Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, May 22, 2013

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


Appalachian Lab professor honored for fracking report
Cumberland Times-News
Keith Eshleman, a professor at the Appalachian Laboratory and an expert in the field of watershed hydrology, has been honored by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science with the President’s Award for Excellence in Application of Science. Eshleman was recognized for his leadership in preparing a landmark report on best management practices for unconventional natural gas extraction, also known as fracking, as part of the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative established by Gov. Martin O’Malley.

New York

Natural Gas and the New York Family
Energy in Depth – Marcellus
As women living in the Marcellus Shale region of the United States, it is important to understand what natural gas means to our families. Having seen the film Women of the Marcellus, I decided to look into what it is like to try to raise a family in an economically deprived area with an abundant natural resource under our feet.


The “bust” in Ohio’s Utica shale: a less pessimistic voice is heard
The release of Ohio’s 2012 production figures last week by the state hit the market with a thud, disappointing just about any analyst who checked in with their views. “Bust” was a commonly-heard theme about the Utica, supposedly the next-great US shale play. So it took a few days, but there’s now an alternative voice, put forth by Sandy Fielden of our friends from RBN Energy. Fielden, in a just-released analysis, makes two points: it’s too early to get too worked up, and the Utica play is going to benefit from preparing for a rush of condensate production.

UPDATE: Central Ohio Transit Authority Ready for Transition to CNG Fleet
Energy in Depth – Ohio
Earlier this month, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) released its first 30 CNG buses for use. While they don’t look much different than the typical diesel-fuel bus, COTA will definitely notice the difference in cost. They pay about $3.20 for a gallon of diesel fuel, but will pay only about 80 cents for a gallon equivalent of natural gas. All told, COTA could save $28,800 a year in fuel costs for each bus. Akron’s METRO Regional Transit Authority saved about $600,000 on fuel last year because of their CNG vehicles.


Financing the Seeds of Doubt on Shale
Energy in Depth – Marcellus
A review of funding provided to groups opposing hydraulic fracturing shows that NGOs and Foundations provided over $35 million in 2012 to groups working to block shale development which includes $100,000 for the creation of Gasland III before the second iteration of the pathos-driven film series is even released on HBO.

Production and reclamation Well production, daily monitoring, and prep for market sales
Towanda Daily Review
This is the fifth part in a six-part series giving a step-by-step look at the process that a natural gas company conducts to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. The series is a collaboration with Chesapeake Energy and the company’s methods of operations are not meant to reflect the operations of other natural gas companies. “During the production phase, we are preparing the natural gas to be sent to market,” Rory Sweeney of Chesapeake Energy said. “We want to get the highest price for the gas that we can, which is obviously in the best interests of landowners as well, and that can include some costs to process it.”

Digging Deeper on the Times Water Contamination Story
Energy in Depth – Marcellus
The Scranton Times Tribune published an investigative article with the inflammatory headline “Drilling Killing Water.” Of course, a review of the article itself and the data underlying it show a much different set of circumstances than the Times-Tribune headline would lead you to believe.

DEP to Clean Air Council: Compressor Station Emissions Model Doesn’t Reflect Actual Data
Energy in Depth – Marcellus
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently responded to a report put out by the Clean Air Council (CAC) of Philadelphia, which had alleged high emissions from the Barto compressor station in Penn Township, Lycoming County. Real data, however, show emission levels far below federal requirements.

Anadarko And Southwestern Energy Negotiating With DCNR To Drill In Loyalsock State Park
NPR reports that two producers and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) are negotiating the right to access sub-surface gas deposits in the Loyalsock State Forest. The Loyalsock State Forest consists of about 100,000 acres and stretches across Bradford, Lycoming, and Sullivan counties and sits above deposits of the Marcellus Shale. Anadarko and Southwestern Energy Company own the sub-surface mineral rights under about 18,000 acres where the DCNR owns the surface. There is an additional 7,000 acres in the Loyalsock State Park where the producers appear to own both the surface and sub-surface rights. The ongoing negotiations between the producers and the DCNR have riled environmentalists seeking the preservation of the special plants, endangered birds and animals that reside in the area.

Rose Tree Media School District receives natural gas grant
Delaware County Daily Times
State officials have awarded the Rose Tree Media School District a $499,994 Natural Gas Vehicle Development Program grant which will go toward an upgrade of the district’s school bus fleet. The grant is being administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as part of Act 13 known as the Marcellus Shale Impact Fee legislation. Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, signed Act 13 into law last year which authorized impact fees for natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.


When oil forecasts get it wrong
Christian Science Monitor
Oil forecasts fail so often that it’s puzzling that the media, governments, corporations, and the public put so much faith in them, Cobb writes. Those whose plans were based on the IEA’s 2000 oil forecast were completely blindsided by developments just a few years later.

Rising U.S. Oil Supply and the Impact on Global Markets
Energy Tomorrow
The head of the federal agency that analyzes energy data [the Enery Information Administration] says the recent growth in U.S. production has helped reduce the price of Brent crude, a leading global benchmark, by about $25 a barrel. That’s big, because the cost of crude oil is the single biggest factor in the price of gasoline.

America’s Energy Opportunity
Foreign Affairs Magazine
At present, oil and gas production, renewable energy, and fuel-efficient automobile technologies all show great promise. None of them alone offers a panacea. And the continued pursuit of all of them will not fatally undermine any central U.S. objective.

Why Chesapeake’s New CEO Makes It A Better Long
Seeking Alpha
After years of acquiring enormous assets which made Chesapeake Energy Corporation second only to Exxon Mobil in natural gas production, CEO and Chairman Aubrey McClendon, who founded the company, was forced to leave April 1, and has now been replaced by Anadarko Petroleum executive Robert Douglas Lawler.