PA DEP Shuts Down 2 Marcellus Wells for Not Paying Impact Tax

Xtreme Energy Co., headquartered in Victoria, Texas, has been ordered by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to shut down/stop producing at two Marcellus wells operated by the company located in Somerset County, PA, in the southwestern part of the state. Why? Because, says the DEP, Xtreme has not paid its impact fee (i.e. severance tax) for those wells for 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Continue reading

Fed Judge Tosses $54M Award to Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Landowner

Here’s a cautionary tale for landowners who think they can go court-shopping on the other side of the country to settle their differences with pipelines that cross their land. Don’t do it. A Pennsylvania landowner in Schuylkill County, PA thought he could force Williams’ (Transco Pipeline) into arbitration to compensate him for allowing the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline crossing his land. Except the landowner filed for arbitration in California! Williams/Transco refused to participate in the arbitration since Cali has NOTHING to do with Pennsylvania when it comes to arbitrating compensation for eminent domain.
Continue reading

8 OH Counties Rake in $142M in Real Estate Taxes from Utica Shale

Eight of Ohio’s top Utica Shale development counties collected nearly $142 million in real estate property taxes on oil and natural gas production from 2010 through 2017, according to an updated report by Energy In Depth (EID) and the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA). The Utica Shale Local Support Series report titled, “2019 Update: Ohio’s Oil and Gas Industry Property Tax Payments” (full copy below) analyzes the economic impacts of oil and natural gas real estate property taxes (called “ad valorem” taxes) paid in eight counties: Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe and Noble.
Continue reading

PA Dems Intro Bill to Block New Marcellus-Fired Power Plants

Leftist Democrats in Pennsylvania are still hopping mad that they couldn’t block Invenergy’s 1,480 megawatt, $1 billion Marcellus gas-fired electric plant called the Lackawanna Energy Center, located near Scranton, PA (see Huge Marcellus-Fired Power Plant Near Scranton Now 100% Complete). So they’ve decided to NEVER let it happen again. How? By introducing what they’re trying to pass off as a “reasonable” new law to establish “minimum standards for host community agreements between new power plants and their surrounding communities and school districts as well as a minimum host community fee.” In other words, the new law will micromanage and tax any prospective new gas-fired power project right out of the state.
Continue reading

Chesapeake Utilities Exits Natural Gas Marketing Business

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a diversified energy company engaged in natural gas distribution and transmission; electricity generation and distribution; propane gas distribution; and “other” businesses. One of Chesapeake’s subsidiary companies is Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company, which builds pipelines in the Delmarva Peninsula area, including most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia (see Eastern Shore Natural Gas Looks to Expand Pipe in Delmarva/). Eastern Shore’s mothership, Chesapeake Utilities, has just announced it will exit the natural gas marketing business.
Continue reading

MSC Debunks Faulty Data by FracTracker re Pine Creek Watershed

The so-called FracTracker Alliance is a group of leftist anti-fossil fuelers who heavily shade the truth (i.e. lie) about the “health impacts” of shale drilling in western Pennsylvania. In May some two dozen FracTracker “volunteers” visited the Pine Creek Watershed in parts of Clinton, Lycoming, Potter and Tioga counties. Their stated purpose was to “catalog the impacts of the unconventional oil and gas industry and related infrastructure on the landscape.” The effort resulted in a false map misrepresenting even basic facts about shale drilling in the region. The Marcellus Shale Coalition could not keep silent about FracTracker’s false and misleading narrative, and wrote to set the record straight.
Continue reading

D.C. Forum Tackles Tensions Between Pipelines & Landowners

News of a recent forum held in Washington, D.C. caught our attention because of the topic discussed: property rights and pipelines. Representatives from both sides attended in an effort to find a way to “ease tensions” with landowners in having pipelines cross their property. Inevitably these things usually boil down to compensation–how and how much. We have a few thoughts of our own on the subject.
Continue reading

Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Oct 10, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Marriage of plastics industry and Penn College flourishing; Natural gas pipelines are the topic of Oct. 17 webinar; 2nd Circ. won’t send NY pipeline appeal to DC Circ.; EPA settles Clean Air Act violations at ARG refinery in Bradford, Pa.; NATIONAL: US upstream companies continue on conservative path in Q3; UPS makes major investment into natural gas fleet; Halliburton cutting 650 jobs in U.S. as oilfield business slows; The next secretary? DOE’s No. 2 behind the scenes; EPA Administrator says new WOTUS to be finalized by winter; INTERNATIONAL: Natural gas increasingly ‘vilified’ and ‘demonized,’ says BP’s Dudley; Petrobras, Equinor tie up for natural gas projects; Most Germans who switch energy source in heating opt for natural gas – study; Canada to add nearly 25% of new global crude oil supply.
Continue reading

Township Loses Appeal to Block Adelphia Gateway Compressor Stn

West Rockhill Twp, Bucks County

West Rockhill Township in Bucks County, PA (near Philadelphia) has waged a legal battle to prevent a natural gas compressor station from being built as part of the Adelphia Gateway project, a plan to convert an old oil pipeline stretching from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook. West Rockhill appealed a decision by the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) authorizing construction of the compressor station to a special court called the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB). The EHB recently ruled against West Rockhill. The compressor will get built.
Continue reading

All of EQT’s Previous Top Management, Save One, is Now Gone

Donald M. “Blue” Jenkins

Beauty (and truth) is in the eye of the beholder. During the proxy fight earlier this year to control EQT’s board–and ultimately its management team–Toby Rice threw some sharp barbs including talk that EQT’s existing management was not up to the task of effectively running the company. The Rice boys said so, their board nominees said so, and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) said so. There will be change (i.e. personnel change) at the “operational level” said ISS. Imagine our surprise when, after assuming control, Toby said there would *not* be a wholesale replacement of top management (see Toby Rice, EQT’s New CEO, is NOT Cleaning House re Top Management). We guess it depends on what you mean by “top management,” because as of now, seven of the then eight members of the senior management team at EQT are gone. What about the last survivor?
Continue reading

Mass. Sens. Markey & Warren Intro Bill Blocking Weymouth Compressor

Talk about disingenuous political posturing by a couple of pompous windbags. Massachusetts’ two U.S. Senators, Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren and Ed “Lackey” Markey have introduced a bill in Congress to block the construction of a single pipeline compressor station–slated to be built in Weymouth, Mass. They even made up a catchy name for their bill: the “Community Outreach, Maintenance, and Preservation by Restricting Export Stations from Subverting Our Regulations Act.” Or “COMPRESSOR Act” for short. What childish dopes.
Continue reading

PA Bills Would Hold Radical Pipeline Trespassers Accountable

We have an ongoing problem. Some of the more radical protesters in the “environmentalist” movement–those who tend toward anarchy–illegally enter work sites for pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure under construction, and block the work being done in an attempt to cost companies money. Typically they chain themselves to a piece of equipment with a device that takes law enforcement authorities hours to remove. They cause delays and endanger themselves and workers and law enforcement with their illegal actions. It’s time to make the penalties for these dangerous, willful and illegal acts stiffer. Pennsylvania State Senators have introduced a pair of bills to help put a stop to this nonsense.
Continue reading

Court: OH Marketable Title Act & Dormant Mineral Act Don’t Conflict

There is an ongoing question of whether or not the Ohio Marketable Titles Act (MTA), which impacts Utica shale rights, can be used to return previously severed mineral rights back to a surface landowner, or whether the MTA is superseded by Ohio Dormant Minerals Act (DMA). In February, Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals said the MTA *does* still apply to mineral rights (see OH Court Says Marketable Title Act Applies to O&G Rights). The Seventh Circuit then ruled in a second case in April, reaffirming yet again that yes, MTA applies to mineral rights (see Ohio Court Rules Marketable Title Act Applies re Mineral Rights). And now the Seventh Circuit has ruled in a third case to say YES, the MTA still applies!
Continue reading

Enviro Leftists Keep Up Attack on LNG Export Dock on Dela. River

In June the DRBC (Delaware River Basin Commission) approved a request by New Fortress Energy to build a $96 million 1,600-foot-long pier on the Delaware River, to be used for docking and loading two ships at a time with LNG (see DRBC Approves New Fortress LNG/NGL Shipping Dock on Dela. River). After being hounded (and threatened) by THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Sierra Club for months over that approval, DRBC voted in September to “reconsider” its earlier decision (see DRBC Reconsiders New Fortress LNG/NGL Shipping Dock on Dela. River). The radicals continue to pressure DRBC to overturn their earlier approval.
Continue reading

27 Major Labor & Industry Groups Support EPA’s New CWA “401” Rule

In April 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 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). A broad coalition of 27 labor and industry groups has just sent a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler strongly endorsing the new changes to Section 401.
Continue reading