Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Jul 22, 2013

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


Appeals court says Maryland must review compressor plans
Akron Beacon Journal
A Dominion Resources Inc. unit’s application for an air-quality permit for a natural-gas compressor station must be evaluated by a Maryland state agency, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled. The Maryland Department of the Environment should disclose valid zoning objections by local governments involved in the case or process the application, Circuit Judge Thomas Griffith wrote for a three-judge panel in an opinion issued today.

New York

Rockland Bans Processing or Dumping Toxins from Hydrofracking
Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderfoef signed a law this month that bans the sale of all gas drilling waste, its processing at all wastewater treatment plants and its application on all roads, including applications for de-icing and dust control. “This law will help prevent hazardous by-products from contaminating Rockland’s water and environment,” said Vanderhoef, in a press release.

Why So Indecisive, Governor Cuomo?
Natural Gas Now
Why does New York have to be so different and our Governor, Andrew Cuomo, so indecisive? Is he really that fearful of radical environmentalists who refuse to accede to any reason? Yes, they’re part of his constituency, but…

How Natural Gas Cogeneration Helped NYC Weather a Natural Disaster
Natural Gas Now
Hurricane Sandy was one of the costliest natural disasters to ever strike the United States. For many Americans, it was an almost surreal experience to see the usually bustling streets of New York City made dark and silent by floods and high winds. While the normally bright lights of New York went out for much of the population, in the sea of all this darkness there were a few small islands of hope.


Ohio H.B. 59 — The Final Report: No New Severance Taxes But Operators May Have to Test for Radiation
Oil & Gas Law Report
On June 30, 2013, Gov. Kasich signed H.B. 59, the budget bill, into law. The bill created a new section of the Ohio Revised Code — R.C. 1509.074 — which imposes requirements for testing, transporting and disposing “material that results from the construction, operation or plugging of a horizontal well” that might contain unusual levels of radioactivity.

D&L appeals commission’s June ruling in Franklin County
Youngstown Vindicator
D&L Energy has appealed a decision made by the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission last month that upheld state regulator’s decision to revoke its operating permits. The appeal, filed Friday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in Columbus, comes within days of the 30-day deadline to do so. It stems from a 26-page ruling the commission issued June 21 after nearly a month of deliberations on the case. A hearing date is set for Oct. 13.

Activists seek to put anti-fracking charter amendment on ballot
Youngstown Vindicator
It’s back. After the “community bill of rights” failed in the May primary election, a group of anti-fracking activists are back at it, trying to put the initiative on the November ballot. The bill was defeated in May by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent. The proposed charter amendment would ban compression stations and pipelines from being installed within city limits in addition to banning any type of fracking operations or disposal wells for wastewater from fracking.

Stark County Residents Participating in Gas Aggregation Saved $16 Million Since 2009
Ohio Gas & Oil
Residents participating in the Stark County Natural Gas Aggregation Program have saved $16 million since 2009, according to a presentation given to the county commissioners during regular session on Wednesday. The information was shared by Mark Burns, president of Independent Energy Consultants, who said his agency received bids from five different suppliers before choosing to remain with the current provider for another two years in order to give participants a lower rate than they currently have and a much better rate than they could get on their own. Residents are now paying $4.64 per mcf. Letters will go out to current participants letting them know they can opt out of the program, and also to nonparticipants explaining to them how they can participate in the program to get a lower fixed rate. There are currently 1,500 Columbia Gas customers who participate, along with 23,500 Dominion customers.


The dream of drilling in Wayne is fading
Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice
Four years ago, Hess employees slathered barbecue sauce on ribs and cut a cake adorned with the gas company’s logo at the Wayne County Fairgrounds to celebrate the closing of a monumental deal. The 1,000-plus members of the Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance had signed over more than 100,000 acres to Hess for potential gas development. Envisioning the riches they might make, they handed out “Drill Now” T-shirts and “I (heart) Marcellus Shale” bumper stickers at the barbecue. Owners alliance president Bob Rutledge now has the shirts tucked inside boxes in his basement following last week’s surprising announcement by Hess, and its joint development partner, Newfield Exploration Co., that they are bailing out. The companies did not cite reason, though a Newfield spokesman cited the low market price for natural gas and the company’s desire to redirect its focus to its oil interests elsewhere in the U.S.

Consol Digs Deeper
The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register
Move aside, Marcellus and Utica shales, and make way for a new player in the natural gas bonanza: the Devonian Shale. Just last week, Consol Energy became the third company to successfully extract natural gas from the Devonian, following Rex Energy Corp. and Range Resources Corp. The company’s drilling attempt took place in Greene County, Pa., which lies on the eastern border of Marshall County and the northeastern border of Wetzel County.

West Virginia

As infrastructure comes online in Appalachia, producers hope a market will follow
Energy Wire
Along the Ohio River below Wheeling, W.Va., the $500 million Natrium I gas processing plant has begun operating, signaling a new chapter in Appalachia’s unfolding shale gas story. The plant’s fractionation unit will split methane pipeline gas from heavier hydrocarbons to create a daily 39,000-barrel stream of ethane, propane and other gas liquids. Operated by Blue Racer Midstream — named for the region’s swift-moving snake — the plant is the first of a rush of new gas processing and fractionation projects springing up around the Marcellus and Utica shale formations on either side of the Ohio River.


NETL: Fracking study still not complete
Pittsburgh Business Times
The Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory issued a statement Friday afternoon reminding people that its study of groundwater near hydraulic fracturing is still ongoing. The statement comes on the heels of an Associated Press report that the lab had found no connection between hydraulic fracturing and groundwater contamination.

Michael Levi Talks Fracking, Clean Energy And More At Aspen Ideas Festival
Huffington Post
Americans need to ask some serious questions about the energy industry, according to policy expert Michael Levi. After five years of big changes, “almost all reversing previous preconceptions,” Levi opened up at Aspen Ideas Festival about a range of topics from fracking to clean energy. Levi is a senior fellow for energy and environment with the Council on Foreign Relations. His new book, The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America’s Future, analyzes the nation’s rapidly changing energy portfolio and how we can best prepare.

Profiting From Energy’s Technology Explosion: Part 2
The Motley Fool
In Part 1 of this article, we focused on subsea production and dual-gradient drilling. The two technological advancements that are having a profound and growing impact on the feasibility, cost, and safety of drilling in deepwater and ultra-deepwater. In this second part, we’ll look at the cost saving and efficiency increases inherent in multi-well-pad drilling and at the promise of remote liquefied natural gas processing. We’ll also quickly describe the advancements in seismic data collection and processing. In addition to looking at these technological wrinkles, we’ll also note the companies that stand to benefit the most from their implementation.

Stock Picking In The U.S. Shale Basins: Neal Dingmann
Seeking Alpha
As an oil analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, it’s a given that Neal Dingmann has his eye on energy stocks come rain or shine. But whether you’re bullish or bearish on U.S. shale development, it’s wise to know which stocks are poised to deliver shareholder value. In this interview with The Energy Report, Dingmann tiptoes through North America’s major shale plays [including an interesting hybrid] and points out the cream of the crop.

House GOP bill would thwart Interior’s ‘fracking’ regs
The Hill
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and other GOP lawmakers are pushing legislation to block looming Interior Department regulations that govern the oil-and-gas “fracking” on public lands. The bill is highly unlikely to become law but it signals ongoing GOP political pushback against the rules, which critics say are not needed and will create costly red tape. The measure introduced Thursday by Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), Hastings and three others will be the subject of a July 25 House Natural Resources Committee hearing. It’s called the “Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act.”


In Greenpeace’s World A Higher Than Normal Tax Rate For Shale Is A Tax Break
You might have heard about the shale gas that is thought to underlie the North of England. You might also have heard the shrieks from various environmentalists as they insist that allowing even one drill to penetrate Gaia’s veil will lead to us all being murdered in our beds. But I have to admit that this is a new one on me: the claim that a tax rate higher than normal is in fact a tax break…

Global Shale Gas Market To Be Worth $33.2 Billion In 2013
Oil & Gas Eurasia
According to the Global Energy Watch, analysis indicates that the global shale gas market will reach a value of $33.2bn in 2013. Investment in shale gas will increase over the next decade as countries around the world are looking to emulate the rapid development the industry has taken in the United States. The ASD report cited by GEW analyses and forecasts the development of major global shale gas markets that will see significant growth over the next decade.

Saudi doesn’t want to talk about the shale boom
Your Middle East
At the May 31st meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Saudi oil minister, Ali al-Naimi was asked one too many times about the shale revolution: “Why are you all excited all of a sudden on shale? You know why, because you like to chit chat…you are an agent of disturbance,” he said, pointing a finger at his questioner. “Leave us alone and leave all these issues. We had enough of shale oil and talks of shale. Please talk about anything else,” he said, switching from English to Arabic.