Showing posts from August, 2013

Prominent Anti-Fracking Activist Has Advocated Sexual Activity Between Parents and Children

From the Washington Free Beacon: Vera Scroggins, an outspoken anti-hydraulic fracturing activist from Pennsylvania and a director of  Citizens for Clean Water , made the remarks in emails to a Yahoo group in 2001. “Are there cultures that mothers or fathers pleasure their children and teenagers sexually or genitally and also possibly initiate them into sexual expression at some point?” Scroggins  asked  in one message. “I have had intuitive thoughts that such would be a healthy way for parents to interact with their children and introduce their children to sensual/sexual pleasure and bonding and loving practices,” Scroggins said. “Who better to do it, than the parents first?” she added. Scroggins has come under the microscope frequently for her attention-grabbing antics while protesting fracking. Read the whole article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

BP Using Temporary Water Lines to Reduce Truck Traffic for Water Delivery

From the Tribune Chronicle: Thousands of feet of large white- and-black tubing snakes through yards, woods and alongside roadways, disappearing into the ground only to reappear on the other side of roadways in this rural township in eastern Trumbull County. The temporary above-ground pipeline visible from state Route 305 near Bushnell-Campbell Road was installed to haul millions of gallons of fresh water, according to officials from BP North America Gas and the Trumbull County Engineer's Office, to the area's newly drilled Buckeye Well, just northwest of Hartford Township center. The water is necessary to hydraulically fracture the well, a process that begins releasing fossil fuels products from shale pockets hidden deep underground. It's the second local BP well fracked with water piped rather than trucked to the site, an innovative way of aligning cost-saving measures and safety, said BP Director of Government and Public Affairs Curtis L. Thomas. Read the whole a

Company Disagrees With Carroll County Commissioners About Lease

We had a post last week about the Carroll County commissioners' claim that Sierra Buckeye was in default on its lease with the county. Sierra Buckeye has now responded ( via email to MDN ): Contrary to information incorrectly shared by the Carroll County Board of Commissioners on Monday, August 19, Sierra Buckeye elected to release a “Paid-Up Oil and Gas Lease” originally dated July 17, 2012 for the Atwood Lodge property between it and the Carroll County Board of Commissioners. Sierra was able to release the lease because it provided that if Sierra did not commence an optional well or make an optional payment of $1,500 per net acre, then the lease would terminate on June 30, 2013. It should also be noted that Sierra requested an extension of the lease until November 1, 2013 as it sought to further assess the economic viability of the Utica oil window. However, despite repeated requests the Carroll County Board of Commissioners failed to notify Sierra of its decision to no

Links for 8/28/13: Ohio Company Fights Silica Dust, Study Says Water Contamination from Fracking Unlikely, and More

Energy in Depth:   How an Ohio Company Eliminated Silica Dust Fracking Insider:   Peer-Reviewed Research Suggests Drinking Water Contamination from Hydraulic Fracturing Unlikely Associated Press:   Fracking health project puts numbers to debate Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:   Consol details plans for drilling at Pittsburgh International Airport Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:   Shell opens bidding for ethane at proposed Beaver County cracker plant Akron Beacon Journal:   Antero Resources has the biggest-producing Ohio well in Monroe County Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Reuters: Level of Risk for Fracking Doesn't Warrant a Ban

From Reuters: Should oil and gas producers be allowed to hydraulically fracture wells even if there is a small but hard-to-quantify risk to the environment, property and human life? That is the question politicians, environmentalists, local residents and the media are all grappling with across large parts of the United States, Britain and other countries. For some environmental campaigners and local residents, the answer is No. Fracking should not be allowed unless and until it can be shown to pose no threat to the environment and human health. Citing the precautionary principle, they oppose a technique that could contaminate groundwater, trigger earth tremors, and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere, as well as disrupt local communities with  construction  traffic and industrialise the rural landscape. For their part, oil and gas producers insist all energy production is associated with some level of risk but fracturing has a good safety record and

15 New Utica Shale Permits Issued as Number Passes 850

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources approved 15 new permits for drilling in the Utica shale last week, according to the latest report. The usual leader in permitting is nowhere to be found on the latest report, as none of the new approvals are for Carroll County. There were 5 new permits for Noble County, 4 for Harrison County, 3 for Columbiana County, 2 for Washington County, and 1 for Guernsey County. This latest round of permitting brings the total number of horizontal permits to 858.  514 wells have been drilled, 125 are producing, and the Utica rig count is 36. View the report here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Carrollton Council Considering Sale of Oil & Gas Royalties

From the Canton Repository: Village Council plans to sell one-fourth of the village’s 20 percent gross profits from its oil and gas leases with Rex Energy to Gateway Royalty for a one-time payment of $555,000.  Gateway asked council to consider the offer several weeks ago. On Monday, council discussed the offer, which would allow the village to purchase a new firetruck.  The estimated cost for a new truck is about $370,000, according to Fire Chief Tom Mesler. That amount does not include the cost of additional equipment and upgrades.  Gateway would receive the royalties from 110 of the 443.05 acres leased to Rex Energy by the village. Gateway has leased about 8,500 acres in Carroll County at either one-quarter or one-half share. The company has estimated the lifetime value of its royalties from the village is about $2.2 million.   Read more: Connect

Ohio is the Location of Gathering for Fracktivists Around the County

From the Tribune Chronicle: Anti-fracking activists gathered at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park for three days of celebration, education, solidarity and relaxation during an "International Gathering." "Our goal over this weekend is to provide information on what fracking is," John D. Williams of McDonald said. "We are talking about its possible impact on communities and showing those who want to organize in their communities ways they can do it. "We also plan to relax and learn," he said. Saturday's gathering attracted approximately 500 people from as far away as California, New York and Canada to discuss concerns about the environmental impact of the drilling of natural gas and injection wells. Local activists are celebrating because Niles City Council last week passed a Community Bill of Rights, which prevents hydraulic drilling within city. - See more at:

7-Part Series Focuses on Investing in Utica Shale

From Market Realist: The Utica Shale, whose core is primarily in eastern Ohio, is a play that energy players have been watching. According to the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey), the Utica Shale “contains about 38 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas” and “a mean of 940 million barrels of unconventional oil resources and a mean of 208 million barrels of unconventional natural gas liquids.” The play has been building momentum over the past several years since Chesapeake ( CHK ) revealed its involvement in the play in late 2011. As of April 3, 2013, the play had 107 horizontal wells producing, 231 horizontal wells drilled, 43 horizontal wells currently being drilled, and 375 horizontal wells permitted, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Read on to learn more about why you should pay attention to this emerging play. Check out all 7 articles in this series by clickin

Fracktivists Disappointed With Protest Turnout in PA

From the Times-Tribune: An opportunity to get even a moment of attention from the president of the United States or the several thousands assembled to see him would typically attract more than a handful of special interests groups protesting or advocating for their issue. But not in Scranton. Other than about 50 natural gas drilling opponents leafleting, talking into bullhorns and passing out materials Friday, no one with an ax to grind made themselves visible outside the Lackawanna College student union before President Barack Obama's appearance in the Electric City. A smaller group of protesters, although one with a more varied agenda, greeted Mr. Obama on Jefferson Avenue as his motorcade entered and left the city. The relatively light turnout came as a disappointment to some of the itinerant natural gas drilling opponents, who made similar demonstrations outside Mr. Obama's recent appearance in Syracuse, N.Y., a city larger than Scranton, but one with similar dem

Links for 8/23/13: The New Battle Front on Fracking is Sand, Landman Charged With Stealing Mineral Rights, and More

Energy in Depth:   How Anti-Fracking Activists Deny Science: Well Integrity Forbes:   Why Sand Is the Latest Front in the War on Fracking (Yes, Sand) Business Wire:   Blue Racer Midstream Secures $800 Million Credit Facility to Further Utica Shale Plans Akron Beacon Journal:   Pennsylvania man charged with stealing mineral rights (landman ripping off landowners) Telegraph Blogs:   My constituents are complaining about eco-protesters, not drilling Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Niles City Council Approves Oil & Gas Industry Ban; Athens Board of Elections Blocks Similar Ban From Ballot

From Energy in Depth: Last night the Niles City Council voted to  adopt  a community  “bill of rights”  in order to block shale development from their town.  The vote was taken after a single reading without business or industry comment, or apparently any education on the issue at all.  Interestingly, there is not even a Utica Shale well being proposed in Niles, but rather an injection  well . Instead of taking the time to vet the community “bill of rights,” learn more about the industry or even know if what they passed was legal, the city council took it upon themselves to pass the ordinance anyways.  It must be stressed:  this ordinance is merely ceremonial and has no actual legal authority . With the passage of  HB 278  in 2005, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources ( ODNR ) retains sole and exclusive authority over regulating the oil and natural gas industry in Ohio.  The reasoning behind the passage of HB 278 is that permitting and regulating of oil and gas activities sh

Labor Secretary Calls Increase in Oil & Gas Worker Fatalities "Unacceptable"

From The Hill's E2-Wire: Preliminary 2012 statistics  released Thursday show 138 work-related fatalities in 2012, up from 112 the prior year in the oil-and-gas production sector.  It’s the highest number in the "oil and gas extraction" category since the current recordkeeping methodology began in 2003. The increase bucked an overall decline in fatal U.S. work injuries, which measured 4,383 in 2012 compared to 4,693 fatal work injuries in 2011, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Perez, in a statement noting that “no worker should lose their life for a paycheck,” said he’s “encouraged” by the overall U.S. decrease but said there’s much more to be done, and flagged the oil-and-gas fatality rise in particular. Read the entire article by clicking here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

BP Makes Donation in Trumbull County

From Business Journal Daily: As BP America continues to assess the prospects of the Trumbull County acreage it has under lease, the energy giant sought to tap in to the community’s good will Wednesday by donating meat to two area agencies serving the needy. BP’s director of government and public affairs, Curtis Thomas, delivered half of the meat processed from two cows and two pigs purchased during the livestock auction at the recent Trumbull County Fair to the Warren Family Mission on Route 422. The other half was to be delivered to Trumbull Mobile Meals.   “This is a perfect example of a win-win-win situation,” Thomas remarked. BP purchased the cows and pigs from the livestock auction at the fair, providing money for the owners to put toward college, a local processor cut the meat into the kinds of cuts requested by the nonprofits and the meat was donated to the agencies. The meat was processed into hamburger, roasts, hot dogs and hams. Read the whole article here.  Connec

Chesapeake Employees Dedicated Over 39,000 Hours to Operation Blue Volunteering This Summer

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Has Bill McKibben's Increase in Protesting Volume Helped or Hindered His Cause?

From The Breakthrough: Being heard by those in power is one thing. Actually achieving a future where global warming doesn't cook us all, as McKibben is well aware, presents much graver challenges. Roughly half of North Americans,  suggests  recent public polling, don't accept the scientific consensus that humans are frying the climate. Any talk of wide-ranging carbon solutions similarly divides the halls of power in Ottawa and Washington. But McKibben isn't worried about "too much polarization." Blocking climate progress are the fossil fuel companies  he says  have "more money than God." An ever-louder choir, he's convinced, must counter their immense political influence. Some observers sympathetic to his cause now wonder, though, whether the opposite might be true: By singing "at the top of their lungs," have McKibben and his supporters become deaf to large sections of the public unconverted by their gospel? And in so doing, h

Fracking Protesters Banding Together to Send Message to Obama

From EcoWatch: Yesterday, a coalition of 276 environmental and consumer organizations including  Americans Against Fracking , ,  Berks Gas Truth ,  Center for Biological Diversity ,  CREDO Action , Democracy for America ,  Environmental Action ,  Daily Kos ,  Food & Water Watch ,  MoveOn , Progressive Democrats of America ,  The Post Carbon Institute  and  United For Action  delivered to President Obama and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) nearly 650,000 public comments asking the federal government to ban hydraulic fracturing— fracking —on public lands. This development amplifies the message sent by the 7,800 people who called the White House yesterday, urging President Obama to protect communities and their resources from the negative effects of fracking. The deadline for submitting public comments to the federal government regarding drilling and fracking on federal lands is today, Aug. 23. “By allowing fracking on  public lands , the BLM is participating in a

Links for 8/22/13: Ten Big Lies About Fracking, Fracktivists Set to Party in Portage County This Weekend, and More

Spiked:   Ten big fat lies about fracking Thomson Reuters Foundation:   British anti-fracking protesters scuffle with police at oil well Seeking Alpha:   MarkWest Energy Partners: The Premier Pipeline in the Marcellus and Utica The BG News:   Fracking ban amendment debated at city council (Bowling Green) Tribune Chronicle:   Anti-Frac campout, festival planned Associated Press:   Investor Carl Icahn boosts holdings in Chesapeake Energy Associated Press:   West Virginia reports no air problems from shale drilling Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Carroll County Commissioners Say Oil & Gas Company is in Default on Lease

From The Times-Reporter: Carroll County commissioners said that oil and gas exploration company Sierra Buckeye is in default on the lease agreement signed with the county in October 2012.  The announcement followed a two-hour executive session regarding contract negotiations held during commissioners regular meeting Monday.  Under the terms of the contract, Sierra Buckeye agreed to lease the oil and gas exploration rights for $2,250,000 for about 481 acres of the Atwood Lake Lodge property. The amount is $4,500 per acre.  The county received the $2,250,000 last year.  The contract calls for Sierra Buckeye to pay $1,500 per acre if drilling was not started within six months. If drilling doesn’t begin within three years, or if Sierra Buckeye chooses not to renew the contract, the contract calls for the company to pay the county an additional $6,000 per acre. Read the whole article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Some Still Hopeful That Ohio Can Land an Ethane Cracker Plant

From The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register: Ohio lost its first bid for an ethane cracker plant to Pennsylvania. Sen. Rob Portman wants to make sure that doesn't happen again. Portman, R-Ohio, toured MarkWest Energy's $2.2 billion Cadiz natural gas processing operation Wednesday, where company officials told him they have a desperate need for a local ethane cracker. Portman hopes Denver-based MarkWest and other natural gas producers and processors will keep growing their operations so that building a multibillion-dollar ethane cracker becomes feasible in eastern Ohio. "The alternative of not producing this oil and gas would be a missed opportunity," Portman said during the tour. "This encourages manufacturing to come back to Ohio." Read the whole story by clicking right here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Ohio Job Growth Still Disappointing, But Shale Boom's Impact on Sales Clearly Being Felt

From The Columbus Dispatch: In those counties, sales-tax receipts were up 20 percent in 2012 compared with the year before, based on an analysis of data from the Ohio Department of Taxation, the report said. At the same time, employment in the area was up 0.6 percent in 2012. This is better than the net losses the region had reported as recently as 2010, but exploitation of shale assets has not yet proved to be a jobs bonanza. “We are not going to see this field fully built out for another few years,” said Ned Hill, dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State and co-author of the report. “It doesn’t mean we’ve missed the boat. It means the boat has not yet pulled up to the dock.” Read the full article by clicking here. The repeated refrain on jobs is that it is still early, and that greater impacts will be coming. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Only Two New Utica Shale Permits Issued Last Week

In stark contrast to the permitting activity that has been typical of Ohio's Utica shale of late, there were only two new permits approved by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources last week. One permit was approved for Carroll County, and another for Columbiana County. The cumulative permit total now sits at 840, with 505 wells drilled and 125 producing.  The Utica rig count is 36. View the report here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

No New Posts Today, Extra Tomorrow

Due to a family emergency, I am unable to post updated stories today.  I'll get caught up tomorrow, so look for a flurry of new posts through the day. Thank you for turning to The Daily Digger for your rundown of Utica shale news, and I apologize for the lack of new posts today. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Links for 8/20/13: Josh Fox's Story Crumbles, PA Recyles Brine While Ohio Injects It Underground, and More

The News Outlet:   Lack of communication on water contamination concerns some PA residents American Thinker:   What Fracking Hath Wrought The News Outlet:   PA prefers recycling brine, Ohio favors injection American Petroleum Institute:   API study says drilling does not impact outdoor activities Telegraph:   Law breaking fracking protesters 'heroic' like the suffragettes, says leader Daily Mail:   Mob rule cannot win the day on fracking Telegraph:   Anti-fracking zealots are the enemies of progress The Economist:   How safe is fracking? Natural Gas Now:   Josh Fox’s Gasland Background Story Completely Collapses Youngstown Vindicator:   Drilling prospects pick up in northeast Ohio Forbes:   ProPublica's Hysteria Over Fracking Sand And Chemicals Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Carroll County Gas-Fired Power Plant to Be Subject of Public Meeting

From the Akron Beacon Journal: A private company wanting to burn natural gas from Ohio’s Utica shale to produce electricity in an $800 million plant is holding a public informational meeting on Thursday in Carroll County. The Ohio Power Siting Board will attend the meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. in the fine arts room at Carrollton High School, 252 Third St. NE, Carrollton. Carroll County Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Boston-based Advanced Power Services, wants to build a 700-megawatt plant on a 77-acre site in Washington Township north of Carrollton. That is enough generation to provide electricity to 700,000 houses. The plant will provide up to 500 construction jobs and will employ 25 to 30 workers when completed. Read the whole article here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Energy in Depth Attacks Methane Study in Utah

From Energy in Depth: As one digs deeper into the research, more and more questions begin to surface. At the core of the study (and the reason it generated so much press attention) is the suggestion that methane “leakage” during natural gas development is exceedingly high. From the  report : “Given the large global warming potential of CH4, a natural gas leak rate of 6.2 – 11.7 % during production negates any short-term (<70 years) climate benefits of natural gas from this basin for electricity generation compared to oil.” As noted, NOAA scored some early  press coverage  on that point back in January with the lead author, Colm Sweeney, proclaiming: “We were expecting to see high methane levels, but I don’t think anybody really comprehended the true magnitude of what we would see.” This is an interesting comment for two reasons: First, they were  expecting  to see high methane emissions? Is Sweeney admitting they were going in with preconceived notions?  Second, Mr. Swe

Environmentalists Frustrated by Lack of Information From Regulators on Exxon Pipeline Spill

From InsideClimate News: Federal regulators have released ExxonMobil's 2013 emergency response plan for the pipeline that ruptured in an Arkansas residential neighborhood on March 29, but the document is so heavily redacted that it offers little information about Exxon's preparations for such an accident.   The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) completely blotted out more than 100 pages of the 290-page document , including Exxon’s worst-case scenario hypothesis and its plans to repair any damage caused by an accident. What remains is emergency contact information for local authorities and Exxon officials and maps of the 850-mile route of the Pegasus pipeline, which also include a few redactions.   PHMSA even redacted part of the ExxonMobil watermark that appears on more than 150 pages of the document. Read the whole article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Landslide Damages Pipeline, Causes Fish Kill

From The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register: A landslide apparently damaged a MarkWest Energy pipeline in northern Wetzel County this week, causing it to rupture and spill an unidentified, but potentially explosive, liquid. Kathy Cosco, spokeswoman for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, confirmed the spill Friday. But DEP officials have not yet been able to closely examine the Rocky Run area where the liquid was released. "Yes, we are aware of that incident, but we haven't been able to get a whole lot of samples," Cosco said. "We can't get close enough yet. ... As of (Friday) morning, the gas levels in the immediate area were too high for our folks be able to ... take samples of the stream." As a result, Cosco said, DEP officials won't know what substances may have contaminated the stream for some time. She said reports indicate the spill involves "wet gas" or a "liquid gas" and that many natural gas

GreenHunter Reports $2.1 Million Quarterly Loss, Announces New Chief Financial Officer

From a GreenHunter press release: GreenHunter Resources, Inc.  (NYSE MKT: GRH) (NYSE MKT: GRH.PRC),  a diversified water resource, waste management and environmental services company specializing in the unconventional oil and natural gas shale resource plays, announced today financial and operating results for the three and six months ended  June 30, 2013 . Total Revenue Increased 172% to  $17.5 million  for the six months ended  June 30, 2013  versus the similar period in 2012 of  $6.4 million Total Disposal Volumes Increased 216% in the first six months of 2013 to 2.3 million barrels (BBL) injected compared to 728,700 BBL injected in the first six months of 2012 Total Operating Salt Water Disposal Permitted Injection Capacity as of  June 30, 2013  Exceeded 97,000 BBL per day representing a 1,400% Increase from  June 30, 2012 The Company has received guidance from the US Coast Guard for Waterborne Transport of Oil Field Wastes regarding plans to convert existing infrastructure

Consumers Can Expect a Small Increase in Natural Gas Prices

From the Toledo Blade: Natural gas prices, which the last two years have been some of the lowest in a decade, will rise only slightly this winter thanks in large part to the ongoing supply of gas-rich shale deposits in the eastern and northern United States. “It’s a very bright future for consumers on the natural gas side going forward,” said Robert Stitt Black, president of the Waterville Gas Co., which at present, has the lowest natural gas rate of any supplier in Ohio at 39 cents per hundred cubic feet. Recently, Columbia Gas of Ohio Inc. assembled figures showing that during the 2012-13 winter heating season its customers had an average residential bill of $422.42 — the lowest average in 10 years. A winter season runs from November through March. Read the rest of this story by clicking here.   Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Director of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" Planning a Movie About Squirrels Who Are Angry Because of Fracking

Timur Bekmambetov, who has directed such films as Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter , has turned his attention to his next project:  Squirrels . Here is a synopsis : When a young man’s estranged father is killed under suspicious circumstances, he returns home for the first time in years to get to the bottom of the mystery. Hoping to uncover some logical explanation, he instead finds his mom’s sleazy new boyfriend, a natural gas company buying up the town, an angry female sheriff who happens to be his ex-girlfriend, and an army of flesh-eating squirrels hellbent on destroying everything in their path due to an erosion of their food chain as a result of environmental destruction by the gas company. And here is the (incredibly stupid) "pre-production sales trailer" that was used to shop the idea to production companies. Apparently, that was effective enough to win some hearts:  Red Sea Media picked up the rights and the movie is going to be made. Move ov

Fracking Protesters Keeping Busy, Costing English Community Over $1.1 Million

Several stories today contain updates on the exploits of fracking protesters both here in the United States and abroad in the UK community of Balcombe. Here are a few of the interesting details. From WNYC News: President Obama is planning on visiting upstate New York this week to promote an education plan. But whenever a major politician visits the region, the issue of fracking is often on the agenda, whether they like it or not.    President Obama’s planned trip to Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton will focus on the importance of getting an affordable college education.   But activists opposed to hydrofracking want the topic of natural gas drilling to be on the agenda as well. “We’re going to be present in Binghamton by the hundreds if not the thousands,” says Walter Hang, with the Ithaca-based Toxics Targeting.   Read the whole article here.  From ITV News: The cost of policing the ongoing anti-fracking demonstration at a camp in Balcombe, West Sussex has cost ta