Huntley & Huntley to Use Gas-Powered Electric Fracking in SWPA

Huntley & Huntley, with some 100,000 acres leased in southwestern Pennsylvania, has kicked its shale drilling program into high gear this year. Yesterday we told you that a former Range Resources veteran in charge of Range’s Marcellus drilling program has joined up with H&H (see Retired Range VP of Marcellus Heads to Huntley & Huntley as COO). We have more H&H news: The company has contracted with oilfield services company U.S. Well Services to use “electric fracking”–natural gas powered electric fracture stimulation. It’s more environmentally friendly than diesel-powered fracking, reducing noise by 99% and fuel consumption by 90%.
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Transco Wins “Precedential” Fed Court Decision to Use Eminent Domain

Williams’ Transco Pipeline has just won a major eminent domain court case for its Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project that will have implications for all pipelines. Yes, Atlantic Sunrise is now in the ground and flowing natural gas (see FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise for Startup! Pipe Opens Sat. Oct. 6). However, a small group of landowners in Lancaster County opposed to Atlantic Sunrise resisted and would not allow Transco to build. So Transco sued and won a court order, based on the right of delegated eminent domain granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to immediately take possession of those properties and build the pipeline. The landowners continued to fight the order and the case eventually ended up in federal court.
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Univ of Pittsburgh Awarded $1.76M to Test Frack Wastewater Tech

Pictured from left with the DIAMOND membrane distillation technology are Dr. Vidic, post-doc Yoshihiko Inagaki, Dr. Khanna, and graduate student researcher Zhewei Zhang. CREDIT: Swanson School of Engineering

The University of Pittsburgh is getting a $1.76 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to pilot test a new method of treating frack wastewater. When we read the headline about this grant we rolled our eyes. Really?! There are plenty of private firms who cracked the frack wastewater recycling code years ago! We’ve personally seen several of them at work. Why do we need yet more research to do the same thing? But then we read further. Not only does Pitt claim they have “cracked the code” in producing a better way to recycle frack wastewater, they have innovated a way to use “waste heat available at drilling sites and natural gas compressor stations to safely treat shale gas wastewater for reuse.” Hmmm. Now that *is* interesting, and perhaps worth funding.
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Fight Continues to Install Last Piece of 200-Mile Pipe in VA Beach

We previously highlighted Virginia Natural Gas’ (VNG) “Southside Connector” project, a 9-mile pipeline from Norfolk, VA to Chesapeake, VA that VNG says will fill a gap between two main supply lines, essential to meet growing natural gas demand in the Chesapeake area. The final 2,000 feet of pipeline needs to be laid, but will run under a river and shipyard located on the bank of the river. The shipyard owner adamantly opposes the pipeline and has launched an all-out campaign to stop it (see The Fight to Install Last 9 Miles of 200-Mile Pipeline in VA Beach). The shipyard owner says there’s welding, torching, grinding–all sorts of work with sparks happening in his yard. He maintains it’s “crazy” to build a high-pressure natural gas pipeline under his operation with so many potential ignition sources should a leak occur. Is he right?
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PA DEP Sec. McDonnell Goes to Williamsport to Chat Up the Locals

PA DEP Secretary Pat McDonnell

Several topics were on the table yesterday as Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Pat McDonnell visited Williamsport to chat up the local hoi polloi. Global warming was a hot topic (pun intended). So too was the obscene 240% hike in shale permit fees from $5,000 to $12,000 per well. Being a good Democrat, the Secretary mischaracterized President Trump’s attempts to correct the Obama EPA’s wild overregulation as a “rollback on air and water quality.” Nice try Pat, but no cigar. Here’s a summary of McDonnell’s gassing around session yesterday in Williamsport.
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Universities Float Plan for Utica-Powered Microgrid in Cleveland

Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University have floated a bold plan to build a $100 million microgrid to power the city of Cleveland, OH’s central business district in downtown, a 2-3 square mile area. At the heart of the microgrid would be a Utica gas-fired combined heat and power system (CHP). The CHP plant would produce up to 48 megawatts of electricity and act as a backup and/or alternative to the grid. The cost per kilowatt-hour would higher than electricity from the regular grid, but hey, it would mean virtually 100% up-time, providing electricity when grid demand is extreme (hot summers, cold winters). It’s all about reliability.
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Labor Union Training Begins in Va. to Build Atlantic Coast Pipe

The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) is ramping up to begin training local Virginia residents as construction workers for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The initial training will start in Buckingham County. LIUNA’s training includes both classroom and hands-on training. Folks have been pestering LIUNA for months, asking why they have not already begun training. The reason is simple: You don’t begin training until you’re ready to put people into the field to use that training. You don’t train them and then wait for months on end–while they forget what they just learned. LIUNA’s training program launch means that construction on ACP in Virginia is about to ramp up in a big way.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Nov 1, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: STEM training of area educators will help students prepare for future; Appalachian region consumers saved more than $75 billion over 10 years from lower natural gas prices; W.Va. lawmakers, associations weigh in on potential energy legislation; U.S. monthly crude oil production exceeds 11 million barrels per day in August; U.S. natural gas goes global; Facing Trump coal and nuclear push, new energy panel chief swears off politics; ‘Saudi America’ review: The truth about fracking?; Wind farms cause global warming? Please, say it isn’t so!; BP rebrands Lower 48 operations as BPX Energy; North America’s No. 2 shale producer to emerge from this merger; How Trump can undo America’s most expensive and least effective environmental law; Pieridae gets thumbs up for Goldboro LNG construction; M&A: Oil majors jockey for position to ride an LNG boom.
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