JKLM Pulls Support of Planned Potter County Wastewater Facility

It’s always disappointing when our side backs down from a fight–especially when the other side is demonstrably lying. On Friday afternoon JKLM, the drilling company founded by Terry Pegula (owner of the Buffalo “Marcellus” Bills), announced it is no longer interested in processing brine (wastewater) from shale wells the company drills in Potter County at a proposed shale wastewater treatment plant in Coudersport, PA (see Shale Wastewater Treatment Plant Planned for Potter County, PA). The cutting-edge technology plant, proposed by Epiphany Water Solutions, was opposed by folks who, frankly, lied about it. The lies got so bad that lawyers for Epiphany (and JKLM) recently warned them to stop their lying (see Opponents Slandering Potter Co. Wastewater Facility Legally Warned). JKLM would have been the primary customer for the facility. On Friday, JKLM issued a short statement (below) to say they are no longer interested. We’re guessing they’ve pulled out because of the negative publicity, which is too bad, because it teaches antis that if they make enough noise and enlist lying media to aid them, they can shut down important projects like this one. Is this the end of the Epiphany project–at least in Potter County? JKLM was the primary customer AND financial backer. You do the math…
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Latest OH Wayne Natl Forest Auction a Bust – Leases Go for $3/Acre

The fifth auction by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of federally-owned acreage in Wayne National Forest (WNF) to allow shale drilling was, in a word, a bust. The first four auctions offered up a total of 2,396 acres in total, and sold for over $8 million (average of $3,354 signing bonus per acre). The fifth auction of two smaller parcels–39.6 acres in Monroe County, and 305.8 acres in Noble County–sold for a piddly $2 and $3 signing bonuses per acre, respectively. What in the world happened? MDN reader and friend Charles Winslow, owner of The Wells Inn in Sistersville, WV, writes the INNformer publication. Charles recently published an excellent article about the recent auction and its lackluster results in the INNformer. He offered MDN the opportunity to reprint it (below). Charles finds there are a number of factors for the low auction price–but primarily the blame can be laid at the foot of regulatory uncertainty…
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More Workers Needed for Shell Cracker Plant, Unions Gear Up Training

Last Thursday Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV hosted an event called “Eye on Beaver County” in Beaver, PA–a celebration of Beaver and a discussion about the county’s future. An 11-member panel discussed the past, present and future of the county. The discussion, as you might imagine, quickly turned to Shell’s $6 billion ethane cracker, going up in Monaca even as you read this. A Shell rep and several reps from labor unions were on hand to discuss the manpower issue. The short version is this: Unions for carpenters, ironworkers, steamfitters, and heavy equipment operators need more members, more people to help build the facility. Like, now. The unions offer free training. No, the jobs are not permanent, but such jobs never are. They’re good, high-paying jobs and the jobs will last at least a few years. Plus you get bragging rights–“I helped build the Shell cracker plant.” Here’s how the discussion about the need for more cracker plant workers went at last week’s event…
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Fracking Trespass Case (Rule of Capture) Still Reverberating in PA

Last week MDN brought you the news that the Pennsylvania Superior Court handed down a decision that has the power to greatly restrict, perhaps even stop, Marcellus drilling in PA (see PA Superior Court Overturns “Rule of Capture” for Marcellus Well and PA “Rule of Capture” Case has Power to Limit Marcellus Drilling). The issue, in brief, is that last week’s Superior Court decision disallows using an age-old principle called the “rule of capture” when it comes to shale drilling and fracking. It opens the door to a myriad of frivolous lawsuits claiming that a fracture, a crack created during fracking, is draining gas from a neighbor’s property without justly compensating the neighbor for the gas. Was the court’s decision a big deal? Or was is not such a big deal? We’ve seen stories appear every day since the decision, some indicating the decision is monumental in scope and impact–others saying meh, not so big after all. Which is it? We still believe the issue turns on how far cracks extend out from a wellbore during fracking–and whether you can accurately measure the distance of such fractures. If the cracks extend just a few hundred feet, the court decision is not a big deal. Most drillers stay at least 350 feet from the boundary line when drilling a well–meaning the cracks that drain gas do not extend to neighboring properties. However, if the cracks, the fractures, extend out more than a few hundred feet, say more than 300 feet, that’s a problem. Southwestern Energy responded in the lawsuit that IF their cracks had intruded (trespassed) under the boundary line, it would fall under “rule of capture”–the legal principle of he who gets there first, wins. The court ruled otherwise. We’re still haunted by the definition used (and accepted) in the lawsuit that says fracking fluid and sand can travel up to 3,000 feet…
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Despite Opposition, NEXUS Pipe Will be Done & Running This Year

NEXUS route – click for larger version

NEXUS Pipeline, a $2 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline currently under construction running from Ohio through Michigan–eventually with a connection to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada. NEXUS got final approval for the project from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last August, the first major pipeline to get approved following a newly restored quorum at FERC (see New FERC Quorum Votes Final Approval for NEXUS Pipeline). However, radical environmental groups have fought the project tooth and nail. CORN (Coalition to ReRoute Nexus, folks we call CORNballs), and the far-left Sierra Club, launched lawsuits and regulatory actions against the pipeline. The City of Green, OH initially blocked construction, but later cut a deal to allow the pipeline through the area ($7.5 million talks, see Antis of Green, OH Finally Face Reality – Will Allow NEXUS Pipe). While a few Green antis are attempting to force a referendum to reverse the deal struck by the city, pretty much all of the other opposition has thrown in the towel. We haven’t read/heard from the CORNballs (or Sierra Club) in months. And now, antis in Michigan are admitting defeat–they admit that NEXUS will get built and become operational this year…
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China Threatens U.S. Shale Oil & Gas with Prospect of Tariffs

We don’t know how many times we have to say it (have said it for years, continue to say it): The Chinese are not America’s friends. They are our enemies. We tend to forget it because we love our iPhones and other electronics built by Chinese children. We’ve become far too cozy, too comfortable, in trusting that China will not do anything to harm America for fear of ending their gravy train. When President Trump wisely slapped tariffs on China in retaliation for their THEFT of our companies’ intellectual property and knock-off goods, China felt the need to respond. Part of that response is proposed tariffs on liquefied petroleum gas (i.e propane), and petrochemical products. The not-so-subtle threat is that they may add oil and LNG to the list. Since China imports more U.S. LNG than any other country, a tariff would definitely hurt. Ditto for oil. We currently export 435,000 barrels a day of oil to China. If that oil flow were suddenly shut down, it would have a dramatic impact on the price of oil here at home (sending West Texas Intermediate into the basement again). Meanwhile, West Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce, Woody Thrasher, says he “hopes” all this trade war stuff won’t affect China’s announced $83.7 billion investment in WV, an investment in shale and petrochemicals. The trade situation with China is high stakes stuff. We’re just glad the guy who wrote The Art of the Deal is the one playing a necessary game of chicken with China…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Apr 9, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Pittsburgh lawyer co-founds software co aimed at Marcellus; EQT interim CEO making $850,000/yr; court approves PES bankruptcy plan; climate lawsuit suffers another blow in federal court; CO2 emissions from power plants at lowest levels since 1988–thx to shale; corp raiders forcing smaller shale players to consider M&A; 7% of all fossil fuels never burned; Kinder Morgan threatens to scrap Trans Mountain pipe project in Canada; and more!
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