Out-of-State, Paid Protesters Continue to Hassle MVP in WV, VA

What appears to be an organized, ongoing effort to stop legal construction activity for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) continues in both Virginia and West Virginia. Out-of-state (paid) protesters chain themselves to equipment and block roads in a “death by a thousand cuts” approach to prevent the completion of the 85% completed MVP project. Is it time to bring racketeering charges against the groups and people behind these activities? We think it is.
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WV Coal-to-Liquids Plant Using NatGas Gets State Approval

Mason County, WV

In June MDN brought you news of a “first of its kind” coal-to-liquids plant planned for Mason County, WV (see Proposed WV Coal-to-Liquids Plant Uses Natural Gas). The $1.2 billion project will create “ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, gasoline and other liquids.” The main two ingredients in the process are coal and (you guessed it), natural gas. Good news: the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection has approved the project, issuing a draft construction permit.
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1200 MW Gas-Fired Power Plant Files to Build in Mon County, WV

Artists rendering of Longview Power Clean Energy Center (click for larger version)

Last Thursday Longview Power filed an application with the West Virginia Public Service Commission to build and operate a Marcellus gas-fired electric generating facility in Monongalia County, WV, near Maidsville. The Longview Power Clean Energy Center, as it’s called, will include a 1,200 megawatt combined cycle power plant AND a 70 megawatt solar farm–both built next to Longview’s existing state-of-the-art 710 megawatt coal-fired power plant. A real “all of the above” type of facility.
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EQT, Southwestern Top Brass Discuss State of WV O&G, Shale

Toby Rice, CEO and president of EQT, and Clay Carrell, COO and EVP of Southwestern Energy, recently had a sit down discussion about the state of the shale industry in the Marcellus/Utica and its importance to the economy of West Virginia. The discussion happened at the recent West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Business Summit. One surprising revelation for us: Carrell said Southwestern now spends most of its money on WV drilling.
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EQT Drops WV Lawsuit re Post-Prod. Deductions on Flat Rate Leases

The new leadership at the top of EQT continues to have a major impact on the company and its relationship with landowners and (in this case) entire states. Last year EQT launched an effort to overturn WV’s Senate Bill (SB) 360 (see EQT Still Fighting WV Minimum Royalty Law for Flat Rate Leases). The new SB 360 law disallows post-production deductions for flat rate leases, ensuring landowners receive a minimum 12.5% royalty. In April 2018 EQT sued to overturn the original law (from 1982) on which SB 360 rests–the law that guarantees a 12.5% royalty. Get rid of the original law, and the later law (disallowing deductions) disappears too. Last week EQT filed a motion to withdraw its lawsuit.
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Cunningham Energy to Drill More WV Shallow Horizontal Oil Wells

It’s been over a year since we brought you news about Cunningham Energy, a small oil driller based in West Virginia (see Cunningham Energy Focuses on Shallow Horizontal Oil Wells in WV). Cunningham, backed by money from Viper Capital Partners, is once again in the news. Viper has just acquired drilling leases (and conventional wells) in Roane and Gilmer counties in WV. Viper says its drilling arm, Cunningham, will drill more “shallow” horizontal (fracked) wells in those locations, looking for oil.
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WV Pipeline Snitches Find Minor Problems with MVP Construction

Must be it was “pile on Mountain Valley Pipeline” week last week. In addition to FERC requesting U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to pull a permit for the project (which happened), a small group of leftists fanned out and snapped pictures of supposed “violations” of the MVP project in West Virginia. The “volunteers” are spun by lefty media outlets as concerned, salt of the earth citizens. We call them pipeline snitches.
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WV Gov Justice Creates Downstream Jobs Task Force to Leverage Shale

WV Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice wants to ensure his state is in the poll position to grab as many new businesses and jobs as possible from the embryonic but rapidly developing petrochemical industry in the Marcellus/Utica region. Justice announced yesterday he has signed an Executive Order to form the Governor’s Downstream Jobs Task Force, a group of WV officials who will work on developing sites for use by petchem manufacturers and work to attract potential investors.
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WV Shale Industry Gets Ready for Next Legislative Session

The Independent Oil & Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGAWV) is already hard at work on legislative priorities for next/upcoming session of the WV legislature–which actually does not begin until Jan. 8, 2020. In WV the full legislature only meets for 60 days each year (other states can learn a lesson). IOGAWV is planning both a defensive (protect what we have) and offensive (new initiatives) strategy for next year. What’s on the list?
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CNX Resources Lays Off 10% of Total Workforce – More Cuts Coming?

CNX Resources has just laid off (i.e. fired) roughly 50 employees company-wide, most of them at company headquarters in Canonsburg. But not all. We heard from an MDN trust source who said at least nine workers got their walking papers in West Virginia. Given the company employs about 500 people, 50 fired represents 10% of the workforce. Question is, will there be more firings?
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EQT CEO Toby Rice Explains Combo Drilling at WV Town Hall Mtg

Last week MDN told you that EQT CEO Toby Rice is conducting a series of four “town hall” style meetings with landowners in regions where the company drills (see EQT CEO Toby Rice Hits a Home Run with Landowner Meetings). The first meeting, held in Green County last Wednesday night, was a huge success. We also reported in a followup story that Toby mentioned EQT’s new drilling strategy to make money in a low gas price environment is called “combo development” (see EQT Plans to Make Money with $2/Mcf NatGas Price).
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Bomb Threat at Blue Racer’s WV Natrium Plant – Nothing Found

Last Thursday morning at 6:30 am Blue Racer Midstream’s Natrium (Marshall County, WV) natural gas processing plant received a phoned-in bomb threat. Plant personnel immediately contacted law enforcement (local, state and federal) who swept the plant with bomb-sniffing dogs. Nothing was found.
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PHMSA Issues Warning to Atlantic Coast Pipeline – 7 Months Late

There is currently no construction happening along the 600-mile Dominion Energy Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project due to several lawsuits brought by disgusting Big Green groups that have blocked the path of the pipeline (see Dominion 2Q Update: The Battle to Build Atlantic Coast Pipe). Even though there is no current construction happening, a federal agency has just sent a “warning letter” to the builders citing violations of certain “unsafe construction practices at work sites”–related to work done last December.
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WV Gov. Justice Makes Impromptu Speech at IOGAWV Summer Mtg

WV Gov. Jim Justice

The Independent Oil & Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGAWV) held its annual summer meeting earlier this week in beautiful White Sulphur Springs. WV Gov. Jim Justice, who was not on the agenda to speak, stopped by and gave an impromptu speech to delegates. Which surprises us, given his business interests in coal and his previous bashing of the shale industry (see WV Gov. Justice Blames Shale for Bad Roads, Wants Higher Taxes).
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