53 NY Towns Ask to Join Fracking Ban Court Case

Mother May IWhile New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo dithers about whether or not to allow fracking in the state, two court cases that will have a profound effect on where fracking can happen (should he finally make up his mind) continue to work their way through the court system. Those cases address of the issue of whether or not local municipalities should have the right to completely ban fracking within their borders—sometimes referred to as “home rule.”

Not long ago MDN updated you on the status of those cases with word that oral arguments are likely to take place in February with a decision by late spring (see this MDN story). A new development in those cases: 53 municipalities have filed a request with the court to join the cases on the side of pro-ban/anti-fracking:

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NY vs ND Unemployment Rates: Why is One High, the Other Low?

We interrupt this blog post to bring you the following news: New York’s unemployment rate is 8.2% (a full 9% in Chemung County). The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 345 out of 372 metro areas in the country (93%) have lower unemployment rates than the New York State average. The lowest unemployment rate in the country? North Dakota—at 2.2%.

Why is ND’s unemployment rate so low? And why is NY’s so high? Is there a connection?

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Marcellus May Produce Additional 5Bcf/d of Gas in Next 14 Mo

A blogger on the Seeking Alpha website says the Marcellus is “a ticking time bomb” waiting to “explode” with a tremendous amount of new natural gas production that will flood into the U.S. marketplace over the next 1-2 years. How much new gas? Blogger David White makes a compelling case he believes an additional 5 billion cubic feet of new natural gas will flow—from just the Marcellus Shale region—by the end of 2013.

Here’s his reasoning:

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Anadarko 3Q12 Update: Lowered Marcellus Well Cost by $1.5M

Anadarko Petroleum reported third quarter results on Monday. Anadarko is an independent exploration and production (E&P) company—a very large one—with a good deal of drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Third quarter revenues were $3.33 billion for the company, up 4.2% on the year.

In their operations update (MDN has extracted the Marcellus/Utica Shale portion below), Anadarko reports they’ve lowered drilling costs by $1.5 million per well since 2011. It now costs them an average $2.3 million to drill a Marcellus Shale well. They also report encouraging results in targeting the shallower Geneseo Shale with plans for drilling the Geneseo in 2013.

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Sandy’s Affect on Drillers in the Marcellus & Utica Shale

Although Hurricane turned Super Storm Sandy gave New York City, Delaware and New Jersey a big, black eye (and we grieve for their losses), further inland Marcellus and Utica Shale drillers prepared for and appear to have avoided any major impacts from the storm. Some production was and still is shut in to avoid potential problems, but given the storm is now mostly gone from the Marcellus and Utica Shale region, shut in production should quickly come back online.

Here’s a Sandy report from four of the largest drillers in the Marcellus:

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MarkWest Opens Sherwood I Wet Gas Processing Facility in WV

MarkWest, a huge midstream (pipeline & processing facilities) company and Antero Resources, a Marcellus Shale driller, inked a deal in May 2012 for MarkWest to gather and process Antero’s wet gas, or natural gas liquids in West Virginia (see this MDN story).

MarkWest announced today the first phase of that deal is now online with the commencement of operations at the Sherwood I facility in Doddridge County, WV. The Sherwood I facility has the capacity to process 200 million cubic feet per day of wet gas. MarkWest is building Sherwood II now, which would add an additional 200 Mmcf/d of capacity. Eventually a third Sherwood facility may be built for a total capacity of 600 Mmcf/d.

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Talisman Energy’s Big 3Q12 Loss, Treads Water in Marcellus

There’s no way to sugarcoat the dreadful third quarter results Talisman Energy reported yesterday—and they don’t try. The Canadian company, one of the larger drillers in the Marcellus Shale, announced a $731-million loss for the third quarter yesterday, which included $443-million of charges tied to exiting from Peru and setbacks with their operations in Norway and Quebec. Talisman’s stock dropped nearly 5% on the news.

The new president & CEO, Hal Kvisle, gave a sobering and frank review of the company and charted out four key priorities moving forward. One of those priorities is where they will focus their operations in the months and years ahead.

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