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Monday, April 30, 2012

Fracktivists Encourage City to Ignore Their Air Quality Tests & Accept Results from Tests Conducted by Residents

Results from air quality tests performed by three different residents in Colleyville, Texas suggest that fracking has released high levels of dangerous chemicals into the air.  Fracktivists were quick to latch onto these results and use them to call for action against fracking.

A closer look reveals that it may not be so cut and dry.  Colleyville officials had already paid for longer and more in-depth testing which revealed no dangerous emissions.  Dr. Kenneth Tramm of Modern Geoscience performed those tests, and he calls into question several aspects of the tests conducted by the landowners and the guidelines they used to classify the results as dangerous.  For example, they compared the chemical readings from a short-term testing method to the long-term health levels set by the state rather than the Air Monitoring Comparison Values which should be used for such tests.  When the levels are measured against those standards they fall well below the safe value.

Who is the Park Foundation Protecting From Fracking?

An article at pressconnects.com by two members of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York looks at the Park Foundation's big-budget attempts to get fracking banned and expresses concern over the fact that the organization doesn't seem to care how many farmers and landowners lose out on the economic benefits of oil and gas drilling as long as the wealthy individuals who financially support the anti-fracking efforts of the foundation get what they want.

Here's an excerpt:

EPA Official Who Targeted Oil & Gas Industry Resigns

Al Armendariz, a top EPA official in the South and Southwest region, has resigned amid the controversy surrounding the emergence of his videotaped comments from 2010 regarding his desire to use his authority with the EPA to "crucify" the oil and gas industry.

Energy in Depth has previously examined the agenda that was revealed by Armendariz's comments and actions both before and after joining the EPA, and has tracked all of the developments related to this story as well.  Another column from townhall.com recently looked at the implications of allowing ideology-driven enforcement and regulation rather than demanding it be fact-driven.

View the Fox News article on Armendariz's resignation here.

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Learn More About Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon

The Wall Street Journal has a new article that takes a look at Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy.  It's an interesting peek into the mindset of one of the biggest figures of the oil and gas industry.

Here is an excerpt:

CEOs can be a cautious breed. Why make yourself a target? Then there's Aubrey McClendon, the CEO of Chesapeake Energy, a driving force behind America's natural gas revolution, a bumptious voice in energy and environmental politics, scourge of the coal industry turned scourge of his former green allies, and lately the target of corporate-governance scrutiny for loans he took from a firm that was also negotiating to buy assets from Chesapeake.

Fracking is Here to Stay

A new article from investingdaily.com takes a long look at hydraulic fracturing and why we know it isn't going away anytime soon.

Here is an excerpt:

Few groups have benefited more from the US shale oil and gas revolution than the master limited partnerships (MLP) that are building critical midstream infrastructure to process the nation’s surging hydrocarbon production and transport these commodities to end markets.
Frenzied drilling in major unconventional plays has enabled the US to grow oil production for the first time in decades and overtake Russia as the world’s leading producer of natural gas.
Even more impressive, the US has accomplished these feats despite declining offshore produce in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the Macondo oil spill and subsequent moratorium on deepwater drilling.
Although dry-gas plays such as the Barnett Shale near Dallas and Fort Worth, the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas and the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana in 2011 accounted for the bulk of unconventional gas production, liquids-rich shale plays–which offer superior wellhead economics–posted the strongest output growth.
For example, output from Appalachia’s Marcellus Shale last year doubled to almost 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, while production from the Eagle Ford Shale in southeast Texas jumped by 64 percent, to about 3 billion cubic feet per day.
With natural gas prices likely to remain depressed for some time, we expect producers to continue to shift capital expenditures and drilling activity to liquids-rich plays.
Many of these regions lack sufficient midstream capacity to handle surging volumes of natural gas liquids (NGL), a group of heavier hydrocarbons such as ethane, propane and butane that occur in some shale fields and fetch higher prices than natural gas.

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

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EPA Administrator: No Cases of Fracking Contaminating Groundwater

Watch EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson talk about fracking in response to recent criticism of the EPA after an official for the agency appeared on video talking about his plans to crucify the oil and gas industry.  The significant quote from the video is Jackson's statement:  "In no case have we made a definitive determination that the fracking process has caused chemicals to enter groundwater."



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Pennsylvania DEP Still Investigating Dimock Wells

As the EPA continues to roll out results from testing the water from various wells in Dimock, PA and those results continue to consistently reveal no hazardous conditions, the Pennsylvania Department of Energy is also not backing away from the situation.

A new report now shows the the PA DEP is monitoring two water wells near Cabot Oil and Gas' Greenwood 1 well.  Cabot recently added more cement in the casing of the well, and if the methane levels in the nearby water wells drop it will be obvious that Cabot's Greenwood 1 well is the cause.  If the methane levels do not drop, the investigation of why they are elevated will have to go in a different direction.

Read more from the Times Tribune by clicking here.


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Landowners Experiencing Financial Benefits of Shale

A new article from the Canton Repository looks at how local landowners are feeling the impact of shale signing bonuses and royalty payments.

While deals for mineral rights have been offered for years by oil companies, the recent shale boom has really ignited the activity between energy companies and landowners.  The article states that over 6,000 leases have been recorded in Stark County since the start of 2010.

In 2010, signing bonuses started at $1,000 per acre.  These days the offers start at $2,000 to $2,500 per acre, and landowners who are patient can often extract much more from companies.  Landowner groups have helped to create leverage leading to higher bonuses, and some recent deals have been for nearly $6,000 an acre.

Carroll County Chamber of Commerce executive director Amy Rutledge stated for the article that the signing bonuses have created "a few new millionaires" in the area.  But even those who don't have large tracts of land can experience substantial financial benefits from signing a lease.

Check out the entire article for more details.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

As Dimock, PA Becomes a Battlefield for Fracktivists, Residents Speak Out to Say That the Water is Fine



Click here to find out more about the movement to counteract the negative coverage of Dimock, PA.

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Lawsuits Continue to Pile Up for Chesapeake

In the wake of Chesapeake Energy terminating the controversial Founder Well Participation Program agreement with CEO Aubrey McClendon comes a report that a class-action lawsuit has been filed by Chesapeake stockholders in New York - the third lawsuit of this sort filed in the past week.

The full report from newsok.com can be viewed by clicking here, including McClendon's disclosure about his participation in the program and Chesapeake's response to media questions on the topic.

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Does the New Ohio DNR Map Mean Carroll County Shale Play Isn't as Good as Originally Thought?

This map is causing some concerns
From the Akron Beacon Journal:

A relatively simple multi-colored map is creating a buzz in eastern Ohio.
Some counties’ residents are ecstatic at the possibility they might be sitting atop lucrative deposits of natural gas/oil products. Others are dismayed to learn smaller volumes of gas and oil might lie deep under their feet than previously estimated.
At the center of what’s happening is a newly released map from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Geological Survey. It shows excellent drilling potential under much of Stark County. Large tracts of Tuscarawas, Coshocton and Trumbull counties also rate excellent. So, too, does eastern Portage County.
Larry Wickstrom, one of four men involved in developing the map, says he is a little flabbergasted by all the attention it is getting.
The map is “just the addition of new information ... and fine-tuning what we have,” he said. It is merely the state’s best guess as to what might be found thousands of feet underground.
Areas outside the main development area could still be productive, he advised, and the map probably will change as state geologists get even more information.
The map, relying on new data, shows a slightly different footprint in eastern Ohio for Utica shale, identifying a core area for drilling that covers 10.8 million acres from Ashtabula County south into Guernsey County.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kasich's Bill Approved...Without Higher Oil & Gas Tax

From the Associated Press, via the Putnam Sentinel:
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio House approved a sweeping package of spending and policy initiatives spearheaded by Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday, after stripping out the governor's signature tax provision on oil and gas.The midterm budget bill trims state spending by $69 million through cuts and cost-saving ideas, while setting aside $30 million for high-quality nursing homes and $3 million to establish a "healthy Lake Erie" fund intended to benefit businesses, farmers and tourism. It cleared the House 61-33, and heads next to the Senate.House Finance Chairman Ron Amstutz, a Wooster Republican, said the bill encourages the state's fragile recovery while protecting slowly growing revenue accounts."At the end of this day, what we are doing here is maintaining a steady course in (setting) our budget on a recovery course, while approving a wide range of programs and process improvements for our citizens," Amstutz said.Kasich's fellow Republicans in the House opted to pull his tax hike proposal for more study. It calls for increasing Ohio's severance tax on oil and gas production by 4 percent and spending the revenue on income-tax relief. The governor continues to fight for the plan.

Will Shale Boom Fade Out, or Are Economic Benefits Going to Last?

From CrainsCleveland.com:
ENERGY GUEST BLOG -- JIM SAMUEL
Boom-bust to boom-BOOM? 
Blog entry: April 24, 2012, 10:39 am   |   Author: JIM SAMUEL
Jim Samuel is founder and principal of Capitol Integrity Group, a fellow of the Levin College at Cleveland State University and a founding partner of the Ohio Shale Consortium. He has worked extensively in the economic development and public policy arena and serves as a consultant to the energy industry.
Oil and gas plays have been derided by naysayers as instigators of “boom-bust cycles” for communities. Even industry advocates acknowledge the boom-bust cycles of the past.
But with the technology to unlock the hydrocarbons contained in the Utica shale underlying Ohio, could we be looking at a boom-boom cycle for Northeast Ohio?
The boom-bust cycle of a conventional oil or gas discovery begins with the rush to acquire land and develop the field bringing rapid growth as steel, concrete and rigs roll in offering thousands of jobs as the work of exploration and development commences. The rapid local boost is not contained to the fields, but moves through the supply chain and spills into the shops, hotels and bars on Main Street.
As drilling turns to production, the jobs dwindle. Eventually, decline curves reach a breaking point. A community that grew rapidly may face decades of red ink paying off infrastructure like roads, schools and water treatment for a population that moved on.

Haliburton Breaks Ground in Zanesville, 100 Ohioans Training for Their New Jobs

From the Zanesville Times Recorder:

ZANESVILLE -- Some site preparation already has begun at the future home of Halliburton's estimated $35 million to $50 million investment in equipment and field service center buildings in the EastPointe Business Park.
The first employees will be working on a portion of the 178 acres the energy services provider bought in the business park by year's end, Company Senior Vice President-Southern Region Ron Shuman said Tuesday afternoon during wind-swept groundbreaking ceremonies.
More than 100 Ohioans have been hired to work at the Zanesville site and are training in Pennsylvania, Shuman said.
The company has committed to employing 300 within three years and intends to fill at least 70 percent of its open positions locally, with the remainder transferred from other sites.
"When they come back to their hometown, they will be the managers and supervisors for our operations here," Shuman said.

Critical Situation in Japan - Are Billions of Lives at Risk?

This isn't an oil and gas story, but it seemed worth mentioning here because it isn't receiving very much attention considering some of the dire statements being made.

From Infinite Unknown:
Thirteen months have passed since the Fukushima reactors exploded, and a U.S. Senator finally got off his ass and went to Japan to see what is going on over there.
What he saw was horrific.
And now he is saying that we are in big trouble.
See the letter he sent to U.S. Ambassador to Japan Ichiro Fujisaki, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and NRC’s Chairman Gregory Jaczko here.
But what is so ironic about this is that we have been in this heap of trouble since March of 2011. March 17th, to be exact, when the plume of radioactive materials began bombarding the west coast of California.

Chesapeake in the News: Addressing CEO's Questionable Financial Maneuvers & Well Blowout in Wyoming

Two news items today concern Chesapeake Energy.

The first comes via an official release from Chesapeake, and has to do with the company's response to recent criticism of CEO Aubrey McClendon's unique situation related to the Founder Well Participation Program - criticism which has negatively impacted the company's stock.


CEO Agrees to Separately Provide Enhanced FWPP Disclosure 
Board to Review FWPP Financing Arrangements 
OKLAHOMA CITY, Apr 26, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) today announced that its Board of Directors has determined that it does not intend to extend the company's Founder Well Participation Program (FWPP) with its chief executive officer, Aubrey K. McClendon, beyond its present 10-year term ending December 31, 2015. The Board of Directors and Mr. McClendon have committed to negotiate the early termination of the FWPP and the amendment to Mr. McClendon's employment agreement necessary to effectuate the early termination. The FWPP, which was approved by shareholders for a 10-year term in 2005, in conjunction with Mr. McClendon's employment agreement with the company, provides Mr. McClendon a contractual right to participate and invest as a working interest owner (with up to a 2.5% working interest) in new wells drilled on the company's leasehold.

Daily Links - A Plethora of Oil & Gas News

Here is a plethora of oil and gas stories to get you started today:

Water testing and lease questions addressed at town hall meeting.

Advice on dealing with an old lease.

Fracking targeted during Earth Day event in New York.

Another area prepares for shale exploration as the boom continues.

Coshocton County devising plans to make the most of shale boom.

Could fracking help solve water problem in abandoned coal mines?

Another article summarizing the Utica Shale play to this point.

And, just because mentioning a plethora makes me think of this, here's a video to brighten your day:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

74 Vendors Turn Out for Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Expo

Carroll County held their first business to business expo today, and the turnout was something to behold.

Vendors crammed into the Atwood Lodge across three different rooms to meet one another and make connections as the area prepares to make the most of the oil and gas exploration that is really just getting started.  The chamber announced that there were 74 vendors who supported the event, a huge turnout considering that they were originally planning to hold it at St. John's Villa, which would have held only 34 vendors.

The conference center was packed and active before the start time of 11:00 AM.  Shortly after 11:00, three representatives from the oil and gas industry addressed the crowd.

First, Mark Madison of Chesapeake Energy spoke for several minutes about what is involved in entering a Master Service Agreement and becoming a vendor with Chesapeake.  He highlighted the emphasis the industry places on safety, and how crucial the proper safety and business practices are if a business wants to work with Chesapeake.  He also made it clear that the shale boom in Carroll County and the surrounding Utica Shale area is only just beginning.

Next, Jim Pritt of EnerVest re-emphasized that the Utica Shale boom here was basically in its infancy, stating that they are still delineating the play.  "They have not put their foot to the metal," he said of Chesapeake.  Pritt also stated that "everything's heading in this direction" as far as the oil and gas exploration in the country, helping businesses to realize that they should be ready as more and more companies descend on the Utica Shale.  As he came to the end of his comments, Pritt said "our intention is to take Ohio back where it used to be; restore the industrial base."

Steve Harris of Rex Energy spoke briefly as well.  He once again mentioned the stringent safety standards of the energy industry and how it relates to vendors who would like to partner with them.  Harris also made reference to Rex Energy's first well in the area, the Brace well off of Route 9 north of Carrollton.

All in all, it was an interesting and exciting event that really helps to drive home how much is happening in Carroll County.  We congratulate the Chamber of Commerce for hosting such a successful gathering of businesses.

Click through the jump to view several pictures from the event...

More Misleading Headlines About Fracking and Earthquakes

An article from CBC News in Canada does the same misleading thing that several other articles have done lately by creating a headline that says "Fracking Causes Earthquakes, Studies Confirm."  However, as the article goes on to say, fracking is not what the earthquakes are being attributed to, but rather it is the injection of wastewater that has been linked to tremors.

I'm no media expert, but all of the outlets that are choosing to make the bold statement that fracking causes earthquakes while burying the fact that the fracking process itself isn't linked to any of these earthquakes seem more than a little skeevy to me.

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Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Expo Today

The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce is preparing for their first business to business expo at Atwood Lodge, and The Daily Digger and Energy News crew is preparing for it too.  We'll have details on the event here later today, so stay tuned!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Anti-Fracking Rally Doesn't Live Up To Promise

From Energy in Depth:

Is a rally a rally if no one attends?  It’s a question I asked after heading to Columbus for No Frack Ohio’s “Rally at the Statehouse”.  The well advertized event was billed as a gathering of anti-natural gas advocates “in support of exposing the inadequate proposed regulations in Gov. John Kasich’s S.B. 315.”   Based on the rally’s attendance it turns out there aren’t too many folks agreeing with this assertion.
Of course that’s to be expected, given the fact an independent review panel composed of federal and state regulators, as well as prominent members of the national environmental community, found Ohio’s regulations to be well managed, meeting their objectives and a model for other states to follow.
When I arrived at the capitol, what I found was a testament to the lack of support for the group’s rally. There were about 10 people on the stairs of the Statehouse for the “rally” with a few signs calling for the end of shale development.  By the time I parked my car, all that remained was a lonesome man sitting between two remaining signs.  The below video sums up the scene better than my words ever could.

Chesapeake CEO Continues to Have Financial Maneuvering Questioned

From Reuters:

(Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp's chief executive came under fire last week after Reuters reported that he used his stakes in company wells to take out as much as $1.1 billion in personal loans.
Now, Reuters has found, CEO Aubrey K. McClendon has employed another way to cash in on a perk unique to the company he runs: He sold his share of two large energy plays at the same time the company divested its interest.
Analysts say the deals, which generated $6.5 billion in proceeds, pose a potential conflict because of the possibility that they could have been timed and structured to suit McClendon's personal interests, rather than those of the company he runs.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Links Give Added Insight on Natural Gas Industry

From ExxonMobil:
You don’t have to look far these days to find news articles talking about how natural gas from shale is boosting domestic energy supplies, creating jobs and revitalizing energy-intensive U.S. industries such as manufacturing.
But some recent articles also shed light on some lesser-known aspects of this shale gas “revolution” – ones that may not be as obvious, but are just as important:
  • Today’s shale gas “revolution” actually was decades in the making.
  •  In its cover story this week, “The United States of Natural Gas,” Fortune magazine shows how shale gas development is reviving the American economy. But the coverage also touches on a less-appreciated part of the energy business: how companies like ExxonMobil must invest and operate on timelines that can span decades. As one article points out, the shale gas technologies that are having such an impact today were still being developed back in the 1970s, when our CEO, Rex Tillerson, was a 24-year-old engineer completing wells in East Texas.

Area Business Already Versed in Shale Drilling

From the Canton Repository:
GREEN — Drilling for oil and gas in shale is new to eastern Ohio, but it’s old hat for one of the area’s engineering companies.
Hammontree & Associates has been involved with shale drilling since 2008. The engineering firm’s client list includes names such as XTO Exxon, Hess, Chevron and Consol.
Several Hammontree engineers, including Charles F. Hammontree, president and chief executive officer, found themselves at a meeting in State College, Pa., in 2008 where they heard about efforts to develop the Marcellus shale in southwest and northeast Pennsylvania.
Companies needed engineers to design drill pads, address environmental issues and ensure that roads were in shape to handle heavy equipment. Hammontree’s engineers already had experience in Ohio’s oil fields.

Third Round of Test Results from EPA in Dimock, PA - Water Still Safe

From Energy in Depth:
The EPA  released another round of water testing data on Dimock today — the third round in six weeks — and the results can’t be all that encouraging to litigants and anti-shale activists. According to EPA: there’s still no evidence of any serious problem with the town’s water.  Here’s the data, and here’s what EPA said regarding the latest round of testing:

Ohio Law Takes Drilling Decision For Your Land Out of Your Hands

From the Associated Press:
COLUMBUS, Ohio —
The U.S. Army veteran contends the practice called mandatory pooling violates his constitutional rights, his Catholic faith — which calls for safeguarding the environment — and what his country stands for.
"We do not defend the United States of America so the government can strip me of my rights to my land," said Hashbarger, who expects his land in Bloomingdale will soon be pooled as such deals engulf neighboring properties. "I'm furious over the whole thing."
Mandatory pooling gives drillers the ability to overcome a landowner's objections to drilling on his property if enough neighbors have agreed to the well drilling. The resisting landowner is paid for the oil or gas taken.
Laws allowing mandatory pooling began springing up across the nation in the 1960s in response to what was seen as wasteful over-drilling.

Mohican Basin Landowners Waiting For the Right Offer

From The Daily Record in Wooster:

WOOSTER -- Be patient. Be strong. Stick together.
That's the message the leadership of the Mohican Basin Landowners Association is telling the group's members as property owners wait and see whether an energy company shows interest in signing a lease for oil and gas drilling rights.
The Mohican group formed in January 2011 to protect water, soil and land from exploitation by unscrupulous energy companies. It emerged at a time when some property owners were signing leases with bonus payments of $20 an acre, a figure considered too low.
Since then, other landowner groups have formed, like the Holmes Energy Leasing Partnership, the Killbuck Valley Landowners Association, Apple Creek Landowners Group and the Neighbors of Eastern Wayne and Western Stark Landowners Association.

AEP Leases Mineral Rights for The Wilds

From the Zanesville Times Recorder:

CUMBERLAND -- Giraffes, rhinoceroses, cheetahs and ... horizontal drilling rigs?
That soon might be the case at the Wilds, the 10,000-acre nonprofit conservation and research facility in Cumberland.
The Wilds sits atop land owned by American Electric Power, and in the fall, AEP leased the mineral rights to Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. It was part of a larger deal that gave Anadarko rights to 150,000 acres of AEP land in southeastern Ohio, said Pat Hemlepp, an AEP spokesman.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
As far as Anadarko's specific plans for the Wilds, those details are a little fuzzy, too. Company representatives have been in talks with Wilds representatives, but Anadarko doesn't have any firm plans in place, said Brian Cain, Anadarko spokesman.
Currently, Anadarko has only two permits for Utica Shale wells in Muskingum County, both in Meigs Township, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources records. The company's only operational well in the county is off Paisley Road, just outside the Wilds.
"We certainly recognize the unique environment and considerations that must be made to protect the animals and preserve the plant life and area," Cain wrote in an email. "As a matter of practice, any plans to access the resources would be done in a cooperative and transparent manner with the Wilds."

Stark County Businesses Feeling Effects of Shale Boom

From the Canton Repository:
NORTH CANTON —  The possibility of finding oil and natural gas 6,500 feet below the surface in the Utica shale is bringing new businesses to Stark County and eastern Ohio.
Meanwhile, existing businesses are benefiting as the new businesses roll into town. Companies such as Chesapeake, which established its Ohio headquarters in Canton, are finding local businesses to provide a variety of services.
David C. Kaminski, director of energy and public affairs for the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, said several companies have come to the area asking about space with the hope of opening local offices or facilities.
“There’s still a lot of shopping going on,” Kaminski said.
If the Utica shale evolves into the oil and natural gas producer some predict, the shoppers will be in offices within the coming year, which means new customers for local businesses.
The chamber already has conducted a seminar to help local companies that want to do business with the oil and gas industry. A second seminar is planned.
Kaminski believes local companies will prosper. “For some places, as the ripples in the pool extend, there’s going to be opportunity.”

Earthquake Fears Don't Stop Applications for Injection Drilling Wells

From the Associated Press:

Earthquakes in the Mahoning Valley linked to the injection of gas-drilling wastewater into the earth haven’t slowed applications for more injection wells.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has received 19 applications to drill new disposal wells, in addition to 23 wells already approved but not yet operating, the Columbus Dispatch reported Sunday.
The agency is reviewing disposal-well applications under a new set of safety standards, including a ban on drilling injection wells into a deep, pre-Cambrian rock formation that geologists consider the source of most Ohio quakes, said Heidi Hetzel-Evans, a Natural Resources spokeswoman.

Friday, April 20, 2012

EPA's Unpopular Rules, Kasich's Tax Plan Has Some Fans, Chesapeake Drilling Without Permits, and More - Today's Links

Here are some notable links for today:

The EPA's new air pollution regulations aren't popular with pro-drilling groups or anti-drilling groups.

House Democrats are getting behind Governor Kasich's revised tax plan.

Chesapeake Energy is drilling in Beaver County, PA without a permit and despite a stop-work order from local officials.

Coshocton County prepares for shale boom to continue.


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FrackNation Preview in Montana Impresses Crowd

From Montana Oil Report:

TERRY, MONTANA – The word “passionate” is the one word comes to mind immediately upon first meeting documentary filmmaker Ann McElhinney.   She shared her current passion explaining hydraulic fracturing or shale oil and gas by showing a sneak peak of her film “FrackNation” to a crowd of over 50 people.
The event was held Thursday night, April 12th  at the MidRivers community meeting room in Glendive, MT, which was hosted by “The Eastern Montana Patriots Organization” (TEMPO) and sponsored by the “Montana Policy Institute” (MPI).
Carl Graham, who is the CEO of MPI and made the introduction of Ann McElhinney, said she was asked to speak to the mostly Eastern Montana audience in attendance to raise awareness about hydraulic fracturing and its consequences.
“Competing documentaries are made from different viewpoints,” is how Ann McElhinney describes the film she and her husband are in the middle of making. “FrackNation”will be about the oil industry’s safe practices of hydraulic fracturing known as fracking.
It will also respond to “Gasland,” a film made by Josh Fox, which raised concerns about the safety of hydraulic fracturing.  It shows the purported affects in areas of our country where methane is released along with the drinking water with hydraulic fracking.  This affect of nature has been occurring in the area of the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania for the last 400 years.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Preparing for Expo

Less than a week is remaining until Carroll County's First Business to Business Expo.  The event will be held on Wednesday, April 25 at the Atwood Lake Lodge.

With a focus on the oil and gas industry, it should be an interesting occasion.  The Daily Digger/Energy News will be there, and we'll report about it here.

Click here to find out more.

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Energy in Depth Breaks Down the Data on Public Health and Fracking

From Energy in Depth:

We’ve all seen the frightening headlines and read about so-called “experts” linking any number of negative health impacts to oil and gas development, specifically hydraulic fracturing. But what’s more telling about these allegations is what they are missing, namely: a basis in fact.
The claims have also made us wonder: If suggestions about negative health impacts were true, wouldn’t the men and women who are working in the industry – many as long as 60 to 70 hours per week, year round – be suffering from some of the worst health conditions? After all, if hydraulic fracturing or shale development as a whole were emitting dangerous levels of pollutants, then those working on the well pads day in and day out would be more exposed than anyone else. Right?

Utica Shale Housing Group Advertising in Carrollton

The Utica Shale Housing Group has begun distributing information to attract renters to their Carrollton properties, which were previously reported on here at The Daily Digger.

Check out their flyer after the jump.

More Encouraging Production Numbers on Utica Shale

Anadarko Petroleum released a Utica Shale update today which gives further reason to be optimistic about the formation's potential.

From Yahoo:

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire -04/19/12)- Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC - News) today provided an update on itsdrilling program in the Utica Shale play in eastern Ohio after filing the required production history with Ohio Department of Natural Resources. To date, the company has drilled and is producing from three wells in the Utica Shale, the most recent of which has delivered more than 9,500 barrels of light-gravity crude oilduring its first 20 days on line.

Licking County Residents Express Concerns at Meeting

From Newarkadvocate.com:
GRANVILLE -- In the past two months, Denison University has invited scientists, attorneys, activists and experts to campus to discuss oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
On Wednesday, Licking County officials had the chance to voice their opinion on the process and answer questions from the public.
Wednesday's event at Denison's Burton D. Morgan Center was the third and final discussion about fracking. Organized by Denison's Office of Sustainability, the first two panels focused on introducing drilling and fracking to the public and answering questions about their effects, said Jeremy King, sustainability coordinator.

Remembering the Past

It's not oil and gas related, but today has significance in relation to two tragedies.

First, this is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The Holocaust is so horrifying that it can almost seem unreal or impossible.  But sadly it did happen, and the United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims.  It's an opportunity to reflect on the millions who were slaughtered, and also to reflect on the stories of kindness and bravery about those who chose to rescue individuals targeted for extermination, even at the risk of their own lives.  The latter is reflected in the theme of the Holocaust Museum's 2012 Days of Remembrance observance, which is Choosing to Act: Stories of Rescue.

Second, today marks the 17th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.  In the worst act of terrorism on United States soil prior to 9/11/01, 168 people were killed - including 19 children in a daycare center - and over 500 were injured when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was nearly completely destroyed by a bomb.  Services were held Thursday at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, which sits on the former site of the Murrah building.

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Another Lawsuit Against Chesapeake

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 
William and Joyce Green are the latest names that can be added to the list of landowners who are suing Chesapeake and Anschutz Exploration for shady business practices.

In Carroll County last month, about 80 property owners sued Chesapeake and Anschutz, while 40 more property owners filed suit in Columbiana County.  Now the Greens have filed suit in Stark County, with very similar accusations.

The lawsuits basically allege that Anschutz misled landowners by stating that the lease value of the property would never increase, while also stating that the leases were never properly notarized and are thus invalid.  They further allege that Chesapeake didn't inform landowners when they purchased the leases from Anschutz and then didn't allow the opportunity for the landowners to receive fair value for the property before development began, which the leases state is the landowners right.  More after the jump...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Environmental Fracking Rules, Learning from PA's Shale Boom, Fracking in LA - Today's Links

Here are links to some of the big oil and gas stories of the day:

The EPA has released new regulations to reduce air pollution from fracking, with a two-year grace period.

Kristy Foster of Farm and Dairy writes about her drive through the Marcellus Shale region.

Fracking tests conducted in Los Angeles.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Two Defenses of Fracking

Two members of petroleum associations have recently taken to the blogosphere to defend fracking from the fracktivists who are trying to stop it.

The first comes from Brad Gill of Hamburg, Erie County, who serves as executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association:

Say the words “hydraulic fracturing” to pretty much any news consumer in New York state and you’re bound to get a reaction. Whether it’s a shudder or a sigh, people react to the words, even if there’s no understanding of what they actually mean.

Learning About Natural Gas: What is Cathodic Protection?



View the entire written description at nwga.org by clicking here.

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Does Fracking Cause Earthquakes?

From Knovel.com:

New data suggest that the surge in oil and natural gas drilling throughout the U.S. is, in fact, spurring earthquakes.
Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, has become increasingly common throughout the U.S. The federal government has thus far allowed individual state legislatures to regulate the natural gas extraction method. States such as Pennsylvania and North Dakota have embraced fracking as a means of supporting economic growth, while other states, including New York, have instead studied whether to permit the practice.
Environmental and public health advocates have long questioned whether fracking imposes deleterious consequences on underground water supplies. However, over the past year or so, scientists have increasingly studied whether fracking could also potentially trigger minor earthquakes. There has been growing support for such engineering research from local municipalities where fracking is common, and the U.S. Geological Study recently conducted an overarching study on the matter, NPR reports.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Link Rundown for the Day

It's been a busy day.  I've posted about several stories, but here are links to a few more.

Are the conclusions of fracking studies just a matter of who the highest bidder is?

Are the water test results for residents with elevated chemical levels intentionally being made harder to understand than the results for residents with nothing to worry about?

With all of the talk about water contamination from fracking, sometimes air pollution is ignored.  Not in this article.

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Fracking = Higher Ice-Cream Prices?

Click here to view a transcript and listen to an audio clip from the Living on Earth media program which discusses the connection between fracking and the cost of ice cream.


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Videos From "Water Defense" Attack Fracking

The following videos are featured at waterdefense.org as part of their "Natural Gas Exxposed" series.  Expect lots of shots of people lighting tap water on fire.








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Get Talking on the Daily Digger Forum!

The Daily Digger Forum has been built for everyone to be able to exchange thoughts, opinions, ideas, and help answer one another's questions in a free, accessible format.  Are you signed up?  Please feel free to start using the message boards today to talk to fellow area residents who are interested in everything that is going on!

We have a question that's been posted by member wallyshill regarding royalty payments.  Who can help provide an answer?  Click here to check out the question and reply with an answer.

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Rex Energy Spuds First Horizontal Well in Carroll County

From marketwatch.com:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., April 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rex Energy CorporationREXX -2.67% today announced its first quarter 2012 production results, the commencement of drilling operations on its first horizontal Ohio Utica well in the Warrior Prospect and an update on the recently adopted Pennsylvania impact fee.

Production Update

Rex Energy exceeded the high end of its first quarter production guidance of 60.0 MMcfe/d by approximately 1%, with an average daily production rate of 60.7 MMcfe/d. This is an increase of approximately 23% over the fourth quarter of 2011 and an increase of 120% over the average daily production rate of the first quarter of 2011. This marks the sixth consecutive quarter that the company has achieved double digit production growth. Oil and natural gas liquids accounted for 26% of the total net production for the quarter.

After the effects of cash settled derivatives, realized natural gas prices were $3.72 per Mcf, realized oil prices were $98.08 per Bbl and realized natural gas liquids prices were $48.98 per Bbl, which was approximately 48% of the NYMEX quoted average price of oil for the quarter.

Operational Update

Appalachian Basin -- Warrior Prospect, Carroll County, Ohio

Get Your Share of Utica Shale Money

From the Coshocton Tribune:
Landowners in Ohio could be getting a major windfall during the next few years. The infusion of Utica Shale wealth could have an impact on all of our lives for years to come. Williamsport, Pa., and Williston, N.D., are booming right now.
Ohio has been producing oil since 1884, and 64,000 wells currently producing according to www.ohiogeology.com. Fracking has been going on since the 1950s, but new technology has made it easier to extract oil and gas now. It used to take 16 wells all spread out on a square mile. They now can reach the same ground with five wells in one part of the square mile. This technology could make the Utica-Point Pleasant Shale Play very profitable in this area.
Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program estimates 204,000 newjobs could be supported by this oil boom. This would bring in billions of dollars to Ohio and millions of dollars to local government tax revenues.
So what does this have to do with you?

Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Considering "Emergency Plan" to Provide Fracking Water

From the Zanesville Times Recorder:
For months, energy companies have been courting the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, hoping to come to terms on the sale of water to be used in "fracking" oil and gas wells in eastern Ohio.
Each time, the district, which covers 20 percent of Ohio, has said nothing could be done until this summer, per its procedures. But this Friday, leadership is expected to present an emergency plan to provide water access to one company, Gulfport Energy, for its well near Clendening Lake in Harrison County.
This past summer, the district leased its mineral rights at the site of that well to Gulfport in exchange for $15.6 million as well as a percentage of whatever oil and gas is produced from that well pad.

Buell Well Producing Oil & Gas, But Not Making Everyone Happy

FRED SQUILLANTE | DISPATCH
The Buell well, located in Harrison County, is being heralded as a symbol of how great the potential of Ohio's Utica Shale play really could be.  It's the most productive well in any of the data released to date, yielding gas and oil at astonishing rates.

That doesn't mean that everyone is thrilled about the well.  One person in particular has some complaints:  Kenneth Buell, the man for whom it's named.

The Columbus Dispatch reports on the work that's gone into developing Ohio's most productive well site to date and why Buell feels he has been treated very poorly by Chesapeake.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Oil & Gas Links for the Day

Here are links to oil and gas related stories which may interest you.

A Dover woman who's already experienced the shale boom in Pennsylvania says that Ohio residents shouldn't be worried.

More about what Tuscarawas Valley officials discovered when they visited Pennsylvania for a look at how shale exploration changes a community.

Wooster newspaper discusses fracking.

Why not frack?  Why frack?  An article, a response, another response.  The fracking debate in a nutshell.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Today's Links: Fracktivists Unite, Shale Jobs, From Tires to Oil & Gas, Pipeline Complaints, Sierra Club Proposes 300-foot Drilling Buffer

Some oil & gas news-related news stories:

Fracktivists set to descend on Columbus for a protest that is sure to be much more loaded with emotion than with facts.

More environmentalist tales.

Summary of Utica Shale jobs coming to Ohio.

Old Bridgestone tire facilities to become oil and gas chemical research hub?

Ohio residents not excited about pipeline project.

Sierra Club doesn't want drilling near...well, much of anything.

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Carrollton Council Dealing with Oil & Gas Matters; Commissioners Forget They Don't Own Land

From the Carrollton Free Press Standard:

Carrollton Council had a busy evening Monday filled with committee meetings, visitors and a full agenda.
Council received one bid for gas and oil rights.  Chesapeake Energy offered the village $5,800 per acre and 20 percent of gross royalties.  Village Solicitor Clark E. Battista will look over the bid and was directed by council to send Chesapeake an addendum, which includes a water clause, no drill clause, and omission of arbitration clause.  Battista explained the omission to arbitration clause would come into effect if there was a problem, the issue would go before the court, not to an arbitrator.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another New Video Examining Impact of Shale on Carrollton



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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Video Looks at Fracking's Hidden Costs



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Federal Regulators Say Fracking Scares are "Totally Unfounded"

From examiner.com:


Hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and gas cannot cause earthquakes or ground water contamination 
DALLAS (April 3, 2012) – Despite persistent scares reported in the mainstream press, government regulators say the decades old practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of bedrock to extract oil and gas reserves is absolutely safe for our environment.   

Do You Think Fracking Pollutes Well Water?

Fox News is running a poll to find out if people believe the environmentalists who claim that fracking ruins water.  Want to share your opinion?  Just click here.

As of right now, over 26,000 votes have been cast and nearly 65% have said that they do not think fracking pollutes water.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Commercial Highlights Impact of Shale on Ohio



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Daily News Rundown

Here are links to a few interesting oil and gas stories:

Pennsylvania communities fight new Marcellus Shale legislation.

Can natural gas provide relief from high fuel prices?

Do the energy industry's complaints about EPA regulations hold up under scrutiny?

Governor Kasich still facing a fight over his oil and gas legislation?

Protesters claim fracking will ruin water.

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