CONSOL’s View of Best Counties to Drill in Ohio Utica Shale

simply the bestLast Friday at a Columbiana (OH) Area Chamber of Commerce event, Harry Schurr, general manager of Utica Shale operations for CONSOL Energy, spilled the beans on which Ohio counties he believes will see drilling for oil and gas in the near- and medium-term. He outlines where oil drilling is not going to take off (not enough pressure to pump it out), and where gas drilling will not take off until gas prices go higher. But like the story of Goldilocks, there are a few Ohio counties where the conditions (i.e. large volumes of condensate) are “just right” for drillers…
Continue reading

The Positives, and Negatives, of Shale Gas Drilling

No one pretends there are not negatives when it comes to oil and gas drilling, least of all MDN. There are some drawbacks–but the negatives must be weighed against the positives. Local business and government leaders in Carroll County, OH (the county with the most Utica Shale wells drilled, so far), had a frank discussion of the both the good and the bad in a recent meeting with State Rep. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta.

Highlights of the good and the bad when it comes to shale drilling:
Continue reading

Do More Wet Gas Pipelines to Gulf Coast = No NE Cracker Plants?

With new wet gas pipelines being built from the Marcellus/Utica to the Gulf Coast, and with new cracker plants being built along the Gulf Coast, will any ethane cracker plants ever get built in the Marcellus/Utica? It’s a serious question that more and more people are asking.

Aside from West Virginia Secretary of Commerce Keith Burdette’s eternal optimism that WV will get a commitment for an ethane cracker plant any day now (see WV “Very Much in the Game” to Get a Cracker Plant), and aside from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s changing timeline on when Shell will make a final final final final final decision on building a cracker in Pennsylvania, MDN made the following observation more than a month ago:
Continue reading

It’s Official: Williams Files Constitution Pipeline App with FERC

It’s official. Since last year we’ve known about and have reported on plans by Williams and Cabot Oil & Gas to build a new Marcellus Shale pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY–called the Constitution Pipeline (see New Marcellus Constitution Pipeline Announces “Final” Route). On Friday, Williams filed the official application for the new pipeline with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Original plans called for the FERC filing to happen in “spring” of this year, with construction set to begin in April 2014 and the pipeline coming online in March 2015. According to the latest press release, the in-service date is still on track.

In addition to three original investors, the Constitution Pipeline picked up a fourth investor just a few weeks ago (see New Partner Invests in Marcellus Shale Constitution Pipeline). Perhaps that’s why a “spring” filing became an “early summer” filing? The announcement from Williams last Friday:
Continue reading

Pricetag to Test Water at Reservoir Near CONSOL Drilling Goes Up

CONSOL Energy has a contract and has actively been drilling Marcellus Shale wells (37 so far) near Beaver Run Reservoir in Westmoreland County, PA. The reservoir provides water to some 120,000 customers in the region. Just to keep an eye on things and to be sure none of the drilling has led to contamination of the reservoir’s water, the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County contracts with Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) to conduct quarterly water tests. Students both collect and analyze the data.

Two years ago the Municipal Authority paid IUP $55,000 for the work. Last year, $75,000. This year? The price is going up to $100,000. Built in to this year’s higher price is a “third party” review of the water quality…
Continue reading

Marcellus Shale Impacts the Nuclear Power Industry Too

A Limerick update: There once was a man from… er no, that’s not it! This Limerick update is about a pair of nuclear reactors used for generating electricity–in Limerick, PA. Apparently Marcellus Shale gas is so plentiful and cheap, it’s not worth the nuclear plant’s operator, Exelon Nuclear, to ramp up the two reactors to produce more electricity as originally planned. That is, Marcellus Shale gas is not only having an effect on the coal power industry, it’s now affecting the nuclear industry as well…
Continue reading

Krancer: States Do a Good Job, Feds Should Butt Out on Fracking

Three cheers for former PA Sec. of the Department of Environmental Protection Michael Krancer who, talking on a recent radio program, said the Obama administration’s desire (and plan) to regulate fracking at the federal level is unnecessary and the “feds should back off.” He said the individual states already do a great job and the feds have no business horning in.

We sure do miss having the mince-no-words Krancer as Secretary at the DEP…
Continue reading

PA Gov. Corbett: Other Countries Interested in PA Shale Gas

According to a speech delivered by  PA Gov. Tom Corbett at the Franklin Institute on Friday, foreign businesses in both South America and Germany are very interested in cheap, abundant, clean natural gas being produced by the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. Of primary interest to them: Where’s PA headed with its shale gas program?

Of course, Corbett’s speech also attracted the obligatory small group of anti-fossil fuel nutters…
Continue reading