NY Senator Grisanti Introduces 3 Fracking Bills – Is it a Sign?

Signs Buffalo-area State Senator Mark Grisanti, a Republican, recently re-introduced several bills he previously introduced last year about this time, dealing with hydraulic fracturing in New York State. MDN received a tip from a Norse Energy investor forum that Grisanti had introduced a bill that creates a high volume hydraulic fracturing waste tracking system at the Dept. of Environmental Conservation. True, he did indeed introduce that bill (again) and the bill has been sent on to the Senate Environmental Conservation committee. Norse investors, among others, are attempting to read any tea leaves they can find for news that New York is about to allow horizontal fracking. Is this such a sign?…

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EVEP’s Utica PR Offensive: Good Oil Pressure, Low Drilling Costs

Yesterday, MDN told you about EV Energy Partners/EnverVest’s (EVEP) mission to sell at least some of the 539,000 acres of Utica Shale leases they hold in Ohio (see EV Energy Partners Deal to Sell 104K Utica Acres Dead, What Now?). As part of the investor update call with EVEP on Tuesday, company chairman John Walker went on a PR offensive by saying drillers are watching how much oil will be produced by a well in Tuscarawas County (where EVEP is trying to unload acreage), and by saying the cost to drill a Utica well has come down, by up to 50%, from what it was when drillers first started in the Utica just a few years ago.

Walker’s comments from Tuesday:

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Zeits: Is NW PA the Next "It" Place for Marcellus/Utica Drilling?

An important and extensive new analysis of what may be the “next frontier” in Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling comes from MDN’s favorite Seeking Alpha writer and energy analyst, Richard Zeits. In a post from yesterday, Zeits makes the case that northwest PA offers “promising stacked-play, liquids-rich potential in the Marcellus, Utica, and Upper Devonian shales but still remains a barely touched exploration frontier.”

What has Zeits turned on about NW PA? NGLs—natural gas liquids…

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Halcon Resources Completes 2 Utica Shale Wells…in PA!

Halcon Resources, a driller headquartered in Houston, TX, is active in half a dozen different shale plays in the U.S., including the Utica Shale. The surprise part is that Halcon is drilling in the Utica in Pennsylvania as well as Ohio. Yes the Utica does underlay a large part of PA as well as eastern OH, but only a handful of Utica wells have been drilled in PA (from all drillers) because the prolific Marcellus Shale layer under PA has commanded the most attention.

Halcon’s CEO Floyd Wilson says the company has two rigs drilling in the Utica now, but it’s still very early days for “one of the most exciting unconventional resources plays in the lower 48.” Two of the eight wells they’ve spud (i.e. drilling) in the Utica are now completed—both of them in PA:

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Medical Socity of NY Renews Call for Fracking Ban at Confab

The (Liberal, Anti-Drilling) Medical Society of the State of New York renewed their call for a statewide ban on fracking at their “House of Delegates” confab last weekend in Tarrytown, NY. This is not the first time this lefty group has called on state politicians to continue screwing landowners in the state out of their Constitutional right to drill on their own land.

Of interest, there was a guest speaker at the meeting—someone very much a part of the NY fracking story. A potential conflict of interest?…

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WV Drillers Have 2 Weeks to Review Complex New Air Pollution Regs

The West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Division of Air Quality recently issued a draft document of new and revised regulations for controlling air pollution from oil and gas drilling well sites—and it’s a doozy. At 135 pages long (full copy embedded below), good luck reading, deciphering, and preparing to make intelligent comments on it—all by April 29th! (Railroading?) It appears to MDN the draft regulations are mostly aimed at complying with new rules issued by the federal EPA.

It seemed to us in a cursory glance that the internal combustion engine (in particular) is in the cross hairs…

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PA’s Commonwealth Pipeline Project Suspended – Indefinitely

In December, MDN told you that work on the 120-mile Commonwealth Pipeline, a Marcellus Shale pipeline running from Lycoming County to the Philadelphia area was “on hold” (see Commonwealth Pipeline for Marcellus Region on Hold). You can now change that to work has been “suspended” on the pipeline—indefinitely. Did the anti-drillers win this particular skirmish in the fracking wars?

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EQT Sheds Divisions/Assets to Focus on Marcellus Shale

In a shareholders meeting held Wednesday at EQT Corp in Pittsburgh, the company laid out a strategy of focusing on drilling for shale gas in southwestern PA. That means they will continue to divest from other businesses, like their Equitable Gas utility company (waiting for regulatory approval to sell it), and the sale of their coalbed methane acreage in Virginia.

EQT plans to focus like a laser on the Marcellus Shale:

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