This is an astonishing turnaround. Denise Dennis, a very vocal critic of gas drilling and someone who caught national attention two years ago by denouncing natural gas drilling and comparing it to the tobacco industry at a Philadelphia City Council meeting, has just signed a lease with Cabot Oil & Gas to allow drilling under her historic property in Susquehanna County, PA.
A big reversal from Chesapeake Energy and their expectations for oil in Ohio’s Utica Shale. Once upon a time the company was ebullient over striking oil in eastern Ohio (see this MDN story, July 2011).
An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal quotes Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon as saying their view has changed—the Utica Shale will not be a big oil producer for Chesapeake after all. That doesn’t mean Chesapeake has turned sour on the Utica—quite the contrary. Drilling for natural gas liquids in the Utica by Chesapeake continues at a brisk pace. All the same, McClendon’s statement is a stunning admission and a reversal from previous statements.
It’s been at least two weeks without a natural gas hit piece from Bloomberg (they had to leave the natgas topic alone for a few weeks to get their candidate re-elected)…must be time for another smear. Yep, here it is: “Gas Prices Doomed to Stay Low as Producers Pump Faster.” The premise is that because gas prices have started to climb again, the capitalistic, selfish energy companies are greedily turning back on “shut-in” wells and hooking up previously drilled wells and the gas is now flowing so darned much, it’s doomed gas prices to stay low, like, forever.
Never mind that next week Bloomberg will run another story that says these same energy companies are vastly overstating how much shale gas really exists and supplies will run out in a few years—that we don’t really have 100 or more years of supplies as most experts believe. Being a bit truth-challenged has never bothered Bloomberg, or Reuters or the AP for that matter. They have a template, a narrative—and the “facts” will be bent, molded and shaped to fit it.
Binghamton’s failed mayor, Matt Ryan, was in Albany yesterday to stir up trouble on the fracking issue. (First Dimock, now Albany…seems Mayor Ryan’s pass time is to cause trouble somewhere else while your own city is crumbling around you.)
Mayor Ryan has started his own cultic anti-fracking group called Elected Officials to Protect New York. The group, meeting in Albany yesterday, said that if drilling is allowed in New York, it will create an “invasion” of crime and social unrest. Here’s the scoop:
The mayor of Elmira, NY has outed herself as anti-drilling. Mayor Sue Skidmore attended an anti-fracking event in Albany yesterday and went on record against drilling:
MDN previously told you about a lawsuit from landowners who sit atop the Brinker Gas Storage Field in Columbiana County, OH (see this MDN story). Columbia Gas Transmission owns the rights to the hollowed out cavern in the Berea Sandstone known as the Brinker field—a place where they store natural gas for later use. The question or issue is whether or not the landowners have the right to drill under the Brinker, in the Utica Shale, or whether that right belongs to Columbia.
Landowners atop another gas storage field, the North Canton Gas Storage Field in Stark County, OH, have now filed a lawsuit for the same reason. In North Canton the storage field is leased by Dominion East Ohio (a division of Dominion) and CNX Gas (a division of CONSOL Energy). Dominion and CNX claim it’s their right to drill under the storage field—the landowners believe they forfeited the right to drill years ago.
It’s evident to anyone who follows the news out of Pittsburgh that there is a blood feud, or grudge match—choose your metaphor—between Pennsylvania State Rep. Jesse White (from western PA) and Range Resources. It wasn’t always that way. Just a few short years ago Rep. White and folks at Range were pals. Not anymore.
Range says White is the one who has changed in this relationship and they’ve released a number of emails as “proof.” The friction seemed to start when Range turned down a request by White for a plane ride to the 2011 Super Bowl…
An editorial in today’s Jamestown, NY Post-Journal endorses shale gas drilling in New York. The editorial writers rightly point to the overwhelming results from last week’s election in which the pro-drilling candidate won in every major, and in most minor, races where drilling was an issue. The P-J conclusion? Cuomo needs to wake up and get off the dime:
Valerus, an oil and gas services company that specializes in manufacturing and operating compression and processing equipment, is partnering with a Youngstown, OH company to build a new manufacturing plant in Youngstown. The new plant will build equipment that removes water from natural gas. Thirty more jobs on the way courtesy the Utica and Marcellus Shale.
Here’s a few more details about the Valerus plant:
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: