Is Anadarko Leaving the Ohio Utica Shale?

A story in the Columbus Dispatch floats the rumor that Anadarko Petroleum, one of the country’s largest drillers, has not only suspended plans to drill in a 9,000-acre wild game preserve in Muskingum County, OH (known as “the Wilds”), but they also may be abandoning plans to drill anywhere in the Ohio Utica and the 141,000 acres they control…

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The Non-Issue of Water “Disappearing” in the Fracking Process

As the number of Utica Shale wells drilled in Ohio increases, so too does the need for water. Each well fracked uses, on average, about 5 million gallons of water. Some of that water is recycled, but most of it (80%) stays in the ground. Anti-drillers try to use the issue of water “disappearing” from the hydrologic cycle to scare the hoi polloi, but a Gannett article does a nice job of laying those fears to rest.

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Youngstown Wastewater Dumper Pleads Not Guilty in Federal Court

Some truly amazing chutzpah from the Youngstown, OH company caught dumping untreated frack wastewater down a drain that eventually emptied into the Mahoning River (see Youngstown Shale Wastewater Dumper Faces Jail and Big Fines for background).

Ben Lupo, the owner of the company who concocted the “allegedly” illegal plan, and Michael Guesman, the employee he co-opted into participating, both pled “not guilty” in federal court on Friday to the very acts they’ve already admitted doing:

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Some OH Counties Happy Their Oil Prospects Improve on ODNR Map

The new “best places to drill” map from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) continues to generate buzz. Some counties, like Meigs, are happy they’re back on the map for natural gas drilling (see related article from today). Other counties are saying, “Hey look, we’re on the map for oil!”

Four counties along the western edge of the Utica on the map for potential oil drilling include…

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Meigs County, OH “Back on the Map” for Possible Utica Drilling

The prospects for Utica Shale drilling in Meigs County, OH may have just improved. Last year the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) released a revised “best places to drill” map that pretty much removed Meigs County from contention for Utica Shale drilling. Leasing in the county tanked. Two weeks ago, that same map was revised and a good portion of Meigs (located in southeastern OH) is once again “back on the map”…

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PDC Nearly Doubles Utica Shale Drilling Budget for 2013

PDC Energy announced today they are nearly doubling their drilling investment in the Utica Shale—this year—from $53 million to $96 million. They plan to keep one drilling rig busy at all times in the Utica this year and drill a total of 11 Utica Shale wells. Their plans also include a deal with MarkWest Energy to provide midstream services for the wells they drill. PDC also plans to use a small amount—$9 million—for drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

PDC’s announcement today:

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Cracker Talk: WV Says Small/Regional Ethane Cracker on the Way

The Marcellus 2 Manufacturing (or M2M) Conference convenes this week in Charleston, WV (see this MDN calendar announcement). One of the main topics of conversation for the event? You guessed it—West Virginia will soon get its own ethane cracker plant. The talk now is that WV will get a “baby cracker” online long before Shell builds a full-sized cracker in Monaca, PA.

Joe Eddy, chairman of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association (chief sponsor of the M2M conference), is president and CEO of Eagle Manufacturing in Wellsburg, WV. Here’s what he said about a small/regional ethane cracker recently announced for WV:

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Overview of Magnum Hunter’s Operations in Marcellus/Utica

An article on the Seeking Alpha website takes a close look at Magnum Hunter Resources and offers the author’s opinion on where the company should focus in 2013 (the author believes Kentucky and Tennessee should be the focus). As part of the article, we get this overview of how much acreage Magnum Hunter holds in the Marcellus and Utica, how many wells they’ve drilled thus far (hint: not many), and a map of their acreage position in Appalachia:

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WVU Study Finds Potential Problems with Frack Wastewater Pits

As part of the West Virginia Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act passed and signed into law in December 2011, the state legislature directed the WV Dept. of Environment Protection to conduct several studies. One of those studies, due by Dec. 31, 2012, was the Impoundment and Pit Safety Study. The study was done on Dec. 17, but only recently released to the public (February 15, 2013).

Details are now emerging from the study (full copy of the study is embedded below), including a warning there may be problems with the way oil and gas drillers are building waste pits for shale drilling, and with how state inspectors are checking them:

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PA Enviro Groups Oppose Using Acid Mine Water for Fracking

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection and elected officials want Marcellus drillers to help them with a big problem in the state: acid mine drainage. To solve two “problems” at once—lessen the amount of acid mine water that drains into PA waterways and supply water for fracking—PA encourages drillers to use acid mine water with the Environmental Good Samaritan Act and with a Consent Order and Agreement (see PA Wants Drillers to Use Acid Mine Water in Fracking – Will They?). PA’s efforts have started to pay off. Seneca Resources and at least 10 other drillers have started to use acid mine water for fracking.

However, just like a bad Western movie, extremist environmental organizations have ridden in to ruin the day. Legislation to encourage more use of acid mine water for fracking was recently introduced by a Democrat (!) Senate member. PennEnvironment and other “environmental activists” have sidelined the legislation…

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Range Gets Violation Notice for Wastewater Spill in SW PA

A very small spill (about 40 barrels, or 1,680 gallons) of recycled fracking water with no chemical additives in it was spilled in Cross Creek County Park (Washington County), PA on Feb. 12 by Range Resources. The state Dept. of Environmental Protection has issued Range a notice of violation and is investigating…

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OH Congressmen Form LNG Working Group to Encourage Exports

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan announced last week that he and Ohio Congressman Bill Johnson have founded the “Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Export Working Group” for the 113th Congress. The purpose of the group is to encourage the Obama administration (specifically the Dept. of Energy) to get off it’s collective rear-end and start approving some of the many requests for permits to export natural gas.

Congressman Ryan’s press announcement:

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