The recently formed Eagle Ford Task Force, which was created by Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter (see Shale Daily, July 29), outlined its agenda for the rest of the year at a meeting last week. The 24 task force members plan to focus on water usage and hydraulic fracturing; the impact of oil and gas production on community infrastructure; the need for public education about oil and gas production; and the promotion of economic development through the industry. At the meeting members discussed workforce issues affecting the region. Industry representatives estimated that approximately 120 jobs are connected to each drilling rig and currently there are about 200 rigs operating in the Eagle Ford. However, employers are often battling failed drug tests and background tests or the lack of commercial drivers licenses when trying to fill jobs in the burgeoning oil and natural gas play, they said.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a favorable environmental assessment of Texas Eastern Transmission‘s (Tetco) proposed expansion to deliver Marcellus Shale gas to markets in the Northeast. “Approval of the proposed project, with the implementation of appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” FERC staff said of Tetco’s “Appalachia to Market 2012 Expansion Project.” Tetco proposes to install and operate 17.3 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline and associated above-ground facilities in southwest Pennsylvania — Greene, Fayette, Franklin, Adams and Fulton counties [CP11-67]. It proposes to abandon 11.3 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline facilities in Franklin and Adams counties and increase the amount of compression at its Bedford Compressor Station in Bedford County, PA, by 20,720 hp. The project would have the capacity to deliver an additional 200 MMcf/d. Houston-based Spectra Energy, parent of Tetco, said it expects the project to be completed in November 2012. Spectra Energy reported that it, Range Resources and Chesapeake Utilities have executed agreements for up to 190 MMcf/d of the expansion capacity. In related action, FERC Friday approved Tetco’s request to place into service its Marietta extension and Lower Chanceford Meter Station in York County, PA, and new 27,000 hp electric compressor unit at its Heidlersburg Compressor Station in Adams County.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is seeking public input on aspects of its emergency rule regarding Marcellus Shale drilling. The agency filed the eight-page rule, also known as Title 35-8, recently with the office of Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (see Shale Daily, Aug. 24). The DEP will accept public comment on the well safety plan portion of Title 35-8, as well as the casing and cementing standards, until Sept. 30. Responses can be mailed to the Office of Oil and Gas, 601 57th St., S.E., Charleston, WV 25304 or emailed to