Meet Ohio’s New Utica Millionaires – Hundreds of Them

shaleionairesAs part of a story about the Morgan County (OH) Landowner Group, or MCLG (see our companion story today), near the end of the story we get this short mention which, although an “off-hand” comment, comes as a startling thunderclap to MDN about the sheer number of millionaires created by the Utica Shale (i.e. “shaleonaires”):
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Morgan County, OH Looks to Join the Utica Shale Well Club

So far Morgan County, OH (south of Muskingum County, west of Noble County) has been quiet with respect to Utica Shale drilling. We’ve heard nothing. However, in November, Petroleum Development Corporation (PDC) obtained three Utica Shale permits in Center Township, Morgan County. Depending on the results of those three wells, more may be on the way.

In addition to the first three Utica wells to be drilled in Morgan by PDC, another surprise (to MDN): There’s a landowner group in Morgan County we were not aware of–the Morgan County Landowner Group (MCLG)–which incorporated as a non-profit in 2012 and already has 60,000+ acres…
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Coast Guard Wants Frack Wastewater Barges Tested – Every Load

In late October MDN told you the good news that the U.S. Coast Guard has green lighted barge shipments of frack wastewater–good news for GreenHunter and their multiple barge facilities along the Ohio River (see Coast Guard Green Lights Barge Transport of Frack Wastewater). At the time the Coast Guard published their draft rules for a 30-day comment period. Those 30 days have come and gone as of last Friday, but still no official date for when barge shipments for frack wastewater will begin.

However, from an article published by the reliably anti-drilling StateImpact Pennsylvania (NPR), we do find out that every shipment of frack wastewater via barge will first have to be analyzed by a state accredited laboratory before it can leave the dock. Why? Frack wastewater is not uniform–each batch varies in the chemical compounds found in that batch. The Coast Guard intends to keep a close eye on it. Of course analyzing every load will add a lot of time and expense to the process, but this precaution will reassure reasonable people that barge shipments of frack wastewater is safe…
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Lies, Damn Lies…and NY State Polls on Fracking

Last week MDN brought you the news that the Marist College poll shows a slight change of public opinion in New York State with respect to whether or not the state should allow shale drilling/fracking (see Latest Marist NY Poll Shows Slight Increase in Frack Opposition). The Marist poll showed, roughly, 37% favor fracking, 47% oppose it, and 16% are clueless. The day after the Marist poll was issued, Quinnipiac University issued their poll. Because the wording is slightly different, the Quinnipiac Poll found New Yorkers are more evenly split: 44% support fracking, 46% oppose it and just 10% are clueless.

Which just goes to show the immortal words of Mark Twain are as true today as they were more than 100 years ago. Here’s the detailed poll results from the latest Q poll…
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Williams Spending $20B (!) on Marcellus/Utica Infrastructure Next 5 Years

MDN released Volume 2 of the 2013 Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook in October. Volume 2 contains one of MDN’s proudest achievements: a comprehensive list of midstream/infrastructure projects either on the boards or already under way in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region. Cumulatively the projects represent a mind-blowing $40 billion investment (see MDN’s 2013 Databook Vol 2 Finds Staggering $40B in NE Midstream Projects).

Although when we released Databook Vol. 2 we thought trumpeting our findings of $40 billion in investment may sound exaggerated and overblown to some, little did we know we may have underestimated the number! An article appearing in Tulsa World says a single company–Williams–has committed to spending $20 billion on Marcellus and Utica infrastructure (pipelines and processing plants) over the next five years. One company! Such numbers makes our jaw hit the floor…
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Some Icebergs are Flammable! Does Josh Fox Know?

Hey Josh, this one is sure to land you an Emmy… head on up to the North Pole and light an entire iceberg on fire! Quit faffing around with a little water tap and go for the thing that’s sure to put your fading name in lights forever. Just one problem Josh, you don’t have to frack the ice in order to get the methane out. Bummer, dude.

We’re referring, tongue-in-cheek, to the serious news that methane is hiding–it’s hiding inside ice crystals at the bottom of the ocean and under the Arctic permafrost. And wonder of wonders, in the next 5-10 years the technology will be available to retrieve that ice-bound methane–enough methane to make shale supplies look like a thimbleful. It likely will not be economically feasible for the U.S. to go after these “methane hydrates” in ice since we have cheap, abundant natural gas all around us that can be safely fracked, but for countries like Japan and India without their own sources of natural gas, this may be the answer to their energy prayers–especially since we seem to be reluctant to export any of our shale gas to them…
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Waterless Fracker ecorpStim (Mis)Uses Newsjacking for Attention

MDN has followed eCORP Stimulation Technologies (“ecorpStim”) for some time now with interest (see our previous stories about eCORP here). ecorpStim has pioneered a waterless fracking technology that uses pure propane–supposedly non-flammable and very safe. We applaud their inventiveness and their tenacity it trying to catch attention for their technology–a technology that costs a lot more than water-based fracking.

What we’re a bit unsettled by, though, is the way they’ve taken to newsjacking. What’s newsjacking, you say? It’s a recent trend in marketing of issuing a press release or otherwise injecting your company (or yourself) into a prominent news story not about you or your company in order to capture attention for you or your company. ecorpStim has been doing that lately. And the way they do it makes you think the big news story is perhaps about their company–when it isn’t. Two cases in point…
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