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Ohio Utica Shale

Questions remain in Youngstown dumping case, Hagan says

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2013

A press release from state Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown:

COLUMBUS–Mr. Ben Lupo, the man responsible for illegally dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of brine and oil into the Mahoning River, was indicted today by a federal grand jury for violating the Clean Water Act. State Representative Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) heralded the indictment as an important step towards ensuring justice is served in one of the most egregious cases of pollution in recent memory, but questioned why an individual with a checkered history was permitted to do drilling related business in Ohio.

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Federal grand jury returns indictments in Youngstown dumping case

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2013

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

A federal grand jury in Cleveland returned an indictment against the owner of an oil and gas drilling company today, charging him with violating the Clean Water Act by dumping more than 20,000 gallons of fracking waste into a river in Youngstown.

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Ohio activists to meet with legislators on March 6

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2013

A press release received today from Ohio activists:

Columbus, Ohio—Citizens from across the state, including Concerned Citizens Ohio, will converge in the Statehouse on Wednesday, March 6, to lobby legislators on proposed fracking legislation for Legislator Accountability Day, sponsored by Buckeye Forest Council; Frack Free Ohio; Food & Water Watch; Center for Heath, Environment, and Justice; Ohio Citizen Action and Ohio Sierra Club. The groups are calling for a return of local municipal control over oil and gas activities, emergency medical right-to-know and a ban on liquid waste resulting from fracking. With the nationwide reporting on the Soinski damages to homeowners’ properties and the well being of neighbors, the loss of citizens’ rights have become urgent here in Portage County.

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NRDC: 6 percent of U.S. leased for gas-oil drilling

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2013

At the end of 2011, 6 percent of the United States was leased for gas and oil drilling, according to a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

It said the 70 largest drilling companies together have leased more than 141 million acres.

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Benesch law firm offers its assessment of Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2013

The law firm Benesch Friedlander Coplan and Aronoff with two Ohio offices has released its assessment of what's happening in Ohio's Utica shale.

Click  here  to read more.

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U.S. shale gas will grow for decades, new report says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 28, 2013

The U.S. shale gas boom has legs that will last decades, a major new study says.

The Via Meadia blog writes: "A comprehensive new study indicates that the shale gas boom will continue for decades and plateau in 2040. The study, conducted by the University of Texas, looked at 15,000 wells drilled in the Barnett Shale formation."

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MarkWest reports on 2012, plans for 2013 Utica shale progress

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2013

From MarkWest Energy:

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 27, 2013-- MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) (the Partnership) today reported record quarterly cash available for distribution to common unitholders, or distributable cash flow (DCF), of $111.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012 , and $416.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 . Distributable cash flow for the three months and year ended December 31, 2012 , represents distribution coverage of 106 percent and 112 percent, respectively. The fourth quarter distribution of $105.4 million , or $0.82 per common unit, was paid to unitholders on February 14, 2013 . The fourth quarter 2012 distribution represents an increase of $0.01 per common unit over the third quarter 2012 distribution and a full-year increase of 12.6 percent compared to 2011. As a Master Limited Partnership , cash distributions to common unitholders are largely determined based on DCF. A reconciliation of DCF to net income, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, is provided within the financial tables of this press release.

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PDC Energy offers results from second Utica shale well

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2013

From PDC Energy:

DENVER , Feb. 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PDC Energy, Inc. ("PDC" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:PDCE) today reported its 2012 fourth quarter and year-end financial and operating results.

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GOP lawmakers want fracking rules left to states

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2013

From Susan Phillips of NPR:

E&E Daily reports that Congressmen Lee Terry, R-Neb., and Ed Whitfield, R-Ken., want to introduce a bill that would strip the federal government of all oversight of fracking and leave it up to the states.

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Western Gas in new deals with Anadarko and Chesapeake

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2013

A press release from Texas-based Western Gas Partners LP on new acquisitions from Anadarko and Chesapeake Energy in the Marcellus shale:

 

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New York landowners' group looking at lawsuit against New York state

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2013

From the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York Inc.:

Dear Friends and Natural Gas Supporters,

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New report looks at critical role of natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2013

A press release from America's Natural Gas Alliance:

Washington- America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) today offered praise to the Bipartisan Policy Center for its new report, America’s Energy Resurgence: Sustaining Success, Confronting Challenges, which highlights the critical role natural gas must play in America’s clean energy future and the significant contributions natural gas is making to a resurgence in America’s energy economy.

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Fracking is lowering teen pregnancy rates in N. Dakota

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 27, 2013

Fracking the Bakken shale may be lowering teen pregnancy rates in North Dakota.

Yes, shaking your head and saying "Huh?" is an appropriate response. But a study suggests that an influx of single young men to North Dakota actually contributes to a lower teen pregnancy rate.

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Worker dead in Carroll County accident is identified

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2013

The worker killed on Monday in a drilling accident in Carroll County has been identified by authorities.

Dead is Abdal L. Audeh, 28, of Dover.

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N.Y. health review likely to take several more weeks

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By MARY ESCH

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Colorado toughens drilling rules but not everyone is happy

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By NICHOLAS RICCARDI

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West Virginia dealing with drilling leak to creek near Wheeling

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2013

State officials in West Virginia are dealing with a leak of drilling liquids into a creek southeast of Wheeling in Marsjall County.

The creek drains to the Ohio River.

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Carroll County group holding education meeting on March 7

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2013

Carroll Concerned Citizens wil host a gas shale drilling education meeting for landowners on March 7.

The program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Church of Christ, 353 Moody Ave., Carrollton.

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Gulfport Energy reports 2012 finances and 2013 updates

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2013

From Gulfport Energy:

OKLAHOMA CITY , Feb. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gulfport Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:GPOR) today reported financial and operational results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2012 and provided an update on its 2013 activities.

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Drilling rigs in Ohio increase to 33; 254 Utica wells drilled

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2013

A total of 33 drilling rigs are working in eastern Ohio, and that's an increase over recent weeks.

To date, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has issued 531 Utica shale permits in eastern Ohio.

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U.S. shale boom has a fatal flaw, column argues

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 26, 2013

The U.S. shale energy boom is real but will prove to be fleeting, argues Randall Udall in a column at The Christian Science Monitor.

Udall writes: "We’ve been told this is a new era. And that’s true, it is. Since your cushy way of life is increasingly dependent on stingy rocks, you should be thankful that the industry geeks have unlocked the dregs.

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U.S. shale boom could go bust because of infrastructure issues

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 26, 2013

The energy infrastructure in the United States needs to be updated so that the shale boom doesn't fail, argues the Via Media blog at The American Interest.

Via Meadia writes: "Our refineries can’t handle the high-quality shale oil now being produced in the United States, propping up demand for foreign oil despite abundance at home. And even if we had better refineries, we don’t have enough pipelines running from the Midwest, where much of this shale oil is coming from.

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$15.1 billion Chinese takeover of Canadian company completed

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

From Reuters:

The contentious $15.1 billion takeover of Canadian oil and gas company Nexen Inc (NXY.TO) by Chinese state-owned entity CNOOC Ltd (0883.HK) closed on Monday, more than seven months after China's largest-ever foreign takeover was announced.

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German government agrees on draft fracking regulations

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Stefan Nicola & Tino Andresen

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By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

Here is a copy of a 20-page technical analysis of water availability at Ohio's Seneca Lake.

The report was compiled for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District by the consulting firm CH2MHill.

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Group offers a look into today's higher gasoline prices

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

From the Texas-based Consumer Energy Alliance: 

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Analyst loves Cabot Oil & Gas and its Susquehanna County wells

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

Another post from energy analyst Richard Zeits on the Seeking Alpha website—this time about the tremendous amount of natural gas Cabot Oil & Gas is mining in Susquehanna County, PA. Zeits says the gas Cabot is finding and selling “may be material to the U.S. supply.” You read that right. One “little” oil and gas driller’s efforts in rural Susquehanna County, PA may well end up influencing the entire U.S. energy picture.

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Zeigler named to head Ohio Petroleum Council

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

Last week, the Ohio Petroleum Council named its new executive director.

Tapped was Chris Zeigler, the current chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Columbus.

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Ohio budget bill includes $25,000-per-well impact fee

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

If you ever (logically) thought a piece of legislation that’s meant to be a budget would only deal with money issues, you would be wrong. Budget laws for decades have been used to slip in all sorts of non-money-related measures. This year’s Ohio budget is no different. Tucked away in the proposed budget law from Gov. John Kasich are a number of non-budget items that directly affect Utica Shale drilling in Ohio. The measures include a ban on using brine as a de-icer on public roads, moving from yearly to quarterly production reports, lease transfer 30-day notifications, a $25,000 impact fee on each well drilled (surprise!), and testing of shale cuttings for radioactivity. And you thought budgets were just boring numbers.

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Federal gas-oil leasing could be impacted by sequestration

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

The possible federal sequestration could have a big impact on federal leasing.

In a teleconference with reporters, U.S. Secetary of the Interior Ken Salazar said on Monday that there could be as many as 300 fewer federal gas-and-oil leases processed if the sequestration proceeds.

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New York drilling delays, doubts leave landowners troubled

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

From the Associated Press:

When word spread about the potential natural gas riches of the Marcellus Shale, Kimberly More saw it as the hope for saving her horse farm near Binghampton, N.Y.

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Protestors in Lithuania rally against fracking

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Several hundred Lithuanians were protesting in the capital against the government's plan to proceed with shale gas exploration.

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API supports natural gas exporting to boost economy

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, February 25, 2013 – Exporting some U.S. natural gas in the form of LNG would be an unequivocal plus for American workers and the economy, API’s group director for upstream and industry operations Erik Milito told reporters this afternoon just before API submitted its second round of comments on the issue to the U.S. Department of Energy:

“The bottom line is that the arguments for exports are even stronger than before. An energy revolution is underway in the United States. New technology and the use of that technology are showing we have vastly more energy potential than we thought we had even just a short time ago. The U.S. is awash in natural gas with huge additional productive capacity that could be ramped up in relatively short order to fully supply domestic and likely export markets well into the future.

“The increase in supply potential undercuts the main argument of proponents of restricting exports, which is that DOE used outdated supply data in its analysis that said allowing exports would be beneficial. The most recent data from DOE confirms that supplies will be very robust. This implies there is more than sufficient natural gas to meet domestic and export needs with little adverse impact on prices – and that the net economic benefits of allowing exports are even greater than earlier thought. The critics simply didn’t acknowledge what an energy juggernaut the shale gas revolution has become and that it is still growing.

“The case for more exports is clearer than ever, and consistent with basic principles of economics. Trade is good. Exports are good. And if we allow natural gas producers to export natural gas when they find opportunities to do so, American workers and our nation’s economy will be better off.”

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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Worker killed, another injured in Carroll County drilling accident

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Authorities say one man was killed and another was injured in a drilling accident in Carroll County in eastern Ohio.

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Business Roundtable releases national energy plan

By Bob Downing Published: February 25, 2013

From the Business Roundtable:

CEOs from Every Economic Sector Release Comprehensive U.S. Energy Plan

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Michigan drilling water use is under review

By Bob Downing Published: February 25, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Three deep hydraulic fracturing wells in northwestern lower Michigan’s Kalkaska County have used 42 million gallons of water in the past two years, according to a published report.

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ProPublica looks at alleged land grab on North Dakota reservation

By Bob Downing Published: February 25, 2013

From ProPublica Publications:

ProPublica's Abrahm Lustgarten reports that Native Americans on an oil-rich reservation have been cheated out of more than $1 billion by schemes to buy drilling rights for lowball prices, a flurry of recent lawsuits assert.

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China company buying Chesapeake leases in Oklahoma

By Bob Downing Published: February 25, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Benjamin Haas & Rakteem Katakey

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Chesapeake statement on Mississippi Lime deal

By Bob Downing Published: February 25, 2013

Here is the official Chesapeake statement on the Oklahoma lease purchase by Sinopec:

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 25, 2013-- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) and Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation (Sinopec) today announced the execution of an agreement which provides for Sinopec to purchase a 50% undivided interest in 850,000 of Chesapeake’s net oil and natural gas leasehold acres in the Mississippi Lime play in northern Oklahoma (425,000 acres net to Sinopec). The total consideration for the transaction will be $1.02 billion in cash, of which approximately 93% will be received upon closing. Payment of the remaining proceeds will be subject to certain customary title contingencies. Production from these assets (including Mississippi Lime and other formations), net to Chesapeake’s interest and prior to Sinopec’s purchase, averaged approximately 34 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day in the 2012 fourth quarter and, as of December 31, 2012, there was approximately 140 million barrels of oil equivalent of net proved reserves associated with the assets. All future exploration and development costs in the joint venture will be shared proportionately between the parties with no drilling carries involved. As the operator of the project, Chesapeake will conduct all leasing, drilling, completion, operations and marketing activities for the joint venture. The transaction is anticipated to be completed in the 2013 second quarter.

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Kent to contact university about joint anti-fracking policy

By Bob Downing Published: February 25, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The city of Kent is reaching out to Kent State University in an attempt to create a joint anti-fracking policy.

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Fracking and industry ties to Pennsylvania government

By Bob Downing Published: February 25, 2013

From the Public Accountability Initiative on ties beween Pennsylvania state officials and the drilling industry:


The oil and gas industry frequently argues that fracking means jobs. This appears to be especially true for former regulators and other public officials in Pennsylvania.

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Brunswick business owner fighting anti-fracking council resolution

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

Michael Baach is fracking mad.

The president and chief executive officer of the Philpott Rubber Co. is strongly opposed to an anti-fracking resolution pending in Brunswick City Council.

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Affadavit by EPA staffer provides Youngstown details

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

Youngstown's WFMJ has posted a 10-page affadavit by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staffer David Barlow that offers some details on the alleged illegal dumping of drilling wastes by Ben Lupo of Hardrock Excavating on Jan. 31 in Youngstown.

Click  here  to read the affadavit, a legal document..

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MarkkWest, EMG finalize Utica infrastructure pact

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

A Thursday press release from two players in Ohio's Utica shale:

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 21, 2013-- MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (MarkWest) (NYSE: MWE) and The Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) announced today the completion of the previously announced Amended and Restated Limited Liability Company Agreement (Amended LLC Agreement) for MarkWest Utica EMG, LLC (Utica Joint Venture). The Utica Joint Venture is dedicated to the development of critical midstream infrastructure on behalf of natural gas producers operating throughout the liquids-rich Utica Shale formation in Ohio .

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Grass-roots group keeping eye on Little Beaver Creek withdrawls

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

A grass-roots group in Ohio's Columbiana County is keeping an eye on drillers who want to to draw water from Little Beaver Creek.

The group, Save Beaver Creek State Park, is now keeping tabs on companies that want to take water from the stream, a federal wild and scenic river.

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Chesapeake pleased with oil results in West Virginia Marcellus shale

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

Chesapeake Energy announced in July 2011, to great fanfare and shouts of joy, that it had hit oil in the Ohio Utica Shale (see Major Discovery – Chesapeake Energy Strikes Oil (and Gas) in Ohio’s Utica Shale). Although early results were promising, by the end of 2012 Chesapeake admitted it had “misjudged” the Utica Shale fairway—the best places to drill—and their early enthusiasm seems to have subsided (see Chesapeake Admits Misjudging Ohio Utica Sweet Spot).

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Cabot Oil & Gas hits two billion marks in Marcellus shale

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

The 2012 reports continue to roll in. Cabot Oil & Gas has just reported its 2012 report and the results are extraordinary. Cabot joined two different “1 billion” clubs in 2012. First, they surpassed $1 billion in revenues for 2012, earning $1.2 billion. Second, they became the first (and so far only) company to achieve 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas production per day in the Marcellus Shale.

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EPA Inspector General questions air data from drilling

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Limited data and unreliable estimates on air pollution from oil and natural gas production is hindering the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to police the drilling boom, the agency's internal watchdog said in a report released Thursday.

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Gas-to-liquids plant proposed in Mississippi

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

From the Associated Press:

EmberClear GTL MS has completed a technical feasibility study for a possible natural gas-to-liquids project on an 800-acre site along the Mississippi River in Natchez.

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North Carolina panel sets 2015 for first fracking permits

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A North Carolina state Senate panel agreed Thursday to set a 2015 date for North Carolina's first fracking permits, but bill supporters vowed drilling licenses wouldn't be granted until regulations governing the controversial practice are finalized.

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Debate on silica mining gets under way in Minnesota

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Minnesota lawmakers began drilling into the state's silica sand mining Tuesday with hours of testimony from advocates and opponents, the first phase of a potential fight over what role the state should play in overseeing the booming industry.

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Illinois collaborates on strict fracking rules

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

From the Associated Press:

 Illinois would have the strictest regulations for high-volume oil and gas drilling in the nation under a proposal introduced Thursday.

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Group opposes Moniz for U.S. energy secretary

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2013

A press release from Food & Water Watch:

Americans Against Fracking Opposes Dr. Ernest Moniz for Secretary of Energy

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GreenHunter facility held hostage by protest, company says

By Bob Downing Published: February 21, 2013

A press release from GreenHunter Energy in trhe wake of a protest at its facility in Washington County in southern Ohio:

 

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Youngstown approves anti-fracking issue for May 7 ballot

By Bob Downing Published: February 21, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The Youngstown City Council approved an anti-fracking amendment for the May 7 primary election ballot -- even though there are doubts about whether it could be enforced.

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Chesapeake offers first EUR estimates for Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: February 21, 2013

Chesapeake Energy Co. remains very satisfied with the results it is seeing from its liquids-rich Utica shale wells in eastern Ohio.

The Utica shale "will be solid for a lot of years to come," company spokesman Steve Dixon said Thursday.

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Chesapeake Energy reports drilling 184 wells in the Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: February 21, 2013

Here is what Chesapeake Energy Corp. has to report today on the Utica and Marcellus shales:

Utica Shale (eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia): Chesapeake continues to focus on developing the core wet gas window of the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio, a play in which the company holds the industry’s largest position, approximately 1.0 million net acres of leasehold. As of December 31, 2012, Chesapeake has drilled a total of 184 wells in the Utica, which includes 45 producing wells, 47 additional wells waiting on pipeline connection and 92 wells in various stages of completion. Chesapeake is currently operating 14 rigs in the Utica and plans to average 14 operated rigs during 2013. Production growth from the Utica is expected to accelerate during 2013 when two new third-party natural gas processing complexes will enable the company to turn a large portion of its well inventory to sales.

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OSU Extension holding Feb. 23 program on leasing in Canfield

By Bob Downing Published: February 21, 2013

From the Ohio State University Extension:

Informing landowners who are dealing with shale development is the goal of a day-long workshop offered in Mahoning County by OSU Extension. “Shale and You: A Workshop for Landowners” will take place on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the Mill Creek MetroParks Farm, 7574 Columbiana-Canfield Road, Canfield, Ohio. OSU Extension’s Agricultural and Resource Law Program is sponsoring the workshop with grant assistance from the USDA’s North Central Risk Management Education Center and host support from OSU Extension Mahoning County.

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Final count: 10 arrested in Washington County protest

By Bob Downing Published: February 20, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Authorities say a protest by members of environmental groups temporarily shut down operations at a gas drilling waste storage site in southeast Ohio.

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Will Obama, Japan prime minister discuss LNG shipments?

By Bob Downing Published: February 20, 2013

From the Center for Liquified Natural Gas:

**NOTE: The LNG export issue was brought up during an April meeting between Obama and then-Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, although not in great detail. With an administration decision on LNG exports potentially just weeks away, Obama and [current Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe could delve into the topic more deeply when they meet, industry observers said. "I'd be surprised if it was not discussed," said Bill Cooper, president of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas.

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Ohio reports 242 Utica shale wells have been drilled, 30 rigs working

By Bob Downing Published: February 20, 2013

The latest state figures show that 242 Utica shale wells have been drilled in Ohio.

Through Feb. 16, the state of Ohio has issued 529 Utica well permits.

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Range Resources accused of bully tactics with foes

By Bob Downing Published: February 20, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Mark Drajem - Feb 19, 2013 12:00 AM ET

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Shale energy will be game-changer for Ohio, state group says

By Bob Downing Published: February 20, 2013

From the American Petroleum Insititute:

COLUMBUS, OHIO, February 19, 2013 – The Ohio Petroleum Council (OPC) applauded Governor Kasich’s third State of the State address and said that Ohio’s burgeoning oil and natural gas industry is well positioned to advance the administration’s goals of continued economic growth and job creation.

“Ohio’s oil and natural gas industry is a proven game-changer in the state’s economic resurgence,” said OPC Legislative Analyst Robert Eshenbaugh. “The arrival of shale energy development and production in Ohio has brought tens of thousands of new high paying jobs and the promise of a bright economic future for hard working Ohio families. Our industry not only shares the governor’s desire for progress, we are leading the way.”

In 2012, more than 38,380 high paying Ohio jobs were directly attributed to oil and natural gas activity. These jobs are expected to increase to 143,595 by 2020 and to 266,624 by 2035, according to a recent study by the global information and research firm IHS.

“We are encouraged by the governor’s focus on shale energy,” said Eshenbaugh. “We will continue to work closely with the administration and legislative leaders to advance smart regulatory and economic policies for the benefit of all Ohioans.”

OPC is a division of API, which represents all segments of America's technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its 500-plus 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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The fracking boom is a bubble and will burst, critical report says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 20, 2013

Is shale energy actually an "economic bubble"?

The web site grist.org suggests it is, citing a report by the Post Carbon Institute.

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Chesapeake Energy on McClendon, Michigan reviews

By Bob Downing Published: February 20, 2013

A release from Chesapeake Energy Corp:

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 20, 2013-- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) today announced that its Board of Directors has received the results of its previously announced review of the financing arrangements between co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and President, Aubrey K. McClendon (and the entities through which he participates in the Founder Well Participation Program (“FWPP”)) and third parties identified as having a financial relationship with the company, as well as other matters. The review, which was led by the Audit Committee of the Board, with the assistance of independent counsel retained by the independent members of the Board in April 2012, has been substantially completed. In connection with the review, millions of pages of documents were collected and reviewed and more than 50 interviews of Chesapeake and third-party personnel were conducted.

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Hagan proposes raising Ohio's severance tax on drilling

By Bob Downing Published: February 20, 2013

A press release from State Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown:

State Representative Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) announced today that he will be introducing legislation to raise the severance tax on oil and natural gas production to 7.5%. Such a tax would raise hundreds of millions of dollars over several years and help restore cuts that were made to schools and local governments in Governor Kasich’s first budget. The tax would also provide for the hiring of additional inspectors to monitor drilling activity in the state.

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Pennsylvania rivers are strong, and drilling industry takes credit

By Bob Downing Published: February 20, 2013

A press release from the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a pro-drilling group based in Pennsylvania:

State of Key Pa. Rivers Growing Stronger Alongside Safe Natural Gas Production

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Updates on continuing protest in Ohio's Washington County

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

Update on protest in Ohio's Washington County:

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Two reports look at shale supplies, Wall Street's role

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

A press release received today from the Energy Policy Forum and Post Carbon Institute on the release of two reports looking at shale drilling.

Santa Rosa, CA - February 19 - Energy Policy Forum & Post Carbon Institute have released two groundbreaking reports that belie energy industry claims of U.S. energy independence as a result of newly accessible shale gas and shale (tight) oil.

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Preferred Sands unveils greener technology for fracking sands

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

A press release received today from Preferred Sands:

(Radnor, PA, February 19, 2013) – Preferred Sands, one of North America’s largest hydraulic fracturing sand and proppant manufacturers, today announced the launch of the first non-phenolic, resin-coating technology for proppants used in hydraulic fracturing. The proprietary technology, developed in conjunction with The Dow Chemical Company [NYSE: DOW], will expand the Preferred RCS product line by offering a high-performing non-phenolic product that is cleaner and more environmentally sensitive compared to traditional phenolic-based resins. It is the first product to be launched through a new strategic collaboration between Preferred Sands and Dow.

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NiSource plans Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline improvements

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

NiSource Inc., the parent company of Columbia Gas, announced on Tuesday that it intends to upgrade its Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline network in Ohio and other states.

It also announced preliminary success in its initial natural gas wells in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

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Watershed district ignores requests for environmental review

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

A press release received today from Lea Harper of the Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water (in affiliation with Fresh Water Accountability Project):

 

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Coal declines, natural gas climbs as electric source, study says

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

A press release received today from the Texas-based National Center for Policy Analysis:

 

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China struggling to develop shale gas resources

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

China, consuming energy at the fastest pace among major economies, has set ambitious targets to exploit its reservoirs of shale gas, the same fuel the U.S. touts as the means to energy independence. It won’t meet them.

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Shale has created the 'amazing' U.S. state, Saudi Texas

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 19, 2013

Shale is creating "Saudi Texas," people in the energy industry and elsewhere are saying.

Fuel Fix writes: "The Lone Star State is earning a new moniker: Saudi Texas.

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Marcellus produces 10 times more wastewater, 30 times more natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

Kent State University professor Brian Lutz and Duke University professor Martin Doyle have written an op-ed column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on their study of wastewater from the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania.

The analysis shows that the Marcellus may produce 10 times more wastewater but it is producing 30 times more natural gas.

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Economic benefits come with costs, West Virginia group says

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

From the FrackCheckWV blog:

Marcellus Shale Gas Costs and Benefits

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Patriot Water-ODNR at odds over Youngstown waste handling

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

The battle between the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Lisbon-based Patriot Water Treatment LLC is heating up.

Click  here   to read the latest story from the Warren Tribune Chronicle.

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AEP switching from coal to natural gas, a $5 billion project

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

Columbus-based American Eelectric Power Co. will spend $4 billion to $5 billion by 2020 to swtich from coal to natural gas and to comply with federal clean-air mandates.

That will enable the utilitty to cut coal consumption from 65 percent to 50 percent, the company said.

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State funds, drilling for gas and oil linked in New Mexico plan

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

From the Associated Press:

New Mexico legislators want to link approval of state funding to their willingness to allow mineral extraction such as drilling for gas and oil.

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Rice Energy seeking investors for Utica shale in Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

From Dow Jones:

 

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What happens when the unthinkable accident occurs

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2013

A guest submission from radio producer-journalist Sandra Sleight-Brennan of Stewart in southeastern Ohio.

Here is what she sent along:

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Brazil may have huge shale reserves

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 18, 2013

Brazil may become a shale energy powerhouse, The Washington Post and Bloomberg News report.

The Bloomberg story in the Post says: "As Brazil prepares for its first-ever auction of shale-gas acreage, it has a message for global prospectors: The country that discovered the world’s biggest offshore oil finds this century may have almost twice as much natural gas onshore as is currently estimated.

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NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage has a new name

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

A press release received today:

As you continue to cover news from our company, we would like to share with you that NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage has changed its name to Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG). The new name fully integrates the company with the established Columbia brand that makes up a majority of our 15,000-mile pipeline operations—Columbia Gas Transmission and Columbia Gulf Transmission.

It’s a proud day for us, as the Columbia brand has been around for more than 50 years and is recognized as premiere, safe and reliable— similarities and synergies that all of the Columbia distribution and transmission companies have. These characteristics associated with the Columbia brand and our commitment to our customers, employees and the communities we serve will remain unchanged.

CPG will continue to support the communities in its footprint through significant investments in its natural gas transmission system infrastructure and by actively supporting organizations that make these communities a better place to live and do business.

As units of NiSource Inc., the CPG companies include Columbia Gas Transmission, Columbia Gulf Transmission, Crossroads Pipeline, Hardy Storage, Millennium Pipeline and NiSource Energy Ventures. Combined, the companies operate about 15,000 miles of interstate natural gas pipeline and 37 storage fields, delivering over 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year. For more information about Columbia Pipeline Group, please visit www.columbiapipelinegroup.com. Connect with CPG on Facebook at facebook.com/columbiapipelinegroup.

Thank you for your continued coverage of Columbia Pipeline Group.

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$1 million grant to help fund Pennsylvania health study

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A Pennsylvania health company says it has gotten a $1 million grant to study possible health impacts of natural gas drilling on the Marcellus shale.

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A look at who's recycling drilling wastes in Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

The Columbus Dispatch took a look at who is recycling what in disposing of drilling wastewater.

Click here to read Spencer Hunt's story: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/02/16/fracking-recyclers-a-mystery.html

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Utica shale boom is spreading into Ohio's Guernsey County

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

More tales of companies starting, companies expanding, and new millionaires being created at a rapid rate—all because of Utica Shale drilling. This time it’s happening in Guernsey County, Ohio…

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The shale gas boom and the "Janus effect"

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 18, 2013

Business professor Eric Smith urges a pragmatic approach in using shale-derived natural gas.

He writes at the web site Newgeography about shale gas and what he sees as the "Janus effect" in the environmental community.

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GAO issues new report on U.S. pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

The federal General Accounting Office has issued a new report on American pipelines.

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Shale drilling boosts East Coast refineries

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

The Boston Globe reports that shale drilling is boosting East Coast refineries and U.S. oil production.

Click  here  to read more.

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Ben Lupo's environmental issues date back to 1970s

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

Ben Lupo, the Youngtown man charged by the federal government with dumping drilling wastes repeatedly into a storm sewer that drains to the Mahoning River, has a long history of dumping allegations.

The Youngstown Vindicator looks at Lupo's history.

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North Dakota offers protection to owners of surface lands

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

From the blog FrackCheckWV:

by S. Tom Bond on February 18, 2013

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North Carolina may prevail in disputres with local governments

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The head of a panel writing rules for fracking in North Carolina says state standards should prevail in any disputes with local governments.

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Marcellus shale drilling likely to slow down in 2013

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By Kevin Begos

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Worker killed in West Virginia explosion identified

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A contractor has identified an employee who was killed in an explosion at an EQT natural gas well pad in West Virginia's Taylor County.

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North Dakota's Bakken oil is changing American oil industry

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

The Bakken oil in North Dakota is changing the American drilling pciture.\

At what cost, asks the National geographic Society.

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Can natural gas, coal co-exist in West Virginia?

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

The big West Virginia question is: Can coal and natural gas co-exist?

Click  here  to read the story.

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Emotions over fracking are running high in New York communities

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2013

Emotions are running high in New York town where hydraulic fracturing or fracking could soon be permitted.

Click  here  to read more.

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Mahoning County agrees to water deal with Consol Energy

By Bob Downing Published: February 16, 2013

From the OhioShale blog of Bricker & Eckler, the Columbus law firm:

Mahoning County approved a deal last week to sell Consol Energy up to 500,000 gallons of water per day at a rate of $6 per 1,000 gallons, Tribune Chronicle reports.

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Small ethane cracker plant may be coming to West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: February 16, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

A new polyethelene (PE) manufacturing plant complete with a “small” ethane cracker is coming to West Virginia, somewhere “south of Wheeling.” Appalachian Resins Inc. is the company that will build the new $500 million plant with a capacity to produce 500 million pounds of PE per year. They aim to take advantage of Marcellus and Utica Shale gas and its byproduct ethane which is so abundant throughout the region.

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Pennsylvania legal bill tops $550,000 in Marcellus law dispute

By Bob Downing Published: February 16, 2013

With a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling still pending regarding the legality of the Marcellus shale gas drilling law passed last year, billing documents show that the case already has cost the commonwealth more than $550,000, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazete reports.

 

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Worker killed in explosion on West Virginia well pad

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Wset Virginia state regulators say a worker was killed Friday morning in an explosion at an EQT natural gas well pad near Flemington in rural Taylor County.

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Ohio firm acquires lease rights to 2,200 acres in Wayne County

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

An Ohio drilling company on Friday announced that it has acquired lease rights to 2,200 acres in Wayne County.

The announcement came from the Cardinal Energy Group based in the Columbus suburb of Dublin.

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Munroe Falls to appeal home rule case to Ohio Supreme Court

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

By my co-worker Paula Schleis:

 

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Two Ohio senators seek tougher dumping penalties

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

Ohio State Senators Frank LaRose, R-Copley Township, and Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, announced today that they are introducing legislation to toughen penalties for the illegal dumping of wastes from gas and oil drilling.

The legislation is in response to federal water pollution charges filed against Ben Lupo of Poland, owner of two Youngstown companies, who was cited for the illegal Jan. 31 dumping of wastes to a storm sewer that drains to the Mahoning River.

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Press release on Seneca Lake lease from MWCD

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

Official press release from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District:

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) Board of Directors has approved entering into an oil and gas lease in the Utica Shale region for more than 6,000 acres of its property at Seneca Lake in Guernsey and Noble counties that will prohibit any surface development on MWCD property and add protections to adjacent private properties.

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Rex Energy, MarkWest sign Utica shale agreement

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

Here is a statement received late Thursday on a new agreement between Colorado-based MarkWest Energy Partners and Pennsylvania-based Rex Energy, a driller in Ohio's Utica shale:

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 15, 2013-- MarkWest Utica EMG, L.L.C. (MarkWest Utica EMG), a joint venture between MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) (MarkWest) and The Energy and Minerals Group (EMG), today announced definitive agreements with Rex Energy Corporation (NYSE:REXX) (Rex) to provide gathering, processing, fractionation, and marketing services in the Utica Shale .

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District to get $40.3 million for Seneca Lake drilling lease

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District today approved a $40.3 million natural gas lease for 6,500 acres at Seneca Lake in Guernsey and Noble counties.

The lease with Colorado-based Antero Resources was approved 5-0 by the district’s commisioners, despite continued protests from a grass-roots group, the Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water.

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Industry applauds Ohio's quick action in Youngstown dumping case

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

A statement on Youngstown dumping case from Rhonda Reda, executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program:

 

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U.S. Rep. Ryan 'outraged' by illegal dumping in Youngstown

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

A statement received late Thursday from U.S. Rep. Tim Dyan, D-Niles, on the Yopungstown dumping case:

 

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Judge rules BLM procedure in land leasing is unlawful

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

A press release from a Colorado grass-roots group, Citi9zens for a Healthy Community:

February 14, 2013

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Group wants Ohio to change law on eminent domain for gas pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

From ShaleOhio blog by the Columbus law firm, Brickler & Eckler:

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, a conservative legal organization, wants the Ohio legislature to repeal a law that it says pipeline developer Enterprise Liquids Pipelines is improperly interpreting in order to “threaten landowners with using eminent domain to take their private property” for construction of the Appalachia-to-Texas (ATEX) pipeline, Gongwer reports.

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Are unsafe practices on the increase in Marcellus, Utica shales?

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

Experts say the shale gas boom is resulting in a rash of unsafe waste-handling practices in Ohio and Pennsylvania, the ShaleReporter blog reports.

Click  here  to read more.

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West Virginia, MarkWest reach settlement on stream problem

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

From the Associated Press:

 A gas processing plant operator has agreed to pay $306,000 in fines for erosion problems that repeatedly polluted a northern West Virginia stream.

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Chesapeake donates to Ohio's Towpath Trail aqueduct

By Bob Downing Published: February 15, 2013

Chesapeake Energy Corp. has provided a financial boost to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

The Oklahoma-based energy company has donated $11,200 to the Akron-based Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition for a long-awaited bridge project on the Stark-Tuscarawas county line.

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Official statement on charges being filed in Youngstown

By Bob Downing Published: February 14, 2013

(YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio) -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine joined Steven M. Dettelbach, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, to announce that a Poland, Ohio, man appeared in federal court today after his arrest for violating the Clean Water Act.

Ben Lupo, 62, is accused of directing an employee to illegally discharge brine and oil-based drilling mud into a stormwater drain which flowed into an unnamed tributary of the Mahoning River and ultimately into the Mahoning River near Youngstown.

Ohio Attorney General DeWine said: “Ohio’s waters must be protected, for the health and safety of its citizens and the state’s wildlife. We will not only assist with the federal water pollution prosecution in this case, we will also be working closely with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to fully address all of the other violations through civil or criminal enforcement.”

The conduct took place on Jan. 31, 2013, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court.

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Additional update on Youngstown dumping case

By Bob Downing Published: February 14, 2013

A press release from state Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown

Federal charges will be filed against Mr. Ben Lupo, the man responsible for illegally dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of brine and oil into the Mahoning River. State Representative Robert F. Hagan described the announcement as an milestone moment in Ohio’s fight to protect against environmental degradation caused by the oil and gas industry.

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Update on federal charges in Youngstown dumping case

By Bob Downing Published: February 14, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Prosecutors are charging a Northeast Ohio man with violating the federal Clean Water Act after at least 20,000 gallons of gas-drilling waste was dumped into a river tributary.

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Colorado governor drank fracking fluid

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 14, 2013

Colorado's governor, Democrat John Hickenlooper, says he drank fracking fluid.

A short piece in Opposing Views doesn't say if he had it neat, on the rocks or if it went well when paired with red meat, fish or poultry.

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Shale energy is saving manufacturing, columnist says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 14, 2013

The shale energy boom is boosting manufacturing in the United States, writes Free Enterprise.

Sean Hackbarth writes: "America’s energy boom is playing role in revitalizing the manufacturing sector. Having abundant, affordable energy for their operations is the most obvious benefit from the shale boom, but there’s more to it. All the drilling rigs, pipes, tanks, and other materials to get energy out of the ground and move it to where it's needed have to be made. New investments are being made and new jobs created from increased demand.

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Is the North Dakota shale boom over already?

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 14, 2013

The Atlantic magazine asks, is North Dakota's shale energy boom over?

Derek Thompson writes about a drop-off in job growth in the state: "This is how an energy boom should go, you could argue. First come the core mining jobs and manufacturing jobs. Then you build the houses and roads to accommodate the miners and factory workers. Then you open restaurants to feed their families. And you build hotels to room their visitors and petro-tourists. That's not a bust story. It's a modern growth story.

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Encore Energy seeking to sell Ohio leases to drillers, especially Anadarko

By Bob Downing Published: February 14, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

A for-profit company that pools acreage from both landowners that want to lease their land, and from energy companies with leases who want to re-sell those leases, is trying to get the attention of Anadarko and other drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale. Encore Energy issued a press release yesterday announcing they have land available for lease. They specifically tap Anadarko on the shoulder to tell them they have 1,300 Utica Shale acres “just 3 miles” from land they’re already drilling on in Washington County, OH.

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North Dakota Senate defeats new anti-flaring laws

By Bob Downing Published: February 14, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The North Dakota Senate snuffed out a measure Wednesday aimed at curbing the practice of wasting natural gas as an unwanted byproduct of production.

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Ohio unions rally against outsiders doing pipeline construction

By Bob Downing Published: February 14, 2013

Based on a press release:

Four building trades associated with pipeline construction will be holding a job action in Ohio's Carroll County early today where Will Bros Inc., a company from over 1,300 miles away in Houston, TX is performing work for UEO Buckeye and Access Midstream.

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Federal charges expected today in Youngstown dumping case

By Bob Downing Published: February 14, 2013

Federal officials have called a 1 p.m. press conference today to announce federal charges in the Youngstown waste dumping case involving Ben Lupo of Hardrock Excavating.

Drilling wastes were dumped into a storm sewer that drained to the Mahoning River on Jan. 31.

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Online petitions seek state action in Youngstown dumping

By Bob Downing Published: February 14, 2013

Online petitions asking Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to suspend the corporate charters of companies linked to Ben Lupo who has been implicated in the Youngstown drilling incident are circulating in Northeast Ohio.

Go here to see one of the petitions: http://www.change.org/petitions/ohio-attorney-general-mike-dewine-revoke-the-charters-of-corporations-connected-to-ben-lupo.

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Research under way on gas hydrates as a source of natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: February 14, 2013

A press release from the U.S. Geological Survey:

This story can be read online at: http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/groundbreaking-gas-hydrate-research/?from=image

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Broken valve results in Colorado well problem

By Bob Downing Published: February 13, 2013

From the Associated Press:

After nearly 30 hours, oil-laden fracking fluid has stopped spraying from an oil well east of Fort Collins, Colo..

The Coloradoan newspaper reports the well started spraying green-tinted fluid following a mechanical failure Monday morning. Ken Hall, who lives on property next to the well site, says workers stopped the leak around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission spokesman Todd Hartman says that after equipment fell due to hydraulic failure, a valve broke, leading to the discharge of flowback, which refers to hydraulic fracturing fluid that has returned to the surface after being injected into a well.
 

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Ohio doesn't want to be dumping ground for New York waste, groups say

By Bob Downing Published: February 13, 2013

A press release received today from Ohio environmental/anti-fracking groups:

Ohio to Cuomo: We Are NOT New York’s Dumping Ground

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Food & Water Watch: Gas has no place in clean energy plan

By Bob Downing Published: February 13, 2013

A press release recived today from Food & Water Watch, a national eco-group:

Washington, D.C.--"President Obama was right to proclaim the importance of speeding our transition to a clean energy future last night in his State of the Union Address, but natural gas has no place in that plan. The so-called natural gas boom he described is only locking us into further dependence on dirty, polluting fossil fuels, while destroying our communities and the resources on which they thrive.

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Eco group backs additional review by New York state

By Bob Downing Published: February 13, 2013

A press release received today from the Environmental defense Fund, a national eco-group:

NEW YORK — Environmental Defense Fund Associate Vice President & Chief Counsel for the U.S. Energy & Climate Program, Mark Brownstein, released the following statement in response to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s move to delay the release of its environmental impact statement and associated gas regulations yesterday. The long-awaited announcement was postponed in order to allow the State Health Commissioner enough time to complete a study on the possible health impacts of shale gas drilling.

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API supports Obama's call for more natural gas, oil development

By Bob Downing Published: February 13, 2013

A press release from the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, February 12, 2012 – API President and CEO Jack Gerard welcomed President Obama’s State of the Union call to invest in more domestic oil and natural gas, saying that more development will create jobs and help us become an energy superpower:

“President Obama recognized the oil and natural gas industry as a robust economic engine that is investing in American jobs, generating billions of dollars for the government each year, and making our country more energy secure.

“Even with the aggressive expansion of renewable and alternative energy, oil and natural gas will continue to provide the majority of the energy necessary to heat our homes, run our businesses, and fuel our cars for decades to come. We’re going to need all sources of energy to fuel a growing economy.

“Unfortunately, 83 percent of the land and offshore areas controlled by the federal government are still off-limits to oil and natural gas development. President Obama must follow through by implementing a national energy policy, lifting existing restrictions in support of responsible development of our vast energy resources, approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and standing up against unnecessary and burdensome regulations that chill economic growth.”

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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Ohio has 236 drilled Utica shale wells, 65 are in production

By Bob Downing Published: February 13, 2013

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management has approved seven new permits for Utica shale drilling.

That brings Ohio's total through Feb. 9 to 518 permits.

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How much might horizontal-well production decline with time?

By Bob Downing Published: February 13, 2013

Production from horizontal wells falls off with the passage of time.

That much is known but how sharply the production levels fall in the big unanswered question in shale booms in Ohio and other states.

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Pennsylvania drilling produces 3 percent of NOX, 1 percent of VOC pollution

By Bob Downing Published: February 13, 2013

A press release from the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a pro-drilling group in Pennsylvania:

MSC Statement on PA DEP Air Emissions Data

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Shale group happy with Obama comments in State of Union

By Bob Downing Published: February 13, 2013

A press release received last night from the Pennsylvania-based Marcellus Shale Coalition, a pro-drilling group:

Pittsburgh, Pa.– Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) chief executive officer Kathryn Z. Klaber issued this statement regarding President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address:

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New York needs more time for health study on drilling

By Bob Downing Published: February 13, 2013

From the Associated Press:

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Hagan introduces two bills, wants Youngstown answers from state

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

A press release issued today by state Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown, on Ben Lupo dumping case in Youngstown:

COLUMBUS– State Representative Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) today introduced two bills that aim to protect the public from potential negative consequences of fracking, and demanded that the agencies overseeing the cleanup at D&L Energy Group headquarters provide the public with more answers.

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Two eco-groups sue New York town over fracking discussion ban

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By MARY ESCH

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Youngtown dumping may exceed 252,000 gallons, state says

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

Ben Lupo, owner of Youngstown's D&L Energy and Hardrock Exacavating, told the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency that he ordered employees at least six times to dump drilling wastes from 21,000-gallon tanks to storm sewers that drained to the Mahoning River.

That activity from September 2012 to Jan. 31, 2013, means that at least 252,000 gallons of drilling wastes were dumped, the Youngstown Vindicator reports.

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Impacts of shale boom still unknown, Earthworks director says

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

A press release from Earthworks, a national eco-group:

Feb 12th, Washington, D.C. -- As the United States Senate considers natural gas issues in the 113th Congress, I urge Senators to seek the true impacts this industry has on our public health and our climate. Despite industry rhetoric, and thanks in part to industry obstruction, we still do not know the impacts of the unconventional oil and gas boom.

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Ohio State, West Virginia creating shale partnership

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

From West Virginia University press release:

Officials at The Ohio State University and West Virginia University have signed a memorandum of understanding creating a shale energy partnership between the two schools, agreeing to work collaboratively to develop a joint program of research in the Appalachian Region’s developing shale energy industry.

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Triad Hunter opens Utica, Marcellus office in Marietta

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

Magnum Hunter Chairman and CEO Gary Evans was on hand Monday in Marietta, Ohio for the grand opening of the new regional office building for Magnum’s Marcellus and Utica Shale subsidiary Triad Hunter. Triad has (so far) leased 85,500 acres in the Marcellus Shale and 81,800 acres in the Utica Shale. The new office is located centrally to both the Marcellus and Utica plays—together referred to as Appalachia.

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Eco-groups ran Cuomo-directed ad in Iowa newspaper

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

Today  a group of 135 environmental, public health and faith-based organizations ran an ad in the Des Moines Register urging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo not to approve the process of fracking in New York state.

As you probably know, Cuomo is rumored to be considering a White House bid in 2016.

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NRDC: Congress should deal with fracking risks

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

A press release from the NRDC:

WASHINGTON (February 12, 2013) – Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told a Senate Committee panel today that Congress should enact public health and environmental safeguards before any further expansion of natural gas fracking occurs because it is exposing Americans to growing risks from air pollution, water pollution and toxic chemicals.

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Fracking Town Hall meeting on Feb. 20 in Athens

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

From the Ohio Environmental Council:

Fracking Town Hall: Athens

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North Dakota preparing Bakken enforcement action

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

The North Dakota Health Department is preparing enforcement action against drillers responsible for excess pollution in the Bakken shale.

The enforcement comes after clean-up action already ordered.

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New York Times advertisement calls on Obama to delay LNG exports

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

A press release received today:

WASHINGTON, D.C.///February 12, 2013///In a major issue advertisement (http://bit.ly/12nwRgq) appearing in today’s New York Times, more than 40 groups and high-profile individuals are calling on President Obama to take a “time out” in the headlong run to export more than 40 percent of America’s natural gas for use by other nations.

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How much natural gas can the U.S. tap from shale?

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

A team of 100 scientists and engineers has been wrestling with a big question: How much natural gas can the United States produce?

The answer is: No one knows.

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Shell's plans for Arctic drilling in jeopardy

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Although Shell Oil said the firm has not ruled out drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska this summer, it appears unlikely the vessels will be able to make the two-to-four-week treks to those Asian ports, undergo repairs, clear U.S. inspections and return to those Arctic waters in time for the drilling season that begins in July.

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Coalition wants U.S. EPA Inspector General to investigate Texas case

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

A press release received on Monday:

To read more or comment...

OEC praises Ohio for quick action in Youngstown dumping

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

A press release received late Monday from the Ohio Environmental Council:

The Ohio Environmental Council is praising the decisive response of the Kasich administration to the illegal dumping of an estimated 30,000 gallons of oil and gas drilling waste water into a storm sewer that drains to the Mahoning River near Youngstown.

To read more or comment...

FracTracker Alliance moves into Northeast Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2013

WARREN: The lack of information about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Marcellus shale of Pennsylvania led to the formation of FracTracker in mid-2010.

The group, now known as the FracTracker Alliance, has moved into Northeast Ohio with Ted Auch as its one-man operation.

To read more or comment...

FirstMerit, Ohio to benefit from Utica shale growth, investor says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 11, 2013

Investment web site Seeking Alpha is bullish on what the Utica shale means for Ohio's economy.

And Seeking Alpha says Akron bank and financial services firm FirstMerit Corp. stands to benefit from shale development. (The writer says regional banks such as FirstMerit are doing well now in the United States.)

To read more or comment...

Ohio proposes tighter rules on drilling wastes from Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: February 11, 2013

Ohio is proposing tighter legislation to deal with low-level radioactive wastes from drilling for natural gas in the Utica shale.

The proposed legislation to strengthen current regulations was unveiled today by the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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Shale gas in Germany? No fracking way, says government

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 11, 2013

Germany is balking at fracking for natural gas.

The Via Meadia blog at The American Interest writes: "There are real environmental and geopolitical consequences to taking a hard line like this. Natural gas is one of the cleanest-burning fossil fuels. By dismissing it, Germany removes a large green component from its energy mix. That hole has to be filled with other sources of energy, like dirty-burning coal. On the geopolitical side, fracking could help Germany and the EU reduce their dependence on Russian natural gas."

To read more or comment...

New York county rejects planning report because of pro-fracking language

By Bob Downing Published: February 11, 2013

A press release received today from New York state:

Community Environmental Defense Council. Inc. info@cedclaw.org

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Center says support growing for U.S. LNG exports

By Bob Downing Published: February 11, 2013

A press release received today from the Center for Liquified Natural Gas:

 

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Two Texas brothers are top donors to successful 2012 state candidates

By Bob Downing Published: February 11, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Two billionaire brothers who made a fortune in the fracking industry and have begun buying up eastern Montana land were the top donors to successful 2012 legislative candidates, according to a new report from the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

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Gulfport Energy acquires more Ohio acreage for drilling

By Bob Downing Published: February 11, 2013

Oklahoma-based Gulfport Energy announced today that it was acquiring an additional 22,000 net acres in eastern Ohio.

The land is being purchased from Windsor Ohio LLC, an affiliate of Wexford Capital LP, for about $220 million.

To read more or comment...

Ohio's Zane State College offering drilling training, facilities

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2013

From Bricker * Eckler's ShaleOhio blog: Through contributions from area businesses and the Energize Appalachian Ohio grant, construction of Zane State College’s Gas and Oil Engineering Technology Program’s outdoor land lab began last week, which will – upon its May 1 completion date – make Zane State College the “only oil and gas engineering technology program in Ohio that offers a hands-on simulated facility with actual oilfield equipment,” The Daily Jeffersonian reports.

The lab will feature equipment such as two 100-barrel storage tank batteries and an 18-foot-deep simulated well with a pump jack, which will utilize “fluids of similar consistency to crude without volatility risks” to ensure safety, the article said.

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Antero seeking more Barnesville leases in Belmont County

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2013

Denver-based Antero Rersources is seeking to sign leases with landowners in Barnesville in Ohio's Belmont County.

It is offering $5,700 an acre plus 20 percent royalties.

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West Virginia park gets top Marcellus leasing deal

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News and the Weirton Daily Times:

In a story about a natural gas pipeline that will be run under a county-owned trail in Brooke County, WV, MDN spotted a brief mention about the signing bonus and royalty rate received by Brooke Hills Park in 2011 for drilling on 100 acres of park land.

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Natural gas to fuel new power plant in Lawrence County, Pa.

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

North Beaver (Lawrence County), PA supervisors have approved a request from LS Power Development to build a new $750 million electric generating plant at a former manufacturing site along the Mahoning River.

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PDC Energy sells Colorado assets to focus on Ohio's Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

PDC Energy, formerly known as Petroleum Development Corp., announced Tuesday they are selling off “non-core” assets in the Piceance Basin (northwestern Colorado) and assets they own in northeastern Colorado for $200 million so they can invest the money in wet gas drilling in the Ohio Utica and Niobrara Shale plays.

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Exports needed for U.S. to fully benefit from shale gas

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2013

A statement received from the Center for Liquified Natural Gas:

The U.S. has been blessed with an abundance of natural gas, enabling us to both meet our domestic demand and reap economic benefits from exporting a small percentage abroad. This opportunity has not only altered the North American energy market, but has also redrawn the global geopolitical map. The U.S. is uniquely positioned to benefit, but only if we act now.

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Pittsburgh Airport gets $500 million drilling lease

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By KEVIN BEGOS

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West Virginia, M3 agree on $37,830 fine for water violations

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2013

From the FrackCheckWV blog:

Source: WV DEP: February 6, 2013
==========================

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Rex Energy to invest $85 million and drill 11 wells in Ohio in 2013

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2013

Pennsylvania-based Rex Energy has plans to drill 11 Utica shale wells in Ohio in 2013.

The company expects to invest $85 million in Ohio this year.

To read more or comment...

BLM backs off some Colorado leases of federal land

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

From the Marcellus Effect blog:

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Moniz reported top choice for U.S. Energy secretary, Reuters says

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

Reuters reports that President Barack Obama is considering naming nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz, one of his science and energy advisers, as the next energy secretary, sources said.

Moniz, who was undersecretary at the Energy Department during the Clinton administration, is a familiar figure on Capitol Hill, where he has often talked to lawmakers about how abundant supplies of U.S. natural gas will gradually replace coal as a source of electricity.

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U.S. EPA says 40,000 gallons involved in Youngstown dumping

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, also involved in the Youngstown dumping case, reported Friday that about 40,000 gallons of drilling wastes was involved, the Youngstown Vindicator reported.

Click  here  to read  more.

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CONSOL Energy offers an update oits 2012 shale activities

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News and CONSOL Energy:

CONSOL Energy delivered an update on 2012 Marcellus Shale drilling activity yesterday—an update full of useful and interesting factoids. Among them: Due to extensions and discoveries, CONSOL added nearly 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to its proven reserves in 2012; they spent $440.7 million on drilling and completion in 2012; and their “drill bit finding and development cost” is 46 cents per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of gas—among the lowest in the industry.

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Pipeline company to convert wet gas pipeline in Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

The Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. recent made a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) declaring its intention to convert an existing “lean gas” pipeline in the Ohio Utica Shale into a gathering pipeline to move wet gas from the Utica to market.

To read more or comment...

Columbus hosting Utica Shale Summit on Feb. 25-27

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

Columbus will host the second annual Utica Shale Development and Growth Forum on Feb. 25-27.

The event, sponsored by IQPC, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.

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Rural North Dakota banls flush with Bakken shale money

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

North Dakota was a suffering economic state until the Bakken shale oil boom hit.

Now its small-town banks are flush with cash, says Business Week.

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New York health assessment is completed, consultants say

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

A health assessment conducted for the state of New York by three outside experts has been done for more than a month, but state officials did not disclose that fact to legislators or the public.

Click  here  to read more.

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Hagan calls for criminal charges in Youngstown dumping case

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

A statement received on Friday from State Rep. Bob Hagan, D-Youngstown:

COLUMBUS– In response to the shocking revelation that 40,000 to 50,000 gallons of fracking wastewater were illegally dumped into a tributary of the Mahoning River, State Representative Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) held a press conference this afternoon calling for criminal charges to be filed against the owner of the company that initiated the dumping.

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Eco group praises Ohio for quick enforcement action in Youngstown

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

A press release received on Friday from the Environmental Defense Fund, a national eco group:

EDF Applauds Ohio State Regulators for Quick Action in Responding to Alleged Waste Dumping Incident

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Appeals court overturns 2011 decision that said driller must follow local rules

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2013

My co-worker Paula Schleis reported on a lawsuit involving a drilling company and the city of Munroe Falls in Summit County. It was a case that the industry was following closely, as were those pushing for more local control over drilling operations.

Here is Paula's story that ran on Saturday:

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Shale energy won't last, says pessimistic Slate. Not so, counters optimistic critic

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 8, 2013

Don't believe the hype about the the long-term viability of shale energy because of rising prices and decling yields, Slate argues in a new article.

Waitammit, counters Via Meadia in a separate post, shale does indeed have a bright future.

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Blog speculates: Could the shale boom go bust?

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 8, 2013

Shale energy faces headwinds, says Via Meadia, blog at The American Interest.

Via Meadia writes: "Fracking has successfully opened up vast new reserves of oil and gas, but investors are concerned that ill-conceived regulations and stunted U.S. transportation infrastructure are threatening to slow the arrival of the energy boom."

To read more or comment...

D&L Energy Group responds to Ohio state action

By Bob Downing Published: February 7, 2013

A statement received toy on behalf of the D&L Energy Group in Youngstown, in thw wake of the state of Ohio revoking an operating permit after illegal dumping of drilling wastes into a storm sewer that drains to the Mahoning River:

(February 7, 2013)(Youngstown, Ohio)- D & L Energy Group is currently reviewing the actions taken by ODNR relative to its companies’ operating permits, and intends to respond to, and perhaps appeal, such action at the appropriate time and in the appropriate venue. We cannot discuss the specific circumstances of the ODNR’s actions, nor our potential response, until these matters are concluded.

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Ohio revokes permits of two firms tied to illegal Youngstown dumping

By Bob Downing Published: February 7, 2013

 

The state of Ohio is permanently revoking the operating permits of two Youngstown companies in connection with the illegal dumping of drilling wastes into a storm sewer that drains to the Mahoning River.

To read more or comment...

Yoko Ono has new video message for New York governor

By Bob Downing Published: February 7, 2013

Yoko Ono today released a new television advertisement aimed at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

She asks the governor about his repeated refusal to meet with her and her group, Artists Against Fracking, about fracking.

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Analyst offers update on Gulfport Energy's Utica reports

By Bob Downing Published: February 7, 2013

From New York-based analyst Tim Rezvan of Sterne Agee on Gulfport Energy's latest reports on results in Ohio's Harrison County and its Utica shale:

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Interior to offer 38.6 million acres in Gulf of Mexico for drilling

By Bob Downing Published: February 7, 2013

A press release received today from the U.S. Department of the Interior on plans to offer 38 million acres off-shore in the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi:

:

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Feb. 14 program on drilling contracts in Stark County

By Bob Downing Published: February 7, 2013

Kent State University's Stark Campus is hosting a public program on basic gas and oil contracts on Feb. 14.

The program will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Main Hall auditorium, 6000 Frank Ave. NW, Jackson Township.

To read more or comment...

Carroll County group seeking to share water testing data

By Bob Downing Published: February 7, 2013

On Feb. 16, a grass-roots group in Ohio's Carroll County is asking residents to share water-quality test results in order to help researchers track water trends in the Utica shale drilling area.

The Carroll Concerned Citizens will use document scanners to capture detailed lab reports landowners have received  as part of water-quality pre-testing from coal companies, gas-oil companies or tests conducted for the landowners.

To read more or comment...

Study says shale boom is boosting U.S. trucking industry

By Bob Downing Published: February 7, 2013

A study by a Cleveland-based law firm, Benesch, shows that the shale gas boom is providing a major boost to America's trucking industry.

The report was released on Jan. 28.

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Ohio approved 39 Utica shale drilling permits in January

By Bob Downing Published: February 7, 2013

Permits for drilling in Ohio's Utica shale climbed to 39 in January.

Ohio hit a record for permits in October with 55 permits being issued.

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U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan weighs in on Youngstown dumping

By Bob Downing Published: February 7, 2013

A statement received from U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, on reports of drilling wastes being illegally dumped into a storm sewer in Youngstown, a report being investigated by two Ohio state agencies:

“I am furious that up to 20,000 gallons of wastewater was dumped into a storm drain on Salt Springs Road. My understanding is that Hard Rock Excavating and its employees blatantly disregarded multiple rules and regulations on the books and put our local environment at serious risk. I am reassured to hear that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency are investigating this matter and criminal charges will be filed.

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Ohio Oil & Gas Association monitoring Youngstown dumping

By Bob Downing Published: February 6, 2013

A statement received today from Thomas Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, in the wake of reports of illegal dumping of drilling wastes in Youngstown:

We are closely monitoring the situation concerning the alleged disposal of oilfield wastewater, also known as brine, into a storm sewer in Mahoning County.

As representatives of the state’s oil and gas industry, we take our commitment to safeguard Ohio’s environment very seriously. Though facts about the incident are still coming to light, if a person or company purposely violated Ohio’s laws and regulations concerning the proper disposal of oilfield wastewater, we believe that they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

According to Ohio law, all wastewater generated during oil and gas activity must be disposed of in one of the state’s 179 Class II injection wells.

About the Ohio Oil and Gas Association
The Ohio Oil and Gas Association is a trade association with more than 3,200 members involved in the exploration, production and development of crude oil and natural gas resources within the state of Ohio.
 

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MarkWest, EMG provide update on Utica infrastructure joint venture

By Bob Downing Published: February 6, 2013

From the Marcellus Drilling News:

At the end of 2011, MarkWest Energy and The Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) announced that MarkWest was buying out EMG’s share in a 3-year-old joint venture deal in the wet gas portion of the Marcellus Shale called MarkWest Liberty Midstream. EMG owned a 49% stake in that JV (see MarkWest Pays $1.8B to Buy Out JV Partner in Liberty Midstream). At the time of the buyout, the two companies announced they would form a new JV to build midstream infrastructure in Ohio's Utica Shale starting in 2012.

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Gulfport offers production data on Harrison County well

By Bob Downing Published: February 6, 2013

Oklahoma-based Gulfport Energy today announced results from another Ohio Utica shale well.

The second Boy Scout well in Harrison County is producing 1,662 barrels of oil equivalents per day.

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New York appointment of geologist comes under attack

By Bob Downing Published: February 6, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

New York’s selection of a university geologist and gas-industry consultant to study hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes prompted a drilling opponent to say conclusions of a state agency may be tainted.

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Oil companies can get energy from other states, not Ohio, blog argues

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 6, 2013

"America may not need Ohio's oil," writes BizzyBlog.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich needs to rethink the severance tax in his state budget proposal because of the nation's shale energy glut, BizzyBlog argues.

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Groups unhappy that Pennsylvania cancels water test meeting

By Bob Downing Published: February 6, 2013

A press release from a coalition of Pennsylvania grass-root groups:

 

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REI CEO is tapped as new Secretary of the Interior

By Bob Downing Published: February 6, 2013

Reports from Washington, D.C., are that President Barack Obama has nominated Sally Jewell to be the new Secretary of the Interior.

Jewell is CEO of the outdoor and recreational retailer REI, a clothinmg co-op.

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Testimony: U.S. has abundant natural gas supplies

By Bob Downing Published: February 6, 2013

A press release from the Center for Liquified Natural Gas:

Experts Agree: U.S. Has Abundant Natural Gas Supplies

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NRDC visits West Virginia Marcellus shale drilling sites

By Bob Downing Published: February 6, 2013

From the blog FrackCheckWV:

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a large, well established environmental group with offices in five major U. S. cities. On Wednesday the 29th of January and Thursday the 30th, they sent a group to tour Marcellus trouble areas in West Virginia. The group included three lawyers, an established photographer with a press video camera and the writer Amy Mall.

The trip began at Morgantown with Evan Hansen of Downstream Strategies, an environmental consulting firm. First they visited Casey and Stacie Griffith’s house in Marion County, because the operations are so close to the residence.

Mr. Hansen then took the group to a site in Northwest Harrison county where 2100 gallons of a drilling fluid had been pumped into a wetland and then flowed downstream. Several families have been impacted by loosing their well water.

The next stop was the Sherwood Station processing facility on Route 50 near West Union, followed by a visit to the Powell compressor site on County Route 11. The compressor station lies very low in the flood plain of a local stream and was invaded by high water later in the evening.

Wednesday ended with a community meeting and dinner in West Union, attended by about 20 local residents and some visitors from surrounding counties, who were given a chance to describe their problems with shale gas development companies. One person said she had a paved road, but it was broken up shortly after drilling began, “and we lived in a dust cloud for three years with hundreds of trucks going by some days.”

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More than 80,000 Marcellus shale well sites remain

By Bob Downing Published: February 6, 2013

There are more than 80,000 potential drilling sites remaining in the Marcellus shale, according to one expert.

That assessment came last week from expert Manju Nikhannj at a conference in Pittsburgh.

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Shale gas glut causes Florida nuke plant to be shuttered for good

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 6, 2013

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the glut of shale-derived natural gas has led to a nuclear power plant in Florida to be shuttered permanently.

Other U.S. nuke plants could follow, the story says: "Duke Energy (DUK)’s decision to dismantle a Florida nuclear power plant rather than undertake the costliest- ever U.S. atomic repair shows how rapidly cheap natural gas is remaking the U.S. power industry, hastening a shift from traditional fuels such as coal and uranium.

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Tip leads state inspectors to witness illegal dumping in Youngstown

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

A anonymous tip to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources led state inspectors to witness illegal dumping of drilling wastes last week into a storm sewer in Youngstown.

That fact was contained in two pages of reports released on Tuesday by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for last week’s alleged illegal dumping at the D&L Energy Group off Salt Springs Road.

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New York, Cabot reach agreement on fracking disclosure

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The trustee of New York’s $150.1 billion pension fund has reached an agreement with Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. to disclose what it’s doing to reduce risks of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

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Ohio hits 512 Utica shale permits

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

Ohio has approved 512 permits for drilling in the Utica shale.

That is the new total as of Feb. 2 as listed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.

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Uranium yellowcake next to be fracked in the U.S.?

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 5, 2013

Fracking for natural gas and oil is yesterday's news.

The new thing: Fracking for nuclear energy.

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Online debate by The Economist: Is fracking worth it?

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

A press release received today:

Today, The Economist launched an online debate regarding shale gas extraction with the motion "Do the benefits derived from shale gas outweigh the drawbacks of fracking?”

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Spectra Energy offers fourth quarter, 2012 year-end reports

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

Texas-based Spectra Energy today announced fourth quarter 2012 and year-end 2012 earning results.

The firm, based in Houston, is one of the largest natural gas infrastructure companies in the United States.

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Company wants to buy rail line to get water to Ohio drillers

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

Aqua Infrastructure LLC wants to buy the Youngtown and Southern Railroad from the Columbiana County Port Authority, reports the Youngstown-based Business Journal.

The firm wants to use the rail right of way to provide water to shale gas drillers in eastern Ohio.

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Firm offering 100,000 acres in Ohio's Utica shale to drillers

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

From Southern Ohio Energy Consultants LLC, an Ohio-basded company that is assmbling leased land for drilling and negotiating agreements with drillers:

VINCENT, Ohio, Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Today, Southern Ohio Energy Consultants, in the capacity of exclusive consultant and adviser to Utica Shale mineral owners, announces that the company continues to represents over 100,000 acres of Utica Shale located in the “rich condensate” and “oil” phases of the emerging play in Washington, Athens, Meigs, Muskingum, and Perry Counties in South Eastern Ohio.

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Shale revolution turning U.S. into energy superpower, API says

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

A press release from the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, February 4, 2013 – American’s revolution in oil and natural gas development has spurred economic growth and new job creation while turning the nation into an energy superpower, Karen Moreau, executive director of API’s New York State Petroleum Council, told reporters this afternoon. She said the U.S. has the ability to realign the energy axis toward the west with America leading the way:

“The United States has long been one of the world’s energy leaders, among the most pre-eminent in terms of energy resources, energy technology and energy production. But over the past half century its dominance in energy was challenged. It became more dependent on other nations’ energy resources and saw its own oil production decline. It became less a force in world energy markets. And the trend going forward looked unpromising given U.S. energy reserves that some said could nowhere near match America’s long range needs.

“But in a matter of a few years, the trends have reversed. There is a new energy reality of vast domestic resources of oil and natural gas brought about by advancing technology. They have helped put the U.S. in a position to become a global superpower on energy. For the first time in generations, we are able to see that our energy supply is no longer limited, foreign and finite; it is American and abundant. And that puts us well on our way to returning the U.S. to the position of undisputed global leader in energy. If we seize that opportunity now and support it with sound policy decisions on taxes, regulations and access, we can lead on energy 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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Antero Resources investing heavily in Utica, Marcellus shales

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

A press release from Antero Resources, which is involved in eastern Ohio drilling:

 

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Protestors picket gas-drilling conference outside Cleveland

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

Anti-fracking activists today protested outside a shale gas drilling conference  organized by Crain's Cleveland Business and WCPN/WVIZ Ideastream outside Cleveland in suburban Mayfield Heights.

The protestors deployed a banner today reading “Protect the Economy, Stop Fracking." The banner was hung off a veggie oil-powered bus, which was parked in front of the entrance to the summit. Protestors held banners saying “Ban Fracking Now,” and “We the people ban fracking.”

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ProPublica: Ratio of gas wells to inspectors in U.S. is high

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

According to ProPublica, the ratio of natural gas wells to state inspectors remains high across the United States.

It also reports that the volume of drilling wastes being injected below ground has ballooned.

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Grass-roots group has concerns about gas leasing at Ohio lakes

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

A press release received from the Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save our Water and the FreshWater Accountability Project:

At its upcoming February 15 board meeting, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) is expected to lease the 3,500-acre Seneca Lake reservoir for unconventional shale gas drilling, commonly referred to as “fracking” and also known as “high-volume, slick water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing” (HVHHF). The lease, negotiated by the MWCD with Antero Resources of Colorado, would allow the third largest inland body of water in Ohio to be subjected to HVHHF for the natural gas industry.

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EPA investigating Youngtown drilling-waste dumping

By Bob Downing Published: February 5, 2013

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is conducting a criminal investigation into how drilling wastes got into a storm sewer in Youngstown and drained into the Mahoning River.

The agency is "very concerned" by the discovery of dumping — possibly illegal — discovered late last week, EPA spokesman Chris Abbruzzese said in a statement the agency released Monday.

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Ohio Petroleum Council is against Kasich severance tax plan

By Bob Downing Published: February 4, 2013

Tonight Ohio Gov. John Kasich is unveiling his proposed state budget that includes a severance tax on drilling in the Utica shale.

And the Ohio Petroleum Council is opposed, saying the tax will hurt job growth and the developing drilling industry.

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Farmers in Ohio divided on fracking, Columbus Dispatch reports

By Bob Downing Published: February 4, 2013

Farmers in Ohio are divided on the Utica shale, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Some are thrilled by the economic potential of the natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids.

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Pennsylvania drillers responsible for 4 percent of air pollution in 2011

By Bob Downing Published: February 4, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By Michael Rubinkam

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Marcellus shale drilling fueling jobs, debate in West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: February 4, 2013

Drilling in the Marcellus shale in West Virginia is having major economic benefits for the state.

It is also continuing to fuel a debate over its environmental impacts, says reporter Paul Nyden of the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

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Drilling industry moving toward nontoxic fluids

By Bob Downing Published: February 4, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By Kevin Begos

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California's shale Clash of the Titans is starting

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 4, 2013

California has one of the largest shale oil formations in the world but there are lots of questions about whether the state will allow that shale to be tapped.

"Massive shale oil reserves could give California one of the biggest oil booms on Earth, but the uber-powerful California green lobby is gearing up for the fight of its life," writes the Via Meadia blog at The American Interest. (The Via Meadia post is based on another New York Times story.)

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New York Times finds the human story in shale boom

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 4, 2013

The Via Meadia blog at The American Interest web site noted a recent New York Times Magazine story on "the human story" in shale.

Via Meadia writes: "Read the whole thing. It’s an interesting weekend read, and gives a good balance to coverage of the shale revolution. We can get caught up in covering the far-reaching implications of a story like this; it’s good to remember that actual people are out there drilling whose lives have become unrecognizably different in a few short years.

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Hess Corp. needs to get out of shale, big shareholder says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 1, 2013

A corporate raider wants Hess Corp. out of shale, Marcellus Drilling News reports.

The story says in part: "Corporate raider Paul Singer is pushing Hess Corp. to get out of shale drilling. Singer’s company, Elliott Management Corp., is one of Hess’ largest investors owning 4% of company stock. On Jan. 25, Elliott Management gave notice it’s buying another $800 million of company stock and would make a play to replace some board members in order shake up management at the company."

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Ohio's oil and gas industry creating jobs, new state report shows

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 1, 2013

Ohio's latest quarterly review of the state's oil and gas industry is out and it shows significant job creation and economic growth.

Highlights include:

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Gulfport Energy Utica shale well may generate $700,000/week

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 1, 2013

Gulfport Energy has a Utica shale well that may be generating $100,000 per day in revenue.

The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register newspaper reports: "The positives keep coming for Gulfport Energy's Utica Shale operations, as the Stutzman well in southwestern Belmont County could be producing about $100,000 worth of revenue per day.

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AOL reviews Ernst & Young outlook on natural gas, energy markets

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 1, 2013

AOL Energy looks at Ernst & Young's quarterly energy review and excerpted this about natural gas:

"Last year, US natural gas prices averaged below $3/MMBtu for the first time since the late 1990s amid a glut of production, leaving many if not most natural gas producers in a bind. Small gas producers are expected to continue struggling this year with questions remaining about their ability to survive. Low natural gas prices, however, will continue driving a renaissance in the US petrochemical and manufacturing sectors as they lower feedstock costs. US natural gas exports will remain a controversial issue this year as supporters and adversaries escalate political tensions around how much exports could impact domestic natural gas prices."

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FuelFix asks, "The Global Shale Gas Boom ... Or Is It?"

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 1, 2013

FuelFix wonders whether shale energy will be a global phenomenon.

Matt Fix at FuelFix writes: "Given the rapid rise of the US shale gas market, it is not surprising that similar opportunities are being explored with gusto across the globe. Given the size of technically recoverable shale gas already identified, it would seem that a global boom is inevitable….or is it?"

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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.