Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Jul 15, 2013

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

New York

New York Natural Gas Production Dipped by 15 Percent in 2012
Shale Energy Law Blog
On July 1, 2013 the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released its annual oil and natural gas production data for 2012. While oil production in New York increased by 1%, the 2012 reported total gas production of 26.424 billion cubic feet (bcf), representing a decrease of 15 percent from 2011?s posted production of 31.1 bcf. The 2012 natural gas production was the lowest level in New York since 2000’s production of 17.8 bcf.

The Hard-wired Truth about Natural Gas Supporters: We Ain’t Superstitious
Natural Gas Now
The fact human brains are hard-wired for superstition gives fracking opponents a leg up at the outset in the natural gas debate, but facts and good storytelling can overcome that initial advantage, with persistence.

Transco awaits U.S. OK for weekend start of natgas pipe expansion
The owner of the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co LLC was waiting on Thursday for federal energy regulators to approve the startup this weekend of a segment of a natural gas pipeline expansion project. Williams Cos Inc said starting the new segment will enable it to reroute supply to customers while performing some work on another segment. The company requested approval of the new segment in June so it could take the other segment offline to perform project construction. The work is related to the Northeast Supply Link project, an extension of the Transco line designed to transport around 250 million cubic feet per day of gas to markets in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.


Experts on Analyzing the Gas and Oil Industry Speak to Guernsey Energy Coalition
The Daily Jeffersonian
Welcoming community and business leaders to the monthly Guernsey Energy Coalition meeting Thursday at the Southgate Hotel in Cambridge, Jo Sexton, president of the Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce and moderator of the meeting, said, “Today marks the start of the Coalition’s third year of sponsoring meetings specifically to introduce representatives of a multitude of businesses associated with the oil and gas industry, who offer information about their company and its function relative to the Utica Shale Play.”

Who Owns the Minerals Under Ohio Township Section 16?
Oil & Gas Law Report
Oil and gas law is, at its core, real estate law that has been shaped by a thousand years of common law and, more recently, statutory law. Ohio is no exception, and one area that has been impacted significantly by shifting legal policies and statutes is the ownership of minerals beneath “school lands” in Section 16 of Ohio’s Townships.


Fracking in Pennsylvania: What goes on behind the scenes?
Christian Science Monitor
It’s easy to talk about the shale gas revolution in the abstract and forget that it is the cumulative result of thousands of operations in locations across the country. It combines the technological marvel of precisely planned and executed drilling more than a mile below ground with the efforts of teams of skilled workers on the surface, and affects the surrounding community in many ways. Last month I had my first opportunity to visit one of these sites, near Williamsport in north-central Pennsylvania. I also saw several nearby sites in different stages of development. Although I was consistently impressed, I also tried to observe with the concerns of shale gas critics in mind.

DRBC Budget Reveals Unconscionable Agency
Natural Gas Now
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is an agency without a conscience. A review of its budget for July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 reveals the agency has not only stolen the property rights of Pennsylvania landowners but is also letting anti-gas agencies direct its activities and is rewarding New York State for its obstructionist activities.

DRBC takes no action on natural gas draft regulation at public meeting
Penn State Marcellus Shale Law Blog
On July 9 and 10, 2013, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) held a public hearing and meeting where it took no formal action on the pending Draft Natural Gas Development Regulations. DRBC originally published the draft regulations on December 9, 2010, and the public comment period ended on April 15, 2011. These regulations would address oil and gas developmental issues including water sourcing, well pad siting, and wastewater disposal. No formal action has yet been taken to adopt these draft regulations. In her report to DRBC at the July 10 meeting, Commission Secretary Pam Bush said DRBC had received various letters regarding the draft regulations, but the Commission had currently only responded to a letter from the Wayne County Commissioners. No natural gas development can occur within the Delaware River Basin until the draft regulations are approved by DRBC.

Generations of Energy: Big boom in gas and economy
Wilkes-Barre WBRE/WYOU/PAhomepage
Some new customers are in town. They’re in Williamsport to tap into the oil there … But they’re also tapping into the local restaurants and hotels. “You’ve seen a significant growth within that activity here, which has also driven the revenue up because of the fact that a lot of those business travelers that have been going in here associated with the Marcellus Shale have been staying here in the greater Williamsport, Lycoming county area.” Said Jason Fink, Executive Director of Lycoming County visitors bureau.

Louisiana firm on the leading edge of ‘fracking’ technology
The Town Talk
A Lafayette-based oil and gas services company, years ahead of its competitors in technology for hydraulic fracturing with natural gas, will try to expand its operations in a few select areas of the country before it tries to expand its geographic reach. Gary Prehoda, senior vice president of sales for Green Field Energy Services, says that Green Field is talking with about a dozen companies that are interested in its services. “We can’t grow that fast,” Prehoda said of Green Field, which has been concentrating its hydraulic fracturing efforts in the Permian Basin in western Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale in southern Texas and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. “We don’t want to expand all over the U.S.”

DEP conference on Cecil impoundment postponed
Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter
The state Department of Environmental Protection has requested a new date for a private conference with Cecil Township supervisors regarding a controversial Marcellus Shale water impoundment. The DEP’s oil and gas representatives would not have been able to attend the conference planned July 29 at the DEP’s regional headquarters in Pittsburgh, according to DEP community relations coordinator John Poister.


The Gas Is Greener
Slate/Bjørn Lomborg
In late June, the British Geological Survey announced the world’s largest shale-gas field. The Bowland Shale, which lies beneath Lancashire and Yorkshire, contains 50 percent more gas than the combined reserves of two of the largest fields in the United States, the Barnett Shale and the Marcellus Shale. The United Kingdom has been reluctant to join the fracking revolution. Yet tapping the Bowland Shale could reignite the U.K. economy and deliver huge cuts in CO2 emissions.

Fracking, Clean and Green
National Review Online
The only thing deeper than a natural-gas well is the ignorance of the anti-fracking crowd. Fracking — formally called hydraulic fracturing — involves briefly pumping water, sand, and chemicals into shale formations far below Earth’s surface and the aquifers that irrigate crops and quench human thirst. This process cracks these rocks and liberates the gas within. Though employed for decades with seemingly no verified contamination of ground water, anti-fracking activists behave as if this technology were invented specifically to poison Americans.

The U.S. – Mexico Natural Gas Export Boom
Seeking Alpha
In Part I of this series, we saw how Mexican demand for U.S. gas exports has surged by 92% over the last 5 years. And with proposed new export projects slated to take up to 10% of U.S. production, Mexico could be the surprise driver of marginal demand and gas prices. Part II: Who is Poised to Benefit from the “Mexico Explosion”? But this Mexican export boom does have some intrigue – complete with hastily formed shell companies and mysterious partners – that could become a risk to this mega trend about to happen… I’ll get to those in a moment.

U.S. natgas rig count climbs for 3rd week -Baker Hughes
The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States rose this week for a third straight week, climbing by seven to 362, data from Houston-based Baker Hughes showed on Friday. Despite recent gains, the gas-directed rig count is still hovering just above the 18-year low of 349 posted three weeks ago.

Controlling operating costs seen as key to success in shale revolution
SNL Financial
Success in the shale oil and gas revolution will depend largely on how effectively companies control their costs, a pair of speakers taking part in a webinar hosted by said July 11. Fadel Gheit, a managing director and senior analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., said the shale revolution has completely changed how people look at the oil and gas business in the U.S. Instead of running out of reserves as was anticipated a few years ago, he said, producers have a very large new lease on life.

Shale Skeptics Take on Pickens as Gas Fuels Policies
Where others see a U.S. energy revolution of cheap and abundant fuel, David Hughes sees a short-term bubble that will bring higher economic and environmental costs. The Canadian geoscientist, founder of the consultancy Global Sustainability Research, is part of a movement pushing back against conventional wisdom that the U.S. is on the verge of energy independence amid surging oil output and a 100-year supply of natural gas. Projections of 2,384 trillion cubic feet of gas supplies provide false confidence because they don’t adequately account for the cost of production declines of as much as 47 percent a year that come with drilling in shale, Hughes said.

Global Shale Oil and Gas Estimates Expand
The Energy Collective
Recently revised estimates of global shale oil and gas resources from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy represent a significant increase over the EIA’s 2011 estimates. Technically recoverable shale oil (tight oil) grew more than tenfold, due to the inclusion of formations outside the US, while estimated global shale gas resources rose by 10%. With these revisions, shale formations now constitute 10% of global crude oil resources and nearly a third of global natural gas resources, although the actual impact of these resources on production and markets is still likely to vary greatly from region to region and country to country.


Grangemouth looks to import US shale gas to safeguard refinery jobs
Edinburgh (Scotland) The Herald
THE owners of Grangemouth petrochemicals refinery are in talks with the Scottish and Westminster governments over a £150 million plan to pioneer importing US shale gas into the site to safeguard 100 jobs and a £1 billion revenue stream. Ineos, which owns the chemicals part of Grangemouth, has been lobbying Government ministers to provide guarantees that would underwrite a scheme to build storage facilities for liquified gas and modify the dockside at the site.

Anger at Brussels ‘attacking fracking’
London (UK) The Sun
MPs were yesterday accused of trying to strangle shale gas exploration with red tape. The European Parliament’s environment committee ruled that all work aiming to identify underground reserves must only be approved following “environmental impact assessments”. Tory MEP Struan Stevenson claimed the move could stop shale gas extraction schemes — called fracking — in their tracks.

Romania gives Chevron green light to explore shale
U.S. oil major Chevron (CVX.N) won approval to drill exploration wells for shale gas in three areas in eastern Romania, local news agency Mediafax reported on Thursday. Romania’s leftist government initially opposed shale gas when it took power in 2012 but has since became a supporter in view of potential economic benefits from any major discovery.