Weekly Shale Permits Issued for PA, WV (Not OH) May 25-29

There were 7 new permits issued in PA for May 25-29. There were no new permits issued in WV for the same time period. The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) database is still down. MDN contacted ODNR today and was told by a spokesman, “The Division [of Oil and Gas Management] hopes to be able to resume permitting activities this week.” Does that mean no new Utica permits are being issued at this time?
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Radicals Ask FERC to Redo Enviro Review for Atlantic Coast Pipe

A coalition of so-called environmental groups (leftist, very radical organizations) filed an official request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Saturday calling on FERC to conduct a supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) for a project that’s already been studied to death: Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The once $5.5 billion project (now $8 billion because of delays caused by these nefarious groups) will run from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina.
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MDN Calendar: List of In-Person and Virtual O&G Events

MDN is updating our Calendar page more frequently to bring you the latest news on events of interest that have either been canceled, postponed, or in some cases, have gone virtual. We encourage you to review the list. A number of free and low-cost webinars and online events have popped up as an alternative to in-person meetings.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, Jun 3, 2020

OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Dominion backs off plan to build natural gas pipeline along part of American Tobacco Trail; NATIONAL: AEA applauds EPA’s final rule to fix Governor Cuomo’s muddying of the Clean Water Act; INTERNATIONAL: Natural gas may be the next commodity to trade below zero; Oil’s comeback uplifts US shale, complicates OPEC+ task; European and U.S. gas markets look to each other for price direction; Is this the next major market for U.S. LNG?; Weak energy prices show Russia’s Achilles heel.
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PTT Responds to “Indefinite Hold” on OH Cracker Decision

PTT Global Chemical, the huge Thailand-based petrochemical company looking to build a world-class ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH, has botched its messaging about when it will make a final investment decision (FID) about moving forward with the project. The latest FID was supposed to be now, by the end of June this year (see PTT CEO Sends Loud & Clear Signal of Positive FID on OH Cracker). Then the company said the pandemic would delay the FID, without giving any kind of time frame. We referred to that as an “indefinite” delay (see PTT Postpones Ohio Cracker Final Investment Decision Indefinitely). PTT disputes that characterization. Did we get it wrong by labeling the FID delay as “indefinite”?
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EPA Issues Final Rule to Prevent States from Blocking Pipelines

In April 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) instructing the Environmental Protection Agency to review Section 401 of the Clean Water Act–the section that grants states (and tribes) the right to have a say in pipeline projects (see Trump Signs Executive Order Making it Harder to Block Pipes). In keeping with the EO, the EPA issued a draft new rule in August 2019 tightening up standards used in Section 401, creating new boundaries so states like New York and Washington can’t continue to “color outside the lines” by rejecting pipelines for political reasons, as they have both done (see EPA Issues Proposed New Rule for Section 401 Water Permits). Yesterday the EPA released the final version of the new rule.
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May NatGas Deliveries to US LNG Plants Lowest Since Last October

Feedgas, which is the gas that flows to LNG export facilities, hit the lowest levels it has seen since last October according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As we pointed out two weeks ago, natural gas prices are staying low because worldwide demand and prices for LNG is currently low (see Why Does NatGas Price Stay So Low with Falling Production?). Low prices will continue for the foreseeable future, with some 20 U.S. LNG export cargoes for June now canceled and another 45 for July rumored to be canceled.
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NYC Green Wackadoodles Meet Online to Oppose New NatGas Supplies

New York City and Long Island are starved for new sources of natural gas. Utility giant National Grid supplies all of Long Island with gas, including NYC’s Brooklyn and Queens. National Grid’s best option to supply growing customer demand was a new pipeline. That option is now closed, thanks to Andrew Cuomo (see Cuomo Rejects NESE Pipe Again, Williams Walks Away). National Grid has two options left to get the gas it needs–yet a group of truly insane nutters held a virtual protest meeting last Thursday to object to *any* new supplies of natural gas coming to NYC and LI. They prefer…what? To run out?
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NJ Launches Study of NatGas Supplies Needed for Next 10 Years

New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) has been saying, for years, that unless that state wants to run out of natural gas, it needs to allow a couple of new pipelines to bring new sources into the state. NJNG is promoting two pipeline projects–the Southern Reliability Link project and the PennEast Pipeline. Southern Reliability is currently under construction while PennEast is mired in a court battle. Now it seems the state is finally waking up to the fact they will run out of gas in the next 10 years if they don’t do something. So they’ve launched a study to see whether or not they can block the pipeline projects.
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Braskem America Building New Petchem Export Hub in Charleston, SC

Braskem America, the largest petrochemical company in Latin America (headquartered in Brazil), at one time wanted to build an ethane cracker plant near Parkersburg, WV. They gave up on that plan last July (see Braskem Gives Up on WV Cracker – Parkersburg Site for Sale). Braskem has major petrochemical operations in the U.S. The company has just announced it will build a new petrochemical global export hub in Charleston, S.C. The hub will export polypropylene. Some of the exports will come from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
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Mariner East 2 Starts Up 13 Miles of Pipe in Southeast PA

The mighty Mariner East 2X (ME2X) pipeline project gets closer and closer to 100% completion, despite the efforts of anti-fossil fuelers to hassle and block the project. In a bit of news ignored by mainstream media, another 13-mile stretch of ME2X in southeastern PA between Chester and Delaware counties went online late last week.
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Range Resources Begins New Air Monitoring Test at SWPA Well Site

Cecil Township, Washington County, PA

Range Resources has launched a second ambient air monitoring test program in Washington County, PA. You may recall the results of a previous two-year study Range commissioned near a high school and elementary school campus in Washington County (see Study Shows No Health Impacts from Marcellus Drilling Near School).
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Production Cutbacks Take Hold in Marc/Utica…but Not All Areas

MDN recently told you that EQT, the largest natural gas producer in the country, has shut-in roughly one-third of its regular natural gas production through the end of June (see EQT Shuts in 33% of NatGas Production in Pennsylvania, Ohio). Cabot Oil & Gas, another large producer, said during its Q1 update it would shut-in some of its production in 2020 too (see Cabot 1Q20: Production Up 4%, Free Cash Flow, Curtailing Wells). These cutbacks along with cutbacks by other M-U drillers have had an “immediate” impact on production in the Marcellus/Utica. But the impact is not the same throughout the entire region.
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Steyer Big Green Group Dumps $200K of Dark Money in SEPA Elections

In a transparent effort to buy local politicians and their votes against fracking, pipelines and for high carbon taxes, a California-based group linked to billionaire Tom Steyer has dumped almost $200,000 of “dark money” into Pennsylvania elections in the Delaware Valley (southeastern PA). Steyer is also attempting to buy candidates in Virginia, Nevada, Michigan, North Carolina and Oregon. In Chester County, Steyer is buying races for three radical Democrats in the upcoming primary…
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