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Natural gas not sustainable, Columbia professor tells international gathering

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 31, 2013

Natural gas is a cleaner fuel than coal but it is not clean enough to help the globe, an environmental expert, Columbia University's Jeffrey Sachs, said at an international gathering in Abu Dhabi, according to Clean Technica.

Clean Technica said highlights of Sachs' talk included:

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Shell CEO sees natural gas prices staying low in 2013

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 31, 2013

Shell's chief executive officer tells CNBC that natural gas prices likely will stay low this year and need to go higher before companies can justify additional shale drilling for the fuel.

CNBC reports: "'If I look at the macro in terms of gas prices in the U.S., I don't see big changes in 2013. I think it'll take a little bit longer until it comes back to a range that we think should be around $3 to $5 or $4 to 6 -- where most projects would make sense,' Peter Voser told CNBC Europe's 'Squawk Box.'

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Pa. landowners in 2012 to reap $1.2 billion in royalties from natural gas drilling, AP reports

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 31, 2013

The Associated Press reports Pennsylvania landowners may get $1.2 billion in royalties from natural gas drilling in 2012.

The AP reports: "Private landowners are reaping billions of dollars in royalties each year from the boom in natural gas drilling, transforming lives and livelihoods even as the windfall provides only a modest boost to the broader economy.

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Ohio court rules state panel can’t review drilling permits involving fracking

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 31, 2013

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled a state commission that hears oil and gas complaints can’t consider drilling permits that the state gives to companies that use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking,
The Dispatch said, "The high court’s 5-2 ruling declares that the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission lacked the authority to consider a Columbiana County cattle farm’s challenge of a drilling permit that state officials had awarded to Chesapeake Energy.

"The decision also helps end a months-long legal dispute between the five-member commission, oil and gas companies and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. State lawmakers got involved, too, passing a law in September that declared drilling permits off-limits.

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Eagle Ford shale development in Texas appears a long-term thing

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 30, 2013

Texas continues to grapple with how to deal with the ongoing development of the Eagle Ford shale.

Ongoing issues involve housing, water availability and the condition of roads, reports Fuel Fix.

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Shell not looking at other states for ethane cracker: Pa. governor

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 30, 2013

Shell is not looking outside Pennsylvania to build a major ethane cracker, the state's governor says in a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

 

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Devon Energy selling Utica shale properties in Ohio

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 30, 2013

Devon Energy Corp. is putting its Utica shale properties in Ohio up for sale, ShaleOhio reports.

The offering from Scotia Bank says in part: "The Scotia Waterous (USA) Inc. ('Scotia Waterous') has been retained as exclusive advisor by Devon Energy Corporation ('Devon' or the 'Company') to advise and assist in the sale of the Company’s Utica Shale / Point Pleasant assets in Eastern Ohio (the 'Offering'). The Utica / Point Pleasant play is currently in the early stages of appraisal and development. Regional well results are promising and there is growing confidence in the prospectivity of the play given very significant leasing and drilling activity.

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Chesakeake CEO change signals new phase in natural gas industry

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 30, 2013

Laurent Belsie at the Christan Science Monitor writes: "If the change at Chesapeake is any indication, the next phase of the gas boom is going to be far more sober and buttoned-down, as companies move to shave their debts and boost operating profits as they wait for natural gas demand to catch up with supply.

"McClendon didn't grab the limelight simply because of his company's acquisitions. His personal investments and intertwined financial maneuverings with the company and its customers prompted Chesapeake to investigate those dealings. (He once sold  his collection of antique maps to the company for $12 million, well above its value, according to The Wall Street Journal, before shareholder lawsuits forced him to buy it back.)"

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Cline shale find in Texas could dwarf Bakken reserves, article claims

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 30, 2013

Investor site StreetAuthority is gushing over the potential of other shale fields in the United States. It says one shale formation in particular now being explored in Texas could hold as much as 30 billion barrels of recoverable oil and fuel, dwarfing the estimated 4.3 billion barrels in North Dakota's Bakken shale.

Street Authority writes: "Devon's wells show that the formation contains 3.6 million recoverable barrels of oil per square mile. As the Cline is roughly 9,800 square miles in size, this works out to estimated reserves in excess of 30 billion barrels. 

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Natural gas powered vehicles, not electric, better for warding off energy crisis, story says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 30, 2013

Motor vehicles in the United States powered by natural gas could ease the energy crisis more so than electric cars, Scientific American says in a story: ":Geopolitical issues are driving up the cost of oil and eroding U.S. energy security and could trigger another recession, according to energy experts.

"But fuels derived from natural gas could help avoid a future oil crisis if they're poised to effectively compete in the oil-dominated transportation sector, members of the U.S. Energy Security Council said yesterday at a meeting of energy industry leaders."

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Chesapeake Energy CEO McClendon to resign, company says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 29, 2013

Bloomberg News reports: "Chesapeake Energy Corp. Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon will resign from the company he built into the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer after scrutiny of his personal finances and a corporate cash crunch erased as much as 43 percent of its market value last year.
"McClendon will retire from the company April 1 and will serve as CEO until his successor is appointed, Oklahoma City- based Chesapeake said today in a statement. "The board said to date it has found no evidence of improper conduct in the CEO’s relationship with the company. It will release its review on Feb. 21, when announcing earnings results."

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Fracking plays second fiddle to technological wonder of horizontal drilling, Forbes column says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 29, 2013

The horizontal drilling, not fracking, of deep underground shale to tap the entrapped oil and natural gas is today's real technological wonder in the oil industry, says Dave Blackmon at Forbes magazine.

Blackmon: "... the real marvel is the innovation that has take place in the realm of Horizontal Drilling.  

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More solar and wind power also will increase demand for natural gas, columnist argues

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 29, 2013

Generating more and more electricity from solar and wind will require natural gas-powered peaking plants as backup, argues John Miller at The Energy Collective.

Miller says in part: "Peaking power must be on-line at some minimum rate and available to quickly adjust to variable renewables power supply changes as required to continuously control power grids supply-demand balances within operating safety limits.Natural gas is an excellent source of both peaking and baseload electric power supply. 

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Marcellus shale company taking out 1 billion cubic feet of gas daily, others to follow

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 29, 2013

There's a lot of natural gas coming out of the Marcellus shale.

Marcellus Drilling News notes that one company so far is taking out a billion cubic feet of gas per day and other companies may shortly follow suit.

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BP Energy looks to start drilling in Trumbull County

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 29, 2013

The Business Journal reports that BP Energy will soon start drilling in Trumbull County.

The Journal reports: "The first three applications for test wells related to BP Energy's oil and gas exploration in Trumbull County show that the energy giant is assessing an area just east of Mosquito Lake before its drilling program begins in April, according to state records.

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Will Ohio start accepting drilling brine at 40 landfills?

By Bob Downing Published: January 28, 2013

Could Ohio landfills soon start accepting large volumes of solidified briny waste from shale drilling in Ohio and other states?

The state has not approved such shipments, but is poised — at least on paper — to open the door for drillers to use this new disposal option. That could result in tens of millions of gallons of drilling liquids being solidified and dumped in Ohio’s 40 landfills.

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Belmont County couple, Oxford Oil in drilling lawsuit

By Bob Downing Published: January 25, 2013

A Belmont County judge has stopped the Oxford Oil Co. from drilling a new well near Barnesville.

Shane and Peggy Skinner filed a lawsuit against the firm, after the couple with its signed lease and the company could not agree on a well-drilling plan.

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Pennsylvania not using most-stringent water tests

By Bob Downing Published: January 25, 2013

Pennsylvania is not using the most-stringent water testing near Macrellus shale and Utica shale wells, according to ShaleReporter.

Click  here  to read more.

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Shale deposit in South Australia could be worth $20 trillion

By Bob Downing Published: January 25, 2013

Brisbane's Linc Energy reports that a shale deposit in the far north of South Australia could be worth $20 trillion and be larger than Canada's oil sand deposits.

Click  here  to read more.

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West Virginia lawmakers looking at lease integration, pooling

By Bob Downing Published: January 25, 2013

From the West Virginia Natural gas blog:

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Pennsylvania to look at radiation levels of drilling wastes

By Bob Downing Published: January 25, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Pennsylvania plans a major study of radiation levels in oil and gas industry wastewater and byproducts.

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Eco-groups unhappy with DOE exporting plan for LNG

By Bob Downing Published: January 25, 2013

A press release received on Thursday:

OVER 200,000 PUBLIC COMMENTS DELIVERED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY CRITICIZING FLAWED ECONOMIC STUDY ON NATURAL GAS EXPORTS

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Ohio doctor worried about fracking, speaking in Portage County

By Bob Downing Published: January 25, 2013

Ohio loves its Utica shale for jobs, economic growth and energy, but Dr. Deborah Cowden sees a darker side.

Cowden is a family practice doctor who is convinced that air emissions from that drilling, especially the new large wells being fractured, or fracked, pose a big threat to site neighbors in Ohio.

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Groups to work with Ohio to develop new rules under SB 315

By Bob Downing Published: January 25, 2013

From the Ohio Environmental Council:

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will soon begin drafting rules that will implement SB 315, the governor’s energy legislation.

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All Utica shale drilling permits withdrawn in Maryland

By Bob Downing Published: January 25, 2013

Maryland's efforts to promote Utica shale drilling have taken a hit.

The four companies that had sought state permits have withdrawn those permits.

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Japanese chemical makers interested in U.S. shale gas

By Bob Downing Published: January 25, 2013

Japanase chemical makers are very interested in shale gas development in the United States as a means to reduce costs.

Click  here  to read more.

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GAO: Pipeline operators must report response times

By Bob Downing Published: January 25, 2013

From the Associated Press:

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Ohio hits 500 Utica shale permits with 212 wells drilled

By Bob Downing Published: January 24, 2013

Ohio has 500 permitted Utica shale wells, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.

A total of 212 of those wells have been drilled, of which 48 are in production, based on state data through Jan. 19.

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Ohio drillers lobby Ohio Legislature on Wednesday

By Bob Downing Published: January 24, 2013

A press release from the American Petroleum Institute:

COLUMBUS, Wednesday, January 23, 2013 – Hundreds of members of the Ohio Petroleum Council (OPC), Ohio Oil and Gas Association and Ohio Shale Coalition urged state legislators today to expand natural gas development in the state.

“Investments in oil and natural gas are refueling Ohio’s economy,” said OPC Legislative Director Robert Eshenbaugh. “Ohio’s energy revolution took off because lawmakers matched prudent fiscal policies with smart and effective regulation. The legislature should build on recent success by allowing greater development of Ohio’s vast natural gas reserves.”

Eshenbaugh addressed more than 200 oil and natural gas advocates, workers, employers and representatives from Ohio’s growing oil and natural gas industry in the Capitol Atrium, as part of the industry’s Oil and Gas Lobby Day. The event focused on the expanding development of Ohio’s vast natural gas reserves that is revitalizing the state’s economically distressed eastern region and creating thousands of good paying jobs across the state.

Last year, 38,000 oil and natural gas related jobs were created in Ohio, according to a recent study by the global information and research firm IHS. Ohio job growth is expected to increase exponentially in the near future, with 143,595 new jobs by 2020 and 266,624 by 2035. The industry in Ohio also paid more than $910 million in state and local taxes in 2011, according to the study.

“This year, we will make sure Ohioans understand that increasing natural gas production means more jobs and more revenue for state and local government,” Eshenbaugh said.

OPC is a division of API, which represents all segments of America's technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members provide most of the nation's energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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Chesapeake to provide gas to new Louisiana methanol plant

By Bob Downing Published: January 24, 2013

A press release from Chesapeake Energy Corp.:

VANCOUVER and OKLAHOMA CITY, JANUARY 23, 2013 - Methanex Corporation and Chesapeake Energy Corporation today announced the execution of a 10-year agreement to supply all of the natural gas required for Methanex’s one million tonne per year methanol plant in Geismar, Louisiana. Commencement of natural gas deliveries will coincide with the startup of the plant, which is expected by the end of 2014.

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Ohio farm group launches web pages looking at fracking threat

By Bob Downing Published: January 24, 2013

A press release received today from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association:

Columbus, OH—The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has launched new webpages, “Fracking and Farmland: Stories from the Field,” that provide the personal stories of farmers concerned about Ohio’s booming fracking industry and illustrations of how oil and gas extraction could impact Ohio’s food producers.

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Chesapeake Energy to let U.S. EPA test one of its wells

By Bob Downing Published: January 24, 2013

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Cheaspeake Energy Corp. has agreed to let the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conduct extensive tests at one of its drilling sites as part of an investigation into the safety of hydraulic fracturing.

The location of the well has not been determined.

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110 in Congress support natural gas exports in letter

By Bob Downing Published: January 24, 2013

From the Center for Liquified Natural Gas:

Washington, D.C.:110 members of the U.S. House of Representatives – Democrats and Republicans – today penned a letter urging Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy Steven Chu to approve exports of liquefied natural gas. The letter comes on the last day of the Department of Energy’s comment period for its third party-commissioned report on the macroeconomic impacts of LNG exports.

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Magnum Hunter gas-oil reserves increase in 2012

By Bob Downing Published: January 24, 2013

From a press release:

 

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West Virginia consulting firm looking at fracking

By Bob Downing Published: January 24, 2013

A West Virginia-based environmental consulting group is looking at shale gas development and  hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

Downstream Strategies will take part in a study made possible by a grant from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation to study the effects of fracturing in the eastern Umited States.

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Seneca Resources has six successful wells in Lycoming County

By Bob Downing Published: January 24, 2013

A press release from Seneca Resources:

(Jan. 22, 2013) WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Seneca Resources Corporation (“Seneca”), the

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CNG fuel corridor planned for West Virginuia interstate

By Bob Downing Published: January 24, 2013

IGS Energy CNG Services plans to spend $10 million in the next few months to build compressed natural gas stations along Interstate 79 in West Virginia and Pennsylvania with stations in Charleston, Jane Lew, Bridgeport and Mt. Morris, Pa.

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Rally in support of local control slated Saturday in Youngstown

By Bob Downing Published: January 23, 2013

From a press release received today:

Frackfree America National Coalition (based in Youngstown, Ohio) Seeks Youngstown Registered Voter Signatures Required To Put a Local Control, “Community Bill of Rights” Question On The May Primary Ballot: The Group Will Hold a 10 AM Rally On Saturday, January 26, 2013, To Kick Off The All-day Signing Event That Will Include Local Canvassers Going Door-to-door With A Local Control Petition Seeking Signatures Of Registered Voters And An Opportunity For Interested Voters to Sign The Petition at The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown on Saturday.

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Magnum Hunter plans four Utica wells in Ohio in 2013

By Bob Downing Published: January 23, 2013

From a Wednesday press release:

 

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World Petrochemical Conference in March in Houston

By Bob Downing Published: January 23, 2013

From a press release:

HOUSTON (January 22, 2013) – IHS Chemical will host the 2013 IHS World Petrochemical Conference and Workshops March 19 – 21, 2013, at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston. Now in its 28th year, the conference will focus on the emerging landscape in the global petrochemical industry and the challenges and opportunities that this new path forward, much of which stems from the resurgence in North American oil and gas production, presents for a sustainable future.

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Gulfport reports big numbers from two Ohio Utica shale wells

By Bob Downing Published: January 23, 2013

Oklahoma-based Gulfport Energy Corp. has released data on two additional Utica shale wells in eastern Ohio.

The wells are the fourth and eighth biggest-producing wells in the state, based on the data offered by Gulfport.

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Texas company opens Ohio sand terminal in Columbiana County

By Bob Downing Published: January 23, 2013

From the PRNewswire today:

SUGAR LAND, Texas, Jan. 23, 2013: Santrol, a Fairmount Minerals company, announced today the opening of the Columbiana proppant terminal for Marcellus and Utica shale operators. This strategically located infrastructure in northeast Ohio, south of Youngstown, enables operators to work even more efficiently by reducing proppant transportation cost from the terminal to the wellhead.

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Maryland looking at low-budget fracking leases

By Bob Downing Published: January 23, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The land men came one evening in 2006 to western Maryland,  offering property owners modest riches for a simple act: leasing their land rights to the natural gas industry's middlemen.

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Energy law firm opening new Canton office

By Bob Downing Published: January 23, 2013

From a news release:

Steptoe & Johnson has expanded its presence in the Utica shale with the opening of a new office in Canton.

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OSU Extension holding Feb. 23 workshop for Ohio landowners

By Bob Downing Published: January 23, 2013

A press release from the Ohio State University Extension:

CANFIELD, Ohio -- Landowners interested in shale energy development may want to attend an Ohio State University Extension workshop on Feb. 23.

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Ohio Liberty groups supporting 'FrackNation' film

By Bob Downing Published: January 23, 2013

A press release received today:

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Nearly 60 percent of shale residents confident of economic growth, survey says

By Bob Downing Published: January 22, 2013

A press release received today from Huntington Bank:

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- January 22, 2013 -- Almost 60 percent of consumers living in the shale exploration areas, stretching from West Virginia through Michigan, believe that the growing industry will provide economic opportunity in their areas. Of those, 14 percent believe it will provide "significant opportunity," while 43 percent say it will provide "somewhat of an opportunity," according to Huntington Bank's first Midwest Economic Index, a survey of consumers recently conducted across Huntington's markets.

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WLF urges New York to approve fracking, block community bans

By Bob Downing Published: January 22, 2013

A press relase from the Washington Legal Foundation:

 

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Company gets EPA approval for gas-conversion technology

By Bob Downing Published: January 22, 2013

A press release received today from Omnitek Engineering.

 

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Eco-groups in Wyoming court to force chemical disclosure

By Bob Downing Published: January 22, 2013

From the eco-group Earthworks:

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Drilling liquid wastes may overflow infrastructure in Ohio, elsewhere

By Bob Downing Published: January 22, 2013

From Duke University:

ANALYSIS OF FRACKING WASTEWATER YIELDS SOME SURPRISES

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USGS finds no drilling contamination in 127 Arkansas wells

By Bob Downing Published: January 22, 2013

From the U.S. Geological Survey:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A study that examined the water quality of 127 shallow domestic wells in the Fayetteville Shale natural gas production area of Arkansas found no groundwater contamination associated with gas production, according to a report released Jan. 9 by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Tracers can help determine source of water contamination

By Bob Downing Published: January 22, 2013

Scientists are developing non-toxic tracers that can be added to drilling fluids so if groundwater is contaminated investigators will be able to pinpoint if a specific gas-oil operation was to blame.

Click  here  to read more.

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Drilling on schedule for OEC's Legislative Summit on Feb. 1

By Bob Downing Published: January 22, 2013

Ohio shale drilling will be on the agenda when the Ohuio Environmental Council holds its Legislative Summit on Feb. 1.

Here is the group's flyer:

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Natural gas is also fueling shale drilling operations

By Bob Downing Published: January 22, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Advances in hydraulic fracturing technology have powered the American natural gas boom. And now hydraulic fracturing could be increasingly powered by the very fuel it has been so successful in coaxing up from the depths.

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New documentary targets critics of fracking

By Bob Downing Published: January 21, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Fracking is a method of stimulating oil and gas from deep underground that's led to a historic boom in U.S. production while also stoking controversy over its possible impact on the environment and human health.

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Ohio injection totals to be released in early February

By Bob Downing Published: January 21, 2013

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources in anticipating releasing 2012 totals from the state's injection wells in early to mid February.

The state is expecting the 2012 volume to approach 14 million 42-gallon barrels, up from 12.8 million barrels in 2011, said spokeswoman Heidi Hetzel-Evans.

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Shale Gas Summit on Feb. 5 in Mayfield Heights

By Bob Downing Published: January 21, 2013

Crain's Cleveland Business and WVIZ-Tv's Ideastream are co-sponsoring a Shale Gas Summit on Feb. 5.

The program will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with speakers and panels at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Dr., Mayfield Heights.

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Ohio Oil & Gas Gas Lobby Day is Wednesday in Columbus

By Bob Downing Published: January 21, 2013

Oil & Gas Lobby Day at the Ohio Statehouse on Wednesday, Jan. 23:

By: the Ohio Oil & Gas Association, the Ohio Petroleum Council and the Ohio Shale Coalition

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Ohio prepares report on fleet vehicles switching to natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: January 21, 2013

Last week, three Ohio state agencies released a report on the feasbility of Ohio switching its fleet vehicles to natural gas,

The report was drafted by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

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Former judge rapped in Pennsylvania drilling damage case

By Bob Downing Published: January 21, 2013

A former Washington County judge's handling of a high-profile natural gas drilling lawsuit came under attack last week from the judge now handling the case.

Judge Paul Pozonsky resigned last year.

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Pennsylvania eying mine acid runoff for fracking

By Bob Downing Published: January 21, 2013

From NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania:

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is considering a proposal to allow mine acic runoff to be be used in the fracking process.

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Pennsylvania agency under new state review

By Bob Downing Published: January 21, 2013

From NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania:

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection is being scrutinized.

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A total of 23 companies are drilling for Ohio's Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: January 20, 2013

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, a total of 23 drilling companies are in pursuit of Ohio's Utica shale.

That total was as of Jan. 12 and is reflected in the companies getting state drilling permits.

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Who's the No. 1 Ohio driller? Chesapeake, of course

By Bob Downing Published: January 20, 2013

As of Jan. 12, Ohio has 48 Utica shale wells that are in production.

The Utica Shale blog did an interesting analyis looking at where those wells are and what companies drilled them.

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Youngstown weighing fracking concerns versus economic growth

By Bob Downing Published: January 20, 2013

Dimiter Kenarov is a freelance journalist based in Istanbul, Turkey.

He is in Northeast Ohio at Kent State University as a  Pulitzer Center journalist.

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Catskill Mountainkeepers seeking anti-fracking support

By Bob Downing Published: January 20, 2013

A press release received on Saturday from New York's Catskill Mountainkeepers:

 

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Canadian folk hero continues battle against fracking

By Bob Downing Published: January 20, 2013

Jessica Ernest has become a Canadian folk hero for fighting against hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

Her battle moved into an Alberta courtroom on Friday, and Ernest was not there but her battle is continuing.

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Pittsburgh airport authority could get more drilling bonus money

By Bob Downing Published: January 20, 2013

From the Associated Press:

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says the local airport authority could get a $35 or $40 million upfront payment by leasing public land for gas drilling.

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New York begins reviewing 204,000 fracking comments

By Bob Downing Published: January 20, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By Mary Esch

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API welcomes BLM halt on new fracking rules for federal lands

By Bob Downing Published: January 19, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, January 18, 2013 – API President and CEO Jack Gerard welcomed the Bureau of Land Management decision to take proposed federal hydraulic fracturing regulations back to the drawing board.

“API asked the administration to reconsider the rules, and we welcome this move as a positive first step.” said Gerard. “However, the real test will be in the substance of the re-proposal. We hope the administration will recognize the strong oversight provided by existing state and federal regulations and take sufficient time to review the many thoughtful comments provided by the oil and natural gas industry and others. Effective regulation of hydraulic fracturing already exists in the states. Conflicting or duplicative federal requirements would delay development of abundant domestic oil and natural gas and threaten jobs and revenue to the federal treasury, without providing additional environmental protection.”

API formally commented to the BLM on the proposed regulations in June of 2012 and requested extensive changes to make the final rule workable.

“The shale energy revolution is reshaping America’s energy future,” added Gerard. “We need to be smart about regulating it. Any federal rules must recognize the states’ leadership in this area and coordinate with existing state requirements, as well as have a better technical foundation, and be cost-effective.”

Acknowledging the states existing authority of shale energy development, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said “you can't start to talk about a federal role without acknowledging the very strong state role.”

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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Obama Administration delaying federal fracking rules

By Bob Downing Published: January 19, 2013

The Obama Administartion has postponed imposing new federal rules on hydrauilic fracturing or fracking on public lands.

The federal rules would only apply to federally owned lands.

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Utica, Marcellus shales represent $10 trillion in economic opportunity

By Bob Downing Published: January 19, 2013

From Columbus Business First:

The Utica and Marcellus shale plays in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York could represent more than $10 trillion in new economic activity when fully developed, says a new report from a bond rating firm.

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Spectra Energy has infrastructure plans in Utica, Marcellus shales

By Bob Downing Published: January 19, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

Texas-based Spectra Energy, a transmission and storage company, has $4 billion in plans for infrastructure in the Utica and Marcellus shales.

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Fourth-quarter 2012 drilling on upswing, API reports

By Bob Downing Published: January 19, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, January 17, 2013 – Oil well drilling trends continue to rise in the fourth quarter of 2012 with exploratory and development wells showing a 15% and 16% increase from 2011’s fourth quarter figures, respectively, according to API's 2012 Quarterly Well Completion Report: Fourth Quarter.

“The oil and natural gas industry expanded oil drilling in 2012 thanks in large part to access on private and state lands,” said Hazem Arafa, director of API's statistics department. “Additional access to our own vast energy resources and streamlined federal permitting would allow for more opportunities to produce U.S. energy while creating more American jobs and generating more revenue for our government."

A year to date comparison of oil wells drilled yields an even larger increase: a 25% increase in total oil well completions from 2011 to 2012 (26,213 to 32,652 wells), according to the report.

The number of total gas wells completed continued to decline in both the fourth quarter of 2012 and in year to date comparisons, despite an uptick in exploratory gas drilling. In the year to date comparison, gas well completions have decreased 26% from 2011 (13,128 to 9,752 wells).

API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America's energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
 

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District has drilling lease on 6,700 acres at Seneca Lake

By Bob Downing Published: January 18, 2013

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District announced on Friday that it has negotiated an oil-gas lease for 6,700 acres at Seneca Lake in Guernsey and Noble counties.

The lease with Colorado-based Antero Resources is expected to be voted on by the district’s governing board at its Feb. 15 meeting.

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Ohio grass-roots group makes water plea to Gov. Kasich

By Bob Downing Published: January 18, 2013

Here is the letter to Ohio Gov. John Kasich from Lea Harper of the Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water:

January 11, 2013

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Total U.S. petroleum deliveries dropped 2 percent in 2012

By Bob Downing Published: January 18, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, January 18, 2013 – Total U.S. petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) were down 2.0 percent for 2012 compared with 2011 – and were at the lowest annual level in 16 years. They also were down 2.1 percent in December against a year ago. Year over year declines were seen in all months in 2012 except for May.

Gasoline and distillate deliveries were also down for the year compared with 2011, gasoline by 0.4 percent and distillates by 4.0 percent. Kerosine-jet fuel demand was down by 1.7 percent, hitting a three-year low. Residual fuel oil demand fell by 22.1 percent to the lowest level on record. Demand for other oils slipped 1.6 percent from 2011.

“The year was a story of contrasts. U.S. product demand weakened across the board, while domestic production of crude oil surged,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “The production bright spot reflects an industry investing and hiring at high rates, which significantly contributed to rising U.S. employment. Yet, demand was worse in 2012 than when the economy bottomed out in the recession.”

Inputs to crude distillation units rose slightly by 0.3 from the prior year to 15.3 million barrels per day, which was the highest in eight years. Production of all major refined products – gasoline, distillates, jet fuel, and residual fuels – was higher than demand, so products were exported, with an overall increase of 4.6 percent compared with 2011. Gasoline production fell from the prior month, the prior year, and the prior year to date, with a decline of 2.0 percent (to 8.9 million barrels per day) in 2012 compared with 2011. Distillate fuel production reached a record high for the 2012.

In 2012, total imports were at their lowest level in 15 years, since 1997. Total imports averaged 10.5 million barrels per day. Crude oil imports and product imports were both also at their lowest levels in 15 years.

The refinery utilization rate for 2012 averaged 89.0 percent and reached 90.8 percent in December, both numbers up significantly from the year before. Refinery operable capacity was 17.398 million barrels per day in December.

Total U.S. crude oil production was up from the prior month, prior fourth quarter, prior year, and prior year to date. Domestic crude oil production for 2012 averaged 6.4 million barrels per day, a 15-year high and an increase of 13.8 percent from 2011 levels – the largest annual increase since 1859.

The number of oil and gas rigs decreased from 1,809 in November to 1,784 in December, according to the latest reports from Baker-Hughes, Inc., and has stayed below 2,000 every month in 2012. However, the average number of oil and gas rigs in the U.S. for 2012 reached a record number of 1,919, up by 2.3 percent from 2011’s rig count of 1,875.

Crude oil stocks ended December at 359.8 million barrels per day, a 31-year high for the month. They averaged 8.7 percent above 2011 for the year. Gasoline stocks were up slightly, just 0.2 percent, to 223.7 million barrels in 2012 compared with 2011 and were up 8.1 percent in December 2012 compared with the month before.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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BP abandons 180 leases on 4,200 acres in Trumbull County

By Bob Downing Published: January 18, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News and the Warren Tribune Chronicle:

BP has released about 180 Trumbull County landowners with 4,203 acres from leases because of legal issues and problems associated with mineral rights.

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Devon Energy plugs third disappointing Ohio well

By Bob Downing Published: January 18, 2013

Devon Energy Corp. has plugged a third diappointing well in Ohio's Utica shale.

The company's well at Utica in Knox County has been abandoned, the Oklahoma-based energy company told the Mt. Vernon News.

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Star-studded bus tour of drilling sites in Susquehanna County

By Bob Downing Published: January 18, 2013

Yoko One, Sean Lennon, Susan Sarandon and other entertainment stars were part of a bus tour of Marcellus shale drilling in Susquehanna County, Pa.

It was a star-studded affairs, but drillers supporters were not impressed.

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New Jersey's fracking moratorium expires

By Bob Downing Published: January 18, 2013

New Jersey's moratorium on hydraulic fracturing or fracking has expired.

The one-year moratorium expired on Thursday.

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Pennsylvania newspapers in court today over gas secrecy

By Bob Downing Published: January 18, 2013

From Earthwatch:

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More lobbying for federal approval for LNG exports

By Bob Downing Published: January 18, 2013

A press release received on Thursday from the Center for Liquified Natural Gas;

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Chesapeake working to fix Harrison County problem

By Bob Downing Published: January 17, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is working with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Harrison County Health Department on a runoff problem at a drilling site in eastern Ohioin Stock Township.

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Grass-roots group fighting New York governor's drilling plan

By Bob Downing Published: January 17, 2013

A press release received today from a New York environmental group:

Governor Cuomo hasn’t leveled with New Yorkers, so no one can predict exactly when or where high-volume hydraulic fracturing may be introduced in the state, but one thing is already clear: politically powerful constituencies like New York City will be given a measure of protection that won’t be extended to rural communities. Last summer the Cuomo administration leaked a plan to let the gas industry “frack” five Southern Tier counties while temporarily keeping other areas of the state off-limits.

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Legislators in Wisconsin grappling with sand-mining rules

By Bob Downing Published: January 17, 2013

Republican  legislators in Wisconsin have introduced legislation that would impose less-stringent rules on mining for fracking sands.

Drillers need very specific sands to extract oil and natural gas from shale wells, and Wisconsin is one state where such sands are present.

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Protestors trying to block Colorado Springs drilling

By Bob Downing Published: January 17, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Protesters are trying to block a plan by energy companies to start drilling for oil and natural gas near Colorado Springs neighborhoods.

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Prices paid for natural gas liquids dropped in 2012

By Bob Downing Published: January 17, 2013

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Pipeline blog reports that the prices paid for natural gas liquids from shale drilling declined in 2012.

That has led to uncertainities surrounding drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shales.

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Ohio Utica shale permits approaching 500 with 208 wells drilled

By Bob Downing Published: January 17, 2013

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has approved 17 new Utica shale drilling permits.

That covers through Jan. 12.

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EPA should stand up to drillers, anti-fracking group says

By Bob Downing Published: January 17, 2013

A press release received on Wednesday from Americans Against Fracking: 

EPA Should Live Up to Its Name, Not Kowtow to the Oil and Gas Industry
Statement by Americans Against Fracking

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Unconventional energy, including fracking, is changing world politics, Foreign Affairs says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 16, 2013

Foreign Affairs takes a look at how unconventional energy, including shale gas and oil, will change world politics and says Russia in particular is fighting back, including funding anti-fracking groups.

Aviezer Tucker writes: "The energy map of the world is being redrawn -- and the global geopolitical order is adrift in consequence. We are moving away from a world dominated by a few energy mega-suppliers, such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela, and toward one in which most countries have some domestic resources to meet their energy needs and can import the balance from suppliers in their own neighborhood.

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Hollywood movies lie about fracking dangers, NY Post columnist says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 16, 2013

Kyle Smith at the New York Post isn't happy about how Hollywood treats fracking in the movies "Gasland" and "Promised Land."

He writes in part: "Most celebrities may not be very interested in reading anything but scripts, but they do watch movies. So after 'Gasland,' suddenly stars from Beverly Hills and Manhattan (Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Olivia Wilde, Mark Ruffalo) began telling rural Americans in places like western New York and Pennsylvania to say no to fracking.

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Don't buy into shale energy hype, column argues

By Jim Mackinnon Published: January 16, 2013

Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity does not buy into the bullish long-term outlook for shale energy.

In a piece at Zero Hedge called "The Really, Really Big Picture," he writes: "There has been a very strong and concerted public-relations effort to spin the recent shale energy plays of the U.S. as complete game-changers for the world energy outlook. 

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New hotel planned in Ohio's Carroll County

By Bob Downing Published: January 16, 2013

The New Philadelphia Times-Recorder reports that Carrollton may be getting a new 79-room Microtel Hotel.

The facility would be located on Canton Road where a former used car lot stands.

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Rig worker killed in West Virginia accident

By Bob Downing Published: January 16, 2013

From the Associated Press on Tuesday:

Federal regulators are working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to decide who has jurisdiction over a fatal accident involving a gas-drilling rig near Fairview, W. Va..

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New joint drilling venture announced in central Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: January 16, 2013

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

Canada-based Marksmen Energy Inc. announced on Tuesday that it has executed a joint exploration and operating agreement with Columbus-based Knox Energy Inc. for the joint exploitation of Knox’s 6,100-acre Owl Creek Prospect in central Ohio, a press release from Marksmen Energy said.

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Politics, fracking, environmental problems in Pa.

By Bob Downing Published: January 16, 2013

The Philadelphia Inquirer took a look at politics, fracking and environmental problems in central Pennsylavania.

Click  here  to read the story.

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North Dakota may offer taxs incentives to reduce flaring

By Bob Downing Published: January 16, 2013

North Dakota is considering legislation  hat would provide tax incentives as incentives to drillers to reduce the flaring of natural gas.

Click  here  to read more.

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Water usage for fracking increasing in Texas, study says

By Bob Downing Published: January 16, 2013

A new study from the University of Texas says water use in hydraulic fracturing or fracking in increasing in the Lone Star state.

The study indicates thyat water usage is expected to level out, strating in 2020, as the industry recycles more water.

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EPA reverses position, after oil driller refuses to cooperate

By Bob Downing Published: January 16, 2013

From the Associated Press:

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Carrizo hikes Ohio Utica holdings with $63 million land deal

By Bob Downing Published: January 15, 2013

Texas-based Carrizo Oil & Gas Co. is expanding its Utica shale holdings in eastern Ohio.

The company exercised an option with Avista Capital to pick up 14,000 net acres in Guernsey, Noble and Tuscarawas counties for $63 million.

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Drillers preparing to fight Kasich over severance tax

By Bob Downing Published: January 15, 2013

From the Dayton Daily News:

By JACKIE BORCHARDT

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Big change expected from Mahoning County pipeline, plant

By Bob Downing Published: January 15, 2013

From the Youngstown Vindicator:

By Ashley Luthern

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EPA extending Wyoming gas field comment period

By Bob Downing Published: January 15, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has once again extended the public comment period for its study of groundwater pollution in a central Wyoming gas field.

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CONSOL Energy has plans for Utica, Marcellus drilling in 2013

By Bob Downing Published: January 14, 2013

From CONSOL Energy today:

 

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In 2012, Ohio had 179 operating injection wells

By Bob Downing Published: January 14, 2013

In 2012, Ohio had 179 operating Class II injection wells to take briny drilling waste from Ohio and other states.

A total of 199 injection wells have been permitted, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.

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Coast Guard looking at brine shipments on Ohio River

By Bob Downing Published: January 14, 2013

From the Columbus Dispatch:

By Spencer Hunt

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Pennsylvania to tighten air emissions from drilling engines

By Bob Downing Published: January 14, 2013

Pennyslvania intends to tighten air pollution limits from diesel-powered and natural gas-powered engines used in shale drilling.

But environmentalists want the limits tightened even more.

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Yoko Ono in Albany to stand against fracking

By Bob Downing Published: January 14, 2013

Yoko Ono and her son, Sean Lennon, visited Albany, N.Y., on Friday as New York's state's public comment period period on fracking ends.

Opponents estimated that 204,000 persons submitted comments on fracking.

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Ireland bans fracking until more tests are done

By Bob Downing Published: January 14, 2013

The Irish government has banned fracking, until more reserach can determine whether the drilling method is safe.

Click  here  to read more.

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Coal is losing out to natural gas in Georgia

By Bob Downing Published: January 14, 2013

Coal is losing out to natural gas in strange places like Georgia.

Georgia Power says it intends to close 15 of its coal-fired and oil-fired boilers.

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Mandatory drug testing is impacting Utica shale boom

By Bob Downing Published: January 11, 2013

The Utica shale development is creating new jobs in eastern Ohio.

But drillers report that they are having trouble finding workers who can pass mandatory drug tests.

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Utica shale is part of 2013 drilling plans for Hess Corp.

By Bob Downing Published: January 11, 2013

Hess Corporation Announces 2013 Capital and Exploratory Budget

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Lordstown is home of second Utica well in Trumbull County

By Bob Downing Published: January 11, 2013

Halcon Resources has plans for its second horizontal well in the Utica shale in Ohio's Trumbull County, says the Marcellus Drilling News.

The site is in Lordstown.

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API says shale drilling will boost jobs in state-by-state report

By Bob Downing Published: January 11, 2013

A press release from the American Petroleum Institute on Thursday:

WASHINGTON, January 10, 2013 – API Vice President for Policy and Economic Analysis Kyle Isakower told reporters this morning that an IHS study shows that future unconventional oil and natural gas development will generate large numbers of jobs and new revenue for government in nearly every state:

“Shale energy development has transformed the U.S. energy sector and been one of the few bright lights in our nation’s recovering economy. And it’s poised to do much more. The positive impacts are being realized in states with little or no energy development as well as in energy producing states.

“Shale development has also increased the affordability of energy while helping to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and strengthened U.S. manufacturing that uses low-cost natural gas, either as a feedstock, an energy input, or both. Future shale energy development could expand all of these trends. It also could encourage exports of natural gas, spurring more U.S. production and new jobs. While a few companies have questioned exporting U.S. energy – particularly natural gas, believing it could raise prices for them – analyses from Brookings, Deloitte, and others show the impact on prices at home would be minor. The U.S. Department of Energy says exports would be an overall plus for our economy.”

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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Eco-groups unhappy with New Mexico commission

By Bob Downing Published: January 11, 2013

A press release received on Thursday from New Mexico Environmental Law Center:

NM Oil Conservation Commission Shuts Down Environmental Testimony at Pit Rule Hearing

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Colorado to study air pollution from drilling

By Bob Downing Published: January 11, 2013

Colorado is kicking off a $1.3 million three-year study of air pollution from gas and oil drilling.

The study will be conducted by researchers from Colorado State University.

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Atlas Resource Partners putline 2013 drilling plans

By Bob Downing Published: January 11, 2013

A press release received on Wednesday:

 

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U.S. oil production reaches highest level in 20 years

By Bob Downing Published: January 11, 2013

Oil production in the United States has reached 7 million barrels per day, the highest level since March 1993.

Shale development and the push for energy independence are fueling the increased drilling levels and production.

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Survey says Americans want clean water, energy

By Bob Downing Published: January 10, 2013

A press release received today:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 10, 2013 -- Americans are not opposed to more domestic energy production, but they are unwilling to achieve it by sacrificing clean water, increased energy efficiency, and expanded wind and solar power in the process, according to a major new ORC International survey conducted for the nonprofit Civil Society Institute (CSI) and Environmental Working Group (EWG).

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Gerard: Efforts to limit LNG exports are misguided

By Bob Downing Published: January 10, 2013

A press release received today from the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, January 10, 2013 – API President and CEO Jack Gerard called new coalition efforts to restrict exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) misguided and warned that restricting trade would have negative impacts on the U.S. economy and American families.

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Lario Oil and Co. is new player in Ohio's Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: January 10, 2013

There's a new player in Ohio's Utica shale.

Colorado-based Lario Oil and Gas has acquired 25,000 net acres and intends to drill a scientific well in the  second quarter of 2013.

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Investors press company to halt wasteful flaring

By Bob Downing Published: January 10, 2013

Large Oil Developer Burns Off Natural Gas as Other Firms Set Flaring Reduction Goals

The rapid growth in domestic oil production has set the United States on track to become the world’s top oil producer by 2015, but investors are wary of the environmentally damaging practices associated with that growth, specifically the burning off – or flaring – of natural gas that is produced as a byproduct from oil wells.

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French energy giant may stop U.S. drilling due to low gas prices

By Bob Downing Published: January 10, 2013

Total, the French energy giant, is not interested in investing money in additional drilling in the United States, due to low natural gas prices, says upstreamonline.com.

Company chief executive Christophe de Margerie says the French company has invested in Chesapeake Energy deals in Ohio and Texas.

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Maryland unveils new map of Marcellus shales

By Bob Downing Published: January 10, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says a new map shows the distribution of Marcellus shale deposits in western Maryland.

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Study: Pennsylvania undercounted Marcellus shale wells

By Bob Downing Published: January 10, 2013

A new study indicates that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection may have undercounted Marcellus shale wells.

That study says the state's count may have missed between 15,300 and 25,100 wells.

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Colorado regulators approve new rules on drilling

By Bob Downing Published: January 10, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Colorado regulators gave initial approval Wednesday to rules meant to limit the effects of oil and gas drilling on homes.

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Ohio tops 200 drilled wells in Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: January 10, 2013

Ohio now has 205 Utica shale wells.

That news came from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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Pennsylvania lawmakers are reportedly behind LNG exporting

By Bob Downing Published: January 10, 2013

From the Houston Chronicle via the Center for Liquified Natural Gas:

Houston Chronicle: Pennsylvania lawmakers make case for LNG exports

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80 eco-groups ask Cuomo to ban fracking in New York

By Bob Downing Published: January 9, 2013

From Food & Water Watch and Americans Against Fracking:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 7, 2013

Contact: Mandela Jones, 646.200.5316, Mandela@berlinrosen.com


Over 80 National and NY Organizations Concerned about Climate Change Challenge Gov. Cuomo on Contradiction between His Environmental Priorities and Fracking

Letter from groups highlights climate and environmental impact of natural gas production, calls for Cuomo to lead on climate change as state recovers from Sandy


New York – A coalition of national environmental and progressive groups – including 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Democracy for America, Greenpeace and Sierra Club – joined with other national and New York organizations to send Governor Cuomo a letter challenging him to be a national leader in addressing climate change. The letter applauds his stated commitment to addressing climate change and environmental protection, but highlights how permitting fracking in New York would contradict those goals.

“While we welcome your determination to lead on climate change, we are greatly concerned by indications that you may soon allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in New York,” the letter asserted. “A decision to allow HVHF would be a direct contradiction of your promise to lead on climate change. Opening New York’s doors to this form of extreme fossil fuel extraction undercuts your pledge to make environmental protection, including initiatives that address climate change, a legislative priority.”

The coalition’s letter explained the environmental impact natural gas production and use has with respect to climate change in clear terms, stating:

“The carbon dioxide emitted from burning natural gas contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions driving global climate change. And, in addition to carbon dioxide, HVHF releases significant amounts of methane into the atmosphere during the extraction, transport, and processing of the gas.

“Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 33 times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide over 100 years, and about 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide over 20 years. As such, even small amounts of gas leaked into the atmosphere make enormous contributions to global warming. Increasing evidence, including a study led by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, indicates that methane emissions from HVHF and related operations have been significantly underestimated by both the gas industry and the Environmental Protection Agency.”

In the days after the letter was circulated, new data from researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed methane leaks from natural gas production at an alarming rate that was twice as high as its previous study and industry estimates. Such evidence further undermines arguments about natural gas’ environmental benefit and this data doesn’t even include the methane leaks that occur from storage and pipelines.

“Given the magnitude of these emissions and proof of their demonstrable harm to our atmosphere, dependence on natural gas, and thus on HVHF, dashes any chance of keeping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at levels below what scientists say are necessary to avoid climate catastrophe,” the letter continued. “And yet, inexplicably, your Department of Environmental Conservation has not closely examined the issue of greenhouse gas emissions in evaluating the environmental impact of opening up New York State to HVHF.”

In closing, the letter urges Cuomo to stand by his words on climate change in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and protect future generations, thereby achieving a national legacy of political courage, rather than permitting fracking in New York.

“Governor Cuomo, your vow in the New York Daily News on November 15th inspired us: ‘We will not allow the national paralysis over climate change to stop us from pursuing the necessary path for the future.’ If you truly put these words into practice, we feel sure that you will be hailed as a national hero, securing a legacy and a political future as a leader who cut through the political gridlock in order to act in the best interests of your constituents and generations to come. By contrast, opening up the state of New York to HVHF is a path leading away from that future.”

###


January 7, 2013
The Honorable Andrew Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

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API seeking Obama support for oil, gas development in 2013

By Bob Downing Published: January 9, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, January 8, 2013 – API President and CEO Jack Gerard told reporters and Washington guests attending API’s State of American Energy event on Tuesday  that through massive investments in energy the U.S. oil and natural gas industry was providing solutions to pressing issues impacting the nation’s economic future. He said he welcomed President Obama’s campaign promise to support oil and natural gas development as part of an all-of the-above energy strategy, and he announced a new report on how the industry’s investments in America could continue to help achieve its economic and energy security goals:

“With a newly-elected Congress and a president beginning his second term, we are standing on the threshold of a new year – one that presents tremendous opportunities to move forward on building our economy and creating jobs for Americans who are looking for work. The oil and natural gas industry has been a bright spot in the last few years of sluggish economic growth and listless job creation … and we are ready to do more.

“There is a new energy reality for the United States – a reality of vast domestic resources of oil and natural gas. The reality is that our energy supply is no longer limited, foreign and finite, but is now American and abundant, greatly enhancing our national security. We have a game-changing opportunity to make the U.S. the global leader in energy. If we seize the opportunity now, we will be positioned to lead for decades and realize the economic and energy security benefits of that leadership.”

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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Marcellus shale plays big role in federal energy updates

By Bob Downing Published: January 9, 2013

From the New York-based Marcellus Drilling News:

Yesterday the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released their monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), which includes the outlook for natural gas. EIA has some of the best and brightest that crunch the numbers, so when they issue their reports, people pay attention. EIA reports are not exactly a crystal ball to predict the future—but they’re darned close.

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Alaska is looking at drafting fracking regulations

By Bob Downing Published: January 9, 2013

from the ShaleReporter and Petroleum News:

The Anchorage Daily News reports that the state's natural resource regulators have introduced new potential guidelines for unconventional drilling.

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'Promised Land' is 10th-ranked movie at box office

By Bob Downing Published: January 9, 2013

Matt Damon's Promised Land movie on drilling in Pennsylvania is not faring well at the box office.

It was the 10th ranked movie last week, according to wire reports. It had earned $4.3 million in ticket sales.

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Chesapeake Energy's CEO McClendon loses 2012 annual bonus

By Bob Downing Published: January 9, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Edward Klump and Joe Carroll

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Stark County energy group to meet on Jan. 30

By Bob Downing Published: January 9, 2013

A former Pennsylvania county commissioner will speak to the Stark County Oil and Gas Partnership on Jan. 30.

Rebecca Burke, a former Lycoming County official, will discuss the local impacts, benefits and opportunities created since 2007 by the energy industry drilling in the Marcellus shale near Williamsport, Pa.

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Maryland panel looking at fracking safeguards

By Bob Downing Published: January 8, 2013

A Maryland legislative panel is calling for additional safeguards on hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

That includes a severance tax and new landowner rights on land leasing.

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Company buys N.Y. leases, wells, pipelines from Chesapeake

By Bob Downing Published: January 8, 2013

From the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin:

Minard Run Oil Co., based in Bradford, Pa., recently closed on the purchase of leases, operating gas wells and related equipment in Seneca and Cayuga counties that was formerly owned by Chesapeake Appalachia LLC.

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MarkWest opens new gas-processing plant in Wetzel County

By Bob Downing Published: January 8, 2013

The Wheeling Intelligencer News-Register reports that MarkWest Energy has begun operations at its new natural gas processing facility in Wetzel County, W. Va.

At least one Ohio producer, Magnum Hunter Resources, will ship its natural gas across the Ohio River to the Mobley plant.

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Shale booms help Norfolk Southern in 2012

By Bob Downing Published: January 8, 2013

From Norfolk Southern Corp. on Friday:

Norfolk Southern facilitates $2.1 billion in industrial investment in 2012

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Ohio State researchers find microbes in fracking fluids, brines

By Bob Downing Published: January 8, 2013

From the Columbus Dispatch:

By Spencer Hunt

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TriCorps Security helps Chesapeake oversee drilling sites

By Bob Downing Published: January 8, 2013

The Salem News reports that Chesapeake Energy Corp. relies on TriCorps Security to oversee its drilling sites in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

The company provides 24 security officers.

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Drilling, pipeline work in Jefferson County to get prevailing wages

By Bob Downing Published: January 7, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News, a pro-drilling publication in New York state:

From now on, Jefferson County, OH commissioners will force companies drilling Utica Shale wells in the county or companies building natural gas pipelines in the county that need to construct or repair public roadways, to use higher-priced laborers. Jefferson County commissioners are bowing to pressure from the Laborers International Union.

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Dominion Resources free to export LNG in Maryland

By Bob Downing Published: January 7, 2013

In the wake of new court ruling, Dominion Resources Inc. can export liquified natural gas from a Maryland port.

Calvert County Circuit Judge James Salmon made the ruling on Friday.

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Colorado county commissioners want federal rules on fracking

By Bob Downing Published: January 7, 2013

In Colorado, the Boulder County commissioners want federal rules and oversight on hydraulic fracturing or farcking in drilling for natural gas.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Kasich continuing to press for his severance tax plan

By Bob Downing Published: January 7, 2013

According to radio station WKSU, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is continuing to press for a higher severance tax on natural gas-oil drilling in Ohio.

The governor is suggesting that a ballot inititiative could trigger an even larger tax hike, if his tax proposal is not adopted.

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Agencies respond to oil spill in Trumbull County

By Bob Downing Published: January 7, 2013

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Trumbull County responded last week to reports of oil spills from a containment tank near Farmington.

Click  here  to read the story in the Warren Tribune Chronicle.

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Could landowners be held liable for drilling cleanups?

By Bob Downing Published: January 7, 2013

From the Ohio Environmental Law Review:

(Posted by Grant Maki, OEC Attorney Of Counsel)

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Pro-drilling group buys ads to counter Damon movie

By Bob Downing Published: January 7, 2013

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, a pro-drilling group in Pennsylvania, has purchased ads in 75 percent of Pennsylvania movie theaters to combat Matt Damon's new film, Promised Land.

Click  here  to read the story from Pittsburgh BusinessTimes.

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Mississippi town gets $100 for fracking lease

By Bob Downing Published: January 7, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Caledonia officials will allow an oil company to a fracking process to drill on town-owned land in Mississsippi.

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EPA report won't look at how often water contamination occurs

By Bob Downing Published: January 7, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By KEVIN BEGOS

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Ohio a year behind schedule on state park, forest drilling

By Bob Downing Published: January 6, 2013

From the Columbus Dispatch:

By Spencer Hunt

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'Promised Land' is entertaining movie out to sway viewers

By Bob Downing Published: January 5, 2013

A review of Promised Land:

Everyone seems to think that Matt Damon’s new film, Promised Land, is about fracking.

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Kentucky firm offering additional Ohio Utica shale acreage

By Bob Downing Published: January 5, 2013

Kentucky-based Encore Energy last summer announced that it is the leasing agent for 175,000 acres in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio.

That acreage has grown to 250,000 acres.

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'Promised Land' is entertaining movie that tries to sway viewers

By Bob Downing Published: January 5, 2013

A film review of Promised Land:

Everyone seems to think that Matt Damon’s new film, Promised Land, is about fracking.

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Measuring fugitive methane emissions is tricky

By Bob Downing Published: January 5, 2013

From the Environmental Defense Fund's Energy Exchange Blog:

By: Dr. Steven Hamburg - Chief Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund

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Reuters offers special report on Chesapeake, McClendon

By Bob Downing Published: January 5, 2013

Reuters filed a special year-end report on Chesapeake Energy Corp. and its CEO Aubrey McClendon.

Both survived problems in 2012 and still face uncertainty in 2013.

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Marcellus shale flowback finds high levels of salts

By Bob Downing Published: January 5, 2013

From Penn State University:

Monday, December 17, 2012

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Environment Ohio on 'Promised Land' movie

By Bob Downing Published: January 4, 2013

From Environment Ohio:

As the new Matt Damon movie, Promised Land, opened in theaters today, Environment Ohio sounded the alarm about the very real damage fracking is doing in here in Ohio.

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Industry sets up web site to counter 'Promised Land' movie

By Bob Downing Published: January 4, 2013

The energy industry has created a new web site to fight Matt Damon's new film, Promised Land.

Energy in Depth has set up the site: www.realpromisedland.org.

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Earthworks says 'Promised Land' is no fairy tale

By Bob Downing Published: January 4, 2013

A press release received today from Earthworks, an environmental group:

The new movie Promised Land is no fairy tale.

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Energy companies lagging in greenhouse gas reductions

By Bob Downing Published: January 4, 2013

Energy companies are lagging far behind other American corporations in dealing with greenhouse gas reductions and energy savings, says Inside Climate News.

Oil and natural gas companies are far behind.

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Ohio activist, film extra reflects on 'Promised Land' movie

By Bob Downing Published: January 4, 2013

 

Cleveland, OH

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A look at drilling controversy in Morgantown, W. Va.

By Bob Downing Published: January 4, 2013

Morgantown, W. Va., banned fracking but that ban was later overturned by a judge.

Drilling is still a very contentious issue in Morgantown.

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Consultant says industry underestimates fractivists

By Bob Downing Published: January 4, 2013

From Susan Phillips of NPR in Pennsylvania:

Jonathan Woods, an analyst with ControlRisks, published a white paper on the anti-fracking movement for the gas industry.

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New joint venture on Ohio's Monroe County

By Bob Downing Published: January 4, 2013

Texas-based Magnum Hunter Resource Corp. says its subsidiary, Triad Hunter, will partner with Pennsylvania-based Eclipse Resource I LP, on a $200 million project in Ohio's Monroe County.

The plans call for 12 horizontal wells in the Utica shale and 12 in the Marcellus shale over the next three years.

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Old New York report says fracking can be done safely

By Bob Downing Published: January 4, 2013

From the Associated Press:

An unreleased state report leaked to media outlets says the Department of Environmental Conservation's regulatory plan for gas drillers describes health impacts from fracking.

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Mortgage language delaying some Ohio drilling leases

By Bob Downing Published: January 3, 2013

From the Youngstown Vindicator:

 

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Six Ohio Utica shale tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: January 3, 2013

A few Utica shale notes that did not make it into the Jan. 1 story on Utica shale development in Ohio in 2012-2013:

1. Mike McCormac of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the state doesn’t like the Utica label that has been applied to the black-colored shale rock that is 400 million years old.

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New York economist knocks proposed drilling rules

By Bob Downing Published: January 2, 2013

A press release from economist in New York state:

In comments submitted to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, economist Jannette Barth roundly criticizes the department for mishandling the treatment of economic impacts in its High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Proposed Regulations. Dr. Barth, former Chief Economist for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and a principal at Pepacton Institute, LLC, accuses the department of ignoring peer-reviewed economic literature and promulgating regulations that are incomplete, misleading, and rife with errors.

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New Colorado drilling rules would boost well setbacks

By Bob Downing Published: January 2, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A new draft of drilling regulations released by Colorado oil and gas regulators Monday would boost the minimum distance between wells and buildings to 500 feet.

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CNBC conducting Is-Fracking Safe? survey

By Bob Downing Published: January 2, 2013

Is shale gas hydraulic fracturing or fracking safe?

That is the question posed by CNBC.

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ODNR approves four new Utica shale permits in Portage County

By Bob Downing Published: January 2, 2013

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources have approved four new Utica shale permits in Portage County.

The permits, all in Nelson Township, were requested by Mountaineer Keystone LLC.

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Group offering water tests on Sunday in Streetsboro

By Bob Downing Published: January 1, 2013

Concerned Citizens of Ohio will offer free well water testing on Sunday, Jan. 6, in Portage County.

The tests will be offered at 3:15 p.m. at the King of Glory Church off state Route 303 in Streetsboro. The church is next to the Streetsboro post office..

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Utica shale is slowly developing in Ohio; potential still huge

By Bob Downing Published: January 1, 2013

 

Not many people had heard the terms "Utica shale," "fracking" or "natural gas liquids" as recently as a few years ago.

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Devon Energy abandons disappointing Medina, Ashland wells; seven other wells also plugged

By Bob Downing Published: January 1, 2013

A great deal of attention is directed at successful Utica shale wells in eastern Ohio, but there’s another side to the story.

A total of nine wells, including three in the Akron-Canton area, have been plugged — a sign of failure — by drilling companies over the past two years.

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Trains becoming key to moving North Dakota oil

By Bob Downing Published: January 1, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Energy companies behind the oil boom on the Northern Plains are increasingly turning to an industrial-age workhorse — the locomotive — to move their crude to refineries across the U.S., as plans for new pipelines stall and existing lines can't keep up with demand.

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

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

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

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

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

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

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

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

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

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

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

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

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

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

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

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

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

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

Penn State Marcellus Center.

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

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.