Cabot O&G Fracks Its First OH Knox Well, Drilling 3rd OH Well

According to a news account from Ohio, Cabot Oil & Gas is either in the midst of, or just recently completed, fracking their very first shale well in central Ohio. The well is located in Ashland County’s Green Township. As we previously reported, Cabot is targeting the Knox formation (see Cabot O&G Opens Branch Office in OH – Hoping to Find Oil in Knox). Cabot has already drilled two wells, fracked one, and moved their drilling rig last week to Vermillion Township (also in Ashland County) to begin drilling a third well. The first three wells are all located in Ashland. As for the next two, Cabot isn’t 100% sure. Maybe another well in Ashland, but maybe a well in Richland County instead. Cabot’s George Stark says to stay tuned for the location of the final two test wells the company will drill. Cabot plans to have all five test wells drilled and fracked by the end of this year. “It should be a busy September and October,” according to Stark…
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Price of PA Marcellus Gas Going Higher, Even with More Production

In an interesting coincidence, we spotted two different stories on the same day about the price of gas in the Marcellus Shale–detailing how prices this year are much higher than they were last year at this same time, and speculating that the perhaps we have finally turned a corner and our prices (compared with the benchmark Henry Hub price) will stay higher. Which is good news for both drillers and landowners who get royalty checks from those drillers. Why are northeast gas prices higher today and staying higher? In a word, pipelines. With Rover Pipeline now online and the final laterals that feed it going online soon, with NEXUS coming online by the end of this year (both of those projects carting gas to the Midwest and Canada), and with Atlantic Sunrise and other pipelines coming online to cart gas to the south, even as far as the Gulf Coast, Marcellus/Utica molecules are finding new homes in higher-paying markets. As Martha Stewart says, “That’s a good thing!”…
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BLM Panders to Radicals, Cancels OH Wayne Natl Forest Auctions

Wayne National Forest

One step forward and two steps back. That’s the modus operandi of the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the DC swamp dwellers who run it. After 10 long years, BLM finally began to auction a small amount of acreage in Wayne National Forest (WNF) in 2016 (see BLM Launches Auction to Lease Wayne National Forest for Fracking). WNF is a “patchwork” of public land scattered among private land. Some 60% of the mineral rights below WNF are privately owned. Those mineral rights owners have been denied the use of their property rights for over a decade. BLM controls drilling on federally-protected lands like WNF. BLM eventually conducted four (we think it’s four) auctions with under 2,000 acres total. And yet BLM still refuses to let drilling commence (see BLM Blocks Eclipse from Completing Utica Well in Wayne Natl Forest). On August 7 BLM announced another auction, for a piddly 75 acres. A radical Big Green group (far far out of the mainstream) called the Center for Biological Diversity protested the auction, and on August 28 BLM canceled the auction “while an appeal is under consideration.” That’s all it takes. Throw some Big Green money at eager radical lawyers, and everything stops. That’s all the excuse BLM needs. Who the heck in the Trump Administration is in charge of BLM? And why is this happening during Trump’s watch??…
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2 New Protesters Take to Trees in Va. to Stop Mountain Valley Pipe

Tree sitters protest the Mountain Valley Natural Gas Pipeline, Sept. 5, 2018 (Photo courtesy Lauren Bowman)

We thought we had seen the last of Big Green protesters with names like “Ink,” “Sprout,” “Red,” “Nutty,” “Fern” and “Decard” illegally sitting in the tops of trees (or on poles) in Virginia as a tactic to prevent Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) from cutting trees along the path of the pipeline. Nope. We have two more: “Lauren” and “Nettle.” Two youngsters (early 20s) have built themselves a make-shift tree house in Montgomery County, VA.–in the path of trees that are due to be cut down for MVP. Draping a banner that says, “No Prisons, No Pipelines” (whatever that means), the two nutjobs say they pick and choose which laws they want to obey. Which is called anarchy. But that’s their philosophy. They don’t agree with the law that says EQT Midstream has the right to build MVP, so they’re illegally attempting to stop it. As near as we can tell, they’ll have a long wait. Due to federal laws protecting bats and other so-called endangered species, MVP can’t cut those trees until November. At least that’s our understanding. At any rate, we now have two more protesters who will need to be starved or otherwise forced out the trees. When that finally happens (as it will), the police need to send a bill for their services to the protesters, not MVP…
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Riverkeeper Lawsuit Against Atlantic Sunrise Tossed by Fed Court

In May 2016, three Big Green groups–THE Delaware Riverkeeper, Lancaster Against Pipelines and the Sierra Club (fueled by money from the William Penn Foundation and Heinz Endowments)–conspired and sued the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) saying the DEP erred in granting federal Clean Water Act “401” stream crossing permits for Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project (see Dela. Riverkeeper Launches Lawsuit Against Atlantic Sunrise Project). It took nearly two and a half years, but yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit finally rejected the lawsuit. Although the lawsuit was frivolous and a long-shot to begin with, we’re glad to see it resolved. It’s never good to have these lawsuits hanging out there–especially since startup of Atlantic Sunrise is coming any day now, which will be the ultimate victory over these nutters (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Slightly Delayed, Ready by Sept 10). Riverkeeper’s Maya van Rossum, who fancies herself the sole protector of the Delaware River, threw a snit fit…
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NJ Towns Win Delay for Phase 2 of Garden State Expansion Pipe

You win some, you lose some. Today we brought you the news that THE Delaware Riverkeeper and other radical groups lost their case opposing the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project (see Riverkeeper Lawsuit Against Atlantic Sunrise Tossed by Fed Court). However, the same court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, went the other way on a different Williams project. Last August two New Jersey towns sued in federal court, seeking to overturn a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve Williams’ Transco Garden State Expansion pipeline project (see FERC Fights NJ Town Effort to Decertify Garden State Expansion). The project was created to address supply disruptions following Superstorm Sandy in 2012. By upgrading compressor stations and adding a new meter station, the Garden State Expansion project will supply an extra 180 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas to “a new delivery point on Transco’s existing Trenton Woodbury Lateral pipeline.” Two towns in Burlington County (Bordentown and Chesterfield) where some of the work would be done for Phase 2 of the project filed a lawsuit asking the Third Circuit to overturn FERC’s previous decision to allow the project. They also asked that permits issued by the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) be revoked. Yesterday the court ruled that NJDEP erred by issuing permits for the project. However, the court ruled that the towns’ challenges to FERC’s order allowing the project lack merit (and were dismissed). So, a partial victory–but still more delays because of the ruling re NJDEP…
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Responding to Sore Loser Antis re Shale Court Cases

Blond Boy Crying

Ever notice how antis get all hot and bothered when they lose a court case? They holler and scream and rant and rave. Some even lay down and roll on the floor like two-year-olds. The refrain is always the same: “The court sided with the natural gas industry!” But that claim is not true. The editorial writers at the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail recently penned an editorial that, in so many words, tells antis to grow up. They do an excellent job of pointing out the courts are not siding with the industry, they’re siding with the law. Which is a strange and unfamiliar concept for many snowflake antis who were never told “NO” by their parents…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Sep 6, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: New partnership provides STEM grants for West Virginia educators; Here’s the latest sign that Permian shale oil is slowing down; Like that cleaner air you’re breathing? Fracking says, ‘You’re welcome!’; Trump to name climate change skeptic as adviser on emerging technologies; Nord Stream 2 pipelay work starts in Finland; ExxonMobil to invest in chemical complex, LNG terminal in China; India to buy Iranian oil despite sanction threat; and more!
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