COVID Impact on PA Landowners: Low Royalties, Lease Expirations

The Washington & Jefferson College Center for Energy Policy and Management (Washington, PA) is hosting a free webinar series on “Effects of COVID-19 and the Economic Downturn on Western Pennsylvania Shale Gas Development” during June and July. Two of the three sessions have already been held, including a session yesterday that discussed the impacts of COVID-19 on landowners who have leased their land for shale drilling. According to the speaker, there have been two notable effects of the virus for landowners: lower royalties and drillers not renewing leases (allowing leases to expire).
Continue reading

Range Resources Forced to Cop to Environmental “Crimes” in SWPA

After spending years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to investigate Range Resources over a simple regulatory matter settled years ago by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection, PA’s leftist Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, announced on Friday he had finally bullied Range into pleading “no contest” to so-called environmental crimes (misdemeanors), forcing the company to pay $50,000 in fines and $100,000 to Shapiro’s favorite Big Green charities. Does that sound like a success to you? Shapiro spent multiple hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to force the company to pay $150K. Sounds like Shapiro is The Biggest Loser to us.
Continue reading

Range Resources Begins New Air Monitoring Test at SWPA Well Site

Cecil Township, Washington County, PA

Range Resources has launched a second ambient air monitoring test program in Washington County, PA. You may recall the results of a previous two-year study Range commissioned near a high school and elementary school campus in Washington County (see Study Shows No Health Impacts from Marcellus Drilling Near School).
Continue reading

Peregrine Energy Partners Buys More Royalty Rights in SWPA & WV

Peregrine Energy Partners, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, continues a program to buy royalty rights in the Marcellus/Utica. In January 2019 we told you about Peregrine’s purchase of rights from undisclosed sellers in southwest PA (see Peregrine Energy Buys Royalty Rights in Greene County, PA). In March of this year, Peregrine purchased more rights, in Fayette County, PA. Yesterday the company announced they’ve purchased yet another round of rights–in Washington, PA and two counties in WV.
Continue reading

PA DEP Accuses ET’s Revolution Pipe of 680 Violations Since Jan 1

This is getting ridiculous. Does anyone really believe that a single pipeline project already built and now getting a redo could possibly have racked up 680 “violations” during construction work over the past five months? We certainly don’t believe it. Yet that’s what the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) alleges. Energy Transfer (ET), the builder and fixer of Revolution, has their own allegation: The DEP itself is “not in compliance with its own guidelines.” Who inspects the inspectors for compliance?
Continue reading

ET & DEP Still Squabbling over Revolution Pipe, New Violations

Energy Transfer’s Revolution Pipeline runs through Bulter, Beaver, Allegheny, and Washington counties in southwest PA. The 24-inch gathering pipeline shifted and exploded in September 2018, just as it was entering service (see Revolution Pipeline Near Pittsburgh Explodes – Home & Barn Destroyed). What happened that led to a landslide and explosion of the pipeline? ET says historic, unprecedented rain caused the problem. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) says ET took shortcuts and performed work without getting permission–work not up to code. The two sides squabbled until January of this year when the DEP levied a record-high $30.6 million fine (see ET Allowed to Fix/Restart Revolution Pipe…After Record $30M Fine).
Continue reading

PA DEP Fines Range Resources $199K for Air Permit Violations

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reached an agreement with Range Resources that forces Range to pay $198,920 in fines for violations of state regulations and the Air Pollution Control Act–violations that happened in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Our reading is that most of the violations revolve around Range not filing the right paperwork.
Continue reading

CNX Pays $180K for Erosion, Sedimentation at SWPA Well Sites

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) says CNX Resources failed to prevent soil erosion at seven of the company’s well pad sites in Washington and Greene counties in 2017/2018. The failure, says DEP, resulted in the release of soil and sediment, including a few cases of sediment-laden water being released into nearby streams. CNX corrected the violations and has struck a deal with DEP regarding compensation. Instead of paying a fine to the DEP, CNX will pay $180,000 to restore a trout stream in a Washington County park.
Continue reading

ME2 Pipeline Worker Charged with Falsifying Welding Records

A worker hired to x-ray welds on sections of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in southwestern Pennsylvania has been charged falsifying records, indicating that he performed the work when he didn’t. That’s a felony. According to one news account the worker, from Westmoreland County, PA, is expected to plead guilty and faces up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. The good news is that Energy Transfer, the builder, discovered the deception and immediately reported it. ET reinspected all of the welds supposedly inspected by this worker.
Continue reading

PA, Feds on Witch Hunt to Make Revolution Pipe Accident a Crime

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a leftist Democrat who wants to succeed Tom Wolf as governor, likes to investigate accidents related to the shale industry to see if he can turn them into crimes (see our lengthy list of stories here). Add one more to the list: Since last year Shapiro has been investigating the Revolution Pipeline blast in western PA for potential crimes. He now has company.
Continue reading

Washington (SWPA) Job Fair Feb. 27 – Find a Shale Job!

Listen up those interested in a new job working for the shale industry: JobNewsUSA.com is conducting an Oil, Gas, & Transportation Job Fair in Washington, PA on Feb. 27 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Meadow Lands. Among the companies that will be there recruiting: Chemoil Energy, Deep Well Services, EAP Industries, Halliburton, Keystone Clearwater Solutions, NPL Construction, ROC Service Company…and more!
Continue reading

Steel Nation Expands, Adds 3 New Team Members in SWPA

It’s not all doom and gloom in the Marcellus/Utica sector. Although there have been plenty of layoffs and announcements of budget cuts and less drilling, at least one company in our space is expanding–sensing new opportunity. That company, we are proud to say, is MDN’s premier sponsor for 2020: Steel Nation. Although Steel Nation builds steel buildings used throughout our industry, it does far more. Steel Nation also offers engineering, environmental and facility services. Unlike other companies currently trimming back, Steel Nation is expanding! The company has just added three new key members to its top-flight team.
Continue reading

ET Allowed to Fix/Restart Revolution Pipe…After Record $30M Fine

click for larger version

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has just issued the largest single fine to any single company in its history–$30.6 million assessed on Energy Transfer for the explosion of the Revolution Pipeline–a gathering pipeline located in southwestern PA. The fine, along with new plans and assurances by ET, means the company can finally, some 17 months after the explosion, fix the damaged pipeline and return it to service.
Continue reading

SWPA County Political Leaders Voice Support for Petchem, Shale

In a speech delivered October 31 to the P4 Climate Action Summit in downtown Pittsburgh, Mayor Bill Peduto declared his hatred for the petrochemical industry. He doesn’t want any more Shell crackers junking up his regional backyard. The highly negative reaction to Peduto’s idiotic (and pandering) remarks was swift. What petchem company wants to build in a region where the mayor of its largest city is trash talking the industry? In a bid to counter Peduto’s economically damaging remarks, some 20 county officials from Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland counties issued a joint statement on Wednesday to show their support for the petrochemical and shale industries in the region.
Continue reading

Exxon Widens Search to Build SWPA Cracker Plant to Other Counties

Pittsburgh Business Times ace reporter Paul Gough has done it again–breaking big news related to ExxonMobil and their very active search to locate a site in the Pittsburgh region to build a gigantic ethane cracker plant. This time Paul’s sources are telling him Exxon has widened their search. A few weeks ago we told you Exxon was looking for potential locations in Beaver County, PA, near where Shell is building their $8 billion cracker plant (see Exxon Mobil Sniffing Around SWPA to Build Second Cracker Plant). Paul learned the search has widened to at least two other southwest PA counties.
Continue reading