Monday, May 23, 2011

Back to Marcellus News for Pennsylvania, May 15-22

Washington Cty. farmers Ron Gulla and Terry Greenwood attacked the gas drilling industry during a forum in Lancaster, blaming leakage from wells for contamination of their properties and loss of livestock.

Chesapeake was fined $1.1 million by Pennsylvania regulators, including $900,000 for contaminating the sixteen residential water wells in Bradford County.

Last Thursday was the deadline for drillers to stop bringing their contaminated wastewater to riverside treatment plants. Some operators have stopped drilling while they develop alternative plans.

A music video? Yeah that'll stop fracking.

Pennsylvania American Water, a commercial water supply corporation, say they have found no detectable levels of radioactive or volatile chemicals from fracking wastewater in any of their supply intakes.

According to a report released by the Department of Environmental Protection, a study found no emission levels that would pose a public health concern near gas drilling operations in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties.

Washington, D.C.based activist group "Energy In Depth" is starting a Northeast Marcellus Initiative, a "grassroots education and outreach program also intended to mobilize supporters of responsible natural gas development in Northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York." according to Citizens Voice.

Business and Operations
BP and Conoco canceled a plan gas pipeline in Alaska due to oversupply from gas shale deposits.

Enerplus will sell 91,000 acres of Marcellus holdings for $575 million.  But the company intends to remain in a  "concentrated, meaningful position" in the Marcellus, as it still holds 110,000 acres containing an estimated 2.3 trillion cubic feet of gas. (No indication whether that estimate is of recoverable reserves or not).

Exploration companies have begun drilling the Utica Formation, which underlies the Marcellus in westerm Pa. and is considered another possible source of shale gas.

Japanese owned Mitsui E&P USA is looking to expand into gas shale operations, including in the Marcellus Play.

Politics and Impact
State Sen. Tim Solobay had a Senate Policy Committee take testimony from the drilling industry, labor, environmental activists and others to assess the impact of Marcellus operations in the state.

The gas boom has created a demand for cell phone and internet service in the boonies.

The promise of wealth from natural gas production and the specter of contaminated water supplies from fracking waste is dividing Pennsylvania communities, and creating gas-related 'haves and 'have-nots' according to Reuters reports.

The Marcellus gas supply is making Pennsylvania attractive to three large multinational chemical companies according to Secretary of Community and Economic Development Alan Walker.
Exploitation of the Marcellus has transformed Wiliamsport into a boomtown.

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