PA DEP Goes WAY Too Far in Approving New Methane Regulations

regulations

You know when eco-leftists stand up and cheer for proposed new government regulations to “curb methane emissions”–those regulations are precisely what you DON’T want to have enacted. That’s what happened yesterday as the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Environmental Quality Board (EQB) approved onerous new regulations that supposedly will capture every last molecule of stray methane that leaks from shale drilling operations. The new regs are unnecessary and will shut down even more shale drilling operations in the state.
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Big M-U Drillers Slash 2020 Spending a Collective 25%

For months MDN has brought you bits and pieces of news from individual drillers, detailing plans to cut back on spending for new drilling in the Marcellus/Utica in 2020. It’s not just happening in the M-U–it’s happening across the country. The experts at RBN Energy have a terrific new post that pulls information about major drillers scaling back into one place. They analyze spending by three different groups of drillers: oil-focused, diversified, and gas-focused drillers. In the third category, all but one of the gas-focused drillers have major operations in the M-U. The stats are sobering. As a collective group, M-U gas drillers have pledged to cut their 2020 budgets 25% from the already-lower spending that happened this year. Ouch.
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Keystone Clearwater “Comes Home” to Former Owner, Sale Complete

Keystone Clearwater Solutions, a company that provides water services for shale drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, is “coming home” in a sense. We told you in November that SC Water, LLC, a Pennsylvania-based natural gas and oil industry investment group, announced it had signed an agreement to buy Keystone Clearwater from American Water for an undisclosed amount (see American Water Selling PA Frack Water Co. Keystone Clearwater). The deal is now done and ownership has transferred.
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Banpu Invests Another $770M in Shale – but Not in PA Marcellus

Devon’s Barnett acreage purchased by Kalnin/Banpu (click for larger version)

Just yesterday MDN ran a story about a ceremony held by Thailand’s Banpu in opening a new regional office in northeastern Pennsylvania, an indication of their commitment to the PA Marcellus where they’ve (so far) invested $500 million (see Banpu Opens New $5M Marcellus Operations Office in NEPA). And just like that, Banpu bought out all of Devon Energy’s Barnett Shale assets in Texas–spending $770 million to do so. Which points out yes, drillers and investors DO have choices and yes, their money WILL leave Pennsylvania (and Ohio and West Virginia) if the economics make more sense elsewhere.
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With Tallgrass Founder/CEO Gone, Blackstone Forces Sale/Merger

Several weeks ago the founder and CEO of Tallgrass Energy, David G. Dehaemers Jr., abruptly quit the company retired (see Tallgrass Energy Founder/CEO/Chairman David Dehaemers Retires). Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, a major Tallgrass investor, wants to buy the company and take it private. That is, a takeover. Dehaemers was not happy but couldn’t prevent it, so he left. With Dehaemers out of the way, Blackstone sealed the deal. [Correction: MDN was contacted by Tallgrass to set the record straight. David Dehaemers telegraphed back in January he would likely not remain with the company after 2019. This was, indeed, a retirement and he was not (as MDN had implied) forced out. We regret the error and send our apologies to Tallgrass.] Yesterday Tallgrass issued a statement to say Blackstone, using its own considerable pile of cash along with money from several others, has signed a deal to buy Tallgrass.
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Weatherford Emerges from Bankruptcy “Stronger” and “More Focused”

In May, Weatherford International, the world’s fourth largest oilfield services (OFS) company, finally succumbed and announced it was filing for a “prepackaged” bankruptcy (see Weatherford Finally Files for “Prepackaged” Bankruptcy). Last week the company emerged from bankruptcy having wiped out $6.2 billion of debt by giving new stock to debtholders and making existing stock worthless.
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Heinz Endowments’ Shale Assault Threatens Prosperous Pennsylvania

The Heinz Endowments, a grantmaking organization in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that sits under the thumb of Mamma Teresa Heinz Kerry (wacko lefty Democrat), has long been viewed as a community pillar in western Pennsylvania. What you may not know is that Heinz Endowments has spent over $120 million in “environmental grants” between 2008 and 2016, much of that money funding anti-shale and anti-fossil fuel campaigns. The Heinz Endowments is no friend to the working class in western PA.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Dec 18, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: A natural gas blowout in Ohio released more methane than many countries do in an entire year; Natural gas initiative shifts to statewide action; Oil and Gas industry partners with first responders; NATIONAL: Is Wall Street turning its back on fossil fuels?; Aly Energy Services, Inc. goes dark, no longer filing SEC updates; Fight over flaring: Industry, enviros contrasting accounts over burning excess natural gas; Michael Moore & Me (video); INTERNATIONAL: Ontario expanding natural gas to more communities across Ontario.
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