FERC Denies Anti Request to Stop KM’s Broad Run Expansion Project

request-denied.jpgKinder Morgan’s Broad Run Expansion Project will expand transportation capacity of natural gas on the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline system. The project includes the construction of two new compressor stations in Kanawha County, WV, one new compressor station in Davidson County, TN, and one new compressor station in Madison County, KY. Tennessee Gas also expects to increase compression capacity by modifying two of its existing compressor stations in Powell and Boyd counties in KY by replacing existing capacity with new, higher-rated horsepower compression units. The project will provide an extra 200,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of transportation capacity along the same capacity path as the Broad Run Flexibility project, which was placed in service on Nov. 1, 2015. All of the additional gas will come from Antero Resources and their Marcellus/Utica program. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Certificate to build the project in September. However, several anti-drillers filed an appeal, asking for a stay claiming a removal of 40 acres of forest for a compressor station would irreparably harm Mom Earth. FERC has just ruled against the stay and told the antis Mom Earth will be just fine. Fire up the backhoes!…
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Chesapeake Sells 882K Acres & 5,600 Conventional Wells in WV, KY

for-sale.jpgChesapeake Energy, which continues to be strapped financially, embarked on a mission to lighten the debt load years ago–first under co-founder Aubrey McClendon, and then more aggressively under his successor, Doug “the ax” Lawler. Many pieces of the company have been sold off: the Oilfield Services division, all of its Haynesville Shale assets, all of its Barnett Shale assets…we could go on. Chessy loves to do land deals. In December 2014 Chesapeake sold off 413,000 Marcellus acres mostly in West Virginia (see Southwestern Paid Chesapeake $12K/Acre for Land Signed @ $5/Acre). Once again Chesapeake is selling off assets in Appalachia. This time they have cut a deal to sell a mammoth 882,000 acres along with 5,600 operating gas wells in West Virginia and Kentucky. However, the land and wells are in the “shallow” Devonian layer. That is, they are conventional (not shale) wells and acreage. Who’s the buyer and how much is Chesapeake receiving?…
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WV, OH, PA, KY Should Cooperate on $10B NGL Storage Hub

cooperationIn May MDN brought you the news that a researcher at West Virginia University believes an natural gas liquids (NGL) storage hub is what the Marcellus/Utica region really needs (see WVU Researcher Says Marcellus/Utica Needs an Ethane Storage Hub). According to Brian Anderson, director of WVU’s Energy Institute, without ethane storage (and pipelines) the Marcellus/Utica region risks seeing its abundant ethane leave the area, mostly heading to the Gulf Coast. We need that ethane here, in our area. Kevin DiGregorio, executive director of the Chemical Alliance Zone, is also taking up the cause. Writing an opinion article in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, DiGregorio says West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky need to band together to build such a project. Set aside their competitive natures and cooperate? Yes. Why? Such a project will cost an estimated $10 billion–far more than a single ethane cracker project. No one state can do it on its own. It will take all our states cooperating to pull it off. Below is DiGregorio’s op-ed along with more details about the proposed NGL storage hub…
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Update on Illegally Dumped Frack Waste in Kentucky Landfills

Estill County, KYIn March MDN reported that 47 dumpsters full of concentrated frack waste from OH, PA and WV was illegally dumped in a Kentucky landfill in Estill County, KY (see Marcellus/Utica Frack Waste Illegally Dumped in Kentucky Landfill). The cuttings were buried between last July and November, near as anyone can tell. The landfill sits across the road from a school. Normal frack waste has extremely low (usually no) kind of radioactivity. But when drill cuttings are further processed and concentrated, as was the case with this series of loads, the naturally occurring radiation present can become more concentrated. Fortunately there’s no indication of a problem at the landfill: no indication that it’s leaking radioactivity into the water table, etc. But parents and residents were rightly up in arms (see Local Residents Demand KY Landfill Accepting Frack Waste Close). The hunt has been on to track down the perpetrator–but apparently he’s hard to find and not long after the story broke, he shut down the company’s website and changed the address of the company to a public library address. Yeah, something is fishy…
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Local Residents Demand KY Landfill Accepting Frack Waste Close

On Tuesday MDN told you about Marcellus and Utica Shale waste (concentrated drill cuttings) that were illegally dumped in a Kentucky landfill (see Marcellus/Utica Frack Waste Illegally Dumped in Kentucky Landfill). We have an update. Tuesday night a crowd of 300+ local residents, up in arms over the possibility of high levels of radiation that might potentially leak from the landfill, which sits across the street from a school, called on local officials to shut down the landfill. Although the local officials didn’t take action at the meeting, they did say they have “no problem” shutting it down if it’s found there was foreknowledge they accepted the waste. The operator of the landfill, Advance Disposal, claims they were lied to about what was in the loads they accepted. In other words, the fingers have come out and are all pointing at the other party…
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Marcellus/Utica Frack Waste Illegally Dumped in Kentucky Landfill

illegalSeems to us like folks in Kentucky swing more to the liberal side of the isle when it comes to opposing natural gas drilling and pipelines. Just our observation over time. We think they overreact to anything related to fracking and gas drilling. However, in this case, we don’t think they’re overreacting. It appears that 47 dumpsters full of concentrated frack waste from OH, PA and WV was illegally dumped in a Kentucky landfill in Estill County, KY. They were buried between last July and November, near as anyone can tell. And the landfill sits across the road from a school. Normal frack waste has extremely low (usually no) kind of radioactivity. But when drill cuttings are further processed and concentrated, as was the case with this series of loads, the naturally occurring radiation present can become more concentrated. There’s no indication of a problem at the landfill…no indication that it’s leaking radioactivity into the water table, etc. Radiation levels are being monitored and do not show anything above normal background levels. But still, somebody somewhere should have known this was happening. Local residents have a right to be up in arms over not being told…
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Kinder Morgan Sabotages Itself with Some Kentucky Landowners

shoot yourself in the footIn June MDN updated you on Kinder Morgan’s plans to repurpose part of the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline that currently runs south to north, reversing the flow to send natural gas liquids (NGLs) southward (see KM’s SECOND Binding Open Season for Utica/Marcellus NGL Pipeline). One of the biggest pockets of resistance are landowners in Kentucky. One such landowner/farmer, who has had five pipelines crisscross his property over the years, relates a story about talking with a pipeline rep a few years ago who essentially threatened to bury him in lawsuits. We don’t like hearing these kinds of stories…
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Kentucky Supreme Court Rules Against Landowners in Royalty Dispute

court gavelThe Supreme Court of Kentucky has just ruled, in a pair of cases, that producers (i.e. drillers) CAN deduct post-production costs before calculating royalties to landowners. Once case involves landowners suing Magnum Hunter, the other involves landowners suing EQT, claiming (much like what has happened in Pennsylvania) that post-production costs mean they are getting less than one-eighth or 12.5% of the fair value of the gas as a royalty payment. The Supreme Court of Kentucky ruled the language in the leases is unambiguous as is the law–and that the lease allows for post-production expenses to be deducted. Here’s a summary from the legal beagles at Vorys…
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Rogersville Shale Secrets Exposed – Appalachia’s “Next Big Thing”?

The editors of the top-flight NGI Shale Daily publication have put together a free special report on the Rogersville Shale–and you can download it by providing only your name and email address. So far, the Rogersville Shale, a formation that’s part of the Rome Trough in the Appalachian Basin, has largely flown under the radar. A new special report from the editors of NGI’s Shale Daily exposes what some E&Ps had hoped to keep secret. A half dozen or more E&Ps are clandestinely attempting to learn more about the Rogersville Shale–and a land grab is on to lock up lease rights for thousands of acres before the word gets out. An E&P early pioneer in the Rogersville drilled a test well in October 2013 that was later permitted for full production. The company secured a one-year confidentially agreement before they are required to release a completions report. On or about August 20, the one-year time limit expires. What new information will be disclosed?…
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KY Court Decision Goes Against Pipelines re Eminent Domain

In December of 2013, a group of people opposed to the Bluegrass natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline in Kentucky called KURE (Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain) sued the Bluegrass, a joint venture of Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, to prevent them from using eminent domain (see Bluegrass NGL Pipeline’s Eminent Domain Challenged in KY Court). The argument was that the NGLs flowing through the pipeline just pass through Kentucky and don’t benefit local Kentuckians, therefore the pipeline has no right to use the state’s eminent domain law to force landowners to accept the pipeline. That is, it’s not a permitted utility under the definition of the law. In March 2014, a circuit court judge agreed with KURE and told Bluegrass they could not use eminent domain (see Judge Rules Bluegrass Pipeline Cannot Use Eminent Domain in KY). That takes a pretty big stick away from the Bluegrass in their fight to lay the pipeline. Not long after the judge’s decision Williams gave up on the project, although Boardwalk didn’t (see Williams Stops Work on Bluegrass Pipeline, Boardwalk Says “It’s Not Dead”). The circuit court judge’s decision was appealed, and last week the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld the previous no-eminent domain decision. This new decision has implications for the Bluegrass to be sure, but it has even more implications for an active project now under way by Kinder Morgan…
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Cabot Drills Test Well in WV Rogersville Shale, More on the Way?

A fascinating story in Sunday’s Charleston Gazette shines a light on the Rogersville Shale formation in southwestern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. We’ve mentioned the Rogersville a few times on MDN–a shale layer that is older and much deeper than the Marcellus. The Marcellus is about a mile down. The Rogersville is between 9,000-14,000 feet down, or 2-3 times the depth of the Marcellus. Until now we’ve heard about potential Rogersville activity in Kentucky (see Fracking on the Way in the Bluegrass State? Quite Possibly and Kentucky Fracking One Step Closer: Commission Considers 1st Permit). Two exploratory wells have already been drilled in the Rogersville in Kentucky. But the new news, the thing that interests us, is that Cabot Oil & Gas has now drilled a test well in the Rogersville in West Virginia…

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Kentucky Fracking One Step Closer: Commission Considers 1st Permit

In January, MDN told you that shale drilling/fracking may soon come to Kentucky (see Fracking on the Way in the Bluegrass State? Quite Possibly). Several weeks ago the Kentucky Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, a group that “rarely meets” (last meeting was in 2006) held a meeting to consider granting Kentucky’s very first deep horizontal natural gas drilling permit. The company applying for the permit is Horizontal Technology Energy Company, a subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based EQT. Horizontal Technology wants to drill a well in the Rogersville Shale in the eastern part of the state. No word yet on the result of that meeting…
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Fracking on the Way in the Bluegrass State? Quite Possibly

What’s this…fracking in Kentucky?? Maybe! No, it’s not the Marcellus or Utica Shale. Actually, the Marcellus underlies a small sliver of Kentucky where the state shares a border with West Virginia and Virginia–but no one is interested in fracking the Marcellus there. The shale play that’s driven “hundreds” of new leases to be signed in 2014 is called the Rogersville Shale in eastern Kentucky (see map below). Kentucky has been largely resistant to pipelines crossing the state. Will fracking also encounter resistance? It already is…
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