PA DEP Orders Range to Fix Leaking Gas Well in Lycoming County

A long-simmering dispute between the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Range Resources has once again erupted into the public over allegations that a Range well drilled in Lycoming County, PA back in 2011 is leaking methane into the surrounding ground and water supplies. The DEP has, for years, maintained faulty cement casing allows methane to leak, and Range maintains methane was already in the ground/water supply before it drilled the well. Who’s right?
Continue reading

EQT to Write Down Up to $1.8 Billion in M-U Assets for 4Q19

In a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing made yesterday, EQT, the country’s largest natural gas producer, informed the SEC (and investors) it will likely take an impairment charge (“write down”) for the value of some of its Marcellus/Utica assets–by $1.4 to $1.8 billion. Which pales in comparison to Chevron’s write down of it’s M-U assets to the tune of $5+ billion (see Chevron Writes Down $5B+ in Marc/Utica Assets, Looks to Sell All).
Continue reading

New IFO Report: PA Shale Drillers Paid $1.5B in Royalties in 2017

Just coming to light for us now is a report issued by the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) that estimates the amount of gas production royalties paid by drillers to landowners for calendar year 2017 (the most recent year available). It’s a fascinating report that breaks down royalty payments by the eight top gas-producing counties in the state. You may be surprised to learn the county producing the most natural gas in the state (Susquehanna County) does NOT, in fact, pay out the most in landowner royalties.
Continue reading

3rd Lawsuit Filed Against Energy Transfer re Mariner Corruption

MDN previously told you about unconfirmed rumors that the FBI is investigating the PA Gov. Tom Wolf administration over how permits came to be issued for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project (see FBI Investigates Wolf Admin for Corruption re ME Pipe Permits). The allegation/rumor is that Wolf and/or members of his staff pressured the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to approve permits for the pipeline project in return for something (money or something else). Two different law firms seized on the rumor as reason enough to launch speculative class action lawsuits for shareholders, accusing Energy Transfer (the builder) of corruption (see 2nd Class Action Lawsuit Against ET/Sunoco re Mariner East Pipe). A third such lawsuit was filed last week–this one by a public employee retirement fund.
Continue reading

Talen Energy Sells PA Pipeline to Adelphia Gateway for $155M

In December the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for the Adelphia Gateway pipeline project (see FERC Issues Final OK for Southeast PA Adelphia Gateway Pipeline). Adelphia is a plan to convert an old/existing oil pipeline stretching from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook, into a natural gas pipeline. To flow Marcellus gas to southeast PA. The builder lacked one key ingredient–the pipeline!
Continue reading

Fed Court Rules Columbia has Right to Use OH Gas Storage Field

Medina, Ohio

In a phenomenally complex court case decided last July by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Columbia Gas (TC Energy) won the right to continue storing natural gas in an underground storage field near Medina, Ohio. The landowners, who claim Columbia owes them (more) money for using the land under their property, appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supremes turned it down yesterday, meaning the Sixth Circuit ruling stands.
Continue reading

Bill Separating PA Conventional from Shale Regs Advances in Senate

For years Pennsylvania’s small, independent conventional oil and gas drillers have objected to the one-size-fits-all regulations concocted by the Gov. Tom Wolf Administration that applies the same regulations to them as to big shale drillers. The two types of drilling are apples and oranges. To make small drillers jump through the same hoops as big shale drillers will bankrupt many of the smaller drillers. So in 2016, PA’s conventional drillers filed a lawsuit to block Wolf’s new regs from going into effect (see PA Conventional Drillers File Lawsuit to Stop New DEP Regulations).
Continue reading