Shakeup: Gulfport CEO Michael Moore Fired, Interim CEO Appointed

Michael Moore – out as CEO of Gulfport Energy

Last week Gulfport Energy, an independent oil and gas driller with significant acreage positions in the Utica Shale of eastern Ohio and the SCOOP Woodford and SCOOP Springer plays in Oklahoma, issued its full third quarter 2018 update. Gulfport previously issued an operational update several weeks ago (see Gulfport 3Q18 Operations Update: 11 New Utica Wells). Gulfport didn’t issue the full update, with financials, until last week. Perhaps we now know why: the company canned their CEO, Michael G. Moore, following allegations that he used a company credit card, and the company chartered jet, for personal uses. Gulfport appointed COO Donnie Moore (no relation to Michael) to be interim CEO while they figure out next steps.
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FERC OKs Final 2 Rover Pipeline Laterals – Now 100% Online

Flashback: In May of this year, Energy Transfer CEO Thomas Long said Rover Pipeline would be fully online by June 1st (see ETP Update: Rover Fully Online by June 1, Mariner East 2 Online 3Q18). Whoops. Gotta watch those “forward-looking statements” Tom. A large portion of the pipeline, designated Phase 1A, finally began flowing natural gas on Sept. 1st (see Big Portion of Rover Pipeline Now Up & Running – Thru Most of Ohio). Other bits and bobs have come online since that time. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held back final approvals for some Rover laterals (offshoot pipelines that gather gas from various locations) as a way to force ET to perform clean-up work (see FERC Continues to Block Rover Laterals Until Restoration Work Done). The final two laterals, located in West Virginia, are now cleared to begin operation.
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WV Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Gas-Fired Power Plant

ESC Brooke County power plant concept drawing

Last Thursday the West Virginia Supreme Court effectively ended opposition against building natural gas-fired power plants in the Mountain State. We’ve brought you a number of articles detailing how the coal lobby has tried its best, via numerous lawsuits, to block three Marcellus-fired power plants from getting built (see Murray Energy Continues to Block Gas-Fired Plants in WV). The final attempt to stop these projects is to challenge air permits issued by the WV Public Service Commission. Isn’t that rich? Coal objecting to air permits for natural gas electric plants, which pollute far less than coal. The WV Supreme Court took up a challenge by Big Coal (i.e. coal baron Robert Murray) against one of the projects located in Brooke County. Last week the Supremes ruled in favor of the gas-fired plant. Victory! So when will construction begin?
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MPLX $7M Fine/Settlement: Fix Air Pollution in PA-WV-OH-KY-TX-OK

MPLX, i.e. MarkWest Energy, has been slapped pretty hard by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection, and several other state environmental agencies. Last Thursday the federal EPA serving as lead agency, announced a settlement with MPLX (and its various subsidiaries) to pay nearly $7 million in fines and corrective actions to cut down on air emissions at 21 of its plants in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas and Oklahoma. Of that total, $925,000 is a fine or “penalty” for violating clean air laws at the plants. The rest of the money will be spent on corrective actions to fix things and cut down on air emissions.
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15 Candidates Running for PA House/Senate Want to Ban Fracking

The left-most contingent in the Pennsylvania Democrat Party wants to ban all fracking in the state. It’s fringe, but all such oddball movements start out as fringe. Of particular note in this election season is that a group of these ban-fracking nutters have gotten themselves on the ballot in 15 PA House and Senate races around the state. As you might expect, most of the ban-frackers are running in counties in the Philadelphia orbit (Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Philly itself). There are some from outside (but still close to) Philly, in Northampton and Carbon counties. There are a few in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh area). There’s even one running in Centre County. We have the full list of 15 people that our friends in PA should be sure to NOT vote for in tomorrow’s very important election.
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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Climate Lawsuit by 21 Kids to Proceed

The U.S. Supreme Court is a Supreme Disappointment. Lawyers representing (we’d call it mentally abusing and using) a group of 21 children filed a lawsuit in 2015 that aims to force the end of using all fossil fuels in the United States, to address so called man-made global warming. That case survived numerous challenges and was set to go to trial Oct. 29 in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. The Trump Dept. of Justice petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the case from advancing to trial (see DOJ Asks Supreme Court to Stop Climate Lawsuit by 21 Kids). Chief Justice John Roberts subsequently slapped a halt on the case and ordered both sides to give him more information (see U.S. Supreme Court Stops Climate Lawsuit by 21 Kids, Temporarily). However, the Supremes, in a decision issued Friday, refused to dismiss the case. But all is not lost.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Nov 5, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: PA DEP accepting applications for 2019 Environmental Education Grants; PA DEP accepting applications for Alternative Fuels Corridor Infrastructure Grants; Dec. 4 hearings on Adelphia natural gas pipeline compressor stations near Phila.; Natural gas to cost less in W.Va., Ky.; Did Tom Steyer instigate the DRBC fracking ban?; Virginia oil, gas awards presented to 15 on Oct. 23; Permian natural gas: more production, infrastructure and demand; Trump administration blinks on Iranian oil sanctions; Iran LNG on hold under US sanctions impact; Mexico to ramp up LNG imports from the U.S.; Why are Middle Eastern LNG imports soaring?; Britain’s Cuadrilla extracts first shale gas at English fracking site.
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