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Ohio Utica Shale

Youngstown seeks fracking money to raze buildings

By Bob Downing Published: September 28, 2012

The city of Youngstown has money to raze about 260  buildings that are empty and in disrepair.

But the Mahoning County city is seeking lease money from drillers to help it raze an additional 5,000 empty buildings.

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ODNR names new chief of geological survey

By Bob Downing Published: September 28, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer today announced Thomas J. Serenko, Ph.D., as the new chief of ODNR’s Division of Geological Survey.

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CONSOL Energy stops work on first Trumbull County well

By Bob Downing Published: September 28, 2012

WKBN-TV (Channel 27) reports that CONSOL Energy has halted work on its first Utica shale well in Trumbull County.

The well is near Vienna.

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Ohio to hold energy summit on Oct. 9

By Bob Downing Published: September 28, 2012

Vehilces powered by natural gas will be a key topic on Oct. 9 when Ohio holds its statewide energy summit.

The day-long conference will be held at the Student Union at Ohio State University in Columbus.

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Utica shale tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: September 28, 2012

1. Crawford County in northwest Pennsylvania is getting its first Utica shale well.

Texas-based Range Resources has drilled the well in East Fairfield Township.

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Ohio grass-roots groups to fight against water sales

By Bob Downing Published: September 27, 2012

Two grass-roots groups in Ohio intend to fight the decision by the Muskingum watershed Conservancy Distrrict to sell water from two reservoirs to drillers duing the winter drawdown.

That decision calls for possible sales from Clendening Reservoir and Piedmont Lake.

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Rex Energy pleased with first Ohio well

By Bob Downing Published: September 27, 2012

The Marcellus Drilling News reports that Pennsylvania-based Rex Energy Corp. is pleased with its first Ohio Utica shale well.

The well is in Carroll County's Washington Township.

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Ohio approves seven new drilling permits

By Bob Downing Published: September 27, 2012

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has approved seven new drilling permits in the Utica shale.

That brings the state total to 382, of which 144 have been drilled since December 2009.

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Air emissions is topic of Oct. 4 meeting

By Bob Downing Published: September 27, 2012

Air emissions from drilling will be the topic of a public meeting on Oct. 4 in Carroll County.

The speaker will be Dr. Deborah Cowden.

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Utica shale tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: September 27, 2012

1. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Ohio Shale Coalition is projecting that nearly 2,000 horizontal wells will be drilled into Ohio's Utica shale by the end of 2014.

At present, 359 wells are permitted and 129 have been drilled.

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Exxon Mobil to boost its Bakken shale holdings

By Bob Downing Published: September 27, 2012

Exxon Mobil Corp. has announced plans to boost its holdings in the Bakken shale of North Dakota and Montana by 50 percent.

The company said it intends to spent $1.6 billion to increase its oil-rich Bakken holdings.

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Need for water is growing challenge for shale drillers

By Bob Downing Published: September 27, 2012

According to comments at a recent industry conference, paying for the water to hydraulically fracture or frack a shale well takes 25 percent of what drillers will spend on each well.

A typical well costs about $6 million and water costs are about 25 percent or $1.5 million of that cost, according to Steven Mueller, chief CEO of Southwestern Energy.

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Watershed district under attack for new water sales

By Bob Downing Published: September 26, 2012

A national environmental group is denouncing the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District for what the eco-group calls the district's "flip flop" on water sales to drillers.

Food & Water Watch is unhappy that the Ohio watershed district intends to sell water from Clendening Reservoir and Piedmont Lake to drillers during the winter drawdown.

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French company halting U.S. shale investments

By Bob Downing Published: September 26, 2012

French energy giant Total earlier this week said it was halting further investments in American shale plays including Ohio's Utica shale, the Marcellus Drilling News reported.

The reason is the low prices for natural gas in hte United States.

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States are lax of drilling inspections, study says

By Bob Downing Published: September 26, 2012

 From the Los Angeles Times:

State regulators inspect oil and gas wells sporadically, do not consistently record violations and impose light penalties on companies that are found to break environmental, health or safety rules, according to a new research report issued by the environmental watchdog group Earthworks.

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Drilling bans pose real threat to drilling industry

By Bob Downing Published: September 26, 2012

From EnergyWire:

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Chesapeake gets new corporate counsel

By Bob Downing Published: September 25, 2012

From the ShaleOhio blog by the Columbus law firm of Bricker & Eckler:

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Utica shale tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: September 25, 2012

1. Chesapeake Energy is leasing land for shale drilling in Columbiana County.

The Oklahoma-based energy giant will lease property  from the Columbiana County Port Authority.

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New Ohio Regents website for energy jobs

By Bob Downing Published: September 25, 2012

The Ohio Board of Regents has established a new website for energy-related jobs.

The site is www.OhioEnergyPathways.org.

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Royalty payments in Bradford County top $160 million

By Bob Downing Published: September 25, 2012

The Marcellus Drilling News reports that royalty payments in Pennsylvania's Bradford County have topped $160 million.

Here is the story from the local newspaper:

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Watershed district to sell from two lakes during drawdown

By Bob Downing Published: September 24, 2012

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District intends to sell water from two reservoirs in eastern Ohio to natural gas drillers, despite an earlier plan to halt sales until a water availability study can be completed.

The district said it will sell water from Clendening Lake in Harrison County and Piedmont  Lake, mostly in Belmont County, during the fall drawdown when lakes are lowered for the winter.

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PDC Energy to develop Ohio wells with no partners

By Bob Downing Published: September 21, 2012

The Marcellus Drilling News reports that PDC Energy has announced plans to deveiop 45,000 acres in southeastern Ohio with no drilling partners.

The Colorado-based company had been seeking partners for a joint venture, but the offers were such that the company has decided to proceed on its own.

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Meetings involving leaseholders near Brinker Storage Field

By Bob Downing Published: September 21, 2012

Unhappy landowners with leases near the Brinker Storage Field in eastern Ohio have had private meetings with recently with Columbia Gas Transmission and Hilcorp Energy.

The 35,000-acre natural gas storage area in Columbiana County and the leases involved date back to the 1940s.

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Memo from Food & Water Watch director

By Bob Downing Published: September 21, 2012

From Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter:

Here’s a memo to the technocrats, pundits, environmental organizations and foundations that believe corporate collaborations and market-based solutions are the key to solving the critical environmental problems facing us. Why are you so afraid of fighting for what we really want—a future based on renewable energy and energy efficiency?

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Pennsylvania governor attacks anti-drilling activists

By Bob Downing Published: September 20, 2012

From the Associated Press:

By MICHAEL RUBINKAM

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Gov. Tom Corbett today attacked anti-drilling activists as the "unreasoning opposition" who accept the nation can land a space vehicle on Mars but don’t believe energy companies can safely harvest gas a mile under the earth’s surface.

Corbett, speaking Thursday at a Marcellus Shale industry conference in Philadelphia, touted the economic benefits of shale-gas development and hailed drillers as the "tip of the spear" of a new industrial revolution.

"After all the predictions of disaster and the fearful warnings from people with no understanding of the industry, Pennsylvania is reaping a bounty," said the Republican governor. "Marcellus has reached into some very old corners of our economy and our state and brought them back to life."

As Corbett spoke, activists opposed to hydraulic fracturing, the technique that’s allowed drillers to extract natural gas from shale deposits deep underground, were planning their own slate of events outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Protesters portray shale-gas drilling as bad for the environment and a danger to public health.

The second annual Shale Gas Insight conference drew more than 1,000 energy executives at a time of tremendous change for the drilling industry. Companies are shifting rigs to drill for natural gas liquids and oil in the face of historically low natural gas prices. They’re adjusting to a major overhaul of state drilling regulations and recently paid a first-ever state "impact fee" of more than $200 million.

Corbett said the drillers are here to stay. He said shale gas has already spurred a nascent recovery in Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector, pointing to Shell’s proposed multibillion-dollar petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania and a recent deal to prevent a Philadelphia refinery from closing in part by expanding the use of gas from the Marcellus formation, which holds the nation’s largest reservoir of gas.

"We need vision, one that ties this state’s future to an economy unshackled by needless regulation, but which guards against the desolation of cut-and-run practices," Corbett said. "Pennsylvania is getting it right."

Corbett’s environmental secretary, Michael Krancer, later took part in a panel discussion on natural gas and the presidential race. Playing the role of surrogate for GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Krancer attacked President Barack Obama’s energy policy as "nothing but what’s above the ground, or wind and solar above all" while touting Romney’s energy plan.

Krancer, a harsh critic of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, also denounced his federal counterparts as "rogue and out-of-control."

Krancer’s spokeswoman said he took a personal day and paid his own way to the event.

Kathleen McGinty, who led Pennsylvania’s environmental agency under Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, was Obama’s surrogate and said the president favors an "all of the above" energy policy.

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Environment Ohio concerned about fracking costs

By Bob Downing Published: September 20, 2012

Environment Ohio today held a press conference in the Cleveland suburb of Broadview Heights to release a 49-page report that looks at the costs associated with hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

The report looks at anecdotal reports of problems from shale drilling areas across the country. It offers no estimate at to how much the costs associated with drilling are, except that it is the millions of dollars.

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ProPublica takes new look at injection wells

By Bob Downing Published: September 20, 2012

From ProPublica Communications:

 

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Company has plans for gas-fired power plant in Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: September 20, 2012

From the Philadelphia Inquirer;

In another sign that natural gas is supplanting coal in the energy landscape, EmberClear Corp., a Canadian power developer, announced Wednesday it plans to build a 300-megawatt generation plant in Schuylkill County on a site where it had once envisioned a plant fueled by coal.

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Stark Library kicks off three-part program on drilling

By Bob Downing Published: September 20, 2012

The Stark County District Library is holding a three-part program on drilling for natural gas and oil in Northeast Ohio.

The program, entitled "A Layman’s Guide to Oil and Gas Exploration," will be held Oct. 2, 9 and 30.

The programs will be held at the Lake Community Branch, 11955 Market Ave. N., on the Lake Local Schools campus in Lake Township in northern Stark County.

The Oct. 2 speaker at 6:30 p.m. will be attorney Michael Gruber from Stark County Association of Realtors.

Trent Dougherty, director of legal affairs for the Ohio Environmental Council, will discuss the environmental aspects of oil and gas exploration at 6 p.m. Oct. 9.

Rhonda Reda, executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program and the Ohio Oil and Gas Foundation, will speak at 6 p.m. Oct. 30.

For more information, call 330-877-9975. Please register online at www.starklibrary.org or by calling 330-877-9975.

The Stark County District Library is holding a three-part program on drilling for natural gas and oil in Northeast Ohio.

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Stark State gets federal grant to train drilling workers

By Bob Downing Published: September 20, 2012

Stark State College in Stark County's Jackson Township is getting federal funds to provide additional training for workers in the natural gas drilling industry.

Stark State College will participate in the Pennsylvania College of Technology Consortium to provide entry-level certifications in Ohio's Utica shale and to add a series of certificates and degree programs for drilling employees.

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Tom Stewart tapped to head STRONGER

By Bob Downing Published: September 20, 2012

A press release received today:

 State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (STRONGER, Inc. has elected Thomas E. Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA), as the chair of its board of directors.

Prior to joining OOGA, Stewart had15 years of formal experience in the oil and gas industry as a producer and provider of contract drilling services.

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Hess Corp. buying Delta Energy marketing operation

By Bob Downing Published: September 20, 2012

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Hess Corp. is is buying the natural gas marketing operations of Delta Energy LLC.

The sale, announced on Monday, will make Hess the state's largest provider of energy contracts to commercial and industrial customers.

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Great Plains to move to Ohio from West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: September 20, 2012

From the Associated Press on Wednesday:

 

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Oct. 6 conference in Pennsylvania on home rule

By Bob Downing Published: September 20, 2012

Two Pennsylvania groups are sponsoring an Oct. 6 conference on home rule in Greensburg, Pa.

The program will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center.

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NRDC to help communities seeking protection from drilling

By Bob Downing Published: September 19, 2012

The Natural Resources Defense Council today announced creation of its Community Fracking Defense Project in Ohio and four other states.

The initiative is designed to provide legal and policy assistance to towns and local communities seeking added control or protections from hydraulic fracturing or fracking in their communities. That could include pushing for added home-rule protections..

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Ohio Utica drilling permits reach 375

By Bob Downing Published: September 19, 2012

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has issued a total of 375 permits for drilling in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio.

That total was updated on Monday for the week of Sept. 9.

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Minnesota researchers cleaning up frack wastewater

By Bob Downing Published: September 19, 2012

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are using bacteria to clean up wastewater from hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

Click here  to read more.

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Lisbon restaurant marks 8-month anniversary

By Bob Downing Published: September 19, 2012

The Shale Tavern and Grille opened eight months ago in Lisbon.

It was opened by Michal Naffah and catered to drillers arriving in Columbiana and Carroll counties in eastern Ohio.

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Petroleum geologists to meet in Cleveland

By Bob Downing Published: September 19, 2012

Press release on Cleveland conference:

The Eastern Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists will convene September 22-26 in Cleveland to discuss new discoveries and activities in major geologic basins, including the Marcellus, Utica, Point Pleasant, Huron, Rhinestreet and New Albany formations.

Presented by The Ohio Geological Society, the 41st Annual Meeting of the ESAAPG will take place at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Cleveland was the host city in 1972 when the Section met for the first time.

The opening session Sunday afternoon features comments by the John T. Galey Awardee and the Keynote Address by Thomas M. O’Brien, CEO/Managing Director/President of TravelCenters of America who will address the delegation of principally upstream scientists with a downstream perspective on developing natural gas markets.

“Ohio is the focus of worldwide attention with the Marcellus and Utica shales - it is the most exciting new resource play on the planet,” said David E. Harmon, Geologist and current President of the ESAAPG, which covers four major geologic basins currently generating increasing interest and significant investments across the country.

The theme for the conference is “Classic Rocks, 153 Years of Performance.” BHP Billiton is the Prime Sponsor and will be among more than 50 exhibitors sharing new technology and services.

The meeting will also include open technical sessions and networking opportunities with geoscientists working toward a better understanding of the Appalachian, Michigan, Illinois, and Black Warrior Basins. Short courses, field trips and 113 original presentations delivered by world-renowned scientists cover a wide range of shale development related topics, including techniques for understanding the petrophysics and geochemistry to Marcellus Shale case studies and modern drilling and completion techniques.

In addition, a wide range of environmental topics will also be covered, including impacts of mineral extraction and carbon sequestration. Unique social and networking events are also on the playbill, including a reception at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Visit www.esaapg2012 for additional information and a full description of all conference offerings.

The stage is set for the preeminent scientific conference for geoscientists working the basins of eastern North America, and securing America’s energy future.

For more information, call 614-204-3534 or email to generalchair@esaapg2012.org.

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Village Voice: Is drilling a gold rush or a disaster?

By Bob Downing Published: September 19, 2012

New York's Village Voice says the drilling industry has spent $747 million over the last 10 years to be permitted to drill for natural gas in 34 states.

Horror stories from drilling are also being reported. Is it a gold rush or an environmental disaster?.

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Paper looks at five myths surrounding shale drilling

By Bob Downing Published: September 18, 2012

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review looked at five myths surrounding shale drilling and talked to experts about those myths.

Click here  to read the story by Timothy Puko.

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Is Chesapeake losing its grip on Pa.'s Marcellus shale?

By Bob Downing Published: September 18, 2012

Is Chesapeake Energy Corp. losing its grip as the drilling leader in Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale?

Examiner.com thinks so.

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EnerVest wants to sell 539,000 acres in eastern Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: September 17, 2012

 

Texas-based EnerVest Ltd. intends to sell off 539,000 acres of its Utica shale holdings in Ohio and hopes to get more than $6 billion in return, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Belmont County village to get nearly $6 million in lease deal

By Bob Downing Published: September 17, 2012

From Bricker & Eckler, a Columbus law firm with a Utica shale blog:

The village of Barnesville in Belmont County has signed a lease with Antero Resources to lease 1,047 acres of village-owned land.

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Landowners have pooled 17,000 acres in Geauga County

By Bob Downing Published: September 17, 2012

More than 300 landowners in Geauga County east of Cleveland have pooled more than 17,000 acres and are quietly looking for a drilling partner, reports Crain's Cleveland Business.

The mineral rights boom is continuing in Ohio, although it is quieter than it was previously.

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Utica shale tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: September 17, 2012

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

1. The ATEX Express Pipeline is under construction in central Ohio.

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Chesapeake Energy is loving liquids

By Bob Downing Published: September 17, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is the No. 1 player in Ohio's Utica shale and has been in the news for its money problems.

Earlier this month, CEO Aubrey McClendon spoke at an energy conference in New York City.

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Can shale experience be replicated globally?

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 16, 2012

The Economist has a column on whether the U.S. experience in fracking can be repeated elsewhere in the world.

The story starts: "SCOTT Stevens of Advanced Resources International gave an interesting talk at a Hong Kong conference this week on the future for shale gas supplies. This is one of the most interesting (and encouraging) developments of the last few years for the US economy; a plentiful source of cheap energy.
 

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Could Michigan be next for shale boom?

By Bob Downing Published: September 16, 2012

The Marcellus Drilling News reports that drillers are seriously eying the Collingwood shale in Michigan.

It lies beneath the Utica shale and is about 10,000 feet below the surface.

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Texas company expanding into Marcellus shale

By Bob Downing Published: September 16, 2012

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

A Fort Worth-based oil and gas company has purchased an Ohio well-services company to expand its operations in the Marcellus shale.

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New European study looks at fracking risks

By Bob Downing Published: September 16, 2012

A new European study find the risks associated with large-scale shale gas development and fracking to be high and in some cases very high.

The study by AEA Technology looks specifically at the cumulative environmental impacts of multiple shale gas wells.

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Associated Press looks at Pennsylvania's impact fees

By Bob Downing Published: September 15, 2012

From the Associated Press:

By KEVIN BEGOS

PITTSBURGH: A new fee on gas drilling has generated millions of dollars more in revenue than first projected, but other major gas-producing states tax the industry at higher rates, according to an Associated Press analysis.

And the state still won’t be setting aside a share to track possible health impacts of drilling.

The state said this week that it has collected almost $202 million of the roughly $206 million in impact fees that’s due from gas drilling companies. Projections this spring had been for about $180 million. A few drillers are disputing their bills.

Other states considered to be friendly to the oil and gas industry levy higher taxes on natural gas.

Texas imposes a 7.5 percent tax on the market value of gas produced, and West Virginia and Wyoming are at about 6 percent. Those states base taxes on actual production. Pennsylvania’s fee is mostly based on number of wells, and the 2011 revenue works out to about a 5 percent rate.

Pennsylvania’s 2011 production would have generated about $300 million at Texas’ rate, and $240 million at the rate in Wyoming and West Virginia, the AP found.

The disparity could rise in the near future, since production is still soaring in Pennsylvania, but producers won’t pay based on that. For example, at this year’s output drillers should sell between $6 billion and $7 billion in gas — enough to generate $360 million to $525 million of taxes in the other states.

According to an analysis from Republican state Sen. Gene Yaw, Pennsylvania’s revenues for 2012 are expected to rise by about $30 million. If that projection is accurate, next year’s total here will be about $235 million.

The legislation that created the impact fee also originally gave Pennsylvania health officials a share of the revenue, but representatives from Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s office and the state Senate cut that to zero during final negotiations. The department still has some other funds to use, but not enough to create a registry of public health impacts, which had been a top priority.

Any amendment to the law will have to be voted on again by the full legislature, said Patrick Henderson, the state’s energy executive. He wouldn’t speculate on whether Corbett will ask for the health department funding to be restored.

It’s also not clear whether Secretary of Health Dr. Eli Avila will continue to seek a share of the funds. Health department spokeswoman Christine Cronkright did not respond to that question.

The state will take about $23 million off the top of this year’s $202 million. About $107 million will be split among 37 counties and some 1,500 municipalities hosting gas wells. The money can be used to fix roads, bridges and other infrastructure, provide affordable housing, preserve open space and buy equipment for first responders, among other expenses that have cropped up as gas industry workers have moved into towns in large numbers and strained available public resources.

The rest of the fee revenue will be split among state agencies dealing with drilling impacts.

Officials from two counties with heavy drilling activity had somewhat different plans for their portion of the money.

Washington County in southwest Pennsylvania has not made a final decision, said director of administration Scott Fergus, but added that the county has had "a lot of bridges that have had wear and tear because of the industry." Fergus said the county supports the industry, but feels companies should pay their share of costs.

Bradford County commissioner Doug McLinko said he didn’t even support the fee because he feels the industry has done so much for the northeast Pennsylvania county.

"The first thing we’re going to do is to pay all of our county debt. Every taxpayer gets a tax decrease at that point," McLinko said, adding that the county would likely then focus on infrastructure needs and job creation.

Jennifer Kocher, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Utility Commission, said the panel hasn’t done projections for future years. That’s because the fee here is based partly on the wholesale price of gas, which can vary widely from year to year, and on the number of new wells that are drilled.

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Air pollution becoming bigger issue in West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: September 15, 2012

Air pollution from drilling for natural gas is becoming a more heated issue in northern West Virginia.

It was the main topic on Wedneday at a state hearing outside Wheeling at West Liberty University in Triadelphia.

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Chesapeake loses suit by Texas lease holder

By Bob Downing Published: September 15, 2012

Daniel Yergin talks about the world-wide impact of the ongoing energy revolution

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 14, 2012

The Wall Street Journal interviews oil and energy guru Daniel Yergin and the Via Meadia blog at The American Interest has some thoughts.

Via Meadia: "America’s energy revolution has the potential to fundamentally alter the way we think about geopolitics, economics and energy policy. But this revolution is happening so quickly that many of us are still having trouble wrapping our heads around it all.

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Portage County holding Sept. 17 hearing on injection wells

By Bob Downing Published: September 14, 2012

Portage County has 16 injection wells for briny waste disposal and requests have been filed for nine additional injection wells.

If approved, that would make Portage County No. 1 in Ohio for injection wells.

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Youngstown to seek leasing deal with drillers

By Bob Downing Published: September 14, 2012

From Columbus Business First:

Youngstown Mayor Charles Sammarone wants city council to give administrators permission to sell mineral rights on city-owned land to drillers who want to extract oil and natural gas from underground shale formations, the Youngstown Vindicator reports.

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Eco-group questions impartiality of New York aide

By Bob Downing Published: September 14, 2012

Environmental Working Group is raising questions about the impartiality of an aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The eco-group is questioning whether financial investments in gas and oil companies and pipelines companies by aide Lawrence Schwartz make him biased toward the industry.

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Texas company reports liquids-rich wells in West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: September 14, 2012

Texas-based Gale Force Petroleum Inc. reported on Wednesday reported that two of its West Virginia wells are producing in excess of 60 barrels of oil equivalents per day of natural-gas liquids.

The company said that volume is expected to grow.

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USGS looking at drilling impacts in Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: September 14, 2012

The U.S. Geological Survey is taking a look at how  drilling for natural gas can impact forests and other natural resources.

It is looking at how construction of well pads, roads and pipelines are impacting Bradford and Washington counties in Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale.

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New company announces Texas deal with Chesapeake

By Bob Downing Published: September 13, 2012

A new Texas company has announced a $125 million deal to acquire acreage in East Texas from Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Fort Worth-based Energy & Exploration Partners Inc. acknowledged the deal on Monday in regulatory filings.

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West Virginia has 13,000 abandoned wells

By Bob Downing Published: September 13, 2012

From the Associated Press:

Abandoned oil and gas well are increasingly marring the West Virginia landscape, as the Department of Environmental Protection office assigned to oversee them falls further behind with inspections and regulatory enforcement, according to a report released Tuesday to a pair of West Virginia House-Senate interim oversight committees.

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Arrest of Athens protestor spawns new group

By Bob Downing Published: September 13, 2012

Charges are still pending against an Athens County woman arrested at a protest at an Athens County injection well.

But the arrest of Madeline ffitch has led to the formation of a new eco-group, Appalachia resist!

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Blogger on conservation groups taking money from Chesapeake

By Bob Downing Published: September 13, 2012

Blogger Sean Kitchen of Raging Chicken Press offers his view on conservation groups taking tens of millions of dollars from Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Click  here  to read his blog.

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New York governor won't rush fracking decision

By Bob Downing Published: September 12, 2012

New York's big decision on whether to allow horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing or fracking appears to have been put off again.

Governor Andrew Cuomo this week said he would not pressure the Department of Environmental Conservation to announce its final decision on whether fracking can be safely used in the near future to extract natural gas.

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Ohio drilling permits approach 370 with 133 wells drilled

By Bob Downing Published: September 12, 2012

Carroll County remains the Ohio Utica shale drilling hot spot with 134 permits approved by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The latest data was released on Monday for the week of Sept. 2.

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Chesapeake sells off $6.9 billion in assets including Ohio land

By Bob Downing Published: September 12, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp. has raised $600 million through four sales of its non-core area in Ohio's Utica shale.

The four buyers were not identified in today's company statement announcing the sale of $6.9 billion in assets to reduce the company's debt.

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CAPAF issues report on public land policies

By Bob Downing Published: September 12, 2012

From a Monday release by the Center for American Progress Action:

Washington, D.C:  The Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Public Lands Project today released a new report which examines the plans of the two candidates alongside their previous votes and policy positions.

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Wyoming governor against fracking disclosure rules

By Bob Downing Published: September 12, 2012

From the Associated Press:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has asked the U.S. Interior Department to scale back — or abandon altogether — proposed rules that would require petroleum companies to disclose the chemicals they inject down well bores during hydraulic fracturing.

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Nine reports on fracking, public health

By Bob Downing Published: September 11, 2012

Here are nine recent reports on fracking and public health.

The reports were circulated to journalists by Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy plus the Carnegie-Knight Initiative.

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Portage County rally against injection wells on Sept. 12

By Bob Downing Published: September 11, 2012

Concerned Citizens Ohio is hosting a rally against drilling wastes and injection wells on Wedneday, Sept. 12, in Ravenna.

The event will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 266 S. Chestnut St.

Also involved are the Frackfree America National Coalition and the Network for Oil and Gas Accountability & Protection.

The event is billed as Portage County’s "Freedom from Toxic Waste" rally.

Of 29 new injection wells filed with the state, nine are in Portage County.

The county already has 16 injection wells.

For more information, call 330-569-7863 or concernedcitizensohio@gmail.com.

Concerned Citizens Ohio is hosting a rally against drilling wastes and injection wells on Wedneday, Sept. 12, in Ravenna.

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Federal government could lease California tract for drilling

By Bob Downing Published: September 11, 2012

A major battle is brewing over hydraulically fracturing or fracking on 18,000 acres on  California's Central Coast.

It would be the first large-scale operation to frack to reach oil in California.

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Report says Bradford County methane problem continues

By Bob Downing Published: September 11, 2012

From the Associated Press:

Pennsylvania's environmental chief asserted two months ago that a faulty gas well that spiked nearby drinking-water wells with high levels of methane had been patched, and "the situation is for the most part over."

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Drillers pay $200 million under Pennsylvania's impact fee

By Bob Downing Published: September 11, 2012

From Tuesday's Philadelphia Inquirer:

Natural-gas companies have paid nearly $200 million to Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission to meet the requirements of the impact fee imposed by Act 13.

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Utica shale tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: September 8, 2012

1. The Marcellus Drilling News reports that BP is becoming increasingly active in land acquisition in Columbiana County in eastern Ohio.

Gunter Land Services, a landman agent for BP, has set up offices in Lisbon, Poland and Canton. BP has also set up offices in Warren.

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Pittsburgh-based company merging, moving

By Bob Downing Published: September 8, 2012

The Marcellus Drilling News reports that  Heckman Corp. is merging with Power Fuels and moving from Pittsburgh to Scottsale, Ariz.

Heckman is a publicly traded environmental services company that is involved in the Marcellus and Utica shale booms.

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New Ohio pipeline under fire from environmentalists

By Bob Downing Published: September 8, 2012

A proposed 250-mile pipeline from Northeast Ohio to Michigan and Ontario is already under fire from environmental groups.

The natural gas pipeline was proposed earlier this week by Enbridge Inc. DTE Energy and Spectra Energy.

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New shale supply chain website established

By Bob Downing Published: September 8, 2012

The Youngstown-based Business Journal and Farris Marketing have established a new Marcellus-Utica shales supply chain website.

The site is www.shalelink.com.

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Browns' owner investing in shale industry

By Bob Downing Published: September 8, 2012

The new owner of the Cleveland Browns professiona football team is also betting on Ohio's Utica shale boom.

Jimmy Haslam, president and chief executive of the Pilot Flying J truck stop company, has bought out two fuel providers that serve the drilling industry: Utah's Western Petroleum and Connecticut's Maxum Petroleum.

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North Dakota oil boom is changing sleepy cowboy towns

By Bob Downing Published: September 8, 2012

Travel writer Laura Bly onf USA Today visited North Dakota where an oil boom is under way in the Bakken shale.

That boom is starting to change sleepy cowboy towns that appealed to tourists.

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ODNR, Sierra Club settle records lawsuit

By Bob Downing Published: September 7, 2012

From the Associated Press via the Columbus Dispatch:

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has paid nearly $9,000 to an environmental group to settle a public-records lawsuit.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/Q3Cpue ) reports today that the state paid the Ohio Sierra Club a $1,000 settlement plus nearly $8,000 in expenses to end the case.

The Sierra Club had sued the state in April, claiming that officials had ignored records requests for months. The group wanted to see all documents and emails related to the agency’s plan to open state parks and forests to shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

The documents and emails were released in four batches over two months. They showed that officials had considered keeping drilling rigs farther from campgrounds and other attractions than a proposed 300 feet.

Both sides said they were satisfied with the settlement.

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Sunoco plans new pipelines in Ohio, western Pa.

By Bob Downing Published: September 7, 2012

From the Associated Press:

A new petroleum pipeline from Ohio would ease gasoline shortages in Western Pennsylvania and help stabilize prices at the pump, experts said Thursday.

Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. plans to build about 160 miles of underground pipeline in Pennsylvania and Ohio, connecting the new lines with some existing ones, to transport refined oil products from the Midwest to eastern Ohio and the Pittsburgh region.

The move by the Philadelphia-based master limited partnership is "part of a national trend. We are seeing a lot of structural changes" designed to flow petroleum from expanding production areas and refineries to markets where demand exists, said Brian L. Milne, refined fuels editor for commodity information services provider Telvent DTN.

"We have a lot of pipelines in this country, but they are not going where they are needed right now," he said.

Philadelphia-based Sunoco said its Allegheny Access pipeline will be able to deliver 85,000 barrels a day when it goes into operation in the first half of 2014, and it could scale up to 110,000 barrels of capacity.

New lines will be up to 12 inches in diameter and mostly will be built along existing rights of way, running parallel to current pipes when possible, Sunoco Logistics said.

Shippers provided sufficient commitments to use the pipeline in a recent "open season" to push the project forward, said the partnership, which also includes Inland Corp., which is 83 percent-owned by Sunoco Logistics. The cost was not disclosed.

Industry experts listed reasons to build the pipeline now:

—Crude oil from domestic regions such as North Dakota, now the second-largest U.S. oil producer after tripling output in the last three years, is as much as $40 a barrel cheaper than the imported crude that East Coast refiners process. That creates a price advantage.

—Several refineries on the East Coast and in the Caribbean have been idled in recent years, and because most of Pittsburgh’s supply traditionally has come from the East, the region has experienced volatile prices and some shortages.

—Expansions have been completed or are underway at several Midwest refineries, including BP’s facility in northwest Indiana and Marathon Oil’s in Detroit. With more capacity, refineries will be able to process domestic as well as Canadian crude oil.

"This essentially gives Pittsburgh the ability to source production from the Great Lakes, rather than just the East Coast," Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, said, referring to the Allegheny Access project. "Whenever there is a pipeline added, it is sure to assist motorists."

Gasoline averaged $3.80 a gallon in Western Pennsylvania this week, up 3.3 cents from last week and just under the $3.82 national average.

Delta Air Lines Inc. bought an idled ConocoPhillips refinery near Philadelphia this year in an effort to slash its fuel costs, and the air carrier said it may bring North Dakota oil in by train to process there instead of sourcing crude from overseas. Some units at the refinery will start running this weekend, Delta said.

Donald Bowers, manager of petroleum and transportation for Superior Petroleum Co. in Ross, said gasoline supplies were steadier than normal this summer.

But motorists still pay 5 to 20 cents a gallon more in the seven-county Pittsburgh region than in neighboring areas because of the requirement that stations sell specially blended gas in the summer.

"That pipeline can do nothing but help us. It means more supply, and that is a good thing," Bowers said, adding that a Buckeye Partners L.P. subsidiary operates a former BP pipeline east to Pittsburgh that was unused until last summer.

Shares of Sunoco Logistics closed at $46.84, up 20 cents. The partnership owns 5,400 miles of crude oil pipelines and 2,500 miles of refined products lines in the Northeast, Midwest and Southwest.

———

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News from Youngstown shale expo-conference

By Bob Downing Published: September 7, 2012

The Youngstown-based Business Journal reported today that a $300 million pipeline project from Columbiana County to northwest Pennsylvania includes a new gas-processing facility near Youngstown.

The plant could be located in eastern Mahoning County.

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Encana says no collusion with Chesapeake

By Bob Downing Published: September 7, 2012

On Wedneday, Encana Corp. said its internal investigation has determined it did not collude with the Chesapeake Energy Corp. to keep land acquisition costs low in Michigan two years ago.

The investigation was launched June 26 byits board with assistance from two outside law firms, saidEncana, Canada's alargest natural gas producer.

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Report says fracking in British Columbia caused earthquakes

By Bob Downing Published: September 7, 2012

A British Columbia provincial agency says hydraulic fracturing or fracking triggered low-level earthquakes in the Horn River Basin.

The report was filed by the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission.

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USGS releases troubling EURs for shale

By Bob Downing Published: September 7, 2012

From Deborah Rogers of the Energy Policy Forum:

Energy in Depth (EID), a public relations entity formed and funded by the oil and gas industry, made the following statement:

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Company proposes gas-fired power plant near Toledo

By Bob Downing Published: September 6, 2012

The Toledo Blade reports that a Boston-based company wants to build a natural gas-fired power plant outside Toledo.

The $850 million facility would be built by North American Project Development LLC.

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Gulfport reports production from Harrison County well

By Bob Downing Published: September 6, 2012

Gulfport Energy reported on production from a new well in the Utica shale in Harrison County in eastern Ohio.

The data is for the Boy Scout 1-33H well.

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Cabot sets Marcellus shale record

By Bob Downing Published: September 6, 2012

Texas-based Cabot Oil & gasorp. announced on Tuesday that its gross Marcellus shale production has averaged more than 700 million cubic feet of natural gas per day for the last two weeks in Pennsylvani and West Virginia.

That is a recod high, the company said.

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Request for more local control on drilling goes to Shalersville Twp. trustees

By Bob Downing Published: September 6, 2012

A report from Mary Greer of Concerned Citizens Ohio/Shalersville from Tuesday meeting of the Shalersville Township trustees in northern Portage County:

Concerned Citizens Ohio/Shalersville brought a nonbinding resolution to the Shalersville trustees Tuesday night, September 2, before an almost completely packed meeting room.

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Anti-frackers planning Sept. 12 rally in Washington

By Bob Downing Published: September 6, 2012

NEOGAP (the Network for Oil and Gas Accountability and Protection) and FrackFree America National Coalition are coordinating a grass-roots protest on Sept. 12 in Washington, D.C.

The title of the event is "Freedom from Toxic Fracking Waste: National Rally Day."

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Could compressed carbon dioxide be fracking tool?

By Bob Downing Published: September 6, 2012

From the New Scientist:

Talk about a win-win situation. Compressed carbon dioxide may be more suitable than water for fracturing methane-rich rock – a finding that could help the growing hydraulic fracturing industry extract more natural gas from spent fields. And because the carbon dioxide is then trapped below ground, the discovery could also spur the development of large-scale carbon sequestration.

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Utica shale tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: September 5, 2012

1. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is sponsoring a Sept. 7 symposium on forest management.

It will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum.

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Royalty checks coming soon to W. Va. Panhandle

By Bob Downing Published: September 5, 2012

With the completion of natural gas pipelines, Chesapeake Energy Corp. is starting full production in Ohio and Marshall counties in West Virginia's Panhandle.

The first royalty checks will come to landowners in three to six months, the Marcellus Drilling News reported.

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Site offers economic analysis in Marcellus shale

By Bob Downing Published: September 5, 2012

A new website is reducing confusion and bias among economic impact review analyses on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale region.

The site is www.EconomicImpactReview.com.

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Three companies behind pipelines for Ohio shale

By Bob Downing Published: September 4, 2012

From the Brickler & Eckler shale blog:

Here is a three-party press release:

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Utica boom in Ohio could aid Obama's re-election

By Bob Downing Published: September 4, 2012

The Utica shale boom in Ohio is expected to aid the re-election bid of President Barack Obama, according to Business Week magazine.

Click here  to read the story.

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Study says Pennsylvania drilling waste high in radium

By Bob Downing Published: September 4, 2012

From Monday's Columbus Dispatch:

 By Spencer Hunt THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

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Cuyahoga County firm pays SEC, files for bankruptcy

By Bob Downing Published: September 4, 2012

A Cuyahoga County energy exploration company has filed for bankruptcy and agreed to pay a pay $4/5 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

Preferred Financial Holdings Co., its four subsideiaries and the company's former chief financial officer. Michael Bodanza, has faced an SEC lawsuit alleging fraud and other claims.

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Utica shale odds and ends

By Bob Downing Published: September 4, 2012

1. Hilcorp Energy has gotten Ohio state approval to drill its first Utica shale well in Columbiana County.

2. The Marcellus Drilling News reports that BENTEK Energy is predicting that Pennsylvania's natural gas production will increase by 78 percent in the next three years.

To read more or comment...

Global gas boom's impacts being felt in Moscow

By Bob Downing Published: September 4, 2012

From the Moscow Times on Friday:

The Energy Ministry plans to adjust its strategy for the period until 2030 because of the growth in shale gas production in the United States and liquefied natural gas output in the Asia-Pacific region, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, Interfax reported Thursday.

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Number of rigs in Pennsylvania dropping

By Bob Downing Published: September 3, 2012

The number of drilling rigs in Pennsylvania has dropped to a 2.5-year low.

The Marcellus Drilling News says there are 66 rigs operating in Pennsylvania, down from 113 rigs at this time last year.

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More Utica shale tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: September 3, 2012

1. Every Marcellus shale well in Pennsylvania creates 30 jobs and $4 million in economic impacts.

That data, reported by the Marcellus Drilling News, came from an assessment from Dr. Tim Kelsey of Penn State University.

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Drillers shaken as ethane, propane prices plunge

By Bob Downing Published: September 2, 2012

The wet-gases like ethane, butane and propane have been driving drilling in Ohio's Utica shale.

Drillers have cut back on natural gas-only production because of low prices for natural gas.

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Devon Energy signs road pact with Wayne County

By Bob Downing Published: September 2, 2012

The Marcellus Drilling News reports that Oklahoma-based Devon Energy has finalized an agreement with Wayne Coujnty on road repairs.

The subject drew a large crowed to a public meeting last Tuesday in Fredricksburg.

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Williams Partners investing additional $1.34 billion

By Bob Downing Published: September 2, 2012

Oklahoma-based Williams Partners announced it is investing an additional $1.34 billion in northern West Virginia to separate and process natural gas and natural-gas liquids.

The state of West Virginia joined in the Thursday announcement.

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Ohio Utica shale permits approach 350

By Bob Downing Published: September 1, 2012

A total of 348 Utica shale permits have been issued since December 2009 by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.

To date, 126 of those wells have been drilled.

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Recent Utica, Marcellus shale tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: September 1, 2012

Here are a few items that have recently surfaced:

1. Permits have been filed for the first two horizontal wells in Athens County in southeast Ohio.

To read more or comment...

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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.