Seismologist: Fracking Does NOT Cause Earthquakes

fracking & earthquakesFinally, an AP reporter who listens and accurately reports the news. Wait, has hell frozen over? When AP starts reporting accurately, we become suspicious. But let’s not become distracted at this unusual turn of events…

On the first day of a two-day conference being hosted by West Virginia University on Marcellus Shale drilling in Morgantown, a seismologist from the University of Texas had the guts to set the record straight. He said: (1) Fracking does not cause earthquakes; (2) injection wells that dispose of fracking wastewater sometimes cause earthquakes; and (3) earthquakes triggered by injection wells are rare–extremely rare. And the AP reported it–accurately. Huh…
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Done Deal: Chesapeake Drops Leases on 13K Acres in NY

Last week MDN told you that Chesapeake was set to release 12,000 acres of leases in the Southern Tier of New York, abandoning a legal fight to extend those leases (some of which they paid $2-3 per acre for) by using a legal concept called force majeure (see Chesapeake to Release 12K Acres of NY Leases Next Week). Major media outlets from AP to Reuters are reporting Chesapeake, as of Monday, has officially dropped those leases.

One slight update: it was actually 13,000 acres, not 12,000 acres as originally reported…
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MDN Processes its Own Frack Wastewater Comments

Apparently MDN left a wrong impression with an article we ran yesterday. We told you about a new study just released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that takes a look at discharges from wastewater plants in Pennsylvania and concludes they don’t do a good job of cleaning up fracking wastewaster (see USGS Study Says Drilling Wastewater Not Fully Treated by Plants). Our criticism of the study left the impression with one reader that we believe municipal sewage treatment plants are capable of processing fracking wastewater. Let us be clear: We do NOT believe that nor do we advocate for it! Just the opposite.

We want to clear up our viewpoint on frack wastewater treatment…
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A Few Dimock Families Who Sued Cabot Endorse Hanger for PA Gov

John Hanger was Secretary of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection from 2008 to 2011 under then Gov. Ed Rendell (both Democrats). In all that time Rendell and Hanger could not get a reasonable tax on drilling passed nor did they modernize PA’s decades-old drilling laws to account for shale drilling and provide new protections for the environment. It took Gov. Tom Corbett and new DEP Sec. Michael Krancer (both Republicans) to accomplish those things.

Today at 11 am at a press conference in Harrisburg, John Hanger, who is running in a primary for the Democrat nomination for Governor, will be endorsed by a few families from Dimock, PA–families who thought they could sue Cabot Oil & Gas for “contaminating” their water supplies and retire in style. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t happen. Those are the “brave” people who will endorse Hanger today. That tells you all you need to know about John Hanger and how he will govern if he wins…
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Thank God the Bluegrass Pipeline will Bypass Marion County Nuns

Thank God the Bluegrass Pipeline will avoid running through property owned by a bunch of liberal Catholic nuns in Marion County, KY. No really, thank the good Lord! (Can I hear an Amen?) Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners–the joint partners building the Bluegrass natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline, a pipeline that carries (gasp!!) “flammable liquids”–say the NGL pipeline will not cross the holy ground of the Sisters of Loretto. But have no fear, the sisters say they’ll oppose it wherever it goes anyway.

Don’t tell the sisters or the AP reporter writing the very slanted article (below), but natural gas running through bazillions of miles of natgas pipelines buried under the ground in every major and minor city across America is just as “flammable” as what will run through the Bluegrass Pipeline when it’s built and operating…
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Charleston Gazette Editorial: Drill Washington National Forest

The debate continues to rage over whether or not to allow shale drilling in the George Washington National Forest. Later this month, the U.S. Forest Service will decide whether or not to allow it (see WashPo Takes Aim at Fracking in the George Washington Natl Forest). Counter to the claptrap published in the Washington Post a few days ago, the Charleston Gazette provides powerful arguments in favor of drilling in a tiny sliver (12,000 acres out of 2 million) of the Washington Forest in today’s editorial.

One gem from the Gazette: The “pristine” Jefferson National Forest with it’s own “leafy cradles” and “gurgling brooks” sits adjacent to and south of the Washington National Forest–in the very same watershed. The Jefferson Forest has had active conventional (vertical) gas drilling for decades–with absolutely no problems…
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Rhino Resources Issues 1.1M Common Units to Repay Debt

Rhino Resource Partners is a master limited partnership (MLP) that produces coal in various basins throughout the U.S. They also invest in oil and gas acreage in both the Utica and Cana Woodford shale plays. In April MDN told you that Rhino had decided to “flip” 20% of their Utica royalty interests to an undisclosed third party for $10.5 million (see Rhino Flips 20% of Utica Investment to Undisclosed 3rd Party).

Yesterday Rhino issued another brief press statement–this one stating they are issuing a public offering of 1.1 million shares of common units (rough equivalent of stock). They’re issuing the new units in order to pay off loans they previously borrowed under their revolving line of credit. No word on how much money they hope to raise…
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MN Construction Company Puts Down Roots in PA Marcellus

A Minnesota-based construction management company is expanding in Washington County, PA in order to plug into the Utica and Marcellus Shale drilling supply chain. Fagen, Inc. offers cranes, tools, storage and expertise with projects across the oil and gas field including pipeline gathering systems, storage and even construction of processing plants.

Fagen’s announcement about the new Houston, PA operation:
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