Exclusive: Chevron Appalachia Head Nigel Hearne Going to Australia

exclusiveIn 2013 MDN highlighted the news that a Brit, Nigel Hearne, had been appointed vice president (the guy in charge) of Chevron’s Appalachian-Michigan business unit (see Chevron’s Marcellus/Utica Unit Gets New President). Prior to arriving in Pittsburgh to run Chevron’s Marcellus and Utica division, Hearne worked in Chevron’s “downstream” or refinery business. Hearne is a young (under 50), rising star at Chevron. The big news is that Hearne is leaving his post at Chevron Appalachia to become deputy managing director of Chevron Australia–essentially a huge LNG (liquefied natural gas) operation. Hearne will become deputy to Roy Krzywosinski, but everyone knows/says that Hearne will replace Krzywosinski once the first of three trains goes online at the $54 billion Gorgon LNG project, which is Krzywosinski’s baby. Hearne is Krzywosinski’s protege in line to run the entire Australian operation. The question is, who will replace Hearne in Pittsburgh?…
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PA Gov Wolf Targets O&G Industry (Again), Via Methane Emissions

So-called climate change, meaning the climate is adversely changing because mankind’s activity, doesn’t exist–except in the minds of people who want to control every aspect of your life. They want to select the source of the energy you use, all in the name of protecting Mother Earth. They think they’re smarter and care more than you do. They want to KILL the use of fossil fuels–all fossil fuels, including clean-burning natural gas. All in the name of mythical “climate change.” The latest person to target the oil and gas industry for extinction is, yes, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. Today he is scheduled to make a “major announcement” in which he is “expected to target methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.” The announcement has anti-fossil fuelers in a state of near-euphoria, as exhibited by the Democrat-controlled PBS StateImpact Pennsylvania
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Freak Show Coming to a PA Well Pad Near You with New DEP Alerts

If you spill a couple of gallons of gasoline at your local convenience store gas station, somebody throws kitty litter on it and that’s the end of the story. But if you spill a couple of gallons of diesel fuel at a drill pad, it’s nearly a federal crime. In Pennsylvania, if there’s a spill of diesel fuel, frack water, etc., operators are supposed to report it to the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) asap. New rules coming from the DEP this summer will make reporting those spills mandatory–within two hours of when the operator first becomes aware of it. And get this–that data will immediately go into a web database and shared with the world. The new system will even email people who want to receive such emails. Imagine this: Someone spills five gallons of diesel fuel and three hours later anti-drilling protesters are parading in front of the road leading to the drill pad, and local television cameras are there to document the entire freak show that ensues. And it happens again, and again, and again, and again. Thanks DEP! You’re so community-minded…
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WV’s 2014 Natural Gas Production was “Shocking” – 1 Tcf

The most recent year full production numbers are available for West Virginia is 2014, recently released. In talking about how much the Mountain State produced for natural gas, oil, and NGLs (natural gas liquids, like ethane, pentane, propane and butane), the head of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGAWV), Charlie Burd, said the production numbers are “shocking”–in a good way. Example: If you include conventional and unconventional natural gas production in the state, in 2014 WV produced 1 trillion cubic feet of natgas…
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NY AG Objects to Williams Tree Clearing for Constitution Pipeline

This one was easy to predict. Last week we told you that Williams had asked, and received permission from the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), to begin clearing trees along the path of the Constitution Pipeline in upstate New York (see Williams Plans to Start Clearing Trees for Constitution Next Week). Anti-fossil fuelers went squealing like petulant three year-olds to their favorite “parent,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, asking daddy to stop Williams from killing trees. And so last Thursday Schneiderman filed an objection to the tree-clearing plan with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to placate the petulant three year-olds that are his favorite constituents. The question now is, will FERC put a halt to the tree clearing, which must happen before April 1st when it becomes bat season and companies can no longer clear trees for fear of roosting Northern long-eared bats…
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Ohio Injection Wells Under ODNR Microscope

Water Energy Services has completed the final part of a project that eliminates the need for trucks to climb Harmer Hill, hauling brine to an injection well located along Ohio Route 676 in Washington County, OH. Instead, brine is hauled to and deposited at a facility on Ohio Route 7, and from there the brine is pumped, via pipeline, to three injection wells at the top of Harmar Hill. Just to give you an idea of how closely regulated these injection wells (and the pumping station) are, inspectors from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) make 2-3 inspections PER WEEK of the facility. There’s seismic monitors for each of the three injection wells that constantly report their data directly to the state. Every load of brine brought to the facility is tracked and logged. This facility (and others like) are, quite literally, under the ODNR microscope, which should alleviate resident’s concerns…
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Kinder Morgan Ready to Move Forward with UTOPIA East Pipeline

In April 2015 MDN told you that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will not be involved with approving or overseeing construction for Kinder Morgan’s UTOPIA (Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access) ethane pipeline (see FERC Will Not Oversee UTOPIA NGL Pipeline Project in Ohio). Why not? Because UTOPIA, a 12-inch ethane pipeline running 240 miles will only be built in Ohio–it won’t cross state lines. It will, however, connect to another pipeline that crosses Michigan and enters Canada where the ethane (and some propane) will feed a NOVA Chemical cracker plant in Windsor, Ontario. Because it’s all within Ohio, the lead agency for approval and oversight for UTOPIA will be the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with an assist from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Kinder is saying they are ready to move forward with the UTOPIA project and will file for the necessary permits from state and federal authorities “within the next few months”…
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Williams Board “Unanimously” Committed to Selling to ETE

Apparently somebody has been whispering nasty rumors that Williams isn’t really all that committed to completing a sale of themselves to Energy Transfer Equity (ETE). After six months of wooing Williams, ETE got tired of being rebuffed and went public with their bid to buy out Williams, one of the northeast’s biggest midstream companies (see Energy Transfer Makes “Indecent Proposal” to Buy Williams for $48B). In the end Williams caved and decided to sell, but they did it too late. By the time they accepted ETE’s offer in September, the market (and stock prices) in the oil/gas sector had already started a downward spiral, and Williams ended up getting $10 billion less than originally proposed (see Williams Accepts ETE’s “Indecent Proposal” – Price Went Down $10B). It’s now January and the deal is still not closed. And apparently somebody has either been telling tales out of school, or simply spreading nasty rumors, because the entire board of Williams voted, unanimously, to tell the world they really do want to sell. Really. Williams felt compelled to issue a press release stating as much…
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XTO Sues DOJ for Documents Needed in PA Trial over 2010 Spill

Last Thursday XTO Energy sued the U.S. Department of Justice to obtain documents that XTO says may help clear its good name in the vicious (we’d say illegal) criminal lawsuit against it over an accidental spill that happened in Lycoming County, PA in 2010. The DOJ investigated and found XTO did not act criminally and the case was settled. Then, more than three years later, PA’s new Attorney General, Kathleen Kane (now under criminal indictment herself and about to be removed from office) decided she would charge XTO with crimes against the environment–for an accident (see PA AG Abuses Her Authority, Files Criminal Charges Against XTO). Since the feds had already investigated and found no wrongdoing, XTO would like their documents to use in defending themselves in a lawsuit that’s about to begin (see XTO Criminal Trial for Accident Spill in PA Delayed Until 2016). But the feds are dragging their feet and making fishy excuses, like they don’t have enough secretaries to find and copy all of the documents requested. XTO has had to sue the DOJ to force them to go find the documents…
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Finalists Announced for 4th Annual Northeast Oil & Gas Awards

Oil & Gas AwardsThe Fourth Annual Northeast Oil & Gas Awards will take place on Wednesday, March 30 in Pittsburgh. The O&G Awards have just released the list of this year’s finalists. These companies, all of them already winners in our book, have been shortlisted by the judging panel for their commitment to the key areas of Health & Safety, Operational Excellence, Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Stewardship. MDN congratulates the following finalist companies in the Fourth Annual Northeast Oil & Gas Awards…
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Just How Low Will Price of Oil & Gas Go?

Just how low will oil and natural gas prices go? A good question, on everyone’s mind. End of day yesterday the price of WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil traded at $29.42, with some analysts predicting it may be headed to $20/barrel. Ouch. Such prices were unthinkable even six months ago! What about natural gas? Yesterday the benchmark Henry Hub saw gas trading at $2.10 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf). Will it go below $2/Mcf? In the middle of winter?? What is the absolute bottom these commodities will trade at? A reporter at the Canton Repository shares the latest thinking/rumors on where the price of oil and gas will go in 2016…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jan 19, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: What shale slowdown, Marcellus/Utica production strong; Cuomo bans fracking, then floats climate plan powered by natgas; NED natgas to feed massive new electric plant; mythical climate change influences shareholders; Sunoco transferring jobs from Philly to Dallas; new safety legislation “possible” for WV drillers; NH AG wants say on NED pipeline; oil goes below $30; Carl Ichan’s investments don’t pan out; O&G’s “shuffling toward death”; how shale has made us safer; $15 oil in Canada – right now; and more!
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