Chevron Lists Another 6,630 Marcellus Acres for Sale in Central PA

Chevron continues a slow bleed of selling Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale assets in 2015. In February the company put up for sale 12 tracks of Marcellus acreage in Bedford, Blair and Cambria counties in PA–just over 17,000 acres total (see Chevron Selling 17K Marcellus Shale Acres, More Sales Coming). In May, Chevron posted another 11,700 acres for sale in Clearfield and northern Cambria counties (see Chevron Shops Another 11,700 Marcellus Acres in Central PA). In June the company has just listed another 6,630 acres along with four drilled wells–all of it in Centre County…
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Getting Marcellus NatGas to Customers without Pipelines

NOTE: This post was updated on 7/30/15 per the request of Compass Natural Gas Partners. The updates reflect that Compass does not market to rural communities/end users, but rather to manufacturers, fleets and businesses that are not located near natural gas pipelines. We thank Compass for setting the record straight. – Jim Willis, Editor, MDN

Wouldn’t it be great if you could sell Pennsylvania’s abundant, clean-burning and cheap Marcellus Shale gas to areas without access to a pipeline or natural gas? Just wave the magic wand and presto-magico gas is delivered to manufacturers, fleets and businesses where no infrastructure now exists. That’s the premise behind a very real company that aims to accomplish that lofty objective. Compass Natural Gas Partners, based in Camp Hill, PA, is building a first of its kind compressed natural gas (CNG) terminal in Lycoming County, PA that will accept Marcellus Shale gas in, clean it up (get rid of the water in it), compress it to 3600 psi, and load it into specially designed trailers that haul it to customers. If this project catches on, it has the power to change how natgas is distributed to locations with no pipelines…
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Rex Energy Looks to Sell 28,300 Marcellus Acres in Bid to Raise $

Last week Rex Energy released its 2014 year in review and projected some numbers for 2015 (see Rex Energy 2014: Revenues Up 39%, Production Up 66%, 50 New Wells). A day later the company hosted an analyst/investor conference call. In reviewing that call, there was some news of interest. Rex said it is considering selling 28,300 non-operated acres in Westmoreland, Clearfield and Centre counties (PA) as a way of raising more money. Officials also said they’re looking for a buyer for their 60% stake in Keystone Clearwater Solutions, an oilfield services company, and a joint venture partner with Rex in its Moraine East acreage. Huh. Below are excerpts from last week’s Rex conference call along with their latest PowerPoint presentation…
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Scranton Newspaper Discovers WPX is Leaving PA–9 Months Later

Better nine months late than never, we suppose. Back in February, MDN told you that WPX Energy is leaving the Marcellus (see WPX Energy Abandoning the Marcellus? Sure Looks That Way). We got clarification from WPX spokesperson Susan Oliver that although they would not drill any new wells, they will continue to operate at least some of the 100+ wells already drilled (see WPX Gives MDN an Update on Their 2014 Marcellus Plans). Over a month ago we told you that WPX is actively shopping their remaining undrilled acreage (see WPX Marcellus Assets Being Shopped in “Controlled Auction”). The Scranton Times-Tribune finally woke up (nine months later) and, shazam! They discovered that WPX is (can you believe it?) leaving PA…
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New PA Senate Leader Says Severance Tax Could Kill Cracker Plant

It’s looking better and better that Pennsylvania Republicans will not cave to pressure to enact a Marcellus-killing severance tax proposed by Democrat Governor-elect Tom Wolf. Last week Republicans booted RINO Dominic Pileggi (Philly area) from his leadership post and replaced him with Sen. Jake Corman from Centre County as the new majority leader. Corman says if a severance tax is enacted, it may well kill the prospects for Shell’s ethane cracker plant and Corman wants to ensure that plant gets built…
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‘Marcellus Shale Documentary Project’ opens Sept. 23 @ Penn State

Penn State will debut the “Marcellus Shale Documentary Project” in State College, PA on Sept. 23 at the Palmer Museum of Art. We don’t know for certain, but we’re 99.9% sure this is more anti-drilling clap trap dressed up as a serious pursuit of the truth behind the Marcellus. The project “features photographic images that tell the personal stories of Pennsylvanians affected by the Marcellus Shale gas industry.” As part of this “important” new exhibition, a series of events are planned, referred to as a “museum crawl” (something like a pub crawl, only you get drunk on “art” instead of booze). A panel discussion to bash fossil fuels and “extractive industries” will happen in late October as part of the project. The panel is being sponsored (paid for) by Penn State, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, and something called The Rock Ethics Institute. Bet you didn’t know that rocks have ethics, did you?…
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Turns Out that State College Teens are the REAL Scientists

Back in February we told you about high school kiddies from the State College, PA area who are helping with a project to monitor water conditions in a creek that runs through Black Moshannon State Park (see State College Teens Help Out with Shale Network Water Sampling). The project is part of something called the Teen Shale Network. The point is to monitor the water to get baseline readings ahead of shale drilling slated to be begin nearby, and then again after–to see if there are any changes that can be attributed to shale drilling. Wow! What a concept! Real, live, actual, in-the-field empirical research.

Contrast the dedication of these kids slogging through the snow all winter, entering freezing waters to do real, actual science, with that of people like Cornell “professors” Tony Ingraffea and Robert Howarth, who sit in ivory towers reading the work of other scientists and generating term papers they call “research” (see Devastating Critique of New Ingraffea/Howarth Methane Study by EID). Big difference. If you ask us, the State College kids are the real scientists. Here’s an update on the activity of our real scientists doing real research…
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Will Penn State President’s Global Warming Views Affect Drilling?

A few weeks ago Penn State got a new president–the 18th person to serve in that capacity. His name is Eric Barron and he’s credentialed in all the right ways and is, in fact, a previous faculty member and administrator at Penn State. Barron has been a geosciences professor and has headed up various geosciences departments, including one at the University of Texas-Austin. You may think, “Great! Someone that will understand the importance of shale drilling!” We’re not so sure.

Penn State is arguably one of the country’s most important university systems, and home to MCOR–the Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research. The guys and gals at MCOR are very bright and very active. They engage in research and do a top notch job in educating Pennsylvanians on the miracle in their midst–Marcellus Shale drilling. So what’s MDN’s “problem”? Barron is a global warming alarmist, from what we’re able to gather. And we’re concerned his views, like that of other warmists, will color his views of all fossil fuels, including natural gas. With the flick of a pen he can do profound damage to MCOR and their mission–which would be a shame…
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State College Teens Help Out with Shale Network Water Sampling

Penn State and other organizations sponsor an initiative called the Shale Network. The Shale Network is a group of volunteers who sample local rivers and streams to ensure Marcellus drilling is not having a negative effect on local waterways. So far, we’ve not heard of a single instance where the testing has turned up a problem.

Part of the Shale Network is the Teen Shale Network, which involves local high school students from the State College, PA area to help with the testing–as a way to educate them on field science. To which we say, great! The kids were out freezing their derriere’s off recently, taking samples in Black Moshannon State Park…
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Deniers Would Rather Penn State Keep Burning Coal than Use NatGas

Witnessing the psychology of those who are anti-drilling, and the reasons for being anti-drilling, is instructive. Some people are honestly afraid that fracking and an increased use of natural gas will lead to an environmental holocaust. We’ll call them lazily ignorant. They don’t bother to investigate or think through the information being spoon fed to them with a critical, logical mind. They just accept the fantastical yarns they hear as the truth. Then there are the true believer fanatics who have gone on over the edge, believing mythical “renewables” can power the planet–now–if only we had the political spine to man-up and change. Bring back the horse and buggies! We’ll call them dangerously stupid.

Regardless of whether you’re lazily ignorant or dangerously stupid (i.e. regardless of why you believe), what you believe does matter. Case in point: A “few dozen” residents and students who live near Penn State in State College, PA want the university to forget about their plan to convert their electric generation plant from being powered by coal to being powered by cheaper, clean-burning natural gas…
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Central PA Counties Cooperate on Infrastructure for More Gas Use

A new initiative in central Pennsylvania aims to make it easier for residents, businesses and drivers to take advantage of the abundant, cheap Marcellus Shale gas being produced all around them. The new initiative is being led by the SEDA Council of Governments (or SEDA-COG), a multi-county economic development agency in central PA.

The $160,000 project will identify areas where new infrastructure (pipelines, rail, filling stations, etc.) can be built to deliver natural gas for those hungry to begin using it…
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Columbia Gas Sues State College, PA for Blocking NatGas Pipeline

Unbelievable. The main campus of Penn State University, located in State College, PA, wants to convert an electrical-generating steam plant from burning coal to burn clean natural gas–and the Borough of State College refuses to let Columbia Gas run a pipeline underneath an uppity neighborhood (appropriately named “the Highlands”) to provide said clean-burning natural gas to Penn State. So Columbia has filed a lawsuit against State College, calling their action just what it is: “arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and against applicable law …”

The lawsuit, however, is on temporary hold for a month while Columbia and Penn State attempt to see if they can concoct a new pretzel-like route to reach the university, avoiding any uppity neighborhoods…
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State College, PA Mayor Wants City to Dump Fossil Fuel Investments

Long-time readers of MDN know that our theory of the real reason anti-drillers are against fracking and shale drilling is not because of concerns over water contamination and the list of other pretend excuses they spin, but because of their twisted views that all fossil fuels are somehow “evil.” However, that theory bears repeating from time to time for new readers, and to remind people of the fight we face against those who are unreasonable and militant in their opposition to clean-burning natural gas. The latest example comes from the wacky mayor of State College, PA, Elizabeth Goreham, who along with a few other small town mayors, is “urging” municipalities to “divest from fossil fuel companies.”

State College sits in the middle of abundant, cheap Marcellus Shale gas. Perhaps drillers and utility companies should just shut off the natural gas spigot to State College? Maybe they’d rather just burn coal or wood? Yeah, now that would be real environmentally friendly, wouldn’t it? Here’s the latest rant by the irrational and obtuse anti-drilling movement:

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More CNG Vehicles on the Way in Centre County, PA

More evidence that compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG) are taking off comes from Centre County, PA where local elected officials are applying for a grant to help purchase CNG vehicles for the county and local towns.

Aside from the cost to convert vehicles to CNG (which state and federal grants help with), the only thing that really holds back local municipalities from adopting CNG technology are fueling stations:

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PA Town to Vote on Fracking Ban

In New York State, it’s not uncommon to read about two or three misinformed town board members voting to ban drilling for all of its citizens. But it’s not something you read about happening in Pennsylvania all that often. So when it does happen in PA, it’s news.

No, a PA town has not recently voted to ban fracking, but Ferguson Township in Centre County will have a referendum on the ballot in the November election asking citizens whether or not they want to strip away the property rights of their neighbors. Ferguson residents who favor the U.S. Constitution, make sure you get out and vote!

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Shale Gas Innovation Contest IDs 12 New Technologies

Last October, the Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center (SGICC) announced its Shale Gas Innovation Competition. The results are now in and two organizations in State College, PA are the winners, receiving $25,000 each.

Polymics LTD won for their design of a lightweight, reusable and leak-proof mat system that is used at drill sites to contain mud and fluids while the drill pad is under construction. The second winner was the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute at Penn State University for their development of a “patch box” system that converts diesel truck fleets to use natural gas.

Ten additional finalists were also named. In all, 12 new innovative technologies were identified that will help propel the shale drilling industry forward, making drilling safer and more efficient. From the SGICC press release:

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