Man Confesses, Admits Why He Vandalized Chevron Well in SWPA

copper theftTwo weeks ago MDN told you about two men who had been indicted by a federal grand jury on felony charges of damaging a shale well (or wells) on Chevron’s Burchianti Pad in Greene County, PA in March 2014 (see 2 Men Indicted by Feds for Vandalizing Chevron Wells in SWPA). At the time we said it was too early to speculate what they were up to and why. Those words were prescient. We wondered if it was environmentalism gone amok. Or perhaps previous employees with an ax to grind. Or maybe a drunken stunt. It was none of those things. As it turns out, it was plain old, garden variety theft–of copper wire…
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Marcellus Industry to DEP Tech Advisory Bd: You’re Out of Order!

Al Pacino Out of OrderThe Marcellus industry in Pennsylvania is none too happy with the performance thus far of Acting Secretary of the Dept. of Environmental Protection, John Quigley. As MDN has noted, Quigley first fired the members of the DEP’s Oil & Gas Technical Advisory Board (see Why did PA DEP Acting Sec Quigley Mass Fired Gas Advisory Board?), then he pulled a fast one, changing up revised drilling rules that were already done and ready to go under Tom Corbett’s administration (see PA DEP Sec Quigley Pulls a Fast One, Changes Drilling Rules). Needless to say, Quigley isn’t impressing anyone so far. The reporters at Marcellus.com have noticed and selected out some choice comments by the industry, illustrating their frustration with the new regime. One comment even channels Al Pacino…
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Maryland’s Democrat House & Senate Pass Anti-Fracking Bills

On his way out the door of the governor’s mansion in Maryland, then-Gov. Martin O’Malley decided to issue new rules to allow fracking (see Maryland Gets Ready to Frack! Gov O’Malley Files New Regulations). Which at the time we thought was really odd. O’Malley is an anti-drilling Democrat who obstructed fracking for the past four years he was in office. Why the change of heart on his way out the door? Now we know. He wants to run for president–and no one can run for president on a platform of stopping shale drilling. No matter what his motivation–what counts is that Maryland is seeing movement toward using the miracle of fracking. Except now both the Maryland House and Senate have just passed anti-fracking bills, one of which would slap a new moratorium on fracking for yet another three years. The good news is that Maryland’s new governor, Republican Larry Hogan, is pro-fracking and sure to veto any such nonsense…
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GASFRAC Bankruptcy Dims LPG Waterless Fracking; LNG Fracking Debuts

In an effort to minimize the impact of shale drilling on the environment, perhaps the biggest prize of all is to figure out a viable alternative to using water in fracking. As MDN has pointed out numerous times–there’s nothing wrong with using water, as long as you recycle it and/or properly dispose of it. Water is used because it’s economical to do so, and it’s one of the best fluids to get the fracking job done. But still, there are locations, like the western part of the country, that are water-constrained. Plus, it would sure be nice to reduce all of those truck trips to the well pad. One technology that seemed to hold promise was liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fracking, pioneered by Canadian company GASFRAC. The problem is, GASFRAC is close to the end of being sold off in bankruptcy court (see Bankrupt Waterless Fracking Co GASFRAC Sold to “Third Party”). Does the end of GASFRAC also mean the end of waterless fracking? Perhaps not. An intriguing new LNG (liquefied natural gas) fracking technology is now on the horizon…
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Even with Capex Budgets/Jobs Slashed, NE Production Still Rising

Capital expenditure budgets slashed 20%, 30%, 40% and more. Mass firings in the thousands by oilfield services companies. The mad dash to raise cash to keep going. Shutting in wells to slow or stop production. Some days it seems like the news is all doom and gloom. But what’s this? Even though rig counts are down, capex is slashed and jobs are dwindling, production in the Marcellus/Utica will continue to go UP in 2015. You read that right. How can that be? According to some excellent research published by NGI’s Shale Daily, production will continue to go up because “efficiencies in drilling techniques and low operating costs are overcoming the energy industry downturn.” That is, good old American ingenuity is once again figuring out how to do more with less. What did the ace reporters at Shale Daily discover when they dug down into the data?…
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New Study Finds PennEast Pipeline to Save PA & NJ Residents $900M

Concentric Energy Advisors Inc., an independent management consulting and financial advisory firm focused on the North American energy industry, has just published a new report that shows the economic impact from the PennEast Pipeline will be huge for both Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents. The study, titled “Estimated Energy Market Savings From Additional Pipeline Infrastructure Serving Eastern Pennsylvania And New Jersey” (full copy embedded below) finds that PA electric and natural gas customers will see a combined savings of over $500 million, while NJ electric and gas customers will see a combined savings of nearly $400 million…
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CONSOL Energy Floats $650M in Senior Notes, Paying Off Old Debt

Yesterday MDN told you about the mad dash to raise cash by Carrizo Oil & Gas and Rice Energy (see The Mad Dash to Raise Cash Continues: Carrizo & Rice Energy). Carrizo went the equity route, selling shares of stock, and Rice Energy went the debt route, selling IOUs or notes. It seems the mad dash is far from over. Now comes word that CONSOL Energy is also going the debt route–floating $650 million of senior notes. CONSOL will use the money to pay off older debt…
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Marcellus/Utica 3-Month Temp Forecast: Cold, Warm, Warm

Every now and again we check in on the weather forecast–the long range forecast–from Weather Services International. Why? Because the weather has a great deal to do with the price of natural gas, and the price of natural gas has a great deal to do with whether or not drillers are willing to drill for it. Forthwith, here is the temperature forecast for the next three months across the U.S., by region (the Marcellus/Utica is, of course, in the Northeast)…
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Dominion to Issue $1.5M in Education Grants in Energy, Environment

Dominion, a major natural gas utility and midstream company operating in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia is looking to give away $1.5 million. But not just to anyone. Yesterday Dominion announced they will issue grants that focus on energy, environment and workforce development in the states and areas where they operate. ThepProgram awards up to $50,000 for higher education projects and up to $10,000 for K-12. But, you have to fill out an application and the application must be filed no later than May 15. What are you waiting for! Here’s the details from Dominion…
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