MSC/PIOGA Team Up to Study Radiation in Shale Drilling

questionsIn January 2013, MDN brought you the news that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) was launching a 12-14 month study of radiation in shale drilling (see PA DEP Announces New Study of Radiation in Shale Drilling).

Yesterday the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA) announced a joint effort to conduct their own study of radiation in shale drilling. The two organizations say their study will “complement” the study now being done by the DEP. Yesterday’s announcement raises some important questions:

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PA AG Pressures Judge to Step Aside in XTO Spill Case

abuse of powerA quick update on the political persecution being shamefully conducted by Pennsylvania’s new Attorney General Kathleen Kane against XTO Energy (see PA AG Abuses Her Authority, Files Criminal Charges Against XTO). Kane is attempting to turn a 3 year-old accidental spill into a criminal case–beyond imagination.

Kane continues to abuse her power. She has pressured the judge who would have heard the XTO case to recuse himself because he has a share/interest in a gas lease. The judge’s lease is not with XTO, but that’s not good enough for anti-drilling Kane. She wanted him gone–so he’s gone…
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Meet the Frackers: New Book Details Miracle of Fracking History

The Frackers by Gregory ZuckermanA new book is being released today titled The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters. It’s written by Gregory Zuckerman, reporter with the Wall Street Journal, and it delves into the story behind what MDN calls an energy miracle–the combination of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and horizontal drilling. Looks like this one is a must-buy-and-read!

MDN friend Bob Downing from the Akron Beacon Journal wrote the following detailed review on what he calls a “fascinating new book”…
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An Update on Utica Shale’s #2 Driller – Gulfport Energy

As Gulfport Energy gets ready to release its third quarter update today, GuruFocus provides a helpful overview of Gulfport’s recent drilling and production, particularly in the Utica Shale which is now Gulfport’s number one producing play. Gulfport is the #2 driller in the Utica behind Chesapeake Energy.

We found this interesting and thought you might too…
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Transco NE Upgrade Complete, Marcellus Gas Flows to 1M New Homes

MDN told you yesterday that Kinder Morgan had started flowing natual gas through their newly added Northeast Upgrade to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (see Kinder Morgan Opens the Valves on TGP Northeast Upgrade). That upgrade brought an additional 636,000 dekatherms per day of additional capacity to the system–enough gas to meet the needs of 2.5 million homes. Right on the heels of that announcement Williams Partners announced they have completed their Transco pipeline upgrade–the Northeast Supply Link Expansion. Williams started flowing gas through the remainder of the Transco upgrade last Friday.

The Transco expansion adds another 250,000 dekatherms per day, enough gas to meet the needs of 1 million homes. The new gas that’s flowing through both the Williams and TGP pipeline upgrades comes from the Marcellus Shale and services East Coast cities like New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Atlanta and Charlotte. The announcement from Williams says (a) their project came online ahead of schedule, in time for the 2013-2014 winter heating season, and (b) they’re in the midst of spending another $1.5 billion on infrastructure projects in the Marcellus/Utica–right now
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PUCO Now Regulates Gathering Pipelines in Ohio

Until last week, no one state (or federal) agency was responsible for regulating gathering pipelines in Ohio–the pipelines that go from individual wells to either a processing plant or a larger transmission pipeline. Other types of pipelines are regulated by a mish mash of state and federal agencies, but not the gathering lines themselves. However, last week the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO)  adopted new rules into the Ohio Administrative Code as provided for by Senate Bill 315 of the 129th General Assembly that takes care of that loophole.

Effective now, PUCO regulates gathering pipelines in Ohio…
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Carrizo Down on Marcellus, Up on Utica and Other Wet/Oil Plays

Carrizo Oil & Gas is a driller in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale, as well as several other non-northeast shale plays. Carrizo released their third quarter operations and financial update yesterday. Although Carrizo’s current drilling program is focused primarily in the Eagle Ford and the Niobrara, they continue to drill in the Marcellus (some). In 3Q13 Carrizo picked up an additional 5,900 net acres in the Utica Shale, increasing their acreage in the Utica to 21,700.

Carrizo isn’t so happy with the Marcellus right now because of low commodity prices for dry gas (methane). They’re more happy with the Utica because of wet gas production. Below are select (brief) sections from yesterday’s update relevant to the Marcellus/Utica:
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Southwestern 3Q13: Marcellus Production Doubled from Last Year

Last week Southwestern Energy released their third quarter operations and financial update. Southwestern is a large and important driller in the Marcellus Shale–particularly in northeastern Pennsylvania. They also have an active drilling program in several other shale plays. In the Marcellus, Southwestern’s production shot up 196% (nearly doubled!) over the same time last year. They now produce 600 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) and predict they will be producing over 1 billion cubic feet per day by the end of 2015.

Here’s the beginning portion of the Southwestern update from last week, which includes details about their Marcellus drilling program:
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Stone Energy 3Q13: Drilling 30 Marcellus Wells, Testing UD

Stone Energy is mostly an off-shore driller with a number of rigs and operations off the shores of the U.S. However, their one on-shore drilling program is in the Marcellus Shale. They’re also starting to drill test wells in the Upper Devonian (also in the northeast, same area, different shale layer).

Stone issued their third quarter 2013 update yesterday. Here are the mentions of Stone’s operations in the Marcellus and UD:
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