Weatherford Shutting Down US Fracking Operations in 2017

weatherfordRecently MDN brought you an article from the Seeking Alpha investors website, written by an analyst/investor pointing out the financial troubles at the world’s fourth largest oilfield services company, Weatherford (see Oilfield Srvs Co Weatherford in Financial Trouble). The investor writing the piece is “short” on Weatherford, meaning he’s invested money betting Weatherford’s stock price will go down–so there is a built-in conflict of interest in the article. But a few days after that article was published came the news that Weatherford’s CEO is suddenly gone (see Weatherford Fires CEO/Chairman, CFO Interim CEO), which seems to lend credibility to the Seeking Alpha writer’s thesis that the company is in trouble. Now comes word that Weatherford has suspended their U.S. “pressure pumping” (i.e. fracking) activities beginning next year. Oilfield services companies do more work than just fracking, but fracking is a a big part of what they do. According to the Upstream news service, a Weatherford official is saying the decision is a “temporary pull back”…
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Obama Blocks Dakota Pipeline Outright, “Abandoned Rule of Law”

anarchyIn one final, breathtaking rejection of the rule of law and poke in the eye of those who support fossil fuels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, doing Lord Obama’s bidding, has rejected granting Energy Transfer (ET) an easement to complete the final leg of the Dakota Access Pipeline that crosses federal land. The out-of-state/paid protesters who have assembled at Standing Rock, ND were orgasmic with delight. Their euphoria, however, will be short-lived as ET expects the incoming Trump Administration to quickly reverse the policy and grant permission to complete the pipeline along its original route. Although this conflict is happening far outside the Marcellus/Utica, it is important for us nonetheless as this group of paid, out-of-state protesters, backed by Big Green money (using money from California billionaire and nut Tom Steyer, among others), has promised to leverage a win against the Keystone XL Pipeline and now the Dakota Access Pipeline by coming to the Marcellus/Utica in an attempt to defeat important pipeline projects in our region. Here’s the latest in the dust-up over the Dakota Access Pipeline…
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OH Cracker Final Decision Coming Soon, Site Now Cleared & Ready

PTT Global logoThe future site of a $5 billion petrochemical complex, including an ethane cracker, in Belmont County, OH is now cleared and essentially ready to begin building on. It has taken nearly a year, but the old R.E. Burger power plant that used to sit along the Ohio River is now just a memory. Belmont County officials say they expect PTT Global Chemical, the company that will build and operate the cracker, will make a final (positive) investment decision by the end of March–in just a few months’ time. Although the project began after Shell’s cracker project in Beaver County, PA, the PTT Global project in Belmont County has almost caught up with the Shell cracker project with respect to site readiness and building the actual buildings that will house the mighty cracker…
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PA DEP Says Ten Mile Creek Radiation-Free; Antis Still Peddle Lies

no-radiationIn 2014 Pennsylvania anti-drillers from a local chapter of the Izaak Walton League, a so-called conservation organization, attempted a smear job on the Marcellus Shale industry. They alleged that shale drillers were illegally dumping frack wastewater in an abandoned coal mine, the Clyde Mine, which sits near the Ten Mile Creek where the creek joins the Monongahela River. According to the smearmeisters, the illegally dumped wastewater was leaking out of the mine and into Ten Mile Creek (see Is Shale Wastewater Causing Radiation Spike in Ten Mile Creek?). They claimed testing they had done showed high levels of radioactivity that could not come from just acid mine drainage, that it is radioactivity typically seen in shale wastewater. Of course the allegations got a lot of media attention. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) investigated and echoed their concerns with initial tests also showing high radioactivity. Except the testing done by the DEP, and the testing done by the Izaak Walton League, WAS THE WRONG TYPE OF TEST. They blew it. Researchers from West Virginia University came in and tested using the appropriate type of test and found no elevated radioactivity (see PA DEP Screws Up Water Test at Ten Mile Creek – Egg on Face). After the humiliation of being outed as using the wrong test, the DEP re-ran tests for six months in 2015–the right kind of tests–and found NO elevated radioactivity in Ten Mile Creek nor anywhere else in the area (see PA DEP Admits No Radiation in Ten Mile Creek, Closes Investigation). The DEP has continued to run tests since that time and issued a final report in November (full copy below) finding, once again, NO elevated levels of radiation in Ten Mile Creek. The response by anti-drilling radicals with an agenda to smear the Marcellus industry? Unbelievably, they once again repeated their allegation of illegal wastewater dumping…
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Radicals Continue to Oppose Mountain Valley, Atlantic Coast Pipes

unreasonablePipelines are the safest form of transportation on the planet–bar none. Everyone knows it. But anti-fossil fuel radicals attempt to lie about the safety of pipelines in an attempt to get projects canceled–a tactic in their war on fossil fuels. They know as well as anyone that pipelines are perfectly safe, so they lie about safety to try and stop projects. Like the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline and the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline–both critically important projects in the Marcellus/Utica. Note their language in opposing such projects. The aim is not to re-route the projects, but to kill them altogether. There is no reasoning with un-reasonable people like those who are members of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance, a small group of anti-fossil fuel radicals…
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MSC Says Marcellus in Indiana County, PA Will Rise Again

indiana-county-paDave Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, was the keynote speaker last week at the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon. Spigelmyer told the 400+ people who attended that although the natural gas industry in the county is dormant, there is hope. Spigelmyer said he believes the gas industry in the county will thrive again, for a number of reasons, including: (1) Donald Trump and coming policies favorable to the gas industry, (2) new pipelines getting built in the area, (3) the Shell ethane cracker and the manufacturing plants that will locate near it. Here’s what Dave had to say…
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Gov Kasich Appointment to PUCO Steps Down After Senate Rejection

howard-petricoff
Howard Petricoff

In June of this year, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (a Republican) appointed veteran energy industry lawyer Howard Petricoff (a Democrat) to the Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO). Petricoff was the retired head of the energy practice at Vorys, the largest law firm in Columbus, OH. He is the only Democrat of the 5-member PUCO, a move heralded as “bi-partisan.” However, it didn’t take long for OH Senate Republicans to pitch some stones Petricoff’s way, questioning whether he could truly be effective given “conflicts of interest” in representing certain clients in the past with cases that are before the Commission, and also alleging “past activism.” We’re not sure exactly what kind of activism was alleged, but last Thursday the Republicans on the Senate Public Utilities Committee passed a resolution recommending the full Senate reject Petricoff. Without their support, his permanent appointment is dead. So Petricoff resigned and is now gone…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Dec 5, 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: Coastal elites funding opposition to Shell cracker; price of natgas rising is good, for WV communities; Port Arthur LNG files application with FERC; Colorado shale play nearly as big as Marcellus; petrochem conference wrapup; Trump’s charm of NOT being Obama; Harold Hamm says US can double oil production; Exxon CEO “dark horse” candidate for…Secretary of State; and more!
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