EQT Releases Data on Biggest Utica Well Ever; Dumping UD Drilling

changing courseOne week ago MDN brought you the news of EQT’s monster Utica Shale well drilled in Greene County, PA–the single highest producing on-shore shale well on the planet with initial production (IP) of 72.9 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (see EQT’s 1st Utica Well Shatters Record – 72.9 MMcf/d IP Rate!). Yesterday EQT provided an update on the well. It’s currently shut in while they get all of the pipelines connected and things ready to rock and roll. But before they shut it in, they flowed it for seven days and the average per day production was 27 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). It’s a truly astonishing well. Interestingly, this one, single well has changed the course of EQT’s drilling program. In the update (full copy below) they’ve announced the results from this well are so good, they are abandoning their Upper Devonian (UD) drilling program before it ever really got under way. They also announced they will drill a second Utica well in Greene County in August. Here’s the full update on the record-shattering Scotts Run 591340 dry Utica well and how it’s changed the direction of EQT…
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FBI Investigates Death Threats Against PennEast Pipeline Workers

We don’t want to broad-brush paint all anti-drillers opposed to pipelines, like the PennEast Pipeline, as whack-a-doos. But clearly some of them are–and some of them are potentially violent. It has just come to light that PennEast Pipeline received letters this past spring threatening to kill PennEast Pipeline employees. The FBI is investigating–talking to some of the whack-a-doos to ask them if they know about the letters…
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Blue Racer Midstream CEO Says Utica Shale Better than Marcellus

In April 2015, Stephen Arata, then Chief Financial Officer for Blue Racer Midstream, became the CEO of Blue Racer (see Blue Racer Midstream CFO Promoted over President to Become CEO). While Blue Racer operates in both the Utica and Marcellus Shale plays, it is the Utica that’s turned Mr. Arata’s head and is the focus of Blue Racer’s operations. In an article published in the July issue of The American Oil & Gas Reporter titled “Midstream Adjusts For Emerging Utica,” Mr. Arata makes this prediction about the Utica: “Arata predicts development of the Utica is about to take off. ‘The rock in the Utica is great,’ he enthuses. ‘The core of the rich part of the Utica is better than anything in the southwestern Pennsylvania Marcellus. People will be surprised how fast the Utica develops.'” Arata makes a number of boasts about Blue Racer, including the claim they are the only midstream company that can get “rich gas” out of Washington County, PA. Give this excellent article (with a number of Arata brags) a read…
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Is Shale Wastewater Causing Radiation Spike in Ten Mile Creek?

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Click image for larger version – Tests continue on drainage from the Clyde Mine in East Bethlehem Township, Washington County, for radiation and bromide levels. The mine, which is abandoned, is the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. (Photo by Natasha Khan)

Ten Mile Creek runs through Washington and Greene counties in southwestern Pennsylvania and is considered a “major tributary” to the mighty Monongahela River, a 130-mile-long river in north-central West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania. The Monongahela joins the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River at Pittsburgh. An abandoned coal mine, the Clyde Mine, sits near the Ten Mile Creek where the creek joins the Monongahela, and the abandoned coal mine (as many do) leaks acid mine water into the creek and ultimately into the Mon River. Anti-drillers suspect, apparently with no basis for doing so, that shale wastewater has been dumped in the Clyde Mine and is leaking out along with the acid mine water and is creating a radioactive hazard that could affect water in the Mon River used for drinking water sources. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) ran some initial tests in April 2014 and found ” high levels of radioactive materials and other chemicals typically related to Marcellus Shale drilling operations” according to the left-leaning news agency PublicSource. The DEP ran more tests in June of this year, but because the testing followed heavy rains, anti-drillers have already said they “won’t accept” the results from those tests. Anti-drillers love to cherry-pick their “science”. What’s really going on with Ten Mile Creek? Has there been, or is there still, illegal wastewater dumping going on at the Clyde Mine?…
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PennEast Changes Route Where it Crosses Appalachian Trail

This story is cool on many levels. Score another PR victory, and another clever re-route, for the PennEast Pipeline. PennEast, you may recall, is a $1 billion, 110-mile, 36-inch diameter natural gas pipeline that will run from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ. It is vigorously opposed by Big Green groups like the nutty Sierra Clubbers and THE Delaware Riverkeeper. Some who oppose it have threatened violence (see today’s companion story). Why? Because the PennEast will flow that evil, nasty fossil fuel called natural gas. Can’t have that, you know. PennEast has made a course correction that is sure to cut down on the time it requires to get approved. The course correction is where the PennEast will cross the Appalachian Trail in Carbon County, PA. The course correction also lets the PennEast deliver cheap Marcellus Shale gas to a new electric generating plant being built by the Blue Mountain Ski Resort…
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New England’s Obdurate (and Foolish) Opposition to Pipelines

Yet another example (not that you need it) that most folks who oppose pipelines, and shale drilling, and anything to do with shale energy–do so because they irrationally hate fossil fuels. This latest example comes from the land of liberal lunacy–Massachusetts. Leigh Youngblood, director of the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, community organized a protest rally preceding a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) scoping session on Wednesday in Greenfield, MA. The FERC scoping session was to hear about potential environmental impacts from the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline interstate project known as Northeast Energy Direct, or NED. Youngblood, true to lib Dem form, believes that Massachusetts should dump dirty fossil fuels and instead concentrate their “superior” intellects on using so-called alternative energy sources. Renewable energy is the future, dontchya know…
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Range Resources Chops 11% of Workforce (so Far) in 2015

The low price drillers receive for natural gas, NGLs and oil, and the results those prices have on revenues for drillers, continues to take a big bite out of the industry. Companies, rightly or wrongly, reduce head count in order to keep the balance sheet less red than it otherwise would be. One of the easiest and quickest ways to improve finances at big companies is to cut head count. Two weeks ago CONSOL Energy laid off 10% of its workforce–some 470 people (see CONSOL Slashes 10% of Workforce – 470 Jobs Gone). Range Resources is latest to confirm company-wide layoffs. So far this year Range has cut 11% of its workforce. In May, Range laid off 41 people in the Marcellus/Utica region…
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Protecting the Miracle of Fracking: NCPA Sounds Alarm on Bans

The misguided attempt to ban or restrict fracking (i.e. using fracking in shale drilling) threatens our country’s economic health and even our security. So says a new video and map published by the non-partisan National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). The NCPA sounds the alarm on (yes) successful anti-fracking efforts that have “swept the nation.” We applaud the NCPA for not turning away or ignoring the successes our opponents have achieved. There are hundreds of local and state frack bans and moratoriums in place–choking our economic growth and making us less secure from petrostates that finance terrorism against the U.S. Have a look at the NCPA map (below) for an indication of just how widespread bans and moratoriums and other unnecessary restrictions on fracking have become…
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Electric Grid & NE Pipeline Companies Get Up Close and Personal

PJM Interconnection is a regional electric transmission organization that coordinates wholesale electricity for 13 states and the District of Columbia. PJM, headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, covers the electric grid in the Marcellus/Utica region, including PA, OH, WV, MD, KY and VA. It is the world’s largest competitive wholesale electricity market with 900 members serving 61 million people! In a clear signal just how important shale gas has become for electric generators, PJM yesterday announced yesterday an agreement (deal?) to work more closely with a group of the biggest pipeline companies in the Marcellus/Utica “to work more closely with each other to improve operational planning and address growing interdependence between the electric and natural gas industries”–at least through June 2016. Working more closely means sharing non-public information back and forth between PJM and the pipeline companies…
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How Shale Gas May Change the Gasoline You Buy at the Pump

Shale drilling may play an important role in the gasoline you purchase at the pump. No, not because compressed natural gas (CNG) will replace gasoline–that frankly isn’t happening any time soon. Other hydrocarbons come out of the ground along with methane–or what we call natural gas. Those other hydrocarbons are oil and NGLs–natural gas liquids. NGLs can be further separated into their component parts–ethane, pentane, propane and butane. It is butane that may play a role in the gasoline you buy at the pump. It all has to do with “alkylation.” Let us explain…
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