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Ohio Utica Shale

Pollution from drilling needs federal oversight, professor says

By Bob Downing Published: May 31, 2012

Air and water pollution from gas and oil drilling moves across state lines, so the drilling should be regulated by the federal government, a Cornell University professor said.

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking releases benzene and ozone into the air and can pollute surface water, testified Robert Howarth,  a critic of drilling and a professor of ecology and environmental biology.

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Chesapeake must sell $7 billion in assets

By Bob Downing Published: May 31, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp. must sell at least $7 billion in assets this year to avoid a credit downturn and a breach of debt covenants, Moody's Investor Service said today.

Rising debt levels and lower earnings raise the risk that the company will exceed a limit on debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in its credit facility in the second half of the year, said Moody's analyst Pete Speer.

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June 2 rally against water sales in New Philadelphia

By Bob Downing Published: May 31, 2012

Anti-fracking groups from across Ohio will rally on Saturday, June 2, in New Philadelphia.

The rally will run from 9 a.m. to noon in front of the Tuscarawas County Courthouse, 101 E. High St., New Philadelphia.

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An NPR look at Chesapeake Energy

By Bob Downing Published: May 31, 2012

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. has been in the news a lot.

A team of National Public Radio reporters in Oklahoma, Texas and Pennsylvania worked together to provide a fresh look at Chesapeake and its financial problems.

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Chesapeake plans to sell leases in Wyoming, Colorado

By Bob Downing Published: May 31, 2012

Chesapeake Energy has put a half million acres in Wyoming and Colorado up for sale.

The money-strapped company has said it may sell assets worth $11.5 billion this year.

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Medical experts seeking fracking answers

By Bob Downing Published: May 31, 2012

The shale boom in Ohio and other states continues, even as medical experts struggle to determine whether hydraulic fracturing or fracking is safe.

Here's a new take on what's happening from Nature. Click  here  to read the story.

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Rex Energy completes first Ohio well

By Bob Downing Published: May 30, 2012

Pennsylvania-based Rex Energy Corp. announced this week that it has completed drilling its first Utica shale well in Ohio's Carroll County.

It reported that the well was drilled to a depth of 12,332 feet with a lateral length of 4,170 feet.

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New study: Fracking does not impact drinking water

By Bob Downing Published: May 30, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp. has released a new report by a consulting firm that looks at drinking water in Pennsylvania's Bradford County and finds no links between natural gas drilling and water impacts.

The 360-page study was done for Chesapeake Energy by Weston Solutions.

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Columbus Dispatch column on Ohio fracking

By Bob Downing Published: May 30, 2012

Click  here  to read an interesting column by Joe Blundo of the Columbus Dispatch.

The column that ran on Tuesday looks at what's happening in Ohio with disclosure rules on drilling for natural gas, in Blundo's view.

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Chesapeake lobbying booms in Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: May 30, 2012

The National Institute on Money in State Politics reports that Chesapeake Energy Corp. and several of its subsidiaries have contributed $5.3 million and CEO Aubrey McClendon an additional $1.1 million to state-level candidates, political parties and ballot-measure committees in 18 states since 2000.

Chesapeake had no registered lobbyists in Ohio from 2005 through 2010, but employed seven lobbyists in 2011, the Montana-based group reports.

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Chesapeake's comments on Icahn's filing

By Bob Downing Published: May 30, 2012

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. released its own statement, after investor Carl Icahn filed paperwork saying he owns 7.56 percent of Chesapeake's common stock.

Icahn has called for four Chesapeake directors being replaced.

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Investors like "Golden Rules" for drilling

By Bob Downing Published: May 30, 2012

Environmentally friendly investors with $1 trillion in assets like what they see in the International Energy Agency's "Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas" in a report released on Tuesday.

The report, part of the World Energy Outlook series, outlines a number of recommendationson drilling  that the investors' group had outlined earlier.

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Still more on S.B. 315

By Bob Downing Published: May 30, 2012

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, Ohio passed the most comprehensive natural gas bill, but it didn't go far enough.

Click here  to read the blog post by the eco-group's Matt Watson on why natural gas extraction remains a threat to the health of Ohioans and the environment.

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More on Chesapeake Energy

By Bob Downing Published: May 30, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp. and its money woes continue to be in the headlines.

Click here  to read Tuesday's story by Carol Hymowitz and Joe Carroll of Bloomberg News.

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More reaction to Ohio's S.B. 315

By Bob Downing Published: May 29, 2012

From Dan Alfaro of Energy in Depth-Ohio, a pro-drilling industry group:

"As the state (Ohio) emerges as a leader in domestic energy production with the continued development of the Utica shale, it is also setting the standard in its regulatory system for developing states across the U.S.

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Could Range Resources be facing Chesapeake-like problems?

By Bob Downing Published: May 29, 2012

The Energy Policy Forum suggests that Range Resources could be on the brink of a downward financial spiral, like Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Range Resources has divested itself of holdings in the Barnett shale in Texas in favor of the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania.

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FracFocus celebrates 1-year anniversary

By Bob Downing Published: May 29, 2012

FracFocus has celebrated its one-year anniversary.

The site at http://fracfocus.org now lists information on 15,000 wells across the country  including some in eastern Ohio.

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Two meetings in Ravenna on citizens' rights

By Bob Downing Published: May 29, 2012

A workshop to examine citizerns' rights and natural gas drilling will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Reed Memorial Library in Ravenna.

A second session will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. June 5 at the Ravenna library.

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Pennsylvania drilling drops slightly

By Bob Downing Published: May 29, 2012

The number of active Pennsylvania gas drilling rigs is continuing to decline, but the number in West Virginia is increasing.

Baker Hughes Inc., a Texas-based oil-field services company, reported on Monday that there are 95 drilling rigs operating in Pennsylvania, down one from the previous week.

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Three families file suit in Washington County

By Bob Downing Published: May 29, 2012

Three families in southwest Pennsylvania have filed a lawsuit that they face serious health problems from natural gas drilling.

The suit alleges that Range Resources Inc., 12 subcontractors and two water-testing laboratories conspired to alter test results and exposed them to hazardous chemicals, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

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Researcher comes under attack for industry ties

By Bob Downing Published: May 29, 2012

An expert on the natural-gas boom is again facing criticism over his ties to industry and the lack of transparency in how he presents work to the public, the Associated Press reported this week.

Timothy Considine was the lead author of a shale-gas report recently issued by the University of Buffalo and a previous report from Penn State University.

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Pennsylvania has 9,848 Marcellus shale wells

By Bob Downing Published: May 29, 2012

It took more than 10 months for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to determine how many Marcellus shale natural gas wells exist in Pennsylvania.

The answer: 9,848, according to the museum's Powdermill Nature Reserve.

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Methane problem found in Bradford County

By Bob Downing Published: May 29, 2012

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that methane gas has bubbled to the surface in three residential wells and two streams in Pennsylvania's Bradford Counjty.

The problem surfaced late last weekabout a half mile from two Marcellus shale wels drilled by Chesapeake Energy Corp..

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Medina County meeting on Thursday, May 31

By Bob Downing Published: May 29, 2012

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking will be the subject of a public program at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 31, in northwest Medina County.

The program will be held at the Litchfield Assembly of God, 9082 Norwalk Road (state Route 18), Litchfield Township.

Speakers include Joe Logan of the Ohio Environmental Council and former Pittsburgh city councilman Doug Shields.

For more information, call 440-989-7860.

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking will be the subject of a public program at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 31, in northwest Medina County.

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Industry supports Ohio's new drilling rules

By Bob Downing Published: May 25, 2012

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association supports Senate Bill 315, Ohio's new rules on drilling.

Here is the statement of Thomas E. Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association:

"After great debate and compromise, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 315 yesterday — a vote that will establish Ohio as the benchmark for oil-and-gas oversight in the nation.

"The association supports SB 315 as passed by the House, which builds upon previous legislative efforts — most notably SB 165 (128th General Assembly) — to further strengthen Ohio’s existing oil and gas laws and regulations. We believe that the legislation is balanced and will help provide the public with the information that they require, while protecting the competitiveness of the state’s oil and gas industry.

"Ohio is on the verge of an energy-driven economy fueled by oil and gas exploration and production in the Utica shale formation. SB 315 will play a key role in ensuring that oil and gas development is conducted responsibly and in the best interest of all Ohioans."

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PVR Partners unveil Marcellus shale pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: May 24, 2012

Penn Virginia Resource Partners LP announved on Monday that its midstream subsidiary has unveiled $380 million in Marcellus shale pipelines in Pennsylvania's Lycoming County.

The agreement including gathering and compression stations involves four partners in northeast Pennsylavia including Royal Dutch Shell, Range Resources Corp., Inflection Energy and Southwestern Energy Co.

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Engineering firm opens Canton office

By Bob Downing Published: May 24, 2012

Michael Baker Jr. Inc., an engineering unit of Michael Baker Corp., announced on Wednesday that it was opening a Canton office in connection with the developing Utica/Marsellus shales.

The parent company  has offices in Cleveland and Columbus.

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Opposition to fracking slows European development

By Bob Downing Published: May 24, 2012

Opposition to hydraulic fracturing or fracking has slowed natural gas development in Europe, creating export opportunities to U.S. producers hurt by low prices and a glut of gas at home, Bloomberg News reports.

You can read the Bloomberg News by clicking here.

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Fracking meeting on June 5 in Pepper Pike

By Bob Downing Published: May 21, 2012

A meeting on hydraulic fracturing or fracking is scheduled June 5 in the Cleveland suburb of Pepper Pike.

The program, called "Fracking in Our Backyard: Why We Should Care?"  will be at 7:16 p.m. at Park Synogogue East, 27500 Shaker Boulevard.

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Watershed district signs third drilling lease

By Bob Downing Published: May 21, 2012

The Muskingum Conservancy Watyershed District on Friday signed its third lease with a natural gas-drilling company.

The deal with Texas-based Sierra Buckeye covers 185 acres near Dover Dam in northern Tuscarawas County.

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Eco-groups: Kasich's bill has too many loopholes

By Bob Downing Published: May 20, 2012

Local and national eco-groups say that Ohio's proposed law requiring natural gas-oil drilling companies to reveal the chemicals they use has major loopholes.

The law would allow drilling companies to declare some chemicals trade secrets that state regulators could not reveal to the public except for health professionals in a medical emergency.

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Chesapeake joins suit against Columbiana landowners

By Bob Downing Published: May 20, 2012

The Youngstown Vindicator on Saturday reported that Chesapeake Energy Corp. has joined a lawsuit against Columbiana County landowners who are refusing to permit seismic testing on their land.

The suit was initially filed by TSG NOPEC Geophysical Co. of Houston, which was to do the testing for Chesapeake under leases signed by the landowners.

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Bloomberg profiles Chesapeake's 'money man'

By Bob Downing Published: May 20, 2012

Bloomberg News on Friday wrote a story about Ralph Eads, the banker who has funded the expansion of Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Eads is vice chairman at the Jeffreies Group Inc. that is based in New York City.

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Chesapeake Energy update

By Bob Downing Published: May 20, 2012

Financially stressed Chesapeake Energy Corp. of Friday said it would  cut the pay of outside directors on its board by 20 percent and eliminate their use of company aircraft, the Associated Press reported.

The company said it is implementing the new policy after consulting with an independent compensation adviser.

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Coalition unveils new online headquarters

By Bob Downing Published: May 20, 2012

Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale Coalition has revamped its online site.

The coalition represents more than 300 companies active in the Macrellus and Utica shale development.

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Here's more on waterless fracking

By Bob Downing Published: May 20, 2012

A Canadian company has proposed using propane frack natural gas wells in New York state without millions of gallons of water.

There are reports that the company intends to frack two Utica shale wells in eastern Ohio for an unnamed drilling company using the same process.

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USA Today: Energy independence is possible

By Bob Downing Published: May 20, 2012

USA Today on Wednesday had a front-page story on how energy indepedence is not just a pipe dream any more for the United States.

The story looks at Williamsport, Pa., a hot spot for drilling into the Marcellus shale in north-central Pennsylvania.

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Wayne National Forest leasing again on table

By Bob Downing Published: May 18, 2012

The U.S. Forest Service is again looking at leasing the Wayne National Forest in southern Ohio for natural gas drilling.

That possibility has resulted in more than 500 people signing petitions against such drilling, the Marietta Times reports.

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Saturday pro-drilling rally in Columbus

By Bob Downing Published: May 18, 2012

Ohio pro-drilling groups will rally in Columbus on Saturday, May 19.

The parties involved are the American Petroleum Institute, Ohio AFL-CIO, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Plumbers & Pipefitters Union Local 189, the Ohio Shale Coalition, the Buckeye Energy Forum and Energy in Depth-Ohio.

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Site near Hanoverton chosen for processing facility

By Bob Downing Published: May 18, 2012

Utica East Ohio Midstream LLC has purchased 117 acres off state Route 644 south of Hanoverton in Columbiana County for a new collection and compression site for natural gas.

The site was sold for $1.8 million, the Review reported.

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Investors call for best practices in fracking

By Bob Downing Published: May 18, 2012

A coalition of 55 major investment organizations with $1 trillion in assets is calling for the use of best practices in shale drilling.

The group is led by Boston Common Asset Management, the Investor Environmental Health Network and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Reponsibility, sustainable investing and religious investing groups.

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Judge allows survey work to continue in Jefferson County

By Bob Downing Published: May 18, 2012

A Jefferson County Common Pleas Court judge has allowed survey work to continue on a new pipeline.

Enterprise Liquids Pipeline of Houston had filed for an injunction to be allowed to enter a property near Bloomingdale.

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Drilling expected to spread in Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: May 18, 2012

The Marcellus Shale Coalition distributed a story from the Erie (Pa.) Times-News on how drilling for natural gas is likely to spread into the Erie area.

To date, no wells have been drilled in Erie or Crawford counties.

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Roads, truck traffic have been big issue in some states

By Bob Downing Published: May 18, 2012

Bloomberg News on Tuesday reported that the condition of roads used by drillers and the heavy truck traffic are creating big problems in states including West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas.

That does not appear to be a big problem in Ohio where drillers have been working with local officials on road agreements in advance of drillers moving in.

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Ohio park lovers form new coalition

By Bob Downing Published: May 17, 2012

A new statewide group, the Coalition to Protect Ohio's Parks, was kicked off today, in an effort to preserve Ohio's state parks and forests by keeping out industral activities like natural gas drilling and by changing a new state policy that allows commercial logging in state parks.

The new group was unveiled at an afternoon press conference in Columbus.

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Ohio is getting waterless fracking technique

By Bob Downing Published: May 17, 2012

A Canadian company has been asked to frack two wells in Ohio using liquid petroleum gas, not water.

The request was made to GasFrac Energy Services, a company based in Calgary.

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Ohio Oil & Gas Association takes issue with study

By Bob Downing Published: May 17, 2012

The Ohio & Oil Gas Association is taking issue with a new study on Ohio's proposed drilling taxes by Ernst & Young that was done for the Ohio Business Roundtable.

Here is the statement of Tom Stewart,  executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association:

"The Ohio Business Roundtable’s analysis of Gov. Kasich’s proposal to increase the severance tax on oil and natural gas producers throughout the state is based on several flawed assumptions.

"The study, conducted by Ernst & Young, drastically underestimates the up-front cost of developing a horizontal well. The cost of an average horizontal well in Ohio is between $8 and $12 million, far more expensive than the report’s assumption of $4 million per well. The report also assumes that an average Ohio well will produce 90,000 barrels of natural-gas liquids in the initial year of operation. Based on actual production of horizontal wells in Ohio to date, it could take years for the average well to produce that amount.

"The Roundtable’s analysis also fails to take into account the tax abatements offered in many states and the approximately 6 percent personal-income tax rate paid by Ohio’s landowners and oil and gas producers.

"We’re also very curious as to why the CEOs and business leaders that comprise Ohio’s Business Roundtable would support a tax increase on another business, particularly when they pay a commercial activity tax (CAT) rate of just 26 cents per $100 in revenue, while asking one industry to pay a rate nearly 16 times higher."

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Chesapeake Energy, Part 1

By Bob Downing Published: May 17, 2012

What happns to Ohio's drilling dreams if Chesapeake Energy can't survive its debt crisis?

That's the main story today in the Cleveland Plain Dealer by reporter Robert Smith.

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Chesapeake Energy, Part 2

By Bob Downing Published: May 17, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp., in a conference call on Monday, said it intends to focus on oil- and liquids-rich holdings like Ohio's Utica shale and to slow its rapid-fire land acquisition, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on its Pipeline blog.

Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon said his firm will slow land acquisition and focus on shale acreage like that in Appalachia that is loaded with lucrative wet natural gases like ethane, butane and propane.

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Chesapeake Energy, Part 3

By Bob Downing Published: May 17, 2012

Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that Chesapeake Energy could get more money than had been expected for its Permian Basin natural gas/oil field  in West Texas.

Chesapeake had estimated the value of its Permian Basin holdings at $5 billion, but it could be worth as much as $6.82, the news service reported.

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Chesapeake Energy, Part 4

By Bob Downing Published: May 17, 2012

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that investor Carl Icahn is thought to have purchased a significant stake in  financially embattled Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Icahn was mum on any purchase, and formal filings on stock purchases may not show for a few days.

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Meyers Lakes bans gas-oil drilling, leasing

By Bob Downing Published: May 17, 2012

Meyers Lake Village Council on Monday banned gas-oil drilling in the Stark County community of 570 people.

The ban was ununimously adopted, reported the Canton Repository.

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New study says Ohio tax rates would still be lowest

By Bob Downing Published: May 16, 2012

A new study by Ernst & Young shows that Ohio would have the lowest tax rates of any major shale state, even if Gov. John kasich gets his so-called fracking tax, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

The study was released Tuesday and had been requested by the Ohio Business Roundtable.

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Carroll County Web site

By Bob Downing Published: May 16, 2012

Carroll County is the drilling hot spot in eastern Ohio, and there's a Web site that touts the drilling activity.

You can get information on job openigs, business developments, events, residents, small-town values and connections at www.ccgusher.com.

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Matt Watson blog on Ohio S.B. 315

By Bob Downing Published: May 16, 2012

Here is today's blog on Ohio's Senate Bill 315 as posted by Matt Watson of the Environmental Defense Fund:

Energy Exchange

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Activists unhappy with Senate approval of S.B. 315

By Bob Downing Published: May 16, 2012

Ohio activists were unhappy on Tuesday when the Ohio Senate approved Senate Bill 315, Gov. John Kasich's energy bill.

Critics called it a "shameful energy bill."

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Activists call for California ban on fracking

By Bob Downing Published: May 16, 2012

On Tuesday, activists in California called for a ban on fracking.

The announcement came from Environment California, Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community, Grasroots Coalition, filmmaker Josh Fox and the national consumer group Food & Water Watch.

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Aqua Ohio to provide water for shale drilling

By Bob Downing Published: May 16, 2012

The Youngstown Vindicator reported on Tuesday that Aqua Ohio has leased land in the Youngstown suburb of Struthers to sell water to drilling companies for hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

Trucks hauling up to 3,000 gallons can fill up from Hamilton Lake and haul the untreated water to drilling sites in eastern Ohio's Utica shale.

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Star-studded Albany anti-fracking rally held

By Bob Downing Published: May 16, 2012

Musicians Natalie Merchant. Joan Osborne, Citizen Cope and Tracy Bonham headlined a star-studded anti-fracking concert on Tuesday in Albany, N.Y.

The event was organized by New Yorkers Against Fracking.

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Bloomberg News offers update on Chesapeake

By Bob Downing Published: May 14, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Friday got a $3 billion unsecured loan from Goldman Sachs.

The Oklahoma-based energy giant is also working to auction off some of its assets to solve its financial problems.

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Hagan wants federal investigation of injection wells

By Bob Downing Published: May 13, 2012

State Rep. Bob Hagan, D-Youngstown, announced on Friday that he will introduce a resulution in the Ohio Legislature calling for a federal investigation into ground water contamination from oil and gas injection wells.

The resolution, expected to be introduced in the next few weeks, is seeking a study by the Government Accountability Office on the environmental impacts of the injection wells.

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GAO report looks at pros, cons of shale drilling

By Bob Downing Published: May 13, 2012

The federal Government Accountability Office this week recirculated an October 2010 report  looking at the pros and cons of shale drilling in the United States,

The report on the opportunities and challengers of shale drilling  was tied to recent testimony by the GAO's Anu Mitchell.

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Tax income climbs in Williamsport, Pa.

By Bob Downing Published: May 13, 2012

The city of  Williamsport  is a drilling hub in the Marcellus shale in north-central Pennsylvania.

It got a big boost in tax income from 2010 to 2011.

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Oklahoma oil bottleneck is causing problems

By Bob Downing Published: May 13, 2012

There's a lot of crude oil sitting in storage tanks in Cushing, Okla.

It is the terminus of a pipeline to carry U.S. and foreign oil to Cushing before it is pumped to American refineries for processing.

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Pa. tax collections increasing in Marcellus counties

By Bob Downing Published: May 12, 2012

A new study by researchers at Penn State University's College of Agricultural Sciences says that Marcellus shale drilling areas have a significant impact on the local collection of state taxes in Pennsylvania.

Sales tax collections in counties with more than 150 gas-oil wells rose nearly 24 percent between 2007 and 2011, compared to an average decrease of 5 percent in counties with no Marcellus wells, the researchers said.

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ConocoPhillips to focus on North American shale

By Bob Downing Published: May 12, 2012

According to the Houston Chronicle, ConocoPhillips intends to expand its position in North American shale.

The comments came on Wedneday from new CEO Ryan Lance.

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Industry: Ohio should not over-regulate drilling

By Bob Downing Published: May 12, 2012

Ohio is poised for an energy boom -- if it adopts public policies to encourage development rather than over-regulate shale gas drilling, the industry's top oil spokesman said in a talk on Friday in Cleveland.

Ohio has "immense opportunities," said Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. He called Ohio's Utica shale a "game changer.".

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Marathon Petroleum has Utica shale plans

By Bob Downing Published: May 12, 2012

Marathon Petroleum president Gary Heminger on Thursday predicted a great future for oil in Ohio's Utica shale, according to Marcellus Drilling News.

Oil production in eastern Ohio is currently 2,000 to 3,000 42-gallon barrels per day, he said during a Hancock County Republican Party dinner.

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Licking County to study fracking safety

By Bob Downing Published: May 12, 2012

Concerned about the long-term effects of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, the county commissioners in Ohio's Licking County have created an ad hoc committee to study potential safety concerns.

The safety issues need to be addressed as soon as possible, the commissioner said on Thursday.

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NRDC reports looks at wastewater

By Bob Downing Published: May 12, 2012

A report released on Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council shows that contaminated fracking wastewater is threatening people’s health and the environment, and none of the methods currently used to treat or dispose of that wastewater are safe enough, says NRDC blogger Rebecca Hammer.

This wastewater contains things like salts, oil and grease, metals, radioactive material, and manmade fracking chemicals. These pollutants can be dangerous if they’re released into the environment or if people are exposed to them.

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Pickens dumps Chesapeake stock

By Bob Downing Published: May 11, 2012

Billionaire energy investor T. Boone Pickens said he has sold off his shares in Chesapeake Energy Corp., his third-biggest stock holding on Dec. 31.

"We do not own Chesapeake stock," Pickens said Thursday at a Las Vegas conference. "We didn't like natural gas."

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Hudson fracking program set for May 23

By Bob Downing Published: May 11, 2012

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking in drilling for natural gas will be the subject of a May 23 program at the Hudson Library & Historical Society.

The panel discussion will be held at 7 p.m. at 96 Library St., Hudson.

Speakers are Rhonda Reda, executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program and the Ohio Oil and Gas Foundation and Trent Dougherty, general counsel for the Ohio Environmental Council.

The moderator will be Tim Rudell of Kent radio station WKSU-FM.

For more information, call 330-653-6658, Ext. 1010, or visit www.hudsonlibrary.org.

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking in drilling for natural gas will be the subject of a May 23 program at the Hudson Library & Historical Society.

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ODNR to have 90 inspectors by early 2013

By Bob Downing Published: May 10, 2012

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has 30 inspectors to oversee gas and oil drilling  and plans to have 90 on staff by early next year, accordinjg to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

You can read reporter Alison Grant's story  here.

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Pa. couple denied mortgage because of nearby drilling

By Bob Downing Published: May 10, 2012

Pittsburgh TV station WTAE on Tuesday reported on a Pennsylvania couple who were denied a mortgage because of shale gas drilling across the street.

Affected were Brian and Amy Smith who live near Daisytown in Washington County.

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MarkWest buying Keystone Midstream Services

By Bob Downing Published: May 10, 2012

MarkWest Energy Partners LP on Monday said it will buy Keystone Midstream Services LLC for $512 million to boost its processing operations in the liquids-rich Marcellus shale.

Keystone, owned by Rex Energy Cor,  Sumitomo Corp and Stonehenge Energy Resources LP, has assets in Butler County, Pa, including two cryogenic gas processing plants, Reuters reported.

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Crosstex Energy buys company to get into Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: May 10, 2012

Dallas-based Crosstex Energy LP and Crosstex Energy Inc. on Tuesday announced that they were acquiring privately held Clearfield Energy Inc. for $210 million.

Clearfield is a 125-year-old crude oil, condensate and water-services company with operations in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

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States attempting to legislate hydraulic fracturing

By Bob Downing Published: May 10, 2012

A total of 24 states have introduced at least 127 bills to control hydraulic fracturing or fracking in drilling for natural gas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Magnum Hunter with big well in West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: May 9, 2012

Driller Magnum Hunter Resources says it has hit it big with a natural gas well in Tyler County, W. Va.

The Texas-based company says the well yielded more than 7 million cubic feet of natural gas in one day, along with 651 barrels of natural gas liquids.

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Report: Natural gas companies under cyber attacks

By Bob Downing Published: May 9, 2012

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has identified a series of cyber attacks targeting natural gas companies in recent months, raising a red flag over potential threats to the nation's infrastructure, Fox News reported today.

The agency's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team said in its latest monthly report that it uncovered "an active series of cyber intrusions targeting natural gas pipeline sector companies."

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Consol Energy is hosting Thursday meeting on plans

By Bob Downing Published: May 9, 2012

Pittsburgh-based Consol Energy is hosting a public meeting on Thursday, May 10, in the Youngtown suburb of Boardman on its Utica shale drilling plans.

The meeting will be from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 7410 South Ave., the Youngstown Vindicator reported.

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Ohio beefing up regulatory staff with 70 new hires

By Bob Downing Published: May 9, 2012

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has begun hiring and training additional field inspectors.

With funds generated by industry permit fees, ODNR's Oil and Gas Resources Management Division will add as many as 70 additional employees this year, the state said in a press release issued on Tuesday.

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Germany says no to hydraulic fracturing

By Bob Downing Published: May 9, 2012

Germany is set to oppose hydraulic fracturing or fracking, Spiegel reported on Monday.

The German newspaper reported that Environment Minister Norbert Rottgen and Economy Minister Phillip Roster were "very skeptical" of the process to free up natural gas, oil and wet gases like butane, ethane and propane.

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Commission member gets warning of conflict of interest

By Bob Downing Published: May 9, 2012

The Associated Press reported on Monday that the Ohio Ethics Commission has warned a member of the state's oil and gas commission that his consulting work with energy companies could present a conflict of interest.

The warning went to Robert Chase, a professor of petroleum engineering at Marietta College. He also operates a private consulting firm, Chaseland LLC, that deals with landowners and energy companies seeking to lease land.

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Carroll County protest held by labor unions

By Bob Downing Published: May 9, 2012

On Tuesday, two locals of the Laborers' International Union of North America protested against work being done in Carroll County by out-of-state workers.

The protest was off state Routes 9 and 43 outside Carrollton.

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New federal fracking rules to have limited impact

By Bob Downing Published: May 9, 2012

The Obama administration's newly proposed fracking rules have a major limitation: They only apply to a sliver of the nation's natural gas-drilling lands.

ProPublica's Lena Groger reports that the proposed federal rules only apply to U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Indian lands, not to U.S. Forest Service, private or state-owned lands.

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Local Chamber of Commerce against severance tax

By Bob Downing Published: May 9, 2012

The Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce is opposed to Ohio increasing the severance tax on oil and gas at this time.

The chamber said it is not opposed to Gov. John Kasich's plan to decrease the state personal income tax.

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Reuters: Shale gas boom adds to air pollution

By Bob Downing Published: May 6, 2012

The shale energy boom is fueling a rise in the burning of waste gases, says the World Bank and its Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership.

The Wolrd Bank says billions of dollars are lost annually,Reuters reported..

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Experts expect Chesapeake to bounce back

By Bob Downing Published: May 6, 2012

Jim Carroll and Jim Polson of Bloomberg News filed a story Friday on how Chesapeake Energy Corp. is expected to bounce back, despite low natural gas prices and a growing investor distrust of its management.

Chesapeake is the No. 1 player in Ohio's Utica shale.

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Lack of infrastructure could hurt Pennsylvania cracker

By Bob Downing Published: May 6, 2012

Sheena Martin of ICIS News reports that the lack of infrastructure for Shell's proposed cracker plant in western Pennsylvania could provide an opportunity for another company to expand in Ontario plant.

She suggests that NOVA Chemicals could displace Shell's ethane supply by enlarging its plant at Corunna near Sarnia, Ontario.

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MarkWest announces two deals in Marcellus shale

By Bob Downing Published: May 6, 2012

MarkWest Energy Partners LP has announced two deals related to development of the Marcellus shale, reports marketwatch.com.

The first covers a long-term, fee-based arrangement with affiliates of Chesapeake Energy to expand Marcellus gas processing capacity in a 185-square-mile area that includes portions of Brooke, Ohio and Marshall counties in West Virginia and Washington County in southwest Pennsylvania.

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Pennyslvania shale drilling generated $3.5 billion in 2011

By Bob Downing Published: May 6, 2012

An  Associated Press analysis reported on Saturday that Marcellus shale gas wells in Pennyslvania generated about $3.5 billion in gross revenues for drillers in 2011.

In addition, drillers in West Virginia produced an additional $1.2 billion.

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Eco-groups want diesel banned from fracking

By Bob Downing Published: May 6, 2012

National environmental groups on Friday called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban the use of diesel in hydraulic fracking or fracking.

That action came after the agency had released a guidance for regulating the practice.

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Ohio legislators seek audit production clause

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2012

Two Ohio state representatives have introduced legislation to help landowners get proper compensation from leasing mineral rights for drilling.

Reps. John Carney, D-Columbus, and Mark Okey, D-Carrollton, have introduced House Bill 528 that would establish an oil and gas production audit clause to be included in every lease recorded in the state.

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Indiana company planning Utica shale joint venture

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2012

Bloomberg News this week reported that NiSource Inc. announced it intends to form a joint venture to drill for oil or natural gas in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio.

The Indiana-based company said it intends to announce a partnership within a month, a deal that could include significant downtream infrastructure for processing, the firm said.

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Vermont is poised to ban fracking

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2012

Vermont is prepared to to be the first state to ban hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

The Legislature on Friday finished work on the measure, and it's on its way to Gov. Peter Shumlin for his signature.

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New York rules on drilling waste lax, group says

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2012

A new report from a an environmental group says New York's oversight of waste disposal from natural-gas drilling operations is too lax, making it almost impossible to track how much waste is produced and how drillers dispose of it.

The report was released Friday by the Environmental Advocates of New York.

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California to write fracking regulations

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2012

Under pressure from environmentalists and state lawmakers, California Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has agreed to draft regulations on hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

Brown's administration is seeking money in the next state budget to regulate the booming oil industry and to assuage the public's concern over hydraulic fracturing or fracking, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

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On the proposed federal fracking rules

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2012

The U.S. Interior Department on Friday outlined new federal proposed rules on fracking.

They call for after-the-fact disclose of chemicals used in fracking or hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

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Environmental group likes Ohio's revised drilling rules

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2012

Testimony is continuing in Columbus on Senate Bill 315 that would tighten Ohio's rules on drilling for natural gas and oil, and one national environmental group likes what Ohio is doing.

That's the Environmental Defense Fund.

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ALEC in spotlight on fracking disclosure proposals

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2012

The American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC, has been in the spotlight for its support of controversial legislation like Florida's Stand Your Ground provision.

The conservative non-profit  group has been pushing for industry-backed model legislation that lets oil and gas companies muddy the water of fracking chemical disclosure rules, said ProPublica's Cora Currier.

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Seeking Pennsylvania's 'line of death'

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2012

Not all potential Marcellus shale areas are created equal.

Penn State geosciences professor Terry Engelder, nicknamed the father of Marcellus shale, once coined the term the "line of death" for the point where the Marcellus shale stops being productive in producing natural gas.

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Column: Chesapeake trying to boost natural gas use

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2012

Columnist Mitchell Schruman of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas wrote an interesting column on how Cheaspeake Energy Corp. is trying to boost natural gas use inthe United States.

The company, the No. 1 player in Ohio's Utica shale, has pledged to invest $1 billion in the next decade to increase natural gas use in American transportation.

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SEC inquiry into Chesapeake Energy

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2012

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Thursday confirmed that the company and its chairman and CEO, Aubrey McClendon, are under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company was notified on Wednsday by the SEC's Fort Worth regional office in Texas of an informal inquiry.

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Anti-fracking rally announced for July 28 in D.C.

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2012

Organizers on Wednesday announced plans for a major anti-fracking rally on July 28 in Washington, D.C.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

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June meeting on drilling near public well fields

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2012

Water-soil scientist Julie Weatherington-Rice will speak on drilling for natural gas in and  near public water well fields on June 7 in Carroll County.

Her talk, sponsored by Carroll Concerned Citizens, will be at 7 p.m. in the Church of Christ, 363 Moody Ave., Carrollton.

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Lawrence Township meeting on May 24

By Bob Downing Published: May 3, 2012

Northwest High School outside Canal Fulton will host a May 24 community meeting on hydraulic fracturing or fracking in drilling for natural gas.

The program, organized by community members, will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the high school’s Puffenburger Auditorium at 8580 Erie Ave. North, Lawrence Township.

Speakers include Dr. Natalie Kruse, a hydrogeochemical engineering professor at Ohio University, and Paul Feezel of Concerned Citizens of Carroll County.

Northwest High School outside Canal Fulton will host a May 24 community meeting on hydraulic fracturing or fracking in drilling for natural gas.

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More on Chesapeake Energy

By Bob Downing Published: May 3, 2012

Aubrey McClendon will remain CEO of Chesapeake Energy but he is stepping down as chairman, the energy company said on Tuesday.

That's been the biggest news of the week.

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Steingraber revisits Wisconsin's Sand County

By Bob Downing Published: May 3, 2012

Anti-fracking activist Sandra Steingraber is one of the most vocal critics of hydraulic fracturing or fracking in drilling for natural gas.

She is a visiting professor at Ithica College in New York and spoke earlier this year at Kent State University's Stark Campus.

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Industry group offers suggestions on siting

By Bob Downing Published: May 3, 2012

The powerful Marcellus Shale Coalition has released operational suggestions it hopes will standardize how the industry approaches future drilling.

The first of the recommended practices deals with leasing, site planning, development and restoration.

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New study says fracking chemicals may migrate faster

By Bob Downing Published: May 3, 2012

ProPublica's Abrahm Lustgarten reports on a new study that is raising concerns about fracking chemicals injected into the ground could migrate toward drinking water in the Marcellus shale area of Pennsylvania far more quickly that experts had predicted.

The study used computer modeling and concluded that "natural faults and fractures in the Marcellus, exacerbated by the effects of fracking itself, could allow the chemicals to reach the surface in a little as just a few years," he wrote.

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Pa. hospitals to check on health problems from drilling

By Bob Downing Published: May 3, 2012

Geisinger Health System, a non-profit chain of hospitals in eastern Pennsylvania, plans to use its datbase of patient records to determine whether natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale in harming residents.

The hospital system began planning the project last year and started mining hundreds of thousands of records in recent weeks, Bloomberg News reported.

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Moody & Associates to open Stark County office

By Bob Downing Published: May 3, 2012

Moody & Associates Inc. announced on Wednesday  the opening a new office in Canton.

The firm provides hydrogeological consulting services to support the gas and oil industry in the Utica shale under eastern Ohio.

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Swiss company buys Youngstown property

By Bob Downing Published: May 3, 2012

A Swiss company involved in gas-and-oil operations has purchased property in Youngstown, according to the Youngstown Vindicator.

Weatherford Artificial Lift Systems Inc., a sbubsidiary of Weatherford International Ltd., has purchased two parcels for $3.4 million.

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Ohio University switching to natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

Ohio University is switching its Lausche plant from coal to natural gas for the summer.

The university said it was able to secure enough fuel to run the plant for five months because of low prices for natural gas.

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West Virginia to install earthquake monitors

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

West Virginia is expected to get 13 or 14 earthquake monitors this summer, West Virginia Public Radio reported last week.

The stations will remain in place for two years under the EarthScope program.

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Latest Ohio drilling permit totals

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

To date, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has approved 207 permits for drilling natural gas wells in Ohio's Utica shale.

As of April 30, 62 horizontal wells have been drilled, according to the latest state data.

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May 25 drilling panel in Brecksville

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

The Cuyahoga Valley Regional Council of Governments is sponsoring a panel discussion on hydraulic fracturing or fracking at its annual meeting on May 25.

The program begins at 9 a.m. and runs to 11:30 a.m. at the Valley Inn, 8001 Brecksville Road, Brecksville.

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NRDC blog: Ohio needs to tighten rules

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

Ohio is tightening its rules on drilling for natural gas on two fronts.

The Legislature in considering Senate Bill 315 proposed by Gov. John Kasich.

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Union wants local hires by drilling industry

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

A labor union on Monday approached county commissioners in Tuscarawas County about getting support for local hires as the drilling industry expands into eastern Ohio.;

The request for support came from Laborers Union Local 134 and Local 530.

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Ohio accepting more briny drilling wastes

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

In 2011, Ohio accepted 500 million gallons of briny, drilling wastes from drilling from natural gas and oil.

That volume grew by 40 percent from 2010.

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Carroll County group meeting in Thursday

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

Carroll County Concerned Citizens will hear about the proposed Truth in Leasing Act from state Rep. Mark Okey at its Thursday, May 3, meeting.

The meeting of the grass-roots group will be at 7 p.m. at the Church of Christ, 353 Moody Ave., Carrollton.

To read more or comment...

Ohio State sponsoring May 25 law symposium

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

Continued development of Ohio's Utica shale has prompted Ohio State University's Agricultural and Resource Law Program to schedule its second annual Ohio Oil and Gas Law Symposium on May 25.

It will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Longaberger Golf Course in Nashport, 10 miles east of Newark.

To read more or comment...

Response to EPA clean-air rules on drilling

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

Physicians Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy released its reaction to new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules on hydraulical fracturing or fracking for natural gas.

The non-profit group, based in Ithica, N.Y., called the new air rules "too little, too late" in a statement released on Monday.

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Group says Great Lakes are at risk from pipeline spills

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

The National Wildlife Federation on Monday said that laws governing oil pipelines do not adquately protect the Great Lakes and its communities from oil pollution.

"Current laws leave the door open to future oil spills," said Sara Gosman, water resources attorney for the group's Great Lakes office and a lecturer att he University of Michigan Law School.

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Fight continues over sealing family's medical records

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

A Pennsylvania court should disclose the legal settlement between a family that claimed natural gas drilling threatened its health and several gas producers, said a coalition of environmental and health groups in a Monday teleconference.

Sealing the court records contribites to a veil of secrecy that makes it impossible for doctors to assess the potential impacts of drilling, said Jerome Paulson of the Washington-based Child Health Advocacy Institute.

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Fracking dust poses biggest threat

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

Bloomberg News reports that a federal government researcher says sand dust from hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from rock is one of the biggest threats to workers at drilling sites.

About 80 percent of air samples from well sites in five states exceeded recommended limits for silica particles, said Eric Esswein, an industrial hygenist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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Federal health agency to look at fracking

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

The  Institute of Medicine announced on Monday that it will examine the hydraulic fracturing or fracking processto drill for natural gas to determine whether the process "poses potential heatlh challenges."

The news came from a spokesman for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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More hearings in Columbus on S.B. 315

By Bob Downing Published: May 1, 2012

State Sen. Shannon Jones,R-Springsboro,  chair of the Ohio Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee, has set two more hearings for Gov. John Kasich’s drilling bill, S.B. 315.

On Wednesday, May 2, the hearing will be at 9 a.m. in the Finance Hearing Room, Room 126, Senate Building.

To read more or comment...

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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.