Here’s a great idea: Why not start a website where companies already involved in the Marcellus drilling industry, and those companies who want to work with them, service them, do business with them, can also be listed, so they can “connect.” Sort of Facebook or LinkedIn for Marcellus-related businesses. The Marcellus Shale coalition has done just that! The new website they’ve created to connect businesses interested in the Marcellus is called Marcellus on Main Street and is located at: www.MarcellusOnMainStreet.org.
The website just launched yesterday, so it’s not full of listings yet. It does contain Marcellus Shale Coalition member firms, which is a great start. If you work at or own a business and want to list it on the site, the listing is free. (Sorry! I was wrong, the listing is not free but $25.) Your business may be trucking, or haircutting—it makes no difference. If you want to provide a service or sell something to the drilling industry, get your business listed in this new directory.
The question of whether or not Ohio is ready for a drilling boom in the Utica Shale may be moot, since the boom has already started. But an official from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) says with new laws passed last year, and more laws set to be passed this year, Ohio is more than ready to handle a rapid expansion of Utica and Marcellus Shale drilling in the state.
A long-running dispute between MarkWest and Cecil Township (in PA) may soon be resolved. Last May, MDN reported that MarkWest wanted to build a Marcellus Shale gas compressor station in Cecil Township (Washington County). They filed an application for a “special exception” to allow them to build the plant but were denied by the zoning board. MarkWest then filed a lawsuit in Washington County civil court (see this MDN story).
The lawsuit is due to go to mediation next week, but MarkWest said in a letter dated March 1 to the Cecil zoning board that the new Act 13 law recently passed means the zoning board’s decision of last year is now null and void, mediation is therefore not necessary, and that they (Cecil) should move forward with granting the permit.
MDN friend Tom Shepstone (from Energy in Depth) has a viewpoint article in today’s Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. Titled “Best hope for N.Y. economy is gas drilling,” Tom makes a strong case for Marcellus drilling in New York. Among the eye-opening facts he brings to light, Tom points out:
A joint venture between MarkWest Energy and The Energy and Minerals Group (EMG), called MarkWest Utica EMG, has just signed a deal with Gulfport Energy to build new gathering pipelines for Utica wells in Harrison, Guernsey and Belmont counties (Ohio). The deal also includes MarkWest Utica processing the gas produced by Gulfport, including natural gas liquids, at its Harrison County processing complex.
Last December, about 480 gallons of diesel fuel leaked onto the ground at a well site in Patterson Run (Greene County), PA. EQT, the driller at the site, notified the state DEP and the National Response Center. The spill was quickly cleaned up, within 24 hours, and there were no environmental impacts following the spill. However, local officials are only just now learning about the spill, and that makes them upset.
A regional economic development group made up of officials from Blair, Cambria, Somerset, Huntingdon, Fulton and Bedford counties in Pennsylvania is asking the state for a $700,000 grant to help them help businesses located in the southern Allegheny region identify new business opportunities in the shale gas drilling industry. The group hopes that their geography, strategically located between PA’s northeastern and southwestern Marcellus gas fields, will bring new business to the area, and along with that new business, more jobs.