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Ohio Utica Shale

Oil prices will range from $62 to $200/barrel through 2035, US outlook says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 28, 2012

The U.S. Energy Information Agency has released the annual Energy Outlook 2012.

The EIA  says:

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Emails raise questions in New York

By Bob Downing Published: June 28, 2012

The Albany Times Union reports that emails from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation have raised questions about the ties between the state agency and the drilling industry.

The emails is question were obtained by the Environmental Working Group under a  state Freedom of Information request.

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Environmental groups want tighter Ohio injection rules

By Bob Downing Published: June 28, 2012

Two Ohio environmental groups want tighter state rules on injection wells.

Ohio needs to do more because of the influx of brine waste into Ohio from Pennsylvania and from the earthquakes reported at an injection well in Mahoning County, said the Columbus-based Ohio Environmental Council and the Ohio Environmental Law Center said.

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Two agencies issue advisory on fracking sands

By Bob Downing Published: June 28, 2012

Two federal agencies have issued a warning to workers exposed to fracking sands.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health said such sands can be dangerous to workers.

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Seven options for closed Sunoco refinery

By Bob Downing Published: June 28, 2012

A consultant reports that the shale boom in the United States is creating reuse options for a closed refinery near Philadelhphia.

IHS says the boom could trigger development options that might otherwise not exist for the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex.

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USA Today: Natural gas gold rush under way

By Bob Downing Published: June 28, 2012

The cover story in Thursday's USA Today was a look at the natural gas shale boom that is under way in Ohio and 19 other states.

About 35 new wells are drilled daily or 13,000 a year in those 20 states, said reporter Dan Vergano.

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Brookings Institution article argues shale energy will boost economy

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 27, 2012

The nonprofit think tank Brookings Institution has an opinion piece on its web site where the authors argue that cheap energy, led by shale-derived fuels, could "save" the economy.

The piece, "Could Cheap Gas Save the Economy?"  by Martin Neil Baily and Philip K. Verleger Jr. starts off:

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Athens County protestor due in court July 9

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2012

A 31-year-old woman who staged a one-woman protest on Tuesday at an injection well in Athens County is due in court on July 9.

Madeline ffitch of Millfield was charged with inducing a panic, a fifth-degree felony.

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New Ohio drilling law tracks Ohio jobs

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2012

Drillers in Ohio's Utica shale must track the number of jobs going to Ohioans and non-residents.

That provision was part of the state's new drilling law approved by the Ohio Legislature and signed by Gov. John Kasich.

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Tuscarawas County expects drilling boom in 2014-2015

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2012

Drilling in the Tuscarawas River Valley in Tuscarawas County will likely peak in 2014-2015,

That is the assessment offered by industry officials at a recent meeting of the Tuscarawas Oil and Gas Alliance Summit in New Philadelphia, reports the Ohio Energy Resource Alliance.

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Ohio will be No. 7 in unconventional natural gas drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2012

Ohio will rank No. 7 in unconventional natural gas drilling from 2010 to 2015 and jobs will grow by nearly 8 percent, according to a new study.

The top states for naturaql gas drilling are and will be Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Wyoming, Ohio, Utah, Oklahoma and Michigan, according to the IHS Global Insight study cited by the Ohio Energy Resource Alliance in its post.

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Pennsylvania investigating Shell methane problem

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2012

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is investigating a possible methane migration problem near a Royal Dutch Shell drilling site in Tioga County.

The well is in Union Township.

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Ohio shale drilling tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2012

Here a collection of recent Ohio news items on Utica shale drilling:

1. A new report by the National Wildlife Federation says that Ohio and Michigan need to strengthen laws on hydraulic fracturing or fracking to protect streams, lakes and wildlife.

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Harvard report suggests U.S. will be #2 global oil producer by 2020

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 26, 2012

A new report out of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government says the world may be in for unprecedented oil production, largely because of the development of shale reserves in the United States and elsewhere.

The report, by Leonardo Maugeri, research fellow in the school's Geopolitics of Energy Project, is called "Oil: The Next Revolution."

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Athens County woman arrested at injection well

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2012

A 31-year-old Athens County woman was arrested this morning for trespassing at an injection well.

Arrested was Madeline ffitch of Millfield, according to the Columbus Dispatch and EcoWatch.

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Study says fracking concerns extend beyond chemicals

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2012

Much of the public attention on hydraulic fracturing or fracking revolves around the use of toxic chemicals in the fracking fluids and the risk of groundwater contamination.

But more attention needs to be paid to spills and leaks, wastewater management and water withdrawls for fracking, says a new report from the California-based Pacific Institute.

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Recent drilling tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2012

Here are a few news items that came out in the last week while I was on vacation and out of the country:

1. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is looking into allegations of fraud by Chesapeake Energy Corp., which may have led to investment lossses for Ohio pension funds.

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More natural gas drilling tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2012

1. A Pennsylvania man was sentenced to seven years of probation in Waynesburg, Pa.

Robert Allan Shipman had pleaded guilty to illegally dumping millions of gallons of wastewater from shale-gas drilling over several years.

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Reuters says Chesapeake, Encana tried to keep lease costs down

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2012

Reuters reported today that Chesapake Energy Corp. and the largest natural gas producer in Canada worked together to keep lease costs down in Michigan in 2010.

According to a June 2010 email, Chesapeake and its CEO, Aubrey McClendon, wanted to work with Encana Corp. to minimize land acquistion costs in Michigan, Reuters said.

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OEC sponsoring Fracking Forums

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2012

The Columbus-based Ohio Environmental Council has scheduled nine Fracking Forums in Northeast Ohio.

The public meetings, described as educational forums on drillimg, will be held on June 27 at the Columbiana Public Library and the First Congregational Church in Mount Vernon; on June 30 at the Newark Public Library; on July 7 at St. James Episcopal Church in Zanesville and July 10 at the Coshocton Public Library.

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Anti-fracking director unfazed by new pro-fracking film

By Bob Downing Published: June 15, 2012

Filmmaker Josh Fox became famous for his 2010 documentary Gasland that ran on HBO.

Anti-fracking activist Fox will be in Columbus this weekend for a big grass-roots protest against hydraulic fracturing or fracking. That includes a Sunday rally and march to the Ohio Statehouse by more than 1,000 protestors.

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Here's Energy in Depth release on "Truthland'

By Bob Downing Published: June 15, 2012

Here's the press release thaqt was distributed this week by Energy in Depth about the release of Truthland, the anti-Gasland movie.

It will get its Ohio premiere on Saturday (June 16) in Columbus.

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Stark State to host June 19 drilling program

By Bob Downing Published: June 15, 2012

Stark State College in Jackson Townshop will host a Tuesday (June 19) informational program on drilling for natural gas in Ohio's Utica shale.

It will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Silk Auditorium at 6200 Frank Ave. NW.

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Hotels booming in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: June 15, 2012

A report from Pennsylvania State University's School of Hospitality Management found that hotel demand around shale drilling areas in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania "has grown at higher rates than national averages since 2009," Lodging Hospitality reports.

These hotels are benefitting both from natural gas companies establishing operations in the area, which the report suggests will continue.

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Youngstown area supply seminar on June 27

By Bob Downing Published: June 15, 2012

The Ohio Shale Coalition and the Youngstown Regional Chamber of Commerce are co-hosting a luncheon and half-day workshop on June 27.

The program is designed  for companies interested in getting involved in the Utica shale industry supply chain.

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New federal rules could cost drillers $1.5 billion

By Bob Downing Published: June 15, 2012

New federal rules on hydraulically fracturing or fracking federal lands may cost drillers as much as $1.5 billion.

The Western Energy Alliance is pushing the Bureau of Land Management to suspend the new rules on federal lands in the West.

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New York may allow fracking in five counties

By Bob Downing Published: June 15, 2012

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking at a plan that would allow hydraulic fracturing or fracking in five counties in southern New York, but only in local counties and townships agree.

Drilling may be allowed only in Broomne, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga counties.

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Richfield to host July 18 meeting on drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 15, 2012

The village of Richfield will host a July 18 information meeting on drilling for natural gas.

It will begin at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W, Streetsboro Road (statde Route 303).

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Ohio wrapping up study of state land ownership for drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2012

Ohio officials are cataloging how much state property sits above the Utica shale as they prepare for potential gas and oil drilling in state parks and forests, which were opened to drilling under a law enacted last year, the Associated Pres sreported today..

When lawmakers were debating that idea, officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources had said the state owned less than one third of the mineral rights under state parks, and they didn’t know who held the rights for land in some cases.

State workers have spent three months reviewing property records in 16 eastern Ohio counties with the most active shale drilling, stretching from Trumbull County south to Monroe County and west to Muskingum County, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the research in those counties is almost done.

"This demonstrates the level of work that is necessary in terms of identifying the mineral rights that are owned by the state," spokesman Carlo LoParo said. "Many properties contain hundreds of parcels, all of which had to be researched."

More research is planned in up to 19 other counties with less active shale drilling, with possibilities ranging from Ashtabula County in the northeast corner to Meigs County in southern Ohio.

The industry has flooded the state in search of gas and oil deposits in the Utica and Marcellus shale formations, and Gov. John Kasich and other state leaders are hinging much of Ohio’s job growth strategy on the increase in drilling.

Environmentalists have expressed concerns about pollution from drilling and the method known as hydraulic fracturing, which blasts millions of gallons of chemically laced water into the earth to fracture shale formations and release oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids such as propane.

It’s not clear when drilling companies might be offered access to state park properties.

Some companies were briefed about state lands last month but received no schedule, said Brian Hickman, a spokesman for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.

Ohio officials are cataloging how much state property sits above the Utica shale as they prepare for potential gas and oil drilling in state parks and forests, which were opened to drilling under a law enacted last year, the Associated Pres sreported today..

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Chesapeake to renegotiate New York leases

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2012

The Associated Press today reported that Chesapeake Appalachia  has reached an agreement with New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to let more than 4,400 landowners renegotiate old gas leases for more favorable financial and environmental terms.

Chesapeake also agreed to pay $250,000 to cover the state’s investigation costs.

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Chesapeake owns a piece of NBA Thunder

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2012

Inquiring minds want to know:

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is one of the five founding partners in the Oklahoma City Thunder, the National Basketball Association team.

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Anti-fracking march, rally in Columbus on June 17

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2012

No Frack Ohio is organizing a major protest on Sunday at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

Speakers include filmmaker Josh Fox, director of Gasland, and author Bill McKibben of the group 350.org that is involved in climate change.

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Ohio Utica shale tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2012

Here are two items from the Ohio Energy Resource Alliance:

1. A truck-washing firm in Zanesville is benefitting from the Utica shale boom in eastern Ohio.

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Chesapeake problems mean more work for lawyers

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2012

The financial problems surrounding Okalhoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. are resulting in more legal work for outside attorneys, according to American Lawyer.

Click here  to read the story filed June 8 by the Am Law Daily.

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Two groups question New York drilling plan

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2012

 Significant scientific gaps in a New York state regulatory plan would make drilling fo rshale gas a multi-billion-dollar gamble, according to a new report by two watchdog organizations.

The analysis by New York-based Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy and the Environmental Working Group, based in Washington, D.C., finds that the Cuomo administration deserves some credit for adopting what appears to be a more conservative approach to drilling as reported in the New York Times today.

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New York may allow fracking where counties, townships approve

By Bob Downing Published: June 13, 2012

It appears that limited drilling for natural gas with hydraulic fracturing or fracking may be coming to New York state.

The New York Times reports that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will soon announce a plan that will allow hydraulic fracturing in a few select counties in New York, most of them along or near the border with Pennsylvania.

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New federal soot rule could impact Ohio, Pennsylvania drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 13, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency faces an upcoming deadline on toughening a federal clean-rule on soot or particulates, and the lobbying on both sides is under way.

The powerful American Petroleum Institutre warns that toughening the federal soot limits could severly impact drilling for natural gas in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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No Frack Ohio: Ohio has the worst fracking law in U.S.

By Bob Downing Published: June 13, 2012

According to No Frack Ohio, a statewide coalition of anti-fracking groups, Senate Bill 315 has turned "one of the worst fracking bills in America into the worst fracking laws."

The bill was signed on Monday in Akron by Gov. John Kasich.

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New job study says Ohio had 31,462 shale jobs in 2010

By Bob Downing Published: June 13, 2012

The Youngstown Vindicator reported today that Ohio ranks in the Top 10 in the United States for shale-gas production jobs.

Ohio is No. 7.

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Fracking sparks real estate rebound in Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: June 13, 2012

Shale gas development is starting to pay off in Ohio.

Bloomberg News reports that the Utica shale development in eastern Ohio is starting to create a demand for commercial real estate.

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Federal study looking at whether fracking fluids, faults

By Bob Downing Published: June 13, 2012

On June 8, Platts reported that federal researchers are looking into whether hydraulic fracturing or fracking fluids can travel thousands of feet via geologic faults into drinking water aquifers.

The study is being done by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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Ohio policy debate over severance tax to continue

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2012

Here's how the Associated Press looked at the continuing policy debate in Ohio over hydraulic fracturing or fracking in a story by Julie Carr Smyth:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The policy debate over hydraulic fracturing in Ohio doesn’t end with Gov. John Kasich’s signing of new drilling rules Monday.

A fellow Republican in the Ohio House said Monday that he and some GOP colleagues plan to revisit the governor’s proposed tax increase on the industry before the session ends in December, setting up a likely fight between lawmakers, the governor and the oil and gas industry.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves blasting millions of gallons of chemically laced water into the earth to fracture shale formations and release oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids such as propane.

The energy measure signed by Kasich lays out rules for disclosing the chemicals that are used in the process, construction of wells and reporting of water sources and amounts used as the developing Utica and Marcellus shale formations running under parts of Ohio are explored.

The legislation also makes changes to Ohio’s clean energy standard, affecting the types and percentages of renewable energy that are being phased in by utility companies.

But lawmakers chose to leave out the governor’s plan to raise severance taxes on high-producing oil and gas wells tapped using high-pressure fracking.

Kasich wants to funnel proceeds from his proposed tax increase into modest statewide income-tax relief in two or three years, after a grace period in collections that would allow well operators time to recover their startup costs.

Studies have diverged on the tax’s economic impact on the growing industry, but polls show voters support Kasich’s proposal.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association executive vice president Tom Stewart said his organization of energy producers is largely supportive of the sweeping energy bill that Kasich signed Monday at Echogen Power Systems in Akron.

But Stewart said he believes Kasich’s proposal to increase the tax to 4 percent singles out large oil and gas producers over smaller ones, raising a potential legal question.

"I think there could be some problems when you start singling out by (shale) formations, or certain sized businesses," he said. "You have problems regarding equal treatment under the law."

Stewart said the industry continues to fight the tax hike, and they have some support in the Republican-dominated state Legislature to make adjustments.

"I don’t think the conversation’s dead," Stewart said. "John Kasich is trying to do his best for the welfare of Ohio, I know that. He wants good things to happen for Ohio. But I don’t think he has a good handle on oil and gas right now. What we’re seeing is a lot of caution out there in the oil field."

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said there’s been no evidence the governor’s tax hike would deter drilling.

"The industry is growing, it’s growing in terms of (permit) applications, in terms of permits, in terms of number of wells — and this occurring long after the governor’s plan for the severance tax was known publicly," he said. "At the end of the day, Ohio remains a very high tax state and this is about driving down the income tax to make us more competitive to put Ohioans back to work."

GOP State Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, of Napoleon in northwest Ohio, is among those who believe the issue needs more study. He said he believes an agreeable compromise could be reached by December or January.

"My end goal is to have a severance tax that encourages further investment as well as development of these natural resources," he said.

Mike Dittoe, a spokesman for Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder, said a bill to address the Kasich tax proposal has not yet been introduced — and won’t likely surface until after the November election.

"It’s my understanding that our caucus will work closely with the governor and all interested parties on the issue throughout the summer recess with possible action at a later date that has yet to be determined," he said.

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Reactions to S.B. 315 signing by Gov. Kasich

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2012

Here are a few reactions from some key parties to Ohio Gov. John Kasich signing a wide-ranging energy bill that includes new rules on shale drilling on Monday.

1. The Ohio Petroleum Council (OPC), in its press release, welcomed the enactment of Senate Bill 315 and efforts of the governor and Ohio General Assembly to ensure safe and responsible development of Ohio's deep shale reserves.

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Aerial spraying planned along West Virginia pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2012

EQT Corp. has announced plans to spray herbicides from helicopters along its natural gas right of ways in 19 West Virginia counties.

The summer spraying is itended to control the growth of tres and brush.

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N.J. committee approves ban on fracking wastewater

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2012

The New Jersey Senate's environment and energy committee on June 7 approved a bill to protect residents from fracking wastewater.

The bill, Senate Bill 253, would prohibit the treatment, discharge, disposal or storage of toxic water from hydraulic fracturing or fracking in New Jersey.

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Kasich in Akron to sign Senate Bill 315 today

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2012

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is scheduled today to sign a sweeping new energy bill that includes new rules on drilling for natural gas and oil.

The signing ceremony will take place in Akron at the headquarters of Echogen Power Systems.

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Failed drug tests hindering Ohio drilling hiring

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2012

The Youngstown Vindicator reported on Sunday that the lack of a drug-free work force is creating problems as drilling companies begin hiring.

Nine of 10 unskilled workers in Columbiana County cannot pass the urine test, the paper said.

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Washington Post: Federal forest lands attract bidders

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2012

The Washington Post on Friday reported that federal forest lands in the East are attracting interest from natural gas drillers.

The federal Bureau of Land Management's Eastern States Office in Springfield, Va., is ground zero for a growing land rush.

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Morgantown tries to curtail drilling a second time

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2012

On a final vote is expected on July 3 as  Morgantown, W. Va., tries to limit drilling within the city.

City Council has unimously introduced a package of zoning ordinances that would sevrely limit where shale wells could be drilled.

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Radio interview with fracking book author

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2012

Journalist Seamus McGraw has penned a book, The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone.

It is a look at how natural gas drilling into the Marcellus shale came to Susquehanna County in northeast Pennsylvania.

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Mandel ruffles feathers in anti-fracking community

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2012

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has upset more thana few anti-fracking activists across Ohio with his comments.

Republican Mandel, who is also running for the U.S. Senate seat held by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, spoke in Cleveland on Thursday at a program staged by a Cleveland law firm.

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Space available in science teacher drilling workshops

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2012

The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) has space available in two free science teacher workshops in June.

One will be June 13-14 at Marietta College in Marietta and the second will be June 21-22 at the Central Ohio Technical College's Coshocton Campus in Coshocton.

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Shell: Cracker decision still 18 to 24 away

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2012

Shell Oil has said it has not yet made a final decision on whether it will build a multi-billion ethane cracker plant in western Pennsylvania.

It is investigating a site in Beaver County northwest of Pittsburgh on the Ohio River.

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New mud drilling site opens in West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2012

The Marcellus Drilling News reports that a new drilling mud facility has opened in West Virginia's Marshall County.

AES Drilling Fluids are begun operations at the new $2 million facility at Benwood.

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Federal officials investigating Pennsylvania drilling site

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2012

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Friday that federal health and environmental officials are investigating a drilling site in Washington County in southwest Pennsylvania.

The federal agencies are trying to determine whether Range Resources Inc.'s Yeager Marcellus shale drilling site caused toxic air and groundwater pollution that damaged the health of local residents.

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Paper: Map, earthquake led to dismissal of Ohio geologist

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2012

The Athens News reported that state geologist Larry Wickstrom was dismissed because he failed to inform superiors about a new map of potential Utica shale hot spots and also neglected to tell them about a January earthquake near Youngstown.

That information came from Wickstrom's state personnel file that was released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to the newspaper.

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Some in Columbiana County seeking minimum royalties

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2012

The Youngstown Vindicator on Friday reports that some folks in Columbiana County are pushing for new state law imposing minimum royalties for landowners involved in natural gas storage fields.

The suggestion comes from residents within the Brinker Storage Field owned by Columbia Gas.

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Marcellus shale: How it all began

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2012

The Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and surrounding states is reportedly the third largest shale formation on the globe.

Jenelle Pifer of NPR's The Allegheny Front in western Pennsylvania won a first-place journalism award for her look at how the Marcellus shale came to be.

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Shale gas drilling vs. the hermit thrush

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2012

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette carried a June 3 column by Patrick McShea looking at the hermit thrush, a woodland bird with a melodic song, and how it is being impact by Marcellus shale natural gas drilling.

The problem is that the drilling across northern and western Pennsylvania is fragmenting the forests where the thrush lives, says McShea, an educator at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

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Could Exxon Mobil or Chevron buy Chesapeake?

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2012

Forbes magazine on June 1 suggested that Exxon Mobil or Chevron might consider purchasing cash-strapped Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Analysts are expecting that oil majors may consider bidding for the company, which is the No. 2 natural gas producer in the United States, and sits on some of the most lucrative onsgore reserves in shale plays across the country, the magazine said.

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Two Chesapeake directors resign, pipeline sales finalized

By Bob Downing Published: June 8, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp. shareholders today rejected the re-election of two directors involved in the internal probe of CEO Aubrey McClendon's personal finances, Bloomberg News reported..

The two directors got less than 30 percent of the votes cast in the annual meeting in Oklahoma City and resigned.

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State of Ohio dumps top geologist

By Bob Downing Published: June 8, 2012

The state of Ohio has quietly dumped its top geologist.

Larry Wickstrom has been replaced as head of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Geological Survey. He also served as the state geologist.

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Gulfport, MarkWest complete agreement on Ohio facilities

By Bob Downing Published: June 8, 2012

On Monday, Oklahoma-based Gulfport Energy Corp. announced completion of an agreement with MarkWest Utica EMG LLC to build and operate gas-gathering pipelines and processing facilities tied to Gulfport's Utica-shale acreage in eastern Ohio.

MarkWest plans to process the natural gas at a complex in Harrison County and will provide fractionation or processing servces for natural-gas liquids in Harrison County.

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Gulfport Energy: Utica well updates

By Bob Downing Published: June 8, 2012

Oklahoma-based Gulfport Energy reported on Monday that it has drilled three Utica shale wells in eastern Ohio andwork is progressing on its fourth and fifth horiziontal wells.

The first well in Harrison Couny has been successfully fracked in 28 stages and the drilling reported 123 feet of vertical thickness in the Point Pleasant Interval, the company said.

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Pro Publica: Prosperity, problems in North Dakota

By Bob Downing Published: June 8, 2012

Oil production int he United States has grown for the first time in 25 years.

North Dakota is the No. 2 oil-producing state  thanks to the Bakken shale.

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Industry groups dispute EPA methane estimates

By Bob Downing Published: June 8, 2012

On Monday, the American Petroleum Institute and America's Natural Gas Alliance released a study finding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's estimate that nearly 8.8 metric tons of methane escaped from each unconventional natural gas well in 2010 was twice as high as their estimate.

The report also disputes the EPA's statement that natural ags drilling was the No. 1 source of methane emissions in the United States.

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Chesapeake may be eying $4 billion sale of pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2012

Bloomberg News reports that financially troubled Chesapeake Energy Corp. may be in advanced talks to sell its pipelines to Global Infrastructure Partners for more than $4 billion.

The Oklahoma-based energy company is facing a $22 billion cash-flow shortfall, after natural gas prices dropped to a 10-year low.

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Shell Oil could get tax credits of $1.7 billion

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2012

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is advocating future tax credits worth as much as $67 milion a year for a petrochemical cracker plant planned by Shell Oil Co. in western Pennsylvania.

The proposed credits would not become available until 2017 and would be worth $1.7 billion over 25 years.

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Drilling discussion on June 27 at St. Hilary in Fairlawn

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2012

The Cleveland and Youngstown Catholic Charities Diocesan Social Action offices are sponsoring a June 27 panel discussion on hydraulic fracturing or fracking in drilling for natural gas.

It will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Hilary Catholic Church, 2750 W. Market St, Fairlawn.

Speakers will be Peter MacKenzie, vice president of operations for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association; Dr. John Stolz, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University; and Dr. James E. Schaefer, associate professor of systematic theology at Marquette University.

The program is designed to be educational with pros and cons on fracking as well as containing a Catholic theological reflection.

Free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Ann Coplan at 330-535-2787 or axcoplan@clevelandcatholiccharities.org.

The Cleveland and Youngstown Catholic Charities Diocesan Social Action offices are sponsoring a June 27 panel discussion on hydraulic fracturing or fracking in drilling for natural gas.

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Ohio's Noble County featured in New York Times story

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2012

On Tuesday, New York Times reporter Keith Schneider reported from Ohio's Noble County where landowners are starting to cash in on natural gas leases.

The Utica shale boom is starting to have big financial impacts,

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Chesapeake woes could trigger more Pa. drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s money woes aren't going away.

That could be good news or bad news for Pennsylvania. It depends on who you ask.

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North Carolina moves toward approving fracking

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2012

A North Carolina legislative committee on Tuesday voted to approve hydraulic fracturing or fracking in natural gas drilling.

The move by the Senate committee elated drilling supporters and discouraged opponents.

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West Virginia production levels vary by county

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2012

A Wheeling newspaper looked at production figures from 24 natural gas wells in West Virginia's Panhandle and found that production varies greatly from county to county.

The survey by the Sunday News-Register looked at 2011 data from wells in Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties.

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Chesapeake to sell some of its Ohio leases

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2012

The Columbus Dispatch reports today that Chesapeake Energy wants to sell 337,481 acres in parts of 19 Ohio counties to reduce its debt.

After the proposed sale, the Oklahoma-based company would still have 1 million acres leased in Ohio, more than any other company.

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BP likely to drill first Trumbull County well in 2013

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2012

The Business Journal reported on Friday that BP Energy is likely to drill its first well in Trumbull County in 2013.

Site preparation could begin late this year, company officials said.

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Antero Resources sells assets to focus on Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2012

Denver-based Antero Resources on Monday announced it had entered into an agreementr to sell off its assets in the Arkoma Basin to Vanguard Natural Resources LLC for $445 million.

The assets being sold include 66,000 net acres in the Woodford shale and 5,300 net acres in the Fayetteville shale in the Arkoma Basin of Oklahoma and Arkansas.

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Chesapeake agrees to revamp its board

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2012

Bloomberg News reports that Chesapeake Energy Corp., under pressure from billionaire investor Carl Icahn, has agreed to reshape its board of directors.

Four of the board's eight non-executive directors will be replaced with nominees of the largest shareholders, Southeastern Asset Management Inc. and Icahn, Chesapeake said on Monday.

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Does fracking need a new name?

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2012

Mother Nature Network reports that the word fracking has a bad image.

A Louisiana State University survey found that people reacted badly to the word fracking.

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Paper: Chesapeake may have to sell Ohio assets

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2012

Financially strapped Chesapeake Energy Corp. could be forced to sell of lucrative assets in Ohio and south Texas, according to the Wall Street Journal.

At the beginning of the year, the Oklahoma-based company said it wanted to sell up to $14 billion in assets.

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Illinois looking at moratorium on fracking

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2012

An intenseive 11th-hour bid to craft legislation imposing taxes and environmental rules on natural gas drillers in Illinois collapsed on Thursday.

Powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan said he is backing a one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

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Maps shows Pa. shift to horizontal wells

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2012

An animated map from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows the shift in Pennsylvania from vertical to horizontal wells.

It looks at the drilling from January 2005 through April 2012 in the Marcellus shale.

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Video from Gas Rush Series

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2012

Protecting Our Waters is an 8-minute video by Kirsi Jansa that is part of the Gas Rush Series.

It is an interview with fracking opponent Dan Conrad Volz before he departed from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Ohio has 72 horizontal wells drilled, 236 permits issued

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2012

The latest data shows that 72 horizontal wells have been drilled in eastern Ohio, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.

A total of 236 wells have been permitted, through May 30, by the agency.

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Mark Ruffalo video promoting June 17 Ohio rally

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2012

The grass-roots group No Frack Ohio is organizing a June 17 protest in Columbus.

There will be programs and workshops on June 14-16 in Columbus in advance of the big anti-fracking rally.

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Could Ohio fracking help Obama re-election?

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2012

The Daily Beast blog looks at whether Utica shale development in eastern Ohio could play a key role in President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election bid.

An improving Ohio economy might aid Obama's bid, the blog says.

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Pennsylvania likely to dominate Marcellus production

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2012

Pennyslvania may dominate natural gas production in the Marcellus shale for many years, according to experts.

That was the subject of an Associated Press story by Kevin Begos on Saturday.

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Three former Consol executives sued for insider trading

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2012

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that three former executives of Consol Energy have been sued for insider trading.

The complaint was filed by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Chesapeake touts new discovery in Texas, Oklahoma

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2012

Financially troubled Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Friday announced a significant new discovery  in the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma.

The announcement involves the Hogshooter play in the Anadarko Basin.

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Carroll County unhappy with Select Energy Services

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2012

Select Energy Services has dropped plans to build an oil-and-gas facility and create 200 jobs  in Carroll County.

That has Carroll County commissioners unhappy after the county arranged $700,000 in grants to help the project, the New Philadelphia Times-Recporter said on Friday.

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Mahoning group wants public forums, debates

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2012

A grass-roots group in Mahoning County wants televised open public debates on hydraulic fracturing or fracking and related processes.

The request was released on Thursday by Frackfree Mahoning Valley, a group based in Youngstown.

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Processing plant to be sited in Ohio's Harrison County

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2012

The New Philadelphia Times-Recorder reported on Friday that a natural gas-processing facility will be located northwest of Scio on state Route 151 in Harrison County.

The hub in North Township near the Harrison-Carroll county line is planned by Chesapeake Midstream Development, M3 Midstream and EV Energy Partners.

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Pennsylvania water protest

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2012

About 30 protestors on Friday blockaded a road to a Pennsylvania mobile home park where the residents are being evicted for a new water facility for drilling.

Aqua America wants to use the site in Piatt Township for a water-withdrawl facility from the Susquehanna River to provide water for drillers in the Marcellus shale.

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Eco-group wants federal rules on fracking

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2012

The Environmental Defense Fund wants federal, not state rules, on hydraulic fracturing or fracking, Bloomberg News reports.

The eco-group says states that regulate the process to free up natural gas fail to meet international standards developed to prevent  damage to natural resources.

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Texas man is against fracking in New York

By Bob Downing Published: June 1, 2012

James "Chip" Northrup is gaining a following as an outspoken critic of hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

He lives in Dallas in the winter and in Cooperstown, N.Y., in the summer.

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Plunderbund: Industry helped Kasich write S.B. 315

By Bob Downing Published: June 1, 2012

The Plunderbund blog says that the gas-and-oil industry was an active player in shaping Ohio's Senate Bill 315 that overhauled Ohio drilling rules.

It is distributed by Plunderbund Media LLC.

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Greenpeace looks at Ohio S. B. 315

By Bob Downing Published: June 1, 2012

Greenpeace says Ohio's Senate Bill 315 was heavily influenced by the American Legislative Exchange Council and ExxonMobil.

You can read The Witness blog by clicking here.

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New York paper looks at a fracking county

By Bob Downing Published: June 1, 2012

Pennsylvania's Susquehanna County is changing.

The rural county is becoming more industrial as Marcellus shale wells are drilled to tap into the natural gas.

To read more or comment...

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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.