Back from the Chesapeake Dead: David Spigelmyer Takes Helm at MSC

David SpigelmyerThe Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), the premier organization representing the Marcellus drilling industry in Pennsylvania and beyond, has named a new leader. Since the organization’s founding in late 2009 it has been led by the very talented Kathryn Klaber. In a surprise announcement in July, Katie said she would be stepping down from her post (see Kathryn Klaber Stepping Down as CEO of Marcellus Shale Coalition). She has big shoes to fill. So who will fill them?

David Spigelmyer has become the new CEO of the MSC effective this week. David’s name may be familiar. Until August of this year he was chairman of the executive board for the MSC. He was on the board representing Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest drillers in the Marcellus. Then Chessy’s new CEO Doug Lawler swung his ax…
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Did Gov Tomblin Find a European Investor for a WV Cracker Plant?

At the beginning of October, MDN told you that West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was heading out on a 13-day whirlwind European vacation trade mission to five different countries. One of his aims was to find someone to invest in an ethane cracker plant in West Virginia (see WV Gov Going to Europe to Find Him a Cracker). Tomblin is almost done touring Europe and said by phone from Switzerland that “he expects to make announcements within the next few days concerning deals made” as a result of his trip.

Will one of those announced deals be an investment in a cracker plant?…
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Cows Belch Methane Like a Fire Breathing Dragon!

Anti-frackers are anti-frackers mostly because they hate fossil fuels. Natural gas, i.e. “methane,”  is one of those evil, dirty fossil fuels. It’s a philosophical thing for anti-frackers. Methane from the ground is non-renewable, ya know–and we just can’t have that! Call it being energy prejudiced.

Now comes word that–unbelievably–cows also emit methane, and a lot of it. No, not from that end silly–they emit methane from burping! Cows emit something like 250-300 liters per day of methane from belching. Each cow is a mini-environmental disaster. Who knew that cows were such rude, belching polluters? But have no fear–the Argentinians have figured out a way to capture all that burped methane and purify it for use by humans (and no, this is NOT a joke). MDN does wonder: Will this new revelation about methane from cow burps and the ability to harness it spawn a new anti-burping movement? Anti-frackers might now become anti-burpers…
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Spectra NJ-NY Marcellus Gas Pipeline Goes Online Nov. 1

It’s been a long road and a long time in coming, but the good news is that starting Nov. 1, residents of New York City will have another 800 million cubic feet of cheap mostly-Marcellus natural gas flowing into the city through Spectra Energy’s 16 mile, $1.2 billion pipeline from New Jersey to New York. The pipeline will flow enough gas to heat 2 million homes in NYC each year. Outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called more natgas for NYC “vital”. Most New Yorkers are in favor of the new pipeline, but that didn’t deter some from trying to stop the new pipeline.

During construction of the pipeline Spectra had to deal with a lot of nonsense, like protesters who turned into strippers (see NYC Pipeline Protesters Get Naked, Paint Themselves Green), protesters who didn’t even tell themselves they were about to spontaneously break the law (see Nutjob Protester Stops NYC Pipeline Construction for 2 Hours), and groups of protesters like the [In]Sane Energy Project that sued to stop the pipeline (see Judge Tosses Out Lawsuit Against Spectra NYC Pipeline Project). Spectra pressed on through it all and they’re about to turn on the valve Nov. 1. Success at last!…
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EIA to Launch New Monthly Drilling Productivity Report

If you’ve read MDN for any length of time, you know we’re generally not fans of the federal government and the bloated bureaucracy it has become. The EPA, for one, has way overstepped its Constitutional authority in our humble opinion (we call it a rogue agency). There is, however, one federal agency we like and admire and respect: the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA is populated with bright people that produce helpful and insightful reports about energy production and consumption in the U.S., indeed around the world. While the EIA is not exactly prophetic, their word is about as close to energy Gospel as it gets.

With the so-called government shut-down now over, the EIA is back in business. Yesterday they announced they’re starting up a new monthly report called the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The report will tell us just how efficient (or not) rigs are at drilling, and how productive (or not) wells are, by region/shale play. Among the very important things to be tracked in the new DPR will be the decline rate of newly drilled wells–how quickly the gas and oil flowing out of shale wells peters out. Here’s yesterday’s EIA announcement:
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WVU Prof Tells Legislators 625′ Setback in Drilling is Not Enough

A West Virginia University professor that helped prepare a report for the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) continues to voice concerns about the way the WVDEP has interpreted the results of the study he helped research. In June the WVDEP released a third and final study (this one on air quality) required under WV’s 2011 Horizontal Well Control legislation. The report as issued by the WVDEP says based on the results of the research study, no new regulations are needed to control air emissions around drilling sites (see WVDEP Releases Study on Air Quality Impacts of Shale Drilling).

However, Dr. Michael McCawley, chairman of the Dept. of Occupational & Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at WVU and author of the original “raw” report, said he thinks air emissions from Marcellus and Utica shale drilling do need tweaking, particularly the amount of distance required from a well site to the nearest structure, like a home or school (called a “setback”). McCawley thinks 625 feet from the center of a well pad is not enough (see Did WVDEP Ignore It’s Own Research on Shale Well Air Pollution?). On Monday Dr. McCawley was back before WV legislators making the same argument…
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Drilling Begins on Wastewater Injection Well in Trumbull County

The first of what may end up being three new frack wastewater injection wells is now being drilled in Trumbull County, OH. American Water Management Services is right now drilling one of two planned injection wells in Weatherfield, OH. A second company, Kleese Development, has made application to drill a third injection well in the area.

The details:
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OH Hickory Bend Processing Plant Dedication in Oct, Online in Dec

NiSource and Hilcorp Energy are building a natural gas processing plant in Springfield Township (Mahoning County), OH as part of a joint venture called Pennant Midstream. The Hickory Bend Processing Plant, as it’s called, will be dedicated on Oct. 28, although it won’t actually be up and running until sometime in December. The Hickory Bend project includes not only the processing plant (the first of a potential three processing plants), it also includes some 55 miles of wet gas gathering pipelines in eastern OH.

The initial investment in Hickory Bend by NiSource and Hilcorp is $375 million, but by the time it’s all done and dusted (in several years’ time with more processing plants), it could easily top $1 billion…
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Seneca Resources Reports Production Up 35% Thanks to Marcellus

Seneca Resources, the drilling arm of National Fuel Gas Company, issued their fiscal 4th quarter (everyone else’s calendar 3rd quarter) operations update yesterday. Seneca is one of the major drillers in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. They report production for 4Q was up a very healthy 35% over the same period last year. They credit their Marcellus drilling program in Lycoming County, PA for that success.

Because of their success, Seneca has revised up their guidance (best guess) for how much natural gas they’ll produce this fiscal year–to 145-165 billion cubic feet (Bcf). The full report from Seneca, including initial production rates from some of their recently drilled wells…
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