Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The "Great Shale Shut-In" is Happening

From Bloomberg:
American shale explorers are rapidly crimping production in the country’s most prolific oil fields as the worst price crash in history threatens the industry’s survival. 
Three of the biggest oil explorers in the U.S. -- Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., and ConocoPhillips -- plan to curb as much as 660,000 barrels a day of combined American output by the end of June. Across the county, crude production by all companies has already tumbled about 1 million barrels a day since mid-March, when OPEC and its allies clinched an historic deal to trim global supply. 
It’s too soon to tell how long the reductions will last but if implemented for a full year, they would overshadow any previous American production slide going back to at least 1984. Moreover, the pull-back puts the U.S. on track to fulfill the Trump administration’s pledge to removing 2 million barrels of daily supplies through market attrition. 
With the new reductions announced just two weeks after crude prices turned negative for the first time on record, resuscitating the market will come at a steep cost for an industry facing bankruptcies, job cuts and consolidation. For some explorers, austerity means slowing growth plans, while for others it means outright subtractions of oil volumes. 
Almost 40% of oil and natural gas producers face insolvency within the year if crude prices remain near $30 a barrel, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Production shut-ins aren’t just a U.S. phenomenon: wells are being turned off from Scandinavia to Brazil as crude producers wilt under the crash.
Read on by clicking here. 

ODNR Releases Updated Well Activity Maps for May 2020

Utica Rig Count Hangs in Single Digits

WEEK ENDING 05/02/20

New permits issued last week: 7 (Previous updated week (02/29/20): 3)  +4
Total horizontal permits issued: 3254 (Previous week: 3200 +54
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2748 (Previous week: 2724)  +24
Total horizontal wells producing: 2483 (Previous week: 2451)  +32
Utica rig count: 9 (Previous week: 10)  -1

Encino Energy Supports 630 Frontline Workers

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Ohio AG Case Against Rover Pipeline Will Come Before State Supreme Court

From The Canton Repository:
The Supreme Court of Ohio will hear the state’s case against Rover Pipeline over alleged environmental violations during the pipeline’s construction. 
The justices formally accepted the case last week, but have yet to announce a date to hear arguments. 
The question before the court is whether the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency gave up its right to enforce water pollution laws concerning the pipeline. 
Rover transports natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shale regions to southern Michigan. From there it goes to other users in the United States and Canada. Texas-based Energy Transfer owns the pipeline. 
Rover’s twin 42-inch-diameter mainlines cross northern Ohio, including Stark, Tuscarawas, Carroll, Wayne, Ashland and Richland counties. 
The Ohio Attorney General sued Rover and its subcontractors in Stark County Common Pleas Court in November 2017. 
The state said Rover violated environmental laws in more than a dozen counties. The violations included discharges of sediment-laden stormwater, leaks of clay-based drilling fluid and the release of water used to pressure-test the pipeline.
Click here to read more. 

Belmont County Cracker Plant Decision Delayed Indefinitely

From Allegheny Front:
A decision about building a petrochemical plant in Ohio, 65 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, has been put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. After five years of consideration, PTT-Global Chemical America, based in Thailand, and its South Korean partner Daelim Chemical, had expected to make a final investment decision this summer. In a statement, the companies now say they are unable to promise a firm timeline, but it remains a “top priority.”

Like Shell’s plant under construction in Beaver County, Pa., the facility would use ethane, abundant in the region from fracking in the Marcellus and Utica shale, to make ethylene and polyethylene, the building blocks of many plastic products. 
The first phase of site preparation and engineering work has been completed at the site, along the Ohio River, and the companies say they are continuing to invest in demolition of vacant structures in the surrounding neighborhood. The local community recently approved tax incentives the companies sought, and the private JobsOhio group has invested $70 million to develop the project.

Even before the pandemic hit and the global economy cratered, two separate financial analyses agreed that the project could be in trouble. The wide scale push against single-use plastics, low prices and an oversupply of polyethylene were all seen as signs of difficulty for plastics production. Now, with world oil prices in a recent uncharted slide, the petrochemical industry is facing uncertain times.
Despite years of optimism from local leaders that this project would inevitably come to fruition, the prospects of the cracker plant being built have never looked bleaker than they do now.

Click here to read the whole article.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Ohio Bill Would Make Royalty Checks Easier to Understand

From Farm and Dairy:
Interpreting royalty checks from oil and gas companies can be confusing. The information laid out on the check stubs isn’t always clear, if the information is there at all. 
Ohio state Rep. Jack Cera heard that feedback from his constituents and others throughout the region for years. Cera, D-Bellaire, introduced legislation last year that would standardize the information sent out with royalty checks for landowners. 
House Bill 55 would require 15 different items to be included on a statement with the royalty check. Right now, the Ohio Revised Code requires producers to report three things and only if the royalty owner requests that information. 
Those three things are the volume of natural gas for which the royalty owner is being paid, the price per thousand cubic feet the producer received and the volume of natural gas that passed through the well’s meter. 
Most oil and gas companies already report the required information automatically with the landowner’s monthly royalty checks.
Read on by clicking right here. 

Judge Rules Against Gulfport Energy in Case Over Asset Sale

From Law360:
A Texas judge has rejected Gulfport Energy Corp.’s allegation that an oil and gas exploration company improperly backed out of a $26 million deal to acquire Marcellus shale assets in Ohio. 
Tarrant County District Court Judge Kimberly Fitzpatrick on Thursday granted summary judgment in a brief order for Quantum Energy Partner-backed TH Exploration LLC, or Tug Hill, which argues that it was under no obligation to pay for the assets because Gulfport Energy had not fulfilled all of the terms of the purchase and sale agreement, according to a Thursday order. 
Tug Hill argued that Gulfport was required to obtain releases from third parties connected to the oil and gas assets in question. Those releases were never sufficiently obtained by the appropriate date, according to Tug Hill. 
“The PSA’s plain terms required Gulfport to obtain releases of the dedication agreements by the extended closing date; because there is no genuine issue of material fact that Gulfport failed to do so, Tug Hill was never obligated to close, and Gulfport has no basis to assert a breach of contract claim or to request specific performance as a matter of law,” Tug Hill argued in its December summary judgment motion.
Read more by clicking here.