Judge Tosses Chester DA Charges Against ME2 Security Worker

Last August we told you about the politically-motivated prosecution (by the Chester County, PA District Attorney’s office) of two men connected to a security firm providing off-duty constables to protect Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline construction sites (see Chester DA Persecution of Off-Duty Constables Guarding ME2 Pipe). A Chester County judge has just completely tossed the case against one of those men, exonerating and restoring his good name.
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List of 27 Shale Wastewater Recycling Facilities in 11 PA Counties

Every now and again we happen across information we think is kind of cool–things that others miss. This is one of those times. In many areas of shale drilling in Pennsylvania the drillers recycle 100% (or near 100%) of shale wastewater, both flowback (from fracking) and brine (naturally-occurring water from the depths comes out long after fracking is done). The recycled wastewater is then used to drill and frack more wells. We discovered a handy list of at least 27 such wastewater recycling facilities (and their locations in 11 different counties) spread across the Keystone State.
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EQT Asks 2 WV Judges be Removed from Royalty Cases re Conflicts

EQT Corporation, the largest natural gas producer in the United States, is asking West Virginia officials to remove two judges from hearing cases brought by landowners against the EQT relating to royalty disputes for alleged improper deductions. EQT wants Judges Timothy Sweeney and David W. Hummel Jr. to be disqualified from at least three cases (that we know of).
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Gov. Wolf Refuses to Block Plum, PA Wastewater Injection Well

Like 99% of Hail Mary passes, the effort by environmental radicals in southwestern PA to block a forthcoming shale wastewater injection well has failed. As we told you last week, a group of antis, in a desperate final attempt to block an injection well in Plum (Allegheny County), PA, threw a Hail Mary pass by asking Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to assume dictatorial powers and block the project (see Antis Ask Gov. Wolf to Block PA DEP Permit for Plum Injection Well). Wolf declined.
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OH AG Asks Judge to Block FirstEnergy Nuke Bailout Rate Increases

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost continues to hammer FirstEnergy Corporation. In November Yost filed a lawsuit to block the collection of $150 million provided for under House Bill (HB) 6, aimed at propping up FirstEnergy’s unprofitable nuclear power plants in the state (see OH AG Files 2nd Lawsuit to Block FirstEnergy $150M Nuke Payments). Yost has just filed another lawsuit, this time aimed at preventing a rate hike from going into effect on FirstEnergy customers across the state.
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Permian Gas Production that Competes with M-U Comes Roaring Back

Although we consider the Haynesville Shale play to be the chief competitor to the Marcellus/Utica (because the Haynesville is also a gas play and currently operates more rigs that we do here in the M-U), the Permian is another major competitor. After the M-U, the Permian produces more natural gas (associated gas) than any other play, including the Haynesville. According to the experts at RBN Energy, the Permian is already back to producing as much natural gas as it did prior to the pandemic, and the numbers will only continue to climb.
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DOE Report: Biden Frack Ban Will Destroy the Economy

Last week the Trump Dept. of Energy (DOE) released a new report titled “Economic and National Security Impacts under a Hydraulic Fracturing Ban” (full copy below). The report shows that a ban on hydraulic fracturing would spike greenhouse gas emissions, boost coal generation, and reverse America’s energy exporter status. A full-on fracking ban would result in 7.7 million jobs lost across the country and the overall U.S. economy would take a significant hit just as the pandemic recovery is underway. Devastating.
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Shell Cracker Construction “in the Home Stretch” – Ready in 2022

It’s been a long road, but we’re nearing the end. Shell’s $6 billion ethane cracker plant, officially called the Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex (PPC), is close to being done. It’s likely the PPC, located in Beaver County, PA, will be up and running sometime next year. When it is, the market for Marcellus/Utica NGLs will profoundly change. PPC will use an average of 85,000 barrels per day of M-U ethane. Our ethane will no longer be a waste product that many drillers pay to get rid of, but rather a profitable product they sell.
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Antis Ask Gov. Wolf to Block PA DEP Permit for Plum Injection Well

Anti-fossil fuel zealots sent a letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf two days ago asking him to use dictatorial powers to overturn a permit issued by the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) that allows a wastewater injection well to be built in Penn Township. The radical group ProtectPT (funded by Heinz Endowments and Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt), along with a number of other oddball groups, lobbed a Hail Mary, asking Wolf to exercise his “supreme executive power” to stop the project. Perhaps they’re confusing Wolf with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un?
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Driftwood LNG Export Facility to Begin Construction “This Summer”

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Driftwood LNG, a 27.6 million tonnes of LNG per year facility that will cost on the order of $16.8 billion to build, has not made an official final investment decision (FID) to proceed with building the FERC-approved project. However, Charif Souki, chairman of Tellurian (the builder) said yesterday he is targeting this summer to begin construction on the project. What’s changed?
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EIA: U.S. Oil & NatGas Production Will Fall in 2021, Rise in 2022

In its January 2021 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) just released, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts annual average production of U.S. oil will fall to 11.1 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2021 before rising to 11.5 million b/d in 2022. As for natural gas, EIA says U.S. marketed natural gas production will decline by 2% to an average of 95.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2021. Like oil, EIA predicts the fall in natgas production will reverse in 2022 and will rise by 2% to 97.6 Bcf/d.
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Panama Canal Losing Business as US LNG Exports Find Alternate Routes

Two days ago MDN told you that the Atlantic Ocean near the country of Panama has become a virtual parking lot for LNG tankers as they wait up to 10 days to transit the Panama Canal on their way to Asia (see Panama Canal Becomes Bottleneck for U.S. LNG/LPG Heading to Asia). The ships, which cost on the order of $250,000 *per day* to transport the LNG, are now finding other routes. The primary alternative is the Suez Canal.
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Discovery of New Catalyst Helps Natural Gas Burn Even Cleaner

Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago have developed a cutting edge catalyst made up of 10 different elements–each of which on its own has the ability to reduce the combustion temperature of methane–plus oxygen. This unique catalyst brings the combustion temperature of methane down by about half, from above 1400 degrees Kelvin down to 600 to 700 degrees Kelvin. What it means is that natural gas can burn cleaner and emit far less carbon dioxide.
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Strong Support for PennEast Pipe During PA DEP Virtual Hearing

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) held a virtual hearing to accept public comment on the topic of issuing water crossing and sediment/erosion permits for the PennEast Pipeline project. The hearing lasted over three hours with some 70+ people speaking (for up to 3 minutes each). Much to the consternation of anti-fossil fuelers, there was a strong showing of support for the project.
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US Well Locks in Long-Term E-Fracking Contracts with Range, EQT

In a pair of announcements earlier this week, U.S. Well Services announced it has signed new long-term deals with both Range Resources and EQT to supply “electric fracking” services. We told you in February 2020 that Range had signed on with U.S. Well Services to continue using its electric fracking service (see Range Resources Converts to Electric Fracking with US Well Serv.). A couple of months later EQT signed up with U.S. Well too (see EQT Converting One-Third of Completions to US Well E-Fracking). What’s the difference between traditional fracking and electric or e-fracking?
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