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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Natgas Plants Produce 8X More Electricity than Wind, 16X Solar

We spotted an intriguing editorial in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. It quotes a study by “an independent, market-based think tank” with some phenomenal findings. If you invest $1 million in solar, over a 30-year period you’ll get around 25 million kilowatt hours of electricity. If you invest that same $1 million in wind, you’ll get 50 million kilowatt hours over a 30-year period. But if you invest the same $1 million in natural gas-fired electric generation (cost to extract the gas, etc.), you’ll get 400 million kilowatt hours of electricity over 30 years! Natgas yields 8 times as much electricity per dollar as wind, and 16 times as much as solar.
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Study: PJM Elec Grid is Just Fine Changing from Coal/Nukes to Gas

PJM is the largest electric grid operator in the U.S. It serves 65 million people in 13 states plus the District of Columbia (including PA, OH, and WV). Last week PJM released a summary of findings for a report that evaluates PJM’s “resiliency”–ability to deliver electricity even under adverse conditions and heavy loads. Know what they found? PJM is reliable and can withstand periods of highly “stressed” conditions, including the phaseout of more coal-fired power plants. PJM, perhaps more than any other grid, relies increasingly on natural gas. The study shows reliance on Marcellus/Utica natgas is solid, contrary to the what scaremongers claim. There is no reason to worry.
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PA NatGas Production Flies by 17 Bcf/d – New All-Time High

Earlier this week the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) published preliminary natural gas production data for August 2018. Accounting for missing data from late reporters (namely HG Energy), it’s obvious that PA surpassed, for the first time in its history, 17 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas production. Quick, which company is now producing the most natural gas in PA? If you guessed Cabot Oil & Gas–you’d be wrong! It’s now EQT, following their merger with Rice Energy. Below we have some great stats, and a pretty chart and very useful graph detailing August production in PA–who’s producing how much in the PA Marcellus.
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Report: Natural Gas Outshines Solar, Blows Past Wind

What’s the best, most efficient way to produce electricity? The winner, hands down, is natural gas. That’s according to a recent report from the Manhattan Institute titled “The Real Fuel of the Future: Natural Gas” (full copy below). The report indicates that dollar-for-dollar, investment in natural gas generates 16 times the amount of power as solar panels, and eight times the amount of windmills. Tell us again how superior wind and solar are!
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Study Confirms Wisdom of Not Dumping Untreated Frack Wastewater

The Elliptio complanate freshwater mussel, one of the two species used in the experiment. IMAGE: WESTCOTT PHILLIP / WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Some old news that has become new once again. Prior to 2011, a few Pennsylvania municipal sewage treatment plants accepted untreated frack wastewater, processing it through their systems and releasing it into the environment (rivers and streams). Based on scientific data available at the time, then-Secretary of the Dept. of Environmental Protection, Mike Krancer (Republican), stopped the practice (see PA DEP, Marcellus Shale Coalition Admit Drilling Wastewater Likely Contaminating Drinking Water). Since that time there have been no PA (or any other state) sewage plants accepting frack wastewater. A new study by Penn State now confirms what we pretty much knew then–that aquatic life is affected by dumping untreated frack wastewater into streams and rivers.
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Sham “Risk Assessment” of ME2 Pipeline Released by Philly Antis

MDN told you in July that Philadelphia antis were paying $50,000 to a “consultant” to produce a faux report that will say the Mariner East 2 (ME2) natural gas liquids pipeline is dangerous, a nightmare waiting to happen (see Philly Antis Commission Faux “Risk Study” Targeting ME2 Pipeline). Sure enough, Quest Consultants–a company that sells itself to the highest Big Green bidder–has released their “report,” and it says exactly what Big Green told them to say.
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M-U Uses More NatGas for Electric Generation than Any Other Area

PJM Interconnection is a regional transmission organization (RTO) operating the electric grid in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia, including PA, OH and WV. It is the largest competitive wholesale electricity market in the U.S. (second largest in the world), with more than 1,000 companies (1,376 generation sources) as members, serving 65 million customers with 177 gigawatts of generating capacity. It’s yuge! EIA published numbers yesterday quantifying natural gas-fired generation in PJM. The upshot: natural gas has eclipsed coal in electric generation in PJM, and PJM uses more natgas plants in both raw numbers and as a percentage of electricity generated, than any other power grid.
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Univ of Tennessee Studies PA Fracking Effects on Water Health

It seems that universities in states outside the Marcellus region are fascinated with the Marcellus. They love to “study” it. Or at least, the Marcellus is a goldmine for them in research grants. The latest outsider to study the Marcellus is the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Using a National Science Foundation grant, researchers from UT “will look at how aquatic microbial communities are impacted by biocides associated with hydraulic fracking.” That is, they’re studying whether or not fracking, because it has a low presence of chemicals, is creating superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics. Will fracking cause a new Black Plague?
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EIA Oct ’18 Drilling Report: Shale Gas Output Up Another 1 Bcf/d

The hits keep rollin’ in. Last month the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) monthly “Drilling Productivity Report” (DPR) estimated that this month (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). EIA issued the October DPR yesterday (with numbers for November) and once again, production is going up. EIA estimates November production will hit 74 Bcf/d–another record-breaker.
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EPA Public Mtg Examines Disposing O&G Wastewater in Lakes, Rivers

In May the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a study looking into the possibility of treating oil and gas wastewater and (gasp) releasing the cleaned-up wastewater into lakes and rivers, instead of injecting it back down holes in the ground. Earlier this week the EPA held a public meeting to discuss preliminary findings and to elicit more input from the industry and from Big Green on their study, which is called “Study of Oil and Gas Extraction Wastewater Management” (due to be released early next year). Below is an update on the meeting with a slide deck used by EPA.
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How to Turn PA’s $60B Shale Energy Future into Reality Today

One year ago Chevron Appalachia and People’s Natural Gas teamed up to release a study called “Forge the Future: Pennsylvania’s Path To An Advanced, Energy-Enabled Economy” (see Chevron & People’s Natural Gas Team Up to Map Out PA’s $60B Future). Rather than wait around for “someone else” to flesh out a plan to leverage what Chevron and People’s call a $60 billion (!) opportunity in PA, they went ahead and did it themselves. Smart people. That was Phase I. Others have joined the effort which has morphed into a loose organization called PA Forge The Future. The group has just launched Phase II, a new study called “Ideas for Action: Actionable Initiatives to Accelerate Energy-Enabled Economic Development in Pennsylvania” (full copy below).
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By the Numbers – Revenue & Profitability for M-U Drillers

The expert analysts at RBN Energy have just published their “fourth and final” in a series of posts looking in detail at E&Ps (exploration & production companies, or “drillers”). One of the groups of E&Ps they examine are “gas-weighted” E&Ps–or drillers who mostly extract natural gas. In looking through the list, you immediately realize every one of them has operations in the Marcellus and/or Utica Shale region. Yes, a few also have operations in other plays, but they all have at least some operations here. The real value in the article is an accompanying spreadsheet comparing various financial metrics (apples to apples)–things like total revenue, lifting costs, production costs, and “pre-tax income,” meaning profitability. How do our drillers compare with each other?
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Petrochemicals & Shale – Joined at the Hip (IEA Report)

On numerous occasions we’ve pointed out the lunacy of the “keep it in the ground” gang–those who believe we should end the use of all fossil fuels as soon as possible. Why can’t we do it? For many reasons. Here’s just one: petrochemicals. Did you know that all sorts of products you use every day–things like plastics, fertilizers, packaging, clothing, digital devices, medical equipment, detergents and tires–come from oil and gas? Without oil and gas, we’d quickly descend back into the Stone Age, living short, brutish lives. That point was driven home in a new report titled “The Future of Petrochemicals” (full copy below), part of an International Energy Agency (IEA) series that shines a light on “blind spots” in the global energy system.
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NGSA Winter Forecast: High Demand + High Production = Flat Prices

The Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) yesterday released its 2018-2019 Winter Outlook for Natural Gas report (summary below). NGSA says this winter will have warmer than normal temperatures for much of the country. They also predict natural gas demand will reach an all-time high. However, natural gas production will hit all-time highs too. So in the end, prices for natgas (a function of supply and demand) will stay fairly even.
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