USGS: Consider Disposing Nuclear Waste in…Shale?!

radiationThis is truly rich. While anti-drillers prattle on about how a few gallons of chemicals a mile down in the earth will magically defy gravity and climb uphill through a mile of solid rock to contaminate water supplies (yeah, it NEVER happens), the scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have written a research paper that says shale is so secure, we ought to consider using it to dispose of spent nuclear waste–stuff that hangs around for millions of years!

You read the above statement correctly. Scientists at the USGS have just published a paper titled “Can Shale Safely Host U.S. Nuclear Waste?” in EOS, a journal by the American Geophysical Union (full copy embedded below). The conclusion of their investigation into whether or not nuclear waste could be disposed of in shale: “Although shales and similar rocks have not been considered for hosting nuclear waste in the United States, recent research points to them as a very promising option.” Note to emergency rooms throughout the Southern Tier of NY: Prepare to receive large numbers of apoplectic anti-drillers when they read about this…
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Big News: Marcellus Ethane Now Exporting to Canada Cracker Plant

Every now and again you come across a big, fat gold nugget of news in a press release. That happened for MDN today when we read yesterday’s press release from Range Resources, innocently announcing their second quarter 2013 results (see today’s story about Range). The gold nugget? Range reports that on July 21st their first deliveries of ethane via the Mariner West pipeline were made to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. This is the first time ethane has made it to a processing (cracker) plant.

The little nugget of gold from Range, the only Marcellus driller (so far) to sell ethane…
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Range Resources: Marcellus Will Provide 20-25% Growth “For Years”

A few weeks ago Range Resources gave us a high level heads-up on second quarter results, and their results from the Marcellus were indeed very good (see Range Resources 2Q13: Production Up 27% Due to Marcellus). Yesterday, Range Released the full 2Q13 update–both financial and operational. The numbers are good (see the report below).

The huge news hidden in yesterday’s announcement: Range reports that on July 21st their first deliveries of ethane via the Mariner West pipeline were made to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada where the ethane will (presumably) be processed at the Corunna ethane cracker plant. Below are selected portions of the 2Q13 report from Range, relevant to their Marcellus drilling program, including a breakdown of how much it costs them to produce each Mmcf of gas…
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Pipeline Construction Run-Off Hits Local Creek, Muskingum River

A minor incident–but an incident nonetheless. As part of digging and drilling to lay pipeline for the ATEX Express ethane pipeline that will run from western PA through OH and all the way to the Gulf Coast, heavy rainwater has been washing through the dug up dirt and rock at one of the construction locations in eastern Ohio, running off into the Wakatomika Creek (Muskingum County), which in turn empties into the Muskingum River. The rainwater/mud mix is not toxic, but it does have the potential to affect fish and aquatic life along the creek and the river…
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OH Passes 800 Utica Shale Permits, 117 Wells Now Producing

Ohio has passed the 800-mark for Utica Shale permits. As of last week, 812 Utica Shale permits have been issued. Of that number, 390 wells have been completed and 117 are now in production. The number of drilling rigs operating in Ohio continues to go up and now stands at 36.

Here’s the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources report showing where Utica Shale permits were issued last week (by town and county), and to which drillers:
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Cabot Continues to Shine in Susquehanna County Marcellus

Cabot Oil & Gas continues to be a star performer in the northeast PA Marcellus Shale. Releasing their second quarter update yesterday, Cabot reports their natural gas production is up 52% from 2Q12. Meanwhile, they’ve now added a sixth drilling rig in Susquehanna County, PA. If memory serves, it was only a little over a year ago that Cabot was running just three rigs in Susquehanna County.

According to MDN sources, some farmers in Susquehanna County, PA are getting $10,000 per day in royalties. In addition to spreading manure, they’re now spreading an incredible amount of wealth around the county! Here’s select portions of the latest press releases from Cabot:
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