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Ohio Utica Shale

Utica shale tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: March 31, 2012

Here are some interesting tidbits about Ohio's Utica shale:

--The Utica shale in eastern Ohio is between 87 feet and 350 feet thick, says the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.

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ODNR director's testimony for Senate Bill 315

By Bob Downing Published: March 31, 2012

Ohio currently has 47 horizontal wells drilled into the Utica shale, but that number is expected to grow to 250 by the end of this year, to 750 by the end of 2013, 1,500 by the end of 2014 and 2,250 by the end of 2015.

That assessment came this week from James Zehringer, head of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, in testimony in favor of Senate Bill 315 that tightens Ohio's rules on drilling..

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Utica drilling permits in Ohio hit 176

By Bob Downing Published: March 31, 2012

This week's listings for Utica drilling permits in eastern Ohio hit 176, of which 53 wells have been drilled, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.

Carroll County is still No. 1 with 60 permits.

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Cleveland City Club debate ends in a draw

By Bob Downing Published: March 31, 2012

Jack Shaner of the Ohio Environmental Council wants a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing or fracking in Ohio.

There is no no need because Ohio laws are stringent enough and a moratorium is not needed, said Mike Chadsey of Energy in Depth-Ohio, a pro-drilling group.

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Two-day Utica shale conference in Columbus

By Bob Downing Published: March 31, 2012

Columbus will host a two-day conference on the Utica shale drilling for natural gas.

The event will be held April 30 and May 1.

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USGS says middle-of-country quakes are linked to drilling

By Bob Downing Published: March 30, 2012

A rash of earthquakes in the middle of the United States appears to be related to drilling for natural gas, according to researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey.

The surge in quakes "is almost certainly man-made," the scientists said in an abstract for their study.

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Actitivists, company in court over what's in road deicer

By Bob Downing Published: March 30, 2012

The Cleveland Plain Dealer today reported that a Brecksville company has filed a defamation lawsuit against two Broadview Heights women.

Duck Creek Energy Inc. is fighting the allegation that its AquaSalina road deicer is "a product of fracking" or environmentally unsafe. bIt is seeking $1 million in punitive damages.

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U.K. agency approves hydraulic fracturing

By Bob Downing Published: March 30, 2012

Exploration of shale gas resources should resume after completion of an investigation into hydraulic fracturing, said the U.K.'s Environmental Agency.

"There are significant environmental risks associated with shale gas as there are with other industrial activities," said agency spokesman Tony Grayling. "We think those risks can be managed."

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Marcellus producers see opportunities, despite low prices

By Bob Downing Published: March 30, 2012

Marcellus shale producers remain positive, despite today's low prices for natural gas, said speakers at an energy conference this week in New Orleans.

Pittsburgh-based EQT said it intends to stop drilling in West Virginia and Kentucky's Huron shale and to slightly scale back in the Marcellus shale of Pennsylvania.

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Steingraber is done with the Sierra Club

By Bob Downing Published: March 30, 2012

Anti-fracking activist Sandra Steingraber is done with the Sierra Club.

The visiting professor at Ithica College, author, ecologist and cancer survivor is unhappy that the Sierra Club accepted $25 million from Chesapeake Energy Corp. from 2007 to 2010.

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Actor Ruffalo goes on Colbert Report to criticize fracking

By Jim Mackinnon Published: March 29, 2012

Actor Mark Ruffalo appeared on The Colbert Report on March 28 to discuss his opposition to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The video clip can be seen here.

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Gas-processing plant switched to Ohio's Noble County

By Bob Downing Published: March 29, 2012

The Marietta Times this week reported that a processing plant for natural gas in southeast Ohio is being moved.

Denver-based MarkWest Energy said the plant will be built in Noble County, not Monroe Count.

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Beaver County, Pa., wells not productive in Marcellus shale

By Bob Downing Published: March 29, 2012

The Pennsylvania-based Marcellus Shale Coalition reported this week that Marcellus shale wells in Beaver County next to the Ohio line have not been overly productive.

But deeper Utica shale wells in Beaver County have been "very productive," said Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a pro-drilling group based in Canonsburg, Pa.

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New federal air rules for drillers expected next week

By Bob Downing Published: March 29, 2012

It appears that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency next week will be releasing new proposed federal rules on air emissions from drilling for natural gas.

The rules could be released as early as Tuesday, according to some reports.

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New York landowners may frack with liquid propane

By Bob Downing Published: March 29, 2012

An upstate New York landowners group may have found a way to get around the state’s de facto moratorium on shale gas drilling by using propane instead of water for hydraulic fracturing, the Associated Press reported.

Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Emily DeSantis says today  the agency has met with the Tioga County landowners group to discuss shale gas development using the new hydraulic fracturing technology.

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New York anti-fracking groups band together

By Bob Downing Published: March 29, 2012

Dozens of grass-roots environmental groups across New York have banded together to fight a plan to allow drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale in New York state.

They are opposed to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing or fracking and want New York to ban it.

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Gas-drilling rig numbers drop in Pennsylvania, nationwide

By Bob Downing Published: March 29, 2012

The number of gas drilling rigs is declining in Pennsylvania and nationwide, due to low natural gas prices and increased interest in oil, the Associated Press reported this week.

There were 98 drilling rigs in Pennsylvania during the week of March 23, according to Bkaer Hughes, a company that monitor rig counts.

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Fossil fuel boom is hurting renewable energy development

By Bob Downing Published: March 29, 2012

The boom in shale oil and other fossil fuels has put a crimp in development of renewable energy sources in the United States, says Yale Environment 360.

That boom has spread to 12 states including Ohio, and the clean energy economy is still a long ways away, says writer Keith Schneider

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Grant to aid Carroll County landowners

By Bob Downing Published: March 29, 2012

The Sierra Club is providing a $10,000 grant to provide equipment for water testing in Carroll County.

The grant will enable Carroll County landowners to sample their water and provide baseline data on water quality in an area where coal mining is on the increase along with drilling for natural gas in the Utica shale.

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BP makes energy investment in Ohio

By admin Published: March 27, 2012

There is a new player in Ohio’s Utica shale: London-based BP.

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Trumbull landowners approve agreement on 85,000 acres with BP

By Bob Downing Published: March 27, 2012

Karl Henkel of the Youngstown Vindicator reported that more than 1,000 Trumbull County landowners voted in favor of what is Ohio's largest single-county gas-oil lease.

The agreement covering 84,000 acres is with BP, the Lond0n-based energy giant.

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Ohio gas-oil producers renew fight against severance tax

By Bob Downing Published: March 26, 2012

A portion of Gov. John Kasich's proposed energy bill was released on Monday, and the Ohio Oil and Gas Association came out swinging against an increased severance tax on drillers.

It is too soon to hike the severance tax and such a move could threaten the still-developing Utica shale development, the group says.

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'Gasland' film at center of new flap

By Bob Downing Published: March 26, 2012

A total of 32 members of Congress last week sent a strongly worded letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton over the inclusion of the anti-fracking film "Gasland" by director Josh Fox in the 2012 American Film Showcase.

They urged Clinton to drop "Gasland" from the showcase because of what they called its errors and misleading statements about hydraulic fracturing or fracking in drilling for natural gas.

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Court fight over fracking chemicals in Wyoming

By Bob Downing Published: March 26, 2012

Four eco-groups are asking a court to require the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to disclose information about chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing or fracking, in an effort to help protect the public from exposure to toxic chemicals.

In 2010, Wyoming became the first state to require well operators to disclose the identities of chemicals that are mixed with water and sand and injected into the well during fracking.

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New players staking claims to Ohio’s Utica shale land

By admin Published: March 26, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp. swept into eastern Ohio nearly two years ago and started aggressively signing thousands of landowners to leases for natural gas drilling.

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Ohio gas drilling raises concern over water supply

By admin Published: March 25, 2012

COLUMBUS: Drillers hoping to retrieve gas through Utica shale wells in eastern Ohio are drawing water for their operations from ponds and streams or purchasing it from public reservoirs, worrying environmentalists who say it might endanger water supplies for the public and wildlife if there’s not enough water for everyone.

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Kasich wants to boost fees on injecting drilling wastes

By Bob Downing Published: March 25, 2012

Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants to hike the tax that Ohio imposes on drilling wastes that are injected below ground, the Youngstown Vindicator reported on Saturday.

The proposal, part of Senate Bill 315, calls for a fee of 10 cents a barrel on all fracking wastewater that originates in Ohio and a tax of $1 per barrel on all wastes from out of state.

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Chesapeake: Drillers must reduce impacts

By Bob Downing Published: March 25, 2012

The natural gas industry needs to do more to reduce the on-the-ground impacts of drilling, a top Chesapeake Energy official says.

Scott Rotruck, a Chesapeake Energy vice president, said, "With natural gas, everybody likes the blue flame. Making it can be problematic. Nobody likes that part.

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Fracking ban coming to Kent City Council on March 28

By Bob Downing Published: March 25, 2012

Anti-fracking activists are expected to request on Wednesday that Kent City Council adopt a ban on hydraulic fracturing or fracking in drilling for natural gas.

The proposal argues that Kent residents have the right to reject activities that pollute water, air and land within the city limits and that fracking for natural gas should be banned.

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Federal audit: Little is known about natural gas pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: March 25, 2012

The Associated Press reported Friday that federal auditors say federal officials know nothing about thousands of miles of natural gas pieplines and need to set up oversight to make sure they are safe.

With the natural gas boom in Ohio and other states, private companies have put in hundreds of small gathering pipelines in recent years to collect the gas that has been released through hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

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California may allow more fracking, Brown says

By Bob Downing Published: March 25, 2012

California Gov. Jerry Brown says he will consider opening the fourtgh-largest oil-producing state to a drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking to increase natural-gas production.

Brown said the technique has been long been used in the oil-rich San Joaquin Valley and said he would likely permit more widespread fracking, if environmental consequences can be minimized.

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Eagle Ford shale in Texas is in the spotlight

By Bob Downing Published: March 25, 2012

Energy companies are flocking to south Texas where new wells have triggered a 230-fold increase in crude oil output in three years.

The liquid-rich Eagle Ford shale is getting new attention, especially with the price of natural gas so low, Bloomberg News reports.

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League of Women Voters to host April 19 drilling meeting

By Bob Downing Published: March 24, 2012

The League of Women Voters of the Akron Area is holding a public meeting on hydraulic fracturing or fracking on April 19.

The program including speakers for and against hydraulic fracturing or fracking will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3300 Morewood Road, Fairlawn.

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USGS wants more information on injection well volumes

By Bob Downing Published: March 24, 2012

U.S. energy companies should report information on waste water from hydraulic fracturing or fracking to help federal agencies reduce the risk of earthq2uakes like those that have hit the Youngstown area in the last year.

"We do need help from industry," said Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Pipeline to link Columbiana, Harrison facilities

By Bob Downing Published: March 22, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp. and its two partners intend to build a 12-inch-in-diameter pipeline to connect the northern and southern portions of a $900 million natural gas processing complex in eastern Ohio.

That news emerged this week from a shale drilling conference and exposition in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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Oklahoma firm buys into Marcellus shale, eyes Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: March 21, 2012

A Oklahoma-based partnership, Williams Partners LP, is buying a natural gas pipeline and other facilities in the Marcellus shale for $2.5 billion in cash and stocks, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.

The deal also provides access for Williams Partners to the liquid-rich Utica shale in eastern Ohio.

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Peninsula lease meeting is tonight

By Bob Downing Published: March 21, 2012

A meeting on leasing for natural gas is scheduled from 7 to 9 tonight in Peninsula in northern Summit County.

The meeting will be held at the Boston Township School House at 1775 Main St. (state Route 303) at Riverview Road.

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Federal EPA seeking ways to minimize or manage earthquakes

By Bob Downing Published: March 20, 2012

A team from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is preparing recommendations for "managing or minimizing" earthquakes triggered by natural gas and oil injection wells like the one in Youngtown.

But the group appears to have retreated from its initial goal of finding ways to avoid earthquakes caused by injection wells.'

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Navarre says no to drilling

By Bob Downing Published: March 20, 2012

Navarre Village Council on Monday took no action on requests from drillers to drill for natural gas within the village in southern Stark County.

Village officials said they have concerns about hydraulic fracturing or fracking and do not want to approve such drilling within the village.

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BLM says it will require industry standards for cementing wells

By Bob Downing Published: March 20, 2012

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said today it will use industry standrads for cementing natural gas  wells.

Cementing is the "most critical part of the drilling operations," Robert Abbey, director of the bureau said in testimony before a House committee.

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Agriculture to exclude rural loans from environmental reviews

By Bob Downing Published: March 20, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue to exclude rural housing loans from environmental reviews that could slow the expansion of oil and gas drilling.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today he will authorize a notice affirming that rural housing loans are categorically excluded from reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires some transactions to be examined for their affect on soil, air and water.

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A Carroll County video from Energy Nation

By Bob Downing Published: March 20, 2012

Here is a video about the Utica shale boom in Ohio's Carroll County from Energy Nation.

It was released by the Ohio Energy Resource Alliance.

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Pros and cons of fracking topic of April journalism forum

By Jim Mackinnon Published: March 19, 2012

The award-winning online journalism site ProPublica is co-sponsoring what it calls an "in-depth conversation" on fracking in April.

ProPublica writes: "On Monday, April 9, ProPublica and the Tenement Museum will co-sponsor an in-depth conversation about fracking.  A panel featuring representatives from the media, the drilling industry, a former state regulator and an environmental lawyer will discuss whether the process is the answer to America’s energy needs, or whether we should slow down and learn more about the potential environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing."

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Pennsylvania group files suit over use of drilling revenues

By Bob Downing Published: March 19, 2012

Lazst week, the Pennsylvania Defense Foundation filed a lawsuit against the governor, budget secretary and state treasurer.

The suit alleges thay they violated Pennsylvania's constitution by failing to protect state parks and state forests.

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Colorado study shows air emissions near fracking sites may impact health

By Bob Downing Published: March 19, 2012

In a new study, researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health say that air pollution from hydraulic fracturing or fracking for natural gas may contribute to acute and chronic health problems for those living natural gas drilling sites.

"Our data show that it is important to include air pollution in the national dialogue on natural gas development that has focused largely on water exposures to hydraulic fracturing," said Lisa McKenzie, lead author of the study and a research associate at the Colorado School of Public Health.

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Geauga County anti-fracking rally on March 31

By Bob Downing Published: March 19, 2012

Chardon in Geauga County will be the site of an anti-fracking march and rally on March 31.

The march will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Chardon Fire Department parking lot at 110 S. Hambden St., Chardon.

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Canton job fair on March 22

By Bob Downing Published: March 19, 2012

The Stark County District Library is hosting its seventh annual Opportunities Job Fair on Thursday.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to noon at the main library, 715 Market Ave. N. in downtown Canton.

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No brine wastewater for Warren, effective April 1

By Bob Downing Published: March 19, 2012

The Youngstown Vindicator reported today that Patriot Water Treatment LLC and the city of Warren will be blocked from treating briny wastes, effective April 1.

The order came from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

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Carroll Concerned Citizens to meet April 5

By Bob Downing Published: March 19, 2012

Carroll County Auditor Leroy VanHorne will speak at the April 5 meeting of the Carroll Concerned Citizens.

He will provide landowners with additional insight regarding mineral rights leases or sales and potential tax implications.

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Ohio landowner misses out on Utica shale bonanza

By admin Published: March 18, 2012

JEWETT, OHIO: In Ohio’s Harrison County about 40 miles southeast of Canton, the picturesque landscape is that of post cards.

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Facts from 2011 Ohio oil and gas report

By Bob Downing Published: March 18, 2012

Here are some tidbits from the 2011 annual report filed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and its Division of Oil and gas Resources Management:

1. Ohio has 64,481 operating wells with 5,722 registered well owners.

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2011 American energy facts

By Bob Downing Published: March 18, 2012

Here are some American energy facts, courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior and thed U.S. Department of Energy:

1. American natural gas production  grew by an estimated 7.4 percent in 2011. That's the larges-ever year-over-year volumetric increase. It easily eclipsed the previous production record set in 1973. Last year was the No. 2 year ever for natural gas production on public lands in the last 10 years.

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Ohio organic farmers worried about shale boom

By Bob Downing Published: March 18, 2012

Ohio's certified organic farmers are worried about the Utica shale boom in eastern Ohio.

The fear is that air and water emissions from nearby drilling could require farmers to loe their organic certification,  Matthew Starline, whose farm near Athens in southeast Ohio is surrounded by leased land, told Ohio's Public Service News.

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Cornell study suggests fracking may kill farm animals, pets

By Bob Downing Published: March 18, 2012

Last week, New York's Cornell University reported that a new study has found dozens of cases of illness, death and reproductive issues in cows, horses, goats, llamas, chickens, dogs, cats, fish and other wildlife and humans.

It said those conditions could be the result of exposure to gas-drilling operations.

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Survey says Americans want tighter fracking rules

By Bob Downing Published: March 18, 2012

About 65 percent of the American public favors tighter rules on hydraulic fracking or fracking in drilling for natural gas.

More than three times aws many Americans say there should be more regulation of fracking than less, according to a Bloomberg News National Poll conducted March 6-11.

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Shale lawyers in big demand in Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: March 18, 2012

Ohio's Utica shale boom is having big impacts for lawyers, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported today.

Reporter Alison Grant filed a story on how busy Ohio attorneys are handling leases, dealing with titles and mineral rights and filing lawsuits tied to drilling for natural gas.

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Gov. Kasich's full statement on Shell decision

By Bob Downing Published: March 18, 2012

Here is Ohio Gov. John Kasich's full statement on the Shell decision to build a new petrochemical refinery 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh:

"This wasn't a surprise. We pitched hard and are disappointed, of course, but always understood that Shell leaned toward building where they owned the gas and liquids. They have millions of acres of leases over there (Pennsylvania) that they don't have here. The added cost of a pipeline to ship their gas and liquids over here wasn't something they wanted to do.

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More reaction to Shell's announcement

By Bob Downing Published: March 18, 2012

Mike Mikus of the Consumer Energy Alliance Mid-Atlantic said:

The announcement "underscores that the economics and resource base of the Marcellus shale are continuing to be a game changer for the region. During these challenging economic times, we are encouraged to see the tremendous benefits that the thane cracker will bring to the region, including thousands of much-needed jobs, new private investment and significant economic development."

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EPA says water in Dimock, Pa., is safe

By Bob Downing Published: March 16, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday reported that the water in 11 wells in Dimock, Pa., is safe.

The new tests begun earlier this year found sodium, methane, chromium and bacteria but at levels "within the safe range," the agency said.

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Pittsburgh-area site chosen for major refinery

By admin Published: March 15, 2012

PITTSBURGH: Shell Oil Co. has chosen a site near Pittsburgh for a major, multibillion-dollar petrochemical refinery that could provide a huge economic boost to the region.

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Pennsylvania wins Shell cracker plant over Ohio, West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: March 15, 2012

Shell Oil Co. has chosen a site near Pittsburgh for a major new petrochemical refinery that could provide a huge economic boost to the region, the Associated Press reported today.

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Should Ohio adopt a fracking moratorium?

By Bob Downing Published: March 15, 2012

The Columbus Dispatch printed pro and con articles on whether Ohio should adopt a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

The pro column was done by Ohio Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard, D-Columbus. The con article was done by Tom Stewart of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.

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Most fracking is being done safely, Chu says

By Bob Downing Published: March 15, 2012

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu testified on Wednesday that the "lion's share" of drilling for natural gas by hydraulic fracturing or fracking appears to be done in an environmentally responsible way.

His comment, reported by Bloomberg, came at a Senate hearing in Washington, D.C.

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Portage County meeting set for March 25

By Bob Downing Published: March 15, 2012

Shalersville Township residents are circulating petitions asking the township trustees to block hydraulic fracturing or frackingof natural gas and have organized a March 25 meeting in Streetsboro.

At present, townships have little say in drilling because there is no local control. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources oversees drilling.

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Health impact study planned in New York

By Bob Downing Published: March 15, 2012

Environmental and health groups in New York are happy that the New York General Assembly included an independent health impact study of hydraulic fracturing or fracking for natural gas in its budget proposal released this week.

The groups had been critical of the Department of Environmental Conservation for not including a comprehensive health impact study in its environmental review of gas drilling.

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Kasich talks shale drilling with Obama at NCAA game

By Bob Downing Published: March 14, 2012

Pennsylvania StateImpact reporter Susan Phillips reports that Ohio Gov. John Kasich talked shale drilling with President Obama at the first round NCAA college basketball game in Dayton.

Click here to see her account.

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Chesapeake schedules April 5 job fair in Jackson Township

By Bob Downing Published: March 14, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is holding a job fair on April 5 in Stark County.

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Gov. Kasich wants drilling tax hike, source tells AP

By admin Published: March 14, 2012

COLUMBUS: Ohio Gov. John Kasich is expected to release details Wednesday of a plan that would deliver modest income-tax cuts to Ohioans in two or three years by raising taxes on drilling for oil and natural gas liquids.

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Three arrested at anti-fracking rally today in Columbus

By Bob Downing Published: March 14, 2012

A petition calling for a moratorium on new injection wells in Ohio was presented this morning to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Three persons were reportedly arrested.

The petition had been circulated by numerous grass-roots groups across the state.

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Chesapeake, two partners to build $900 million facilities in eastern Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: March 13, 2012

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp, announced today that it will work through a subsidiary and two partners  to build new facilities worth $900 million in eastern Ohio  to process natural gas and natural gas liquids like ethane, butane and propane.

The natural gas-processing plant would be built in Columbiana County and have an initial capacity of 600 million cubic feet per day. It would be a state-of-the-art cryogenic processing facility.

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Judge rules against Warren, Patriot Water Treatment

By Bob Downing Published: March 13, 2012

The Youngstown Vindicator on Monday reported that a Trumbull County judge has ruled against Patriot Water Treatment LLC and the city of Warren.

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Stark County's Meyers Lake under lease

By Bob Downing Published: March 13, 2012

A non-profit group that oversees Meyers Lake in Stark County has leased the 144-acre lake to Chesapeake Energy Corp.

The lease is not new and was finalized about eight months ago, said John Wirtz, president and trustee of the Meyers Lake Preserve Inc.

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March 24 panel discussion in Brecksville

By Bob Downing Published: March 13, 2012

A panel discussion on drilling for natural gas will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 24 at the Brecksville Library in southern Cuyahoga County.

The library is at 9089 Brecksville Road.

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Study says gas, oil creates 9 percent of new jobs

By Bob Downing Published: March 13, 2012

A new study says that a booming gas and oil sector was responsible for 9 percent of new jobs created in the United States in 2011.

The joint study was conducted by the World Economic Forum and IHS CERA, a global business information company.

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Ohio injects 12 million barrels of briny waste in 2011

By Bob Downing Published: March 13, 2012

Ohio's 177 injection wells handled about 12 million 42-gallon  barrels of briny waste in 2011, and 53 percent of that brine came from Pennsylvania and other states.

In 2010, Ohio had handled about 8.5 million barrels of brine.

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A decision by Ohio judge in the spotlight

By Bob Downing Published: March 13, 2012

A decision by Harrison County Common Pleas Judge Michael Nunner has limited Chesapeake Energy's ability to to drill on a property where the Oklahoma-based energy giant has leased the mineral rights.

His decision is "rattling the industry," says reporter Alison Grant.

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Paper says faulty wells, not fracking, blamed for water contamination

By Bob Downing Published: March 13, 2012

The Wall Street Journal today reported that faulty wells, not fracking, is the most common source of water pollution linked to drilling for natural gas.

It suggested that stricter well-construction rules and cementing guidelines could improve safety. Such changes might also produce less resistance to drilling  from grass-roots groups, the paper said.

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State to oversee building of Ohio shale gas plants

By admin Published: March 13, 2012

COLUMBUS: Part of the Ohio Department of Commerce will have exclusive jurisdiction in overseeing the construction of shale gas processing plants in the state.

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Local governments, schools eying shale leases

By Bob Downing Published: March 12, 2012

Spencer Hunt of the Columbus Dispatch reports that not only private landowners but also local governments and schools are signing leases for natural gas drilling with offers as high as $5,000 an acre.

You can read the story here.

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Chesapeake courting foreign investors

By Bob Downing Published: March 12, 2012

Bloomberg reports today that Chesapeake Energy Corp. and CEO Aubrey McClendon are actively cultivating investors from Seoul to New Delhi interested in owning American natural gas.

Chesapeake is a big player in Ohio with 1.35 million acres under lease in the Utica shale.

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Anti-fracking petition circulating in Kent

By Bob Downing Published: March 12, 2012

Concerned Citizens Ohio, a grass-roots group, is circulating an anti-fracking petition in Kent.

The plan is to present the petition to Kent City Council on March 28.

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Reaction from Ohio Environmental Council

By Bob Downing Published: March 11, 2012

The Ohio Environmental Council was generally supportive of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' draft report on the Youngstown earthquakes and proposed changes to Ohio rules in injection wells.

"The report has a lot to recommend it," the statewide eco-group said in a post. "ODNR deserves credit for utilizing outside experts and making positive recommendations such as limiting injection well pressure and depth that would help keep from happening again and require that waste haulers install electronic transponders to ensure 'cradle to grave' monitoring of all shipments.

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Reaction to ODNR's Youngstown earthquake report

By Bob Downing Published: March 11, 2012

Here's Friday's statement from Terry Fleming of the Columbus-based  Ohio Petroleum Council:

"Ohio's oil and natural gas industry supports the state's investigation as as as regulatory adjustments for energy production that protect our environment and public health.

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More reaction to Youngstown earthquake study

By Bob Downing Published: March 11, 2012

Here's Friday's statement by Tom Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association:

"Today, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources confirmed, in a preliminary report, our belief that the recent seismic activity in the Youngstown area was associated with a previously unknown geologic factor, in this case, an unmapped fault near a Class II injection well.

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Here's the full ODNR Youngstown earthquake report

By Bob Downing Published: March 11, 2012

Ohio says its new rules for brine monitoring and disposal will be among the toughest in the United States.

The new rules are resulting from an investigation by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on a link between a Mahoning County injection well and a dozen earthquakes near Youngstown in the last year.

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Youngtown injection well operator knocks Ohio report

By Bob Downing Published: March 11, 2012

D&Energy, the company behind the Youngstown area injection well that has been tied to a dozen earthquakes in the last year, says Ohio based its findings on incomplete science.

In a Friday statement, the company said the Ohio Department of Natural Resources came to its conclusions without testing the well.

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Norwegian company eyes N.Y. shale

By Bob Downing Published: March 11, 2012

New York has not approved drilling in the Marcellus shale, but one Norwegian company is very interested.

Norse Energy has filed seven applications since November in central New York within 50 miles of the New York-Pennsylvania border.

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Exxon Mobile Corp. encounters tough shales

By Bob Downing Published: March 11, 2012

Some shale formations in Poland and China have thwarted drilling efforts by Exxon Mobil Corp, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

Drilling techniques that have worked well in the United States have failed, said Rex Tillerson, the firm's chief executive officer.

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State to impose tough fracking-brine rules after finding injection well caused earthquakes

By admin Published: March 9, 2012

COLUMBUS: A dozen earthquakes in northeastern Ohio were almost certainly induced by injection of gas-drilling wastewater into the earth, state regulators said Friday as they announced a series of tough new rules for drillers.

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New Marcellus Main Street initiative

By Bob Downing Published: March 8, 2012

Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale Coalition is kicking off its first online business directory.

Marcellus on Main Street is designed exclusively to connect the natural gas industry with small- and medium-sized businesses in the region.

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Belmont lawsuit by landowners pending

By Bob Downing Published: March 8, 2012

Two Belmont County landowners have filed suit against two natural gas companies after they signed a lease in 2008 for $100 per acre.

Named defendants in the suit were New York-based  Hess Corp., Marquette Exploration and Mason Dixon. The suit was filed in Belmont County Common Pleas Court.

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Deal announced for Ohio processing plants

By Bob Downing Published: March 8, 2012

Gulfport Energy Corp. and MarkWest Utica EMG LLC  have signed an agreement to build new gathering pipelines in eastern Ohio.

The pipelines to gather natural gas from Ohio's Utica shale will be in Harrison, Guernsey and Belmont counties under the letter of intent.

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Pennsylvania Marcellus shale animation

By Bob Downing Published: March 7, 2012

I came across an interesting animated map that shows the explosion of Marcellus shale wells in Pennsylvania.

The source: Penn State University.

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EPA heightens scrutiny over Pennsylvania natural gas drilling

By admin Published: March 6, 2012

DIMOCK, PA.: Tugging on rubber gloves, a laboratory worker kneels before a gushing spigot behind Kim Grosso’s house and positions an empty bottle under the clear, cold stream. The process is repeated dozens of times as bottles are filled, marked and packed into coolers.

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Chesapeake lines up a new royalty partner

By Bob Downing Published: March 6, 2012

KKR & Co., a global investment firm, is teaming up with Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. to form a partnership that will offer owners of oil and gas royalty interests the chance for upfront cash from producing wells or money before the full resource is assessed.

KKR will commit an initial $225 million and Chesapeake will provide $25 million toward the partnership that will invest in mineral and royalty interests in oil and gas basins, the two firms said today in a joint statement.

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More than 100 groups take issue with Obama

By Bob Downing Published: March 6, 2012

More than 100 organizations -- including environmental, religious and public-health groups -- have expressed concern about President Obama's endorsement of hydraulic fracturing or fracking in his State of the Union talk.

On Monday, the 109 groups sent a joint letter to the president.

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Industry, eco-groups covertly working on new rules

By Bob Downing Published: March 6, 2012

SNL Energy reports that a coalition of natural gas companies and environmental organizations has for years been working on an agreement on how gas drilling in Ohio's Utica shale and other shale formations should be regulated.

The project started with a goal of creating a model regulatory framework for the construction and operation of gas and oil wells that are hydraulically fractured or fracked and to make the rules as protective as possible.

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Chesapeake responds to Rolling Stone article

By Bob Downing Published: March 5, 2012

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. is not happy with the Rolling Stone profile of CEO Aubrey McClendon and the energy giant.

The company, late Friday, issued its response to the article by Jeff Goodell.

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Kasich expected to unveil new Ohio energy policy

By Bob Downing Published: March 4, 2012

The Cleveland Plain Dealer today reported that Ohio Gov. John Kasich is expected to unveil a new energy policy for Ohio in the coming weeks.

That plan will reportedly include a mixture of new taxes, fees and regulation on drillers seeking natural gas from Ohio's Utica shale.

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New health study in under way in southwest Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: March 4, 2012

The Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project has opened in Washington County.

The effort  is in response to growing concern over potential health impacts from drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale.

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Columbiana landowners file lawsuit against Chesapeake

By Bob Downing Published: March 4, 2012

A total of 33 Columbiana County landowners in five townships have filed a lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy and its subsidiary, CHK Utica.

The suit was filed Feb. 27 in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.

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Residents protest no-water decision

By Bob Downing Published: March 4, 2012

About 75 residents protested on Thursday in Butler, Pa., after an energy company said it would no longer provide replacement water to some residents.

The residents of The Woodslands, a rural community in southern Butler County about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh, picketed outside the offices of Rex Energy Inc.

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Pennsylvania drilling violations

By Bob Downing Published: March 3, 2012

Last month, the PennEnvironmnent Research and Policy Center documented 3,365 violations by Pennsylvania natural gas operators in the Marcellus shale over the last four years.

Between 2008 and 2011, energy companies drilled 4,596 new wells in Pennsylvania.

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Chesapeake CEO profiled in Rolling Stone

By Bob Downing Published: March 3, 2012

Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon is profiled by Rolling Stone in an online article posted this week.

He studied history at Duke University, wanted to be an accountant, was a landman seeking gas-oil leases  in his early days, formed Chesapeake in 1989 and now directs America's second-lar4gest producer of natural gas.

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Chesapeake under federal investigation

By Bob Downing Published: March 2, 2012

The U.S. Department of Justice in investigating Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. for possible environmental violations at three well sites in West Virginia.

CBS News reported that federal investigators are looking into possible criminal violations and other liabilities under the federal Clean Water Act.

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Portman pleased that EPA to review Wyoming report

By Bob Downing Published: March 2, 2012

U.S. Sen, Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced today that he is pleased that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will review its controversial decision on hydraulic fracturing or fracking in Wyoming.

The federal agency decided to designate its draft report from Pavillion, Wyo., to be a "highly influential scientific assessment" that wil require a more thorough and transparent peer review.

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Canton calls itself the "Utica Capital"

By Bob Downing Published: March 2, 2012

Canton Mayor William T. Healy II last night declared Canton to be the "Utica Capital."

The mayor made his announcement during his fifth annual State of the City speech.

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Chesapeake news

By Bob Downing Published: March 2, 2012

Ohio's Utica shale came up for discussion at Cheapeake Energy Corp.'s Feb. 22 earnings call with investors.

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New 90-mile pipeline planned in Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: March 2, 2012

Business reporter John Funk of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported today that NiSource Midstream Services is planning to build a new natural gas pipeline in eastern Ohio.

The 90-mile pipeline would run through six counties from Columbiana south to Monroe County. It would pass through Carroll, Jefferson, Harrison and Belmont counties.

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Ohio exotic animal preserve leased for drilling

By admin Published: March 1, 2012

COLUMBUS: The expected boom in natural gas drilling could extend to the Wilds, an outdoor exotic animal preserve established by a consortium of zoos in eastern Ohio.

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See the most recent drilling report and an injection wells map From NewsOutlet.org

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.