EQT Provides More Details on DGO Asset Sale, 1.4 Bcf/d Curtailment

EQT announced yesterday it has closed on a deal to sell “certain non-strategic assets” to Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) for $125 million, plus another potential $20 million later on. MDN first told you about this deal on May 13 (see Diversified Buys 900 EQT Wells (67 Shale Wells) for $125M). This is the first time EQT has commented publicly on the DGO deal. EQT’s statement differs from previous news accounts about the deal.
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PA DEP Caves to Radicals, Revokes PGE Injection Well Permit

This is truly disappointing. A few weeks ago we told you that Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled a long-running lawsuit involving Grant Township (Indiana County, PA) will continue on through the court system (see Grant Lawsuit Using ERA Threatens PA Injection Wells & Fracking). Grant, a town that passed an ordinance cooked up by the extreme radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to try and block a state-approved injection well, is attempting to use the state’s so-called Environmental Rights Act to justify its illegal ordinance. The court gave its blessing to that effort. And because the court is sending the signal it’s OK to invoke the ERA to justify just about anything, the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) is now going along by revoking a permit issued to Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) to build an injection well in Grant.
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Grant Lawsuit Using ERA Threatens PA Injection Wells & Fracking

In a disappointing decision, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently ruled a long-running lawsuit filed against Grant Township (Indiana County, PA) will continue on through the court system. For the past several years we’ve reported on the case of Grant Township, a town that passed an ordinance cooked up by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to try and block a state-approved injection well. Part of the ordinance was tossed. However, Commonwealth Court has decided the town can continue to try and make a case that it should be able to override state law with its home-cooked regulations because by doing so they will somehow protect citizens’ health, which the town says is allowed under PA’s poorly-written Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA).
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The Real Costs of PA Gov. Wolf’s Carbon Tax by Joining RGGI

Opposition to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to have PA join with northeastern states in the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) continues. Big opposition. Earlier this month Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf went completely off his rocker with a power-grab to force PA into a regional alliance to tax natural gas-fired electric plants out of existence (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). The reaction was swift–on both sides of the issue (see Reaction to Gov. Wolf’s Bonkers Plan to Strangle NatGas Elec Plants). Reaction against the plan continues. The Indiana County, PA Board of Commissioners recently adopted a unanimous resolution against Wolf’s foolish plan, laying out in dollars and cents the very high cost such a plan will have on the county (in lost taxes and lost jobs).
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Grant Twp, PA Continues Legal Battle Against PGE Injection Well

For the past several years we’ve reported on the case of Grant Township, PA, a town that passed an ordinance cooked up by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to try and block a state-approved injection well. Part of the ordinance was tossed, and earlier this year a judge ordered the town to pay $102,000 in legal fees incurred by the operator the town has harmed by its action (see Judge Orders Grant Twp to Pay PGE $102K in Legal Fees). Grant appealed the fine to federal court. In the meantime, Grant Twp continues to burn through taxpayer money by appealing the poorly-written ordinance that bans injection wells. Grant was in court again on Friday paying lawyers to defend the indefensible.
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Judge Orders Grant Twp to Pay PGE $102K in Legal Fees

Pennsylvania towns that pass sketchy local ordinances that skirt state laws are on notice: It’s going to cost you. Big. For the past several years we’ve reported on the case of Grant Township, PA that passed an ordinance cooked up by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to try and block a state-approved injection well. The ordinance was tossed by a judge, and now the town will have to pay $102,000 in legal fees incurred by the operator.
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Contractor Sues EQT $1.9M for Refusing to Pay for Spill Cleanup

Yet more intra-industry snipping to report (o&g companies suing o&g companies), this time between EQT and a contractor the company hired to clean up a spill (for $1.9 million) who says EQT never paid. EQT Gathering hired InterCon Construction to drill and install replacement pipeline in Indiana County, PA. InterCon did the work. During construction, InterCon experienced an “inadvertent return” (drilling mud leaking out on the surface where it’s not supposed to). InterCon fixed the issue, finished their work, and left. Triad Engineering was also involved in the project. The leak later returned. EQT asked InterCon to return and clean it up, which they did (for a price). According to court documents, EQT sued Triad for not properly sealing a bore hole, leading to the “new” leak. Yet EQT is refusing to pay InterCon for the cleanup, inferring they were to blame.
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CNX Resources Fined $250K for PA Pipe Construction Violation

UPDATE 7/19/18: Aside from stiff fine for letting some muddy water get into a nearby creek, there is a second aspect to this story uncovered by ace reporter Jamison Cocklin at NGI’s Shale Daily: the local gathering pipeline CNX was building (and has now abandoned) in Indiana County was supposed to connect to a test Utica well they are/were drilling there. Abandoning that pipeline puts the future of CNX’s Utica drilling in the area in doubt. See NGI’s story: CNX Cancels Plans for Pipeline to Gather Natural Gas from Deep Utica Test Pad.

CNX Resources was installing a pipeline in Indiana County, PA and apparently didn’t, according to the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), properly construct erosion barriers for the project. It rained, hard, and sediment-laden water went over the erosion barriers and got into an unnamed stream, which empties into Mudlick Run, a “high quality water” creek. In other words, a tiny creek got muddy, and some of that muddy water *may have* entered a slightly bigger creek. And for that violation, CNX is going to pay a whopping $250,000 fine. The DEP says following an inspection in March, the DEP ordered CNX to fix the problem by April 3, but as of May 16 the problem had still not been fixed. CNX disputes that they violated their permits and has told the DEP they’ve quit building that particular pipeline. In order to make it all go away, CNX is paying the DEP a $250K negotiated shakedown, PLUS pay to fix the “problem”…
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Attorney for Anti Group CELDF Fined $52K for “Bad Faith”

Tom Linzey, the attorney who founded and runs the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), has just been sanctioned by Federal Judge Susan Paradise Baxter and ordered to pay $52,000 to Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) for his “bad faith” in continuing to press legal arguments on behalf of Grant Township (Indiana County, PA)–legal arguments that say the people of Grant have rights they actually don’t have. Linzey has continued to claim rights for the citizens of Grant that have no legal basis and have been discredited in court. Not only that, but Judge Baxter also referred the matter to the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court with a request that they review Linzey’s actions with an eye to imposing more punishments against him. We’ve previously reported on the story of two Pennsylvania towns that were either hoodwinked, or perhaps willing led astray, by the radical CELDF into passing (now overturned) bans on fracking and injection wells in their towns–Highland Twp (Elk County) and Grant Twp (Indiana County). The two townships thought they would do an end-run around the state’s authority to issue permits for two injection wells–one in each township, by re-incorporating under so-called home rule charters. The towns essentially declared themselves independent of the state for a variety of matters, including oil and gas permits, which PA state law clearly says is a function of ONLY the state Dept. of Environmental Protection. In March, the DEP issued final permits for the injection wells AND sued each town to get those portions of their home rule charters, dealing with oil and gas, overturned (see PA DEP Issues 2 Wastewater Injection Well Permits, Sues 2 Towns). Both towns eventually backed down (see 2 PA Townships Won’t Enforce “Home Rule” Against Injection Wells). However, in May, Grant’s attorneys (i.e. Linzey) filed a counter-claim against PA asking Commonwealth Court to recognize a sort-of extra-judicial set of rights the town can exercise over top of, or in addition to, state laws–instead of their previous position of trying to replace state laws (see CELDF Continues to Agitate Against Indiana, PA Injection Well). The company building the injection wells, PGE, has been economically harmed by the actions of the towns and attorney Linzey, and sued to recoup costs. This decision in part satisfies that lawsuit. The judge, in very strong language, is punishing Linzey for his continued, intentional abuse of the legal system. We note she is not punishing the towns but rather Linzey…
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CELDF Continues to Agitate Against Indiana, PA Injection Well

We previously reported on the story of two Pennsylvania towns that were either hoodwinked, or perhaps willing led astray, by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) into passing (now overturned) bans on fracking and injection wells in their towns–Highland Twp (Elk County) and Grant Twp (Indiana County). The two townships thought they would do an end-run around the state’s authority to issue permits for two injection wells, one in each township, by re-incorporating under so-called home rule charters. The towns essentially declared themselves independent of the state for a variety of matters, including oil and gas permits, which the PA state constitution clearly says is a function of ONLY the state Dept. of Environmental Protection. In March, the DEP issued final permits to each town, and at the same time sued each town to get those portions of their home rule charters, dealing with oil and gas, overturned (see PA DEP Issues 2 Wastewater Injection Well Permits, Sues 2 Towns). The towns agreed to “stand down” and, during their lawsuits, not oppose the DEP’s permits for the injection wells (see 2 PA Townships Won’t Enforce “Home Rule” Against Injection Wells). We thought that would be the end of it. But no, it seems in Grant Township the so-called leaders of the town continue to be brainwashed by the CELDF. In May, Grant’s attorneys filed a counter-claim against PA asking Commonwealth Court to recognize a sort-of extra-judicial set of rights the town can exercise over top of, or in addition to, state laws (instead of their previous position of trying to replace state laws). Unfortunately the judge is willing to give them some rope. Here’s an update on the CELDF anarchist-backed challenge happening in Grant–a threat to our very Constitutional form of self-government…
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Northeast Energy Management Goes Bankrupt; Auctioning Rigs, Assets

It’s always sad when we have to report that a Marcellus/Utica-focused company goes out of existence. Northeast Energy Management, which operated under the name Northeast Energy with headquarters in Indiana, PA, claimed to be “a leader in tophole drilling in the Marcellus/Utica shale” and “a preferred contractor for many of the largest oil and natural gas exploration and production companies.” Perhaps it was, but it is no more. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Western District of Pennsylvania back in January of this year. As of yesterday the court ordered the company’s assets to be liquidated at auction. A live and online auction will take place next week, on Sept. 27, featuring two Schramm drilling rigs, Detroit Diesel engines with pipe handlers, trailer mounted and skid mounted air compressors, boosters, generators, accumulators, trailers and a variety of tractors, pick-up trucks, construction equipment and other drill site related equipment. Here’s the the details about the auction and how you can participate…
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2 PA Townships Won’t Enforce “Home Rule” Against Injection Wells

We’ve previously reported on the story of two Pennsylvania towns that were either hoodwinked, or perhaps willing led astray, by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) into passing (now overturned) bans on fracking and injection wells in their towns–Highland Twp (Elk County) and Grant Twp (Indiana County). The two townships thought they would do an end-run around the state’s authority to issue permits for two injection wells–one in each township, by re-incorporating under so-called home rule charters. The towns essentially declared themselves independent of the state for a variety of matters, including oil and gas permits–which the PA state constitution clearly says is a function of ONLY the state Dept. of Environmental Protection. In March, the DEP issued final permits to each town, and at the same time sued each town to get those portions of their home rule charters, dealing with oil and gas, overturned (see PA DEP Issues 2 Wastewater Injection Well Permits, Sues 2 Towns). The new news is that the towns will “stand down” and, during their lawsuits, not oppose the DEP’s permits. The towns have “temporarily” acquiesced and will allow the companies building the wells to proceed…
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Grant Twp Antis Threaten to Break Law, Block Legal Injection Well

Two weeks ago MDN brought you the news that not only has the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued final permits for two new injection wells in the state, they also sued the two townships where those permits were granted because the towns had adopted home rule laws that are illegal, in contravention to state law that give power to permit and control injection wells to the DEP only–not to local municipalities (see PA DEP Issues 2 Wastewater Injection Well Permits, Sues 2 Towns). Grant Township (Indiana County) tried to block Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) from building a wastewater injection well in the township first by passing an illegal law, stirred up and proposed by the odious Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, or CELDF (see Fed Judge Overturns Grant Twp, PA Ban on Injection Wells). The town then tried to reorganize under a “home rule” charter in order to avoid the judge’s ruling (see Grant Twp, PA Reorganizes to Avoid a Court-Ordered Injection Well). The DEP is now suing Grant (and Highland Township, in Elk County) to nullify those provisions in the home rule charter that affect oil and gas regulation. In the meantime, PGE previously filed a lawsuit against Grant Township, demanding $1 million (see Anti Group CELDF Won’t Help Grant Twp Pay $1M Judgement). On March 31 and April 4, two decisions were handed down by the judge, essentially in PGE’s favor and against Grant. Below we have analysis of those decisions. All of this “bad news” for antis has created the perfect storm in Grant. Antis are now threatening to engage in so-called civil disobedience against the injection well. They plan to shut it down–or go to jail trying. Their leaders are criminals who have done this sort of thing elsewhere…
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PA DEP Issues 2 Wastewater Injection Well Permits, Sues 2 Towns

Good news for Pennsylvania drillers: the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) finally, after years of review, granted permission to two different companies to operate two new wastewater injection wells in the Keystone State. One well is located in Elk County, the other in Indiana County. With these two new injection wells coming online, the state will have a total of eight operating injection wells (vs. hundreds in Ohio). You may have seen news about the newly authorized injection wells from other news sources yesterday. But you read MDN for “the rest of the story.” And here it is, something you won’t find anywhere else (until other news sources read MDN): As soon as the DEP issued the permits for the injection wells, the DEP filed lawsuits against the two townships where the injection wells will be located, because both of those townships–Highland Township in Elk County, and Grant Township in Indiana County–had previously passed so-called Home Rule Charters in an attempt to prevent the injection wells from being located in their towns. The DEP has sued each of them (copy of the Highland lawsuit below) to correct laws that attempt to prevent the DEP from doing its job in authorizing the injection wells. We have the full news of the DEP’s decision to permit the injection wells, along with details about the lawsuits, below…
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Top 20 Marcellus Drillers in Southwest Pennsylvania

The sharp folks over at the Pittsburgh Business Times have been looking through data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and have compiled a list of 20 drillers who have at least a dozen shale wells in the southwest PA region. And they ranked them from lowest to highest. We’ve grabbed the list below. The interesting thing for MDN is that there is one name in the list not familiar to us, and we’ve been watching this space since 2009. Always fun to learn something new. Here’s the list of southwest PA’s “Top 20” Marcellus drillers…
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MSC Says Marcellus in Indiana County, PA Will Rise Again

indiana-county-paDave Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, was the keynote speaker last week at the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon. Spigelmyer told the 400+ people who attended that although the natural gas industry in the county is dormant, there is hope. Spigelmyer said he believes the gas industry in the county will thrive again, for a number of reasons, including: (1) Donald Trump and coming policies favorable to the gas industry, (2) new pipelines getting built in the area, (3) the Shell ethane cracker and the manufacturing plants that will locate near it. Here’s what Dave had to say…
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