The rumor mill continues to churn with regard to Carl Icahn’s investment in Chesapeake Energy. The latest rumor, being circulated by the venerable Bloomberg News, says that Icahn has taken a 4 percent stake in the company. Is that good? Is it bad? Meaningful or not? Let’s give you the “news” (or rather rumor) first, and then some perspective…
A potential case of methane migration from nearby Marcellus Shale gas well drilling is being investigated by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in Bradford County, PA. Three residential water wells and two streams have high levels of methane. A Chesapeake drilling operation is located about a half mile from the residential water wells.
Staffers at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Powdermill Nature Reserve say they have assembled the most accurate database of Marcellus Shale gas wells in Pennsylvania, having worked on it for the past 10 months. However, they aren’t releasing their results to the public. Not yet at least.
Because of the heavy volume of permitting and drilling activity in PA over the past several years, it’s well known that the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) data is not 100 percent accurate. Powdermill sought to create a database that was as close to 100 percent as possible and believe they have achieved it.
In the aggregate, here’s the numbers they are reporting:
Ohio’s new shale oil and gas drilling legislation (SB 315) has now passed both the House (73-19) and the Senate (21-8) and is on the way to Gov. John Kasich’s desk for his signature, which it will receive. The bill as passed is 220 pages long and wide-ranging in its scope, covering not only shale oil and gas extraction, but renewable energy, water conservation, and wastewater treatment. The bill reportedly contains some of the strictest rules in the nation for hydraulic fracturing.
So what’s in the bill? MDN doubts you want to read through 220 pages to find out. Embedded below is the 70-page summary overview version. However, here’s a few brief highlights of what’s in it:
The Japanese have a huge appetite for U.S. shale gas and they’re investing big money to get access to it. Two Japanese and a French firm are putting up $1 billion of the $5 billion cost to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Louisiana. Now all they need is government approval for the exports.
Last October, the Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center (SGICC) announced its Shale Gas Innovation Competition. The results are now in and two organizations in State College, PA are the winners, receiving $25,000 each.
Polymics LTD won for their design of a lightweight, reusable and leak-proof mat system that is used at drill sites to contain mud and fluids while the drill pad is under construction. The second winner was the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute at Penn State University for their development of a “patch box” system that converts diesel truck fleets to use natural gas.
Ten additional finalists were also named. In all, 12 new innovative technologies were identified that will help propel the shale drilling industry forward, making drilling safer and more efficient. From the SGICC press release:
FracFocus.org, the hydraulic fracturing chemical registry website, is now just over one year old and contains detailed information on the fracking chemicals used in over 18,000 hydraulically fractured wells. FracFocus.org is an independent organization that enjoys both drilling industry and environmental group support. With over 200 drillers now submitting data to the FracFocus.org website, it has become the de facto standard source for fracking chemical data, expanding rapidly each month as more and more drillers use the service.
A press release issued today describes FracFocus.org in more detail and links to online training offered by the organization along with a video of highlights from the past “wild ride” year: