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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Study: Probability of Environmental Impacts from Fracking Chemicals is Low

From Duke University:
Naturally occurring brines, not man-made fracking fluids, account for most of the wastewater coming from hydraulically fractured unconventional oil and gas wells, a new Duke University study finds.

“Much of the public fear about fracking has centered on the chemical-laden fracking fluids -- which are injected into wells at the start of production -- and the potential harm they could cause if they spill or are disposed of improperly into the environment,” said Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. 
“Our new analysis, however, shows that these fluids only account for between 4 and 8 percent of wastewater being generated over the productive lifetime of fracked wells in the major U.S. unconventional oil and gas basins,” Vengosh said. “Most of the fracking fluids injected into these wells do not return to the surface; they are retained in the shale deep underground. 
“This means that the probability of having environmental impacts from the man-made chemicals in fracking fluids is low, unless a direct spill of the chemicals occurs before the actual fracking,” he said.
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Ohio Anti-Fracking Ballot Measures Face Strong Community Opposition in November

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth

With 83 percent of anti-fracking ballot measures in Ohio having failed or been ruled invalid by various courts, it’s certainly fair to say that the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has been marginalized.
However, despite the onslaught of defeats, CELDF continues to abuse Ohio cities by pushing anti-fracking ballot measures on them. On Election Day two cities, Youngstown and Waterville, will vote on the so-called Community Bill of Rights.  In response, coalition groups comprised of business leaders, elected officials, and unions are organizing to defeat the measures. In other words, CELDF will once again face strong opposition.
Here’s what you need to know about both ballot measures:
City of Youngstown Issue 4: Community Bill of Rights
Five Times Failed, CELDF Abuses Voters for Sixth Time
If at first you don’t succeed, try six times? That’s the story in Youngstown, where voters will go to the ballot for the sixth consecutive time on “Issue 4” to vote on the Community Bill of Rights – and taxpayers will be footing the bill.
Taxpayers Have Already Spent Tens of Thousands
So far, the measure has cost taxpayers over $80,000 just to go on the ballot for the first five defeats. With this upcoming “Issue 4” on the ballot, it’s guaranteed to cost several thousand more.
Campaign Using Children (Again) To Advance Agenda
The Youngstown Community Bill of Rights is, of course, the brain child of CELDF, but it is also being pushed by Frack Free Mahoning Valley, led by Dr. Ray and Susie Biersdorfer. The Biersdorfers were recently at the center of an opinion editorial from the Youngstown Vindicatorentitled “Frick and Frack are Back,” recalling that just a few months ago Susie Biersdorfer was caught attacking me personally, while I was nine months pregnant. In short, to say these activists are fringe environmental extremists or outliers is an understatement.  But as this below flyer shows, they’re at it again, using pregnant women and children as pons in their deceptive campaign:
In response, the City of Youngstown Mayor debunked this argument. As the Youngstown Business Journal reported:
As for the safety of the water residents drink, Youngstown is a distributor of the water the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District treats, the mayor pointed out. The accusation that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency three times in the last three years notified the city “that our drinking water is in VIOLATION of safe drinking water standards [emphasis in committee’s packet]” is another incomplete truth, McNally said. The U.S. EPA notified the city only once,” he said, and the notification was “not related to injection wells or fracking.”
Community Coalition Formed to Stop Issue 4

Rice Energy Closes on Acquisition of Vantage Energy

From a Rice Energy press release:
Rice Energy Inc. (NYSE: RICE) ("Rice Energy") announced today that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Vantage Energy, LLC and Vantage Energy II, LLC (collectively, "Vantage"). In connection with the closing, Rice Energy has completed the sale of the acquired Vantage midstream assets to Rice Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: RMP) ("Rice Midstream Partners"). 
With this acquisition, Rice Energy now controls approximately 231,000 net acres in the Marcellus and Ohio Utica Shale cores with an inventory of 1,164 drilling locations. Similarly, Rice Midstream Partners possesses one of the largest and most concentrated core dry gas acreage dedications in Appalachia, covering approximately 199,000 acres in Washington and Greene Counties.
Read the whole release by clicking here.

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Ohio First Responders Get Prepared for Emergencies at Shale Safety Institute 2016

From The Daily Jeffersonian:
For the third year in a row, Belmont College welcomed local first responders to Shale Safety Institute 2016, a partnership between Belmont College and Hess Corporation. More than 40 fire and EMS stations were represented at the event which was designed to prepare local emergency agencies to respond in emergency situations, including incidents in the oilfield in a safe and confident manner.
“Energy development in the Ohio Valley has presented many great opportunities, including a stronger local economy and incredible advancements and research. With this development has also brought a heightened awareness regarding safety issues.” said Dr. Paul Gasparro, Belmont College president. 
He went on to say, “We are so grateful to Hess Corporation for their commitment to the local community and our first responders. Through the Shale Safety Institute, first responders and emergency service personnel are receiving the highly relevant training and education they need to be able to respond to oilfield related incidents and keep our communities safe.” 
“We’re proud to say that this is our third year of our partnership with Belmont College to host the Shale Safety Institute. We have a safety-first culture where our ultimate goal is zero incidents. First responders are critical to this community and we hope this training provides them with some of the tools they would need to respond in the event of an oil and gas emergency,” said Rob Williams, Hess manager of operations, Utica.
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Gulfport Energy Corporation Provides Third Quarter 2016 Operational Update and Schedules Third Quarter 2016 Financial and Operational Results Conference Call

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 17, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:GPOR) (“Gulfport” or the “Company”) today provided an operational update for the quarter ended September 30, 2016 and scheduled its third quarter financial and operational results conference call.  Key information for the third quarter of 2016 includes the following:
  • Net production averaged 734.1 MMcfe per day, a 13% increase over the third quarter of 2015 and a 10% increase versus the second quarter of 2016, exceeding Gulfport’s previously provided third quarter of 2016 guidance of 685 MMcfe per day to 705 MMcfe per day.
  • Realized natural gas price, before the impact of derivatives and including transportation costs, averaged $2.10 per Mcf, a $0.71 per Mcf differential to the average trade month NYMEX settled price.
  • Realized oil price, before the impact of derivatives and including transportation costs, averaged $41.81 per barrel, a $3.13 per barrel differential to the average WTI oil price.
  • Realized natural gas liquids price, before the impact of derivatives and including transportation costs, averaged $13.98 per barrel, or $0.33 per gallon.
Third Quarter Production and Realized Prices
Gulfport’s net daily production for the third quarter of 2016 averaged approximately 734.1 MMcfe per day. For the third quarter of 2016, Gulfport’s net daily production mix was comprised of approximately 86% natural gas, 9% natural gas liquids and 5% oil.
Gulfport’s realized prices for the third quarter of 2016 were $2.67 per Mcf of natural gas, $45.09 per barrel of oil and $0.34 per gallon of NGL, resulting in a total equivalent price of $2.87 per Mcfe. Gulfport's realized prices for the third quarter of 2016 include an aggregate non-cash derivative gain of $22.4 million. Before the impact of derivatives, realized prices for the third quarter of 2016, including transportation costs, were $2.10 per Mcf of natural gas, $41.81 per barrel of oil and $0.33 per gallon of NGL, for a total equivalent price of $2.35 per Mcfe.

U.S. Oil Output on the Rebound as Rigs Spring Back into Action

From Bloomberg:
Increased drilling by shale producers buoyed by higher prices will slow the decline in U.S. crude production, a government forecast showed. 
The Energy Information Administration raised its outlook for U.S. crude production next year, which now is estimated to fall 1.6 percent from 2016, compared to the 3 percent decline it predicted last month in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook. The forecast released Thursday takes into account a surge in drilling activity as crude prices rose 90 percent from lows in February. 
"There’s growing optimism about shale, especially in the Permian basin," said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. "It’s the dog that didn’t bark."

The agency boosted its domestic output forecast for next year to 8.59 million barrels a day from 8.51 million projected in September, according to the data. It cut its 2016 forecast to 8.73 million barrels a day from 8.77 million.
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Friday, October 21, 2016

EIA Releases Latest Drilling Productivity Report

Each month the US Energy Information Administration releases its Drilling Productivity Report.  The latest can be viewed at the EIA site by clicking here, although most of the relevant information is contained below.

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Despite Huge Fundraising Flop, CELDF Still Pushing for More Lawsuits in Ohio

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has had a really tough year in Ohio, losing almost every attempt they have made at anti-fracking ballot measures. Despite this fact, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) continues to abuse Ohio taxpayers with frivolous lawsuits in an attempt to try to manipulate Ohio laws and place unenforceable measures on local ballots.
But if their last fundraiser is any indication, their efforts aren’t exactly popular with Ohioans. Take a look at the recent $28 per plate CELDF fundraiser in Athens, Ohio, which only had two attendees and three people interested, according to Athens anti-fracking Facebook page.
It’s not difficult to see why considering that the group’s Ohio organizer Tish O’Dell was caught saying, “If we know the law is wrong, why are we obedient?”  In other words, if you do not agree with a law—any law—the recourse is simply to disobey that law.
While they would like folks to believe their “local” efforts are pure, in reality CELDF and its lawyers are nothing more than a marketing machine focused on lining their own pockets. Since they got involved in local control issue, CELDF’s coffers have swelled to over $1.4 million in assets. However, CELDF’s most recent 2014 tax filings showed that their failed efforts are starting to hurt their checkbook as they lost $113,965 in contributions from the previous year.
One thing that we have learned as these 29 ballot measures have played out in Ohio is that CELDF continues to “tweak” its strategies in the hope that they can manipulate Ohio election laws and procedures. They are at it again, according to the Ohio University student paper,
Dick McGinn, chairman of the charter, followed O’Dell’s speech with a call to action for where the group could go next with its legal battles. To conclude the night, he encouraged the group to start a third new charter, fixing the points it was denied upon previously.
It has become abundantly clear that the only goal of these groups pushing “local control” measures is to cash in on Ohio taxpayers by any means possible, and with such outlandish ideologies like, “If we know the law is wrong, why are we obedient?”
It’s no wonder they can’t hold a successful fundraiser in Ohio. Still, this election season continues to prove that CELDF and the lawyers they work with are only in it for themselves.

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