It certainly didn’t taken long for anti-drillers to start talking down LPG (waterless) fracking. Just last week, a Tioga County, NY landowner group announced they will sign a lease with eCorp to allow drilling on 135,000 acres in New York using a proprietary technology by Canadian company GASFRAC (see this MDN story). The waterless technology uses liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a gel-like substance that replaces water in fracking. Perhaps most importantly, by using LPG fracking, eCorp can move ahead with permitting and drilling now (in New York!), ahead of the release of new fracking regulations that have been stalled in a four-year review process.
MDN predicted that with almost all stated reasons to oppose water-based fracking now removed, anti-drillers would invent new reasons to oppose LPG fracking. MDN’s prediction has already come true. An article printed in the “news” section of the Albany Times Union, which clearly is an opinion piece, says this:
A natural gas leak was the cause of an explosion last week in a Susquehanna County, PA natural gas compressor station (see this MDN story). Fortunately, an alarm triggered an automatic shutdown of the station just minutes before the explosion.
WPX Energy, the spun-off exploration and production arm of Williams, announced this morning that they are selling off their holdings in the Texas Barnett Shale and Oklahamo Arkoma Basin for $306 million, and using the proceeds to grow operations in the Marcellus and Bakken Shale areas, as well as the Piceance Basin.
Once again the Park Foundation, a philanthropic organization started by famed media mogul Roy Park, continues to fund anti-drilling activities. The latest example is the announcement of nearly $6 million in new grants from the Park Foundation. Nearly $3.3 million are scholarships for Ithaca College students, class of 2017. Just over a half million dollars will go to organizations, projects and programs in Tompkins County.
CONSOL Energy’s CNX Gas subsidiary has just leased 10,000 square feet at an industrial park in Columbiana County, Ohio. The new branch office will handle all of CNX’s Utica Shale efforts in Ohio, a signal that CNX has big plans for the Utica.
Western Pennsylvania’s Washington County is, in many ways, the epicenter for Marcellus drilling activity. Numerous companies either have their headquarters or their main Marcellus branch offices located in the county, and the rate of expansion continues to be high: