Wednesday, March 28, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Propane fracking deal reached in NY Plan would open 130,000 acres in Tioga County for drilling

The leadership of a group of landowners in Tioga County, New York has reached an agreement with gas drillers to begin developing the Marcellus Shale using liquid propane as a fracking agent.

Brokers of the deal, between eCorp, GasFrac Energy Services, and the Tioga County Landowners Association, believe that fracking with natural gas is not included under a New York state moratorium that prevents drillers from using high volume hydraulic fracturing. The moratorium was put in place in 2008 due to environmental concerns, pending the completion of a review by the state DEC.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding announced this afternoon, the members of the Tioga County coalition will form an LLC called Southern Tier Energy Partners to participate in the deal.

“Our intention is to prove up the play,” said Chris Denton, an attorney representing the landowner coalition. The deal has been accepted in concept by the leaders of the coalition and has to be brought to the membership base of about 2,000 families in coming weeks, Denton said. The deal would give landowners a working interest in the development and production of wells rather than traditional lease payments. It may take several months before the pieces of the deal, including title searches of property owned by the paricipants, will be finalized, Denton said. He could not release more specific details about the terms as of early Tuesday afternoon.

Fracturing shale with propane is a developing technology proposed as an alternative to traditional high volume hydraulic fracturing, a process that uses sand and a proprietary chemical solution, or diesel fuel. Drawbacks to traditional hydraulic fracturing include the large quantities of fresh water required -– several million gallons per well -- and like amounts of waste produced, including brine and organic solvents.

Chevron has used Gasfrac’s proprietary process of fracking with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in its $7.3B Piceance basins natural gas project, according to a report from Seeking Alpha. The company’s 2011 annual report supplement noted that the technology is recognized by the World Shale Gas Conference for its economic and environmental performance potential, and “significantly increases production while minimizing water usage.” The company is continuing to test the process. Chevron's assessment of LPG fracturing is the strongest endorsement yet of the process by major company.

Using the process in Tioga County, New York will provide a breakthrough in gas development in a state that has been mindful of concerns with traditional fracturing, according to Denton.

“We’re also concerned about how fracking will affect the environment,” Denton said. The strategy is to show the worth of the Marcellus and the Utica shale’s in Tioga County with initial test wells, which is known in the industry as “proving” a play. The project is intended as a literal proving ground for both the Gasfrac process and the worth of the Marcellus and Utica shale’s under upstate New York and Tioga County in particular, Denton said., and it is a prerequisite to more capital interest.

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo has been an influence in the public debate over hydraulic fracturing since the Paterson administration ordered the high volume fracking moratorium in the summer of 2008. She has long advocated consideration of alternative, more benign fracking agents. “This certainly takes the concern over water issues off the table,” she said, “and that’s a big one, with the whole issue of withdrawls, contamination and treatment.” It would not address problems associated with methane migration, she added, which continues to plaque shale wells in Pennsylvania, despite stronger standards adopted by the state last year.

The pending environmental review puts a hold on fracking with chemical solution in New York until the impact is better documented and new guidelines are established. The policy review, called the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS), would not apply to fracking with propane. But some have questioned whether propane fracking is sufficiently covered under pre-existing regulations outlined in the state's orginal Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) from 1992. If not, then the Tioga County project would require separate environmental reviews that could be costly and time consuming.

Denton said attorneys and landowners have done their homework. “Our research indicates that we are in good shape,” he said.

Some environmental advocates questioned that assessment. Even if fracking with propane is less damaging than fracking with a chemical solution, other issues associated with shale gas development must be addressed, said Walter Hang, an activist who has organized anti-drilling efforts in New York. They include waste disposal associated with “produced water,” which is fluid that comes from the ground with high concentration of brine, heavy metals and sometimes naturally occurring radioactive particles.

Propane fracking "is not a magic bullet that lets them go forward,” said Hang, who heads Toxic Targeting, an Ithaca firm that compiles environmental data on brownfield sites. “I’m not so sure they (the Tioga County project) will be able to avoid a more vigorous (regulatory) review.”


  1. As gas approaches $2 mcf, all sorts of weird stuff starts to happen - when landowners association representatives and attorneys are involved . . .

  2. Gas frac is an interesting approach

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. eCorp is selling working interests - which are legally securities

    To unsophisticated investors - the mineral rights owners

    Which is a no-no

  5. A website which gives perfect news and knowledge about the nation as well as the world through theworld breaking news, sports news, business news and many other types of news which is easy to read hard to ignore. Through Newsleaks we can easily find all kinds of News related to world like today's Eight bogies of Punjab Mail derail near Rohtak, 26 injured and many news related to world as well as what is going on in India's best topics like latest world around news
    , Anna Hazare, baba Ramdev, and many other topics likeWho will become our President and many more. Newsleaks has a goodwatch on all kinds of News and have a positive approach to rule on minds & hearts. Everybody today has no time spare for News and all but infect all require to keep eyes on everything, so Newsleaks is here for every busy person with perfect news as well as perfect knowledge.

  6. A website which gives perfect news and knowledge about the nation as well as the world through world breaking news , sports news, business news and many other types of news which is easy to read hard to ignore.
    latest terrorist attack in India

  7. Easily remove radiation from any water source

    Our University of Alabama patented solar desalination product uses no electricity, has no filters to replace, can be taken anywhere and extracts pure water from any contaminated water source. It removes radiation, fluoride, salt, pesticides, bacteria, dirt and other contaminants from any water. It aids people to be prepared for disasters. Made tough in the U.S.A.

    Please visit us:

    These units can also be placed together in arrays of literally any number of panels, as needed, to accommodate a desert farm or any remote area that needs water.

    1. Eco friendly product reviews featuring clean water, energy savings, prepper sites and sustainable energy products.

      This is also our new website for our earlier comment about the University of Alabama solar desalination products.

  8. really??? interesting...
    when the price of gas increase the goods the we needs also increase.
    Vapor Recovery Unit

  9. Hello there! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge about hydrofracturing with us. I'll be looking forward for your other posts as well. You have such a very informative post. It was very well said. Anyway, in addition to what you have written, Hydrofracturing is a well development process that involves injecting water under high pressure into a bedrock formation via the well. This is intended to increase the size and extent of existing bedrock fractures, pumping water into those fractures at pressures as high as 3000 psi and flow rates as high as 85 gallons per minute, this cleans out the fractures and allows them to interconnect with nearby water bearing fractures. Water can then flow back thru these fractures and into the well at a faster rate than before. Open Loop/Standing Column Wells many times will perform double duty as a water well for domestic supply. Utilizing a specially designed pump system and well configuration. Most of these systems use a variable speed pump system. Depending on your system design it may or may not include more than 1 well and/or a specially applied shrouding system.
    Hydrofracturing New Hampshire