Joe Martens Says NY Will Vote “No” on DRBC Drilling Rules

I Love NYAs MDN reported yesterday, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is set to vote on new drilling rules to allow limited drilling in the DRBC jurisdiction on Nov. 21 (see this MDN story). The DRBC has five voting members: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and the federal government.

According to NY State DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, New York will be a “no” vote on the new regulations at that meeting, no doubt to the delight of anti-drilling groups. His reasoning?…

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New UT Study: Fracking Does Not Contaminate Groundwater

The University of Texas is conducting a study of hydraulic fracturing and its impact on groundwater. According to the UT professor leading the study, it shows there is no “direct link” between fracking and groundwater contamination. A final report is due to be published in the next two months. When it becomes available, MDN will bring it to you.

Professor Charles Groat discussed the preliminary findings yesterday in Forth Worth:

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Is Chesapeake’s Ethane Pipeline Deal a Negotiating Tactic?

Last week, MDN reported that officials in West Virginia were angry with Chesapeake Energy over their decision to sign a contract to ship ethane out of the Marcellus region for processing in the Gulf Coast (see this MDN story). Specifically, state Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette said the deal may jeopardize the state’s chances of attracting a cracker plant—a facility that processes ethane into ethylene, the raw material used to make plastics. The chief complaint was that Chesapeake has been part of negotiations to bring such a plant to the region but at the same time were silent about their impending deal with Enterprise Products Partners to lease a pipeline to move ethane out of the area.

Chesapeake has responded to the criticism and says its deal with Enterprise has been “misunderstood.” A recent statement from Chesapeake seems to indicate the deal to ship ethane via pipeline is a negotiating tactic to get the best price for their ethane. Other industry sources are sticking up for Chesapeake and say the deal is certainly not a “cracker killer.”

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Court Tells Dimock PA Residents to Share Medical Records

A group of more than 60 residents in the Dimock, PA area sued Cabot Oil & Gas in 2009 claiming they had been exposed to pollution as a result of hydraulic fracturing in the area. The lawsuit wants Cabot to pay for medical monitoring as part of the settlement, but they refused to allow Cabot access to their medical records in order to verify their claims. Last week a court told the claimants if they want Cabot to pay, they will have to share their medical records.

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Four State Governors Sign Deal to Promote CNG Vehicles

Four state governors, one Democrat and three Republicans, are teaming up to push the concept of CNG (compressed natural gas) powered vehicles. Among them is Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, a Marcellus Shale state.

The governors will start replacing vehicles in their state-owned fleets in an attempt to generate more interest in filling stations. It’s very much a chicken and egg situation: You need filling stations in order to power the vehicles, but you need vehicles that will use the filling stations to make them economically viable. The governors hope that by leading the way they will encourage others to follow.

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Energy Company Takes to the Sky to Move Utility Poles

Caiman Energy has found a novel way of moving large steel utility poles (electric poles) that it needs to install to bring in more power to a natural gas processing plant located at Fort Beeler near Cameron (Marshall County), WV. To address concerns over truck traffic and damage to roads, Caiman is using helicopters to shuttle the utility poles.

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