PA State Rep. Jesse White, Democrat from Cecil, PA, is hosting a hearing next week in Western PA that will look at the state Dept. of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) policies in conducting water testing near shale drilling sites. The one organization that won’t be there? The DEP. They’re calling White’s hearing next week political theater, unproductive, unprofessional and a waste of time…
It’s painfully obvious the reason New York is not moving forward with hydraulic fracturing is because of its governor, Andrew Cuomo. He’s the man the New York Times says “is becoming Hamlet on the Shale,” meaning he’s dithering and indecisive. Not good qualities to have if you’re a political leader seeking the highest office in the country.
Yesterday, Cuomo continued his pathetic excuses about why there’s an ongoing delay with fracking in New York State. Also yesterday, the group representing 77,000 landowners with more than a million acres of land to lease fired back at the DEC’s latest delay. Plus, we have a bit more insight from a pro-fracking lawyer about Joe Martens’ mysterious statement of moving forward with permits even without new regulations. Read on…
Rex Energy is planning to invest nearly $200 million on shale drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shale in 2013. Around $107 million of that will be allocated for drilling in the Marcellus, in the Butler County, PA area, and about $85 million will be spent on Utica Shale drilling in Ohio. See a Rex presentation embedded below for full details of their 2013 drilling plans.
Here’s a rundown of their plans for Ohio’s Utica Shale from the Energy in Depth – Ohio website:
Yesterday MDN reported the story that air pollution in Pennsylvania overall has gone done significantly from 2008 to 2011 due to the increased use of Marcellus Shale gas now being mined and used (see “Thank You for Fracking” – Air Pollution Goes Down in PA). The reason air pollution has gone down is mainly due to the switch away from burning coal to burning natural gas.
However, closer analysis of the data (MDN has not been able to get a copy of the full report—yet) shows that in PA counties with a lot of shale drilling, certain kinds of air pollution went up during that period even though the state average went down. Why? Mainly because of (we’re guessing) the increased use of diesel engines used in the equipment operating at drill sites and from the large number of trucks coming and going to drill sites. Compressor plant emissions also contribute to the increase.
The numbers continue to increase for permits issued and wells drilled in the Ohio Utica Shale. The latest report from the Akron Beacon Journal, including the number of active drilling rigs in the Ohio Utica:
On Monday, MDN reported the outlines of a deal from Appalachian Resins Inc. to bring a “small” ethane cracker plant to a location “south of Wheeling,” in West Virginia (see “Small” Ethane Cracker Plant Coming to Wheeling, WV). Although we don’t know the exact location yet, we do have a few more details on the rapidly-progressing deal, which looks more promising each day:
In a pair of press releases issued yesterday, the now bankrupt Norse Energy Corp. wanted to let the market know “we’re still here, we’re still looking for investors, and we’re still hanging on by a thread hoping that New York allows us to start drilling any time now.” That’s about the sum total of what was said.
If New York does begin to issue shale drilling permits (a really big “if”), Norse is likely to be one of the first companies to receive permission to drill because they are one of the first companies to file permit applications for drilling in the Marcellus/Utica in New York.
A for-profit company that pools acreage from both landowners that want to lease their land, and from energy companies with leases who want to re-sell those leases, is trying to get the attention of Anadarko and other drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale. Encore Energy issued a press release yesterday announcing they have land available for lease. They specifically tap Anadarko on the shoulder to tell them they have 1,300 Utica Shale acres “just 3 miles” from land they’re already drilling on in Washington County, OH.
Encore is shopping more than 18,000 acres across a number of Ohio counties, including Morgan, Washington, Noble, Guernsey, Monroe, Athens and Meigs. Here’s their “hey Anadarko, pay attention” press release:
MarkWest Energy has been slapped with a $306,000 fine by the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection for polluting a small stream near its new Mobley processing plant in Wetzel County. The plant just went online in December (see MarkWest’s Mobley, WV Wet Gas Processing Plant Goes Online). During construction of the plant, the DEP says MarkWest’s work caused landslides of dirt, trees and other debris into a nearby creek.
MarkWest has agreed to pay the fine and “accepts responsibility” for the damage, yet they officially admit no wrongdoing under the proposed settlement order. Hmmm.
Not everyone on the pro-drilling side of the isle agrees with MDN when it comes to the tragedy that is the Obama Administration. We told you our opinion of the president’s State of the Union Speech yesterday (see The Great and Powerful BHOz Threatens Edict on Global Warming).
The Marcellus Shale Coalition—a Pittsburgh-based industry organization that is tops in our book—doesn’t see it the same way. They think there were good things resulting from the speech. Here is their take on what Obama said on Tuesday:
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: