Munroe Falls Won’t Let it Go: Files New Lawsuit Against Beck Energy

Frozen - Let it Go“Unbelievably dense” is how we would describe the “leaders” of Munroe Falls, Ohio. Going back to 2012, Monroe Falls–a “city” with a population of 5,000–has been attempting to stop legally permitted wells from being drilled on private property within city limits. Munroe Falls ordered Beck Energy to cease and desist drilling activity claiming the driller had not secured permits from the city first (Mother May I?). The object was to never let Beck drill, to deny them the permits they would need to seek, so Beck took them to court and an Ohio appeals court struck down Munroe Falls’ “home rule” zoning ordinances as illegal (see OH Appeals Court Strikes Down Home Rule for Drilling). The case was appealed to the OH Supreme Court and the supremes ruled in favor of Beck Energy (see OH Supreme Court Strikes Down Home Rule in Gas Drilling Case). For normal people that would be the end of it. However, it was a close decision (4-3) and the supremes left lots of wiggle room from municipalities to continue making life miserable for drillers (see Some Options Still Available After OH Court Strikes Down Home Rule). So even though Munroe Falls went all the way to the top and lost–once again they’ve just filed another zoning lawsuit against Beck Energy. Do they never learn?…
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It’s Time to Voice Your Support for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

Atlantic-Sunrise map
Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline map – click for larger version

Now is the time to roar and let the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) know that you support the Williams Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project. Atlantic Sunrise is part of the Transco (Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation) system. It is a $2.1 billion project consisting of compression and looping of the Transco Leidy Line in Pennsylvania, along with a greenfield (brand new) pipeline segment of 178 miles, called the Central Penn Line, connecting the northeastern Marcellus producing region to the Transco mainline near Station 195 in southeastern Pennsylvania (see Atlantic Sunrise Will Pump $1.6B into Economy, Create 8K Jobs). We’ve written numerous stories about Atlantic Sunrise, and irrational opposition to it from places like Lebanon County, PA. Earlier this month FERC issued the Atlantic Sunrise project a positive Environmental Impact Statement (see Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Gets Positive EIS from FERC). That’s a very good sign that the project is about to be approved and for construction to begin. But there’s one more hurdle. FERC will conduct a series of public hearings (that we refer to as freak shows for anti-fossil fuelers), along with receiving written public comment. The irrational antis have cranked up their (very few) supporters to flood FERC with negative comments. Atlantic Sunrise will create $1.6 BILLION in investments to build it–jobs, materials, local companies–everyone benefits! When complete, the pipeline will provide enough natural gas to heat and power 7 million homes. WE NEED THIS PIPELINE. It’s now time for those of us who support safe pipelines like Atlantic Sunrise to make our voices heard. Here’s three things you can do to show your support…
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Radical Enviro Groups Demand BLM Stop Leasing in OH Wayne NF

Wayne National Forest
Wayne National Forest – click for larger version

Yet another mindless, useless and scientifically wrong letter has been sent to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) by a group of radical environmental organizations to ask (demand, really) that the BLM halt its plans to allow fracking to take place in the Wayne National Forest (WNF). Nowhere in the letter sent by the Sierra Clubbers, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Ohio Environmental Council and Friends of the Earth does it mention that 60% of the land in WNF is PRIVATELY OWNED. And that the BLM has, for nearly 10 years now, blocked those private rights owners from profiting from their land. Recently the BLM took another baby step on the way to allowing fracking in WNF, which is what has set off the crazies and precipitated this latest factually incorrect letter…
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UGI Hires PA PUC Commissioner in Brilliant Move for PennEast Pipe

Pamela Witmer
Pamela Witmer

Pamela Witmer, formerly a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner for five years, has left the PA PUC and has joined UGI Energy Services as vice president of government affairs. We previously wrote that Pam was one of the stars at the PUC (see PA PUC Commissioner’s Full-Throated Support of Marcellus Shale). Normally we don’t run announcements of personnel changes–unless its important and somehow affects the Marcellus/Utica. Pam’s new job certainly qualifies. Why? As vice president of government affairs for UGI, Pam will “represent the company’s interests before public officials and regulatory agencies, educate stakeholders on a variety of energy issues, and provide strategic counsel to new and existing customer projects.” In other words, Pam will talk to regulators that she already knows, and be a strong voice throughout the region for projects UGI undertakes. UGI happens to be the main sponsor of the PennEast Pipeline project–a project being vigorously opposed by anti-fossil fuel nutters like THE Delaware Riverkeeper. Now you can see why Pam’s appointment is a brilliant move by UGI…
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Stone Energy’s Play to Stay on NYSE: 1-for-10 Reverse Stock Split

Stone EnergyStone Energy, an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company (E&P) headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana drills mainly in the Gulf of Mexico but also has a presence in the Marcellus/Utica Shale with 75,000 acres of leases. Last year Stone quit drilling in the northeast and actually shut-in part of their production due to low prices (see Stone Energy 3Q15: Shut Down 110 Mmcfe/d of Marcellus Production). As we pointed out in April, the company is in financial trouble and inching toward bankruptcy (see Stone Energy Appoints Special Liaison, Inches Toward Bankruptcy?). Earlier this month the New York Stock Exchange threatened the company with de-listing its stock, which would not bode well for a company trying to attract and hold on to investors (see Stone Energy Threatened with De-listing by NYSE). One of the strategies companies use to remain listed on an exchange is to combine together shares of stock, called a reverse stock split. Stone has just announced they will do a 1-for-10 reverse split–meaning an investor who owns 10 shares will see those 10 shares magically combined into a single share…
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Rex Energy Swapping $631M in Private IOUs for Public IOUs

Rex EnergyRex Energy, a small Marcellus/Utica driller headquartered in State College, PA, is trying to keep its head above the financial waterline. It’s struggling, but making progress. In April Rex became the latest driller to convert outstanding debt in the form of notes (what we call IOUs) into equity, or stock ownership (see Rex Energy Converts IOUs into Common Stock, Avoids Bankruptcy?). But not all outstanding notes/IOUs got converted. Rex still has $631 million worth of IOUs hanging out there. Rex announced yesterday they are swapping out their $631 million worth of “private notes” for “exchange notes.” What does that mean?…
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NatGas for PowerGen Record High This Summer; Price to Remain Low

supply demandStrong demand from electric power generators will push natural gas demand this summer up by an estimated 4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), according to a new report from the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA). However, even though there’s more demand, because supplies are so bountiful, the price of natural gas over the summer is actually expected to go down, not up. Using published data and independent analyses, NGSA evaluated the combined impact of weather, economic growth, customer demand, storage inventories and production activity on the direction of natural gas prices for the summer of 2016 compared to last summer. The NGSA says summer 2016 will see a “remarkable growth in demand.” Even so, NGSA expects “downward pressure on prices compared to last summer.” Bummer. It’s great news for consumers and power generating plants. But not so good news for drillers. Below we have a full copy of the NGSA report…
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CNBC Survey: How Much Will Oil Cost by the End of 2016?

Survey saysCNBC, not known for being an objective news source (witness the Republican debate debacle earlier this year), conducted a survey among 22 strategists, traders and analysts on the topic of the price of oil. MDN sometimes covers oil stories because natural gas oil are joined at the hip. Often the same E&Ps that drill for oil also drill for gas. And when you drill a hole in the ground, you get what you get–not only oil, but “associated gas” and gas liquids. Hydrocarbons of all kinds come out of the holes drilled. So it pays to pay attention to the oil market and what’s happening with the price of oil. According to the CNBC survey, those responding said overall they expect drilling to pick back up with the price hitting $50 per barrel. But they also said it won’t really pick up in earnest until the price hits $60 per barrel. Roughly half expect the price of oil to remain in the $40-$50 range until the end of 2016, with the other half thinking it will go higher. Only 9% believe come Dec. 31 the price will be at or above $60/barrel…
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New Study: Fossil Fuel Divestment Leads to Financial Fiasco

IPAAWe’ve previously written about the so-called fossil fuel divestment movement–a push to get investors to dump stocks in oil and gas companies in a bid to bankrupt those companies (and send us all back to the energy Stone Age). Major universities hold huge investments of all kinds, including in fossil fuel companies. The crazies are pressuring them to dump those stocks. To their credit, the leaders of Cornell University said they will keep their fossil fuel investments (see Cornell University Rejects Fossil Fuel Divestment Scam). It’s a good thing they did. A new study by the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) says even if you overlook how an investment portfolio’s value drops after dumping fossil fuels, just the transaction expense of trading away all of those investments can cost billions. In other words, if misguided organizations and investors dump fossil fuels, they’ll lose big money–in brokerage fees. Last time we checked investors invest to make money, not lose it. Here’s the low down from the IPAA…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Jun 2, 2016

best of the restThe “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: FERC hears from both sides on Access Northeast pipeline reversal; Marcellus “State of the Union” update; will ethane storage help the Marcellus/Utica?; OH Utica rig count drops; new Dimock study doesn’t link water issues to fracking; NJ heating costs will go down again; Virginia Tech changing from coal to natgas for power; why Williams is still pushing a deal with ETE; and more!
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