PA Conventional Driller Seeks $25M to Begin Shale Drilling in OH

Clinton-Medina layer
Click for larger version

A Pittsburgh-area investment company with a conventional oil and gas drilling division has decided the time is right to enter the unconventional (shale) drilling game. Bryan Investment Group, which operates Discovery Oil & Gas, LLC, is tapping its investors on the shoulder looking for $25 million to begin drilling in the Clinton/Medina sandstone layer–a rock layer that sits between the Marcellus Shale above it (Devonian group), and the Utica Shale below it (Ordovician group). According to president and general managing partner Richard Bryan, targeting the spaces between good wells drilled in the past is “painstaking work,” but it’s their specialty/niche. Bryan Investment intends to drill new Clinton/Medina wells in “the land between” in a four-county area of northeastern Ohio…
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PA Gov Wolf Searching for New DEP Sec 3 Mo After Firing Quigley

Patrick McDonnell Acting Secretary, DEP
Patrick McDonnell Acting Secretary, DEP

In May (three months ago), Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Quigley was fired for using a PRIVATE email account to collude with his Big Green friends to try and bully PA’s legislators into supporting his onerous proposed regulations (see Smoking Gun: Copy of the Email that Got John Quigley Fired). Richly deserved. The man who took his place as Acting Secretary is Patrick McDonnell, a 19-year veteran of the DEP. We haven’t seen or heard much of McDonnell, but what we have seen and heard (via media reports) seems to be that McDonnell is a “get it done without generating controversy” kind of guy. Radical environmental groups don’t seem overly thrilled with McDonnell as Secretary (see PA’s New Acting Sec DEP: What Do We Know? Will He Be Permanent?). He is a man-made global warming flummery believer, so that’s a strike against him. But a lot of otherwise rational adults believe in such fairy tales, so we won’t hold it against him (too much). One thing is for sure: McDonnell wants to move from “Acting” to permanent Secretary of the DEP. However, it’s not looking promising that Gov. Tom Wolf will make his appointment permanent. It’s now been 90 days since Quigley was given the boot. Wolf has only 90 days to nominate someone. A common practice, when you’re not ready to nominate, is to use a placeholder name. Wolf has done so, and the placeholder name is not McDonnell’s…
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Spectra Energy Pushes Back Against New England Pipeline Naysayers

terminatorTwo weeks ago the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (MA’s highest court) ruled that utility companies, which are heavily regulated and the prices they can charge controlled, cannot pass along the cost of a pipeline to electric ratepayers (see MA Supreme Court Ruling Endangers New England Gas Pipelines). The ruling had the effect of ending contracts from several utility companies with Spectra Energy for their Access Northeast pipeline–to bring Marcellus/Utica natural gas to critically starved-for-gas New England. We speculated at the time that this action may end the Access Northeast project. But a week later, Spectra Energy committed to continuing the project (see Spectra Spits in MA High Court’s Eye – We’ll Still Build Pipeline). However, regional natgas distribution companies, along with LNG importer GDF Suez, continues to try and sink the Access Northeast project for selfish reasons–to suppress competition that would come from the pipeline. It’s all wrapped up in a “tariff” case now before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). It’s complicated, but we’ll try and explain it in lay terms. At the root of the issue is that some existing natgas suppliers in New England benefit from lack of supply in the region (including Engie Gas & LNG, NextEra Energy Resources and PSEG). They benefit from “congestion” and lack of supply in New England–therefore Spectra has taken to calling them “Congestionaters” in their filings with FERC. We call them the Terminators…
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Radical OH Groups Lie About Fracking & Asthma in Kids

junk-science.jpgTwo radical environmental groups in Ohio–Ohio Environmental Council and the Clean Air Task Force–have just released a 100% bogus “report” that attempts to tie asthma in children to fracking. If lying to the public were a crime, they’d be in jail right now. Here’s how these sleazy groups make such a claim: They claim, from looking at medical records, that there are 7,129 childhood asthma attacks in the Columbus metro area, and 7,558 in the Cleveland metro area each year. Absolutely no context as to whether those numbers are higher or lower than elsewhere in the country, or whether or not the numbers are increasing year over year. These groups just toss out numbers. They claim the asthma attacks are because of smog in those cities. They further claim smog comes from burning oil and gas and ergo, childhood asthma attacks are the result of fracking, because fracking extracts more oil and gas which is burned and causes smog which causes asthma. It is a heaping mound of cow manure. The problem is that otherwise good news sources, like the Akron Beacon Journal, push this manure out as news…
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Buckeye Partners Expanding MI/OH Refined Products Pipeline, Again

West to East Project Map
West to East Project Map – click for larger version

Buckeye Partners is a publicly traded master limited partnership (MLP) that owns and operates 6,000 miles of pipeline. One of those pipelines is the Michigan/Ohio refined products pipeline, which we reported on in April 2015 (see Buckeye Partners Expanding MI/OH Refined Products Pipeline East). At that time Buckeye was pushing its Michigan/Ohio Pipeline Expansion Project to expand the pipeline for “refined petroleum products” (things like gasoline, kerosene and heating oil) to run it from Woodhaven and Detroit, Michigan, and from Toledo and Lima, Ohio, to destination points in both Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. By all accounts the initial expansion was a success, because Buckeye is now conducting an open season for the second phase of the expansion project. Why talk about a gasoline/heating oil pipeline? Because it’s possible that some of the oil that gets refined into gas and heating fuel flowing through this pipeline comes from the Marcellus/Utica…
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Univ of Texas to Study Marcellus, Other Shales w/$350K DOE Grant

education grantsThe University of Texas at Austin has just been awarded a $350,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct an 18-month review of a study they previously did of major American shale gas plays. Hey, getting paid to look at what you previously wrote is good work if you can get it! The previous study, called the “Shale Production and Reserve Study” looked at data from the Barnett, Fayetteville, Haynesville, and Marcellus natural gas plays. However, the data reviewed in the original study was only 4-6 years’ worth of data, depending on the play. Since the original study was completed, UTA-Austin now has access to an additional 2-4 years’ worth of data. In other words, the new data will help confirm, or not, the original conclusions. More data, better results and better conclusions. Here’s what UTA-Austin had to say about the new grant…
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Lou D’Amico Retires, PIOGA Appoints Dan Weaver Executive Director

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Dan Weaver & Lou D’Amico

One of the heroes of the Pennsylvania oil and gas drilling industry (and a hero to MDN editor Jim Willis) has been Lou D’Amico, president and executive director of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA). Lou is fearless, willing to speak truth to power when it comes to protecting PA’s fossil fuel industry (see PIOGA Sets Record Straight on Latest Wolf Attack re Severance Tax; PIOGA Leads the Charge to Defeat Wolf’s Severance Tax; and PA Board Adopts New Drilling Regs, PIOGA Blasts DEP “Deceptive”). In some happy/sad news, Lou is retiring from his post in running PIOGA–after 22 years. That’s the sad news. The happy news is that the very capable Dan Weaver, currently PIOGA’s public outreach director, will take Lou’s place. Welcome Dan!…
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Souki’s Revenge Continues – Tellurian Lures Cheniere Exec as CEO

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Martin Houston, Meg Gentle, Chaif Souki

You may recall that evil corporate raider Carl Ichan fired the CEO of Cheniere Energy, Charif Souki, in December 2015 (see Evil Corporate Raider Carl Icahn Claims Another CEO Scalp). Souki is the founder and was the CEO of a company that opened the first LNG (liquefied natural gas) export facility in the U.S.–on the coast of Louisiana. Like Aubrey McClendon before him, who was also fired by Icahn, Souki decided to start up a new company to compete with his old company (see Revenge: Fired Cheniere CEO Starts Competing LNG Company). That new company, Tellurian Investments, established a subsidiary called Driftwood LNG. Driftwood has begun the pre-filing process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build an LNG export facility in Louisiana to compete with Cheniere (see Fired Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki’s Revenge: Driftwood LNG). More revenge: Souki has just hired away one of Cheniere’s top executives, Meg Gentle, to become president and CEO of Tellurian. What does this have to do with the Marcellus/Utica?…
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The Golden Age of Fracked Natural Gas has Arrived

one reasonThere is precisely one main reason why the United States produces 40% less carbon dioxide now than it did five years ago. Must be the onslaught of solar, right? Nope. How about wind. Yeah, wind power is coming on strong–I see those ugly windmills all over the place now. Must be wind power, right? Nope. Hydro? Nope. Biomass? Nope. There is only one main reason why we pump less CO2 into the atmosphere (if you care about that sort of thing), and it’s this: because fracked shale gas has replaced coal in electric generating plants. You would think environmentalists would celebrate. They don’t and they won’t, pointing out their uber-hypocrisy…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Sep 1, 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: Farm Bureau organizes NEXUS pipeline meetings in OH; why oil production didn’t tank when oil prices did; North American oil prices still “unsustainable” according to Schlumberger; misleading reports on o&g come in many forms; Shell says gas is the future, it WON’T be traded like oil; and more!
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