The Andy & Junior Show: Why NY Fracking is Delayed Yet Again

narcissist The truth came out over the weekend from, of all places, the Associated Press (see below). New York Gov. Andrew (“Andy”) Cuomo’s former brother-in-law, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (we’ll call him “Junior”), couldn’t resist his “the whole world revolves around me” narcissistic tendencies to let the media know that he, Junior, is the real reason fracking in New York is now dead.

Andy was all set to approve up to 40 test wells for fracking just last month, then Andy (a 1-percenter) talked with Junior (another 1-percenter) and that sealed the fate of 77,000 New York landowners (99-percenters) who want to lease their land for drilling.

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Anti-Fracking Andy – The Giant (Jobs) Slayer

The ongoing moratorium against the miracle of fracking in New York State for horizontal wells has had a devastating effect on the state’s conventional (vertical) natural gas drilling. The moratorium is, in effect, killing all drilling in the state, according to the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York (IOGA of NY). It’s also killing thousands of jobs supported by the conventional drilling industry.

Commenting on the “rumor” (blabbed by ex-brother-in-law RFK “Jr”) that Gov. Cuomo will delay a fracking decision until a health study just begun in PA is completed, IOGA of NY said the following:

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EnerVest Strategy: Sell Utica, Drill Vertical, Expand Midstream

In September of last year, EV Energy Partners/EnerVest put 539,000 Ohio Utica Shale acres on the auction block, thinking they would get around $6 billion for it (see EnerVest Puts 539,000 Utica Shale Acres on Auction Block). In November, the company said they should complete the sale of the Utica acreage by the end of 2012 (see EV Energy Selling 539K Utica Shale Acres by Dec 31). That turned out to be a tad optimistic. EnerVest still does not have a deal for their Utica acreage.

An update on the company’s strategy from EV Energy Partners Chairman John Walker and EnerVest President Mark Houser, from Friday’s analyst call:

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Halcón Resources: Full Speed Ahead in Utica Shale for 2013

Houston-based Halcón Resources Corporation issued their fourth quarter and full year 2012 financials and operational update last week. As MDN has been reporting, Halcón is ramping up in the Utica Shale (see Location of Second Halcon Utica Well in Trumbull County, OH). Their 2012 update further confirms that they are making a big push in the Utica for 2013.

In the extract below discussing Halcón’s Utica plans for 2013, we learn they have 130,000 acres, plan to drill 20-25 new wells and will spend $200 million on their Utica drilling program for the year. Interestingly, both of their completed Utica wells are located in the Pennsylvania Utica—not in Ohio…

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Lawsuit: WV Landowners Want Out of $5/Acre Leases

About 120 West Virginia landowners are suing Magnum Land Services and Belmont Resources with the claim the company’s representatives hoodwinked them into signing leases to allow shale drilling for as little as $5 per acre when, at the time (in 2007), other West Virginian’s were getting as much as $5,000 per acre. The case is headed to federal court.

The (few) details as we know them:

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Richland County, OH: No Permits to Drill, but Lots of Leasing

Although Richland County, Ohio is near the outer edge of the Utica Shale and has had no permits issued for Utica Shale drilling, and although drilling close to Richland (in Ashland County) has had “disappointing” results for companies like Devon Energy, the Ohio Farm Bureau reports there’s still a lot of leasing activity in Richland County, with some really nice signing bonuses…

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Park Foundation Funds Army of Water Testing Volunteers in NY

The anti-drilling Park Foundation—the organization that funds such luminaries as the husband and wife lawyer team David and Helen Slottje (see Slottje Alert: Lebanon, NY About to be Fleeced)—is hedging their bets just in case Gov. Cuomo suddenly grows a spine and allows safe fracking to go forward. How? They’re funding 100 volunteers to test New York waterways on a regular basis with the thought the testing could be used in court to prove fracking is causing damage to groundwater supplies—when and if fracking ever comes to New York.

The misleadingly-named Community Science Institute provides so-called “volunteers” to do the testing:

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Calendar of Events for Mar 4-17, 2013 [Free]

Below are upcoming events for this week and next.

New York