Fireworks at First PA DEP Conventional O&G Board Meeting

fireworksWell well. It seems by giving out the consolation prize of putting PIOGA (the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association) and other industry reps on the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection’s newly created conventional board isn’t working out quite as well as expected for Acting DEP Sec. John Quigley (see PA Marcellus Industry Consolation Prize: DEP Conventional Board). While PIOGA and other industry associations were denied a seat on the arguably more powerful Oil & Gas Technical Advisory Board (TAB), they were given a seat (and a voice) on the Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee (COGAC)–a rule-making board that covers traditional, vertical-only drilling. At the inaugural meeting of COGAC, yesterday, there were fireworks from PIOGA and others…
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Virginia’s Largest Electric Plant to be Powered by Marcellus Gas

spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go downYesterday Dominion, a huge natural gas and electric utility as well as a midstream company, announced plans to build the State of Virginia’s largest natural gas powered electric generating plant–in Greensville County, VA. (By the way, Dominion won the Award for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility at the Northeast Oil & Gas Awards on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Well done!) The $1 billion project will produce 1,600 megawatts of electricity using combined-cycle technology–enough electricity to power 400,000 homes. Dominion will use Marcellus Shale gas to power the plant, provided by Williams’ Transco pipeline. The plant will also be fed by a second Marcellus Shale pipeline–Dominion’s own Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a $5 billion, 550-mile pipeline slated to run from West Virginia through Virginia and into to North Carolina (see Dominion Commits to Major New Marcellus/Utica Pipeline Project). Between just these two projects, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Greensville County electric plant, Dominion is pumping an astounding $6 billion into the economy of the Mid-Atlantic region, made possible by the miracle of fracking and the amazing Marcellus Shale. In addition to building the natgas-powered electric plant, Dominion also plans to build a large-scale solar project at the Greensville County site, which will make so-called environmentalists happy. Perhaps a spoonful of solar sugar will help the natgas medicine go down–in a most delightful way…
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PA Gas Utility Approved to Provide Marcellus on Installment Plan

Residents in Cambria County, PA want some of that abundant, clean-burning and cheap Marcellus Shale natural gas to use for heating their homes. But you need a pipeline to your house in order to get it–and in many rural locations, like Cambria, pipelines would need to be built. Pipelines are expensive to build. Until now, residents who want natural gas would have to pay–up front–to have new pipelines built. It costs on the order of $20,000+ (per household) to build the necessary infrastructure–a cost out of reach for 99% of the people who want it. How do you bridge the gap? In the great American tradition, use the installment plan! Utility company Peoples Natural Gas (PNG), the local gas utility in Cambria, asked the PA Public Utility Commission to approve a plan that allows customers to pay over time. The PUC has appoved the plan. PNG’s plan will cost the average resident $70 per month for up to 25 years–approximately $55 per month to build the mainline pipeline to a community, and $15 per month to run lines to individual homes. It adds up to a potential $21K for each household, but spread across 25 years it’s not all that bad. Most, perhaps all, homes would end up saving money because using Marcellus Shale gas to heat with is so much cheaper than heating with oil and electricity…
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More Love for the Leach Xpress Pipeline — in Marshall County, WV

Gotta love the Leach. On Monday, MDN told you that Noble County, OH is in love with the Leach XPress Pipeline (see Noble County, OH in Love with the Leach Xpress Pipeline). The pipeline is being built by Columbia Pipeline Group and will begin in Marshall County, West Virginia, cross Ohio and end up in Leach, Kentucky. Leach Xpress will pay out $6.2 million in yearly property taxes in Noble County, hence the lovefest. Another place they love the Leach is in nearby Marshall County, WV. Marshall County will see $2.3 million per year in property taxes from the Leach and create (while it’s being built) 955 new jobs in the county providing a $67.5 million bump in economic stimulus to the county. What’s not to love about the Leach?!…
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OOGA’s DeBrosse Report: 2014 a Breakout Year for Utica Shale

Each year the 3,200-member Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) issue the DeBrosse Memorial Report (full copy below). The report is a high level look at where (and how much) drilling there has been in the state–and what they’re finding (methane, oil, NGLs). The latest report, recounting 2014, was released at the recent OOGA Annual Winter Meeting in Columbus. Needless to say the latest report shows the exponentially increasing importance of the Utica Shale in the state. Last year a full 61% of all new wells drilled and completed in the state were shale wells. The report also shows the state produced 11 million barrels of oil from the Utica Shale. In 2013 the Utica produced 4.3 million barrels of oil. Welcome to Utica-land!…
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When the OH “CURE” is Worse than the Disease: Antis Nit Pick

sometimes cure is worse than the diseaseSometimes the CURE is worse than the disease. Such is the case with the anti-drilling Communities United for Responsible Energy (CURE) in eastern OH. The group agitated and squawked and carried on with such histrionics that they’ve gotten the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) to order an oilfield services company to shut down a satellite location in Jefferson County, OH. The offense? Depends on who you ask. The company, Anchor Drilling Fluids, says it didn’t have a permit to store excess drilling mud–the stuff used by drillers to keep a drill bit cool and lubricated and free of bacteria. The ODNR says Anchor was recycling at that site and lacked a proper waste recycling permit. Question: If you mix drilling mud at a well site but don’t use all of it, and you then truck it back to HQ to store it for a few days or weeks before taking it somewhere else, is that “recycling”? Apparently it is for the ODNR…
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Govt Report Says Shale Oil Will Run Out Soon, Start Drilling Offshore

We started by laughing out loud, then we grew perplexed, as we read a story by the Associated Press about a new study being released today in Washington, DC. The study is from the National Petroleum Council–NOT to be confused with our industry’s leading trade organization the American Petroleum Institute. Two completely different things. The National Petroleum Council (NPC) is a group of 200 people appointed by the Secretary of Energy who serve at his (or her) leisure and provide advice to the Secretary. The organization was created under President Harry Truman in 1946 and after the Dept. of Energy was created it was reassigned to that department. What’s curious is that it is funded by private sources. It’s a government-run organization providing information used to make government policy but funded by private sources–all somewhat shadowy if you ask us. Regardless, this group, which is comprised of individuals from the oil and gas industry, academe, environmental groups, and businesses of various kinds, is publishing a report due out today for Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz that says, in essence, shale oil in the lower 48 will run out sometime in the next decade and we should begin drilling like crazy right now off the shore of Alaska. In other words, its more peak oil bupkis…
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2015 Northeast Oil & Gas Awards: A Quick Recap & List of Winners

Oil & Gas AwardsThis is a shout out to the marvelous people we (meaning me, Jim Willis) met in Pittsburgh on Wednesday at the 3rd Annual Oil & Gas Awards. I was truly humbled and thrilled to meet so many MDN readers! You gave me some great feedback on MDN–feedback that has me thinking about some new initiatives going forward. So stay tuned for the future and what I believe will be some good things coming. During the day I was privileged to host two panel discussions. A special thank you to the panelists on the “Minimizing Environmental Impact” panel: Melissa Hamsher, Vice President at Eclipse Resources; Lauren Parker, Principal at Civil & Environmental Consultants; and Gregg Stewart, Permitting Manager with PennEnergy Resources. And a special thank you to the panelists on the “Health and Safety” panel: Charlie Dixon, Safety and Workforce Director with Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program; Frank Harrison, President of Areion Energy; and Chad McCutcheon, Communications Professional with McCutcheon Enterprises. Stellar panelists all! They made me look good, and that’s a hard thing to do. 😉 There were about 150 attendees at the Industry Summit during the day. MDN will bring you videos (when they become available) for each of the sessions. The evening was the “main” event–a gala awards ceremony with folks decked out in tuxedos and evening gowns. We have the complete list of winners for the 2015 Northeast Oil and Gas Awards below…
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