Once again, anti-fracking elected political leaders in New York (people who need to be voted out of office, see their names below) are trying to pressure the waffling Gov. Andrew Cuomo into extending the new public comment period from 30 days to 90 days. A group of them sent a letter to Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens requesting the extension (dated Dec. 21, copy of the letter embedded below).
Why do they want to extend it from 30 to 90 days? To force the restart of the entire process of approving new fracking regulations. If the comment period is extended to 90 days, it will go beyond the end of February forcing the restart of the entire process to evaluate and approve new fracking regulations. Restarting the process would effectively kill any fracking in the state—most likely forever.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the probe into the financial dealings of Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, which started in April 2012 and was supposed to be wrapped up in “weeks not months” has still not concluded, but will do so by mid-January. When it does, don’t expect McClendon to step down as CEO…
In May 2012, the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR), the state agency that oversees the permitting and drilling of oil and gas wells, set a goal of tripling the number of well inspectors by the end of 2012—which would mean having 90 inspectors on staff. The agency has struggled with a heavy load of inspections due to a ramp up in Utica Shale drilling.
Ohio Gathering Co. has posted a $5 million bond in Belmont County, OH to cover the cost of potential road repairs and maintenance in connection with a pipeline and compressor plant project they have under way in the county.
Here’s where (in the county) the pipeline and compressor plant is being built, along with the roads that will be affected by truck and heavy equipment traffic:
MDN recently told you about a natural gas liquids (NGLs) “tank farm” located at Half Moon Industrial Park in Weirton, WV (along the Ohio River) that started shipping NGLs by river barge to be processed in Houston, TX (see this MDN story). An initial shipment of one million gallons of NGLs were floated by barge first down the Ohio River, then the Mississippi River.
Toronto, OH, which sits just a few miles up the river from Weirton on the opposite bank of the Ohio River, is about to get in on the NGL barge-shipping business too. A 40-acre site in Toronto’s port was just sold to a company that will set up a tank farm and start shipping NGLs to the Gulf Coast for processing:
In an article about the merger of a local land conservancy group with a larger, regional conservancy group in Ohio—the Western Reserve Land Conservancy (WRLC)—MDN spotted remarks that indicate land conservancies have an anti-drilling philosophy, which raises the issue of whether or not you should support them or sign an agreement with them if you’re a landowner.
Remarks from the president of Little Beaver Creek Land Foundation (LBCLF), the local land conservancy group that merged with the WRLC:
Although BP is the largest leaseholder for Utica Shale drilling in Trumbull County, OH with 84,000 acres under lease, Halcon Resources, which purchased 15,000 acres of leases from Carrizo Oil & Gas in October (see this MDN story), is the first to put drill bit to earth and is currently drilling the county’s very first horizontal Utica Shale well:
In November, MDN pointed out you can always tell where drilling will soon begin in earnest by the how busy the local county clerk/deed recorder office is. We predicted that Belmont County, OH would soon see a ramp up in drilling based on the frenzy of activity at the county recorder’s office (see this MDN story).
The activity at the Belmont recorder’s office is as busy as ever, even over the holiday period. It’s standing room only at the office, and that’s now spilled over to the public library across the street. Abstractors have taken to snapping digital photographs of deed books and then relocating to the more spacious facility of the public library. But now that’s creating a problem…