AP’s Non-Story About PA Water Wells “Contaminated” by Drilling

nonstoryYes ladies and gentlemen, it’s been entirely too long since the Marcellus Shale drilling industry has had a serious allegation of water contamination leveled against it, so it’s time to manufacture a faux “controversy” and attempt to smear the industry. Thank God for the AP and Scranton Times-Tribune, who will readily comply and do just that.

First, the latest smear job by AP that attempts to say that 161 PA water wells have been “contaminated” from 2008-2012, then our analysis of this sham story to set the record straight.
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Shock Moderator for JLCNY’s Drilling Education Session in Albany

MDN has to confess this one is a head scratcher. Last week MDN received a media alert that the 77,000-member Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) has taken up Gov. Cuomo’s challenge to educate lawmakers and the general public about shale gas drilling. The JLCNY will host a meeting in Albany for lawmakers, their staff, and “those charged with decisions related to natural gas development in NY state” on May 30. The educational session is appropriately titled, “Top Myths of Natural Gas Development: Debunked.”

The head scratcher is who will moderate it: Anti-drilling former Gannett reporter and author, Tom Wilber…
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Marcellus/Utica Gas Going to Japan: TGP Signs 20-Year Export Deal

Last week the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP), which runs through the Marcellus/Utica region, signed a 20-year agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan to ship natural gas to the Gulf Coast (Louisiana) where it will be liquefied–turned into LNG–and exported to Japan. This is the second such agreement to export Marcellus and Utica Shale gas to Asia. A little over one month ago Dominion announced a 20-year deal to export 100% of the output from their planned Cove Point, MD LNG plant. The gas from Cove Point will go to both India and Japan (see Dominion’s Cove Point LNG Facility Achieves Important Milestones).
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The Long (Federal) Road to Approve GreenHunter’s Barge Terminals

GreenHuner Water has purchased seven facilities along rivers in PA, WV and OH where it hopes to open operations to barge either fracking wastewater or brine to other locations “down river” for disposal by injection wells. The latest barge facility purchase made by GreenHunter is in Wheeling, WV (see GreenHunter Buys Barge Terminal in Wheeling for Frack Wastewater). The big gamble by GreenHunter is that they will receive approval by the U.S. Coast Guard. The gamble got bigger when it was revealed the Obama White House, via the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), would also need to approve it (see Obama “Inches” Toward Approving Barge Shipments of Frack Water).

The gamble is now much bigger by orders of magnitude. The Coast Guard says in addition to themselves and the OMB, the Dept. of Energy, Dept. of Transportation and the federal EPA will also have a hand in the review and decision on whether or not to allow barging of fracking wastewater  and brine:
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BLM Releases Revised Rules for Fracking – Why it Matters

In May 2012, the Dept. of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a new list of rules for fracking on federal lands (see BLM Issues Proposed New Rule for Fracking Federal Lands for a copy of the original proposed rules). The proposal was a disaster and quickly pulled by the BLM for reconsideration. A year hence and they’re back with BLM’s Fracking Rules 2, a revision of their rules for how drillers must operate on federal lands. A full copy of the newly revised rules is embedded below.

Reaction to the new rules, by the drilling industry, is tepid. The American Petroleum Institute rightly asks: Why do we need federal rules for something that’s working just fine as regulated by the states? You may wonder why MDN cares about this issue when there’s virtually no federal land in the Marcellus/Utica region–most federally-owned land (700 million acres) is in the Western U.S. Why care? Because these rules will likely one day be expanded to cover private land too (see Feds ‘Hope’ States will Use BLM Rules for ALL Fracking).
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Bluegrass NGL Pipeline Going Through Guernsey County, OH?

In March, Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners announced a joint venture to re-purpose existing pipelines and build new sections of pipeline to carry natural gas liquids from the Marcellus/Utica region to the Gulf Coast for processing (see Williams, Boardwalk Announce Marcellus-to-Gulf Coast NGL Pipeline). The exact route of the new Bluegrass Pipeline, as they call it, has not been disclosed. However, we have an idea of where some of it will be built as it crosses Ohio…
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OH Watershed District Cuts New Water Deal for Gulfport Fracking

MDN told you a month ago that the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) had voted to sell water from its plentiful reservoirs and lakes to Antero Resources and Gulfport Energy for use in Utica Shale fracking operations (see Muskingum Watershed Votes to Sell 209M Gals of Water for Fracking). Of the 209 million gallons they agreed to sell, only about 25 million would be sold to Gulfport.
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Senate Confirms MIT Prof Moniz as Energy Secretary, Antis Mad

The U.S. Senate last week confirmed the appointment of Ernest “Hair” Moniz to be the new Secretary of Energy. You know why we affectionately call him “Hair” if you’ve seen a picture of him. Make no mistake–Moniz is a liberal Democrat and tilts left in many things. However, he’s probably the best candidate we could have hoped for in the tragedy called the Obama administration.

Dr. Moniz is a really smart guy–like Albert Einstein smart. He’s also a realist when it comes to natural gas–he believes it’s a good bridge fuel for the next 50 years or so, until we reach renewable nirvana. In other words, he speaks the truth and he speaks his mind. Of course, the nutty anti-drillers don’t like it and are bellyaching about his confirmation…
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Reuters Says ND Pumps More Oil in 1 Day than OH Did in All 2012

Reuters continues to pile on the bash-Utica bandwagon after the release last week of what MDN termed “disappointing” initial production numbers from the Ohio Utica Shale. MDN tried to keep perspective and provide context to the numbers in our Friday article (see OH 2012 Utica Production: A Slow Start, but Still Hopeful). However, Reuters (not for the first time) is doing their best to burst the bubble on what they call a “wave of euphoria” over shale plays like the Utica:
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Oil & Gas Lease Problems? Ask the Experts

Someone at the Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP law firm has a sharp eye for marketing. Every few weeks they re-bundle some of their previous blog posts on oil & gas drilling and issue them as a downloadable ebook. They’ve done it again. Their latest is titled “Common Oil and Gas Lease Conundrums” and it’s a good read for landowners. We’ve embedded it below for your convenience.

In particular we like the article, “My Sister is a Fractivist and Won’t Sign an Oil and Gas Lease. What Can We Do?” Practical advice from legal experts to answer some tough questions. Really great marketing! Take a moment to read this latest from Porter Wright…
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Calendar of Events for May 20 – Jun 2, 2013 [Free]

Below are upcoming events for this week and next.


New York



West Virginia