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Majority of Marcellus Well Operators Fail to Meet Production Reporting Deadline

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/newsroom/14287?id=13825&typeid=1

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection

Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

08/27/2010

CONTACT:
Helen Humphreys, Department of Environmental Protection
717-787-1323
Majority of Marcellus Well Operators Fail to Meet Production Reporting Deadline

DEP Sending Violators Notices Additional Enforcement Actions May Follow

HARRISBURG — More than half of the natural gas drillers operating in the Marcellus Shale missed the deadline to report the production levels of their wells in violation of state law, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

DEP Secretary John Hanger said today that 41 of the 74 oil and gas companies operating in the Marcellus Shale, or 55 percent, failed to submit reports on the past 12 months of production by the Aug. 15 deadline.

“When the General Assembly approved this law and the Governor signed it, they did so because they believed this requirement provided much-needed transparency into the industry’s operations,” said Hanger. “The fact that so many companies failed to meet the deadline for providing this information is troubling. We plan to follow-up with each non-compliant firm and pursue whatever enforcement action is necessary to get them to follow the law.”

The public can track a Marcellus operator’s compliance with Act 15 production reporting requirements online at http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/oilgas/OGRE_production/Marcellus_Report_Submissions_8-26-10.xls. The site includes a complete list of operators that did not submit production reports by Aug. 15. The list will be updated on a weekly basis as production report submissions are made. The list of the Marcellus operators that submitted production reports on time is also provided.

The new law, Act 15 of 2010, required gas companies drilling into the Marcellus formation to report production totals from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 by Aug. 15. Subsequent to this deadline, companies will be required to report production every six months, making the next report due Feb. 15.

Prior to Act 15, DEP was required by law to keep production reporting data confidential for five years.

For more information or to view the production reports of companies that met the deadline, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us.

Media contact: Helen Humphreys, 717-787-1323
Editor’s Note: A list of companies that failed to meet the Aug. 15, reporting deadline follows. Those with asterisks submitted after the deadline:

Alpha Shale Res LP
Alta Operation Co. LLP
American Oil & Gas LLC
Atlas Resources LLC
Anschutz Exploration Corp.
*Blx Inc.
Burnett Oil Co. Inc.
*Carrizo (Marcellus) LLC
*Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc.
Consol Pa Coal Co.
*D. E. LTD Family Partnership
Dominion Exploration and Production Inc.
East Resources Inc.
East Resources Management
*Encana Oil & Gas USA Inc.
Enervest Operating LLC
Flatirons Development LLC
Hess Corp.
Interstate Gas Marketing Inc.
Jr Resources LP
M & M Royalty LTD
*MDS Energy LTD
Mieka LLC
Mountain V Oil & Gas Inc.
Newfield Appalachia Pa LLC
Novus Operating LLC
Penn Virginia Oil & Gas Corp.
Petro Dev Corp.
Rex Energy Operating Corp.
Rice Drilling B LLC
*Seneca Resources Corp.
Schrader Kevin E
Snee & Eberly & People Natural Gas
SM Energy Co.
Special JHR Corp.
*Talisman Energy USA Inc.
Tanglewood Exploration LLC
Triana Energy LLC
Turm Oil Inc.
*Ultra Resources Inc.
US Energy Exploration Corp.
A list of companies that submitted the production report on-time follows:

AB Resources Pa. LLC
Anadarko E&P Co. LP
Antero Resources Appalachian Corp.
Baker Gas Inc.
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.
Chesapeake Appalachia LLC
Chief Oil & Gas LLC
Citrus Energy Corp.
CNX Gas Co. LLC
Consol Gas Co.
DL Resources Inc.
Energy Corp. of  Amer.
EOG Resources Inc.
EQT Production Co.
Exco. Resources Pa. Inc.
Great Oak Energy Inc.
Guardian Exploration Inc.
J W Operating Co.
Longfellow Energy LP
Marathon Oil Co.
Pa. Gen Energy Co. LLC
Phillips Exploration Inc.
Range Resources Appalachia LLC
Samson Res. Co.
Snyder Bros. Inc.
Southwestern Energy Prod. Co.
Stone Energy Corp.
Texas Keystone Inc.
Vista Opr. Inc.
William McIntire Coal Oil & Gas
William S. Burkland
Williams Production Appalachia  LLC
XTO Energy Inc.

Eminent Domain Issues…

Check this link for a map that corresponds to the pipeline information below.

Central New York Oil And Gas Company Proposed MARC I Hub Line Project (tentative)

Central New York Oil & Gas (CNYOG) company has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build and operate  a 39-mile long, 30-inch diameter natural gas pipeline that would run through parts of Bradford and Lycoming Counties in PA. There are compressor stations involved, also. This pipeline will probably involve eminent domain issues.

To read  information about this proposed project on the FERC website, click here:
Scroll your way to page 18 of the 22 pages on the site. Below is a copy of the section on that page pertaining to the project (MARC I Project).

Marcellus Shale Drillers in Pennsylvania Amass 1435 Violations in 2.5 Years

952 Identified as Most Likely to Harm the Environment

The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association has reviewed environmental violations accrued by Marcellus Shale drillers working in Pennsylvania between January 2008 and June 25, 2010.  The records were obtained via a Right to Know Request made to the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). 

DEP records show a total of 1435 violations of state Oil and Gas Laws due to gas drilling or other earth disturbance activities related to natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale in this 2.5-year period.  The Association identified 952 violations as having or likely to have an impact on the environment.  483 were identified as likely being an administrative or safety violation and not likely to have the potential to negatively impact the environment.

The report breaks the violations down by type. For example, of the 952 violations:

  • 268 involve improper construction of waste water impoundments
  • 10 involve improper well casing
  • 154 involve discharge of industrial waste
  • 16 involve improper blowout prevention

The report lists the 25 companies with the most violations as well as the 25 companies with the highest average number of violations per well driller.

View the entire report at conserveland.org/violationsrpt.

Up In the Air

I made an announcement shortly after Memorial Day weekend, that I would be putting my home in DISH on the market.  This decision was made by my family after several instances of both of my children having nosebleeds during the night.  These nosebleeds correlated with strong odors and spikes in the chemicals being emitted by the natural gas compression station a quarter mile from our home.  We are still planning on putting our home on the market by the end of August.  This is a tough decision, but to ensure the safety of my family, it is something that I will do.
A year ago, you essentially could not be outside for more than a couple of hours without being forced into your home by the noxious odors.  In the few months prior to Memorial Day the odor events were limited to the late evening/early morning timeframe and happened a few nights a week for a couple of hours.  After the Memorial Day incident, the TCEQ brought a canister for me to keep at my home for instances of the strong odor, I still have this canister.  There have been periodic odor events over the past couple of months; however, they now only last for a brief time.  By the time I get the canister ready to take the sample, the odor is gone.  Unfortunately, my air conditioning system sucks the odor in the house, and the odor sometimes lingers longer inside than outside.  So over the past year, the situation has improved tremendously.  Is it enough? I am not sure.
This announcement got a great deal more attention than I had anticipated.  I had to make sure that those who know me and support me, knew why I was making this decision.  I did not want everyone to find out when the for sale sign went up.  There have been a flurry of media stories that have been taken by some to suggest that I will be resigning as mayor and moving from DISH immediately.  Another report actually had me being forced out, which was wishful thinking for some.  I have a great group of citizens here in DISH that have been extremely supportive of me and know that I will support and defend them to the end, and it will be difficult should I end up leaving.  I will be better about keeping everyone in the loop so there are no misunderstandings of my intentions.
When me and my wife made the decision to put our home on the market, we had seen both of our children having several massive nosebleed during the night.  These nosebleeds coincided with the strong odor that filled our community.  At this point we contemplated moving immediately and figuring things out after that.  Since that time neither of my children have nosebleeds at that level and only a few minor nosebleeds and none at night.  So we are not the motivated sellers we once were.  However, do to the continuing problems and little faith in our regulatory agencies, we will be putting the house on the market.  Like most anyone reading this, we can not put it on the market tomorrow.  For the past 3 years I have worked around 80 hours a week and therefore the home has been neglected.  So there are several projects that were half completed, and need to be finished before we can market it.  I am not anticipating a big market for the home, but if by some miracle it should sell, I would then have to resign as mayor, but not a minute before.  I will likely not leave it on the market indefinitely either, it will sell, or it will not.
Every time that I have given either the operators or the regulatory agencies a pat on the back, something bad immediately happens.  So it may be foolish, but I have some level of optimism currently about this facility.  Several things have been accomplished to make this a better facility, and I am certain that no other facility has as many controls in place as this one does.  But with the massive size of the facility, I am not sure if it can be…good, just better than the others.  I am sure there is more than one photo of me on a break room dartboard, and I am also sure these companies have unwillingly spent a great deal of money, but the conditions have improved greatly for the citizens of this community.
Some were also led to believe that I would simply disappear from DISH, and from this matter all together, which again is wishful thinking.  Whether I live in DISH breathing chemicals, or somewhere out of this area, I will always be involved in this subject in some capacity.  In the next couple of month, I will be making an announcement about part of what will be in my future.  For the past five years this has taken up a great deal of my time, and we have somewhat been the poster child of what can happen to a community.  Therefore, it is impossible for me to simply walk away.  As always I thank those who have supported me through this decision.
As always, please pass this on or post on your blogs or websites.
Calvin Tillman
Mayor, DISH, TX
(940) 453-3640

“Those who say it can not be done, should get out of the way of those that are doing it”

DEP’s Unauthorized Water Withdrawal Program

July 26, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Cathy Pedler – (814) 454-7523
Bill Belitskus – (814) 778-5173
Ryan Talbott – (503) 887-7845

Department of Environmental Protection Unlawfully Permitting Water
Withdrawals For Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling in Western Pennsylvania
Only riparian owners can make use of water in streams and rivers

Natural gas companies have descended on Pennsylvania’s forests and
farmlands to drill into the Marcellus Shale.  Each Marcellus Shale gas
well requires millions of gallons of water for the drilling process.
That water is taken from Pennsylvania’s streams and rivers under the
alleged authority of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP).  The DEP, however, does not have the authority to
permit water withdrawals in Pennsylvania.

In central and eastern Pennsylvania, water withdrawals are managed by
the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and Delaware River Basin
Commission.
Congress created the two commissions as federal-interstate compacts
with
the authority to permit water withdrawals within their respective
basins.
The rest of Pennsylvania, most of which is in the Ohio River basin, is
governed by riparian rights common law, which allows only the owner of
property along a watercourse to withdraw water for use on their land.
There is no state law regulating water withdrawals other than for
municipal drinking water supplies.

In a letter sent to DEP Secretary John Hanger, the Allegheny Defense
Project (ADP) outlined the current state of Pennsylvania law regarding
water withdrawals and charged the DEP with operating an unauthorized
water withdrawal program that allows natural gas companies to take
water
that they have no legal right to for their Marcellus Shale gas
drilling
operations.

“The fact is, the DEP has absolutely no authority to permit water
withdrawals in Pennsylvania,” said Cathy Pedler, ADP’s forest watch
coordinator.  “Outside of the Delaware and Susquehanna River
watersheds,
water withdrawals are governed by riparian rights common law, which
means only those who live adjacent to the water can make reasonable
use
of the water on their land.  A gas company cannot take water that
flows
through property it does not own.”

Nevertheless, documents obtained by ADP reveal that the DEP is
unlawfully authorizing water withdrawals from western Pennsylvania
streams and rivers.  On March 31, 2010 the DEP approved a Water
Management Plan for Hanley & Bird, Inc.  The Water Management Plan
allows Hanley & Bird to withdraw 1.44 million gallons of water a day
from the Redbank Creek in Jefferson County for five years.

Under the Water Resources Planning Act of 2002, the DEP is required to
develop Water Management Plans for the entire state.  That law,
however,
does not provide any authority to the DEP to authorize water
withdrawals.

“The Water Resources Planning Act is just that, a planning act,” said
Bill Belitskus, ADP’s board president.  “That law provided no
substantive authority to the DEP to regulate or permit water
withdrawals
from Pennsylvania’s surface waters.  Each time the DEP approves a
water
management plan and tells a natural gas company that it can withdraw
surface water for their drilling procedures, it is acting without
authority and encouraging illegal conduct.”

ADP’s letter to DEP Secretary John Hanger is attached to this email.
Visit ADP’s website to see the documents we obtained from recent file
reviews at the DEP’s Northwest Regional Office:
http://alleghenydefenseproject.wikispaces.com/Marcellus+Shale
<http://alleghenydefenseproject.wikispaces.com/Marcellus+Shale>


Ryan Talbott
Executive Director
Allegheny Defense Project
117 West Wood Lane
Kane, PA  16735
http://www.alleghenydefense.org <http://www.alleghenydefense.org/>
rtalb…@alleghenydefense.org <mailto:rtalb…@alleghenydefense.org>

DEP has proposed tougher standards for Oil & Gas drilling.

The Public Comment Meetings are finished and there are only about ten days to get in your comments by e-mail.

These regulations call for more stringent standards for O&G drilling operations.

These regulations are vital.  They upgrade requirements for testing, well casing, welding, cementing and other steps to prevent blowouts, migration of gas and release of fluids which could contaminate our waterways and aquifers.

The public comment period will end on 8/09/10.

If you missed the hearings, please submit your official written testimony via   RegComments@state.pa.us

or via USPS at

Environmental Quality Board

P.O. Box 8477 Harrisburg PA  17105-8477

·        Be sure to use subject heading “CH 78 Regulations”

and  include your full name and address.

Talking points – Choose the topics most important to you:

  • Safety – Marcellus depths and pressures are so far beyond what was “normal” in the 1980’s, we must upgrade the Oil & Gas regulations to ensure safety.
  • Prevent stray gas migration [ contaminating local waterwells]

·        Cementing – Use Texas standards

DEP’s definition for cement sets a 24-hour compressive strength standard of at least 500 psi; however, other states, such as Texas, have found that standard insufficient to prevent vertical migration of fluids or gas behind pipe. Texas requires an additional 72-hour compressive strength standard of at least 1,200 psi across critical zones of cement.

·        Cementing – Upgrade the details

Ensure better cementing by documenting the chemical composition of the mixture. Expand the “cement ticket” definition to include:

(a) a requirement for the operator to test the mixing water pH and temperature and note it on the cement ticket (this is standard industry practice and aids in determining cement quality);

(b) a record of the Waiting on Cement [WOC] time, which is the time required to achieve the calculated compressive strength standard before the casing is disturbed in any way.  Allow no shortcuts.

  • Protection of Water Supplies –

DEP must clarify  §78.51 to explain what constitutes an adequately restored or replacement water supply for homeowners.  There should be a set timeframe for acting upon a complaint filed by a landowner.

Revise §78.51(c) to read: Within 24 hours of the receipt of the investigation request, the Department will send a technical team to the field site to examine the situation and determine whether immediate action is needed to shut down operations.

·        Blowout Preventer –

Blowouts are very serious work safety, and environmental situations. Blowouts may result in human injury, fire, explosion, oil spills and gas venting.  Suggestion:  Require all wells to be drilled with a Blow-Out Preventer once the surface casing is installed and cemented.  No exceptions.

§78.72 (c)  requires BOP controls to be accessible during an emergency; this is logical.  However, the regulation should also require that the operator to place the BOP controls on the rig itself.  BOP controls need to be accessible both on the rig and at a location a safe distance away from the drilling rig.   Recent accidents show the need for this.

“Safe” = absence of risk.  While it is not possible to eliminate all the risks inherent in drilling, we have to ensure that the standards are as bullet-proof as we can make them.  There should be no “weasel clauses” that allow misinterpretation, no omissions, no compromises because of industry arm-twisting or whining that DEP is “unfriendly”.

Your statements are needed so the IRRC can see strong public support for the new DEP CH 78 regulations.

.   .     Remember, it is the Department of Environmental Protection.

=========================

DEP’s proposed regulations are at:

http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol40/40-28/1248.html

If you have questions regarding details from any of our mailings, please contact Coalition-Secretary@comcast.net immediately.