WV House Advances 2 O&G Bills: Orphan Wells & Faster Permits

The annual 60-day legislative session in WV is now under way, beginning Jan. 8. The first bill of consequence introduced that would impact/help the oil and gas industry was House Bill (HB) 4001, designed to kick start a regional NGL hub and reassure China it’s OK to invest some of those promised $84 billion in the Mountain State (see WV Bill Would Establish Fund to Kick-start NGL Hub, Reassure China). Two more bills have now been introduced and appear to be on a fast track to adoption: HB 4090 (orphan wells) and HB 4091 (faster permits).
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EIA Predicts Avg NatGas Price $2.33 in 2020, 9% Lower than 2019

Yes, 2019 was a tough year here in the Marcellus/Utica shale due to low natural gas prices drillers received for their gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the average spot price for natural gas at the benchmark Henry Hub was $2.57 per million BTUs (MMBtu) in 2019. But the news gets worse. EIA says that in 2020, because of increasing natgas production without a corresponding increase in demand, they predict this year’s average HH price will sink to $2.33/MMBtu. That’s 9% lower this year than last.
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PA Landowner Says Range Well Didn’t Cause Methane Problem in Water

Range Resources’ Harman Lewis Unit 1H well in Moreland Township, Lycoming County.

Two days ago MDN told you that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection has once again climbed up on its high horse and is now ordering Range Resources to “fix” a well they claim is leaking methane into the ground, causing nearby water wells and the ground itself to be contaminated (see PA DEP Orders Range to Fix Leaking Gas Well in Lycoming County). Range says the well is not at fault. The landowner whose land where the well is located also says the Range well is not at fault.
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Mariner East Pipe Flips PA from Propane Shortage to Surplus

Credit: Energy Transfer

The 2014 Polar Vortex event, when most of the U.S. was plunged into record low temps for an extended period, created a propane shortage for many. One of the states most affected by lack of propane during that event was…Pennsylvania! Should such an event hit again, PA is now in the clear, thanks to the Mariner East pipelines.
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NTSB Urges Changes to PHMSA LNG-by-Rail Regs

Yesterday MDN told you that 16 highly partisan, far-left Democrat attorneys general had filed comments opposing President Trump’s plan to allow LNG (liquefied natural gas) to be transported by special rail cars (see 16 Democrat State AGs Oppose Trump Plan to Ship LNG via Rail). Just coming to light are comments filed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) also opposing the new LNG-by-rail regs, as written. However, there’s a big difference between the 16 Dem AGs and NTSB objections…
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Jan 16, 2020

NATIONAL: Group intervenes in New York’s Exxon case, seeking communications with activists; The effect of oil prices on natural gas production; U.S. energy exports to climb as China pledges ramp-up in purchases; Better days ahead for battered oilfield services sector; Democrats’ Green New Deal becomes the CLEAN Future Act; INTERNATIONAL: Data “free-for-all” after talks with shale producers: OPEC.
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