NY Dems’ Testy Response to Criticism of Andy’s Fracking Indecision

T-shirt caution easily offendedThis is rich. The head of the Republican Party in New York State, Ed Cox, criticizes Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the issue of his impotency on the fracking issue (see Andrew Cuomo: Hamlet on the Shale), and the Democrats are so thin-skinned they immediately call for an investigation of Cox for “unethical or potentially illegal” actions. You can tell how vulnerable Andy and the Dems are on this issue by the way they misuse their power to try and obliterate all dissenting views.

Democrat State Sen. Timothy Kennedy of Buffalo is the latest shill to rise up and defend his boy Andy, calling for an investigation of Cox…
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Icahn Now Throwing His Weight Around at Talisman, Like Chesapeake

What a shame. Carl Icahn is now the evil puppet master behind the curtain pulling the strings at Talisman Energy the same way he’s done at Chesapeake Energy. MDN recently told you that Icahn–a corporate raider whose sole purpose is to swoop in, dismember parts of a company so its stock price goes up and then cash out his stock at a profit–has his claws in Talisman (see Carl Icahn Snaps Up 6% of His Next E&P Victim: Talisman Energy). His meddling at Chesapeake has led to a loss of 1,200 jobs in that company over the past six months or so.

Now Icahn is at it with Talisman, forcing them to sell off part of their Montney Shale acreage in northeast British Columbia. On the plus side the sale likely means more drilling emphasis on the Marcellus. However, if we worked at Talisman, we’d be looking over our shoulder wondering when the pink slip will arrive. Talisman CEO Hal Kvisle is trying to put on a brave face about being micromanaged by Icahn, but you know he hates it…
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MarkWest Hits 2.2 Bcf/d in Processing, 2 New Plants Go Live

Marcellus midstream (pipelines and processing plants) heavyweight MarkWest Energy issued an operations update last week to trumpet the fact that two new cryogenic processing plants–to separate wet gas compounds from methane–have now started operations in the Marcellus/Utica. With the additional capacity of these new plants, MarkWest’s total processing capacity is now 2.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas processing in the Marcellus/Utica. It is an impressive number and will only grow in the months and years ahead.

MarkWest announced they have begun operations at their fifth Majorsville (Marshall County), WV cryogenic processing plant and at their first Seneca (Noble County), OH cryogenic processing plant. Here’s the justifiably proud announcement from MarkWest on reaching the 2.2 Bcf/d milestone, on their way to 4 Bcf/d by the end of next year:
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Titusville, PA Tells Shale Drilling Industry: We Want YOU

What a refreshing change! Titusville (Crawford County), PA, a small city in northwestern PA where this country’s first-ever commercial oil well was drilled (the Drake well), wants to market itself as the perfect place for those involved in the shale drilling industry to set up offices and operations. Titusville sits between active Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling on either side of it and will someday likely see its own drilling. City officials figure with a bit of marketing they can be a destination for the industry in NW PA. Smart.

Officials are spending $33,000 to get a plan developed that will assist them in knowing how and where to market their community. They’re even talking about using old wells in the area as (gasp) injection wells for frack wastewater! Right now the city is shopping for someone to help them develop a comprehensive plan…
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Cheat Sheet: Which Agencies Regulate OH Drilling/Pipelines

Last week MDN told you of a new change in how natural gas gathering pipelines are regulated in Ohio. Until last week, the safety of gathering pipelines was fuzzy–really no one in charge of ensuring safety for gathering lines. That changed when the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) took over as lead agency for regulating that particular type of pipeline (see PUCO Now Regulates Gathering Pipelines in Ohio). But there are a few different kinds of pipelines and depending on which kind, a mish mash of federal and state (and even local) agencies are in charge of permitting and inspecting said pipelines.

The reality of who regulates what when it comes to pipelines and other aspects of shale drilling is complex. PUCO decided it was a good idea to issue a press release/update to clear it all up. Apparently their office was flooded with requests for explanations, so they developed a handy chart to indicate who regulates what in Ohio’s shale drilling industry. It’s a very helpful update (and chart) for not only understanding who regulates pipelines in Ohio, but also who permits and regulates wells, compressor plants, processing plants–the whole enchilada…
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Drilling-Related Manufacturer Brings 150 Jobs to Trumbull County

Another huge positive economic impact from Marcellus/Utica Shale drilling is coming to eastern Ohio. Legacy Measurement Solutions Inc. of Addison, TX, a manufacturer of measurement equipment used in the oil and natural gas industry, is setting up a new 73,000 square foot plant in Trumbull County, OH early next year. The plant will “ramp up slowly” but will eventually employ 150 people. This is seriously good news for Brookfield, where the plant will be located, and Trumbull County in general.

More jobs, more tax revenues–it’s an economic boomlet from just one company…
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More Marcellus Drilling on the Way in Allegheny County, PA?

So far there’s been some, but not a lot, of shale drilling in Allegheny County, PA (Greater Pittsburgh area). A few weeks ago MDN told you about an offer from Huntley & Huntley–essentially a leasing agent for Range Resources–to lease a Deer Lakes Park, a county park in Allegheny County. The point of that story was not to focus on the big issues involved in leasing county-owned land in an urban area, but on the shameless way anti-drillers brainwash and use their own very young children as media props (see PA Anti-Drillers Shove Their Children Before the Microphones).

We said in that post we would return to the issue of whether or not it’s a good idea to drill under county parks. Today, we do that. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides an update on the deal Huntley & Huntley is trying to broker for drilling under (not on) Deer Lakes Park. The article also tackles other county-owned land (parks) in Allegheny County that may one day soon see drilling…
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Energy Services Co Wood Group Buys Competitor, Access to Marcellus/Utica

Wood Group, a company with $7 billion in sales and 43,000 employees worldwide, is an international energy services firm (engineering, construction, etc.) that targets the oil and gas drilling industry. The Wood Group announced today they’re acquiring a much smaller competitor–Elkhorn Holdings Inc., a construction services firm with a presence in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region. Elkhorn, based in Wyoming, has 2,200 employees.

The buyout means Wood Group will expand further into the Marcellus/Utica and more than double the number of their shale-focused employees. It also means an expanded product offering for Wood throughout the U.S. Today’s announcement from the Wood Group:
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Magnum Hunter 3Q13: Revenue Up 80%, Losses Up 636% (Ouch)

Magnum Hunter is a small but growing driller (and midstream) company in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale. Last week Magnum Hunter released their third quarter update. Among the highlights: the company has now drilled 14 wells in the Marcellus Shale (in Wetzel County, WV). They started drilling a new Utica well (Munroe County, OH) and have now completed fracking a previously drilled well in Washington County, OH during 3Q13. Magnum Hunter has drilled and completed more than twice the Marcellus/Utica wells combined in the Willston Basin (i.e. Bakken Shale of North Dakota).

Revenue for Magnum Hunter was up an impressive 80% over 3Q12, but the company reported an unimpressive net loss of 636% over 3Q12. The company certainly needs to do more to stop the bleeding and get a handle on expenses if they plan to stay in the game. Here’s most of the 3Q13 update from Magnum Hunter (scroll down near the bottom for the operations update for the Marcellus and Utica regions):
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