A group of 18 Tioga County, NY landowners have sued Inflection Energy to overturn Inflection’s “force majeure” claim to extend the lease on their collective 1,200 acres. A force majeure clause is written into most gas lease contracts. It means a driller can automatically extend the length of the lease if there are unforeseen events that hinder the terms of the contract—in this case commencement of drilling—from happening.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released new gas well production data on Friday for the second half of 2011. Gas production was up an aggressive 40 percent in the second half of the year. PA now produces more gas than they consume, making the state a net exporter of natural gas.
Carroll County, OH is at the center of Ohio’s Utica Shale drilling boom. There have been 127 drilling permits issued in Ohio to tap both oil and gas in the Utica and Marcellus Shales. One-third of those permits are for sites in Carroll County.
The decision by Chesapeake Energy and other drillers to reduce drilling in dry gas (methane only) areas and instead concentrate on wet gas (natural gas liquids) areas is already having an impact on Pennsylvania’s northeastern counties where drilling last year was extremely active. Rig counts are going down, and with them, the amount of drilling activity goes down. It ultimately impacts the local economy in those areas, as noted in a recent Scranton Times Tribune article.
The Town of Wayne, in Steuben County, NY is the latest New York municipality to enact a legally questionable ban on horizontal hydraulic fracturing:
Pennsylvania CareerLink announced they are offering a training program for those interested in working as roustabouts in the shale gas drilling industry for free for 20 people. The four- to six-week training course normally costs $2,500.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reports it is investigating a spill of condensate at a gas well in Washington County, in the southwestern part of the state.
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: