DEP GP-5 & 5A Regs – Imminent Threat to PA Marcellus Drilling

In December 2016, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) unveiled new regulations to clamp down on methane emissions and other other air pollution that allegedly comes from shale drilling sites (see PA DEP Releases New Regs re Methane & Air Pollution at Drill Sites). The onerous new regulations, not in effect yet, were originally prompted by bullying from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Even though EPA pressure has disappeared under President Trump, PA Gov. Wolf still intends to push forward with these onerous (frankly, disastrous) regulations. According to the DEP, the proposed General Permit 5A (GP-5A) and the revised General Permit 5 (GP-5), “establish updated Best Available Technology (BAT) requirements for the industry regarding air emission limits, source testing, leak detection and repair, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for the applicable air pollution sources.” After some final tweaks, the DEP released draft versions of the new permits (i.e. regulations) in February (see PA DEP Seeks Public Comment on Regs for Methane, Compressor Stns). The original public comment period was slated to last 45 days, ending in March. For no stated reason, the DEP extended the comment period until June 5th (see PA DEP Extends Public Comment Period for Methane Regs). In March, MDN editor Jim Willis heard former DEP Secretary Mike Krancer say if GP-5A is enacted as written, it will result in a 12-18 month moratorium on new production in Pennsylvania (see Big News from the O&G Awards Northeast Industry Summit). The shale industry is taking the changes very seriously and has initiated a full court press to oppose the new regulations as written…
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PA NatGas Production for Jan-Mar 2017 Hits New High

It’s shaping up to be another banner year for natural gas production in Pennsylvania, going by the latest quarterly production report. The PA Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released their latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report for Jan-Mar 2017 (full copy below). It shows natgas production rose 1.7% compared to the same period last year. It also shows the number of producing wells is up 8% from last year. Total natural gas production volume was 1,305.7 billion cubic feet (bcf) and the number of producing wells in 1Q17 was 7,678. Perhaps the biggest news is that 1Q17 saw the highest quarterly production–ever. Another interesting fact from the latest report: Four counties (Susquehanna, Washington, Bradford and Greene) comprised two thirds of statewide production. The #1 county for natgas production in 1Q17? Susquehanna County. The #1 driller in that county? Cabot. You might say, with some justification, that the success of Cabot’s drilling program in Susquehanna County has translated into success for all of Pennsylvania…
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Update on Orange County, NY Marcellus-Fired Power Plant

MDN previously reported on a $900 million Marcellus gas-fired electric generating plant coming to Orange County, NY (see Orange County, NY Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant OK’d by Judge). The CPV (Competitive Power Ventures) Valley Energy Center project was vigorously opposed by local anti-drilling ninny nannies, including Hollywood star James Cromwell. No matter. The plant is now under construction, as we reported in March (see Construction Update on CPV NatGas Power Plant Near Middletown, NY). The good news is that construction of the plant is “moving full-steam ahead” and is on track to go online in early 2018. The local economic development agency said the plant has been a boon to the local economy. Here’s the latest about the CPV Valley Energy Center project, that somehow, against all odds, is getting built in New York State…Continue reading

Shell Lines Up 3K+ Parking Spaces for Cracker Construction Workers

Believe it or not, Shell previously hired a third-party consultant to perform a traffic study in the area where Shell plans to build a $6 billion ethane cracker in Beaver County, PA. Based on the findings and recommendations of that study, Shell has begun to secure parking spots for construction workers that will descend on that location to build the plant–beginning later this year. One of the recommendations is to limit the number of parking spots to no more than 1,500 at any one location. Shell currently has three locations lined up and (mostly) ready to go, enough for 3,100 parking spots. At its peak, the project will employ something like 6,000 workers. So either Shell will line up more spots, or maybe workers will carpool…
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Poll: Majority of Voters in VA, WV, NC Support Atlantic Coast Pipe

Leftist anti-fossil fuelers are only too happy to poll anything and everything–except for what really matters. How do the VOTERS in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina feel about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP)? ACP is Dominion Energy’s $5 billion, 594-mile natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), the “voice of the energy consumer,” set out to answer the question: How do voters feel about ACP? In a poll commissioned by ACP, a majority of voters in all three states support the project–by an overwhelming majority. ACP hired Hickman Analytics Inc., a “Democratic-leaning,” Maryland-based firm to do the polling. Harrison Hickman, founder of the firm, said, “By any measure, whether it’s a policy matter or a voting matter, the pipeline has widespread support.” That’s something you won’t read in most news outlets. Here’s the results of the poll…Continue reading

Moody’s: Canadian Companies Still in Hunt for More US Pipelines

Last year Canadian companies went on a midstream (pipeline) buying spree, snapping up major U.S. companies. In March 2016, MDN reported that Canadian midstream giant TransCanada, lusting for a bigger piece of the Marcellus/Utica pipeline pie, decided to buy Columbia Pipeline Group for $10 billion (see TransCanada Makes Play to Buy Columbia Pipeline for $10B). That deal closed in July (see TransCanada and Columbia Pipeline Tie the Knot Today). Then in September, MDN reported Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge Inc. announced an all-stock deal to buy out pipeline operator Spectra Energy, based in Houston, for $28 billion (see Canadian Enbridge Buying US Spectra Energy for $28B). Spectra has a number of critical pipeline infrastructure projects under way or planned in the Marcellus/Utica region, including the planned Access Northeast pipeline to New England, the mighty NEXUS pipeline planned to span Ohio, the currently under construction Algonquin Incremental Marketing (AIM) pipeline project, and three projects (Access South, Adair Southwest and Lebanon Express) under way to expand one of the largest natural gas pipelines in the U.S. (and in the northeast)–the Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) pipeline. The merger was completed in February (see Spectra Energy is No More – $28B Merger with Enbridge Complete). According to a new report by Moody’s Investors Service, last year Canadian companies spent $89 billion to snap up utility and pipeline companies across the U.S. The report’s authors say they “anticipate more” such purchases this year…Continue reading

Fracker Keane Group Continues Expansion, Buys RockPile Energy

Keane Group is a Texas-based oilfield services company that provides fracking, wireline and top-hole air drilling services to oil and gas companies in the Marcellus/Utica as well as several other major basins. In January 2016, Keane announced they were buying out Canadian-based Trican Well Service for $247 million (see Oilfield Serv. Co. Keane Group Buys Trican Well Service for $247M). The expansion tripled Keane’s fracking capacity and gave it access to proprietary new technology. The buyout, and Keane’s hard work, bore fruit. Last December the privately-held company announced it will go public with an initial public offering (IPO) of stock, hoping to raise $287.5 million with the IPO (see Oilfield Services Co. Keane Group Floats $288M IPO). Keane is expanding again. Last week the company announced it’s buying out fracker RockPile Energy Services for $284.5 million. The newly expanded Keane will then take it’s place as one of the “top four or five” fracking companies in the United States…Continue reading

ExxonMobil & Employees Contribute More than $50M to Higher Ed

You know how money-grubbing, cheap, careless and in general no-good those Big Oil companies are, right? They only care about themselves. They seek to rape and pillage Mom Earth, keeping piles of gold in their coffers, killing humankind in the process. That’s the picture painted by anti-fossil fuel nuts. Here’s the real picture: In 2016, between employees and the corporation, Exxon Mobil donated more than $50 million to colleges and universities across the United States. That is a staggering number. Many of those colleges and universities were located in the Appalachian basin (Marcellus/Utica), including $2.7 million in PA, $800K in OH, $1.4 million in VA, $3.2 million in NY and $1.2 million in NJ. Just the opposite of the negative picture painted by the enemies of fossil fuels…Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, May 23, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: States push for stronger oil train limits; o&g industry update coming for Jefferson County, OH; Utica Shale Academy talks about the future; PennEast Pipeline needed for Blue Mountain Resort; Consumers Energy spending $440M on natgas pipe upgrades in Michigan; tribes drop lawsuit against Dakota Access Pipeline; frac sand prices; petroleum demand keeps going up; Aramco signs $50 billion in deals with US companies; and more!Continue reading