Gastar Puts All Marcellus/Utica Assets (Leases/Wells) Up for Sale

for sale signWhat a difference a few months, or even a week, can make. In August, Gastar Exploration, which owns roughly 60,000 acres of leases in the Marcellus/Utica mostly in Marshall and Wetzel counties in West Virginia, was talking up their drilling program in the northeast (see Earnings Call Reveals More Details on Gastar’s Marcellus/Utica Plans). Just last week we reported on Gastar CEO Russ Porter’s talk at OGIS in San Francisco about the Marcellus/Utica and what’s ahead for his company (see Gastar CEO Porter Talks about Marcellus/Utica at San Fran Conf). Lately it seems like Gastar, which also drills in the Mid-Continent region of the country, has been giving a little more love to Mid-Continent area because gas prices in the northeast remain stubbornly low. Looks like the Mid-Continent is about to get all of Gastar’s love. The company announced yesterday they’ve put all of their Marcellus/Utica assets up for sale, including leases and drilled/producing wells…
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Landowner Lawsuit Against Martians NOT Dismissed After All

My Favorite MartianLast month MDN told you that a county judge in Butler County, PA dismissed a lawsuit brought by a business and group of Middlesex Township landowners against two Big Green groups and four anti-fossil fuel parents from the Mars School District–whom we refer to as the Martians (see Landowners’ Countersuit Against Martians Tossed by Obama Judge). MDN reported the lawsuit was dismissed based on a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story which interviewed one of the lawyers for the Martians, from the anti-American American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU flack said the case was dismissed and we figured he must know how courts work, so we believed it. Our mistake. The unquestioning Post-Gazette reporter also bought the lies pedaled by the ACLU lawyer. What really happened was this: The judge said the case will be dismissed IF a more specific case is not filed within 20 days. Guess what? A new case was filed and (so far) the lawsuit against Delaware Riverkeeper and the Clean Air Council (both of Philly, on the other side of the state) as well as against the Martians, is still alive…
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Marcellus Drillers Choking Back Supply, Waiting for New Pipelines

gas pipelineIt’s a theme often repeated here on MDN and in mainstream media: We need more pipelines in the Marcellus/Utica. The problem, of course, is that it’s easy and fast to add new rigs and drill new wells in nothing flat. But at some point all of those wells flowing all of that gas need larger interstate pipelines to get the gas to market–markets in New England, New York and New Jersey, the south, the Midwest, even the Gulf Coast. The Marcellus/Utica is producing more than 25% of all the gas being produced in the country–way more than we can use ourselves. We need to move the gas to other parts of the country that can use it. So new wells come online, but it takes, literally, years to build a new pipeline. Why? Mostly because government regulatory agencies grind so slowly. We have an imbalance. What are drillers in the northeast doing to address the situation? Choking back their wells so they flow less. In some cases they’re shutting the wells in to stop them producing–until new pipelines are finished providing access to new markets so they can sell gas for a higher price. The latest mainstream media source to note this trend is Bloomberg…
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TransCanada Buying Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant in Lebanon PA

TransCanadaCanadian company TransCanada is perhaps best known for its Keystone XL Pipeline project, a 1,179-mile crude oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska–if it ever gets built. Lord Obama opposes the pipeline and as we all know when a dictator opposes something, it doesn’t happen. The Keystone XL Pipeline would flow Canadian crude oil as far south as Texas. However, moving Canadian oil isn’t the only thing TransCanada does. They’re also owners of electric generating plants, and one of the markets they have their eye on is the northeast with its access to abundant, clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas. Last week TransCanada announced a deal to buy the Ironwood natural gas-fired power plant located in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Ironwood produces up to 778 megawatts of electricity–enough electricity to power over half a million homes. TransCanada is paying $654 million to buy the plant…
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Shhh…PA Budget Talks Begin Again “Quietly” — Without Gov. Wolf

ShhhShhh. We have to whisper for this bit of news. Pennsylvania state budget talks began yesterday–“quietly” according to mainstream (Democrat) media. Staffers from no less than four House and Senate caucuses met yesterday, and will continue their meetings today and tomorrow, to see if they can hammer out a compromise budget. The dirty little secret is that no Gov. Wolf staffers are invited. Republicans and Democrats will work out the budget without Wolf and then let Wolf pretend it was all his idea in the first place. That’s how mainstream media covers for one of their own who’s gone off the rails as much as Wolf has. WORD IS (shhh! keep your voice down)…(oops, sorry)…word is that the budget negotiators will first agree how much extra spending they can get away with–put a number to it. After that they’ll figure out how they will raise insane amounts of new revenue to pay for it all. Yes, a potential severance tax is (unfortunately) still alive and kicking. We hope and trust Republicans will hold true and refuse any new taxes on the Marcellus Shale industry…
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Shale Playing Big Role in PA Supreme Court Race, 3 Open Seats

vote early vote oftenEven the election of judges for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is political, sadly. Extreme leftist environmental groups in PA, including Clean Water Action, the Pennsylvania Sierra Club, PennEnvironment, and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania are engaging in political activities (in violation of their non-profit, tax-exempt status) by endorsing a slate of candidates and pushing their members to vote for those candidates. We know this will be a complete shock for you, but the three candidates running for three open seats on the Supreme Court being pushed by the enviro extremist groups are all (gasp) liberal Democrats who are likely to vote against the Marcellus Shale industry on cases that come before the high court…
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Gang of 20 Anti-Fossil Fuel Groups Attack Philly Energy Hub Plan

can't fix stupidMore evidence of the insanity of well-funded Big Green groups like Food & Water Watch, THE (arrogant) Delaware Riverkeeper, Clean Air Council and others. Not getting enough traction on their own, 20 Big Green groups have decided to collude in violation of their non-profit status. The 20 groups held a “massive” joint rally yesterday in Philadelphia (pictures look like there’s maybe three dozen people present) to announce the formation of a new coalition called Green Justice Philly. The object of the coalition is to push back against the plan to make Philadelphia an energy hub in the northeast–like Houston is in the southwest. The gang of 20 have pledged to coordinate their lies and attacks on the fossil fuel industry, hoping to stop forward progress against fossil fuel companies, which they call “lawbreakers.” The gang of 20 is pressuring Philadelphia City Council to decline new permits for companies like Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES)–which operates the East Coast’s largest refinery on the banks of the Delaware River–hoping to prevent PES from building anything new or expanding their existing operation any further in Philadelphia. The gang of 20 wants to choke off new jobs and new investment if those jobs and investment comes from the evil, vile fossil fuel industry. Boggles the mind…
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Scottish Testing Lab Sets Up Branch in Pittsburgh, Targets O&G

supply chainTesting laboratory Exova is a sizable international company with 4,500 workers in 142 locations around the world. Exova, with headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland, has just added its newest testing lab–number 143–in Pittsburgh. The main customer base they’re aiming for in the Pittsburgh region is the Marcellus/Utica industry. A lot of what Excova does is test metals (and other materials) for corrosion and wear and tear. With all of the pipeline work going on in the Marcellus/Utica, it certainly makes sense for Exova to want a piece of that action…
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OSU Looking for OH Famers with Pipelines to Study Crop Impacts

researchAre you a farmer in Ohio with concerns, or perhaps a general interest, in whether or not pipelines running across your property will negatively affect crop productivity? If you are, Ohio State University wants to talk to you. OSU is looking for 20 to 30 farmers with pipelines in their fields over a period of three to five years to participate in a new research study. Here’s the details of the study and how to participate…
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Here are the Real Faces of the Marcellus Shale

Faces of ShaleSometimes it seems like the oil and gas industry, particularly in the Marcellus/Utica region, is some monolithic entity. It is not. Shale is all about people. The Marcellus Shale Coalition has just released a powerful new video called “The Faces of Shale” (watch it below). In the video average people talk about the shale industry and what it has meant to them–by providing jobs and income. It literally puts a face to what is sometimes a faceless entity. Who doesn’t love to hear someone else’s story?! Don’t listen to the lies Big Green pedals. Instead, listen to the people whose lives have been transformed by the miracle of fracking in the Marcellus Shale–people who thank God for the Marcellus…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Oct 15, 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: chicken & egg problem with gas demand and pipelines; deep dive into CONSOL; firefighting foam deployed along oil train routes in NY; OH drilling permits see biggest boost ever; CT community votes against NED pipeline; ‘almost everything’ for sale in the oil/gas patch; Mexico begins to import U.S. shale gas; and more!
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