Cuomo: We’re Not Touching the Frack Issue During Economic Talks

vacationLogic has taken a vacation in Albany, NY. Gov. Andrew “The Ditherer” Cuomo is holding closed-door meetings to discuss how to spark economic development in the most taxed, most regulated, least business-friendly and most welfare beneficent state in the country (does that give you a hint why we’re in trouble?).

The one thing Cuomo and the “brains” sitting around the table are not discussing–the one that that would create thousands of new jobs and create billions in economic impact throughout the state? Fracking for clean-burning natural gas…
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Cuomo Underling Shah: “No Timetable” on Fracking Decision

It’s now painfully obvious for all to see that NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has instructed his underlings–DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and Health Commissioner Nirav Shah–to drag their feet on releasing a recommendation with regard to fracking. Starting in February and then again in March, Shah said he anticipated being done with his review “in a few weeks” (see NY Health Com. Nirav Shah Says Fracking Health Review Almost Done).

This week? Shah says there’s “no timetable” for a decision. Obviously Shah has already completed his review and likely discussed it with Andy the Ditherer and Andy, just like dear old dad, just doesn’t want to commit. Too bad–this issue has ruined any small chance Cuomo may have had in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes. Here’s the latest “I’m covering my boss’ rear-end” statements from Shah:

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Chesapeake 1Q13: Marcellus Production Hits 2 Bcf/d, 14 Utica Rigs

Chesapeake Energy released their first quarter 2013 financial and operational update yesterday. The big news, for MDN readers, is that Chesapeake has now hit 2 billion cubic feet of production per day (Bcf/d) from their Marcellus Shale acreage. That’s a huge milestone. They also are still gung ho on the Utica Shale operating 14 drilling rigs in the Utica, and say they’re just waiting for infrastructure (pipelines and processing plants) to catch up and then production will take off for the Utica.

Revenue for the company is up by 35% to $1.1 billion in 1Q13, although what’s left over for common shareholders was a pitiful $15 million (2 cents per share). Still, the numbers overall are looking much better, and new Chesapeake CEO Steve Dixon says the company is on track to sell off another $4-$7 billion in assets this year in their attempt to reduce the high debt load.

Below are select portions of the Chesapeake 1Q13 update, with MDN comments sprinkled in to provide context…
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PA DEP Not Releasing Report on Franklin Forks Contamination

If you thought (like we did) that the matter of potential water well methane contamination in Franklin Forks, PA was put to rest with the recent announcement by the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) that drilling is not to blame, you would be wrong. In December 2011, three families in the Franklin Forks (Susquehanna County) area complained their well water had gone bad. Nearby drilling by WPX was to blame, according to the homeowners. But after an exhaustive 16-month investigation, the state DEP announced earlier this week that WPX’s drilling is not to blame (see PA DEP Says Drilling Did NOT Contaminate Water in Franklin Forks). The DEP said the same natural conditions that closed down a nearby trailer park more than a decade ago was the cause. Case closed, right?

No. And here’s why… According to at least one news source, the DEP refuses to release a copy of the report that discloses their findings and the methodology they used to arrive at the conclusions they did. You can bet that anti-drillers will attack this like vultures picking over a dead carcass. Here is what the Epoch Times is reporting about the “missing report”:
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Chevron to Build New (Big) Regional HQ in Pittsburgh Suburb

Chevron has just stepped up its commitment to the Marcellus (and Utica) Shale region by purchasing 61 acres, including a Kmart that’s about to close, in Moon Township, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Rumor has it that Chevron will build a new 350,000 square foot office complex that will house upward of 1,750 employees when it’s done. They currently employ around 650 employees in the region, housed at several locations.

Here’s the details that are known:
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NW PA Hose Company Expands, Hires 35 People for Marcellus Work

Yet another example of how the Marcellus and Utica Shale supply chain is putting people back to work–this time in northwestern Pennsylvania’s Millcreeek Township (Erie County). All-American Hose recently hired 25 full-time employees and 10 temps and has reopened a closed plant in the process. Why? To manufacture polyurethane hoses used in the Marcellus and Utica Shale…
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Rex Energy 1Q13: Production Up 24%, Revenue Up 40%

Rex Energy Corporation, headquartered in State College, PA, released their first quarter 2013 operational and financial update on Tuesday. MDN calls Rex the “little oil & gas company that not only could, but has”–has made a success in the low-price natural gas environment, that is. Rex mostly drills in the PA Marcellus and the OH Utica Shale regions, with some conventional drilling in Illinois.

Rex reports revenue was up 40% in 1Q13 over the same period in 2012, and production volumes were up 24% over the same period last year. Very impressive. Rex is forecasting they will bring 21 new Marcellus wells and 12 new Utica Shale wells online in 2013. Here’s the complete 1Q13 update from Rex:
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PDC Energy 1Q13: Modest Uptick in Production, Utica Accelerating

PDC Energy, headquartered in Denver, CO, also has drilling operations in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale region. PDC released their first quarter 2013 update yesterday which shows production in the Marcellus/Utica was up a modest 5.9% year over year, and crude oil production (mostly in the Utica) is just starting to take off. PDC signed a midstream agreement in March for the Utica and expects development efforts in the liquids-rich Utica to “accelerate” this year.

The full update from PDC:
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Chesapeake Sells Mississippi Lime Midstream Operation for $300M

Yesterday, SemGroup Corporation announced it had signed an agreement with Chesapeake Energy to purchase all of the assets of Mid-America Midstream Gas Services (a Chessy subsidiary), which owns gas gathering pipelines and processing plants in the Mississippi Lime play. SemGroup is paying Chessy $300 million in cash.

Technically it’s not a Marcellus/Utica deal, but MDN is covering this story because…
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