Did PA DEP Undercount Act 13 Wells & Forfeit $303M in Revenue?

Note: MDN’s headline originally stated “$100M” in revenue was forfeited. The study’s lead author, Joel Gehman, contacted MDN to correct that number. We misunderstood. They believe the DEP has forfeited two to three times that amount: $205-$303 million.

In an attempt to shame the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) into action to improve their data reporting for unconventional shale wells, researchers at the University of Alberta and McGill University (both in Canada) have published a paper in the journal Environmental Practice claiming the DEP undercounted the number of natural gas wells used for assessing the new Act 13 impact fee, thereby denying the state an extra $100 $205-$303 million they could have received in tax revenue (see article below).

The article/study is titled “An Analysis of Unconventional Gas Well Reporting Under Pennsylvania’s Act 13 of 2012” and is peer reviewed, which supposedly blesses it as being accurate. However, the PA DEP strongly objected to the methodology used by the researchers and has said, point blank, they misunderstand the Act 13 requirements for what constitutes an unconventional well under the Act 13 law. DEP says there is no missing tax revenue due to an undercount. The researchers glibly reply the purpose of the article is to needle the DEP into “fixing” their data problem.

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New Map Shows Location of Marcellus Shale in Western Maryland

The Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources has just released a new “Geological Map of Garrett, Allegany and western Washington Counties in Maryland” (embedded below)—the first comprehensive geologic map of the region published in more than 50 years. The map covers the western counties of Maryland, providing a current look at how bedrock units and major surface deposits are distributed. The location of the Marcellus Shale is a prominent feature of the new map.

According to the Maryland DNR:

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Location of Second Halcon Utica Well in Trumbull County, OH

Halcon Resources continues their rapid pace of new drilling in Trumbull County, Ohio. MDN recently told you that the very first horizontal Utica Shale well to be drilled in Trumbull is now under way by Halcon in Hartford township (see Trumbull County’s First Utica Shale Well Now in Process).

Looks like Lordstown will be the location for the second Trumbull County well to be drilled by Halcon. Here’s exactly where in Lordstown:

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PA DEP Finalizes Procedure for Using Acid Mine Water in Fracking

For most of 2012 the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) researched how it might encourage, evaluate and control the use of acid mine drainage water for use in fracking natural gas wells. Such a practice would fix two problems at the same time—clean up acid mine drainage, and provide an abundant source for water to use in fracking. The DEP announced yesterday they have finalized their procedures and have published them in a white paper (see the white paper embedded below).

More than 300 million gallons of water is discharged from mines in PA waterways every day—a really big problem. This initiative is a win/win for the state.

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Out-of-Towners Show up at NY State of State Address to Oppose Fracking

Unfortunately MDN editor Jim Willis could not attend the Albany, NY rally yesterday to show support for fracking. Both sides of the debate were out with placards and signs in the state capital in a show of support (or opposition) for the benefit of a single person: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who delivered his State of the State address. On his way to the Capitol, Cuomo got to see signs and shouts of support/opposition from both sides. What did he see?

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