Elk County Town Wises Up, Abandons Effort to Block Injection Well

I Give UpThere is a new development in the case of an illegal ban on injection wells passed by Highland Township in Elk County, PA. In 2013 the radical leftist PA-based group Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) convinced ignoramuses in Highland Township to pass a so-called Community Bill of Rights. Seneca Resources, a driller with leases and an active drilling program in Elk, had planned to drill an injection well on their own property to dispose of their own flowback and produced water. The CELDF-inspired ordinance Highland Twp prevented it, and Seneca threatened to sue the town (see Seneca Resources Threatens to Sue PA Town over Injection Well). Seneca made good and filed to sue, but the town and CELDF tried to prevent the lawsuit. In March of this year, U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Paradise Baxter ruled that Seneca has standing to sue and allowed the lawsuit to go forward (see Judge Rules Seneca May Challenge Injection Well Ban in Elk County). Faced with losing the lawsuit and taxpayers owing Seneca big money, township supervisors voted to overturn the so-called Community Bill of Rights. Another crushing defeat for the CELDF…
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4 WV Counties Refuse to Grant Statoil $6.6 Million in Tax Refunds

lawsuitBrooke County, WV makes it four for four in denying Statoil’s request to refund tax overpayments made by the company. Statoil, based in Norway, is a big player in the West Virginia Marcellus Shale. Statoil paid property taxes to Brooke, Marshall, Ohio and Wetzel counties (all in WV) in 2015 and later found, during an audit/review, that they had overpaid those counties. They overpaid Brooke by $1.8 million, Ohio by $2.9 million, Wetzel by $1.6 million and Marshall by $342,000. We previously reported on Marshall’s refusal to refund the money (see Statoil Wants Millions in Refunds from Tax Overpayments in WV). The WV Tax Department argues that Statoil “acted negligently” and exercised “poor judgment” in not finding the mistake sooner. With Brooke’s refusal, all four counties have now voted to deny Statoil’s request. Statoil is (so far) taking Marshall and Ohio counties to court, suing them for refunds. They are “assessing…options” with respect to suing Wetzel and Brooke. You can bet your bottom dollar they will…
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Who Will Soon Drill & Where in E OH & SW PA

who whereWhile the number of permits issued to drill new wells in Ohio and Pennsylvania was down in July 2016 compared with July 2015, permit activity has picked up from earlier in the year. Finally. The question is, where are the new permits being issued? You have to have a permit before you have drilling. Permits are the best indicator of where drilling (and economic) activity is about to pick up. Below is a rundown of which counties are likely to soon see drilling–and which drillers will be doing the drilling…
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New PA Drilling Regs Closer to Reality, Questions Remain

questionIt has been a loooooong road to adopting new drilling regulations in Pennsylvania–for both conventional and unconventional (shale) oil and gas drilling. The process is rumored to have begun during the Jurassic Period, when dinosaurs were still dying to produce current oil and natural gas supplies, picking up steam following the 2012 Act 13 legislation that called for an update to drilling regs (under then Gov. Tom Corbett). More recently, with the prospect of starting the process over again for both shale and conventional regs, Gov. Tom Wolf cut a deal to accept “half a loaf”–accept new regs for the shale industry and start over again with conventional drilling regs (see PA Gov Wolf “Eager” to Sign Drilling Law Forced Down His Throat). New regs for shale are called Article 78a while regs for conventional are called Article 78. Shale drillers were hoping to tweak Article 78a regs before they became final. That effort failed (see Bill Tweaking Article 78a Shale Drilling Regs Dies in PA House). The process is this: the new regs (both Article 78 and 78a) get a final review by the state Attorney General’s office to be sure they are legal/lawful, and then get published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and become official law. But questions remain. Last week the AG’s office approved the new rules with minor tweaks. Problem is, do you publish Article 78 along with 78a in the Bulletin? The Powers That Be will have a confab this week on Thursday to decide that question. Also, what will the shale industry do? Will they litigate to stop the publication of Article 78a without the tweaks they sought? Inquiring minds want to know…
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FERC Approves Plan to Deliver NatGas to Delaware Power Plant

ESNGIn July MDN reported that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved Eastern Shore Natural Gas’ (ESNG) System Reliability Project (see 600 Days & Counting to Build a 7-Mile NatGas Pipeline in PA-DE). ESNG is a local gas utility serving the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia. Their System Reliability Project includes 10.1 miles of new looping pipeline and a compressor station upgrade. Part of that pipeline has taken nearly two years to get approved, thanks to the insane objections of anti-fossil fuelers. It is good news that the project is moving forward. On the heals of that approval comes another FERC approval for ESNG: FERC has approved ESNG’s plan to deliver an extra 45,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas via its pipeline to service Calpine’s 309 megawatt electric generation plant in Dover, Delaware…
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PA Radicals Harass DEP for Approving 42 Gas-Fired Electric Plants

HarassmentIndisputable fact #1: With the increased use of natural gas to generate electricity, the air is getting cleaner. That has been proven by both private and government studies. Indisputable fact #2: With the increased use of natural gas to generate electricity, less carbon dioxide is emitted (for those who believe in the fairy tale of man-made global warming). If you’re a warmer, you ought to love natgas use in electric plants for those two reasons alone. However, so twisted is the thinking of radical anti-fossil fuelers, they can’t bring themselves to endorse natural gas because it’s an evil, hated, awful fossil fuel. And so otherwise smart people become idiots–like those who belong to Pennsylvanians Against Fracking (PAF). The PAF gang is harassing the state Dept. of Environment Protection because the DEP has approved either the conversion of coal to natgas, or the building of new natgas power plants some 42 times since January 2014. The PAF gang are smart enough to realize more natgas-fired power plants leads to more drilling (and fracking) and their irrational philosophy dictates they must oppose it…
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World’s Top 10 Natural Gas Producers

top-10.jpgWe sometimes run Top 10 lists for the Marcellus/Utica, or even the U.S., but what about a Top 10 list of natural gas producers in the entire world? We spotted an article on the Forbes magazine website that lists the Top 10 natgas producers for the entire world. By our count, eight of the ten have major or minor operations in the Marcellus/Utica. Cool! Here’s the list…
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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Makes Progress, FERC Timing Announced

ACP
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

More good news for Dominion’s $5 billion, 594-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline–a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. In March MDN reported Dominion has agreements for 96% of the capacity along the 1.5 billion cubic feet per day pipeline (see Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline Makes Major Strides). Not only that, but 90% of the landowners along the pipeline’s proposed route have granted Dominion survey access and many of them have signed easements allowing Dominion to build the pipeline across their land. The new news is that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has set June 30, 2017 as the date by which the agency will issue their final environmental impact statement for the project. In other words, we now have specific dates for when this project will advance…
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Fast Eddie Rendell Loves Fracking, Makes No Apologies

Ed RendellFormer Pennsylvania Governor Ed “fast Eddie” Rendell made an off-the-cuff remark at a bull session at the Democrat National Convention last month that far-left media types tried to twist. He said, “I made a mistake in the rush to get the economic part of fracking delivered to Pennsylvania. We didn’t regulate well construction and…frack water as well as we should.” So-called reporters at propaganda outlets like StateImpact Pennsylvania immediately jumped on that and declared Rendell admitted to making a mistake, and getting it wrong, with fracking in the Keystone State (see Former PA Gov. Ed Rendell Talks Fracking at Politico/DNC Event). Here’s the problem with that twisted view: Immediately following that statement, he didn’t even take a breath but went on and said this: “We cured that in 2010 and we haven’t had any significant incidents since.” In other words, there were some initial bumps on the road, but PA quickly figured it out and got it fixed and since then, everything has been just fine. His words were *intentionally* taken out of context by lefty “reporters” and so Rendell is now firing back at them. Rendell has clarified his earlier “I made a mistake” comment and said he isn’t apologizing. In fact, Rendell said he’s a fan of fracking and gave the practice his full-throated support…
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ETE CEO Tries to Salvage Deal-Making Reputation Post-Williams Deal

Kelcy Warren
Kelcy Warren

Apparently stung by the deservedly poor reputation he’s brought on himself, Energy Transfer Equity CEO Kelcy Warren is attempting to rehabilitate his reputation following his bungled attempt to buy Williams by claiming he’s “back in the deals game.” Warren is once again in the hunt for more takeover targets–and talking to reporters about it. The question we have is this: Who in their right minds would talk to him following his action in forcing Williams to the table, and then turning tail and running?…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Aug 15, 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 drilling activity set to take off; companies sought for Maryland county frack study; PA DEP searching for “right energy mix”; Marcellus wells in PA most productive in US; California cow fart police; more Chesapeake asset sales on the way; Rice Energy secures growth; methane on Saturn’s moon; and more!
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