Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Jun 5, 2013

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

New York

New York’s Fracking Ban Suffocates New Yorkers
Upstate New York is in economic crisis. And New York’s moratorium on hydrofracturing, or “fracking,” is impeding recovery. In New York City, private sector wages grew by 4 percent in real terms between 2000 and 2011. But in New York State’s Southern Tier, in counties such as Broome, Chemung, and Tioga, wages declined by one percent. Over the past decade, employment in New York City has grown by 9 percent. But in Binghamton and its surrounding suburbs, in Broome County, employment has declined by 11 percent over the same period. Elmira, in Chemung County, has seen a decline of 8 percent.

Bamberger Hamburger
Natural Gas Now
Michelle Bamberger and friends are at it again, telling people the natural gas industry is responsible for sick animals — offering not even a shred of evidence of causation.

Berkshire Only Hears Misinformation About Natural Gas
Energy in Depth – Marcellus
There was a meeting in Berkshire, N.Y., recently, put together by a group of natural gas opponents. They invited three supposed “experts” to speak, including Craig Stevens, otherwise known as the founder and President of Energy In Denial, a would be business generator of business for trial lawyer Charlie Speer, who’s made his money suing hog farmers and now wants to shift to suing natural gas companies.

Cuomo Delays – New York Residents Leave
Energy in Depth – Marcellus
Three New York residents have left their home state in search of work. Their search has brought them to Washington County, Pa., where all three now have good paying jobs in the natural gas industry.


Business ecosystems: A web of opportunities
The natural gas processing plant rising on a hillside above state Route 644 looked like an Ant Farm let loose on an Erector set. Air compressors rumbled. Heavy-equipment tracks clacked across dirt. Crane booms swung and dipped over tanks and towers shaped like stubby Zeppelins and silver rockets. With the completion deadline a month away, some 500 workers a morning arrive at the 120-acre site in southern Columbiana County. The night shift brings 100 more.

The Utica Shale Won’t Be Held Back for Long
The Motley Fool
It hasn’t been easy for oil and gas producers as they’ve drilled into the Utica Shale of Ohio. Producers have faced a number of issues, including finding the play to be much less oily than hoped, while facing push-back when using water for fracking even as production is being held back by a lack of infrastructure. This has made several producers think twice about whether the Utica will ever develop into a top-tier play.

Pennant’s Utica shale gas facility, pipeline coming soon
Columbus Business First
Pennant Midstream is ready to begin building a processing facility and start moving natural gas through a new pipeline as part of its $300 million project to serve the Utica and Marcellus shale plays in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Pennant, a joint venture between NiSource Midstream Services and Hilcorp Energy Co., is constructing a natural gas liquids processing plant near Youngstown in Mahoning County and about 55 miles of pipelines through northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

IGS Energy building up its CNG fueling network with station near Youngstown
Columbus Business First
IGS Energy CNG Services plans to build and operate a $2.5 million compressed natural gas fueling station in the Youngstown area as it extends its reach into the CNG realm. The company, which shares ownership with natural gas supplier IGS Energy Inc. of Dublin, said the station in Girard will serve a growing number of Ohio businesses and drivers converting their vehicles to compressed natural gas.

Mahoning Valley Industrial Parks Filling Up on Oil, Natural Gas Investment
Energy in Depth – Ohio
The Ohio Commerce Center has improved vastly in the past three years, thanks in part to shale development. Owners George and Spiro Bakeris purchased the park three years ago and have since invested millions of dollars to improve infrastructure and attract new tenants. Workers are continuing construction on new rail infrastructure improvements, which have actually brought in a new tenant from the oil and gas industry. Salt Lake City-based Savage Services, a materials handling and management company, has come to transload bulk materials to and from rail to accommodate oil and gas operations in eastern Ohio.


Washington Co. DA Investigating Jesse White
KDKA CBS Channel 2
First he denied it, now he concedes it’s true. Anti-drilling state representative Jesse White admits he used fictitious names and identities — like Victoria Adams — to attack pro-gas supporters on the internet. Now, Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone confirms that he has launched an investigation to determine whether white has broken any laws.

Editorial: Allegheny legislator must go
Johnstown Tribune Democrat
It would be hard to imagine an Allegheny County legislator remaining in office after committing such dastardly and immature acts involving constituents. State Rep. Jesse White has apologized for anonymously attacking constituents who support Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling and calling a woman an “industry troll.” White apologized last week for online attacks that included saying the woman was “dumber than a box of rocks.”

Firm appeals restraint on seismic testing in Pittsburgh region
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Three of the 136 explosive underground charges that regulators say were illegally set in mid-March at a mine reclamation site in Fayette County have been removed, but the company that placed the charges is appealing orders to extract the rest. CGGVeritas Land Inc., a seismic-blasting company working to identify Marcellus Shale gas drilling locations for Chevron, removed three of the dynamite-based charges Friday from holes it drilled on the mine site within 300 feet of occupied homes in the village of LaBelle, said John Poister, a state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman.

Study: Naturally-Occurring Methane “Ubiquitous” in NE Pa. Groundwater
Energy in Depth – Marcellus
A new study in the peer-reviewed journal Groundwater found that naturally-occurring methane is ubiquitous in northeastern Pennsylvania as the region’s groundwater is contained in a hydrocarbon bearing rock that is interspersed with water wells that lack structural integrity.

Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Klaber discusses influence of foreign investors
Energy Wire
Could a state-by-state approach to hydraulic fracturing regulation put certain shale plays at a disadvantage? During today’s OnPoint, Kathryn Klaber, CEO of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, discusses the latest on the future of regulations, the LNG exports debate, and the dynamic between industry competitors. Klaber also explains how tax reform discussions could negatively impact the rollout of natural gas in the US.

Local businessman receives governor’s ImPAct award
Independent Weekender
A Susquehanna County businessman was recognized last week by Governor Tom Corbett at the inaugural ImPAct Awards. Kingsley-based business owner Adam Diaz received the Northern Tier Entrepreneur Award. Diaz was also nominated in the Jobs First category. Diaz said the recognition was both a “big deal” and “humbling.”

PIOGA Appoints Director Of Natural Gas Market Development
The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) appointed Joyce Turkaly as Director of Natural Gas Market Development, which is a newly created position. With this new position, PIOGA seeks to expand the use of Pennsylvania-produced natural gas in such applications as “natural gas vehicles and the fueling infrastructure; electric generation, replacing coal and fuel oil; industry and manufacturing; commercial applications including office buildings, health care and educational facilities, and apartment buildings; cogeneration; and natural gas liquids.”

West Virginia

WVDEP Finalizes Changes to Natural Gas General Permits and Associated Regulations
JD Supra Law News
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is in the midst of finalizing changes to general permits and rules in three (3) different areas pertaining to natural gas production and processing. These new requirements add to the growing list of steps that must be followed by those who plan to explore for, produce, process and/or transport natural gas in West Virginia, especially for operations involving production from the Marcellus Shale through horizontal wells using hydraulic fracturing.


Illinois Legislature Passes Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations by Large Margins
Heartland Institute
The Illinois Legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill placing strict regulations on hydraulic fracturing last week, and now heads to Gov. Quinn’s desk where he has promised to sign it. SB 1715, passed the House on Thursday 108-9 and passed the Senate 52-3 the following Friday night. Signing the regulations into law effectively lifts the “de facto” moratorium on frac’ing. Since companies can’t invest in any planning or drilling operations until they know what the rules are going to be.

Increased Demand For Shale Natural Gas Is Good For Us All
A new report from Barclays Capital predicts a “Tectonic Shift” in demand for natural gas in the United States by 2020. While this report will no doubt be used by the prophets of “peak gas” theory as ammunition for the construction of new strawman fright scenarios, the reality is this is nothing but good news for the American public. The new reality of extremely abundant and reasonably priced natural gas has already led to significant national benefits in the following areas…

Should Maine be in the natural gas business?
Bangor Daily News
How a bill proposes to expand limited natural gas pipeline infrastructure in Maine and New England — by allowing the state to purchase pipeline capacity, a commodity most often purchased by gas traders and distribution companies — has garnered the most attention. Proponents of the legislation — including lawmakers from both parties, the head of the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the lobbying group for many of the state’s paper mills — say a “market failure” has kept private investors from financing the development of gas pipelines in New England. As a result, the region’s ability to bring in gas from emerging gas resources such as the Marcellus and Utica shales in Pennsylvania and New York is limited, particularly on days when electricity demand is high.

Cliffs testing new form of taconite geared to abundant natural gas from hydraulic fracturing
Cleveland The Plain Dealer
The plentiful supply of cheap natural gas from hydraulic fracturing has led to an experimental push on Minnesota’s Iron Range, where Cliffs Natural Resources is developing a new-age taconite pellet. The low-silica taconite pellet can be used to make “direct reduced iron” for steel-making that takes place in electric arc mini-mill furnaces instead of traditional blast furnaces. The abundant supply of natural gas means that producing steel from direct reduced iron — considered uneconomical just a few years ago — is now promising.

Recruiter Sees Uptick in US Shale Play Hiring
Since hitting a 13-year low of $1.82 per thousand British thermal units on April 20, 2012, the benchmark Henry Hub natural gas futures contract price has steadily regained momentum. In fact, it has hovered above the $4- mark for much of the period since mid-March of this year. Like the Henry Hub price, hiring in the Marcellus and other shale gas plays appears to be on the rebound after a lull earlier this decade, a Houston-based oil and gas recruitment specialist told Rigzone at the recent American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Annual Convention and Exhibition 2013 in Pittsburgh.

California scraps proposed moratorium on fracking
AP/Akron Beacon Journal
Attempts to place a moratorium on fracking failed as the Legislature hit its first bill-passing deadline. However, the industry almost certainly will face stronger regulations when this year’s legislative session is over. An Assembly bill to temporarily halt hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, did not win enough support to pass that chamber. A Senate measure will be amended to remove its proposed moratorium.


EDITORIAL: LNG exports on horizon
Halifax (Canada) Chronicle Herald
There’s a race on between British Columbia and Nova Scotia to export liquefied natural gas to energy-hungry Europe and development-hungry India and China. For Europe and India, Nova Scotia has the edge: location, location, location. Providing Egypt’s Suez Canal is open for business, Halifax is more than 30 per cent closer than Kitimat, B.C., to the west coast of India, home to several LNG regasification terminals. And the distance from Halifax to the LNG terminal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is less than half as far from Vancouver to Rotterdam via the Panama Canal. Our North Atlantic location gives us an advantage over eastern U.S. ports as well. Halifax is about a full day closer to Rotterdam than New York City.