Wolf Wises Up – Agrees to Block/Rework Conventional Drilling Regs

tom wolf
PA Gov Tom Wolf – finally wising up?

While not wanting to look he’s caved, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf caved and in a deal with PA legislators agreed to support amended legislation that will allow some new Article 78 drilling regulations to go forward (for shale drillers) while other Article 78 regs will not (for conventional drillers). Yesterday the PA House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved amendments to Senate Bill 279 that prohibit the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) from implementing new Article 78 rules for conventional drillers. Committee Chairm John Maher (Republican) let it leak that Wolf has cut a deal to support the amended bill, much to the consternation of Rep. Greg Vitali and his buddies in the Big Green movement. Will they now brand Wolf as an environmental “apostate”–using John Quigley’s language? Perhaps! For more than a year Wolf has been recalcitrant when it comes to the budget and just about every other initiative where the Executive and Legislative branches must cooperate. Could it be Wolf is finally wising up?…
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TETCO PA Pipeline Explosion Still Limiting NatGas Flow Month Later

Spectra blazeAn update on Spectra Energy’s Texas Eastern Transmission’s “Delmont Line 27” which exploded in Westmoreland County, PA on April 29 (see Texas Eastern Pipeline Explodes near Pittsburgh, Antis Celebrate). We previously told you that not only was Line 27 out of commission, so too were three other pipelines running through the same corridor, meaning 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day is not reaching certain mid-Atlantic markets (see Update on Spectra Pipeline Explosion Near Pittsburgh). The early evidence points to corrosion along welded seams, although the jury is still out and the exact cause may not be known for months (see Preliminary Guess on TETCO Pipeline Explosion Cause: Corrosion). One of the four lines that was offline (Line 19) was examined and certified by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in early May to go back online (see TETCO Pipeline Up & Running Post-Explosion; Antis Exploit Accident). But since that time the other three lines have remained idle. When will the other three lines go back into service? And, did the Line 27 explosion cause any lasting airborne hazards?…
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Updates on 3 Major OH Pipelines at Utica Midstream Seminar

update.jpgSome 160 people showed up for the Utica Midstream Seminar held yesterday at the National Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. The event, sponsored by the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and ShaleDirectories.com, provided updates on three major pipeline projects either under construction or soon to be under construction in the Buckeye State: Marathon Petroleum’s Cornerstone Pipeline, Spectra Energy’s NEXUS pipeline project, and Energy Transfer’s Rover pipeline project. Here’s what reps from each organization had to say about their respective projects…
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Rice Midstream Floats Another Public Offering – Feed the Beast!

Feed the BeastOn Tuesday Rice Midstream, the pipeline subsidiary of Rice Energy (operating in the Marcellus/Utica region) announced they will offer new “units” (think shares of stock) in the company. Rice said they will float an initial 8 million units, with an option of selling an additional 1.2 million units. The company hopes to get $18.50 per unit, meaning they are looking to raise $148 – $170 million by selling off more of the company. Rice first spun the midstream division into its own company (on paper) in December 2014. They got $16.50 per unit at the time, a total of $441.6 million (see Rice Midstream IPO Falls Short of Goal by Approx. $134M). Since that time Rice has continued to sell off pieces of ownership in the midstream division. Last December Rice received a $500 million investment in the midstream company in return for an ownership stake from an unnamed investor (see Rice Energy Sells Part Ownership in Rice Midstream for $500M). In February, Rice sold an 8.5% stake in the midstream company to EIG for $375 million (see Rice Sells 8.5% Ownership of Rice Midstream to EIG for $375M). And now they’re looking for another $150 million or so. Are you getting the idea (like us) that Rice Midstream has some pretty big plans ahead? Plans that require a LOT of money…
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New $2.5 Million Penn State Initiative Aims to Stop Pipelines

Penn StateThis is the story of wasting $2.5 million of taxpayer’s money. Penn State has given us some of the best research (and personnel) we’ve ever seen when it comes to the Marcellus Shale. In particular we’re thinking of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR). Great people. Super research. But then there are others at Penn State who don’t like shale energy and concoct some pretty creative ways to stop it. We recently came across something called Marcellus by Design from Penn State’s Department of Landscape Architecture. This new initiative from Penn State received $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation (funded by your tax dollars and mine) to travel around the state and use a website to “educate” people about the aesthetics of the Marcellus. In other words, where should you put a pipeline? And how will it look? They’ve designed online “games” to help in this mission. Yes, it’s as stupid as it sounds. The aim is, of course, to not install a pipeline at all. It’s an elaborate anti-drilling hoax cloaked to look like something it is not. After a pipeline is in the ground for a few years, you can’t even tell it’s there. We think the $2.5 million grant would have been better spent on where to site windmills in PA. We’ve traveled through northeast and southeast PA quite a bit, and it never ceases to amaze us (going down the PA Turnpike from Wilkes-Barre to Philadelphia, for example) to spot entire hillsides covered with ugly, imposing windmills–destroying the natural beauty of the area–not to mention being huge bird killers. Why didn’t the Dept. of Landscape Architecture study that, instead of Marcellus pipelines?…
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Con Ed & Crestwood Seal the Deal on Marcellus Pipeline/Storage JV

StagecoachIn April MDN brought you the news that New York City’s largest utility company–Consolidated Edison Inc.–had formed a 50/50 joint venture to purchase ownership of pipelines and storage facilities from Crestwood Equity Partners in the PA and NY Marcellus region (see Utility Giant ConEdison Buys a Piece of the Marcellus Midstream). The newly formed jv, called Stagecoach Gas Services, will be operated by Crestwood and includes four natural gas storage facilities (Stagecoach, Thomas Corners, Steuben and Seneca Lake) with a combined storage capacity of approximately 41 billion cubic feet; and three natural gas pipelines (MARC I, North/South and the East Pipeline) with a combined throughput capacity of 2.96 billion cubic feet per day. The deal closed earlier this week. Con Ed ponied up $945 million, and together with the pipelines and facilities “donated” by Crestwood to the jv, the new Stagecoach Gas Services company is worth an estimated $2 billion…
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Moodys Downgrades Halliburton/Baker Hughes Debt Post-Failed-Merger

Moodys Ratings ScaleEver hear the phrase, “Better to try and fail than never to try at all.” That’s actually the name of a poem from William O’Brien (dead poet, read his famous poem here). Contrary to the wisdom of O’Brien’s poem, in some cases it may be better to never have tried in the first place. At least that’s what Halliburton and Baker Hughes may be thinking about their failed attempt to merge (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). Halliburton ended up having to pay Baker Hughes a $3.5 billion break-up fee (see The Road Ahead for Baker Hughes – Post Halliburton Deal). Ouch. But that’s not all. Last week Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the debt for both Halliburton and Baker Hughes–from A2 to Baa1. Why? In part because of the failed merger deal. That’s what Moody’s says. What does the credit downgrade mean? It means their outstanding debt is harder to buy and sell, affecting $12.8 billion of debt for Halliburton and $3.9 billion of debt for Baker Hughes. It also means should either company want to borrow more money, the cost will be higher to do so…
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EIA Says NatGas Production Nearly Doubles Next 25 Yrs from Shale

Over the past five years, the amount of natural gas production has blossomed–because of shale and fracking. But according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! The EIA predicts natgas production will nearly double over the next 25 years–and almost all of the growth will come from shale (take a look at the chart below). Here’s the latest analysis from our favorite government agency…
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Environmental Radicals: The Gangsters Among Us

Jack Rafuse
Dr. Jack Rafuse

Dr. Jack Rafuse is a former White House energy adviser and current principal of the Rafuse Organization. He advises government agencies, policy centers, businesses and associations on energy, trade, sanctions, national security issues and their interrelationships. Yeah, he’s a really smart guy who knows a LOT about energy. He’s forgotten more about energy that we’ll ever know! In a recent column published in Ohio Gas & Oil Magazine Rafuse doesn’t beat around the bush. He calls the organized protests we’ve been seeing from radical Big Green groups like 350.org exactly what it is: “Gangsterism paid for by billionaires.” Rafuse points out the silly, empty-headed protesters are nothing more than useful idiots for big money bullies behind them–out for a thrill, paid for by someone else. Thing is, there are very real and tragic consequences to their actions that affect all of us…
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Enviro Gangsters Arrested in Vermont for Stopping Pipeline Work

Make Him an Offer He Can't RefuseFive more wackos were recently arrested in Vermont, chaining themselves to a short pipeline being built to deliver more clean-burning natural gas. The so-called “protesters” (whom we will now refer to as enviro gangsters, see today’s companion story) endangered themselves, pipeline workers and emergency personnel who had to extricate them. Keep a sharp eye out. When these kind of nutters wake up and understand their tactics aren’t working, they sometimes tip over into eco-terrorism. We’ve seen it before…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Jun 9, 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: Marcellus/Utica pipeline overbuild; the economics of a new gas pipeline in the NE; secret is out, NY AG began RICO investigation BEFORE InsideClimate story; Ohio Valley lures manufacturers with low natgas prices; DTE retiring 8 coal plants in Michigan by 2023; federal pipeline rules to complex; how pigging works; and more!
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