After Selling 208K Marcellus Acres, Shell “Buys” 155K More Acres!

GyrationIn a seemingly strange twist, Shell has just picked up more Marcellus and Utica Shale acreage. Say what? Yesterday MDN told you that Rex Energy just bought 208,000 Marcellus acres from Shell in southwest Pennsylvania’s wet gas area (see Rex Energy Takes Shell to the Cleaners – Picks up 208K Acres). We pointed out that many majors like Shell seem to have a hard time turning a buck in American shale plays, and that Shell CEO Ben van van Beurden had warned of scaling back their shale operations. So what happened a day later? Shell further divested itself of both conventional and unconventional holdings–this time in Wyoming and Louisiana. As part of the same deal, the picked up new Marcellus acreage (155,000 acres) in Pennsylvania’s dry gas area. Let’s try to sort through these Shell gyrations…
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Range Resources to Begin Closing Yeager Impoundment on Monday

As we promised two weeks ago, we have more news and developments on Range Resources’ Yeager Wastewater Impoundment in Amwell Township (Washington County), PA. Range will begin the process of decommissioning the impoundment (i.e. pond) starting Monday, August 18th. As they do so, a lawyer for the three families suing Range with charges of well water contamination will be at the site to take their own so-called “independent” soil samples, right alongside Range. What Range (and the lawyer) will be looking for is any evidence that the two rubber liners have, in the past, leaked wastewater and therefore salts or chlorides, into the ground. Below we have a brief backgrounder, a copy of the Range 98-page plan to close the Yeager impoundment, and the recommended tweaks to that plan by the state DEP…
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EIP Uses False Data to Smear Frackers, Inflated Claims of Diesel Use

The anti-drilling Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) is having a little integrity issue of their own. EIP issued a false report on Wednesday that purports to “out” drilling companies that have, or continue, to use diesel fuel in their fracking fluids. It might make for interesting reading except 80% of the data used in the report is completely false. Let us back up our assertion that this so-called study, titled “Fracking Beyond the Law” (copy embedded below) is worthy of a first place award for false and misleading propaganda…
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1st NRG Begins Pushing Dirt on First Utica Well Pad

Going all the way back to 2012, MDN has chronicled, from time to time, the myriad press releases issued by a small driller headquartered in Denver called 1st NRG Corp. They’ve been saying since that time that they really really really really want to drill in the Utica Shale–on a small 7,000 acre leasehold they own (see our stories about 1st NRG here). Ever hear of the boy who cried wolf? Eventually the wolf does show up, but no one believes the boy. So, believe it or not, it appears the bulldozers are finally pushing the dirt around on 1st NRG’s very first Utica Shale well pad in Ohio–for a well that 1st NRG will own a 20% stake in…
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HalenHardy & RETTEW Offer Oil & Gas Safety Day on Aug 19

Next Tuesday, August 19th, HalenHardy and RETTEW are offering a free program focusing on how workers and their companies can create a proactive culture of safety. Called the Oil & Gas Safety Day, the half-day program (either morning or afternoon) will sport an expert safety panel and attendees will have the opportunity to participate in live demonstrations of the latest safety innovations available to reduce slip, trip and fall accidents on the work site. The event will be held at the HomeWaters facility in Spruce Creek–so while you’re there, you can also enjoy some of the world’s best fly fishing, and try your hand at shooting clay pigeons. Here’s the details…
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A Wedding Made Possible by the Marcellus Shale

wedding bellsPerhaps this is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but not by much. Next week I will have the awesome responsibility of giving away my daughter’s hand in marriage. And I credit the Marcellus Shale, in part, for providing the money (lots of money!) it takes to host a wedding these days.

In an unusual move, MDN editor Jim Willis (me) will take a hiatus next week. No new posts will be made during the week–unless monumental circumstances warrant it. I will attend and participate in my daughter’s wedding, and following that, take a brief break. As you know, I hardly ever take time off. I don’t believe I’ve taken an entire week off since I began charging for MDN in 2012, so thanks in advance for your understanding. I’ll be back on Monday, August 25th to catch you up on the news.

A huge thank you to my faithful subscribers who have helped to underwrite my daughter’s wedding with your subscription dollars to MDN. I am eternally grateful and take your trust in me (as evidenced by the money you spend with me) very seriously. I try hard to exceed your expectations.

Keep the faith, and keep fracking!
Jim Willis, Editor, MDN