Catholic Nuns Use Radicals to Build Chapel in Path of PA Pipeline

Here’s a story of some Catholic nuns who have forsaken their vow to serve Christ, and instead have taken up a vow to serve radical environmentalism–which is apparently their new religion. A group of nuns in Lancaster County, PA invited the radical group Lancaster Against Pipelines (whose organizer participated in the illegal blockage of the Dakota Access Pipeline) to build a “prayer chapel” in the middle of a cornfield that belongs to the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (as they are called). The chapel is meant to stand in the way of Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, slated to go through that field. The so-called prayer chapel is little more than a few portable benches and a pop-up shelter like the one you would use when camping–just about big enough to cover a gas grill and leave enough room for two or three people to stand under it. The “prayer chapel” is obviously a statement thing. Knowing it will get torn down at some point, the sisters and their radical friends didn’t want to waste a lot of money on the project. Essentially this is a setup for a photo op when the bulldozers come through. It’s truly a shame to see how those who have dedicated themselves to the work of Jesus Christ have been co-opted and distracted from their far higher, and much better, calling. Unfortunately, the nuns are rank hypocrites. They themselves use–and promote the use of–natural gas for their own ministry on the very same parcel of property…
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Rover Pipeline Converts Some Horizontal Drilling to Trenches Instead

Phase I of the 711-mile Rover Pipeline project that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada is supposed to be completed by July 2017, while Phase II is supposed to be done by November 2017. Will Phase I be done by the end of this month? We sure wouldn’t want to take that bet, but we suppose there’s still a slim chance. While building the $3.7 billion pipeline project, Energy Transfer (or more correctly its contractors) hit some snags, including spilling 2 million gallons of non-toxic drilling mud near the Tuscarawas River (see Rover Pipeline Accident Spills ~2M Gal. Drilling Mud in OH Swamp). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) slapped a stop work order on any horizontal directional drilling (HDD, or underground drilling) projects for Rover not already underway. A tipster later claimed diesel fuel was being added to the drilling mud and after testing a sample from the spill near the Tuscarawas, the Ohio EPA claimed to have found diesel in the mud (see OH EPA Says Diesel Fuel Found in Rover 2M Gal Drilling Mud Spill). That made FERC really upset and touched off a full investigation. Meanwhile, Rover hired a new firm to oversee HDD activity and pledged with a cross-your-heart-pinky-swear to FERC that those kinds of accidents would not happen again. FERC recently allowed Rover to restart some of the work halted, which has radicals at the Sierra Club fit to be tied. However, in the “you can start again” order, we noticed that Rover has changed some (much?) of the remaining HDD projects into digging trenches instead. Obviously you can’t dig a trench across the Tuscarawas River–or a highway–or other such structures. But you can dig a trench right up to the edge of those structures. It’s our observation that a change from HDD to trenching has allowed Rover to restart stopped work in a number of locations…
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Corp Raider Jana Sends Nastygram to EQT Demanding it Split in Two

Earlier this week MDN told you the news that corporate raider Jana Partners, along with the Cohen family (of Atlas Energy fame), are colluding to try and stop the merger/sale of Rice Energy to EQT (see Proxy Fight: Jana Partners, Atlas Tries to Stop EQT/Rice Deal). The two groups together now own nearly 6% of EQT’s stock. Jana is trying to get two people added to EQT’s board. Their demands? Abandon the buyout/merger of Rice Energy, and that EQT needs to split itself in two, right now, into upstream (drilling) and midstream (pipelines). Jana filed the required paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 3rd. On July 5th, Jana’s founder and managing partner, Barry Rosenstein, sent a letter (i.e. nastygram) to EQT–his list of demands. It’s going to be a long summer for EQT…
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Rice Midstream Investors Hope Deal with EQT Doesn’t Happen

When EQT and Rice Energy announced a deal in June for EQT to buyout and merge in Rice to create the largest natgas-producing company in the U.S., it seemed like a match made in heaven (see EQT Buys Rice Energy in $8.2B Deal, Becomes #1 Gas Producer in US). However, not everyone is in favor of the merger, including a corporate raider who know owns nearly 6% of EQT’s stock (see Proxy Fight: Jana Partners, Atlas Tries to Stop EQT/Rice Deal). You can add another group–from the “inside”–that doesn’t want to see the merger happen either: investors in Rice Midstream. Rice Midstream is an MLP, or master limited partnership, a different structure from the usual stockholding corporation. In an MLP, investors hold “units” instead of shares, and those units are tax-advantaged. The bottom line is that Rice Midstream investors are, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article, concerned that they will get the short end of the stick in a post-merger EQT world. Already the value of their units has fallen 20% since the announcement of the merger. It wouldn’t hurt Rice Midstream investors’ feelings at all if Jana (evil corporate raider) prevents the merger from happening. For Rice Midstream investors, the enemy of my enemy is my friend…
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Patterson-UTI Rig Count Hits New High of 160 in June

As we do every month (and have for more than two years), MDN tracks how many rigs oilfield services company Patterson-UTI Energy reports operating–as a proxy for rig count health in general and rig count health in the Marcellus/Utica in particular. Patterson recently bought out and merged in Seventy Seven Energy (see Patterson-UTI Energy Completes Merger with Seventy Seven Energy). The addition of SSE’s rigs served to rocket up Patterson’s rig count number in April and May (see Patterson-UTI Rig Count Continues to Rocket Skyward – 159 in May). With the SSE now fully absorbed into Patterson, the rig count number has settled down. In June, Patterson’s count went up by a single new rig in North America, to 160. That is the 13th month in a row Patterson’s rig count has gone up–an astonishing run…
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3 MarkWest Utica “Build-Out” Pipeline Projects Now Up & Running

In February MDN reported that Marathon Petroleum had begun to build a 49-mile condensate pipeline, called HALI–the Harpster to Lima Pipeline (see Marathon Begins to Build New 49-Mile Utica Pipeline in Ohio). The purpose of the project is a pipeline “for efficient and safe delivery of condensate from the Utica Shale to refineries where it can be processed into gasoline and diesel in order to meet the needs of producers, mid-streamers, marketers, diluent blenders, and refiners as the Utica Shale continues to develop.” At the time, the pipeline was expected to go online in July–this month. It beat the clock and went live last month (see Marathon Completes 49-Mile Utica Condensate Pipeline in Ohio). MarkWest, now owned by Marathon, issued an announcement yesterday to point out not only is HALI now up and running, but so too are two other liquids pipelines that MarkWest worked to expand: East Sparta to Heath, and Heath to Harpster. Together the three pipelines are moving liquids to refineries throughout the Midwest. Marathon is also working on a project to extend their service for diluents to western Canada…
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PA Big Green Groups Attack Mariner East PR Agency – Too Effective

Totally biased, Big Green-backed mouthpiece StateImpact Pennsylvania, funded in part by taxpayers via PBS (a travesty), as well as funded in part by anti-drilling organizations like the Heinz Endowments and the William Penn Foundation (which appear to control StateImpact’s “reporting”), is targeting a PR agency because the agency has the audacity to do good work for Sunoco Logistics and the Mariner East 2 Pipeline project. You see, in liberal anti-drilling land, it’s OK for antis to smear and lie and fabricate all sorts of falsehoods about pipeline projects–but it’s not OK for the object of those smears (i.e. Sunoco LP) to fight back and to present its side of the issue. As soon as you fight back and tell your side of the story, you’re “targeting” innocent people, you’re attempting to bully the little guy. You’re mean. You’re pedaling fossil fuel death. That’s how it works in Big Green land. A recent article on StateImpact PA attempts a smear job on PR agency Bravo Group because Bravo has the gonads to say this on their website: “We’re helping Sunoco Logistics build public and policyholder support for its Mariner East projects, an infrastructure investment of more than $3 billion. The goal: secure regulatory approvals, neutralize opposition and develop the Mariner East projects on budget and without capital losses.” The “neutralize opposition” phrase in particular set off the anti-pipeline crazies, so StateImpact created an entire story focused on that phrase. You know you’re being effective when they attack you with a smear campaign…
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Marcellus/Utica Identity Crisis – What Should Our Region Call Itself?

Being a marketing guy, MDN editor Jim Willis knows that crystallizing a concept into a few key words is critical. You have to be able to convey your meaning in as few words as possible–and those words must be pregnant with meaning. Jim was lucky enough to name this blog/news site Marcellus Drilling News, which (mostly) conveys its purpose–to report on happenings in the Marcellus (later adding the Utica) region. A very smart person who’s given a lot of thought about our industry is Kathryn “Katie” Klaber. Katie owns her own consulting firm–The Klaber Group. But before that, she was founder and president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (a well-named organization). Katie lives and works in Pittsburgh. In a recent article for the Pittsburgh Business Times, Katie ponders over Pittsburgh (and our industry’s) “identity crisis”–by which she means our lack of good branding. Sometimes our industry and region is referred to as “Appalachia.” But that term often connotes the mountains of West Virginia, spreading out into Kentucky. Sometimes we are referred to as the “Marcellus/Utica basin,” which gets a lot closer to meaningful, but connotes drilling and leaves out the downstream. And sometimes we’re called “the Northeast.” But folks in Ohio consider themselves Midwesterners, not northeasterners. Why is it important to lock down an accurate, pregnant-with-meaning description for our entire industry (upstream, midstream and downstream), and our geographic region? According to Katie, it comes down to two words: capital investment. We need to brand ourselves and do it sooner rather than later, if we want to grow business in our neck of the woods…
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NASA, NOAA and UK’s Met Office Falsify Temp Data to Show Warmer Temps

Something that we find to be an outrage is not even getting a passing acknowledgment by mainstream media: most of the climate data collected and pedaled by NASA, NOAA and UK’s Met Office is (our word) falsified. Let us explain. When collecting data, there will be times that a given data point (say a temperature reading) seems incorrect. Usually scientists will discard such “outlier” data, or make adjustments to compensate–so the outlier data doesn’t throw off what would otherwise be accurate. Climate scientists often apply “adjustments” to surface temperature thermometers (i.e. change the readings) to account for “biases” in the data. A new peer-reviewed study titled “On the Validity of NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU Global Average Surface Temperature Data & The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding” (full copy below) takes a close look at the adjustments made by NOAA, NASA and the UK in their global average surface temperature (GAST) datasets–and concludes the adjustments nearly always revise temps up. That is, the researchers are showing bias themselves. It is this revised (we call it falsified) data that is then used to proclaim the past three years are the warmest on record in the modern era. The peer-reviewed study, which was done by former rocket scientists, former EPA employees, economists, weather scientists and others, finds the “cyclical pattern in the earlier reported data has very nearly been ‘adjusted’ out of temperature readings taken from weather stations, buoys, ships and other sources.” That is, the warmers who work at NASA, NOAA and in the UK didn’t like the numbers they were getting (they didn’t like reality), so they put their finger on the scale and changed the result. It’s a lie. And now it’s exposed for the world to see…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Jul 7, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: TETCO NJ pipeline gets FERC approval; Energy Sec Perry visits WV coal plant; Jacksonville LNG plant files for export permit; oil exports fuel TX port boom; super rigs get bigger paychecks in the oil patch; Trump to Europe: if you need energy, give us a call; Trump says Russia holds Europe hostage with gas; why gas-powered cars aren’t going away; and more!
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