Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Jun 10, 2013

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

New York

Sen. Thomas Libous: Land-owning LLC was idle before 2008
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
A limited liability company that was partially held by Sen. Thomas Libous was never listed on his financial disclosure forms because he said it sat idle until he divested from it in 2008. After he divested, the company bought properties in Chenango County that could be used for natural-gas drilling.

Otsego County Opportunity Lost in Natural Gas Battle
Natural Gas Now
Otsego County, New York, wrestles with the economic difficulty of operating a long-term care facility, the operation of which could have been more easily supported had the Town of Middlefield not scuttled natural gas development plans that might have supplied the facility.

HBO’s Gasland II will amp up national fracking debate Partisans will love, hate sequel. What about mainstream?
Shale Gas Review
Competing visions of fracking went head to head last night in upstate New York. Josh Fox screened his much-anticipated Gasland II at a school auditorium in the City of Binghamton, before a crowd of about 400 people. Phelim McAleer, a drilling supporter staking his career on discrediting the work of Fox, screened Frack Nation in front of several hundred viewers at an American Legion post in Vestal, about 20 minutes away.


Kasich proposal likely to surface in Ohio budget compromise talks
Akron Beacon Journal
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is trying to line up support in Ohio’s drilling heartland for his proposed oil-and-gas tax increase by offering to send a quarter of the proceeds back to Appalachia. The emerging proposal is likely to surface as part of compromise talks on the $61.7 billion, two-year state budget that cleared the Ohio Senate in a 23-10 party line vote Thursday. Both GOP-led legislative chambers have thus far rejected the drilling tax increase, but they supported significantly different tax packages that will need to be reconciled.

Vice President of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association Speaks to Guernsey Energy Coalition Meeting Thursday
Cambridge Daily Jeffersonian
Guest speaker at the meeting was Pete MacKenzie, vice president of operations for the Ohio Oil & Gas Association. MacKenzie presented a geological review of the progress of Ohio’s Marcellus and Utica Shale formations. “We are not alone. The shale revolution is happening in the United States and everywhere around the world,” he said. “As a geologist, I can give you examples of why the Utica Shale is so promising, in regards to gas and oil production.” MacKenzie recounted the history of gas and oil drilling in Ohio, noting 1953, when hydraulic fracturing revitalized the industry.

Learning from Marcellus, Utica producers patient for midstream build-out
SNL Financial
Ohio’s lead oil and gas regulator is bullish on the prospects of the Utica Shale and expects dramatic production results once the state’s midstream infrastructure catches up to producer needs. Rick Simmers, chief of oil and gas resources management at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, on June 6 said companies have learned from the rampant drilling that outpaced infrastructure in the Marcellus Shale and have taken a more measured pace to Utica development.

Minority Business Association Connects With Shale Industry
Energy in Depth – Ohio
This week in the heart of Ohio’s Utica Shale play some folks from the oil and gas industry held a joint event with the Minority Business Association in Stark County (aka the Utica Capital). The purpose was to discuss connecting the growing natural gas industry with the strong and diverse minority-owned businesses of Stark County. The day began with welcoming remarks from Canton’s own Ron Ponder, who is well-known in the community due to his long-standing popular radio show.

Savage Services Opens at Ohio Commerce Center
Youngstown Business Journal
Savage Services will service companies in the Utica shale play from its new operation at Ohio Commerce Park. The materials handling and management company, based in Salt Lake City, will immediately commence transloading bulk materials to and from railcars, manage materials flow, and manage safe rail operations.


Engineering a giant
Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
The Borton-Lawson engineering firm celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, and co-founding civil engineer Tom Lawson said that when he and his partner, Chris Borton, started the company, they had no idea they would be so successful. Now, with 160 employees at four regional offices around the state, they recently took some time to reflect on where they started, where they are and where they’re headed.

Dallas (PA) school buses now powered by propane
Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice
What’s yellow on the outside, green on the inside and doesn’t belch black smoke out of its rear end? The answer: A new Dallas school bus. When they are delivered in July, Dallas’ new transportation contractor, Pike County-based G. Davis Inc. will have 22 new school buses ready to serve the district exclusively, making Dallas the first school district in Northeastern Pennsylvania to switch to an all-propane fleet.

PA Fracking Petition: “Largest Ever” or PR Stunt?
Natural Gas Now
Freelance journalist Josh Wengler investigates the “largest ever public outcry” against fracking in the Commonwealth and finds it looks more like a cheap stunt than anything else, with all too little credibility.

In Two States, 80% Of Drilling Companies File Frac Focus Reports On Time But 20% File Late: What’s The Right Response?
John Hanger’s Facts of The Day
Many states have made reporting to Frac Focus part of their chemical disclosure requirements, and a new analysis finds that 20% of the required reports were late in Pennsylvania and Colorado.

West Virginia

NTSB releases 1,400 pages on West Virginia pipeline explosion
AP/Akron Beacon Journal
Federal investigators are releasing more than 1,400 pages of documents about a natural gas pipeline explosion in Sissonville, but they won’t provide any analysis or identify the probable cause of the near-disaster last December. The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday’s document dump will be factual in nature, including interview transcripts and photos. Officials won’t be answering any questions.

Gastar Exploration Announces Management Promotions
Gastar Exploration Press Release
Effective today, Michael McCown will assume the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and will be responsible for operations in the Marcellus Shale and Hunton Limestone areas. In addition, Michael Gerlich will continue as Gastar’s Chief Financial Officer and has been promoted to Senior Vice President. J. Russell Porter, Gastar’s President & Chief Executive Officer, commented on the announcements, “The acquisition of the additional interests in Oklahoma significantly enhances Gastar’s position in the Hunton Limestone oil play and increases our potential resource exposure to over 100 million barrels equivalent. Gastar is now positioned in two plays, the Marcellus Shale and Hunton Limestone, that we believe provide the opportunity for drill repeatable wells that generate attractive returns.


U.S. natgas rig count flat for 4th week at 354 – Baker Hughes
The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States this week remained unchanged for the fourth straight week, hovering just above an 18-year low posted in early May, data from Houston-based Baker Hughes showed on Friday. The gas-directed rig count stood at 354 after sinking to 350 during the week ended May 10, its lowest since June 1995.