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Friday, March 31, 2017

Some Shale Producers See DNA Science as Key to Getting More Oil

From Reuters:
A small group of U.S. oil producers has been trying to exploit advances in DNA science to wring more crude from shale rock, as the domestic energy industry keeps pushing relentlessly to cut costs and compete with the world's top exporters. 
Shale producers have slashed production costs as much as 50 percent over two years, waging a price war with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). 
Now, U.S. shale producers can compete in a $50-per-barrel oil market, and about a dozen shale companies are seeking to cut costs further by analyzing DNA samples extracted from oil wells to identify promising spots to drill.

The technique involves testing DNA extracts from microbes found in rock samples and comparing them to DNA extracted from oil. Similarities or differences can pinpoint areas with the biggest potential. The process can help cut the time needed to begin pumping, shaving production costs as much as 10 percent, said Ajay Kshatriya, chief executive and co-founder of Biota Technology, the company that developed this application of DNA science for use in oilfields.
Read more by clicking here.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

03/29/17 Links of the Day: Keystone XL Approved, Thousands of Shale Wells Left Unfinished, and More

Energy in Depth:  Disturbing Video Shows How Out of Touch Fringe Anti-Fracking Activist Group Is With Ohioans   -   "A disturbing anti-fracking video from Appalachia Resist! — perhaps the most rogue fringe activists group in Ohio — was recently posted to social media in an apparent effort to save their failed campaigns. The group, which has been tied to..."

Reuters:  All Drill, No Frack: U.S. Shale Leaves Thousands of Wells Unfinished   -   "U.S. shale producers are drilling at the highest rate in 18 months but have left a record number of wells unfinished in the largest oilfield in the country – a sign that output may not rise as swiftly as drilling activity would indicate. Rising U.S. shale output has rattled OPEC's most influential exporter Saudi Arabia and pushed oil prices to a near..."

Press release:  Ascent Resources Utica Holdings, LLC Announces Offering Of $1.5 Billion Of Senior Notes   -   "Ascent Resources Utica Holdings, LLC ("ARUH") and ARU Finance Corporation ("Finco" and, together with ARUH, the "Issuers") announced today that they intend to offer $1.5 billion of senior unsecured notes ("Notes") in two series due in 2022 and 2025 in an unregistered offering to institutional investors. The Notes will be guaranteed by Ascent Resources – Utica, LLC ("ARU"). The net proceeds from the offering..."

WTOV:  Cera Pushing New Bill that Would Assist Areas Impacted by Shale Drilling   -   "A new bill that would assist areas impacted by shale drilling. State Representative Jack Cera, R-Bellaire, says the oil and gas severance tax should come back to benefit the area in which it was generated, and he is working to reinvest severance tax revenue in eastern Ohio. "There’s about $54 million sitting in this fund right now. That's money that's never been expended, and my concern..."

Vorys Energy & Environmental Law Blog:  Ohio Court Construes the Term “Holder” Under the 2006 DMA to Include the Heirs and Devisees of the Record Owner   -   "Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals recently interpreted the term “holder” under the 2006 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (R.C. § 5301.56) (“2006 DMA”) and held that the term should be construed broadly to include the heirs and devisees of the record owner of the severed mineral interest that succeed to the severed mineral interest by intestacy or..."

Morningstar:  Antero Gears Up for NGL Growth   -   "Antero Resources (AR) produces natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia and the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio. Henry Hub prices are close to our midcycle estimate of $3 per thousand cubic feet, which is well above the company’s cost of production. Though basis differentials in..."

Forbes:  State Approves Keystone XL, World Does Not End. Film at 11.   -   "It's been a very busy week for pipeline-related matters. On Monday, I wrote about the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the latest controversy surrounding whether the state of North Dakota will receive any help in paying the huge tab it has incurred policing and cleaning up after the protesters. On Wednesday I wrote about..."

Fuel Fix:  Halliburton Adding 2,000 Jobs as Oilfield Activity Picks Up   -   "Halliburton on Friday said it’s adding 2,000 U.S. jobs in the first quarter and ramping up activity faster than anticipated to try to match the surging oilfield activity, especially in West Texas. In a rare operations update call, Halliburton Chairman and CEO Dave Lesar said the company is spending more money..."


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Utica Shale Rig Count Drops Back to 20 on Latest ODNR Report


New permits issued last week9  (Previous week: 7+2
Total horizontal permits issued: 2432  (Previous week: 2427+5
Total horizontal wells drilled: 1937  (Previous week: 1931+6
Total horizontal wells producing: 1532  (Previous week: 1530+2
Utica rig count: 20  (Previous week: 21)  -1


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Ohio’s Ad Valorem Tax: Guernsey County, Real World Impact To Local Communities

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth

EID has learned that one school in Guernsey County has seen its funding double, thanks to minerals produced from shale wells.
This is a real-world example of the positive impacts discussed in EID’s recent report. Ohio communities are just now starting to get a glimpse of what’s to come as ad valorem taxes, or real estate property taxes, paid on oil and natural gas production are starting to pay dividends.  As EID’s report showed, six Ohio counties have collectively received $43.7 million from this one tax alone, based on production through 2013. One of these counties was Guernsey County, which is in the oil window of Utica Shale development and was a top oil-producing county every quarter last year.
As EID’s report examines, ad valorem tax revenue stays 100 percent local, supporting schools, county governments, townships, villages, mental health centers and first-responders. Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and help from the Guernsey County Auditor’s Office, EID has learned that one school in Guernsey County has seen its funding double, thanks to minerals produced from shale wells.
Mineral values from the East Guernsey Local School District jurisdiction jumped more than 3,000 percent from 2012 to 2015. During the same period of time, forecasted real estate property tax payments to the school doubled from initial projections — a direct and impactful development that is entirely attributable to fracking.
It’s clear that this boost was unexpected, as the school district budgeted for about $2 million (inflation adjusted) from real estate property taxes through 2017. However, the school coffers broke $4.1 million in 2015 and added an additional $150,000 to the permanent improvement fund as well. Considering there were no new levies during this timespan, it is clear that it was the oil and gas industry that gave this school a boost, rather than already over-burdened homeowners.
Let’s take a look at how our recent report highlighting this important tax plays out in real life. Here’s the total shale production and property tax paid on Guernsey County oil and gas wells from 2010 to 2015. As is evident by the fact that significant ad valorem taxes were collected in 2010 and 2011 despite there being no shale production in the county at that time, conventional oil and gas development has been a staple for the county for some time. But as production from shale wells started in 2012, the property tax payments received on production grew rapidly right along with it.
Again, the East Guernsey Local School District was clearly not anticipating this new revenue source, as is obvious by looking at its five-year forecast below. As you can clearly see, the school was expecting its inflation-adjusted revenues from real estate property taxes to stay about the same from 2010 to 2017.
 
Revenue:

1.010 General Property Tax (Real Estate)
1.020 Tangible Personal Property Tax
1.030 Income Tax
1.035 Unrestricted Grants-in-Aid
1.040 Restricted Grants-in-Aid
1.050 Property Tax Allocalion
1.060 All Other Revenues
Actual
Fiscal Year 2010Fiscal Year 2011Fiscal Year 2012
 
1,739,850
194,849
0
5,995,719
471,603
421,038
1,106,759
 
1,757,697
244,518
0
6,073,044
605,308
420,748
1,213,856
 
1,983,278
246,778
0
6,144,334
444,390
329,044
1,628,904
1.070Total Revenues9,929,81810,315,17110,776,728

So just as our recent report showed, real estate property taxes paid on oil and gas production have a huge real-world impact on local communities. This has certainly been true for East Guernsey Local School District, as the forecasted $2.1 million in property tax revenue instead wound up being $4.1 million — thanks to fracking.
What’s more is that this is only the beginning. As was reported this week by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODRN), last year’s natural gas production surpassed 2015 production by more than 43 percent, doing so in a year in which drilling was essentially shuttered. Drilling is starting to pick up again this year, and with it, we would expect production to rise as well. That’s why we conservatively forecasted Ohio shale counties will receive $200-$250 million from ad valorem taxes from 2016-2026. As this real-world data from East Guernsey Local School District shows, these taxes are having an enormous local positive impact and providing much-needed resources to our schools, governments and social services — and doing so without raising taxes on Ohioans.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Second Wayne National Forest Lease Sale Tops $5 Million

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today conducted a competitive online auction of 1,186 acres of federal minerals in the Wayne National Forest (WNF) that brought a total of$5,196,220.07 — more than doubling what the first WNF mineral auction brought in December.
The December sale of 719 acres in the WNF totaled $1.7 million, meaning the first two sales have brought in over $6.8 million. EID conservatively forecasted today’s sale of acreage from the Marietta Unit — which includes the prolific dry natural gas found in Monroe County — could yield more than $2 million. That forecast proved to be conservative, indeed!
Considering up to 40,000 total acres have been approved for leasing in the Wayne and competitive online auction sales occur quarterly, this is great news for private property owners and especially the schools in Monroe County, as the federal government sends a portion of these funds back to the local communities.
Ahead of the sale today, Wayne National Forest supervisor Tony Scardina penned a tremendous op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch, which outlined the U.S. Forest Service’s commitment to continue oil and gas development in the Wayne National Forest. As Mr. Scardina said,
“As forest supervisor I believe it is important for any discussion of these issues to be based on factual information. This should include why oil and gas development occurs in the Wayne, what the Forest Service does to ensure that appropriate environmental protections are in place, and economic benefits to local communities and the nation resulting from domestic energy production. Throughout the oil- and gas-leasing process, the primary concern of the Wayne National Forest is to ensure that any development meets or exceeds standards for natural resource conservation, and protection of public health and safety. To achieve these important goals, our national forest requires many standards and guidelines for environmental protection. All requirements are based on the best available science, extensive knowledge and experience of our staff and multiple layers of environmental study.” (Emphasis added)
EID has been cataloguing the environmental review process, which has been years in the making, to allow the leasing sale that took place today. We cannot agree more with Mr. Scardina’s statement, and are pleased to see a federal regulator acknowledging the facts of the debate regarding leasing in the Wayne. It is the mandate of the Forest Service to follow federal laws and policy, which includes development on domestic minerals as part of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, the Forest Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. As Mr. Scardina went on to say,
“As a federal land-management agency with a multiple-use mission, the Forest Service also must follow current federal laws and policy, which require us to foster and encourage domestic energy production on federal lands. Through this development, local jobs are created and our nation’s dependence on foreign energy is reduced.”
We are also glad to see that the Forest Service acknowledged a key issue that EID has been trumpeting with regard to the fact the Wayne National Forest is unique in that the federal government does not own the majority of the minerals in the forest. In fact, 59 percent of the mineral rights are privately owned. Up until recently, those private mineral owners were being held hostage of seeing their minerals developed. The Forest Service also acknowledges another key point that EID has consistently brought to light — that oil and gas development in the Wayne is not new. In fact, there are 1,200 active wells in the forest.
Lastly, another key statement made by Mr. Scardina is the acknowledgement that oil and natural gas development can occur concurrently with multiple uses of the Wayne, whether it be fishing, hiking, hunting, or camping. This is true, because the Environment Assessment found that there would be “no significant impact” to the forest from fracking.
There is a very stringent process that takes place after leasing occurs to ensure multiple recreational uses of the forest can remain intact and in conjunction with development of subsurface minerals. The forest supervisor is clearly committed to this cause, as Mr. Scardina ended his opinion editorial stating,
“I am confident in our ability to manage multiple uses in the national forest, including oil and gas development, and can ensure that the Wayne National Forest will continue to provide for a broad range of uses for current and future generations.”

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

OOGA Urges Senate to Repeal BLM’s Venting and Flaring Rule

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association strongly urges Senator Rob Portman to support the repeal of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) venting and flaring rule that was approved during the waning days of the Obama Administration. 

It is clear this rule, if it should stand, would have a disastrous impact on conventional oil and natural gas operators in southeast Ohio who produce wells in and near federal owned minerals. These longstanding Ohio businesses would be forced to comply with unnecessary rules that could cost up to $50,000 per well by requiring they be retrofitted with emissions control equipment. In addition, the rule would also create significant ongoing costs for the life of the well. 

There are currently over 2,000 wells in Ohio that could be targeted by this rule. Many of these existing conventional wells are lower producing wells, owned and operated by local conventional producers who cannot afford to make those capital investments or would be forced to plug the well because these rules would make them uneconomical to continue to produce. 

These rules are unnecessary and duplicative because Congress has already granted US EPA the authority to regulate air emissions under the Clean Air Act and in Ohio, Ohio EPA implements regulations under the Clean Air Act on behalf of the federal government. 

While there have been arguments by environmental groups that this rule would somehow increase royalties for the federal government, the opposite would actually happen in Ohio. This is really about creating over burdensome regulations that would cause many of these 2,000 wells to be prematurely plugged. 

That means no more royalties for landowners who may share minerals with the Bureau of Land Management. If not rescinded, these rules could also cost the government millions in lost royalties from existing wells on federal lands. 

“Leaving this venting and flaring rule in place would be detrimental to conventional operators like myself who have been responsibly developing these federal minerals for decades.” Said Brian Chavez, Vice-President of, Washington County based, Condevco Inc. 

According to an analysis from economist John Dunham, the rule is estimated to shut down the production of about 112.4 million barrels of oil, which has a projected value of $6.1 billion. That means, even in the best-case scenario, taxpayers would miss out on about $114 million in combined federal and state taxes. 

Leaving this unwarranted rule in place is just bad policy and detrimental to not only Ohio oil and natural gas producers but to landowners across southeastern Ohio who may fall under the wide reach of this rule.


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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Digging Into the 4th Quarter 2016 Utica Shale Production Figures

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has now released the production data from the Utica shale for the fourth quarter of 2016. As always, we are going to give you a look at how the numbers compare to past quarters, past years, and how they break down among the various drillers who are active in Ohio and the counties where they are drilling. We also have the top 10 oil and gas wells detailed below.

PRODUCTION RATE COMPARISONS

First up, let's take a look at how the quarterly data compares from the 1st quarter of 2014 through the fourth quarter of 2016. As a reminder, all oil figures are 42-gallon barrels, and all gas production is measured in MCF:

QUARTER# OF WELLS/# WITH DATAOILGASDAYSOIL/DAYOIL/WELLGAS/DAYGAS/WELL
2014-1 476/4181,950,97967,333,94528,019704,6672,403161,086
2014-2562/5042,467,28388,673,74137,922654,8952,338175,940
2014-3717/6743,013,667132,017,38650,858594,4712,596195,871
2014-4828/7793,558,836164,815,00862,527574,5682,636211,573
2015-1926/8774,432,304183,585,25569,745635,0192,632209,333
2015-21020/9785,594,633221,860,16980,724695,7042,748226,851
2015-31134/10875,709,858245,747,68684,283685,2422,916226,079
2015-41265/12306,249,116302,505,428102,378615,0812,955245,939
2016-11351/13035,485,854329,537,838110,699504,2102,977252,907
2016-21415/13654,839,792334,257,982118,036413,5462,832244,878
2016-31492/14593,954,095360,681,356126,827312,7102,844247,211
2016-41561/15263,577,553345,241,751132,001272,3442,615226,240


While the gas production rates have been up and down since 2014, this is the first time since the Utica shale data began to be tracked that the total gas production in a quarter has declined from the quarter before.

Oil production rates continued their fall in the 4th quarter of 2016 as well. The significant decline in 2016 can be seen clearly in this graph:




YEAROILGAS
201146,3262,561,524
2012635,87412,831,292
20133,677,734100,119,054
201410,990,765452,840,080
201521,985,911953,887,763
201617,949,0971,370,220,834
TOTALS55,285,7072,892,460,547

As expected, oil production saw a large decrease from 2015. The slowdown in gas production during the 4th quarter means that the total for 2016 falls a little short of eclipsing the total gas production of 2014 and 2015 combined. Over 47% of the total Utica shale production from the last 6 years came during 2016.

TOP PRODUCING WELLS

These were the top 10 oil producing wells during quarter 4:


OPERATORCOUNTYWELL NAME/NO.OILOIL/DAY
ECLIPSE RESOURCES I LPGUERNSEYPURPLE HAYES 1H75795842
PDC ENERGY INCGUERNSEYNEFF 3H45243492
ASCENT RESOURCES UTICA LLCHARRISONCORDER W NTG HR 2H37607710
R E GAS DEVELOPMENT LLCCARROLLPERRY UNIT 1H35159386
ASCENT RESOURCES UTICA LLCHARRISONCORDER W NTG HR 4H33920640
ASCENT RESOURCES UTICA LLCGUERNSEYEGGLESTON WLS GR 2H33579365
ASCENT RESOURCES UTICA LLCHARRISONCORDER E NTG HR 6H-A31136649
ASCENT RESOURCES UTICA LLCGUERNSEYEGGLESTON WLS GR 4H29422320
R E GAS DEVELOPMENT LLCCARROLLGOEBELER UNIT 3H28369312
ASCENT RESOURCES UTICA LLCGUERNSEYLAWSON LND GR 6H27970304

And the top 10 gas producing wells:


OPERATORCOUNTYWELL NAME/NO.GASGAS/DAY
ASCENT RESOURCES UTICA LLCJEFFERSONSMITHFIELD S SMF JF 4H1,635,148 17,773
ASCENT RESOURCES UTICA LLCJEFFERSONSMITHFIELD A 2H1,620,840 17,618
ASCENT RESOURCES UTICA LLCBELMONTEMERSYN E RCH BL 3H1,619,684 17,605
ECLIPSE RESOURCES I LPBELMONTEMERSYN W RCH BL 1H1,619,632 17,605
ASCENT RESOURCES UTICA LLCJEFFERSONSMITHFIELD N SMF JF 7H1,618,468 17,592
GULFPORT ENERGY CORPBELMONTWARRICK 210463 4A1,598,247 17,563
RICE DRILLING D LLCBELMONTROSS SE RCH BL 11H1,595,125 17,338
GULFPORT ENERGY CORPBELMONTCRAVAT N WHL BL 3H-A1,593,361 17,319
GULFPORT ENERGY CORPBELMONTCOLEMAN RCH BL 1H1,591,631 17,300
GULFPORT ENERGY CORPJEFFERSONDALRYMPLE SMF JF 3H1,590,184 17,285

Jefferson County really came onto the scene during the 4th quarter in gas production.  In quarter 3 there was not one Jefferson County well in the top 10 gas producers, but in quarter 4 it was the location of the top 2 gas producing wells and 4 of the top 10.

COUNTY-BY-COUNTY


COUNTY# OF WELLS TOTAL# OF WELLS PRODUCINGOILGASDAYSOIL/WELLOIL/DAYGAS/WELLGAS/DAY
Belmont26525722,829132,516,44820,059891515,6286,606
Carroll438436846,71141,347,80839,3201,9422294,8341,052
Columbiana656019,6037,284,9995,5113274121,4171,322
Coshocton1115710,58792157210,587115
Guernsey1381361,085,94414,785,86812,2837,98588108,7201,204
Harrison2822791,233,98143,378,41724,7154,42350155,4781,755
Jefferson353317117,656,937279550535,0596,317
Mahoning13112,954654,336907269359,485721
Monroe16015838,04161,726,52513,0642413390,6744,725
Morgan224,11062,8661812,0552331,433347
Muskingum1151514,60592515614,605159
Noble134134293,42224,734,98111,4952,19026184,5892,152
Portage4101,63036001,63045
Stark221,18433,457183592616,729183
Trumbull331,17879,144276393426,381287
Tuscarawas7410,59196,2982952,6483624,075326
Washington11816,162856,8456972,02023107,1061,229

OPERATOR-BY-OPERATOR


OPERATORTOTAL # OF WELLS# OF PRODUCING WELLSOILGASDAYSOIL/WELLOIL/DAYGAS/WELLGAS/DAY
Antero Resources Corporation170 169 186,014 48,733,461 14,994 1,101 12 288,364 3,250
Artex Oil Company6 6 2,778 116,653 552 463 5 19,442 211
Ascent Resources Utica LLC108 108 687,160 43,630,154 9,012 6,363 76 403,983 4,841
Atlas Noble LLC12 12 11,733 1,149,298 1,104 978 11 95,775 1,041
Carrizo (Utica) LLC4 2 24,321 178,101 181 12,161 134 89,051 984
Chesapeake Appalachia LLC6 4 17 561,682 312 4 - 140,421 1,800
Chesapeake Exploration LLC635 624 1,379,873 72,874,372 56,722 2,211 24 116,786 1,285
CNX Gas Company LLC42 40 96,380 9,098,330 3,351 2,410 29 227,458 2,715
Eclipse Resources I LP74 74 534,069 19,472,712 6,314 7,217 85 263,145 3,084
EM Energy Ohio LLC2 2 2,626 689,317 164 1,313 16 344,659 4,203
Enervest Operating LLC5 5 3,311 52,605 460 662 7 10,521 114
EQT Production Company6 6 7,310 83,879 552 1,218 13 13,980 152
Gulfport Energy Corporation219 219 172,888 85,019,723 18,613 789 9 388,218 4,568
Halcon Operating Company Inc4 4 1,747 106,069 367 437 5 26,517 289
Hess Ohio Developments LLC59 55 68,051 17,577,081 4,935 1,237 14 319,583 3,562
Hilcorp Energy Company10 10 - 1,248,695 912 - - 124,870 1,369
Mountaineer Keystone LLC2 - - - - - - - -
NGO Development Corp.1 1 157 10,587 92 157 2 10,587 115
PDC Energy Inc28 28 165,961 1,129,494 2,444 5,927 68 40,339 462
Protégé Energy III LLC1 1 472 309,395 92 472 5 309,395 3,363
R E Gas Development LLC44 44 203,878 3,457,233 3,542 4,634 58 78,573 976
Rice Drilling D LLC59 56 - 35,926,934 3,290 - - 641,552 10,920
Statoil USA Onshore Prop Inc13 12 18,730 2,292,560 757 1,561 25 191,047 3,028
Triad Hunter LLC12 8 9,444 1,308,859 736 1,181 13 163,607 1,778
XTO Energy Inc.39 36 633 214,557 2,503 18 - 5,960 86


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Monday, March 20, 2017

03/20/17 Links of the Day: Trump Repudiates Climate Change, Another Shale Case Headed to Ohio Supreme Court, and More

GoErie.com:  Doing Business with the Cracker Plant   -   "A $6 billion petrochemical plant to be built near Pittsburgh over the next five years will produce more than the polyethylene building blocks for the plastics industry here and worldwide. It will also produce jobs, a new market for existing businesses, spinoff businesses and cheaper raw materials in the..."

Marcellus Drilling News:  EIA Drilling Report: Gas Prod to Hit Another Record High in April   -   "Yesterday MDN’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report–the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR is the EIA’s best guess, based on expert data crunchers, as to how much each of the U.S.’s seven major shale plays will produce for both oil and natural gas in the..."

Canton Repository:  Editorial: Gas Industry Gushing Over Encouraging Signs   -   "In the volatile oil and gas industry, it has been a few years since the overall outlook has been encouraging. Signs lately, however, give industry followers reasons to be optimistic. Prices are trending in an upward direction, federal approval has come for several projects and the administration of President Donald Trump was barely in office when it backed two long-stalled, controversial..."

Tribune Chronicle:  Meeting to Address Oil, Gas Projects   -   "A briefing on oil and gas exploration and related pipeline construction activities is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center. The program, open to the public, will be facilitated by Dale Arnold, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation director for energy, utility and local government..."

Bloomberg:  Trump Tax Cut May Save Oil Explorers $10 Billion, Boost Drilling   -   "The Trump administration’s plan to slash corporate tax rates could free up more than $10 billion a year for U.S. oil explorers, opening new opportunities to boost drilling at a time of uncertainty in the marketplace. Crude prices in New York have fallen 10 percent since the end of 2016 as added drilling in America’s shale fields offset..."

Bloomberg:  Trump to Drop Climate Change From Environmental Reviews, Source Says   -   "President Donald Trump is set to sign a sweeping directive to dramatically shrink the role climate change plays in decisions across the government, ranging from appliance standards to pipeline approvals, according to a person familiar with the administration’s plan. The order, which could be signed this week, goes far beyond a targeted assault on Obama-era measures blocking..."

The Tribune:  Work Begins on Burlington Area Pipeline Segment   -   "People in the Burlington area are seeing the first phases of construction on a new segment of a natural gas pipeline that will reach under the Ohio to Wayne County, West Virginia. Work on the BM-111 Loop..."

The Hill:  Trump to Repeal Obama Fracking Rule   -   "The Trump administration is planning to repeal former President Barack Obama’s landmark 2015 rule setting standards for hydraulic fracturing on federal land. Justice Department lawyers revealed the decision late Wednesday in a filing with the Denver-based Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, where the federal government..."

Forbes:  Oil Prices Fell 12% Last Week. How Little You've Heard About It Shows How Much Has Changed   -   "Crude oil prices tumbled 12% to $47.72 a barrel for the week that ended March 14. While there are a lot of variables affecting oil prices, this drop didn't produce significant slides in prices of other assets, showing oil and much of the global economy appear closer to an equilibrium. "Last year oil was being viewed as..."

Oil & Gas Law Report:  Ohio Supreme Court to Hear Appeal on Expansion of Implied Covenants to Encompass Deep Rights   -   "On March 15th, 2017, the Ohio Supreme Court accepted a discretionary appeal in Alford v. Collins-McGregor Operating Company, Washington App. No. 16CA9, 2016-Ohio-5082. The Alfordappeal arises from the Washington County Court of Appeals, Ohio’s 4th Appellate District. In Alford, the 4th District declined to expand Ohio’s implied covenant of reasonable development to encompass unexplored, deep formations..."


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Rig Count Up One on Latest ODNR Weekly Update


New permits issued last week: 7  (Previous week: 13-6
Total horizontal permits issued: 2427  (Previous week: 2422+5
Total horizontal wells drilled: 1931  (Previous week: 1926+5
Total horizontal wells producing: 1530  (Previous week: 1528+2
Utica rig count: 21  (Previous week: 20)  +1


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ODNR Releases 4th Quarter 2016 Utica Shale Production Figures

From an Ohio Department of Natural Resources news release:
During the fourth quarter of 2016, Ohio’s horizontal shale wells produced 3,577,553 barrels of oil and 345,241,753 Mcf (345 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, according to the figures released today by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). 
 2015 Quarter 4 (Shale)2016 Quarter 4 (Shale)Percentage Change
Barrels of oil6,380,1223,577,553(-43.93%)
Mcf of natural gas302,431,181345,241,75114.16%

Total production for the last two years, with the percent change in production from 2015 to 2016, can be found below: 
 2015 Shale2016 ShalePercentage Change
Barrels of oil23,054,42817,949,097(-22.14%)
Mcf of natural gas955,610,6951,370,220,83443.39%

The ODNR quarterly report lists 1,561 wells, 1,511 of which reported production. Of the 1,511 wells reporting production:
  • The average amount of oil produced was 2,392 barrels.
  • The average amount of gas produced was 228,664 Mcf.
  • The average number of fourth quarter days in production was 88.
We will post a breakdown of this data as soon as we have finished parsing through it and put together our graphs and spreadsheets, which will include comparisons to previous quarters and years and a much closer look at the top wells and most productive areas in Ohio during the 4th quarter and full year of 2016.

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Rover Pipeline Construction Moves Ahead Despite Landowner Opposition

Federal officials have issued their approvals, and construction of the 713-mile Rover Pipeline is set to begin. 
That means the steel pipe stacked on the grounds of the Republic Short Line railroad yard will begin disappearing as it's hauled to construction sites. 
Rover will have two 42-inch pipelines cutting across the state. The pipe was made in Greece and shipped to Cleveland, where it was hauled to the Massillon site — former locations for Republic Steel and Massillon Stainless facilities. Some of the pipe has been at the site since May 2015.
From NGI:
A group of around 250 landowners is accusing Rover Pipeline LLC of failing to consult with property owners before felling trees along the pipeline's proposed route, in violation of its FERC certificate. 
The landowners, represented by Goldman & Braunstein LLP, filed a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Tuesday to enforce the Natural Gas Act (NGA) certificate the agency issued to Rover last month [CP15-93]. 
Specifically, the group accused Rover of violating its Agricultural Impact Mitigation Plan (AIMP) -- included in the project's final environmental impact statement -- in which the operator agreed to "consult with the landowner to determine if there are trees of commercial or other value" and to "allow the landowner the right to retain ownership of the trees with the disposition of the trees to be negotiated prior to the commencement of the land clearing."
And from WTOV 9 News:

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