Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Nov. 16-20

Last week Pennsylvania issued 11 new shale well drilling permits, all but one of them in the northeastern (dry gas) part of the state. Ohio issued one new permit, and West Virginia issued 2 new shale well permits.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Nov. 2-6

Last week Pennsylvania issued a paltry 3 new shale well drilling permits (lowest we’ve seen in months), Ohio issued a single new permit, and West Virginia issued 5 new shale well permits. All 3 PA permits were issued in Greene County. The OH permit was issued in Carroll County (bit of a surprise). And all 5 WV permits were issued in Tyler County.
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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: 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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WV Marcellus/Utica Waste Processor SECUR Files for Bankruptcy

SECUR O&G, LLC is headquartered in Sewickley, PA, but its main operation, a Marcellus/Utica waste processing center, is located in the Bens Run Industrial Park in Friendly (Tyler County), WV. SECUR processes both liquid and solid drilling waste and handles TENORM (technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material) at its Bens Run facility. Last Friday SECUR filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of WV.
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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.
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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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Dominion Investigating Condensate Tank Fire in Tyler, WV

On May 25, lightning struck a 1 million gallon condensate tank near Friendly (Tyler County), WV on a Saturday afternoon (see Lightning Strikes Huge Condensate Tank in Tyler, WV – Fire Now Out). At least, that’s the theory. The strike (if that’s what it was) ignited the tank, creating a “massive” fire according to news accounts. Dominion Energy, owner of the tank, is still investigating to see how the fire began (was it really lightning?), and how such accident can be avoided in the future.
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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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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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New WV Facility Opens to Handle Radioactive M-U Waste

SECUR, a privately owned company headquartered in Pittsburgh that (among other things) cleans up radioactive waste from shale drilling, has just opened a new 10-acre branch facility in Tyler County, WV to do just that–to clean up NORM (naturally occurring radioactive materials) and TENORM (technically-enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material). The facility cleans up both liquids (wastewater) and solids (drill cuttings) that contain a tiny bit of radiation in them, making them suitable for safe disposal. No, there is no permanent storage at the facility–the site, located in Friendly, WV, is only used to clean up the stuff coming in. SECUR then repackages the material and sends it back out to licensed disposal facilities. And did we mention…SECUR is a woman-owned, small business? Nice. Here’s the good news of yet more jobs and an essential service have come to the WV part of the Marcellus/Utica…
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Tyler County, WV Mentioned as Candidate for $10B NGL Storage Hub

In May 2016, MDN brought you the news that a researcher at West Virginia University (WVU) believes a natural gas liquids (NGL) storage hub is what the Marcellus/Utica region really needs (see WVU Researcher Says Marcellus/Utica Needs an Ethane Storage Hub). According to Brian Anderson, director of WVU’s Energy Institute, without ethane storage (and pipelines) the Marcellus/Utica region risks seeing its abundant ethane leave the area, mostly heading to the Gulf Coast. We need that ethane here, in our area. Kevin DiGregorio, executive director of the Chemical Alliance Zone, also took up the cause in an editorial in July 2016 (see WV, OH, PA, KY Should Cooperate on $10B NGL Storage Hub). Since that time we’ve run a number of stories about the proposed $10 billion NGL storage hub for the Marcellus/Utica. In particular, West Virginia’s two U.S. senators, Shelley Moore Capito (Republican) and Joe Manchin (Democrat) have been pushing hard for such a hub (see WV Senators Ask Trump to Create NGL Storage Hub Commission). It has been thought that WV and PA and OH would need to cooperate to help fund such a project. Even the mighty Shell cracker is “only” costing $6 billion! So $10 billion is almost incomprehensible. But then everything changed last week when we told you we now have a pretty good idea of how the project will get funded–by the Chinese (see China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem). West Virginia has, from the beginning, been the state most often mentioned as the location for such a storage hub–but until now no specific site has come across our radar. That’s changed. With money flowing from China for a bevy of shale-related projects, different locations across the Mountain State are speaking up. Tyler County is the latest, saying they are under consideration for the $10B NGL storage hub, and they will do “whatever needs to be done” to win the project. There are, however, two other locations in WV also under consideration…
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WV DEP Orders Rover to Stop Pipe Construction in 2 of 4 Counties

Rover Pipeline has had trouble with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). The OEPA has jumped on Rover’s back and hasn’t gotten off–over spills of drilling mud and mishandling (according to OEPA) torrential rainwater that ended up in Rover trenches, which Rover pumped out, flooding local farmers’ fields (see OEPA & Rover at Odds Over Storm Water Runoff, “Fine” Now $714K). The OEPA also claims diesel fuel was found in some of the spilled drilling mud (see OH EPA Says Diesel Fuel Found in Rover 2M Gal Drilling Mud Spill). OEPA got the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) involved, asking FERC (the agency in charge of oversight) for help in reigning in Rover. FERC did just that, shutting down some of Rover’s activities while it (FERC) investigates. Now Rover is getting grief from the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP). The WVDEP issued water pollution control permits for the project, and now says Rover has violated the conditions of the permits and must cease and desist “land development activity until such time when compliance with the terms and conditions of its permit and all pertinent laws and rules is achieved.” The issue appears to revolve around handling of storm water runoff (one of the issues in Ohio). Construction of Rover in Doddridge and Tyler counties has stopped, but construction continues in Hancock and Marshall counties…
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