EMG Stabs McClendon in the Back re Chesapeake Data Lawsuit

backstabberThis is a strange and complicated tale that boils down to this: Aubrey McClendon has a singular talent for finding and taking money from people who later turn around and stick a knife in his back. You may remember in February the story we brought you that Chesapeake Energy had sued its former co-founder, Aubrey McClendon, claiming he stole data on his way out the door (see Chesapeake Energy Sues McClendon for Taking His Rolodex with Him). McClendon responded that he contractually had every right to take the data he took with him (see McClendon Hires Top PR Firm to Respond to “Stolen Data” Charge). This is where it gets complicated. Aubrey has spun off several companies from his new company American Energy Partners (AEP). For example, one of the companies (named in the Chesapeake lawsuit) is American Energy-Utica, LLC, (AEU), operating in Ohio’s Utica Shale region. A major funding partner for AEU is Energy & Minerals Group (EMG). EMG is, essentially, in charge of AEU. EMG has just cut a deal with Chesapeake, behind Aubrey’s back, to give Chesapeake 6,000 acres of leases in northern Harrison County along with $25 million in extortion, er ah hush money, er ah “damages” thereby removing EMG/AEU from the Chesapeake lawsuit. The lawsuit against Aubrey and mother company AEP will continue–but the child company/EMG investors won’t be part of it. Aubrey is hopping mad because EMG didn’t tell him nor seek his blessing on their deal with Chesapeake…
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Eclipse Resources Nixes Joint Venture Idea, Cuts Capex 57% in 2015

Eclipse Resources is a relatively new driller formed by a group of former Rex Energy people. Eclipse is headquartered in State College, PA but does most of its drilling in the Ohio Utica. Eclipse announced yesterday they have decided not to pursue a joint venture after all. As recent as a month ago, Eclipse was saying, “…the Company is currently in negotiations with certain financial partners regarding a potential joint venture to accelerate drilling on its assets without burdening the Company’s balance sheet” (see Eclipse Resources has “Transformative” 2014, Cutting Back in 2015). Eclipse previously announced a cutback in their 2015 budget of 20% over 2014 spending levels (see Eclipse Resources Gets $440M from New Stock, Trims 2015 Capex 20%). Because they’ve decided not to do a jv, Eclipse is now cutting back this year’s budget by 57% over 2014. They will now drill just 19 new wells this year and place 29 wells into production…
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WV DEP to Fine Williams for Condensate Pipeline Leak in WV

A follow up to our story from Monday when we told you that Williams experienced two pipeline ruptures in Marshall County, WV following heavy rains (see Williams Pipelines Rupture in Marshall County After Heavy Rains). One of the pipelines that burst was a 4-inch condensate pipeline. West Virginia regulators have signaled they will fine Williams for the condensate pipeline leak because it ended up in the nearby Little Grave Creek–contaminating some six miles of the creek. We now know how much condensate leaked out. According to the WV DEP, 132 barrels of condensate (or roughly 5,500 gallons) leaked out. Cleanup and sampling of the creek is still in progress. But that begs the question, what the heck is condensate?…
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Democrat County Judge Rules PA AG’s Case Against XTO Can Proceed

Not long after she took office, Pennsylvania’s Democrat Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, brought criminal charges against XTO Energy for an accidental spill in Lycoming County, PA that happened two years before she was in office (see PA AG Abuses Her Authority, Files Criminal Charges Against XTO). Yes, this is the same Kathleen Kane who may be forcibly removed from office because she lied under oath, a little criminal offense called perjury (see PA Grand Jury Finds Anti-Drilling AG Kathleen Kane Lied Under Oath). Meanwhile, Kane continues her reign of terror against XTO and others (see Minuteman Enviro Says PA AG Office “Terrorized” Family Members, Filing Lawsuit and PA Attorney Gen. Kane Abuses Office Again, Arrest Warrant for EQT). The latest on the XTO sham case is that Democrat Lycoming County Judge Marc Lovecchio has (surprise!) refused to dismiss the charges against XTO…
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New Bill Aims to Keep Drilling/Pipelines Out of Dela. River Basin

A new bill aimed at restricting shale drilling and pipelines in the Delaware River Basin has just been re-introduced by a pair of Delaware Democrats in Congress. It flies under the name of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act. This is the fifth time the bill has been introduced (in 2013 it was HR 644, click here for the full text of the bill). The bill would vest the already out-of-control U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with power and money to “identify and implement conservation activities” in the Delaware River Basin. The tipoff that this is anti-drilling is that it’s being promoted by the William Penn Foundation as well as the Delaware River Basin Commission. DRBC board members say the bill doesn’t step on their toes at all. In fact, DRBC welcomes the bill because it will help with “defending environmental quality in ways that are outside of its [DRBC’s] operations.” In other words, it’s one more tool to ensure shale drilling never happens in the Delaware River Basin…
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EIA Outlook: US Will be Energy Independent in 5-15 Years!

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), our favorite government agency, released a startling new analysis yesterday. As part of the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015), EIA is predicting that sometime between 2020 and 2030 the United States will export as much energy as it imports. In other words, we will be 100% energy independent. In the next 5-15 years. Something that hasn’t happened since the 1950s when Doo-Wop music was all the rage. Just pause for a moment to reflect on that fact. True energy independence is something nobody thought possible, ever, just a few short years ago. How is it possible? The miracle of hydraulic fracturing and shale, of course…
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JLCNY Rally in NY to Support Defense of Property Rights Bill

In January of this year, an upstate New York Congressman, Tom Reed (Corning, NY) introduced a bill that would, if adopted, provide relief to NY landowners who have been screwed over by Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking in the Empire State. The bill is called the Defense of Property Rights Act (DOPRA) and it changes “takings” laws in an important way–it changes the law to say if government action causes a landowner economic harm “in whole or in part” the landowner has a takings claim (see Federal Defense of Property Rights Act Explained; End of Frack Bans?). The “in part” language is the key because until now, the entire value had to be “taken” in order to bring a takings claim. As we pointed out back in January, this is an important law for all landowners everywhere, not just in NY–a law that prevents tyrannical politicians like Cuomo from overstepping their authority. The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) is holding a rally this Saturday in Painted Post, NY to support Congressman Reed and his legislation…
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Athens, OH Anti-Drillers Appeal Injection Well Permit (Again)

The wacky anti-drillers of the leftist ACFAN (Athens County Fracking Action Network) are once again suing. They didn’t like the answer they got when they appealed a permit issued for a K&H injection well in Athens County, so they’re appealing their appeal. One wonders where the funds come from to engage in ongoing frivolous lawsuits? Would ACFAN care to open up its books and show us who, exactly, is giving them the money to do this? Which Big Environment organization is paying them to continue this kind of activity? Inquiring minds want to know…
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Could USA/Canada/Mexico Dethrone OPEC and Set Oil Prices?

Here’s an interesting idea: What if the U.S. got together with both Canada and Mexico and formed a price fixing coalition like OPEC to control the price of oil? The three North American countries together produce 15 million barrels of oil per day and if they formed a block, it might dethrone OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) as the world’s defacto oil price-setting body. That idea is being floated by Breitling Energy Corporation CEO Chris Faulkner. MDN editor Jim Willis met and chatted with Chris at last fall’s regional Oil & Gas Awards Industry Summit in Dallas, TX. The price of oil has a great deal of influence over the price of natural gas–in particular LNG. So any kind of price-setting body is of keen interest to MDN readers. The question is, would such a price-setting body work here in the U.S.?…
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