Former GreenHunter Expanding in West Virginia with 160 Jobs

Fountain Quail Energy Services, which is the new name for the company that used to be called GreenHunter Resources, is planning to expand in Lewis County, WV. A WV lawmaker says he’s talked Fountain Quail into expanding in an industrial park in Jane Lew, bringing 160 jobs to the site. In December 2015 MDN reported that Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (see Sad Day: Magnum Hunter Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy). MHR has a variety of subsidiary companies. One of those companies, GreenHunter Resources (water and wastewater), also succumbed and filed for bankruptcy–in March 2016 (see Another Sad Day: GreenHunter Resources Files for Bankruptcy). Restructuring was completed for GreenHunter in May 2016 and the company emerged from bankruptcy under the ownership of a private equity firm. A few months later, GreenHunter shed its former name and merged with/took on a new name: Fountain Quail. The CEO of Fountain Quail is the former Executive Vice President and COO of GreenHunter, Kirk Trosclair. The COO of Fountain Quail also previously worked for GreenHunter. Here’s the update that Fountain Quail is once again on the road to expansion, putting the past behind it…
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Williams Launches Major WV Expansion to Serve Southwestern Energy

Yesterday Williams announced a new, major deal with Southwestern Energy to expand its network of gathering pipelines and processing facilities in West Virginia, to serve Southwestern’s increasingly aggressive drilling program in the state. Williams will expand its its Oak Grove processing plant to handle extra wet gas that will flow into it from Southwestern’s 135,000-acre wet gas (i.e. NGL) drilling program in Marshall and Wetzel counties. Southwestern targets wet gas in the Marcellus and Upper Devonian in those two counties. The expansion will give the Oak Grove plant the capability to process an additional 1.8 billion cubic feet per day of wet gas. But wet gas isn’t the only focus. Williams is also expanding its pipeline network to an additional 71,500 dry gas acres, again in Marshall and Wetzel counties, targeting Southwestern’s dry gas Utica program. In the same announcement, almost as an afterthought (but for us is a really big deal), Williams announced it will connect its system to Columbia Pipeline’s (now TransCanada) Leach XPress and Mountaineer XPress pipelines, “to boost market access and diversify gas pricing opportunities.” Leach XPress, which is part of a project including Rayne XPress, will send gas all the way to the Gulf Coast (see Columbia Gas: $1.75B for 2 Projects to Send Marcellus Gas to Gulf). Leach XPress began construction earlier this year. Mountaineer XPress will send gas to Leach, Kentucky (as will Leach Xpress), and from there on to a variety of other markets in the Midwest and South–as well as the Gulf Coast (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). Mountaineer Xpress received a favorable final environmental impact state from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in July of this year, but is still waiting on other permits before it begins construction. Here’s the news about Williams expanding in the Mountain State…
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Antero Taps Veolia to Handle TENORM Waste at WV Water Facility

In 2015 Antero Resources hired Veolia Water Technologies Inc. (subsidiary of France-based Veolia) to build a new shale wastewater recycling facility in Doddridge County, West Virginia (see Antero Building New 60K Bbl Wastewater Recycling Facility in WV). The new facility, which is slated to take two years to build and cost Antero $275 million, will process 60,000 barrels of wastewater per day. The facility is still under construction. The plant will separate water, salt and radioactive particles. The salt can be sold to municipalities for use as road salt–but frankly there’s not enough of a market to sell it all. And not all of it will be of sufficient quality to be sold that way. So Antero is also spending $20 million to build a landfill next to the plant (see Update on Antero’s $275M Wastewater Facility in WV). This week we also learned that Antero will spend another $70 million with Veolia–in addition to the $275M they’re paying Veolia to build the plant–paying Veolia $70M over 10 years to handle the “loading, packaging, transporting and proper disposal of water treatment sludge” the plant will produce. The sludge contains TENORM–technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive materials. Veolia will ensure the TENORM sludge is carefully handled and properly disposed…
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Monroeville, PA Hostile to Shale, Bans Drilling in Most Places

Monroeville, PA

For whatever reason, Monroeville, PA (Allegheny County, suburb of Pittsburgh) is hostile toward the shale industry. In September Monroeville Council voted to enact a super-restrictive seismic testing ordinance (see Monroeville, PA Passes Restrictive Seismic Testing Ordinance). The ordinance was meant to hassle Huntley & Huntley, which had wanted to conduct seismic testing in two rural areas of the municipality. But that wasn’t enough for the anti-drilling zealots of Monroeville. On Tuesday, Monroeville Council voted to ban oil and gas well drilling everywhere except for those areas marked M-2 industrial zoning. This is a big change. Previously drilling permits were “conditional use,” meaning each permit was evaluated on its own merits, regardless of which zoning district it was located in. By limiting drilling to M-2, the Council has effectively banned drilling in the municipality. Which is a shame, as Huntley & Huntley’s headquarters is located in Monroeville. We think they should seriously consider moving out of the municipality, taking their considerable economic impact (jobs, tax revenue) with them…
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Plum, PA Gives Huntley & Huntley Green Light for Shale Drilling

Plum, PA

Unlike the anti-drilling Luddites in Monroeville, PA who seek to stifle shale drilling in their municipality (see today’s story: Monroeville, PA Hostile to Shale, Bans Drilling in Most Places), the leaders in Plum, PA (shares a border with Monroeville, in Alleghany County) has approved a plan by Huntley & Huntley to drill a series of Marcellus wells in their municipality. Last week MDN told you that H&H plans to begin constructing a well pad in Plum next month (see Huntley & Huntley Starts Shale Drilling in Plum, PA Next Month). Plum officials gave H&H their blessing on the plan at a meeting on Wednesday. About 150 people showed up for the meeting, many against H&H’s plan to drill. Among the antis was a representative from FracTracker Alliance–a non-profit that pretends to be an impartial “watchdog” of the drilling industry. At the meeting the FracTracker rep revealed his out-of-the-mainstream, anti-drilling bias. He outted his organization as an anti-fossil fuel, Big Green group. Although there was plenty of the typical anti moaning and groaning at the meeting, to their credit, the Plum Council voted 6-1 to approve H&H’s plan to construct a well pad, and to drill several fracked Marcellus wells at the site…
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Annual SRBC Water Report Finds No Impacts from Shale Drilling

Susquehanna River Basin

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) established the Remote Water Quality Monitoring Network (RWQMN) in January 2010 in response to natural gas drilling activities in the basin. More than 50 water quality monitoring stations are operating in watersheds experiencing unconventional shale gas development. Each station continuously monitors the following parameters: pH, temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and relative water depth. The data are collected at five-minute intervals and uploaded to SRBC’s publicly accessible web site. Each year the SRBC releases an annual report evaluating their findings. So far, since, 2010, the SRBC has found no adverse impacts on the basin’s water supplies due to Marcellus drilling and fracking. The SRBC has just released the latest report, for 2016 (full copy below). The trend continues yet again for last year: no impacts from natural gas drilling on the Susquehanna River Basin…
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Atlantic Sunrise Work in NEPA Beginning “Very Soon,” Locals Hired

Williams representatives were on hand earlier this week in Tunhannock, PA (Wyoming County) to present a briefing to local politicians and community leaders on the status of the now-under construction Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile natural gas 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. Much of the attention has focused on Lancaster County and a small group of antis who oppose the project there. However, Atlantic Sunrise will begin its journey to Lancaster in Susquehanna County, PA–in the northeastern tip of the state. Construction in Susquehanna and adjacent counties is scheduled to begin “very soon,” according to Williams rep Mike Atchie. When it does begin, some of the people working on it will come from the same counties where it’s getting built. Last week the Teamsters held a job fair in Harrisburg (see Harrisburg Job Fair Oct 6-7 Looks to Fill 400 Pipeline Jobs). Of those streaming through, nearly 200 people filled out job applications. Five of the people who showed up have already been hired and are on job sites working–less than a week later! Another 100+ were enrolled in safety training classes and instructional courses. Here’s an update on the advent of Atlantic Sunrise construction in NEPA…
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Antis Release Fake Report Claiming PA Children at Risk from Drilling

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has done it again. They’ve posted another fake news story about the Marcellus Shale industry. Here’s how it works: A Big Green group, like the odious Earthworks, enlists the help of a servile, biased “reporter”–feeding all sorts of false information to said “reporter”–the “reporter” essentially takes dictation, writes it up, and publishes it as “news.” Earthworks and Moms Clean Air Force, both national, radical, out-of-the-mainstream anti fossil-fuel groups, have colluded with the Post-Gazette to release a fake news “report” that says because some of Pennsylvania’s children go to school within a half mile of an oil or gas well, those children are endangered from emissions, including methane. Yeah, methane–you know, natural gas. IF methane happens to leak (which doesn’t happen often) it simply goes straight up into the atmosphere where it supposedly contributes to man-made global warming. It certainly doesn’t endanger anyone on the ground. The Big Green groups publishing the report say 311,000 kids in PA go to school near an oil or gas well (the vast majority being conventional, non-shale wells). Big Green totally lies about the risks. But let’s set that aside for the moment. Why are only children endangered? Why not adults too? Or pets? Or zombies? Big Green is (ab)using children in their narrative because everyone has a knee-jerk reaction when it comes to kids. We all will protect our children with our own lives–it’s an ingrained, automatic reaction. These sleazeballs are playing off that fear with a false report–and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is complicit in spreading the lie…
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Dividing Line: Role of NatGas in NE PA vs. NY’s Southern Tier

MDN editor Jim Willis lives right on the dividing line between New York and Pennsylvania–in the Binghamton, NY area (on the wrong side of the line). Pennsylvania, on the right side of the dividing line, has embraced shale drilling, and enormous economic benefits have flowed to communities where it happens. Cabot Oil & Gas alone (just one company) has spent over $4.6 billion in the last 10 years in Susquehanna County, PA (see Amazing: Cabot O&G Invests $4.6 BILLION in One PA County in 10 Yrs). Meanwhile, NOTHING is spent just over the border, in Broome, Chenango, Otsego and other Southern Tier counties on the New York (wrong) side of the border. It is a heartbreaking tale. Back in 2014 the Buffalo News ran a story comparing two farmers, one on each side of the border, to illustrate how the shale revolution has changed NEPA (see PA Farmers Flourish Thanks to Marcellus While NY Farmers Fail). We now have an updated version of that story line. The Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association (PMA) recently released a 28-minute MUST SEE video titled, “The Dividing Line: PA vs. NY Natural Gas Economics” (watch it below). Listen to landowners and business owners on both sides of the border talk about their experience. New Yorkers have been shafted by a corrupt governor, that much is clear…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Oct 13, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: NEXUS says pipeline will be built by 3Q18; PA DEP hearing on natgas-fired power plant in Greene County; WVONGA urges FERC action on 11 pipelines; WV monitoring cybersecurity; Atlantic Sunrise donates $5,300 to NEPA school; Shell wants veterans for cracker jobs; Maine’s Sen. King pushes measure to speed up natgas pipeline permits; problems with rail transport of energy supplies; and more!
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