Natural gas

April 23, 2013

New Marcellus Shale Treatment Plant Opens in PA

Read here about a new plant that has opened in Pennsylvania that will treat and recycle wastewater from the Marcellus Shale.


April 17, 2013

N.C. group discusses environmental issues related to fracking

Source: The Fayetteville Observer (NC), April 13, 2013
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The state Mining and Energy Commission will look at how the state’s open record laws apply to chemical mixtures that oil and gas companies consider trade secrets, the head of the commission said Friday.

Lee County Commissioner Jim Womack serves as chairman of the commission, which is writing rules for oil and natural gas exploration in North Carolina. Its work has focused on fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of horizontal drilling that uses chemicals, sand and water to fracture rock formations and release natural gas.

Scientists think that prehistoric rock formations beneath Lee and nearby counties may contain large deposits of natural gas.

Fracking opponents are concerned about potential harm to people and the environment. Supporters think it can be done safely and will bring economic help to the region.

Environmental concerns were discussed Friday at the commission’s Local Government Regulation Study Group. The group agreed to look at existing state environmental laws before deciding how they should be revised for gas exploration.

The commission now has six committees and three study groups looking at various issues related to oil and natural gas exploration. The commission is expected to finish its work by October 2014.…

April 9, 2013

Drilling to resume at PA site

Read here about a site in Pennsylvania where gas drilling can resume after fracking fluid was spilled.…

March 21, 2013

PA Drillers Encouraged to Use Coal Mine Water for Fracking

Read here about drillers in Pennsylvania being encouraged to use coal mine water for fracking.…

March 1, 2013

Can Illinois Legislation Establish Fracking Regulations?

Source:, February 24, 2013
By: Jim Pierobon

Illiimage002nois is on track to go where no push for hydraulic fracturing has gone before in the U.S.: a consensus on how to regulate the controversial practice of injecting chemicals and large amounts of water deep underground to flush out large quantities of natural gas and crude oil.

As states such as New York and Maryland struggle over similar rules before giving industry permission to start drilling, an impressive array of industry representatives, environmentalists, regulators and lawmakers have worked up until this week behind closed doors with Attorney General Lisa Madigan to forge the “Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act” in the Illinois General Assembly.

Apologies for the low-resolution image but it at least outlines the Illinois and New Albany basins coveted by industry for shale natural gas and oil. CREDIT: Cropped from

According to numerous accounts from the parties involved HB 2615, as drafted,would require oil and gas companies to test water before, during and after drilling. It would hold them liable if contamination was found after drilling began. It also would require companies to disclose the chemicals used in the process and control air pollution.…

February 7, 2013

Fracking With Bad Water

Source: Forbes, February 4, 2013
By: James Conca

Acid mine drainage causes severe environmental...

Typical acid mine drainage or mine influenced water causing severe environmental problems by releasing acid, iron and sulfate in large amounts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, you have a dwindling supply of fresh water for drinking and for wildlife, you have large amounts of contaminated water from old mining operations that we don’t know what to do with and are really expensive to clean-up, and you have the need for large amounts of water for the dramatic increase in fracking operations that don’t need to use fresh or potable water but are presently using both fresh and potable water from these very dwindling supplies.

This looks to be an opportunity too good to pass up. Let’s use the mine water for fracking and stop using the precious fresh water. Sounds easy. And the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) is trying to do just that.

Based on a recommendation by Governor Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, the PADEP published a white paper in January detailing how the agency intends to review proposals from Oil & Gas drillers on using Mine Influenced Water (MIW) for drilling operations (PADEP white paper).

It remains to be seen if the policy is supported by environmental organizations and the Oil & Gas industry, but it should succeed as long as we can sort out the liability issues.…

February 6, 2013

Farmers in Ohio divided on 'fracking'

Source: Columbus Dispatch, February 2, 2013
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The growing amount of hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking,” being performed in Ohio as part of a booming oil and gas industry is causing a split in opinion among the state’s farmers.Some see the movement as an economic opportunity, while others see the practice as a threat to their livelihoods.

High-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing is being heralded as an economic engine in Ohio because it can exploit deeply buried reserves of natural gas and other petroleum products.

Fracking could generate 65,680 jobs and $4.9 billion of investment in Ohio by 2014, according to a 2012 report by researchers at three Ohio universities and sponsored by the Ohio Shale Coalition, a pro-fracking group aimed at maximizing the economic impact of shale-gas production in the state.

Some farmers foresee financial windfalls from leases with oil and gas companies, which according to the economic impact report averaged $2,500 an acre, as well as royalties — continuing income of 15 percent of the value of gas extracted on their properties.

But other farmers see fracking as a threat to their way of life because it injects millions of gallons of water, toxic chemicals and sand deep underground to break apart shale formations and release the gas. These chemicals could put their land off limits for organic farming, which has strict certification standards.

Although the state’s two general farming associations, the Ohio Farm Bureau and the Ohio Farmers Union, are concerned that fracking could contaminate farming soil and water, neither has a current position on the growing natural gas drilling practice in the state.…

December 27, 2012

Impact of fracking on air pollution still debated

Source: Vindicator, Youngstown, OH, December 26, 2012
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The amount of air pollution associated with hydraulic fracturing continues to be a point of contention among environmentalists, industry leaders and scientists.

Scientists have been divided about the potential air-quality benefits of natural gas compared with coal when fugitive emissions — gas that escapes from drilling operations — are included. Industry officials state that natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel available, while environmentalists have focused on methane being a greenhouse gas that, if unburned, has a greater impact on global warming than carbon dioxide.

A recent study published by professors Francis O’Sullivan and Sergey Paltsev from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology indicated that fugitive emissions of methane from fracking are about 0.5 percent in most shale plays. The highest ratio was 0.8 percent to 1 percent in the Haynesville Shale, because of its “over-pressurized reservoir.”

“Our main estimate of actual fugitive emissions is based on a ‘current field practice’ gas handling scenario, where 70 percent of potential fugitives are captured, 15 percent vented, and 15 percent flared. This we believe is a reasonable representation of current gas- handling practices in the major shale plays,” according to the study.…

December 20, 2012

Fracking Regs Released by CA

Read here about the draft fracking regulations that have been released by California.


December 5, 2012

MD may require drillers to have pollution insurance

Read here about a state panel in Maryland that may require drillers to have pollution insurance.