Fracking in Maryland (!) in 2015? Quite Possibly

I Owe You an ApologyLooks like we owe an apology to Maryland. For years we’ve laughed and poked fun at Maryland and said it is the only state more dysfunctional than New York when it comes to allowing fracking. Yesterday, the special Maryland commission, set up 3 1/2 years ago by the outgoing, leadership-deficient Democrat Gov. Martin O’Malley, released it’s final report with recommendations for how fracking can go forward in the state (full copy below). Incoming Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has promised swift action on the fracking issue. Meanwhile, NY sits on its hands and does nothing. Mind you, the proposed Maryland regulations are so off-the-charts restrictive that even the nutty, far-left Chesapeake Climate Action Network is singing its praises (a big red flag). But hey, the ability to drill half a dozen wells in Maryland is better that what NY has! Let’s start with a summary of the new regulations put forward by the commission…
Continue reading

Details on GASFRAC’s Waterless Frack Test in OH Utica

Two weeks ago MDN was (we believe) the first to call attention to a very short reference in the quarterly update from Canadian oilfield services company GASFRAC–a line that says GASFRAC had finally begun fracking a Utica Shale well using their waterless technology (see GASFRAC Begins Waterless Fracking Job in OH Utica). At the time we had no details about where the well is located, and who the exploration company is that GASFRAC is doing the work for. We now know those bits, thanks to some ace reporting by Tom Knox at Columbus Business First
Continue reading

So-Called ‘Pipeline Air Force’ to Track Dominion Pipeline in WV

Cesna airplaneJust when you think you’ve heard it all, along comes another bizarre twist from those who oppose shale drilling. As we’ve reported in a number of stories, Dominion is planning to build a 550-mile, $5 billion natural gas pipeline from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. It’s called the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is now evaluating it (see Dominion Asks FERC to Start Environmental Review of SE Pipeline). Apparently a group of people who oppose the pipeline plan to keep an eye on it as it’s built (they must figure it’s a foregone conclusion that it will get built). They’ve somehow gotten ahold of three airplanes that they will use to spy from the sky as the pipeline gets built through the mountains of West Virginia…
Continue reading

South Strabane Twp Approves Range Plan for 10 Wells in W PA

Last night the South Strabane Township (Washington County, PA) board of supervisors voted to allow Range Resources the right to drill up to 10 wells on an 80-acre site. They did, however, impose some 46 conditions on the drilling–conditions Range said it “could live with.” The drill site is near Kopper Kettle Road and Range likely will not begin active drilling until October 2015. Three supervisors voted in favor, one against and one abstained. The interesting thing, to MDN, is that earlier this month anti-drillers were out in force to oppose drilling under (not even on top of) Mingo Creek County Park, about 12 miles from the Kopper Kettle Road site, spouting silly things like drilling will create a “ring of fire” (see Washington County Votes to Establish “Ring of Fire” at Mingo Park). However, at least night’s meeting, most of the residents who attended support Range’s request…
Continue reading

New Jersey Resources Update: NJ Loves Natgas & PennEast

A casual news consumer may think that the State of New Jersey is somewhat anti-drilling and takes a dim view of natural gas. After all, the NJ legislature has twice passed a bill that would ban any frack waste from entering the state (see NJ Gov. Christie Vetoes Frack Waste Ban 2nd Time). And opposition to the PennEast Pipeline that runs from PA to NJ has been loud and shrill on the NJ end. What you may not know, however, is that two NJ utilities are partners in the PennEast Pipeline project (see NJ’s Largest Utility Becomes 5th Partner in PennEast Pipeline). New Jersey Resources, one of the two PennEast partners, yesterday issued an update on 2014 with guidance for 2015. The thing that caught our eye? NJR continues to add new natgas customers at a rapid clip–and they’re jazzed on the prospects for the PennEast Pipeline and new sources of cheap, abundant Marcellus Shale gas that will flow to NJ…
Continue reading

Fitch Says Natgas Prices to Remain Low for Next Several Years

What will the price of natural gas do over the next few years? According to analysts at one of the country’s largest credit rating agencies, Fitch Ratings, the price of natgas will “remain subdued over the next several years.” The minds at Fitch offer us their reasoning on where and why gas prices will head, along with the potential impact from low oil prices (yes, there is a connection). Here’s the latest thinking from Fitch, including an interesting discussion of “associated gas” supplies and how/why companies are still making money even with low gas prices…
Continue reading

The Top 10 Things MDN is Thankful for in 2014

Happy ThanksgivingA very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Marcellus Drilling News will be on holiday both Thursday, Nov. 27 and Friday, Nov. 28. We’ll be back with all of the latest Marcellus and Utica News next Monday, which will be Dec. 1. Can you believe how quickly December snuck up on us?! Meanwhile, for your Thanksgiving enjoyment, below is a list of the top 10 Marcellus/Utica things MDN is thankful for this holiday season…
Continue reading