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Ohio Utica Shale

Ohio judge dismisses Broadview Heights lawsuit by residents

By Bob Downing Published: July 2, 2015

From a Thursday press release:

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, OH:  Yesterday – in time for the July 4th celebration of American Independence and democracy – the Cuyahoga County Court dismissed a class action lawsuit filed by residents of Broadview Heights to protect their inalienable right to local self-government. The suit was filed against the state of Ohio and the oil and gas industry, as fracking is being forced into communities without their consent.


In November 2012, Broadview Heights residents, with 67% of the vote, adopted a Community Bill of Rights codifying their right to local, democratic self-governance, and rights to water and a healthy environment – banning fracking as a violation of those rights.

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ODNR releases new fact sheet on Ohio's Clinton Sandstone

By Bob Downing Published: July 2, 2015

Ohio's first Clinton Sandstone well was drilled in 1887 in Lancaster.

From 1887-2013, Ohio has drilled an estimated 80,000 Clinton wells, mostly shallow wells.

They have produced 8.7 trillion cubic feet of natural. That's enough natural gas to heat all of Ohio's 5 million homes for 26 years at current rates of consumption.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Geological Survey has a new two-page fact sheet out on the Clinton Sandstone. It is GeoFacts No. 30.

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REX Pipeline to begin full westward natural gas flow on Aug. 1

By Bob Downing Published: July 2, 2015

Starting Aug. 1, the Rockies Express Pipeline will be reversed in a full-scale change.

It will flow natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales in Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania west through Indiana and Illinois to Missouri.

Previously, it flowed west to east.

Click  here  to read a detailed story by RBN Energy.

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15 fracking chemicals may pose threat to groundwater, study says

By Bob Downing Published: July 2, 2015

From the University of Colorado-Boulder:

A new University of Colorado Boulder framework used to screen hundreds of organic chemical compounds used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows that 15 may be of concern as groundwater contaminants based on their toxicity, mobility, persistence and frequency of use.

Using a fast groundwater transport scenario, the team predicted that 41 of the 659 organic compounds screened would have 10 percent or more of their initial concentrations remaining at a transport distance of roughly 300 feet. That is the average state “setback” distance in the United States between a fracking well and a drinking water well, said CU-Boulder Professor Joseph Ryan, the principal investigator on the study.

In the fracking process, a mixture of water, sand and various chemicals is pumped into wells at high pressure to create fissures in subterranean shale layers to release natural gas and oil. Oil and gas companies use a wide variety of chemicals to increase viscosity, inhibit equipment corrosion and reduce friction, among other things.

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Alpha Natural Resources acquires full share in Marcellus venture

By Bob Downing Published: July 2, 2015

From Alpha Natural Resources on Wednesday:

BRISTOL, Va., July 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR) announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pennsylvania Services Corporation (PSC), has acquired the 50% interest in its natural gas exploration and production joint venture, Pennsylvania Land Resources Holding Company, LLC (PLR), owned by EDF Trading Resources, LLC (EDFTR).  The $126 million transaction, which makes PSC the sole owner and operator of the venture, allows Alpha to expand and control a highly economic natural gas development program composed of over 25,000 net acres and associated infrastructure in the Marcellus Shale. 

EDFTR and PSC initially formed the PLR joint venture in May 2013 to exploit a large, concentrated Marcellus Shale gas resource in Greene County, Pennsylvania.  The concentrated acreage position is considered to be in the "core of the core" of the Marcellus Shale, one of the most profitable natural gas plays in the United States, and located adjacent to some of the most productive wells in the basin to date.  PLR's large, contiguous acreage position will allow efficient development of the resource with long laterals, maximizing both well productivity and returns.  Significant existing pipeline capacity located adjacent to or crossing PLR's leased acreage also provides strong transportation optionality.

Brian Sullivan, Alpha's Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, stated, "We expect drilling on the first pad to begin in the next 30 days, with an estimated 4 wells completed by the first quarter of next year."  PLR's concentrated position when it entered into the joint venture in May 2013 was 12,000 net acres, which has since more than doubled.  Additionally, two well pads have been constructed with a total of 14 permitted wells.  "Our current leasehold position gives us an immediate drilling inventory of more than 50 locations," Sullivan added.

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Fossil fuels top 80 percent of U.S. fuel mix since 1900

By Bob Downing Published: July 2, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

While the energy history of the United States is one of significant change, three fossil fuel sources—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—have made up at least 80% of total U.S. energy consumption for more than 100 years. Recent increases in the domestic production of petroleum liquids and natural gas prompted shifts between the uses of fossil fuels (largely from coal-fired to natural gas-fired power generation), but the predominance of these three energy sources is likely to continue into the future.

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Tags: coal , consumption , demand , electricity , hydroelectric , liquid fuels , natural gas , nuclear , oil/petroleum , renewable , United States , wood

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Oklahoma court: Driller can be sued for earthquake damage

By Bob Downing Published: July 2, 2015

From the Associated Press:

Oklahoma’s Supreme Court said New Dominion LLC can be sued for damage caused by an earthquake that a woman blames on disposal wells tied to fracking, in what may be the first such case to head to a jury trial.

Sandra Ladra sued New Dominion and Spess Oil Co. for injuries suffered to her knees and legs in November 2011, when a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck near her home in central Oklahoma. She said the tremor caused the rock facing on her two- story fireplace and chimney to fall into the living room, where she was watching television with her family.

Oklahoma, a region not known for seismic activity, has experienced a rash of earthquakes since 2009, the same year area oil companies began using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to shatter deep rock layers to extract oil and gas. Fracked wells produce large quantities of wastewater, which drilling companies inject into ultra-deep disposal wells, which critics blame for causing earthquakes.

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Hedges are expiring: that raises questions for shale drillers

By Bob Downing Published: July 2, 2015

The insurance protecting shale drillers against plummeting prices has become so crucial that for one company, SandRidge Energy Inc., payments from the hedges accounted for a stunning 64 percent of first-quarter revenue, Bloomburg Business reports.

Now the safety net is going away The insurance that producers bought before the collapse in oil is expiring. As they do, investors are left to wonder how these companies will make up the $3.7 billion the hedges earned them in the first quarter after crude sunk below $60 from a peak of $107 in mid-2014.

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Ohio Chamber of Commerce endorses Nexus Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: July 2, 2015

From the Ohio Chamber of Coomerce on Wednesday:

NEXUS Gas Transmission Pipeline Brings Much Needed Energy Infrastructure & Jobs


NEXUS Gas Transmission recently filed its full set of draft Resource Reports that indicates six Ohio customers, including local distribution companies and industrial parks, have executed contracts to access supplies from the proposed pipeline route.  According to Draft Resource Report 1 filed on June 12th, NEXUS has secured customers and supports future residential, commercial and industrial growth in Columbiana, Wayne, Medina, Erie, Wood and Lucas Counties.

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Industry groups seek relief from northern long-eared bat rules

By Bob Downing Published: July 2, 2015

From a press release on Wednesday:

IPAA and API Renew Request to Fish and Wildlife Service in Fifth Round of Comments on the Northern Long-Eared Bat


WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to amend the Interim 4(d) Rule for the northern long-eared bat to reflect the fact that oil and gas development activities do not pose a significant threat to the existence of the bat. Failure to provide an exemption would impose unnecessary and costly burdens on the oil and gas industry, the local communities with which these companies reside, and the FWS, while not providing a measurable conservation benefit to the northern long-eared bat.

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.