Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jul 30, 2013

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

New York

‘Tis the Season to be…Reflective: As New York Waits
Natural Gas Now
Last week New Yorkers commemorated the fifth anniversary of the de facto moratorium that has prohibited high volume hydraulic fracturing activity from advancing our state’s economy. Just a couple days later, the executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition authored an op-ed for a Pennsylvania paper that declared it was like “Christmas in July” throughout her state due to the impact fees paid by operators there. Some of the gifts under the Keystone State tree over the next two years have included…

Josh Fox and Friends Claim the Land from Farmers
Natural Gas Now
The war on property rights started five years ago for many of us when the radical environmental organizations listed below came after our mineral rights with respect to natural gas. I distinctly remember discussions at that time with others who were experienced in dealing with such groups. They said the attacks on our land would not stop at denying us the rights to harvest our natural gas but expand. They were all too correct, I’m sorry to say. The last six months have produced a lot of crowing from fractivists such as Bill Huston, the Catskill Mountainkeeper and Josh about their supposed “huge victories.” Here is what Josh Fox had to say in two Facebook posts on July 16…


Summary of Ohio rally in Warren against injection wells
Akron Beacon Journal
A coalition of local, statewide and national groups concerned about toxic waste from hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, converged on Portage and Trumbull counties today for “Don’t Frack Ohio 2.” The coalition called for an end to the state being used as a regional dumping ground for oil and gas waste. The rally drew 250 participants in an area heavily targeted by the oil and gas industry for disposal of toxic and potentially radioactive drilling waste from fracking. The rally was held in Courthouse Square in Warren, Ohio, and faith leaders led participants in an interfaith service at a nearby impacted area following the rally.

Dueling rallies in Warren; Ohio accepts nearly 7.9 billion gallons of waste since 1978
Akron Beacon Journal
Labor with about 80 participants staged its own noisy pro-drilling, pro-injection wells rally across the street from the Courthouse Square in downtown Warren. The two sides shouted back and forth across the street for a time under the watchful eyes of local police and deputies. The pro-labor group, clad mostly in orange, circled the park armed with air horns when the other’s side speakers were talking.

Attempt to lift land restriction stirs controversy on city’s East Side
Youngstown Vindicator
An awkward legal situation is unfolding on the city’s East Side, where a water utility company is asking 39 property owners at a subdivision near McKelvey Lake to lift land restrictions so that deep mineral rights can be accessed for oil and gas drilling. The company’s request for the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to clarify a provision in an 83-year-old warranty deed on the property has confused some residents. They fear their bucolic community and limited views of the lake could be compromised if a judge rules in the water utility company’s favor. Though no controversy has surrounded the issue since the request was filed on July 2, it began to brew on Tuesday at a private meeting called by Youngstown Councilman T.J. Rodgers, who lives in the Beachwood Village Lakeside Estates subdivision.

Attorney withdraws from Youngstown illegal dumping case
A federal judge granted a Youngstown attorney’s request to withdraw as counsel for Hardrock Excavating. Atty. J. Gerald Ingram filed the motion on the basis that he is “unable to effectively represent Hardrock Excavating LLC in this criminal proceeding.” Hardrock came under fire in February when two workers operating under a brine-hauling permit registered to Hardrock Excavating LLC were caught illegally dumping wastewater into a drainpipe outside D&L Energy on Salt Springs Road in Youngstown.


Bush Is Coming to the ’Burgh
The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register
President George W. Bush will address oil and natural gas executives during the fifth annual DUG East conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center this fall. The event generally draws hundreds of oil and gas officials from all over the world, including representatives of companies such as Chesapeake Energy, Consol Energy, XTO Energy, Chevron, EQT Corp., Royal Dutch Shell and many others.

Truckers take first steps to natural gas
Reading Eagle
Over just a few years, the Marcellus shale gas-drilling boom has sparked economic growth in northern Pennsylvania and lowered natural-gas prices. Now, as trucking and fleet companies switch to the clean-burning, cheaper fuel, natural-gas vehicles could become a viable green alternative. One factor slowing growth in these vehicles: The network of natural-gas fueling stations is still small.

Marcellus Shale Coalition looking for new leadership
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Ms. Klaber will be traveling to Australia and London to promote the group’s message. She’ll also host the organization’s annual Shale Insight conference in Philadelphia on Sept. 25-26. As for her own next chapter? “I can’t share that at this point, except to say I’ve established a track record of working on behalf of the industry on issues that are important,” Ms. Klaber said.

5 minutes with Kathryn Klaber, Marcellus Shale Coalition
Pittsburgh Business Times
Q: What will you be doing in the time that you have left? A: There’s still a lot of work to be done. We’ll be working with our members on a lot of the issues that continue to be important in Harrisburg. We’ve got programs that have allowed our members to educate a lot of their stakeholders, and the broader stakeholders. I will continue to play a leadership role in making the coalition be in the best shape it can be.

Natural gas fueling stations coming to our area
Fox43 (Central PA)
Could Natural Gas powered cars and trucks be the next big thing? Some state lawmakers and local businesses think so. Representative Stan Saylor (R) 94th District held a press conference Tuesday to promote natural gas as a vehicle fuel. “We have been talking for 40 years about getting off of the foreign dependence of oil. Nobody, no politician, has done anything about it,” said Saylor. “For the first time we really truly have the opportunity to get off the dependence of foreign oil, and do something about it. And use an American resource that we have readily available to us.” At the press conference organizers unveiled a fueling station that we could see in the near future.

West Virginia

Energy secretary tours Morgantown research lab
Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz told staffers at the National Energy Technology and Research Laboratory in Morgantown Monday that their work will be front and center in helping the country find energy solutions in the years ahead. Moniz, who toured NETL’s extensive laboratories devoted to fossil fuels research, also told reporters later Monday that despite the domestic coal industry taking a hit in recent times, the fuel will remain a significant part of the national energy portfolio for years to come. (Moniz comments on natgas in the article.)


Anadarko Reports Second-Quarter Profit as Output Climbs
Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the oil explorer that’s expanding production in Texas and Colorado [and the Marcellus], reported a second-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates as output climbed. Net income was $929 million, or $1.83 a share, compared with a net loss of $89 million, or 18 cents, a year earlier, The Woodlands, Texas-based company said in a statement yesterday. Excluding one-time items such as a gain from energy contracts, per-share earnings of $1.05 exceeded the 91-cent average of 30 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Will Fracking Become the Next Mass Tort?
Drilling in the Marcellus Shale to release natural oil and gas, also known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for short, has been controversial for its potential environmental impact. Those concerns are counterbalanced by the need for natural gas and the financial benefits to those who are selling rights to drill under their land, many of whom are farmers facing difficult financial times. Opponents of fracking have presented some concerns about potential health effects from fracking and its byproducts. Whether those health concerns are legitimate and who would be responsible for adverse health effects is of interest to the plaintiffs bar.

Engineers Get Rich as Talent War Heats Up
CNNMoney/Yahoo! Finance
If you’re looking to recruit an engineer right now, be prepared for a dog-eat-dog world. Experienced engineers are being offered sky-high salaries and are taking regular calls from headhunters as the booming shale gas industry fights for scarce talent, snapping up engineers from other sectors. “It’s an all out war for talent,” said Houston-based Gladney Darroh, president of Piper-Morgan Associates Personnel Consultants, a specialist in recruiting oil and gas engineers. “Right now the hardest individuals to recruit are people who have anywhere from five to 15 years of experience. That’s a real sweet spot right now,” he said.

Sierra Club sues feds over oil shale development
AP/Casper Star-Tribune
The federal government is being sued for opening up parts of the Rocky Mountains to oil shale development. The Sierra Club and six other conservation groups filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Denver. The groups say the U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to consider how widespread development of public lands would harm rare desert plants and threatened species of wildlife. The lawsuit says the government program violates the Endangered Species Act.

Fracking Boom Sends Chemical Tankers to Five-Year High: Freight
The boom in U.S. natural-gas supplies is boosting chemical exports to Asia, driving up demand for specialized ships that carry the products and sending freight rates to a five-year high. Earnings for tankers carrying 20,000 metric-ton cargoes in stainless-steel tanks will rise 12 percent to an average of $14,500 a day next year, the most since 2009, according to RS Platou Markets AS, the investment-banking unit of Norway’s largest shipbroking group. Analysts raised their estimates for shares of Stolt-Nielsen (SNI) Ltd., the biggest owner of the vessels, and expect them to rise 24 percent in 12 months, instead of 4.9 percent as recently as May 31.


Gulf Prince warns shale could hurt Saudi economy
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal warned that the Gulf Arab kingdom needed to reduce its reliance on crude oil and diversify its revenues, as rising U.S. shale energy supplies cut global demand for its oil. In an open letter to Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and other ministers, published on Sunday via his Twitter account, Prince Alwaleed said demand for oil from OPEC member states was “in continuous decline”. He said Saudi Arabia’s heavy dependence on oil was “a truth that has really become a source of worry for many”, and that the world’s biggest crude oil exporter should implement “swift measures” to diversify its economy.

China shale blocks see some progress but challenges abound: ministry
Some progress has been made in most of the shale gas blocks that were awarded in China’s second shale bidding round early this year, with a few wells likely to be drilled soon, the Ministry of Land and Resources said Monday. The bid round was held in Q4 last year, with the results announced in January. The ministry awarded 19 blocks to 16 domestic companies, none of which had any oil and gas experience. Coal and power companies won eight blocks, while the rest were awarded to investment companies set up by local governments. In a report on its website, MLR said most of the companies had completed 2D seismic acquisition and were at the tender phase for drilling work.

Sixteen arrested at British anti-fracking protest
Agence France-Presse/The Raw Story
Sixteen protesters were arrested on Friday as British police broke up a blockade against exploratory drilling by a fracking company in southern England. Campaigners demonstrated for a second day against planned test drilling by British firm Cuadrilla, which specialises in hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, known as “fracking”. The rural site in Balcombe, West Sussex, has become a focus for campaigners against the controversial technique, who fear environmental effects including chemical contamination of fresh water resources.