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Ohio Utica Shale

New campaign to export LNG getting under way

By Bob Downing Published: October 22, 2012

From Reuters:

By Ayesha Rascoe

WASHINGTON, Oct 21  - Backers of liquefied natural gas will launch the first major campaign on Monday to press lawmakers to allow the sale of more U.S. gas abroad, as the industry push for exports intensifies.

The effort by the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas will include a new web site and outreach aimed at policymakers and the public, making the case that selling the nation's surplus natural gas to foreign countries will yield significant economic benefits and not drastically raise prices.

"There is a lot of stranded investment waiting to be unleashed in these projects that would pour billions of dollars into local and national economies, if the regulatory process would be freed up and allowed to move forward," Bill Cooper, the head of the LNG trade group, told Reuters.

President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger for the presidency, Mitt Romney, have both lauded the boom in U.S. shale oil and gas production as a critical component of moving the country toward "energy independence."

But, the winner of the Nov. 6 election will have to contend with concerns about how to manage this newfound energy wealth.

While federal law allows exports of natural gas, the Energy Department has to determine whether expanded exports are in the national interest. Only one export terminal has been approved but decisions on about 10 applications have been delayed till a review on the implications of exports is completed.

Critics have argued the nation's vast gas reserves offer a strategic advantage that should be used to bolster U.S. industry, and exporting gas will hurt manufacturers currently experiencing a resurgence due to cheap energy costs.

While the initiative is not directed at influencing the election campaign, the LNG group hopes it will help to combat calls to limit exports and will speed up the stalled permitting process.

"The markets will react faster and impose limitations upon exports more efficiently than a regulator ever could," Cooper said.

Gas drillers contend that the current low natural gas prices are not sustainable and U.S. gas output will curtailed without exports, as production outpaces demand.

While some lawmakers have weighed in on the debate on gas exports, the isssue has not necessarily risen to prominence on the campaign trail or in Congress yet, with only one hearing on the topic so far.

Initially, some in Congress seemed reluctant to take a strong position on a matter pitting manufacturers against the oil and gas industry.

 

DE FACTO MORATORIUM?

Natural gas exports to all but a handful of countries with free trade agreements with the United States require approval from the Energy Department.

After allowing gas exports from one project, Cheniere's Sabine Pass terminal, the Obama administration has put off approving any more applications pending the outcome of an economic analysis.

That study, commissioned by the administration to evaluate the potential effects of LNG exports, has been delayed repeatedly and is now expected to be released by the end of the year.

Cooper said the department's delays amount to a de facto moratorium on exports. He said he hopes the new initiative will push the department to issue the study and to move forward on export applications.

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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.