Lancaster Anti-Pipe Protesters Sell Protest Camp to Pipeline Co.

In March, MDN told you about a small group of radical protesters who established a protest “camp” on a private farm along the path of the Williams $3 billion, 198-mile Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in Lancaster County, PA (see Protesters Try to Resurrect Failed ND Pipeline Fight in Lancaster). Some of the so-called protesters had previously participated in illegal protests in Standing Rock, North Dakota, against the Dakota Access Pipeline being built there. Channeling that protest, the crazies in Lancaster stenciled “WELCOME TO THE STAND” across the side of the barn on the farm where they decided to form a new/illegal protest camp–hinting at what’s to come. The protesters were using the farm location to stash food, water, toilet paper, condoms…whatever. Hippie protesters need supplies, man. Well guess what? The farm’s owners, sympathetic to the protesters’ aim to block Atlantic Sunrise–just sold their farm to Atlantic Sunrise. How’s that for principled protest? Yep–gotta stop that evil pipeline from ruinin’ the pristine cornfields in Lancaster County–unless the price is right. And then it doesn’t matter…
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Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Introduces App to Funnel Work to Local Biz

There’s an app for that! Williams is launching an app (for smartphones) latter this month to connect Williams contractors with local businesses–to ensure as much of the work (and supplies) as possible is sourced from local businesses for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. This is a great sign that Williams believes they are about to receive final permits from the foot-dragging Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to begin work. In August, Williams will launch WillShop Local, a digital application designed to connect local businesses with contractors and construction crews working in the project area. The app is not for local businesses but for the contractors and workers working on the pipeline to locate local suppliers. So how do you, as a local business, get listed on the app? Glad you asked! Just fill out this form online. Here’s the lowdown on getting your piece of the $3 billion pie when Williams begins building Atlantic Sunrise…
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CONSOL Energy 2Q17 – Utica Well Problems, Production Decline

CONSOL Energy released its second quarter 2017 update yesterday, along with a conference call to discuss results in 2Q17 and what’s ahead for the rest of 2017 and even a hint of what’s coming in 2018. Perhaps the biggest news coming from yesterday is that CONSOL had problems with two well pads in the Ohio Utica during last quarter–problems which slowed them down and resulted in a rare decrease in natural gas production year over year. CONSOL production was down 7% due to problems with drilling out frack plugs at two well pads in Monroe County, OH. According to CONSOL COO Tim Dugan, they were “one-time” events and unusual. Dugan said, more or less, CONSOL is experimenting and hey, sometimes the experiments go wrong. But the “operational improvements” the company has made by experimenting have far outweighed any temporary problems like those in Monroe County. CONSOL will spend more and drill more in 2017 than previously forecast–spending $620-$645 million to drill 34 wells this year (which works out to close to $19 million/well on the high end). In 2018, CONSOL will add a third drilling rig, although they’re not yet saying where it will get deployed (PA Marcellus or OH Utica). Here’s the latest from a company that will soon split in two (coal and gas) and rename itself…
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Rover Drilling Contractor that Spilled Kept ‘Incomplete Records’

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. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) investigated the spill (following a tip) and claimed to find the presence of diesel fuel in the spilled mud (see OH EPA Says Diesel Fuel Found in Rover 2M Gal Drilling Mud Spill). OEPA reported their findings to FERC and FERC launched an investigation into the Tuscarawas spill. FERC hired engineering firm J.D. Hair & Associates to review what went wrong. The Hair report is in. The reviewers can’t say with any confidence whether or not Rover (Energy Transfer) and the contractor doing the underground horizontal direction drilling (HDD) at Tuscarawas, Pretec Directional Drilling, followed project requirements. Why? Because of “very limited” documentation. That is, poor record-keeping. The 425-page report (full copy below) does offer some theories as to why Pretec’s HDD drilling leaked: Pretec encountered “sticky clay” while drilling, so they doubled the amount of drilling mud to clean the cutter. The extra pressure forced the mud out of cracks in the ground–and resulted in a 2 million gallon spill…
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ET Rover Pipeline CEO “Baffled” by Dems Targeting His Company

Last Friday MDN told you about two Democrat backbenchers trying to make trouble for Energy Transfer (via Rover Pipeline), as well as make trouble for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see Two Democrat Backbenchers Try to Interfere in Rover Pipe, FERC). Sen. Maria Cantwell (from Washington State) and Congressman Frank Pallone (from New Jersey) are using recent problems with the construction of the $3.7 billion, 711-mile Rover Pipeline project that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada, to target Energy Transfer and FERC. To be sure, Rover has had its issues–with drilling mud spills, water in trenches and knocking down a dilapidated old house that was on a list of historic sites. In a surprising (and frankly, stupid) move, Energy Transfer’s CEO Kelcy Warren wrote a letter responding to lightweights Cantwell and Pallone. He calls a FERC investigation of his company (which is part of what Cantwell and Pallone are demanding), based on problems with Rover, to be “unprecedented” and “extrajudicial.” Warren is right, of course. But he’s not the one who should be making the case. It makes Energy Transfer seem defensive. In the case of backbenchers Cantwell and Pallone, best just to ignore them…
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Calif. Microturbine Company Sells First Unit in Utica Shale

MDN has highlighted Capstone Turbine Corporation, a California company that manufactures small electric-generating plants that run on natural gas, several times in the past. Our most recent story (in February) shared the news that Capstone had sold three more of their “microturbines” to midstreamers in the Marcellus Shale play (see Calif. Microturbine Company Sells More Units in the Marcellus). Capstone is back with another announcement. This time they’ve sold one of their newest model microturbines to an exploration & production company (i.e. driller) in the Utica Shale–to someone operating in Monroe County, OH. It is, according to Capstone, their first sale to someone in the Utica region…
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DTE Energy Files to Build New Natgas-Fired Elec Plant in Michigan

Proposed DTE Energy natgas-fired electric plant for Michigan

DTE Energy has just filed paperwork in Michigan to build a new “state-of-the-art” natural gas-fired power plant in St. Clair County. The gas-fired plant would produce 1,100 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 850,000 homes. As with all of these kinds of projects, there are MANY regulatory hoops to jump through. If all goes according to plan, the new plant will go online five years from now–in 2022. The plant will cost nearly $1 billion to build and employ “hundreds” during its construction. It will offset, in part, three coal-fired plants set to be retired by 2023. While DTE makes no mention of the source of natgas that will feed it, two Marcellus/Utica pipelines–Rover and NEXUS–will cross parts of Michigan. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine that at least some (perhaps all) of the natural gas that will fire this plant will come from our region…
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Oil & Gas Industry Created 656K Jobs, $90B in PA-OH-WV in 2015

Yesterday the American Petroleum Institute (API) released a new study showing that the natural gas and oil industry supported 10.3 million U.S. jobs and added $1.3 trillion to the nation’s economy in 2015. The study, “Impacts of the Natural Gas and Oil Industry on the US Economy in 2015” (full copy below) found that jobs supported by the o&g industry increased by half a million since 2011, and showed that all 50 states, whether producing or non-producing, continued to benefit from the o&g industry. The study was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and commissioned by API. Yes, it’s an industry-funded study. But hey, if we don’t do the research and toot our own horn, you can be sure anti-fossil fuelers won’t do it for us! This is solid, no-nonsense (and real) economic research. We thought it would be interesting to look at the impact of the o&g industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia–the only three states producing Marcellus and Utica Shale gas and oil. Yes, each of those states still has a thriving conventional o&g industry as well and conventional numbers are part of the study–but let’s be honest. The unconventional (shale) sector dwarfs production of the conventional sector. When you look at o&g’s impact in our region, you find that it created 322,600 jobs in PA, 262,800 jobs in OH, and 70,900 jobs in WV. Value added (economic impact) for each state was: $44.4 billion in PA, $37.9 billion in OH, and $8 billion in WV. Add them all together and you get roughly 656,000 jobs and $90 billion of economic contribution in 2015. From one industry–oil and gas. WE LOVE FOSSIL FUELS!…
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The Adult Approach to Negotiating with Pipeline Companies

Many times MDN has opined, as we cover the news about pipeline projects, that landowners need to realize they can’t just act like children stomping their feet and refuse to deal with pipeline companies–and expect the companies to give up and go away. Doesn’t happen. However, if landowners behave like rational adults and talk to pipeline companies–“Hey, don’t run it here through my best hay field but over there, through that field”–they stand a much better chance of a positive outcome. Landowners need to be respectful, open, honest, firm, but above all, talk to pipeline companies when they come calling. And when they do, they almost always get a much better result than they otherwise would have. We spotted an article written by a law firm operating in Ohio that takes the approach we’ve advocated. Sitterley, Vandervoort & Davis writes, “While the knee-jerk reaction may be to fight, to make it as difficult as you can for the pipeline company, employing a “take-no-prisoners” attitude that is aggressive may not be the best decision.” Well said. Sometimes a more firm approach is warranted–we’re not saying you have to fold like a cheap suit. What we are saying is that there’s a time and place for being nice, and maybe later, not so nice. Kindness works best…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Aug 2, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Analysts, investors, landowners all look for signs of Utica Shale revival; Bayesville (OH) developing plan to protect source water with power plant coming online; OH pipelines pump up Airgas; OH Supreme Court rules in lease case; Shell warehouse in Hopewell to employ 200 beginning next year; Wilmington (PA) supervisors approve gas drilling ordinance; the PA Senate’s budget farce; WVDEP hosts public hearing on Atlantic Coast Pipeline; state and local governments pledge to shackle their economies in name of global warming Paris agreement; court tells EPA to enforce Obama disastrous methane rule; American-made plastic making a comeback; and more!
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