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Pennsylvania Gas A Critical Bulwark in Securing Energy Security

Daniel B. Markind, Esq. Flaster Greenberg PC   Pennsylvania gas will become even more critical than it already is, if international tensions over Saudi behavior disrupt the foreign energy supply.  Just six months after the Chinese Communist leadership massacred hundreds of … Continue reading

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Midstream’s Doin’ Fine In Oklahoma

For a state with a history of jumping the gun and staking claims, well, sooner, Oklahoma producers and the midstream operators supporting them are doing fine—having waited for the shale bonanza to make its way to the state. Refinements in completions, as well as a better understanding of production dynamics, are enabling midstream and upstream companies to collaborate closely, avoiding—somewhat—the capacity mismatches that have marked the Bakken, Permian, and other big unconventional plays.
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McKibben’s ‘Night of Inspiration’ Again Confirms Prop 112 is Really About Banning Fracking

Colorado Rising, the group behind Proposition 112, has repeatedly insisted the measure is a local, grassroots effort that “is absolutely not a ban on the industry.”

But if there were any lingering doubts about Proposition 112’s true purpose – to completely ban oil and gas development in Colorado – and who is actually behind it – national anti-fracking groups – the fact that “Keep It In the Ground” celebrity activist Bill McKibben headlined a dinner and auction in support of Prop 112 tonight in Englewood should put those doubts to rest.

In case you’ve lost count, McKibben is the third major national “Keep It In the Ground” activist Colorado Rising has parachuted into Colorado in the past month alone. As EID previously reported, Gasland Director Josh Fox and New Yorkers Against Fracking founder Sandra Steingraber have also visited Colorado in recent weeks. But more on that in a minute.

To be perfectly clear, these national activists aren’t coming through town to advocate for grassroots efforts aimed at implementing common sense regulations. Their goal is to ban oil and gas development everywhere, plain and simple, and they know that passage of Prop 112 could create the national momentum desperately needed to advance that ultimate objective. The following promotional write-up for this evening’s “Night of Inspiration with Bill McKibben” clearly articulates that fact,

“Join us for a dinner party with renowned author and founder of Bill McKibben! Bill and local organizers of Proposition 112 will speak about the significance of this grassroots effort, which will protect all Colorado communities against fracking and creates a precedent for action across the nation. If Prop 112 is successful, this will be the biggest environmental action in the country this year. Don’t miss this special evening and opportunity to show your support!”

McKibben’s “Night of Inspiration” didn’t exactly go as planned, as #VoteNoOn112 proponents crashed the party.

A Denver resident cheers as Vote No on 112 trucks drive past a “Keep It In the Ground” fundraiser with Vermont-based fringe activist Bill McKibben.

But McKibben is so passionate about Prop 112 that he’ll follow up tonight’s event with a “Prop 112 Pep Rally! Phone bank & Canvass!” Saturday morning in Colorado Springs.

For those unfamiliar with McKibben, he is the co-founder of environmentalist activism group Among their top priorities is advocating for an uncompromising 100 percent renewable energy transition. McKibben has previously stated he’s on a mission to “kill” the oil and natural gas industry, and has compared the industry to “the crimes of slavery, totalitarianism, colonialism [and] apartheid” and Nazi Germany.

Suffice it to say, he is not a moderate.

McKibben proposed that the Democratic National Committee include a national fracking ban in its platform in 2016, which the party wisely rejected. McKibben is also known for launching the fossil fuel divestment movement.

Both and fellow national anti-fracking group Food & Water Watch ($190,000 as of July 20) have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Prop 112’s proponents at Colorado Rising.

These donations from national anti-fracking groups into a statewide Colorado ballot measure shows the disingenuous nature of claims that Prop 112 is a grassroots effort.

McKibben is just the latest in a parade of national anti-fracking activists to travel to Colorado and campaign in support for Prop 112.

Just last month, Josh Fox was in Boulder performing a one-man-show, “The Truth Has Changed.” Remember, Josh Fox is the director of the misleading and decidedly anti-fracking documentary, “Gasland.” EID has done extensive debunks of the claims represented in the film, available here.

After his performance concluded, Fox turned to the audience, spoke in support of Prop 112 and then said, “Let’s do this! Let’s ban fracking in Colorado!” He then tweeted this picture to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis:

Who sponsored Fox’s performance? No other than Colorado Rising. The same group who portends that Prop 112 is simply a common-sense regulation aimed at health and safety, and not a ban on fracking.

But that’s not all.

The founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking was also in town recently singing Prop 112’s praises. Sara Steingraber was in Denver a few weeks ago promoting her new documentary entitled, “Unfractured.” She encouraged Coloradans to draw inspiration from her own successful fight to ban fracking in her home state.

“I want you to know you’ve captured the whole nation’s attention.”

“What you’re doing here now is being watched by everyone… That’s what we discovered in New York – that when you act heroically, you break a spell of other people who are so caught up in their self-defeatism and despair. And they begin to realize you only have one life – why not be the super hero that our kids think that we are, right?”

“What I discovered is I’m willing to go into jail.”

How did she go about banning fracking in New York? Turns out, she was the peer-reviewer of research that was promoted as “bona fide scientific literature” and used to justify the ban. Only problem is she failed to disclose the very clear and jarring conflicts of interest, violating various codes of conduct in the process.

Add Bill McKibben to the mix and you have three of the most prominent anti-fracking activists pushing for Prop 112. Tells you a little something about what the measure will actually accomplish if it passes, doesn’t it?

EIA: Marcellus, Utica Shales Driving Natural Gas Electricity Growth in PJM Market

A new U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report this week finds the PJM Interconnection, which is the United States’ largest competitive wholesale electricity market, increased its natural gas capacity from 2013 to 2017 by about 18 percent – more than any other U.S. regional electricity organization. As EIA explains,

“Relatively lower natural gas prices – in part because of PJM’s proximity to Appalachian natural gas production – have been a primary driver for increasing natural gas capacity factors.”

PJM ensures the reliable movement of electricity across a wide range of states that include the Appalachian Basin shale plays in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia that currently produce about 29.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day. As the following map shows, in addition to the previously mentioned states, Appalachian Basin natural gas is now being used to help power PJM’s market in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

The EIA report notes that from 2013 to 2017, PJM retired 14.4 gigawatts (GW) – about 19 percent of the market’s total capacity – of coal-fired power plants and 1.8 GW of natural gas-fired power plants, at the same time as an additional 11 GW of natural gas capacity was added.

That 11 GW of new capacity includes three plants that are running entirely on natural gas from the Appalachian Basin. The Panda Liberty facility in Bradford County, Pa., became operational in October 2016 and was the first power plant to be built to run entirely on Marcellus Shale gas. It was quickly followed by a second Marcellus Shale natural gas-fired plant, Panda Patriot, which began operations in Lycoming County, Pa. in November 2016. These two facilities each added 825 megawatts (MW) – a combined 1.65 GW – to the PJM market and are capable of supplying electricity to roughly two million homes.

Panda Patriot in Bradford County, Pa. SOURCE: Gemma Power

Panda Liberty in Lycoming County, Pa. SOURCE: Gemma Power

Oregon Clean Energy Center (OCEC), located in Lucas County, Ohio, is an 870 MW natural gas-fired power plant that became operational in July 2017. OCEC is supplied with natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales via the Generation Pipeline.

Oregon Clean Energy Center in Lucas County, Ohio. SOURCE: Oregon Clean Energy Center

More Retirements and Natural Gas Capacity Coming

As EID’s recent report on power plant investment in the Appalachian Basin explained, there have been several recent announcements that additional coal and nuclear facilities will be closing in that region of the PJM market over the next few years. Those retirements will be largely offset by adding natural gas capacity, as PJM recently explained to E&E News:

“Any potential reliability impacts will be addressed by a combination of already planned baseline transmission upgrades and the completion of new baseline upgrades.”

In the PJM states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia alone, 26 power plants – representing more than 23 GW of natural gas capacity and nearly $23 billion in investments – began commercial operations in 2018, are currently under construction or are in the works. EID’s recent infographic offers more details on those 26 facilities, as well as Patriot, Liberty and OCEC:

As EIA’s analysis of the PJM Interconnection demonstrates, the Appalachian Basin’s record-shattering natural gas production is already being used to power states across the market region. And as EID’s report shows, this is only the beginning for regionally supplied natural gas power generation.

Executive Q&A: Oasis Petroleum Goes South

[Editor’s note: A version of this story appears in the October 2018 edition of Oil and Gas Investor. Subscribe to the magazine here.] With so many public E&Ps coring up and selling down assets to become basin-specific pure players—a move to appease investors desiring focus and simplicity—it came as a surprise to many when the news wires last December announced that Bakken-only Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OAS) had made a play to buy 20,300 net acres in the Delaware Basin. The acres are far to the south of the only assets Oasis has ever known in its decade-long history, and as close to the southern border as its Bakken assets are to the northern. The step-out met with mixed emotions from the investor community. The deal, acquired from Forge Energy LLC for $946 million, presumably solved analysts’ concerns around inventory longevity in Oasis’ Williston Basin portfolio, effectively doubling the number of core locations to drill. But it also created new angst with a $36,000-per-acre price tag and a 33% shareholder dilution to help fund the purchase.
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Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas Shoots Clays

Rick Hiduk Managing Editor of … …  The Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas has trained many local residents for the natural gas industry and just celebrated with a clay shoot. After five years of growth under Cabot Oil … Continue reading

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