MDN has previously written about anti-drillers who try to use the scare tactic that “there’s radon in Marcellus gas” and the radon is going to cause lots of new cases of lung cancer in New York City (see this MDN story). No one in the mainstream press is picking up on this latest anti-drilling meme, so the same groups have issued a new press release hoping to keep the issue alive (see their press release below).
In a nutshell, they argue that Marcellus Shale gas is extracted in areas of the northeast where there’s lots of naturally occurring radon, and because the gas gets to market so quickly (Pennsylvania Marcellus gas fields are “right next door” to NYC), the radon has no chance to naturally dissipate. When radon hits the air, it dissipates and becomes harmless. Radon has a half life of 3.5 days—breaking down and becoming harmless at that point. The concern, apparently, is that the gas will get to market and used in under 3.5 days.
Anti-drilling groups from the Southern Tier of New York State sent a letter to the top 1,000 big money contributors to Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday asking them to pressure Cuomo to ban fracking in the state. The letter was a joint effort of New York Residents Against Drilling (NYRAD), Walter Hang from Toxics Targeting, and the Mayor of Binghamton, Matt Ryan.
As the pace of drilling continues (but slows) in the Marcellus, the next major phase of work begins: completing wells and getting all that shale gas to market. That’s why pipelines, compressor stations and processing plants are important. Williams Partners, one of the largest pipeline operators in the country, announced yesterday they plan to expand their existing Transco Leidy Line in northern PA to accommodate new demands for shipping Marcellus Shale gas.
They expect to make a pre-filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in early 2013, and hope to have the expansion complete by late 2015.
Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company (or “Transco”) received a significant boost from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) yesterday. FERC issued a “finding” that Transco’s proposed pipeline extension in the northeast, called the Northeast Supply Link Project, does not pose a threat to the environment. The finding clears the way for full FERC approval of the project.
The project will run new pipeline and expand existing pipeline from Transco’s Leidy Line in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to existing delivery points in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City, brining with it new quantities of Marcellus Shale gas to metropolitan population centers in the northeast, including New Jersey and New York City. The FERC finding means the project will likely now receive a green light to move forward. FERC is the federal agency charged with evaluating and approving new pipeline projects in the U.S.
WPX Energy, the former upstream drilling arm of Williams spun out into its own company last year, has just reported their second quarter financial and operating results. WPX reports second quarter gas production from the Marcellus Shale is up 21% from the first quarter and continues to rise, although many of their drilled wells in the Marcellus are currently not producing because they’re waiting to be hooked up to pipelines.
Drilling company PDC Energy has released its second quarter operating and financial results. The company reports completing three wells in the Marcellus in West Virginia during the first half of this year, as well as two Utica Shale wells in Ohio. They are now drilling their first Guernsey County, OH Utica well.