OH EPA Says Diesel Fuel Found in Rover 2M Gal Drilling Mud Spill

Rover is Energy Transfer’s $3.7 billion, 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada. On April 13, Rover workers experienced an “inadvertent return” of “horizontal directional drilling fluid”. That is, they sprung a leak and spilled nearly 2 million gallons of drilling fluid (see Rover Pipeline Accident Spills ~2M Gal. Drilling Mud in OH Swamp). The leak did not spill into the Tuscarawas River (thankfully), but into a swamp (i.e. “wetland”) next to the river. As we pointed out at the time, “Fortunately the primary component of said drilling fluid is nontoxic bentonite–the same ingredient used to make shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and kitty litter.” On Friday, the Columbus Dispatch reported the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) investigating the spill has found the presence of diesel fuel in the spilled mud. Diesel fuel IS toxic–and its presence is not a good thing. Furthermore, OEPA Director Craig Butler, who has been combative against Energy Transfer and the Rover project, claims an anonymous source tipped them that diesel fuel was being added to the drilling mud. So OEPA tested the spilled mud, and mud not yet used, and found “very very low levels” of diesel fuel, whatever that means. The original “proposed” (i.e. not yet officially assessed) fine by the OEPA was $431,000. Then OEPA said it would up the fine to $714,000 after storm water runoff became an issue (see OEPA & Rover at Odds Over Storm Water Runoff, “Fine” Now $714K). With the diesel fuel “revelation,” OEPA is upping their proposed fine to $914,000. Pretty soon we expect it will sail on by a cool $1 million. OEPA has presented their findings to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the two remaining FERC commissioners have launched an investigation…
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NFG’s Northern Access Pipeline Wins Eminent Domain Case…in NY!

Talk about mixed signals. In April, MDN brought you the sad (and angering) news that once again Gov. Andrew Cuomo has caved to political pressure and instructed the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to deny stream crossing permits for National Fuel Gas Company’s (NFG) Northern Access Pipeline project (see Cuomo’s Corrupt NY DEC Blocks NFG Northern Access Pipeline Permit). Not long after, NFG filed a lawsuit against the DEC for their arbitrary, capricious and politically-motivated denial of the permits (see NFG Sues NY DEC in Fed Court re Northern Access Pipe Rejection). Meanwhile, another series of court cases has been working its way through NY’s court system–eminent domain cases against a few holdout landowners who refuse to allow the Northern Access Pipeline across their properties. Some 97% of all landowners along the proposed route have signed easements with NFG, but there’s always a few holdouts. Last Thursday one of those holdouts lost in New York Supreme Court in Cattaragus County. (Don’t be confused, in NY, “Supreme Court” is just one level up from county court. The state’s highest court is called the Court of Appeals.) Camp Duffield in Cattaraugus County lost its court case against NFG, and consequently is now being forced, by court order, to submit to the pipeline–when and if it gets built. And that’s the conundrum. The courts obviously recognize NFG’s right, under a FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) order to build the pipeline. But the Cuomo-corrupted DEC does not…Continue reading

Plethora of Pipelines Means New Jobs at OH Construction Firm

Bolt Construction builds compressor, dehydration and metering stations for pipelines that serve the oil and gas industry. According to Bold VP Todd Miller, this year the company has experienced its biggest surge in construction activity since the shale boom first started. Since November, Bolt has been “bidding nonstop” on pipeline jobs. And in fact, the company has had to “turn down quite a few” of those jobs. Why? Not enough skilled workers. Bolt is looking for welders, pipe-fitters, superintendents and foremen to keep up with the work they do have…Continue reading

Pittsburgh Mayor Embarrasses Himself Following Trump Paris Speech

Mayor Bill Peduto

Last Thursday when President Trump committed to pulling the U.S. out of the horrible Paris climate treaty, he said this: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” What do you think he meant by that statement? We watched the speech, and we immediately burst with pride that Trump was putting our citizens first. But the radical/left/Democrat mayor of Pittsburgh thought he would make some political hay from Trump’s speech, saying he was “personally offended” by Trump’s remark. Why? Mayor Bill Peduto said Trump’s remark evokes “a dated image of Pittsburgh as an old city stuck in the 19th century, relying on steel and coal.” Do you think that’s what Trump meant? Of course not. And Peduto knows it. He later admitted he knew what Trump meant when he said, “Maybe he should have a speech writer that understands the difference between cities and regions and not just try to use cute iteration in order to make a point.” Uh, Mr. Mayor, we think the word you wanted to use is “alliteration.” Obviously Trump was using a play on words, an alliteration that used the “p” sound for an American city to compare it with Paris. An iteration means to repeat something. Perhaps the reporter misquoted the mayor? Regardless, Pittsburgh and some 100 other cities (and a number of lefty states) have piled on since the Trump Paris announcement to say “we’ll still do Paris anyway.” Fine. Does that mean you’re willing to transfer billions of dollars from your citizens, to give it away to other countries, to achieve a 0.17 Celsius reduction in “global warming temperatures” by the year 2100? Because that’s exactly what the Paris “treaty” was all about–soaking Americans and giving their money (and jobs) to other countries. If you think the Paris treaty was actually about reducing temperatures across the globe, you are sorely mistaken…Continue reading

NatGas Grudge Match: Marcellus vs Haynesville

One of the important new markets Marcellus/Utica drillers have been eagerly awaiting is the southeast–and the Gulf Coast. Once the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline ($3 billion, 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County) is built, more gas will flow to points in the South. Much of the new demand for natural gas in the South is from new natural gas-fired electric plants. Another pipeline to feed the South is the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (Dominion Energy’s $5 billion, 594-mile natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina). And EQT’s Mountain Valley Pipeline ($3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA). Some pipelines already take our gas all the way to the Gulf Coast (see Rex Energy to Ship Marcellus Gas to Midwest & Gulf Coast in Nov). However, Marcellus/Utica is getting a competitor in the South and the Gulf Coast. The once all-but-dead Haynesville Shale, located in Louisiana, has roared back to life and will compete with cheap Marcellus/Utica gas in the South and the Gulf…Continue reading

OH Sen. Portman Tours Rice Energy Well in Belmont, Voices Support

Last Thursday Rice Energy President Toby Rice gave Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman a tour of the “Son Uva Digger” well pad in Belmont County, OH. Cool name. Although no doubt Portman thought of the trip as a photo-op, from his comments following the visit, it sounds like Portman actually learned something. Portman now “gets it” with respect to rapid changes in technology that have vastly reduced the footprint of drilling operations–better for the environment, less hassle for residents who live nearby. He also gets just how much money shale drilling is pumping into the local, state and national economy. Sounds like the Rice brothers have made a convert of Sen. Portman–so three cheers for them! This is how we win the battle–one person at a time. And if that person happens to be a U.S. Senator, all the better. Here’s how it went last week when Rob went to Belmont…Continue reading

NY Building Not Just One, but Eleven (!) NatGas-Fired Micogrids

In May MDN told you that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had announced plans to construct a new “state-of-the-art, locally-sourced mini-power grid” that will connect to the statewide electric grid but will also be able to operate independently, to power the Empire State Plaza in Albany–a complex of buildings in downtown Albany housing much of New York State government (see NY Gov Cuomo Building New Fracked Gas Elec Plant to Power Albany!). The energy-efficient microgrid will supply 90% of the power for the 98-acre downtown Albany complex, and is expected to save the Plaza more than $2.7 million in annual energy costs. The project will also remove more than 25,600 tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere each year – the equivalent of taking more than 4,900 cars off the road–supporting New York’s goal to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels. In an emergency, it can power a shelter for Albany residents. So what will power the magical microgrid and deliver this nirvana of cheaper electricity AND reduce so-called greenhouse gas emissions at the same time? Is it a huge solar array errected in Albany or in the nearby countryside? Nope–the sun doesn’t always shine. Must be a wind farm, maybe off the coast of Long Island? Nope. The wind doesn’t always blow. The magic fuel for the magic microgrid is, you guessed it–fracked shale gas from the Marcellus. Here’s something that will leave you (as it did us), speechless: Gov. Cuomo recently handed out $1 million each for 11 more microgrid projects–as seed money to get them going (making them eligible for more money from the NY Green Bank). And yes, each and everyone one of those 11 microgrids will be powered primarily by fracked shale gas. If that doesn’t beat all…
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Europe Approves GE Takeover of Baker Hughes, Co Gets a New Name

Last October, MDN brought you the news that Baker Hughes, the world’s third largest oilfield services company, had struck a deal to combine/merge with/sell itself to GE’s oil and gas business (see Breaking: Who Needs Halliburton? Baker Hughes Merging with GE O&G). The deal, according to the Wall Street Journal, will result in a new company that will be 65.5% owned by GE and 37.5% owned by Baker Hughes shareholders. The deal, IF it gets approved by the Dept. of Justice, will create a company with $32 billion in revenues. Make no mistake, aside from all of the “partnership” talk, this is GE buying out Baker Hughes. The CEO of the new company will be Lorenzo Simonelli, chief executive of GE Oil & Gas. The board of directors for the new company will have 5 members appointed by GE and 4 members appointed by Baker Hughes. The deal, if it happens, would catapult the new Baker Hughes, which will have the name Bear Newco, past Halliburton to become the world’s second largest oilfield services company. Get this: The deal may even catapult the new company to become the world’s number one oilfield services company–eclipsing Schlumberger! As we said at the time: The question now is, will the Dept. of Justice approve the deal? Last year the Obama DOJ killed the proposed Baker Hughes merger with Halliburton (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). Perhaps in an early sign that the DOJ will approve this merger, the European Commission has given its blessing on the deal…
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Saudis, Others Cuts All Ties with Qatar – LNG Opportunity?

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The following story intrigued us, not the least of which because it has the potential to affect the Marcellus/Utica region. Out of the blue, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain have all “cut ties” with the country of Qatar. That includes shutting down pipelines that flow LNG and natural gas out of Qatar. Why? Because, they claim, Qatar supports “extremism”–by which they mean terrorism. This is truly rich. All of the countries cutting ties have their own issues in supporting terrorism. So if they accuse “one of their own” for doing the same thing, how much worse must be Qatar? There is another interesting aspect to this story–related to the idiot Al Gore. Gore and a couple of his ultra-rich buddies started a cable television channel in 2005 called Current TV. The channel flopped, big-time. So Al and his buddies sold it in 2013–to Qatar. Well, actually it was sold to Al Jazeera, the official Qatar state-run media agency, owned by the ruling family of Qatar. Qatar didn’t want the channel, which they immediately threw in the trash. They wanted access to all of the cable systems the channel was running on for their Al Jazeera station. Yeah, you don’t hear about it much, but Al Gore sold his TV channel to terrorist-friendly Qatar–for $500 million. Back let’s get back to the Marcellus. Both Egypt and the UAE are “highly reliant on Qatari gas via pipeline and LNG.” With those lines now cut for the foreseeable future, it opens up a new market for Marcellus/Utica gas to be exported to Egypt, the UAE and perhaps others…Continue reading

Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Jun 5, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Robert Mead named president of Appalachian chapter of NARO; WV leaders praise withdrawal from bad Paris climate deal; are “super rigs” the driver behind the new shale boom?; Sabine Pass LNG exports hit record high in May; what the pipeline industry needs to learn…and soon; fracking saves Americans $180B a year on gasoline; first commercial carbon-capture plant goes online–249,999 to go; Panama Canal Authority to raise rates on LNG ships; and more!Continue reading