Mariner East Pipeline Drilling Spills Mud in Local Creek

bentoniteLast Thursday, Precision Pipeline of Waynesburg, Pa was drilling under the Little Mingo Creek behind the Mingo Creek Church on behalf of Sunoco Logistics when the drill bit hit something really solid. It stopped the bit and led to drilling mud, often called bentonite, to leak into the the Little Mingo Creek causing a gray “sludge” to travel down the creek in Nottingham and Union townships (Washington County), PA. Bentonite is non-toxic and used in products from shampoo to deodorant and toothpaste. It’s also used to lubricate the drill bit and carry drill cuttings out of the ground. While non-toxic, a whole lot of bentonite in the water can, of course, suffocate fish and cause problems for wildlife that happen to drink it…
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MarkWest Signs Up McClendon’s New Company as Utica Customer

Yesterday MarkWest Energy and their partners The Energy & Minerals Group and Ohio Gathering Company announced they’ve signed up Aubrey McClendon’s new company American Energy Partners (AEP) as a major new customer in the Utica Shale. Ohio Gathering will hook up their pipelines to AEP’s drilled Utica wells and pump natural gas and liquids, and MarkWest will process it all. The natural gas part will be processed in MarkWest’s Cadiz complex in Harrison County, OH and its Seneca complex in Noble County, OH. AEP’s NGLs will be fractionated (separated) at MarkWest’s Hopedale complex…
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Range’s Unique Approach to Signing Small Landowners in WPA

Typically villages and cities have not seen Marcellus or Utica Shale drilling under them because of the numbers. To negotiate leases with hundreds or even thousands of landowners over a relatively small area makes no sense when you have to pay landmen and have all of those leases individually vetted by a lawyer. Signing bonuses are piddly and royalty checks aren’t much either. So most drillers have passed by the small villages and towns that sit next to land they otherwise have leased. However, Range has hit on a unique approach. Range has enlisted the help of the Claysville Borough (Washington County, PA) fire department to approach and get residents in the borough to sign a single, standardized group lease–think landowner coalition lease…
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Report Shows Dramatic Increase in Water/Sand Usage in WV Drilling

A few years ago drillers in Ohio and Marshall counties in West Virginia would use an average 1 million pounds of frack sand and 4 million gallons of water. Today, because the horizontal portion of the wells are longer (longer “laterals”), those numbers are closer to 13 million pounds of sand and 10 million gallons of water, according to a Wood Mackenzie report…
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Frack Truck Washing Facility Shut Down Until ODNR Permit Issued

Clear Creek is a division of Dynamic Structures Inc., a company based in New Waterford (Columbiana County), OH that hauls drilling mud, fresh water and yes, frack wastewater for oil and gas companies throughout Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Clear Creek had constructed a truck washing facility in the city of Columbiana–population 6,384–to clean the trucks that haul the mud and wastewater. Columbiana’s planning commission has shut down the facility until they obtain a permit from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR). Once that happens, it appears they can reopen. The problem is, the Mayor of Columbiana lives nearby to where the facility is located and he opposes it. Oops…
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Ceramic Proppant Co. CARBO Ceramics Sales Falter in 3Q14

CARBO Ceramics provides a ceramic alternative to sand for use as a proppant in hydraulic fracturing. Proppants, for those new to MDN, “prop open” the fractures created during the fracking process to allow natural gas and natural gas liquids (even oil) to drain out of shale. A special kind of sand called silica, mined mostly in the Midwest, is the most prevalent proppant used. However, CARBO has an innovated ceramic substance–tiny little beads–that are used as an alternative. The problem, from CARBO’s perspective, is that sand is cheaper and more plentiful, plus other ceramic proppant manufacturers have sprung up to compete with CARBO and those twin reasons are why, according to a press release issued by CARBO yesterday, sales for the company in the third quarter have fallen off…
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SkyTruth Uses Anti-Drilling Volunteers to Count Impoundments

It seems that impoundment hysteria is the newest rage among anti-drillers. An impoundment is nothing more than a pond. As it relates to the drilling industry, the pond (or impoundment) may hold freshwater or it may hold frack wastewater, depending on what kind of impoundment it is. Range Resources was fined last week for leaking impoundments in Washington County (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). What better time for an anti-fracking organization like the so-called “SkyTruth” to poke its head up and claim to be mapping impoundments in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. To hear SkyTruth tell it, there’s impoundments hiding just about everywhere…
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