CPUC Moves to Quell Internal Attorneys’ Dispute on Pipe Cases

Under pressure from San Bruno city officials asking for a state probe of its actions and growing internal tensions, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Wednesday reshuffled two key legal positions in the three consolidated penalty cases against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) for the 2010 natural gas transmission pipeline rupture and explosion in San Bruno.

June 28, 2013

Northeast NatGas Generators Banking on ‘Price Appreciation’

Utility developers working on combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) projects in the Marcellus and Utica shales are looking for a “power price appreciation” that will come from the excess natural gas, according analysts with Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Inc. (TPH).

May 28, 2013

U.S. NatGas Prices Facing Pressure ‘For Many Years’

The downward price pressure on U.S. natural gas “should be sustained for many years,” according to the global energy research chief for Credit Suisse.

May 27, 2013

U.S. NatGas Prices Facing Pressure ‘For Many Years’

The downward price pressure on U.S. natural gas “should be sustained for many years,” said the global energy research chief for Credit Suisse.

May 24, 2013

Revised Frack Rule Said to Weaken Public Land Requirements

Citing “intense pressure” from industry and its allies in Congress, a New Jersey congressman said Wednesday that the Interior Department appears to be making its proposed rules governing hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of oil and gas wells on public lands weaker, not stronger.

May 9, 2013

Industry Briefs

Range Resources Corp. won permission from a Texas appeals court to proceed with a defamation lawsuit seeking $3 million in damages from a man who accused the company of tainting his drinking water with drilling activities in the Barnett Shale (see Shale Daily, April 4). Two of the company’s claims against Steven Lipsky were allowed to stand by the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth. However, it ordered the trial court in Weatherford, TX, to dismiss Range’s claims against Lipsky’s wife, Shyla, and environmental consultant Alisa Rich, who was hired to assist in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs have claimed that Range tainted the Lipsky water well, but the Railroad Commission of Texas found otherwise after it investigated. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also had blamed Range for contaminating the well, the agency later backed down (see Shale Daily, Feb. 13; Feb. 21, 2012).

April 29, 2013

Industry Brief

Dover, OH-based Dennison Disposal LLC has applied for a permit to drill a Class II wastewater injection well in Union Township in Tuscarawas County, OH, to support oil and natural gas drilling in the Utica Shale. The well would be drilled to a depth of 7,900-9,000 feet, according to the permit application with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) The well, classified as a saltwater injection well, would have an average disposal capacity of 5,000 barrels a day of wastewater, and a maximum disposal capacity of 8,000 barrels a day. An ODNR spokesman said a public comment period on the proposed well is to end April 24. Last July, Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order temporarily giving the ODNR power to regulate injection wells (see Shale Daily, July 13, 2012). Specifically, the chief of the Division of Oil Gas Resources Management, currently Rick Simmers, has the authority to enact rules for injection wells, including requiring additional testing before drilling and possibly setting a maximum allowable injection pressure. The ODNR currently has an inventory of 151,000 Class II injection wells, including saltwater injection, enhanced oil recovery and annular disposal wells.

April 18, 2013

Interior Finalizes Western Oil Shale Proposal

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on Friday announced the department’s final plan for encouraging research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of oil shale and tar sands resources on more than 800,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in three western states.

March 25, 2013

PDC Signs MarkWest Deal, Nearly Doubles Capex in Utica

PDC Energy Inc. has signed a midstream services agreement with MarkWest Utica EMG LLC and plans to nearly double its capital expenditures (capex) in the Utica Shale for 2013 while also increasing its estimated net production.

March 20, 2013


Regina Hopper, president and CEO of America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), one of the top lobbying groups for natural gas in Washington, DC, has resigned effective Feb. 28 under pressure from the board. “The ANGA board was extremely disappointed with her performance,” and several senior staff members have recently left, a knowledgeable source told NGI. Hopper has been at the helm of ANGA, which represents leading producers, since 2009 (see NGI, March 2, 2009). ANGA Chairman and Apache Corp. CEO G. Steven Farris commended Hopper’s performance and said she had “led ANGA’s growth from its infancy into its becoming an important voice in the discussion around fuel diversity and economic growth for our nation. We are grateful for her service, for the strong organization she leaves behind, and we wish her much success in her future endeavors.” ANGA now is searching for a successor. “I was hired to build an effective and powerful advocacy organization with strong fiscal management,” Hopper said. “By all accounts we have achieved these important objectives.”

February 11, 2013