The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) yesterday emailed an “urgent call to action” to New York landowners and those in the state who support natural gas drilling. The JLCNY has received a tip from “credible sources” that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been asked to once again delay the release of new drilling rules in New York, known as the SGEIS, until after the election on Nov. 6—effectively meaning “not until 2013.” The JLCNY call to action asks landowners and gas supporters to phone the governor’s office, along with the offices of other prominent politicians, asking them to not delay the release of new drilling rules.
The JLCNY does not comment on who the credible sources are, nor who is doing the asking for another delay. MDN has its own theories, but we’ll hold off for now on the speculation. The important thing (for those of us who support drilling and want the new DEC rules released NOW), is to pick up the phone and start calling.
Landowners who leased with Chesapeake Energy and who live in Ohio and Marshall counties in West Virginia’s northern panhandle may soon have big smiles on their faces. Chesapeake is turning on the gas to pipelines in those locations, and once the gas starts flowing, so too will royalty checks.
How soon should landowners expect their first checks?
A couple of weeks ago MDN outlined the smear job being attempted by the AP against PA Gov. Tom Corbett over his executive order to streamline the process used by the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for permitting new gas and oil drilling (see this MDN story). Lord help us if a politician actually tries to reduce the red tape involved in legitimate businesses trying to do business!
The DEP has just submitted a draft for new rules to streamline the permitting process (embedded below). The DEP is now asking for public comments on the revised rules. As part of that process, they’ll hold two webinars for the public in September.
Since the beginning of 2012, hardly a quarterly earnings/operations report from an energy company, nor a story about natural prices, has failed to point out how drillers are now focused on “wet gas” areas in shale plays. For the Marcellus and Utica region, that means a shift from drilling in northeast PA to southwest PA, northern WV and eastern Ohio, where wet gas deposits are found. Wet gas simply means there are extra hydrocarbons that come out of the bore hole along with “dry gas,” i.e. methane. Wet gas hydrocarbons include propane and ethane.
A story in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette chronicles the rapid drop in the commodity price for both propane and ethane because of increasing supplies from shale gas drilling. It feels like the dry gas price story all over again. Too much supply, not enough demand.
The conversion of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg from reticent to ambivalent to full-throated supporter of fracking is certainly welcomed, but also surprising. MDN has connected the dots on his eleventh-hour conversion in this MDN story.
During public appearances this week, Mayor Mike has addressed the fracking issue a number of times. Here are a few of his comments on the topic, in his own words:
Devon Energy has signed an iron-clad agreement with Wayne County, Ohio to repair any damage caused by heavy trucks to roadways and bridges in the county from their drilling activities. A meeting on Tuesday night in Fredericksburg, OH was standing-room only as officials and local residents assembled to hear about the agreement.
Enterprise Products Partners is building a new 1,230-mile ethane pipeline, called the ATEX Express, that will stretch from Washington County, PA all the way to the Gulf Coast (see this MDN story for background). When completed, the pipeline will carry nearly 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of ethane from the Marcellus and Utica Shale region to Texas for processing at ethane cracker plants along the Gulf Coast.
Enterprise already has enough commitments from drillers to build the pipeline. Both Chesapeake Energy and Range Resources have committed to sizable capacity in the pipeline (75,000 bpd for Chesapeake, and 125,000 bpd for Range, see this MDN story). However, Enterprise still has lots of capacity left, so they’ve started a new “open season” or period of time for more drillers to claim capacity in the new pipeline.
As of next week, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) will know just how much money the new Act 13 drilling law will have generated for drilling that was initiated in 2011. The Act 13 law provides for an “impact fee” which is due payable by September 1.
Impact fee revenue will be used for a variety of reasons by local municipalities where drilling has occurred. In addition, 40% of the fees collected (in the spirit of compromise and American socialism) will be “spread around” to all 67 PA counties—the price of getting the legislation passed.
At a ceremony yesterday in Marshall County, WV, Williams Partners announced they will spend an additional $1.34 billion between now and 2014 and add an additional 100 long-term jobs to expand processing capacity of a recently acquired natural gas liquids plant. Added with their previous investments, Williams will have spent $3.84 billion on infrastructure projects in the northern panhandle of West Virginia.
The Gulf of Mexico has traditionally been a big source for both oil and natural gas for the U.S. When hurricanes blow through the Gulf and shut down oil and gas rigs, the markets always respond. That is, until now.
Even though Hurricane Isaac took an eerily similar path to Katrina (from 2005), and although nearly 3/4 of natural gas production coming from rigs in the Gulf was “shut-in” (or stopped, in lay terms), how did the markets respond? Gas futures prices went up 2%—hardly a blip. Why? Because of an abundance of shale gas—including (particularly) an abundant supply of shale gas from the Marcellus.
Chimera Energy Corp is attempting to co-opt the anti-fracking movement to bolster its own new, and according to them, ground-breaking natural gas technology—a technology that does not use fracking (water-based or otherwise) to retrieve natural gas from shale deposits.