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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Penn State Finds Chemical Clues to Marcellus Methane Migration

Dr. Terry Engelder

One of the ongoing issues used (misused) by those opposed to shale drilling is “methane migration”–the claim that drilling a shale well has led to, due to improper casing, widespread methane leaks getting into nearby water supplies. That was the claim made by Josh Fox in the fake documentary Gasland about Dimock, PA. The thing about methane migration is that most of the time it’s fixable. The other thing is that in a high number of cases, it’s not methane migrating from a shale well, but rather it’s naturally occurring leaks. Which makes sense. You drill shale wells where there’s a lot of methane! But how can you tell the difference between naturally occurring methane migration and methane migrating because of shale well activity? Some sharp researchers at Penn State University, including the “father of the Marcellus,” Dr. Terry Engelder, have just published a research study that can help.
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Ohio State Study Looks at 2 New Microbes in Shale Wells

Marinobacter

Over the past several years MDN has highlighted important research performed by Ohio State University with respect microbes (bacteria) living in shale wells. In a 2016 study, researchers dubbed a never-before-seen bacterial “lifeform” found in a Utica Shale well, Frackibacter. Having some fun, we labeled it a different name: Frackenstein (see Frackenstein! Researchers Find New Life Form in Fracked Utica Wells). The researchers kept at it and published another study along the same lines in 2017 (see Ohio State Research Finds Microbes in Utica Well May be Corrosive). Researchers said a different bacteria studied that appeared in multiple Utica wells (called Halanaerobium) may be a cause for concern, possibly corrosive to pipes and cement and toxic for workers. OSU researchers have kept at it and we now have a brand new study, titled “Members of Marinobacter and Arcobacter Influence System Biogeochemistry During Early Production of Hydraulically Fractured Natural Gas Wells in the Appalachian Basin” (full copy below). This time, several Utica and Marcellus wells were studied. What’s the upshot of this latest study?
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Cuomo Driving the Final Nail in the Coffin of NY’s Oil & Gas Industry

Does the oil and gas industry in New York State even matter anymore? Well, yes, it does! It employs a number of people and produces oil and gas to feed our economy. Although Andrew Cuomo has single-handedly sentenced upstate residents to generational poverty by denying them the opportunity to allow shale drilling, there is a rich history of conventional drilling for oil and gas in the state. But now, even the conventional industry is under assault and attack by Cuomo and his lackeys at the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). How? The DEC has unveiled what IOGA of NY calls “devastating proposed air regulations”–regulations that will shut down many o&g operators in the Empire State. IOGA calls it a “regulatory assault.” We call New York State the Empire Crumbling State.

[UPDATE: MDN, in an attempt to draw attention to this issue, a very important issue, may have left the wrong impression with our headline. The conventional oil and gas industry in NY is far from dead, and IS worth fighting for! Which is the purpose of this post: To encourage those who care to fight. To make your voice heard in letting the DEC know their latest rules will harm an important industry/sector of NY, without actually improving the environment.]
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B&V 2019 Natural Gas Report: LNG Ramps Up, More Infra. Needed

The annual Black & Veatch “Strategic Directions: Natural Gas Report” (full copy below) explores the complexities and market dynamics impacting today’s natural gas landscape. As the world continues to invest in the adoption of so-called renewable energy options, the outlook for natural gas has never been more positive. You read that right! More renewables = more investment in natural gas. Shifts in the global energy market are influencing gas production and transportation, altering the volume of supply. Developers, who know a good opportunity when they see it, are investing heavily in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefaction capacity. But more infrastructure and pipeline capacity will be needed to continue to support the growth in LNG, especially as Asian markets continue to migrate away from coal in an effort to meet environmental goals. This report explores how complex geopolitics will impact upstream, midstream and downstream operations, while global forces reshape the industry across the board.
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Virginians Save $11B in 10 Years Thx to Fracked Shale Gas

Residents of Virginia have benefited in a major way from an abundance of cheap, clean-burning shale gas. How much benefit? Try $11 billion of money went directly into the pockets of Virginia residents and businesses over the past 10 years thanks to low-priced natural gas–fracked gas, coming from the Marcellus/Utica. Industry group Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) has just published a new report that shares the good news (full copy below). You may recall not long ago CEA published a similar study for Pennsylvania (see PA Consumers Save $30B Over 10 Years Thx to Marcellus Shale), and West Virginia (see WV Consumers Saved $4B Over 10 Years Thx to M-U Shale). Now it’s VA’s turn. Even though VA doesn’t extract shale gas, they still enjoy its benefits!
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EIA Nov ’18 Drilling Report: Shale Gas Output Up 1 Bcf/d – Again!

We’re speechless–and that doesn’t happen often. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) monthly “Drilling Productivity Report” (DPR) said that in October the country’s seven major shale plays would produce an amazing, all-time high of 73 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas production (see EIA Sep ’18 Drilling Report: Shale Output Flies Past 73 Bcf/d). Last month, EIA said that in November shale gas output would rise a dramatic 1 Bcf/d to 74 Bcf/d (see EIA Oct ’18 Drilling Report: Shale Gas Output Up Another 1 Bcf/d). And now, it’s happened again! EIA issued the the latest DPR yesterday and said that in December, shale gas output will go up ANOTHER 1 Bcf/d, to 75 Bcf/d.
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IEA WEO 2018: US Will Provide Half of World O&G Growth by 2025

Each year the International Energy Agency (IEA) issues a special World Energy Outlook report. The 2018 edition was released earlier today. A couple of quick facts/findings from the report: (1) The United States is on track to produce half of the growth for the world’s output of oil and gas by the year 2025–just seven short years away. Incredible! The reason is, of course, the miracle of shale fracking. (2) China will surpass the entire European Union to become the world’s largest buyer of natural gas by 2040. (3) There will be a sharp tightening of oil markets in the 2020s. (4) There is no single solution to turn emissions around: renewables, efficiency & a host of innovative technologies are all required.
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Study: Marcellus Drilling Doesn’t Affect Brook Trout All That Much

Trout Unlimited (TU), previously outed as an anti-fracking organization (see Trout Unlimited, Other Groups Outed as Radical Green Groups), is promoting a research study recently authored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) titled “Brook trout distributional response to unconventional oil and gas development: Landscape context matters” (full copy below). TU believes the study offers proof that fracking hurts brook trout. We scanned the study and came to the opposite conclusion. Using a count of the number of certain kinds of trees in a given habitat as a proxy for how well trout will do, or not do, the study concludes that there is some minor degradation in brook trout habitat when drilling comes to town. But only in places where the habitat had already been damaged by other non-drilling activities.
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Eni’s World Oil, Gas and Renewables Review – Download

Eni, an Italian oil and gas company (11th largest in the world), recently issued Volume 2 of its annual Global Energy Outlook. It’s titled “World Gas and Renewables Review” (full copy below) and it’s full of interesting statistics about natural gas and the U.S.’s role in producing it. For example, when it comes to estimated reserves–how much natural gas is in the ground that we might conceivably be able to extract–Russia, Iran, Qatar and Turkmenistan (!) all have more natural gas reserves than the U.S. We’re #5 down the list, after Turkmenistan. And yet, when it comes to production, the U.S. is #1. The difference is, of course, fracking.
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