The editor of the O&G industry magazine World Oil was fired for defending a petroleum geologist’s columns indicating shale gas yields are overstated (that wells aren’t actually producing as industry advertised… not even close).
Below are 3 links to articles regarding this incident. The 1st reports on the firing; the 2nd is the editor’s explanation for his firing (posted on the columnist’s blog); and the 3rd is the column, which (due to pressure from industry to suppress the publication of a shale gas play production chart) was pulled from the November issue of World Oil.
From Perry Fischer, former World Oil Editor:
Now, why might large publicly traded drilling companies wish to suppress analysis indicating actual shall gas yields aren’t even close to what the prospective investors and leasors think they are?
Petrohawk has only $526 million in current assets, and $5.88 billion in non-current (not liquid) assets. Shareholder equity is $3.28 billion (6.2 times current assets and equal to 51% of total assets). Petrohawk desperately needs its shareholders to believe its tall tales.
- David J Cyr
Activists for statewide ban on toxic waste producing gas drilling disrupt DEC dSGEIS hearing in NYC(New York City, 11/10) A burgeoning movement to counter proposals for a two-tiered standard of environmental protection from shale gas drilling in New York State erupted in the first New York City DEC hearing on the proposed State regulations. The filled-to-capacity hearing began – as usual – with elected officials testifying, with clear intent that they would leave before listening to the hours of testimony for a statewide ban by New York City residents. But as Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler introduced his divisive approach of protecting only a small portion of the State’s vast environment, a city representative of the movement for a statewide ban on the dangerous practice walked up onto the stage.Taking the stage, Alex Johnson, a life-long resident of New York City, declared to much applause, “We want a statewide ban. We don’t need hearings to regulate this. Gas drilling is dangerous and we need to ban it. We stand with thousands of New Yorkers –and most of you here tonight– in demanding a statewide ban on the use of the destructive fossil fuel extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing in New York’s Marcellus and other shales.”Alluding to the rally for a statewide ban and the simultaneous press conference by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to ban drilling in the “New York City watershed” Johnson emphasized, “We reject the divisive call for a ban for New York City’s water by slippery politicians and corporate environmental organizations. We call on elected officials to represent the clear opinions of experts and citizens that this process is too dangerous to allow anywhere in New York State.”Many New Yorkers in the audience applauded and continued to speak out. Wendy Malcom of the Safe Water Movement stood up in the audience calling for recognition that the DEC hearing was merely to facilitate drilling. “Don’t Frack New York State,” Ms. Malcom chanted. “Groups across the state including the Haudenosaunee Iroquois Confederation declared they would not participate in the drilling hearing because the DEC is using the hearings to promote gas drilling. Our communities and the planet are facing a climate catastrophe that requires Governor Paterson to ban gas drilling and promote a transition to 100% renewables within 10 years.”Fifty-one (51) organizations across New York State (many based in New York City) have declared their support of a statewide ban as expressed in the recently released petition.Johnson shouted as he was being escorted that “the DEC is mandated to facilitate even environmentally disastrous gas exploration and drilling in our State. Governor Paterson can ban this process. The electorate must reclaim control over the commons, to protect our water supplies from irreversible contamination, and to develop sustainable energy alternatives.”
The intervention by the twenty activists was met with much applause. Some were escorted from the hearing place.
For more information, go to www.un-naturalgas.org
For interviews, call: Laura Sheinkopf, 516.314.0011
To NYC statewide drilling ban activists -
from your fellow fighters upstate,
t h a n k y o u
The Associated Press reports:
Gas line explodes in Panhandle
Nov. 5, 2009, 9:29AM
Flames blazed more than 400 feet high above a natural gas line explosion that rocked Bushland, Texas about 1 a.m. today.
BUSHLAND — A natural gas pipeline exploded in the Texas Panhandle on Thursday, shaking homes, melting window blinds and shooting flames hundreds of feet into the air, authorities said. Three people were injured in the blast, which occurred at 1 a.m. near Amarillo, and they were taken to an area hospital with burns, said Potter County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Roger Short. “My home is about 20 miles something away and I could see the flames from my home,” Short said. “You could hear the roar of the flames 20 miles away.” Firefighters were able to contain most of the flames by 5:30 a.m. though small grass fires continued to burn, Short said. Nearby residents were evacuated, and the pipeline’s gas was shut off, Short said. One house was destroyed, and several others were damaged in Bushland, about 15 miles west of Amarillo, he said. “The heat onto the homes, it did a lot of damage. You could see blinds inside the homes that were melted … it was very hot,” Short said. Bushland Middle School principal, Mark Reasor, said about 60 people who were evacuated took shelter at the school for a few hours before returning home before dawn. Gas service had been cut off to nearby homes and Bushland’s schools, officials said. Messages left with the hospital for conditions of those injured were not immediately returned Thursday. A team of investigators was heading to the pipeline, said Robert Newberry, a spokesman for El Paso Natural Gas. El Paso Natural Gas is a subsidiary of Houston-based El Paso Corporation.
A November 4th press release from the PA DEP reveals that while “numerous” people in Dimock have been without good water for, oh, a year, give or take, it takes an agreement process with DEP to force Cabot Oil & Gas to address residents’ need for “replacement” water. It takes an agreement process with DEP to force Cabot Oil & Gas to release to DEP a complete list of people who have reported issues with their water.
DEP says this will provide a “long-term solution.” That seems optimistic. How do you “replace” someone’s own clean, clear, safe spring or well water? And, you have to wonder, eventually, after northeastern PA and New York’s Southern Tier are pincushioned with gas wells, where will the “replacement” water come from? And what will we use to schlep it from hither to thither? Oh, yeah, now I remember: diesel fuel made from foreign oil. Yup, that stuff that natural gas was supposed to free us from depending on.
Pennsylvania DEP Reaches Agreement with Cabot to Prevent Gas Migration,
Restore Water Supplies in Dimock Township
Agreement Requires DEP Approval for Well Casing, Cementing
MEADVILLE, Pa., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Department of
Environmental Protection and Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. have executed a consent
order and agreement that will provide a long-term solution for migrating gas
that has affected 13 water supplies in Dimock Township, Susquehanna County.
The affected area covers nine square miles around Carter Road.
The consent order and agreement outlines a process that will give DEP more
oversight of Cabot’s new well construction work in the affected area. Prior to
drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or hydro fracking, the company will submit
well casing and cementing plans to DEP. Once DEP provides written approval,
Cabot may proceed.
“The goal of the consent order and agreement is to ensure a long-term
resolution to issues that have emerged in Dimock,” said DEP Northwest Regional
Director Kelly Burch. “The company will focus on the integrity of the wells in
the affected area in an attempt to determine the source of the migrating gas.”
This past week, Cabot has provided an interim solution for all of the homes
where water supplies have been affected. Cabot must develop a plan by March 31
to restore or replace the affected water supplies permanently.
Under the consent order and agreement, Cabot must additionally submit to DEP:
– Information on all parties who have contacted the company about water
quantity or quality issues; and
– A plan that specifically identifies how the company intends to prove the
integrity of the casing and cementing on existing wells and fix
defective casing and cementing by March 31.
If Cabot fails to fix the defective casing and cementing by the March
deadline, the company must plug defective wells or implement another
alternative as approved by DEP.
In addition, Cabot paid a $120,000 civil penalty for violations of the Oil and
Gas Act, the Solid Waste Management Act and the Clean Streams Law.
The consent order and agreement caps a DEP investigation that began early this
year when numerous Dimock area residents reported evidence of natural gas in
their water supplies. DEP inspectors discovered that the well casings on some
of Cabot’s natural gas wells were cemented improperly or insufficiently,
allowing natural gas to migrate to groundwater.
On Sept. 25, following a series of wastewater spills, DEP ordered Cabot to
cease hydro fracking natural gas wells throughout Susquehanna County. The
prohibition was removed after the company completed a number of important
engineering and safety tasks.
Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. is a Delaware-based company with a mailing address in
For more information on oil and gas wells, visit firstname.lastname@example.org,
keyword: Oil and gas.
See it November 19, 7pm at the Bouck Auditorium, SUNY Cobleskill. The Student Environmental Action Coalition presents: A Snowmobile for George. “A rambunctious road trip reveals the toll that environmental deregulation has had on the lives of ordinary people.”
Unnatural Gas: The Inflated Promise of a Not-So-Clean Fuel
Meanwhile, in competing with Big Coal for the affections of Congress, the newly formed America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) launched an $80 million advertising and lobbying campaign earlier this year to promote its “clean, abundant, American, reliable, and versatile” product. As climate bills work their way through Congress, ANGA’s efforts appear to be paying off.
Risking our water so we can burn more natural gas will not be the planet’s miracle climate cure. For the United States to achieve necessary reductions in greenhouse emissions – estimated at more than 80 percent – will require not more energy production, even if somewhat cleaner, but deep cuts in energy consumption.
Coal must be phased out as quickly as possible, but more gas won’t accomplish that. While electric utilities’ gas consumption doubled from 1996 to 2007, coal use continued its steady climb.
What if, with shale drilling, we could achieve another doubling of gas-fired electricity generation, but this time eliminate an equivalent amount of coal-fired generation? Even that steep escalation of gas drilling would cut the utility industry’s carbon emissions by only 12 percent and the nation’s total carbon emissions by just 5 percent, based on Energy Department figures.
Financier T. Boone Pickens recommends running our vehicles on natural gas. But substituting natural gas for gasoline in all vehicles would reduce the nation’s total carbon emissions by less than 9 percent. Converting all gasoline-powered vehicles would consume more natural gas than electric utilities, homes and businesses combined. Consequences for the nation’s water would be disastrous.
Natural gas is being hailed by some, including Pickens, as a high-energy “bridge” to a renewable future, and by others as sufficiently climate-friendly to be a “destination” fuel. But as gas’ environmental drawbacks become more evident, it’s looking more like a bridge to nowhere.
Read the entire piece at http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/11/04-5
Entry at Energy-Facts.org:
Our steadily increasing dependence on gas is worrisome — especially since gas supply is projected to decline through 2020. 
Fool Me Twice
Despite this supply decrease we continue to build out an ever more extensive natural gas infrastructure– verifying Santayana’s warning that: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
Our “dash to gas” over the past decade led to higher electric rates and increased home heating prices and it raised the cost of manufacturing. Why should the next decade be any different?
. . . . .
EIA’s analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 — the “Waxman-Markey” climate bill — came to this conclusion: “Our results suggest that this legislation would likely increase the use of natural gas for generation over the next decade in all of the scenarios we analyzed…”
Read the entire post at http://www.energy-facts.org/