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

PA Sen. Yaw Sees the Light – Doesn’t Support Severance Tax

Pennsylvania State Sen. Gene Yaw, Republican from Lycoming County, PA, seems to have changed his mind about a severance tax on Marcellus Shale production. The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) visited Williamsport in Yaw’s home district yesterday. At a joint press conference to discuss the superiority of an impact fee to a severance tax, Yaw called those supporting a severance tax “bobbleheads.” Whoa, way to go Sen. Yaw! That’s a far cry from his vote in favor of a severance tax in 2017 (see PA Sen. Gene Yaw Defends Vote for Severance Tax).
Continue reading

Did Range Shale Well in Lycoming County Cause Methane Migration?

In August 2017 Range Resources and the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) officially settled alleged methane migration from a well Range drilled in 2011 in Lycoming County, PA (see Range/DEP Lycoming Well Settlement: From $8.9M Fine to $0). That settlement caused “outrage” with anti-drillers back then, and continues to cause outrage to this day. Hence another story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette dredging up the same old story once again, trying to make out Range to be an evil big corporation screwing over PA residents who suffer to this day.
Continue reading

More Royalty Theft by PA DCNR – Streambeds Leased for $497K

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is grabbing more money that we think belongs to private landowners. This time from leasing land underneath the Youghiogheny River and Little Pine Creek. DCNR has leased 124.2 acres for a signing bonus of $496,800 (or $4,000 per acre). Plus the state’s customary royalty rate of 20% on anything produced. And no, the state does not allow post-production deductions–they get their full 20% royalty.
Continue reading

Locals Push Back Against Frack Chemical Facility Near Williamsport

Coastal Chemical, the North American subsidiary of German company Brenntag, sells chemicals (used in fracking) to the oil and gas industry. Coastal Chemical wants to build a chemical storage facility in Montgomery (Lycoming County), PA, near Williamsport. The facility would house ten tanks, each holding 12,000 gallons of chemicals. The local volunteer fire chief and the local emergency management coordinator are both “strongly opposed” to the project.
Continue reading

Eureka to Extract Lithium from Marcellus/Utica Wastewater

Eureka Resources owns and operates three centralized treatment/recycling facilities that process flowback/produced waters (i.e. wastewater) from the Marcellus Shale. Two of the facilities are located in Williamsport (Lycoming County), PA, and one in Standing Stone Township (Bradford County), PA, near Towanda. Eureka has just announced a joint venture to use high tech to recover lithium from the Marcellus wastewater they process. How cool is that?!
Continue reading

Enerplus 2018 – Still Owns 36K Marcellus Acres in NEPA

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on Canadian energy company Enerplus Corp, which currently owns some 36,000 acres of Marcellus Shale leases in northeastern Pennsylvania. The company doesn’t drilling any wells in the region but does participate by funding the drilling programs of others. On Friday Enerplus issued their 2018 and 4Q18 update, which shows the company’s Marcellus production averaged 208 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d).
Continue reading

PA Sen. Gene Yaw, in Heart of Marcellus, Supports Severance Tax

PA State Sen. Gene Yaw

How the voters of northeast Pennsylvania who support shale energy continue to reelect Gene Yaw as their State Senator is beyond us. He’s proven in the past that he will fold like a cheap suit on the issue of a severance tax. He did so once again yesterday, implying he supports Democrat Gov. Wolf’s latest effort to tax the shale industry into oblivion.
Continue reading

Meeting Reveals Details re PGE’s Loyalsock Creek Pipe Project

Pennsylvania General Energy drills in several PA counties, including Lycoming County in the north central of the state. According to the Marcellus & Utica Shale Upstream Almanac 2018, PA General Energy is the fourth-largest driller in Lycoming County, with 103 producing wells and 42.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas production in 2017. PA General Energy wants to drill more wells in Lycoming. Those wells will need a gathering pipeline connected to them, and a water pipeline to provide water for drilling and fracking. Even though a water pipeline would save an estimated 126,000 truck trips on local roads, some residents are opposed (see Lycoming County Residents Oppose Loyalsock Creek Gathering Pipe). Last night residents got to hear more details about the project at a meeting organized by PA State Rep. Garth Everett.
Continue reading

Truck Accident Spills 4,200 Gal. of Wastewater in Lycoming County

A truck hauling produced water–naturally occurring water from the depths that continues coming out of a drilled well long after it’s been fracked–overturned and spilled approximately 4,200 gallons of that wastewater. The wastewater, often called “brine” due to its minerally or salty composition, came from Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) shale wells and was being hauled by Stallion Oilfield Services. It spilled on the ground “adjacent” to a “native trout stream” in the Pine Creek area in Lycoming County, PA.
Continue reading

PA DEP Sec. McDonnell Goes to Williamsport to Chat Up the Locals

PA DEP Secretary Pat McDonnell

Several topics were on the table yesterday as Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Pat McDonnell visited Williamsport to chat up the local hoi polloi. Global warming was a hot topic (pun intended). So too was the obscene 240% hike in shale permit fees from $5,000 to $12,000 per well. Being a good Democrat, the Secretary mischaracterized President Trump’s attempts to correct the Obama EPA’s wild overregulation as a “rollback on air and water quality.” Nice try Pat, but no cigar. Here’s a summary of McDonnell’s gassing around session yesterday in Williamsport.
Continue reading

6 Charged with Bypassing Emissions Controls on Marcellus Trucks

We may not always agree with certain rules and regulations, but skirting or ignoring them is not an option. Especially not in the Marcellus industry. A small group of men (six so far) in Williamsport (Lycoming County), PA are accused of conspiring to illegally alter emission systems on 30+ trucks with heavy-duty diesel engines. The trucks belong to Rockwater Northeast of Canonsburg, a subsidiary of Rockwater Energy Solutions Inc. of Houston, Texas, used to haul fresh water and wastewater to/from Marcellus Shale wells being drilled. The men “tampered with and removed emission monitoring devices on trucks to reduce repair costs and maintenance down time.” Five of the six have already plead guilty, and a sixth was recently charged in the scheme. They all face jail time and stiff fines. Folks, this is not acceptable behavior for our industry…
Continue reading

Lycoming County Residents Oppose Loyalsock Creek Gathering Pipe

Pennsylvania General Energy drills in several PA counties, including Lycoming County in the north central of the state. According to the just-published Marcellus & Utica Shale Upstream Almanac 2018, PA General Energy is the fourth-largest producing driller in Lycoming County, with 103 producing wells and 42.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas production in 2017. PA General Energy wants to drill more wells. Those wells will need a gathering pipeline connected to them. Current plans for a pipeline have it running along a portion of the Loyalsock Creek, and that has some folks in the area up in arms. Yesterday at a county commissioners’ meeting, residents voiced their opposition to PA General Energy’s pipeline plans. A company rep at the meeting tried to assuage concerns. The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper has offered to be an “unbiased party” to “facilitate discussions between the company and those who reside along the creek.” You know what we think of so-called Riverkeepers who claim to be THE voice of a river…
Continue reading

PA Supreme Court Rules on Gorsline Zoning Case – Mixed Decision

Not long after the Pennsylvania legislature passed the Act 13 Marcellus Shale drilling law in 2012, signed into law by then-Gov. Tom Corbett, seven selfish towns sued, claiming they should have the right (via zoning laws) to determine just where an oil and gas well can be located within their borders. The challenge was brought by rabid anti-drillers and appealed all the way to the PA Supreme Court, where unfortunately the antis won (see PA Supreme Court Rules Against State/Drillers in Act 13 Case). What the antis didn’t think about was the fact some towns may decide to exercise their newly-won rights to allow wells, instead of prohibit them. Whoops. Guess they didn’t see that one coming. A town in Lycoming County decided to allow a shale well on property zoned residential/agricultural (i.e. farming country) by using a “conditional use” permit. Anti-drilling Big Green groups, including PennFuture, THE (arrogant) Delaware Riverkeeper, and the Peters Township gang (none of which are from mid-PA where the town is located) sued to deny the town the right to exercise its Act 13 authority to allow a shale well. The case, Brian Gorsline v. Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township (Gorsline is an avowed anti-driller), was appealed to the PA Supreme Court and in March 2017 (over a year ago!) the Supremes heard oral arguments (see Gorsline Zoning Case Argued Before PA Supreme Court Justices). Last Friday the Supremes came down from Mt. Olympus to issue their ruling–and they ruled (4-3) against the town and for the antis. However, before you jump to any conclusions and before you believe headlines from Big Green supporters trumpeting their “victory,” you need to know this: the decision potentially makes it harder (not easier) for antis to stop drilling in the future. We’ll explain…
Continue reading

Is Lycoming County, PA in Midst of “Natural Gas Resurgence”?

Lycoming County, PA

In a recent interview, the CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce said that in Lycoming County the “natural gas industry is enjoying a resurgence.” Which struck us as odd, given our own recent research into the number of wells being drilled (or lack thereof), and the decrease in natural gas production in Lycoming County. We suppose it all depends on what you mean by resurgence. A resurgence in drilling and production? We’d have to answer that with a “no.” However, if you’re talking about a resurgence in jobs related to the natgas industry because of new pipeline projects? Apparently that answer would be a big “yes”…
Continue reading

Marcellus Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Settled Out of Court

Two African-American Marcellus Shale natural gas workers in the Williamsport, PA area claim they were fired, twice, based in part on their race. The two filed a lawsuit against STI Group (a staffing agency) and Chesapeake Energy. The case was thrown out by U.S. Middle District of Pennsylvania Court, but later reinstated on appeal by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Rather than let the case drag out endlessly, STI and Chesapeake have just settled it. The amount of money they had to pay to make it go away was not disclosed. Workers are hired and fired all the time. Ours is a boom/bust industry. Was this really a case of racism? Or just a case of boom and bust? You read the details and decide for yourself…
Continue reading