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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Did Sandy Increase Fracking Dangers?

From the San Angelo Standard-Times:
As Sandy lashed the Eastern Seaboard this week, some environmental groups raised concerns that the superstorm's brute force could overwhelm feeble storage pits adjacent to fracking sites.
In turn, critics said, that could allow the unintended release of toxic materials from the oil and gas hydraulic fracturing operations into streams and farmland in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio which were hit by Sandy.
Industry groups say they hunkered down for the storm before it reached land Monday and were well prepared to keep the waste quarantined. They dispute any accusation from critics that they cut corners in securing toxic fluids.
At issue are the storage sites holding chemicals near the wells. Fracking, as the controversial process is known, involves pumping millions of gallons of water and additives into underground rock formations to release deposits of oil or natural gas.
Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

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Midstream Projects Will Ramp Up in Ohio as More Wells Produce

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Ron's Workingman's Store had been a small, durable business here for nearly 75 years, serving eastern Ohio's industrial workers. And then Chesapeake Energy Corp. moved in across the street last year, as the Oklahoma firm made its foray into the Utica Shale gas development.
"We created a great friendship, and a lot of their subcontractors came over here," said the store's purchasing manager, Lisa Nicodemo. Sales of fire-retardant clothing used in drilling operations spiked, along with business at the company's companion store, Wilkof Industrial Supply, handling industrial equipment and tools.
"Two years ago, we were running this place with four people. Now we're up to nine," said Nicodemo, whose company has added a mobile store that goes to drilling sites. "This is just the beginning."
Indeed, tapping into the Utica Shale resource is just beginning. Oil and gas companies have secured 405 permits, nearly all of them since the beginning of last year, and have drilled 171 exploratory wells. The U.S. Geological Survey, in its first estimate of the Utica Shale this month, pronounced it a potential gold mine, with 38 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, 940 million barrels of oil and 208 million barrels of natural gas liquids.
But moving the Utica's production -- in particular, the valuable natural gas liquids -- into markets has hit a bottleneck with gas prices stubbornly low. In June, 24 horizontal wells were drilled. In September, the number had dropped to three.
"These companies are very anxious to get going," said Tom Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. "But the lack of adequate midstream capacity is a throttle on drilling activity," he added, citing the lack of infrastructure, notably the processing facilities required to separate ethane and other gas liquids from pipeline gas, so that both can be sold.
Read the whole article by clicking here.

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Gulfport Releases More Utica Shale Production Results

Gulfport Energy released production results on two of the company's Utica shale wells today.  The numbers are very solid, but don't match the pace of some of the top Utica wells.

From the company's press release:
Utica Shale
  • Gulfport's Ryser 1-25H tested at a peak rate of 1,488 barrels of condensate per day, 5.9 million cubic feet ("MMCF") per day of natural gas, and 649 barrels of natural gas liquids ("NGLs") per day assuming full ethane recovery and a natural gas shrink of 21%, or 2,914 barrels of oil equivalent ("BOE") per day.
  • Gulfport's Groh 1-12H tested at a peak rate of 1,186 barrels of condensate per day, 2.8 MMCF per day of natural gas, and 367 barrels of NGLs per day assuming full ethane recovery and a natural gas shrink of 18%, or 1,935 BOE per day.
For comparison, here are some of the numbers of Chesapeake wells (excerpt taken from the September issue of the Carroll County Energy News):
The Bailey well boasted daily production of 205 barrels of oil, 270 barrels of gas liquids, and 5.7 million cubic feet of natural gas - equivalent to 1,420 barrels of oil per day. The Snoddy well produced 320 barrels of oil, 250 barrels of gas liquids, and 4.2 million cubic feet of gas, for an oil equivalent of 1,260 barrels. Meanwhile, the Brown well was good for 8.7 million cubic feet of natural gas daily, with no liquid production. That is the equivalent of 1,445 barrels of oil.
And some of the top performers (taken from the November issue of the Carroll County Energy News):
The Buell well produced 9.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and 1,425 barrels per day of natural gas liquids and oil, or 3,010 barrels of oil equivalent per day, at its peak.
In August the Buell well was surpassed by Gulfport Energy’s Wagner well - also in Harrison County - which produced 17.1 million cubic feet (“MMCF”) of natural gas per day, 432 barrels of condensate per day and 1,881 barrels of natural gas liquids per day assuming full ethane recovery and a natural gas shrink of 18%, or 4,650 barrels of oil equivalent per a day.
Now a new Gulfport well has ascended to the top spot.  The Shugert well, located in the Egypt Valley area of Belmont County, has produced 20.0 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, 144 barrels of condensate per day, and 2,002 barrels of natural gas liquids per day assuming full ethane recovery and a natural gas shrink of 17%, or 4,913 barrels of oil equivalent ("BOE") per day.
So the Ryser and Groh wells fall between those two examples.  Encouraging early production, although more and more questions are being raised about how quickly the production will decline in the Utica shale.

Read the entire Gulfport press release here. 

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reporter Tours Guernsey County Injection Well Sites

From Columbus Business First:
A recent trip into God’s country – rural Guernsey County in eastern Ohio – helped clear out some of the fog for me about injection wells used to dispose of fracking fluids from drilling operations in the Utica shale play.
I had never seen an injection well until I was invited to a media tour of one operated by David Hill Inc. just outside Claysville, a speck-in-the road village surrounded by rolling hills, farms and not many people about five miles south of Interstate 70. Subscribers can see my story in this week’s paper about what I saw there.
You also can also click on the slideshow to see photos I took that will give you a sense of what a well site looks like.
Read the rest of the article and view the photos by clicking here.

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Is the Utica Shale For Real, or Just Set to Be a Real Disappointment?

From The Motley Fool (emphasis ours):
Apparently, despite the value of releasing information, operators in Ohio don't want to give up the competitive edge you gain when no one knows what you're doing or how much you're producing. Plenty are skeptical and suspect that energy companies are merely buying time and hoping to hit a big well to justify Utica sunk costs, but we really have no way of knowing if this is really the case.
Regardless of why companies really behave this way, investors must adapt or ignore this resource all together, the latter becoming increasingly more difficult as companies continue to pump resources into the shale.
Winners, maybe
The major concern for investors is that the Utica shale is a complete dud. Despite early comparisons to the Eagle Ford shale in Texas, the Utica is just not producing the way many thought it would. For example, after one year of shale drilling in the Eagle Ford, oil production increased 10 times over, to 120,000 barrels per day in 2011. Right now, production there is right around 300,000 bpd. Ohio pumped 13,000 bpd last year, and every year before that, going back about 10 years. More recent numbers are unavailable, naturally.
With that in mind, let's take a look at a few companies operating in the Utica, hoping things pan out.
Read the rest of the article here.

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Coshocton County Leaders to Examine Utica Shale Effects

From the Coshocton Tribune:
Local leaders are set to give consideration to the influence oil and gas drilling could have on Coshocton County. 
The Coshocton Port Authority and the Ohio State University Extension Office are hosting a strategic planning session concerning the impending Utica Shale boom projected for the area. The meeting will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Frontier Power Community Room. 
Port Authority Executive Director Dorothy Skowrunski said organizers expect about 40 to 50 people to attend from various sectors across the community as invited by the local Community Development Council. The initiative is being funded by $3,000 in Coshocton County Community Economic Development Plan funds.
Read the rest of the article here.

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Prominent Fracktivist is Accused of Having a Very Radical Agenda

Activist Bill McKibben is a very popular figure in the anti-fracking, anti-fossil fuel community.  He is usually right out front at anti-fracking rallies, making provocative statements about the evils and horrors of natural gas development.

A new article takes a closer look at some of the things that McKibben has said, giving a little more insight into the mindset of a man whose anti-fracking commentary many people have put great stock in.

From the Washington Examiner:
This was his advice to the hundreds of millions of Americans that use their cars to commute to work: "If you carpooled [six miles per day], you'd have about three pounds of CO2 left in your daily ration -- enough to run a highly efficient refrigerator. Forget your computer, your TV, your stereo, your stove, your dishwasher, your water heater, your microwave, your water pump, your clock. Forget your light bulbs, compact fluorescent or not."
It gets worse. This the alternate food reality McKibben wants for America: "Local, labor-intensive, low-input agriculture." And this is how he sells it: "You'll be standing guard over your vegetable path with your shotgun, warding off the marauding gang that's after your carrots." Yes, seriously: A man that has heavy sway in the Obama White House wants you to drop that grocery bag and go load up on bullets and carrot seeds.
According to McKibben's twisted math, the poorer we are, the better for the planet, because "one-seventieth the income means one-seventieth the damage to the planet." And he doesn't just want to shrink our incomes. He's also looking to shrink the size of human civilization overall. As he's put it, his environmental vision means "the human population would need to get gradually smaller."
Read the rest of the article here.

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Energy Policy is on Voter's Minds as Election Nears

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
With the presidential campaign in its final days each candidate’s policies are under constant review. While every individual American has his or her own set of priorities as to which policies contribute most to their support of one candidate over another, Americans as a whole seem to be placing higher importance on energy policy (with 77% rating it either very important or important) than on its frequent sparring partner, environmental policy (67%); in fact, among the policy areas tested, environmental policy appears to be the least influential over Americans’ likely presidential choice.
This is not to say that environmental policy is unimportant to voters; rather, all policy types measured are considered either very important or important by strong majorities of Americans, and it is simply influencing a smaller majority than other policy areas; top influencers include economic/budget (88%), tax (86%), jobs (86) and healthcare (85%) policies.
Read the rest of the article, including the results from those polled about fracking's environmental impacts, by clicking here.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Column Examines Fracking "Fairy Tales"

From Townhall.com:
Logic and common sense would engender unprecedented public, political and even environmentalist support for hydraulic fracturing and expanded oil and gas production. Indeed, that is Governor Romney’s perspective and policy. Unfortunately, Team Obama remains largely opposed to domestic drilling, fixated on “renewable” energy, despite having already wasted some $97 billion on wind, solar and algae projects – and poised to unleash a boxcar of new EPA and BLM rules designed to usurp state control and restrict or hyper-regulate fracking on federal, state and private lands alike, win or lose on November 6.
Team Obama justifies its stance by citing public anxiety over fracking. It fails to mention that this anxiety has been nurtured and orchestrated by a host of environmental pressure groups whose existence, monetary sustenance and political power depend on a steady stream of new eco-hobgoblins. Their fractured fairy tales about this game-changing energy technology would be as funny as the Rocky and Bullwinkle tales, if the economic, employment, national security and environmental consequences weren’t so serious.
Hydraulic fracturing devastates their mantra that we are running out of oil and gas. It annihilates their incessant assertions that hydrocarbons are the energy of the past, and renewables are the future. In reality, wind and solar cannot live with cheap natural gas (because they cannot possibly compete with it) and cannot live without it (because they only work 20% of the time and need gas as constant backup power).
Read the rest of the article here.

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Fracking and the Sundance Kid - Redford Records Anti-Fracking Ads

From EcoWatch:
Academy Award winning director and actor Robert Redford hopes that more people will turn their attention to one of the most contentious environmental issues of our time—fracking. Fracking is the process of injecting millions of gallons of chemically laced fluids into underground rock formations to release natural gas or oil. To that end, this summer he taped a series of ads on the issue.


Read the rest of the article here.

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Ohio Congressman Espouses Benefits of Shale Development

Congressman Pat Tiberi Ohio's 12th Congressional District wrote an article featured on Energy in Depth Ohio which talks about the need to continue responsible development of the Utica Shale.

From Energy in Depth Ohio:
As I travel around Central Ohio talking to families and small business owners, I hear three common concerns:  the increasing cost of doing business or making ends meet, the high number of unemployed workers, and the troubled economy.   There are no “silver bullets” to solving these issues, but in Ohio, the Utica Shale Reserve is providing unmatched opportunities for families and businesses.   It’s creating jobs and helping our state’s unemployment rateremain below the national average, bringing an estimated increase of $12.3 billion in gross state product into Ohio’s economy, and enhancing Ohio’s reputation as a great place to do business.
Read the rest of Congressman Tiberi's editorial here.

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Fracktivists Excited About Potential for Drill Site Problems From Hurricane Sandy

While people all along the east coast of the U.S. brace for the worst from Hurricane Sandy, anti-fracking organizations appear to be viewing the storm as opportunity knocking to further their agenda.

From Energy in Depth:
Natural gas opponents are looking for opportunities to benefit from a prospective natural disaster by capturing photos and videos of development sites impacted by a hurricane that is just hitting our area.
Readers of this blog will recall the infamous picture of a flooded natural gas rig PennEnvironment put out last year.  You know…the one that turned out to be from Pakistan.  Well, it appears natural gas opponents haven’t learned anything and are waiting with anxious anticipation to capitalize on Hurricane Sandy.  They’ve put out the call to get some “great ammo” by videoing the impact of a storm on natural gas development sites.
We found this on the Sierra Club’s Atlantic Chapter Facebook page:

Read the rest of this article here. 


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Links on a Slow News Day: Industry Injury Rate Down, Drilling Site Air Test Results, Ohio Fracktivists Trained to Fight Drillers, Water is Big Topic at Shale Summit

Energy in Depth:  Injuries in the oil and gas industry were down 33 percent in 2011.

SFGate:  Air tests clean at Pavillion gas field.

Akron Beacon Journal:  Fracktivists in Ohio receive training to fight drillers.

Akron Beacon Journal:  Water is the big topic at the World Shale Summit in Texas.

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8 New Carroll County Permits for Chesapeake



View the original pdf here.  Read about the latest permit activity here.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mahoning County Debate Over Fracking in Park Has Interesting Twist

People who use Mill Creek Park in Mahoning County have expressed concerns over the potential damage that could be done if fracking is used to withdraw resources from the shale under the park.  At a recent seminar those concerns were rendered rather irrelevant when it was mentioned that fracking was already taking place in the park - and none of the concerned residents could even see any effect on the land.

From the Salem News:
The fact revealed during the seminar is that more than 40 drilling operations are already extracting minerals from beneath Mill Creek Park. All were hydraulically fractured. Yet, nary a soul has even noticed because the drilling operations have left no environmental footprint on park land.
The fiction, therefore, is that a drilling operation would disturb, even temporarily, pristine meadows, hiking trails, bodies of water and other Mill Creek Park treasures.
All 40-some drills were erected off parkland, then horizontally drilled to release the minerals under the surface.
Read the entire article here.

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Magnum Hunter Resources Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Appalachian Basin Properties for $106.7 Million


HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - October 25, 2012) - Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation (NYSEMHR) (NYSE MKTMHR.PRC) (NYSE MKTMHR.PRD) ("Magnum Hunter" or the "Company") announced today that Triad Hunter, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire 100% of the stock of privately-held Viking International Resources Co., Inc., or Virco, for a purchase price of approximately $106.7 million.
The total consideration for this transaction will be paid 65% (or approximately $69.4 million) in the form of a convertible preferred stock (the "Preferred Stock") of the Company and 35% (or approximately $37.3 million) in cash. The Preferred Stock consideration will be payable in the form of depositary shares representing a new 8% Series E Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock of the Company, with each depositary share having a liquidation preference of $25.00 per share and a dividend rate of 8.0% per annum (based on liquidation preference) and being convertible at the option of the holder into shares of common stock of the Company at a conversion price of $8.50 per share (based on liquidation preference and subject to customary anti-dilution adjustments). The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close on or about November 2, 2012, with an effective date of January 1, 2012. The cash portion of the purchase price is expected to be paid from additional sales of Preferred Stock and/or availability under Magnum Hunter's existing Senior Revolving Credit Facility. The borrowing base under Magnum Hunter's Senior Revolving Credit Facility is currently being re-determined by the Company's bank group, and the Company anticipates a sizeable additional increase.
The Company is acquiring approximately 51,500 net Appalachian Basin mineral acres located in West Virginia and Ohio. This acreage position includes approximately 27,000 net acres in the liquids-rich Marcellus Shale, of which 19,000 are located in Ritchie County, West Virginia and 8,000 are located in Washington and Monroe Counties, Ohio. Additionally, the acreage position in Ohio includes approximately 9,000 net liquids-rich Utica Shale acres and more than 19,000 net dry Utica Shale acres. Approximately 98% of the total acreage position is held by shallow existing production or "HBP."
Current net production from the producing assets associated with this acquisition is approximately 475 barrels of oil equivalent per day with a very low decline rate. Total estimated proved reserves are 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent as of January 1, 2012.
Management has identified 105 gross drilling locations on the Virco acreage which is broken down as follows:
  • 74 Marcellus drilling locations
  • 31 Utica drilling locations
Upon the financial closing of this transaction, the Company will have over 85,500 net acres in the liquids-rich Marcellus Shale and 81,800 net acres located within the Utica Shale.

National Attention Getting Focused on Mahoning Valley

From Business Journal Daily:
Standing outside the Lemon Grove Café downtown, Frank Desoer, a journalist with CBC Radio-Canada in Montreal, noted the venue did not exist when he visited the city four years ago. “You can feel the difference. The atmosphere is different,” Desoer remarked.
Desoer is just one of the many out-of-town – and even out-of--country – journalists to have discovered the Mahoning Valley. A Swiss TV crew has been shooting interviews here for several days, for example, and a crew from CBS was recording efforts Tuesday by the Mahoning County Democratic Party to transport county residents to the board of elections to cast their ballots.
Tony Paglia, vice president for government and media affairs with the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, said the chamber lhas recently worked with CNBC, PBS News Hour, Huffington Post and the Associated Press as well as news outlets from Germany and Japan.
“The pace of inquiries has been unbelievable the entire year, but has picked up exponentially in the last month or so,” he said. “Youngstown-Warren is on the map around the world, first because this once-depressed area is actually outpacing much of the nation in growth -- that’s always a good story -- and second because we are in the swing state of Ohio.”   
Of course, shale development is a big reason for that growth.  Read the rest of the article here.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is U.S. Poised to Be World's Top Oil Producer?

From Fuel Fix:
U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer.
Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.
The boom has surprised even the experts.
“Five years ago, if I or anyone had predicted today’s production growth, people would have thought we were crazy,” says Jim Burkhard, head of oil markets research at IHS CERA, an energy consulting firm.
The Energy Department forecasts that U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons, which includes biofuels, will average 11.4 million barrels per day next year. That would be a record for the U.S. and just below Saudi Arabia’s output of 11.6 million barrels. Citibank forecasts U.S. production could reach 13 million to 15 million barrels per day by 2020, helping to make North America “the new Middle East.”
Read the rest of this article here.

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The Key to Harvesting Natural Gas from Coal Beds May Be in Microbial Poop

We often hear about "unconventional" oil and gas when fracking shale deposits is discussed.  But when it comes to unconventional natural gas development, this story is on top.

From Technology Review:
Fracking technology has already made it practical to exploit previously inaccessible natural gas and oil in the United States (see "Natural Gas Changes the Energy Map"). Now several companies are demonstrating a way to use microörganisms that eat coal and excrete methane—the main ingredient in natural gas—as a possible means of extracting fuel from coal resources that had been too expensive to mine.
Many coal beds contain large amounts of methane that can be harvested by drilling wells. In recent decades, researchers have demonstrated that a large fraction of the natural gas found in the coal beds is produced by naturally occurring microörganisms that feed on coal, and they have found ways to stimulate the microbes to produce more methane. Luca Technologies, based in Golden, Colorado, is using this approach to increase production from coal beds with existing methane wells. Another company, Next Fuel, based in Sheridan, Wyoming, recently showed that it could use similar technology to produce methane from coal beds that didn't already have methane in them, raising the possibility that vast amounts of coal that's currently too expensive to mine could be converted into natural gas.
Read the rest of this interesting article by clicking here.

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IHS Says Unconventional Oil & Gas Will Support 3 Million Jobs by End of Decade

In a press release, IHS said:
The revolution in unconventional oil and gas production is fundamentally changing the United States energy outlook, generating significant job creation, economic growth and government revenues, according to a new IHS study.
The entire upstream unconventional oil and gas sector will support more than 1.7 million jobs in 2012 at average wage levels dramatically higher than the general economy. The number of jobs is expected to increase to 2.5 million over the next three years. The number of jobs supported will continue to rise to nearly 3.5 million in 2035, according to the study.
The new study, America’s New Energy Future: The Unconventional Oil and Gas Revolution and the Economy builds on previous IHS research on the economic impacts of unconventional gas to provide the most complete assessment to date of the economic contributions—in terms of jobs, economic value and government revenue—for both unconventional oil and unconventional gas in the United States.
“The growth of unconventional oil and gas production is creating a new energy reality for the United States,” said Daniel Yergin, IHS vice chairman and author of The Quest. “That growth has not only contributed to U.S. energy security but is a significant source of new jobs and economic activity at a time when the economy is a top priority.
Read the entire press release by clicking here.

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Environmentalists Seek Federal Mandate on Chemical Disclosure by Drillers

From Fuel Fix:
Environmentalists on Wednesday petitioned federal regulators to force energy companies to disclose chemicals unleashed by oil and gas drilling.
The move is the latest gambit by environmental activists to shed more light on pollution from domestic oil and gas development, as a surge of drilling sends rigs to North Dakota, Pennsylvania, West Texas and other parts of the country.
Although electric utilities, coal mining operations, refineries and other industrial facilities are required to report chemical releases to a 26-year-old national database known as the Toxics Release Inventory, oil and gas wellhead operations generally are exempt from the mandates.
That could change as a result of the petition filed by more than a dozen groups with the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday. The document asks the EPA to add the oil and gas extraction industry to the list of entities that have to file annual reports on released chemicals to the TRI.
Read the rest of this story by clicking here.

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Energy in Depth Ohio Launches 2012 Election Guide

Granville, Ohio – Today, Energy in Depth - Ohio (EID Ohio) launched the Ohio Votes: Utica Shale and the 2012 Election Voters’ Guide.  Included in the guide is a fact-check on statements made by the presidential candidates regarding domestic energy development.

The resource serves as Ohio’s only voters’ guide focusing exclusively on the positions federal and state candidates have on continued development of natural gas from shale resources. The Utica Shale has reinvigorated Ohio’s economy over the past year, and this guide serves as a one-stop information source on candidates’ positions on regarding it’s past, present, and future utilization.

“Once again, the old phrase comes back into play – ‘As goes Ohio, so goes the nation’. Though candidates on both sides of the aisle have recognized Ohio’s pivotal role in national politics, there has also been a recognition of our state’s emergence as a leader in domestic energy production through Utica Shale development.  With that in mind, we have fact-checked statements made by both presidential candidates regarding onshore energy development, and provided a guide that helps voters understand political candidates’ positions on the issue of shale development,” states Dan Alfaro, Spokesman for Energy in Depth.

The guide, available at http://www.eidohio.org/energy-in-depth-campaign-microsite-home/, is designed to connect voters with information on the positions of candidates seeking the offices of U.S. President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and State House and State Senate.  It also provides easy access to previous guest posts elected leaders and candidates have penned for EID Ohio, as well as fact check on statements made in the recent presidential debates.

“The site is designed as a unique resource for Ohio voters seeking information on candidates’ views and positions on oil and natural gas development in the Buckeye State. While our organization does not endorse any candidate or party, we felt it was important to provide this resource given the incredible impact the Utica Shale is having on our state and its workforce, as well as the larger national energy picture,” adds Alfaro.

The guide also provides Ohio voters with third party resources they can access to learn about additional positions these candidates have adopted.

In continuing the tradition of fostering an informed and active electorate in Ohio, one that has correctly voted for 24 of the last 26 presidents dating back to 1904, Energy in Depth Ohio welcomes you to Ohio Votes: Utica Shale and the 2012 Election Voters’ Guide.

Read more:
Ohio Votes Guide:  Homepage// U.S. President // U.S. Senate // U.S. House // State Senate and House // Pres. Debate Fact Check // Additional Resources

Candidate Guest Columns:

Find Energy In Depth Ohio on the web// Facebook // Twitter // YouTube

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Select Energy Services Gets Tax Break in New Philadelphia

After shocking Carrollton officials by withdrawing from the Carroll County Commerce Park project, Select Energy Services set its sights on Tuscarawas County.

New Philadelphia officials voted this week to pave the way for Select to set up a service facility in the west end of the city.

From the Times Reporter:
Following a suspension of council’s rules for three readings, members voted 6-0 to approve an emergency ordinance to grant Select Energy Services, a Texas-based company that provides well-site services for the oil and gas industry, a 50 percent income-tax break for the next three years, beginning Jan. 1.
Councilman John Zucal, Salary Committee chairman, made the motion to suspend the rules for three readings, and the motion passed unanimously, clearing the way for passage. His committee met prior to council’s last regular meeting and sponsored the legislation, which was given a first reading Monday night.
The only public discussion of the issue prior to its passage was a request for approval by Mayor Michael Taylor, read in his absence by Service Director Jim Zucal, that stated: “Select Energy’s new jobs will be a great benefit for the city and area as a whole.”
Taylor previously had informed council members that SES officials are looking at a site on the city’0s west end for its servicing location, and had estimated they will create in excess of 100 jobs working out of the location.
Company officials had told the committee that New Philadelphia is their preferred site location because of the high visibility and the easy access from Interstate 77, because they are primarily in the water (transport) industry, Zucal had said.
Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Principle Energy Services Launches
 Oilfield Noise Mitigation™
 Products and Services in Four Locations

WEATHERFORD, TEXAS (October 22, 2012)

An upstream industry first, Principle Energy Services has launched its Oilfield Noise Mitigation™ product and service line in the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus and Utica shale plays to help oil and gas operators minimize reduce the costs, complaints and compliance issues associated with drilling, completion and production noise.
The 3-tier approach to noise mitigation includes Sound Impact Assessments, Predictive Sound Modeling, and noise suppression technology for wellsites and compressor enclosures. The process begins with a recorded survey of ambient noise to accurately map noise levels around a planned well location before operations begin. Proprietary modeling software is then used to predict future noise levels from a library of drilling, completion and production equipment. If sound levels are expected to reach a level of agitation at nearby private or public property, then certified barriers are rapidly and cost-effectively implemented to mitigate noise and visual impacts in problematic areas.
“Our Oilfield Noise Mitigation technology has been proven by large and small operators who have commissioned more than 1,000 sound studies and installed over 100,000 ft of sound barriers,” commented Larson Hampton, CEO, Principle Energy Services. “We’re grateful to the support we’ve had from the operators we serve and local communities in the two years it has taken to achieve this industry milestone.”
Sound engineers from Principle Energy Services identify potential noise problems and help evaluate cost-effective solutions before oil and gas activity begins in an area. The team offers acoustical consulting and engineering services to ensure a quiet neighborhood stays that way.

About Principle Energy Services

Principle Energy Services provides rapid-response engineered noise solutions for drilling, completions and production from its network of field offices, bases and fabrication facilities in Alliance, OH, Bentleyville and Canonsburg, PA, Weatherford, TX and Valley Grove, WV.

Contact

Jeff Petrie
Oilfield Noise Mitigation Champion
817.917.8533 - jpetrie@principleenergyservices.com


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Strides Being Made Toward Green Fracking

From TriplePundit:
But given that we already have the infrastructure in place and it’s far cleaner than any of its conventional alternatives, it would seem to be the way to go for the next decade or so for home heating, power generation, and possibly even transportation fuel. That is, if we can get it out of the ground without killing ourselves in the process.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking does not meet that standard today. When I wrote about this as part of theenergy pro and con series, I said, “As far as fracking is concerned, considering that there is already lots of gas available right now, there is no reason (other than greed) to be in a hurry to develop shale gas. Instead, we should take whatever time is necessary to develop a safer, more responsible way to access that gas, while investing heavily in more sustainable sources that will ultimately obviate the need for it.”
Well, it seems that the folks in the industry been listening to me after all (and here I was thinking I was wasting my time).
A number of recent developments by each of the top three natural gas producers show that they have indeed been working to develop cleaner safer methods of extracting the gas from beneath the earth.
Read more about the processes being developed by clicking here.

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EcoWatch Says Fracking is Destroying Food, Water, Wine, and Milk

EcoWatch has an article sharing the "5 effects of fracking you may not know about."  It's sort of the typical anti-fracking fare, but here is an excerpt:
Got milk? Maybe not for long. According to research from Penn State University, fracking has been found to reduce dairy production.
The university researchers set out to uncover how fracking in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region is affecting dairy farming, the state’s top agricultural sector. The researchers examined dairy cow numbers, milk production and fracking activity among various counties in Pennsylvania between 2007 and 2010. They found that counties with 150 or more Marcellus Shale wells saw a 19 percent decrease in dairy cows, while counties with no wells saw only a 1.2 percent decrease. In a similar fashion, milk production in these counties with 150 or more wells declined by an average of 18.5 percent, while counties with no wells had about a 1 percent decline.
This research seems to challenge the popular narrative that farmers use the money they receive from fracking companies through leasing their land to improve their farms. The researchers note that additional research is needed to figure out the exact cause of the decrease of dairy production. One researcher wondered whether farmers were taking the money they received from their leases and going into a new occupation, or if they are being forced out of farming due to fracking’s environmental effects or a decrease in their farm’s marketability.
Read the rest of the article here.

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Report on Utica Shale Oil Reserves Spotlights Carroll County



From Marketplace.org:
An oil boom is coming to Carroll County in the hills of Appalachia, in eastern Ohio. Much of this region sits atop a geologic formation called the Utica Shale. In a new report, the U.S. Geology Survey estimates the Utica contains nearly a billion barrels of crude oil.
Read the entire article here.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Mineral Rights Agreement Reached by Some in Columbiana County's Brinker Storage Field

From The Vindicator:
Some of the residents who live within the Brinker Storage Field in Columbiana County have reached an agreement with the parent company of Columbia Gas about deep mineral rights. 
The company offered a group that had elected not to sue NiSource, the parent company of Columbia, a 15 percent royalty on oil and gas production, said state Rep. Craig Newbold, R-1st, who helped facilitate the deal. 
Newbold, of Columbiana, met with both residents and NiSource separately to discuss the situation. NiSource has signed an agreement with Hilcorp, a Houston-based oil and gas company, to develop oil and gas in the storage field. 
“I think both groups were willing to compromise,” he said. “The agreement the residents got was a little above their expectations.” 
The properties had been subject to decades-old storage leases, which meant no lease bonus and royalties of just $200 a year if gas was being stored under their property — and nothing if it wasn’t.
Read the rest of the story here.

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Some Residents in Pavillion, Wyoming Say the Water Was Always Bad

From Business Insider:
Pavillion, Wyoming — population 231 — has become the epicenter of the fracking debate.
In December, EPA tests revealed the presence of "synthetic chemicals, like glycols and alcohols consistent with gas production and hydraulic fracturing fluids, benzene concentrations well above Safe Drinking Water Act standards and high methane levels."
More recently, the agency announced new USGS test results were consistent with its December results that fracking likely contaminated groundwater there.
Encana, the company behind the fracking in Pavillion, has said the tests contain flaws.
But for residents in the area, it's all a bunch of noise.
"I think it's all a money game," Jana Peterson, who manages the Buckaroo Bar on Center Street, told us by phone recently. "If people want to get an outrageous amount of money for their farms…the squeaky wheel gets the oil."
"This community, for 50 years or more, it's always had shi**y water."
Read the rest of the article here.

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First Responders to Address Shale Gas Risks at Carroll County Meeting

PRESS RELEASE:

OCTOBER 21, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
First Responders Share Their Readiness for Shale Gas Risks
Carroll County’s Emergency Management Agency’s Director, Tom Cottis, as well as, other first responders from law enforcement, fire and EMS will participate in a question and answer session at the November 1 meeting of Carroll Concered Citizens. Topics such as traffic safety, well fire and hazardous spill response, and law enforcement oversight will be discussed.
Paul Feezel, Chair of Carroll Concerned Citizens, added, “Communities in other states that are a little ahead of us in the shale boom cycle have seen what happens when local law enforcement and public safety agencies don’t take the lead. We are hopeful that our Carroll County agencies will receive the training and resources needed to minimize the risks from the projected 2,000 wells expected to be drilled.”
The meeting will be held at the Church of Christ, 353 Moody Ave. Carrollton beginning at 7pm. It is free and open to the public.
###
MEDIA CONTACT
PAUL FEEZEL
330-813-8880
PAULFEEZEL@CARROLLCONCERNEDCITIZENS.ORG


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