The potential for exports of U.S. natural gas is not as rosy as proponents once imagined, said two panelists at this week’s New Energy Finance 2015 conference.
Here’s Charlie Blanchard of Bloomberg New Energy Finance: “We don’t think that Pennsylvania gas makes it to Miami, much less Tokyo. There’s really only enough of it to supply the eastern U.S. There’s not so much of it that we can export it everywhere.”
Drones could soon be buzzing over oil and gas infrastructure in eastern Ohio as engineering firms eye the devices as a cost-saving way to better survey massive developments.
The use of drones – small, unmanned aerial vehicles that are increasingly finding business uses – is already happening in the Utica shale play, but it’s nascent. Uses range from flying over new and existing pipelines for maintenance to reviewing large projects that a potential buyer wants to ensure are in solid shape. Drones could be cheaper than manned airplanes and record better images from multiple angles.Continue reading Drones Could Be Used to Monitor Fracking Infrastructure→
Dominion CEO Tom Farrell says his company’s pipeline infrastructure makes up “the spine of the Marcellus/Utica shale.” On Monday he outlined how Dominion is working a slate of producer-push and market-pull infrastructure projects to meet the region’s continually growing demand for takeaway capacity.
“There’s a lot of infrastructure demand to get the gas out of the Marcellus and Utica region,” Farrell said during a meeting with financial analysts following the company. “We’re obviously not going to get all of this, but we’re going to get our share of it.”
For instance, the company is about midway through a package of producer-push projects, what it calls “producer outlet projects.” Dominion started with nine projects and completed the first five of them last year. These were small affairs costing a combined $100 million. The four remaining projects will cost about $400 million. “All will come online next year,” Farrell said. Continue reading Dominion ‘Going to Get Our Share’ of Marcellus Buildout→
Today the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation announced it is seeking public comments on the Draft State Permit Applications for proposed construction of the Interstate Constitution Pipeline. Public comments will be accepted through Jan. 30, 2015
The public is invited to comment on permit applications the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) received for the proposed, federally regulated Constitution Pipeline and an upgrade to the Iroquois Wright Compressor station in Schoharie County that is part of the project.
Last week Governor Andrew Cuomo banned fracking in New York, citing public health risks. Fracktivists rejoiced, relieved that their state won’t go the way of neighboring Pennsylvania. Pocked with fracking wells, the mountainous counties of northeast Pennsylvania have suffered from contaminated water supplies, earthquakes, spoiled countryside and thunderous truck traffic. As long as the fracking ban is in place, New Yorkers won’t be threatened by methane emissions and toxic fumes from fracking wells, wastewater pools or the risk of a well blowing up or leaking uncontrollably.
Unfortunately, just because New York banned fracking, and even though more than 150 New York municipalities have banned fracking using local zoning laws, the state won’t escape its effects. In fact, New York is already burdened with the fracking industry’s health and safety problems and threats to the environment because of gas infrastructure.
Photo by Peter Eliscu
Gas companies are building pipelines to service increasing demand in New York City. In spite of opposition from groups like OccupythePipeline concerned about radon exposure and the risk of explosion, Spectra Energy’s pipeline, which runs under Greenwich Village, went into service in November 2013.
An Overly Simplistic Explanation of Why New York Did Not Get Fracked
We can summarize why fracking was prohibited in New York with a simple construct – the cost/ benefit ratio – what the environmental risks and economic costs would be to the state and it citizens vs the benefits of shale gas industrialization. Initially, this ratio appeared to be tilted very much in favor of fracking – at least in the popular press and in the corridors of power – because the gas industry had grossly overstated the benefits of shale gas development while categorically denying the risks and collateral damage associated with fracking.
Note too that the political cost / benefit for the Governor was almost always in favor of fracking – given his purported political ambitions. Meaning it is entirely possible that he prohibited fracking to the possible detriment of his own ambitions. This is of course, exactly the kind of politician that deserves to be in office, the courageous ones.
Since at the outset of the debate, there were few peer-reviewed studies on the hazards, the benefit of the doubt on the risks went to the frackers. The media was dependent on the industry regarding the geology, so the industry exaggerated and said the shale would support tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in tax revenue annually. Continue reading A (very) Brief History of the New York Frack Ban Movement→
Governor O’Malley finally answered the question of if or when to allow fracking in Maryland with his release yesterday of final recommendations for regulating hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in Western Maryland. Maryland did apply the breaks and approach the question of whether or not to frack with caution through analysis by the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, unlike Pennsylvania and West Virginia that have rushed to frack. Unfortunately, the commission’s analysis, especially with regards to public health and risks assessment, is seriously flawed and ignores tens of thousands of Marylanders who oppose fracking.