CONSOL Energy: Utica Drilling May Soon Replace Marcellus Drilling

You've been replacedThe writers at NGI–Natural Gas Intelligence–continue to pump out hit article after hit article. (Full disclosure: MDN editor Jim Willis works part time for NGI on the marketing side. But hopefully by now you know that Jim doesn’t offer false praise for friend or foe. He always calls ’em like he sees ’em.) The latest article we’re excited about is one about a potential shift among Marcellus drillers in southwestern PA and WV–a shift away from Marcellus drilling, potentially replacing it with Utica drilling. Yes, you read that right. No, not all Marcellus drilling will suddenly stop–but in a continuing low-cost gas environment where every dollar counts, drillers are rethinking their strategies and where they will spend precious capital dollars. The recent blockbuster Utica well drilled by EQT in southwestern PA is catching everyone’s attention (see EQT’s 1st Utica Well Shatters Record – 72.9 MMcf/d IP Rate!). That one well changed the course of EQT’s drilling program (see EQT Releases Data on Biggest Utica Well Ever; Dumping UD Drilling). Other drillers, like CONSOL Energy, are seriously considering dumping Marcellus drilling in favor of Utica drilling…
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PA DEP Fines 3 Marcellus Drillers $374K for Methane Migration

finedYesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection announced an agreement/settlement with three Marcellus drillers operating in the northeastern portion of the state. The three–Chesapeake Energy, XTO Energy and SWEPI (i.e. Shell) were fined a collective $374,481 for methane migration related to their drilling activities at three locations (three different counties) in 2011 and 2012. The bad news is that 13 private water wells between the three incidents were negatively affected, along with several local creeks. The good news is that the problems are all fixed. Methane migration is an eminently fixable condition. Here are the details for each fine, including what happened and where it happened…
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Federal Govt Approves Marathon Petroleum Buyout of MarkWest

approvedThe proposed buyout of MarkWest Energy by Marathon Petroleum just took a giant step forward after the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Dept. of Justice last Friday signed off on the transaction by granting an “early termination” of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR Act). Such a notice means “you don’t have to wait the standard length of time for us to complete a review, we’ve completed it and we find nothing to object to.” Unitholders (the equivalent of stockholders) in MarkWest must still approve the buyout, but that doesn’t appear to be an issue…
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NY Secession Movement Gains Momentum – Landowners to Rally Sunday

secedeIt is an issue that simply won’t go away. Frankly, we’ve thought (until now) that it was more or less a publicity stunt. Pro-drillers and pro-gun rights residents of New York State have, since Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned fracking last December, called for upstate counties to secede from New York and either form a new state, or join with Pennsylvania. On the surface it may sound silly, but did you know secession has happened in our country three times before? And one of those times was for land that used to be part of New York State? No, we didn’t know that bit of history either. This Sunday, August 30th, a rally will be held in the tiny village of Bainbridge (Chenango County), NY from 1-3 pm for Marcellus/Utica landowners, gun owners and other overtaxed and over-regulated NY residents to demonstrate their support for secession. This is a movement that is gaining momentum. It’s a serious movement. None other than the liberal USA Today files this very serious report…
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FERC Approves Dominion WV/OH Compressor Project, Rips Anti Group

ripped to shredsIn June 2014 Dominion filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct and operate new compression facilities at existing compressor stations in Marshall County, WV and Monroe County, OH, and certain other facilities, collectively called the Clarington Project (see Dominion Asks FERC for New Compressors in Upstate NY, WV). The Clarington project, costing a modest $76.5 million, will allow Dominion to provide 250,000 dekatherms (Dth) per day of firm transportation service for CNX Gas, otherwise known as CONSOL Energy. One week ago today, FERC approved Dominion’s request. Below we outline the particulars of what Dominion requested and was granted. However, the project was not without opposition. The Allegheny Defense Project filed a motion to intervene. Allegheny tried to force FERC into denying Dominion’s application–but it didn’t work. What’s most interesting to MDN about the FERC approval of the Clarington Project is their very extensive, line by line response to Allegheny. In FERC’s response, they rip Allegheny’s arguments apart, bit by bit, argument by argument–and expose the group for the outrageous extremists they are, devoid of facts, with a total reliance on empty allegations and innuendo. We LOVE FERC’s response that puts Allegheny in its place…
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Deceitful PA AG Kathleen Kane Pulls a Fast One on Media at Courthouse

Kane and twin sisterLiberal Democrats don’t like to play by the same rules everyone else does. They somehow think they’re better than the rest of us–above the law. That’s what happened when the arrogant, and alleged criminal PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane, decided she could flout the law by leaking secret grand jury information to a reporter (see Impeachment, Arrest Looms for PA AG Kane, Caught Leaking Info). When Kane’s lawless behavior was exposed, she lied about it under oath (see PA Grand Jury Finds Anti-Drilling AG Kathleen Kane Lied Under Oath). A crime the anti-drilling Kane wasn’t charged with, but should have been, was her targeting and persecution of an innocent Marcellus environmental company (see PA AG Kathleen Kane’s Dirty Deeds Against Minuteman Environmental).

Here is a perfect example of Kane’s arrogant attitude, and a peek into how she operates: On Monday Kane was required to appear in court to answer charges. In order to get media cameras that were set up along the court hallway to avoid taking her picture, she sent her twin sister through the door first, ahead of her (both pictured above). All of the cameras, confused, focused on the twin sister and then Kane walked through with no one getting a camera shot of her. Kathleen Kane’s #1 personality attribute: deceit…
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PA Ethics Commission Clears Jessup Council to Vote on Electric Plant

approvedAs MDN has previously chronicled, Chicago-based Invenergy hopes to build what will be the largest (to date) electric generating plant in the state of Pennsylvania powered by natural gas (see Public Hearing on NEPA Proposed Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant). Invenergy hopes to build the 1500-megawatt plant in the borough of Jessup (Lackawanna County), near Scranton. The project its wacko opponents, some of whom make some outrageous claims (see Gas-Powered Electric Plant to be Built “on Thousands of People”). However, the project continues to hum along. In April, local utility UGI announced they will upgrade existing and build new pipeline to feed the plant (see UGI to Feed Jessup, PA Electric Plant with Marcellus Shale Gas). One of the remaining hurdles is a vote by Jessup Borough on zoning for the plant. That vote will take place tonight. In advance of the vote, two of the borough council members asked the PA ethics commission to render an opinion on whether or not it’s OK for them to vote on the measure. The Ethics Commission gave them a green light…
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Summit Midstream Loses Key Executive – COO Rene Casadaban

I QuitA piece of interesting news today about Summit Midstream. Compared to midstream giants like MarkWest Energy, Williams and Access Midstream (now part of Williams, formerly Chesapeake Midstream), Summit has a pretty modest presence in the northeast. Summit’s Mountaineer Midstream gathering system is 49 miles long, operating in Doddridge and Harrison counties in WV. Last December Summit announced they’ve been hired by XTO Energy to build a new 115-mile pipeline gathering system in the Utica Shale in Belmont and Monroe counties in OH (see XTO Gets Serious in OH Utica, Hires Summit for Gathering System). Last September Summit issued 4 million new units (equivalent of shares of stock). They issued another 6 million units in May (see Summit Midstream – Update on Mountaineer, Floats Another 6.5M Units). The news today? Summit’s Chief Operating Officer, Rene Casadaban, is leaving at the end of September to “pursue other interests.” That is, he quit…
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