Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Oct. 26-30

Last week Pennsylvania issued 16 new shale well drilling permits, and West Virginia issued 7 new shale well permits. Ohio issued no new shale permits last week.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Oct. 19-23

For a second week in a row, all three M-U states issued new shale drilling permits last week. Pennsylvania issued 6 new permits, Ohio issued 5 new permits, and West Virginia issued 3 new permits.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Oct. 5-9

Only Pennsylvania issued permits to drill new shale wells last week in the Appalachian region. Neither Ohio nor West Virginia issued any new drilling permits from Oct. 5-9. In PA, some 20 permits were issued in both the northeast and southwest parts of the state.
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M-U Company Steel Nation Expands into U.S. Southwest Markets

We love to hear about companies born in the Marcellus/Utica grow up and expand to other regions. One such company is Deep Well Services, which expanded from our region into the Permian, and now, to another country (see SWPA’s Deep Well Services Going International w/Unit in Argentina). Steel Nation, another of our favorite companies, is expanding into the Southwestern U.S. by partnering with James Resources.
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PA DEP Shakes Down Equitrans $428K for Pipe Building Violations

Equitrans Midstream, which used to be part of EQT as EQT Midstream, is still EQT’s main squeeze when it comes to gathering pipelines connected to its wells. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced yesterday it has fined Equitrans $427,650 for “slips, stabilization, and erosion and sedimentation violations at pipeline sites in Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties.”
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Sep 14-18

Last week Ohio finally broke the drought of not issuing permits for new shale wells in the Buckeye State. Finally! Last week Pennsylvania issued 13 new permits for wells on three well pads. Ohio issued 4 new permits for wells on two well pads. And West Virginia issued 1 new permit.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Sep 7-11

For the third week in a row, both Pennsylvania and West Virginia issued permits to drill new shale wells last week, and Ohio did not. What’s up with Ohio? PA issued 13 new permits for wells on five well pads. WV issued 2 new permits on two different pads. PA’s new permits skewed toward the southwestern part of the state with 11 of the 13 permits issued (two in Bradford County in the northeast). The WV permits were both issued in Marshall County, located in the northern panhandle of the state.
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PA Shale Fracking Becomes Major Issue in Presidential Campaign

Most political analysts believe this year’s presidential election may come down to one or two states–namely Pennsylvania and Ohio. If Biden can win in those two states, he stands a good chance of winning the election (an absolute nightmare!). But here’s what you don’t hear from mainstream media: the election may well turn on the issue of shale fracking. Counties in PA and OH, like Washington County in southwestern PA, are likely where the race will be won or lost. It’s not looking good for old ban-fracking Joe.
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Some Landowners Sell Royalty Payments to Third Parties in PA, OH

A few weeks ago MDN told you about Peregrine Energy Partners buying royalty payment rights from landowners in Doddridge County, WV (see Peregrine Buys Royalty Rights from Doddridge County, WV Landowners). We have another purchase by Peregrine, this time in Monroe County, OH. Plus a similar company that buys royalty interests has made its second such acquisition in the M-U–in Washington County, PA.
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PA Fines Sunoco $355,636 for Old Mariner East 2 Pipe Violations

Credit: Scott Blanchard / StateImpact Pennsylvania (click for larger version)

In early 2018 Sunoco Logistics Partners (aka Energy Transfer) agreed to pay a massive (historically high) $12.6 million fine to the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for “permit violations related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project” (see Sunoco LP Pays PA DEP $12.6M to Resume ME2 Pipeline Construction). It wasn’t the only fine the ME projects have incurred. Last Thursday Sunoco agreed to pay *another* $355,636 for a series of “inadvertent returns” (i.e. drilling mud spills) that happened more than a year ago, between August 2018 and April 2019.
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Some SWPA Landowners See Royalty Checks Fall 75% in 1 Year

CBS News, an ultra-biased mainstream media news outlet that we don’t typically watch or read, is publishing a series of articles on the effects of COVID-19–how it has changed the lives of average Americans. In a somewhat unusual twist, CBS focused on landowners in southwestern Pennsylvania who leased property for shale drilling. How has COVID impacted them? CBS interviewed several landowners who have seen their royalties drop like a rock over the last year–down some 75% from just a year ago. While CBS doesn’t say COVID is responsible for all of that drop, they do theorize it has contributed. Has it? Or is something else responsible for the huge drop in royalties?
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Range Resources Lays Off 40 Employees in Pittsburgh & Fort Worth

Most of the layoffs during this particularly brutal (and historic) downturn in the oil and gas market have taken place in oilfield services companies like Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Sclumberger. But exploration & production companies are not immune. Chevron is laying off workers in their Marcellus/Utica operation because the company is selling all of its Appalachian assets and leaving the region (see Chevron Cutting 320 Jobs in Marcellus/Utica Beginning April 6th and Chevron Cuts Another 80 Jobs in M-U; Still Looking for Buyer). Another M-U driller is also laying off personnel–Range Resources.
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PA DEP Fines CNX $310K for Minor Violations re Pipe Construction

On Friday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it has fined CNX Resources and its subsidiary CNX Midstream $310,000 for two incidents in which 65 barrels (2,730 gallons) of non-toxic brine (salty water) leaked into the ground and 43 gallons of non-toxic drilling mud leaked into a creek. The DEP says CNX did “not adequately maintain erosion and sedimentation best management practices.”
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Another Outrage: PA AG Charges NFG with Crimes for Pipe Accident

This absolutely must stop. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is completely out of control and abusing his power as AG. He has charged a third Marcellus/Utica company, National Fuel Gas Company, with crimes because of a few minor cases of erosion runoff during the installation of a pipeline in Washington County, PA. Since when is erosion a CRIME?
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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).
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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.
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