Cabot’s Wood County, WV Utica Well – Vertical or Horizontal Miss?

Swing and a MissSeveral years ago MDN editor Jim Willis took a tour of several Cabot Oil & Gas well sites in Susquehanna County, PA. One of the sites was a completed well pad with four producing wells, located not far from Carter Road in Dimock (yes the infamous Carter Road memorialized in Gasland). As we stood on the pad, a pad not visible a few hundred feet from the road, Jim’s tour guide (Bill desRosiers) made this statement: “Cabot has over 3,000 vertical gas wells in West Virginia. You see these four horizontal wells? These four wells produce more natural gas in one day than all 3,000 of those vertical wells in West Virginia.” Jim’s jaw hit the ground. He immediately thought (still thinks): That is the power and miracle of horizontal hydraulic fracturing! So it sparked our interest when we spotted a story from Wood County, WV about a well drilled by Cabot this past August in WV–a well that Cabot immediately plugged. It was a “miss” for Cabot. Our questions: Was it a vertical-only well? Or was it intended to be a horizontal Utica well?…
Continue reading

New PA Senate Leader Says Severance Tax Could Kill Cracker Plant

It’s looking better and better that Pennsylvania Republicans will not cave to pressure to enact a Marcellus-killing severance tax proposed by Democrat Governor-elect Tom Wolf. Last week Republicans booted RINO Dominic Pileggi (Philly area) from his leadership post and replaced him with Sen. Jake Corman from Centre County as the new majority leader. Corman says if a severance tax is enacted, it may well kill the prospects for Shell’s ethane cracker plant and Corman wants to ensure that plant gets built…
Continue reading

PA State Law Prevents PennEast Pipeline from Paying Property Tax

If you live in New Jersey and you live in a county or township where the PennEast Pipeline will be built, you’re in for a treat: You get a shot of extra revenue every year for the town/county budget in the form of real estate taxes (often referred to as property taxes). PennEast figures Hunterdon County, NJ will see something like $1 million per year in tax revenue from the pipeline. But just over the border in Pennsylvania it’s a different story. In PA natural gas pipelines are not considered “real estate” but instead equipment, and therefore pipelines are not taxed…
Continue reading

Dominion’s NY Compressor Plants to Move More Marcellus Gas

In June MDN told you about the Dominion New Market Project–a project that will build two new compressor plants and upgrade one other compressor station in upstate New York to help flow more abundant, cheap and clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania (and beyond) into the northeast (see Dominion Asks FERC for New Compressors in Upstate NY, WV). It is projected to cost $159 million and provide 112,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of extra natural gas capacity along ~200 miles of existing Dominion pipeline across upstate New York. The pipeline runs through the Horseheads, Ithaca, Syracuse and Albany areas. We have some details about that project, including details about the proposed compressor station in Chemung County, NY…
Continue reading

Marcellus Industry Lends a Hand with Nabbing Trucking Violations

There’s no getting around the fact that when drilling comes to an area, so too does a LOT of truck traffic. Anyone who lives in an area with active drilling can attest to the headaches of following a water truck up a hill going half the speed limit. Because the industry is high profile, those who operate truck fleets (and the energy companies who hire them) typically enforce strict rules for drivers. They also maintain their fleets in tip-top shape to ensure there are no safety violations. Case in point: Washington County, PA…
Continue reading

Another OH DMA Case Decided in Favor of Landowners

For some time now MDN has been following court challenges to Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (DMA). The DMA is really two pieces of legislation: One which went into effect in 1989, the other which sought to clarify the 1989 law that went into effect in 2006 (see Video: OH Lawyers Explain Dormant Minerals Act & Impact on Utica). The Ohio Supreme Court has heard a case on the DMA but has still not ruled. However, other cases on the periphery of the DMA have been decided (see OH 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision on Dormant Minerals Act). Another such case, Wendt v. Dickerson, was decided a few weeks ago–a case which found in favor of landowners who want to reclaim mineral rights in certain circumstances…
Continue reading

Scranton Newspaper Takes Another Swipe at Local Landfill/Cuttings

This past summer MDN brought you the story of Keystone Sanitary Landfill and their request to expand the landfill skyward (see DEP Delays Scranton Landfill Expansion; Requires Study). Keystone Landfill, on the outskirts of Scranton, PA, is the state’s third busiest landfill. They accept a lot of Marcellus drill cuttings (leftover rock and dirt). A consultant for Keystone, Albert Magnotta, recently told Scranton’s anti-drilling rag the Times-Tribune that residents from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area will run out of places to dump their trash in five years if Keystone is not allowed to expand. So the Times-Tribune found another landfill not too far away, Alliance Sanitary Landfill in Taylor, PA–owned by the country’s largest garbage collection/dumping service (Waste Management)–to dispute Keystone’s claim. The Times-Tribune would love nothing better than to close down Keystone (a privately-owned local company) and their ability to accept drill cuttings, by assisting a nationally-owned competitor…
Continue reading

PDN: City Council Ruined the Promise of Energy Hub in Philly

Can Philadelphia ever be THE energy of hub of the northeast? According to an editorial in the Philadelphia Daily News, City Council has ruined that possibility by scuttling the deal to sell Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) to UIL Holdings (see Phila. City Council’s 6-Hour Hearing on PGW Sale, UIL Appearance). According to the editorial writers, City Council is focusing on retaining 1,600 (and shrinking) public sector union jobs at PGW instead of allowing the sale of PGW which potentially could lead to Philly becoming THE northeast energy hub employing 10 times that number of energy jobs…
Continue reading

OH Anti Group Claims Legislature Wants to Drill in State Lands (Redux)

The wacko Ohio Environmental Council (committed anti-drillers all) is raising the alarm that the Ohio legislature, and RINO Gov. John Kasich, may be about to allow oil and gas drilling under state-owned lands. One can only hope they would be so smart as to allow it! Yes ladies and gents, an Ohio House committee is, according to the OEC, considering a “stealth effort” to re-open Ohio public lands to oil and gas drilling. Ooooo…
Continue reading