PA Marcellus Gas Production Up 2%, Wells Drilled Down 18% in 3Q

Yesterday Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released its latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report–for July through September 2020 (full copy below). The report shows natgas production in PA rose 2.0% compared to the same period last year, which is the lowest increase on record since the shale revolution began. The number of new wells spud (drilled) in 3Q20 was 111, down 18% over 3Q19.
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Enbridge Building Solar Farm in PA to Power TETCO Compressor Stn

In September MDN brought you the news that pipeline company Enbridge is building a solar farm to provide electricity to power (in part) a Texas Eastern Transmission Pipeline Company (TETCO) compressor station in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, which is a first (see Enbridge Using Solar Farm to Power TETCO Compressor Station in NJ). Enbridge has announced they’re doing it again–this time in Pennsylvania.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Nov. 16-20

Last week Pennsylvania issued 11 new shale well drilling permits, all but one of them in the northeastern (dry gas) part of the state. Ohio issued one new permit, and West Virginia issued 2 new shale well permits.
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Shale Drilling on PA State Land Slows Down; Only 1/3rd Built Out

Last Wednesday Shawn Lehman, from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources’ (DCNR) Resource Inventory and Monitoring Section, gave an update on DCNR’s ongoing efforts to monitor environmental and natural resource impacts of shale gas drilling on state forest land. We learned some interesting facts about shale drilling on PA state land as part of the presentation.
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Sierra Club Hosts 90-Min Online Mariner East Pipeline Kvetch

Monday night the radical Sierra Club hosted a virtual town hall in which people could complain about the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project. And complain they did. The aim of the virtual complaint session is to try and close down the already up-and-running ME pipelines (plural), and most particularly prevent the final bit of ME2X from getting completed. By airing sob stories, the Clubbers are hoping to bully the state Dept. of Environmental Protection and/or the Governor into blocking further work on the project–a project just a few months from being done.
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Worker Killed Delivering Equipment to Well Pad in Lycoming County

We have sad news to report. Yesterday a 50-year-old man was unloading a large excavator off a trailer at natural gas well pad in Lycoming County, PA when the tailgate/ramp he was trying to lower knocked him to the ground and landed on his chest resulting in “traumatic asphyxiation.” We don’t have a lot of details, but we do have some…
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PA Lawmakers Send Bill Splitting Conventional & Shale Regs to Gov

The Pennsylvania Senate previously passed and yesterday “concurred” (signed-off on) Senate Bill 790, sending it to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature. SB 790 restores sanity to regulations for conventional oil and gas drillers in the Keystone State. Unfortunately, Gov. Wolf has stubbornly said he will veto this common sense bill. Why are we not surprised?
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Nov. 9-13

An interesting week for permits. Last week Pennsylvania issued just 2 new shale well drilling permits after having issued 3 the week before (lowest numbers we’ve seen). Ohio, which has not issued many permits in recent months, was on fire last week with 17 new shale permits! West Virginia issued just 1 new shale well permit.
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New Phila. Gas Works CEO-in-Waiting Wants to Expand Gas Sales

Seth Shapiro (credit: Philadelphia Inquirer)

Seth A. Shapiro will become the new CEO of the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) at the end of next year when current CEO Craig White retires. Beginning Jan. 4, Shapiro will become PGW’s new chief operating officer. In an interview with the Philly Inquirer, Shapiro shared his thoughts on the future of the country’s largest municipally-owned natural gas utility. What will no doubt be a disappointment to Big Green radicals, Shapiro is not looking to stop the sale of natural gas. In fact, he wants to expand it.
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DOE Marcellus Research Finds High Frack Pressure Keeps Gas Trapped

Here’s a little known fact: Fracking for natural gas in shale only extracts about 20% of the methane gas that’s trapped in shale rock, meaning (of course) that 80% of the gas gets left behind. Researchers with the Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) Los Alamos National Laboratory have made what we consider an astonishing breakthrough discovery: Too much pressure used during fracking actually locks some of the methane away tighter in the shale, instead of loosening it. In a published paper revealing their results (full copy below), researchers recommend a range of pressures to use to optimize (increase) recovery rates for methane in the Marcellus.
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Sisters of the Corn Return – Sue Williams re Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

Like a bad Stephen King horror flick, the Sisters of the Corn (our name for a group of leftist nuns in Lancaster County, PA) have returned to file yet another frivolous lawsuit against Williams over a pipeline that crosses their land–a pipeline (Atlantic Sunrise) that has been up and running for years. The Sisters claim an infringement of their “religious liberties” in the lawsuit. They tried this argument once before and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
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Spike in COVID Cases at Shell PA Cracker Plant Site – 39 Active

In line with a rise of COVID-19 cases in the general population throughout the state of Pennsylvania (and elsewhere), workers at the Shell ethane cracker site in Monaca, PA (near Pittsburgh) have seen a big jump in active coronavirus cases. As of yesterday, the number of active cases stood at 39. Wednesday the number was 31. Shell says most if not all of the cases are coming from offsite and onsite transmission among the 7,000 active workers is not a factor in the rising number.
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PA DEP Blocks Revolution Pipe Restart Even Though Repair is Done

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) continues to block Energy Transfer’s Revolution Pipeline gathering system in western PA from restarting. In September the DEP finally, after two years, gave ET permission to fix problems that caused the pipeline to explode. Even though ET has fixed the original site of the explosion, the DEP says there are other areas of concern and forbids certain sections of the pipeline from restarting, until…
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Talen Energy Dumping Coal, Converting Elec Plants to Gas in PA, MD

On Tuesday, Talen Energy Corp., under extreme litigation pressure from the odious Sierra Club, announced it will eliminate the use of coal at all of the company’s wholly-owned facilities. Back in 2017 MDN brought you the news that Talen’s coal-fired Brunner Island Power Plant, located in York County, PA, is investing $100 million to retrofit the plant so it can burn 100% Marcellus Shale gas by 2028 (see York County, PA Electric Plant Begins Using NatGas as Fuel). Talen owns another coal-fired plant in PA and two in Maryland. Under an agreement with the Sierra Club, Talen will cease coal operations by 2025 in order to avoid more lawsuits from the Sierra Club bullies.
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NEPA Producer Epsilon Energy 3Q Update: Longer Laterals Coming

Epsilon Energy concentrates most of its effort on the Marcellus in Susquehanna County, PA. Epsilon doesn’t actually do any of its own drilling. The company partners with (gives money to) other companies, like Chesapeake Energy, and the other company does the drilling. Epsilon, according to its website, owns ~4,000 net acres in the PA Marcellus. They also own assets in Oklahoma’s Anadarko Basin. On Tuesday Epsilon issued its third-quarter 2020 update, showing a bump up in revenue to $5.8 million in 3Q20 (vs. $5.2 million in 3Q19).
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