Appalachia Resist Strikes Again – Nutjob Blocks Traffic in Columbus

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Credit: Columbus Dispatch (click for larger version)

In 2012 a group of what some call “aggressive” anti-drilling zealots flying under the name of Appalachia Resist ran a training camp in Athens County, OH to incite impressionable young idiots into criminal acts under the guise of saving the planet (see Anti-Drillers in Ohio Learn to Break the Law at Special Camp). They taught their lessons well. Three months later a small mob of 100 or so stormed a shale wastewater treatment facility in Washington County, OH, vandalizing equipment and terrorizing the workers (see Protesters Get Violent, Shut Down OH Frack Water Plant). These are not “peaceful acts of civil disobedience” as is claimed by some biased media reports. These are criminals acting and behaving like criminals. In 2014 they temporarily shut down an Ohio injection well (see Anti-Drilling Protesters Shut Down OH Injection Well – 1 Arrested), and in 2015 they vandalized a pipeline construction site (see Radicalized Ohio U Students Vandalize Pipeline Construction Site). With the recent total defeat of their cause in Ohio (community after community voting down so-called Community Bill of Rights resolutions), Appalachia Resist has run out of things to protest. So on Tuesday they decided to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline–in front of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s office in Columbus, OH. We know we know–the Dakota Access Pipeline is some 1,200 miles (and 20 hours by car) from Columbus. But that didn’t stop a small group of a dozen or so from making horses rear-ends of themselves. One in particular decided to chain himself to the axle of his van, blocking traffic for an hour while law enforcement saved him from himself. Here’s the latest antics from Appalachia Resist…
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Antis Plan to Shut Down Philly Transit Meeting re NatGas Powergen

enviro naziIn true environmental Nazi fashion, a group of profoundly stupid people have pledged to “swarm” and shut down a SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) meeting where a vote will be taken to build a Marcellus gas-powered electric plant that would provide electricity to SEPTA’s northern Regional Rail lines–a win/win for all Pennsylvanians. The reason the enviro Nazis want to shut down the meeting is to stop the vote because the clean-burning plant would burn a “fossil fuel” and these poor, lost souls grew up watching Captain Planet cartoons and believe burning natgas will toast Mom Earth. That is, they were brainwashed children who grew up to be maladjusted adults…
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Maryland Publishes New Fracking Rules, 30-Day Comment Period

going-through-the-motionsAs MDN reported in September, the Maryland Dept. of the Environment (MDE) beat the Oct. 1 deadline to release onerous new fracking regulations (see Maryland Beats Deadline, Submits Onerous New Fracking Rules). The new rules, for all intents and purposes, will result in a defacto ban on fracking in Maryland. Which is a shame. We couldn’t find a copy of the rules at the time. The MDE published the final rules in the Monday edition of the Maryland Register (see it below). What happens now? A 30-day public comment period begins, which will result (already has resulted) in lots of petulant bleating about banning fracking in the Old Line State, after which the regs will get adopted, and beginning next year when fracking can begin, it won’t. Frankly, Maryland is just going through the motions…
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Panda’s 2nd Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Goes Online in PA

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Panda Power Patriot Plant – Montgomery, PA

Last month Panda Power Funds held the official commissioning ceremony to launch the operation of Panda Liberty, a 829-megawatt Marcellus gas-fired electric generating plant in Asylum Township, Bradford County, PA (see First NatGas Power Plant in Marcellus, Panda Liberty, Goes Online). It was the world’s first built-from-scratch electric generating plant built specifically to use Marcellus Shale gas. Yesterday Panda Power commissioned the world’s second built-from-scratch-to-use-Marcellus-gas electric generating plant: Panda Patriot. Officials from across Pennsylvania joined Panda Power for the ceremony of their second 829-megawatt plant, this one in Lycoming County. One person attending described the reaction of those at the ceremony: “They were in awe.” As well they should be! This one plant is expected to contribute around $5.85 BILLION to the local economy. The economic impact will be staggering. (You see why these natgas-fired electric plants are such a big deal?) Here’s what went down yesterday at the Panda Patriot party…
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Support to Regulate Unregulated Gathering Lines in PA Grows

regulationLast month MDN wrote a post outlining an initiative to begin regulating small, low-pressure gathering pipelines–something not now done (see PIOGA Opposes Bill to Regulate Unregulated PA Gathering Pipelines). Media articles about this issue misstate and obfuscate, purposely, what is happening. Senate Bill (SB) 1235 would “enhance” the existing 811 law in PA. (811 is the number you call before you dig, to be sure there are no buried pipelines or electric lines or other underground structures.) One of the “enhancements” in SB 1235 is that it removes an exclusion for low-pressure natural gas gathering pipelines from being required to be part of the 811 system. Many owners of excluded lines voluntarily participate in the programs. The bill would also transfer regulatory enforcement power over the lines from the Department of Labor to the Public Utility Commission. The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) pushed back against the removal of the exclusion for conventional production lines and rural (“Class 1” under federal law) gathering lines. PIOGA is not against knowing where pipeline are buried and protecting PA citizens–they ARE against onerous new regulations on those pipelines, which would have happened under the proposed SB 1235. PIOGA instead pushed for another year to sort out the issue, instead of passing SB 1235 as/is and throwing the conventional oil and gas industry into regulatory chaos. PIOGA won (see PA Bill to Regulate Unregulated Gathering Pipelines Fails). However, the oil and gas industry is divided on the issue. Several industry reps participated in a pipeline safety hearing yesterday at the State Capitol in Harrisburg–and voiced their support for the provisions in the defeated SB 1235…
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Assets Reshuffled at CONE Midstream/CONE Gathering

clear-as-mudCompanies in the oil and gas sector often split the ownership of assets into different companies (on paper) for various reasons: tax purposes…to attract investment…to give us laypeople headaches. CONE Midstream, a joint venture between CONSOL Energy and Noble Energy (CO from CONSOL and NE from Noble Energy) was formed in summer 2014 (see CONSOL & Noble Energy Form New Marcellus Midstream Company). CONE Midstream has been a small but stellar performer in the midstream (pipeline) sector, as evidenced by their most recent quarterly update (see CONE Midstream 3Q16: Success Story Continues). But before there was CONE Midstream, there was CONE Gathering (see New Pipeline, Wells Coming to Upshur & Barbour Counties in WV). There is also CONE Midstream DevCo, yet another entity on paper. Is your head spinning yet? CONSOL and Noble yesterday announced that, well, we’re not quite sure what was announced! It appears that the two CONE Midstreams and CONE Gathering are reshuffling the deck once again–transferring some of the assets held between them to the other entities. If you can figure it out, please let us know. Here’s what CONSOL and Noble said in a joint announcement yesterday…
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Update on Two Important ETE Projects: Rover and DAPL

ete-energy-transferSomehow or other MDN wound up on the distribution list for Deutsche Bank’s Equity Research (North America) updates. Which we like! Germany-based Deutsche Bank (DB) is the world’s 11th largest bank. They have some sharp analysts who keep tabs on multiple industries, one of those industries being oil and gas. Given the recent happenings with the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and the happenings with the Ohio Rover pipeline–both pipelines projects of Energy Transfer Equity–DB decided to do a quick update on both projects, giving us the investor/trader view of what will happen over the next 2-3 months. We found the update interesting and think you will too…
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Draining the EPA Swamp…Er…Wetland

silhouette questionOne of the most important choices before President-elect Trump is who he will select to run the rogue, out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency. Who will Trump pick to, as he calls it, “drain the swamp”? It’s an important choice. We need someone who will dismantle the wild, lawbreaking regulations of an agency operating unchecked for the past eight years. If you believe Reuters (and we’re not sure we do), Trump is looking at two people to head the EPA. Both would, it seems to us, do a good job of draining the EPA swamp…
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EIA: Record High Amount of NatGas Now in Storage

EIAMDN’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, has just published a brief article denoting a milestone: the amount of natural gas in storage has reached a new, record high of 4.017 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). Our country does not use as much natural gas as we produce during the months of April through October–which is the time when we store the extra gas in (mostly) underground salt caverns. From November to March, when it’s cold, we withdraw gas from storage because we’re using more than we produce. Over the past few years we have produced, and stored, far more gas than we can use–leading to a crash in natgas prices. A buildup in storage is a signal to the market that once again we have too much supply and not enough demand. Which furthermore is a signal that the recent rise in prices for natgas (over $3/Mcf) isn’t likely to last. In fact, the price of gas over the past month has gone from $3.25/Mcf to (today) $2.75/Mcf–a $0.50 drop. Storage is a big part of the reason why. Here’s what the EIA had to say…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Nov 17, 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: A first look at Shell’s ethane cracker site; USGS finds biggest onshore oil find ever in West Texas; America on track to export record volume of shale gas this month; still too early to feel effects of US LNG exports; will Trump slow down coal-to-gas switching?; financial markets fall in love with The Donald; and more!
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