Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, May 30, 2014

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading:
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Lightening Strike at MarkWest Chartiers Plant Causes Evacuation

lightening strikeAround 6:00 pm last night lighting struck a release valve at the MarkWest gas processing plant in Chartiers Township (Washington County), PA. It caused a small fire that was quickly extinguished. However, the valve remained opened for a short period after the plant was shut down which allowed some natural gas to leak, creating a “plume” or cloud of gas near the plant. MarkWest, in what they say was “an abundance of caution,” asked about 50 residents living near the plant to evacuate. The residents were back in their homes by 10 pm…
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Magnum Hunter Sells $150M in Stock Deal to “Activist Investor”

Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) has quickly become a big player in the Marcellus/Utica region. They have a laser focus on northeast drilling, quickly building up a 200,000 acre position, largely in West Virginia and Ohio. Yesterday MHR announced they’ve cut a deal with Relational Investors LLC, granting Relational common stock and stock options in return for a tidy $150 million in cash–money MHR intends to use for more drilling in the northeast. Who’s behind Relational Investors, and should landowners (and MHR investors) be concerned? The answers may surprise you…
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PEDF Sues to Stop Corbett Under (Not On) Forest Drilling Plan

The benign-sounding Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation (PEDF) has as its mission of filing frivolous lawsuits against legitimate businesses (or governments) who want to engage in sensible and safe commerce that involves natural resources. Last Friday, May 23, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed an executive order that continues a ban on surface drilling in PA state forests but allows drilling under a little bit more of the forests if the drillers do so from adjacent private land (see Corbett Keeps New Surface Drilling Banned in PA Forests). Two weeks before Corbett issued his executive order, the PEDF filed a motion with PA Commonwealth Court to block his executive order…
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More Details/Proposed Route of Dominion Marcellus to NC Pipeline

A month ago MDN told you the news that Dominion, a huge utility and midstream company operating in the Mid-Atlantic region, is considering building a 450-mile natural gas pipeline from West Virginia, through Virginia and all the way to southern North Carolina (see Dominion Announces 2 New Pipeline Projects from Marcellus/Utica). Dominion calls the potential pipeline the Dominion Southeast Reliability Project. A month later and mainstream media in that region finally woke up and has started reporting on “concerns” about the very preliminary and not yet decided project…
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Head of PA DEP Oil & Gas Division Departs

Alan Eichler has worked in the Oil and Gas Management division of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the past 28 years. For a number of years Alan has been the head of the Oil and Gas Management division. Now he’s gone…
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Hess Drill Rig Ruins View for Warnock Cemetery’s Dead Residents

There goes the neighborhood. Back in December MDN told you that Hess had the unmitigated gall to drill a Utica well next door to a cemetery in Belmont County, OH (see Hess Has Gall to Drill Utica Well Next Door to a Cemetery in OH). The dead folks and those visiting them have reason to complain–a “huge” drilling rig has sprouted next to the cemetery, ruining their view…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, May 29, 2014

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading:
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Range Drilling Mud Trips Radioactive Alarm at Landfill in SWPA

run for the hillsRange Resources has confirmed that (run for the hills!) leftover drilling mud and dirt at a drill site in Washington County, PA has radioactivity levels slightly above background noise levels–a tad too high to be disposed of in a regular landfill. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls it “Marcellus Shale drilling sludge with radioactivity.” Which is laughable, since the PPG doesn’t report on the myriad of times medical waste from hospitals is rejected from the very same landfills for setting off radioactivity alarms. Why don’t we ever see stories about “radioactive needles”?…
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Range Radioactive Containers Sent to WV for Disposal

Since we’re on the topic of “radioactive” and Range, a second story today from Washington County, PA involving Range Resources. Back in March, a couple of roll-off boxes (large steel containers) with…drilling mud? drill cuttings? sludge? we’re not sure…tripped an alarm at the Arden Landfill in Chartiers (Washington County)…
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Frack & Refrack: Drilling Expert Lectures SPE Group in PA

NOTE: This story has been corrected. The SPE meeting was not in Horseheads, NY but was in Carnegie, PA. Sorry for the error!

In early May, Mike Vincent, an engineer and consultant with Insight Consulting, was the guest presenter at the Society of Petroleum Engineers local chapter meeting hosted in Carnegie, PA. Mike had a lot of great things to say–and to show (two big PowerPoint presentations embedded below). Among the gems we found in Mike’s presentation: Marcellus wells drilled with 500 foot spacing produce as much as those spaced 1,000 feet apart, which means they don’t “compete” for the same gas reserves. Translation: closer well spacing means more wells per square mile, more production, and more profit for the driller and the landowner…
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Rice Energy Big Winner of 2014 Energy Leadership Awards in Pitt

Three people won the prize for Top Energy Executive of the year. All three have the same last name. All three work for the same company. And the company also has the same name as the three winners: Rice. Dan Rice IV, president and CEO, Toby Rice, COO, and Derek Rice, VP of exploration and geology won the Pittsburgh Business Times’ top honors at the 2014 Annual Energy Leadership Awards. A ceremony with over 400 people was held in Pittsburgh earlier this month where Derek was on hand to collect the prize for he and his brothers. In addition to big winner Rice Energy there were 20 other categories and award winners…
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Chesapeake Says Michigan AG is Cherry Picking Emails in Case

Chesapeake Energy is, much to the consternation of Michigan’s overzealous Attorney General Bill Schuette, not rolling over, playing dead, nor coughing up big bucks in payoff money over alleged “collusion” to suppress auction prices for gas leases (see Michigan AG Continues Case Against Chesapeake for Lease Collusion). The case Michigan has built hinges on arguably illegally-obtained internal emails from Chesapeake, obtained by the Reuters news service under a still-unaccounted for method (see Did Reuters Break the Law with Latest Chesapeake Story?). Chesapeake says AG Schuette is, in essence, cherry picking and disclosing a few emails to cast the company in a bad light…
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Kudos: Gulfport Energy Donates $400K to OH Non-Profits

Gulfport Energy has just done a very nice thing for the residents of eastern Ohio. Last Thursday Gulfport’s CEO Michael Moore was on hand in Cambridge (Guernsey County), OH to bestow a $400,000 gift to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. The gift is called the Gulfport Energy Fund and will be used for non-profits and educational institutions in those communities where Gulfport is actively drilling: Belmont, Guernsey, Harrison, or Monroe counties…
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BP Pullout from Trumbull County has Real Costs for Locals

A month ago MDN brought you the sad news that BP is pulling out of the Utica Shale and their leases in Trumbull County, OH (see BP Calls it Quits in the Utica Shale – Total Write-off). BP’s departure from Trumbull County means more than just lost potential royalties. It affects employment at local businesses, and grants for local schools…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, May 28, 2014

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading:
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