WV County Officially Bans Injection Wells; Children Brainwashed

brainwashedchildren.jpgAs we reported in December, two left-wing Democrats in Fayette County, WV voted, in a first reading of a new ordinance, to ban all injection wells in the county (see 2 Democrat Commissioners Ban Injection Wells in Fayette County, WV). The full commission (three members instead of two) took a final vote Tuesday night and passed the measure, making it “the law” in Fayette County (until it’s found illegal by a court). The interesting part in reading about this turn of events is how some of the left loony toons parents have brainwashed their own children into becoming socialist/communists. One little girl gave “an impassioned plea” to encourage passing the ordinance, and then ignorantly accused people from the oil and gas industry of causing the death of “our grandparents, family and friends for you to have private jets.” Talk about colossal stupidity on parade. We call it brainwashing…
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Antero Resources 4Q15 Update: NatGas Sales Averaged $4.40/Mcf

Yesterday Antero Resources, one of the biggest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, filed their fourth quarter 2015 operational update. As in the past they did not disclose their financials–they wait a few more weeks to disclose those numbers. However, as in the past, the operational update is full of great information. Of chief importance (for us) is how much they sell their natural gas for. Because they have such a great hedging program–locking in future sales at a given price–Antero sold their gas for an average of $4.40 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) during 4Q15–which is an average of $2.13 MORE than gas sold for at the benchmark Henry Hub! Astonishing. Companies can make money selling gas at those prices. Antero reports that although 4Q15 production volumes were 18% higher than 4Q14, the volume was down 1% from the previous quarter, 3Q15. Why? Antero is selectively shutting in production at some locations so they don’t have to sell it at depressed prices at the Dominion South and TETCO M2 trading points. Smart. During 4Q15 Antero drilled and brought online 14 Marcellus wells and 16 Utica wells. Below is the full update they released yesterday, along with a copy of their latest PowerPoint presentation…
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Atlas Energy Subsidiary Threatened with NYSE De-Listing, IPO?!

As we pointed out last week in a post, Atlas Energy (based in Pittsburgh) used to be a major player in the Marcellus but sold off huge holdings in the Marcellus in two different tranches–in a $4.3 billion deal with Chevron in 2011 and in a $7.7 billion deal with Targa Resources in 2014. Atlas still has some holdings in the northeast, but as we previously pointed out, the company with a golden touch seems to have lost that touch. In December the New York Stock Exchange sent Atlas Energy (stock ticker ATLS) a notice that the stock price had fallen so far they are in danger of having it de-listed (see Atlas Energy Luck Run Out? NYSE Threatens Company with De-Listing). We noticed two more stories from yesterday. One story is about a second notice from the NYSE telling Atlas that their subsidiary company Atlas Resource Partners (ticker symbol ARP) is now also in danger of being de-listed. The other story is about yet another Atlas subsidiary company–Atlas Growth Partners–filing a plan with the Securities and Exchange Commission to float an initial public offering (IPO) of 100 million shares of stock, hoping to raise $1 billion! Stock for two parts of the company is threatened with becoming penny stock, and yet they’re offering new stock in essentially the same company hoping to raise another bil. Go figure…
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USFWS Finally Gets Something Right, Relaxes Northern Bat Rule

This is so unusual, it’s big news. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), an organization known for its thuggish behavior, finally got something right. It was just yesterday we were commenting on the need for Williams to begin clearing trees for the Constitution Pipeline in New York State because the Northern long-eared bat, a “threatened” species, roosts in trees in upstate NY between April and October and tree cleaning needs to be done in the months of November to March (see Williams Plans to Start Clearing Trees for Constitution Next Week). Yesterday the USFWS issued their long-awaited “final conservation rule” for the Northern long-eared bat. Environmental radicals were hoping the USFWS would bump the bat from the lower “threatened” designation to the higher “endangered” designation. That didn’t happen. Not only did they not upgrade the designation, the USFWS also loosened the rules so that the oil and gas industry (and others) clearing trees for drill pads and pipelines can legally kill a bat or two as they do so. No longer if you find a single bat does it put that area off-limits. The USFWS recognizes, officially, that the biggest threat to the bat is a spreading fungal disease, and that killing a single bat here or there is not going to affect the population of this species…
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OH Dem House Members Introduce Bill to Restrict Injection Wells

Three Democrat members of the Ohio State House of Representatives have just introduced a new bill, HB 422, that will clamp down on injection wells in the state, creating new hoops and regulations for injection wells. Reps. Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta), Mike O’Brien (D-Warren) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson) want to ban injection wells in hundred-year flood plains, require GPS trackers in brine-hauling trucks, require dye be used when injecting fluids and several other measures. The Dems say they’ve worked with both the industry and environmentalist wackos in crafting the bill. We have a full copy of the bill as introduced, below. One of the provisions is that you can’t have an injection well within 2,000 feet of a…stream, river, watercourse, water well, pond, lake, other body of water (mud puddles?), railroad tracks, or the traveled portion of a public street, road, or highway. That pretty much covers it all. You just can’t have an injection well, period…
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Europe Puts Halliburton/BH Merger Under a Microscope

The Halliburton buyout/merger with Baker Hughes continues to be in trouble. In November 2014 MDN first reported on the deal, really Halliburton forcing Baker Hughes, to merge, with Haliburton paying an expected $34.6 billion (see Shotgun Wedding: Halliburton Forces Baker Hughes to Sell). Both companies have major operations in the Marcellus/Utica, so this merger is of keen interest for those of us in the northeast. Along the way both companies have had to sell off certain assets to please government regulators (see Halliburton/Baker Hughes Hold a Pre-Merger Garage Sale). The “marriage” was supposed to happen by the end of last year, but the U.S. Dept. of Justice isn’t satisfied. They have anti-trust concerns that, so far, Halliburton has not been able to address to DOJ’s satisfaction (see DOJ Tells Halliburton/Baker Hughes “No Deal Yet” – What’s Next?). What was a few whispers has become a chorus that the deal may be in trouble (see Whispers Turning in Chorus, Halliburton/BH Deal in Trouble). Add one more worry to the list: The European Commission has launched a “second phase” of their investigation into the deal, which is problematic for Halliburton. The European Commission says they see “serious potential competition concerns” with the deal. Halliburton/BH says, no big deal…
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Pulling the Curtain Back on EIA 2016/2017 Oil Price Predicition

Yesterday MDN brought you the latest thinking/preview for where the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) believes energy production and prices will go over the next 12-24 months, something called the Short-Term Energy Outlook (see EIA’s STEO Predicts NatGas Price Constant This Year, Up Next Year). Today we bring you a deeper dive into the EIA’s predictions with respect to the price of crude oil. The EIA forecasts Brent crude oil prices will average $40 per barrel in 2016 and $50/barrel in 2017. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are predicted to be $38/barrel in 2016 and $47/barrel in 2017. Here’s a bit more background on how the EIA calculates its numbers for crude oil price…
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Dynegy Proposes 6,300 MW of Shale Gas-Fired Electric Plants in OH

There is a tug of war brewing in Ohio over who has the best plan to provide an increase in electricity while at the same time complying with Obama’s onerous Clean Power Plan. American Electric Power Company (AEP) and FirstEnergy have floated plans to Ohio that involve a mix of methods to produce electricity. Dynegy, on the other hand, wants to construct 6,300 megawatts of new electric capacity using natural gas-fired plants. AEP and FirstEnergy say Dynegy’s plan is dangerous because it ties the state too closely to one source of electric generation. Are they right?…
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Black & Veatch Warns Electric Plants, Time to Prep for CPP is Now

We’ve written plenty about Obama’s abominable Clean Power Plan, including an article yesterday about how the original plan was corrupted by radical environmentalists to freeze out natural gas (see How Environmentalist Radicals Ruined Obama’s Clean Power Plan). More than half of all states have joined a lawsuit to oppose this draconian “rule” (really an un-legislated law) that would force electric power plants to abandon using coal, natural gas and other fossil fuels in favor of obscenely high-priced so-called renewables. Electric rates will go through the roof, and it’s no joke there may be rolling brownouts and blackouts if fully adopted–we simply can’t generate the amount of electricity we need using renewables. Not now, not for several generations. No wonder states are suing to stop the CPP. But here’s the problem: If power generators don’t start to “comply” with the CPP now, if those lawsuits are not won for whatever reason, energy companies risk being shut down–fined out of existence. Obama and his cronies are using fear of a jackbooted government to force electric generators to comply now–and after they do, even if Obama loses in court he’s still won because he’ll say, “See, they’ve already complied, so it doesn’t make any difference that the regulation was struck down. We’ve made the U.S. a cleaner place. I did it. Me me me. Look at me.” Utter nonsense, but that’s the strategy. Black & Veatch, a huge engineering and construction firm that builds major projects for the energy industry is only too happy to help energy companies comply with the new CPP rules. Black & Veatch says, in essence, that energy companies shouldn’t sit on their hands, hoping to win the lawsuit. The time to act is now…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Jan 14, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Drillers donate to worthy causes in Ohio; how low can oil prices go; Obama wants to hike lease prices for drilling on fed land; industry leaders tell Obama to wise up; Hillary used to be for fracking, before she was against it; the future of MLPs; Stanford prof changes the data after being pressured; CSX predicts bad year for railroads; LNG demand in Asia down; and more!
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