THE Dela. Riverkeeper Issues Final Orders to Minions re DRBC Mtg

Today is the day that (some of) Maya’s minions will show up at a meeting of the Delaware River Basin Commission to attempt to bully DRBC staff during the public comments period. As we’ve been reporting (from a well-placed mole on the DRBC email list) Maya has been issuing orders to her minions–people who apparently aren’t bright enough to form their own thoughts about matters like the PennEast Pipeline (see Mind-Numbed Antis Need Maya’s Instructions re DRBC Mar 15 Mtg). Maya has written out a treatise of objections to PennEast, to be read WORD FOR WORD by the minions–or else. We now have the script that Maya’s mind-numbed robots will read from (see it below). We also have her last-minute instructions to the dolts doing the reading…
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DRBC has No Power to Stop Shale Drilling in Delaware River Basin

You’ve heard the phrase, “The Emperor has no clothes.” A lawsuit against the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) by a Wayne County, PA landowner over the DRBC’s ongoing moratorium of shale gas drilling, is exposing the DRBC as having “no clothes” when it comes to their authority over shale drilling (see Wayne County, PA Landowner Sues DRBC Over Fracking Ban). In fact, the DRBC has no authority to stop shale drilling, as they are now being forced to admit in response to the lawsuit. That fact has the DRBC, and radical environmentalists like THE Delaware Riverkeeper, petrified. MDN friend Tom Shepstone, author of the always-excellent Natural Gas Now website, writes about the DRBC’s lack of authority and the need for Pennsylvania to immediately defund the DRBC–until the agency stops their sham pretense of blocking shale drilling…
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WV Bill to Exempt O&G from Storage Tank Law Gets Gutted

On Monday, MDN wrote about a new bill introduced in the West Virginia legislature that would exempt storage tanks used by the oil and gas industry from a 2014 law passed following a coal industry storage tank failure that temporarily polluted the drinking water for 300,000 WV residents (see WV Bill Would Exempt O&G Industry from Storage Tank Law). House Bill (HB) 2811 would exempt ~27,000 tanks owned and operated by the oil and gas industry from West Virginia’s Aboveground Storage Tank Act. The bill didn’t get far. On Monday, the WV House Judiciary Committee gutted their version of the bill. The new/gutted version will exempt about ~2,300 oil and gas storage tanks–those very small and very far away from drinking water sources…
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Analysis of New WV Bill SB 576 re Co-Tenancy & Joint Development

Yesterday MDN reported on a new West Virginia bill (Senate Bill 576) that aims to bring both the drilling industry and rights owners together to support co-tenancy and joint development–which are stripped down pieces of previous forced pooling bills that failed in the past (see WV Sen. Charles Trump Introduces New Co-Tenancy, Joint Dev Bill). As we previously reported, Senate Bill 244 was introduced in February to address co-tenancy and joint development (see WV Senate Bill 244 Introduced for Co-Tenancy & Joint Development). That bill went nowhere due to strong opposition from rights owners, including the West Virginia Royalty Owner’s Association (WVROA). SB 576 was meant to meet rights owners in the middle, to address their concerns. But as we mentioned yesterday, WVROA is not supporting the new SB 576 either. Although we included a copy of the bill in yesterday’s post, we did not have a detailed analysis of SB 576 vs SB 244. We now have some expert analysis from the legal beagles at top energy law firm Babst Calland…
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MSC Responds to Sec DCED’s Call for High Severance Tax

Last week MDN published a letter to the editor (Philadelphia Inquirer) from Dennis Davin, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), supporting his boss’ desire for a new, very high Marcellus Shale severance tax (see PA DCED Sec. Promotes Wolf’s Marcellus-Killing Severance Tax). As we said at the time, we prefer to think the letter was written by someone in the governor’s office and pushed in front of Davin for his signature. The column smacks of socialistic crap about how the severance tax is PA’s “fair share” of the Marcellus Shale boom. It’s nothing of the sort. The severance tax is a political payback to teachers’ unions for backing Wolf, which Davin surely knows. He and his excellent staff have been tireless promoters of the Shell ethane cracker–we have a favorable opinion of the DCED. MDN friend Dave Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, noticed Davin’s letter too. So Dave wrote his own letter to the editor, to respond…
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Bumble Bee May Yet Sting O&G Industry with “Endangered” Listing

Rusty patched bumble bee

As MDN has previously chronicled, on September 22, 2016 the rogue U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a proposed rule to list the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The rusty patched bumble bee is found in the Midwest and eastern parts of the U.S. If it gets listed, it will have SIGNIFICANT impacts on drillers and midstreamers (see “Endangered” Bumble Bee May Slow/Stop O&G Projects in Northeast). With just a few days left in Obama’s reign of terror, the Obama-influenced USFWS pulled the trigger and listed it (see USFWS Pulls the Trigger and Lists Bumble Bee as Endangered). But then a white knight rode in to town to (temporarily) save the day. The Trump Administration signed an order delaying the listing until March 21 (see Trump Administration Delays Listing Bumble Bee as Endangered). The clock is ticking and drillers/midstreamers are worried. The oil and gas industry, along with farmers and others negatively affected by the listing, have asked newly-minted Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to delay the listing until next year, to give everyone time to figure how they’re going to comply with this newest inanity from USFWS…
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Trinidad LNG Exports Keep Falling – When Will it Affect New England?

Last June, MDN quasi-predicted that natural gas prices may spike during the 2016-2017 winter season in New England, due to a coming shortage of LNG from Tinidad (see Is New England Heading for Huge NatGas Price Spike this Winter?). With a warmer than normal winter, and with newfound natural gas supplies making their way to New England, prices did not spike. However, New England continues to pay prices 3-4 times higher than the rest of the country for their natgas–due to lack of supply. That hasn’t (and won’t) change, until more supplies make it to New England–either by pipeline or ship. Opponents of new pipelines to New England have included LNG importers in the region. Specifically, GDF Suez imports Trinidad gas at the Everett, MA LNG import terminal, near Boston (see New England Importer Received 59% of All LNG Ship Imports 1H15). LNG imports are one of the primary sources of natgas for New England. Antis holler and scream, “Forget the pipelines. If you must use gas, use LNG. There’s more than enough LNG to supply New England.” In a macro sense that may be true–the world is awash in LNG. But arranging shipments and sources for it takes months, even years. Right now most of the LNG GDF Suez imports comes from Trinidad. As we pointed out in our article last year, Trinidad’s natural gas sources are drying up. The country is exporting less and less. We spotted yet another article about how Trinidad’s natural gas exports are rapidly declining. Sooner or later Trinidad’s falling exports will affect GDF Suez’s imports of LNG to New England. Once again, like that famous New Englander Paul Revere, we’re issuing a warning that New England needs new sources of natgas (via pipelines), and they need it sooner rather than later…
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Baker Hughes Introduces New “Adaptive” Drill Bit

TerrAdapt™ adaptive drill bit

Baker Hughes has just officially released a new drill bit that they hope will become the new standard in drill bits–the TerrAdapt “adaptive” drill bit. Baker Hughes says they’ve made “dumb” drill bits “smart” by packing intelligence into them. This drill bit can respond to conditions in real time, automatically, to prevent “stick-slip” issues which cause bits to rapidly speed up or slow down. The bit self-adjusts its depth-of-cut (DOC) control elements to automatically adapt its aggressiveness to changing rock types. Pretty cool stuff. The long and the short of it is that this bit means less problems and more uptime spent drilling/chewing away, meaning it will take less time to get the hole drilled…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Mar 15, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: NY AG colluded with Big Green, tries to deflect with fake news about Exxon; ODRN issues 13 permits in OH Utica; anti-pipeliners recruit spies; Michigan’s future depends on pipelines; natgas prices could plunge below $2; top natgas stocks to buy in 2017 (all related to the Marcellus/Utica); Food & Water Watch caught on tape admitting goal to ban fracking “everywhere”; OPEC and US shale at the brink of war; and more!
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