Norse Energy Suing NY Gov Cuomo to Force Release of SGEIS

Breaking newsThis is BIG news: It seems we haven’t heard the last from Norse Energy–the Norwegian-based driller that just over a month ago converted from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, or “keep the creditors at bay while we reorganize,” to Chapter 7, or “sell off the furniture and turn off the lights” (see Lights Turned Off, Door Closed – Good Night, Norse Energy). There’s still a bit of fight left in Norse–or fight left in its creditors anyway. Late last week MDN received a tip from friend and intrepid blogger Andy Leahy, writer of the excellent NY Shale Gas Now! blog, about some of the biggest New York news we’ve heard in some time: Norse Energy, or what’s left of it, has decided to file a lawsuit against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens, and State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah–a lawsuit that will force the release of draft drilling regulations called the SGEIS (Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement).

The official lawsuit has not yet been filed but according to MDN’s sources, it will be filed in early December. This story is a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you and show you the evidence we have that a lawsuit against the Cuomo/Martens/Shah cabal is indeed on the way–very soon…
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Cabot Buys Second Dimock, PA Property on Carter Road

Contrary to the desires of Josh Fox and other anti-drillers, the “Dimock” story continues to fade away into obscure history. A month ago MDN told you about the former house of some of the loudest Cabot critics who used to live in Dimock, PA–the Sautners. Craig and Julie Sautner sold their house and 3.6 acres to Cabot last year and snuk out of town with $167,500 (see Fracking Opponents Craig & Julie Sautner Sell, Leave Dimock). Last month, the old Sautner house was leveled and the property was sold to the neighbor for a measly $4,000 (see End of an Era? Sautner’s Dimock Home Leveled, Property Sold).

Another Dimock property has just been sold to Cabot, albeit for not quite as much. Mike Ely sold his 12-acre property on Carter Road (including double-wide trailer) to Cabot for $140,000…
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Cabot O&G: Marcellus Cost Structure Goes Through the…Floor!

Cabot Oil & Gas continues to impress and astonish the drilling industry. MDN has written many times before about Cabot’s ability to spin “gold” (profits) from “hay” (low cost price environment). Cabot recently presented at a pair of “global energy conferences” arranged by investment firms Jeffries & Co. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. We have the slide deck from each (which is pretty much identical) and we’ve embedded it below. You’ll want to review it if you have an interest in the Marcellus Shale.

One of the startling pieces of information we glean from it: Starting in 2009 Cabot’s cost to drill and produce gas was $2.47 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf). By 2013, that number had dropped to an average $1.37/Mcf. Next year, in 2014, Cabot says their Marcellus per unit cash cost, the cost of drilling and producing, will be around…
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Is the Marcellus Already Going Bust in Lycoming County, PA?

Has the Marcellus Shale drilling industry already going bust? If you read the headlines of say, oh, the Philadelphia Inquirer, that may be the conclusion you reach. But if you read beyond the headlines you’ll find a different story.

The number of drilling rigs in the Marcellus is down a bit from what it was a year or two ago, that’s for sure. With less drilling comes less of a lot of other things needed for drilling (hotel visits, construction, security, catering, etc.). However, it may be more accurate to view the Marcellus drilling industry as more like taking a breather. Regrouping. Assessing. One thing is for sure, although some parts of the Marcellus drilling industry may have dipped (not gone bust, but slowed a bit), other parts of it are just picking up steam. A better metaphor is “ebb and flow”…
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CO2 Instead of Water for Fracking – Seriously?!

From time to time MDN likes to highlight new technologies used in shale drilling. We’ve talked about the recent trend in drillers switching from using diesel to run drilling rigs to using natural gas. A number of Marcellus drillers now use pure natgas or dual fuel drilling rigs, drillers including Cabot, Seneca, Antero, CONSOL, EQT (see this MDN search for a list of those stories). We’ve also talked about companies who have developed alternatives to water as a fracking fluid–most recently eCORP Stimulation Technologies’ liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or propane) fracking (see ecorpStim Tries to Interest France in Waterless Fracking Tech).

MDN always hastens to add, there’s nothing inherently wrong with using water as a fracking fluid. It’s cheap, it’s plentiful and the amount used is so tiny in comparison to other uses, it’s not an environmental problem–at least not in the northeastern U.S. However, there are places were water is not abundant, so enterprising companies are still trying to create innovative solutions. Some of those enterprising companies are now looking at that evil, nasty compound that is the cause of so much angst for global warmers: carbon dioxide (goes by the gang name CO2). CO2 is plentiful–it’s the stuff you breathe out with every breath and the stuff plants and trees need to breath in so they can produce oxygen. But we digress. Engineers are looking at CO2 as a possible solution to replace water fracking. If they can figure it out, we say, grrrreat!…
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Deloitte & EIA: 90,000 Marcellus Wells Drilled in Next 20 Years

A new report published by consulting powerhouse Deloitte references (and affirms) U.S. Energy Information Administration’s predictions that it will take at least $5 trillion of investment in the oil and gas sector between now and 2035 to main current levels of oil and natural gas production and meet future demand as it rises. The report is titled “The challenge of renaissance: Managing an unprecedented wave of oil and gas investment.” Unfortunately we couldn’t locate a copy–but reportedly it’s full of interesting facts–like the $5 trillion number.

Another eye-popping number from the report: Current estimates are that 90,000 Marcellus Shale wells will be drilled over the next 20 years. That kind of activity will spur an unfathomable economic revival in the northeast like we haven’t seen in since, well, forever! The study says while “trillions” will be spent on upstream (drilling), “hundreds of billions” will need to be spent on midstream (pipelines & processing plants) in order to keep up with the production. More from the Deloitte study…
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Want to Plug in to the Marcellus Industry? These Groups Can Help

For individuals living in Greater Pittsburgh looking for a job in the drilling industry, or companies looking to break into the Marcellus Shale supply chain, the Pittsburgh Business Times published a helpful list of organizations (and their websites) that may be able to give you an assist with your pursuit…
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