PA Marcellus Shale Gas is Getting a Pipeline – To Canada!

Vancouver Sun (Feb 22)
Tertzakian: Lessons from a green ice resurfacer’s failure

Will Marcellus Shale gas find a market over the border in Canada? It sure looks that way. An excerpt from an article published in the Vancouver Sun, says, in part:

In fact, the real Energy Story of the Week came in the form of a couple of announcements: two corporate proposals hoping to bring natural gas and liquids from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale into Canadian markets. First Nova Chemicals and Buckeye Partners announced a joint memorandum of understanding to develop an NGL pipeline from Pittsburgh to Sarnia. Then, Union Gas announced that they would conduct an open season for a pipeline service that would allow for the shipping of up to 0.75 Bcf/d of natural gas from the Marcellus into Kirkwall, Ontario and through to Dawn.

While there have been countless pipeline expansions and extensions announced recently to transport Marcellus gas into the US Northeast, this is the first major export proposal to pit Pennsylvania gas head-to-head with western Canadian gas, on Canadian soil.

New York State shares one-third of its border with Canada! Unfortunately the Powers That Be in Albany are still diddling away while enterprising states like Pennsylvania are making money.

Delaware River Basic Commission to Hold Public Hearing on Requests from Stone Energy

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the Delaware River Basin Commission will hold a public hearing in Matamoras, PA on two applications from Stone Energy Company. The first application is a request to withdraw 700,000 gallons of water a day from the West Branch of the Lackawaxen River in Mount Pleasant Township, Wayne County, PA. The water would be used by Stone Energy in Marcellus drilling activities.

The second application is for Stone Energy to use hydraulic fracturing in a gas well already drilled (in 2008). The gas well is located in Clinton Township, Wayne County. If approved, this is the would be the first Marcellus drilling activity in the Delaware River Basin.

Environmental group Delaware Riverkeeper Network is planning to take 50 of its members to the hearing to speak against the applications. Although Stone Energy only plans to draw water from the Lackawaxen, and the resulting wastewater would be treated at approved facilities, the Riverkeepers believe any drilling activity in the region would be dangerous.

For more information, see:

Pike County Courier (Feb 22)
UPDATE: Basin commission hearing for gas drilling water withdrawal permit (Feb 22)
Get on the bus, says Delaware Riverkeeper

Delaware River Basin Commission – Notice of Public Hearing
Stone Energy Corporation Proposed Surface Water Withdrawal and Natural Gas Well Site

Swamp Angel Energy Guilty of Illegally Dumping 200K Gallons of Brine in PA

Mother Nature Network (Feb 22)
Gas drillers plead guilty to felony dumping violations

Two people from Swamp Angel Energy pled guilty last week to dumping 200,000 gallons of brine in an abandoned oil well in McKean County, Pennsylvania.

According to the article:

[P]art-owner Michael Evans, 66, of La Quinta, Calif., and John Morgan, 54, of Sheffield, Penn., admitted dumping 200,000 gallons of brine – salty wastewater that’s created in the drilling process – down an abandoned oil well. The maximum penalty for both Evans and Morgan is three years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Sentencing will be June 24.

Swamp Angel Energy was (and is currently) drilling in the Allegheny National Forest, located in McKean County. Also according to the article:

Swamp Angel has 77 active, permitted wells in Pennsylvania, all of them in McKean County.

Fellow drillers and those in the drilling industry have swiftly and rightly condemned the illegal dumping. The article is anti-drilling with a smug “See, I told you so,” kind of tone, which is to be expected coming from MNN. However, the illegal actions of a few should not be used to paint all drilling companies with the same broad brush.