I put this in the "Finally, some science to go along with the Hysteria" category.
As a geologist I have never been comfortable with the shoddy "proof" that
the DEP used to confirm that Marcellus drilling ruined the Dimock water
supply. I have heard A LOT of anecdotal evidence from both industry and
the field level DEP inspectors that gas was in the water supply long
before any drilling even started in Susquehanna County. And I have been
very critical of Cabot for not speaking up sooner if they believed they
were innocent of the accusations.
Well, looks like the industry just fired a salvo back across the bow of the governmental agencies. No,
maybe more like a direct hit...broadside.
This is a long read but Cabot seems to have proof, including testing and signed affidavits.
Every anti drilling group uses Dimock as their poster child...looks like they won't be able to anymore...IF THEY ARE HONEST!

This will get interesting.

Article with links to Cabots letter to Secretary Hanger

Cabots letter to Secretary Hanger

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James-- As flagship of Marcellus shale development in northeastern PA, while indeed Cabot may have been responsible for spills due to design mistakes and possibly other shortcomings in their Susquehanna Co. operations as well, one must still question whether anything could have resulted in a disproportionate level of response by state officials. If indeed leaks etc. are potentially an industry-wide problem in PA and NY, as suggested by your video, why has Cabot been the only company thrown under the bus--convenient target? --Tom
Other shale gas companies have been fined by the Pa DEP; Cabot was just the highest profile in '09. The leak fine comes down to the readings on those bradenhead gauges -indicating over pressure out of range = a leak. No clue how is going to disprove that - in court - unless those gauges were misread - now that 3 of the 8 alledged leakers are plugged.

Going forward in NYS :

Test the water wells before drilling begins - particularly for (thermogenic) methane

Dope the frack with an isotope or other marker to distinguish it from pre-existing chemicals.

Don't mess up the cement job !

'Nuff said, cuz the rest will come out in court.
Yes, others were fined by PDEP, but never sued. These measures that you recommend for NYS, James, sound reasonable and in everyone's long range interest. If PA could have a "do-over", they would be wise to implement them there too. I am still left wondering why it makes any sense to prosecute the short-comings of one company such as Cabot when ground rules were never clearly established unless that is the very point. If it is so, then a proactive approach that doesn't leave rule-making up to a court seems highly preferable. --Tom
Focused on New York regulations for horizontal hydrofracking of shale gas in New York

Based to a large part on the records in Pa.- not just Cabot/Dimock

But mainly based on what's not in the New York regulations for horizontal hydrofracking.

As outlined in summary fashion in this Power Point -
God bless NY State land owners waiting for the drilling permits to happen. It is not easy!!! Thanks

Woe, you want to throw a radioactive substance into a frac solution!  But you would likew everyone to believe fracking needs to be banned as fracking can not be done safely?  The H with methane, just do without gas, save on electric and glow in the dark. 

This is Cabots website on the subject.

I will be honest- the tone of this letter - I have never heard outside of a closed door meeting. I do not know all of the facts in the matter, but I can not wait to conduct a file review.

Brian Oram, PG
Wilkes University
Read all that some time ago. Cabot's letter was, of course, written by their attorneys. Since they are already in litigation. See if you can get the files on the bradenhead gauge pressures on the wells that were cited for elevated pressures,without actually stating what the gauge pressures were. The well casing either leaked gas into the groundwater / aquifer or it did not. The B-gauge pressures would be telling.

Note that Pa DEP has written up 1,600 violation on shale gas drillers in the last 24 months, about 1000 of which were noteworthy - ie. non-trivial, mostly spills. So Cabot may be poster-child, but not an aberration.

My focus is on the NYS regs. - or lack thereof. And the tax regime, or lack thereof. Since that brackets the activity - how much the state gets out of it in tax revenue, and what environmental safeguards are in place - locally, on-site.

But this Cabot Dimock case is instructive. Good hunting.
yahooo I hope you are right.
I find it very interesting that Mr. Northrup has chosen to relocate to Cooperstown from Dallas, TX, at a time of active exploration and production of what is probably the largest natural gas field in the U.S. Especially given his illustrious background of which I can find few particulars online.

James Northrup was in the energy business for 30 years. Having sold a company to Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) in the late 1970′s, he was a Planning Manager at ARCO. He has been an independent oil and gas producer in Texas and New Mexico and has owned onshore and offshore drilling rigs, in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, west Africa, Brazil and the South China Sea.

What company did he sell? Was he associated with Enron? What are his companies in the U.S. and abroad? What is the history of his companies? Have any of them experienced accidents in the drilling process? Is he still retained and paid by these companies? What is his educational background and in what capacities did he function in his affiliations with past companies? What is his agenda in coming to NY at this time? Does he intend to criticize and obstruct gas well permitting until the Northrup Group has accumulated sufficient lands, contracts, etc., to make the move from warmer climes less chilling? I think many people would appreciate greater transparency of this eminent expert who is widely quoted by the anti-fracking/drilling groups.

DWA you missed this!


The League of Women Voters of Broome/Tioga Counties will sponsor an information program on New York DEC’s Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Study on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. The program will be held at 7 p.m. in the Hubbard Auditorium of the Tioga County Office Building, 56 Main St., Owego.

The speakers will be Dr. Ronald Bishop Biochemist, SUNY Oneonta and James “Chip” Northrup, real estate developer, energy investor and environmental advocate.

  Wow and the League of Women Voters endorses ballot inititives!  You also missed this as well.


James (Chip) Northrup, Partner and investor in oil and gas projects, served on Governor of Texas’ Energy Advisory Council

On January 12, 2012, the Office of the Governor of Texas (the “OOG”) received your request under the Public Information Act.  Specifically, the request was for:

   I am searching for records that would show that a individual by the name of James L, Northrup aka James “Chip” Northrup did indeed was in fact in this position at one time as indicated at this website.


James (Chip) Northrup, Partner and investor in oil and gas projects, served on Governor of Texas’ Energy Advisory Council.

Dang I hit a dry hole on that lease!

Fascinating! Perhaps Mr Northrup is employed by companies active in Pa to shill for the the NY moratorium and protect their investments in Pa.  Having the moratorium in place in NY greatly reduces competition for Pa.

So is he helping protect interests in Pa or is he just buying up NY leases at deep discount until the moratorium is lifted?  Most likely he is involved in both.


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