IOGA NY Becomes “Adversarial” – DEC Must Revise Fracking Rules

frenemies Although the latest public comment period for proposed new drilling rules in New York officially closed on Jan. 11, we’re just now learning about the “comments” (more like a treatise) made by the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York (IOGA of NY) to the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), filed on the closing day of Jan. 11.

Many of IOGA of NY’s members are small and medium-sized drillers, and according to IOGA, the DEC’s latest draft of proposed drilling rules simply go too far for smaller drillers. They also say some of the new proposals are illegal. IOGA of NY provided a detailed, 119-page response/critique to the DEC which outlines chapter and verse the changes they believe must be made to the proposed new rules from the DEC before fracking in New York would be viable. A copy of the entire 119-page response is embedded below.

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PA DEP Announces New Study of Radiation in Shale Drilling

Although the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) “routinely reviews radioactivity data in wastes the oil and natural gas industry and other industries generate,” they announced yesterday a new 12-14 month in-depth study to examine radiation levels more closely in PA’s shale drilling industry to ensure “that public health and the environment continue to be protected.”

The DEP is currently seeking a peer review of the proposed study plan (plan embedded below) and will then start sampling and analyzing naturally occurring radioactivity levels in drilling wastewater, drill cuttings, and the equipment used to transport, store and dispose of drilling wastes. The study will be conducted by the DEP working with an outside firm—Perma-Fix Environmental Services of Pittsburgh.

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UGI Plans Start of PA Marcellus Pipeline Despite Zoning Appeal

Pennsylvania energy utility UGI is working hard to bring low-cost, locally produced Marcellus Shale gas to its customers in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area. Currently UGI gets natural gas for its northeast PA customers from the Gulf of Mexico, which is crazy given the abundant, local Marcellus natural gas supplies all around them. But the Luzerne County zoning board last September denied UGI the right to build a much-needed compressor station that would help bring local gas to local customers (see Luzerne County Denies UGI Permit to Build Compressor Station).

UGI appealed that decision in court, and in the meantime, they’re moving forward with building a 28-mile pipeline anyway—an extension of the Auburn Pipeline from Wyoming County to Luzerne County (see the map below for the route of the new pipeline). If UGI’s appeal for the compressor station for the new pipeline fails, they do have a backup plan…

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NY Democrat Senators (Yet Again) Push Fracking Ban Legislation

Perhaps sensing the fracking issue is about to become moot if the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation releases new fracking rules in a few weeks, a group of anti-fracking/anti-drilling Democrat state senators are once again pushing for a law to permanently ban fracking in the Empire State.

A pair of newly-elected Democrat senators joined their colleagues on the left to try and force the issue to a vote on the Senate floor—before it’s “too late”…

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Philly Refinery Strikes Deal to Export SW PA Marcellus Ethane

Marcellus Shale ethane, a valuable hydrocarbon recovered from natural gas wells in areas of southwestern Pennsylvania, will be exported to Norway from the recently reopened Sunoco Logistics terminal in Marcus Hook (near Philadelphia). Ethane and propane exports from the terminal are expected to ramp up in about two years once the new Mariner East pipeline from southwest PA is completed.

So who’s buying the ethane, and who’s selling it?…

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EQT 2012 Report: Marcellus Production Way Up, Profits Way Down

Marcellus driller EQT reported their 2012 full-year earnings yesterday (full copy below), and in the report, we get details about their massive increase in Marcellus Shale gas production—up 85% over the previous year (150.6 billion cubic feet produced). They drilled 135 new wells last year, and all but eight of them were in the Marcellus Shale.

However, even with phenomenal Marcellus growth, the company’s profits tanked year over year—down from $479.8 million in 2011 to $183.4 million in 2012. Why the huge decrease? EQT explains in their report.

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EQT’s Estimated Reserves Increase 21% to 25.9 Trillion Cubic Feet

EQT released their 2012 profits and production report yesterday (see EQT 2012 Report: Marcellus Production Way Up, Profits Way Down). In addition, EQT also released information about their “proved” and estimated reserves—the best estimate of how much gas is available to recover from their leased acreage.

Based on 2012 drilling results, EQT estimates their proved reserves (those reserves about which they are nearly 100% confident) have increased by 12% to 6 trillion cubic feet (tcf). But when you add to it “probable” and “possible” reserves, or “3P reserves,” the number goes to 25.9 tcf, a jump of 21%.

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