Quigley Expounds on Methane Emissions Plan: Drillers to Get Hosed

John Quigley
John Quigley

On Tuesday Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled his Marcellus-killing plan to cut fugitive methane another 40% over current levels in the next five years (see PA Gov. Wolf’s Plan to Kill Drilling via Methane Emissions Regs). Interestingly, Wolf’s Sec. of the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), John Quigley, admits they don’t even know what current levels of fugitive methane emissions are–so how will they know when they’ve cut it by 40%? But we digress. Yesterday Quigley held a quick 15-minute webinar to discuss the four-point plan he and Wolf have hatched. Quigley said while the new rules may require more DEP inspectors, it “initially will require more work on the part of the operators.” Translation: Drillers and midstreamers are about to get hosed by the Wolf administration…
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Radicals Praise Wolf’s Plan to Kill PA Drilling via Methane Regs

As we told you yesterday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has set his sites on reducing fugitive methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in the Keystone State, all in the name of mythical man-made global warming (see PA Gov. Wolf’s Plan to Kill Drilling via Methane Emissions Regs). We gave you a few early reactions from the far-left/radical contingent, including PennFuture, Clean Air Council, and the Sierra Clubbers–all of whom love his plan to screw the shale industry. We spotted a few more accolades for Wolf’s new plan to end drilling in the Keystone State, from Environment America (which has a “Stop Drilling Program”), and the radicals at Earthworks and the National Resources Defense Council. When this rogues gallery of antis loves something, you know it’s really bad…
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PA Pipeline Task Force Wraps Up – Did We Worry for Nothing?

Looks like we worried for nothing. Yesterday was the final meeting of the PA Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force. When it was first formed last May, we worried that local gathering pipelines would get wrapped around a regulatory axle (see Disaster on the Horizon: PA Gov Wolf Creates Pipeline Task Force). The situation seemed even grimmer when Wolf and Quigley packed the task force with government workers–half of the 48 members work for the government (see PA Gov Wolf Packs Pipeline Task Force with His Own Minions). After months of squabbling, Task Force members produced a 335-page document with 184 “recommendations” last November (see PA Gathering Pipeline Draft “Recommendations” from Wolf Task Force). As we noted at the time, “recommendations” have a way of becoming “regulations” in the hands of LibDems. But it appears the Task Force was a paper lion after all. At least one prominent member of the Task Force (Democrat Sen. Andy Dinniman) is moaning that he thinks nothing will come of the work from the Task Force…
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Nuverra Environmental Delisted from NYSE, Now a Penny Stock

Nuverra Environmental Solutions is one of the largest companies in the United States that handles transportation and disposal of shale drilling wastewater and leftover rock and dirt from drilling. The company has major operations in the Marcellus/Utica region. We’ve written about Nuverra a couple of times in the past, most recently in 2013 when we highlighted an investor lawsuit against the company (see Nuverra Environmental Sued Over Stock Price Tumble). Those investors have even more to make them angry. As of yesterday, Nuverra was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and became a penny stock trading on the OTCQB Market…
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Climate Change Lawsuit by Radicalized Children Gets Interesting

Last August MDN told you about a lawsuit brought by a group of left coast radicalized children who want to force the federal government to become communist and “force action” on mythical climate change (see Group of Kids Sues U.S. Govt to Force Action on “Climate Change”). We don’t really blame these kids for being stupid–it’s their schools, Saturday morning cartoons, and likely (because it’s Oregon) their parents who have driven them into climate change insanity. But nefarious adults with an agenda who are behind this effort, using the kids as props, are deadly serious and intent on ripping apart the fabric of capitalism in our country. The lawsuit sits in U.S. District Court in Eugene and, unfortunately, we must take it seriously. The judge in the case has just allowed three trade groups to join the lawsuit as defendants, along with the government: the National Association of Manufacturers, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute…
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LNG May Not be a Panacea for Marcellus/Utica NatGas Producers

Last November MDN editor Jim Willis attended a Genscape/Bloomberg joint event in New York City (at Bloomberg’s offices) called “Gas and Power Winter Outlook 2015.” It was part advertisement for the Bloomberg terminal and the many fantastic resources available on their terminal, part advertisement for Genscape and the truly unique and innovative services they provide, along with a healthy sprinkling of predictions about where the natural gas market will head over the winter months. Jim enjoyed it a great deal because it provided perspective on the larger worldwide market and how it drives our markets here at home. One very interesting thing Jim learned was this: Asian countries in general, and Japan in particular, are reducing their need for LNG (liquefied natural gas) because, in the case of Japan, the country is starting up its nuclear energy program again, and because solar energy is coming online and providing a greater share of the country’s electric needs. With more nuclear and solar, Japan needs less LNG. Here in the U.S., particularly in the Marcellus/Utica region, we have pegged a lot of our hopes on a robust export market for our natural gas. But what if that market is disappearing right before our eyes? That’s kind of the upshot of a new report just released by economists at global consulting firm The Brattle Group. The report, called “LNG and Renewable Power: Risk and Opportunity in a Changing World” (full copy below), takes a close look at the competition playing out between renewable energy like solar and wind and natural gas-fired electric from LNG…
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Chief O&G Founder “Licking His Chops” to Buy Distressed Assets

Forbes magazine has a fascinating article on the founder and chairman of Chief Oil & Gas, Trevor Rees-Jones. Chief did have a fairly big presence in the Marcellus Shale, but last September they closed their Wexford (i.e. Pittsburgh) office, a story that MDN broke (see Chief O&G Confirms MDN Story re Closing of Pittsburgh Office). Chief still owns about 200,000 acres of leases in the Marcellus. Trevor Rees-Jones has the misfortune of sharing the same name with the body guard present when Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash–so don’t be confused. The Forbes article focuses on Rees-Jones’ uncanny timing. He snapped up leases and drilled wells when the shale revolution was just getting under way, and he sold many of those assets just prior to the bottom dropping out of the price for oil and gas. His deft timing earned him on the order of $7 billion. Now, with the industry reeling and companies teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, Rees-Jones, a bankruptcy attorney by training, says “I’m licking my chops.” He can’t wait to be there to pick up the pieces by buying at the bottom to make his next fortune…
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Kinder Morgan 4Q15: Cutting Dividend, PA Pipeline Progress

Yesterday Kinder Morgan, the largest midstream company in the U.S., released their fourth quarter 2015 update. The update starts with the news that KM is lowering the cash dividend in order to avoid chasing new loans. KM says by cutting the dividend they will be able to self-fund new projects, which ultimately benefits everyone, including shareholders. The update also chronicles progress made on three Pennsylvania pipelines: the Susquehanna West Project (Tioga and Bradford counties, the Orion Project (Pike County), and the Triad Expansion Project (Lackawanna County). Below is the full update from KM…
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Fourth Quarter 2015 U.S. Well Completions Down 51%

Just how bad is it in the oil and gas patch? One measure of activity is called well completions–how many new wells are fully drilled, fracked and ready to be brought online into production. According to the American Petroleum Institute’s “2015 Quarterly Well Completion Report, Fourth Quarter” report, well completions in the fourth quarter of 2015 were down 51% from the fourth quarter of 2014. Ouch. If you compare full year figures, 2015 well completions were down 35% over 2014 rates…
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Global Warming Insanity: Altering Mother Nature to Preserve It

We harp plenty on the madness of believing in man-made global warming. Many (we’d say the vast majority) of those who oppose shale drilling and pipelines and anything to do with shale energy object because of their religious-like belief in global warming. They’re so animated by it, so zealous and angry when you say you don’t believe too–they want to throw you in jail (see RIT Professor Says Jail Those Who Don’t Believe in Global Warming). We also make the point that farm animals, and even termites, generate as much or more methane, a so-called greenhouse gas that’s “25% more potent than carbon dioxide” according to the warming faithful, as the fossil fuel industry. The real true believers take that to heart. A serious story appearing in The Economist details how researchers in New Zealand, all worked up about global warming, are injecting cows and sheep with a chemical that will cause them to burp less, thereby releasing less “fugitive” methane into the atmosphere. If it weren’t such a tragedy that grown adults are trying to tamper with Mother Nature in order to save Mother Nature, we’d fall down laughing our considerable rear-ends off. But it’s true! It’s not a joke! These people, who have apparently left their own senses, think they can alter the biochemistry of farm animals so they “emit” less methane. This is how belief in a false religion–the religion of global warming–drives people to do insane things…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Jan 21, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Ohio approves 1 new Utica permit; Hawaii wants LNG; Raymond James says E&P spending could plunge 70% this year; natgas likely #1 electric generating source now; crude concerns; don’t thank Obama for cheap gasoline; Quebec turns yogurt into natural gas; and more!
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