Constitution Pipeline Re-Files for NY DEC Permit, Clock Resets

clock resetSomething troubling for MDN. The Constitution Pipeline, a 125-mile pipeline that will stretch from the gas fields of Susquehanna County, PA into New York–to Schoharie County, has been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a multi-year process. The only thing keeping Williams from starting up the backhoes and beginning to lay pipeline is New York State–specifically the state’s Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The DEC must grant what’s called a 401 Water Quality Certificate that allows the Constitution to lay pipe through and under swamps, creeks and other bodies of water. The DEC ran a series of public hearings on it, one of which MDN editor Jim Willis attended in January (see Pro-Drillers Out in Force at Constitution Pipeline Hearing in Binghamton). The DEC was legally due to complete its review and either grant or not grant the certificate by May 8. But they’ve asked for more time, so Williams/Constitution have re-filed their permit request which starts the clock again, giving the DEC and extra two weeks to accept public comment. And therein lies our concern…
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EXCO Looks to “Restructure” (Sell?) 150K Marcellus Acres

Just yesterday we brought you the news that (no surprise) EXCO Resources has suspended any more drilling in their 150,000 acres of Marcellus acreage (see EXCO Resources Continues Marcellus Drilling Moratorium in 1Q15). EXCO’s newly appointed executive chairman, who also happens to be Bluescape’s executive chairman (along with other EXCO top management), held an analyst call to discuss first quarter results and the call was peppered with references to “restructuring.” We count at least 15 “restructuring” references in the call transcript. Among the things that will potentially get “restructured” is EXCO’s Marcellus joint venture with BG Group. BG is being bought out by Shell (see LNG Love Story: Shell Makes Play to Buy BG in $69.7B Megamerger). In light of that buyout, EXCO is looking to “restructure” their deal–by which we take to mean they’re shopping their Marcellus acreage. The term “Appalachia” came up a few times on Wednesday’s analyst phone call…
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Youngstown Injection Wells Previously Shut Down Resume Operation

Book Em DannoBook ’em, Danno!” Remember that phrase from the original Hawaii 5-0 television series that aired from 1968-1980? Jack Lord was great as Steve McGarrett. That’s the image we immediately had when reading a story about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency executing a search warrant at a Vienna Township, OH brine injection well. The EPA was looking for evidence in an “environmental crime.” We have to confess we find the whole concept of “environmental crime” somewhat silly. You have violations of regulations–sometimes egregious and yes, criminal. But we detect a shift by anti-drillers to move the debate into turning what are sometimes pure accidents, other times neglect, but rarely intentional activities into “crimes.” The law-breaking Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Kathleen Kane, is famous for this. After taking office she targeted XTO Energy for what she says is a “crime” that happened several years before she took office. The “crime”? An accidental spill of wastewater. That’s how these people operate. Salem witch hunt kind of attitude–they’re frackers, burn them at the stake! Back to Vienna. The EPA in search of a crime worked with the OH Attorney General’s office and the OH Bureau of Criminal Investigation to raid the injection well facility to find “evidence” of a crime after a recent spill at the facility…
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PA DEP Gets an Earful About New Drilling Rules at Public Hearing

The first two of three public hearings being held by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection on proposed new drilling rules, which were changed at the last minute by the incoming Gov. Tom Wolf administration, have now been held. What happened? What always happens at these things. Anti-drillers parading before the cameras and microphones to demand this and that, and (in this case) pro-drillers commenting on their dim view of the last minute changes made by the DEP. It seems that Wolf and his Acting Secretary of the DEP, John Quigley, have made precisely no one happy with their meddling with the rules…
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First Step in KM’s 1,000 Mile Y-Grade Pipeline Journey

We have a lot of information to boil down and convey regarding what was once called Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s (TGP) “Y-Grade Pipeline”–a natural gas liquids (NLG) pipeline some 1,000 miles long that will stretch from Pennsylvania to Texas (see our 2013 article for background: Kinder Morgan/MarkWest Proposed NGL Pipeline Gets a Nickname, Map). The Y-Grade Pipeline is now called the Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline Project (UMTP). TGP has a series of 6 parallel pipelines that currently run from Louisiana to western Pennsylvania–carrying natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the northeast (and to points in between, running through Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio). The northeast and southeast doesn’t need that much gas from the Gulf given the enormous production coming from the Marcellus/Utica. The plan is to “abandon” some of the lengths of those pipelines and repurpose the “abandoned” pipelines, reversing the flow and instead of flowing natgas, flowing NGLs from the northeast to the Gulf–eventually (with a new pipeline) from LA into TX. That is the plan for UMTP. Kinder Morgan, owner of TGP, recently filed official paperwork with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to “abandon” certain sections and beef up the remaining pipelines with new compressor stations. We have the full details, including details about four new compressor stations to be built in Ohio…
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ETP Seals the Deal – Buyout of Regency Energy for $25B Complete

MDN told you about the big money buyout midstream company Regency Energy by midstream company Energy Transfer Partners for $25 billion (see Energy Transfer Partners Buys Regency Energy for $25B). As we had also reported, the date for the buyout was April 28 (see ETP Buyout of Regency Energy Has a Date: April 28). The deed is now done and, at least on paper, Regency Energy is no more…
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More Info on Rogersville Shale Drilling Coming to WV

We’ve noticed the odd story from time to time mentioning the Rogersville Shale, a formation that sits 9,000-14,000 feet below the surface and is found in southwestern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. Just a few weeks ago we told you that Cabot Oil & Gas is flirting with the Rogersville in WV (see Cabot Drills Test Well in WV Rogersville Shale, More on the Way?). The anti-drilling Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC) pushed out a press release about the Rogersville in WV in March. The aim of the press release is to scare people, but there’s actually some good information in the release about where current development in the Rogersville is happening, along with good advice for any landowner anywhere contemplating a lease–such as don’t sign anything without a lawyer’s review, get your water checked before they start drilling, etc…
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The Anti-Fracking Game Plan – Courtesy Saul Alinsky

MDN spotted a post on the always-excellent Natural Gas Now website authored by MDN subscriber and friend Curt Coccodrilli–and we liked it so much we’re repeating here, in full. Curt has the fortunate/unfortunate luck to live in the Delaware River Basin and he’s been an astute observer of the antics by anti-drillers in his neck of the woods for years. Curt noticed how their behavior seems to match that proffered by the now infamous Saul Alinsky in his book, “Rules for Radicals.” Some of Alinsky’s devotees and followers are Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama. Alinsky is largely responsible for launching a whole generation of people (like Obama) who call themselves “community organizers.” They are, in fact, community agitators–those who tear down instead of building up. Curt read the book and offers up his take on how anti-fracking zealots have adopted Alinsky’s “rules” and how they employ them today. He calls it Rules for Radicals: The Fractivist Edition
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Marcellus/Utica Welder by Day, Prostitute by Night?

MDN told you about the outrageous comments by Sandra Steingraber (from Ithaca College) in her address to a group of “feminists” in Pittsburgh last week (see Steingraber: Only Jobs for Women in Fracking are Maid & Prostitute). The obviously sexist Steingraber said this about jobs for women in the shale industry: “The jobs for women are ‘hotel maid’ and ‘prostitute’.” So when we spotted an article about a female welding instructor at Zane State College in Cambridge, OH–and how she trains both men AND women for welding jobs in the oil and gas industry (jobs that after a year or so on the job fetch a salary of $150,000), we thought we would share it with you. And no–the female welding instructor and her students are not a prostitutes by night. The headline was just a shameless ploy to draw you in and encourage you to read the article about these gutsy women doing hard, physical work in what Steingraber calls a “man’s world”…
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