Mountaineer NGL Storage Facility in OH Under Construction

We spotted a story that makes reference to an ethane storage facility currently under construction in Monroe County, OH. That got our attention. The story said that Energy Storage Ventures has plans to begin storing ethane in the underground facility by the end of 2018. Who’s Energy Storage Ventures? We went looking and discovered it’s another name for the Mountaineer NGL Storage project that we’ve been covering. In April 2016, Mountaineer NGL Storage (aka Energy Storage Ventures) announced an open season for a new underground NGL storage facility in Monroe County, Ohio, near Clarington, along the Ohio River (see New Company Announces Open Season for NGL Storage in Ohio Utica). The open season was a success, and in October 2016, Mountaineer completed a test well in the salt formation (see Mountaineer NGL Storage Test in OH a Success, Construction in 2017). But the last word we had on the project, in April of this year, said that construction had not yet begun due to problems with red tape (see Mountaineer NGL Storage in Monroe County, OH Caught in Red Tape). Yet this new story says, “contractors continue working to build the caverns required for storing up to 168 million gallons of ethane and other natural gas liquids more than one mile underground.” Which we take to mean there is active work going on at the site. That, for us, is new news–that the Mountaineer NGL Storage facility is *currently* under construction…
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Thai Company Banpu Invests in Another 34 Marcellus Wells in NEPA

One year ago, Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s largest coal producer, invested $112 million to purchase Range Resources’ Marcellus non-operated JV operations in Bradford County, PA (see Thai Company Buys Out Range Resources’ JV in NEPA for $112M). The “Chaffee Corners Joint Exploration Agreement” gave Banpu an ownership share in 62 producing wells and another 14 wells waiting on completion, and a share in 170+ more drilling locations. Talisman is the operator of the wells and the company that does the drilling (Banpu is just an investor). Banpu liked it so much, they did it again in January of this year (see Thai Company Banpu Makes 2nd Investment in Northeast Marcellus). The January deal gave Banpu a 10.24% stake in 10,000 acres of Marcellus leases, once again in northeastern PA, for $63 million. Chief Oil & Gas is the driller on the acreage in the second deal. Then in March, Banpu signed an agreement to invest $16 million into a venture with Tug Hill Marcellus (see Thai Company Banpu Invests Another $16M in PA Marcellus Wells). It seems that Banpu can’t get enough of the Marcellus in northeastern PA. The company just announced a fourth deal to invest in more NEPA acreage and wells. How many wells? What county is the new deal located in? And which driller is the operator of that acreage? We give you the details you won’t find elsewhere…
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Rover Gets Serious About Mud Spills, Asks FERC for OK to Drill

While reviewing documents filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Energy Transfer Rover pipeline project, we came across a letter filed by ET yesterday. The letter (full copy below) addresses the recent “inadvertent return” (i.e. major leak) of 2 million gallons of drilling mud in a swamp next to the Tuscarawas River (Stark County, OH). Following that leak and other leaks, FERC told Rover to stop any new underground drilling not already under way (see FERC Slaps Rover Pipeline with Stop Drilling Order). In yesterday’s letter, Rover says they have hired a new firm, GeoEngineers, to review all of the plans and data around drilling horizontally underground (horizontal directional drilling, or HDD) in locations where you can’t dig a trench. Rover is also posting GeoEngineers personnel at each HDD location, to help supervise HDD activities. But wait, there’s more! Rover is hiring extra watchers at each HDD location to watch for the first signs of, the first bubble, that indicate drilling mud isn’t staying underground where it belongs. Given all of what Rover is doing (there is more, read it in the letter), Rover then goes on to ask FERC, can Rover please please please drill in two spots where all of the equipment is ready to go? Those spots are Captina Creek in Belmont County, OH, where Rover wants to complete the Clarington lateral, and Middle Island Creek in Tyler County, WV, where Rover wants to complete the Sherwood lateral. Rover argues it will do more harm to the environment to pull down erosion control devices and move equipment out and back in, than if they just went ahead and did the work now. Will FERC agree?…
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Private Historic Group Wants Rover to Pay $1.5M/Yr, Rover Says No

We’re not sure we have the full, 100% story, but we have enough of it to have some righteous anger. In May 2015, Rover purchased a house in Carroll County, OH, located near where the pipeline, and a compressor station for that pipeline, is due to run. Rover bought the house to use for offices for several Rover affiliate companies. After buying it, Rover determined the house was “ill-suited for its intended purpose” and decided to demolish it. Problem was/is, that house was under consideration to be added to the National Register of Historic Places (see Rover Pipeline in Hot Water Over Demolishing Historic House in OH). The house was not yet on the list of Historic Places, but was on a list of properties under consideration. FERC says Rover should have reported their decision to demolish the house, which landed Rover in hot water with FERC and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. How do you fix problems like this one? You pay–of course. Rover agreed to pay out $2.3 million “to a fund administered by the Ohio History Connection Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office. A total of $1 million is for preservation work in the 18 counties crossed by the pipeline. The rest of the money will be used for projects across the state” (see Rover Pipeline Paying $2.3M for Knocking Down Historic OH House). So Rover didn’t pay a fine. Instead, they paid hush money. A shakedown, with the money going to a PRIVATE nonprofit organization. Yes, the Ohio History Connection Foundation is a private non-profit organization. And they got $2.3 million at the direction of the federal government. Now the history buffs want more. To be precise, they say Rover owes them $1.5 million per year for the next five years. Why? Apparently it’s not related to knocking down the “historic” house, but is some sort of agreement that Rover made with them to cover whatever other damage is done to historic locations during construction of the pipeline. We call it an elaborate shakedown. “Those pipeline companies have more money than God. Let’s grab some of it.” Ohio History Connection says Rover has missed its first payment, so they went whining to FERC. Rover is disputing Ohio History Connection’s claim that it owes them one red cent more…Continue reading

Youngstown Antis Seek to Legalize Anarchy with 7th CELDF Petition

A nation without laws is not a nation. Virulent anti-drillers in Youngstown, OH have now tried six times to pass a so-called Community Bill of Rights ballot measure–and have failed all six times, the most recent last November (see Youngstown, OH Frack Ban Ballot Measure Defeated for 6th Time). The local yokels are pawns, useful idiots, for an ultra-radical group from Pennsylvania called the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). The CELDF is behind dozens of such efforts, none of which has been successful. The CELDF is also behind a number of bizarre lawsuits–like the one claiming that an ecosystem is a “person” with rights (see CELDF Loses Case to Represent Ecosystem – Turtles Disappointed). The CELDF has the local anti yokels in Youngstown amped up again–circulating a seventh petition for a ballot measure. But this time is different. In addition to the usual no fracking, no pipelines pablum, this petition has language that makes it legal to break the law. You read that right. If the ballot measure were to pass, and if an anti got it into her head to sit in front of a bulldozer that was about to clear ground for a wellpad, or dig a trench for a pipeline, the police would not be able to arrest and remove the anti. It would be within her rights to sit there and block legal, legitimate activity–all in the name of saving the planet. Apparently the brains of the locals are so fried, they don’t realize that if everyone just decides which laws they want to obey or disobey, you soon descend into Lord of the Flies. Mob rule. Anarchy…
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EIA Drilling Report: More Record Production Coming in June

On Monday, MDN’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report–the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR is the EIA’s best guess, based on expert data crunchers, as to how much each of the U.S.’s seven major shale plays will produce for both oil and natural gas in the coming month. Get ready to break new records–again! In June, we will once again hit the highest output of shale gas we’ve seen, ever. Output in the Marcellus/Utica region is set to once again reach new highs. In the Marcellus, output will pass 19 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). Astonishing! In the Utica, output will hit 4.4 Bcf/d. Shale oil output across all seven major plays is set to hit 5.4 million barrels per day, up 122,000 barrels in just one month. Perhaps the biggest eye opener is that the shale play with the biggest uptick in natural gas production will be–the Permian. An oil play! When you drill like crazy for more oil, you also get natural gas out of the hole along with the oil. It’s called “associated gas.” And because the Permian (in Texas) is red hot with drilling, it makes sense natural gas production will spike up too. Buckle up and get ready for another wild ride in the month of June…
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Dominion Contacting First Responders re Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), Dominion Energy’s $5 billion, 594-mile natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina, has begun an outreach program with Local Emergency Planning Committees in several West Virginia counties. The pipeline is not yet fully approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Dominion expects that approval sometime this fall (see Dominion CEO Says Atlantic Coast Pipeline is Full Speed Ahead). However, Dominion and ACP would not be wasting their time and the time of local first responders with meetings, if they didn’t believe the project is already in the bag. So we take these meetings as a good sign that ACP is on the way…Continue reading

Now We Know: Lib Dems Wanted FERC Nominees for Grandstanding

Things that don’t make sense, don’t make sense for a reason. You have to keep digging until you get to the truth. We’re referring to our previous posts where we scratched our heads over calls by both House and Senate Democrats (very liberal, very anti-drilling) for President Trump to hurry up and nominate commissioners to the quorumless Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see Anti-Drilling Democrats Ask Pres. Trump to Fill Up FERC and Senate Democrats Send Letter to Trump Requesting New FERC Members). We said at the time, this doesn’t make sense. If FERC is out of action and can’t approve new pipeline projects, that’s a good thing (for lib Dems who hate fossil fuels). So why would they want FERC back up and running? Now we know: They don’t really want it up and running. They simply wanted nominees so they could grandstand and try to stop the nominees they demanded in the first place, from actually getting confirmed. It’s sick. It’s sleazy. It’s the reason people find Washington, DC a disgusting swamp that needs to be drained–OF THEM. Now that Trump has nominated two extremely qualified people to be FERC commissioners (see Trump Nominates 2 New FERC Commissioners – Powelson & Chatterjee), the Dems are pledging to hold up the confirmation process…Continue reading

Think About Energy Briefing – Coming May 24 in NEPA

For those who live in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre orbit, MDN is pleased to call attention to a free shale energy seminar being held next Wednesday (May 24) in Dallas, PA. Borton-Lawson, Cabot Oil & Gas, UGI Energy Services, UGI Utilities, Williams, and in conjunction with ACT for America and the Back Mountain Chamber of Commerce, will host the “Think About Energy Briefing” on Wednesday, May 24 from 8-10am at Misericordia University. Natural gas will be the main topic of discussion. At the event presenting will be MDN friends Bill desRosiers (Cabot O&G) and Mike Atchie (Williams), among others. Here’s the deets for how you can attend…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, May 17, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: FirstEnergy continues quest to become re-regulated; Belmont County holds mock well pad spill exercise; NEXUS Pipeline donates $50K to Stark State; Mt. Pleasant finds fracktivist testimony “not credible”; DTE quest to cut carbon emissions includes ramp up in natgas; pipelines are not scary; big data comes to O&G; US shale drillers have NOT yet won the war against OPEC; and more!Continue reading