Big Green has Cost America $110B by Blocking Energy Projects

A new report (full copy below) by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute (GEI) found that the anti-energy “Keep it in the Ground” (KIITG) movement has prevented at least $91.9 billion in domestic economic activity and eliminated nearly 730,000 job opportunities. In addition, federal, state, and local governments have missed out on more than $20 billion in tax revenue.
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Government Research Uses Sound Waves to Help Frack Wells

ORNL researcher Joanna McFarlane, prepares to test a sample with the IMAGING beamline at the High Flux Isotope Reactor. (Image credit: ORNL/Genevieve Martin)

The process of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) of shale uses water, a LOT of water, forced into small cracks in order to force those cracks open and allow the gas and oil to escape. What if you could use far less water (and chemicals) by first bombarding the rock with sound waves?
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Independent Report Shows Temporary 12-Inch Pipe for ME2 is Safe

Because of lawsuits, regulatory actions by Pennsylvania, and (most relevant) delays from problematic underground geology near Philadelphia, the Mariner East 2 and 2X pipelines, being laid side by side, will temporarily use a 12-inch pipeline near Philadelphia already in the ground but no longer in use to patch together and complete the ME2 and 2X project.
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ODNR Releases Ohio Utica O&G Production for 3Q18 – Top 25 Wells

The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) issued third quarter 2018 production numbers for Utica shale oil and gas production yesterday. And what a report it is! Natural gas production was up an amazing 31% over the same period last year (after being up 42% in 2Q18). Utica natgas production broke another record, hitting a new all-time high of 605 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 3Q18. But perhaps the biggest story was Utica oil production. In 1Q18 Utica oil production was down 3.6%. In 2Q18 Utica oil production was up 11%. But in 3Q18, Utica oil production soared, going up 32%.
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EIA Dec ’18 Drilling Report: M-U Expands Another 414 Mmcf/d

The “Beast in the East” (Marcellus/Utica) continues to roar, according to our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration. EIA publishes our favorite monthly report, the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), a forecast of oil and gas production in the country’s seven major shale plays for the coming month. The latest DPR shows that the Marcellus/Utica region (called Appalachia in the report) will expand by another amazing 414 million cubic feet of natural gas production per day (MMcf/d). The increase is a response to new pipelines coming online in the region, carrying our gas to other regions where it fetches a higher price. Not only is M-U production off the charts, so is natural gas production collectively, across all the plays. EIA says that in January, production from all seven plays will go up another 1.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), after it went up 1 Bcf/d in November (see EIA Nov ’18 Drilling Report: Shale Gas Output Up 1 Bcf/d – Again!), and 1 Bcf/d in October (see EIA Oct ’18 Drilling Report: Shale Gas Output Up Another 1 Bcf/d). It’s just incredible!
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Pitt Researchers Discover Cheaper Way to Convert NGLs to Plastics

Pitt research appears on cover of journal

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh may have just discovered a way to turn “light alkanes” (i.e. propane, butane) into raw plastics that is cheaper than cracking ethane. At least, that’s what we think they’ve discovered. It’s hard to tell. In a research paper recently published titled, “Structure–Activity Relationships in Alkane Dehydrogenation on ?-Al2O3: Site-Dependent Reactions,” Pitt researchers say they’ve discovered a way to produce olefins using “the nonoxidative dehydrogenation of alkanes on metal oxides, taking advantage of the Lewis acid?base surface functionalities of the oxides.” Er, right. What we do know is that the Pitt researchers are excited about their discovery, and say, “We now have a better tool to develop active catalysts for alkane-olefin conversion, which could be a game-changer in the petrochemical and polymer industries.” Below is a write-up from Pitt about the new research, in lay language, along with an abstract from the paper.
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Study: Shale Boom Lowered Trade Deficit by $250B

What if the shale revolution had never happened? We’d be another $250 billion in the hole with our trade deficit. That’s the finding of a new report released by IHS Markit titled “Trading Places: How the Shale Revolution Has Helped Keep the U.S. Trade Deficit in Check.” The report finds the total U.S. merchandise trade deficit in 2017 was $250 billion lower than it otherwise would have been if the petroleum (crude oil, refined products and natural gas liquids – petroleum liquids separated out from natural gas and also known as NGLs) trade deficit had remained at its 2007 level. Thank God for shale! The report also examines the impact of rising U.S. oil, natural gas and chemicals production on the domestic trade merchandise balance and how the U.S. position in energy and chemicals may evolve in coming years. Interesting stuff.
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DOE Reports Gives Full-Throated Support for Appl. NGL Storage Hub

Continuing on the topic of the NGL storage hub that is today’s lead story (see Appalachian NGL Storage Hub Enters Phase 2 – Built in 2-3 Years?), a number of politicians previously lobbied the U.S. Department of Energy to study the issue of if, and where, a natural gas liquids (NGL) storage hub should be located. Namely, West Virginia’s two U.S. Senators, Shelly Moore Capito and Joe Manchin, were behind the request for a DOE study (see WV’s US Senators Lead the Charge to Build $10B NGL Storage Hub). The hope was/is that DOE would find justification (and throw government backing) behind a proposed $10 billion NGL storage hub project. Yesterday the DOE issued their report to Congress, titled “Ethane Storage and Distribution Hub in the United States” (full copy below). Here’s something really cool for us at MDN HQ: Marcellus Drilling News is referenced (quoted) twice in the report!
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PA Natural Gas Production Hits Another All-Time High in 3Q18

Yesterday the PA Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released their latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report for Jul-Sep 2018 (full copy below). It shows natgas production rose an amazing 18.5% compared to the same period last year. The report also shows the number of producing wells is up 10.4% from last year. Total natural gas production volume was 1,567.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf), and the number of producing wells in 3Q18 was 8,917 (of which 8,431 were shale wells). The biggest news is that once again 3Q18 saw the highest quarterly production of natural gas in the state–ever. This is the eighth quarter in a row there has been an increase in production. Two-thirds of the state’s natural gas production consistently comes from four counties: Susquehanna, Washington, Greene and Bradford.
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DEP Issues 4th Update to PA’s Bizarre Climate Action Plan

Every three years the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection is required, by state law, to produce an update to the state’s so-called Climate Action Plan. The fact that they have such a plan boggles the mind–a plan to address global warming (the operative word being “global”) from one state. To be fair, a number of states and even large cities also have such plans. These plans are all arrogant nonsense. No entity, especially not a single state, can do a darned thing to affect the temperature of Mom Earth, but they pretend they can. And they use the existence of such plans as a manipulative political tool to force policy changes that inflict great economic harm on their citizens–all in the name of saving the planet. They’ve brainwashed our children into believing we’ll die if we don’t give up fossil fuel use. The DEP recently released their triennial update, and it’s as crazy as ever.
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Who *Sold* the Most NatGas in the U.S. in 3Q18?

Who are the biggest natural gas sellers in the U.S.? You might be surprised to learn that the biggest *sellers* are not necessarily the biggest *producers* of natural gas. Oh, you might recognize some of the names of the top sellers (BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips). But others might be more of a mystery (Macquarie, Tenaska, Sequent, and J. Aron & Co.). Would it surprise you to learn that BP (i.e. British Petroleum) is the #1 seller of natgas in the U.S., and has been for years? Last quarter BP sold 21.01 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas here in the colonies. Each quarter NGI (Natural Gas Intelligence) runs the numbers and publishes the list of 25 top natural gas marketers in the U.S. They recently published the third quarter 2018 list, which shows that overall volumes are up from the same quarter a year ago, and that we are on track to have the highest growth in production for a single year since the new millennium began.
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PA Residents More Likely to Die Falling on Stairs than by Pipeline

Well this wasn’t supposed to happen. The Delaware County (PA) Council hired a company in July of this year at a cost of $115,000 to conduct an independent risk assessment study of both the Mariner East 2 (ME2) and Adelphia Gateway pipeline projects (both running through Delaware County), to assess just how much risk each pipeline poses to residents in the county, a heavily populated Philadelphia suburb. A group of antis paid $50,000 to Quest Consultants for the same thing. The antis released their “report” in October (see Sham “Risk Assessment” of ME2 Pipeline Released by Philly Antis). Perhaps the antis sensed that the forthcoming independent report wouldn’t paint the same wild, nightmare scenario their fake report paints. And right they were. The Council’s study, paid for with taxpayer money and just released, finds residents of Delaware County stand a far better chance of dying from falling down a flight of stairs, a house fire, or a car accident than they do from an explosion from either ME2 or Adelphia.
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Annual Survey Shows O&G Investors Prefer Places Other than M-U

Each year (for the 12th year running) the Canadian-based Fraser Institute surveys petroleum industry executives and managers (256 of them for 2018) asking them their opinions on the barriers to investing in exploration and production in various geographies across the globe. That is, what makes them more likely or less likely to spend money drilling in a particular location? The Global Petroleum Survey (full copy below), tallies the survey responses and ranks each geography from most desirable place to invest, to least desirable. Last year West Virginia was ranked as the fifth most desirable place to invest (see Survey Indicates O&G Investing in WV More Attractive than PA or OH). This year? WV didn’t even make the survey!
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Treating PA’s Acid Mine Drainage & Frack Wastewater Together

Pennsylvania has had a seriously bad problem with acid mine drainage for years–water that washes through old/abandoned coal mines that comes back out heavily laden with minerals that make it acidic and a danger to the environment. More recently, with the shale revolution, PA has also found itself with an abundance of shale wastewater–most of it “produced” water that comes from deep in the earth (not surface drinking water), also laden with all sorts of minerals. Both acid mine water and shale wastewater are not easy to treat. Some sharp kids and their professors at the University of Pittsburgh got the bright idea to combine the two together, and treat them together, at the same time. Why? Because they have opposite amounts of barium and sulfates. Combine the two and you can more easily remove the nasty stuff via “precipitation.” How cool is that?
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New Director of WVU Energy Institute Lays Out His Vision

James Wood, WVU Energy Institute

Brian Anderson has done important work as director of the West Virginia University (WVU) Energy Institute–working on a number of shale-related research projects. Anderson was recently tapped to become director of U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), where he will do equally important work. James Wood has been named as Anderson’s replacement at the Institute. Wood recently outlined his priorities. While Wood digs “clean energy research,” he remains committed to promoting projects like the NGL storage hub. Here’s Wood’s comments on what to expect from the WVU Energy Institute under his leadership.
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