PennEast Pipeline Spreads Some More Coin in PA/NJ Communities

PennEast Pipeline Route Map
PennEast Pipeline Route – Click for larger version

PennEast Pipeline yesterday released a list of the latest recipients of its “Community Connector” grants–money that goes to local worthy nonprofit organizations like firefighters and first responders. PennEast awarded $85,000 to 17 different groups, saying they are “proud to help support community organizations where we live and work” across both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Cynics would say the company is buying local support for the pipeline. Those in the industry (and yes, we’ve heard from them on this issue) say it shows good faith–a willingness to be good corporate citizens. Industry folks also say this kind of support won’t disappear after the pipeline gets built–these kinds of donations are not just a tactic to gain popular support. We’ll hold them to it. This isn’t the first round for PennEast. With this latest $85,000, the company has donated a total of $325,000 since 2014 (see our previous stories here). Here’s the list of the latest 17 organizations to benefit from the PennEast Pipeline…
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Clever Device Tested in Utica Produces Electricity from Flaring

pgc-image-final-740
Alphabet Energy’s Power Generating Combustor – click for larger version

Open flaring of gas (and oil) wells is pretty much a thing of the past. As MDN told you all the way back in 2012, the federal Environmental Protection Agency unilaterally (in contravention of the U.S. Constitution) told the oil and gas industry that the EPA was instituting new regulations to require drillers to move to so-called green completions by last year (see Marcellus Drillers Drop Flaring, Adopt “Green Completions”). And so they have–for the most part. These days when a well is flared, the flaring process is enclosed to trap gases and chemicals that might otherwise be released into the air. All of those enclosed flares (flaring is nothing more than burning the initial flowback that comes from the well) produces a lot of heat. A couple of companies have teamed up to create an clever product that converts all of that heat from enclosed flares into electricity. What it means is that a driller, using this new device, doesn’t have to cart diesel or natgas-powered generators to the well pad, or connect local electric lines to the pad. Instead, this device produces all of the electricity they’ll need at the site (after the drilling is done). One of the places this new device is being tested is in the Utica Shale…
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Legislature in Prince George’s County, MD Bans Fracking

Taylorsville Basin
Taylorsville Basin – click for larger view

The anti-fossil fuel Democrat machine that runs Prince George’s County, Maryland (D.C. suburb) has voted to ban fracking in the county. Not that anyone actually wants to frack there. And not that the state doesn’t already have a moratorium in place that prevents it (see Maryland’s Pusillanimous Gov Allows Frack Moratorium to Become Law). There is no prolific Marcellus or Utica Shale running under Prince George’s County (PGC). However, there may be a portion of the Taylorsville Basin under the county, which is the excuse used by legislators in passing the ban. The Taylorsville is located mostly under Virginia (see Virginia Inches Closer to Shale Drilling in Taylorsville Basin). The PGC Dems hope their legislation will serve as a model for other counties in the state, and in fact will “lay the groundwork for a statewide ban in Maryland.” Fine. Ban it. What we hope is that all companies stop selling natural gas to Maryland and we’ll see how quickly that ban would get reversed. The people doing the banning in PGC heat their homes with natural gas, go to work in buildings that use natural gas, drive vehicles and use devices made from plastic (comes from natural gas and petroleum products). Etc. Can anyone say HYPOCRITES? More like dullards…
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Trouble Ahead for Drillers if U.S. Comptroller Downgrades Loans

Fitch RatingsMore trouble may be ahead for drillers in the Marcellus, Utica and beyond. Fitch Ratings has just released a report that says the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)–a federal agency–is set to downgrade the ratings of loans for many exploration and production (E&P) companies that are considered “high yield” (HY). If the outstanding loans these companies have (and most of them, if not all of them, have outstanding loans), the downgrade means it will be much more difficult for drillers to get their hands on new money. And if they can somehow get their hands on new money, it’s going to cost them a lot more to do it, i.e. higher interest rates. Word on the street is that banks are feeling the pressure from the Federal Reserve and the OCC and will “reduce most energy company credit lines by roughly 20-40 percent this month.” Ouch. Banks have pretty much quit financing coal projects. According to one source, “Crude oil and natural gas productions may not be far behind.” Here’s the low down…
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Delays in Northeast Pipelines Hurting Natgas Infrastructure Grid

expect delaysYesterday MDN brought you a copy of a fascinating new study published by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA). The new study is titled “North American Midstream Infrastructure Through 2035: Leaning into the Headwinds” (see Study: $546 Billion Needed in Gas/Oil/NGL Infrastructure by 2035!). We have a few more tidbits that come from that report, as highlighted by the report’s authors at an INGAA event. To wit: North America needs 51 billion cubic feet per day of new gas takeaway–and nearly half of that will come from the Marcellus/Utica region. In addition, delays in northeast pipeline projects like the Constitution and ET Rover are harming end users waiting for the gas…
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Mass. Landowners Say Patriotic Duty to Oppose NED Pipeline

The PatriotMDN is strongly in favor of property rights. “You don’t tell me I can’t allow drilling a shale well or a pipeline–and I don’t tell you that you must allow it.” That’s always been our guiding philosophy. It pains us when pipeline companies use eminent domain to force landowners to allow a pipeline to be built. Having said that, it’s a pipeline! It’s underground. Farmers can plant crops over top of it after it’s in the ground. After a few years, you’re hard pressed to even tell where the pipeline is buried! We say if there’s widespread opposition to pipelines in a given community, don’t bother building it there. However, if there’s a handful of holdout landowners (often driven by global warming insanity), eminent domain may be justified. Life is complex. These issues are complex. Again, forcefully using eminent domain against any landowner–even the stupid anti-drilling ones–pains us. We don’t like it. But eminent domain is part of our laws, created to benefit wider society. We spotted an article about some Massachusetts landowners who equate opposing Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct pipeline with being patriotic, like the patriots from the original Boston Harbor Tea Party revolt. We had to laugh…
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US Chamber Unmasks Environmentalist Bill McKibben & 350.org

Bill McKibben
Bill McKibben – 350.org

William Ernest “Bill” McKibben is an environmentalist wacko. A true believer that mankind is a blight on Planet Earth and is catastrophically causing Mom Earth to toast by burning fossil fuels for energy. McKibben, like many environmentalist wackos, makes his living as a professor, polluting the minds of those he teaches and living in the academic world and not the real world. He’s also the founder and leader of the anti-carbon campaign group 350.org. McKibben has authored a dozen books about the environment, including his first (The End of Nature) in 1989 about so-called climate change. Unfortunately, McKibben is also effective. He led the charge to defeat building the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada into the U.S. Now McKibben has set his sights on ending the use of all fossil fuels. He has a new campaign to “keep natural gas in the ground.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has written an article unmasking McKibben and his deceptive campaign to defeat natural gas…
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EIA STEO Predicts Summer 2016 to See Record High Natgas Power Gen

EIAOnce a month our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issues a Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). The EIA issued their latest edition on Tuesday. We have a full copy below. We’ve grabbed out the section on natural gas because it includes a couple of key points: (1) U.S. natural gas inventories just finished the winter heating season at their highest level ever, and are expected to be at a record high at the start of next winter heating season in November. (2) This summer natural gas consumption for electricity generation is expected to reach a record high. Here’s the natgas section of the STEO, along with a copy of the full report…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Apr 14, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Utica production soared in March; GPA Midstream Assoc. says PA pipeline report flawed; NJ mayors fight higher natgas rates; Chesapeake sued for collusion in Kansas; well completions still in “free fall”; Clinton gets caught in fracking trap; natgas prices moving higher; and more!
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