Skip to content

NEWS: Shell invests billions in shale gas and hydraulic fracturing

The Associated Press reports today that, “Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Friday it will buy East Resources Inc., a major owner of shale gas holdings in the northeast United States, for $4.7 billion from private investors.”

To access this shale gas, a controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing is used. As described by Environmental Leader news, “the hydraulic fracturing process involves taking water from the ground, pumping fracturing fluids and sands into the wells under pressure, then separating and managing the leftover water after withdrawing the gas.”

The Associated Press article adds, “Environmental groups say they’re concerned that chemicals used to extract natural gas from shale could pollute water supplies. They’re pushing legislation that would require drillers to make the chemicals used public.”

“The Park Foundation, a group of Exxon Mobil shareholders in Ithaca, N.Y., wants the company to disclose the environmental impacts of shale drilling.”

“States in the Marcellus Shale region have tightened environmental regulations to address concerns about potential contamination of drinking water supplies and other adverse effects.”

– “New York state announced (in April) new regulations that effectively prevent natural gas drilling in the New York City and Syracuse watersheds.”

– “West Virginia has proposed new water quality standards to address concerns about how companies dispose of the briny wastewater produced by drilling.”

– “And a Pennsylvania board passed rules that protect the state’s waterways from shale gas-drilling waste after elevated levels of dissolved solids were found in the Monongahela River. The board also is developing regulations on well construction and other issues.”


New Brunswick
In March we noted that US-owned Apache Canada Ltd. and Halifax-based Corridor Resources Inc. will begin drilling and exploration work for natural gas in the Elgin area of southern New Brunswick in June. This natural gas in the Frederick Brook formation will require hydraulic fracturing to access.

The Toronto Star reported in March that Calgary-based Mooncor Oil & Gas Corp. has been buying land rights in southwestern Ontario for shale gas drilling. Mooncor intends to drill in the Kettle Point Formation known as Antrim Shale in Lambton and Kent counties, and the Collingwood/Blue Mountain formations known as Utica Shale. “It has already locked up nearly 23,000 acres of land in Lambton and Kent counties…”

The Toronto Star noted, “A green light from regulators could unleash a wave of shale-gas development in Ontario.”

The AP article is at http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=AP&date=20100528&id=11552055.

Past campaign blogs on hydraulic fracturing are at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3090, http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3144, and http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3160.