An article on the Investors Business Daily website published yesterday chronicles how Cabot Oil & Gas has built a cash-generating asset (a virtual money machine) with their Marcellus Shale wells in Susquehanna County, PA. One of the analysts quoted in the article says the numbers for Cabot are “wildly economic,” and another wonders what they’ll do with all their available cash!
The interesting tidbit from the article for MDN is an estimate for how much it costs Cabot per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) to get the gas from those Susquehanna County Marcellus wells. Previous numbers we’ve seen thrown around as the breakeven price for Marcellus drilling in northeastern PA are from $2.88 – $3.44 per Mcf. However, the analysts say that for Cabot, the number is MUCH lower… Continue reading
In early May, two wastewater treatment companies owned by the same person, Pennsylvania Brine Treatment and Hart Resource Technologies, were merged into one company called Fluid Recover Services (FRS). FRS was subsequently bought out by Aquatech (see Marcellus Wastewater Company Aquatech Buys Competitor FRS). FRS has become a new division within Aquatech headed by the former owner, Paul Hart. What you many not know, however, is that the three original FRS facilities once accepted Marcellus Shale wastewater, treating and discharging it into area waterways–a practice that stopped in April 2011 under the direction of then Sec. of the DEP Michael Krancer. Why did it stop? Because of concerns (now confirmed) that low levels of radioactive particles were making their way into streams–levels above safety standards. Continue reading
Two Bradford County, PA men thought they’d make a quick buck by attempting to shake down Cabot Oil & Gas with fraudulent claims that Cabot had certain “environmental violations” in their Marcellus Shale drilling program in Susquehanna County, PA. The men wanted hush money from Cabot to go away. Instead, Cabot turned them in. The men pleaded guilty and are now under house arrest and probation. Here’s the details as we know them: Continue reading
NY State Health Commissioner and Gov. Cuomo should pay attention to a comprehensive new 169-page report/study commissioned by the (hated) Halliburton but performed by the independent Gradient Corporation titled, “National Human Health Risk Evaluation for Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Additives” (full copy embedded below). The report takes a detailed, scientific look at the potential effects of fracking fluids on human health. Specifically, the report considers possible chemical migration from underground target formations as well as situations where chemicals spill on the surface.
The conclusion? Neither underground migration nor surface spills pose an “adverse risk” to human health. Even in worst case scenarios where chemicals are spilled on the surface (the only practical way for fracking chemicals to contaminate water supplies), the amount of chemicals used in fracking fluid becomes so diluted so quickly it’s an non-issue. Continue reading
The climate research organization Climate Central released a report this week titled, “Natural Gas & Climate Change” (full copy embedded below). The report obliterates Cornell professors Howarth and Ingraffea’s wildly overstated estimates of how much methane leaks into the atmosphere from shale drilling. It also says the EPA themselves are still overestimating how much methane leaks. The report says we still need better measuring and monitoring to see accurately just how much methane is leaking. Continue reading
Finally! Somebody “gets it” when it comes to the issue of taxing and regulating the shale drilling industry. John Hanger, the former Secretary of the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) under Ed Rendell, toes the liberal Democrat line that PA should jack up shale drilling taxes sky high and increase burdensome regulations in PA (see Hanger, O-R Support Redistribution of Drilling Wealth in PA). Hanger is running for the Democrat nomination for PA governor. Sadly, he is a frequent Obama apologist and his proposed policies would plunge PA back into the huge budget deficits that current Gov. Tom Corbett saved them from (with very hard choices).
However, there are government officials (besides Corbett) who understand the more you tax and regulate something, the less of it you get, and the less you tax and regulate something, the more of it you get. Pretty simple to understand, and a universal law of economics. Where do government officials understand this basic rule of economics? That would be in the country of Poland, in Eastern Europe, where Polish government officials have decided they want shale gas drilling and will eliminate all taxes on it until 2020, and they’ll lighten up on burdensome regulations as well… Continue reading