This is big news folks. You may recall that the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conducting a multi-year study of hydraulic fracturing in a transparent attempt to seize control of oil and gas drilling in the U.S.—grabbing that control away from the individual states who are empowered under the U.S. Constitution to regulate drilling in their own states. As part of the EPA study, they are analyzing water samples in locations where there has been a lot of shale gas fracking (see this MDN story for a copy of the EPA’s study plan).
Chesapeake Energy participated shoulder to shoulder with the EPA by taking water samples at the same time and from the same locations in Bradford County, PA. They then had those water samples analyzed by accredited laboratories, and the results analyzed by an independent specialist. Here’s what they found…
The International Energy Agency (IEA), an independent organization formed in the early 1970s in response to the oil shortage and composed of 28 member countries including the U.S., released a shale gas report report yesterday they call “Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas” (a copy of the full report is embedded below). The new Golden Rules report is the IEA’s attempt at encouraging the growth of the natural gas industry. Their “expert” opinion and prescription? Drillers need to behave themselves, countries and local governments need to highly regulate shale gas drilling, and if those two things happen, the general population will accept it.
Saying that drillers need to “earn and maintain their social license to operate,” the report’s chief author maintains that without public trust the very new and in many ways infant shale gas industry will die. She also admits the prescriptions they outline will increase the cost of drilling by at least 7 percent, but she maintains without these measures, that 7 percent will be better than no drilling at all.
Anti-drilling New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is once again going after Chesapeake Energy. Like many Democrats, he’s not one to waste a good crisis. You may recall that DiNapoli previously scolded Chesapeake over its Founders Well Participation Program (FWPP) that allowed CEO Aubrey McClendon, the guy who founded the company, to participate in each well drilled, with up to 2.5 percent ownership (see this MDN story).
Now that the board has rescinded the FWPP program after next year, DiNapoli needs something else to target, so he’s lobbying to have a new board of directors installed and sent an open letter to shareholders calling for just that (see the letter embedded below).
Lest you think that MDN is just so much right-wing, Tea Party-spouting bilge when we make quips about the politics of drilling, we offer the following into evidence that our views and opinions are dead-on accurate.
Yesterday MDN wrote an article about the so-called Marcellus Compact, a set of six bills that have been introduced by left-wing PA Democrats in what MDN considers an attempt to have an issue to run on in the next election (see this MDN story). MDN pointed out the bills have no chance of passage.
It seems the left shares the same view as MDN about the Marcellus Compact. To wit:
One of the more intriguing developments over the past year or so is that drillers in Pennsylvania have considered using acid mine drainage as a source of water for hydraulic fracturing. Water that flows from abandoned coal mines creates acidic water, some 300 million gallons of it per day, destroying plants and fish in some 5,000 miles of Pennsylvania’s waterways. If drillers were to use it, it would address two issues: cleaning up acid mine drainage, and reducing the need for fresh water needed for fracking. Everyone wins, right? Life is never that easy.
Rex Energy announced yesterday that it has closed on a previously announced deal to sell its subsidiary Keystone Midstream to MarkWest Energy for $512 million (see this MDN story for the original announcement). Rex also announced that their Bluestone cryogenic processing plant, part of the sale, has just gone online and will begin selling gas by June 1st.
But perhaps the biggest news yesterday from Rex, at least for landowners, is that Rex has completed drilling its first Ohio Utica well, in Carroll County. Fracking of the well begins in June, and Rex is now moving the rig back to PA where they will drill their second Utica well—in Lawrence County.