Details on Trenton-Black River Horizontal Drilling in NY State

devil in the detailsIt often surprises us which daily stories we write that will catch the most attention/be read the most. Yesterday, our most-read story was the fourth story down the page, about the prospects for horizontal drilling in yet another rock layer (see Trenton-Black River: New Natgas Rock Layer in Your Future?). We mentioned in passing the following: “The Trenton-Black River has been drilled in places like New York State (of all places!) for decades. However, NY’s Trenton drilling has been vertical-only, not horizontal drilling.” That statement was partially incorrect. While the Trenton and/or the Black River has been drilled in NY since 1985 (nearly 30 years) and the majority of the wells have been vertical, there are a number of horizontal wells drilled in the Trenton/BR in NY. We have more details on who’s done the drilling, and where…
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Flip Flop: All of WPX’s Marcellus Wells on the Auction Block

A bit of news we find troubling. MDN has told you, since February of this year, that WPX would not be drilling any new wells in the Marcellus and in fact would be selling their undrilled leases (see WPX Marcellus Assets Being Shopped in “Controlled Auction”). However, we were contacted by WPX spokesperson Susan Oliver to assure us that they were not selling their already-drilled 100+ wells (see WPX Gives MDN an Update on Their 2014 Marcellus Plans). We figured some of those wells may be sold if there was, say, one or two wells on a pad adjacent to undrilled acreage with the opportunity to drill more wells. But for those wells already drilled and fully developed? Those wells, we were told, would remain in the WPX portfolio. However, an article appearing in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Wednesday contradicts that previous assertion…
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Martians & Enviro Groups Continue to Block Rex Drilling in W PA

Martians have successfully delayed Rex Energy from continuing to drill a series of five Marcellus wells on a single pad in Middlesex Township (western Pennsylvania). You may recall that two so-called environmental groups (front groups for rigid anti-drillers)–THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Clean Air Council, both based on the other side of the state in the Philadelphia area–along with four parents from the Mars school district, filed an appeal of the decision to allow the drilling to occur in Middlesex Township (see Rex Drilling Operation Near Mars School Put on Hold). The Mars school district is some 3/4 of a mile from the drilling site–never mind at least two other schools in PA, one near Mars, allows drilling ON SCHOOL PROPERTY! Nope. The Martians are insistent that Rex not be allowed to drill those wells because it will endanger the kiddies. So a zoning board hearing was held Tuesday night and “continued” until another meeting at the end of December. Town officials say they may end up holding five hearings total on the matter (one for each well?) before it’s concluded. Meanwhile, no more drilling for Rex at that site…
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Little Mahoning Watershed to Testify in Court Case (??)

You have to give the silly anti-fossil fuel nutters one thing–they sure are creative. The latest nonsense to come from the extreme left is that artificial constructs like watersheds now have “rights” and can somehow speak for itself. At least that’s what’s being claimed in a “first of its kind” motion by–yes–the Little Mahoning Watershed (Indiana County, PA). We wonder, what does the Watershed’s voice sound like? And where, precisely, did the Watershed scribble down its statement that was recently delivered to the court? We’d like to see that place and behold that miracle. This would all be rolling-on-the-floor funny if extremists weren’t so hellbent on bastardizing our laws and the U.S. Constitution–to the point our legal system becomes meaningless. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), which hangs its hat in Mercersburg, PA, says Little Mahoning Watershed spoke to it and whispered it doesn’t want to be polluted by nasty frack wastewater…
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UGI Turns on New Pipeline for Cabot in NEPA

In May MDN told you that UGI Energy Services, a subsidiary of UGI (a utility company in northeast PA) would build two new pipelines in northeast PA for $80 million that will allow them to transport cheap, abundant, locally mined natural gas from Cabot Oil & Gas in Susquehanna County to residents in the greater Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area (see UGI Energy Building 2 New Pipelines in NEPA for Cabot O&G). Today UGI announced one of those pipelines is now completed and flowing cheap Marcellus Shale gas to NEPA residents, which will result in lower rates. The other will be completed in the spring of next year. Now what was that about the “lucky few landowners” who are the only ones to benefit from Marcellus Shale gas?…
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Access Midstream CEO Replaced by COO Under Williams Ownership

Mike Stice is the current CEO of Access Midstream, which used to be the old Chesapeake Midstream before it was spun off into its own company. Access has a large footprint in the Marcellus/Utica region. In June, Williams announced a deal to buy Access Midstream and fold it into their own operation (see Big News: Williams Partners Buying Access Midstream for $6B). The deal is now done and all that’s left are some regulatory approvals and lawyers generating mountains of paperwork back and forth (see Deal Details for Williams/Access Midstream Merger – TTV of $50B!). Williams expects to put its own name plate on the Access door “by early 2015.” So what does that mean for Access CEO Mike Stice? Sayonara, apparently. Williams issued an innocent-looking personnel press release yesterday that says Stice’s #2 man, the current Chief Operating Officer, Robert Purgason, will take over running the Access Midstream division of Williams…
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PGW Sale Still on Life Support – Will City Council Pull the Plug?

The corrupt Philadelphia City Council continues to be, well, corrupt. Although UIL Holdings, the Connecticut utility company doing its darnedest to purchase the municipal owned Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), has told City Council that they are willing to amend the terms of sale originally worked out by Philly’s Mayor Michael Nutter–to address Council’s so-called “concerns.” UIL is bending over backwards, forwards, sideways–any way it can to make the deal happen. And the response from the corrupt City Council? Crickets. The deal expires Dec. 31 and it looks, as of right now, as if it’s dead…
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New Report: Water is a $6.4B Part of the U.S. Shale Industry

How much water is used, and how much is generated that needs to be disposed of (or recycled) in oil and gas drilling–particularly in U.S. shale plays? A new report by Bluefield Research says the U.S. fracking industry consumes over 1 billion barrels of water annually, producing 450-500 million barrels of wastewater for disposal. According to Bluefield, the U.S. shale industry will spend $6.38 billion (!) in 2014 on water management: supply, transport, storage, treatment, and disposal. Water is a big deal in shale drilling. The following article by Bluefield sheds interesting light on the topic. Among the things that caught our interest is the breakdown of which shale plays use the most water (how does the Marcellus and Utica stack up? see the graphic below), and the section at the end which talks about new opportunities for supply chain companies in the water space…
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PA Dem Congressman Cartwright Continues to Bash DEP

An anti-drilling Democrat Congressman from Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District (eastern part of the state), U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, continues a campaign of smearing the Marcellus Shale industry with a so-called investigation into how frack wastes in PA get handled and disposed. In October Cartwright demanded information from the new acting Secretary of the Dept. of Environmental Protection (see PA Dem Congressman Demands Info from DEP on Frack Waste). Cartwright’s latest media stunt is to send demand letters to WV and OH to ask them how they dispose frack waste in their states…
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