Hilcorp has 2 Accidents (in 3 Weeks) in Mercer County, PA

bad luckHilcorp is having some bad luck in Mercer County, PA. Three weeks ago two storage tanks at a Hilcorp well pad caught fire and exploded–no one injured. Then, this past Saturday (three weeks later), a separator caught fire at a well pad. No big explosions this time–at least none that were heard. However, up to 20 homes had to be evacuated while the fire was extinguished. Once again, no injuries…
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Marcellus Caught in Crossfire of Philly Port Leasing Controversy

Hatfields & McCoysOnce again the Marcellus is in the middle of what appears to be a Democrat vs. Republican fight–this time over who will control prime riverfront port facility property in the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Here is our understanding of the situation: the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) is in talks to lease 200 acres at the Southport facility to Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES)–operator of the former Sunoco Inc. refinery in South Philadelphia–who would then turn around and find an operator for the terminal itself. PES wants to ship Marcellus Shale gas from the port facility location after piping it there from other parts of PA. But a bigtime Philly Democrat, John Brown Jr., president of Penn Warehousing and Distribution Inc. (a paper-import company) wants to lease the port facility for himself and the operations of his company. So Brown hired former State Senator Vincent J. Fumo (Democrat with a lot of influence) to pull strings and hose the deal developing between PRPA and PES…
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EIA Drilling Productivity Report Shows Marcellus Passing 16 Bcf/d

Yesterday the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the latest monthly Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). To the ongoing consternation of peak oil & gas theorists that the shale oil/gas bubble is gonna burst “any day now,” the numbers continue to blow everyone away. The mighty Marcellus continues to roar: In October the EIA projects the Marcellus will pass 16 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natgas production each and every day. Astonishing! Meanwhile, the Utica Shale will hit almost 1.5 Bcf/d in October, which (for the first time) surpasses the natgas output of the Bakken Shale play. Granted, the Bakken is primarily an oil play. Here’s the full rundown of the latest DPR…
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Latest OH Production Numbers: Utica Wells Change the Picture

Yesterday, to much fanfare, the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced the results of Ohio’s second quarter oil and natural gas production for unconventional (mostly Utica Shale) wells. During 2Q14 Ohio’s oil wells produced 2.5 million barrels of oil and Ohio’s gas wells produced 88 billion cubic feet of natgas. The ODNR press release also includes a few other bits of trivia like average well production numbers. Below is the trumpet blowing (deservedly so) from the ODNR on the latest round of numbers. They point out that “Horizontal wells [i.e. Utica wells] produced more gas in 3 months than all Ohio wells produced in 2012.” How cool is that?!…
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Univ of Mich Polls PA & NY on Fracking Views – Paradox in Results

The University of Michigan is fresh out with the results of a poll they conducted in April and May of both New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians and their attitudes on the issue of Marcellus Shale drilling and fracking. We’re not quite sure if the results can be relied on simply because of the small number polled–just 405 New Yorkers and 411 Pennsylvanians. However, the results are interesting nonetheless. If you drill down to the actual questions asked, and the responses (full copy below), you’ll find that in both NY and PA when asked how much the respondent has heard (knows) about fracking–a lot, a little, or never heard of it before–more than half said they’ve heard “a little” about it: 55% in NY and 52% in PA. Even more shocking is that 11% in NY and 10% in PA had “never heard” of fracking before. Add the numbers up and it equals 66% of NY residents and 62% of PA residents that know little to nothing about fracking–which is a huge opportunity for those of us with the truth about this miracle to communicate our message to them and educate them on the benefits of fracking…
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Is There a Link Between Fracking & STDs in Ohio?

Does fracking cause sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? It may sound like the beginning of a laugh line, but dedicated anti-drillers are deadly serious about trying to link an influx of “foreigners” (as OH Gov. John Kasich calls them) from other states into Ohio counties with shale drilling and a rise in STD rates in those counties. The theory goes that as these traveling workers arrive–something akin to carnival workers in anti-drilling lore–they bring with them STDs and they sleep around–a lot (according to the mythology). And they spread their nasty diseases everywhere they go. Reporters feed these myths with careless references to places like Carroll County, OH having a “spike” in STDs. Just one problem–when you dig into the evidence, it doesn’t back up the claim…
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Gates Mills, OH Caves – Anti-Frack Measure on Nov. Ballot

The very exclusive and uppity Cleveland suburb of Gates Mills, OH is the latest community to fall prey to the misnamed, so-called community bill of rights that seeks to ban all drilling on, under or near property in the community. We’ve written about Gates Mills before (see these MDN stories). We originally chided Gates Mills Mayor Shawn Riley for concocting a plan that we thought would prevent drilling in the community (a community that already has some conventional wells in it). We were contacted by an MDN reader and by Mayor Riley to correct us: His intent is to pool landowners together and together (somewhat akin to a landowner coalition) to develop a contract that would strictly control how, when and where any Utica drilling would be done. He’s not anti-drilling–just really really careful and infrequent drilling. But there are a number of anti-drillers in town who want nothing to do with it whatsoever–and they want to force their preferences on their neighbors too. That’s what a “community bill of rights” does–it forces anti-drilling regulations down everyone’s throat. That’s what will be on the ballot in November in Gates Mills…
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MSC Video Tells the Truth About Marcellus Industry & Taxes

Somehow Pennyslvania’s Democrats (and anti-drillers) have been successful in planting the mind virus that the Marcellus drilling industry “isn’t paying it’s fair share” and needs to be taxed even more than it’s already taxed. MDN has pointed out the fallacy of this lie numerous times. The facts are: PA has a corporate income tax and also has an “impact fee” (a tax in our book) that taxes drillers in PA at rates comparable or higher than states like Texas that do have a so-called severance tax. In fact, over the past three years PA drillers have paid out $630 million in impact fees that have benefited all Pennsylvanians. That’s the point the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) makes with a short video just out…
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