Range Resources to Flare Their First Utica Well in Western PA

well being flaredFlaring a well–which involves burning the initial volume of natural gas (typically waste gas) or because a pipeline is not yet available to hook up to the well–is increasingly a rare event. Most companies attempt to capture even the initial amounts of gas. However, Range Resources is set to begin flaring their very first Utica Shale well, drilled about 10 miles from Washington, PA on the property of the Claysville Sportsmen’s Club in Donegal Township, east of Dutch Fork Lake. The flaring will begin on Dec. 7 and according to Range it will be really big, and really noisy…
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MarkWest Fined $320K by Ohio EPA for Mud Spills in Creeks/Swamps

MarkWest Energy, the largest midstream company in the Marcellus/Utica, has spent the last three years building pipelines in eastern Ohio to connect wells to processing plants and to larger interstate pipelines. In the process, the company has spent some $2.2 billion building 350 miles of pipeline (and processing plants)–and MarkWest isn’t done yet. However, during the rapid buildout of infrastructure in the Buckeye State, some minor spills have happened along the way. When drilling under creeks and swamps (otherwise renamed as “wetlands”), occasionally drilling mud spilled out–some 19 different times between 2012 and 2013. The Ohio EPA has concluded their investigation and has just fined MarkWest $320,000 for the series of spills…
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Shale Cuttings Used to Rehab Site of Future Business, Amphitheater

A story from Hazelton, PA totally refutes the argument that drill cuttings (leftover rock and dirt from shale drilling) are radioactive and will make you glow in the dark–a claim frequently made by anti-drillers. The scars of coal mining dot the landscape in northeastern PA. In one such area, on the edge of Hazelton, sits a 270-acre site with abandoned mines and an old landfill. The location, known as Hazelton Creek Properties, is in the process of reclaiming part of the site by using (yes) drill cuttings. The site will eventually host an amphitheater for concerts and other businesses. People will one day be sitting directly over top of shale cuttings!…
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Anti-Pipeline Arguments in New Hampshire Debunked by MDN Reader

A conservative and a liberal get into a discussion at a local landfill about a plan to run a new pipeline through their state…. Sound like the setup to a joke? It’s no laughing matter. MDN subscriber Rick G. from New Hampshire recently had such an encounter. The arguments Rick heard from those opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and his counter arguments, are instructive for us all…
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OH Senate Asked to Fix Language in Frack Chemical Reporting Bill

Anti-drillers are fundamentally unhappy people. They want no drilling, so in an effort to try and scuttle drilling, they do stupid things–like last year when they forced a change in Ohio away from filing lists of chemicals used at drill sites electronically to having them filed by paper instead (see OH Antis Force Change in Chemical Reporting, Everyone Less Safe). Going backward is not a good plan, so the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) lobbied for new changes in the chemical reporting law to fix the mess caused by anti-drillers. The changes were made two weeks ago when an omnibus environmental and agricultural bill was passed by the Ohio House. Problem is, the changes made weren’t the ones ODNR wanted…
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PA Family Sues Range Resources over Nearby Drilling, Impoundment

Range Resources has for years been battling allegations that their wastewater impoundments in Washington County, PA have leaked and polluted nearby water wells. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) investigated and in September levied a $4.15 million fine against Range, requiring the company to close five of seven impoundments (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). Along the way several landowners have sued Range–over the impoundments and over nearby drilling. Add one more to the list: The Lauff family in Mt. Pleasant Township has filed a lawsuit alleging negligence by Range in the way they drilled several nearby wells and in their operation of a wastewater impoundment…
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Florida Condo Developer Buys 500 Acres of Marcellus/Utica Leases

A deal to sell Wroblewski Oil and Gas, a small exploration and production and frac sand company headquartered in western PA, was announced last week. Wroblewski owns leases on 500 acres of Marcellus/Utica Shale leases–about enough to drill one well. The interesting thing, for MDN, is who is doing the buying: American Leisure Holdings, Inc. American Leisure, according to what we can find, develops vacation real estate properties (condos and such) in Florida. So what in the world are they doing buying a small Marcellus E&P company?…
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UGI Central Penn Natgas Rates Go Down Thanks to the Marcellus

Once again, the cost of natural gas for customers in northeast and central Pennsylvania is going down. UGI, a major utility in PA, announced last week that rates for customers of their UGI Central Penn Gas subsidiary will go DOWN starting today. Why? Instead of buying expensive natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico and flowing it, via pipeline, to PA, UGI is now sourcing some 80% of their natural gas from the local Marcellus Shale. Thank you Marcellus! Here’s the announcement, with how much customers will save, on average, per month…
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EIA Coins New Term, Issues Report on Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids (HGLs)

It’s vocabulary day at MDN. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, our favorite government agency, has just released a new report on, and has coined a new term, called: Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids (HGL). In a nutshell, EIA uses the term HGL to refer to the combination of NGLs (natural gas liquids like ethane, propane and butane) and olefins (things like ethylene, propylene, butylene, and isobutylene). If you’re new to this whole shale gas thing and to the oil and gas industry, you need to know that the hydrocarbons coming out of the ground (oil and gas) are tightly connected to–in fact the source of–things like plastic and antifreeze. That is, oil and gas is part of the petrochemical industry. The EIA recognizes the importance and connection between petrochemicals and shale, and so have authored a new report, titled “Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids (HGL): Recent Market Trends and Issues” (full copy embedded below). Since there’s a lot of “wet gas” in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, the petrochemical industry is tightly connected to shale drilling in the northeast. This report connects the dots…
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