The Altoona-Blair County Development Corp. (ABCD) and the Blair County Chamber of Commerce partnered to host a seminar yesterday to help local businesses get a piece of the natural gas industry pie—or “plug into the supply chain” as it’s commonly referred to. The seminar was aimed at helping companies find business opportunities in the Marcellus Shale drilling industry, and although it was aimed at businesses in south central PA, the information shared will help businesses throughout the Marcellus/Utica region.
According to speakers at the seminar, one driller in particular who is new to the Marcellus is looking for business partners in the Marcellus to provide them with products and services. Who is that driller and whom should you talk to there? What types of businesses stand a good chance of getting business in the shale drilling industry? And where, geographically, are the best opportunities in PA? Read on…
The current moratorium on high volume hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in New York is exactly 4 years and 6 months old today. MDN keeps a handy “Moratorium Clock” in the right sidebar to remind people how long New York landowners have been denied their Constitutional property rights to allow drilling on their land in the People’s Republic of New York. Here’s how it looked this morning:
Some more impressive production results have just been reported by Gulfport Energy for two of their Utica wells in Ohio: The Clay-1-4H in Harrison County, and the Stutzman 1-14H well in Belmont County. Recall that the most productive well we’ve heard of anywhere (Utica, Marcellus or any other play) was drilled by Gulfport, the Shugert 1-12H in Belmont County. Looks like Belmont County in particular continues to be a great place to drill.
The Marcellus Shale is the powerhouse workhorse, but the Utica Shale continues to be white hot for development. Magnum Hunter Resources and its subsidiary Triad Hunter announced yesterday the company will drill a minimum of four Utica “test wells” in 2013. Provided they find a good result, they plan “further development” of their 107,000 gross acres of Utica Shale leases later in 2013—which connotes they’ll drill those test wells early this year. In fact, Triad Hunter is already working on their first Utica well pad in Washington County, OH. A second well pad in Washington County is already in the planning stages, as is a well pad in Noble County.
Magnum Hunter’s press release outlining their plans for Ohio, including references to new OH Marcellus wells just completed and new pipelines on the way for some of their existing OH Marcellus wells:
A new report by researchers at Duke and Kent State universities takes a close look at the wastewater produced in Marcellus Shale gas well drilling. The paper, titled “Generation, transport, and disposal of wastewater associated with Marcellus Shale gas development,” appears in the January issue of the journal Water Resources Research. MDN was not able to score a copy of the full article and so must rely on the abstract and the press release (below) to describe it’s findings. However, from what we’ve read, it appears to be a careful, balanced and scientific look at the issue of drilling wastewater.
What did the researchers find? Shale wells produce about 10 times more wastewater than conventionally drilled wells, but they produce 30 times more natural gas. That is, shale wells are far more efficient and produce less wastewater per amount of gas produced than conventional wells. However, there are so darned many shale wells (in the Marcellus and other shale plays), the sheer volume of wastewater threatens to overwhelm the ability to deal with it.
We believe we’ve seen this movie before… NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his proposed 2013 budget yesterday. Not included in the budget was money to hire new inspectors for the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to inspect oil and gas drilling—inspectors that will be needed if shale drilling finally begins in the state this year.
Is the omission of money for new inspectors important, and does it indicate which way the governor is leaning with his career make-or-break decision? According to the governor himself, don’t read too much into it…
Will there be Marcellus Shale drilling any time soon in the two western Maryland counties that have Marcellus Shale? The short answer: no. You need to have drillers who want to drill, and as of now, applications to drill in the Marcellus from the four drillers who filed them with the state Department of the Environment have all been withdrawn.
In early December, MDN told you about a deal the Fairfield County (Ohio) Airport was contemplating to allow the ATEX Express ethane pipeline to be built under airport property (see ATEX Express Ethane Pipeline Will Pay OH Airport $450K). Fairfield County commissioners signed the deal yesterday and received a check for $450,000.
What do the commissioners plan to spend the money on, and when will construction on the pipeline under airport property begin?…
Hydraulic fracturing uses sand—a lot of sand—during the process of drilling for natural gas. The sand is a special kind of very pure sand called silica. It’s used to “prop open” tiny fractures in the shale so gas can drain out—hence it’s referred to as a “proppant.” Most silica is mined in the Midwest, in states like Wisconsin and Minnesota, so getting it from point A to point B for use in drilling can be expensive. Terminals are created to bring in sand by railroad and truck and to store it, making it less expensive.
Santrol, a subsidiary of Fairmount Minerals company, announced today they have just opened a new proppant terminal for Marcellus and Utica Shale drillers. The new terminal is located just south of Youngstown, OH—close the border areas of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. From the Santrol announcement: