Monday, February 28, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania, Feb. 28

Big NYT story on the hazards from fracking, including information from unreleased EPA studies and an industry report: "The documents reveal that the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle."

Not only did Consol Energy treat legislators to Super Bowl trips, they also offered one in 2009 to John Hanger, the acting secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection under Gov. Ed Rendell. Hanger says he turned down the offer. More on this story here.

In New York, landowners are accusing Chesapeake and others of unilaterally extending leases that have expired. Such actions prevent landowners from renegotiating leases and royalty payouts at the current higher rates.

Legislation to improve gas pipeline safety in Pennsylvania was approved by the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee Feb. 14.

The Porter Township Board of Supervisors has stated its opposition to any shale gas drilling inside township borders.

Drillers are looking at a formation deeper than the Marcellus  for future exploration, the Utica Shale, although not all experts are optimistic that it would be that productive.

Cabot saw a 35% rise in fourth-quarter earnings due to asset-sale gains, but adjusted profits declined more than expected due to lower prices and higher expenses (full article behind pay wall).

Westmont Resources Inc.has acquired 233 net acres of leasehold in Westmoreland County, including 8 producing wells.

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