El Paso Corp. and Spectra Energy Corp. said their Marcellus Ethane Pipeline System (MEPS) (see Shale Daily, Oct. 26, 2010) is holding a 30-day binding open season for shippers that desire ethane transportation service from West Virginia and Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale supply areas to destination interconnect points with third-party ethane pipelines or storage facilities in the Gulf Coast area. The MEPS project is being designed to transport up to 90,000 b/d and has an anticipated in-service date of 4Q 2014. The open season will close at 5 p.m. EDT on July 27. For more information visit www.elpaso.com/midstream.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found contaminated water in three of seven private water wells it tested in the Marcellus Shale in Bradford County, PA, in the immediate vicinity of a Chesapeake Energy Corp. well that experienced a blowout earlier this year (see Shale Daily, April 25), EPA said. The water samples were taken April 27 and April 28. "EPA does not have enough data to determine the source of contamination" and will test further samples again next month, the agency said. Detailed results of the first round of tests are being shared only with the homeowners, EPA said. In the wake of the well blowout, Chesapeake voluntarily suspended completion operations in the state for more than three weeks while it investigated the cause of the incident (see Shale Daily, May 16). The company concluded that a valve flange connection to the wellhead failed during completion operations, which caused fluid to discharge at high pressure. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued a notice of violation to Chesapeake after concluding its investigation into the incident (see Shale Daily, April 26).

Samson Oil & Gas Ltd. has agreed to acquire up to 90,000 net acres of oil and gas leasehold from Fort Peck Energy for an undisclosed price. The acreage is located in Roosevelt County, MT, on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in the Williston Basin. Samson, which is based in Tulsa, will acquire the acreage in three blocks, the first of which carries a two-well obligation. A target spud date of Sept. 1 has been set for the first well. The company will also hold at least a 66.66% working interest in the acquired acreage.

Calgary-based Aqua-Pure Ventures said its subsidiary, Fountain Quail Water Management LLC, will expand its operations into the Eagle Ford through a subcontracting agreement with NAC Services LLC, an affiliate of Noise Attenuation Construction Services. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Fountain Quail will send two of its Nomad units to NAC's new water purification facility in Kenedy, TX, to recycle well wastewater. The facility will recycle 5,000 b/d of flowback and produced water.