Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Tue, Jan 14, 2014

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading:

New York

Will law suits bring transparency to NY Fracking decision? Challenge tests Cuomo’s rights to keep review private
Shale Gas Review
More recently, industry attorney Tom West has filed a complaint on behalf of landowners and Norse, a bankrupt drilling company that operated in upstate New York. The suit, Wallach v. New York State, references State Environmental Quality Review (SQER) law, which requires environmental reviews to be completed in a timely and public manner. It claims that the delay led to Norse bankruptcy, and is “legally unjustifiable” as well as “arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion.” In an interview last week, West likened the situation to “giving a fan a football during a football game and letting him walk out of the stadium.” He elaborated: “Government is not allowed to simply shut down this process. They have to finish the game. If they want to say fracking is not safe, then they have to say it. If they want to say fracking is safe within standards, then they have to say it.”


Advice from the Experts about the Importance of Financial and Tax Planning – Guernsey Energy Coalition
The Daily Jeffersonian
Many people in Appalachian Ohio have been handed wealth they never even dreamed about. More money than they ever imagined in their lifetime. Money from Utica shale. Families sit around kitchen tables wondering, “What do we do now?” Buy stuff. Pay off the mortgage. Put the money in a bank. Invest. Invest in what? To address these “commonly asked questions,” representatives from PNC Wealth Management and the law firm of Roetzel and Andress presented various options and suggestions to help clients establish a plan for enjoying the fruits of their good fortune while minimizing complicated tax issues ingrained in the gas and oil industry. The legal experts were introduced by Jo Sexton, president of the Guernsey Energy Coalition’s Thursday meeting at the Southgate Hotel in Cambridge. The Coalition was established by Sexton in July of 2011 as a venue for guest speakers from the gas and oil industry and its service providers, to offer accurate information relative to the pending oil boom.

Portage County holding public meeting on Sunoco pipeline
Akron Beacon Journal
Pipeline construction and safety is the topic of a hearing by the Portage County commissioners on Thursday, Jan. 16. The meeting will take place at 11:15 a.m. on the seventh floor of the Portage County Administration Building, 449 S. Meridian St. The meeting will focus on the Sunoco Logistics pipeline carrying ethane across Portage County. It is transporting ethane from Houston, Pa., through the Akron area to Sarnia, Ontario. In the Akron area, the pipeline crosses southern Portage County, runs from Mogadore to Hudson, then heads west through Summit and Medina counties. It measures 8 inches in diameter from the Canadian border to Hudson and 10 inches from Hudson to Vanport, Pa. The project required the conversion, expansion and partial reversal of existing pipeline and received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Company officials are expected to attend.

Zane State College Adds Finishing Touches to Gas, Oil Land Lab
Ohio Gas & Oil
The best way for students to learn about oil and gas formations is to have actual samples of the raw materials and scaled-down versions of the machinery and equipment. Zane State College’s Oil and Gas Engineering Technology Program on the Cambridge campus, boasts one of the first, — if not The first — oil and gas programs to offer students a hands-on experience. Now that a pump jack and related equipment are in place, coming soon to the oil and gas lab is a geological shale column. The column will be comprised of five layers of oil and gas producing rocks and stone typically found in Ohio: Marcellus and Utica shale, Trenton limestone, Clinton sandstone and Berea sandstone. The two samples of shale rock displayed in the photo are from the Marcellus and Utica formations in New York. The Marcellus formation is gigantic — beginning in northern New York it covers at least half of Ohio, and other states in between. Paul Pasley, instructor at Zane State’s Oil & Gas Engineering Technology Program in Cambridge, is spearheading a project to build a column with veneers of actual samples of each layer of rock, sandstone and limestone.

Businesses Still Working Toward Gas, Oil Expansion in Wayne County
Ohio Gas & Oil
There had been a lot of hope swelling in Wayne County that the oil and gas development east of here would migrate this way. In the summer of 2012, Devon Energy Production became the first major player to secure a permit to drill a horizontal, hydraulic-fractured well in the county. However, the results were not what was expected, and the company pulled out. Though the play is not here now, Wayne Economic Development Council President Rod Crider and Project Manager Shawn Starlin have continued to work with local companies who are providing products to gas and oil producers. The latest project involved Pride of the Hills Manufacturing Wooster, formerly TRING Corp. The Wooster-area manufacturer joined with Pride of the Hills, Killbuck, and it is undergoing an expansion with nearly $3 million invested in new equipment.


Pa. vying to be global energy leader
The Tribune-Democrat
Gas drilled in the fields of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale will soon be shipped to Japan, in a deal announced by Cabot Oil and Gas in December. The gas will be exported through a Maryland facility originally built to import gas. It’s one of about a half-dozen large-scale efforts to move the Keystone State’s gas to the rest of the world, as Pennsylvania quickly emerges as a global energy powerhouse. Fuel extracted from the Marcellus Shale could soon spread through pipes stretching across and out from the state like tentacles – north into New York, south into Maryland, and west to Ohio and Kentucky. Some projects involve existing lines feeding new processing plants. Others involve hundreds of miles of new pipes.

Natural Gas Presents New Opportunities for Pa. Contractor
Construction Equipment Guide
John Anderson knows how to take existing heavy construction equipment and leverage it to find new opportunities, even in a new and emerging marketplace. John Anderson Construction is headquartered in Warren, Pa., (pop. 9,623). It has grown to include four divisions: earthwork, concrete, pipeline and facilities. For the past 28 years, Anderson has worked in the construction industry. He started his own company in 1989 and over time, expanded his company’s services from concrete work to include excavating, which led to becoming a site contractor, while still offering concrete services for civil projects. The next step was getting more involved in excavating for underground utilities and site development. In 2008, just as the economy was in the middle of the longest recessionary period since the Great Depression, Anderson discovered a new opportunity — excavating for natural gas pipelines.


21 Top Scientists Praise Gov. Jerry Brown’s New Fracking Rules
CNS News
Twenty-one scientists sent a letter this month to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown praising the use of fracking in California by oil companies and the new regulations on the procedure put in place that, they believe, will allow for a safe way to develop the “extraordinary” potential of the state’s shale oil reserves, improve the economy, create jobs, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Jerry Brown is a long-time liberal Democrat and the California State Legislature, Senate and Assembly, is controlled by Democrats. In September, Brown signed the new fracking regulations into law. “In our research, we have found nothing to suggest that shale development poses risks that are unknown or cannot be managed and mitigated with available technologies, best practices and smart regulation,” reads the Dec. 18 letter from the scientists. “The economic benefits that can be derived from the expanded development of shale oil and gas reserves in California are potentially significant, leading to more jobs, greater economic growth, lower energy bills, and cleaner air.”

Oil and Natural Gas Infrastructure Investments Will Be Boon to US GDP, Jobs
Investment of $890 billion over the next 12 years in oil and gas transportation and storage infrastructure will move the U.S. toward a trade balance in energy and dramatically impact the U.S. economy, according to a new study from IHS Global Inc., an information and analytics firm. In the past five years, IHS noted, the U.S added nearly 1.2 million barrels per day of crude oil production capacity. The nation now leads with world in natural gas production at 65 billion cubic feet per day. And the U.S. has added 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of natural gas liquids (NGLs) since 2008.

U.S. Land Grab ‘Substantially’ Over as Operators Turn to Development
NGI’s Shale Daily
The U.S. land grab is “substantially” over as operators turn their focus — and the funding — to scale and efficiency, said transaction experts PLS Inc. and Derrick Petroleum Services. Houston-based PLS and Derrick, its international partner, provide quarterly and annual analyses of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity among global upstream oil and natural gas operators. The Global M&A Database reported that deals in 2013 totaled $137.7 billion on 1,028 transactions — including 643 with values disclosed. The top destination for dealmakers last year continued to be the United States. Going forward, however, there may be fewer big deals and more asset management. Bolt-on acquisitions also are expected to be an appeal.


Shell venture starts fracking giant Russian shale oil formation
Seeking Alpha
Royal Dutch Shell and Gazprom Neft begin a drilling campaign to assess the potential of Siberia’s Bazhenov formation, likely one of the world’s largest deposits of shale oil.The venture between the two companies has started drilling the first of five horizontal wells over the next two years following three years of study on the prospect.The Bazhenov layer, which underlies Siberia’s existing oil fields, has attracted Shell and Exxon (XOM) because it is similar to the Bakken shale in the U.S.; XOM will start a $300M pilot project drilling in a different part of the Bazhenov with Rosneft this year.