DEP Consultant ICF Accused of Supporting Carbon Tax, Conflicts

Pennsylvania State Sen. Gene Yaw, Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, is hammering ICF International, a consultant hired by the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). The DEP has paid $874,000 (so far) to ICF for research relating to “climate change.” ICF is providing research used by the DEP to justify Gov. Wolf’s harebrained idea to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a carbon tax scheme meant to drive natgas electric plants out of existence in the state. All in the name of saving Mom Earth. Ludicrous. ICF, supposedly impartial, appears to be anything but according to Yaw.
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Rystad: O&G Drilling to Hit 20-Yr Low in 2020, >5 Yrs to Recover

Rystad Energy, an independent energy research and business intelligence company headquartered in Oslo, Norway (but with major offices in cities including Houston), recently issued their latest assessment of the worldwide oil and gas marketplace. Rystad is predicting the number of oil and gas wells drilled worldwide in 2020 will fall by a staggering 23% from the number drilled last year. Rystad’s prediction models stretch out five years and forecasts over the next five years the number of wells drilled in any given year will *still not* exceed the number of wells drilled in 2019. Yuck.
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EIA DPR: Marcellus/Utica Gas Production Continues Big Drop

Yesterday our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report, the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR estimates how much oil and natural gas each of the country’s seven largest shale plays produced in the previous (current) month, and how much each will produce in the coming (next) month. The July report, which predicts production for the coming month of August, estimates natural gas production in the Marcellus/Utica will decrease by 210 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d)–the biggest decrease for any of the major shale plays.
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WVU Launches Water Quality Portal to Gauge Impact of Shale Wells

West Virginia University (WVU) has created a new “water quality impact portal” website that allows people to investigate water quality in shale gas regions of West Virginia. The portal contains data for more than 1.3 million surface and groundwater samples from 14 counties where most Marcellus Shale gas development has occurred. The data comes from federal and state agencies.
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PA DEP Teases Fake Report Claiming Carbon Tax Saves Lives & Money

Shame on Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Pat McDonnell for prostituting himself to Gov. Tom Wolf by teasing a forthcoming “report” that says by enacting a jobs-killing carbon tax in the state it will generate 27,000 new jobs, add $1.9 billion to the PA economy, and even save lives. (Maybe the carbon tax can part the Red Sea too?) These are outrageous lies. Perhaps McDonnell should have resigned if Wolf was pressuring him to lie like that. Better to resign with dignity than damage your reputation for becoming known as a paid liar.
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New Study Shows No Leaks in Utica Shale Gathering Pipelines

It’s such a breath of fresh air (and so rare) when we spot actual, in-the-field, real science being done. So many times the “studies” we see published are nothing more than rehashed interpretations, speculation, and outright fabrications parading as scientific inquiry. We spotted a new study published just yesterday in the journal MDPI Atmosphere by researchers with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Pittsburgh. In 2019 researchers flew specially outfitted drones with methane sniffers over 73 kilometers (45 miles) of Utica Shale gathering pipelines and associated infrastructure. Know what they found? There were ZERO methane leaks from the pipelines.
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Marcellus/Utica Dominates Top 5 Oil & Gas M&A Deals of Q2

Enverus (formerly called Drillinginfo) has just released a summary of its Q2 2020 U.S. upstream M&A report. The update shows upstream (drilling) deals staged a small recovery to $2.6 billion from only $770 million during Q1. However, Q2 still ranks as the third-lowest quarterly value since 2009. Of particular interest for us is that of the top five M&A deals done in Q2, three of them happened in the Marcellus/Utica.
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Trump DOE Report Backs Cracker, Petchem Investment in Marc/Utica

In April 2019 President Trump issued an Executive Order instructing the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) to assess opportunities to promote growth in the Appalachian region. Yesterday a report was released by DOE doing just that. The 75-page report is titled “The Appalachian Energy and Petrochemical Renaissance: An Examination of Economic Progress and Opportunities” (full copy below). The report not only outlines petchem opportunities in the Marcellus/Utica, it makes recommendations to put those opportunities on steroids.
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PA IFO Predicts 2 Possible Scenarios for 2020 Impact Tax Revenue

The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) does a good job of guesstimating how much impact fee revenue will get generated in the coming year, based on permit and producing wells activity in the current year. Impact fees are PA’s equivalent of a severance tax–a fee paid by drillers for each new well they drill, paid over a 15-year period. This year IFO is offering up two scenarios for how much money the state will receive in impact fee revenues next year (based on wells drilled and active this year). One scenario is based on natgas prices averaging at least $2.25/MMBtus (million British Thermal Units) on the NYMEX, and the other scenario assumes gas prices slip below that level.
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Deloitte Publishes “Study” Bashing Shale Oil – Says Shale has Peaked

Here we go again, another “peak oil” theory by the tinfoil hat brigade–except this time the theory is specifically about shale oil and comes from a (used to be) respected company–powerhouse consulting firm Deloitte. Yesterday Deloitte published a new study called, “The Great Compression: Implications of COVID-19 for the US Shale Industry” (full copy below), spinning the theory that the virus pandemic has effectively revealed what “everyone” already knew anyway–shale oil drilling was always a fraud and has already peaked, never made money, destroyed a gajillion dollars of investor value, and bankrupted 190 companies. Shale oil drillers may as well just curl up in a ball and die.
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New Haynesville Wells Produce More Gas than New M-U Wells

There’s no getting around the fact that the Marcellus/Utica region, collectively called Appalachia, is THE 800-pound gorilla when it comes to natural gas production. We produce more natgas than any other region of the country–more than twice as much as the next highest producer, the oily Permian Basin. Yet the Haynesville Shale, a gas-focused play located in Louisiana, also produces a lot of natgas (about 36% of what the M-U produces). According to recent research by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), new wells in the Haynesville are more productive (producing more gas on average) than new wells drilled in the M-U. Huh.
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EIA: Permian Gas Drop Almost Stops While M-U Gas Drops Like a Rock

Yesterday our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report, the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR estimates how much oil and natural gas each of the country’s seven largest shale plays produced in the previous (current) month, and how much each will produce in the coming (next) month. The June report, which predicts production for the coming month of July, estimates natural gas production in the Permian basin has just about stabilized (will go down just a little). However, natgas production in the Marcellus/Utica will continue to drop like a rock in the coming month.
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IEA Report: M-U to Help Fill Associated Gas Shortfall in 2020

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report Wednesday titled, “Gas 2020: Analysing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global natural gas markets.” IEA says the global gas market will experience its “largest demand shock on record” in 2020, with demand for natural gas worldwide decreasing by 4% this year. That’s a bit better than IEA’s previous estimate of a 5% decrease in 2020.
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Marcellus/Utica NatGas Production Drops 1.5 Bcf/d Jan to May

Enverus (formerly known as Drillinginfo) recently released its latest FundamentalEdge report that explores the ongoing supply response to demand destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the report, Enverus estimates how much dry gas production each major shale play produced, month by month, from January through May of this year. The numbers show that production from the Marcellus/Utica, which produces the most natural gas of any play, decreased the most of any play–by some 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) from January to May.
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New Study Proves Marcellus Drilling Air Pollution a Non-Issue

An economist from Binghamton University who has zero training in health care and the medical field is the lead author of a new study that claims air pollution from Marcellus fracking killed an estimated 20 people in Pennsylvania from 2010-2017. While the “study” aims to paint Marcellus fracking as a killer, we say it makes the opposite point. This study (if you believe its results) proves Marcellus fracking is about the safest form of energy on earth!
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