3,000 Workers Back on the Job at Shell Cracker Construction Site

Shell slowly but surely continues to ramp back up the work being done at its mighty ethane cracker construction site in Beaver County, PA following a shutdown of activity due to the coronavirus pandemic. When the COVID-19 coronavirus hit in March, Shell stopped all work on the cracker plant, sending nearly 8,000 workers home in mid-March for what was thought to be “a few days to a few weeks” (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-1). In early May Shell began bringing back roughly 300 workers each week. The total number of workers back on the job now stands at 3,000.
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Plum Injection Well Back On – Boro Ends Legal Fight

In April of this year, MDN told you that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) had finally, after more than two years of evaluation, granted a permit to build a shale wastewater injection well in Plum Boro in Allegheny County (see Miracle! PA DEP Approves Plum (Pittsburgh) Injection Well Permit). The Boro’s mayor and other Boro officials are opposed and have tried their best to stop the project. However, they’ve just thrown in the towel and have admitted the well is going to get built.
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Law Firm Targets Cabot for Class Action Claiming Securities Fraud

We should have guessed this was coming. A New York City law firm has launched what it hopes will turn into a class action lawsuit against Cabot Oil & Gas for securities fraud following the sleazy attempt by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro to turn a 12-year-old accident (methane migration) into a felony (see PA AG Charges Cabot with Enviro Crimes for Long-Settled Dimock). The law firm is currently “investigating” Cabot, encouraging shareholders to sign up to express their interest in forming a class action lawsuit. An actual lawsuit hasn’t been filed…yet.
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Marcellus Gas Begins Flowing to Central PA Food Processing Plant

Pennsylvania’s Pipeline Investment Program (or PIPE) grants cover part of the cost of building new natgas pipelines to connect homes and businesses in rural parts of the state to homegrown Marcellus Shale gas supplies. We’ve written about many of the more-than-a-dozen (so far) PIPE grant projects in the past (see our PIPE stories here). One such grant issued in Centre County, PA (State College area) more than two years ago has just started flowing Marcellus gas to the Hanover Foods processing plant.
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PA Antis Pack Virtual Hearing on Wolf’s Onerous New Methane Regs

regulations

Last December 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 (see PA DEP Goes WAY Too Far in Approving New Methane Regulations). The new regs are unnecessary and will shut down even more shale drilling operations in the state. As part of the EQB’s final steps to ratify the onerous new regs, they are conducting three virtual public hearings this month. Yesterday’s hearing (the second hearing) was packed with 32 anti-fossil fuel radicals who support Wolf’s plan. Gee, color us surprised.
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Columbia Gas of Mass. Sentenced to $53M Fine, Probation, Sell Co.

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (NiSource) never quite recovered (reputationally) from a series of explosions in September 2018 that occurred with its local delivery pipelines north of Boston (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The explosions and resulting fires tragically killed one teenager and injured 25 others. It left some 8,600 households and businesses without natural gas for months. Several class action lawsuits were filed against the company, which got settled last summer for $143 million (see Columbia Gas Pays $143M to Settle Lawsuit from Mass. Explosions). The company has reached a plea deal to (a) sell the company, and (b) pay the largest criminal fine ever imposed under the Pipeline Safety Act.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Jun 25, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: WV oil and gas office faces budget shortfall, anticipates layoffs; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Oil, natural gas activity across Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas still grim, says Dallas Fed; NATIONAL: North America associated natural gas recovery not seen before 2022; INTERNATIONAL: Russia takes a leaf out the U.S. shale oil playbook; The US is defending Europe by blocking Putin’s pipeline; Shell CEO sees COVID-19 as opportunity for ‘green recovery,’ as net-zero emissions goals advance; How Russian and Saudi oil ties to China complicate the post-pandemic world.
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