Chevron is the latest large energy company to purchase leases in the Ohio Valley for shale gas drilling. Recently, Hess paid $1.34 billion to acquire acreage in eastern Ohio, and Exxon Mobil subsidiary XTO Energy is now signing up landowners in Belmont County, OH for Utica Shale drilling (see this MDN story). Just across the border, Chevron is investing in Ohio County, WV and now controls 4,400 acres there.
The Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association has filed a lawsuit against Columbus Township in Warren County, PA challenging an ordinance that prohibits disposal of fracking fluids in the township. The fracking fluid ban was passed after the federal EPA approved permits for two underground injection wells to be operated within the township.
Dominion will build a huge, new 1,300-megawatt power plant in Virginia—and it will be powered by Marcellus Shale gas. Final regulatory approval for the plant will come sometime in 2012, and the construction will be completed by 2014. The fact that power generating companies are constructing new power plants that use natural gas as the sole fuel source signals an important shift in the energy picture for the U.S.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is reorganizing, largely in an effort to better handle Marcellus Shale gas drilling in the state. According to DEP Secretary Michael Krancer, the new structure will make it easier to catch and punish the “cheaters.”
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: