We have to wonder, was the fix in at the Pittsburgh Airport? MDN told you two weeks ago about the opening for two bids to drill on and under property owned by the Allgheny County Airport Authority (see this MDN story). EQT offered more than twice the per-acre signing bonus of CONSOL Energy. EQT’s bid to drill on 9,263 acres was $44 million!
On Friday, the Airport Authority announced that after two weeks of “very, very careful review” it has accepted CONSOL’s bid of $20.8 million as the representing the “best value.” Huh?
An excellent article on the Youngstown Business Journal website from Saturday delves into the question of why Gulfport Energy has (so far) turned in the most impressive results of all Utica Shale drilling in Ohio (see this MDN story for background on their success). Gulfport CEO Jim Palms credits better science and a little of luck for their astonishing success.
The real secret as to why Gulfport’s wells in Harrison and Belmont counties are doing so much better than counties farther north, like Carroll and Columbiana? It has to do with pressure…
Calling it a potential “benefit” for longer-term employees to cash in on their years of service, Chesapeake Energy on Friday announced a “voluntary separation program” to get rid of 275 older employees by February 2013. At least that’s MDN’s understanding after reading the official company announcement:
There hasn’t been much in the way of Utica Shale permits or drilling in Portage County, Ohio—yet. At least compared to other Ohio counties. At last official tally, Portage has seen 14 permits so far (see this MDN story).
That may about to change. Why would we think so? Because of orange cables strung along roadways throughout the county…
MDN friend Andy Leahy, who writes excellent posts on his NYShaleGasNow.com blog, has done it again. He’s sniffed out documentation from the New York Public Service Commission which maps out a plan for the state to use more natural gas. You read that right! While NY is in the throes of debating whether or not to allow fracking, state officials are making official plans to use more of the very thing fracking would produce—abundantly and cheaply.
Andy points out the following on this quiet-but-profound policy shift:
The U.S. Coast Guard must decide whether or not to allow fracking wastewater to be transported by barge along rivers and lakes in the U.S.—so says Cmdr. Michael Roldan, chief of the Coast Guard’s Hazardous Material Division. If the Coast Guard decides transporting fracking wastewater is not allowed, that would be a huge problem for GreenHunter Water. They’ve already invested in five barge terminals in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to do precisely that—move Marcellus and Utica fracking wastewater to facilities that can treat and dispose of it. They’ve made those investments with the understanding it would be allowed. Their understanding may have been misplaced.
An update on the excellent progress being made with the construction of a new $400 million natural gas liquids collection and processing plant being built in Hanoverton (Columbiana County), Ohio by M3 Midstream:
Canadian firm Stantec, which provides consulting service in engineering, surveying and environmental sciences, announced on Friday that they have bought out Landmark Survey and Mapping. Landmark, with 24 employees in both Washington, PA and North Canton, OH, specializes in surveying and mapping oil and gas pipelines—a growing area of focus for Stantec.
The Youngstown-Warren (OH) Regional Chamber of Commerce went on a road trip last week—to Houston, TX. The Regional Chamber is aggressively marketing the Mahoning Valley area as the supply chain hub for the Utica and Marcellus Shale—encouraging Houston companies to open operations in their area to leverage an abundance of low-cost natural gas and natural gas liquids.
Chambers of Commerce and economic development agencies from other locales would do well to follow their example:
If you stop by a diner along Route 29 in Susquehanna County, PA on any given day, you may hear the patrons using words you’re not familiar with. Words like pumpjack, yellow dog, and kick down. You may also hear them talking about a Christmas tree—but it’s probably not the one you’re thinking about that stands in your living room this time of year.
Time for a vocabulary update, to define some of the terminology you may hear next time you go out to eat in a community where there’s active shale drilling:
West Virginia’s Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette, who has been in the hunt for an ethane cracker plant for several years now, is still upbeat on both Marcellus/Utica Shale drilling in the state, and on upbeat on the state’s chances to land an ethane cracker: