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Monday, December 31, 2012

Final Links for 2012: Promised Land's Ties to Western PA, Zanesville Shale Update, Trumbull County's First Horizontal Drill in Place, Conservancies to Work Against Development, FirstEnergy Sells Property for Shale Activity, Carroll County Year in Review, and More

The Social Silo:  Promised Land: The movie has ties to western Pennsylvania

Zanesville Times Recorder:  Zanesville area saw shale development starting to perk, national candidates stumping

WKBN News:  Trumbull County's First Horizontal Drill in Place

The Morning Journal:  Conservation groups say merger will benefit local scenic land

The Review:  FirstEnergy sells property for shale activity

Free Press Standard:  Year in Review

Environmental Defense Fund:  Promised Land: A Love Letter to Longmont

PRWatch:  "Energy In Depth" - A Reporters' Guide to Its Founding, Funding, and Flacks

Akron Beacon Journal:  McClendon investigation likely to wrap up by mid-January

Akron Beacon Journal:  Four Ohio Utica shale short news items

Akron Beacon Journal:  Fracking sand storage facility coming to Columbiana County

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Chesapeake Providing Big Gift to Carroll County Genealogy Society

From the Free Press Standard:
Chesapeake Energy officials weren’t clad in Santa Claus suits when they visited the Carroll County Genealogy Society last week, but they did come bearing gifts. 
Out of their bag of goodies they pulled a new Dell computer and a 22-inch screen that flips to provide a full-length view of long documents. 
The gift, which was a surprise to the society, goes along with a much larger gift Chesapeake is providing: digitizing records that date back to 1833 at a cost of about $200,000.
Read the whole story here. 

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Is the Industry Being Forced to Adjust Their Argument About Fracking Safety?

From the Community Environmental Defense Council:
Fracking Double Talk

OR
"What lawyers and PR people for tobacco companies have in common with lawyers and PR people for the gas companies," 

OR
"The gassers finally seem to be conceding that fracking contaminates groundwater."
 
"'There is no hard scientific evidence that fracking is an immediate and irreversible risk to drinking water resources,' said Steve Everley a spokesperson for Energy in Depth, an arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America." 
What?
Read the rest of the article here.

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources Still Well Short of Goal for New Inspectors

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Whatever happened to the state's plan to triple the number of oil and gas inspectors as fracking intensifies in Ohio? 
The state has not met the goal it set in May. 
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has hired eight new inspectors, which leaves it far short of its goal of having 90 inspectors by early next year. 
The department now has 36 full-time inspectors, eight supervisors with inspection duties and nine vacant inspection positions, spokeswoman Heidi Hetzel-Evans said in an email.
Read the whole article here. 

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Belmont County Shale Activity Impacts Library

From The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register:
There is little doubt that one of the busiest offices in Belmont County this year has been the recorder's office in the courthouse. It has been literally jammed every day by abstractors searching records for the oil and gas companies that have been lured into the county by the rich deposits in the Marcellus and Utica shale.
"And it hasn't let up for the holidays," exclaimed Recorder Mary Catherine Nixon in a rather tired fashion as she poured over records in her office.
Space is limited in the office, which means the crowd of record searchers has to squeeze by one another to retrieve deed books and then do more squeezing to find space on the crowded tables to do their search work. Nixon has strict rules that none of the deed books are to be removed from her office.
Read the whole article here. 

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Utica Shale Development Keeps Slow, Steady Pace

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Not many people had heard the terms “Utica shale,” “fracking” or “natural gas liquids” as recently as a few years ago.
That’s changing quickly. Development in Ohio’s Utica shale formation is still in its infancy, but its huge potential for jobs and the state’s economy is becoming clearer.
To date, 45 Utica shale wells are in the production stage in Ohio and those sites, which employ horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are yielding staggeringly big numbers for natural gas, oil and such natural gas liquids as ethane, butane and propane.
Read the rest of the article here.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

It's Not Just Movies...Anti-Fracking Books Flooding the Market Too

From DW:
A flood of natural gas books
A vacation to the Amazon takes an odd turn when a gecko introduces young Rick to the Amazonian Gecko King. The latter confers a combination of gecko and snail powers upon the boy, allowing him to fight environmental destruction back home in the US.
The brainchild of a child, "Geckoboy: The Battle of Fracking, Volume 1," was written by 12-year-old California native and founder of the non-profit Green Kids Now, Pavan Raj Gowda.
Read about other fracking-related entertainment products here. 

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After a Rocky 2012, is 2013 Looking Like a Better Year for McClendon & Chesapeake?

More tough times ahead for McClendon & Chesapeake?
From Reuters:
Aubrey McClendon, 53, endured a trying year running the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States, Chesapeake Energy Corp. But as corporate, state and federal probes into McClendon and the company continue, 2013 isn't looking much easier.
Facing a cash crunch, the natural-gas giant that McClendon founded had been counting on profits from land that was leased in Colorado, North Dakota and Wyoming. The deals, however, have soured - at a cost to Chesapeake of more than a billion dollars, the company told investors in November.
Like property owners in Michigan and Texas, land owners in North Dakota have sued Chesapeake over allegations that the company reneged on leasing agreements. And now, one of its leading regional contractors is suing Chesapeake for allegedly failing to pay a $15 million bill, court documents show.
McClendon's personal finances also remain strained: This autumn, according to a document filed in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma court, he put up at least part of his renowned wine collection as collateral for a loan from a fellow Oklahoma tycoon.
In building Chesapeake to the size and stature it holds today, McClendon oversaw $43 billion in spending over 15 years to snap up drilling rights across the country, holdings equal in area to West Virginia. But that empire, and the personal fortune he intertwined with it, is now under severe financial and legal strain across much of America.
Read the whole article by clicking here. 

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Chesapeake Energy Closes on Midstream Asset Sale

From Pittsburgh Business Times:
Chesapeake Energy has closed on the sale of its midstream assets in the Marcellus, Utica and other shale plays to Access Midstream Partners LP, the natural gas producer said in an SEC filingThursday.
The sale price of Chesapeake Midstream Operating was $2.16 billion. It also includes midstream gas processing and processing assets in the Niobrara, Haynesville and Eagle Ford shales, according to the SEC filing.
Chesapeake (NYSE: CHK) is a major driller in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania with local headquarters at Southpointe.
Read more here. 

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EPA Head Honcho Lisa Jackson Resigns

From USA Today:
Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson announced Thursday that she's stepping down after a four-year tenure marked by her agency's first greenhouse gas regulations and repeated battles with industry groups and GOP lawmakers.
Jackson, the first African American to serve as EPA administrator, came into office with bold plans to address climate change but accomplished only part of her agenda, foiled by opposition on Capitol Hill and occasionally the White House.
Read the whole article here.

And from Reuters comes a look at how this might affect the EPA's look at fracking:
Following Lisa Jackson's resignation on Wednesday, her successor will inherit the tricky task of regulating a drilling boom that has revolutionized the energy industry but raised fears over the possible contamination of water supplies.
The controversial technique at the center of the boom, hydraulic fracturing, involves injecting millions of gallons of water laced with chemicals deep into shale rocks to extract oil and gas. It has become a flashpoint issue, putting the EPA -- charged with safeguarding the nation's water -- in the middle of a fight between environmentalists and the energy industry.
Read that entire article here.

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Forbes Contributor Attacks Reuters For Misleading Reports on Gas Drilling

From Forbes:
“There are high hopes that the natural gas extraction technique known [as] hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will boost the economy and bring the U.S. closer to energy independence, but if the energy industry expects to break new ground and fulfill a growing demand anytime soon, they need to make friends with the people who reside near the drilling rigs.”
So begins a recent Reuters story titled “A Local Obstruction in the Fracking Pipeline”.  It’s difficult to imagine any other 60 word sentence ever written that contained more false premises and incorrect assumptions.  As such, it is an unfortunately excellent example of the sort of inaccurate reporting about the oil and natural gas industry that takes place in the American media many times every day.
Read the rest of the article here. 

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Dominion, Caiman Energy II To Form Blue Racer Midstream, $1.5 Billion Joint Venture To Develop Utica Shale Midstream Assets


Two experienced midstream companies, Dominion (NYSE: D) and Caiman Energy II, LLC, (Caiman) have announced they are forming a $1.5 billion joint venture to provide midstream services to natural gas producers operating in the Utica shale in Ohio and portions of Pennsylvania.  The companies expect to close on the joint venture by the end of the year.
The joint venture, Blue Racer Midstream, LLC, will be an equal partnership between Dominion and Caiman, with Dominion contributing midstream assets and Caiman contributing private equity capital.   The joint venture will leverage Dominion's existing presence in the Utica with significant additional new capacity designed to meet producer needs as the Utica shale acreage is developed. Midstream services offered will include gathering, processing, fractionation, and natural gas liquids transportation and marketing.
"The Utica shale has enormous potential to provide jobs and revenues for the local Ohio economy," said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Because the portion of the Utica shale targeted today produces a rich gas stream, gathering and processing capacity must be developed so that the natural gas and valuable natural gas liquids can be separated and sold.  Caiman Energy brings to the joint venture a proven track record in developing one-stop midstream shopping for producers.
"The joint venture allows Dominion to capture the value of our assets in the Utica region and supports our 5 percent to 6 percent annual operating earnings per share growth targets, while at the same time accelerating Utica midstream capital spending by up to $800 million," Farrell said. "This additional flexibility will be valuable as we proceed with our growth plan.  Under the Utica joint venture, Dominion expects to benefit from cash received for its assets and pro-rata earnings from the joint venture."
"Dominion brings well-positioned assets and experienced operations for gathering, processing, fractionating and delivering natural gas and liquids produced from the Utica shale field," said Jack Lafield, Caiman's chairman and chief executive officer. "With our experience in developing midstream businesses and our $800 million in equity commitments for the joint venture, we can quickly leverage Dominion's assets, expertise and relationships to meet producers' needs as they fully develop their natural gas acreage."
Dominion facilities to be contributed to the joint venture include both gathering and processing assets. Dominion East Ohio's existing rich gas gathering network will be contributed, along with other portions of its gathering system as more lines are converted to rich gas gathering operations.  With investment, the joint venture's gathering pipeline system could be expanded to transport at least 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Also included are Dominion's Natrium Extraction Plant and related facilities, currently under construction in Marshall County, W. Va., and a Dominion Transmission pipeline connecting Natrium to the Dominion East Ohio gathering system.
Natrium is expected to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas a day and fractionate 36,000 barrels of liquids, and can be expanded to serve market needs.  Natrium is designed to separate the natural gas liquids into industrial-quality propane, butane, ethane and other products.  The products will be able to reach multiple markets through a variety of delivery options, including truck, railroad, pipeline and barge facilities.
UBS Investment Bank served as sole advisor to Dominion. Barclays and Citi acted as financial advisors to Caiman Energy.
About Caiman Energy II, LLC
Caiman Energy II, LLC is a midstream energy company focused on the design, construction, operation and acquisition of midstream assets. The company is currently focused on midstream projects in the Utica shale and serves producers by providing natural gas and condensate gathering, compression, dehydration, measurement, treating and conditioning, processing, liquids transportation and fractionation services.  Caiman Energy II is backed by equity commitments from Williams Partners (NYSE: WPZ), EnCap Flatrock Midstream of San Antonio, Highstar Capital of New York, and management.  For more information, visit www.CaimanEnergy.com.
About Dominion
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,400 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines.  Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 947 billion cubic feet of capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
This Dominion news release includes certain "forward-looking information".  Examples include information as to expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives and future financial or other performance or assumptions concerning matters discussed in this release.  Our business is influenced by many factors that are difficult to predict, involve uncertainties that may materially affect actual results and are often beyond our ability to control or estimate precisely.  We have identified and will in the future identify in our SEC Reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements. We refer you to those discussions for further information.  Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which it is made.
SOURCE Dominion


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11 New Ohio Drilling Permits - 8 to Chesapeake, 7 in Carroll County

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has approved 11 new Utica shale drilling permits.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. got eight of the new permits: seven in Carroll County and one in Columbiana County.
The other permits were in Guernsey (one) and Monroe (two). The companies involved are PDC Energy Inc., Eclipse Resources LLP and Antero Resources.
The latest listing from the ODNR's Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management covers through Dec. 12.
To date, Ohio has 485 active permits that have resulted in 196 wells beuing drilled. At present, 45 of those wells are in production.
Read the rest of the breakdown here. 

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"Promised Land" is the Center of the Storm in Fracking Debate

At only 49% positive, reviews
suggest that Promised Land is "rotten"
Promised Land, a new film starring and co-written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski, has been anticipated for some time by pro and anti-fracking crowds alike.  Now that the movie is here, the oil and gas industry is ramping up its efforts to counteract any anti-fracking buzz the film creates.  Click here to read our rundown of how things have unfolded since the movie really gained some attention earlier in the year.

Now the reviews are coming in, and they continue to be disappointing - especially for a movie that was getting some Oscar buzz.  It is currently sitting at a 49% positive rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and an even more disastrous 39% from audiences.  For the sake of comparison, Oscars frontrunners like Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, Ang Lee's Life of Pi, and Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master sit at 91%, 88%, 89% and 85% positive with critics, respectively.  It wouldn't appear that Promised Land is going to be winning too many trophies.

Here is what some of the reviews have to say about Promised Land.

Environmental site Mother Jones:
Nothing but good résumés and intriguing publicity behind this movie. And yet it putters out into both embarrassment and creative lethargy, fueled (if that's the term I want) by an acute lack of focus and commitment. Promised Land struggles to compel just as much as it fails to inform. By the film's end, Matt Damon will have taught you precisely two things about fracking: That it's bad for cows, and even worse for heartfelt dramatic monologues delivered by Matt Damon.
Time Magazine:
Left-wingers in the mainstream media — by which I mean me — are supposed to lap up a movie that plays to our farm-loving, tree-hugging prejudices. But even we know that well-meaning does not automatically equal good movie.
Breitbart.com:
"Promised Land" leaves us with a twist so hackneyed it should have been laughed out of the first table read. Instead, it arrives to make sure we don't forget the messages the film has been screaming at us from the opening sequence. Fracking bad. Big business very bad. And movies based on pure ideology, not sturdy storytelling, are even worse.
San Francisco Chronicle:
"Promised Land" is a fine place to start appreciating Matt Damon, who always makes it seem as if everybody else is acting and he's just going through the movie being natural. Damon is the actor who leaves no fingerprints, who never calls attention to himself and never, ever screws up, not once in 20 years. Whether playing Jason Bourne or Mr. Ripley, Damon creates an illusion of the familiar, and that familiarity is put to good use in "Promised Land," in which he plays a salesman for a fracking company, trying to talk rural people into leasing their land for natural-gas drilling.
Forbes:
Promised Land is not a movie about “fracking.” If you go to the theatre expecting to see lurid visuals of sinister-looking waste water ponds, plumes of diesel soot and road dust, or bucolic landscapes scarred by roads and pipes you will be sorely disappointed. You will see none of that.
Promised Land is a movie about what happens before the drilling rigs and man camps rumble into town. It is the story of a rural community, proud but poor, struggling to reconcile itself with an enormous economic opportunity that comes at an enormous cost.
Philly.com:
No matter where you stand on the fracking issue - pro, con, on the fence - you'd like to be treated with more intelligence and less preachifying. Or at least be treated to characters with more than simply transparent motives. Nothing resembling the complexity, depth, and detail that made George Clooney's downsizing consultant in Up in the Air so human, so compelling, can be found in Damon's character.
New York Times:
Unfortunately, any prospects of a compelling denouement evaporate in the film’s final act, when the plot veers cartoonishly, doing for the gas industry what John Grisham has long done for big law firms.
Nuance leaves the theater.
In the end, because of such missteps, the tussle around the film in recent months between environmentalists and their allies and industry and its supporters ends up (sadly) more interesting than what appears on the screen.
Shale Gas Review:
I was eager to see how Hollywood’s rendition of the gas rush stands up against real life. I also wanted to understand how the movie might influence the discussion in a nation learning about shale gas and the risks and rewards of the controversial process that makes unconventional resource recovery possible – high volume hydraulic fracturing. After viewing the trailer myself, I expected to see a movie with sensational and vivid depictions of both fracking and its consequences. Upon seeing the movie, I was happy to see that "Promised Land" offers neither of these but something more complex. Yes, the movie portrays Global Energy, the company that is trying to lease land from McKinley residents, as an uncaring, exploitive and divisive force. But the story is more interested in exploring the dynamics of life in a small town within the context of these outside economic forces. The movie is not, despite what some hope and others fear, a case against shale gas development in general or fracking in particular. 
Meanwhile, Matt Damon and John Krasinski are trying to avoid directly stating that they are anti-fracking, and that Promised Land is an anti-fracking movie - no doubt in an attempt to avoid turning off moviegoers who aren't interested in their politics.  But the more they talk, the clearer their true feelings are.

For example, they had this to say in an interview with the New York Daily News:
Both Damon and Krasinski resist questions about their own feelings about fracking, though Damon says, “I wouldn’t be okay with them drilling on my property — I doubt most people would.” 
But they are quick to add that the movie isn’t taking sides on the subject, either. Rather, the film is about who gets the final word on the question of where and whether fracking should be allowed. 
“The truth is it’s an incredibly complicated issue,” Krasinski says. “For us to come down on one side or the other is not right. There’s so much information to be had — and a responsibility to find out what it is. 
“You can’t deny that natural gas is a wonderful source of energy. But at what cost? The movie isn’t about what side of the issue we’re on. It’s about the common responsibility we all have to make informed decisions — or other people will make those decisions for you.” 
“As Americans, we want control over the decisions we make,” Damon says. “That’s something the energy industry doesn’t agree with.”
 And in an interview with Playboy (excerpt from Politico):
Damon said he isn’t so naive to think that any politician would ever move to make serious action against fracking. 
“We’re at a point where politicians don’t really get any benefit from engaging with long-term issues. Instead, it’s all about the next election cycle. Those guys in the House don’t do anything now but run for office. So unless they can find some little thing that zips them up a couple of points in the polls, they’re not interested. There’s a consensus among scientists, though, that we face serious long-term issues. They’re saying that unless we engage with those issues, we’re genuinely f*cked. The way it looks, we’re going to wait until one of those big issues smacks us.”
And in the last bit of Promised Land news for the week, the industry has responded to the film by creating a website under the title of "The Real Promised Land."  The site is designed to give the stories of actual landowners who have experienced the shale boom firsthand, and counter the fictional account in the Hollywood movie.

Quick to respond was the blog "No Fracking Way," with a post entitled "The NOT Real Promised Land," which goes to lengths to establish something that was completely obvious to begin with: that the new "Real Promised Land" website was a PR tool of the oil and gas industry.

It's been a relatively slow news week for shale development, and I apologize for the lack of updates on the site.  The fact that the majority of the conversation right now seems to center around Promised Land ought to give a pretty good indication that there wasn't much to report.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Links For 12/24/2012: Students Try to Tap Into Utica Shale Bonanza, Progress Evident in Utica Shale Area, Railroad Benefitting From Natural Gas Development, "Covert" Seismic Mapping Angers Community

The Review: Students head OSU's vision into the shale bonanza

Tribune Chronicle:  Progress evident in Utica area

The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register:  Rails Boosted by Gas Industry

The Plain Dealer:  State Rep. Matt Lynch vows to take action on damages with "covert" seismic mapping of state Route 306

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EV Energy Partners Provides Update on Its Utica Shale Sales Process


EV Energy Partners, L.P. (NASDAQEVEP) provided the following update on its Utica Shale sales process: EVEP has received bona fide offers to purchase its operated acreage in the Utica Shale, and is in substantive negotiations with potential purchasers to sell the acreage. However, EVEP does not expect to announce any agreements for the sale of the Utica Shale prior to the end of 2012.
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that the partnership expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Statements regarding the sale of the Utica Shale are forward looking statements. Such statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of EVEP, which may cause our actual results to differ materially from those implied or expressed by the forward-looking statements. These include risks relating to the ability to negotiate a final sales agreement, prices and demand for natural gas and oil, and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected as described in the EVEP's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made and EVEP undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


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FrackNation Producer Says the Film is "Not Pro-Fracking, It's Pro-Truth"

From The Daily Caller:
As the television network HBO greenlights a second documentary about the dangers of fracking, investigative journalist Phelim McAleer prepares for the release of his own documentary, “FrackNation,” which sets out to find the truth about fracking and expose “misinformation” spread by anti-fracking groups.
“It’s not pro-fracking, it’s pro-truth and pro-journalism,” McAleer told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. McAleer made the documentary with his wife Ann McElhinney and colleague Magdalena Segieda.
“There’s a lot of emotions out there, there’s a lot of allegations out there, there’s a lot of lawsuits out there,” he continued. “Let’s look at the science and the truth behind the emotion and the science and the lawsuits.” 

Read more here: http://dailycaller.com/2012/12/21/new-documentary-aims-to-correct-lies-misinformation-spread-by-anti-fracking-groups/#ixzz2G0UIGVj2

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Gasland Sequel, FrackNation, Promised Land All Poised to Keep Fracking Debate Front & Center

From Reuters (via Yahoo! News):
Not so long ago, fracking was a technical term little known beyond the energy industry. Now it's coming to Hollywood, as the fierce battle between environmentalists and oil firms is played out in several forthcoming films.
Hydraulic fracturing, the controversial drilling technique also known as fracking, has lifted U.S. energy output dramatically, despite warnings from critics who fear it pollutes water deep underground.
Any shift in public opinion could impact policy - and huge sums in energy spending - since drilling regulations are under review by the Obama administration and local officials around the country. The high stakes involve a range of issues from U.S. energy independence, to protection of drinking water.
Both sides are using movies to try to win the debate, though actor Matt Damon says viewers should not assume the movie he stars in, "Promised Land," is "a rabid anti-fracking polemic."
Read the rest of this story here. 

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Recapping Chesapeake's Activity in Ohio in the Past Two Years

From the Canton Repository:
In December 2010, Chesapeake Energy started drilling the Buell well in Harrison County.
Now it has 32 producing wells in Ohio, while another 37 wells are waiting for pipeline connections.
This month marked Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake’s two-year anniversary for drilling operations in Ohio.
The company actually started doing business here earlier in 2010, accumulating what still are the largest holdings in Ohio’s Utica shale formation.
Because they started sooner, Chesapeake remains far ahead of other oil and natural gas exploration companies when it comes to land leased, wells drilled and drilling permit applications granted by the state.
Read the rest of the article by clicking here. 

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Friday, December 21, 2012

ENSERVCO Corp. Adds Five Utica Shale Customers


DENVER, CO -- (Marketwire) -- ENSERVCO Corporation (OTCBB: ENSV) (OTCQB: ENSV), a provider of well-site services to the domestic onshore conventional and unconventional oil and gas industries, today announced it will be working under master service agreements (MSAs) with five major exploration and production companies targeting eastern Ohio's Utica Shale formation. Preliminary work with three of the companies has already commenced, although most services are expected to begin in January 2013. Primary services covered under the MSAs include frac heating, hot oiling, pressure testing and water hauling.
Eastern Ohio is one of ENSERVCO's newest operating regions, and the latest customers, which include four of the five largest operators in the Utica, represent a significant incremental growth opportunity. Recent studies by Ohio's Department of Natural Resources suggest the Utica Shale has the potential to become one of the United States' most prolific oil and gas plays, and could ultimately generate up to 5.5 billion barrels of oil and 15.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas production, assuming a 5% rate of recovery. Several exploration and production companies have announced aggressive development programs for the Utica, including Gulfport Energy, which recently said it has budgeted $215 million to $225 million for drilling activities during 2013 alone.
Rick Kasch, president and CFO, said, "We expect to see consistent demand for our core fluid heating services in this region throughout the fall, winter and spring, as hydraulic fracturing techniques in the Utica generally require frac water to be approximately 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Average monthly temperatures in eastern Ohio reach this level for only three or four months a year.
"In addition to our early mover advantage in the region, our modern equipment fleet and reputation for outstanding service position us to benefit from the anticipated long-term production growth associated with this field," Kasch added.
The Company currently is serving the Utica Shale region out of its Carmichaels, PA operations center, which opened in 2010.
Kasch noted that ENSERVCO also will soon commence frac-heating services for one of the largest exploration and production companies targeting the burgeoning Mississippi Lime formation in southern Kansas. The operator is already utilizing ENSERVCO's water hauling, pressure testing and well acidizing services.
ENSERVCO also announced it recently commissioned the fabrication of several next-generation, double-burner heating units (include picture) that are expected to collectively increase the Company's frac heating capacity by approximately 50%. When completed, ENSERVCO expects to deploy the units primarily in the Company's Rocky Mountain and Northeastern U.S. service territories -- regions abundant in oil and natural gas liquids. All units are expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2013.
About ENSERVCO
Through its various operating subsidiaries, ENSERVCO has emerged as one of the energy service industry's leading providers of hot oiling, acidizing, frac heating and fluid management services. The Company owns and operates a fleet of more than 245 specialized trucks, trailers, frac tanks and related well-site equipment. ENSERVCO operates in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Wyoming and West Virginia. For more information, please visit the company's website atwww.enservco.com.


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West Virginia Worker Killed While Laying Gas Pipe

From Shale Reporter:
BETHANY, W.Va. — Officials are investigating the death of worker while installing a natural gas pipeline in Bethany.
Media outlets report that crews were using heavy equipment to lift a 120-foot section of pipeline around 7 p.m. on Sunday when it swayed into another piece of equipment and crashed through its windshield and struck the operator.
Read the whole article here. 

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Buckeye Water District to Sell Treated Water For Fracking

From The Morning Journal:
The Buckeye Water District board on Thursday approved a one-year agreement to supply bulk water for use in the shale gas industry.
BWD will sell treated water to Keystone Clearwater Solutions, a Hershey, Pa., based firm that "provides customized water transfer/frack support services and water supply/turnkey water intake construction/management for Marcellus & Utica Shale operators," according to the company website.
Though a contract has yet to be written, BWD board President Mike Ryan announced the terms of the agreement.
Read the rest of this story by clicking here. 

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Chesapeake Energy: $3.3 Billion Spent in Ohio, and Not Done Yet

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
This month marks Chesapeake's well-drilling second anniversary in the Buckeye State. 
So far, Chesapeake: 
•Has drilled 134 wells with 65 others drilled but not completed. The company now has 13 drilling rigs in the state and the rights to 1.3 million acres. 
•Has spent $3.3 billion by Sept. 30, which included $2.2 billion in lease payments to landowners. 
•Has paid contractors more than $58 million on road improvement projects. 
•Now employs 550 Ohio residents, up from 40 in January 2011, annually paying them a total of $32 million. 
•Has donated nearly $1 million to charitable groups for Ohio projects.
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Learn More About the Utica Shale Play

From The Motley Fool:
To help Foolish Investors better understand the oil and gas boom in the United States, we are putting together a series of articles focusing on the major energy plays in the lower 48. We'll need to rely heavily on these areas to achieve North American energy independence. Today we're going to take a look at the Utica Shale.
IntroductionThe Utica Shale is an oil and gas play that's still in its infancy, but it could hold lots of potential energy. The shale is located in the Appalachian Basin, primarily in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia, and sits under another famous shale play, the Marcellus.
Similar to the Marcellus Shale, the Utica Shale is comprised of rock pores that hold hydrocarbons like oil and gas. One difference between the two, though, is that Utica holds more "wet" natural gas, which consists of ethane, butane, propane, and pentane. Dry gas consists primarily of methane. The Utica Shale is also deeper than Marcellus, ranging from 2,000 feet at the outer fringes of the shale, to over 14,000 feet near the core. Much of the wet gas is found in the outer regions of the shale, usually with depths of about 6,000 feet or less.
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EPA Releases Update on Hydraulic Fracturing Study

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today provided an update on its ongoing national study currently underway to better understand any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Results of the study, which Congress requested EPA to complete, are expected to be released in a draft for public and peer review in 2014. The update provided today outlines work currently underway, including the status of research projects that will inform the final study.  It is important to note that while this progress report outlines the framework for the final study, it does not draw conclusions about the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, which will be made in the final study.

As the administration and EPA has made clear, natural gas has a central role to play in our energy future, and this important domestic fuel source has extensive economic, energy security, and environmental benefits. The study EPA is currently undertaking is part of EPA’s focus to ensure that the Administration continues to work to expand production of this important domestic resource safely and responsibly.

Among the information released today are updates on 18 research projects and details on the agency’s research approach as well as next steps for these ongoing projects and analyses.  Today’s update follows the public release, in November 2011, of the agency’s final study plan, which underwent scientific peer review and public comment.

EPA has engaged stakeholders, including industry, to ensure that the study reflects current practices in hydraulic fracturing. EPA continues to request data and information from the public and stakeholders and has put out a formal request for information which can be accessed through the federal register at:
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/11/09/2012-27452/request-for-information-to-inform-hydraulic-fracturing-research-related-to-drinking-water-resources

EPA also expects to release a draft report of results from the study in late 2014.  The study has been designated a Highly Influential Scientific Assessment, meaning it will receive the highest level of peer review in accordance with EPA’s peer review handbook before it is finalized. The 2014 draft report will synthesize the results from the ongoing projects together with the scientific literature to answer the study’s main research questions.

EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) is forming a panel of independent experts which will review and provide their individual input on the ongoing study to EPA. The SAB will provide an opportunity for the public to offer comments for consideration by the individual panel members. For more information on the SAB process, please visit:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabpeople.nsf/WebCommittees/BOARD

More information: 
www.epa.gov/hfstudy




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