Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, May 16, 2013

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading:

New York

How frack waste will travel
The Chronicle
These maps from a permit application by XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corp., were made available by the Damascus Citizens for Sustainability to show transportation plans for fracking wastes across upstate New York and their proximity to New York’s reservoirs. The first map shows the path that radioactive drill cuttings will take across New York’s southern tier. The cuttings, produced during well drilling in the Marcellus Shale and other deep shale formations, consist of the soil, rock particles, other soil like solids and drilling fluid residues generated from the drilling of wells.

New York Ranks Third In Total Carbon Emissions From Natural Gas
John Hanger’s Facts of The Day
New York’s reliance on natural gas for daily life is underlined by the fact that it ranks third among all states in portion of its total carbon emissions that come from natural gas. Natural gas accounts for 37.6% of all its carbon emissions.


Grass-roots group to collect air samples in southeast Ohio
Akron Beacon Journal
Ohio is joining the Bucket Brigade. That’s the name given to the air-testing system organized by the California-based Global Community Monitor that relies on citizen volunteers, said organizer Teresa Mills. Twenty volunteers from Athens, Monroe, Washington and Portage counties were trained on May 11 in Athens.

OOGEEP Trains 1,000 Firefighters for Oil & Gas Industry
Energy in Depth – Ohio
The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) firefighter training program reached a milestone recently when it trained its 1,000th firefighter to respond to an oilfield emergency. Since 2000, firefighters from seven states have participated in the one-of-a-kind program which is funded entirely by revenues from Ohio’s oil and gas producers.

Fracking the Suburbs: An Explosive Combination?
Yes! Magazine
As rural deposits of fossil fuel grow fewer and farther between, extractive industries are increasingly siting their operations over the next best location: suburban neighborhoods. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, the Marcellus shale formation beneath parts of the Midwest and Appalachia contains literally trillions of cubic feet of natural gas—the most accessible of which often lies beneath residential neighborhoods.


Bending the Natural Gas Polling Curve Down
Energy in Depth – NMI
[This is an excellent analysis and follow-up to MDN’s story about this poll published yesterday. // Read it!] A recent story in State Impact focused on the results of one poorly phrased and misleading question out of several in a poll that ended up showing broad public support for natural gas development. That one question suggested citizens of both Michigan and Pennsylvania desired moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing but other survey results contrasted sharply with this conclusion.

WPX Energy Shares Continue To Rise On Pa. Ruling
WPX Energy Inc. shares continued to rise Tuesday, hitting their highest price in more than a year, after regulators ruled that the natural gas driller wasn’t responsible for water contamination in Pennsylvania. THE SPARK: Late last month, Pennsylvania regulators said their 16-month investigation showed that high levels of methane and other contaminants in the private water wells at three homes didn’t result from WPX’s drilling.

West Virginia

Editorial: Coal down, gas up
Charleston Gazette
Another national report confirms that West Virginia’s economy is undergoing a historic transition: Mined-out mid-Appalachian coal operations are fading, while the new Marcellus gas industry booms. Easy-to-reach coal seams mostly are gone, and remaining Appalachian coal is too expensive to compete with the flood of low-cost natural gas.

Bob Ovitz: Natural gas to power our region’s transportation future
Charleston Gazette
Our region is realizing significant economic and environmental benefits every day. However, we must continue to identify innovative ways to further leverage this historic opportunity. Right here in West Virginia, positive progress toward making this important, homegrown fuel source more widely available to consumers is taking hold. Noble Energy, in collaboration with government and industry partners, is working to lay the foundation for a broad-based compressed natural gas (CNG) infrastructure network that will fuel more of our cars, school buses and fleet vehicles across the region.


US producers could add 25-50 Bcf/d of gas by 2025: Enterprise
Each US shale play could add from 1 to 5 Bcf/d supply by 2025, adding in total up to 50 Bcf/d to the market, and still be profitable at prices below $5/MMBtu, an official with Enterprise Products Partners said Wednesday. Speaking at Benposium in Houston, Tony Chovanec, the vice president of Texas-based midstream company, said lean Marcellus Shale will likely add from 5 to 11 Bcf/d. In addition, rich Marcellus will add from 2 to 4 Bcf/d, Utica 2 to 5 Bcf/d, Barnett and Fayetteville will likely each add from 2 to 3 Bcf/d, Haynesville 4 to 5 Bcf/d, Eagle Ford from 1 to 4 Bcf/d, and all other shale plays will have gas additions ranging from 1 to 4 Bcf/d.

Rockies Express Aims to Be Shale ‘Expressway’
NGI’s Shale Daily (paid or free trial access required)
What once was Rockies producers’ hotshot ride to higher netbacks is to be remade as the “expressway to the markets” from the Marcellus and Utica shales. The Rockies Express Pipeline LLC (REX) is embarking on a “great reversal” with the aim of sparing Appalachia producers the pricing pain felt so deeply out west half a decade ago. “…Utica gas needs to flow west,” REX Chairman Bill Moler said Wednesday at Bentek Energy LLC’s Benposium in Houston. “It can do 1.8 Bcf/d west to east; it’s a very minimal capital expenditure for us to turn that pipe around or make it truly bi-directional so it will be 1.8 Bcf/d east to west. We need to act now. The price downfall is coming.”

Teacher and Principal Pressured to Resign Over Students’ Presentation About Fracking
Huffington Post
At Evergreen Middle School near Denver, Colorado, young members of Earth Guardians made a presentation and sang a rap which has infuriated local parents and brought angry threats upon the school and the youth. Some are calling it “liberal indoctrination” others calling it “censorship,” the school has apologized, and what started out as a simple presentation by 13-year-old Xiuhtezcatl and his 9-year-old brother Itzcuauhtl has turned into a national story. The youths presentation included a rap that they wrote about the dangers of fracking stating, “poisoned the water, poisoned the air, poisoned the people, do you think that’s fair?” and included a call-and-response for the students, “When I say what the, you say frack. What the… frack, what the… frack.”

Anadarko’s Walker Named Chairman as Hackett’s Reign Ends
As Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) Chairman Jim Hackett steps down and heads off to Harvard Divinity School, Chief Executive Officer Al Walker’s biggest challenge is convincing investors nothing will change at the $45 billion global oil explorer. Hackett, 59, who more than tripled Anadarko’s market value during almost a decade of leadership, was succeeded last year as CEO by Walker, who already was serving as president. Walker combined those roles with chairman after the company’s annual meeting yesterday, marking the first time he’ll be charting future projects without Hackett.

Natural Gas Fracking Eases Gulf Hurricane Threat: Energy Markets
Bloomberg/Washington Post
U.S. natural gas prices, pushed to a record high after hurricanes Katrina and Rita barreled through the Gulf of Mexico eight years ago, are now more vulnerable to winter freezes than tropical storms after production moved onshore with the growth of drilling in shale formations. The two storms that struck within a month of each other in 2005 cut Gulf gas output to as little as 4.52 billion cubic feet per day from 10 billion, sending futures to $15.378 per million British thermal units. By the time Hurricane Isaac went ashore in Louisiana seven years later, daily Gulf production was 4.09 billion, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The future of fracking in East Tennessee
The debate over fracking continues in East Tennessee as UT moves forward with its proposal to bring the controversial energy extraction process to the Cumberland Forest. The University of Tennessee has considered the idea of fracking the 8,300-acre Cumberland Forest, which lays in Morgan and Scott Counties, since at least 2001. But, the process is not new to Tennessee.

Natural-Gas Exports Loom Large Over Washington
National Journal/Yahoo! News
Along the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, a little more than an hour south of the U.S. Capitol, sits a facility whose golden days of importing natural gas are gone. Back in 2004 and 2005, when fuel prices were high, ships hauling natural gas from overseas docked here two or three times a week. Since 2012, the 131-acre facility has seen just two ships, neither of which carried natural gas for U.S. markets. Rather, their purpose was to bring fuel to cool the liquefied natural gas already stored in seven massive tanks.


Quebec seeks fracking moratorium in shale gas rich area
The Canadian province of Quebec, citing public concerns, unveiled a bill on Wednesday to impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, in a region rich in shale gas deposits. The province’s minority Parti Quebecois government needs opposition support to adopt the moratorium – which would last a maximum of five years. It would ban gas exploration and extraction in the Lowlands region of the St Lawrence River, site of the rich Utica and Lorraine shale gas formations.