Broome County, NY Township to Hold Hearing on Drilling Ban

In a completely unexpected move, the Town of Chenango (Broome County, NY) has scheduled a public hearing on October 1st to consider a proposed one-year moratorium on natural gas drilling. That is, a couple of town board members in Chenango may ruin the ability for all landowners in the the town to allow drilling on or under their land for the foreseeable future. This is bad news for landowners in Chenango (not far from where MDN is written).

Broome County is likely one of the places where initial permits to drill will be issued, but DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have both said communities that don’t want drilling won’t get it. A vote to ban it—even temporarily—is a loud and clear message to the DEC to stay away.

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EV Energy Strikes Oil & NGLs in Stark County, OH

EV Energy’s Utica well in Stark County, Ohio is producing large quantities of light crude oil in addition to large quantities of natural gas liquids. EV Energy’s CEO, Mark Houser, said their well in Stark looks better in the early results than oil wells in the Eagle Ford basin in Texas. High praise indeed.

Because of what EV and others have found, drilling activity for oil and NGLs is moving to Stark, Tuscarawas, Guernsey and Noble counties.

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Judge Rules Act 13 Zoning Unconstitutional During Appeal

The ongoing and currently unresolved court case in Pennsylvania over PA’s newly passed Act 13 law has an interesting new twist. You may recall a few weeks ago the middle-level Commonwealth Court in PA upheld a lower court ruling striking down the zoning provisions in the new Act 13 drilling law (see this MDN story). Those provisions under Act 13 substitute statewide zoning rules for oil and gas drilling in place of any local restrictions. Seven townships sued to have that portion of the law struck down and so far two courts have agreed. It’s now on appeal to the PA Supreme Court.

However, while the decision of the lower courts is on appeal to the Supreme Court, the original zoning portion of Act 13 was still in effect—until a judge’s order on Wednesday.

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REX NatGas Pipeline Faces Stiff Competition from Marcellus

RBN Energy President Rusty Braziel says the Rockies Express natural gas pipeline (REX), which originates in Rio Blanco County, Colorado and sends gas to Monroe County, Ohio, is in danger of drying up because there’s so much shale gas coming from the Marcellus.

Braziel’s prescription? REX needs to look at flowing gas in other directions—either the Gulf Coast, the West Coast, or both.

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Marcellus Shale Coalition Expands with 2 New Hires

The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), an industry-backed organization headquartered in Pittsburgh that does a terrific job at getting out the truth about drilling in the Marcellus, is expanding. They’ve just added two new people, Andrew Paterson will become vice president for technical and regulatory affairs, and Shari Williams, a former communications specialist with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, will head up MSC’s outreach efforts in the greater Philly area.

From the MSC press release:

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