Belmont County, OH Farmers & Rice Energy Have Something Special

Love StoryRice Energy and farmers in rural Belmont County, OH have a great relationship. You can tell by the way each talks about the other. Farmers love Rice because the company is responsible and works with farmers to protect their land and farming livelihood. And the farms of Belmont County have treated Rice Energy well–very well. Yesterday MDN reported on first quarter 2016 production in Ohio (see MDN Exclusive: Analysis of Ohio’s 1Q16 Shale Production). If you look at the average daily natural gas production for 1Q16, the top 14 highest producing wells (daily average) are all located in Belmont County and they were all drilled by Rice Energy. Yes, the farmers of Belmont and Rice have something special going on. You might call it a love story…
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M3 Donates New Building to Township in Harrison County, OH

m3 midstreamWe’ve written plenty of stories about midstream (pipeline) companies “giving back” to the communities where they either currently, or plan in the future, to operate. Typically midstream companies donate a few thousand dollars to various nonprofit groups. It adds up. Recently PennEast Pipeline donated $85,000 to 17 different groups (see PennEast Pipeline Spreads Some More Coin in PA/NJ Communities). The Constitution Pipeline just handed out another $50,000 and has now handed out over $2 million in grants to nonprofits (see Constitution Pipeline Doles Out Another $50K in Grants, Despite NY). But this is the first time we’ve heard of a midstream company giving a new building away! M3 Midstream (Momentum) has donated a brand new 5-bay building for North Township in Scio, OH–where they operate a natural gas processing plant. And that’s not the only thing M3 has done for the town. Needless to say, local town leaders are happy as clams…
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Williams/ETE Merger Defies Logic – Here’s Why

fishyThere is something about the proposed merger of Energy Transfer Equity and Williams that’s been bugging us. A uneasy feeling. Why is Williams trying so hard to make this deal happen–when they resisted it just as hard in the beginning? What changed? Why are they now insisting that ETE–who has gotten cold feet and wants out–go forward? Recently Williams published a letter from Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS)–a “leading proxy advisory firm”–recommending that shareholders in Williams vote “yes” on the merger with ETE (see Williams Tries, One Last Time, to Garner Support for ETE Merger). An analyst, writing on the Seeking Alpha investors website, takes Williams and ISS to task–ripping apart the ISS endorsement of the merger. Among his points we found this one the most powerful: “If we are to believe the road show documents filed by WMB to promote the company’s sale to Energy Transfer Equity LP, the same network of pipelines, storage facilities and processing plants owned by WMB and its affiliate, Williams Partners LP, would struggle to produce free cash flow if operated by WMB as a standalone company, yet somehow deliver prosperity as a junior affiliate of ETE.” Exactly! Why would the combined new company, hobbled with more debt, be more successful than each standalone company with less debt? Answer: It wouldn’t. This is a snow job. And for some reason ISS and now a couple of other proxy firms have believed that hogwash…
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The Very Real (and Human) Cost of Layoffs in PA’s Gas Fields

cutting jobsAn issue we’ve highlighted before and one we’d rather not talk about–but must–is the issue of layoffs in the Marcellus/Utica industry. A recent article in the Pittsburgh Times-Tribune paints a heart-wrenching picture of how layoffs are affecting places like Westmoreland County, where personal bankruptcies and home foreclosures are spiking due to energy industry layoffs…
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The Secret to Ending Radical Protests: Turn Off their Phones!

turn off phoneEarlier this month MDN told you about five enviro gangsters who were arrested in Vermont for illegally chaining themselves to equipment to stop work on a new transmission pipeline–41 miles long–between Colchester to Middlebury (see Enviro Gangsters Arrested in Vermont for Stopping Pipeline Work). What we didn’t know is that one of the enviro gangsters literally went up a tree–living in a platform tied to equipment for nearly a week. Stupid is a stupid does. Police had a heck of a time trying to get this 31 year-old juvenile delinquent down from the tree. How did they finally do it? They cut access to his phone. Yep, turned it off. So he had no way to talk to his other delinquent pals at the eco-gangster group Rising Tide Vermont. That’s all it took. Once the nutter couldn’t commiserate with his homies, he flew down outta that tree…
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PA’s GOP Senate Unanimously Approves Wolf Appt to PUC

David Sweet
David Sweet

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has appointed yet another left-wing Democrat to the PA Public Utility Commission (PUC). The PUC “balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.” The PUC also greatly affects the state’s shale drilling industry (see Major Milestone: PA PUC Rules Mariner East IS a Public Utility and PA PUC Says Impact Fee Payment Calculations Still “Off”). In May 2015 Wolf appointed a new head of the PUC, Gladys Brown, a true believer in man-made global warming and someone who advocates for so-called energy efficiency (i.e. lock down your thermostat) and reducing carbon emissions (i.e. tax industry into oblivion). Big Green groups were delighted with her appointment (see Anti-Drillers Cheer PA Gov Wolf’s New Appointment to Head PUC). Wolf has just appointed who was his energy advisor, David Sweet, to fill a vacancy on the PUC when the terrific Commissioner, Pam Witmer, left at the end of her term (see UGI Hires PA PUC Commissioner in Brilliant Move for PennEast Pipe). We wrote about Sweet last year (see Wolf Appoints Energy “Advisor”; Says Natgas Should Stay in PA). Sweet’s greatest claim to fame: He was the campaign manager for Ed “fast Eddie” Rendell from 2001-2003, helping fast Eddie win the PA governorship. That about says it all. The sometimes confoundingly docile Republican-controlled State Senate confirmed Sweet’s appointment 49-0…
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Report: Drillers Slashing $1 Trillion in Spending 2015-2020

chart going downWe now know why the oil and gas industry has laid off some 200,000 people over the past few years–they’re not spending money. A new research report from powerhouse consulting firm Wood Mackenzie finds that global upstream development (i.e. drillers) have cut their spending from 2015-2020 by 22%. If you role in cuts to conventional drilling, the total amount cut from budgets (worldwide) from 2015-2020 is a staggering $1 trillion! One of the biggest expenses in a drilling operation is human resources–people. Unfortunately we don’t have a copy of the £1000 (~$1,500) report to share with you. But we do have a high level overview provided by Wood Mackenzie…
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Is it Time to Prosecute Global Warming Alarmists?

shoe on the other foot
shoe on the other foot

The Attorney General from Massachusetts, Maura Healey, the AG from New York, Eric Schneiderman and several other far-left radicals drunk on their own power are making fantastical claims that Exxon “knew” that burning their evil, filthy, nasty oil and natural gas is causing Mom Earth to warm up, so they’ve been serving subpoenas to Exxon to turn over every piece of communication the company has ever had, so they can build a case against Exxon’s free speech (see NY AG Targets/Accuses ExxonMobil of Lying about ‘Climate Change’). As we wrote, these far-out libs represent the rise of the new Enviro Nazis (see Rise of the New (Environmental) Nazis – Free Speech Under Attack). But what’s this? In a master stroke, another group of AGs have ridden in to town and are using the fossil fuel haters tactics against them. The argument being used by the haters is that knowingly covering up global warming from burning fossil fuels is tantamount to committing fraud–and they’re threatening lawsuits based on fraud. The new group of AGs is saying hold on there a minute. If it’s fraud to minimize the effects of global warming, why wouldn’t it also be fraud to overstate the case? The new group of AGs is dropping the not-so-subtle threat that they may go after “green” companies (and individuals) who intentionally overstate the effects of so-called global warming. Love it! Rub their green noses right in it! Below is a copy of the letter sent to the haters telling them to back off Exxon Mobil and other fossil fuel companies…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jun 21, 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: Millcraft building $20M hotel in Beaver County, near cracker plant site; can Shell ever overtake Exxon as world’s top major?; US leads all countries in lowering CO2 emissions; coal’s prospects bleak; Europe’s rise in natgas; the snake also rises; and more!
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