Old Conventional Wells in PA Causing Problems for New Shale Wells

Lost BoysPennsylvania state officials estimate there are as many as 200,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in the state–the vast majority of them conventional wells drilled over 50 years ago. Most of them are not mapped or known. Some of them are hazards for shale drillers who stumble across them when drilling new wells. If you drill horizontally and clip an old/abandoned well, it becomes like an elevator pumping fluids and gas to the surface. Not good. Everyone is committed to finding and marking and capping these old wells. In March, MDN highlighted the issue (see Who Pays for Abandoned O&G Wells in PA?). Now Bloomberg is shining a light on abandoned oil wells–across the country but particularly in PA. Bloomberg calls them “lost wells”–which makes us think of the Lost Boys in Peter Pan. But it’s no laughing matter. Abandoned wells are a nuisance at a minimum, and can be dangerous when drilling a shale well. The Bloomberg article says the PA Attorney General, Kathleen Kane (herself under indictment for felonies and in danger of being dragged out of office) is reviewing rules that will require shale drillers to document abandoned wells within 1,000 feet of new shale drill sites…
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Panda Power’s 2 PA Marcellus-Fired Electric Plants Complete!

Panda Power FundsIn August 2013, Moxie Energy of Vienna, VA sold the permits/rights to build a new Marcellus gas-powered electric generating plant in Bradford County, PA to Panda Power Funds of Dallas, TX (see Moxie Liberty Sells PA Electric Plant Project to Panda Power). The project was renamed from Moxie Liberty to Panda Liberty. A few months later, in December 2013, Moxie sold a second Marcellus-gas fired electric plant project to Panda, this one slated to be built in Lycoming County, PA (see Panda Power Buys Rights for 2nd Marcellus-Fueled Electric Plant). That project was renamed from Moxie Patriot to Panda Patriot. Panda contracted with Gemma Power Systems (Connecticut) to build both 829-megawatt plants. We have some terrific news to share: Gemma reports completing both facilities and has turned them over to Panda to begin operation!…
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PA AG Files Motion to Keep Chesapeake Lawsuit in State Court

Kathleen KaneLast December Pennsylvania’s felony-indicted Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, brought a lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy, Anadarko and Williams accusing them of, among other things, royalty fraud (see PA Atty General Sues Chesapeake Energy, Williams for Royalty Fraud). In May MDN reported that Chesapeake and Anadarko had filed to dismiss Kane’s complaints against them, accusing Kane of attempting to litigate federal antitrust claims in state court (see Chesapeake, Anadarko Try to Wiggle Out of PA Royalty Lawsuit). Kane is now pushing back, filing a brief to respond to Chesapeake/Andarko, claiming she DOES have the right to pursue anti-trust matters that affect the state and its residents. As with many legal cases, this one is complicated. We’ll try and break it down into understandable form…
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3 Outta 4 Proxy Firms Recommend “Yes” Vote for Williams Merger

As the World TurnsYesterday MDN brought you a story of how the Williams/Energy Transfer Equity merger defies logic (see Williams/ETE Merger Defies Logic – Here’s Why). Part of that story deconstructs the support for the deal by proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). The analyst we quote in that article says ISS is buying Williams’ line that Williams’ assets after a merger with ETE will produce boatloads of cash and profit for the newly merged company, while the very same assets apart from the merger won’t. Even though the merged company will have an enormous load of new debt following the merger. It defies logic. And yet, Williams has found two more proxy advisory firms who are now willing to go on the record, like ISS, in support of the merger. What do they see that we don’t? Tune in to this episode of As the (Midstream) World Turns
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Sierra Club Gets Desperate, Sues DOE to Stop Cove Point LNG

lawsuitThe Sierra Club is one of the worst, most radical Big Green groups in existence. We sincerely hope you never give them a penny of your money. They don’t care a whit about the environment–they only care about feeding the beast, money for their own organization. One way to do that is to keep your name in the news constantly. And a way to do that is by filing frivolous lawsuits. The Sierra Club has been railing against the Cove Point LNG export facility being built by Dominion for years (see Sierra Club Files Objection to Cove Point LNG Export Facility and Sierra Club, Others Trash Talk Cove Point LNG Export Terminal). As we previously reported in March, the facility is a quarter done (see Cove Point LNG Export Plant Now 24% Complete, Rapid Progress). There is no stopping it. But the odious Sierra Clubbers continue to try. The Sierra Club formally filed a petition with the Dept. of Energy asking the DOE to re-hear (and reconsider) their decision to allow Cove Point to export LNG for 20 years. In April the DOE rejected the request (see DOE Rejects Sierra Club’s Request to Re-Hear Cove Point Decision). So now the Sierra Club is taking the DOE to court to challenge their decision to allow Cove Point exports…
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Flaky Shell in Love with Shale Again – “Heart of Growth Plans”

flakyShell has long mystified us when it comes to shale. Shell has been involved in the Marcellus Shale for years with its SWEPI (Shell Western E&P) division–at one time with 900,000 acres under lease. But in 2014 Shell took an ax to its Marcellus drilling program (see Cuts Coming to Shell’s Marcellus Shale Operations). Then our heads started to spin. Shell sold 208,000 Marcellus acres to Rex Energy (see Rex Energy Takes Shell to the Cleaners – Picks up 208K Acres), and then they turned around and bought another 155,000 acres from Ultra Petroleum (see After Selling 208K Marcellus Acres, Shell “Buys” 155K More Acres!). In January of this year, Shell said they were exiting shale drilling following the merger with BG (see Shell to Cut 10,000 Jobs After Buying BG; Exiting Shale Drilling). In March, the company announced it was merger the conventional and unconventional (shale) divisions into a single division (see Shell Giving Up on Shale? Merges Unconventional with Conventional). Which brings us to a Reuters story from yesterday. Shell now says they are putting unconventional (i.e. shale) “at the heart of its growth plans.” Can anyone say “flaky”?…
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Marcellus Shale Coalition Joins ‘High Octane Low Carbon Alliance’

Tom Daschle - Lobbyist
Tom Daschle – Lobbyist

Ever wonder what it feels like to dance with the devil? The Marcellus Shale Coalition is about to find out. The MSC (a great organization run by a great guy, Dave Spigelmyer) has joined a coalition of groups in what is being called the High Octane Low Carbon Alliance. Groups in the Alliance include the MSC, Renewable Fuels Association, Clean Fuels Development Coalition, and Fuel Freedom Foundation. The groups are not anti-fossil fuel, but rather dedicated to lowering the cost of transportation fuel, and the carbon content in that fuel. In essence, the aim of the group is to get us off foreign/imported oil that currently powers our transportation industry. So we can see why the MSC has thrown in its lot with the others in this Alliance. The devil is not the partners in the group–it’s the person representing and lobbying for them: Tom Daschle. Recognize the name? Before the gangster Harry Reid was Majority (and now Minority) leader in the U.S. Senate, Tom Daschle held that position. Daschle is an extremely partisan/left-wing Democrat. People like Daschle leave office rich–enriching themselves is what loathsome politicians like Daschle do best. After they leave office, that’s when they get fat cat rich–by becoming lobbyists. And so the MSC and other groups in the Alliance have contracted with the devil himself to represent them…
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DOE Releases April 2016 LNG Export Data

DOELNG, or liquefied natural gas, is an increasingly important part of the natural gas ecosystem in the U.S. We’ve imported natgas for years–and we’re not beginning to export it as well. Each month the U.S. Dept. of Energy issues a report tabulating both imports and exports of LNG–who shipped it in and out, from where, and how much. It’s a good picture. The April report was recently released (takes a few months before the number crunchers are done). What do we find in the latest report (full copy below)? We find that the U.S. imported 34.8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas in the first four months of the year–all of it from Trinidad. We exported 28.9 Bcf during the same period. The vast majority of exports were from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, although a small amount of LNG was exported from American LNG’s export facility in Miami, Florida…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Jun 22, 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: NRDC Gang & The French Connection; PA rig count stabilizes; budget crunch deadline approaches in PA; nominations for Who’s Who in Energy; Raymond James sees oil at $80 in 2017/2018; EIA’s new data add-on tool for Google Sheets; another alarmist ethane study; LNG oversupply will stretch to 2024; and more!
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