Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jun 11, 2013

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

New York

FrackNation / Gasland Showdown of the Century in Callicoon, NY
Natural Gas Now
A journalistic duel played out on the streets of Callicoon on June 8th. Academy award nominee and HBO backed Manhattanite, Josh Fox, vs. people funded Kickstarter backed Irishman, Phelim McAleer – a regular David (McAleer) vs. Goliath (Fox) scenario. The theater where Gasland Part II was being shown appeared to be filled to capacity.


Ohio AG Opinion: County Can Sell Water To Operators
Energy & Environmental Law Blog
Recently, the Ohio Attorney General issued an opinion concluding that a board of county commissioners has the authority to sell water to oil and gas operators. See OAG Opinion 2013-019. The Attorney General went on to conclude, however, that a county does not have the authority to enter into multi-year contracts with private entities to act as a “broker” for the county’s water supplies.

County commissioners wary of severance tax plan
Zanesville Times Recorder
The Muskingum County commissioners said Monday they won’t support the governor’s revised energy severance tax plan, despite projections that almost $400 million could be funneled to infrastructure maintenance projects in Appalachian Ohio. Commissioner Jim Porter said he wanted to see actual monetary projections for how much Muskingum County would benefit from the tax proposal, which remains under negotiation as part of the state’s House-Senate conference committee markup of the biennial budget.

Area’s 1st natural gas filling station to be built near Girard
Youngstown Vindicator
The Mahoning Valley will fall in line with a growing national trend when a Dublin, Ohio-based company begins construction on the region’s first compressed natural gas filling station before year’s end. The two-dispenser station, expected to cost up to $2.5 million, will be built at the Mr. Fuel truck stop and gas station at 2840 Salt Springs Road in Weathersfield Township. IGS Energy CNG Services has formed a partnership for its CNG dispensers to sit adjacent to Mr. Fuel’s gasoline pumps.

Drilling bonanza benefits some, bypasses others in Noble County
Columbus Dispatch
Farmers who struggled all their lives to pay the bills can see a future, almost within reach, of island vacations and college funds for the grandkids. The money would come from the oil and gas industry, which has put drilling rigs on some of the tallest hills and is digging the paths for pipelines. “About everybody up here is going to benefit from the ruckus and the mess, so it’s not so hard to take,” said Wayne Miley, a farmer whose family has been on the same Noble County land for more than 200 years.


Trouble at Talisman
Alberta Venture
On a Tuesday in February, employees working at Talisman Energy’s downtown Calgary headquarters received notices that they were being laid off. Among those let go were the very same kinds of highly skilled engineers and geologists that Talisman and other Alberta energy companies were crawling over each others’ backs to hire just a few years ago. The layoffs won’t be the last for the troubled oil and gas company’s remaining 1,500 Canadian employees, either, as Talisman aims to cut general and administrative costs by 15 to 20 per cent within the year.

Is Natural Gas Running Coal Off The Grid?
The Allegheny Front
For decades, coal has been a steady, reliable source of fuel for electricity. But a contender to has joined the mix: natural gas, fed by new hydraulically-fractured wells across the country. A central question many are asking is “Can natural gas lower carbon emissions for electricity generation?” To help answer that question, we head to gas-fed power plant: Bill Day walks onto a platform at the Fayette Energy Facility. It’s a vast warehouse-type building that’s about five or six stories tall. There’s actually a building in the building. Inside sits a turbine engine, the heart of the power plant.

Access Midstream Partners: Shining Star Of Tomorrow
Seeking Alpha
Access Midstream Partners, L.P is one of the leading players of the industry. They own, operate, develop, and acquire natural gas, natural gas liquids and oil-gathering systems in the United States.

West Virginia

Doddridge County, WV Floodplain Drilling Moratorium Lifted
The Exponent Telegram reports a moratorium on floodplain oil and gas drilling permits in Doddridge County, WV has been lifted. The Doddridge County Commission voted 2-1 on June 4, 2013 to lift the moratorium, which had been in place since December 18, 2012.

LGCR Assists Client in Navigating Doddridge County’s New Floodplain Ordinance
West Virginia Natural Gas Blog
In December of 2012, Doddridge County’s floodplain ordinance was declared unconstitutional by the Circuit Court. As a result, the Doddridge County Commission issued a moratorium on all floodplain permits. Jay-Bee Oil & Gas had already begun drilling two horizontal wells when the Doddridge County Floodplain Administrator issued a stop work order. Due to the moratorium, Jay-Bee could not comply with the order’s requirement to obtain a floodplain permit. To address this legal catch-22 and to get its operations back on track, Jay-Bee challenged the stop work order in Circuit Court.


Natural Gas Demand Grows Strongly As Production Remains Flat, Prices Poised To Rise
Seeking Alpha
United States natural gas production in the lower 48 states fell by 0.6% in March, according to the Energy Information Administration. Output dropped from 73.12 bcf/d to 72.71 bcf/d. That leaves output up by 0.85 bcf/d, or 1.2%, from a year ago. However, as can be seen from the chart below — output hasn’t changed much over the past 15 months. The evidence suggests that the steep decline in the rig count has not had a meaningful impact on production.

Coming To America: Greater International Investment Could Be Coming To Oil And Gas Midstream Sector
International investment in the US shale dominated the news several years ago as US companies teamed up with global partners to capitalize the enormous cost of developing new shale plays. That wave appears to have mostly subsided, but a new dynamic is taking shape that could lead to a second round of international JVs–this time in the US midstream sector.

U.S. EIA: Shale oil, gas abundant globally
Akron Beacon Journal
Estimated shale oil and shale gas resources in the United States and in 137 shale formations in 41 other countries represent 10% of the world’s crude oil and 32% of the world’s natural gas technically recoverable resources, or those that can be produced using current technology without reference to economic profitability, according to a new EIA-sponsored study (see Table 1) released today (June 10, 2013).

Oil, Gas From Shale Seen Rising as More Nations Explore
Global resources of oil and gas from shale formations are greater than previously estimated as more nations join efforts to explore for deposits following a burst of production in the U.S. The U.S. Energy Information Administration released a fresh assessment of worldwide resources of oil and gas in shale, which are tapped by hydraulic fracturing, showing tight oil resources could be 345 billion barrels. Shale gas estimates were increased by 10 percent from 2011, to 7,299 trillion cubic feet.

Sterne Agee expects rig count to climb in 2013-2014
Akron Beacon Journal
The U.S. rig count has started creeping higher since the April trough despite headwinds from lower gas activity. Overall, the rig count has advanced 27 rigs from the early April trough (1,738) and is basically unchanged year-to-date at 1,765 rigs with oil rigs up 79 (6.0%) and gas rigs down 77 (17.9%). We expect rig count growth to improve throughout 2H13 and 2014 driven by rising oil drilling near term and higher gas activity in late 2013/2014.

University of Tennessee seeking drilling leases on 8,000 acres
Akron Beacon Journal
The University of Tennessee is officially seeking bidders who want to drill natural gas wells on land it owns on the Cumberland Plateau. The Tennessean reports the University of Tennessee released its request for bids on Friday. The proposal has generated controversy because it will involve a process known as fracking to extract the gas.

Survey: Many Americans Don’t Know What Fracking Is
U.S. News & World Report
Despite all the buzz about domestic natural gas and oil resources revolutionizing the nation’s global energy role, many Americans haven’t heard of the controversial technique used to extract those resources. More than half of those surveyed by the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication said they knew little or nothing at all about hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. About 22 percent of people surveyed said they’ve heard “some” about fracking, and just 9 percent heard “a lot.”

CSU studies natural gas pipeline methane emissions
The Coloradan
How much methane do natural gas pipelines release into the atmosphere? Colorado State University is working with both the natural gas industry and an environmental group to find out and to define what the national emissions rate is for natural gas transmission lines and storage facilities. CSU mechanical engineering professor Bryan Willson at the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory is leading the study, which will collect data from possible methane sources in natural gas transmission lines, including compressor stations and underground storage facilities.


Asia is paying top prices for LNG shipments
Bloomberg/Akron Beacon Journal
The shale boom that’s putting the U.S. on course for energy independence is providing little comfort for liquefied-natural gas consumers in Asia. “If you want cheap gas, there is no gas,” Fereidun Fesharaki, the chairman of Facts Global Energy, an energy consultant, said at a conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.“You’re going to pay at least $12 to $13 per million British thermal units,” compared with about $4 in the U.S., he said.