Wow! Some truly astonishing numbers (if they hold up) for the earnings power from a single Gulfport well in the Utica Shale of Belmont County, Ohio. According to a WVU professor who tracks these things, the Stutzman well, when brought online, will be earning in the neighborhood of $100,000 per day for Gulfport, and a huge royalty check for the landowner.
“Just stick to the news! (and quit editorializing),” is the refrain we sometimes hear at MDN. We happen to think a little editorializing, and having some fun along the way, is not only a good thing to do—it’s the honest thing to do. We don’t cover up our opinions in our reporting of the news. This story is one of the fun stories to tell (sorry, it’s not “sticking to the news”). This story is about language—specifically the word “frack”—and how anti-drillers like those at Earthworks’ Oil and Gas Accountability Project have made such wonderful hay with that word because it sounds so, well, naughty.
MDN friend and Akron Beacon Journal reporter, Bob Downing, has just published an excellent piece of investigative journalism about brine dumping in Ohio landfills. Bob has tracked down a change in policy in Ohio that theoretically allows landfills to begin accepting brine from shale drilling. Brine is (mostly) naturally occurring salt water from deep below the earth that comes out of the wellbore after the well is drilled.
Some of the state’s 40 landfills have received permits to accept drill cuttings and other solids from the drilling process, but so far none have received permits to accept liquid brine that’s solidified with fly ash and other materials. That may be about to change…
An interesting short item MDN picked up from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about driller MDS Energy.
The South Buffalo Township Planning Commission (near Pittsburgh) recently recommended that township supervisors approve a request from MDS Energy to drill three Marcellus Shale wells. The interesting bit is the liquid MDS plans to use in fracking the wells…
A few weeks ago MDN told you about 44 fourth graders at Maple Hill Elementary School in Middletown (Sullivan County), NY who were given an assignment to write an argumentative paper about fracking, and shazam! Every single one of them wrote against the practice (see Middletown 4th Graders Brainwashed by Teachers Against Fracking).
Apparently the teacher who required the assignment, and the reporter who was so impressed (hoodwinked?) that every single student individually and independently came to an anti-fracking conclusion, must have gotten a fair bit of blowback from the original story because the reporter has just penned a new story seeking to justify the assignment and the original story. The new article concludes with an interesting revelation about the teacher…
An analysis by AP finds royalty payments to landowners in Pennsylvania are quickly catching up to royalty payments to landowners in other oil and gas states like Alaska and Wyoming. The National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) said PA is their fastest growing chapter.
How much in royalty payments were PA landowners paid (collectively) for 2012? What’s the average percentage landowners are paid? And which driller has paid more than $1 billion in royalties to PA landowners since 2008? Some answers about royalties in general, and PA in particular…
More evidence of just how much the shale drilling industry impacts local businesses (the “supply chain” effect) comes from the new $400 million natural gas liquids processing plant being built in Columbiana County, OH. We reported in December the plant was on track for an “aggressive” May 2013 start date (see Columbiana County NGL Plant On Track for May Opening). The company building the plant, M3 Midstream (also known as Momentum), has revised the start date slightly to June.
Momentum’s construction coordinator Baron John gives an update on progress in building the plant, and offers a few examples of how far and wide the project has already impacted the local economy:
The regional president for BP North America Gas, Tim Harrington, say’s it’s early days yet for exploiting the Utica Shale for gas, oil and liquids. In a presser on Friday, Harrington used a few words MDN hasn’t heard before—words like “producibility” and “prospectivity.”
The upshot of Harrington’s talk? BP will figure out what their prospects look like in Ohio’s Utica Shale over the next two years…
The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency on Saturday published final regulations covering Emergency Response Planning at Unconventional (i.e. Marcellus) Well Sites (a copy of the new regulation is embedded below).
The regulation was adopted by the EQB in November following a review by the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board last September. The regulation sets requirements for the preparation and implementation of emergency plans at Marcellus Shale drilling sites.
We expect board members from the Allegheny County Council—the people in charge of the airport and approving the deal—are about to get an earful at a public hearing about the deal being held on Feb. 7. Here’s the details for that hearing: