Monday, May 7, 2012

Penn. Marcellus News Update, 5/7/12

Group concerned about development of gas well
Calling itself Altoona Watershed Protection, led by Coupon residents Wayne Nelms and John Stell, the group is seeking help from Gallitzin Township supervisors as it attempts to stay abreast of the well development and is asking the public to throw support behind legislation aimed at improving environmental control.

More than a dozen township residents concerned about the well attended Thursday’s supervisors meeting only to be told that with Act 13 there is little if anything local officials can do to prevent or regulate any Marcellus or other unconventional well drilling.
State’s contaminated acid minewater is proposed to help with unlocking natural gas
Pennsylvania has a vast supply of contaminated water flowing daily from its abandoned mine works; 300 million gallons a day by the state’s estimate.
The natural gas industry needs vast quantities of water to unlock gas from the Marcellus Shale; between 2 million and 10 million gallons to stimulate a well a single time.
Using the state’s latest natural resource boom to clean up the legacy of the last one seems like a natural pairing, and it’s one state and environmental regulators as well as the natural gas drilling industry are taking seriously.
Inergy Midstream (NRGM), UGI Corp. (UGI), WGL Holdings (WGL) Conduct Open Season for Commonwealth Pipeline
Inergy Midstream, L.P. (NYSE: NRGM), UGI Energy Services, Inc. a subsidiary of UGI Corporation (NYSE: UGI), and Capitol Energy Ventures Corp., a subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: WGL), are conducting a non-binding Open Season for shippers desiring to transport natural gas volumes on the proposed Commonwealth Pipeline.

The proposed pipeline will transport up to 1.2 Bcf of natural gas per day to city gates and interstate pipeline systems at points between the southern terminus of Inergy Midstream’s MARC I line (at the interconnect with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC’s Leidy Line near Station # 517 in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania) and the Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP pipeline in Charles County, Maryland. The primary purpose of the Commonwealth Pipeline is to provide a direct and flexible path for bringing natural gas produced in the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays in Pennsylvania and neighboring states to growing natural gas markets in central and eastern Pennsylvania; the metropolitan areas of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.; and the Delmarva Peninsula.
Philadelphia firm Saul Ewing opens in Pittsburgh, drawn by natural gas work
Philadelphia-based Saul Ewing has opened an office in Pittsburgh, a market that has been sought out by out-of-town firms clamoring not just for Marcellus Shale work, but everything the shale play brings with it...

"We view the Pittsburgh market as, economically, one that's been really picking up," managing partner David S. Antzis said last week.
A lot of that growth has to do with the energy industry and particularly the Marcellus Shale region rich in natural gas, Mr. Antzis said. That is a practice the firm has been building over the years, and "having a 412 area code" is something the firm's clients have said would generate more work in that practice for Saul Ewing, he said.
2 new reports back fears of fracking contamination
Two recently released reports appear to add weight to fears that the natural-gas extraction process of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” can contaminate aquifers and other sources of fresh water for homes and towns.
One regional oil and gas industry official, however, scoffed at the findings.
“There is a big difference between those who practice science and those who purchase science,” said David Ludlam, executive director of the Western Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association in Grand Junction.
Both reports were prepared by independent hydrologist Tom Myers, Ph.D., of Reno, Nev., whose clients include government agencies and environmental groups.
EPA Issues New Guidelines on Fracking with Diesel Fuel
The EPA has pro­posed new guide­lines for states on issu­ing per­mits to drillers who use diesel fuel as a com­po­nent in frack­ing oil and nat­ural gas wells. The EPA is for­bid­den from reg­u­lat­ing frack­ing under the Safe Drink­ing Water Act, unless it involves the use of diesel fuel.
“The draft guid­ance out­lines for EPA per­mit writ­ers, where EPA is the per­mit­ting author­ity, require­ments for diesel fuels used for hydraulic frac­tur­ing wells, tech­ni­cal rec­om­men­da­tions for per­mit­ting those wells, and a descrip­tion of diesel fuels for EPA under­ground injec­tion con­trol per­mit­ting. The draft guid­ance describes diesel fuels for these pur­poses by ref­er­ence to six chem­i­cal abstract ser­vices reg­istry num­bers. The agency is request­ing input on this description.”
 Record Gas Use by U.S. Utilities Fails to Drive Up Price: Energy
U.S. utilities led by Southern Co. (SO) are burning a record amount of natural gas for generating electricity without triggering a forecasted boost to the fuel’s price from near 10-year lows.
The power companies used 34 percent more gas in February than a year earlier, Energy Department data show. Even Atlanta- based Southern, historically one of the largest U.S. coal-plant operators, is on pace to consume more of the cleaner-burning fuel than coal in 2012 for the first time in its 100-year history. Utilities are the nation’s biggest gas consumers.

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