23 Pipeline Protesters Arrested for Blocking VA Governor Mansion

Mountain Valley Pipeline proposed route
Mountain Valley Pipeline proposed route – click for larger version

A group of hippies–young hippies to old hippies–got tired of just parading like horses rear-ends for three days in front of the governor’s mansion in Richmond, Virginia and decided they’d like to go to jail instead. The group of so-called protesters, people there at the bidding of the radical Chesapeake Climate Network, were there to protest against fossil fuels. Specifically they don’t want to see the Mountain Valley Pipeline built–a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently indicated the project is on the path to approval (see FERC Gives WV to VA Mountain Valley Pipeline Provisional Thumbs Up). The governor can’t do anything about the pipeline as it is regulated by the federal government, but you can’t teach spoiled rotten leftists about things like the rule of law. They want VA Gov. McAuliffe (a fellow Democrat) to somehow stop the pipeline. Oh, plus they wanted to get their picture in the newspaper. So the lined up like the childish babies they are to block the entrance to the governor’s mansion–and got themselves arrested…
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PA Regulator Criticizes NY Gov. Cuomo for Pipeline Obstructionism

Robert Powelson

Rob Powelson is a member of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC). At one point, under then-Gov. Tom Corbett, Powelson was the PUC Chairman (see PA’s PUC Pro-Drilling Chairman Powelson Leads Mid-Atlantic Group). After Democrat Tom Wolf was elected as governor (tragic mistake by my PA friends), Wolf replaced Powelson with anti-drilling Gladys Brown as Chairwoman (see Anti-Drillers Cheer PA Gov Wolf’s New Appointment to Head PUC). However, Powelson remains on the PUC as a member. He’s one of the good guys–someone who supports shale energy. Powelson attended a natural gas conference in Washington, DC on Tuesday and had some sharp words of criticism for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the topic of pipelines. Powelson said, in so many words, that Cuomo’s screwing around with pipeline delays (like the Constitution) threatens the reliability of the electrical grid in the entire northeast and New England. He even poked fun at Cuomo, saying it takes Andy two hours to watch 60 Minutes–a cut on Cuomo for his “overly cautious” approach to pipeline approvals. Love it!…
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Turnaround Continues: Patterson-UTI Sept Rig Count Up 4th Mo

Patterson-UTI logoAs we do every month, MDN tracks how many rigs oilfield services company Patterson-UTI Energy reports operating–as a proxy for when/if the drop in rig counts for the Marcellus/Utica will turn around. Patterson operates a number of rigs in the northeast, as well as other areas of the continental United States (and Canada). Month by month Paterson’s rig count has declined over the past year plus–until June (see Tide has Turned: Patterson-UTI June Rig Count Ticks Up by 2). June was the first time in over a year that Patterson’s rig count reversed and began to climb once again. In July the count went up again (see Patterson-UTI July Rig Count Goes Up for 2nd Month in Row). And wonder of wonders, the count rose again in August (see Turn Around! Patterson-UTI August Rig Count Up 3rd Mo in a Row). We were holding our breath for September. Would the count go up again? Or would the momentum stall out? The numbers are in, and Patterson reports their rig count rose by another two active rigs in September! That’s the fourth straight month of increases in the count…
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PSEG Closing Last 2 NJ Coal-Fired Plants, Replacing with NatGas

closedTwice in the past week MDN has either heard (in person) or read the statement that “regulations aren’t killing coal, natural gas is.” One of those times MDN heard it at the Benposium East event held in New York City last Wednesday. The other instance was President Obama talking about natural gas at talk on the South Lawn of the White House (see Obama and Man-Child Leo DiCaprio Talk Global Warming at WH Event). Is it true? Sort of. While Obama’s war on coal has contributed, the fact is, low prices for natural gas is causing a shift away from using coal to fire electric generating plants and instead using clean-burning natgas. The trend continues. PSEG–Public Service Enterprise Group–announced yesterday they are retiring their final two coal electric plants in New Jersey. The stated reason is that they are replacing those plants with new natgas-fired plants. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the new plants coming online in NJ will use Marcellus Shale gas to power them. The closure presents a problem for the nutty Sierra Club and others of their ilk. While they are ecstatic that the coal plants are closing, they are less-than-thrilled that another evil fossil fuel will take its place to power new plants…
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Rice Energy’s Purchase of Vantage a Way to Quickly “Scale Up”

M&AMore analysis continues to roll in on Rice Energy’s plan to buy Vantage Energy for $2.7 billion (see Rice Energy Buys Vantage Energy for $2.7B, 85K Marcellus Acres). We ran a post following the initial announcement pointing out there is one main reason why Rice is buying Vantage: 85,000 Marcellus Shale acres in Greene County, PA (see Why Did Rice Energy Pay $2.7B for Vantage Energy? It’s Simple…). We have part of another article tackling the buyout–this time from top energy analyst and Seeking Alpha writer Richard Zeits. He points out a few interesting facts, like the fact that if you do the math, Rice is essentially paying Vantage $20,000 per acre! But Zeits you have to put the price in context: Rice is using a stock swap as their currency for purchasing the acreage. In other words, this is a clever way for Rice to “scale up” quickly without breaking the bank…
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Construction Begins for Transco’s VA Southside Expansion Proj II

under-constructionIn June Dominion began building Virginia’s largest natural gas-fired electric plant in Greensville County (see Dominion Begins Building Virginia’s Biggest NatGas Power Station). The $1.3 billion state-of-the-art natural gas-fired electric generating station will generate 1,600 megawatts of electricity. Dominion’s own 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (when built) will provide cheap, abundant, clean-burning Marcellus/Utica Shale gas to power it. However, the plant will get done before Dominion’s pipeline will, so how will they power it? Enter Williams’ Transco pipeline and the Virginia Southside Expansion Project II, which will add more capacity (and build a 4-mile pipeline) to provide abundant, clean-burning Marcellus/Utica Shale gas for the new plant. MDN told you in July that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had approved the Southside Expansion Project II (see FERC Approves Transco Expansion Projects in NYC & Virginia). Now comes word that FERC has granted permission to Williams to begin moving earth around in Virginia as well as North and South Carolina as part of the project…
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Warren Resources Exits Bankruptcy, Turned $545M Debt into Equity

Warren ResourcesWarren Resources, a small driller that drilled and brought online their first two Marcellus Shale wells last year, is based in Houston and operates in California, Colorado, Wyoming and Pennsylvania. In February MDN told you that Warren missed an important $7.5 million payment, the first ominous signal of what was to come (see Warren Resources Misses $7.5M Debt Payment, 30-Day Clock Ticking). The next week the company announced no new drilling, anywhere, in 2016–hinting they might have to file for bankruptcy (see Warren Resources: Potential Bankruptcy, No Drilling in 2016). That happened, in June (see Warren Resources Files for Bankruptcy, Wiping Out Stockholders). Yesterday Warren announced it has emerged from bankruptcy proceedings and ready to continue on. Warren had over $545 million in debt that they magically waved the bankruptcy wand over and turned into equity (stock ownership). In the process, previous stockholders/owners got nothing–their shares became worthless…
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NGSA: Colder Winter + Lower Production = Higher NatGas Prices

ngsaLast winter was pretty unusual by everyone’s standards. It was much warmer and less snowy than normal in the northeast, and natural gas production/levels remained high over the course of the winter. It meant that the price of natural gas stayed in the basement during the time of year when it normally at least makes it to the first floor. What about this year? MDN recently reported that it’s going to be colder and snowier than average in the northeast this year (see AccuWeather Winter Forecast: “Frequent Snow” Will Blast Northeast). The Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) issued its 16th annual Winter Outlook assessment of the wholesale natural gas market yesterday (full copy below). What do they say? NGSA affirms the AccuWeather forecast saying they expect temps to be 12% colder this winter–increasing demand for natural gas and thus putting “upward pressure” on the price of natural gas…
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NatGas a Zero Carbon Emissions Energy Source?!

zero-carbonSpeakers at this weeks Energy Dialogues LLC’s North American Gas Forum in Washington, DC were up on their high horses lecturing the natural gas industry that if we only can get our heads out of our backsides and clamp down on fugitive methane emissions we might actually get to stay around a few more decades, providing fuel to power the world. That’s the gist of the comments we read by so-called environmental “leaders” who spoke at the event. (Arrogant snobs, if you ask us.) But the one thing that really caught our attention was the statement that it may be possible to capture and control carbon from burning natgas to the point that it becomes a “zero-emitter.” Bet you never thought you would see “natural gas” and “zero carbon emissions” in the same sentence, eh?…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Oct 6, 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: Monroe County, OH leads drilling permits in Sept; Utica rig count hits 22; WV tax collections still down from weak oil/gas price; Federal Reserve forcing investment banks out of the energy business; how long before ‘second wave’ of LNG export projects hits; what natgas prices are telling us; GE gets in the o&g drone business; and more!
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