Research: Shale Water Stays in the Ground in “Permeability Jail”

Real ScienceHack “researchers” will collect research others have done, run some numbers in a spreadsheet to bias the outcome, and then make off-the-wall pronouncements like burning coal is less damaging to the environment than drilling for natural gas (see New Study Final Nail in Coffin of Inflated Fugitive Methane Claims). Then there are real researchers–you know, scientists that perform actual measurements in the lab and in the field. They do real science to test hypotheses and issue real results–not theoretical hyperbole. Yesterday a real scientist/researcher from Penn State (Terry Engelder, geologist), a real scientist/researcher from Cornell University (Larry Cathless, earth and atmospheric sciences), and a real scientist/researcher from Shell (Taras Bryndzia, geologist) released the results of careful scientific testing. They wanted to know if the water injected into shale wells really stays in the ground–or if it, per chance, somehow magically travels back to the surface in a capillary fashion, possibly contaminating ground water sources. Their research paper, titled “The fate of residual treatment water in gas shale,” is published in the September 2014 issue of Journal of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources. Here’s what they found…
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ODNR Updates Utica Map Showing Permits & Wells Drilled, Producing

Last December MDN brought you a very cool map produced by the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) that shows, with different colored dots, where permits have been issued, where wells have been drilled, and where wells have been drilled and are now producing for the Utica/Pt. Pleasant Shale formation (see Very Cool Map from ODNR Showing OH Utica Wells Permitted/Drilled). The ODNR updated that map and released a new version last week, which we have for you below. What does it show?…
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VA Gov. McAuliffe Vows No Drilling in Washington Natl Forest

Sounding more like the liberal (and irrational) Democrat he really is, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said yesterday that there will be no shale drilling in (or under) the George Washington National Forest, which lies mostly in his state, while he’s governor. Which is kind of interesting because last week he stood toe to toe with Dominion CEO Thomas F. Farrell II at a press conference to announce his support for the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, part of which will run through (yes) the George Washington National Forest (see Dominion Commits to Major New Marcellus/Utica Pipeline Project). So apparently McAuliffe doesn’t mind cutting down trees and digging up the precious, pristine, “old growth” forest to lay a pipeline–but drilling a hole more than a mile under it’s surface? No way José. Which makes us wonder who’s contributing the most to his campaign coffers?…
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Does PA Royalty Bill 1684 Still Have a Chance This Year?

As MDN wrote back in June, Pennsylvania lawmakers punted on doing anything about House Bill (HB) 1684, what MDN calls the “stop Chesapeake Energy from screwing landowners out of their royalties” bill. We also pointed out, at the time, that it seems pretty likely nothing would get done on that bill for the balance of this year (see PA Royalty Bill 1684 Off the Agenda, Likely for Rest of 2014). We’re sorry to say (so far) we were right. However, MDN received a call from an MDN subscriber (and member of the PA National Association of Royalty Owners, or NARO) to say there’s still a chance–albeit a long shot–that if PA landowners and residents flood their representatives with calls and emails over the next few days before the end of this year’s session, HB 1684 may yet get a vote and go to the governor for a signature…
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Delaware Riverkeeper Petitons DRBC to Stop PennEast Pipeline

THE Delaware Riverkeeper herself, the haughty and arrogant Maya van Rossum, has sent a letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) “petitioning” (i.e. demanding) that the DRBC “exercise jurisdiction over the PennEast Pipeline Project.” You may recall that energy utility giant UGI along with three other partners announced a proposed pipeline that will run from Wilkes-Barre, PA all the way to Trenton, NJ to flow abundant, cheap Marcellus Shale gas to homes and businesses in southeastern PA and NJ (see 3rd New NEPA Marcellus Pipeline Proposed, Connects to Trenton, NJ). UGI and partners didn’t waste any time. They recently completed a successful open season on the $1 billion PennEast Pipeline to sign up potential customers (see Successful Open Season Concludes for Marcellus PennEast Pipeline). Now along comes Miss Muffet sitting on her tuffet to try and throw her curds and whey on the process (see her letter below). If van Rossum can convince the DRBC to get involved, she stands a good chance of blocking the PennEast Pipeline from ever getting built…
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PA to Hold “Listening Sessions” on EPA Greenhouse Gas Rule

Frasier - I'm Listening“This is Dr. Frasier Crane. I’m listening.” Oops. Wrong channel. Click. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection will conduct a “listening session” to hear people address the mythical topic of climate change and the federal EPA’s draconian efforts to restrict things like carbon–the stuff you breathe out with every breath. The feds are forcing states to clamp down on so-called greenhouse gas emissions and have proposed a “Clean Power Greenhouse Gas Reduction Rule” to do just that. The PA DEP wants to hear from PA residents what they think about all of this nonsense so they can check off the appropriate boxes on their checklist. The “listening session” will be held on September 25 in Harrisburg…
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Koch Brothers ‘Roll Out’ Nylon Pipeline Aimed at Shale Industry

An interesting development in the midstream (pipeline) business. Yesterday INVISTA, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, introduced a new nylon pipe aimed squarely at use in the oilfield–to flow both oil and natural gas (and NGLs). They call the new pipeline Raptor™ and claim it outperforms pipelines made of steel, composites and polyethylene. The maximum pressure the pipe can handle is 500 pounds per square inch (psi), which means it likely won’t be used for interstate pipelines. However, it’s perfect for local gathering pipelines because it’s quick and easy to install–saving time and money for drillers and midstream companies…
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