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Ohio Utica Shale

Michigan company drops plans to drill in SE Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: October 24, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A Michigan-based energy company has given up a six-year battle to drill for natural gas in southeastern Pennsylvania’s upper Bucks County, citing opposition from local government.

Terry Bela, manager of Arbor Resources, told The Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday that Nockamixon Township’s elected officials “made it impossible for the company to move forward.”

Arbor had signed hundreds of leases with landowners to drill exploratory wells, but Nockamixon Township fought the plan, arguing that the land wasn’t zoned for heavy industry.

Township attorney Jordan Yeager said the company sent him a letter last week saying it would drop its legal efforts.

“They were trying to ignore the rules that everybody else needs to live by,” he said. “When we stood up to them, they fought it. And now they’ve abandoned that fight.”

State lawmakers last year said no drilling permits could be issued in Bucks and Montgomery counties pending a study of how much drillable gas is beneath them.

A recent U.S. Geological Survey report indicated that the South Newark Basin, which is below the township and stretches from north-central New Jersey to Montgomery County, could contain as much as 876 billion cubic feet of natural gas. But the Marcellus Shale formation in the western and northern parts of the state holds 160 times more gas, according to the latest U.S. Department of Energy estimates.

Dan Weaver, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, said Arbor Resources’ decision comes as no shock.

“Do companies really want to spend their efforts and resources where they really don’t know what their yield might be?” Weaver said. “Drilling for natural gas here in Pennsylvania is based on economics, and it’s just not there.”

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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.