New Yale U Study Finds Fracking Does Not Affect PA Water Wells

Here’s what happens when the Heinz Endowments, William Penn Foundation, National Resources Defense Council and other far-left “environmental” funders don’t fund a study: real science gets done. We’ve knocked Yale University in the past when so-called studies (junk science) were released about fracking in the Marcellus/Utica (example from March 2018: Yale Study Claims Ohio Utica Fracking Causes STDs). Those studies are almost always funded by Big Green groups and the results conform to Big Green’s predetermined outcomes. This time, a group of Yale students and professors conducted a field experiment where they drilled a number of water wells in an area where there would soon be (and subsequently was) Marcellus wells drilled–in Susquehanna County, PA. A controlled experiment to find out if drilling shale wells leads to water contamination via methane migration. The results are in. According to the Yale researchers, there was NO (zero, nada) impact on the water wells from nearby shale well drilling. Case closed. The study (full copy below) was published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It’s the third such study in the past few months to be released showing the same thing: NO impact from Marcellus/Utica drilling on groundwater supplies. The funny thing is how biased mainstream media, like (Dis)Associated Press, is reporting it. They can’t paper over the results of these studies, so they spin the story and the headline instead. Try this headline out from an AP article running in dozens (maybe hundreds) of newspapers: “Studies show groundwater holding own against drilling boom.” The truth is there is no impact from Marcellus Shale drilling on groundwater. But AP simply can’t present the bold, honest truth. Instead, they spin it to imply “Water has to hold it’s own and fight off fracking. That water is brave. It’s courageous. Even though those nasty frackers WANT to pollute our precious groundwater, that old water just hangs in there and holds its own.” That’s the impression left by AP’s headline and the accompanying story…
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Trade War Puts $83.7 Billion Chinese Investment in WV on Hold

You can’t say we didn’t warn you. In early April, when the current “trade war” with China began to heat up, we said this with respect to the deal China signed to invest $83.7 billion in West Virginia shale and petrochemicals: “However, if a trade war does develop, it would be foolish to not think those investments (withholding them) will be used against us.” (Will Trade War with China Affect $83.7B Investment in WV Shale?) At yesterday’s Northeast U.S. Petrochemical Construction Conference in Pittsburgh, our fears (and prediction) were confirmed. Chinese officials were due to attend the event and announce the first round of investments in WV. However, Brian Anderson, director of the West Virginia University Energy Institute, said given the trade war now on with China, the officials elected to stay home instead. Anderson said, “The pending trade war has put this project in jeopardy.” Add to the trade war the fact that WV Gov. Jim Justice just fired the guy who built the relationships and negotiated the $83.7 billion deal, Commerce Sec. Woody Thrasher (see WV Commerce Secretary Who Brokered $83B China Deal…Fired), and it doesn’t bode well for China’s billions of investment. The Chinese are using their announced investment as an economic weapon against the U.S. Which points out the folly of relying on investments from your enemies to prop up your economy. Make no mistake: China is an enemy of the United States. However, there’s one thing the Chinese are not retaliating against, and indeed something they want more of: U.S. LNG…
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EIA June ’18 Drilling Report: M-U Production Up Another 1/3 Bcf/d

Yesterday our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report, the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR is the EIA’s best guess, based on expert data crunchers, as to how much each of the U.S.’s seven major shale plays will produce for both oil and natural gas in the coming month. Each month, as has been happening for months on end, the Marcellus/Utica region (called Appalachia in the report) continues to see production go through the roof. Last month (and the month before and the month before) EIA predicted M-U production would go up by more than 1/3 of a billion cubic feet (see EIA May ’18 Drilling Report: M-U Gas & Permian Oil on Fire). Once again for this month, EIA says in the coming 30 days M-U production will grow another 1/3 Bcf–371 million cubic feet/day to be precise. Because of the enormous amount of associated gas coming out of holes along with oil in plays like the Permian and Bakken, collectively all seven major shale plays will produce an additional 1.1 Bcf/d in the next 30 days. It is simply astonishing! No less astonishing is the amount of oil output. Oil will increase an average of 141,000 barrels per day in the next 30 days. Needless to say, but gas and oil output for the coming month breaks another record. Shale is the gift that keeps on giving…
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FERC Grants MVP Permission to Cross Blue Ridge Pkwy in Virginia

The good news keeps rolling in for Mountain Valley Pipeline–a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline currently under construction from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. MVP is being built to move Marcellus/Utica gas south. Following multiple lawsuits and regulatory challenges by Big Green groups, MVP is getting work done and on track to be completed this year. Just last week we told you that following delays by illegal protesters sitting in trees in the Jefferson National Forest, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission helpfully extended tree cutting season for MVP to July 31 (see Big Green Fail – MVP Permission to Cut Trees in VA Until July 31). One of the faux arguments against MVP used by “environmentalists” is that the pipeline will cross under the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia–somehow doing irreparable damage in the process. Good news: MVP has just received permission to drill and insert the pipeline under the Blue Ridge Parkway, which will have antis howling at the moon…
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FERC Authorizes Tetco TEAL Phase II – Connecting to NEXUS Pipe

Here’s a project we’ve mentioned in passing as part of other posts, but until now, have not specifically focused on. In August 2017, Enbridge received approval (a certificate) from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct and operate the Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease Project (“TEAL Project”). TEAL boosts the capacity along the Texas Eastern Transmission Company (Tetco) pipeline and connects it to the NEXUS pipeline. NEXUS has been under construction since last October (see NEXUS Pipeline Begins Construction in OH, MI). TEAL will bump up volumes of Utica/Marcellus gas along Tetco by an extra 950 million cubic feet per day–nearly 1 billion cubic feet! The markets for the gas are the Midwest and Canada. The justification for the project, when it was filed two years ago, was “offsetting the impact of the decline in traditional western Canadian supplies available to serve these markets.” That was before TransCanada lowered the tolls along its pipeline to bring more western Canadian gas to eastern Canada. Oops. What’s done is done. On December 19, 2017, Texas Eastern received approval to proceed with construction of the Phase I TEAL Project facilities. Last week Texas Eastern requested permission to begin Phase II in Columbiana and Belmont counties (in Ohio), and yesterday FERC said yes…
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TransCanada Bringing More W Canada Gas East to Compete with M-U

TransCanada, one of Canada’s leading midstream/pipeline companies, cooked up a deal in 2016 to pipe natural gas from Canada’s West Coast to the East Coast in order to fend off cheap supplies of Marcellus/Utica gas that will flow into Canada from the NEXUS and Rover pipelines (see TransCanada Pipe Drops Price 42% to Compete with Marcellus/Utica). TransCanada dropped their pipeline price to lure drillers by (theoretically) making it less expensive to get gas from Western Canada, some 2,400 miles away, than from the Marcellus, just 400 miles away. Following a couple of open seasons and stiff regulatory hurdles, the plan was adopted and went into service last November (see TransCanada Pipe Begins Lowball Shipping to Compete with Marc/Utica). In February, TransCanada announced a $1.9 billion plan to expand its Western Canadian pipeline system in a bid to gather up and send even more Western Canadian gas to the East Coast–to compete with our gas (see TransCanada Spending $1.9B to Bring More Canadian Gas to Northeast). The expansion plan calls for an additional 1 billion cubic feet per day of gas to flow through the Nova Gas Transmission Line (NGTL) in Western Canada, which in turn connects to TransCanada’s Canadian Mainline that hauls gas to our region. The new news is that TransCanada has done it yet again. They’ve cut agreements with shippers for another 280 million cubic feet per day of natgas on the NGTL system…
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Diversified Gas & Oil Adds to Conventional Assets in KY, VA, WV

UPDATE: A source has shared with us who is doing the selling–see our note below.

Diversified Gas & Oil, founded in 2001, is an operator of oil and gas wells (and pipelines). According to the Diversified website, the company’s “innovative, disciplined investment strategy is focused on the acquisition of mature, low-decline and low-risk wells, enhancement of operations with a focus on efficiency, and maximization of profitability for shareholders.” Diversified issued a press release last week to say it has signed a letter of intent to purchase 2.5 million acres of leases, and 11,350 wells, in Appalachia–for $575 million. The acreage and wells are located in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. Although the press release doesn’t say, the wells are almost certainly all conventional wells (no shale wells). We were not able to determine if any of the acreage includes rights to drill shale wells. Given the company’s focus on “low-decline and low-risk wells,” we have to conclude they target only conventional wells, since shale wells are high decline and moderate to high risk (sink a shale well in the wrong place and you just blew $7-8 million). Diversified recently closed on deals to pick up acreage and wells from both Alliance Petroleum Corporation and CNX Resources. Who’s the seller this time? We have a guess about who it may be…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Jun 19, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: PA Senate committee OKs pipeline eminent domain landowner bill of rights; another CNG station starts up – in Altoona; dozens seek jobs in “fastest growing industry in Ohio Valley”; trucks take their toll on OH roads; Tellurian selling shares to fund Driftwood LNG pipeline; Pruitt faces revolt in Trump country; shale is a uniquely American story; NYC’s hired guns for climate lawsuit get pushback from judge; the pope lectures oil CEOs on global warming; Russian pipeline bad news for Ukraine; and more!
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