Top 20 Marcellus Drillers – Ranked by Environmental Impact

top 20Last Friday MDN brought you the news about a professor who devised a clever formula for evaluating the overall environmental impact of 20 Marcellus drillers (see Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Best Driller of Them All?). At the time we only knew who the top and bottom companies are in the list. CONSOL Energy took top honors, while ExxonMobil was last or “least” environmentally friendly as compared with the others. We now have the entire list (below). Where does your favorite driller fall in the list?…
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Shell Leases 76,000 Sq Ft Office Space Near Cracker Plant Site

We believe there’s little doubt remaining that Shell will commit to building a $3 billion ethane cracker plant in Monaca (Beaver County), PA. The evidence continues to mount. Shell is spending big bucks on a variety of activities related the project, as we’ve previously indicated (see Shell Begins Hiring for Monaca, PA Ethane Cracker Plant). The latest evidence comes from the Pittsburgh Business Times who has an inside source telling them that Shell has cut a deal with Michael Baker International to lease a 76,000-square-foot building with a 400-car parking lot sitting on 100 acres near the proposed cracker site in Beaver County…
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Pitt Brats “Demand” Endowment Divest from < 1% Fossil Investments

This is how retarded (yes, we’re using the “r” word) students are at the University of Pittsburgh. We use the “r” word because something has retarded or stunted their intellectual growth. They are substandard–stupid–dumb. How else can you explain why spoiled rotten brats attending Pitt are “demanding” that the university divest their endowment from fossil fuels? The Pitt endowment is $3.6 BILLION. How much of that is invested in dirty, filthy, evil fossil fuel companies? $26 million. That’s 0.007 of the fund (seven tenths of one percent) invested in fossil fuels. It’s a rounding error. Fossil fuel insanity is rampant on the campus of Pitt. Stay away or you may catch it too!…
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PA Newspaper Claims 25 House Repubicans Want Severance Tax

The unofficial campaign staffer for PA Gov. Tom Wolf working at the Democrat-controlled Harrisburg Patriot-News is Candy Woodall. She calls herself a reporter but in reality she’s a propagandist. Woodall loves to bash the Marcellus industry. Her latest creative writing efforts (otherwise called “reporting”) is to say, essentially, “PA elected Republicans want a severance tax after all–they really wanted it last year, but they voted it down because they didn’t want higher income taxes. They really want to pass a tax on the Marcellus industry this year.” This is pure fiction/fantasy. Woodall claims there are 25 elected Republicans in the PA House who are ready to sign on to a severance tax proposal–yet she doesn’t list their names. Her main source appears to be Wolf’s policy secretary, John Hanger, who ran for governor on a platform of legalizing marijuana. In her latest fiction, Woodall and Hanger savage a truly great Pennsylvanian, House Speaker Mike Turzai, because of Turzai’s steadfast opposition to a tax that would assassinate the Marcellus industry. Woodall implies Turzai is in the pocket of the industry. Hey Candy–did you investigate whether pot growers donated money to Hanger’s campaign the way you “investigated” Marcellus drillers donating money to Turzai’s campaign? No, we didn’t think so…
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Deloitte: 35% of Pure Play Drillers Will Go Bankrupt in 2016

A new study just released by powerhouse consulting firm Deloitte delivers some profoundly bad news. The study is titled “The Crude Downturn for E&Ps: One Situation, Diverse Responses” (full copy below) and it reveals that 35% of “pure play” drillers (those who invest and concentrate all of their efforts in a single shale play) are at “high-risk of slipping into bankruptcy in 2016.” That’s a total of some 175 companies worldwide. There are a number of pure play drillers in the Marcellus/Utica. We sincerely hope Deloitte is wrong, but what if they’re not…
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Bluegrass Pipeline Aborted Before It was Born – RIP

Is it time to declare the Bluegrass Pipeline dead? It certainly appears that way. The Bluegrass, you may recall, was a $1.5 billion joint venture between Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners project that would have piped natural gas liquids (NGLs, mostly ethane) from the Utica/Marcellus all the way to Gulf Coast for processing and sale. Some 200 miles of the pipeline was due to be built through Kentucky–the Bluegrass State. But the wacky libs of Kentucky pushed back, suing Bluegrass over its plan to use eminent domain. In March 2014, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Bluegrass could not use eminent domain (see Judge Rules Bluegrass Pipeline Cannot Use Eminent Domain in KY). At that point Williams and Boardwalk squabbled over the future of the project (see Williams Stops Work on Bluegrass Pipeline, Boardwalk Says “It’s Not Dead”). The case moved on to the Court of Appeals. In May 2015, a three-judge panel agreed with Franklin Circuit Judge Shepherd that only pipeline companies that are or will be regulated by the state’s Public Service Commission can use eminent domain (see Appeals Court blocks Bluegrass Pipeline eminent domain). The case went all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court where, last week, the high court ruled the lower court rulings will stand. Case closed…
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Radical Enviro Groups Continue Lawsuit Against Cove Point LNG

Big Green groups, including the nutty Sierra Club and left-leaning Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the odious Earthjustice continue to pump money and lawyers and time into an effort to stop progress on Dominion’s construction of an LNG (liquefied natural gas) export facility in Cove Point, Maryland. Last June Earthjustice and its co-conspirators filed a lawsuit against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission claiming that FERC was wrong to issue a permit for the facility (see Earthjustice Asks Court to Stop Construction at Cove Point LNG). The lawsuit has progressed to the point that oral arguments will be made on April 19 before the Court of Appeals. An update on the shenanigans from fossil fuel haters ahead of this important court date…
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EPA Targets Fracking Again, This Time via Air Quality Study

Here we go again. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) couldn’t, after four years of research, find any evidence that fracking negatively impacts groundwater supplies (see EPA Draft Report Says Fracking Doesn’t Pollute Groundwater Supplies). So this out-of-control agency, filled with radicals, has decided to go fishing once again–this time using air quality. The EPA has requested $1.5 million in next year’s budget to begin a years-long study of fracking’s potential impact on air quality. Since the EPA considers the stuff you breathe out with every breath–carbon dioxide (CO2)–to be a “greenhouse gas” (hilarious if it weren’t so tragic), you can bet they’ll find, oh no!…the stuff drillers extract from the ground is methane!!!! And methane is even MORE potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and oh no!, we’ve got to stop this right now…
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PA Senate Democrat Candidates Want to Ban ALL Fracking

Pay attention Pennsylvania voters. You didn’t listen to MDN the last time and elected the disastrous Tom Wolf as your governor–a decision you no doubt kick yourselves for each day. Yes, we told you so. Now listen up–you are facing a U.S. Senate race this November. Sitting Senator Pat Toomey (Republican) is in a tough race to retain his seat. There are (so far) three Democrats running in a primary to oppose Toomey. Two of the three candidates support an immediate ban on fracking–across the state. Everywhere. Both public AND private land (your land!). You CANNOT afford to elect Democrats who want to deny you your Constitutional property rights! PLEASE do not vote for these two extremists who want to ban fracking…
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Democrats in Michigan Introduce Bill to Ban ALL Fracking

What is it with Democrats? Are they congenitally anti-drilling? Last week Michigan Democrats introduced a bill that would ban all hydraulic fracturing in the state. But just in case fracking still happens, the bill empowers local municipalities regulate it, and the bill requires wells to be at least a mile away from “sensitive locations” like schools, hospitals, homes and public parks. That is, don’t bother drilling anywhere. Michigan Dems may want to visit Pennsylvania where there are schools with their own gas wells sitting right outside of classroom windows, and hospitals that allow drilling on their property. There have been no ill health effects, and those organizations have reaped millions of dollars in revenue. It seems Dems only want money to slide through their fingers first (the way they derive and hold on to power). Tell your local Michigan House member to vote no on this idiotic bill…
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Russia Cuts Deal with Saudi Arabia to Freeze Oil Production

This is not our normal beat, but it has the ability to impact the Marcellus/Utica region. Yesterday Russia cut a deal with Saudi Arabia and several other OPEC members to freeze production at January levels for the foreseeable future. You might immediately think, “Aha, freeze production and oil prices will go up!” But the commodities market had the opposite reaction. Oil traders were hoping that the meeting, which is historic (Russia colluding with OPEC) would result in a CUT in production, not a FREEZE. The world is awash in too much oil right now–companies and countries are pumping more oil than the world can consume, leading to an oversupply and prices continuing to crash. The markets had hoped for a cut, got a freeze at the existing over-production levels–and that led to the price of oil going even lower. The price of oil influences the price of natural gas–and of course many companies that drill for gas also drill for oil, and the price of oil affects their economic health. So, for a variety of reasons, we like to keep an eye on the larger macroeconomic trends that may affect us here in the northeast. This is an important story…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Feb 17, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Antero’s positive report; downturn hits Marcellus industry hard; natgas saves NY during cold snap; OH Supreme Court still mulling Dormant Mineral Act cases; new GTL plant coming in Arkansas; NC antis against pipeline; natgas passes nuclear & renewables in Missouri; Bernie’s disastrous frack ban; o&g companies tapping out lines of credit first; EPA’s lawless land grab; and more!
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