She Speaks! Teresa Heinz Kerry Talks re Endowments Firings, CSSD

Teresa Heinz KerryThe autocratic tendencies of liberals are amusing (and scary) to watch. Case in point: Teresa Heinz Kerry, chairwoman of the Heinz Endowments. Kerry finally addressed the issue of the Heinz Endowments firing three high profile employees, including the Endowments’ president Bobby Vagt (see Bobby Vagt Out as Pres of Heinz Endowments – Fracking Connection?).

While refusing to be completely forthcoming, Kerry was forthcoming enough to confirm what we already suspected: the Heinz boys and mommy dearest didn’t like the Endowments getting into bed with the Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD). Pay close attention to what Kerry does and does not say in the following article. MDN snarky commentary included [in brackets]
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Chevron Transfers 1,500 Acres of Leases to Chesapeake in WV

The wheeling and dealing with gas leases in the Utica (and Marcellus) seems to be far from over. Last week MDN broke the news that Aubrey McClendon’s new company had picked up 24,650 acres from from SWEPI (Shell) in the Utica Shale in Guernsey County, OH (see Exclusive: McClendon Buys 24K Acres of SWEPI Leases in OH Utica). Now comes news that Chevron has sold 1,500 acres of leases in Ohio County, WV to Chesapeake Energy.

Here are the details, including the names of landowners whose leases were transferred…
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Marcellus in Perspective – 5th Largest Natgas Producing “Country”

Last week MDN told you about the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s finding that Marcellus Shale production had passed 12 billion cubic per day (Bcf/d), a full two years ahead of predictions made by Penn State’s Terry Engelder (see New EIA Drilling Productivity Report: Marcellus Passes 12 Bcf/d!). MDN friend and prolific story idea/link contributor Chris Acker, a geological engineer with an MBA who grew up in the oil fields of Venezuela where his dad was a petroleum engineer, offers the following helpful perspective on just how much 12 Bcf/d really is…
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PA DCNR Blocks Drilling in Loyalsock State Forest – For Now

Back in April, MDN told you about a ginned-up “controversy” over Anadarko Petroleum’s plan to drill in the Loyalsock State Forest that covers parts of Lycoming, Sullivan and Bradford counties in PA (see Manufactured Controversy over Drilling in Loyalsock State Forest). Anadarko owns the lease rights to 25,000 acres underneath the Loyalsock. Even though Anadarko provided the state with their plan to drill (as requested, in March 2012), the state Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) last week temporarily refused their application to begin drilling. Why? Not because of any problems with the proposed plan, but because another driller, Southwestern Energy, owns the rights to about the same amount of acreage and has not submitted a plan to drill on their acreage.

Is it fair that Anadarko be held back because Southwestern isn’t ready to drill yet? Did the DCNR stipulate that all drillers must supply a drilling plan first, when Anadarko submitted their plan back in March 2012? Why did it take until October 2013 for the DCNR to tell Anadarko that Southwestern has to file too? Troubling questions…
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NE PA Anti-Driller Slapped with Trespassing Injunction

Vera Scroggins is a minor celebrity in Susquehanna County, PA–perhaps even beyond. Josh Fox of Gasland fame knows her and loves her. She certainly knows how to harass people she disagrees with (see “The Final Ploy of the Desperate” Natural Gas Opponents for one shining example of her charm). Scroggins has, until now, created a cottage industry of taking “tour groups” around to fracking sites in Susquehanna County–trespassing and pushing her ever-present camera into the face of private landowners (who have asked her to leave) and into the face of gas workers.

Cabot Oil & Gas, the company leasing many of the sites targeted by Scroggins, finally went to court to keep her from harassing private landowners and their workers. That is, Cabot asked the court to stop Scroggins from breaking the law. And the court has now done so by issuing a temporary injunction against Scroggins which will remain in force until a hearing for a permanent injunction is held…
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PA Doctor’s Act 13 Lawsuit Tossed Out, Judge Says No “Standing”

Last Wednesday a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled against a doctor who sued the state over it’s new Act 13 law (passed in 2012). The new law requires doctors to sign a confidentiality agreement before discussing chemicals workers may have been exposed to as part of the drilling (specifically fracking) process in shale drilling.

U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo dismissed the lawsuit filed by Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez saying he hadn’t proven he had been harmed by the law (i.e., no “standing”)…
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3 More Wastewater Injection Wells on the Way in Trumbull County

A small Ohio conventional natural gas drilling/excavating company is getting new life and expanding thanks to the Utica Shale. Kleese Development has applied to the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) to re-purpose several vertical wells to be injection wells. Three older conventional natural gas wells located in Trumbull County, OH–on U.S. Route 422 near Templeton Road–will be converted to shale frack wastewater injection wells if the ODNR approves the project.

If the ODNR does approve the project, frack wastewater won’t be the only thing injected in Trumbull County. The company is also injecting money and jobs into the local economy…

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Work Resumes on Frack Wastewater Plant in Cambria County, PA

Work is resuming on a new frack wastewater treatment facility in Johnstown (Cambria County), PA, according to the Aspen Fluid Logistics, the company building the plant. The project is expected to cost on the order of $100 million by the time it’s done, and create “hundreds of jobs.” However, the new plant has been plagued by delays due to permits and “financing.”

An update on the new plant and the latest guesstimate as to when it will be operational…
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Zeitsgeist: Is 20 Bcf per Well the New Marcellus Standard?

Energy analyst and Seeking Alpha blogger Richard Zeits asks the question, is 20 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per well is the new operating standard for the Marcellus Shale? He asks the question based on the latest quarterly update issued by Cabot Oil & Gas last week for their operation in Susquehanna County, PA. Zeits says Cabot’s report is further proof that the “sweet spot” for dry gas in the Marcellus is northeastern PA.

Zeits starts his latest sterling analysis this way:
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How Many New WV Jobs Go to Out-of-State Workers? We Can’t Know

A developing issue in West Virginia is how many of the new jobs created in the state (which was up an astonishing 20% last year) are going to WV workers, and how many are going to out-of-state workers? According to WV’s 2011 Horizontal Well Control law, the annual report filed by the Dept. of Commerce’s Workforce West Virginia division is supposed to break it down. Problem is, both last year’s report and this year’s (recently issued, see Looking for a Job in the Marcellus? Think WV), does not provide the required in-state/out-of-state numbers.

Technically, Workforce WV is breaking the law by not providing the numbers–but not because it’s intentional. The one WV agency that could provide Worforce WV with the numbers they need for the report–the Revenue department–is prevented from doing so, by law. Talk about screwed up…
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FERC Warning to Lawmakers: Back Us in a Corner, You’ll be Sorry

A U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) official warned last Wednesday that if House Republicans continue to push a bill that limits the amount of time FERC has to review pipeline projects, those Republicans (and their energy company constituents) will be sorry.

Jeff Wright, director of FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, told an Energy Bar Association conference in Washington that if backed into a “one year to approve a project or else” corner, FERC will start denying projects rather than let them go forward…
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Harrison County: Busy Courthouse, Road Use & Lease Offer by Hess

What’s going on in Harrison County, OH? When it comes to oil and gas drilling in the Utica Shale, quite a lot, including: a congested courthouse (where land records are kept); proposed road use agreements from Chesapeake Energy; and a plum offer by Hess for 21.7 acres west of the Harrison County Airport.

The details…
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PA University First to Operate CNG-Powered Commuter Trolley

We certainly hope this portends a trend. Lock Haven University (Clinton County, PA) is the first PA institution of higher learning to have its very own compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered commuter trolley which is now scooting students hither and yon around town. Radically lower air emissions, way cheaper to operate–what’s not to like? All thanks to cheap, abundant, fracked Marcellus Shale gas.

Ding ding. All aboard!…
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