Welcome back to The Link-Up, your weekly rundown of our favorite stories from the past seven days in the oil and gas industry!
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In a somewhat controversial move, the Bureau of Land Management people who approve drilling are back at work with pay, in spite of the ongoing federal government shutdown. That determination, in and of itself, probably shouldn't be a problem since even minor disruptions can do quite a number on our society. They are essential, if you're flexible enough with the word. Still, it would be nice if the Coast Guard and the food inspectors could get that same treatment, at minimum.
Last week, we got into the Colorado Supreme Court's decision to allow the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission the latitude to issue permits without increased consideration for health or environmental concerns (those things are considered of course, but weighted equally with things like economic interests).
In response, there has been a renewed push for local control over drilling activity. Colorado's unique landscape and population distribution means that wells are often located closer to residential locations than in other states (I've never been to the oilfields of West Texas, but I'm guessing there aren't a ton of cul-de-sacs there), so allowing for that makes sense on a lot of levels. We'll see how the politicians mess it up from here, I guess.
Uhhh... what bill actually would say "fracking," wouldn't it say "hydraulic fracturing," since it's like a super formal type of thing?
Of course, they're not saying that either, to be fair. They went with "advanced well stimulation treatment," and there's a reasonable chance that said treatment ends up being banned in Florida, thanks to a newly-elected and supportive governor. On a related note, I'm prohibiting myself from driving a Maserati.
We talk a lot about all of the jobs created by the industry, like the one that has me typing this right now at 12:08 on a Wednesday (I do these the day before I post them, sue me), but the thing is, someone has to train that workforce for an increasingly complex and tech-driven world. And sure, if you're specializing in one area outside of the ground level like me, you can get by with the basic knowledge and a willingness to ask questions (marketing here isn't really that different from marketing anywhere else, after all). But for those actually running the show? May I suggest an energy management specialization at a school located right in the middle of the Shale Crescent?
"The long-term outlook for the oil and gas industry continues to be bright,” IUP Dean of the Eberly College Dr. Robert Camp said. "Pennsylvania is in the middle of a huge hydrocarbon deposit, the Marcellus shale. For western Pennsylvania landowners with mineral rights this should mean continuing wealth creation. For college graduates with related training this should mean job opportunities."
Earlier on in President Trump's tariff barrage, people were nervous but still mostly confident that China's investment in West Virginia would not be jeopardized. Now, the state's desperately fighting to save a game-changing amount of money that is literally more than its current gross economic output for the year. How the turntables.
CNX is drilling to the Marcellus and Utica shale formations from the same wellpad. I didn't know that was a thing people did, pretty cool, I imagine it's probably way more efficient too. Hopefully this is new intel to at least one of you, but if not, I'll own being the idiot who shared something that was obvious to everyone else.
First off, we need to toss out a quick language warning to anyone interested in clicking through. Derogatory epithet for a woman and a formerly-acceptable-but-now-not-so-much word for a mentally handicapped person, if you need to know before making the call.
We've talked a little about the embattled Mariner East pipeline here, which is supposed to hit the east coast with some sweet Marcellus gas, but has been inundated with accidents, legal problems, and community resistance. And of course, what do people do with problems in 2019? Argue about them on social media. So here's a screencapped Instagram exchange between a concerned resident and a pipeline worker. It is, to put it mildly, a brutal look for the pipeline worker, who literally says at one point "if my weld was bad I hope it's in your backyard so I can watch your house burn down on the news." The Chester County DA was mad about that, as the headline says, and let Sunoco (the pipeline owner) know. So there's about a 0.001% chance that guy still has a job. Nice life choices.
Just thought you guys could use some entertainment to close this out, and few things are more fun than popcorn reading people who are Mad Online.
See you next week!