EQT Drilling Causes Coal Mine Water to Leak in Mon River

An accident related to shale drilling is responsible for dumping some (not sure how much) acid mine drainage (AMD) from an abandoned coal mine into the Monongahela River last weekend. Which sounds worse than it actually is. Water that seeps into old coal mines mixes with pyrite (iron-sulfide) and oxidizes, turning the water an orange/brown color. The water becomes somewhat acidic. We previously talked at length about acid mine drainage coming from the Old Forge bore hole near Scranton, and about Marcellus money being used to help clean it up (see Marcellus Drilling Helps Fix Biggest Polluter of Chesapeake Bay). The Old Forge bore hole pours 60-100 million (!) gallons of AMD into the Lackawanna River EACH DAY. Yes, it is a problem, but PA has been living with it for the past 50+ years–and people aren’t keeling over dead from it. With that as background, a contractor working for EQT was drilling under a roadway in Allegheny County (near Pittsburgh) to install a water pipe for EQT’s fracking operations when they hit an abandoned mine and the water collected in it began pouring out–and into the Mon River. It didn’t take long to contain the leak and stop it from reaching the Mon. How many gallons actually went into the river? We don’t have any word on that, but we can’t image it was more than a few thousand gallons. In the larger scheme of things, a relative drop in the bucket. Here’s what we do know…
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New Driller is Born in PA Marcellus, Buys 8K Acres of Leases (More Coming)

It’s not often these days we get to witness the birth of a new driller in the Marcellus/Utica, so it’s with great pleasure we announce the birth of S.T.L. Resources. According to an announcement, S.T.L. recently closed on the acquisition of 8,000 acres in the “core of the Marcellus Fairway” in north central PA. Along with the acreage comes “significant in-place infrastructure, current Marcellus production and is prospective for the Marcellus and Utica Shale as well as the Upper Devonian.” The privately-held S.T.L. declined to say exactly where the acreage is located, who they purchased it from and for how much. Why? They continue to try and lease more acreage in the same area and would rather keep competitive information close to the vest. S.T.L. was founded and is run by three veterans in the O&G industry with deep experience in the Marcellus/Utica: William Dressel, Founder and Managing Partner; William Hayward, Chairman & Senior Geological Advisor; and Clinton Coldren, CEO. When you look at a map you find that north central PA includes counties like Potter, Tioga and Lycoming. Which got us to thinking–who might have sold some acreage there? We have a guess…
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Utopia has Arrived! Construction in OH Begins on Ethane Pipeline

Kinder Morgan has proposed the UTOPIA (Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access) pipeline, a 12-inch ethane pipeline that will run ~240 miles across the state of Ohio where it will connect with another pipeline and (eventually) flow ethane all the way to a cracker plant in Canada. That is, if they can get some holdout landowners to allow them onto their land (see UTOPIA Pipeline Sues Holdout OH Landowners Using Eminent Domain; UTOPIA Pipeline Still Battling OH Landowners with Eminent Domain; and Wood County, OH Judge Blocks Eminent Domain for UTOPIA Pipeline). Apparently enough land has now been secured that Kinder Morgan is moving forward. Yesterday crews started their chainsaws and began to clear trees to make way for the bulldozers that will show up this summer…
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Antero: Proved Reserves Up 16% to 15.4 Tcfe, Latest Slides

Quick. Who has the largest core acreage position in the Marcellus/Utica? And which company runs more than one-third of all the rigs operating in the Marcellus/Utica? The answer to both those questions would be Antero Resources. They also have some of the lowest drilling (i.e. breakeven) costs in the industry–and some of the highest hedges (prices they get for the gas). Put it altogether and Antero is one of the most important drillers in our beloved shale plays. Antero won’t release full year 2016 numbers until later this month, but ahead of that, they’ve just released two helpful documents. The first is a press release announcing proved reserves and drilling/development costs. The second is the latest series of PowerPoint slides, the February 2017 company presentation (a preview of the 2016 update). We have both items for you below…
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Dominion Updates for Cove Point, AC Pipeline, Greensville Power

Midstream and utility giant Dominion issued their fourth quarter and full year 2016 update yesterday. Just to give you an idea of the depth and breadth of the company, Dominion has ~26,000 megawatts of power generation, 14,400 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and some 6,500 miles of electric-transmission lines. They are “a producer and transporter of energy.” Among the key projects we keep an eye one: the Cove Point, Maryland LNG export facility (under construction), the Greensville Power Station (under construction), and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (soon to be under construction). The numbers are looking good. Revenue for Dominion in 4Q16 was $457 million, up $100 from 4Q15. Full year revenues were $2.1 billion, up from $1.9 billion in 2015. Below we have yesterday’s update, along with select portions of a conference call by Dominion’s muckety mucks and their comments about projects like Cove Point and Atlantic Coast Pipeline…
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Marathon 2016 Revenue Slips, Spending $1.3B on Marcellus in 2017

Marathon Petroleum, the refiner and midstream company based in Ohio (owner of what used to be MarkWest Energy) reported their fourth quarter and full year 2016 numbers yesterday. Overall revenue was down a bit, from $2.85 billion in 2015 to $2.21 billion in 2016 due to “a challenging commodity price and margin environment.” However, Speedway gas station/convenience stores (many of which used to be Hess gas stations) had “exceptional performance” and “set multiple records for the full-year 2016.” Of particular note for MDN, Marathon plans to spend $1-$1.3 billion in 2017 on new infrastructure projects in the Marcellus region. Good news indeed! Below we have yesterday’s update, along with a PowerPoint presentation Marathon used at the recent Marcellus-Utica Midstream event in Pittsburgh. We love the slides in that presentation, full of useful information…
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Williams Confirms Transco Now Ships Gas Directly to Cheniere LNG

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Last week word leaked that the mighty Williams Transco pipeline was connected directly to Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG export facility in Louisiana (see Speculation: Transco Sending M-U Gas to Louisiana LNG Terminal). Since Transco is now bidirectional, we theorized that at least some Marcellus/Utica gas is flowing through that new pipe. The new section of Transco’s pipeline connected to Sabine Pass is called Gulf Trace. Yesterday Williams finally admitted that yes, that pipeline is now up and running and flowing natural gas to Sabine Pass for export–about four months ahead of schedule…
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EPA Gravy Train Comes to an End – “Researchers” Freak Out

We’ve always thought the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was populated with environmental leftist with an agenda–a mission. And that support for the agency by groups, and even by businesses who come under their regulation, was driven by a warped philosophy. However, two recent bits of information now snap the picture into full focus. The reason the EPA is so zealously defended and promoted by those inside and outside the agency isn’t really about protecting humans and protecting the planet. Oh, that has something to do with it. But the primary motivator is (you guessed it), money. Greed. Graft. Payola. This began to come into focus for us when we ran a post yesterday that stated President Trump will “seek significant budget and staff cuts” and when an aide to Trump on the transition team “suggested it was reasonable to expect the president to seek a cut of about $1 billion from the EPA’s roughly $8 billion annual budget.” What does EPA do with all that money? “About half the EPA’s budget passes through to state and local governments for infrastructure projects and environmental cleanup efforts.” But that’s not all. The EPA also funnels money to researchers and even to private businesses in the form of grants. In other words, the EPA has been a gravy train for a good many people, and the train is about to come to a screeching halt…
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Scientists Petrified of Methane Put Cows on Diets to Reduce Burps

Last year MDN told you about researchers in Argentina strapping methane backpacks on cows and hooking up hoses to their digestive tracts (reminding us of the Borg in Star Trek) in order to capture global warming methane emissions from bovines (see Environmentalists Lose Their Minds, Strap Methane Backpacks on Cows). No joke! Some “scientists” are petrified that a few extra molecules of methane (i.e. cow farts and burps) will slip into the atmosphere and cause old Mom Earth to toast. Yes, some adults actually believe this nonsense. Researchers just won’t leave it alone. We have a story about yet more researchers–this time in Mexico (build that wall!) who are experimenting with putting cows on a special diet to reduce the amount of burping they do. You see, as potent as cow farts are, some 90% of the methane a cow emits comes from burbs, not farts. Hey, you learned something new today on MDN!…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Feb 2, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Managing fluids in the Marcellus/Utica; NY DEC gives $50K grants to enviro troublemakers; antis still not happy NY nuke shutting; training the next generation for o&g jobs in the Utica; how Trump’s Supreme Court pick could impact the Marcellus/Utica; Rex Tillerson confirmed as Sec State; Dems boycott Pruitt vote, stomp feet like babies; White House tries to ‘ease’ rattled EPA; NY Times says its readers are too dumb to understand global warming numbers; Japan may buy more U.S. energy; pipelines may face climate test in Europe; and more!
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