ODNR Grants Permits for 3 New Injection Wells in Trumbull County

Town of Brookfield, Trumbull County, OH

Last December MDN told you about three proposed new injection wells planned for the Town of Brookfield, in Trumbull County, OH (see 3 More Injection Wells Coming to Trumbull County, OH). Highland Field Services (subsidiary of Seneca Resources) brought two new injection wells online in Brookfield last year (see ODNR Approves Plans for 2 New Trumbull County Injection Wells). Shortly after the two wells went online, Highland then floated a plan to build three more wells in close proximity to the existing two, a plan opposed by many in the town (see Trumbull Residents Want Extra 60 Days to Fight 3 Injection Wells). Even though Brookfield Township trustees issued a “no more injection wells” letter to Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR), the ODNR ignored the letter and last week issued the necessary permits to build the three additional new wells…
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2 PA Bills Would Roll Back Conventional Drilling Regs to 1984

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has been obstinate in demanding onerous new drilling rules for the conventional, as well as unconventional (shale) drilling industry since he took office. Reworked drilling rules for both conventional and shale drillers were done and ready to go under previous Gov. Tom Corbett. Then Corbett lost to Wolf, and Wolf demanded changes to the common sense rules everyone had already agreed to (see New Draft Drilling Regulations in PA: Wastewater Impoundments Out). Wolf’s changes for conventional drillers threatened to run PA’s traditional, small conventional drillers out of business by applying the same regulations to them that will apply to shale drillers. As Wolf’s onerous changes were headed for certain defeat in the legislature last year, he changed gears and agreed to put off changes for conventional drilling until this year (see PA DEP Plans Redo of Chapter 78 Conventional Well Regs in 2018). It’s this year, and instead of letting Wolf advance his onerous drilling plans for conventional drillers, PA State Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) and State Rep. Martin Causer (R-Forest) on Monday introduced essentially the same bill in their respective chambers, bills that will remove conventional drilling from compliance with the 2012 Act 13 bill and “turn back the clock,” re-adopting regulations for conventional drillers used in the Oil and Gas Act of 1984…
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OH Legislators Propose Bill to Allow Frack Brine to Deice Roads

The shale industry produces a lot of water. You read that right. The industry not only *uses* a lot of water (roughly 5 million gallons per well for fracking), it also *produces* a lot of water. Some 80% of the water used in fracking never comes back out of the ground–it seeps into the ground and stays there. However, there is naturally occurring water from the depths–from far below what we think of as “the water table” that sits a few hundred feet down. When you drill a hole in the ground a mile, or two miles down–there’s water down there too. It’s super-salty (full of minerals), which is why it’s called brine. In the industry the phrase used to describe this naturally occurring water is produced water. And it comes out long after fracking is over and done. It comes out for years–decades even. Drillers have to dispose of it somehow. The preferred method is to recycle it and use it for other drilling. When brine is recycled and the minerals (i.e. salt) is removed, the salt can be put to good uses, like spreading it on roads during the winter. Antis paint a scary picture of environmental holocaust in using “fracked salt”–but it’s nonsense. A bipartisan bill in Ohio is getting fresh attention, a bill that will allow for the sale of “fracked” brine for deicing roads in the Buckeye State during winter…
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FERC Rejects Riverkeeper Request to Stop Millennium Eastern Upgrade

In August 2016, Millennium Pipeline, which stretches from Corning, NY to just outside New York City, filed an application for what it calls its Eastern System Upgrade (see Millennium Pipe Asks FERC to Approve Eastern System Upgrade in NY). The ESU would add 7.8 miles of extra looped pipeline in Orange County, upgrade a compressor station in Delaware County, build a new compressor in Sullivan County and make some minor tweaks to metering stations in Rockland County. In something of a miracle, the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation granted permits for the project (see NY DEC Grants Permit for Millennium Pipe Eastern System Upgrade). Predictably, THE Delaware Riverkeeper, hater of all things fossil fuel, moved for a “stay” to block construction and filed a request for rehearing with FERC, and at the same time filed a lawsuit against the DEC’s water permit approval (see Frenemies: Millennium & NY DEC Fight Riverkeeper on Pipeline Upgrade). FERC has just rejected Riverkeeper’s request for a stay (but not the rehearing)…
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M-U Could Support 8 Crackers – Why Don’t Companies Build More?

Tom Gellrich, founder of Top Line Analytics–a consultancy focusing on downstream shale gas development like ethane crackers–spoke Wednesday at Kallanish Energy’s “Crackers, Storage & Pipelines 2018” event at Southpointe. He had some interesting things to say. Among them: The Marcellus/Utica region has enough ethane to easily support up to eight ethane cracker plants–plants the size of the massive Shell cracker being built now in Monaca (Beaver County), PA. So far only Shell has pulled the trigger and begun to build such a plant. PTT Global Chemical, based in Thailand, is actively considering (and likely) to build a second regional cracker plant in Belmont County. So the multi-billion question is this: Why aren’t more companies building crackers in our region, given the abundance of cheap ethane? Gellrich had some thoughts on that…
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More Pipes Needed in M-U; Antis Gear Up to Protest Shell Cracker

Charlie Schliebs

Speaking of yesterday’s Kallanish Energy “Crackers, Storage & Pipelines 2018” event at Southpointe (Pittsburgh), one of the speakers, Rick DeCesar from AECOM, said contrary to what you may read and hear, the Marcellus/Utica region needs MORE midstream and pipeline projects over the next five years. Lately it seems we’ve read countless stories that say if all of the existing projects that have been announced come online, there will be more pipeline capacity than gas to flow through it. In other words, we’ve overbuilt with pipelines. DeCesar disagrees. He maintains new projects are “desperately needed.” His company is putting its money where its mouth is, hiring new people, in anticipation of more pipeline projects. MDN friend Charlie Schliebs was moderator for the panel featuring DeCesar. Charlie also had some interesting, and disturbing, things to say. Namely, he warned attendees that antis are gearing up to fight “and perhaps be arrested” in a bid to block construction work on the Shell ethane cracker plant in Monaca, PA…
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Democrat Mass. AG Prefers Russian Gas to Marcellus Pipelines

Mass. AG Maura Healey

In January MDN told you about at least two (perhaps there have been more since) tankers of Russian LNG (liquefied natural gas) coming to the Boston area. It is an outrage. The gas comes from a Russian facility in the Arctic that was sanctioned by the United States in response to Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine a few years back. And yet we allowed their gas to come to our shores, while the world’s most productive shale gas field (the Marcellus/Utica) sits a few hundred miles away from New England. The reason the gas from M-U doesn’t go to New England? Politicians like Massachusetts Democrat Attorney General Maura Healey. Healey has actually said, out loud, that importing LNG from Russia, from half a world away, is “better for the environment” than building a pipeline from the M-U into New England. She is either demented, or on Big Green’s payroll. Either way, she has to go…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Mar 23, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Phila. Energy Solutions likely to resolve objections to bankruptcy plan; judge dismisses hokey claims that energy producers suppressed “climate science”; Chevron prepares to educate judge on climate science; how the shale boom has kept the U.S. economy afloat; U.S. net petroleum imports heading to zero; tsunamis of innovation are shaking the energy industry; Egypt-the next natgas hotspot?; and more!
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