According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Chesapeake Energy is attempting to change the terms of leases with Ohio landowners—after the leases were signed. One of the issues faced by Chesapeake is that they have signed, or purchased, a lot of leases in Ohio’s Utica Shale (and other shale plays for that matter). In Ohio, it amounts to leases for about 5% of Ohio’s total land area.
In order to fulfill their end of the bargain, Chesapeake must drill wells on all that land within a certain period of time—usually within five years. At least one well must be drilled on a “unit,” usually defined as 640 acres of land, or one square mile. Multiple landowner properties are usually part of a single unit.
But Chesapeake has a problem: cash. They don’t have enough of it right now to drill all of those units to “hold” them. So they’re redefining the unit—they now want a unit to be two square miles in stead of one square mile.
Patriot Water in Warren, Ohio lost its permit to dispose of treated shale gas drilling wastewater via the Warren municipal wastewater treatment plant earlier this year. A few weeks ago they won a ruling against Ohio’s EPA (OEPA) and thought that would allow them to restart shipments of treated wastewater, but the OEPA said “not so fast” and has steadfastly refused to reissue a permit to allow it (see this MDN story for background).
Last Friday the president of Patriot Water, Andrew Blocksom, issued a strongly-worded statement saying the OEPA and Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) treatment of Patriot is tantamount to government abuse, and it needs to stop.
We get the full text of Blocksom’s statement from the Youngstown Business Journal:
This one is just too delicious to pass up. It seems that John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, and their 37 year-old son Sean, have launched a website and campaign of so-called celebrities against fracking. And they appeared on Jimmy Falon’s show last Friday night to make horses’ rear-ends of themselves (and they did so in spades, see the video below).
The CEO of BP, Bob Dudley, visited Cleveland last Friday to talk about BP’s massive investment in Ohio’s Utica Shale—and what that investment will mean in the way of jobs for Ohio. He also had an eye-opening statement about just how much energy is currently being produced from shale plays in the U.S.
The new moratorium on shale gas drilling in southeastern Pennsylvania, instituted as a last-minute political ploy by none other than Republicans in the latest state budget (see this MDN story), has claimed its first victim. An exploratory gas well in the South Newark Basin (Bucks County) due to be drilled by Turm Oil has been denied a permit by the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a conservative Republican, still sounds a lot like a liberal Democrat when it comes to taxing the drilling industry in his state. He has not given up on his idea to raise the severance tax rate on the infant Utica Shale drilling industry. His latest comments:
Yet more evidence that when shale drilling arrives, so do jobs and economic expansion. This time the evidence comes from Warren, Ohio.
From the number of area residents hired by the drilling industry in new jobs, to increased business for restaurants, an increase in new car sales, an increase in new home sales and even an uptick in tax revenues—all of the economic indicators in eastern Ohio are trending up—amidst the worst economy since the 1920s. Why? Shale drilling on private land.
Yet more evidence that Marcellus and Utica Shale gas drilling is migrating from Pennsylvania to Ohio and West Virginia—away from dry gas areas toward wet gas areas. The number of drilling rigs, as tracked by Baker Hughes, tell the story:
What’s the number one energy source used to create electricity in the United States? If you answered “coal” you would have been right—up until very recently. Natural gas’ use to generate electricity has now tied coal—something that hasn’t happened in at least 40 years.
And with strict new federal EPA rules in place, there’s virtually no chance new electric generating plants powered by coal will be built. To build a new coal-fired plant compliant with emissions levels by the EPA would be too expensive to make it profitable.