Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Oct. 19-23

For a second week in a row, all three M-U states issued new shale drilling permits last week. Pennsylvania issued 6 new permits, Ohio issued 5 new permits, and West Virginia issued 3 new permits.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Sep 28 – Oct 2

Somebody lit a fire under drillers in Pennsylvania last week! Or maybe we should say a fire was lit under the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). PA issued 35 new permits last week spread pretty much across the entire state–in the northeast, central, and southwest portions of the state. Ohio, once again, issued no new Utica permits last week. West Virginia issued a single new permit last week.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Sep 7-11

For the third week in a row, both Pennsylvania and West Virginia issued permits to drill new shale wells last week, and Ohio did not. What’s up with Ohio? PA issued 13 new permits for wells on five well pads. WV issued 2 new permits on two different pads. PA’s new permits skewed toward the southwestern part of the state with 11 of the 13 permits issued (two in Bradford County in the northeast). The WV permits were both issued in Marshall County, located in the northern panhandle of the state.
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Sumitomo Corp Sells JV Stake in Butler County, PA Marcellus

Assets co-owned by Rex and Sumitomo in 2010 (click for larger version)

In 2010 gigantic Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. bought a 30% stake (joint venture) in Rex Energy’s Marcellus drilling operation in Bulter County, PA for $150.7 million. Sumitomo wrote down much of the value for that purchase in 2015. In 2018 Rex went bankrupt and now PennEnergy Resources owns and operates the Butler assets (see Rex Energy Sells Itself to PennEnergy Resources for $600M). PennEnergy is getting a new JV partner. Yesterday Sumitomo announced the sale of their 30% share of the action.
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PA DEP Accuses ET’s Revolution Pipe of 680 Violations Since Jan 1

This is getting ridiculous. Does anyone really believe that a single pipeline project already built and now getting a redo could possibly have racked up 680 “violations” during construction work over the past five months? We certainly don’t believe it. Yet that’s what the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) alleges. Energy Transfer (ET), the builder and fixer of Revolution, has their own allegation: The DEP itself is “not in compliance with its own guidelines.” Who inspects the inspectors for compliance?
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ET & DEP Still Squabbling over Revolution Pipe, New Violations

Energy Transfer’s Revolution Pipeline runs through Bulter, Beaver, Allegheny, and Washington counties in southwest PA. The 24-inch gathering pipeline shifted and exploded in September 2018, just as it was entering service (see Revolution Pipeline Near Pittsburgh Explodes – Home & Barn Destroyed). What happened that led to a landslide and explosion of the pipeline? ET says historic, unprecedented rain caused the problem. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) says ET took shortcuts and performed work without getting permission–work not up to code. The two sides squabbled until January of this year when the DEP levied a record-high $30.6 million fine (see ET Allowed to Fix/Restart Revolution Pipe…After Record $30M Fine).
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Bankrupt EdgeMarc Sells Butler, PA Assets to KeyBank for $70M

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EdgeMarc Energy, headquartered in Canonsburg, PA (once with 50,000 acres of Marcellus/Utica leases), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last May, looking to sell all of the company’s assets (see EdgeMarc Energy Files for Bankruptcy, Blames Revolution Pipe). Diversified Gas & Oil picked up EdgeMarc’s Ohio Utica assets for $50 million in August (see Bankrupt EdgeMarc Sells Ohio Utica Assets to Diversified for $50M). And now, the balance of EdgeMarc’s assets–located in Butler County, PA– is slated to be sold too.
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ET Allowed to Fix/Restart Revolution Pipe…After Record $30M Fine

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The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has just issued the largest single fine to any single company in its history–$30.6 million assessed on Energy Transfer for the explosion of the Revolution Pipeline–a gathering pipeline located in southwestern PA. The fine, along with new plans and assurances by ET, means the company can finally, some 17 months after the explosion, fix the damaged pipeline and return it to service.
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SWPA County Political Leaders Voice Support for Petchem, Shale

In a speech delivered October 31 to the P4 Climate Action Summit in downtown Pittsburgh, Mayor Bill Peduto declared his hatred for the petrochemical industry. He doesn’t want any more Shell crackers junking up his regional backyard. The highly negative reaction to Peduto’s idiotic (and pandering) remarks was swift. What petchem company wants to build in a region where the mayor of its largest city is trash talking the industry? In a bid to counter Peduto’s economically damaging remarks, some 20 county officials from Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland counties issued a joint statement on Wednesday to show their support for the petrochemical and shale industries in the region.
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Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Court Case to Block Martian Drilling

It seems the door *does* swing both ways when it comes to Pennsylvania municipalities and the Act 13 lawsuit decision that allows municipalities to have a say in zoning in, or zoning out, shale drilling. In 2013 seven selfish PA towns won the right, from the PA Supreme Court, to impose their own zoning rules on oil and gas drilling (see PA Supreme Court Rules Against State/Drillers in Act 13 Case). Since that time, Big Green groups have asked the court to rule the door only swings one way–that zoning can keep shale drilling out, but never allow *more* of it. That notion has now been put to rest. The door swings both ways.
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Pipeline Outage Causing Headache for PennEnergy in W PA

We caught a helpful update on PennEnergy Resources from a report on last week’s Hart Energy DUG East Conference in Pittsburgh. PennEnergy CEO Richard Weber told the DUG audience that his company is currently producing an average half a billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, with plans to increase that by 10% this year. One thing holding the company back is the ongoing outage of Energy Transfer’s Revolution Pipeline gathering system.
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EdgeMarc Energy Files for Bankruptcy, Blames Revolution Pipe

EdgeMarc Energy, headquartered in Canonsburg, PA (with 45,000 acres of Marcellus/Utica leases), is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, looking to sell all of the company’s assets. The reason? They can’t move their production to market because their main pipeline partner, Energy Transfer’s Revolution Pipeline, exploded last September and ET has not been able to get the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection to allow them to restart it.
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PA DEP Claims Energy Transfer Illegally Damaged Streams, Wetlands

Speaking of the exploded Revolution Pipeline located in southwestern Pennsylvania that’s led to a driller declaring bankruptcy (see EdgeMarc Energy Files for Bankruptcy, Blames Revolution Pipe Outage), yesterday the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued an order to Energy Transfer, builder of Revolution, to “identify and restore or mitigate all streams and wetlands that it illegally eliminated or altered during the construction” of the pipeline. DEP claims ET “illegally” eliminated at least 23 streams and changed the length of another 120 streams.
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PA Chamber Files Brief in Martian School Court Case

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry (PA Chamber) recently filed a brief in Commonwealth Court opposing THE Delaware Riverkeeper in a case that still has us angry and baffled. The case brought by Riverkeeper is clear across the state, hundreds of miles from the Delaware River Basin where Riverkeeper supposedly operates, and attempts to force a local municipality to adopt zoning ordinances it doesn’t want to adopt. And it involves Martians.
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