Denver Co Buys OH Wastewater Polluter D&L Energy for $20.7M

now whatMDN has long chronicled the bad actions of Ben Lupo, the guy who directed one of his employees to dump thousands of gallons of frack wastewater down a drain that eventually ended up in the Mahoning River near Youngstown, OH (see Youngstown Business Dumped >200K Gal of Untreated Wastewater). The business that did the dumping was Hardrock Excavating, but because Lupo owns several businesses and because they’re all so intertwined together, another of his businesses, D&L Energy, got caught in the mess and ended up in bankruptcy (see OH Wastewater Dumper D&L Energy Gets Business Death Sentence).

For a time, the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources would not let D&L sell off it’s assets (see D&L Wants to Sell Remaining Assets at Auction, ODNR Says No). However, they finally agreed to a plan for D&L to auction its assets and that happened last week. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of Ohio approved the auction yesterday. Who bought D&L? And what does it mean for landowners who signed with D&L (the company owned over 30,000 acres of shale drilling leases)? Read on…
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House Passes Bills to De-Fang BLM Frack Rules, Speed Up Permits

Republicans have grown tired of heavy-handed regulations coming out of the Obama administration, from the Obama EPA and Dept. of Interior (DOI) that seek to strangle the blossoming energy industry in this country due to shale drilling. Mainstream media tells you Obama is an “all of the above” guy–he likes that shale drilling stuff ’cause he’s a big thinker and sees the big picture, and even some in his own party grumble and complain about his support for drilling. It’s bunkum. Obama and his sycophants seek to enforce federal regulations on drilling any way they can–to slow it down.

Republicans have had enough and passed two bills yesterday: one would de-fang the DOI Bureau of Land Management’s plan to enforce new fracking regulations on federal lands; the other speeds up the permitting process for drilling on federal lands, to allow more drilling more quickly…
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Marcellus/Utica States Slip in Global Petroleum Survey

Each year, the Canadian-based Fraser Institute surveys petroleum industry executives and managers (864 of them for 2013) asking them their opinions on the barriers to investing in exploration and production in various geographies across the globe. That is, what makes them more likely or less likely to spend money drilling in a particular location? It’s vitally important to understand what drives investors because without money, drilling doesn’t happen.

The Global Petroleum Survey, as it’s called, tallies the survey responses and ranks each geography from most desirable place to invest, to least desirable. MDN reported the rankings last year (see Energy Execs Rank Drilling Locations Including WV, OH, PA, NY). A copy of this year’s full report/rankings is embedded below. How did Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and (yes) New York fare this year, compared to last?…
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OH Annual O&G Report: Utica 36% of All Wells Drilled in 2012

On Tuesday the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) published their 48th annual “McCormac Report”–the 2012 Ohio Oil & Gas Summary report chocked full of charts, maps and statistics about oil and gas drilling in Ohio (full copy embedded below). As you can imagine, a lot of the report is dedicated to Utica Shale drilling. The report covers calendar year 2012, the year when Ohio’s Utica Shale really started to blossom. However, it does not include data for 2013, which is the year when the OH Utica grew up and became a serious shale play contender. Still, there’s lots to love about the McCormac Report, so named for Mike McCormac, the guy who’s been producing it for the past 32 years.

We learn in the report that in total, $706 million worth of natural gas and oil was drilled in Ohio in 2012. We also learn the state saw it’s longest ever horizontal well drilled–16,664 feet! That’s an astonishing 3.15 miles long (drilled in Jefferson County). And we learn that 36% of all wells drilled in 2012 were Utica Shale wells. Here’s a few highlights from the report:
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Ironic: PA Enviro Court Forcing DEP to Rule on Forced Pooling

A 51-year old forced pooling law in Pennsylvania that strangely does not apply to the Marcellus Shale layer, but does apply to the deeper Utica Shale layer, is being put to the test. In early October, MDN told you that Hilcorp had decided to take “the low road” and sue a landowner in Lawrence County, PA to force that landowner to allow his 14.6 acres to be drilled under using the old law (see Hilcorp Uses PA Forced Pooling Law Against Lawrence Cty Landowner).

The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection balked at invoking the old law to force the landowner and instead tossed this hot potato to the Environmental Hearing Board. The Hearing Board ruled this week that it doesn’t have jurisdiction and that the matter properly does belong back at the DEP. So what will the DEP do now?…
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Forced Pooling Talk at WV Legislative Interim Meeting

Like a bad penny, the issue of forced pooling (or “unitization” or whatever you want to call it) keeps turning up in West Virginia. WV legislators are in the midst of holding an interim meeting, and this week they heard from both supporters and opponents of forced pooling.

The sharp lawyers from Lewis Glasser Casey & Rollins made this observation about the session where it was discussed:
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Cornell “Shale Gas Team” Visits Norwich, NY

Cornell was once a great university–before lazy liberal opinion started to substitute for real scientific investigation (a la Tony Ingraffea, Robert Howarth, et al). Oh there’s still a few good profs at Cornell, profs that do real research, like Larry Cathles, Larry Brown and Andrew Hunter. But by and large Cornell has just faded into the background when it comes to being a voice on shale energy and energy research. Cornell is a has been.

So we found it interesting that a group of Cornell profs and grad students calling themselves the Cornell Shale Gas Team made a visit to Norwich, NY this week (MDN editor Jim Willis’ home town) to offer an “information seminar” on current issues and research in shale. Who knew there was a “Shale Gas Team” at Cornell? Jim couldn’t be there in person (he wasn’t aware of it!), but the Norwich Evening Sun had a reporter who filed this:
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NY Congressman Chides Cuomo for Continued Fracking Delay

Well there’s at least one New York Congressman with a spine–willing to stand up and call Gov. Andrew “can’t make up his mind on fracking” Cuomo what he is: someone who kowtows to fringe anti-drilling, anti-business wackos. Republican Congressman Chris Collins represents the 27th district in western NY–everywhere from the edge of Buffalo to the edge of Rochester, and from Lake Ontario to halfway down the state. It’s a large district.

Collins was speaking on the floor of the house yesterday in support of H.R. 2728 (see our companion story today on the two pro-drilling House bills that passed yesterday). Here’s Collins chiding his lordship Andy:
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