Study: The Closer People Live to Fracking, the More They Like It!

You might think people who are not leased and live close to shale drilling activity, that is, those with the most “impacts” from that activity, would be the ones most opposed to it. However, you would be wrong. That’s according to a new study just published by the ultra liberal Oregon State University. A study appearing in monthly peer reviewed academic journal Risk Analysis titled, “The Effect of Geographic Proximity to Unconventional Oil and Gas Development on Public Support for Hydraulic Fracturing,” finds that the closer you live to shale drilling, even those who are not leased, the more supportive of it they are. Why is that? Because they understand it–they’re more familiar with it. MDN has spoken to residents in Susquehanna County, PA who live close to drilling yet are not, themselves, drilled on/under. Their opinion? Sure they’d like it if they got money. After all, they incur the impacts (trucks, noise, lights, dust), but don’t directly benefit with money in their pockets. Yet, when asked if they had a choice and could wave a magic wand so there never would have been drilling, the answer is swift and universal: NO! They still prefer nearby drilling, because it benefits their neighbors and, to some degree, the community at large via tax revenue and charitable contributions. Here’s news of a study that proves the closer you are to drilling, the more you like it…
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EIA: PA’s Natural Gas Production Hits New Highs Each Year

Our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, yesterday took a close look at natural gas production in Pennsylvania and how it has grown. A few interesting factoids: PA averaged a record high 15 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas production in 2017–3% higher than 2016. Most of PA’s natural gas production comes from the Marcellus Shale. PA production accounted for 19% of total U.S. marketed natural gas production in 2017. PA produces more natural gas than any other state except Texas. Several key pipelines have helped move some of PA’s enormous production to other markets. Here’s the insightful look at PA natgas production from expert number crunchers at EIA…
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US NatGas Production Will Grow 59% by 2050 Thx to M-U

In February our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, issued its Annual Energy Outlook 2018 report (full copy below). This week the eager beavers at EIA culled through that report to highlight important information about U.S. natural gas production. In a Today in Energy post on Monday, the EIA made some startling observations. EIA predicts that U.S. natural gas production will grow 59% from 2017 to 2050, starting at 73.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017 and reaching 118 Bcf/d in 2050. Massive! They also say that most of the projected production growth comes from the Marcellus/Utica region. However, as MDN has pointed out repeatedly in recent months, “associated natural gas” from the Permian region in Texas and New Mexico will also be a significant contributor to overall natgas production growth in the coming 30 years. Here are some intriguing insights into predictions made by some of the best number crunchers in the business…
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EIA Apr ’18 Drilling Report: M-U Production Through the Roof

Yesterday our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report, the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR is the EIA’s best guess, based on expert data crunchers, as to how much each of the U.S.’s seven major shale plays will produce for both oil and natural gas in the coming month. We sound like a broken record, but the numbers continue to be mind-blowing–hitting new all-time, breath-taking highs each month. This month is no exception. Example: EIA predicts that in the next 30 days natural gas output from the U.S.’s seven major shale plays will go up another 1+ billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d)! Let’s put that in perspective. Germany and France together use 10 Bcf/d of natural gas. In less than a year, the U.S. could completely meet the natural gas needs of both Germany and France–using only our increases in production! Just as mind-blowing: Last month production in the Marcellus/Utica (called Appalachia in the report) went up 359 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d)–more than 1/3 of a Bcf. This month? EIA says our production will grow ANOTHER 386 MMcf/d! It’s staggering the amount of natural gas our region produces. Not to be left out, the Permian Basin, long known as an oil play, is now actively competing with the Marcellus/Utica. Permian gas production is set to grow another 222 MMcf/d this month. Here’s the latest…
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PA DEP Report – Virtually No Methane Migration from Shale Wells

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) released the results of it’s industry-leading program to monitor oil and gas wells for methane (and oil and brine) migration–that is, for anything would impact groundwater. The Mechanical Integrity Assessment Program, as it’s called, is “the most rigorous routine well integrity assessment program to protect groundwater in the United States,” requiring quarterly inspections by operators of their wells. The DEP is in the process of releasing the results of those reports for the past four years–from 2014-2017. They’ve just released results for 2014 (full copy below). What did the DEP find? “[L]ess than 1 percent of operator observations indicated the types of integrity problems, such as gas outside surface casing, that could allow gas to move beyond the well footprint.” In other words, there is virtually no methane migration happening from shale (and conventional) natural gas wells because of good well casings and regular checks. It is hard to overstate how important these findings are. The DEP’s own evidence disproves wild claims that methane is migrating from shale wells everywhere, claims made by anti-fossil fuel radicals and a colluding media (see examples from StateImpact Pennsylvania). Below is the good news that there is virtually no methane migration happening in PA from Marcellus Shale wells…
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EDF Launching $40M Satellite to Lie About O&G Methane Emissions

If the American Petroleum Institute (API) were to launch a satellite into space to monitor so-called fugitive methane emissions from oil and gas sites on the ground, would you believe the data they report coming from the satellite? We would, because the API is professional and doesn’t lie. But let’s face it, most people would see a clear conflict of interest. It would be better if a government agency, or perhaps a consortium of universities, were to launch such a research project. On the other hand, the Environmental Defense Fund, a far-left, profoundly biased and anti-fossil fuel organization is proposing to do just that–launch a $40 million satellite that supposedly will monitor methane emissions from oil and gas sites–specifically sites in Pennsylvania. Does anyone really believe that if this happens, the data the EDF will report will be objective? No, NOBODY believes such a thing. But it will give colluding/lying mainstream media an opportunity to continue their false narrative that methane is leaking everywhere causing Mom Earth to catastrophically heat up…
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Report: The State of Natural Gas in Pennsylvania

The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania’s premier free-market think tank. The aim of the Foundation is to “transform free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.” We’ve highlighted their excellent work over the years. They’ve just done it again. The Commonwealth Foundation has just published a report called “The State of Natural Gas in Pennsylvania” (full copy below). The opening begins this way: “Pennsylvania’s regulatory and tax environment is stunting job growth and deterring investment. A decade after the Marcellus Shale boom, lawmakers are still debating how to tax the industry instead of fixing the policies contributing to Pennsylvania’s increasingly uncompetitive energy market.” At the end of the report the Foundation shows a severance tax comparison of existing severance taxes in other states that PA competes against, like Ohio, West Virginia, Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma. The chart shows that the existing impact fee (in essence a severance tax) runs around 1.1%. The severance tax in Ohio is running around 0.7%, and in West Virginia 3.5%. In places like Texas, which increasingly competes against PA with prodigious quantities of natural gas production, the severance tax is 4.2%. However, Gov. Wolf’s proposed severance tax would be 5%–the highest in the nation except for New Mexico’s 7.9% (which doesn’t compete with PA). The report shows how PA is restricting Marcellus activity with over-regulation and a high corporate income tax…
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Yale Study Claims Ohio Utica Fracking Causes STDs

What a shame that a university with one of the best reputations in the world, Yale, has sunk this low–to pedal yet another so-called study that claims where there is fracking in the Ohio Utica, there’s also a higher incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like gonorrhea and chlamydia. This isn’t the first “fracking causes STDs” study. Antis have issued these “studies” for years (see MDN coverage here). This latest study by Yale “researchers” was published in an online journal with no standards, PLOS ONE. Other bought-and-paid-for anti-fracking “science” has been published by the PLOS ONE research-mill (see a list of other fake studies bashing shale appearing in PLOS ONE). PLOS ONE is a favorite place to publish research that can’t meet the rigorous review process of real journals. Here’s the latest substandard anti-drilling “research” from the Yale School of Public Health…
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IFO Report: Proposed Wolf Severance Tax Hits PA Landowners Hard

One of the lies told by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf in attempting to sell a Marcellus-killing severance tax to the general population is that most of the tax would fall on businesses and corporations outside of PA. The rallying cry has always been that PA landowners would not bear any of the severance tax–as in deductions from royalties paid. That lie was exposed by none other than the PA Independent Fiscal Office last week when the IFO released a report that calculates of the estimated $210 million in severance taxes that would be raised, per year, by the latest Wolf proposal–some $28 million of it (over 13%) would come out of the pockets of landowners–IN THE FIRST YEAR. By the third year, that number rockets to $51 million (or 24%). That is, a meaningfully large portion of the proposed severance tax WILL get passed on to landowners as deductions from their royalties. Lesson for landowners: Don’t fall for the siren song from Wolf and RINOs who say “If you support the severance tax (it won’t affect you), we’ll get you your minimum royalty bill.” It’s a farce…
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M-U Could Support 8 Crackers – Why Don’t Companies Build More?

Tom Gellrich, founder of Top Line Analytics–a consultancy focusing on downstream shale gas development like ethane crackers–spoke Wednesday at Kallanish Energy’s “Crackers, Storage & Pipelines 2018” event at Southpointe. He had some interesting things to say. Among them: The Marcellus/Utica region has enough ethane to easily support up to eight ethane cracker plants–plants the size of the massive Shell cracker being built now in Monaca (Beaver County), PA. So far only Shell has pulled the trigger and begun to build such a plant. PTT Global Chemical, based in Thailand, is actively considering (and likely) to build a second regional cracker plant in Belmont County. So the multi-billion question is this: Why aren’t more companies building crackers in our region, given the abundance of cheap ethane? Gellrich had some thoughts on that…
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New Study Says Petchem Investment in M-U Better than Gulf Coast

This week representatives from Shale Crescent USA are in Houston, TX attending the 33rd Annual World Petrochemical Conference–and they have in hand a dynamite study that shows it’s more cost effective to build a petrochemical plant in the Marcellus/Utica region than it is along the Gulf Coast. Which is heresy if you live along the Gulf Coast. “Benefits, Risks, and Estimated Project Cash Flows: Ethylene Project Located in the Shale Crescent USA versus the US Gulf Coast” is an independent report by IHS Markit commissioned by Shale Crescent USA to evaluate and compare the financial returns and risks of a major petrochemical and plastics investment in the region with an identical investment in the US Gulf Coast. The numbers don’t lie. Here’s one juicy statistic from the newly released study: ethane (the feedstock used to make raw plastics) in our region costs 32% less than it does in the Gulf Coast region. One more factoid from the report: If the Marcellus/Utica were its own country, it would be the #3 natural gas producing country, IN THE WORLD! Our region produces more natural gas than the countries of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar. Last year the Shale Crescent folks were the new kids at the World Petrochemical Conference. They were just about laughed out of the event. We have a feeling this year is going to be a lot different…
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EIA Mar ’18 Drilling Report: Oil & Gas Output Hit New Records

Yesterday our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report, the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR is the EIA’s best guess, based on expert data crunchers, as to how much each of the U.S.’s seven major shale plays will produce for both oil and natural gas in the coming month. The numbers continue to be mind-blowing–hitting new all-time highs that take your breath away. Last month EIA estimated the Marcellus/Utica (called Appalachia in the report) would produce a new high of 27.15 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas, which would be 321 million cubic feet (MMcf) (nearly 1/3 of a Bcf) higher than the month before. The actual number for February turned out to be 27.56. That is, EIA underestimated the number! This month, which is an estimate for all of March, EIA says M-U natgas production will go up ANOTHER 359 MMcf (over 1/3 of a Bcf)! The Permian, an oil play that produces “associated natural gas” along with oil, is estimated to go up another 233 MMcf/d. Yikes! The new total natgas production from all seven major shale plays is estimated to be 66.119 Bcf/d in March. Last year this time output was 55.2 Bcf/d. Mind blowing!…
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Study: Volcanic Ash Linked to Shale Oil & Gas

Did you know that once upon a time, around 100 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth, that mom earth had no permanent polar ice caps, and that the amount of greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide, CO2) in the atmosphere was 10 times (i.e. 1000%) higher than it is today? And yet, somehow, life survived. Who knew? Contrary to the scaremongering balderdash being pedaled today, the amount of CO2 we humans pump in the atmosphere today by burning fossil fuels is puny compared to what volcanoes used to pump into the atmosphere eons ago. Humans today are pikers–bush league–compared to the volcanoes of old when it comes to warming up mother earth. That’s what we learned in reading a newly published study on the link between the formation of today’s shale oil and gas deposits and ash from long-ago volcanoes. “Nutrient-rich ash from an enormous flare-up of volcanic eruptions toward the end of the dinosaurs’ reign kicked off a chain of events that led to the formation of shale gas and oil fields from Texas to Montana.” So says “Volcanic ash as a driver of enhanced organic carbon burial in the Cretaceous”–a new study just published in the journal Nature
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OH Utica Production 4Q17: Ascent Tops in Gas, Eclipse Tops in Oil

The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) has just issued production numbers for the fourth quarter of 2017. Production was up for both natural gas AND oil, as it was in the third quarter (see OH Utica Production 3Q17: Ascent Res. Dominates Top Producers). Utica natgas production saw a gigantic percentage increase–up 38% over the same period last year. Oil production was up a healthy 16% over the previous year’s 4Q. However, when looking at the full year, Ohio’s Utica oil production was lackluster in 2017–down 9% from 2016. Natgas production for all of 2017 was up 24% in 2017 compared to 2016. Which drillers dominated natural gas production, and which dominated oil production, in 4Q17? We have the answers…
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PA Natural Gas Production Hits Another All-Time High in 4Q17

Pennsylvania ended 2017 with a bang–at least with respect to natural gas production. Yesterday, the PA Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released their latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report for Oct-Dec 2017 (full copy below). It shows natgas production rose 9.8% compared to the same period last year. It also shows the number of producing wells is up 9.2% from last year. Total natural gas production volume was 1,401.8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) and the number of producing wells in 4Q17 was 8,268…
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