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Ohio Utica Shale

Shell extends option on potential cracker plant site in Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: June 30, 2013

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday:

Horsehead Corp. has signed another six-month extension with Royal Dutch Shell as the energy company considers using a Monaca facility in Butler County as a site for an ethane cracker.

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Fracking activists unhappy with Obama's speech

By Bob Downing Published: June 30, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By Kevin Begos

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Corbett urges Delaware River commission to lift drilling moratorium

By Bob Downing Published: June 29, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The moratorium has "discouraged the investment of private capital in the commonwealth and reflected poorly on the DRBC's ability to function effectively," Corbett wrote Thursday in a letter to Carol Collier, the agency's executive director.

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Company reports completion of three Kentucky wells

By Bob Downing Published: June 28, 2013

From PR News Wire on Thursday:

Navitas Land and Mineral Corporation, an oil and gas production firm, today announced the completion of three of its seven wells drilled in less than three months, all located in Northwest Kentucky. After drilling the Otho Babb #2, a 7008 foot oil and gas well that revealed hydrocarbon presence in multiple zones (some from formations that have not been produced in the area before), Navitas went on to drill six more wells within 1500 yards of the Otho Babb #2, each permitted to 4000 feet.

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Strata-X provides updates on three U.S. drilling projects

By Bob Downing Published: June 28, 2013

From Strata-X Energy:

The directors and management of Strata-X Energy Ltd. ("Strata-X" or the "Company") /quotes/zigman/12240492 CA:SXE -2.04% (asx:SXA) are pleased to provide an update on the 2013 exploration and appraisal programs for the Company's three key USA projects where Strata-X is the operator and majority interest owner.

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Bain Capital's Pagliuca supports U.S. shale boom

By Bob Downing Published: June 28, 2013

From Bloomberg News on Thursday:

By Devin Banerjee

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EV Energy Partners still working on selling Utica shale acreage

By Bob Downing Published: June 30, 2013

Texas-based EV Energy Partners is continuing to try to sell nearly 104,000 acres in Ohio's Utica shale.

The Houston-badsed company has decided to sell off the leased land rather than investing the money to drill natural gas wells istelf.

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12 free-market groups opposing break for ethanol from natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2013

From the Competitive Enterprise Institute on Wednesday:

Twelve free-market public policy organizations today released a joint letter urging House Members to oppose H.R. 1959, The Domestic Alternative Fuels Act of 2013. The bill would allow ethanol derived from natural gas to count toward the federal government’s mandatory blending targets established by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the EPA’s implementing regulations.

While commending Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) and his co-sponsors for seeking to break “the corn lobby’s legal monopoly on a significant and growing share of the U.S. motor fuel market,” the coalition letter argues that the solution is to repeal market-rigging regulations, not empower another special interest to share in the spoils.

H.R. 1959 would compound, not alleviate, the worst unintended consequences of the RFS program. Such undesirable side-effects include skyrocketing grain prices and potentially volatile fuel prices as the RFS compels refiners to sell more ethanol than can safely be blended into conventional gasoline (the “blend wall” problem).

As CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis explains: “Enacting this bill would align the natural gas lobby with the corn lobby. Their common interest would be to increase the overall RFS blending target beyond 36 billion gallons, mandate the sale of E20 or even higher ethanol blends, and relax environmental criteria so that corn- and gas-based ethanol can fill the void created by non-existent advanced biofuels. Expanding the RFS in these ways would likely drive up both fuel and grain prices and make them more volatile.”

The organizations issuing the joint letter are: 60 Plus, American Commitment, Americans for Prosperity, American Energy Alliance, Club for Growth, Commonwealth Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Freedom Action, FreedomWorks, Frontiers of Freedom, Let Freedom Ring, and National Taxpayers Union.
 

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Hull & Associates to open St. Clairesville office

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2013

From Hul & Associates on Wednesday:

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio — Hull & Associates, Inc., an industry leader in project

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Maryland issues draft report on Marcellus drilling practices

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News on Wednesday:

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today released a draft report describing best practices for drilling and production that should be required if horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas is permitted in the Marcellus shale in Maryland. The draft report, which was prepared in consultation with an advisory commission, includes recommendations to protect public health and safety, natural resources and the environment.

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Federal investigators looking at Jan. 16 emergency at Ohio oil well

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2013

From the Associated Press:

 Federal environmental regulators are investigating a January chemical emergency at an Ohio oil well and asking why an inventory of the facility's chemicals wasn't available to local authorities, according to a letter released Wednesday by a coalition of activists.

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Eclipse Resources acquires Oxford Oil and its Utica assets

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2013

From PR News Wire:

/PRNewswire/ -- Eclipse Resources I, LP ("Eclipse Resources") announced today that it has acquired The Oxford Oil Company, LLC, with approximately 184,000 net acres in Ohio and 13.8 Bcfe of proved developed producing reserves. The Oxford Oil Company, LLC ("Oxford") was subsequently renamed to Eclipse Resources – Ohio, LLC and will remain a wholly owned subsidiary of Eclipse Resources. In conjunction with the acquisition, the company has completed a private offering of $300 million of senior unsecured notes with the ability to sell an additional $100 million over the next twelve months to the note acquirers.

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Eco-groups pushing for Massachusetts' fracking ban

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Environmentalists are pressing Beacon Hill lawmakers to back a bill that would ban the practice of fracking in Massachusetts.

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Williams Partners spending $4.5 billion in W. Va. to process liquids

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The propane, butane, pentane and ethane in West Virginia and neighboring states is so plentiful and profitable that Williams Partners is spending $4.5 billion to process the natural gas liquids.

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U.K. reports that its shale deposits are larger than estimated

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

The U.K. said fields of shale gas in northern England are twice as large as previously estimated, offering the potential to boost economic growth, replace depleted North Sea deposits and cut energy imports.

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Ohio has 366 drilled Utica wells with 109 in production

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2013

Ohio has issued a total of 747 Utica shale permits, effective through June 22.

That includes 366 wells that have been drilled and 109 wells that are in production.

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Crosstex Energy re-activates rail yard in Muskingum County

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2013

A press release from crosstex Energy companies:

CROSSTEX ENERGY RE-ACTIVATES BLACK RUN RAIL TERMINAL

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API updating exploration, production standards

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2013 — API President and CEO Jack Gerard delivered opening remarks during Tuesday’s Onshore Oil and Natural Gas Safety and Reliability Symposium, which provided updates on standards being developed in the areas of well integrity, environmental performance, community engagement, and equipment quality and reliability in oil and natural gas drilling operations.

“As America continues its reemergence as a global energy leader, the demands on our energy infrastructure will grow considerably,” said Gerard. “API’s standard-setting program helps to ensure that America’s energy infrastructure remains world class and able to develop responsibly our game-changing energy resources as well as demonstrate our industry’s top priority is safety.”

The Symposium is a part of API’s 90th Exploration & Production Standards Conference on Oilfield Equipment and Materials where more than 600 engineers, scientists, regulators and stakeholders convened in Washington, D.C., this week to update API’s exploration and production documents through API’s accredited standards development program.

API’s world-leading standards and recommended practices program, overseen by API Director of Standards David Miller, is one of API’s oldest and most successful programs. It began in 1924. API now maintains more than 600 standards covering all segments of the oil and gas industry, and more than 100 API standards are cited in federal regulations.

“API is setting standards used around the world,” said Miller. “Our program is transparent, audited, and open to all interested stakeholders. Our goal is to produce the best safety and operational standards possible.”

Find out key facts about hydraulic fracturing in this video on API.org and visit www.energyfromshale.org for more information.
 

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North Carolina adds new provisions to drilling rules

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2013

From the Associated Press:

What's often considered an annual environmental housecleaning bill in the North Carolina Legislature drew fierce criticism Tuesday after lawmakers presented a sweeping new version of the bill with provisions governing hydraulic fracturing and air quality.

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PDC Energy offers show-and-tell look at Utica shale drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2013

PDC Energy is a Colorado-based company that is involved in Ohio's Utica shale drilling.

UIts CEO, Jeff Salen, visited southeast Ohio, accompanied by local science teachers.

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Oil, gas rigs drop to 1,759 in U.S., Baker Hughes survey shows

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

Oil and gas rigs in the U.S. fell by 12 last week to 1,759, according to Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI)

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Spy technology being used to hear the sounds of fracking

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

Halliburton Co. (HAL) and competing providers of drilling gear are adapting acoustic spy technology used by U.S. submarines to record sounds made deep in the earth that can guide engineers in finishing a well and predicting how much oil will flow.

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Specialty finance company expands into Utica, Marcellus shales

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwired - June 24, 2013) - Transfac Capital, Inc., a specialty finance company providing accounts receivable financing to small and mid-sized companies, today announced the expansion of its presence into the Utica and Marcellus Shale fields. Tanya Boczek, Business Development Manager of Transfac Capital, will lead business development efforts in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia pursuing relationships within the oil and gas industry.

Transfac Capital's accounts receivable financing provides working capital for businesses in need of improved cash flow. Oilfield service companies, such as drillers, haulers, tank cleaners and testers, often find themselves in a cash crunch. Transfac is a direct source of funding for these and other similar type businesses. In addition to factoring and accounts receivable financing, Transfac has the ability to help companies with accounts receivable management and purchase order and inventory funding on a case-by-case basis. With 70 years of experience in the transportation industry, Transfac Capital has developed specialized programs for the trucking industry in general, and for oilfield and pipeline transportation companies, specifically.

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IPAA is launching new online home: Energy in Depth 3.0

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2013

From Energy in Depth, a national pro-drilling group:

IPAA Announces Launch of Energy In Depth 3.0

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Water contamination from drilling found in some Pa. wells, Duke study says

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By KEVIN BEGOS

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Study says drinking water wells near natural gas wells at greater risk

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2013

From Duke University today:

DURHAM, NC -- Homeowners living within one kilometer of shale gas wells appear to be at higher risk of having their drinking water contaminated by stray gases, according to a new Duke University-led study.

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Youngstown's D&L Energy loses appeal before state commission

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2013

The Ohio Oil & Gas Commission on Friday ruled against an appeal filed by D&L Energy, ending company efforts to regain state licenses to dispose of oilfield wastes.

D&L's disposal operations were suspended by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Civision of Oil & Gas Resources Managament earlier this year after the company's former president, Ben Lupo, 62, of Poland, was accused of ordering employees to illegally dump the waste down a storm sewer that drained into the Mahoning River in Youngstown.

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June 28 is deadline for veterans seeking drilling scholarships

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2013

From a press release received today:

COLUMBUS, Ohio. – ShaleNET wants Veterans, and a key application deadline for scholarships specifically for Veterans is fast approaching. Former service members interested in applying for a scholarship to train for a career in the growing natural gas industry are encouraged to submit applications before June 28 to www.shalenet.org/.

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Not everyone happy with Wyoming water arrangement

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2013

From the Associated Press:

 

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Consol Energy is using mine water to frack W. Va. wells

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2013

Consol Energy has built a $200 million water system for Marcellus shale drilling in West Virginia's Marion County.

It takes water from five coal mines and moves to the processing plant via 34 miles of pipelines and seven pump stations.

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Another look at what's happening in the Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2013

Here's another look at what's happening in Ohio's Utica shale: from oilprice.com.

To read the story, click  here.

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Rendell criticizes Pennsylvania Democrats, fracking moratorium

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell on Friday criticized Pennsylvania Democrats over their “ill-advised” call for a moratorium on fracking.

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Case Western law review looks at shale drilling, fracking

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2013

The latest issue of the Case Western Reserve Law Review largely focuses on shale drilling and fracking.

Click  here  to check out Vol 63, Issue 4, from the Cleveland law school.

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Unlikely anti-fracking rally in Gardendale, Texas

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Bradley Olson

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Range Resources to pay $87.5 million in royalty settlement

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2013

From ShaleOhio, the blog of the Ohio law firm, Bricker & Eckler:

Earluier this month, Texas-based Range Resources announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that it has reached a memorandum of understanding with plaintiffs in a 2010 class action lawsuit out of Oklahoma, Star-Telegram reports..

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Pennsylvania Democrats vote in favor of drilling moratorium

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

On June 15, Pennsylvania Democrats voted in favor of a moratorium on drilling in the Marcellus shale.

The vote was 115-81 at a meeting near Lancaster.

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Hagan cites Lupo's record in letter to Ohio commission

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

From State Rep. Robert F. Hagan, D-Youngstown, today:

State Representative Robert F. Hagan, acting on behalf of his constituents, recently sent a letter to the Oil and Gas Commission highlighting Mr. Lupo’s past environmental violations and urging the commission members to keep in mind the health of the Valley’s residents when considering an appeal lodged by D&L Energy.

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133 pipeline projects planned in Ohio, PUCO reports

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

From the Ohio Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on pipeline projects from gathering lines to interstate pipelines that are under way in eastern Ohio's Utica shale counties:


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EIA: Industrial gas use in U.S. on the increase

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

From U.S. Energy Information Administration on Thursday:

 

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Rex Energy pleased with latest Utica shale results

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

From Rex Energy, an update on Utica shale drilling:

 

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Settlement resolves seismic testing in Gulf, API is pleased

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute on Thursday:

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013 ─ A motion was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana today by all parties involved in litigation concerning seismic surveying in the Gulf of Mexico said API Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito.

“We are pleased that the parties to this litigation were able to work together to resolve this matter,” said Milito. “Modern offshore oil and natural gas exploration requires the use of seismic surveys to feasibly and accurately prospect for oil and natural gas reserves offshore.”

The sound produced during seismic surveys is comparable in magnitude to many naturally occurring and other man-made ocean sound sources, including wave action, lightning strikes, marine life, and shipping. Four decades of world-wide seismic surveying activity and scientific research on marine mammals have shown no evidence that sound from seismic activities has resulted in injury to any marine mammal species. Nevertheless, the industry employs a number of robust mitigation measures to further reduce the negligible risk of harm to marine mammals and has committed in this settlement to continuing them voluntarily even when not legally required.

“Industry looks forward to working with government regulators to ensure that seismic operations in the Gulf of Mexico continue to be conducted in an operationally effective and environmentally responsible manner,” said Milito.

API intervened in the case on behalf of the federal government, along with the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and the U.S. Oil & Gas Association.
 

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API welcomes news of EPA action in Wyoming case

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013 – API Group Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito welcomed today’s announcement from the EPA that said flawed water testing results from Pavillion, Wyo., would not be part of its hydraulic fracturing review.

“America needs to know EPA is employing appropriate scientific methods for its water quality testing,” said Milito. “EPA has to do a better job because another fatally flawed water study could have a big impact on how the nation develops its massive energy resources.”

As former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stated back in 2011, while the Pavillion work was ongoing, there is no “proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.” Two years later, EPA has yet to demonstrate any evidence of hydraulic fracturing linked to groundwater contamination. EPA’s work at Pavillion, Wyo., joins Parker County, Texas and Dimock, Penn., as examples of unsound science leading to unsupported conclusions. Technical reports released by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) showed that USGS groundwater sampling results contradicted EPA’s results and that the EPA monitoring wells created for the testing were unsuitable for groundwater quality assessment.

“Hydraulic fracturing is a proven and safe engineering technology that is driving the country forward with an unprecedented energy boom,” Milito added. “We promote best practices and comply with state and federal regulators. Our environmental performance is strong. It is a shame this reality is sometimes overshadowed by misinformation generated by faulty procedures and analysis from a federal agency. EPA should not only drop the Pavillion work from consideration, it should fully retract it.”
 

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Seismic testing in Gulf of Mexico out for next 30 months

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Oil and gas companies working in the Gulf of Mexico have agreed not to use seismic surveys for the next 2 1/2 years in three areas considered critical to whales and along the coast during the calving season for bottlenose dolphins.

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Trains being used to ship North Dakota oil to refineries

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

From the Associated Press/Midland Reporter-Telegram

 

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Maryland sand company planning to expand in Frederick

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

From the Associated Press:

 A company that supplies fracking sand to the oil and natural gas industry is planning an expansion of its Frederick, Md., headquarters.

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Food & Water Watch responds to EPA's Wyoming announcement

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

From the national eco-group Food and Water Watch:

In response to the EPA's announcement today that it will no longer investigate possible ties between hydraulic fracturing and water contamination in Wyoming, Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter said:

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U.S. EPA turns water investigation over to Wyoming

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Mark Drajem

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Delaware, N.Y., completes baseline methane testing

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2013

A press release received Thursday from the Damascus Citizens for Sustrainability:

Methane Baseline Testing Completed in Town of Delaware, NY

Callicoon-Gasland Part 2 Announces Donation to Testing Initiative

Milanville, PA -- Jun 20, 2013 / (http://www.myprgenie.com) -- Methane baseline testing was conducted in the Town of Delaware (NY) the first week of June 2013 and the groups that sponsored Gasland Part 2 in Callicoon, NY are proud to have contributed financially to this crucial assessment.

"Baselines are very important. They establish how much of a chemical or gas or other substance is (or isn't) present in the air, water and human bodies in a particular area. This methane baseline testing was conducted on every public road in the Town of Delaware and establishes one factor in the environment (local methane levels) and others can be added, but this one is done." said B. Arrindell, Director of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability (DCS) who coordinated the testing.

Trish Adlesic, Gasland Part 2's Producer, has been working with Delaware Town residents and DCS to get the study underway. "Delaware Concerned Citizens began raising money to do baseline testing over 5 months ago and we are thrilled that the testing has been done," she said.

The methane baseline data that was collected in early June is being analyzed now. "The report on the findings will be completed in two to three weeks, but preliminary results look nice and low," said Bob Ackley, President of GasSafetyUSA, who conducted the testing.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Methane … is more efficient at trapping radiation than [carbon dioxide]. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of [methane] on climate change is over 20 times greater than [carbon dioxide] over a 100-year period…. Natural gas and petroleum systems are the largest source of methane emissions from industry in the United States."

"The Callicoon showing of Gasland Part 2 was a free and educational collaboration of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy (CCSE), Catskill Mountainkeeper and Damascus Citizens and it was a huge success in many ways," said CCSE's Jill Wiener. "We packed the theater on a Saturday morning in a small river hamlet and thanks to the outpouring of donations from the audience, we were able to contribute to the crucial and very timely methane baseline testing in the Town of Delaware."

Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper reminded residents that, "It's important to obtain a baseline before hydraulic fracturing activities begin in a particular area. The Picarro testing method used by GasSafetyUSA measures methane in parts-per-billion and has been validated by previous court rulings so we're especially grateful for these efforts on behalf of our communities."

"Clearly Damascus Citizens has the right idea in doing a baseline methane survey," said Gasland's Director, Josh Fox. "We are learning now that methane is constantly emitted into the atmosphere in huge quantities in drilling areas. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) study of Utah's Uinta Basin found that 9% of the total methane produced by drilling was emitted to the atmosphere. In the Los Angeles Basin, drilling and transmission leaks amounted to 17% of total methane production. If the gas industry were ever to come to the Town of Delaware, we would have the data to show how badly they damage the atmosphere. It is yet one more warning to the gas industry never to set foot (or rig) in the Delaware River Basin."

Although generous funding for the testing was also provided by a Heinz Foundation grant, town-wide testing is expensive and contributions are still being accepted by DCS.

 

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Push in Washington, D.C., continues for LNG exports

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2013

From the Center for Liquified Natural gas:

LNG Exports Remain a Win-Win for U.S. Manufacturing

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XTO Energy opens natural gas liquids plant in Butler County

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2013

 

 

 

 

BUTLER, Pa., Jun 17, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- XTO Energy Inc., a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, announced today the startup of a facility in southwestern Pennsylvania to recover marketable liquids from the natural gas produced in Butler County.

The 340-acre facility is the first of its kind for XTO in the Appalachia region and includes 40 miles of connecting pipeline. Two gas compressor stations feed the facility, which is designed to treat approximately 125 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

"The facility will add value to XTO and Butler County," said Tim McIlwain, senior vice president, production operations for XTO. "It allows valuable liquids to be separated from natural gas and provides economic growth in southwestern Pennsylvania."

At the peak of construction, 170 local and regional contractors were on site each day. XTO will employ 15 permanent employees to run the operation.

Butler County is a vital part of XTO's Appalachia division. In the past four years, 50 wells have been drilled over 46,000 net acres in the county.

 

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Additional funds needed for Pennsylvania health study

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2013

From the Associated Press:

An important study on possible health impacts of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania is still looking for additional funding.

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Kalmbach Feeds plans Ohio's first rural CNG refueling station

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2013

From Kalmbach Feeds last week:

 

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PDC Energy to pursue Utica, Wattenberg shales with sale assets

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2013

From Colorado-based PDC Energy on Wednesday:

 

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Pennsylvania eco-groups ask governor to look into water problems

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2013

A coalition of Pennsylvania environmental groups on Tuesday asked Gov. Corbett to look into allegations raised by the Scranton Times-Tribune that state records show water contamination from drilling at 161 sites.

To read the full story, click  here.

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Ohio Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal from Munroe Falls

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2013

The Ohio Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case from Summit County on whether local governments have any say in gas-oil drilling, according to the People's Oil and Gas Collaborative, a grass-roots group that has been following the case..

The case — it is being watched closely across Ohio by both sides — involves the city of Munroe Falls and Ravenna-based Beck Energy Corp.

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Hagan pushing higher Ohio severance tax l

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2013

From State Rep. Robert F. Hagan, D-Youngstown, on Thursday:

COLUMBUS– State Representative Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced his plan to capitalize on the boom in horizontal shale drilling by using an updated severance tax model to invest in communities through resources for public education, infrastructure and community services.

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Seven of 20 wells in Sullivan County, Pa., contain dissolved methane

By Bob Downing Published: June 19, 2013

From the U.S. Geological Survey:

 

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Ohio has approved 731 Utica shale permits, 358 wells drilled

By Bob Downing Published: June 19, 2013

Through June 15, Ohio has approved 731 Utica shale permits.

Of that total, 358 wells have been drilled, according to the latest data from the Ohio Department of Natural Rresources.

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Threats to surface water top drilling risks in new survey

By Bob Downing Published: June 19, 2013

CLEVELAND: Storage and treatment of liquid drilling wastes, air emissions of methane, water withdrawls for drilling and site construction are among the biggest problems facing shale gas drilling in Ohio and other states.

Those four problems were at the top of a list put together by researchers Nathan Richardson and Hal Gordon of Resources for the Future, a non-profit group based in Washington, D.C.

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PetroChina working on China's first shale gas pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: June 19, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Benjamin Haas - Jun 19, 2013 4:49 AM ET

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Anti-energy extremists undermining shale renaissance

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 19, 2013

Not everyone wants to see the United States lead the world in affordable energy production, writes Thomas Pyle at RealClearEnergy.

Anti-energy extremists are trying to undermine the current energy renaissance, Pyle writes.

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Shale boom may already be over in U.S.

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 19, 2013

Is the U.S. shale boom over already? Kurt Cobb at Oilprice.com says beware optimism as he lays out the case to be skeptical of the long-term prospects for shale energy.

Cobb: "First, in the United States, home of the hydraulic fracturing 'miracle,"'domestic natural gas production has been flat since January 2012.

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Fracking fuels water battles

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 18, 2013

Tight water supplies in parts of the U.S. hit by drought threaten the water-intensive process needed to frack shale, reports online news site Politico.

Politico: " ... as energy companies vie to exploit vast reserves west of the Mississippi, fracking’s new frontier is expanding to the same lands where crops have shriveled and waterways have dried up due to severe drought.

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11 shocking facts about North Dakota's shale boom

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 18, 2013

You will be shocked -- shocked!! -- at what The Fiscal Times reports in a story about the North Dakota oil boom fueled by the fracking and horizontal drilling of the Bakken shale.

Or maybe not. But the story is chock full of statistics and numbers showing the impact shale energy has had on the state.

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Meet the frackers (a book review)

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 18, 2013

Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations takes an excellent first stab at making sense of America’s new energy resources in his new book, "The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity and the Battle for America’s Future" writes The Economist magazine.

The Economist: "The book’s main strength is the clarity with which the author explains the development of shale exploitation and assesses the implications of the shale boom. Fracking remains controversial among environmentalists, who say the process may contaminate groundwater or cause earthquakes. Concerns over possible long-term effects have led to a ban on the technology in New York and some other states. But there is scant evidence that the process is dangerous.

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Company to pay $35,000 fine for flowback release in Colorado

By Bob Downing Published: June 18, 2013

From the Associated Press:

 A company whose oil well sprayed out 84,000 gallons of hydraulic fracturing flowback water near Greeley, Colo., in February has agreed to pay $35,000.

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Illinois governor signs tough drilling regulations

By Bob Downing Published: June 18, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday signed into law the nation's strictest regulations for high-volume oil and gas drilling.

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2,000 rally against fracking in Albany protest on Monday

By Bob Downing Published: June 18, 2013

From the Associated Press:

About 2,000 opponents of a natural-gas drilling process that involves blasting chemical-laden water deep into the ground rallied outside New York's Capitol on Monday as a new statewide poll showed a slight increase among voters who are against it.

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Baker Hughes: National rig count up six from last week

By Bob Downing Published: June 18, 2013

From the Associated Press:

 Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by six this week to 1,771.

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Chesapeake Energy names new compliance officer

By Bob Downing Published: June 18, 2013

From Chesapeake Energy Corp.:

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 17, 2013-- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) today announced that Patrick K. Craine, a partner with the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, will join Chesapeake as Chief Compliance Officer. In this capacity, he will report to Chesapeake’s General Counsel, Jim Webb, and the Audit Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors.

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Grass-roots group files lawsuit over Ohio water district records

By Bob Downing Published: June 17, 2013

A lawsuit brought under Ohio’s Public Records Act was filed today in the Fifth District Court of Appeals in New Philadelphia, Ohio against the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) for withholding records requested by Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water (SOASOW). SOASOW has repeatedly asked the Conservancy District for the addresses of cottage owners who lease land around reservoirs controlled by the MWCD. SOASOW seeks the information in order to communicate directly with residents around the reservoirs and to counter misinformation disseminated by MWCD about the dangers associated with unconventional shale drilling, known as "fracking."

 

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Sundance Energy looking at new U.S. gas-oil acquisitions

By Bob Downing Published: June 17, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By James Paton

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CONSOL Energy offers its look at Ohio's Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: June 17, 2013

CONSOL Energy on Friday offered its view of Ohio's Utica shale  --  with drillers most interested in Belmont, Noble, Harrison, Guernsey and BHelmont counties.

The company's assessmernt came from Harry Schurr, general manager of Utica operations, in a speech on Friday.

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River basin ban stops drilling in northeast Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: June 17, 2013

From the Associated Press:

DAMASCUS, Pa. (AP) — Standing on a hilltop above his Wayne County cattle farm, Bob Rutledge surveys rolling hills and a sea of green grass.

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Shale producing 10 percent of world's crude, 32 percent of natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: June 17, 2013

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration:\

Shale oil is now producing 10 percent of the world's crude oil ajd 32 percent of its natural gas.

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North Dakota producing record levels of oil, natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: June 17, 2013

From the Associated Press:

 North Dakota drillers continue to produce oil and natural gas at a record pace, data from the state Department of Mineral Resources show.

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Water for fracking is becoming costly concern in West

By Bob Downing Published: June 17, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By GARANCE BURKE

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Pittsburgh center has extensive industry ties, new report says

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

The new Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Development is again in the news, according to reporter Rachel Morgam of The Shale Reporter.

The center organized in March came under fire from some unhappy with the plan to have eco-groups work together with drillers to establish voluntary drilling standards.

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Eight re-elected to Chesapeake Energy's board of directors

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From Chesapeake Energy Corp.:

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 14, 2013-- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) announced preliminary voting results from its Annual Meeting of Shareholders held earlier today at the company’s Oklahoma City headquarters. The preliminary results are as follows:

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Study says pregnant women, children vulnerable to drilling chemicals

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

The Center for Environmental Health has released a new report outlining the health risks to pregnant women and young children from harmful chemicals used in fracking, reports EcoWatch.

The report, "Toxic and Dirty Secrets: The Truth About Fracking and Your Family's Health," shows how chemicals related to the oil and gas industry when conducting fracking operations can pollute the air and water in communities around fracking sites and pose health risks especially to pregnant women and children, who are most vulnerable to chemical exposures.

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Report says drilling is creating radiation problems in Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From the Freshwater Accountability Project Ohio on Thursday:

The FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio (www.FWAPOH.com) today released a report on the presence and dangers of radiation present throughout the horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industry that is extracting minerals in Ohio.

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Appeals court allows landowners to pursue claims against Chesapeake

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From Bricker & Eckler's Shale Task Force:

On May 29, 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the federal district court’s decision in Lutz v. Chesapeake, allowing a class of landowners to pursue their claims against Chesapeake Appalachia for the underpayment of royalties.

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Antero Resources registers for first public stock offering

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From Antero Resources:

 

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Vallourec dedicates new pipe mill in Youngstown

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From Vallourcec:

Youngstown, Ohio, and Boulogne-Billancourt, June 12, 2013

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Antero Resources updates 2013 capital budget

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From Denver-based Antero Resources on Thursday:

 

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Pennsylvania drillers pay $200 million in 2013 impact fees

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By Kevin Begos

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API group hails $200 million in 2013 impact fees from Pennsylvania drillers

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute on Thursday:

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania- June 13, 2013 – The Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania (API-PA), a division of the American Petroleum Institute, welcomed the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) announcement today detailing how local governments are benefiting from the local impact fee revenues collected from natural gas operations in their communities.

“Shale energy production has been generating huge revenues for Pennsylvania – in addition to driving double-digit job growth,” said Stephanie Catarino Wissman, executive director, Associated Petroleum Industries of PA. “This year alone Pennsylvania has collected more than $200 million dollars in impact fees related to shale development. This is benefiting families and communities across the state.”

Under Act 13 of 2012, natural gas producers are required to pay a local impact fee which is deposited into the Unconventional Gas Well Fund. More than $406 million have been collected in 2012 and 2013. According to information posted on the PUC’s website, the revenues have supported housing initiatives, highway and bridge improvements, and environmental programs.

“Shale energy development, made possible by hydraulic fracturing, has been a game-changing opportunity for Pennsylvanians,” said Wissman. “And it’s going to be good news for our economy for many years to come.”

API-PA is a division of API, which represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America's energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $85 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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Company files application for Oregon LNG export terminal

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A company seeking to build a liquefied natural gas terminal near the mouth of the Columbia River has filed for a federal permit.

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Moniz to begin evaluating LNG export applications

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The U.S. Energy Secretary says he will move "expeditiously" to review about 20 applications to export liquefied natural gas and will make decisions by year's end.

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Pennsylvania DCNR chief resigns at governor's request

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Pensylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources secretary resigned at the governor's request Thursday, but the reason was not immediately disclosed.

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MapLight offers look at proposed California drilling bills

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From MapLight, a non-profit group, on Proposed California drilling bills:

 

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EDF supports Wyoming draft regulations for drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From the Enjvironmental Defense Fund, a national eco-group, on Thursday:

Yesterday, Governor Matt Mead unveiled draft regulations that would establish a groundwater testing program for oil and gas operations in Wyoming. These draft rules would require oil and gas operators to conduct tests establishing the quality of groundwater around sites before drilling begins and to follow up later with tests to monitor for potential impacts.

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Devon Energy promotes two corporate officers

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2013

From Oklahoma-based Devon Energy on Monday:

 

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Global natural gas supply may be 'magnitudes' larger than latest estimates

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 12, 2013

A naturally occuring "eternal flame" in New York state could change the world's assumptions about how much natural gas is available, says a research report published at the NASDAQ stock exchange website.

Wyatt Investment Research: "One eternal flame located just south of Buffalo, NY could change every assumption about energy in America. 

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Encana taps BP executive involved in 2010 Gulf oil spill as new CEO

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2013

From Bloomberg News on Tuesday:

By Rebecca Penty

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Proving drilling contamination claims is difficult, law study says

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2013

From Bricker & Eckler's OhioShale blog:

An article featured in the latest issue of the online publication Ohio State Law Journal Furthermore addresses problems of proof in hydraulic fracturing contamination claims, methods for avoiding these problems and a procedure courts use "in an effort to quickly resolve cases in which plaintiffs lack evidence to support an essential element of their claim."

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Vast Utica shale runs beneath Marcellus region

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 12, 2013

Ohio has gotten most of the attention regarding tapping the Utica shale. But the Utica shale is much, much larger and extends well into Pennsylvania, New York and other states. Much of the Utica is underneath the well-publicized Marcellus shale, reports RealClearEnergy.

RealClearEnergy: "To date most of the attention has been focused on development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania while exploration of the Utica Shale has been limited to Ohio. What is not generally realized is that the Utica Shale is actually a much larger formation lying mostly BENEATH the Marcellus in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and the far western portion of Maryland."

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First driller gets permit for Ohio's Ashtabula County

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2013

A Texas-based energy company has received the first Utica shale permit for Ohio's Ashtabula County.

Beusa Energy LLC got a permit from the Ohio Department of Natural resources to drill in Wayne Township.

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Utica shale starting to impact Ohio's Noble County

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2013

Ohio's Utica shale boom is starting to impact Noble County, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Noble is the third smallest of Ohio's 88 counties with 14,579 residents.

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Pipeline easements is topic of June 20 meeting in Hiram

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2013

Pipeline easements will be the subject of a public meeting on June 20 in Portage County.

The meeting, organized by Concerned Citizens Ohio, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Hiram Christian Church, 6868 Wakefield Road, Hiram.

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Ohio, 11 other states defend fracking in letter to U.S. EPA

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2013

Ohio and 11 other states are standing up to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on its plan to investigate the threat from methane or natural gas.

The news actually occurred last month, according to the Marcellus Drilling News.

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Power producers increasingly switching to natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2013

Electric producers in the eastern United States are increasingly switching from coal to natural gas.

PJM Interconnection is the 14-state agency that coordinates whoelsale electric markets and it is seeing increasing evidence of that switch, according to Pennylvania NPR's StateImpact and reporter Susan Phillips.

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One fifth of FracFocus reports in two states submitted late

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2013

More than 20 percent of the FracFocus reports filed in 2012 by drillers in Colorado and Oregon were submitted late under state rules, EnergyWire reports.

Neither state penalized the drillers for late submissions.

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Halcon Resources pleased with results from first eight Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2013

From Texas-based Halcon Resources Corp. in a 2013 operational update released on Monday.

Here is what the company had to report on the Utica shale in Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania:

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New drilling rig acquired by Alpha Hunter for southeast Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2013

From Magnum Hunter Resources last week::

HOUSTON, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 05/07/13 -- Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation (NYSE: MHR) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRC) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRD) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRE) (the "Company") announced today that the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Alpha Hunter Drilling, LLC ("Alpha Hunter") has taken possession of a new Schramm T500XD robotic drilling rig. The Company plans to utilize the Schramm T500XD drilling rig to drill exclusively Company owned wells planned in the Utica formation located in Southeastern Ohio for the next three years. With the addition of this new drilling rig, Alpha Hunter's fleet has now grown to five rigs.

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West Virginia plans more water tests near injection well

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2013

From the Associated Press:

West Virginia state regulators plan to conduct more water tests near an injection well in Fayette County that pumps oil and gas drilling waste underground.

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Centrica close to buying stake in English shale fields

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

Centrica Plc (CNA) (CNA) is close to buying a stake in shale gas fields in England, a person with knowledge of the matter said, placing the U.K.’s largest energy supplier at the center of efforts to start producing the fuel.

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India lifts ban on future guar gum shipments

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2013

From Bloomberg News (last month):

By Prabhudatta Mishra

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Shale boom could weaken OPEC's position, cap oil prices

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

Technological advances to harness shale resources will curb OPEC’s influence in the oil market and cap crude prices at $120 a barrel, said Nansen Saleri, former head of reservoir management at Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

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Petronas to spend $16 billion on LNG export facilities in Canada

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Arif Mahmood, Petronas vice-president of corporate planning, says the company will invest between $9 billion and $11 billion to construct two LNG liquefaction plants near British Colombia's west coast.

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Allegheny Front looks at methane, natural gas impacts on coal

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2013

You can learn about methane, the main ingredient of natural gas, and how natural gas development is impacting coal.

Both stories are available at NPR's Allegheny Front.

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Ohio Attorney General: Counties can sell water to drillers

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2013

From Vorys legal counsel with offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Akron:

The Ohio Attorney General recently  issued an opinion concluding that a board of county commissioners has the authority to sell water to oil and gas operators. See OAG Opinion 2013-019.

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Asia is paying top prices for LNG shipments

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2013

From Bloomerg News

The shale boom that’s putting the U.S. on course for energy independence is providing little comfort for liquefied-natural gas consumers in Asia.

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U.S. EIA: Shale oil, gas abundant globally

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2013

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

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Six families in Fayette County file nuisance suit against drillers

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Chevron Corp. (CVX), Williams Cos. and WPX Energy Inc. (WPX) face a lawsuit by six Pennsylvania families who claim nearby gas wells are a nuisance that have diminished their ability to make use of their property.

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Sterne Agee expects rig count to climb in 2013-2014

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2013

From Sterne Agee analysts:


Energy & Industrials
Analysts: Peter Arment / Michael S. Dudas, CFA / Stephen D. Gengaro / Michael Ward, CFA / Tim Rezvan, CFA / Todd Vencil, CFA / Sal Vitale / Kevin Bennett, CFA / Grant Fox / Truman Hobbs / Satyadeep Jain, CFA / Josh W. Sullivan / Patrick Uotila, CPA
Energy and Industrials Weekly -- Rig Count Activity Update

Our Call
The U.S. rig count has started creeping higher since the April trough despite headwinds from lower gas activity. Overall, the rig count has advanced 27 rigs from the early April trough (1,738) and is basically unchanged year-to-date at 1,765 rigs with oil rigs up 79 (6.0%) and gas rigs down 77 (17.9%). We expect rig count growth to improve throughout 2H13 and 2014 driven by rising oil drilling near term and higher gas activity in late 2013/2014.

United States Rig Count: The United States total rig count stands at 1,765 rigs, down from 1,771 last week and has declined 11% year-over-year (1,984 rigs). The decline is largely attributed to the drop in gas rigs which were 588 a year ago while oil rigs were 1,386; currently, there are 1,406 oil rigs (+1.6%) and a mere 354 gas rigs, down 39.8% from a year ago.

Oil Rigs on the Rise: Oil rigs currently make up 79.6% of the United States total rig count (latest data June 7th from Baker Hughes) versus 71.2% a year ago. The up-tick stems from operators continuing to seek out oily basins as oil prices offer a more compelling return versus natural gas resource plays. Oil rigs averaged 1,407 for the month of May, up 2.4% from an average of 1,374 in April 2013, which were almost the same as last year's May average of 1,373.

Gas Rigs Bottoming and Stagnant: The gas rig count in the United States appears to be bottoming as gas rigs have stood around 354 for the past four weeks. Gas rigs have declined significantly from a year ago averaging 600 for May last year and now currently stand at 353, down over 40% on the year. Month-over-month gas rigs have dropped 5.9% from the 374 average in April. The improving natural gas backdrop will likely lead to rising gas drilling in 2H13 and 2014.

International Rigs Slowly Rising: The international rig count for May totaled 1,283 rigs, down 1.4% or 25 rigs sequentially, and up marginally (0.4%) year-over-year to 1,203 from 1,198 excluding Iraq (80 rigs) in May 2013 and Syria (27 rigs) in May 2012. All regions declined sequentially excluding the Middle East which grew 2.3% led by an 8 rig increase in Iraq. Sequentially rigs in Latin America (-1.2%), Europe (-8.8%), Africa (-0.8%), Asia Pacific (-3.1%) all experienced a pullback in activity. Year-over-year Europe improved 5.1% to 124 rigs, Asia pacific remained flat at 249 rigs, and Africa grew 49.4% to 124 rigs from 83 last May. Latin America dropped 7.2% on the year to 424 rigs and the Middle East declined 3.1% to 282 rigs, excluding Iraq (80 rigs in May 2013) and Syria (27 rigs in May 2012).

Favorite Names: Our favorite large cap stock in Oilfield Services is Halliburton (HAL – $43.01 – Buy PT $45); Superior Energy (SPN – $27.27 – Buy PT $34) and TETRA Technologies (TTI – $10.98 – Buy PT $12) are our preferred mid-cap and small-cap names, respectively. All three companies stand to benefit from the likely rise in the U.S. land rig count in 2H13 and 2014 and the associated completions work. Also, these three companies have exposure to the growing deepwater and international markets.
 

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IGS Energy to build CNG station in Trumbull County

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2013

Ohio-based IGS Energy plans to build the first compressed natural gas filling station in the Youngstown area.

Work is slated to begin by Dec. 31.

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Savage Services to take over Lordstown rail operations

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2013

Utah-based Savage Services is taking over rail operations at the Ohio Commerce Park at Lordstown.

The company intends to move bulk materials by rail to drillers in the Utica shale. Later oil could be hauled away by the rail line.

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University of Tennessee seeking drilling leases on 8,000 acres

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The University of Tennessee is officially seeking bidders who want to drill natural gas wells on land it owns on the Cumberland Plateau.

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U.S. gas-oil rigs drop by six to 1,765 this week

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by six this week to 1,765.

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Loudon Twp. in Carroll County is Ohio's No. 1 drilling spot

By Bob Downing Published: June 8, 2013

According to The Hannah Report, one township in Carroll County is the Ohio epicenter of Utica drilling.

Rick Simmers, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management, identifed Loudon Township.

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U.S. EPA looking at methane leaks from natural gas pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: June 8, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Inspector General plans to investigate what actions are being taken to reduce methane leaks from natural gas pipelines.

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Colorado doctor testing residents for drilling exposures

By Bob Downing Published: June 8, 2013

A Colorado doctor has tested some residents for exposure to drilling chemicals.

Dr. John Hughes of the Aspen Integrative Medicine tested 10 residents of carbondale where only a few wells have been drilled.

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Musical 'Marcellus Shale' on stage in NYC's East Village

By Bob Downing Published: June 8, 2013

A New York City theater is staging a musical that focuses on fracking and Dostoyevsky.

Paul Zimet's "Marcellus Shale" is being held at the La MaMa Theater in the East Village. That is, as they say, off Broadway.

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North Carolina House approves moderate approach to drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 8, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A bill clearing the way for oil and gas drilling in North Carolina passed the state House Friday, despite calls from Democratic lawmakers to slow down permitting.

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Fracking companies in Ohio taking advantage of Amish beliefs

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 8, 2013

Energy companies are taking advantage of Amish religious beliefs in the Utica and Marcellus shale regions of Ohio, reports Molly Redden at the New Republic.

Redden: "The Amish interpretation of the Christian bible prohibits the use of the courts: Except in rare circumstances, the Amish do not sue. This has created a unique problem in the region.

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Kasich proposal likely to surface in Ohio budget compromise talks

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By JULIE CARR SMYTH

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Bloomberg News review finds sealed settlements of drilling problems

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

Chris and Stephanie Hallowich were sure drilling for natural gas near their Pennsylvania home was to blame for the headaches, burning eyes and sore throats they suffered after the work began.

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GreenHunter Water opens injection facility in Ohio's Meigs County

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From GreenHunter Resources:

 

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Devon Energy to form midstream master limited partnership

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From Oklahoma-based Devon Energy on Thursday:

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 6, 2013-- Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN) announced today that its board of directors has approved a plan to form a publicly traded midstream master limited partnership (MLP). The MLP is expected to initially own a minority interest in Devon’s U.S. midstream business. This business includes natural gas gathering and processing assets located in Texas , Oklahoma, and Wyoming .

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API supports BLM extension on federal fracking rules

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2013 – Erik Milito, API director of upstream and industry operations, acknowledged the BLM’s 60 day extension for comments related to the proposed hydraulic fracturing rule released in May and said that many questions remain unanswered:

“Industry will need the time to effectively review and comment on all of the existing various state and federal agency regulatory activities that overlap with much of what BLM is proposing. States have led the way in regulating hydraulic fracturing operations while protecting communities and the environment for decades.

“Many questions still remain as this new rule has the potential to significantly slow domestic energy production, as well as damage national, state, and local economies. An additional layer of regulation must be carefully scrutinized and the last thing we need are rules that create confusion in the regulatory process.”
 

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Utah company eying disposal site in southwest Colorado

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Colorado officials are reviewing a Utah company's proposal for an 800-acre oil and gas waste disposal facility southeast of De Beque.

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Boulder City Council approves one-year fracking moratorium

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From the Associated Press:

 In Colorado, the Boulder City Council members have unanimously approved a one-year fracking moratorium.

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North Carolina House to vote on drilling legislation

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A bill clearing the way for oil and gas drilling in North Carolina is headed to the state House floor after clearing an environmental committee Thursday.

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Interior to accept more comment on federal fracking rules

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Companies that drill for oil and natural gas — and their critics — will have 60 more days to comment on a new rule regulating hydraulic fracturing operations on public lands.

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NTSB releases 1,400 pages on West Virginia pipeline explosion

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Federal investigators are releasing more than 1,400 pages of documents about a natural gas pipeline explosion in Sissonville, but they won't provide any analysis or identify the probable cause of the near-disaster last December.

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Report calls for easing French ban on fracking

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Tara Patel

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Kasich revises drilling tax plan, offers 25 percent to Appalachian counties

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2013

From the Associated Press:

COLUMBUS: Gov. John Kasich is working to line up support in Ohio’s drilling heartland for his proposed tax increase on oil and gas drillers by offering to send a quarter of proceeds back to Appalachia.

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Will Ohio become radioactive dumping ground for drilling wastes?

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2013

Mike Ludwig of Truthout asks if Ohio will become a radioactive dumping ground for drilling wastes.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Radioactive drilling wastes up for Ohio Senate vote

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2013

From Food & Water Watch:

Columbus, OH – “Today’s news that yet another company allegedly dumped oil and gas waste directly into a private pond should raise a red flag for legislators considering an amendment to the budget bill regulating the disposal of radioactive waste from fracking. The proposed amendment would allow the industry to self-police, monitoring wastes on-site for radioactivity. What’s more is that according to radiation experts, the monitoring likely to be implemented will be inadequate to accurately determine the concentration of radioactivity in oilfield wastes.

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Chesapeake sells nearly 1,100 leases in Columbiana County

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2013

The Business Journal in Youngstown reports that Cheaspeake Energy Corp. has sold nearly 1,100 leases in Ohio's Columbiana County to Hilcorp Energy Co.

The transfers in six townships were filed last February with the county recorder's office.

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Proposed fracking ban in Virginia national forest triggers debate

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2013

A proposal by the U.S. Forest Service to ban hydraulic fracturing or fracking in a Virginia national forest has triggered new debate.

The ban would affect the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest.

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Moniz wins unanimous Senate approval to be energy secretary

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Physicist Ernest Moniz won unanimous Senate confirmation to be the nation's new energy secretary.

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Ohio has 70 industry-approved training programs for drilling jobs

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2013

A press release from the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program:

Ohioans seeking training and employment opportunities in Ohio’s natural gas and crude oil industry now have a trusted source when seeking industry approved education and training programs.

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Lordstown rail center is gaining steam for Utica shale shipments

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2013

A rail yard in Trumbull County could become a major shipping point for oil and liquids from Ohio's Utica shale.

Local and state officials have been working with consultant Jonathan Gemmen of Austin Consulting in Cleveland on revitalizing the old rail yard in Lordstown.

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Seeking Alpha looks at Utica plans of EV Energy Partners

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2013

Texas-based EV Energy Partenrs is intent on selling its Utica shale acreage in Ohio, although no deals have yet come together.

The investor site Seeking Alpha looks at the company and its plans.

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A total of 37 drilling rigs at work in Ohio's Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2013

The number of drilling rigs working in Ohio's Utica shale has taken a big jump.

It has grown from 30 to 37 rigs, as of June 1, reports the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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Utica shale is most ethane-rich play seen by one industry expert

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2013

From the Youngstown Vindicator:

A quote about Ohio's Utica shale:

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MarkWest sells Marcellus-gathering assets in West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2013

From MarkWest Energy Partners:

 

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Harsh Environmental Resources ceases Ohio operations

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources:

COLUMBUS, OH – Today, in response to an order from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Harch Environmental Resources has ceased operations in the state after evidence was found that the company was illegally disposing of oil field waste in Ohio. Gulfport Energy Corporation contracted with Harch Environmental to dispose of the oil field waste that was illegally dumped, indicating that Gulfport Energy Corporation failed to meet its responsibility to monitor oil field waste from inception to injection. ODNR is consulting with the Ohio Attorney General’s office regarding any civil or criminal penalties both against Harch Environmental and Gulfport Energy. 

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Concern over radioactive waste from fracking builds

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

The use of toxic chemicals and the volume of water needed in hydraulic fracturing or fracking gets the most headlines.

Yet the most troubling issue may the radioactive waste that comes from the wells and what happens to it, according to some critics.

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Mahoning Valley Midstream pushing drilling infrastructure

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

A group of business leaders and politicans is marketing Northeast Ohio for new drilling infrastructure.

The group, known as Mahoning Valley Midstream, even has a site in mind for an ethane cracker.

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Utica Resources Inc. drills first well in Erie County

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

Utica Resources Inc. has drilled in its Utica shale well in Pennsylvania's Erie County.

The well must still be fracked or hydraulically fractured.

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Utica shale not as oil-rich as companies had wanted

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

The buzz over Ohio's Utica shale continues, despite new reports that indicate that oil prodiction will not be as lucrative as energy companies had hoped.

The Utica shale is producing natural gas and natural gas liquids.

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Utica shale won't be held back for long, blog says

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

The Utica shale has been hampered by delays in constructing pipelines and processing plants.

But the development of the Utica shale will soon speed up, says the Motley Fool blog.

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Pipeline company fined $150,000 for stream pollution

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

From the Pennsylvania Departemtn of Environmental Protection:

DEP Fines PVR Marcellus Gas Gathering LLC $150,000 for Illegal Discharges During Lycoming County Pipeline Construction

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Farmer asks New York Supreme Court to hear drilling ban appeal

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A dairy farmer who wants to profit from the natural gas is asking the New York state's highest court to hear an appeal of lower court rulings that upheld local drilling bans.

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Big crowd opposes drilling in Pennsylvania's Loyalsock State Forest

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

From the Associated Press:

More than 500 people packed a public hearing at Lycoming College to voice their opposition to drilling in Loyalsock State Forest.

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USGS report looks at drilling disturbances in Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

From the U.S. Geological Survey:

 

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ECOS to look at hydraulic fracturing at July 11 conference

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

 ECOS is the national, nonprofit association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders. Its conference will provide a forum for state and federal government officials, business and industry, environmental groups, and others to build bridges and learn from one another.

 Panels will cover: the appropriate balance among environmental protection, energy security, and economic gain; state regulatory approaches; the methane challenge; water quality; and best practices.

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Nexus pipeline is subject of June 11 Medina meeting

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2013

A public meeting on the proposed Nexus pipeline that would cross northern Ohio is scheduled for June 11 in Medina County.

The session, organized by Concerned Citizens Medina County, will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at Unity of Medina @ Williams on the Lake, 787 Lafayette Road, Medina.

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Tax-favored partnerships are funding shale projects

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2013

As shale hydrocarbons development surges, redrawing the U.S. energy map, so has construction of pipelines and processing infrastructure, says EnergyWire.

Most of the cash that is financing the enormous capital projects comes from tax-favored investments called master limited partnerships.

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Heinz Endowments fund both sides in fracking debate

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2013

From the Associated Press:

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California scraps proposed moratorium on fracking

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Attempts to place a moratorium on fracking failed as the Legislature hit its first bill-passing deadline.

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Illinois Senate approves new rules on gas-oil drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2013

From the Associated Press:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois came a giant step closer to approving the nation's strictest regulations for oil and gas drilling.

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Ohio Utica shale leftover items of interest

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2013

Here are some interesting Utica shale tidbits from last month’s teleconferences with major energy companies:

1. Gulfport Energy is testing different fracking sands at two of its adjoining wells.

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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.