Making the Case PA Marcellus Production Needs to Shrink

Mudrock Energy is a consulting company based near Pittsburgh that provides specialized geoscience analysis and market research across the energy industry. Mudrock founder and CEO Dave Boyer, an AAPG Certified Petroleum Geologist, recently worked up an analysis of Pennsylvania’s shale production. He published his research on the Medium website and sent us a link with an encouragement to share it with the MDN audience. In his analysis, Boyer makes the case that PA’s continuing expansion of ever more production needs to stop. NOW.
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PA Dems Try to Defend Opposition to Petchem Bill at Town Hall

Some Pennsylvania state Democrats are obviously feeling the political heat over their opposition to House Bill (HB) 1100, meant to attract brand new business and jobs to the state in the petrochemical industry (see PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment). Some (not all) Dems hate fossil fuels and will do anything to oppose them, including Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, a radical leftist from the Philadelphia suburbs. She opposes HB 1100 and the jobs the bill would bring.
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PA DEP Gets Federal EPA Grant to Sniff Out Methane Leaks

methane sniffing drone

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has received a $319,674 grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a project to “characterize ambient concentrations of methane in 10 counties across the Commonwealth.” The DEP will also identify natural gas fugitive emissions near roads from various types of sources, and “use drone-based methane detectors to estimate emissions from specific equipment used in natural gas development.” In other words, the DEP is going to try and sniff out methane leaks, and perhaps try to quantify just how much methane is leaking–from various sources.
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PA AG Shapiro Tries to Turn Fracking into a Crime in 12+ Cases

In what has to be unethical at a minimum, and perhaps even illegal at the maximum, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro spoke on the phone with two anti-drilling “reporters” from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Don Hopey and David Templeton) to let them know he is on an official witch hunt launching “more than a dozen investigations” to turn fracking and anything connected with fracking into a crime.
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More Details on Potential Methanol Plant Planned for Northeast PA

Michel Goldschneider, CEO, Elis Energy

We now know who is interested in building a new methanol plant in northeastern Pennsylvania. But it will only get built IF the state is able to adopt a new law granting the operation a tax credit. We’re talking about House Bill (HB) 1100 that was recently passed by large bipartisan majorities in both the PA House and Senate (see PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment). Gov. Tom Wolf says he will veto the bill (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA). The company that wants to build the methanol plant says if HB 1100 is not adopted, they will look to build elsewhere.
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Radical Groups Plan Mar. 9 Protest Against PA Petchem Bill

Some 30 radical environmental groups (including ringleader Penn Future) is fearful their campaign to stop House Bill (HB) 1100 is failing. HB 1100 is aimed at attracting new petrochemical investments to the state. How do we know Big Green is fearful? Because the groups are attempting to gin up opposition to the bill by staging a faux protest rally on March 9 at the Capitol in Harrisburg.
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Chevron Tries to Make Room for M-U Workers with Buyout Offers

Last week MDN brought you the news that Chevron will begin to trim 320 jobs in the Marcellus/Utica beginning in early April (see Chevron Cutting 320 Jobs in Marcellus/Utica Beginning April 6th). The Chevron job cuts should not be a surprise, given the company is selling all of its M-U assets (see Chevron Writes Down $5B+ in Marc/Utica Assets, Looks to Sell All). From the beginning of the M-U exit process, Chevron has made it plain it hopes to transfer at least some of the M-U positions to other regions/areas of the company. We now have more insight as to how that may happen.
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New Poll: Slim Majority of Pennsylvania Voters Against Frack Ban

In January MDN told you about a Franklin & Marshall College poll that showed 48% of Pennsylvania voters support a ban on fracking, while 39% oppose a ban (see Latest F&M Poll Shows 48% of PA Residents Favor Frack Ban). When you dig into the actual questions asked, it appears the poll may have been less than objective. Another poll of PA voters was released last week–this one by Muhlenberg College with questions more objective about fracking. The results show 42% of PA voters are against a frack ban while 38% would support a ban.
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BP’s U.S. Boss Goes Political, Supports Wolf Carbon Tax in PA

Susan Dio, BP America boss

Remember the term “affluenza“? The term describes people ashamed of their wealth, their privilege, of who they are. It describes people ashamed that daddy or mommy made the money and they don’t *really* deserve it. So what is it called when a fossil fuel company like British Petroleum (BP) is ashamed of what they do (produce carbon)? Maybe C-O-2-enza? Carbenza? Whatever it’s called, BP has a serious case of it. What a shame that the company that produces and sells/resells (via natural gas trading) more CO2 energy than any other company on planet earth, believes they must atone for their carbon “sins” by lobbying in favor of a tax on the very thing they produce. It’s asinine, and it’s happening in Pennsylvania.
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Top 11 Shale Drillers in Pennsylvania by # of Wells Drilled

One of our favorite publications to read is the Pittsburgh Business Times. The PBT recently researched and published a list of the “Largest Shale Gas Drillers in Pennsylvania.” It’s a really great list and resource–listing 40 shale drillers with details including how many wells they’ve drilled total (all time) in the state, how many wells drilled in 2019, company HQ info and a few other details. We’ve extracted the names and a few details for the top 11 drillers.
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IFO: PA Natural Gas Production Hits New All-Time High in 4Q19

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released their latest quarterly Natural Gas Production Report for October through December 2019 (full copy below). It shows natgas production in PA rose 7.6% compared to the same period last year–to yet another new all-time high of 1,774.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas. Put another way, that’s nearly 1.8 TRILLION cubic feet of gas produced over a three-month period. There has now been an unbroken chain of quarter-over-quarter increases in horizontal shale gas production in PA for 14 consecutive quarters (3.5 years running).
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PA Rep. Metcalfe Lights into DEP Secretary re RGGI Non-Answers

Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell gave an embarrassing performance on Monday before the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee (ERE). He was there to answer questions about his agency’s annual budget request. As the discussion turned to Gov. Tom Wolf’s attempt to force PA to join the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), McDonnell equivocated and danced around questions about this tragedy-in-the-making. We understand…he has to support his boss. Like we said, embarrassing.
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Business/Labor Joins Hands, Asks PA Gov Wolf to Sign Petchem Bill

It doesn’t happen often, so when it does, it’s worth noting. Both business (Chamber of Commerce) groups from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, along with labor union groups from both cities, have reached across the aisle to work together in an effort to try and convince Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to sign House Bill (HB) 1100–a bill that would attract new petrochemical investment (and jobs) to the state. Inexplicably Wolf has pledged to veto the bill when it hits his desk (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA).
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PA Democrat Party Civil War Over Frack Ban, Refinery, Petchem Bill

The Pennsylvania Democrat Party is about to get politically fracked–i.e., underground explosions that create large fractures, breaking it apart. Ironically, the Dems are getting fracked over fracking. As we have been reporting, all of the Democrat presidential candidates have signed on to either severely limit, or outright ban, hydraulic fracturing. Some of the more extreme elements, like crazy Bernie Sanders, want all fracking banned within five years–on public AND private land (see Crazy Bernie & AOC Intro Bill to Ban ALL Fracking in 5 Years). And yes, they really mean it!
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Unions & Businesses Form Coalition to Fight PA Carbon Tax

Big time opposition continues to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to force the state to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a tax on carbon aimed at coal and natural gas-fired electric power plants, with an eye to driving them out of business. We’ve written plenty about Wolf’s naked power grab, to force the state into RGGI without the legislature’s consent (see our RGGI stories here). In January we told you about a huge number of trade union members lining up to oppose the plan (see 130,000 PA Union Members Join Fight Against Wolf’s Carbon Tax). Those unionists have joined forces with the companies they work for in a coalition called Power PA Jobs Alliance with a mission to defeat RGGI in PA.
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PA Republicans Outsmart Democrats re Petchem Investment Bill

Pennsylvania Democrats are complaining about State Senate Republicans using a political tactic against the Dems that they themselves use. Which we find hilarious. We’re referring to a recently passed House Bill (HB) 1100, a bill to encourage new petrochemical plant investment in PA (see PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment). Although the Senate passed the bill, the Senate has not (yet) sent the bill to Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature. Gov. Wolf has pledged to veto the bill when he gets it (see Gov Wolf to Veto Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment to NEPA). So why do Dems care when the bill hits Wolf’s desk if it’s going to get a veto stamp anyway?
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