Well Pad Fire @ Chief O&G Site in Wyoming County, PA

Chief well pad fire – click for larger version

There was a fire at a natural gas well pad operated by Chief Oil & Gas in Wyoming County, PA over the weekend. We only have a few details from one news source (which seems odd). A call came in just after 4 am Saturday morning for a well pad in Lemon Township near Tunkhannock, PA. The cause of the fire is unknown. Nobody was hurt. And that’s about all we know. Perhaps an MDN reader in that area can shed more light? Here’s the very brief news item we spotted…
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Federal Judge Rejects Constitution Pipe Request to Bypass NY DEC

A disappointing setback for the much-needed Constitution Pipeline–a $683 million, 124-mile pipeline due to run from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY carrying Marcellus gas. As you may recall, in April 2016, New York’s anti-drilling governor, Andrew Cuomo, decided he would cave to pressure from radical environmentalists and block the building of the federally-approved Constitution Pipeline (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). Cuomo’s toadies at the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) decided not to grant (i.e. denied) the Constitution the permits it needs to cross creeks and swamps. That was finally enough for Williams and the other partners in the project, who promptly sued NY in federal, NOT state, court (see Williams Sues NY Over Constitution Pipe – DEC May Lose Authority). Judge Norman Mordue of the Northern District of New York ruled last week that since NY has not officially denied the water crossing permits–simply not yet acted on them–there is no injury to the project. Even though the pipeline is losing money every day it doesn’t get built due to NY’s inaction. We fail to see how not acting on the permits over the long-term is any different from denying those same permits. It is a distinction without a difference in our book. But that’s what the judge ruled, granting the DEC’s motion to dismiss the case. The thread of hope that remains for the project is another case in which Williams (the builder of the Constitution) filed in an appeals court. Williams is maintaining the second case will go in their favor and when it does, construction is not far behind…
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Maryland’s Traitorous “Republican” Gov Caves, Supports Frack Ban

There were early signs that Maryland’s newly elected “Republican” governor was weak on the subject of fracking, as we pointed out in 2015 when we said that then-new Gov. Larry Hogan, who was elected on a platform of supporting shale drilling, had decided to let a two-year moratorium on shale drilling become law without his signature (see Maryland’s Pusillanimous Gov Allows Frack Moratorium to Become Law). We should have know then that Hogan has no political courage. Recently environmental nutjobs in Maryland have turned up the heat, demanding a total and complete fracking ban by passing a law. The House passed a bill to ban fracking (see Maryland Democrat Lawmakers Continue to Torpedo Fracking). The bill has, so far, been stalled in the Senate. But maybe not for long. On Friday, Gov. Hogan, a spineless “Republican,” said he now supports a complete and total ban on fracking, forever, in his state. He’s “concerned” that if the Senate puts the measure out for a public vote/referendum, fracking in the state might actually happen one day. That’s called governing against the will of the people Mr. Hogan. That’s something Democrats do, not Republicans. What a disappointment this one-term governor has turned out to be…
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List of 11 Utica Shale Electric Plants Coming Soon to Ohio

Earlier this month MDN brought you a list of the existing and/or planned natural gas-fired electric generating plants in Ohio (see 43 Existing/Planned Gas-Fired Elec Plants Overtaking Coal in OH). Thanks to the crack researchers at Energy in Depth, we now have a more detailed list (who’s building it, where it’s being built, how much it will cost) for 11 OH natgas power plant projects that are either construction now, or soon will be…
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OH Supreme Court to Hear Appeal re Driller Who Won’t Explore Utica

What if a landowner leased his or her land decades ago and a driller drilled a conventional natural gas well on the property, and that well has produced commercial volumes of natural gas for years–and still does. And what if the lease gives that driller the right to drill (or not drill) in any given rock lawyer. And what if that driller is content to simply let that conventional well keep producing and not drill further down, into the now commercially viable Utica (or Marcellus) shale layer? Does the landowner, whose land is located where the Utica/Marcellus exists, have any case for taking back the rights to the deeper shale layers the conventional driller refuses to go after? That’s a case that has now worked its way all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. The question turns on whether or not “reasonable development” in a lease includes unexplored, deep formations…
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Another Review Completed for Canadian Bear Head LNG Project

For some time we’ve tracked the progress of an LNG export plant planned for the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, the Bear Head LNG project. Of all the Canadian LNG export projects, Bear Head seems to have the most momentum. The project has received most of the necessary permits it needs to proceed. But it’s not been without its bumps along the way (see Bear Head LNG Export Plant: Bad News & Good News). Where will the gas come from to feed the plant? One source is likely to be Marcellus Shale coming via the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline, converted to be bidirectional (see FERC Approves Atlantic Bridge Project for New England/Canada). But LNG Limited, the builder of Bear Head LNG, is not putting all of its eggs in one basket. They don’t want to leave the fate of their plant to the flakes of New England who may end up blocking Spectra Energy’s efforts to move more Marcellus into the region. So LNG Limited is also working on a plan to bring western Canadian gas to Nova Scotia (see Canadian Bear Head LNG’s Long-Shot Plan to Get Gas). One more piece of the larger pie to build the plant just fell into place, earlier today. Transport Canada’s TERMPOL Review Committee has completed a review of the Bear Head project and issued a report. The TERMPOL report is a technical review of marine terminal systems and transshipment sites. Technical stuff, lots of recommendations. The bottom line is that Bear Head said they’ll do what’s in the report and the project continues to be very real and on track…
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IEA: CO2 Emissions in US Go Down Again, Thx to Shale

The International Energy Agency (IEA) works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 29 member countries and beyond. IEA’s mission focuses on four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide. A somewhat self-important group that issues reports periodically–particularly on mythical man-made global warming. The core of the man-made global warming argument is that mankind is burning fossil fuels, releasing loads of extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The CO2 in the atmosphere acts as a canopy to trap the earth’s heat and to (someday soon) catastrophically warm the planet, killing off species, causing sea levels to rise, melting polar ice caps. Except none of that is actually happening (the Emperor has no clothes). Which we keep pointing out over and over. We won’t head down that rabbit trail again right now. CO2 levels are important for the eggheads at IEA. In conducting research for the next release of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook report (for 2017), researchers at the agency say worldwide CO2 levels were “flat” in 2016, even though economic activity (or the use of energy) increased. One of the major points in the IEA’s preview of what’s to come in the World Energy Outlook report is this: “The biggest drop [in CO2] came from the United States, where carbon dioxide emissions fell 3%, or 160 million tonnes, while the economy grew by 1.6%. The decline was driven by a surge in shale gas supplies and more attractive renewable power that displaced coal. Emissions in the United States last year were at their lowest level since 1992, a period during which the economy grew by 80%.” Translation: Shale gas is good for global warming, if you believe in global warming…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Mar 20, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Range Resources hosts local students; oil, gas & the WV legislature; natgas line through Polk County, FL creates little fuss; using American shale as foreign policy tool; frack sand operators ebullient over demand; big draw down on propane supplies; federal o&g leases could pay for Republican health plan; drilling begins in Argentina shale; shale’s Mr. Fix-It: Saudi Arabia; Beijing shuts down last coal-fired power plant, switches to natgas; and more!
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