Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jul 16, 2013

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

New York

NRG seeks to convert to natural gas
WIVB Channel 4
A large crowd turned out for a public hearing Monday night at SUNY Fredonia on the future of the NRG power plant in Dunkirk. In order to stay open, NRG says it must convert the plant from coal to natural gas. Environmentalists want the plant to shut down because natural gas is so closely tied to the controversial process of hydro-fracking. But State Senator Cathy Young is leading the charge to keep NRG open.

Push to Repower Cayuga Operating Plant
Over 40 well-paying jobs are on the chopping block if the Cayuga Operating Plant isn’t repowered [by converting from coal to natural gas]. State Senator Michael Nozzolio and local leaders say a $600 annual tax hike is in store if the plant isn’t repowered. The closing of the plant would impact the area in more than one way. In particular, it would hurt the Lansing School District that’s already struggling due to a lack of state funding and 20 teacher and teacher assistant jobs could go too. Jobs aren’t the only thing that could be lost. Non-mandated courses like art, music and athletics could be cut. If plans to re-power the plant aren’t approved, they say county taxes will jump over 7.4%, and school taxes will increase by 11.7%.


Shale infrastructure an opportunity for business
Coshocton Tribune
There’s the upstream — exploration and drilling for natural gas. There’s the downstream — processing natural gas liquids and other components to be sold. But what about the stuff in between? From 8 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a seminar focused on the midstream portion of the oil and gas industry. Midstream includes the network of pipelines, ships, trains and trucks used to get the products from the wellhead to processing facilities.

Ex-EPA official confident over Ohio fracking
Toledo Blade
A chemical engineer who held one of the top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency jobs during former President Ronald Reagan’s second term urged people to keep an open mind about fracking and said he believes regulators should move cautiously with climate-change regulations. “The U.S. is now the world’s largest producer of natural gas,” J. Winston Porter said during a luncheon speech Monday to the Rotary Club of Toledo, which met at the Park Inn downtown. “The rest of the world wants our cheap, natural gas. We’re several years ahead of everybody else because of the technology.”


The DRBC’s Big Lies
Natural Gas Now
DRBC claims about the Delaware River providing water for 15-17 million people are more exaggerated than the claims of Mark Twain’s death before the real event and expose an agenda to keep the Upper Delaware region in perpetual “pastoral poverty.”

Airlines’ costs at airport decrease as shale gas drilling money arrives
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Airlines are paying a little less to operate out of Pittsburgh International Airport these days, thanks to the potentially lucrative contract awarded last winter to mine the land for shale gas. The Allegheny County Airport Authority cut the airlines’ cost per enplanement by 55 cents, from $14.66 to $14.11, on July 1 — the first fruit from a $46.3 million lease bonus payment received as part of a 20-year deal with Consol Energy for drilling on airport land.

State plans support for gas line to Sanofi
Scranton Times-Tribune
Gov. Tom Corbett visited the Pononos on Monday to announce $5 million in state support for a natural gas line serving vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur and homes and businesses along Route 611. The $12.7 million, 7-mile pipeline will connect with a distribution line that stretches from the Tobyhanna Army Depot to the Johnson & Johnson distribution center in Mount Pocono.


EPA Plans Rule on Reporting of Fracking Chemicals
NGI’s Shale Daily (paid or free trial subscription required)
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Thursday said it plans to develop a proposed rule requiring companies who make chemical substances and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to report data on the chemicals. The agency’s action, which was published in the Federal Register (FR) Thursday, comes nearly two years after Earthjustice and 114 other organizations petitioned the EPA (in August 2011) to require manufacturers and processors of oil and gas exploration and production chemical substances and mixtures to maintain certain records and submit reports on those records; submit to EPA existing health and safety studies related to E&P chemical substances and mixtures; and report information on significant adverse reactions to human health or the environment alleged to have been caused by E&P chemical substances and mixtures.

Attorneys Profit Big in Shale Business
Companies tapping the Marcellus shale for natural gas spend millions of dollars yearly on legal services, prompting law firms in Western Pennsylvania to expand energy practices and others to set up shop to grab some of the business. “It has dramatically affected the amount of work and the number of slots that many firms have” for energy law, said Steven Baicker-McKee, a Duquesne University law professor.

Exploding The Natural Gas Supply Myth: An Interview With Bill Powers
Seeking Alpha
The belief that America has a 100-year supply of natural gas has been repeated so frequently that it is often accepted as fact. Bill Powers, an energy expert and author of the recently published book, “Cold, Hungry and In the Dark: Exploding The Natural Gas Supply Myth,” reveals the actual status of natural gas production in the United States. His prediction for rising natural gas prices, based on meticulous research of shale gas fields, have major implications for energy investors. As rising demand meets reduced supply, neither imports from Canada, LNG, or technology will significantly alleviate the situation. In explaining the lack of easy alternatives and blowing apart the myth of the shale gas miracle, Bill Powers challenges investors to plan for an American economy that will not be fueled by an endless supply of cheap energy. On July 3, the author shared his findings in this phone interview.

OPEC May Slash Production Amid U.S. Shale Boom
Fox Business
OPEC may move to slash its oil production for the first time in five years when it meets in December, responding to the surge in U.S. shale oil. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could reduce production by half a million barrels a day. The group’s latest report signaled that the U.S. shale oil boom will cut into its share of the world market in 2014 even as world demand grows at its fastest clip in four years. The International Energy Agency also released a report last week that showed demand for OPEC oil next year will fail to meet its current production of around 30 million barrels a day.

Oil & Gas Spills: Many mishaps among drillers, but few fines
Energy Wire
If Kristi Mogen causes a crash on the road, she knows she’ll probably get a ticket and have to pay a fine. So she’s frustrated that Wyoming officials didn’t fine Chesapeake Energy Corp. for an April 2012 blowout near her home outside Douglas, Wyo. The ruptured gas well spewed gas and chemicals for three days, forcing her and her neighbors to evacuate their homes. “There’s no punishment on that. There’s nothing,” said Mogen, who believes the gas and chemicals released in the spill sickened her family. “They’re just going around with business as usual.”

US to begin exporting ‘fracked’ gas
BBC News
US gas produced by the controversial technique of “fracking” is due to be exported for the first time. A $20bn project to prepare an export terminal is under way in Louisiana. The huge facility on the Gulf of Mexico was originally designed to import natural gas to the US. But within two years of opening, the owners decided to reverse the process. In that time, American shale gas has become abundant and relatively cheap. One of the first contracts will see shale gas shipped to Britain under a contract with Centrica.