Sorry, but we can’t avoid using a politically incorrect term in this report: “Injun.” As in the Big Injun Formation, a layer of tightly-packed sandstone that lies above the Marcellus Shale layer in several West Virginia counties. Apparently there’s natural gas in the Big Injun in Clay County, WV, and Cunningham Energy (of Charleston) is going to drill three horizontal/fracked wells to try and get that gas. Fracking the Big Injun has been talked about for a long time (here’s a Society of Petroleum Engineers conference paper that specifically addresses that very topic from 1988!). However, combining horizontal drilling with fracking is relatively new and didn’t happen in the northeast until Range Resources drilled the first Marcellus Shale well in 2004 in western PA.
Until now, we’ve heard of the horizontal drilling/fracking combination being used in the Marcellus, the Utica and the Upper Devonian. Looks like we can now add a fourth formation to that illustrious list: the Big Injun. Good luck to Cunningham Energy as they go Big Injun hunting for natural gas… Continue reading
Finally! An energy-related company in the Utica Shale with a backbone. A couple of anti-drillers thought they would get away with defaming the good name of Duck Creek Energy, a company that manufactures a road deicer and dust suppressant from processed brine water produced from oil and gas wells. Brine is not frack wastewater but naturally occurring water from the depths that has a lot of minerals it (saltier than sea water). Brine comes out long after frack wastewater has been removed. When processed, brine is perfectly safe and can be used for productive things like deicer and dust suppression on roadways. Duck Creek Energy has been manufacturing their deicer for 10 years now.
The defaming anti-drillers claimed the substance being sold by Duck Energy was leftover frack wastewater and contained dangerous chemicals and radiation. Duck Creek Energy sued them and won, shutting them up from telling the outrageous lies they had been spinning… Continue reading
Last Friday MarkWest Energy began an open season, or time when drillers can commit to take pipeline capacity, for it’s “little” 30-mile ethane pipeline that will run from Majorsville, PA to Houston, PA where the ethane can then hitch a ride west/north to Canada via the Mariner West pipeline, east to Philly via the down-the-road Mariner East pipeline, or south to the Gulf Coast via the ATEX pipeline (see MarkWest Open Season for “Little” Ethane Pipeline).
MarkWest is also in a partnership with the country’s largest midstream company, Kinder Morgan, to build a natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline from the Utica/Marcellus to the Gulf Coast, a project announced this past August (see 2 New OH Projects: Cryo Processing Plant & NGL Pipeline to Gulf). Plans are to have the new and (as yet) unnamed pipeline up and running by the second quarter of 2016. Anticipating a 2016 start-up, Kinder Morgan and MarkWest yesterday announced a binding open season–starting now until Dec. 20–for the NGL pipeline. Their joint announcement from yesterday: Continue reading
Be careful out there–there’s a fugitive on the loose. He’s dangerous and if you’re not careful, he’ll sneak in and turn up the temperature on the earth’s thermostat by 1/1000000000000000000000 of a degree. His name? Methane (“Meth” for short). He’s wicked. He’s evil. And he’s out to escape capture any way he can. In fact, he’s trying to get to the ozone even as we speak. Quick! Turn around! He may be behind you right now. You never know with Methane. He’s just so invisible. And wouldn’t you know it–that evil fugitive Meth is first cousins with that other evil ne’er-do-well: Carbon Dioxide–sometimes known by his gang name, CO2. “Meth.” “CO2.” Their very names make one shudder with fear.
And so goes another U.S. Senate hearing on the topic of so-called “fugitive methane”… Continue reading
Last week MDN told you that two somewhat competitive drilling industry organizations in Pennsylvania–the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA)–announced they would launch their own study of the “does drilling create radioactive waste” issue (see MSC/PIOGA Team Up to Study Radiation in Shale Drilling). Since the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection is currently conducting a 12-14 month study of its own on that topic (see PA DEP Announces New Study of Radiation in Shale Drilling), we wondered why the MSC & PIOGA would launch their own study.
Additional information has come to light. According to an interview with Acting (soon to be full) Sec. of the DEP, Chris Abruzzo, the DEP views radioactivity in drilling waste as the possible “next frontier” of the agency’s oversight of the industry. No wonder the industry is concerned. Also, back in August, the MSC & PIOGA jointly issued a lengthy document (copy embedded below) challenging the structure and scope of the DEP study. The view of the MSC/PIOGA seems to be the DEP study as outlined is flawed (our words) and therefore will produce flawed results. Hence, they’re launching their own study to “do it right” (our words). An update on this developing story… Continue reading
Landowners who lease their land, drillers and the industry that comes along to get the gas out of the ground and to market, and community members who get jobs at those companies doing the extracting/moving are not the only ones who benefit from the Marcellus and Utica Shale industry. The entire community benefits.
A false allegation (i.e. lie) trotted out frequently by anti-drillers is that property values will tank and tax revenues will go down when drilling comes to town. A study of West Virginia property tax revenues shows just the opposite happens. The state overall–and those areas with the most shale drilling in particular–have seen property tax revenues increase rather dramatically since 2005 when drilling began. An analysis (objective proof) from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy that drilling is good for property values and property taxes: Continue reading
Last week four anti-drilling groups, who also happen to have gobs of money (investor groups), issued an anti-drilling “report” and “scorecard” titled Disclosing the Facts: Transparency and Risk in Hydraulic Fracturing Operations. The so-called “report” supposedly shows drillers, many of them active in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, are not fully disclosing the nebulous “impacts” of fracking on communities near where they drill. The aim of the four organizations issuing the report–As You Sow, Boston Common Asset Management, Green Century Capital Management, and the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN)–is to get investors to stop investing in oil and gas companies and instead invest in their companies (i.e. mutual funds) because they back “renewable” and “sustainable” energy. Anyone else see a big, fat conflict of interest here?
Of course mainstream media (like Bloomberg) dutifully and unquestioningly regurgitates the press release and so-called “report” from these anti-drillers as real news. Below is the press release and the “report” itself, in case you care. We bring it to you to show you a glittering example of what charlatan propaganda looks like… Continue reading