Contractor Sues Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline for Nonpayment $35M

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In March 2019 MDN brought you the news that Wood Group had been awarded a $34 million contract to build 28 miles of the 60-mile Risberg Pipeline from Crawford County, PA to Ashtabula County, OH (see Wood Wins $34M Contract to Build PA to OH Risberg Pipeline). The portion Wood built was new “greenfield” pipeline. The rest of the pipeline (32 miles) already existed and was repurposed.
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Some SWPA Landowners See Royalty Checks Fall 75% in 1 Year

CBS News, an ultra-biased mainstream media news outlet that we don’t typically watch or read, is publishing a series of articles on the effects of COVID-19–how it has changed the lives of average Americans. In a somewhat unusual twist, CBS focused on landowners in southwestern Pennsylvania who leased property for shale drilling. How has COVID impacted them? CBS interviewed several landowners who have seen their royalties drop like a rock over the last year–down some 75% from just a year ago. While CBS doesn’t say COVID is responsible for all of that drop, they do theorize it has contributed. Has it? Or is something else responsible for the huge drop in royalties?
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SWPA Labor Unions Say Wolf’s $2.4B Carbon Tax Will Hurt PA Economy

Two different trade unions are asking some great questions about Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to force the state to join the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a carbon tax on coal and gas-fired electric generating plants. For example, how would a $2.36 BILLION carbon tax reduce carbon dixoide emissions any more than is already happening by the use of natural gas? PA already reduced CO2 emissions by 32% over the same time period RGGI (a coalition of liberal northeastern states) began–far more of a reduction than RGGI states have experienced!–without belonging to the RGGI tax plan.
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Energy Transfer Says Mariner East 2X Online by End of 2020

It’s been a loooong road getting the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline system, which includes building two pipelines side-by-side from eastern Ohio across Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area, done. From what we can tell, ME2 is now done–with the possible exception of a few miles where smaller pipeline is being used until a bigger replacement is done. For all intents, ME2 is done. However, ME2X, a second pipeline being built next to the first, is not yet done. But it’s getting close! According to comments from Energy Transfer (ET) made during a quarterly conference call yesterday, ME2X will be in service by the end of this year, and the entire project will be done-done sometime in 2Q21. Finally!
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Range Resources Lays Off 40 Employees in Pittsburgh & Fort Worth

Most of the layoffs during this particularly brutal (and historic) downturn in the oil and gas market have taken place in oilfield services companies like Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Sclumberger. But exploration & production companies are not immune. Chevron is laying off workers in their Marcellus/Utica operation because the company is selling all of its Appalachian assets and leaving the region (see Chevron Cutting 320 Jobs in Marcellus/Utica Beginning April 6th and Chevron Cuts Another 80 Jobs in M-U; Still Looking for Buyer). Another M-U driller is also laying off personnel–Range Resources.
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FERC Finally Approves PennEast Pipe Split into 2 Phases

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally got its butt in gear and issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) for an amended request by PennEast Pipeline to break the project into two phases–building the pipeline through Pennsylvania in Phase One, and through New Jersey in Phase Two. FERC was supposed to issue its findings on or by July 10. Finally, after two weeks with no report, no explanation, and no communication, PennEast goosed FERC on July 24 (see PennEast Pipe Gooses FERC to Release Updated Enviro Review). The squeaky wheel…
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PA Senate Democrats Introduce New Carbon Tax Bill

What is it with Democrats and the urge to tax everything–even things that breathe? They have a particular fascination with taxing carbon dioxide–the building block of life and the substance every living thing breathes out with every breath. The latest Democrat who wants to tax CO2 is Pennsylvania Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, Jr. (from Pittsburgh) who introduced Senate Bill (SB) 15. Costa falsely calls it a “cap and invest” plan. In reality and normal plain English, it’s a tax plan–taxing natural gas-fired power plants.
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Cabot 2Q – Still Drilling & Making Money in a Down Economy

Cabot Oil & Gas issued its 2Q20 update on Friday. CEO Dan Dinges said natural gas prices hit a historic low in 2Q (lowest since 1995), but he thinks the price will improve “this winter.” Although the price Cabot got for its gas last quarter ($1.52/Mcf) was 33% lower than a year ago, the company still made a profit. Cabot netted $30 million in 2Q, vs. netting $181 million a year ago. The company drilled 14 new shale wells, completed/fracked 31 wells, and placed 25 new wells online last quarter. They produced an average of 2.2 Bcf/d of natural gas.
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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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Permit Fee to Drill PA Shale Well Officially Went Up 250% on Aug 1

The dirty deed is finally done. It now officially costs more for a new shale permit to drill in Pennsylvania than in any other state in the country. In Ohio, it costs drillers $5,500 to file for and receive a permit to drill a new shale well. In West Virginia, the cost is $10,150. In Pennsylvania, it used to cost drillers $5,000 for a new shale well permit. As of Saturday, the price went up 250% to $12,500.
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FERC Begins Enviro Assessment for Williams’ PennEast Competitor

Over a year ago, in March 2019, MDN told you about a new Williams plan to beef up the Transco pipeline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to deliver an extra 760 MMcf/d (originally 1 billion cubic feet per day) of Marcellus gas to PA, NJ, and Maryland (see Williams Announces Transco Competitor to PennEast Pipe in NEPA). The project is called the Regional Energy Access expansion project.
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Penn State Determines Dosing for Anti-Farting Medicine for Cows

We include this story on MDN because (a) it’s Friday and sometimes we get a little giddy and have fun on Fridays, and (b) to illustrate the lengths crazies will go to reduce the amount of “fugitive methane” that “escapes” into the atmosphere. Agriculture (farm animals) produce huge amounts of fugitive methane–a fact that the climate loons grudgingly have to deal with if they want to keep up the false pretense that the planet is catastrophically warming. So every now and again the crazies come out with truly insane plans to capture, or in this case restrict, the amount of methane cows fart and burp. Penn State is all proud of itself that it has determined the optimum “dosing” of a really big antacid tablet for Bessie…
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Radicals Make Final Push to Strangle PA O&G Using Emissions Reg

Radical environmentalists (far outside the mainstream) are making one final push to pressure the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to expand an already onerous new regulation it is planning to implement. Last December the DEP’s Environmental Quality Board (EQB) approved new regulations that supposedly will capture every last molecule of stray methane that leaks from shale drilling operations (see PA DEP Goes WAY Too Far in Approving New Methane Regulations). The new regs are unnecessary and will shut down even more shale drilling operations in the state.
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PA DEP Fines CNX $310K for Minor Violations re Pipe Construction

On Friday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it has fined CNX Resources and its subsidiary CNX Midstream $310,000 for two incidents in which 65 barrels (2,730 gallons) of non-toxic brine (salty water) leaked into the ground and 43 gallons of non-toxic drilling mud leaked into a creek. The DEP says CNX did “not adequately maintain erosion and sedimentation best management practices.”
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Potential Expansion for the Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline

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The Risberg Line, a 60-mile pipeline from Crawford County, PA to Ashtabula County, OH, went into service with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and a literal turning of the valve by Ohio Lt. Governer Jon Husted last December (see Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline Starts – Flows Marcellus Gas to OH). Risberg cost roughly $86 million to build and now flows 55 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of gas from the PA Marcellus to the northern tip of Ohio in Ashtabula County. You may have thought (as we did) that this project was over and done. Think again…
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