Shale Gas News – July 28, 2018

shale gas news - desRosiers_headshotBill desRosiers
External Affairs Coordinator, Cabot Oil & Gas


The Shale Gas News, heard every Saturday at 10 AM on 94.3 FM, 1510 AM and Sundays on YesFM, talked about shale gas monitoring, Invenergy, cracker plants and much more last week.

The Shale Gas News has grown again; welcome Gem 104 as our FOURTH station! Gem 104 helps to solidify the Shale Gas News coverage in an important Marcellus region, PA’s northern tier. The Shale Gas News is now broadcasting in Bradford, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and Wayne Counties, as well as in greater central PA. The Shale Gas News is aired on Saturday or Sunday depending on the station.

Every Saturday Rusty Fender and I host a morning radio show to discuss all things natural gas. This week, as a guest, we had Brian Oram, Professional Geologist at B.F. Environmental and Program Manager & Educator at Keystone Clean Water Team.

Shale Gas News

Lackawanna Energy Center, Jessup, PA

The Shale Gas News, typically, is broadcast live. On the July 28th show (click above), we covered the following new territory (see news excerpts below):

  • GDP report shows booming 4.1 percent growth, as Trump touts ‘amazing’ numbers. The U.S. economy grew by 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, marking the fastest economic expansion in nearly four years, according to a highly anticipated estimate released Friday by the Commerce Department. President Trump touted the “amazing” growth during remarks at the White House shortly after the report’s release, cheering a shrinking trade deficit and claiming the country is on track to hit the highest annual growth rate in over 13 years.
  • Chesapeake Energy is exiting Ohio shale gas in a $2 billion divestment. Chesapeake Energy Corp. agreed to sell its Utica Shale assets in Ohio to closely held Encino Acquisition Partners for about $2 billion as the U.S. natural gas giant whittles down its debt and streamlines operations. The agreement announced on Thursday, July 26, is expected to close in the fourth quarter and marks CEO Doug Lawler’s biggest transaction in 3 1/2 years. Almost all of the proceeds will be used to pay debt, Chesapeake said in the statement.
  • Shale Gas Monitoring. The DCNR Bureau of Forestry’s Marcellus Monitoring Program is an interdisciplinary team designed to assess and communicate the environmental and social effects of natural gas development on state forest lands. With an estimated 10,000 natural gas wells to be drilled on state forest in the next decade, Marcellus Shale development has the potential to affect a wide range of environmental and social values.
  • PA’s Largest Gas-Fired Electric Plant near Scranton Partially Online. It’s been some time since we’ve checked in on Invenergy’s massive Lackawanna Energy Center, a 1,480 megawatt plant under construction in Jessup, PA (near Scranton). The project will cost “well over $1 billion” according to an exclusive MDN source working on the project. When the plant is done it will be Pennsylvania’s largest natural gas-fired electric generating plant. The plant is being built in three trains or units. The good news is that the first train/unit is done and has been online producing electricity since June.
  • Genscape Confirms Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Ready to Flow in August. Last week MDN brought you the exciting news that Williams says their $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline that runs through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County will go online in August. We have no reason to doubt Williams. After all, if they make an announcement like that and then don’t live up to it, there will be PR hell to pay. It’s in their own best interests to tell the truth about these things.
  • Can the Marcellus/Utica Build Too Many Cracker Plants? The Marcellus/Utica region produces a prodigious volume of ethane, a “natural gas liquid” (NGL) that comes out of the ground along with methane. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because that ethane can be cracked (chemically) to produce ethylene–or raw plastics. It’s bad because we don’t have any crackers, currently, in our region–and just a small volume of our ethane travels via pipeline to the Gulf Coast or Canada for cracking. So right now ethane is a waste produce for most Marcellus/Utica drillers–something that costs money to dispose of.
  • PA DEP Orders CNX, XTO & Diversified to Plug 1,058 Abandoned Wells. Yesterday the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued administrative orders requiring three oil and gas companies–Alliance Petroleum Corporation (a subsidiary of Diversified Gas & Oil), XTO Energy, and CNX Resources–to plug 1,058 abandoned oil and gas wells across Pennsylvania. Alliance has 638 wells, CNX has 327, and XTO has 93. In a quick scan of the list of wells to be plugged, we didn’t spot a single shale well. All 1,058 wells are conventional/vertical wells. So why is this news for MDN? Because all three drillers (but in particular CNX and XTO) drill shale wells, and plugging old conventional wells takes time and money–time and money that could be spent on drilling shale wells.

The Shale Gas News sponsored by Linde Corporation

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