PA Senate Approves Bill Tweaking DEP Chapter 78a Shale Regs

vetoPA’s very liberal Governor, Tom Wolf, has been obstinate in demanding onerous new drilling rules for the conventional, as well as unconventional (shale) drilling industry since he took office. Reworked drilling rules were done and ready to go under previous Governor, Tom Corbett. Then Corbett lost to Wolf, and Wolf demanded to change common sense rules everyone had already agreed to (see New Draft Drilling Regulations in PA: Wastewater Impoundments Out). It became obvious that Democrats were trying to run PA’s traditional, small conventional drillers out of business by applying the same regulations to them that will apply to shale drillers. The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) represents many of those small conventional drillers and vigorously fought back (see PIOGA Turns Up the Heat on Wolf/Quigley Over TAB/Chapter 78 and PA Board Adopts New Drilling Regs, PIOGA Blasts DEP “Deceptive”). In the end, Wolf’s own Democrat Party legislators in the House and Senate abandoned him and the writing was on the wall: The entire package of drilling rules, for both conventional (Chapter 78) and shale (Chapter 78a) was headed for defeat. The legislature was about to repeal both sets of newly-minted DEP rules–so Wolf pivoted and decided to accept half a loaf–passage of the shale rules, Chapter 78a (see Wolf Really Didn’t Wise Up, He Just Took Half a Loaf re Drilling Regs). However, shale drillers still wanted some changes to Chapter 78a regulations, and yesterday the PA Senate voted to approve a bill that would tweak Chapter 78a rules, setting up another confrontation with Wolf and a threatened veto…
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Utica Gas Production in PA’s Northern Tier “Inches” Up

Western PA counties
Western PA counties – click for larger version

The Utica Shale in Pennsylvania continues to grow in both drilling and production. The Youngstown Business Journal took a look at Utica production numbers for PA’s northern tier, Lawrence and Mercer counties. They found that even with the slow down in drilling, production in those two counties for 1Q16 increased over 1Q15. Here’s who’s busy drilling in PA’s northern tier Utica, and how much gas is flowing from that region…
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NYU, Cambridge U Reject Calls to Divest from Fossil Fuel Stocks

NYUMDN has previously told you about the temper tantrum by radical environmentalists and the idiot kids they foment to try and get universities to divest from owning stock in fossil fuel companies. The very liberal Cornell University didn’t fall for it (see Cornell University Rejects Fossil Fuel Divestment Scam). But up the road, Syracuse University did fall for it, albeit they didn’t own all that much in the way of fossil fuel company stocks (see Syracuse U Divests from Fossil Fuels, NYU Says “Irresponsible”). Rich kids with no purpose in life other than to navel gaze and worry about the latest Taylor Swift video have found a new purpose: try to get the old farts in the board rooms at their school to divest from fossil fuel stocks. Not because it actually makes sense or would improve anything–but just to see if they can do it. Fortunately, 99% of colleges and universities have decided against divestment. The latest “we’re not divesting, you dopers” includes New York University and Cambridge University…
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What Happens to Energy Industry if Trump Wins? What if Clinton Wins?

Trump ClintonWhat happens to the regulatory environment for the energy industry, in particular oil and gas, should Donald Trump win the presidency? What if (perish the thought) Hillary Clinton wins? What can we expect under each administration? That was the theme for comments by Tom Sansonetti, partner with the Holland and Hart law firm, at the recent Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) 86th Midyear Meeting, held in Colorado Springs two weeks ago. The IPAA knows a number of people could not make the meeting and wants to disseminate Sansonetti’s comments, so they sent along a copy of his “what if?” analysis. We found it interesting and think you will too…
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World’s First Ethane-Powered Ship Engine Completed, 2 More Coming

MESIs this the future of engines for large gas-hauling ships? Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. announced two weeks ago they have completed the world’s very first ethane-operated two-stroke diesel engine. The engine is one of three the company is building to power three LEG (liquefied ethylene gas) tanker ships for Hartmann Schiffahrt of Germany and Ocean Yield of Norway. The ships are being built in China. Why ethane as fuel? For one thing, it’s cheaper than heavy fuel oil (HFO), the traditional fuel source for ship engines. Plus it burns a whole lot cleaner–something increasingly important with new emissions regulations coming along. But the obvious reason is that a tanker full of ethane can always tap into that ethane as fuel for the ship, should the need arise. The Marcellus/Utica produces ethane in abundance and ethane exports now regularly take place via ship from the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia. Might we one day see an ethane-powered ship hauling ethane leaving Marcus Hook for Norway? Maybe, since some of the Marcus Hook exports to date have gone to Norway (see Bon Voyage! First Ethane Export Ship Leaves Marcus Hook in Philly). So far eight of the ethane-powered engines have been ordered…
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Join MDN in NYC for SNL’s Analyst Training in the Power and Gas Sectors

KC_PGAT_250x125_2016The electric power and natural gas sectors are increasingly joined at the hip, as we observed in January (see Natural Gas and Electricity in U.S. Joined at the Hip). According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas has eked out coal to be the number one source of fuel powering electric generating plants in the U.S. MDN currently has 208 stories related to natural gas and electric generation (see them here). Billions of dollars are being spent just in the Marcellus/Utica on new natgas-fired electric plants (OH example: List of 7 Announced NatGas-Fired Electric Plants Planned in Ohio). Yes, natgas and powergen together is a big, hairy deal. So when MDN editor Jim Willis spotted a training seminar dedicated to the topic of natgas and powergen, SNL’s “Analyst Training in the Power and Gas Sectors,” a 2-day training event in New York City on August 8-9, 2016, he just had to go. And so he is! Jim is inviting MDN readers (analysts, investors, traders, others) who work for investment firms, banks, consultancies, engineering firms and other related companies to attend too. MDN has a number of subscribers who are based in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Washington who should attend this event. Be forewarned: it’s not cheap. But Jim considers it to be the best possible training you can get on the topic of natgas and power generation. Here’s the details…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jul 12, 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: How long will Marcellus/Utica well backlog last?; MLPs started announcing projects again in June; how the Marcellus changed life in PA; $195M shortfall in WV severance tax for FY 2016; shale rigs hit bottom in 1H16; oilfield tech to keep an eye on; natgas prices had a tough week; Williams phase-out of MLP won’t be cheap; and more!
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