Last week the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) released a number of new maps. Two of them, in particular, will be of interest to MDN readers: A map which displays the location of wells permitted and/or drilled, and a map showing Total Organic Carbon (TOC)—an indicator of the “best places to drill.” Both maps are embedded below.
Last Wednesday when the New York State Assembly voted to extend a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing another two years, after having had a moratorium for near five years already, many landowners in Broome County were surprised and disappointed to see a seeming change in position for an influential member of the NY State Assembly. Donna Lupardo, Assemblywoman for the City of Binghamton, Village of Endicott and the western Broome County towns of Vestal and Union, voted in favor of the two-year ban on fracking. Such a ban, if passed, would effectively kill drilling in New York—likely permanently. Two years ago she voted against a similar piece of legislation. Why the change?
MDN contacted Ms. Lupardo to ask that very question. She sent this response via email:
Intrepid Utica Shale reporter Bob Downing from the Akron Beacon Journal attended the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) annual winter meeting in Columbus last week. Bob filed the following list of “leftover items”—interesting tidbits—from that meeting, including the identity of the first company that will abandon the Utica:
A court case recently-decided could have big implications for landowners in Ohio. The case means that some 600-700 landowners with signed leases with Beck Energy Corp. and XTO Energy in Monroe and Belmont counties may be able to join a class action to have their leases terminated, allowing them to re-sign with a different company.
The details, as provided by law firm Jackson Kelly:
Although the Tennessee Gas Pipeline and the Tetco pipeline (both major natural gas pipelines) run through Athens County, OH, and although there are several compressor plants in the county, so far there’s been very little shale drilling in the county, and none that specifically targets the Utica Shale. However, with a change in the “potentially good places to drill” map published by the Ohio Geological Survey (see today’s related story), that may change…
An article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer provides an update on what’s happening “behind the scenes” when it comes to Ohio’s proposed budget. In particular, it provides a glimpse of something you don’t often hear about: “blunt” conversations that happen in the hallways of the State Capitol.
The article tells about conversations state representative Mike Foley, a Cleveland Democrat, has had with some oil & gas industry people about his support for Gov. John Kasich’s proposed severance tax increase:
Last week MDN told you about a lawsuit by landowners in Preston County, WV who sued to rescind leases they had signed for as little as $5 per acres (see Lawsuit: WV Landowners Want Out of $5/Acre Leases).
The companies being sued, Magnum Land Services and Belmont Resources LLC, have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit:
Antero Resources continues to sign residents of the village of Barnesville (Belmont County), OH to leases with terms of $5,700 per acre for a signing bonus, plus 20% royalties. A month ago MDN told you about the push by Antero in Belmont County and Barnesville (see Antero Offers Barnesville, OH Residents $5,700/Acre 20% Royalties).
According to one of Antero’s main cheerleaders, Barnesville Mayor Ron Bischof, the company has signed a number of residents (records show over 800 leases) and they’re still offering the same deal. It’s not too late…
MDN tries to avoid “inside baseball” stories as much as possible—those stories that are highly technical and involve complex math and science. We avoid them not because they aren’t important—they are. But because readers often don’t have the time to study the issue properly to understand it. When possible, we try to interpret such stories and give you “the bottom line.” This is one of those stories.
In December 2011, the Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) published a paper by a number of authors associated with NOAA—the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The paper, titled “Hydrocarbon emissions characterization in the Colorado Front Range – A pilot study,” took a close look at natural gas drilling and using some rather complex science, made the bombshell claim that a large amount of methane escapes into the atmosphere during the drilling process. In the parlance of scientists, the issue is called “fugitive emissions.” Those who buy the claims of manmade global warming say methane is a “potent” greenhouse gas—so if a lot of it escapes into the atmosphere, that’s a bad thing. It causes the globe to heat up.
Below are upcoming events for this week and next.
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: