PA DEP Issues 2 Wastewater Injection Well Permits, Sues 2 Towns

Good news for Pennsylvania drillers: the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) finally, after years of review, granted permission to two different companies to operate two new wastewater injection wells in the Keystone State. One well is located in Elk County, the other in Indiana County. With these two new injection wells coming online, the state will have a total of eight operating injection wells (vs. hundreds in Ohio). You may have seen news about the newly authorized injection wells from other news sources yesterday. But you read MDN for “the rest of the story.” And here it is, something you won’t find anywhere else (until other news sources read MDN): As soon as the DEP issued the permits for the injection wells, the DEP filed lawsuits against the two townships where the injection wells will be located, because both of those townships–Highland Township in Elk County, and Grant Township in Indiana County–had previously passed so-called Home Rule Charters in an attempt to prevent the injection wells from being located in their towns. The DEP has sued each of them (copy of the Highland lawsuit below) to correct laws that attempt to prevent the DEP from doing its job in authorizing the injection wells. We have the full news of the DEP’s decision to permit the injection wells, along with details about the lawsuits, below…
Continue reading

Energy Sanity Day: Trump Exec Order Axes CPP, Methane Rule

Yesterday President Trump made a trip to the Environmental Protection Agency to sign an executive order titled the “Energy Independence Executive Order” which takes aim at rolling back Obama’s disastrous Clean Power Plan. The new executive order also lifts a ban on leasing federal lands for coal mining, nixes new regulations aimed at trapping every last molecule of methane from oil and gas drilling & pipelines (unrealistic and very costly), and reduces, but does not eliminate, the role of so-called global warming when making decisions about authorizing new infrastructure projects. It was, by all accounts, a red letter day for responsible environmental policy–a day to correct some of the extreme overreach we’ve seen by the EPA over the past eight years under the Obama regime. Below we have a copy of the executive order and some of the reaction to it…
Continue reading

Did Pruitt Hold Trump Back from Going Further re Climate Order?

Scott Pruitt – EPA Administrator

Yesterday President Trump signed an executive order titled the “Energy Independence Executive Order” which takes aim at, among a number of things, rolling back Obama’s disastrous Clean Power Plan (see Energy Sanity Day: Trump Exec Order Axes CPP, Methane Rule). However, did Trump’s executive order yesterday go far enough? Some conservatives say, “NO!” And some conservatives are angry with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt–fingering him as the reason why Trump’s executive order didn’t do enough. Specifically, the Paris climate deal is not mentioned. In December 2015 then-President Obama signed the Paris climate agreement/treaty that commits the nations of the world to lower carbon dioxide emissions (see Paris Climate Treaty Signed by Obama NOT Binding on U.S.). Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the stuff you exhale with every breath you take. An overabundance of it is supposedly warming up ole Mom Earth–catastrophically. Except it’s not. There is no empirical data that shows the earth is heating up–only doctored computer models. Satellite data shows the opposite, the average temp of Mom Earth is not heating up and hasn’t been for nearly 20 years. But facts aren’t what the Paris agreement was about. We can tell you what the agreement is about in two simple points: (1) transferring massive amounts of hard-earned wealth away from America to other countries, via a carbon tax; (2) banning the use of all fossil energy–asap. Critics of yesterday’s Trump executive order say it was a sterling opportunity to officially pull out of the Paris treaty, and Trump didn’t, because (they say) Scott Pruitt wants to run for governor of Oklahoma, or the Senate…
Continue reading

WV DEP Grants Mountain Valley Pipeline Water Crossing Permit

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. The project, which filed an official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October 2015, is being built by EQT, NextEra Energy and several other partners. The project has faced stiff opposition from landowners in both West Virginia and Virginia. Although the project is not yet fully approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the project did get a favorable Draft Environmental Impact Statement from FERC last September (see FERC Gives WV to VA Mountain Valley Pipeline Provisional Thumbs Up). MVP had wanted a final Environmental Impact Statement by March 10th, but that didn’t happen. They’re still waiting. But there is a bit of good news for MVP: the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection yesterday issued a State 401 Water Quality Certification for the MVP project. However, there are still a couple of other WV permits under review, so MVP has not yet gotten the all clear signal in the Mountain State just yet…
Continue reading

Rover Pipe Uses Local Sheriff’s Deputies for Security in Mich.

Sadly, it’s come down to this. Even when entering a property to cut a few trees, pipeline companies like Energy Transfer’s Rover Pipeline must now have a police escort. Rover is paying $60/hour to have Sheriff’s deputies escort tree trimming crews in Livingston County, MI, following an incident where one landowner told tree clearing workers working near (not on) his property that he was going to kill them–according to court records. Seems like a sensible precaution to have the cops handy, to keep the peace and to keep the nutters in check…
Continue reading

PA DEP Conducting “Listening Tour” for “Environmental Justice”

Last December the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) said it would go on a “listening tour” in early 2017, to focus on so-called environmental justice–whatever that is (see PA DEP to Conduct ‘Listening Tour’ for ‘Environmental Justice’). It’s no longer early 2017, but the DEP has finally set up a schedule for its listening tour. Our take: “environmental justice” means asking poor people if they’ve been abused by the oil and gas industry in any way–and if they have a beef, the DEP will “do” something about it. This isn’t the first “listening tour” conducted by the DEP. You may recall in 2013 the agency conducted a listening tour for new drilling regulations (see PA DEP Launches Public Comments on New Drilling Rules, Roadshow). It went so well, they extended it into 2014 (see PA DEP Extends Roadshow for Public Comment on New Drilling Rules). In 2015, the now-fired DEP Sec. John Quigley went on a 14-stop listening tour to elicit input on PA’s version of Obama’s disastrous Clean Power Plan (see DEP launches public talks on Clean Power Plan). Yesterday President Trump essentially dumped the CPP (dreams DO come true!). The DEP’s newest listening tour will hit nine whistle stops beginning in April and ending in May…
Continue reading

New Report Shares Key Insights from 100+ Qtly Earnings Reports

Quarterly earnings calls are a great source of industry information, particularly during the question & answer sessions, when analysts help breathe life into stale earnings press releases by asking questions that many times force managers to go off-script. They are also excellent ways to check on the competition, and to “channel check” by seeing how different parts of the value chain are performing, such as oilfield service, E&P, and midstream companies. MDN highlights these calls from time to time, extracting salient comments. A typical earnings call lasts an hour. Unless it’s your business to listen to these calls, who has the time to review them all? We’ll tell you who: NGI (Natural Gas Intelligence). NGI’s research department is top notch, lead by former Wall St. analyst (and MDN friend) Patrick Rau. As he does each month, Pat (and other NGI analysts) have just sat through 100 earnings calls (over 200 hours!). Each quarter, going back years, Pat and NGI’s analysts have created a concise report that summarizes the main/big/wickedly interesting points to come from these calls. Normally that quarterly report is for internal purposes only–for NGI’s sales and journalistic arms. This time, however, NGI has decided to publish it. Among the companies analyzed in the “4Q16 U.S. Oil & Gas Earnings Report: Research & Analysis” report are some of the biggest and best in the Marcellus/Utica, including Chesapeake Energy, EQT, Halliburton, Marathon, Range Resources, Rice Energy and Williams. This is an important report that will help you make sense of the oil and gas sector–where it’s at right now, and where it’s most likely heading in the coming year…
Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Mar 29, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Disturbing video shows OH antis out on the fringe; natgas will still beat coal in OH, even with Trump order; OH issues 9 permits for Utica last week; why is PA DEP shooting at gas pipes; o&g upswing energizing SW PA; Michigan Senate OKs higher weight limit for natgas trucks; the wealthiest oil & gas billionaires in the US; Dear Sierra Clubbers; and more!
Continue reading