PA House Committee to Consider 2 Bills to Fix Sloooow DEP Permits

Two of the eight Pennsylvania House bills that are part of an initiative called Energize PA will be considered and debated before the PA House State Government Committee on September 17. Both bills, House Bill (HB) 1106 and 1107, are aimed at streamlining and speeding up the permitting process at the semi-dysfunctional Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). Enviro-leftists are screaming–they don’t want the dysfunction to stop. Having shale permits issued more quickly is not in their game plan.
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Work at Sunoco’s Marcus Hook Causes Range to Tweak NGL Forecast

Sunoco is performing “optimization work” at the Marcus Hook export terminal this month. Marcus Hook is where two (soon to be three) Mariner East Pipelines terminate, hauling NGLs (propane, ethane, butane) from western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio all the way to the Philadelphia area. At Marcus Hook the NGLs get separated and most (not all, but most) get loaded onto ships for export to other countries. Sunoco needs to upgrade a few things to export even more. They’re shutting down Marcus Hook this month, and that’s a (temporary) problem for the main shipper sending NGLs to the facility–Range Resources.
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Most Important Court Case in PA Shale History Heads to Supremes

This Friday Thursday the justices sitting on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear what we believe is the most important shale gas court case in the history of the state: Briggs v Southwestern Energy. We consider this case to be an existential threat to the future of shale gas drilling in PA should the decision go the wrong way. And no, we’re not exaggerating.
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PA Landowners Feel Pinch of Low NatGas Prices in Royalty Checks

Like it or not, landowners are joined at the hip with the shale drillers who produce the natural gas from their land. When “the price” (which is actually a lot of different prices, depending on geography) of natural gas is high, everyone is in tall cotton. But when the price tanks, as it has over the past few months, every suffers. PA landowners are noticing very thin royalty checks. The big bone of contention is when drillers look to share more of their pain with landowners by claiming post-production deductions.
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Philly Dem Senator Loses Bid to Shut Down ME Pipelines

PA State Senator Andy Dinniman

In April 2018, a Chester County, PA (Philadelphia area) Democrat State Senator by the name of Andy Dinniman (who we think looks like Tony Soprano) filed a formal, legal complaint with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), asking the PUC to shut down and keep closed all of the Mariner East pipeline projects–ME1, ME2, and ME2X (see Philly Dem Senator Tries to Shut Down ME2 Pipe Construction). It took long enough, but the PA Commonwealth Court, whom Sunoco appealed to, ruled yesterday that Dinniman’s complaint is meritless. The court ordered the PUC to dismiss Dinniman’s complaint.
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PA DEP Changes Sides, Says Marcus Hook Should Get 1 Big Air Permit

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), which once supported (in court) Sunoco Logistics Partners method of requesting permits for the Marcus Hook facility (near Philadelphia), has just flip flopped and change sides, now siding against Sunoco and the permits the DEP itself issued for the Marcus Hook facility. DEP is now siding with the radical Clean Air Council demanding that all of the work at the Marcus Hook facility be done under a single emissions permit, not separate permits.
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PA Fed Judge Won’t Dismiss Landowner Royalty Case Against Range

Last October MDN brought to your attention a lawsuit filed by a Washington County, PA couple, Robin and Thomas Pflasterer, against Range Resources (see Range Resources Sued by PA Landowner re Post-Production Deductions). The Pflasterers maintain Range deducted post-production expenses not allowed under their lease. Range argued the Pflasterers didn’t have the proper paperwork to back up their claims and asked for the case to be dismissed.
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Researchers Discover Low-Cost Way to Find New Shale Gas in PA

Penn State researchers mapped decline curve data on an interactive map (Credit: Penn State, click for larger version)

Penn State researchers say they’ve found a better, lower cost way to identify potential high yield areas for Marcellus Shale gas extraction. How? By using well production data taken from more than 5,600 existing wells, and only for wells with at least two years of production logs, the researchers created decline curves. They then extrapolated those curves to the entire PA Marcellus region and say they can predict, with a pretty high degree of accuracy, the amount of gas that would be extracted if a new well were drilled in a given location. How cool is that?!
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Mariner East Pipe Witch Hunt Continues; PA DEP Defends Employees

In the American legal system those accused of wrongdoing, including those afraid of being entrapped by so-called law enforcement (like the Chester County, PA District Attorney Tom Hogan) are entitled to legal representation–to protect themselves from the abuses of people like DA Hogan. Yet when they do so, avail themselves of legal representation, Hogan gets bent out of shape. Could it be he *has no case* and wants to bully people into admitting to things they are not guilty of? Or force them to falsely testify to things the prosecutor wants to hear?
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Green County, PA Embraces Shale Energy in Rebranding Effort

Greene County, PA, located in the far southwestern corner of the state, last night unveiled a new marketing/rebranding initiative called “Greene County, a Powerful Place.” Greene is making a play to attract investment from the natural gas industry’s downstream (manufacturing) sector. It is a full-throated endorsement of the Marcellus/Utica shale industry and the petrochemical industry that goes hand-in-hand with shale.
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PA Gas-Fired Electric Going from 30% to 45% of Capacity Next 3 Yrs

click for larger version

Believe it or not, dry and sterile reports from government agencies, like the “Electric Power Outlook for Pennsylvania” issued by the state Public Utility Commission, can be exciting! The latest edition of the EPO report predicts natural gas-fired electric generation in PA will go from a current 30% of all electricity produced in the state today, to 45% of all electricity produced in just three years–by 2023. That represents an enormous opportunity for drillers (and landowners) to sell locally produced gas to new, local customers.
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Another $319K in Fines Levied on Mariner East 2 Pipeline in PA

Sunoco Pipeline, a division/part of Energy Transfer, has just been fined (again) for work related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. This time around Sunoco got two fines: One for problems with their work in 2018, to the tune of $240,840, and one for work done back in 2017, to the tune of $78,621. Total bill: $319,461. So far the Mariner East project (ME1, ME2, and ME2X) has incurred over $13 million in fines with over 80 violations.
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Beaver County Wants to Keep Issuing Pipe Permits; $175K from Shell

Last week the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) revoked the right of the Beaver County Conservation District (BCCD) to issue and monitor permits for erosion and sediment control, two permits used in building both pipelines and drill pads (see PA DEP Revokes Beaver County Right to Issue Pipe, Drilling Permits). Antis are now screaming for the DEP to suspend all pipeline work in the county for six months in order to review previously issued permits by BCCD (see Antis Want Pipeline Work in Beaver County Stopped for 6 Months). But the BCCD says the only thing they did wrong was misfile paperwork, that they should be allowed to resume issuing and overseeing erosion and sediment control permits.
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PA PUC Extends “Safety Review” for Liquids Pipes Extra 2 Weeks

Pennsylvania antis from the Philadelphia area who don’t want pipelines running through their neighborhoods (NIMBY types) beat the drums of war so loud and for so long, they finally began to intimidate the non-partisan, shouldn’t-be-intimated PA Public Utility Commission (PUC). In June the PUC launched a “major review of its safety regulations for hazardous liquids pipelines” in response to pressure from Mariner East 2 pipeline foes (see PA PUC Launches “Safety Review” for Liquids Pipes – Antis Rejoice). The deadline for public comments was Aug. 28, but in response to yet more pressure from antis, the PUC extended the deadline another two weeks. It’s sad to see a government body cowed by a few loudmouthed troublemakers.
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