BLM Issues Proposed New Rule for Fracking Federal Lands

BLM logoOn Friday, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the long anticipated new rule for hydraulic fracturing on federally-owned and Indian-owned land (see a copy of the proposed new rule embedded below). The question for MDN readers is, does this have any impact on drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shale? The answer to that question is…

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The AP Calculates 2011 Shale Gas Revenue for PA & WV

The Associated Press (AP) did an analysis of how much natural gas was produced in Pennsylvania and West Virginia during 2011 and have run some basic calculations based on an assumed average price (last year) of $3.50 per thousand BTUs (or mBtus). The results of those calculations should put to bed any claims that shale gas drilling does not have a profound economic impact that touches every resident in a shale gas producing state.

According to the AP analysis:

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Unproductive PA Wells Still Liable for Partial Impact Fee

The price for drilling a Marcellus Shale gas well in Pennsylvania that “misses” and is not economically viable may have just gotten a lot steeper. It looks like the state Public Utility Commission (PUC), charged with collecting and distributing the new impact fee under Act 13, is going to levy the fee on exploratory wells that end up not being productive and plugged.

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EPA Issues Draft Rule on Using Diesel Fuel in Fracking Fluid

Friday was document-dump day at the federal government. In addition to the Bureau of Land Management’s new hydraulic fracturing on federal land proposed rule (see this MDN story), the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new policy, or “Guidance” as they call it, for granting drilling permits to drillers who want to use diesel fuel as a component in their fracking fluid mix (a copy of the new Guidance is embedded below).

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Ethane Pipeline Company Sues Farmer to Gain Access to Land

Enterprise Products Partners 1,230 mile ethane pipeline from Pennsylvania to the Gulf Coast, called the ATEX Express (Appalachia to Texas), has hit a snag in Ohio and is suing a farmer who refuses to let them on the property for survey work.

The proposed ATEX Express pipeline includes building 353 miles of new pipeline through Ohio. They’re on a schedule, and they don’t want delays. So when Nancy and David Hyde asked Enterprise to find a different route other than go through David’s best hay field, Enterprise said “no” and is suing them to allow them on the property. As with most lawsuits, this one is complicated.

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OH Bill Requires 3rd Party Verification of O&G Production

Two Ohio state Democrat representatives have introduced a new bill that would require an “audit clause” to be recorded in every oil and gas drilling lease in the state. The bill is an effort, according to its authors, to insert third party verification of production numbers reported by companies so landowners don’t have to rely on the driller’s “honesty” in reporting those numbers.

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