the floor after laughing so hard! Will these people never stop underestimating American ingenuity and resilience? Will they always misunderstand and pooh-pooh American exceptionalism–that we are the exception to the rule, virtually the only country in history where liberty and acknowledgment of God-given rights for individuals allows those individuals freedom to pursue their dreams, creating a country free of government tyranny and unleashing creativity and passion so intense it results in achievements in this country that surpass those of all other countries combined? Fortunately for us, it seems the members of OPEC are obtuse and fail to grasp the true nature of the shale boom–how it got started, and why it will continue long after we’re all dead and gone…
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