Showing posts from February, 2013

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Two Men and Hardrock Excavating in Youngstown Dumping Case

From the Youngstown Vindicator: Federal grand jury indicts Lupo, Guesman and Hardrock for violating Clean Water Act   A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging two Ohio men and a Youngstown-based company each with one count of violating the Clean Water Act, said Steven M. Dettelbach, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.   Benedict W. Lupo, 62, of Poland, Ohio, Michael L. Guesman, 34, of Cortland, Ohio, and Hardrock Excavating LLC are each accused of illegally discharging brine and oil-based drilling mud into a stormwater drain on numerous occasions. The drain flowed into an unnamed tributary of the Mahoning River and ultimately into the Mahoning River, according to the indictment.   The conduct took place between Nov. 1, 2012 and Jan. 31, 2013, according to the indictment. Read the rest of the article here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Sierra Club Working to Prevent University From Doing Fracking Research

From the Knoxville News Sentinel: Nearly 600 students, alumni and employees of University of Tennessee campuses have signed a petition protesting a plan to partner with an oil and gas company to conduct research on hydraulic fracturing. Two UT-Chattanooga professors started the petition two weeks ago on, a website that allows anyone to create and sign a petition. The duo has spread the word through social media and environmental groups about the University of Tennessee proposal, and they aim to slow down the state approval process to allow for more scrutiny. “We’re not against it absolutely, but the study needs to be much more properly laid out, and the university owes it to the faculty to let us know about this,” said Henry Spratt, a biology professor who also sits on the board of the Tennessee Clean Water Network and is a member of the local Sierra Club. Spratt drafted the petition with Joe Wilferth, head of the English Department at UT-Chattanooga, and both are con

Coshocton County Families Win Lawsuit Over Old Lease

From Shale Gas Reporter: COSHOCTON, Ohio — A Coshocton County judge has ruled against a 1983 oil and gas lease that was holding property under the extension clause because it was producing enough natural gas for a household. Background George and Bonnie Clark and Roy W.  and  Sheila A.  Krasky  filed the lawsuit against Zelpha Myers in 2012 over a gas well and lease on their property. The gas well, which is owned by Myers, was producing enough gas for Myers’ household, and that production was being used to keep the lease in effect. Read the whole article here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Cautionary Tale for Ohio? Colorado Governor Says State Must Sue Towns Who Vote to Ban Fracking

From The Coloradoan: “The governor takes no joy in suing local government,” [Colorado Governor John] Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown told the Coloradoan Wednesday. “As a former mayor he respects local planning and control. He also has an obligation to uphold the law. The governor wants to be honest with local communities about the state’s legal obligations. Bans like the one under consideration in Fort Collins violate state law.”  Brown said Hickenlooper was unavailable to talk to local reporters Wednesday.  Hickenlooper told CBS4 that banning oil and gas exploration and production within Fort Collins’ city limits is a “taking” of the mineral rights of the city’s own citizens.  He said the state has “no choice” but to sue every city, town or county that chooses to ban oil and gas development and fracking. Read the whole article here. With several towns in Ohio pushing towards banning drilling in their areas despite the fact that Ohio too gives the authority to permit or

Congress Takes a Look at FrackNation

From Politico: Filmmaker Phelim McAleer’s campaign against those warning about the dangers of fracking continues Tuesday on Capitol Hill.  McAleer will screen his film “FrackNation” at “an event for the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Subcommittee on Environment,” according to an email from McAleer. Continue Reading  “FrackNation” is McAleer’s take on the controversial process of injecting chemicals into rocks in hope of extracting oil and gas and his response to what he sees as media and Hollywood bias on the topic. Read the whole article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

PDC Energy Announces Successful Results From Second Horizontal Utica Shale Well

DENVER, Feb. 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PDC Energy, Inc. ("PDC" or the "Company") ( PDCE ) today reported its 2012 fourth quarter and year-end financial and operating results. In mid-February 2013, the Company flow tested its second horizontal Utica Shale well in Guernsey County, Ohio. The Detweiler 42-3H well tested through tubing at a peak rate of 2,197 barrels of oil equivalent ("Boe") per day on a 20/64" choke with an average rate of 2,039 Boe per day for 24 consecutive hours. The Detweiler 42-3H well flow test was conducted following a 60-day resting period. Based upon composition analysis, the gas being produced is 1,263 BTU rich gas. Assuming full ethane recovery with a natural gas shrink of 21%, the composition mix of the production is 49% condensate, 26% NGLs and 25% residue gas. The well was drilled to a lateral length of 3,868 feet and completed with 13 frac stages. The Company is currently drilling a three-well pad in Guernsey County

Josh Fox Takes Another Approach to Attacking Oil & Gas Industry: They Don't Care About Worker Safety

TRAILER for "CJ's LAW " A New Short Film on Worker Safety in the Gas Fields by Josh Fox from JFOX on Vimeo . Energy in Depth was quick to respond.  Here's a snippet of their article on the topic: Now, make no mistake: not a single death or a serious injury that happens at an industrial worksite is acceptable to anyone. But in rare cases, accidents and incidents do occur, even with the most stringent regulatory system in place anywhere in the world, and the combined investment of literally billions of dollars each year into new processes, systems and technologies designed and proven to make the workplace even safer. But Fox isn’t just saying that oil and gas companies don’t care about their employees, as scurrilous a charge as that may be. He’s also saying that the industry’s track-record on safety is bad, a contention echoed by a reporter at E&E News  in a piece filed  the week after Josh’s new video hit (and featuring the same interview subjects as Jos

Brunswick Decision to Take Anti-Drilling Stance Not Universally Popular

The Brunswick Chamber of Commerce has sent an open letter to the city's council members, expressing disappointment in the decision to take a stand for "home rule" and discourage the energy industry from investing in the community.  The letter, as shared by EID Ohio : Dear Members of Council, The Chamber Board of Directors has passed motion regarding the upcoming legislation 4-13 set for a 3rd reading and vote on Monday, February 25, 2013. Our understanding of the purpose of this legislation was to make the State of Ohio aware that the Council of Brunswick did not appreciate the disregard for “home rule” when it came to the oil & gas industry and the specific process known as hydraulic fracturing. Although, the Chamber Board of Directors understands the purpose of the legislation, we feel the result of the legislation will damage the reputation of a business friendly community we have worked so hard to create. Having had our finger on the pulse of this industry

Chesapeake and Encana Not Safe From Collusion Fallout Yet

After Reuters reported that Chesapeake Energy and Canadian energy firm Encana were under investigation for violating antitrust laws by colluding to pay less to Michigan landowners for leases, Encana quickly conducted an internal investigation and cleared themselves of any wrongdoing .   Chesapeake recently followed suit. But it doesn't look like everyone considers their self-examination convincing. From Dory Hippauf's "No Fracking Way" blog: Northstar Energy which owns nearly 10,000 acres in Michigan’s Utica-Collingwood oil and gas shale formation,  filed the lawsuit against Chesapeake and Canadian firm Encana  in Michigan federal court Friday. The U.S. Department of Justice and the attorney general in Michigan continue to investigate whether the firms violated antitrust laws in Michigan, and issued them subpoenas last June. The Northstar lawsuit sheds new light on the communications between the top executives of the rival energy firms. In a previously

UPDATE #2: Oil Rig Worker Killed in Carrollton

UPDATE #2 The Carrollton Free Press Standard is reporting fuller details of this story: Abdal L. Audeh, 28, of 416 Marion St., Apt. 2, Dover, was injured in the accident and pronounced dead at Aultman Hospital at 5:35 p.m.     Alex R. Cox, 20, of 46569 Davis Rd., Cadiz, received a head injury and was transported to Mercy Medical Center for treatment by EMT Ambulance.   Lt. Troy Watson of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department said Audeh and Cox were working on the rig platform together. Watson said Cox, who was conscious and talking when they arrived, told him the pair was “attaching the tongs and forgot to hook up a safety line” which he referred to as a “snub line.”   The snub line is used to prevent a long handle on the tongs from swinging completely around and striking the workers. In addition, the Times Reporter has a statement from Rex Energy: “Yesterday afternoon, an accident occurred at the Rex Energy Brace West pad in Carroll County, Ohio, fatally injur

Links for 2/25/13: Kent Wants to Ban Fracking, Chesapeake Announces Mississippi Lime Deal, and More

Associated Press:   Kent to contact university about joint anti-fracking policy Akron Beacon Journal:   Chesapeake statement on Mississippi Lime deal ProPublica:   Land Grab Cheats North Dakota Tribes Out of $1 Billion, Suits Allege The Times Reporter:   Carroll Concerned Citizens to Host Shale Gas Drilling Education Meeting Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Investigator's Affidavit Released in Youngstown Dumping Case

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Several Fracking Law Changes Included in Kasich Budget

From The Daily Jeffersonian: Brine from horizontal hydraulic fracturing activities could not be spread on roads for dust or ice control, under language included in Gov. John Kasich's biennial budget proposal. The provision is one of several related to fracking in eastern Ohio's growing oilfields included in the $63 billion-plus, two-year spending plan. A comparison document compiled recently by the state's legislative service commission (online at outlines fracking law changes at several state agencies. The brine application language is part of proposals affecting the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. According to spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle, local governments could still allow road applications of brine from conventional vertical wells, as allowed under legislation passed more than a dozen years ago. Read the rest of the article here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

New Plant Opening in Portage County to Service Energy Industry

PLANT BRINGING JOBS WITH IT From The Record Courier: A Louisiana-based welding and fabrication company has bought the former Delphi plastics plant in Rootstown. Six C Fabrication Inc. will manufacture piping and structural steel equipment for the oil and gas industry working the Utica Shale gas play in eastern Ohio. The company hopes to have up to 100 workers by the end of the year, according to Robin Cummings, the firm's president. It's not the company's first operation in Ohio. Cummings said for about a year it has had a facility with about 40 employees in Carrollton, which is currently the heart of the natural gas drilling in Ohio. Read the whole article here. Cummings says the company will look to start hiring within the next couple of weeks, with opportunities for young people to be hired and train beside experienced workers. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Group Releases Report Showing Cozy Relationship Between PA Politicians & Energy Industry

The Public Accountability Initiative has released a report entitled "Fracking and the Revolving Door in Pennsylvania."  The report details the ties between PA government officials - many of whom are or were involved in regulation of drilling and fracking - and the energy industry.  Many officials have either received jobs in the industry upon leaving their government office or worked for the industry prior to taking office. The report is viewable below, and you can read another article from PAI that is focused on tearing down the Pennsylvania Environmental Council by clicking right here . It should be noted that PAI receives funding from the Park Foundation, which spreads money around to many of the reports that end up being negative towards the oil and gas industry.  Isn't it odd that the "impartial studies" that receive Park Foundation money never seem to have a positive view of oil and gas development in general or fracking in particular? Connect wit

Internal Report Says EPA Emissions Studies Are Flawed

From Yahoo! News: Limited data and unreliable estimates on  air pollution  from oil and  natural gas production  is hindering the  Environmental Protection Agency 's efforts to police the drilling boom, the agency's internal watchdog said in a report released Thursday. Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr.  said the  EPA  has failed to directly measure emissions from some pieces of equipment and processes, and some estimates it does have are of "questionable quality." "With limited data, human health risks are uncertain, states may design incorrect or ineffective emission control strategies, and EPA's decisions about regulating industry may be misinformed," Elkins said. Read the rest of this story here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Fracking Protesters in Ohio May Be Charged Under Anti-Terrorism Act

We earlier this week noted a report of fracking protesters who briefly shut down a storage facility in Washington County, Ohio on Tuesday. The original news article stated that the company whose facilities were descended upon by the activists stored wastewater from fracking. This isn't accurate. The brine stored on that site is not really waste from fracking, and doesn't contain fracking chemicals. It is mineral-rich salt water that comes from shale wells long after they've been drilled and fracked. And yet, the site was chosen by fracktivists for a highly illegal raid which frightened workers and forced the company to shut down operations for six hours. Here is a release from GreenHunter Energy, Inc., which operates the storage facility: GreenHunter Water Terminalling Facility Held Hostage by Protestors GRAPEVINE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 20, 2013-- GreenHunter Energy, Inc. (NYSE MKT: GRH) (NYSE MKT: GRH.PRC), a diversified water resource, waste man

Chesapeake Still Excited About Utica Shale

Several outlets are reporting on Chesapeake Energy's comments about the Utica shale during an earnings teleconference yesterday.  The statements from the energy giant make it clear that the Utica shale still figures prominently in their plans. From Business Journal Daily : Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. said Thursday that its drilling operations in eastern Ohio's Utica shale continue to show promise in what the company calls the core of the play, although production was hampered last year for want of pipeline infrastructure. However, the latest results from Chesapeake's Utica wells are dwarfed by some of the production numbers delivered last year by competitor Gulfport Energy Corp., which has also staked out a position in what is emerging as the most lucrative part of the play. From the Akron Beacon Journal : Chesapeake also offered production information on four wells that were completed in late 2012: • The Cain well in Jefferson County’s Springf

Chesapeake Reports Financial & Operational Results For 2012

CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORPORATION REPORTS FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL RESULTS FOR THE 2012 FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR 2/21/2013 1:01 AM PRINT Printer Friendly Version  (pdf format) Company Reports 2012 Fourth Quarter Net Income Available to Common Stockholders of $257 Million, or $0.39 per Share, Adjusted Net Income Available to Common Stockholders of $153 Million, or $0.26 per Share, and Adjusted Ebitda and Operating Cash Flow of $1.1 Billion   2012 Fourth Quarter Production Totals 362 Bcfe for an Average of 3.9 Bcfe per Day, an Increase of 9% Year over Year; 2012 Fourth Quarter Liquids Production Totals 147,500 Bbls per Day, an Increase of 39% Year over Year   Company Reports 2012 Year-End Proved Reserves of 15.7 Tcfe; Adds Proved Reserves of 5.0 Tcfe in 2012   OKLAHOMA CITY, FEBRUARY 21, 2013 – Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) today announced financial and operational results for the 2012 fourth quarter and full year.  For the 2012 fourth quar

Youngstown Council Sending Anti-Fracking Amendment to Ballot

UPDATE: The Youngstown Vindicator has some further detail on this story: “If you do the petition process correctly, we have no alternative but for council to pass it and send it to the [Mahoning County] Board of Elections,” said Law Director Anthony Farris. “There’s not really an alternative.”   If the ballot initiative is approved, it’s unenforceable, he said. “It’s in conflict with a field of regulations in which the state has” control, Farris said. “It would be illegal to enforce it.”   But the state attorney general and secretary of state offices have said it still must be on the ballot if the initiative has enough valid signatures despite the legal issue, Farris said. Read the whole article here. From the Associated Press: YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO: The Youngstown city council approved an anti-fracking amendment for the May 7 primary election ballot — even though there are doubts about whether it could be enforced. The Vindicator newspaper reports that the council o

Analyst: Numbers Are Catching Up With Chesapeake Energy

From Seeking Alpha: Chesapeake Energy Corp. ( CHK ) is a large US  oil and gas  acquisition, exploration, develop ment and pr oduction company. It started as primarily a natural gas E & P company. It bet heavily on the natural gas industry. When the bottom fell out of the natural gas market, a seriously in debt CHK had to change its strategy to emphasize oil development. Aubrey McClendon et al came up with the strategy of buying huge leaseholdings in new unconventional oil fields early. CHK would then do a small amount of development to prove the new field was an economic success. Then CHK would sell a part of its interest in the field to pay for the entire cost of all of CHK's leases on the field plus some development costs. This strategy has been a great success, and it is probably the only thing that kept CHK out of bankruptcy when natural gas prices f ell to hist orical lows (less than $2 per MMBtu) in Q2 2012. Even so, CHK needed emergency loans to see it through that t

Chesapeake Releases Results of Company Investigation; "No Intentional Misconduct" by McClendon

Extensive Review of Alleged Conflicts of Interest and Other Matters Involving CEO Aubrey K. McClendon Did Not Find Any Intentional Misconduct Board Also Finds Company Did Not Violate Antitrust Laws in Regard to Acquisition of Michigan Oil and Gas Rights in 2010 OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 20, 2013-- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) today announced that its Board of Directors has received the results of its previously announced review of the financing arrangements between co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and President, Aubrey K. McClendon (and the entities through which he participates in the Founder Well Participation Program (“FWPP”)) and third parties identified as having a financial relationship with the company, as well as other matters. The review, which was led by the Audit Committee of the Board, with the assistance of independent counsel retained by the independent members of the Board in April 2012, has been substantially completed. In connection with t

EPA Emails Suggest That Media Misrepresented Conclusions in Pavillion, Wyoming

From Energy in Depth: Emails obtained from the EPA in a recent  FOIA request  show that the agency pushed back immediately against the claim that it had linked hydraulic fracturing to water contamination, suggesting that a narrative repeated  to this day  was actually manufactured by the news media and not reported by EPA. In one email, EPA’s then-press secretary, Betsaida Alcantara, told Lisa Jackson that the agency was pushing back against the AP’s breaking story on the Pavillion report in December 2011, which ran under the headline: “EPA implicates hydraulic fracturing in groundwater pollution at Wyoming gas field.” Alcantara said the AP’s “headline and lead are unnecessarily inflammatory and irresponsible,” and that the AP would be updating the story “heavily” to emphasize the unconfirmed nature of the findings. Notably, the headline was changed from “EPA implicates hydraulic fracturing” to “ EPA theorizes fracking pollution link .” The original AP story also declared in the

Protesters Briefly Shut Down Brine Storage Site, 10 Arrested

From the Associated Press :  Authorities say a protest by members of environmental groups temporarily shut down operations at a gas drilling waste storage site in Southeast Ohio. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said it happened Tuesday at the GreenHunter Water storage facility in New Matamoras on the Ohio River. About 100 people staged the protest, which included one of them perching on a chair at the top of a 30-foot pole. Operations at the facility — which stores wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — were disrupted for about four hours. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Fracking Research is Big Business

From the Washington Times: Millions of dollars already have been spent, and much more soon will be dumped into a litany of studies looking at fracking’s impact on water and air quality and at possible links to cancer and other diseases.  The industry argues that there are no such links; indeed, studies have shown little or no health risks or effects related to fracking. But other reports have claimed the opposite.  Many analysts believe there simply hasn’t been enough research to draw firm conclusions.  “There’s a lot of rhetoric on both sides. You can only get at the truth if you base it on sound science, and that’s where the problem is. There’s very little sound science” on the subject, said  Trevor Penning , head of the  University of Pennsylvania's Center  of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology.  Mr. Penning  and colleagues at the University of Texas, Harvard University and other institutions are seeking funding from the  federal government  to help gather

Brunswick Anti-Drilling Resolution Could Lead to Big Tax Revenue Loss

Brunswick City Council President Patricia Hanek From The Plain Dealer: BRUNSWICK - A company recently recognized by the city for its more than 100 years in business could be moving its newest business venture outside Brunswick should a  resolution  opposing hydraulic fracturing within the city be passed by city council.   “Since providing environmentally friendly products to this industry is a key growth component of the company’s strategic plan, Philpott will be forced to locate its new wholesale operation outside of Brunswick,” said Michael Baach, president of  Philpott Rubber , at a press conference Feb. 18 announcing the company’s new wholly owned subsidiary, Philpott Energy & Transportation Company. Baach feels the city should try to market itself to attract some of the companies that are drilling in the busy spots of the Utica shale, particularly Carroll County.  However, City Council President Patricia Hanek apparently feels that Medina County is far superior to

Kent State Not Likely to Allow Fracking on Campuses

From the Kent Patch: The decision to allow or deny hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas on Kent State University campuses lies with local university administrators, according to a state official. Kent State owns hundreds of acres of land across Northeast Ohio, including its eight campuses,  the Kent State Airport  in Stow and the Kent State Golf Course in Franklin Township. Almost any of those large masses of property — the Kent campus alone is nearly 900 acres — would provide easy access to Ohio's portions of the Marcellus and Utica shale formations for oil and gas drillers. Read the entire article by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Pittsburgh Airport Approves Huge Gas Drilling Deal

From WPXI: The Allegheny County Airport Authority approved a deal Friday with Consol Energy that could be worth $500 million for rights to drill for natural gas and oil at Pittsburgh International Airport.  Under the deal, Consol will pay a signing bonus of $50 million and then pay 18 percent royalties on future production. Officials expect the royalties to total $450 million over the next 20 years, though that figure isn't guaranteed. Read the whole story here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

2/19/13 Links: Imagining the Worst-Case Scenario for Fracking Brine Accidents, Will a New CEO Deliver Chesapeake, and More

Akron Beacon Journal:   What happens when the unthinkable accident occurs? Northeast Ohio Public Radio:   Shale Industry Moves Into Infrastructure Development Next Seeking Alpha:   Will a New CEO Deliver Gains For Chesapeake Investors? The Review:   EL firm to design park entrance Business Journal Daily:   Patriot Water Treatment Bristles at ODNR Directive Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog