Just curious...

     I am in Liberty township and a few months ago got an offer to buy my royalties for 1500 to 1800 per acre, but they would do a more in-depth look if I was serious which "mite change the numbers" slightly....even tho I am not drilled or receiving any royalties ..talked to a landsman rite b4 I contacted them and he advised caution as there will be "significant" activity in my area in the "near future"....how about it, anybody else get an offer or hear anything or see any activity here in Tioga Co. ?

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From your response, I was satisfied you understood what I was asking.  It was a casual, hypothetical question.

Do you think possibly, the Marcellus wells being shut in is not because they are non producing but, rather they lack transmission infrastructure.

Further, if they did chose a non productive Marcellus well, wouldn't they have to Compromise the casing and sealing concrete which may be too far outside design parameters.

Could it be better and safer to drill elsewhere?

Just a question.

"INEOS signs agreement with ExxonMobil Chemical Limited and Shell Chemicals Europe BV to supply ethane from US shale gas from Grangemouth to the Fife Ethylene Plant in Scotland"

What's not made clear is what company(s) will supply the physical ethane. Unless they have a purchase in the works, it won't be Shell. Also, what part if any will it play in Shell's PA cracker decision?

Eco-group working to make invisible air pollution from Ohio’s Utica Shale visible to everyone

Home / Energy / Eco-group working to make invisible air pollution from Ohio’s Utica Shale visible to everyone

Image: J.B. Pribanic via Flickr
Image: J.B. Pribanic via Flickr

Eco-group working to make invisible air pollution from Ohio’s Utica Shale visible to everyone


BARNESVILLE — Peter Dronkers of Earthworks makes invisible air pollution from shale drilling visible to everyone.

The viewfinder of Dronkers’ special infrared gas-recording camera shows billowing clouds or wispy leaks.

What appears in the videos as wind-blown plumes of smoke are really pollutants that are invisible to the naked eye.

Earthworks, a national environmental group based in Washington, D.C., quietly came into Ohio during the summer with its camera to determine if shale drilling, natural gas processing and transportation are fouling the air and sickening Ohio residents.

The $100,000 optical gas imaging thermographer camera can detect up to 20 different gases that environmentalists say could pose a health threat to those living in Ohio’s Utica Shale, the region in eastern Ohio with natural gas and liquids.

Earthworks initially posted eight Ohio videos to YouTube. It returned recently to film seven additional Ohio sites that will be posted soon.

The group has been recording emissions from shale sites in Ohio and six other states.

Such emissions increase the likelihood that air pollution problems will be found, said Nadia Steinzor of Earthworks’ Citizens Empowerment Project.

Her group and the Ohio Environmental Council are pushing a new grass-roots effort to determine how big a threat shale drilling and related emissions are to neighbors in Ohio.

The Ohio videos show “lots of intense emissions that are, in some cases, continuing unabated,” Steinzor said. “The emissions we’re seeing in Ohio are significant.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to impose new rules to cut air emissions from new drilling facilities by 40 percent, starting next year. The cuts could reduce methane releases by 400,000 tons and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 180,000 tons a year.

The industry is opposed, saying such action is unneeded. The agency is accepting public comment through Dec. 4. The proposed cuts would not affect existing facilities.

Energy in Depth, a pro-drilling trade group that spoke on behalf of the companies whose sites were examined, also isn’t impressed by what Earthworks is doing.

“It sounds like a solution in search of a problem,” said Jackie Stewart, a spokeswoman for Energy in Depth-Ohio. “It sounds like a lot of smoke and mirrors … and very unscientific and of very limited use.”

Related: Ohio oil, gas production from shale shifts south.

Residents worried

Landowners Jeff and Kerri Bond said they are troubled by the emissions spewing from the wells on their 176-acre property near Seneca Lake in Noble County. They’re convinced those emissions — captured on video during visits by the Earthworks crew in July and October — triggered headaches, nausea, dizziness and other medical problems and killed a dozen trees in the yard this year because of chemical-laced morning mists.

There are 15 well pads and a compressor station within two miles of their house, said Kerri Bond.

“There is a chemical smell in the air, an acidy smell,” said 60-year-old Jeff Bond, who lives in Seneca Township.

The couple keep their windows closed to keep the smells out.

“We want out,” he said.

In all, Earthworks has posted about 150 infrared videos from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, California and New York.

The videos from Noble, Carroll, Columbiana and Belmont counties provide “a snapshot of what’s being released,” said Alan Septoff of Earthworks.

It is part of an initiative by Earthworks to prove that such air pollution is a real problem and to help drilling communities with such problems to fight back, Steinzor said.

Such emissions can sicken neighbors and those living downwind of the wells, processing plants, compression stations or pipelines, Septoff said.

The Ohio emissions include VOCs that can affect human health and contribute to unhealthful smoggy air, said Paul Feezel, president of Carroll Concerned Citizens, a grass-roots group in Carroll County southeast of Canton.

Ohio activist John Morgan, 69, of Beallsville said the videos are “a visual way to show people that something is going on, that we have a problem here.”

Related: Environmentalists urge feds to enforce rules on power plan...

Finding emissions

The Earthworks program in Ohio is being slowly expanded to include collecting air samples for analysis, but that is costly, Steinzor said.

During a recent tour of Ohio’s Belmont County, Colorado-based Dronkers found significant air emissions from a compressor station outside Barnesville and at nearby wells where drillers are getting natural gas, oil and other liquids.

A MarkWest Energy Partners’ compressor station produced what Dronkers described as a fairly thick plume that was visible through his camera up to 800 feet away from the plant’s six stacks.

He estimated the emissions compared to the diesel exhaust of more than 50 idling semis.

Steinzor said the plant is an issue because it released emissions when it was filmed in July and was still releasing emissions on a subsequent visit several months later.

From a ridge outside Barnesville, the camera — using its infrared imaging — showed a hot spot on a flare that was burning natural gas at a Utica Shale well drilled by Hess, a New York-based energy company.

A small leak was detected from a valve at a nearby Blue Racer Midstream gas-gathering facility outside Barnesville. Dronkers stood just outside the fence and recorded the thermal images. “There’s not anything unusual here, but there are emissions,” he said.

There was no sign of leaks at another injection well for drilling wastes off state Route 800 outside Barnesville. “Nothing,” Dronkers said. “It’s as clean as a whistle.”

The biggest problem for Earthworks is getting close enough to the facilities while on public roads without trespassing, Steinzor said.

“We’re making the pollution visible to regulators,” Steinzor said. “It cannot be ignored. We force them to be more responsive. … Such citizen monitoring is becoming more and more important as state regulatory agencies face budget cuts.”

This article was written by BOB DOWNING from The Akron Beacon Journal and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

"EQT’s Lengthy Battle With the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Gets Its Day in State Supreme Court "

"The basis of this dispute stems from EQT’s discovery on May 30, 2012, that one of its impoundments, located in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, was leaking water generated from hydraulic fracturing. ..."

Shell closing Franklin Park office next year


Royal Dutch Shell plans to close its Franklin Park office next summer and move most of the 180 workers involved in gas and oil drilling there to its U.S. headquarters in Houston.

The move is the latest sign of retrenching among top Marcellus shale gas producers as prices remain at three-year lows because of tepid demand and oversupply. Shell announced 6,500 layoffs worldwide this year and drilled only eight shale wells in Pennsylvania this year, compared to 17 during the same period in 2014 and 31 the year before, state records show.

“By consolidating asset support to a hub location like Houston, we can continue to enhance our competitive position while building longer-term capability for our staff and our business,” spokeswoman Kimberly Windon said Tuesday.

Producers have drilled 40 percent fewer shale wells in Pennsylvania this year compared to last year as they await higher demand and more pipelines to take gas to lucrative markets. Competitors including Consol Energy, Chevron and Noble Energy this year announced layoffs in the Marcellus.

An unspecified number of employees at Shell’s Appalachia office, which they moved into in 2011, will remain here and work from field offices such as one in Tioga County, where the company has been more active.

The move does not affect ongoing work to prepare land in Beaver County for a multibillion-dollar ethane cracker plant that Shell is considering building along the Ohio River in Potter.

“This decision and the proposed petrochemical facility are unrelated,” Windon said. “The proposed petrochemical project is independent from our Appalachia asset and the staff who support it.”

The company did not say whether any of the workers here will lose their jobs when they shift to Houston.

“Employee retention is key to our success and we remain committed to developing our people,” Windon said.

In related news, Shell defends BG deal in time of low oil prices.

David Conti is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5802 or dconti@tribweb.com.

This article was written by David Conti from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Sanders aligns against proposed natural gas pipeline

Northeast Energy Direct pipeline from Pennsylvania through New England

MANCHESTER — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the first presidential candidate to publicly take a position on the proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline.

And the Democratic hopeful’s opposition to the project has many Northeast Energy Direct pipeline opponents praising him.

In prepared remarks given during the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner Sunday night, Sanders said he’s against the proposed natural gas transmission pipeline because “climate change is the greatest environmental challenge of our time.

“And that is why — right here in New Hampshire — I believe the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline that would carry fracked natural gas for 400 miles through 17 communities is a bad idea — and should be opposed,” he said.

The pipeline route is planned to run through southern New Hampshire communities including Fitzwilliam, Richmond, Rindge, Troy and Winchester, and continues to meet strong resistance from residents and local officials in towns along the proposed path. Among their concerns for the pipeline are its potential environmental and health effects, and the federal government possibly taking property by eminent domain for the project.

“God bless the Brooklyn-born Senator from Vermont for taking a position that our very own local elected officials have been too cowardly to do till now,” Richmond resident Seth Reece said this morning in a Facebook message.

Susan L. Durling, co-founder of the pipeline opposition group Winchester Pipeline Awareness, likewise praised Sanders, saying, “Here’s a politician out there brave enough to say what needs to be said.”

She said in a Facebook message that elected officials need to “start worrying about the planet they will leave their kids and grandchildren, and not about the campaign contributions they get.”

Besides Sanders, Democratic presidential candidates Martin O’Malley and Hillary Clinton gave their pitch for the Oval Office at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester. But neither O’Malley nor Clinton referenced the pipeline in their prepared remarks.

Matt Sheaff, O’Malley’s N.H. deputy state director, said after the former Maryland governor gave his remarks, he met with reporters, one of whom asked about his position on the pipeline.

O’Malley responded that he’d “be inclined to be against it,” Sheaff said.

“We use our eminent domain power for things that serve the public’s interest. And pipelines for fossil fuel extraction generally do not support our public interest,” O’Malley said in response to the question, according to Sheaff. “Lines that actually allow us to bring in clean energy do support our public interest.”

Harrell Kirstein, spokesman for Hillary for New Hampshire, said in a email this morning that Clinton addressed the topic during a town hall meeting in Keene last month.

Clinton said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process doesn’t give “enough weight to public opinion in the locations where pipelines are going through,” according to Kirstein.

It also doesn’t pay enough attention to other issues including health and safety, Clinton said, and therefore, she is going to do what she can to make sure the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has to pay much more attention to local communities, according to Kirstein.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, has proposed building the high-pressure pipeline to carry fracked natural gas from shale gas fields in Pennsylvania through upstate New York, parts of northern Massachusetts and into southern New Hampshire before going to a distribution hub in eastern Massachusetts. The route would cross about 70 miles of southern New Hampshire.

The project had been in the pre-filing stages with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the past year.

On Nov. 20, Tennessee Gas Pipeline officials filed the project’s application with the FERC, putting the federal agency in a position to decide whether the pipeline is approved, which it has the power to do.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline officials are asking the commission to approve the pipeline by the fourth quarter of 2016.

In the filing, company officials described the pipeline as “transformative,” saying the influx of natural gas into the Northeast, specifically New England, would drive down high winter energy costs, and help prevent an energy shortage in the region.

Sanders also cited climate change in why he’s opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from the tar sands of Canada to the United States.

President Barack Obama vetoed the project earlier this year.

The four members of the N.H. Congressional Delegation and Gov. Maggie Hassan have sent letters to FERC calling for transparency in the pipeline approval process, but have yet to take positions on the proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline.

Karthik Ganapathy, Sanders’ N.H. communications director, said in an email this morning that Sanders has known about the Northeast Energy Direct project for a “long time, and after studying it, decided that its impact on climate change would betray the responsibility we have to future generations.”

In addition to climate change, Ganapathy said, there are “justified concerns” about eminent domain being abused to seize private property, the route going through historic towns and conservation sites, and, as with all pipelines, the potential for leaks or spills.

“Now that the review process with FERC is officially under way, Senator Sanders wanted to ensure all of that was taken into consideration,” Ganapathy said.

In related news, Keep it in the ground: Bernie Sanders wants to ban...

Meghan Foley can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436, or mfoley@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @MFoleyKS.


Today's DEP eNotice lists E&S permit applications for a dozen well sites. The interesting part is that all the sites had existing E&S permits, most issued in 2010. It is of course possible that they will go ahead and drill these (potential) 72 wells, but it seems unlikely anytime soon. Reason for applying for the permits now?

If your lease says, upon drilling a well, the gasco can hold you by production only to the deepest point drilled, and they have only drilled to the Marcellus in, say, 2010, they cannot hold the valuable Utica layers below.  If they apply for a permit to drill down to the Utica, by the crooked interpretation of the definition of HBP in Pa. they are commencing production and the lease can be continued on the deeper, more lucrative depths.  

Hey Brian, What's the standrrd language in a Swepi Lease


Typically the depth severance language is in the pugh clause as a addendum which trumps the standard lease language. At the end of the primary term a surrender should be requested. If there is a extension payment option they can tender that to keep the lease in effect for the undrilled depths.


Standard leases as a norm do not have a pugh clause, be it Swepi or any of the others.

Thanks Gringo. 


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