Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Feb 8-12

All three M-U states received permits to drill new shale wells last week. Pennsylvania received 16 new permits. Ohio received 3 new permits. And West Virginia received 4 new permits.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Dec 7-11

Last week Pennsylvania issued 21 new shale well drilling permits scattered across both northeast and southwest PA. Ohio issued 5 new shale well permits, all of them to the same company and the same well pad. West Virginia issued 3 new shale well permits, all in different counties.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Nov 30-Dec 4

Last week Pennsylvania issued just 3 new shale well drilling permits–all for Cabot Oil & Gas in Susquehanna County. Ohio issued 5 new permits, with 4 of the 5 issued to Ascent Resources. And West Virginia issued 3 new shale well permits.
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Harrison County, WV Tries to Keep Gas-Fired Power Plant Proj Alive

Tomorrow the Harrison County Commission will consider (and most likely approve) an extension for an option to purchase property at the site of a proposed natural gas-fired power plant in Harrison County. Energy Solutions Consortium (ESC) currently has an option to buy the site of a proposed 550-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant, but the option expires on Dec. 31 of this year.
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Ryan Energy Services in WV Files for Ch. 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Ryan Energy Services, headquartered in Bridgeport, WV (with 130 employees), works throughout the Marcellus/Utica providing environmental consulting, remediation, cleaning services, emergency spill response, hydrocarbon lab services, corrosion services, well services, general roustabout, and both steel and poly pipeline construction. A full suite of services and solutions!
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EQT Provides More Details on DGO Asset Sale, 1.4 Bcf/d Curtailment

EQT announced yesterday it has closed on a deal to sell “certain non-strategic assets” to Diversified Gas & Oil (DGO) for $125 million, plus another potential $20 million later on. MDN first told you about this deal on May 13 (see Diversified Buys 900 EQT Wells (67 Shale Wells) for $125M). This is the first time EQT has commented publicly on the DGO deal. EQT’s statement differs from previous news accounts about the deal.
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WV Supreme Court Tweaks Shale Well Property Tax Calculation

Last Wednesday the West Virginia Supreme Court issued a consolidated opinion lumping together seven similar lawsuits filed by Antero Resources and CNX Resources against the WV state tax commissioner and the Doddridge County Commission. The lawsuits take issue with the way gas well valuations are calculated for property taxes.
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Supply Chain Success – WV Excavator Blossoms in Marcellus/Utica

Alex Wolfe

We love reading about entrepreneurs–young or old–who take a risk and achieve success. Particularly in the Marcellus/Utica industry. We have another such story to share–of a young man who began with a mini excavator (bought with tax refund money) and an old bulldozer donated by his grandfather–and turned it into 125 employees, 20 dump trucks, 10 tractor trailers and 80 pieces of excavating equipment.
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Saudi Arabia Wants to Buy Piece of the Marcellus via Equinor

Saudi Arabia is sniffing around the Marcellus Shale. Bloomberg reports that super secret talks are happening between Saudi Aramco (largest oil company in the world, owned by the Saudi government) and Equinor, which until recently was called Statoil. Equinor is majority-owned by the government of Norway. The Saudis are considering “buying a stake” in or possibly a joint venture with Equinor. It seems Norway is hesitant to hop into bed with the Saudis. We don’t blame them.
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DTE Midstream Buys Another 30% of WV Gathering System

click for larger version

In 2016, DTE Energy, a BIG utility and midstream company based in Detroit, MI, purchased 100% of M3 Midstream’s Appalachia Gathering System (AGS), located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and 40% of M3’s Stonewall Gas Gathering (SGG), located in West Virginia (see DTE Energy Buys Marcellus/Utica Pipelines for $1.3B). The reason? To feed natgas-fired electric plants the utility wants to build (see DTE’s Reason for Buying M-U Pipes: NatGas-Fired Electric Plants). DTE has just cut a deal to buy another 30% of the Stonewall system in WV.
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WV’s First Gas-Powered Elec Plant Begins Construction This Summer

Energy Solutions Consortium (ESC), based in Buffalo, NY, will begin construction on West Virginia’s very first Marcellus gas-fired electric generating plant sometime “this summer.” The exact date has not yet been set, but should be announced soon. However, in a bit of a surprise (for us), the state’s first natgas-fired plant to get built will not be (as we thought) in Brooke County. Instead, it will be in Harrison County.
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The Real Story of Antero’s $11M Clean Water Act Violations

Yesterday MDN began our lead story about a big fine for Antero Resources by saying, “This has to be a record-high amount for a fine plus remediation work, at least in the Marcellus/Utica.” We humbly admit we were wrong. In checking our records, we found that in a similar case from 2014, Trans Energy paid even more, quite a bit more. We researched what this whole business is about, why Antero and others were fined, interviewing a top Antero official, and we now have a far better understanding of what happened and why.
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Antero to Pay $11M in Fines/Restoration for Clean Water Violations

This has to be a record-high amount for a fine plus remediation work, at least in the Marcellus/Utica. Antero Resources has cut a deal with three government entities–the U.S. Dept. of Justice, federal Environmental Protection Agency, and West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection–to pay a $3.15 million fine and spend another $8 million to mitigate and restore 32 sites in West Virginia.

NOTE: MDN posted an important followup to this story after speaking with Antero, providing more context and background, here: The Real Story of Antero’s $11M Clean Water Act Violations.
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Antero “Nuisance” Lawsuit Heard by WV Supreme Court Temp Judges

Three years ago lawsuits filed by some 200 West Virginia residents against Antero Resources were combined into a class action lawsuit (see More People Pile on Antero, Seek to Join Mass “Nuisance” Lawsuit). The lawsuits are called “nuisance” lawsuits because, according to the plantiffs, Antero is a nuisance to them–truck traffic, noise, lights at night, etc.
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Another Setback for MVP – Permits Pulled in WV Northern Panhandle

We thought that all of Mountain Valley Pipeline’s (MVP) permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for stream and wetland crossings had been pulled in both West Virginia and Virginia, but alas, no. One of the regions where permits issued by the Army Corps (called NWP 12 permits), in the northern panhandle of WV, is issued by a different Army Corps district office (in Pittsburgh). That office has now revoked MVP’s permits in Wetzel and Harrison counties–another 59 stream and 62 wetland crossings. Which now makes it complete: MVP cannot engage in any construction across/under/near any river, stream, or wetland in *all* of WV and *all* of VA. That is, until they get the NWP 12 permit reworked and reissued.
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Oilfield Serv. Co. Relocating Office & 200 People from WV to PA

In early 2017, Baker Hughes (prior to GE buying them) spun off its North American shale fracking business (“pressure pumping”) into a new, standalone company called BJ Services (see 3 Parents Give Birth to New Fracking Co: BJ Services). The “new” company involved investments and assets contributed from both Goldman Sachs and CSL Capital Management, in addition to BH. BJ Services used to exist as a standalone company before it was purchased by, and merged into, Baker Hughes in 2009–for $5.5 billion. BJ remained its own separate division within BH, but then got spun out again, back into its own company. We know, a bit confusing. Here’s what you need to know. In March 2016, BH closed its BJ operation in Mill Hall (Clinton County), PA and moved it to Clarksburg (Harrison County), WV. Now the reverse is happening. BJ, the standalone company, announced it is closing the Clarksburg operation and relocating it back to Mill Hall, along with some 200 people…
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