Surprising Revelations about Cuomo’s Fracking Plan [FREE]

wrong end of the telescopeGov. Cuomo’s rumored plan to begin horizontal hydraulic fracturing of shale for oil and gas (mostly gas) in New York State is an important issue that threatens to fracture the alliance of those of us on the pro-drilling side of the debate. Many people (including MDN) are rightly outraged that not all landowners in all areas of the state will be given the opportunity to participate in drilling—at lease initially (if you believe the rumors about the governor’s plan).

But a highly placed source with knowledge of both the landowners’ plight and the governor’s thinking recently spoke to MDN to let us know we’re viewing this issue through the wrong end of the telescope and that landowners outside of select counties have not been left out. Let me explain…

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Cabot Oil & Gas Production Up, Profits Down for 2Q12

Cabot Oil & Gas released their second quarter results yesterday. Cabot’s gas production rose an impressive 40% over the second quarter of last year. But because the commodity price of gas has been so low, Cabot’s profitability took a hit. Net income for Cabot from April through June was $35.9 million (17 cents per share), compared to $54.7 million last year at this time (26 cents per share).

Cabot issued two press releases covering second quarter results. The first covers finances and adds useful high level production numbers:

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PA Marcellus Creates 238,000 Jobs – So Far

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry keeps track of jobs and job growth in the Commonwealth. And according to their latest jobs report, direct jobs in the Marcellus Shale went up by 18,000 jobs over the past four years (159%). The report also says total employment related (generated by) shale gas drilling in the state has grown a whopping 238,000 jobs since 2008.

So all those articles and letters to the editor that have cropped up lately questioning whether the shale industry actually creates jobs are nothing but hot air? Yeah.

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France’s Confusing Stance on a Fracking Ban

Yesterday MDN reported on the Bloomberg Businessweek story that France is reconsidering its ban on fracking (see this MDN story). It seems the Businessweek story created a bit of a stir because the French government has assured everyone the ban remains. Except if new technology comes out, then they might reconsider. All of which is driving Greenpeace bonkers (which is always a good thing).

Let’s try to sort it out.

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Chesapeake Midstream Changes Name to Access Midstream

Chesapeake Midstream Partners, a pipeline and processing plant company formerly owned by Chesapeake Energy but recently sold to Global Infrastructure Partners to generate cash, is changing its name. It will now be known as Access Midstream Partners.

In addition to the name change, the new entity also announced new members of the board. From the Access Midstream Partners press release:

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OH Landowner Loses in Court, Chesapeake Builds Pipeline

A landowner in Carroll County, OH who had sued to stop Chesapeake Energy from installing a pipeline to a well on his property lost the court battle last Friday. Joseph Coniglio had leased his land for drilling to Anschutz, which later assigned the lease to Chesapeake, but he had not signed an agreement for pipelines to be built connecting to wells drilled on his property. Coniglio says the lease specifically prohibits pipelines without a special agreement. Landowners often will receive extra compensation for any pipelines installed to a well, and Coniglio wanted to do a deal with Chesapeake for the well on his property.

Chesapeake says the original agreement allows them to hook up the well to a pipeline. Coniglio went to court earlier in July and won a restraining order. A judge overturned it on Friday and the pipeline is now almost complete.

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Ultrasonic Trucks Map Underground in Coshocton County, OH

Drilling companies like to know, as much as possible, where they stand the best chance of drilling. Horizontal hydraulic fracturing means every hole drilled is much more likely to produce gas (and oil) than a conventional vertical hole, but it’s still no guarantee. Not every hole produces. So to help eliminate as much guesswork as possible, drillers often purchase seismic test data.

Big trucks roll along roadways with large vibrators that emit ultrasonic waves into the ground (or in some cases “thump” the ground) and then record the echoes to draw a picture of the underground rock structure. Ever wonder what it looks like? Just watch the video below of ultrasonic trucks doing their work in Coshocton County, Ohio.

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