Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Nov. 9-13

An interesting week for permits. Last week Pennsylvania issued just 2 new shale well drilling permits after having issued 3 the week before (lowest numbers we’ve seen). Ohio, which has not issued many permits in recent months, was on fire last week with 17 new shale permits! West Virginia issued just 1 new shale well permit.
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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: Sep 21-25

An unusual situation for permits to drill new wells for last week. Pennsylvania only had 5 new permits while West Virginia had 12 new permits. It’s typically the other way around. Could this be the beginning of the effects from PA raising the permit fee from $5,000 to $12,500 per well? Maybe! Ohio had no new Utica permits issued last week. Drilling seems to have slowed in the Buckeye State.
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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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Big Green Tries to Whip Up Opposition to PTT Ohio Cracker

Big Green is doing its best to stir up opposition to PTT Global Chemical’s proposed ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, Ohio. Big Green is also trying to hide its involvement and pass itself off as organic, local community opposition. Not true. Last week the same so-called community organizer addressed an anti meeting at a local church and organized a “protest” a few days later.
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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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Tug Hill Ramps Up Low-Cost Utica Drilling in WV Panhandle

The last time MDN reported on Tug Hill Operating was more than two years ago, a story about Tug Hill’s XcL Midstream subsidiary working to build a new gathering pipeline system in West Virginia to flow gas that would come from Tug Hill’s THQ Appalachia drilling subsidiary (see XcL Midstream Building New Dry & Wet Gas Gathering Pipes in WV). Both the midstream and drilling subsidiaries have been busy over the past two years. In fact, Tug Hill’s THQ subsidiary says it has unlocked the secret to drilling cheap Utica wells in the Mountain State.
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WV Gov. Justice Blames Shale for Bad Roads, Wants Higher Taxes

WV Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is turning out to be a major disappointment. He’s pro-coal (because much of his personal fortune comes from coal), and increasingly anti-shale. The latest evidence is an attack on the shale industry claiming shale is responsible for the poor condition of roadways in the Mountain State.
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FERC Says More of Mountaineer XPress Pipeline OK to Start Up

In January the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave permission to TransCanada’s Columbia Pipeline group to start up a portion of the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline in West Virginia (see FERC OK’s Mountaineer XPress Pipe to Start Up in WV). Yesterday FERC gave Columbia permission to start up a wee bit more of the project.
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Columbia Sues Southwestern Energy for Shorting Royalties in WV

Here’s an interesting twist on the theme of drillers shorting leaseholders out of royalty money. Usually such cases involve drillers claiming post-production deductions from landowner royalty checks. This time the landowner/rightsholder is Columbia Gas Transmission (pipeline company owned by midstream giant TransCanada), and the claim is that Southwestern Energy (driller) is not paying royalties for gas produced but not actually sold.
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Problem at Majorsville Compressor Reduced Flow on Rover Pipe

Rover system map – click for larger version

Near the end of August, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave Energy Transfer Partners permission to start up both the Burgettstown and Majorsville Laterals, beginning Sept. 1 (see FERC Finally Approves 2 Key Rover Pipeline Laterals, Sept 1 Start). The Majorsville lateral is a “feeder pipeline” that connects supplies of natural gas produced in West Virginia (and western PA) to the main trunk of the Rover Pipeline. Rover is a super highway flowing Utica (and Marcellus) gas to the Midwest and Canada. But without smaller laterals (feeders) flowing gas into the main trunk of Rover, there’s no gas to sell to anyone. Majorsville did, indeed, start up on or about Sept. 1st, but part (or all) of the Majorsville lateral went down a few days later, last Thursday, because a piece of equipment in the Majorsville compressor station needed “maintenance.” According to ET, such maintenance is “part of the normal startup” for a compressor station. Whatever the issue/problem was, it was quickly fixed and by Friday (a day later) the full Majorsville lateral was back up and running…
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FERC Finally Approves 2 Key Rover Pipeline Laterals, Sept 1 Start

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) game of hardball with Energy Transfer over the Rover Pipeline has finally paid off. For months FERC has refused to allow four Rover laterals–feeder pipelines to shuttle gas from where it’s produced into the main Rover pipeline–to start up (see FERC Plays Hardball with Rover – Refuses to Certify 4 Laterals). The reason? ET has not, according to FERC, lived up to its word on restoration work. Things like smoothing over the dirt and replanting grass and other vegetation over top of the buried pipeline. Earlier this month ET assured FERC it would have the majority of restoration work done on two key laterals–the Burgettstown Lateral in southwestern PA, and the Majorsville Lateral in the northern panhandle of WV–by the end of this month (see FERC Continues to Block Rover Laterals Until Restoration Work Done). With recent evidence that ET is indeed living up to its word, last Thursday FERC gave ET permission to start up both the Burgettstown and Majorsville Laterals on Sept. 1. The majority of the restoration work will be done by this Friday, Aug. 31. However, there will still be some odds and ends after that (addressing “ground movement areas) that will go on through December. That leaves two final laterals–the CGT (Columbia Gas Transmission) and Sherwood Laterals, still not online. This is a prime example of FERC playing hardball, contrary to the “rubber stamp” antis claim FERC is for pipeline companies…
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Leach XPress Pipe 100% Back Online Following June Explosion

TransCanada’s Leach XPress is a 160-mile natural gas pipeline (and compression facilities) located in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle. Leach XPress flows 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas all the way to Leach, Kentucky–hence the name. The pipeline went online January 1st, and a section of it exploded and burst into flames on June 7 (see Leach Xpress Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County, WV). What caused the explosion? TransCanada (aka Columbia Pipeline) said it was a “slip”–what we call a landslide (see Columbia Says Landslide Caused Leach XPress Explosion/Fire in WV). The good news is that the 1.5 Bcf/d pipeline is now fully fixed and back online, as of Sunday, although it’s not yet flowing at full capacity. According to Genscape, pipeline “nominations” (reservations to move gas) were at 1.15 Bcf yesterday. That will likely increase in the coming days, back to full capacity. One comment about this story caught our eye–something we’d not seen or heard before: Columbia told the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) there are six other spots along the pipeline that are “areas of concern” based on soil conditions, steep slopes or indications of slips (i.e. landslides)…
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Columbia Says Landslide Caused Leach XPress Explosion/Fire in WV

TransCanada’s Leach XPress is a 160-mile natural gas pipeline (and compression facilities) located in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle. Leach XPress flows 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas all the way to Leach, Kentucky–hence the name. The pipeline went online January 1st, and a section of it exploded and burst into flames on June 7 (see Leach Xpress Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County, WV). TransCanada (their Columbia Gas Transmission subsidiary) is working hard to get the pipeline back online by “mid-July” (see Exploded Leach XPress Pipe Won’t be Online Until Mid-July). What caused the explosion? That’s been the burning question (no pun intended) since it happened. A stray comment we spotted seemed to indicate it may have been a faulty welding job. But apparently such is not the case. Columbia has told federal regulators that a landslide is the cause of the leak and explosion…
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