Sunoco’s ME1 Pipe Restarts, ME2 Pipe Pays Another $355K in Fines

On March 3, the Mariner East 1 (ME1) natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline was suddenly switched off by order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) after a sinkhole opened up under the pipeline in Chester County, exposing some of the bare steel to the open air (see PA PUC Shuts Down Mariner 1 Pipeline Due to Mariner 2 Sinkhole). Sunoco Logistics Partners, the owner of ME1, is building a new set of pipelines called Mariner East 2 (ME2) close to the existing ME1 pipeline. Construction work in the area on ME2 led to the sinkhole that exposed ME1. The PUC asked Sunoco to drill holes and pour concrete in them to firm up ME1, which Sunoco did (see PA PUC Asks Sunoco to Drill Holes, Pour Concrete to Firm Up ME1). A full two months after ordering ME1 turned off, costing Sunoco (and Range Resources) millions of dollars in lost revenue, the PUC told Sunoco they could restart ME1. As of today, propane and ethane have resumed flowing through ME1. But what The Almighty State grants with one hand, it takes away with the other. Although Sunoco paid a massive $12.6 million fine in February to the Dept. of Environmental Protection related to ME2 construction misadventures (see Sunoco LP Pays PA DEP $12.6M to Resume ME2 Pipeline Construction), yesterday the DEP assessed Sunoco *another* $355,622 penalty for more ME2 misadventures–what DEP calls “violations of the Clean Streams Law”…
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CNX Resources 1Q18: Record High Production as Utica Skyrockets

Yesterday CNX Resources, formerly CONSOL Energy, released its first quarter 2018 update–its first full 3-month update since separating from the coal company. CONSOL began life as a coal company 150 years ago and only in recent decades entered the oil and gas business. The company split itself into coal and oil/gas back in November (see CONSOL Energy Split Done – Meet “New” Gas Driller CNX Resources). So 1Q18 is the first full quarter as a standalone o&g company for CNX. And what a quarter it was! Production of everything–gas, NGLs and oil, called “equivalent” was 129.5 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) in 1Q18, which works out to be 1.4 Bcfe per day–an increase of 36% over 1Q17. Production from Marcellus wells (gas and liquids), which is the majority of CNX’s wells, was up 14%. However, production from CNX’s Utica wells was up a huge 184% over 1Q17. Utica volumes (43.5 Bcfe in 1Q18) are rapidly catching up to Marcellus volumes (65.9 Bcfe in 1Q18). Here’s the latest from CNX…
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Shale Industry Outlines Case Against Latest PA Severance Tax Plan

As we reported earlier this week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who has been lauded as the most liberal governor in America, once again pushed for a Marcellus-killing severance tax (see Broken Record: Wolf, Dems & RINOs Float 4% Severance Tax). Since Wolf stood flanked by two Republican and two Democrat lawmakers earlier this week in announcing a pair of new severance tax bills, mainstream media has continuously run the headline of a “bipartisan” effort. What they don’t tell you is that the two RINOs who stood with Wolf are just about the only ones who support this lunacy. As must happen with each renewed effort by Wolf to steal money from the industry to hand it over to teacher unions in Philadelphia (which IS the purpose of the severance tax, we are not engaging in hyperbole), the industry must launch a counter-offensive. The shale industry, in remaining vigilant, has published a number of comments and columns to set the record straight. We must tell the truth about Wolf’s proposed severance tax. Stepping up the plate to do so is the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA), and the American Petroleum Institute of PA (API-PA). Here, in their own words, is the response to Wolf’s “four year bad idea”…
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Va. State Senator Suing Forest Service for Blocking Illegal Protests

There is nothing mysterious or complex about the actions taken by a Virginia State Senator, Chap Petersen (Democrat from the swamp, the D.C. area). Petersen is a lawyer and has just sued the U.S. Forest Service because the Forest Service is blocking a road in the Jefferson National Forest, which is their RIGHT to do (they manage it), because down that gravel road are several ILLEGAL TRESPASSERS who refuse to come down from trees that need to be cut down to make way for the federally-approved Mountain Valley Pipeline. There’s nothing complex in understanding that Petersen (did we mention he’s a Democrat?) supports lawlessness and anarchy. Imagine that, a lawmaker who supports people that break the laws he makes. How idiotic is that? Here’s the story of how Virginia Dems in high places continue to flout the laws of our country in their quest to retain political power (and contributions) by currying favor with radical Big Green supporters…
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Another Look at “Rule of Capture” Case that Threatens PA Marcellus

MDN brought you important news in April that the Pennsylvania Superior Court had handed down a decision (known as the “Briggs” case) 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 the 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. Southwestern successfully argued in a lower court that the odd crack here and there that may slip under a neighbor’s property is permissible. The landowner appealed to Superior Court and three judges heard the case. Southwestern, following the decision, petitioned the Superior Court to have all of the sitting justices (called en banc) hear the case (see Southwestern Appeals “Trespass” Case to Entire PA Superior Court). No word yet on whether the Superiors will do it. In the meantime, we spotted an article by the ace lawyers at the Blank Rome law firm discussing the case and its implications. We can’t stress enough just how critical this case is to the future of drilling in Pennsylvania, which is why we bring you the following…
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1Q18 Midstream Potpourri: Williams, MarkWest, Summit, Tallgrass

Every three months publicly traded companies, including those with major operations in the Marcellus/Utica, issue a required quarterly update for stockholders. It’s often referred to as “earnings season.” We like to cull through the updates to share items of interest with MDN readers. For drilling companies we dedicate an entire post to each company. We typically don’t cover midstream (i.e. pipeline) companies as much. However, there are a number of important projects cooking with companies like Williams, MarkWest Energy (MPLX), Summit Midstream and Tallgrass (REX Pipeline). We culled through the press releases and analyst phone call transcripts to pick out comments and portions that we think are helpful in understanding where some of these important projects are, and how they impact the bottom line of said companies. Below is our 1Q18 midstream potpourri…
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Americans Being Duped by Russians into Opposing Pipelines

This story should make every patriotic American good and angry–at how Russia continues to try to defeat the American shale miracle (for Russia’s own selfish economic reasons). And it should make anti-fossil fuelers ashamed at how easily they’re played (and how stupid they really are), to fall for the propaganda campaigns run by Russia against American shale energy. An article recently appearing on the McClatchy news service exposes how Russian operatives, using false identities on Twitter and other social media platforms, convinced a handful of stupid anti-fossil fuelers in Miami to turn up at a fake rally, and then a Russian television network swooped in to film it, circulating that footage, convincing even more antis to organize and rise up against the Sabal Trail pipeline. It was a resistance movement generated whole cloth from nothing by Russia. All in an effort to get the pipeline shut down. Which may now happen! Bottom line: a bunch of stupid American antis allowed themselves to be played by Russians against their own country. Russian money also pours into groups like the Sierra Club via offshore accounts. The Sierra Club turns around and uses that money to oppose American infrastructure projects in the oil and gas industry. Call Robert Mueller! Somebody needs to investigate!…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, May 4, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Crawford County CNG fueling station opens; Broome County admits solar farm deal was bad; Green, OH hosts town hall to discuss NEXUS pipe safety; power plant projects invest $4.6B in Mahoning Valley; Susquehanna County training kids for careers in the gas fields; anti-frackers hope to fool Youngstown voters with lies; for 40 years Hollywood tried to kill nuke energy–now its trying to save it; natgas to flow to Scugog Island; China is getting better at fracking; and more!
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