Saturday, June 23, 2012

Recent Gas Drilling News (06-22-12 11:59PM EDT)

"Josh Fox’s New Fracking Video: The Sky is Pink:"
:" ...This week the debate over hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) intensified in New York State after a proposal to allow fracking on a limited basis was leaked. Now, Gasland director (and Our Hero) Josh Fox has weighed in with a new 18-minute video, The Sky is Pink, addressed directly to Governor Cuomo, who has said he wants his policy decision about hydraulic fracturing to be one “based on science.” Fox gladly runs with that, and argues that “just as there is no safe cigarette, there is no safe drilling.”..." " (ecocentric Blog)- (See also "Fracking is hardly leakproof" (Josh Fox & Barbara Arrindell via Albany Times Union)- & "The Sky is Pink" (Josh Fox via EcoWatch)- & "VIDEO: Fox Pundits Dismiss Fracking Risks: "...Fox News pundits have repeatedly claimed that fracking poses no risk to water supplies, even though there are several documented cases where extraction of shale gas and activities related to fracking have contaminated water. Watch how their blanket denials of risk contrast with real news reports on the damage natural gas extraction has done to water supplies:..." " (Media Matter for America)- )


"Poll: Vast Majority of New Yorkers Want Cuomo To Wait for More Research Before Opening Empire State to Fracking: "..."Precaution Over Politics" is Common Sense Message From State Residents; Majority of Those in 5 Counties Reportedly Targeted for Fracking Also Want Science Verdict First. More than seven out of 10 New York state voters (72 percent) think that Governor Cuomo should "wait for all the necessary health and environmental studies to be completed first before opening the state to fracking," according to a major new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey..." " (Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy) (New York)- , , ,

"Experts: API/ANGA Fracking "Study" Is "Fatally Flawed": "..."We have analyzed the widely publicized report from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) which asserts that methane emissions from the natural gas sector are 50 percent lower than US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates. The study relies on a critically flawed survey design, completely ignores many other recent studies, and would not have passed peer-review in a scientific journal. In contrast to this API/ANGA report, a recent and objective study which measured the entire rate of methane emissions from an unconventional gas field, the first of what should become one of many such studies, demonstrated emissions that were higher than EPA estimates.." " (Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy)- , &

"Methane, water spout: "...Shell Appalachia subsidiary SWEPI LP suspended operations in Union Township while they contain and investigate methane and water releases around the Guindon K 706 well pad. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is also working in the area. (For multiple photos and an in-depth story, pick up the June 20 edition of the Wellsboro or Mansfield Gazette.)..." " (Photos, The Wellsboro Gazette) (Pennsylvania)-

"Chesapeake to Pay $1.6 Million for Contaminating Water Wells in Bradford County: "...Chesapeake Energy has agreed to pay $1.6 million in damages to three families in Wyalusing, Bradford County. The case may be the first Marcellus contamination lawsuit to get resolved without a nondisclosure agreement, meaning the parties can speak freely about the case. Todd O’Malley, an attorney for two of the families, says the plaintiffs insisted on not signing a confidentiality agreement. “They wanted the public to know what the settlement was about,” says O’Malley..." " (StateImpact Pennsylvania)-

"As Shell Works To Stop Methane, Neighboring Farmer Worries About His Cows: "...f you go looking for evidence of Shell’s methane migration problem in Tioga County, as StateImpact did today, you won’t be able to see the 30 foot geyser of water and natural gas. First, the flow has been reduced to a few feet over the course of the last week. Second, the company has blocked off access to the site...For farmer Leo Shanlay, who lives a bit more than a mile from where the problems are occurring, evidence that something might be amiss came from his cows. Shanlay’s nine calves won’t drink any water from his drinking well. “Before, when I dumped water in, they drank it right away. Now they wait four or five hours before they drink it,” he said, standing in front of an idling tractor. The calves started losing interest in his well water on Tuesday. They’re happy to drink the water his uncle trucks in from another site, though..." " (StateImpact Pennsylvania)-

"Pa. families settle gas drilling pollution lawsuit with Chesapeake Energy for $1.6 million: "... But Jared McMicken of Wyalusing said the agreement reached Thursday provides little comfort since his drinking water was ruined by nearby drilling, and his family must move. "We've lost our house, and we're not going to get out of it what we got into it," he said. "We have a bunch of people who have to leave their homes."..." " (Associated Press) (Pennsylvania)- &

"Well Control Teams On The Scene In Tioga County: "...An update on Shell’s potential methane migration problem in Tioga County: company spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh says a well control team has been called in to help. Here’s her emailed statement: We have both a groundwater protection technical team and a well control team actively working on the origin and cause of the water and methane release. As a precaution, we have suspended our well completion work on the well pads in the area. The release – from and near water wells within a hunting club – is not located on any of our well sites. We are depressurizing gas wells in the larger area in order to reduce pressure subsurface. We’re also working operations around the water wells, including excavation in a secured, control zone..." " (StateImpact Pennsylvania)-

"DEP Investigating Potential Shell Methane Migration: "...As Governor Corbett pushes to give Royal Dutch Shell a $1.65 billion tax credit, the Department of Environmental Protection is investigating a potential methane migration problem in Union Township, Tioga County, involving the company’s natural gas drilling arm..." " (StateImpact Pennsylvania)-

"Tioga County Methane Migration: Onetime Geyser Being Brought Under Conrol: "...(Wellsboro, Tioga County) — A geyser of methane-infused water has been reduced to waist-height, as Shell Appalachia works to contain mysterious methane migration near a cluster of three of its natural gas wells in southeastern Tioga County. The geyser was shooting water more than thirty feet into the air at one point, but Tioga County Emergency Services Coordinator Denny Colegrove said it was down to less than two feet by yesterday evening. Shell is flaring off nearby wells in order to reduce underground gas pressure. “We’re seeing that brings down — it depressurzes — the gas that could be contributing to migration in the immediate area,” said Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh..." " (StateImpact Pennsylvania)-

"Methane migration probed in Tioga County: "...Four residents within a one-mile area had been evacuated as of Thursday. A company spokeswoman said in a statement that the current methane levels indicate "a very low hazard risk to people, vegetation and fish." Dan Spadoni, a spokesman with the Department of Environmental Protection's north-central regional office, said the agency was alerted Sunday that a drinking water well had overflowed inside a hunting cabin near the well pads in Union. Thursday afternoon, regulators had not yet determined the source of the methane, which also was suspected to be causing bubbling in a nearby stream and "additional surface expressions" along a neighboring road..." " (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)( (Pennsylvania)- &

"Mahanoy Township oil/natural gas drilling ordinance may need amending: "...MAHANOY CITY - Mahanoy Township may need to amend its zoning ordinance to have permitted use and special exceptions for oil and natural gas exploration, drilling and extraction to conform with new state legislation. The subject was discussed at Thursday's meeting of the Mahanoy Township Board of Supervisors by township solicitor Eric Lieberman. "The township adopted a Marcellus shale drilling ordinance a while ago in case there would be any oil and gas drilling in the area," Lieberman said. "Well, along comes the state Legislature and they adopt something called Act 13, which basically is an all-comprehensive act that deals with the oil and gas industry and how things are going to be handled from a regulation standpoint."..." " (Times-Shamrock Communications) (Pennsylvania)- &

"City joins lawsuit opposing unified drilling zone: "...Connellsville City Council adopted a resolution Wednesday night to support a lawsuit opposing Act 13, which amends the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act to establish a unified zoning scheme across the state..." " (Trib Total Media, Inc.) (Pennsylvania)-

"Report: 3rd largest natural gas reserves on East Coast are in Bucks, Montgomery counties: "...Bucks and Montgomery counties are sitting on the 3rd largest natural gas reserves on the East Coast, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey. The report now has residents and environmental activists worried what will happen should gas companies start drilling Nancy Alessi, a Nockamixon Township supervisor, said the recent report will be a magnet for drilling companies..." " (WFMZ) (Pennsylvania)-

"County joins study of natural gas for use in its fleets: "...Crawford County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to spend $1,500 to join in a feasibility study on the possibility of compressed natural gas as a fuel source. That study is expected to provide an answer by about Aug. 1. “I think this is appropriate for us to see how this may impact our fueling and transportation,” said Commissioner C. Sherman Allen, noting the county has about 100 vehicles of all types in its fleet. PENNCREST School District is spearheading the effort to look into the possibility. Other organizations involved in the study are Conneaut and Crawford Central school districts, Vantage Health Care Network, Universal Well Services Inc., Crawford Area Transportation Authority, Allegheny College and National Fuel Gas..." " (Meadsville Tribune) (Pennsylvania)-

"Collection of realty transfer tax breaks a record in Bradford County: "...TOWANDA - As a result of the gas drilling boom, the collection of the realty transfer tax in Bradford County hit a record high for the county in 2011, the register & recorder of deeds said..." " (Times-Shamrock Communications) (Pennsylania)-

"Natural gas boom changing demands, opportunities for land development" (Pittsburgh Business Times) (Pennsylvania)-

"Montrose Hospital closing in on construction funding goals: "...Endless Mountains Health Systems received almost $200,000 from several donors Thursday, including a $100,000 contribution from Linde Corp. of Honesdale. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. spokesman George Stark said that with the recent efforts, the $5.6 million project is nearly 90 percent funded. Cabot, based in Houston, Texas, kicked off the fundraising effort in March with a $1 million donation. It also promised to match community contributions up to $1 million, which would provide EMHS with $3 million of the $5.6 million needed to complete the physicians' clinic portion of the new hospital building project. The Cabot-EMHS fundraising effort is set to conclude by July 21, the date of the annual Cabot Picnic. In addition to Linde Corp., other contributions noted Thursday came from natural gas industry companies: Erick Flowback Services donated $30,000; Rain For Rent donated $25,000; and Weir-Seaboard donated $25,000..." " (Times-Shamrock Communications) (Pennsylvania)-

(Event) "SAE International to Host Symposium that Delves into Impact of Shale Gas on Vehicle Development: "...The SAE 2012 Shale Gas Impact on Vehicle Development Symposium will focus on the impact of natural gas vehicle adoption, shale exploration and natural gas Infrastructure on bi-fuel vehicle production. Co-sponsored by SAE International and energy industry publisher Hart Energy, the event will be held August 28, 2012, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh..." " (SAE International) (Pennsylvania)-

"To drill or not to drill?: "...Gas may be important for some things, but listen to this, gasbags: Without water there is no life! Therefore, there is also no money. Get it?. The list of distortions and half-truths from the gas companies is as long as my arm. Yet they act as though they are the perfect neighbors, acting like the big, bad New York liberals are the bad guys, smearing their good names and trying to keep them from saving the country just because they’re afraid of a little dish detergent in their water..." " (Opinion, Wayne Independent) (Pennsylvania)-

"Officials OK deal for aerial images: "...WAYNESBURG – As expected, Greene County commissioners approved an agreement with a photography company to provide aerial images of the county...Photographers from the company will update the image database, and Kelley surmises they will find the county has many more gas drilling rigs than the last time the images were taken. Pictometry has been providing high-resolution images of the county for use in several county departments, including emergency management, assessment and planning. Assessors use the images to calculate property values and detect any violations of the state’s Clean and Green program for agricultural properties. Emergency dispatchers can use it when coordinating a response to a disaster, and planners can study the images to determine the best location for a new building or road..." " (Observer-Reporter) (Pennsylvania)-

"Federal agency that approved Spectra pipeline is running 'a rigged game,' Jersey City claims in new filing: "...Jersey City has issued a scathing, 43-page rebuttal to a federal agency’s decision to approve Spectra Energy’s natural-gas pipeline, with a top city attorney claiming the agency is biased toward energy companies and has ignored the city’s concerns about safety along the pipeline route. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency that gave the controversial pipeline its approval on May 22, is “running a rigged game,” approving pipeline routes proposed by energy companies while ignoring “viable alternatives” suggested by other parties, the attorney writes. The document is the city’s official request for a rehearing in front of FERC, the first of only two options the city has to stop the pipeline now that it has federal approval. Houston-based Spectra wants to begin constructing the roughly 15 miles of new pipe, which will snake underneath Bayonne, Jersey City and offshore Hoboken, this summer..." " (The Jersey Journal) (New Jersey)-

"N.J. OKs bill banning waste from hydraulic fracturing: "...TRENTON, N.J - Lawmakers have approved legislation that bans hydraulic fracturing byproducts created in other states from entering New Jersey. The Assembly voted 56-19 for the bill Thursday...Data on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection website show some fracking waste has already entered New Jersey..." " (Times-Shamrock Communications) (New Jersey)-

"Jersey City mayor says natural-gas explosion in Nyack is 'perfect example' of dangers of Spectra pipeline: "...Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy is pointing to a natural-gas explosion in Downtown Nyack, NY yesterday as yet another reason why Spectra Energy should not build a gas pipeline here in Hudson County. According to NBC News, no one was hurt in yesterday’s Nyack explosion, which was the result of sparks hit gas in a pipe during a gas main replacement project, according to a utility spokesman..." " (The Jersey Journal) (New Jersey)-

"Methane near Canton under investigation: "...CANTON - Operations at a natural gas well in Union Township near here have been suspended pending the results of an investigation of a methane migration. According to Shell Appalachia spokeswoman Deb Sawyer, during routine operations on the Guindon 706 well pad in Union Township last Friday, well operators were informed that a private landowner in the area was experiencing a change in the functioning of his water well..." " (Williamsport Sun-Gazette) (Ohio)-

"Shale Gas Boom: Hydraulic Fracturing and Potential Legal Claims: "...Plaintiffs have filed approximately forty shale-related lawsuits across the country. These lawsuits include: (1) tort lawsuits; (2) environmental lawsuits; or (3) industry lawsuits. As the shale boom accelerates more suits are anticipated..." " (RIGZONE & Mb50's "Liquid Mud" Blog)- &

"Howarth and Ingraffea: Gas Industry Fracking Study So Biased it is 'Almost Useless': "...Two of the largest gas industry lobbying bodies in the US, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), released a ‘study’ earlier this month claiming methane emissions from natural gas production to be 50 percent lower than the US Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 estimates. However, according to a joint statement prepared by professors Robert Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea and released by the Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE) this week, the study is nothing more than industry-purchased propaganda that does not adhere to basic standards for scientific accuracy and consistency..." " (DESMOGBLOG)- (See also "FUGITIVE EMISSIONS FROM OIL ANDNATURAL GAS ACTIVITIES"- )

"Fracking with Propane Instead of Water: "...A Canadian company has found a method that uses propane instead of water. Gasfrac says the propane technique uses biodegradable chemicals and doesn’t pollute groundwater. But as The Allegheny Front’s Matt Richmond reports, others say propane fracking is risky business..." " (Audio, Living on Earth)-

"Gas drillers get more time to comment on U.S. fracking rules: "...The Obama administration gave U.S. natural-gas producers more time to comment on draft standards for disclosing chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, rules an industry group has said are unnecessary. The Interior Department will add 60 days to the comment period, spokesman Adam Fetcher said today in an e-mail. Comments on the fracking-disclosure rules had been due by July 10. “To ensure that the public and key stakeholders, including industry and public-health groups, are able to provide important feedback that will help inform a final rule, Interior has decided to extend the public-comment period,” Fetcher said. “We don’t expect this extension will have an impact on the timing for a final rule later this year.” ..." " (FuelFix/Houston Chronicle)-

"OSHA issues alert related to hydraulic fracturing: "...Crystalline silica is part of sand. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say workers who regularly breathe it are at greater risk of developing silicosis. They say silica also is linked to lung cancer and tuberculosis. A hazard alert they issued Thursday describes how engineering controls, work practices, protective equipment, worker training and product substitution can protect employees..." " (Associated Press)- (See also "Worker Exposure to Silica during Hydraulic Fracturing" ( National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health & Occupational Safety and Health Administration)- )

"Pipeline industry opponents will use spills against it: "...Industry figures show at least 3.4 million litres of hydrocarbons have leaked from pipelines in the province every year since 2005. That is likely something that environmental groups trying to stop both projects will latch on to, suggests Doug Bloom, chairman of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and president of Spectra Energy. “I think any kind of incident, no matter how small, is going to be picked up by those who are going to oppose any kind of energy development, and they’ll try and use it as a rationale for not doing it,” Bloom said Thursday after attending a Chamber of Commerce luncheon..." " (The Canadian Press)-

"NC governor inundated with pleas to veto fracking bill: "...A spokesperson for Perdue told the News & Observer of Raleigh that her office has received 7,641 emails and 2,824 phone calls since the issue began getting attention, and that they are "overwhelmingly opposed to fracking with very few supportive comments." Perdue also heard from Calvin Tillman, the former mayor of Dish, Texas, a town at the center of that state's fracking industry. Now an advocate for communities affected by fracking, Tillman visited Raleigh earlier this month to talk to state lawmakers about the serious environmental health problems the rural community north of Fort Worth has experienced. In a letter sent to Perdue this week, Tillman -- a conservative independent -- detailed concerns about the legal questions around property rights raised by the North Carolina bill. Here is the text of his letter; to view the original signed version click here..." " (Institute for Southern Studies) (North Carolina)-

"Explaining the Fracking Bill: "...The state Senate voted 29 to 15 Thursday to concur on Senate Bill 820, a bill that would legalize hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina...The Bill’s Path..." " (Raleigh Public Record) (North Carolina)-

"Fracking Danger: Read It Yourself: "...I am a former resident of Pennsylvania and have family and friends who live in “hotbed” areas of hydraulic fracturing. ..Many states and countries throughout the world have made fracking illegal. Why is North Carolina rushing into something that is only going to bring harm to its citizens, as well as to the animals and environment?..." " (Letter to editor, The Pilot) (North Carolina)-

"Speakers talk about fracturing: "...Oil and gas companies need to do a better job of explaining the scientific evidence that shows hydraulic fracturing doesn’t contaminate drinking water or cause earthquakes, according to speakers at Thursday’s sessions of the LSU Center for Energy Studies Gulf States Energy Retreat. Mike Brownell, director of regulatory affairs for Chesapeake Energy Corp., said part of the problem is that there are so many federal agencies — the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Land Management, the Environmental Protection Agency — taking their own individual look at the process in which water, chemicals and sand are forced into a formation to crack rock and release oil or natural gas. The same thing is going on in states, he said..." " (The Advocate) (Louisiana)-

"Council Digs Thru Drilling Permits : "...(D)uring a workshop on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, beginning at 4:00 p.m., Fairfield Mayor Roy Hill laid out his concerns regarding gas wells being considered for drilling within the City and made a comparison of two types of wells to Fairfield City Council members and attendees. According to Hill, there are two gas well permits that are being considered, one by XTO Energy, Inc. and another by Valence Operating. The XTO well would be slant drilled to a depth of 11,500 with little sour gas content. The Valence well would be drilled straight down to a depth of 13,500 where large quantities of sour gas are present...Mayor Hill indicated that the health, safety, and peace of mind of the citizens should be the main concern. Other things to consider would be future growth of the city and revenues generated by gas wells. There are already several wells within the City that contain less than 8 parts per million of sour gas. The XTO well, that was later approved during the regular City Council meeting, will contain similar levels..." " (Freestone County Times) (Texas)-

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