Town Revokes Permit to Drill Shale Well at Pittsburgh Steel Mill

Edgar Thomson Steel Works (credit: Craig Sturge)

In early 2018 MDN told you that Pittsburgh’s oldest still-operating steel mill, U.S. Steel Corp.’s Edgar Thomson steel mill, is looking to drill shale wells on its property in order to supply natgas for the mill (see Marcellus Wells to be Drilled at Pittsburgh’s Oldest Working Steel Mill). Following delays from the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) in ironing out permit conditions, the local town zoning board has capriciously revoked a conditional use permit that allows the wells to be drilled.
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Marcellus-Fired Hickory Run Power Plant in W PA Went Online May 18

Hickory Run Energy Center (credit: Youngstown Business Journal)

The Hickory Run Energy Center–an electric generating plant built at a former manufacturing site in New Castle (Lawrence County), PA–finally went online on May 18. It took three years to construct and employs 23 people. The plant is fed by Marcellus Shale gas.
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PA PUC Distributes $200M from Impact Tax, Down $52M from Prev Yr

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Each June the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), the agency charged with keeping tabs on impact fee revenue from shale drillers (PA’s version of a severance tax) releases the final numbers for impact fee revenues and disbursements for the prior calendar year. Yesterday was the appointed day for 2019 fee revenue generated. The PUC reports impact fees on natural gas producers in 2019 totaled $200,364,500, down roughly $52 million from $251,830,900 generated in 2018. With this year’s distribution, over the past nine years, PA has collected and distributed over $1.9 billion to communities across Pennsylvania–a massive amount!
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New Haynesville Wells Produce More Gas than New M-U Wells

There’s no getting around the fact that the Marcellus/Utica region, collectively called Appalachia, is THE 800-pound gorilla when it comes to natural gas production. We produce more natgas than any other region of the country–more than twice as much as the next highest producer, the oily Permian Basin. Yet the Haynesville Shale, a gas-focused play located in Louisiana, also produces a lot of natgas (about 36% of what the M-U produces). According to recent research by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), new wells in the Haynesville are more productive (producing more gas on average) than new wells drilled in the M-U. Huh.
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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Asks FERC for Extra 2 Years to Build

On Monday Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) scored a major victory at the U.S. Supreme Court with a decision that allows the project to drill and install pipe underneath the Appalachian Trail (see Victory! Atlantic Coast Pipeline Wins US Supreme Court Case). Fighting the Appalachian Trail case plus other legal and regulatory battles have caused the project to be delayed–by years. On Monday ACP formally asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to extend the deadline to get the project done by an extra two years–until October 2022. We expect FERC will honor the request.
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Cabot Signals They Will Fight PA AG Sham Dimock Indictment

Earlier this week Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced an indictment of Cabot Oil & Gas for allegations of methane migration going back more than a decade (see PA AG Charges Cabot with Enviro Crimes for Long-Settled Dimock). It is a bogus charge, an attempt to turn an accident into a crime–all for political gain. Now that Cabot has had a few days to read and review Shapiro’s bogus indictment, they’ve responded. And the words they’re responding with sure sound like fighting words to us.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Jun 18, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: ‘Desperate’ to get natural gas out of Appalachia, pipeline builders face long battle; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: WE Energies eyes Ixonia for gas storage facility; Officials want emails with climate activists and private lawyers kept from public; NATIONAL: US shale companies to boost oil output by 500,000 bpd by month-end; INTERNATIONAL: Why natural-gas prices haven’t yet bottomed despite this year’s 20% drop; U.S. is the surprising winner in China’s LNG market; Saudi oil exports to U.S. plunge toward lowest level in 35 years.
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