Antero Building New 60K Bbl Wastewater Recycling Facility in WV

capitalismAntero Resources announced yesterday it is stepping up its recycling efforts in the Marcellus/Utica by hiring Veolia Water Technologies Inc. to build a new shale wastewater recycling facility in Doddridge County, West Virginia. The new facility, which will take two years to build and cost Antero $275 million, will process 60,000 barrels of wastewater per day. Is Antero building the new facility to prove what good “green” citizens they are? Nope. They’re building it for the best of reasons: capitalism. Once the new wastewater treatment plant is up and running, Antero will save $150,000 per well on completions costs. Veolia will not only build the facility but also operate it under a 10-year contract…
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Did Antero Pull the Rug Out from Under Fairmont Brine Processing?

MDN brought you the news today that Antero Resources is building its own frack wastewater treatment facility in Doddridge County, WV (see today’s lead story). It’s great news–great for Antero, but not great for some. One company feels betrayed by the announcement–Fairmont Brine Processing. Let’s back up. In December MDN told you the story of Fairmont Brine Processing, once called AOP Clearwater (see New Brine Processing Plant Coming to Panhandle of WV). Fairmont operates a small wastewater processing plant in Marion County, WV and has spent $2 million on engineering work and plans to build a new, larger facility near Wheeling, WV. Fairmont’s #1 customer is Antero Resources. All along Fairmont has been sharing plans and inside information with Antero to be sure the new facility they build meets Antero’s needs. And then Antero seemingly pulled the rug out from under them…
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US Circuit Court: NY Landowners Released from Marcellus Leases

court gavelThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, located in New York State, released a decision yesterday in a case known as Beardslee v. Inflection Energy, LLC (copy of the decision is embedded below) that may create problems for future shale drilling in New York State–should the existing statewide ban ever be lifted. Yesterday’s decision is good news for landowners in one sense–it officially upholds the right of Tioga County, NY landowners party to the lawsuit to be released from old leases made in pre-Marcellus days when landowners signed leases for $3 per acre. Those leases were signed before the words “Marcellus” or “Utica” meant anything other than municipalities in New York State. (Interesting factoid: both shale plays are named after the NY towns where they were first identified. Further interesting factoid: both Marcellus, NY and Utica, NY banned fracking before the statewide ban was official.) The Second Circuit upheld a previous decision which we first wrote about in 2012 (see Judge Rules Against Chesapeake, Inflection in NY Lease Case), a decision appealed to NY’s highest court that upheld it (see NY High Court Decision Creates Toxic Environment for O&G Companies). The energy companies then appealed the decision to U.S. District Court, where they have now lost. The ultimate issue at the core of this case is whether or not New York’s government action in disallowing fracking of shale wells should be considered a “force majeure” event that extends a lease beyond the initial term. It is the one issue the none of the courts ever directly answered, including the Second Circuit…
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Warren Resources Releases Details on 2 “Upper” Marcellus Wells

Warren Resources is an independent exploration and production company (E&P, or what we call a driller) with an active drilling program for oil in California, undrilled acreage in the state of Wyoming, and a small but growing operation in the Marcellus Shale. Warren owns 6,982 gross (5,289 net) contiguous acres in Wyoming County, PA, the northeastern part of the state. As of July 2014 Warren had drilled 30 Marcellus Shale wells (some of those drilled by a joint venture partner) in what they call the Lower Marcellus layer. Earlier this year the company drilled two new Marcellus wells in the Upper Marcellus layer. On Tuesday, Warren released initial production results for their first two Upper Marcellus Shale wells…
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Marcellus/Utica Gas-to-Liquids Not Dead! Dominion Sniffing Around

Once upon a time there was an initial flurry of interest in converting shale gas, specifically Marcellus and Utica Shale gas, into other products like diesel fuel using technologies first pioneered in the 1920s. The process is called gas-to-liquids, or GTL, and there were three our four projects mentioned in the northeast over the past couple of years. The project closest to reality seemed to be the Ashtabula (OH) Energy GTL plant that got a final necessary permit from the Ohio EPA in July (see Ohio EPA Issues Final Permit for Ashtabula GTL Plant). However, parent company Velocys became embroiled in controversy, suspending its CEO for possible “serious misconduct” (see Velocys GTL Company Suspends CEO for Possible Serious Misconduct). With the collapse of the price of oil, all GTL projects seemed to fade away primarily because the substance that the natural gas would be converted to–things like diesel fuel and gasoline–are cheap direct from the refiner. That is, it’s just not economic to use natgas as the feedstock for something made cheaper via different method (refining oil). However, we have exciting news of a potential new GTL project, backed by Dominion, in the Marcellus/Utica area. Dominion’s project would convert natural gas into isobutanol and farnesene…
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What Happened Behind the Curtains of the Marathon/MarkWest Deal?

pull curtain backA couple of interesting tidbits have come to light regarding the impending buyout of MarkWest Energy by Marathon Petroleum, announced in July (see Midstream Bombshell: MarkWest Sells Itself to Marathon Petroleum). First interesting tidbit: As recently as February of this year, MarkWest rebuffed an informal offer from Marathon telling Marathon they prefer to be a standalone company. Then the continuing low price apocalypse deepened, changing everything. The second interesting tidbit: Two other companies were bidding to takeover MarkWest, starting in May. It appears that MarkWest didn’t want to be wedded to either of those companies and went running into the arms of Marathon instead…
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PA Budget: Where Will Republicans “Find” $400M for Big Education?

We are holding our collective breath. Yesterday there seemed to be movement toward finalizing a deal for the Pennsylvania State budget. The floundering Tom Wolf administration made a promise to Big Education they can’t keep–raping, er, a, raiding the Marcellus Shale industry and giving the proceeds to teachers’ unions as political payoff for helping to elect him. Republicans, which control both the PA Senate and House, have held firm: You don’t tax a single industry to transfer its wealth to another group that didn’t earn it, no matter how “worthy” and “noble” the cause. It’s called theft. Yesterday word leaked that Republicans and Wolf met and the Republicans offered Wolf $400 million for education. We’re assuming that’s $400 million on top of the increase they already offered (an increase that doesn’t get reported by mainstream media). Wolf fancifully thought by raping, er, a, raiding the Marcellus industry he’d get $1 billion. So there’s a $600 million delta there. But word is that Wolf is seriously considering the offer. What we don’t know is: Where will Republicans get the $400 million? The state is flat busted as it is, thanks to pensions that are bankrupting the state. Our question/warning is this: We sure hope Republicans aren’t getting ready to cave on a Marcellus Shale severance tax. It doesn’t matter if the tax is little or big. Little taxes today get converted into bigger taxes next year with the stroke of a legislative pen…
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Tiny Protest (in PA) Claims to be Part of “Hands Across Our Land”

Yesterday we told you about the “nationwide” protest that was a bust–held in three locations in Virginia and one in West Virginia by less than a cumulative 100 people (see Anti-Pipeline “Hands Across Our Land” Protest in VA & WV a Bust). The protest was supposedly against two natural gas pipelines planned to run from West Virginia through Virginia and for one of the pipelines, into North Carolina. We spotted one more protest that claims to have been part of the Hands Across Our Land “movement”–a protest at a well pad site in Pennsylvania. Of course the PA gathering had nothing to do with being against pipelines, the supposed reason for the protest in the first place. This particular group of protesters slipped across the border from Ohio (an anti-drilling group called Frackfree Mahoning Valley) to show their “solidarity” with a family who didn’t want a drill pad operating near their property. Once again it illustrates that whether they claim to be “against” fracking/drilling, or “against” a pipeline–it’s really neither. These protesters are “against” fossil fuels, period. That’s what motivates them–an irrational hatred of fossil fuels…
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300 Ohio Boy Scouts Earn Oil & Gas Engineering Merit Badge

This goes under the “How cool is that?” department. More than 300 Boy Scouts, attending a special summer camp in Ohio, have earned their oil and gas engineering merit badge over the past three years. The latest batch of 100 have just completed earning their badges. Scouts learn about the key role engineering and science plays in the Ohio oil and gas industry. Scouts visit working oil and gas wells as part of the program and put their learning to use by building scale models of pipelines and drilling rigs. No doubt some of them, as a result of their experiences, will decide to go to work in the greatest industry on the planet…
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