Marcellus Drilling May Begin in Rockingham County, Virginia

You don’t hear much about Marcellus drilling in Virginia, so a recent story caught the attention of MDN. Carrizo Oil and Gas, operating under its subsidiary name of Carrizo Marcellus Oil and Gas, has applied for a permit to drill a Marcellus gas well in Bergton, VA (Rockingham County). The permit was discussed at a recent Harrisonburg City Council meeting. A few members of the community addressed the Council with concerns about potential drilling. Ultimately, the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors will make a final decision on the permit.

The interesting thing about this particular story? The location where Carrizo intends to drill is considerably east from the “recognized” Marcellus fairway in West Virginia.

*WHSV-TV3 (May 12) – Drilling Proposal Draws Criticism at Council Meeting

EQT Chairman Murry Gerber Speaks Bluntly About the Marcellus Shale and America’s Energy Future

EQT Corp is a large energy company with 500,000 net acres of land leased in the Marcellus Shale. Having drilled 21 Marcellus gas wells in 2010 already, and with plans to drill 100 wells total this year, EQT is a major player in the Marcellus. So when the Chairman and former CEO of EQT, Murry Gerber, delivers a speech in Pittsburgh at the Rivers Club, he’s someone to listen closely to. Among his choice comments at the Rivers Club:

“The Marcellus Shale will be more important to this region than the blast furnace ever was … as long as we don’t screw it up.”

“America needs to move with a position of more independence to its energy needs. (No country has) survived without the energy to fuel its manufacturing. We are dangerously close to achieving that status.”*

Read more about his talk by following the link below.

*Pittsburgh Business Times (May 11) – EQT’s Murry Gerber speaks of Marcellus Shale’s importance

MarkWest Request to Expand Gas Compressor Facilities in Washington County, PA Denied

As MDN has previously reported (see this story), MarkWest Energy operates more than 100 gas compressor facilities, including two in Mount Pleasant Township in Washington County, PA—the location of the very first horizontally drilled Marcellus Shale gas well. There has been tension between area residents and MarkWest about the facilities over issues of noise, lights and odors coming from the facilities. A few months ago MarkWest made application to expand the facilities but the Mt. Pleasant Township Zoning board has just turned them down:

The board denied a request from Mark West Liberty Midstream to expand its Fulton and Stewart compressing stations.

The company had made the request to add two engines at each site and expand the steel structures. The company processes gas for Range Resources.*

MDN doubts this will be the end of this story. There is an ongoing debate about just who has authority to regulate pipelines and compressor facilities, and the matter is far from settled. Does regulation for these types of facilities lie with local governments? Or is it a “utility” that is/should be regulated by the state rather than local authorities? Stay tuned.

*Washington Observer-Reporter (May 12) – Board nixes expansion for gas compressing stations in Mt. Pleasant Township