PA Court Rules “On” Does Not Mean “Under” in Lease Payment Case

A Pennsylvania landowner thought he could finagle extra payments from XTO Energy after his land was drilled under from a neighboring property. The landowner had signed a lease, and the lease contains language that says if XTO were to drill “on” his property (i.e. install a well pad) the landowner would receive an extra payment. The landowner sued saying “on” also means “under” when XTO drilled under his property. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania disagreed, saying “on” means “on the surface” and “under” does not mean “on”.
Continue reading

Philadelphia LNG Export Plant Approved by City Council Vote

Yesterday Philadelphia City Council approved a $60 million Marcellus LNG export facility, to be built on property owned by Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW). It was the final vote needed, held up by opposition from so-called environmentalists since March (see Philadelphia LNG Export Plant One Vote Away from Happening). Wackadoodle fossil fuel haters (holding up posters of The Lorax) were not happy at yesterday’s meeting when City Council voted 13-4 to approve the plan.
Continue reading

Range Resources Lays Off 5% of Employees – PA Affected

Yesterday the Pittsburgh Business Times broke the news that Range Resources, one of the Marcellus/Utica’s biggest drillers (and in fact the very first driller to sink a Marcellus well, back in 2004), has laid off 40 employees–roughly 5% of its workforce. The layoffs are split between the company’s Pennsylvania and Texas operations.
Continue reading

MarkWest, Contractor Fined $98K for SWPA Gas Plant Explosion

In mid-December there was an explosion at a MarkWest Energy natural gas processing plant in Chartiers (Washington County), PA, injuring four people (see MarkWest Plant Explosion in Washington Co. Injures 4; 1 Critical). Unfortunately one the workers later died (see Sad Postscript: Man Dies of Injuries from MarkWest SWPA Explosion). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the incident and has just fined MarkWest and a contractor (that employed the workers) a cumulative $98,508.
Continue reading

Protesting Antis Allowed to Attend Plum, PA Private Shale Meeting

Shale driller Huntley & Huntley (H&H), headquartered in Monroeville (Allegheny County), PA, organized a private meeting last night in Plum, PA for “officials from local municipalities, the state Department of Environmental Protection and the oil and gas industry.” The meeting was an effort at good communication, so local officials know what is and is not allowed, and who regulates what, when it comes to shale drilling. Of course anti-drillers got wind of the meeting and pitched a fit until H&H opened up the meeting to let them attend.
Continue reading

Reap What You Sow – Overturned Act 13 Bites PA Antis on Rear

In May MDN told you about a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that allows shale drilling to happen *anywhere* in a township, so long as such drilling satisfies standards to protect public health, safety and welfare (see PA Supremes Say Drilling Allowed in ALL Districts of SWPA Town). The ongoing fallout from that case, and antis’ reaction to it, is instructive. We’d like to make an observation we’ve not seen made anywhere else about the case and antis’ reaction to it.
Continue reading

DRBC Executive Director Tambini Loses His Cool at UDC Meeting

We had high hopes for Steve Tambini, former vice president of operations at Pennsylvania American Water, when he was appointed Executive Director of the Delaware River Basin Commission in 2014 (see DRBC Selects Steve Tambini as New Leader, Enviro Groups Unsure). After all, DRBC’s previous director, Carol Collier, was nothing more than a shill for radical Big Green groups during her 15-year tenure. Just about anyone would be better. Unfortunately our hopes for Tambini have been dashed over the past five years since he took over.
Continue reading

Updates for PennEast & Adelphia Gateway Pipeline Projects

Two important pipeline projects, PennEast and Adelphia Gateway, are at various stages of approval. PennEast is a $1 billion (or $1.2 billion, depending on the source) new greenfield pipeline project from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ. PennEast will flow PA Marcellus gas to markets in NJ. Adelphia Gateway is an old oil pipeline, already in the ground, that runs from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook. Adelphia will flow Marcellus gas to the Philadelphia region. PennEast was announced in 2014, and Adelphia in 2017. Neither has yet begun construction. What’s the status for each project?
Continue reading

Eureka Signs JV to Extract Lithium from Marcellus/Utica Wastewater

Eureka Resources Standing Stone Wastewater Treatment Facility

In early March, MDN brought you the news that Eureka Resources, which owns and operates three centralized treatment/recycling facilities that process flowback/produced waters (i.e. wastewater) from the Marcellus Shale, had announced a joint venture with MGX Minerals to use MGX’s high tech solution to recover lithium from Marcellus wastewater (see Eureka to Extract Lithium from Marcellus/Utica Wastewater). The two companies announced earlier today they have finally signed the jv agreement. The announcement includes details about the jv and the tech that will be used.
Continue reading

Pres. Trump Targets Marcellus/Utica to Bulk Up PetChem Industry

President Trump is pushing members of his administration to work with state regulators in Appalachia–Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania–to “build the country’s first natural gas and petrochemical hub” outside of the Gulf Coast. According to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, such a plan is in the the country’s national security interests. Members of the Trump team are also having discussions with leftists like NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to try and convince him to allow pipelines into and through the state. If states like NY won’t allow it, Perry holds out the hope/threat that the feds will invoke the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause to make them.
Continue reading

PA Court Denies “Standing” for Grandma Fighting Range Well

A grandmother concerned that if Range Resources were to build a well pad three-fourths of a mile from her granddaughter’s school (in Washington County, PA) instead of building it a full mile from the school, tried to gain legal standing to challenge a permit granted to Range by Mount Pleasant Township. Grandma says her granddaughter has a sensitivity to benzene fumes. Yesterday a Commonwealth Court panel ruled she does NOT have legal standing to challenge the permit.
Continue reading

PA Sen. Dinniman Intros Bill Requiring Study of “Old” Pipelines

PA State Sen. Andy Dinniman

Pennsylvania Senator Andy Dinniman, leftist Democrat from Chester County (near Philadelphia), continues his mission to try and block all three Mariner East pipelines from achieving or continuing service, flowing natural gas liquids to Marcus Hook. His latest attempt is “pipeline safety” Senate Bill (SB) 677, a bill requiring an all natgas and NGL pipelines over 50 years old to conduct an “end of life” study.
Continue reading

PA Severance Tax Bills Intro’d in House & Senate w/Strong Support

It looks like Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s “promise them anything and everything” Santa Claus routine is working. We’re referring to Wolf’s so-called Restore PA plan that will provide (over a number of years) $4.5 BILLION worth of goodies to Pennsylvanians by slapping a Marcellus-killing severance tax on the already impact taxed shale industry. Legislation was introduced yesterday in the PA House to create Restore PA (House Bill 1585) and fund it with a severance tax, and we’ll be darned if there weren’t 99 House members who signed up to sponsor it (16 of them traitorous Republicans).
Continue reading

Range, Others Paid SWPA Landowners $3M to Settle “Haney” Case

Three families who lived near a former drill site and frack wastewater impoundment in Washington County, PA sued Range Resources in May 2012 claiming the air they breathe and the water they drink had been contaminated by Range’s operations at the site (see EPA Investigating Range Drill Site in Western PA). Range eventually settled what became known as the “Haney” case with the three families in 2018. The settlement was, until yesterday, secret. Facing ongoing pressure from “media” outlets, Range released a copy of the settlement showing the families got a collective $3 million–minus 33% for overpaid lawyers.
Continue reading

The Billionaire Behind New Fortress LNG Export Facility in NEPA

Wes Edens

New Fortress Energy is building an LNG liquefying plant in northeastern Pennsylvania and will truck (eventually rail) the LNG to a port located on the Delaware River along the New Jersey shoreline for export to Puerto Rico and other destinations (see Big News! Marcellus LNG Export Plant Coming to Landlocked NEPA). We didn’t know much about New Fortress–until now. Bloomberg recently published an article profiling Wes Edens, the billionaire co-founder of New Fortress.
Continue reading

NARO Warns WV & OH About PA Cross-Unit Drilling Bill

In March MDN brought readers a pair of posts about a new bill in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, HB 247, which would allow fully leased parcels that are part of one drilling “unit” to be combined with parcels in a different unit–“cross-unit drilling” if you will (see PA Floats Bill to Allow Shale Drilling to Span Multiple Units and Revisiting PA Bill to Allow Shale Drilling Across Multiple Units). The National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) at a recent meeting in WV warned landowners about HB 247 and its potential to come to both WV and OH if it passes in PA.
Continue reading