USGS: Best Places in NY Southern Tier to Get Water for Fracking

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has identified three large-scale groundwater supply sources along the Susquehanna River in Broome and Chenango counties (New York State) in an announcement about a newly completed study (full copy of the study is embedded below). The USGS says these three potential groundwater supply locations are in areas where there may be future shale gas drilling activities.

Essentially, the USGS has provided the drilling industry and regulators at the DEC and SRBC with a helpful “best places to get water for fracking” guide…

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2nd Forced Pooling Order in OH Utica, Landowner Gets No Bonus

For the second time since the Utica Shale drilling boom began, the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (DOGRM) has issued a forced pooling order (in Carroll County). In Ohio it’s called a “unitization order.” No matter what you call it, it means that the driller—Chesapeake Energy—will be allowed to drill under someone’s property that doesn’t want it because a majority of the surrounding property (88% in this case) is leased and the property in question is needed to complete a drilling unit.

Not only is this news because it’s only the second unitization order issued for Utica Shale drilling, it’s news because in this case DOGRM is not forcing Chesapeake to pay a leasing bonus to the reluctant landowner—a change from the first unitization order:

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GreenHunter Buys Barge Terminal in Wheeling for Frack Wastewater

Yesterday, GreenHunter Water announced they have purchased a 10.8 acre barge terminal site in Wheeling, WV that sits along the Ohio River. GreenHunter plans to convert the former gasoline storage facility into a shale wastewater handling and storage facility that will recycle wastewater so drillers can reuse it, or ship it by barge to other locations (like injection wells) for disposal. The GreenHunter announcement raises a number of questions and observations. MDN will add its analysis below.

First, the announcement from GreenHunter issued yesterday:

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NatGas Prices Inching Higher, $4 Mcf This Summer?

This is not a story about the Marcellus/Utica per se, but it has a direct bearing on landowners (how big their royalty checks are) and the drilling industry (whether or not they’re willing to sink a hole) in Appalachia.

The enormous success of the shale drilling industry has been its own worst enemy in one respect: Demand for natural gas as not kept pace with the enormous flood of new supplies, and that has led to a commodity price “collapse” since 2011. Even though domestic supplies of natural gas are now at an all-time high, prices are once again inching up and it’s expected the commodity price will hit $4 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) sometime this year—perhaps this summer. Why? The switch from coal to natgas in electric power generating plants…

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Carrizo Problem Fracking NE PA Well, Evacuates 3 Nearby Families

Carrizo Oil & Gas temporarily lost control of a Marcellus Shale gas well they were fracking in Wyoming County, PA on Wednesday. The company was in the 23rd stage Wednesday about 6:00 pm when wastewater and brine started to flow at a rate of about 800 gallons per minute—too fast to control. The concern was that natural gas (methane) would start pouring out of the hole too, so Carrizo and a specialty well control crew worked through the night and by early Thursday had the problem contained, and by Thursday afternoon they had the well capped. No methane was released into the atmosphere and the wastewater was contained.

During the episode three families that lived within 1,500 feet of the well were evacuated as a precaution. They returned on Thursday. Here’s the details about the accident as we know them:

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XTO, Beck Energy Appeal OH Case Allowing Lease Termination

Earlier this week MDN told you about 600-700 landowners in Ohio who won a lawsuit allowing them to terminate leases held with Beck Energy and XTO Energy (see OH Lawsuit Victory: 600-700 Landowners Can Terminate Beck, XTO Leases).

Beck and XTO are none too happy with the decision and have appealed it to the Ohio Court of Appeals:

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Marcellus Supply Chain: How Credit Union Targets PA Shale Workers

MDN always marvels at the innovative ways businesses figure out how to market and do business in the Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling industry. Often referred to as “the supply chain,” businesses doing business in the shale industry is an often overlooked success story. We often hear about restaurants and hotels seeing a large increase in business, but numerous other businesses also benefit. Case in point: Utilities Employees Credit Union.

UECU has begun new marketing strategies to attract customers from those working in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale industry. Here’s their strategies to increase business from the Marcellus:

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Columbia’s SE PA Pipeline Project Includes Compressor Upgrade

Columbia Gas Transmission, a subsidiary of Nisource, has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to add 16 miles of new pipeline in southeastern PA and NJ to help fire a natural gas-fired electricity generating plant with cheap Marcellus Shale gas. As part of that project, Columbia is upgrading a compressor station in Forks Township (Northampton County), PA. The interesting thing about the upgrade? The compressor station’s next door neighbors don’t mind at all…

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