Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon held yet another investor conference call yesterday morning, this one to quell concerns over Chesapeake’s “emergency loan” of $3 billion from Goldman Sachs on Friday. Among the things to come out of the phone conference were two (really) big pieces of news, one of which will directly affect landowners in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, the other which will potentially affect all landowners with Chesapeake leases no matter where they live.
Drilling rig counts are closely watched as an indicator of where, and how much, drilling is happening in a given geography. Last Friday, Baker Hughes reported that rig counts for Pennsylvania continue to decline from a year ago, while the numbers for West Virginia are going up. But that doesn’t quite tell the whole story.
Let’s be honest. Using eminent domain to force landowners to allow interstate pipelines to be run across their property is a bad idea. At least it is in MDN’s opinion. Some pipeline companies have sought and have been awarded public utility status, and that status allows them to use eminent domain to grab property to run pipelines. It’s disgusting. They are not public utilities in the way a power company is a utility that needs to put up electric polls.
Two lawyers from Columbus, Ohio caution landowners to get a second opinion when it comes to negotiating to have pipelines runs across their property, like the ATEX Express ethane pipeline that’s currently being built across Ohio. They also counsel that although eminent domain can force landowners to allow a pipeline, landowners still have at least some rights under eminent domain.
In a recent radio interview, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett spoke about the Marcellus Shale drilling industry and how it positively impacts all Pennsylvanians, not just just a select few:
Here’s a new twist on the “fracking contaminates ground water supplies” argument that MDN has not seen before…
At a seminar in Erie, PA for manufacturers and other companies interested in becoming suppliers to the shale gas industry, Marcellus Shale Coalition president Kathryn Klaber told attendees that it’s just a matter of time before Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling comes to their area.
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: