Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Jul 17, 2013

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


JIP Seeks Clearer Picture of Utica Shale Play
Five oil and gas companies are participating in a joint industry project (JIP) to gain better insight into the Utica/Point Pleasant shale play. The joint industry project launched in early April by Ingrain Inc., a digital rock physics company, to improve fundamental understanding of the Utica/Point Pleasant shale play. The project is expected to last one year or more, depending on the number of new operators participating in the JIP and timing of new operators joining, said Joel D. Walls, director of unconventional technology at Houston-based Ingrain in an interview with Rigzone.

Anchor Drilling, Shell Projects Need More Space
Youngstown Business Journal
The Columbiana County Port Authority approved two leases Monday night that again illustrate the growing presence of the oil and gas industry in the tri-state region. Anchor Drilling Fluids USA Inc., which opened a $2 million plant in November at the CCPA’s Wellsville Intermodal Facility, needs more land to store inbound storage tanks, says Tracy Drake, the port authority’s executive director. And Southern Automation Inc., a Louisiana material handling company that’s working with Shell at its Ergon refinery across the Ohio River in Newell, W.Va., needs space to store and set up equipment needed as part of Ergon Inc.’s planned $78 million expansion of its oil processing units and supporting infrastructure.

Energy scholarship awarded to Akron’s Derek Troyer
Akron Beacon Journal
Derek Troyer of Akron was one of 40 students to be awarded a scholarship from the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) and the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Foundation (Foundation). The scholarships are given to students pursuing careers in Ohio’s natural gas and crude oil industry.

Firm Says Garrettsville Water Relatively Safe
Portage OH Record-Courier
In general, Garrettsville’s well water is relatively safe, but it’s a good idea to keep monitoring the wells to make sure no future problems arise. That was the conclusion reached by JD Environmental Consulting, a company hired by the Garrettsville Board of Public Affairs to look at the quality of the village’s well water. Consultants Dr. Jeffrey Dick and Anna Draa presented the report to a few dozen residents gathered at Village Hall on Monday. Dick said the board was concerned that past drilling activity, and new horizontal gas wells, could impact water quality, and the village wanted a baseline test of wells in the area, including the two wells used for the village’s municipal water supply.

A Tale of Two Pipelines
Energy in Depth
Two major pipeline announcements were made last week that will help relieve the proposed bottleneck of natural gas liquids (NGLs) being produced in Ohio, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania. The Appalachia-to-Texas Express (ATEX) Pipeline and the Bluegrass Pipeline are both currently being constructed to transport the growing NGL output to rapidly expanding marketplaces and chemical manufacturers who use these liquids as feedstock.


Flaring stopped at Marcellus Shale processing plant
Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter
MarkWest officials say their Marcellus Shale processing plant near Houston is now operating properly and no longer “flaring” natural gas or putting a towering plume of black smoke into the air. The flaring, which was the result of a backup safety procedure, began Sunday night after MarkWest began operating a new de-ethanizer that was not functioning properly. MarkWest spokesman Rob McHale said the flaring of natural gas liquid was the result of an “upset condition” as workers at the processing plant attempted to configure the newly installed equipment that separates propane and butane. The flaring continued late into Monday night, but there was no sign of the black plume Tuesday. “It’s not a malfunction,” McHale said. “That is a safety system that is designed to do exactly what it did.”

American Natural plans to open more stations within the year
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
American Natural gave a sneak peak at its first gas station in this region and hinted at more to come. The company is an outgrowth of New York-based Cleopatra Resources, and entered the region last year with plans to open a gasoline, diesel, and compressed natural gas station and “fast-casual” convenience store at Station Square. In September 2012, the company bought Mon Valley Petroleum, which came with 12 Buy-n-Fly gas stations and a fuel distribution business. As for the natural gas, the South Side station is hooked up to Equitable Gas’ distribution system. Executives were reluctant to say anything about future plants, but Andrea Feinstein, executive vice president, mentioned that some of the gas stations it owns will soon undergo a similar transformation.

Marcellus Lease Involving Freshwater Impoundment Upheld
NGI’s Shale Daily (paid or free trial access required)
Chevron U.S.A. Inc.’s lease with a Marcellus Shale landowner in Fayette County, PA, allows the producer to construct an 11-acre freshwater impoundment to assist in drilling for natural gas, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled. Paul F. Humberston and family members own about 133 acres of land in the county, and in 2006 they entered into a lease agreement with Keeton Group LLC, subsequently taken over by Chief Exploration & Development Co. and then by Chevron. To begin unconventional drilling using hydraulic fracturing techniques, Keystone Vacuum Inc. performed construction work for Chevron for a freshwater storage impoundment covering 11 acres of the leasehold and the surrounding area, known collectively as the Humberston unit.


Gasland Part II Funding Help Shows Fox’s Big Money Connections
Natural Gas Now
When Gasland Part II is exposed as “science denial” by a serious environmentalist who’s convinced it’s ”not fitting as an educational documentary or journalism” and worried it will damage the cause, you know Josh Fox’s extended 15 minutes of fame is over. The only question is how he got free ride for so long; how he got HBO and others to pony up the money for his trash mockumentary sequel. We’ve known about the Park Foundation’s role for some time, but there is now evidence of an assist from none other than the king of crony capitalists who has his own special interests. It’s yet another example of how big money is behind so much of the fractivist agenda.

Anti-Fracking Activists Bully Local Reporter
Energy in Depth
Last month, before a public hearing in Ravenna that focused on hydraulic fracturing and shale development, a group of anti-fracking activists decided to film themselves setting up for their demonstration. The video was disturbing, to say the least: it showed how the protestors treated a local journalist whose previous reporting clearly did not have their stamp of approval.

Massive Growth Lies Ahead For EQT Midstream Partners
Seeking Alpha
EQT Midstream Partners (EQM) is a relatively new name in the midstream MLP sector. The company is a Marcellus based midstream MLP with large growth opportunities due to the production growth in the region. EQT Midstream Partners is sponsored by EQT Corp. (EQT), which is also its general partner and large holder of limited partner interests. The company had its IPO in July 2012 and has since seen its share price soar over 80%. A major catalyst for EQT Midstream Partners is its acquisition of the Sunrise Pipeline, which is expected to significantly boost DCF and provide additional operating synergies.


Enormous oil shale deposit found in Coober Pedy, Australia
San Diego Conservative/
A massive oil find has put the Australian Outback on the energy map. The oil in the Southern Australia oil shale resource is estimated at maximum of 233 billion barrels, topping all of Australia’s reserves put together and nearly equivalent to all the oil in Saudi Arabia. According to Tempo, the Australian oil deposit dwarfs those known deposits in the U.S., outsizing the Bakken formation six times, Marcellus shale 17 times, and the Eagle Ford deposit 80 times over. Australia now has more oil than does Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, or Canada.

Chevron $1.24 Billion Deal Leads YPF’s Post-Repsol Shale Hunt
Chevron Corp., the world’s second-biggest oil company, signed the first agreement with Argentina’s government since it nationalized YPF SA in 2012 to help develop shale oil and natural gas in Vaca Muerta. John Watson, Chevron’s chairman and chief executive officer, and YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio signed the accord yesterday at YPF headquarters in Buenos Aires to develop the world’s second-largest shale gas deposit and fourth-largest shale oil reservoir. The contract finalizes terms for Chevron’s initial $1.24 billion investment, which may reach as much as $15 billion. The partnership was first formed in December.

Could fracking solve China’s energy problems?
The Week
China is an oil-devouring behemoth that is almost entirely dependent on other countries for its energy needs. Also, China is fortunate enough to have massive amounts of shale gas reserves — natural gas that is trapped in sedimentary rock. Sounds like an easy solution, right? Not really. If it were, China would be tapping that rock. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that China may have as much as 1,275 trillion cubic feet of shale gas reserves — 50 percent more than the U.S., which has already extracted enough natural gas from shale to put it on a path to energy independence. Unlocking those resources would help China meet its enormous energy demands, while allowing it to cut down on coal — one of the main causes of the deadly, off-the-charts pollution clogging up the country.

Brussels says no plans for EU-wide shale gas ban
The European Union has no plans to impose a blanket ban on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial shale gas extraction method, but it will lay out rules to address environmental concerns, a top EU official said Tuesday. EU Environment chief Janez Potocnik said the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, will draft its proposal for the rules by the end of the year to settle “some serious legislative gaps”. “We don’t talk about banning fracking at the EU level,” he told AFP after discussing the issue with the bloc’s environment ministers in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. But he said they plan to ensure hydraulic fracturing or fracking is “done in a safe and secure way”.

Polish minister denies shale gas exodus by US firms
Marathon Oil and Talisman have recently declared plans to withdraw from Poland, as ExxonMobil did last year, over doubts about the true potential of its shale gas fields. But Piotr Wo?niak, Poland’s deputy environment minister, said that as far as he was concerned, Marathon and Exxon were still invested in Polish shale. “You’ve heard [the] gossips about Marathon leaving Poland?” he told EurActiv. “I’ve heard these gossips too. But we are a licensing office and as long as we don’t have any filed requests from a company, we don’t regard them as leaving the concession.” “Marathon which has 11 concessions didn’t file anything with us,” he underlined.