Energy Corp of America Fined $1.7M for Drilling Violations in PA

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has just collected a whopping $1.7 million fine from Energy Corporation of America (ECA) for violations at 17 well sites in Cumberland, Jefferson, and Whiteley Townships in Greene County, and Goshen Township in Clearfield County. ECA’s violations? “Failure to properly contains fluids in onsite pits, unauthorized discharge of industrial waste into groundwater, unauthorized disposal of residual waste, failure to restore the pits and well sites, and operating solid waste storage, treatment, and transfer facilities without permits.” Pretty serious stuff. Essentially, ECA (according to DEP) was sloppy in how they handled flowback and brine, using open pits to store it long after their use was outlawed under new Chapter 78a regulations were adopted. Spills from those pits contaminated a water well of one nearby resident. It’s interesting to MDN that as you read the consent order (full copy below), not only is ECA listed, but also “Greylock Production.” You may recall our news from late last year that ECA reorganized itself under a new name–Greylock Energy–shafting existing shareholders in favor of a new investor, ArcLight Capital (see ECA Sells Marcellus/Utica Assets to ArcLight Capital – Shareholders Shafted). The fine was assessed against and paid by ECA and Greylock jointly, confirming our conclusion that ECA had simply changed the nameplate on the door to Greylock…
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ECA Sells Marcellus/Utica Assets to ArcLight Capital – Shareholders Shafted

Greylock Energy CEO Kyle Mork

Big news concerning Energy Corporation of America (ECA), a privately owned company founded in 1963 with corporate headquarters in Denver, CO. The company owns (or rather owned) and operated approximately 4,600 (mostly vertical) wells, 5,000 miles of pipeline, and leases more than 1 million acres in North America–most of it in Appalachia. We spotted a press release yesterday that says ArcLight Capital has acquired substantially all of ECA’s natural gas production and pipeline assets. But here’s where it gets interesting. ArcLight has set up a subsidiary called Greylock Energy, which will own the assets–all of the ECA natgas/pipeline assets will go to Greylock. The former CEO of ECA, Kyle Mork, will become the CEO of Greylock. Many (most?) of top management from ECA will become part of Greylock. The existing ECA palatial headquarters building we told you about back in 2014 (see ECA’s New Regional HQ in Charleston: More WV Drilling on the Way?) will become the new HQ for Greylock. In other words, it’s all still ECA, but there’s a new nameplate on the door. So what really happened? What happened, according to an MDN source, is that ECA did something akin to what we’ve seen a number of times before: they converted debt into equity (ownership) and shafted existing shareholders out of millions of dollars. Except in this case we’re not sure ECA actually had large debts. There’s no way to know since it’s a private company. But the pattern is the same. ECA gave the keys to new owners, leaving the previous owners (i.e. shareholders) standing on the curb…
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