A flash fire at a "pig receiving station" along a Eureka Hunter pipeline near Wick (Tyler County), WV last Thursday evening seriously injured three people requiring they be airlifted to Pittsburgh. A fourth person was taken to a local hospital. Sadly, one of the seriously injured workers, 56-year-old Bruce Phipps of Marietta, Ohio, died late Friday night. Pipeline Inspection Gauges (or Pigs) are used for pipeline cleaning, inspection and maintenance, and fluid batching in pipelines. A pig is pushed along the inside of a pipeline by the flow of liquid or gas. A pig launching station is used to insert the pig into a pipeline using a series of valves and hatches. The pig is pushed through the pipeline by the liquid or gas stream to the pig receiving station.
It was at such a receiving station where the flash fire occurred. According to news accounts, the flash fire was under control within 15 minutes…
Whether it was from industry lobbying, landowner pushback, or just lack of interest, a number of bills introduced in the West Virginia legislature’s 60-day session for 2013 (which adjourned Saturday) failed to get enough traction for a vote and have died.
A short list of the measures that didn’t measure up:
The 77,000-member Joint Landowners Coalition of New York issued another request from gas drilling supporters late last week to keep sending letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an attempt to convince him to move forward with authorizing drilling. Saying that "we ARE winning in NY," and that this is now "a numbers game," JLCNY president Dan Fitzsimmons provided two more form letters for supporters to print out and send (both embedded below). MDN encourages you to do it…
The executive director of the PA Fish and Boat Commission, John Arway, is "mad" and says the Marcellus drilling industry is "stealing" PA’s water and not paying for it, and that ticks him off. Solution? Make industry pay. Oh, it will also help close a shortfall in his department’s budget of $9 million too (starting in 2017).
Apparently both Republicans and Democrats are showing interest in the idea and have introduced a measure in the PA Senate to study the idea of slapping a surcharge on PA’s water:
On Friday, CONSOL Energy (CNX Gas) issued an operational update for the first quarter of 2013. CONSOL said they had a "strong" start to 2013 by drilling 14 new horizontal wells—12 of them in the Marcellus, and 2 in the Utica.
Here’s the portion of the update dealing their gas drilling operations which identifies not only what they did, but where they did and didn’t do it, and in the case of joint ventures, who they did it with:
Although Friday for Magnum Hunter Resources was marred by the sad news of the flash fire in Tyler County, WV, the company (earlier in the day) issued a good news press release, one of importance: Magnum Hunter, through it’s subsidiary Triad Hunter, has just started drilling it’s first Utica Shale well in Ohio—northern Washington County.
The press release identifying where it’s being drilled:
Tax day. Yuck. The IRS has issued a helpful guide for landowners in the Marcellus and Utica Shale (or anywhere for that matter) called "Tips on Reporting Natural Resource Income" that will lists IRS publications that can help. It appears their list of resources page (see below) was posted on the IRS site on April 11–not really time enough to do much about it now except to quickly file an amended return (if you’ve already filed) or an extension (if you haven’t filed). As painful as it is, landowners should review the information below—at least scan it—to be sure you’re not overlooking something important.
From lease bonus payments to royalties to "depletion deductions," the IRS has it covered…
PA State Rep. Jesse White, a Democrat from Cecil with an ongoing grudge match with Range Resources (and someone who claims to be in favor of responsible drilling), will soon introduce a bill into the PA legislature that would ban Marcellus Shale wastewater frack ponds. He’s looking for co-sponsors for the legislation and using the new Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) as his political cover/excuse to push for it.
White incorrectly states the CSSD’s new standards call for the elimination of open impoundments or frack ponds. Standard #3 says no open ponds for fracking fluid, but Standard #4 says open frack ponds are permissible for "produced" or "flowback" water—the deep layer salt water that comes out after the drilling fluid has been removed (see MDN’s summary of the rules here: Important: Drillers & Enviros Form New Group, Launch Cert Program). Although he uses the CSSD for justification, White’s proposal goes well beyond what they’re stipulating…
A young college co-ed from Dickinson College has penned an editorial run in the Harrisburg Patriot-News proving what a valuable education one gets at Dickinson—where they teach kids that drilling destroys the environment. (Hint: You may want to re-think sending your children, and your money, to Dickinson College).
Here’s her "brilliance" on display (with snarky MDN comments inserted):
Air Products is located on the outskirts of Wilkes-Barre, PA. If you’ve ever heard of the Air Products business, you may conjure up an image of small cylinder tanks of helium or other "rare" gases sitting inside a chain fence. Yes, Air Products sells gases by the tank, but they also manufacture the mother of all gas tanks, and that’s where the shale gas business comes in…