Trans Energy Begins Drilling Third Horizontal Marcellus Well in Marshall County, WV

Trans Energy (Nov 18):
Press Release: Trans Energy Begins Drilling Third Horizontal Marcellus Well in Marshall County, WV

From the press release:

Trans Energy, Inc. announced today that it has begun drilling the Whipkey #1H well in Marshall County, West Virginia. The Whipkey #1H will be drilled and completed horizontally in the Marcellus shale.

The Company plans to drill the vertical portion of the Whipkey #1H well to a depth above the kick-off point of approximately 6,500 feet. A second, larger rig will follow-on immediately to drill the horizontal portion.

James K. Abcouwer, President and CEO of Trans Energy, said, “We have to-date successfully drilled four vertical Marcellus wells. We have also successfully drilled and completed one horizontal Marcellus well, the Hart #28H, and partially drilled a second horizontal Marcellus well, the Anderson #7H, both of which are in Wetzel County, West Virginia. Continuing our horizontal program in another county is another significant step forward for Trans Energy to properly develop its acreage position in northern West Virginia.”

The Company continues to expand its acreage position centered on Wetzel, Marion, and Marshall Counties in West Virginia, which it believes to be the heart of the most prolific natural gas resource in Appalachia, and one of the greatest in the United States.

A Balanced View of Waste Water Treatment from Marcellus Shale Drilling

Towanda Daily Review (Nov 18):
Treatment plant for gas drilling waste water subject of Athens Twp. hearing tonight

An informative article about the waste water treatment plants proposed for northeastern Pennsylvania. Some tidbits from the article:

The North Central Regional Office of the DEP, which serves Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, and Union counties, has received 10 applications for NPDES permits, according to spokesman Dan Spadoni. Of those 10 applications, four are for plants proposed on the west branch of the Susquehanna River, one is for the Somerset plant on the Chemung River, one is proposed on the Tioga River, and the remainder are for various creeks and streams, he said.

Somerset Regional Water Resources is requesting a discharge permit for around a million gallons a day, which makes it the largest in the North Central Region, Spadoni said. The other proposed plants are requesting permits for between 50,000 to 500,000 gallons per day, he said.

The article discusses naturally occuring radioactive substances that might be concentrated in waste water, and how the plants would deal with it. The article also points out the plan is for the plants to recycle and re-use most of the water for other shale drilling instead of discharging it all into the environment. However, there will necessarily be some water discharged into tributaries and streams.

I found this article very enlightening and balanced in its coverage–a good read for landowners and other interested parties.

Pennsylvania Offers 32,000 Acres of State Land for Drilling Leases

Wellsboro Gazette (Nov 18):
Marcellus Shale, climate change, money, politics and the environment

Pennsylvania is offering state-owned land for lease to energy companies interested in drilling in the Marcellus Shale. According to the article:

Monday, the secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), John Quigley, announced that six tracts of land are being offered for lease. The lease offering amounts to 31,967 acres.

Nearly 22,000 of the acres for lease lie in Tioga and Potter counties.

The 31,967 acres represents 1.5% of the total amount of state-owned forest land, a very small fraction.

Waste Water Treatment Plants the Next Battleground in the Drilling Debate

Harrisburg Patriot-News (Nov 18):
Twelve Marcellus Shale gas drilling wastewater treatment plants proposed in northern Pennsylvania

Water treatment plants are the next battleground in the drilling debate. There is increasing opposition to the licensing of treatment plants, not only because of the chemicals used, but the truck traffic involved. From this article out of Harrisburg:

The state Department of Environmental Protection is reviewing permit applications associated with at least 12 different proposals to build treatment plants for chemical-tainted wastewater from natural gas drilling operations in northern Pennsylvania.

Ten of the plants are proposed in DEP’s 14-county north-central region, which is centered on Lycoming and Clinton counties.

Also from this article, a few stats of interest:

Through October, 120 of the 1,592 Marcellus Shale well drilling permits issued by DEP this year were for sites in Susquehanna County.

And this:

DEP issued 1,592 Marcellus Shale gas well drilling permits in the first 10 months of 2009. More than one-third of them were in the 14-county north-central region.

Sustainable Tompkins Takes Aim at Drilling in the Marcellus Shale

Ithaca Journal (Nov 18):
Sustainable Tompkins awards mini-grants

People in the Ithaca, NY area should know that a local organization calling itself Sustainable Tompkins (www.sustainabletompkins.org) is helping to fund anti-drilling causes. They recently made a small grant of $370 to Shaleshock Citizens Action Alliance (www.shaleshock.org) to “produce newsletters reporting on industrial gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale and its effects on the Finger Lakes region.” That is, to fund the false and misleading propaganda that Shaleshock excretes. Unfortunately, New York State taxpayer money is one of the funding sources for Sustainable Tompkins. As a taxpayer in New York, I OBJECT. When will our politicians wise up and quit wasting money on these leftist organizations? Shame on Assemblywoman Lifton for securing funding for Sustainable Tompkins as a “member item” in the (soon to be bankrupt) New York State budget.