FERC Approves New Connection to Rover Lateral, but Not the Lateral

Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted a “certificate of public convenience and necessity” (i.e. official approval) for Rover Pipeline to spend $4.7 million to build a new meter station along Rover’s Burgettstown Lateral. The new meter station, to be located in Jefferson County, OH, will connect a pipeline gathering system built and maintained by Utica Gas Services LLC, connecting the gathering system to Rover. The new connection will flow 350 million cubic feet per day of Utica Shale gas into the Rover pipeline system. But here’s the thing: FERC has not yet given Rover permission to begin flowing gas along the Burgettstown Lateral. FERC is playing hardball, withholding permission for Burgettstown and three other laterals until Rover (i.e. Energy Transfer) gets restoration work done along certain portions of the project (see FERC Continues to Block Rover Laterals Until Restoration Work Done). Obviously FERC is planning to let Burgettstown and the other laterals go online, it’s just a matter of time. But FERC is using the laterals (withholding startup) as leverage to make Rover do what it said it would do. Below is more information about UGS-Crawford Meter Station, as it’s called, and FERC’s approval of it…
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Utica Shale’s Impact on Ohio Past 10 Years: $100 Billion!

Aubrey McClendon, co-founder of Chesapeake Energy and founder of American Energy Partners (renamed to Ascent Resources) was the first to recognize the importance of the Ohio Utica Shale and once famously said the Utica is “the biggest thing to hit Ohio since maybe the plow.” Turns out he was right, God rest his soul. The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), a national group of families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers and manufacturers joined together to support America’s energy future, has just released a report that shows from 2006 to 2016, Ohioans saved more than $40 billion (!) on energy costs (natural gas and electricity) because of the Ohio Utica Shale. The report, titled “The Benefits of Ohio’s Natural Gas Production to Energy Consumers and Job Creators” (full copy below), breaks down the savings this way: Ohio residential customers saved close to $15 billion during the 10-year period, while commercial and industrial consumers saved more than $25 billion. But that’s not all. The report also quotes JobsOhio in saying that shale-related investment in the Buckeye State from 2011-2017 was a staggering $63.9 billion. If you add those two numbers together, the amount of money saved on energy (and therefore spent on other things), and the amount of money invested, it totals more than $100 billion of economic impact from shale in Ohio–in ten short years. Put another way, one-tenth of trillion dollars has been spent in Ohio because of shale. Mind-blowing…
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3 Options for Blocked NY Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant

Two days ago MDN told you that New York’s tinhorn dictator, Andrew Cuomo, pulled the rug out from under a fully-permitted and permissioned Marcellus-fired electric plant by directing his corrupt Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to withhold renewing an air permit previously granted (see Cuomo Strikes Again: Blocks Completed Gas-Fired Plant from Starting). We’ve since learned that the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center, a $900 million, 680-megawatt natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY, was just four days away from throwing the switch and beginning operations. The DEC’s previous delays of the project have already cost the CPV $40 million in missed revenue. How much more pain will Cuomo and his corrupt DEC inflict on the plant? And, what can CPV do now, to overcome Cuomo’s blockage of the project? It appears there are three options: (1) contest the decision via an administrative appeals process; (2) seek a court injunction against the DEC; (3) apply for an EPA permit, which is what the DEC is telling them to do. All three options will take time. Seems to us that option #2 will take the least amount of time. CPV is right now mulling their next steps…
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OH Town Threatens to Sue Ascent Resources re Road & Lease Issues

The mayor of Bloomingdale, OH, in Jefferson County, wants Ascent Resources to “come to the table for more fair arrangements on leases, road use agreements and fixing already-damaged roads.” The mayor and the village council are threatening to sue Ascent if they don’t “come to the table.” In other words, pay up or else. What has Ascent done to anger the mayor and village? Primarily the issue involves RUMAs–road use maintenance agreements. Some roads the village says Ascent uses have been damaged and the village wants them fixed. They also want a new agreement in place to pay for more fixes in the future. The mayor also says Ascent is using pressure tactics in leasing land from village residents. Some one-third of the village is now leased. These problems have been going on for about a year now, and the situation seems to be coming to a head…
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FERC Commissioner Rob Powelson Leaving Friday – Deadlock Looms

Our opinion of FERC Commissioner Rob Powelson has gone down over the past month or so (see FERC Gridlock Coming Thx to Rob Powelson (Selfishly) Leaving). Powelson is selfishly leaving FERC after doing excellent work at the agency over the past one year. FERC has five commissioners total. After Powelson leaves, new pipeline projects face the prospect of deadlocked 2-2 FERC votes because two of the commissioners are partisan Democrats who put party bosses above the good of the country (nothing new there). And that makes us angry with Powelson. He should have put his own ambitions on hold for a few more years, for the good of the country, and served out his entire term at FERC. So while Powelson admittedly did good work (he’s from PA and has been a champion for the Marcellus/Utica region), he’s now soiling his reputation by abandoning ship and leaving us with a deadlocked commission. Friday is Powelson’s last official day. He sat down for a final interview with FERC’s official podcast called Open Access…
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Deep Well Services Introducing “Generation 6” Rigs for M-U

Deep Well Services, a Marcellus/Utica-born company that specializes in “snubbing” work (completing those super-long laterals you read about), sold itself this past April (see Deep Well Services Sells Itself to Houston PE Firm White Deer Energy). Deep Well announced a deal to be bought out by Houston private equity firm White Deer Energy. No, Deep Well and the expert team of 220 who work there now are not going anywhere. The company, headquartered in Zelienpole, PA, is staying put–same workers, same management team. But the new “owner” (perhaps we should say funder) will make it possible for Deep Well to hire more people, and enter other markets, including the Texas Permian oil play. Deep Well has long been known for its technological innovations. They’ve worked on the four longest on-shore lateral wells drilled–in the world. One of the laterals they drilled is 20,800 feet long (almost 4 miles). Incredible! Deep Well issued a press release to announce they’re doing it again. The company is currently building three new “Generation 6” rigs, to be used in the Marcellus/Utica and in the Permian. What’s new and different and better about a Gen6? “…the 300K Hydraulic Completion Units include features such as a quick-pick design and slip interlock system. The 15K PSI-rated units have 10,000 foot-pound rotaries.” Whatever that means. We’re sure some of our sharp MDN readers know exactly what it means and why it’s cool. For us, the news is that Deep Well is at it again, pushing the boundaries of technology, making it possible to drill already incredibly long shale wells even longer…
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Happy Birthday! Shale Fracking Turns 20 Years Old

Directional underground (i.e. horizontal) drilling has been around and actively used in oil and gas drilling since the 1930s–nearly 80 years now. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has been around for more than 60 years. But the marriage of the two in order to drill in “tight” rock layers, like shale, has only been around for 20 years. In fact, last week marked the 20th anniversary of George Mitchell (Mitchell Energy) successfully blending the two technologies together to drill in the Barnett Shale of north Texas. In 1998, the new technique was a huge success when the first 90 days of gas production from the S.H. Griffin No. 3 well exceeded production of any of Mitchell Energy’s previous wells. The discovery of horizontal fracking led to what is now called the shale revolution. It is not hyperbole to say it changed the planet. Here’s how…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Aug 9, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Repurposing existing pipelines is safe AND necessary; Roanoke radical activist booted from state board following misuse of credentials to protest pipeline; why your family left New York (and other families are too); China LNG tariffs may affect Permian oil drilling; shale drillers boosting capital expenditures this year; investment advisory firms outed as political hucksters trying to pressure fossil fuel companies; Goldman Sachs tries to buy tanker full of LNG; Russians producing more LNG from Arctic; the shale boom that will never happen, in Mexico; and more!
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