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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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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The Winners of the PA DEP $12.6 Million ME2 Hunger Games Are…

Que the music with dramatic drums, cymbals and trumpets. Camera A, zoom in on Secretary McDonnell. The whole state is watching. It’s time for the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to announce the winners of PA’s Hunger Games-style contest to grab a piece of the $12.6 million “fine” paid by Sunoco Logistics Partners for “permit violations related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project” (see Sunoco LP Pays PA DEP $12.6M to Resume ME2 Pipeline Construction).
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PA Senate Considers Bill Exempting Conv. Drillers from Shale Regs

The Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee will today conduct an “off-the-floor” meeting to discuss and potentially report out for a vote House Bill (HB) 2154, a bill introduced in March to “roll back” (more like “lock in”) regulations that govern conventional PA drilling to the Oil and Gas Act of 1984 (see 2 PA Bills Would Roll Back Conventional Drilling Regs to 1984). The bills are in response to coming changes proposed by leftist Gov. Tom Wolf to over-regulate conventional drillers.
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Range Gets $300M for 1% Royalty on Washington County Production

Yesterday Range Resources, the very first company to sink a Marcellus Shale well back in 2004, announced it has cut a deal to “sell a proportionately reduced 1% overriding royalty in its Washington County, Pennsylvania leases for gross proceeds of $300 million.” Yeah. What, exactly, does that mean? More high finance stuff. The deal, as we try to understand it, reminds us of “factoring” that we learned about in our college business classes. You know, selling the money you will receive in the future from accounts receivable for a lump sum today? We think of this deal as kind of like that. Not exactly, but kind of.
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Peoples Gas Installs First Residential NatGas Fuel Cell in U.S.

WATT Imperium Fuel Cell System Installed in a Residential Home (click for larger version)

In early September MDN told you about a cool new experiment coming from Peoples Natural Gas in the Pittsburgh area–installing a natural gas fuel cell in homes to help generate electricity (see Pittsburgh Utility Experiments with NatGas Fuel Cells in Homes). The fuel cells would not replace a connection to the electric grid, but would augment or supplement electric generation during heavy load times. And get this, it generates the electricity using natural gas with “little to zero emissions.” The new news: The first such installation happened in a home in Westmoreland County on Friday, September 28, 2018. The very first in the country.
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PA Gov. Tom Wolf Fakes Interest in Philly Refinery Jobs

PA Gov. Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is a sleazy politician of the highest order. Wolf is hilariously urging President Trump “to protect Pennsylvania refinery workers by reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in the wake of the president directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to benefit ethanol producers in other states.” That’s after Wolf himself shafted those same refinery workers he pretends to want to help, just two years ago. Let us explain.
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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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FERC Stuck in Slow Mo – Late Approving PA to OH Risberg Project

Click for larger version

Seems to us like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) continues to drag its feet on Marcellus/Utica pipeline projects. Yes, our projects get approved, eventually–but not on the schedule FERC itself establishes. Case in point: RH energytrans’ Risberg Line–a 60-mile, $86 million pipeline from Crawford County, PA through Erie County and into Ashtabula County, OH. According to FERC’s own schedule, an OK for the project was due no later than Sept. 27 (see 60-Mile Pipeline from NW PA to NE OH Gets Favorable FERC Review). Didn’t happen. RH energytrans is being diplomatic, saying, “It may take a little longer than we might hope.”
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List of 29 Marcellus/Utica Gas-Fired Elec Plants Planned or Built

Each large (over 475 megawatts) gas-fired electric power plant is an economic bonanza. The plants cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build–over a billion dollars for the largest plants. They provide hundreds of jobs during construction, jobs that last several years. They provide millions in tax revenue to local municipalities and schools. And best of all, each one of these plants uses an enormous amount of Marcellus and Utica Shale gas. There are 29 of these incredible projects already built or in various stages of planning and construction in PA, OH and WV. We have the list below.
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30-Story Quench Tower Set in Place for Shell Ethane Cracker

On Sunday, what will be the tallest and heaviest piece of equipment that’s part of the mighty $6 billion Shell ethane cracker in Monaca (Beaver County), PA was hoisted into place. It’s called a “quench tower” and it looks like a humongous silo. It’s 300-feet high, which translates into about 30 stories. One of the world’s largest cranes had to be reserved a year ago in order to do the lifting. It took all day, but by 3:30 pm, the quench tower was standing upright–yet another monument to the power of the Marcellus Shale.
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Range Resources Sued by PA Landowner re Post-Production Deductions

In the absence of a guaranteed minimum royalty in Pennsylvania–an issue which continues to divide landowners and drillers–individual landowners are left to litigate in order to get what they are fairly due. Such litigation is time consuming and expensive, and without a certain outcome, which is why most landowners don’t do it. In Washington County, PA a couple who signed a lease with Range Resources have just filed a lawsuit against Range in county court alleging Range violated the terms of the lease by deducting post-production expenses.
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Cabot, Seneca Resources Grab 100% of New Transco Leidy Expansion

Williams is expanding its mighty, 10,500-mile Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co (Transco), again. Sometime this month Williams will prefile a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the Leidy South expansion project. The new project will bump up “compression” (either build new compressors or refit existing compressors) and build new “looping” pipeline in Pennsylvania, in order to increase capacity of Transco in the northeast Marcellus region by another 580 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d).
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PA DEP Releases Revised Erosion & Sedimentation Control Permit

Some of the most important, and slowest, permits issued to drill a new shale well in Pennsylvania are “Erosion and Sediment Control” permits. Well pads and the roads built to access them involve such permits. When sediment/erosion permits are delayed, the whole project is delayed. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection published an updated general permit covering Oil and Gas Development Erosion and Sedimentation Control (ESCGP-3) in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on Saturday, Oct. 6. The new permit is supposed to streamline and make the approval process faster. We’ll see about that.
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Get an “Unfair” Advantage for 2019 Northeast Oil & Gas Awards

Each year MDN partners with the Oil & Gas Awards to promote their Northeast Awards–a way for companies in the oil and gas industry that operate with distinction to get recognized by their peers. In March 2019 the Northeast Oil & Gas Awards will celebrate their 7th year! We hope that you and your colleagues will be able to share *your* successes and participate in the greatest celebration of our industry at the Oil & Gas Awards in Pittsburgh in March 2019. The deadline to enter is Dec. 12. MDN has what we consider a way you and your company can gain an “unfair” advantage–stacking the deck in favor of your company winning.
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FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise for Startup! Pipe Opens Sat. Oct. 6

Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally (finally!) granted Williams permission to open the taps up and let natural gas flow along the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, a 200-mile greenfield pipeline from northeastern to southeastern PA. Startup was delayed two months from Williams’ original estimate (due to Williams, not FERC). But that’s all behind us now. Beginning tomorrow, Marcellus molecules from Cabot Oil & Gas, Chief Oil & Gas, and Seneca Resources will begin flowing along the pipeline, heading out of our region where those molecules will fetch higher prices.
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