PA State Sen. Gene Yaw Blasts NY, NJ for Rejecting NESE Pipeline

PA State Sen. Gene Yaw

Pennsylvania State Senator Gene Yaw, a Republican whose district covers portions of central and northeast PA, has his praiseworthy moments. This is one of them. Last week New York’s uber-corrupt Governor, Andrew Cuomo, and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, once again pandered to their radical Democrat base by rejecting a critically needed natural gas pipeline (see Cuomo Rejects NESE Pipe Again, Williams Walks Away). The Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline would have flowed PA Marcellus shale gas to New York City and Long Island. Yaw blasted NY and NJ for their rejection using strong language.
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OH Landowner Loses Post-Production Royalty Case to Chesapeake

Chesapeake Energy keeps winning Ohio royalty lawsuits in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In March the company beat a lawsuit by a group of Ohio landowners who claimed Chessy had cheated them out of a collective $30 million in royalties (see Chesapeake Energy & Total Beat Class Action Royalty Lawsuit in OH). In April Chesapeake won a second lawsuit that claimed the company had fraudulently concealed information on royalty statements dating back to 1993 (see Chesapeake Beats Another OH Royalty Lawsuit in Federal Court). And now, a third royalty lawsuit has gone Chessy’s way too. Strike three for landowners.
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OH Nuclear Bailout Corruption: Gas Sacrificed for Nuke Investors

FirstEnergy, now calling itself Energy Harbor, somehow got into the pockets (via campaign donations) of enough Ohio politicians (many of them Republican) to convince them to pass a horrible law last year–House Bill (HB) 6. HB 6 grants the company $1 billion in corporate welfare over seven years in a deal to prop up its two “unprofitable” nuclear power plants. Now that the first $150 million is about to flow, how will Energy Harbor use it? To pay its so-called high operating costs? No. Energy Harbor will funnel the money right into the pockets of big investors. It was all a scam.
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Biased Post-Gazette Attacks SWPA Shale Cuttings Landfill…Again

Last year a sewage treatment facility in Belle Vernon (Fayette County, PA) claimed the effluent (runoff) it was receiving from a nearby landfill in Westmoreland County contained high levels of salt and radioactivity and was causing damage to their treatment system (see Another Post-Gazette Smear Job: Drill Cuttings Pollute Rivers). The landfill accepts drill cuttings–leftover rock and dirt from drilling holes (not wastewater). The sewage treatment plant with help from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette made accusations against the landfill and the shale industry. The same biased Post-Gazette “reporter” is back with another round of accusations against the landfill, aimed at scaring nearby residents.
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PA DEP to Push Onerous New Methane Regulations at Public Hearings

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 will conduct three virtual public hearings in June.
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SWPA Judge Rejects Anti Lawsuit re Murrysville Fracking Ordinance

Last time we wrote about a zoning ordinance in Murrysville Township (Westmoreland County) was three years ago, in May 2017, when the town and local drillers struck a compromise on the distance of setbacks (see Murrysville, PA Drilling Ordinance – Anatomy of a Compromise). Apparently the still-too-restrictive ordinance (in our opinion) that allows drilling wells on only 5% of the land in the town wasn’t good enough for local antis who want to block all shale drilling.
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More Frack Crews Now Active in the Marcellus than the Permian!

This has to be a first in the modern shale era. There are now more active fracking crews working in the Marcellus Shale than in any other shale play, including the oily Permian. There are 450 fracking fleets available in the U.S., but only 70 of them are active right now. The Marcellus is using 31% of those active fleets, while the Permian is using 30%. We never thought we’d live to see the day!
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PA Marcellus Gas Production Declines First Time in 3+ Years

It had to happen sooner or later. Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released its latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report for January through March 2020 (full copy below). It shows natgas production in PA rose 6.8% compared to the same period last year. However, overall production fell compared to 4Q19’s record high, breaking a streak that went back 3.5 years.
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Enverus: Drop in Rig Count Slows Again, Marcellus Picks Up 1 Rig

For the past month or so MDN has brought you rig count data from Enverus (formerly Drillinginfo) each Friday. Last Friday we reported the count had hit a new modern-day low, and that the Marcellus had lost another couple of rigs, making it a total of seven lost rigs in the Marcellus over a three week period (see US Land Rig Count Falls to 369 – Marcellus Loses Another 2 Rigs). While today’s update shows rigs hitting another new modern-day low, the Marcellus gained back 1 rig. Whew.
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New Pointe LNG Facility in La. Would Export Marcellus Gas

Pointe concept (click for larger version)

It looks like another new market may open up for Marcellus molecules along the Gulf Coast. Louisiana LNG, which has been renamed Pointe LNG, began life in 2014. The project didn’t initially “gain traction” but is now rekindled. The co-founders of the project have hired Whitehall & Co as their financial advisor to help them locate $4 billion to get it built. What’s that? How does a Gulf Coast LNG plant tie into the Marcellus?
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Why Does NatGas Price Stay So Low with Falling Production?

It’s kind of a mystery. The supply of natural gas produced in the U.S. has been declining over the past few months. Oil drillers are laying down rigs (historic lows for rigs in the oil patch), and companies are shutting in oil wells–all of which means there’s less associated natural gas being produced. M-U drillers like EQT (the largest natgas producer in the U.S.) are curtailing huge quantities of their production (see EQT Shuts in 33% of NatGas Production in Pennsylvania, Ohio). And yet, with all of this gas being removed from the market, the price of natgas is still stubbornly low. Why?
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Kinder Morgan Restarting 2 of 3 Shut Down Elba Island LNG Units

Last week MDN reported about a compressor fire at the Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island LNG export facility in Georgia (see Compressor Fire Shuts Down Three Elba Island LNG Export Units). The fire was in the compressor train #2. Just to be safe, Kinder Morgan shut down trains 1-3. The good news is that Kinder is restarting #1 and #3 this week.
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Marcellus/Utica NGL Production & Exports – Shortage Coming?

click for larger version

The Marcellus/Utica region is a tale of two shales. One is dry gas, or methane only, and the other is methane plus NGLs–other hydrocarbons that come out of the hole along with methane, including ethane, propane, butane, and few others. NGL production can turn a breakeven or possibly money-losing venture into a profitable venture. The wet gas area is located in portions of southwestern PA, eastern OH, and the northern panhandle of WV (see the map). Given the pandemic, fluctuating natgas prices, curtailments, and the general craziness in the markets, what do the next 12 months look like for NGL production in the M-U?
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U.S. Rig Count Falls to Lowest Level EVER – Since Records Began

Baker Hughes, one of the largest oilfield services (drilling) companies in the U.S. and the world, began keeping records on rig counts starting in 1987. As of May 12, 2020, producers operated 339 rigs in the U.S. That’s the lowest number of operating rigs since Baker Hughes began publishing its venerated rig count. It’s not the kind of record we like to see broken.
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$4 Natural Gas This Winter? Maybe, IF Things “Fall into Place”

We spotted an interesting story by S&P Global Platts about the dramatic increase in the stock price for gas-focused drillers, particularly in the Marcellus/Utica. Did you know that EQT’s stock has shot up 127% in value over the past three months? Range Resources and Southwestern Energy are both up 81% in value. Antero Resources is up 76%. It’s impressive! Then again, the stock price for most of those companies decreased by 90% over the past five years, so we have a lot of ground to make up.
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CA & NY Attempt to Block WOTUS Redo from Taking Effect in June

One of the worst overreaches and offenses of the Obamadroids was to redefine what “waters of the United States” (or WOTUS) actually means. As they were getting ready to leave power, the Obama EPA redefined WOTUS as everything down to large mud puddles–no lie (see EPA Power Grab: Redefines Waters of the U.S. to Include Everything). When Donald Trump took over, he set out to correct Obama’s conceit by bringing the WOTUS definition back into the realm of reality. It took years and fending off multiple lawsuits funded by Big Green organizations, but we finally we have a new, permanent redefinition of WOTUS–taking it back to what it was meant to be (see EPA & Army Corps Publish Final WOTUS Regs – Obama Overreach Fixed). The new WOTUS revisions are set to go into effect in late June. A group of radical Attorneys General with Trump Derangement Syndrome are trying to block it.
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