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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Study Says Americans Don't Know Much About Fracking

From Via Meadia:
Americans don’t know much about fracking, apparently. That’s the takeaway from a recent study of their knowledge and opinions of the drilling technique. Researchers asked the 1,061 respondents what comes to mind when they hear the term hydraulic fracturing, and this is what they found (h/t Climate Central):
Fifty-eight percent [of respondents] specifically indicated that they did not know anything about the issue or responded with a statement that we considered irrelevant (such as “Battlestar Galactica”) or lacking specific detail to determine its relevance (i.e. “breaking” or “cracking”).
That the majority of respondents didn’t know anything about fracking (or at least anything relevant) isn’t necessarily surprising, but it does say something about the debate surrounding it.
Read more of what that author has to say about the study by clicking here. 

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Trillions of Dollars to Be Invested in Unconventional Oil & Gas Development Through 2035, Says Report

From SNL:
North America could see a "prodigious amount" of unconventional oil and gas production consuming trillions of dollars in funding over the next two decades, the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions said in a new report. 
In the report, "The challenge of renaissance: Managing an unprecedented wave of oil and gas investment," Deloitte said fully unlocking the unconventional oil and gas potential in the United States and Canada will call for "a vast and sustained amount of investment" if production totals are to meet analysts' expectations. 
"The [U.S. Energy Information Administration] estimates nearly $5 trillion in upstream oil and gas investment is needed in North America through 2035 to maintain current levels of output and meet future demand growth," the report's authors said. "This investment translates into a prodigious amount of onshore well activity and oil sands development."
Read more about this by clicking here. 

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High School Students Listen to Presentation From Industry Reps About Rewarding Opportunities

From Shale Play:
To get a better understanding of the career paths available to young people in the gas and oil industry, nearly 200 seniors from John Marshall and Cameron high schools heard from representatives from several local gas companies about their own careers Tuesday at John Marshall High School.
Organized by Energy Speaks Education, students spent the day listening to presentations on the types of jobs available in the industry, the different degrees students would need to obtain to enter the field, salary amounts and the nature of the work on gas and oil sites. Companies represented included the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia, Eagle Manufacturing Company, Gastar Exploration, Select Energy Services and Baker Hughes.
"These jobs are demanding and challenging, but they are rewarding," Lydia Williams, a regional sales representative, said to a group of students. "You do not work normal hours. You could be on a site for 12 hours or even stay overnight if you have to. There are days when you leave on Monday, but you might not come back until Wednesday. It's a job where you have to be open-minded."
You can read that entire story here. 

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Water Testing in Portage County Starts Up Again on December 1

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Concerned Citizens Ohio is resuming its water testing on a quarterly basis on Dec. 1.
The water samples can be brought to Sand Hill Stable at 4311 State Route 303 just west of state Route 44 in Portage County's Shalersville Township.
It is the first sampling date since the grass-roots group switched to quarterly testing.
Read more here.

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Watchdog Group Says Fracking Contributions to Congress Are Up to $6.9 Million


Washington, D.C.  Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released a new report detailing how congressional candidates are benefitting from companies operating hydraulically fractured wells and trade associations supporting the fracking industry. 
In the new report, Natural Cash: How the Fracking Industry Fuels Congress, CREW — utilizing federal campaign contribution data tracked by MapLight — found contributions from the industry to House and Senate candidates from districts and states home to fracking activity rose by 231 percent between the 2004 and 2012 election cycles, from approximately $2.1 million to $6.9 million. In contrast, industry contributions to candidates from nonfracking districts rose by 131 percent, from approximately $2.2 million to $5.1 million, over the same time period.
“Like many industries under increasing scrutiny, the fracking industry has responded by ratcheting up campaign donations to help make new friends in Congress,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “As CREW’s report shows, the fracking boom isn’t just good for the industry, but also for congressional candidates in fracking districts.”
The steady increases in federal campaign contributions from the fracking industry correlate with the intensifying debate over whether the federal government should have more oversight of the industry. For example, the biggest increase in industry contributions — nearly 41 percent between the 2010 and 2012 election cycles — came at a time when Congress was actively debating fracking.
The top 10 recipients of fracking industry contributions are a mix of strong industry supporters and Republican leadership. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), chairman emeritus of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, received the most contributions, raking in $509,447 between the 2004 and 2012 election cycles — over $100,000 more than the next closest recipient, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who received $384,700.  While serving as chairman of the committee, Rep. Barton sponsored the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Overall, nearly 80 percent of fracking industry contributions went to Republican congressional candidates.
“With all of the controversy over fracking, is it any surprise Rep. Barton’s actions made him the industry’s golden boy?” continued Sloan. “Unfortunately, money — not careful analysis — shapes the debate in Washington. With the environmental threats posed by fracking, it is essential the public understand the monetary influence the industry has on congressional candidates.” 
The only Ohioan on the Top 10 list was House Speaker John Boehner at No. 5 with $314,700.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org.

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What Can Be Learned From 2012 Ohio Oil & Gas Summary?

Bob Downing of the Akron Beacon Journal shares some interesting tidbits from the 2012 Ohio Oil & Gas Summary that was released recently:
-- Ohio had 5,836 registered well owners who were operating 64,570 wells in 2012.
-- A total of 553 wells were drilled in 44 of Ohio's 88 counties in 2012.
-- Carroll County was the most active with 87 wells drilled in that year.
The rest of the Top 10 were: Noble, 49; Licking, 42; Knox, 40; Stark, 36; Monroe, 31; Columbiana, 30; Harrison, 22; Coshocton, 18; and Guernsey, 18.
Those totals include horizontal wells plus shallow vertical-only wells.
 -- A total of 198 wells were drilled to the Utica shale in 2012.
-- The longest horizontal well was one in Jefferson County that stretched 16,664 feet or more than three miles.
Read more here.

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Ohio Oilfield Expo Coming Up on December 3-5 at I-X Center


COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 20, 2013 — Oil-and-gas-related businesses, industry professionals and decision makers will gather at the Ohio Oil and Gas Association’s (OOGA) 3rd annual Oilfield Expo and Safety Congress Dec. 3 – 5 at Cleveland’s International Exposition (I-X) Center.

The premier oil and gas industry event in Ohio and one of the largest in the eastern U.S., OOGA’s Oilfield Expo 2013 will feature an expanded trade show floor with more than 200 exhibitors, a Fall Technical Conference, an Oilfield Symposium and a Safety Congress.

“Each year, the Expo keeps growing in size and attendance,” said Tom Stewart, executive vice president of OOGA. “Its popularity is a testament to how important oil and gas development is to the economy of Ohio, Appalachia and to the entire nation.”

For more information about OOGA’s Oilfield Expo, visit www.ooga.com.

About the Ohio Oil and Gas Association
The Ohio Oil and Gas Association is a trade association with more than 3,300 members involved in the exploration, production and development of crude oil and natural gas resources within the state of Ohio. For more information, visit www.ooga.org.

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Belmont College Preparing Students to Work on Pipelines

From Shale Play:
Belmont College officials believe full development of the Utica Shale natural gas and oil play will require workers to weld together thousands of miles of pipelines across the Ohio countryside.
Thursday, college leaders showed Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor how they are working to train local residents to perform jobs that are mostly now going to those from southern states.
"We want these jobs to go to Ohioans," Taylor said during the tour of the college's Energy Institute. "We need to address the demands of this industry. Belmont College is helping us meet the demand."
Read that whole article here.

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Study Says Employment Impact of Shale is Overstated

From Grist:
The fracking industry wouldn’t lie, would it? But how else to explain the massive discrepancies between the number of jobs that it claims to create and the number of jobs that it actually creates? Perhaps it’s just confused about what’s going on at its own operations.
Whatever the reason, the gulf between fracking propaganda and reality has been laid bare in a new report led by the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative, a watchdog group that studies employment trends, economic development, and community impacts associated with fracking and proposed fracking in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
“Industry supporters have exaggerated the jobs impact in order to minimize or avoid altogether taxation, regulation, and even careful examination of shale drilling,” Frank Mauro, one of the authors of the report, told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
Read more from that anti-drilling site here.

The Ohio Oil & Gas Association responded to this report.  From Columbus Business First:
The study said industry supporters have overstated the jobs impact of shale development to minimize or avoid taxation, regulation or even a careful examination of shale drilling. 
But Ohio Oil and Gas Associationspokesman Mike Chadsey called that accusation “bunk” and questioned the credibility of the study because one of its funders was the Park Foundation, which advocates for the environment. 
“They’re well-known for being anti-shale development and anti-oil and gas,” he told me. 
Read that whole article here.

And read more about the report here. 

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Morgan County Landowners Encouraged to Look at Carroll County's 550 Millionaires, Consider Shale Benefits

From the Morgan County Herald:
Penrose said the Utica shale industry has made 550 millionaires out of landowners in Carroll County since drilling has begun. Harrison County has about 80 new millionaires, too. He advised any Morgan Countians with an opportunity to move up in the tax brackets to obtain some professional financial help in planning for the future. Sudden wealth can be a mixed blessing with many benefits, but many challenges, too.

“One of the main purposes of the MCLG is to educate our landowners about the facts of oil and gas leasing and production, “Ponchak said. “We have many educational speakers talk to our group, such as Ohio Department of Natural Resources, tax and estate planning attorneys, OSU Extension Office, hydraulic fracturing companies, county engineer, Ohio Oil and Gas Association, and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Read the entire article by clicking here.

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Judge Orders ODNR to Turn Over Emails in Patriot Water Case

It's been a while since we posted anything about Patriot Water Treatment's battle with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (click here to view our previous post about it).  There has been a new development now.  From The Columbus Dispatch:
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources failed to supply all of the public records that a Trumbull County city and business should have received in a dispute over fracking waste, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday.
Judge John A. Connor of Ohio’s 10th District Court of Appeals in Columbus wrote the 3-0 opinion that ordered the agency to provide the city of Warren and Patriot Water Treatment with all of the remaining documents.
April Bott, an attorney representing Warren and Patriot, said the documents are deleted emails stored in the agency’s record-keeping system.
Patriot Water Treatment recycles fracking waste from Utica and Marcellus shale wells in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Warren’s sewage-treatment plant takes the treated waste water and dumps it in the Mahoning River.
Read the whole article here.

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Ohio School District Rakes In Drilling Money

From Shale Play:
Switzerland of Ohio Local Schools has received more than $1 million so far from Marcellus and Utica shale drilling deals, but Treasurer Lance Erlwein said Ohio's largest school district in terms of geographic area is still headed for the "fiscal cliff."
"The lease proceeds are a much needed shot in the arm to our general fund, and they will be used for day-to-day operations," said Erlwein. "Despite receiving those funds, we were still forced to make devastating cuts. And we only have enough operating funds to end this current school year - and finish the next school year."
Read the entire article here. 

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Why Can't Renewables and Natural Gas Work Together?

Renewable energy and natural gas
holding hands and singing Kumbaya?
Activists will never stand for that
From The Energy Collective:
Renewable energy sources and natural gas should be considered as complements and not rivals.  A hybrid gas-electric clean energy provides a workable engineering solution while 100% Renewables models based heavily on wind, solar and efficiency fall short of the meeting the functional needs of a modern technology intensive society.
Natural gas and renewables are already functional partners on the grid.  Because wind and solar are intermittent sources of electricity, some form of backup power is required to fill the down times.  By and large this backup power has been provided by natural gas because gas is the most flexible in its deployment.  Gas turbines can be turned on and off quickly to meet fluctuating power demands.  Large boiler based systems such as coal and nuclear are not so flexible in their operations, they can take hours to turn up and efficiency is lost.  Big boilers work best when they are operating consistently which makes it more challenging to integrate with the intermittent wind and solar power sources.
Secondly, natural gas is primarily methane and methane is itself renewable.  Methane can be manufactured in vast quantities and is indistinguishable from fossil sources.   Renewable methane can be made from biomass, garbage, sewage, farm waste and is given a variety of names; biomethane, renewable natural gas, substitute natural gas, biogas and others.  Many of the best resources for biomethane are waste products today and are treated as liabilities but could be converted into assets.  Biomethane can be produced in greater quantities than other biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel.
Read the entire article here. 

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Ohio Inches Closer to 1,000 Utica Shale Well Permits, 200 Wells Producing


The latest report on weekly permitting activity from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources shows that the Utica shale is inching a little bit closer to a couple of milestone numbers.

8 new permits were issued last week.  6 of those were issued to Chesapeake: 3 in Carroll County, 2 in Columbiana County, and 1 in Guernsey County.  In addition, 1 permit was issued to Hess Ohio Resources for a Jefferson County well, and 1 to Antero Resources for a Noble County site.

The grand total of Utica shale permits in Ohio has now reached 995.  There are 609 wells drilled and 189 producing.  The Utica rig count is 44.

View the whole report here.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Another New Report Sounds Methane Alarm; Industry Pushes Back

A new study is once again sounding the alarm about methane emissions, singling out fossil fuel extraction as an offender whose significant contributions to the methane problem are being underestimated by the EPA.  Here is what the authors of the study have to say about their conclusions:
Significance
Successful regulation of greenhouse gas emissions requires knowledge of current methane emission sources. Existing state regulations in California and Massachusetts require ∼15% greenhouse gas emissions reductions from current levels by 2020. However, government estimates for total US methane emissions may be biased by 50%, and estimates of individual source sectors are even more uncertain. This study uses atmospheric methane observations to reduce this level of uncertainty. We find greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and fossil fuel extraction and processing (i.e., oil and/or natural gas) are likely a factor of two or greater than cited in existing studies. Effective national and state greenhouse gas reduction strategies may be difficult to develop without appropriate estimates of methane emissions from these source sectors.
You can read more here.

Energy in Depth was quick to respond to the report on behalf of the oil and gas industry, sharing three points in an effort to invalidate the study's conclusions.  Here is a portion of that response:
KEY FACT 1: Looks at old operating environment.
As Andy Revkin of the New York Times pointed out: “It’s important to note that the new study is a snapshot of conditions in 2007 and 2008, before concerns increased about the need for tighter standards for gas and oil drilling operations.” In the oil and gas industry, ignoring a half decade of research and innovation is almost comical, even more so because the researchers suggest that snapshot is somehow indicative of the current operating environment! 
You can read the rest of that article here. 

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Carroll County Water Treatment Plant to Open December 1

From Crain's Cleveland Business:
It's no secret that hydraulic fracturing uses a lot of water — generally, between 3 million and 7 million gallons per well — and a lot of that water comes from city water plants, lakes and other surface-water sources. But, in the Utica hot spot of Carroll County, drillers soon might be reusing more of their flowback water to frack future wells, thanks to a new water recycling plant. 
The plant, owned by Youngstown-based equipment rental company Iron Eagle, was designed by Rettew Flowback in North Canton and will have the capacity to recycle about 588,000 gallons of water per day, said Rettew spokeswoman Holly White. It is located in Sherrodsville.
You can read the entire story by clicking here. 

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Two Activists Arrested at Ohio Injection Well

From WFMJ News:

Two people were arrested during a protest outside an injection well in Trumbull County.

The protest was meant to call attention to the site and storage pits that will soon store waste water from the gas drilling process.

Protesters say the evaporation pits are too close to schools and homes in Niles and Weathersfield.

The site is located on North Main Street in Niles.
Read the whole article here. 

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Gulfport Energy Ranked as the Best-Positioned Driller in Utica Shale by Researchers

From Zolmax:
Equities researchers at Deutsche Bank started coverage on shares of Gulfport Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:GPOR) in a research report issued on Monday, TheFlyOnTheWall.comreports. The firm set a “buy” rating on the stock.
The analysts wrote, “Not far from Canton, Ohio lies the Utica Shale, an asset with Hall of Fame characteristics (significant resource and growth opportunities) with returns that can compete against the current basins driving US oil and gas growth (Eagle Ford, Permian, Bakken, Marcellus). Sitting at the core of the Utica, we view Gulfport Energy as the most levered to future success of the basin with 2014 an inflection point for peer leading debt-adjusted production and cash flow growth. While the pace of infrastructure build out remains key, GPOR looks to have capacity well in hand for the growth opportunity the basin presents. We initiate coverage with a Buy rating and $75 price target.”
Read the whole article by clicking here. 

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Links Bonanza for 11/25/13 - 14 Shale Oil & Gas Stories

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:  Shell accelerates property pursuit in Beaver County - ethane cracker plant buzz

HealthNewsDigest.com:  Greener Ways to "Frack" for Natural Gas?

Energy in Depth:  Five Bogus Claims Made about Hydraulic Fracturing on the U.S. House Floor

National Journal:  Fracking Boom Fractures the Environmental Movement

Forbes:  Colorado's Ambulance Chasing Fracking Activists - Part III

Complete Colorado:  "Frack Free Colorado" Erases Ties to "Water Defense"

Fronteras Desk:  New Mexico County Sued Over Fracking Ban

KQED News Fix:  Jerry Brown Lashes Out Against Environmentalists Over Fracking

The Nation:  The Fracking Industry's Dishonest Response to 'Gasland'

CNN Money:  Best Jobs in America 2013 (several oil & gas industry jobs make the list)

National Journal:  The Backdoor Bid to Ban Fracking

PennLive.com:  Pa's shale industry is investing in infrastructure

Atlantic:  Why You Might Buy Electricity From Elon Musk Some Day

Abraham Energy Report:  The Dodd-Frank Energy Train Wreck

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Another Article Focuses on the South-Shifting Focus of Drillers in Utica Shale

From Natural Gas Intelligence:
Carroll, Harrison and Columbiana have been the top-three counties, respectively, for drilling in the state since about 2011, but this year saw an uptick in operators that struck out farther south and southeast, where officials at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) say permitting activity has undoubtedly been on the rise. 
“I guess you could say there’s been a lot more activity in the southern region; in the counties of Harrison, Belmont, Monroe, Guernsey and Noble,” said Shawn Bennett, a spokesman with the industry-outreach group Energy In Depth. “What you’re seeing is, for so long Chesapeake has been the clear leader in the Utica; they’re the ones developing Carroll County. Now others are catching up and finding out where they stand in the play.” 
But even though Chesapeake holds 545 horizontal drilling permits, according to state records, the company doesn’t hold all of the Utica’s potential, said Don Fischbach, chairman of the energy group at Calfee, Halter & Griswold, a Cleveland-based law firm. 
“I think the drilling focus has expanded, more operators are drilling their leasehold; the play isn’t moving,” he said. “People are trying to figure out where the fence line is in the south; they’re trying to figure it out in the north too. Nothing is for sure. The only thing that’s certain is Devon Energy failed on the western fringes of the play.
Click here to read that whole article.

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Chesapeake Seeing the Reward of Utica Shale Investments

From The Motley Fool:
Former Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK  ) CEO Aubrey McClendon once called the Utica Shale the "best thing to hit Ohio since the plow." Some laughed at that remark a few years back, especially after early returns didn't show that the play held much producible oil. Bold statements like that, combined with poor returns, forced McClendon into an early retirement from Chesapeake. However, after looking through the oil and gas producer's most recent results, McClendon is probably the one who's laughing.
Last quarter, Chesapeake's production in the Utica shot up by 91% compared to the prior quarter. The company produced 164 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent per day after it connected 63 wells to pipelines. There's even more growth on the way. After drilling 377 wells in the play, Chesapeake Energy still has 208 wells still in various stages of completion.
New CEO Doug Lawler noted that while Texas' Eagle Ford shale would fuel Chesapeake's oil production growth next year, the Utica and Marcellus shales would do the heavy lifting to fuel production growth for both natural gas and natural gas liquids. The big reason why the Utica is starting to deliver results is because infrastructure is finally starting to come online to unlock the play's potential.
You can read the rest of the story by clicking here.

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Beck Energy Has Plenty of Support in Ohio Home Rule Case

From the Record-Courier:
Weeks after the city received support in its fight for control of oil and natural gas drilling within its boundaries, the opposing side has received similar support, including from the state itself.
A number of entities filed friend of the court briefs in the Ohio Supreme Court on Oct. 28 in support of Ravenna-based Beck Energy.
These include a brief from Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine, signed by State Solicitor Eric E. Murphy.
Other briefs were filed by the Ohio Contractor's Association, the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, the Ohio Aggregates Association, the American Petroleum Institute, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, and eight companies identifying themselves as "active oil and gas producers engaged in the development of the Utica Shale in Ohio."
Read the whole article by clicking here. 

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Bank Activity Stirred by Utica Shale Boom

From Columbus Business First:
As consolidation in Ohio’s banking industrypicks up steam, much of that activity will come with oil and gas considerations, saysMichael Voinovich, of investment banking firm Boenning & Scattergood Inc.
Utica-driven mergers and acquisitions activity is in its infancy, he said, but deals by Huntington Bancshares Inc. and CNB Financial Corp. are evidence to the trend.
“In Ohio, for every transaction considered, shale is a part of the conversation,” said Voinovich, who works out of Cleveland for the West Conshohocken, Pa.-based firm.
Read the whole article here. 

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Belmont County Was the Focus of New Permitting Last Week


The weekly update on horizontal drilling permits is available from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Only 10 new permits were issued.  Exactly half of those were for Belmont County wells, with 5 permits issued to Hess Ohio Developments LLC for Warren Township drilling.  2 permits were issued for Carroll County.  Rounding out the activity was Morgan County, which saw its first 3 horizontal drilling permits issued.

This latest permitting brings the grand total of Utica shale permits in Ohio to 988.  606 wells have been drilled, and 184 are producing.  The Utica rig count is 39.

View the report here.


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Fracking Without Freshwater Continues to Advance

From Reuters:
At a dusty Texas oilfield, Apache Corp has eliminated its reliance on what arguably could be the biggest long-term constraint for fracking wells in the arid western United States: scarce freshwater.
For only one well, millions of gallons of water are used for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the process that has helped reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil over the past five years by cracking rock deep underground to release oil and gas.
In Irion County, where Apache is drilling dozens of Wolfcamp shale wells in the Permian Basin, the company is meeting its water needs for hydraulic fracturing by using brackish water from the Santa Rosa aquifer and recycling water from wells and fracking using chemicals.
The company's approach could have broader significance for areas prone to drought. Apache, which has the most rigs running in the Permian, the oil-rich region that spans 59 Texas counties, says the model can cut costs and truck traffic rattling small towns stretched by the country's drilling boom.
Read the whole article by clicking here.

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Bankrupt D&L Energy Auctions Off Assets to Colorado Company

The ongoing saga of Ben Lupo's companies in the wake of his ordering the illegal dumping of thousands and thousands of gallons of wastewater into a storm sewer have been chronicled here at The Daily Digger all along (see some of the background here, here, here, here, and here.)  Now there is a new development in the story.

From Business Journal Daily:
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of Ohio Tuesday approved the sale of the assets of D&L Energy Inc. to a Denver company for $20.7 million. 
Resource Land Holdings LLC emerged as the successful bidder for the assets of the beleaguered energy company that filed for Chapter 11 earlier this year. 
According to documents filed with the court, four qualified bidders attended an all-day auction in Cleveland Nov. 13. The auction was continued to Nov. 16 with two buyers present. 
The asset purchase agreement approved Tuesday includes D&L's participation in joint ventures in pipeline agreements, operating agreements, lease inventories, real estate, equipment, and its subsidiaries.
Read the whole article here.

Public Perception of Fracking Seems To Be Improving

From The Motley Fool:
Despite recent losses at the polls, fracking is slowly starting to garner more public support. A recent poll of 1,001 adults by Robert Morris University Polling Institute showed that 56% supported hydraulic fracturing. Further, those with an opinion on fracking strongly believed that it has the potential to fuel economic growth, and move the country toward energy independence.
The big sticking point for many are the environmental concerns. Of those polled, 60% said that the environmental impact of gas drilling outweighs energy independence and reduction in energy bills. That said, the public does appear to be softening its stance against fracking. According to Robert Morris, a similar poll three years ago would have only found a third of those polled in support of fracking.
This is an important shift for the industry, which has struggled with image problems. Energy companies like Range Resources (NYSE: RRC  ) have worked hard to engage with the public by becoming more of a visible part of the community. Range Resources, for example, has created a website to educate the public and address their concerns. The company is visible on everything from billboards to baseball games in an effort to show the public how drilling can benefit a community.
You can read that entire story here.

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Chesapeake's Various Cost-Cutting Actions Are Helping the Bottom Line

From Seeking Alpha:
I have followed Chesapeake Energy (CHK) for a number of years and have written a number of articles on the company. I can honestly say that I am more optimistic about the company today than I have been in the last 3 or 4 years. As I follow the company and watch to see if it's maintaining its plan to bring itself back to profitability, I'm very excited about what I have been observing. What I am summarizing here, I will expound on later in this article. I am excited to see Chesapeake increasing revenue, decreasing capital expenditures and increasing productivity all at the same time. This is a winning combination. Let's take a look at the company's numbers.
Read the whole article here. 

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New Report From ODNR Contains Gobs of Drilling Data for 2012




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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

$12 Billion Being Spent on Infrastructure in Ohio

From The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register:
Natural gas processors MarkWest Energy, Dominion Resources, M3 Midstream and others are building about $12 billion worth of infrastructure in Ohio, according to an official with the state Department of Natural Resources.
While Rick Simmers, chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management at ODNR, spoke Friday during the DUG East conference in Pittsburgh, he noted a case before the Ohio Supreme Court is challenging his agency's exclusive authority to regulate drilling and fracking throughout the Buckeye State.
Simmers reminded those in attendance at the two-day conference that although advances in horizontal drilling and fracking now allow for exploration in the Utica and Marcellus shale formations, there have been about 280,000 wells drilled in Ohio since 1861.
Read the whole article here.

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What is the One Thing That Could Definitely Stop Shale Drilling Boom?

From Forbes:
Environmentalists won’t stop the shale gas craze. Neither will federal regulators. But a lack of water could possibly do so. And that is why drillers are looking for new ways to find water supplies — or fresh water supplies would be jeopardized as a result of fossil fuel development.
During the exploration of shale gas, a concoction of sand, water and chemicals is pumped into the ground. Some of the dirty water returns and it must either be treated or re-injected underground, which at least in the northeastern United States involves trucking such tainted water to different locales — something that then upsets the green movement. Treating — or recycling — the “fracking water,” by contrast, optimizes a scarce resource while potentially mitigating any ecological ramifications, albeit at potentially higher costs.
“No question: Recycling is the way that the industry is moving,” says Bill Charneski, chief operating officer of OriginOil, in a telephone interview. “It makes economic and environmental sense to do so."
You can read that whole article here. 

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Drillers Will Have to Wait Until January for Processing Plant That Caught on Fire to Restart

From The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register:
Marcellus and Utica shale companies depending on the Blue Racer Midstream plant for processing are out of luck until at least January, as the facility remains completely shut down after part of it caught fire Sept. 21.
"Blue Racer's Natrium plant in Marshall County remains in a safe shutdown mode. We are making the repairs needed to restore service," said Blue Racer spokeswoman Casey Nikoloric.
Though Dominion Resources originally developed the Natrium plant and the full-time workers at Natrium are considered Dominion employees, Blue Racer now officially owns the facility as part of a $1.5 billion deal between Dominion and Caiman Energy. 
"The plant will not restart until an emergency siren system is in place and tested in the neighboring community of Kent," said Jim Norvelle, spokesman for Dominion, noting he projects this to occur in January. "We have been talking with our neighbors there about installing the system. We're in the final stages of making that happen."
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