Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jul 2, 2013

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

New York

Eco-groups fighting LNG terminal on Long Island, Jersey shore
Akron Beacon Journal
Today, one hundred and thirty environmental and public advocacy groups sent a letter to the Maritime Administration asking that the public be given more time to consider and comment on a propose liquefied natural gas (LNG) port that would be constructed in the waters off Long Island and the Jersey Shore. After the application was announced on June 14, the project sponsor subsequently released fifteen hundred pages of a four thousand plus page application that federal agencies have found to be still incomplete in more than one hundred and fifty specific areas. Despite the length, technical complexity, and incomplete nature of the material, the public is required to read, analyze and meaningfully comment on the application by July 23.


Oil and Gas Firm Looks At Brownfields
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
St. Clairsville is joining Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in having an office for Hull & Associates, an engineering consulting firm that works in the oil and gas business. Kara Allison and Susan Fisher usually find themselves in sprawling suburban settings when opening new offices for Hull. So when they opened up shop at 146 W. Main St. in St. Clairsville Monday, Allison and Fisher seemed delighted with the small town atmosphere of the Belmont County seat. “We are here for the long-term,” said Allison, director of government and community relations for Dublin, Ohio-based Hull. “There is plenty of work here for us to do.”

Dublin office of S&ME engineering firm adding jobs for Utica shale projects
Columbus Business First
The engineering firm S&ME Inc. is adding three employees at its Dublin office to help the company serve clients with projects in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays. Two engineers, Brian Hart and Andrew White, and a pipeline technician, Michael Moore, have started working out of that office, which may add more people with oil and natural expertise, said Steve Pasternack, the S&ME vice president who oversees the firm’s operations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.

Ohio lawmakers deem most radioactive fracking waste safe for landfills
WSKU NPR Public Radio
The new two-year state budget signed by Gov. John Kasich on Sunday doubles the funding for the state agency that regulates oil and gas drilling. And environmentalists are pleased with other provisions of the massive spending bill. Jack Shaner, deputy director of the Ohio Environmental Council, notes the budget increases funding to fight toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, and adds $52 million to the Clean Ohio Fund that allows park districts to purchase land. But Shaner says the budget does not do enough to regulate radioactive waste from the oil and gas drilling industry.


MarkWest Consolidates Offices in Washington County, Pa.
Youngstown Business Journal
MarkWest Energy Partners is consolidating its two offices in southwestern Pennsylvania into one at the Southpointe business park in Washington County. The Denver-based company is moving 70 employees who oversee its Liberty division into a 30,000-square-foot office building at 4600 J. Barry Court, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. A spokesman said MarkWest has outgrown two others offices it occupied at Southpointe and on Morganza Road. MarkWest’s Liberty division includes its massive processing plant in Houston, Pa., and three others in West Virginia.


Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz Interview Part 2 (video)
Platts Energy Week
On June 30, during his interview on Platts Energy Week, US Secretary of Energy Enerst Moniz said the states are, and should remain, the primary source for regulation. Moniz discussed the different geological conditions of the states where fracking occurs and the need for states to address these differences with their own regulations. He suggested, however, that the EPA would still need to decide whether or not it would design a set of baseline principles for states to follow.

Natural gas production remains stable despite low price
FuelFix/Houston Chronicle
Conventional wisdom around town has quoted $5 as the natural gas price needed to increase production. But April’s numbers may be proving this wrong. Production appears to be creeping up slightly, even though the Henry Hub price has dropped from about $4.50 per million British thermal units in mid-April. Domestic natural gas production was slightly more than 2.09 billion cubic feet in April, a little lower than the previous month’s 2.15 billion cubic feet, but higher than the 2.065 billion cubic feet produced in April 2012, according to a report released Friday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

All Aboard the Rails in Search of Black Gold?
The Motley Fool
The United States is pumping out more crude oil than the country’s pipelines can carry. The risk associated with oil drilling in the United States has disappeared, as a result of innovative technologies such as hydraulic fracking. The days of U.S. oil companies scouring the world for pools of reachable crude oil are over. Equipped with technologies such as fracking, the US oil industry has flourished and volumes are surging. Early this year, US oil production reached 7 million barrels per day for the first time since 1993. By 2020, analyst projections expect production to hit 10 million barrels per day. This amount of production is simply more than the country’s current pipelines can handle, allowing railroads to step in to transport the overflow of oil to refineries.

Josh Fox Tales Get Airing on Jon Stewart Show
Natural Gas Now
Josh Fox told some very tall tales the other night on the Jon Stewart Show. It was a disgusting display of duplicity matched only by the fawning attitude of the guest host, John Oliver.

Are Renewables the Only Source of Energy for the Future?
Natural Gas Now
Are renewables the up and coming source of energy for the future? We could only hope so, but they are definitely not the immediate short term answer. They are, in fact, many years away from reality as many countries are learning the hard way. As the debate about which energy is best has moved to the forefront, many people have made claims that we are ready, as a state and nation, to discontinue the use of fossil fuels and convert to wind, solar or geothermal. Nuclear has all but been abandoned as an option.

Chesapeake Energy Joint Venture With Sinopec Is in Business
The Motley Fool
Chesapeake Energy closed on its Mississippi Lime joint venture with Chinese company Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corp. (Sinopec) on June 28, Chesapeake announced today. Sinopec paid Chesapeake $1.02 billion in cash for a 50% interest in 850,000 acres of shale gas property in northern Oklahoma. That field produced around 9,600 barrels of liquids, including oil, and 54 million cubic feet of natural gas each day during the first quarter of the year. Chesapeake will conduct all leasing, drilling, completion, operations, and marketing activities of the joint venture. All costs for the project will be split between the companies.

As “Sun Spots” Cool Down, Natural-Gas Market Heats Up
Wall Street Journal
A decline in the number of spots on the sun could warm up the market for natural gas. These spots, which scientists have observed for centuries, are caused by changes in the magnetic fields on the solar surface, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration says. Scientists aren’t sure why, but when the number of visible spots declines, temperatures on Earth tend to be lower. This matters for investors because the sun is entering another period of fewer spots.