Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Please take a moment to read this blog post from a concerned former area resident who knows a thing or two about rural lifestyle...some simple reasoning and math can make a big difference (and reveal a good bit of truth) when considering the industry's "numbers"...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

(we all knew this was coming!!!) 

The discovery gives hope to drillers for extending the life of Pa. mining efforts.
Wells could be sunk from existing sites...

By Andrew Maykuth
Inquirer Staff Writer

As big as the Marcellus Shale gas bonanza has become, it's not the only Pennsylvania geologic formation yielding new and unexpected quantities of natural gas. Two exploration companies have reported promising discoveries in rock formations layered around the Marcellus like a geologic parfait. Those finds raise the prospect of even more drilling in a state where the gas boom has generated ardent economic hopes as well as passionate environmental fears.

Range Resources Corp., a Texas company that pioneered Marcellus development in 2003, reported to analysts last month that it had completed horizontal test wells in shale formations above and below the mile-deep Marcellus. Range says the two formations contain significant commercial quantities of natural gas.

"The Marcellus has gotten a lot of great research and a lot of great results, and you might think it's the only shale play up here of any magnitude," William Zagorski, Range vice president of geology in Appalachia, said in an interview Friday.

But Zagorski said two new shale formations - the Utica Shale deeper below the surface and the shallower Upper Devonian Shale - were "in the same ballpark" as the Marcellus.

Though both lie under large stretches of the eastern United States - the Utica is being developed in Quebec - Range officials say the Utica Shale appears to be most promising in Western Pennsylvania, and the Upper Devonian Shale in southwestern Pennsylvania and parts of West Virginia. Drilling is going on in both areas, including some directed at the Marcellus.

Meanwhile, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., a Houston company, disclosed to analysts last year that it had drilled a successful horizontal well through the Purcell Limestone in its Marcellus acreage in Susquehanna County north of Scranton.

The Purcell Limestone is an intermediate stratum sandwiched between two layers of the Marcellus Shale. Before drilling the Purcell well, Cabot's activity was exclusively confined to the richer, lower Marcellus.

The new well, which produced an impressive 7.3 million cubic feet of gas per day over 30 days, allowed Cabot to access the upper Marcellus Shale without impairing production from its deeper wells, Dan O. Dinges, Cabot's chief executive officer, told analysts in a February conference call.

With the new results, Cabot and other operators in Pennsylvania's northern tier might multiply production from their existing acreage by running pairs of horizontal wells at different depths.

Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PA Faces of Frackland

New blog reporting on personal stories from the Marcellus Gas "play"...Check it out:

Some dates that are worth marking on your calendar:

APRIL 30: Calvin Tillman, Mayor of DISH, TX returns to the Marcellus Shale region and will be in Williamsport on April 30, 2010 at 7:30 - the Genetti Ballroom.  "What Gas Exploration has meant to his (Tillman's) town and why that is important to us"

MAY 11: GASLAND Showing.  Josh Fox will be in Williamsport to present his award winning documentary film at 7:30 at the Community Arts Center.

MAY 19: Split Estate will be shown in Gaines Township at the Pine Creek Methodist Church on Wednesday,  from 7-9 PM.  After the film Jim Weaver, Tioga County Planner, will take questions.  Pine Creek Methodist Church is located on the north side of US route 6 between Gaines and Galeton, PA, just east of the Potter/Tioga county line.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It is with deep regret that we have decided to stop following the gas drilling saga 24-7.  This decision has been made due to a variety of reasons, most importantly due to health concerns.  The constant barrage of anger, anxiety and frustration that comes with following all of this has become increasingly aggravating and detrimental to certain health conditions from which we suffer.

Now, we would have to crawl under a rock to completely turn a blind eye to all of this - it is literally impossible with all of the truck traffic, flares in the night sky and sudden invasion of our recreation areas with drillers.  We cannot fully ignore this situation and we do not intend to.  We just can no longer submit ourselves to the daily grind of combing the web for news.  We'd rather be in the field watching this up close anyways, and the fresh air (when not downwind from a drill site) would do us some good.

We do plan to continue to post if something comes up that is extremely important, just expect posting with much less frequency.  In the meantime, we recommend following the blogs we've listed in the right sidebar - SplashdownPA is a good starting point.  Also, please pay attention to the situation in other areas of the country where gas drilling is not so "young" - TXSharon's "BLUEDAZE: Drilling Reform for Texas" is an excellent place to start.

Thanks to everyone who has offered advice, support, links, questions, etc... hopefully we'll see you in the field.

Get our there and FIGHT THE FRACK.

Around here, our mental and physical health and well-being come first - wouldn't it have been nice if our great state had felt that way about Marcellus shale?

There is a screening of Josh Fox's award winning documentary "Gasland" set in Williamsport, PA on May 11th.  At this time, we're unsure of the place or time.  We'll fill in this information as soon as it becomes available to us.

To learn more about Gasland, please visit the website for the film.

The film is also scheduled to premiere on HBO on June 21st.

(original article link here)


ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Pennsylvania environmental regulators on Thursday banned an energy company from drilling in the state until it plugs three natural gas wells believed to have contaminated the drinking water supplies of 14 homes.

The Department of Environmental Protection said Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. has failed to abide by the terms of a November 2009 agreement to clean up the contamination in Dimock Township in northeastern Pennsylvania's Susquehanna County, where residents say their wells have been polluted by methane gas and other contaminants.

DEP said Cabot has already paid a $240,000 fine and must pay $30,000 per month beginning in May until the company meets its obligations.

"We're very upset with Cabot," state Environmental Secretary John Hanger told The Associated Press. "The conduct, whether it's willful or unintentional, is completely unacceptable."

Cabot spokesman Ken Komoroski denied the company has neglected its obligations in Dimock.

"Cabot did comply with everything it could comply with under the November consent order," he said.

The company denies it polluted residents' wells, saying the high levels of methane detected in them might be natural.

Because of the region's complicated geology, it might be years before experts can say with any certainty what is causing methane levels to spike, Komoroski said.

"It just isn't scientifically fair to say in any short period of time that Cabot's activities did or did not cause the methane in the groundwater," he said.

Residents have described an ordeal that began shortly after Cabot started drilling near their homes, saying the water that came out of their faucets suddenly became cloudy and discolored, and smelled and tasted foul. A resident's well exploded on New Year's Day 2009, prompting a state investigation that found Cabot had allowed combustible gas to escape into the region's groundwater supplies.

More than a dozen families have filed a federal lawsuit against Cabot, asking for an environmental cleanup, medical monitoring and damages in excess of $75,000 each.

Cabot is among a slew of exploration companies that are drilling in the Marcellus shale, a deep layer of rock that experts say holds vast stores of largely untapped natural gas. The company began approaching homeowners in Dimock in 2006 and has drilled dozens of wells within a 9-square-mile tract of land in the township.

Pennsylvania regulators have repeatedly penalized the company.

Last September, the DEP temporarily banned Cabot from using a drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," following three chemical spills at a single well site in Dimock.

Then, in November, the agency signed a consent decree with Cabot in which the company agreed to pay a $120,000 fine, take steps to improve its drilling operations, and restore or replace the affected water supplies in Dimock.

But the DEP said the company failed to meet a March 31 deadline to fix defective casings on three wells, and that gas continues to pollute groundwater. Regulators said they recently identified five additional defective gas wells drilled by the company and might require the company to plug them, too, unless it fixes them.

"Cabot had every opportunity to correct these violations, but failed to do so. Instead, it chose to ignore its responsibility to safeguard the citizens of this community and to protect the natural resources there," Hanger said in a statement.

Hanger said regulators will suspend their review of Cabot's pending drilling applications statewide until it complies fully with the agreement.

Cabot said it does not expect the DEP order to affect the number of wells it will ultimately drill in Pennsylvania in 2010, nor will it affect gas production.

Other articles about this:
Cabot Ordered to Stop Drilling Again
Cabot Oil & Gas Enters Modified Agreement with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

For even more coverage, visit Google News and search for "Cabot Oil & Gas".