MDN M-U Upstream Almanac 2018 – Who’s Drilling Where & How Much?

MDN is very excited to announce the publication of the Marcellus & Utica Shale Upstream Almanac 2018. The Almanac is a deep dive into the numbers, designed to answer the questions: “Who’s drilling where and how much?” and, “What are the trends? Is drilling going up, down, or maintaining?” It has taken us nearly one year to research and produce this 397-page report. Using data from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection, Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, and West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection, MDN has produced the only report of its kind, looking year by year at (1) how many Marcellus/Utica wells were spud (drilled or begun to be drilled), (2) how many wells are actually producing, (3) how many permits have been issued for new shale wells, (4) how much production was generated for methane, oil and NGLs. This information is available year by year for 2011-2017–not only by each individual county where there was any kind of M-U activity, but also by individual driller. We even show detailed data down to the town level. Because we analyze the data year by year using charts to map the data, important trends become obvious. If Marcellus/Utica drilling activity is important to you, the Almanac is THE critical tool that will help answer many of the questions you have…
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Other Pipelines Pick Up Slack for Exploded Leach XPress

Leach XPress fire

As we told you last week, Columbia Gas Transmission’s Leach XPress Pipeline, which only came online in January, experienced an explosion and fire in Marshall County, WV last Thursday (see Leach Xpress Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County, WV). It’s early days yet, but so far, no word on what may have caused the explosion and resulting fire. The problem is that most (if not all) of the 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus/Utica gas flowing through the pipeline is now stopped. What do shippers do? They find alternatives. And so they have. A Reuters article reports that shippers have cut deals with Energy Transfer’s Rover, Tallgrass’ Rockies Express (REX), EQT’s Equitrans, and Enbridge’s Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) pipelines to flow their gas out of the region. Below is the article highlighting the alternate routes shippers are using, along a second article speculating (in the absence of any hard facts) about what may have caused the explosion…
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Columbia Sues WV Landowners for Delaying Mountaineer XPress Work

It’s one thing for a landowner (or Big Green supporter, sometimes one and the same) to oppose a pipeline project by protesting, asking politicians to get involved, writing to regulatory agencies, etc. We have a great American tradition of free speech. Go for it. But it’s quite another thing to “harass, intimidate and interfere” with work crews in an area by screaming at them and shooting your “large caliber gun” near where they’re working. Columbia Gas Transmission is currently building the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline, a $2 billion, 170-mile pipeline that will flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. It is a big and important project. And yet, a single couple whose land the pipeline does NOT cross can delay the entire project with threats and intimidation and interference. That’s the charge Columbia has made in court. On April 30, Columbia sued a couple in Doddridge County who live near an active construction site for Mountaineer XPress, claiming their hostile actions toward workers have caused a delay for the entire project–and that’s costing Columbia big bucks. Columbia wants to ask a jury to extract some of that lost revenue from the hostile couple as compensation. Lesson: Your (hostile, threatening) actions have consequences, and may cost you money…
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Antis Fight Plan to Convert 2 Class II Injection Wells in OH to Class I

In 2013, Buckeye Brine, a relatively young Ohio-based company, added a second shale wastewater injection well in Coshocton County (see Buckeye Brine Adds Second Injection Well, Business Expands Rapidly). Buckeye later added a third injection well. After an oil or gas well is drilled and fracked, wastewater from fracking flows back out for a week or two. After that, over time (years in most cases) naturally occurring water from deep underground continues to flow. That naturally occurring water contains a lot of dissolved minerals in it, making it much “saltier” than even ocean water–hence the term brine. Buckeye Brine has operated their three Class II (as they are known) injection wells “flawlessly” for the past five years. No earthquakes. No spills. No leaks back to the surface. Nothing. Buckeye now wants to re-designate two of the three wells as Class I wells, which would allow them to accept non-shale wastewater–from industrial equipment operators, soap manufacturers, food processors, power plants, and municipal wastewater treatment plants. The new wastewater sources for a Class I well are considered “nonhazardous.” However, so-called environmental groups are opposing the change from Class II to Class I…
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Antis Rally Near Philly to Permanently Shut Down ME1/ME2 Pipes

PA State Sen. Andy Dinniman

In May, anti-fossil fuel pipeline opponents finally found a single, liberal administrative judge to shut down the Mariner East 1 (ME1) NGL pipeline–a pipeline that’s been operating without any problems for more than a year (see Antis Get Lib Judge to Shut Down All Mariner East Pipes, Dems Rejoice). Sunoco Logistics Partners, the owner of ME1, and the builder of the Mariner East 2 (ME2) Pipeline project, appealed the judge’s decision to the full Public Utility Commission (PUC). A decision about the shutdown (whether to lift is) is due any time. In an attempt to pressure the PUC and Gov. Tom Wolf to *permanently* shut down ME1 and ME2, a group of 150 or so rallied near Philadelphia on Saturday. Something you should know: A total shutdown of ME1 and ME2 is not going to happen. But that doesn’t stop self-deluding nutters from trying. Inevitably the protesters are disappointed. They talk themselves into the fictional fantasy that a pipeline that has been fully permissioned and 98% done (ME2) will simply stop and not be allowed to finish construction and begin operations. They tell themselves they can get a pipeline with a perfect safety record (running for more than a year) permanently shut down. Ain’t gonna happen. But they tell themselves these things, over and over, convincing themselves. People like PA State Sen. Andy “Tony Soprano” Dinniman, recklessly feeds his kook nutbase these fantasies. Totally irresponsible. So they gather, as they did this past weekend, to protest and “demand” that the PUC shut down these projects. What will happen when the full PUC overturns the liberal judge’s biased decision? How will the protesters handle the defeat?…
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2 Bills Affecting Utica Shale Head to Gov Kasich for Signature

OH Gov. John Kasich

A pair of bills recently passed the Ohio State legislature and have gone to Gov. John Kasich’s desk for his signature. Both bills affect companies in the oil and gas space, in particular those drilling in the Utica Shale. One bill, House Bill (HB) 430, tightens up the tax code, what is and what is not allowed as deductions for drilling companies. Ohio state auditors have taken advantage of unclear language to aggressively go after oil and gas companies over legitimate tax breaks they receive under Ohio law (to not pay taxes on equipment used directly in producing oil and gas). Lawmakers want to end the tax witch hunts by clearing up language. They did so back in 2016, but Kasich and Democrats successfully spun the issue as a “tax break” under which up to $264 million would have to be refunded to Big Oil. Total lie. But Kasich vetoed that bill and it died (see OH Gov Kasich Vetoed Misnamed ‘Tax Relief’ for Utica Drillers). The bill is back, in a different form, and sent to Kasich for a signature. Will he sign it this time? The second bill, House Bill (HB) 225, addresses the issue of plugging some of the estimated 600 orphan wells in the Buckeye State. HB 225 triples the amount of money set aside to cap orphan wells (money which comes from Ohio’s severance tax, paid for by oil and gas producers). The bill also “creates a more streamlined and efficient process for identifying and plugging” orphan wells. The amazing thing about HB 225 is that both Big Green groups and the drilling industry support it! We predict a quick signature on this one…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Jun 11, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: PA Senate to consider important o&g bills on June 12; PA House to work on well permit reforms on June 12; California not the only place where anti messages are having an impact; hot commodity in the shale boom–truckers; southern Cali heading for natgas shortage this summer; rising oil prices good for more than just oil companies; White House challenging FERC on grid security; natgas–the miracle fuel; Venezuela’s oil exports heading toward zero; and more!
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