I had started a thread many moons ago about tracking various issues related to the new Marcellus Shale development that a lot of folks in Philadelphia seem quite unaware of. Don't know what happened to that thread but I figured I should start a new one and have it as a news resource for various things, not just in PA or Marcellus Shale related but overall shale oil/gas development and allied industries.
So to start off, here are a few newsworthy items:
Study suggests shale-gas development causing rapid landscape change | Farm and Dairy - The Auction Guide and Rural Marketplace
The concentration of existing core forest in the northern part of the state — and the focus of drilling in this area, largely on private land — led the researchers to conclude that remaining areas of public land are key refuges for the protection of wildlife, ecosystems and associated ecosystem services.
“These areas should receive further protection,” Drohan said. “An organized effort across government and private entities may be a way to manage development.”
Role of methane in new oil and gas air pollution rule questioned - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV
(this is going to get really interesting...; and I think this article was very well written and captures the main points in a simple language)The new federal rules limiting air pollution from oil and gas operations are aimed at smog precursors and air toxics — but it's the role of methane in the rules that bothers industry and environmentalists alike.
And as the effective date for the rules approaches, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency faces possible challenge from both sides.
Commission seeks extension on Md. drilling study - BusinessWeek
It's interesting to note that while PA has dove headlong into fracking while not even collecting appropriate severance taxes, two neighboring states are watching the issues unfold here and make more cautious and aware decisions. NY has a huge swath of Marcellus Shale deposits it can tap, and MD has a small sliver, but both are taking measured approaches to development.Members of a commission scrutinizing natural gas extraction in western Maryland are asking the governor for more time to complete a study on the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
The Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission is asking for more time to complete a best practices study that would examine technical issues of drilling, environmental impacts and infrastructure needs.
No EPA action after 16 more Dimock well tests - Philly.com
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it would not take any action in response to tests of 16 more drinking-water wells in the embattled natural gas-drilling town of Dimock, Pa., and one resident whose well showed elevated levels of carcinogenic arsenic declined the agency’s offer for alternative water.
The test results largely reinforced findings the EPA released recently on its tests of 31 other residential water wells in the Susquehanna County township, where opponents and supporters of Marcellus Shale natural gas development have clashed. The EPA intervened in Dimock in January after some residents expressed doubt about a state finding of improved water quality in the town.
With North Carolina
North Carolina is not traditionally thought of as an oil and gas state. However, recent geological research regarding shale gas deposits and the potential authorization of shale gas extraction technologies in North Carolina could change that. Legislation enacted last year set in motion a process that could result in the legalization of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing – game-changing technologies that have turned shale deposits in other parts of the country into top resource plays. The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (“DENR”) has preliminarily concluded that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling could properly be authorized if an adequate regulatory program is established and implemented. As a result of DENR’s comprehensive study, enabling legislation is expected to go forward in the 2012 legislative session that begins in May.
(if i had extra money burning my pockets, i'd buy up a few hundred acres in rural North Carolina inclusive of mineral and oil/gas rights before the oil and gas company landmen start showing up... )