EIA October DPR Shows Biggest Slump So Far in Oil, Gas Production

trending downYesterday our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite government report, the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The numbers are interesting. The first thing we notice is that shale oil production in America’s top seven shale plays is set to fall around 93,000 barrels per day over the next month–the biggest monthly drop in oil production since 2007. However, you have to put that in context. Since 2007 we’ve also seen the largest gains in production we’ve had in a generation or more. A big movement up can lead to a sizable movement back down. The fact is, we’re still producing more onshore oil than we ever have. Also of note is that natural gas production is set to drop 294 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) over the next 30 days–which is the biggest drop in production of shale gas since the EIA started issuing the DPR, and the fifth month in a row shale gas production has decreased. While the Marcellus will once again see a big decrease in its gas production (expected to drop 215 MMcf/d, which is 73% of the total drop!), the Utica reversed. Last month’s report predicted Utica gas production would drop 4 MMcf/d. This month’s report predicts Utica gas production will increase by a whopping 57 MMcf/d…
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Expert Tells Utica Conference NE Will See “3 or 4” Cracker Plants

three or fourAn expert speaking at the Utica Summit III yesterday in Stark, OH said he believes the Marcellus/Utica region will see three, possibly four, ethane crackers built. Tom Gellrich of consulting firm TopLine Analytics, a company that “closely follows ethane markets,” said he thinks the first ethane cracker to get built will be the Shell cracker plant in Beaver County, PA…
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Yale Study Finds Fracking Doesn’t Contaminate Water Aquifers

researchA team of researchers led by Yale University have just published a new “peer reviewed” study that finds fracking does not contaminate water aquifers. Mainstream media’s response? Crickets. Nothing. Why is that? Here’s something even better: One of the researchers who participated in the study is none other than Avner Vengosh from Duke University, who, using Park Foundation money, previously published studies stating the opposite (see Duke Hit Piece on Shale Water Usage from Same Park-Sponsored Prof). It seems Vengosh has changed his tune and now admits fracking doesn’t contaminate ground water after all. Looks like Vengosh won’t be getting a Christmas card from the Park Foundation this year. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and titled “Elevated levels of diesel range organic compounds in groundwater near Marcellus gas operations are derived from surface activities” (abstract below), finds that when diesel and other types of chemicals *are* found in ground water in the Marcellus Shale region, it’s because of a spill on the surface–and not necessarily a spill from a truck or operation involved with shale drilling. There are many industrial activities that have accidents and spill chemicals…
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Coast Guard Approves Port Ambrose LNG Import Terminal Near NYC/NJ

stamp of approvalThis is interesting! For some time MDN has tracked the Port Ambrose floating LNG terminal proposed by Liberty Natural Gas that would sit about 20 miles off the coast of New York and 29 miles off the coast of New Jersey, a plan Liberty created back in 2010, before the Marcellus Shale revolution really began to rock and roll. Liberty plans to import natural gas from Trinidad to sell into the northeast. In fact, Liberty took to slamming “fracked” gas from the Marcellus, saying imported gas is better for the U.S. of A. (see Liberty Says “Non-Fracked” Trinidad Gas Better than Marcellus Gas). They certainly haven’t won any friends here at MDN with those kinds of statements. Just last week we told you that anti-drillers had turned the argument around and are now arguing the facility isn’t needed because there’s–yes–so much fracked Marcellus gas! The very thing they hate (see Antis Continue Campaign Against Off-Shore LNG Terminal Near NY/NJ). Breaking news: The United States Maritime Administration and U.S. Coast Guard have just issued a 4,242 page final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Port Ambrose Project. In it they confirm that “the project is needed, the location is safe, and the impacts to the environment are minimal.” That is, the feds have just given the project a green light, which won’t sit well with global warming alarmists…
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Massachusetts’ Only Nuclear Plant Closing – NatGas to the Rescue!

to the rescueWe know, you think MDN loves to toss out hyperbole and verbal jabs just to get a rise out of people. You think we’re somehow not quite as “serious” (or accurate) as other news/blog sources because of our sometimes “outrageous” comments sprinkled in with the news. Like this comment: Without new natural gas pipelines to New England, like the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct project or Spectra Energy’s Access Northeast project, New Englanders will experience rolling blackouts for electricity in the future. “There you go again. Nobody believes that! Just another over-the-top comment.” Except–it’s true. It’s not hyperbole. It’s not over-the-top talk. Yesterday the operator of Massachusetts’ only operating nuclear power point, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, MA, said they will shutter the plant no later than June 1, 2019. It’s just gotten too expensive to comply with increasingly onerous federal regulations. Not only will 600 jobs be lost, so too will electricity for 600,000 homes. Natural gas powering electric generating plants is the only practical/serious alternative that can be ready in time to take up the slack. Without natgas powering new electric plants, there simply won’t be enough electricity for everybody in New England, and that will lead to brownouts and rolling blackouts. Do you see just how dire the situation is for New Englanders? And yet, a small number of anti-fossil fuelers persist in the fiction that sticking up windmills and solar panels will somehow provide enough energy…
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PA/OH/WV Agree to Stop Competing, Begin Cooperating on Shale

cooperateQuick: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which three states are responsible for 85% of the increase in natural gas production since 2012? If you answered Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, you would be correct. The Marcellus/Utica Shale has been the number one economic stimulus and jobs creator in the northeast for the past three years. At times, PA, OH and WV have competed for the same investments, like ethane cracker plants. (All three states have a serious proposals for ethane crackers.) Realizing it may be better to work together rather that compete against each other, all three states have agreed to cooperate to develop shale gas in the Appalachian region. Yesterday political representatives from all three states–Gov. Tom Wolf from PA, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin from WV and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor from OH–signed a tri-state regional cooperation agreement at the Tri-State Shale Summit held in Morgantown, WV. There are four main areas the three states have pledged to work together on…
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PA Budget/Severance Tax Talks Resume Today – Without Gov. Wolf

without youWow. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is as stubborn about wanting to raise PA taxes as a jackass–his party’s mascot. Wolf’s latest proposed budget was voted down last week–with nine Democrats in the House voting against it (see PA Gov Wolf’s High Tax Budget Goes Down to Defeat – 9 Dems Against). Wolf’s proposed tax grab was described by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, as a thug trying to mug somebody, taking all of their money at gunpoint. The vote was a total humiliation of the in-over-his-head Wolf. Even fawning liberals are now turning on Wolf–describing him as stubborn (their words, not ours). Has the recent vote and criticism made Wolf more likely to now compromise with Republicans to craft a budget that doesn’t hit middle income workers quite so hard? Nope. Even though negotiators will be back at the table today to talk about the budget, yesterday Wolf went on a radio program to say he’s not “caving” on his insistence that high taxes be part of the budget. He’s gone completely bonkers–off his rocker. Perhaps they need to consider a straight jacket?…
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Walnut Cove, NC Plans to Pass Illegal Frack Moratorium

illegalLast month MDN told you about the a group of politicians in Stokes County, North Caroline (Board of Commissioners) who voted to pass a three-year moratorium on shale drilling in the county (see Sad: NC County Passes 3-Year Moratorium on Fracking). Not long after that story ran the NC state legislature passed a law, signed by the governor, that makes such local laws illegal, nullifying the Stokes County vote (see NC Legislature Makes Local Frack Bans/Moratoria Illegal). MDN was contacted by one of the top geologists in the Marcellus/Utica, originally from North Carolina, to let us know there really isn’t anything much worth fracking in Stokes County anyway–so it’s kind of an empty political gesture. Now a township in Stokes County–Walnut Cove–is set to vote on the same thing, knowing full well their vote is illegal, daring someone to challenge them in court…
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Bloomberg Discloses the Real Motivation for Anti-Fracking Protests

told you soA Bloomberg article published yesterday perfectly captures what MDN has been saying now for at least five years: the real opposition to fracking and pipelines is not because of health concerns or environmental damage or any of a dozen or more surface arguments. Those issues are all weapons used in a public relations war–used to confuse casual news consumers who don’t bother to read or listen to more than headlines. The real reason–the core reason–why people oppose fracking and pipelines and all the rest is because the disease of global warming belief has metastasized in their liberal brains, and they irrationally want to end the use of all fossil fuels. It’s in black and white, stated plainly, in the Bloomberg article. The article mentions the Marcellus and the Constitution pipeline. It also highlights the activities of serial protester and founder of FANG (Fighting Against Natural Gas), Nick Katkevich, someone we’ve reported on previously (see The Useful Idiots, and Evil Puppet Masters, Behind Radical FANG). In the Bloomberg article, Katkevich admits his true/sole purpose with his illegal protest activities is to stop the use of all fossil fuels…
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Bankers Reaffirm Stone Energy’s $500M Line of Credit

line of creditStone Energy is one of the smaller drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, drilling 38 wells in the Marcellus and a single Utica test well in 2014. Early in 2015 Stone said they wouldn’t be drilling any new Marcellus/Utica wells beyond the first quarter (see Stone Energy Will Suspend Marcellus/Utica Drilling after 1Q15). Even though they aren’t currently active in the region, it’s still good to keep tabs on Stone, as we expect they will become active again at some point. For that reason, we’re reporting that Stone announced yesterday their bankers have “reaffirmed” the company may continue to borrow up to $500 million. That is, Stone continues to have a $500M line of credit, which is important for new drilling projects…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Oct 14, 2015

best of the restThe “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Cuomo paid state workers to fill seats at climate change event; fracking foes shift focus to pipelines; Pittsburgh energy law firm cuts 5 jobs; natural gas benefits New England; BP’s chief economist says world will never run out of oil; and more!
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