Potter Twp (Finally) Approves Permit for Shell Ethane Cracker

In December the Potter Township Board of Supervisors convened a public hearing on the proposed Shell ethane cracker plant–to be built in Potter Twp–that ended up going on for 10 hours (see Potter Twp Declines to Approve Permits for Shell Cracker, For Now). The intent was to approve Shell’s request for permits to begin construction on the multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant. That didn’t happen. Instead, the supervisors decided to hold another hearing the following night. They did, and that hearing went for over an hour, in closed-door session. At the conclusion, the supervisors made a couple of requests from Shell, which Shell agreed to. However, the supervisors were still not ready to approve the permits and instead asked for more paperwork to be filed. Potter Township supervisors are certainly no rubber stamp for the cracker project. They are working hard to ensure area residents are protected when (not if) it gets built. But that’s not good enough for radical, anti-fossil fuel nutters who (irrationally) want nothing to do with natural gas. Last week the supervisors held yet another meeting and the antis behaved like they always do–like petulant children, hollering and booing and making a$$es of themselves. One supervisor said he was “appalled” by the conduct of the crowd at last week’s meeting. That’s all in the rearview mirror now. Last night Potter Township held another meeting and yes, they finally voted to grant the cracker project the necessary town permits to proceed. Oh! The crowd last night? While it had a few crazies, it was packed with local residents who support the project. Nice to see the good guys come out in force to counteract the nutters…
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Breakthrough for M-U Drillers: First Mini-LNG Unit Up & Running

The Dresser-Rand business commissioned its first micro-scale natural gas liquefaction system at the Ten Man liquefied natural gas facility in Pennsylvania

If you’ve read MDN for any length of time, you know how important LNG–liquefied natural gas–is to the future of the Marcellus/Utica. We’re all eagerly awaiting the day Dominion flips the switch on its Cove Point LNG liquefaction facility in Cove Point, Maryland (see Cove Point LNG Now 78% Complete, On Track to Open This Year). Cove Point will condense and ship 1.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of Marcellus/Utica gas to Japan and India. Other big LNG projects are also in the works, several of them on the East Coast of Canada. However, some Marcellus/Utica gas is already getting liquefied and shipped–via the Gulf Coast. In particular from the Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG facility in Louisiana (see LNG Slowly Changing the NatGas Game in the Marcellus/Utica). Cove Point, Sabine Pass and other such facilities take years to build and cost billions of dollars. But there’s another kind of LNG, “micro-scale” LNG liquefaction that is taking root in the Marcellus. Dresser-Rand, a subsidiary of German giant Siemens, has commissioned its first small-scale natural gas liquefaction system at the Ten Man LNG facility near Mansfield (Tioga County), PA. The new mini-LNG facility will, according to Dresser-Rand, allow Marcellus driller Frontier Natural Resources “monetize stranded gas assets,” by which we take to mean wells drilled that are not and cannot quickly be connected to a pipeline system. If this catches on, it can be an important alternative for drillers where pipelines are nonexistent or slow in coming…
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PA Senator Reintroducing Bill to Reduce Marcellus Waste Reporting

PA State Sen. Elder Vogel

On Tuesday, PA State Sen. Elder Vogel (Republican from Beaver, PA) circulated a co-sponsor memo that states his intent to re-introduce a bill that will remove some of the hassles drillers now face with the recent adoption of new Marcellus drilling regulations. Specifically, Vogel wants to change the DEP (Dept. of Environmental Protection) regulation requirement that drillers must file paperwork to report the amount and disposition of drilling waste–which would include wastewater and drill cuttings–from monthly to every six months. Every gallon of frack and produced water that comes out of a well, and every square inch of leftover rock and dirt, must be tracked and a report filed. The new Chapter 78a drilling regulations adopted by the DEP requires monthly reports to be filled out–a virtual blizzard of paperwork. Vogel wants to make it more manageable with biennial reports instead…
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Report: Marcellus M&A in 2016 Sees Big Increase – Top 5 Deals

Deal-making (mergers and acquisitions, or M&A) in the Marcellus went through the roof in 2016 as compared with 2015. In 2016, there were 13 deals worth $100 million or more. The total value of deals in 2016 was a big $7.25 billion, compared with $920 million in 2015. What was the #1 M&A deal in the Marcellus for 2016? Rice Energy’s purchase of Vantage Energy for $2.7 billion (see Vantage Energy is No More – Rice Energy Completes $2.7B Buyout). Below is an overview of Marcellus deal-making, along with a chart of the Top 5 M&A deals in the Marcellus for 2016…
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New CEA Report Warns: No Shale Gas Pipelines, No Electricity

Anti-pipeline nutters

Earlier this week the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) released a disturbing report on the U.S. oil and gas pipeline network and its relationship to our growing domestic energy needs. The report, titled “Families, Communities and Finances: The Consequences of Denying Critical Pipeline Infrastructure” (full copy below), finds that if legislators and regulators reject proposals for new pipelines and pipeline expansions, we are in danger of losing one-third (1/3) of our electric generation capacity nationwide. The capacity at risk is 1,450 gigawatts. Put in perspective, we’ll lose the electricity it takes to power California, Florida, New York, Texas, Ohio and all of New England–COMBINED. It is a scary, nightmarish scenario–and if pipeline projects are delayed or canceled, it’s going to happen. No, we won’t necessarily be without electricity. What it means is that electric rates will soar and the people who will suffer the most are the 43 million citizens living on fixed incomes and below the poverty line. It is time to stop diddling around and get pipeline projects approved–before it’s too late…
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Prof Says Lack of LNG Export Licences Killing Ohio Jobs

A professor from an Ohio college had the temerity to publish a guest column in the liberal Cleveland Plain Dealer taking federal regulators to task over the years-long wait time it takes to get a new LNG (liquefied natural gas) facility approved. Prof. Robert Chase, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Petroleum Engineering and Geology at Marietta College, says more natural gas needs to reach the world market, via LNG, and if it doesn’t, the lack of LNG exports will put Ohioans out of work. The good prof says the incoming Trump Administration and Congress needs to take “prompt action” to “speed up the licensing process for companies seeking permits to export liquefied natural gas.” Here, here! We fully agree…
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Williams Transco Pipeline Breaks Flow Volume Record in January

Transco Pipeline Map – click for larger version

The mighty Transco (Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co) is considered the crown jewel of pipeline systems (see Would Williams Sell Its “Crown Jewel” (Transco)? You Bet Your Shoes!). Transco is 10,200 miles long, running from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast. Williams, owner of Transco, is in the process of expanding the system in Pennsylvania with the Atlantic Sunrise project (see FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline! Cabot Grabs More Capacity). The expansion can’t happen soon enough. Earlier this month the mighty Transco hit a new record high of delivered natural gas. On Jan. 8, Transco delivered 13.7 million dekatherms…
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CT Heating Oil Companies Lose Bid to Block NatGas Pipelines

You would think if consumers want natural gas, and private companies are willing to build the pipelines to get the gas to their homes and businesses, such a thing would be possible here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. However, a trade organization in Connecticut tried to block such activity–in court. What makes it doubly distressing is that the trade organization opposing new natgas pipelines represents heating oil distributors (a sister fossil fuel), afraid that they may lose market share to natural gas. So trade group filed a lawsuit to prevent a state initiative that would expand the state’s natural gas pipeline network. Shame on them. Fortunately the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled–and the heating oil distributors lost…
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Scott Pruitt Bested Democrat Hacks at EPA Confirmation Hearing

Scott Pruitt – Next EPA Administrator

Oklahoma Attorney General (AG) Scott Pruitt, who is Trump’s pick to drain the swamp at the Environmental Protection Agency, was on the hot seat yesterday on Capitol Hill. Confirmation hearings were held and Pruitt was grilled for seven hours in three different rounds of questioning. This man is a true gem. During the hearing he said this: “Process matters, rule of law matters, federalism matters. Those issues matter because Congress has said so. It is Congress that gives authority to the EPA. The EPA is an administrative agency; it is not a legislative body.” What a breath of fresh, unpolluted air! The Democrats on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works did their best to rattle Pruitt, but he remained calm. Crazie Bernie Sanders was among those who behaved like jackasses–asking questions and not letting Pruitt finish answering before they would interrupt and ask more questions. The Democrats’ behavior was disgraceful and certainly not worthy of someone holding the office of Senator. Here’s a review of what happened, what was said, and a copy of Pruitt’s excellent opening remarks…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Jan 19, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: FERC denies access to loons at Leach XPress vote meeting; Statoil helps fund education in WV; the fact on Virginia’s fracking ‘trade secret’ bill; ETE files motion to stop Army Corps delay tactic of enviro study; Trump’s Interior nominee will consider more drilling on federal land; powergen and LNG joined at the hip; Church of England issues briefing paper on fracking; and more!
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