Triad Hunter Well Blowout in Monroe County, OH – No One Injured

out of controlOn Saturday, Triad Hunter, wholly-owned drilling subsidiary of Magnum Hunter Resources, lost control of a Utica Shale well in Monroe County, OH. The well had been drilled and temporarily plugged as the company planned to drill three more wells at the pad. However, “the well began to flow uncontrollably while recommencing production operations” according to a statement released by Magnum Hunter. Well pad personnel along with 28 homes located within a mile and a half were evacuated. Wild Well Control of Houston has been contacted and (presumably) now on site to contain the well. No injuries have been reported…
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PA DEP Issues “Cease & Desist” Notice to XTO in Butler County, PA

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) says XTO Energy never applied for or received a permit to push dirt around to create a truck access area near a planned drill pad in Butler County, PA. So the DEP has issued a “cease and desist” order to XTO. Unless and until they get permission (Mother May I?), XTO has five days to patch it up and re-seed it or throw mulch over it to prevent erosion…
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OOGA Says Some Drilling in OH Stopped by Low Oil Price

Sean Bennett, formerly with Energy in Depth and now senior vice president of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association (OOGA), says that low oil prices, if they stay low, will soon affect some drilling in the Ohio Utica Shale. He points to PDC Energy’s recent decision as one example (see PDC Energy Pushes Pause Button on OH Utica Drilling for 2015). But, will low oil prices affect significantly more Utica drilling?…
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UIL CEO “Disappointed” by Phila. Gas Works Deal Abortion

We’re left with one, very strong recommendation, after the abortion of the deal to sell Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) to UIL Holding, a Connecticut utility company: Philadelphia City Council members need to be investigated to see whose pockets have gotten fatter since the deal was aborted. The head of UIL has spoken on the record about the deal for the first time. In an interview last Friday, UIL CEO James Torgerson said he had met privately “multiple times” with all but two (of 17) Philly City Council members and by his count 9 of them would have voted “yes” on a deal to sell PGW to UIL. The only conclusion we can reach is that money has changed hands to stop the deal from going forward. What other conclusion can a sane, rational, thinking person reach? It’s time for an investigation–in particular of Councilwoman Marian Tasco, who refused to meet and talk with UIL even once. Tasco chairs the Philadelphia Gas Commission. Too bad Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, refuses to investigate people from her own party. We say it’s time for a special prosecutor to be appointed…
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Rumor: Resol Close to Official Offer to Buy Talisman Energy

MDN has been following the rumors that Talisman Energy may be sold to Spanish oil giant Repsol (see Rumor Mill: Repsol Once Again Interested in Buying Talisman). The rumors continue–and Talisman’s stock price is inching up, thanks to those rumors. Talisman stock rocketed up 35% on Friday on news that a bid from Repsol is imminent. How much is Repsol offering for the Canadian Talisman, a company with an active Marcellus Shale drilling program?…
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Big Education Political Contributions Dwarf Marcellus Spending

The far-left (and partisan) Common Cause PA, along with the co-opted-by-the-left Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, issued a “report” in November that claims the Marcellus drilling industry has spent upwards of $49 million on lobbying and political contributions in the Keystone State since 2007 ($8 in contributions to political campaigns, $41 spent on so-called “lobbying”). What these two partisan groups don’t tell you is that Big Education and Big Government (teacher and government employee unions) spent $71 million on campaign contributions and lobbying over the same period of time–much of it money paid by taxpayers. Convenient how they leave that little fact out, isn’t it?…
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ET Rover Pipeline’s 800-Mile Journey Begins with FERC Filing

Energy Transfer Partners plans to build an 800-mile, $4.4 billion pipeline that will connect the Marcellus and Utica Shale region to Canada (see ET Rover Pipeline Fully Subscribed, Project Scope Revised Up). The pipeline will connect Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio and cross the Buckeye State going northwest before entering Michigan and eventually taking a dog-leg into Ontario (see the map embedded below). These kinds of projects take multiple years to complete–with many steps. On Friday, ET filed their draft Resource Reports of environmental survey data with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). It’s one of the first steps on an 800-mile journey…
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4 Important Dormant Mineral Act Cases with OH Supreme Court

In September, MDN shined a light on an important issue for both landowners and drillers in the Ohio Utica Shale: the Dormant Minerals Act, or DMA (see Video: OH Lawyers Explain Dormant Minerals Act & Impact on Utica). The Ohio Supreme Court currently has four cases before it that deal with the DMA. The high court could rule on any one (or all) of them at any time. Here’s a helpful summary of the situation from legal beagle David Wigham, from the firm Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston, in Wooster, Ohio…
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New Report: Managing the Risks of Hydraulic Fracturing

Yes Virginia, there are risks with fracking. No one ever said there aren’t risks. The straw man argument put forward by those who hate fossil fuels is that fracking is too “risky,” hinting that only a level of no risk is the acceptable level. How does one counter that argument? By pointing out there are risks in everything. There are risks when you leave your front door every morning and get in a car, or on a train, and head off to work (at least for Republicans, people who still go to work). All energy sources have risks–upsides and downsides–including natural gas that comes from fracking. A new study has just been released by the Canadian Fraser Institute that takes an open and honest look at the risks in fracking–and how to manage them. The study is called “Managing the Risks of Hydraulic Fracturing” (full copy below). What does it say?…
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Trucking Co Building CNG Station in Scranton, PA for New Fleet

C.A.T. Inc. (formerly Canadian American Transportation) is taking the plunge. They’ve decided to convert nearly a third of their tractor trailer fleet (100 out of 325) to compressed natural gas (CNG). C.A.T. is leasing 100 new CNG tractors from Ryder for their national fleet. In order to ensure those trucks can fuel up, they’ve contracted with U.S. Oil to build five new GAIN® Clean Fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) stations. One of those stations will be located in the heart of the Marcellus Shale–in Scranton, PA–using clean, abundant Marcellus Shale gas to keep the big rigs rolling…
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Country’s Biggest Anti-Drilling Groups Profit from O&G Investments

Here’s some (more) rank hypocrisy from the so-called environmental movement. They demand that you stop using fossil fuels and that investors stop investing in companies that mine fossil fuels–yet these very same “environmental” organizations have oil wells on their property and continue to invest in oil and gas companies themselves! Here’s the repugnant details about The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Clubbers, National Resources Defense Council, World Wildlife Fund and the Ocean Conservancy…
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