Stanford Study Tells Us What We Knew 3 Years Ago About Wastewater

tell me something i don't knowA new research study from Stanford University titled “Enhanced Formation of Disinfection By-Products in Shale Gas Wastewater-Impacted Drinking Water Supplies” proves what we already knew more than three years ago: When you send frack wastewater untreated, or lightly treated, to a municipal sewage treatment plant–the plant can’t get the residual water clean enough to not cause problems down river. Back in 2011, then-PA DEP Sec. Michael Krancer ended the practice of municipal treatment plants without special equipment from processing frack wastewater (see PA DEP, Marcellus Shale Coalition Admit Drilling Wastewater Likely Contaminating Drinking Water). Not long after it was shown that bromide levels–one of the hazards of treating frack wastewater with chlorine–had fallen after the ban (see Marcellus Wastewater Ban Leads to Lower Bromide in PA Rivers). Here we are three years later and a new study says the same thing…
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Total, EVEP Sell Interest in Cardinal Midstream to S Koreans for $612M

In August MDN told you that a pair of Korean companies were sniffing around Cardinal Midstream Services–looking to buy up to a 34% stake in the company (see Cardinal Gas Courts S Koreans to Invest in Utica JV). Cardinal is a midstream operator (pipelines and processing plants) in the Utica Shale. The Koreans are sniffing no more. Yesterday, one of the investor/owners of Cardinal, French oil giant Total, announced they’re selling their 25% stake in the company to two Korean companies…
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GAO Report Recommends Feds Start Regulating Gathering Pipelines

Instead of “planes, trains and automobiles” it was “trains, trucks, barges and pipelines” in a report just released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report, prepared for Congress and delivered to them in August but only publicly released two days ago, is titled “OIL AND GAS TRANSPORTATION: Department of Transportation Is Taking Actions to Address Rail Safety, but Additional Actions Are Needed to Improve Pipeline Safety” (full copy below). In the report, the GAO, along with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), recommends the feds get involved with regulating gathering pipelines–the low pressure pipelines that connect directly to the well. Those pipelines have historically been regulated by the states themselves…
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Torrent Energy Gets Investment to Fund Residual Gas Capture Tech

Torrent Energy Services leases and operates big mechanical refrigeration units used by Utica drillers and pipeline companies in the field–mobile units–that captures and cools natural gas and gas liquids that would otherwise be lost to flaring or as emissions into the air. The technology captures the gas, mostly methane and ethane, so it can be used to power equipment in the field. The one thing Torrent needs more of is money. So CSL Capital Management is investing in the company, providing “growth capital to accelerate its business plan.” The amount of the investment by CSL was not disclosed in an announcement made yesterday…
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Snake Handlers in Demand in the Marcellus

snake handlerYou may have thought snake handling was something done in tiny fringe churches tucked away in the backwoods of Appalachia. Think again. Snake handlers, or wranglers, are very much in demand in the Marcellus Shale to protect oil and gas workers on location, and to protect the snakes themselves–Timber rattlesnakes, a candidate for the threatened species list. Drillers and pipeline companies have to jump through many hoops to drill a well or lay pipeline. MANY hoops. One of those hoops is to ensure their work does not unduly harm a threatened or endangered species, plant or animal (called T&E in the business). When it comes to rattlesnakes, drillers call in the specialists to handle them…
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A Present for Attendees of Shale Gas Insight – Peebles Column

Just in time for the attendees of Shale Insight in Pittsburgh to read, a guest commentary was published in today’s edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by David Peebles, the man helping to build a $3 billion ethane cracker plant in Parkersburg, WV. David waxes eloquent on shale, ethane and energy security…
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Upcoming Pittsburgh Event Seeks Balance in Drilling Debate

An upcoming event in Pittsburgh caught our eye. It’s called the Shale Exchange Workshop, being held Oct 29-31. The event seems to live at the intersection of “let’s do shale drilling” and “let’s be careful with the environment”–striking a balance. The event, as described below, is populated with many top industry speakers, but also will have representatives from at least one environmental organization, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), about the only so-called environmental organization we can personally stomach…
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