PA Shale Drilling Permits Become Most Expensive in the Nation

In Ohio, it costs drillers $5,500 to file for and receive a permit to drill a new shale well. In West Virginia, the cost is $10,150. In Pennsylvania, it has cost drillers $5,000 for a new shale well permit. Following a meeting yesterday of the PA Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), PA’s permit fee is about to zoom to the top of the M-U list: $12,500 (2 1/2 times the previous fee). In fact, the cost of a shale permit in PA will become the highest in the country.
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PA PUC Distributes $200M from Impact Tax, Down $52M from Prev Yr

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Each June the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), the agency charged with keeping tabs on impact fee revenue from shale drillers (PA’s version of a severance tax) releases the final numbers for impact fee revenues and disbursements for the prior calendar year. Yesterday was the appointed day for 2019 fee revenue generated. The PUC reports impact fees on natural gas producers in 2019 totaled $200,364,500, down roughly $52 million from $251,830,900 generated in 2018. With this year’s distribution, over the past nine years, PA has collected and distributed over $1.9 billion to communities across Pennsylvania–a massive amount!
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Former PA House Speaker Turzai Joins Pittsburgh Gas Utility

We previously told you that Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai, a long-time champion for the Marcellus Shale industry, would leave office as of Monday (see Sad Day: PA House Speaker Mike Turzai Quitting Next Monday). The very next day after leaving (yesterday), Essential Utilities Inc., the newly created company from merged Aqua America and Peoples Gas (Pittsburgh-based natgas utility company) has hired Mike as general council.
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PA AG Charges Cabot with Enviro Crimes for Long-Settled Dimock

The door has been closed on “Dimock” (in Susquehanna County, PA) for years. Dimock, you may recall, was made famous by Josh Fox’s so-called documentaries Gasland and Gasland 2, aired endlessly on HBO. His allegations about fracking malfeasance by Cabot Oil & Gas were completely debunked in a real documentary called FrackNation. After a long litigation process, Cabot settled with several landowners who claimed their water wells had been contaminated with methane due to work done by Cabot–years ago. And now Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has reopened the whole matter, charging Cabot with so-called environmental crimes. Felonies! We can’t tell you how angry this makes us. Shapiro has corrupted the criminal justice system in PA.
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Leftwing Academic Hacks Trash Talk PA, OH Cracker Plants

A group of leftwing radical professors (all of the Democrats) from seven universities in Ohio and Pennsylvania have colluded to write a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The letter trash talks the billions of dollars in economic impact and tens of thousands of jobs ethane cracker plants and the petrochemical industry will have in the region. The leftist gang of seven poo-poos those estimates and says the proposed PTT cracker is too “risky” to approve. How do they figure?
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CNX Update: Shut-in 375 MMcf/d, Central PA Utica the Future

CNX Resources, one of our favorite Marcellus/Utica drillers, issued an operational update yesterday with some interesting new information. Chief among the tidbits is the fact that CNX, beginning May 1, shut-in some of its production. Specifically around 375 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). The company expects that number to decline to 300 MMcf/d by July. After that, they’ll play it by ear.
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Marcellus/Utica NatGas Production Drops 1.5 Bcf/d Jan to May

Enverus (formerly known as Drillinginfo) recently released its latest FundamentalEdge report that explores the ongoing supply response to demand destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the report, Enverus estimates how much dry gas production each major shale play produced, month by month, from January through May of this year. The numbers show that production from the Marcellus/Utica, which produces the most natural gas of any play, decreased the most of any play–by some 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) from January to May.
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Sad Day: PA House Speaker Mike Turzai Quitting Next Monday

PA House Speaker Mike Turzai

Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai has been a true champion for the Marcellus industry in the Keystone State. He’s also a great conservative, a counterweight to leftist Governor Tom Wolf. Mike Turzai is the reason Wolf’s odious (and really dumb) severance tax has not passed. Turzai has been our firewall. In January Speaker Turzai announced he would not run again at the end of his term, which ends in December of this year (see Say It Ain’t So! PA House Speaker Mike Turzai is Retiring). Yesterday Turzai announced he is leaving as of Monday, June 15–six months before the end of the term. Bummer.
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Edge LNG Expands in Marcellus with Largest Project to Date

Going back a year (beginning June 2019) MDN has brought you news about Edge Gathering Virtual Pipelines 2 LLC (EDGE), a company that deploys special LNG units to remote Marcellus wells in PA, converting gas from the well into LNG and selling that gas (see our Edge stories here). Edge’s “virtual pipeline” solution aims to solve the problem of flaring, lack of pipelines, and (frankly) lack of good local markets into which to sell the gas. Edge has just cut another deal–this one with EXCO Resources. The company says this deal is its “largest project to date.”
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PA House Ctte Approves Bill Nixing Wolf Carbon Tax on Gas Plants

The Pennsylvania legislature has taken the next step in overturning a naked power-grab by Gov. Tom Wolf in his bid to force the state to join a carbon tax scheme called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Yesterday the PA House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved House Bill (HB) 2025 aimed at blocking RGGI without a proper vote by the legislature first. HB 2025 now goes to the full House for a vote.
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SRBC’s Big Success – 25B Gal of Water Used by Shale Last 11 Yrs

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC), the quasi-governmental agency tasked with overseeing water usage within the Susquehanna River Basin, has been a huge success with respect to partnering with the Marcellus Shale drilling industry. The SRBC recently updated a report (summary below) reviewing shale water usage drawn from the basin from 2008 to 2018. The report finds shale water usage has risen to become the #3 source of water used in the river basin–although shale usage of basin water is still a small fraction of that by larger users, including municipalities and electric power generation.
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EnerVest Auctioning 58K Utica Leased Acres in Ohio & Pennsylvania

EnergyNet is an online marketplace for buying and selling oil and gas working interests (operated and non-operated), overrides, royalties, mineral interests, leaseholds, and other contracts. From time to time we spot auctions on EnergyNet from Marcellus/Utica drillers. EnerVest Energy is currently auctioning a package of leases scattered across Ohio and Pennsylvania via the EnergyNet website. The EnerVest auction ends June 17. We have the details below.
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Antis Target PA Speaker Turzai for Airplane Ride Paid by Shale Co.

Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai has been a long-time supporter of the Marcellus Shale industry in the Keystone State. He’s not only an “advocate” for shale energy, he’s devastatingly effective against the shenanigans of anti-fossil fuelers from the Democrat Party. And they hate him for it. Although Turzai previously announced he won’t run for reelection (see Say It Ain’t So! PA House Speaker Mike Turzai is Retiring), antis are trying to sully his sterling reputation even now.
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New Study Proves Marcellus Drilling Air Pollution a Non-Issue

An economist from Binghamton University who has zero training in health care and the medical field is the lead author of a new study that claims air pollution from Marcellus fracking killed an estimated 20 people in Pennsylvania from 2010-2017. While the “study” aims to paint Marcellus fracking as a killer, we say it makes the opposite point. This study (if you believe its results) proves Marcellus fracking is about the safest form of energy on earth!
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PA Supremes Hear Oral Arguments in Can of Worms Royalty Lawsuit

On Wednesday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging whether or not the state Attorney General’s office has the right to use a consumer protection law to prosecute companies like Chesapeake Energy and Anadarko over royalty payment shenanigans. The law the AG’s office wants to use has never been used that way before. According to legal experts, drillers are very concerned if the AG’s office wins this one, as we reported last November (see Chesapeake Royalty Lawsuit at PA Supreme Court – Can of Worms?).
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So-Called “Study” Links PA Fracking to Birth Defect in Horses

A new so-called “study” published in the journal Science of The Total Environment claims it has uncovered a link between fracking chemicals in farm water and a rare birth defect in horses. The researchers say this study “could” serve as a warning about fracking and human infant health. Is this it? Were we wrong for the past 11 years about the safety of fracking? Is this THE END?
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