Mariner East 2 Starts Up 13 Miles of Pipe in Southeast PA

The mighty Mariner East 2X (ME2X) pipeline project gets closer and closer to 100% completion, despite the efforts of anti-fossil fuelers to hassle and block the project. In a bit of news ignored by mainstream media, another 13-mile stretch of ME2X in southeastern PA between Chester and Delaware counties went online late last week.
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Range Resources Begins New Air Monitoring Test at SWPA Well Site

Cecil Township, Washington County, PA

Range Resources has launched a second ambient air monitoring test program in Washington County, PA. You may recall the results of a previous two-year study Range commissioned near a high school and elementary school campus in Washington County (see Study Shows No Health Impacts from Marcellus Drilling Near School).
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Steyer Big Green Group Dumps $200K of Dark Money in SEPA Elections

In a transparent effort to buy local politicians and their votes against fracking, pipelines and for high carbon taxes, a California-based group linked to billionaire Tom Steyer has dumped almost $200,000 of “dark money” into Pennsylvania elections in the Delaware Valley (southeastern PA). Steyer is also attempting to buy candidates in Virginia, Nevada, Michigan, North Carolina and Oregon. In Chester County, Steyer is buying races for three radical Democrats in the upcoming primary…
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Peregrine Energy Partners Buys More Royalty Rights in SWPA & WV

Peregrine Energy Partners, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, continues a program to buy royalty rights in the Marcellus/Utica. In January 2019 we told you about Peregrine’s purchase of rights from undisclosed sellers in southwest PA (see Peregrine Energy Buys Royalty Rights in Greene County, PA). In March of this year, Peregrine purchased more rights, in Fayette County, PA. Yesterday the company announced they’ve purchased yet another round of rights–in Washington, PA and two counties in WV.
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PA Supremes Hear Oral Arguments in Can of Worms Royalty Lawsuit

On Wednesday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging whether or not the state Attorney General’s office has the right to use a consumer protection law to prosecute companies like Chesapeake Energy and Anadarko over royalty payment shenanigans. The law the AG’s office wants to use has never been used that way before. According to legal experts, drillers are very concerned if the AG’s office wins this one, as we reported last November (see Chesapeake Royalty Lawsuit at PA Supreme Court – Can of Worms?).
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So-Called “Study” Links PA Fracking to Birth Defect in Horses

A new so-called “study” published in the journal Science of The Total Environment claims it has uncovered a link between fracking chemicals in farm water and a rare birth defect in horses. The researchers say this study “could” serve as a warning about fracking and human infant health. Is this it? Were we wrong for the past 11 years about the safety of fracking? Is this THE END?
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PA House Passes Bill Separating Conventional from Shale Regs

Yesterday the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 790, a bill that restores sanity to regulations for conventional oil and gas drillers in the Keystone State. For years PA’s small, independent conventional oil and gas drillers have objected to the one-size-fits-all regulations concocted by the Gov. Tom Wolf Administration that applies the same regulations to them as to big shale drillers. The two types of drilling are apples and oranges. To make small conventional drillers jump through the same hoops as big shale drillers will bankrupt many of the smaller companies. SB 790 helps correct the situation.
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EQT Provides More Details on DGO Asset Sale, 1.4 Bcf/d Curtailment

EQT announced yesterday it has closed on a deal to sell “certain non-strategic assets” to Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) for $125 million, plus another potential $20 million later on. MDN first told you about this deal on May 13 (see Diversified Buys 900 EQT Wells (67 Shale Wells) for $125M). This is the first time EQT has commented publicly on the DGO deal. EQT’s statement differs from previous news accounts about the deal.
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PA State Sen. Gene Yaw Blasts NY, NJ for Rejecting NESE Pipeline

PA State Sen. Gene Yaw

Pennsylvania State Senator Gene Yaw, a Republican whose district covers portions of central and northeast PA, has his praiseworthy moments. This is one of them. Last week New York’s uber-corrupt Governor, Andrew Cuomo, and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, once again pandered to their radical Democrat base by rejecting a critically needed natural gas pipeline (see Cuomo Rejects NESE Pipe Again, Williams Walks Away). The Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline would have flowed PA Marcellus shale gas to New York City and Long Island. Yaw blasted NY and NJ for their rejection using strong language.
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Biased Post-Gazette Attacks SWPA Shale Cuttings Landfill…Again

Last year a sewage treatment facility in Belle Vernon (Fayette County, PA) claimed the effluent (runoff) it was receiving from a nearby landfill in Westmoreland County contained high levels of salt and radioactivity and was causing damage to their treatment system (see Another Post-Gazette Smear Job: Drill Cuttings Pollute Rivers). The landfill accepts drill cuttings–leftover rock and dirt from drilling holes (not wastewater). The sewage treatment plant with help from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette made accusations against the landfill and the shale industry. The same biased Post-Gazette “reporter” is back with another round of accusations against the landfill, aimed at scaring nearby residents.
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PA DEP to Push Onerous New Methane Regulations at Public Hearings

Last December the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Environmental Quality Board (EQB) approved onerous 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. As part of the EQB’s final steps to ratify the onerous new regs they will conduct three virtual public hearings in June.
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SWPA Judge Rejects Anti Lawsuit re Murrysville Fracking Ordinance

Last time we wrote about a zoning ordinance in Murrysville Township (Westmoreland County) was three years ago, in May 2017, when the town and local drillers struck a compromise on the distance of setbacks (see Murrysville, PA Drilling Ordinance – Anatomy of a Compromise). Apparently the still-too-restrictive ordinance (in our opinion) that allows drilling wells on only 5% of the land in the town wasn’t good enough for local antis who want to block all shale drilling.
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More Frack Crews Now Active in the Marcellus than the Permian!

This has to be a first in the modern shale era. There are now more active fracking crews working in the Marcellus Shale than in any other shale play, including the oily Permian. There are 450 fracking fleets available in the U.S., but only 70 of them are active right now. The Marcellus is using 31% of those active fleets, while the Permian is using 30%. We never thought we’d live to see the day!
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PA Marcellus Gas Production Declines First Time in 3+ Years

It had to happen sooner or later. Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released its latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report for January through March 2020 (full copy below). It shows natgas production in PA rose 6.8% compared to the same period last year. However, overall production fell compared to 4Q19’s record high, breaking a streak that went back 3.5 years.
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Judge OKs Class Action Royalty Lawsuit Against 3 NEPA Drillers

On October 3, 2016, landowner James Slamon filed a lawsuit against Carrizo and Reliance Industries in the Susquehanna County (PA) Court of Common Pleas. Slamon alleged Carrizo and Reliance underpaid royalties on oil and gas leases to him and a class of other landowners “exceeding one hundred members.” The drillers got the case moved to federal court on October 31, 2016. Fast forward to this past Monday and a judge in the federal court case has certified (in part) the class-action request. The lawsuit will now move forward.
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