Thursday, June 29, 2017

06/29/17 Links of the Day: Rover Asks FERC to Approve Drilling; New Ohio Injection Wells Approved; And More!

Gas & Oil:  Record Keeping Essential to Prove Lack Of Production in Paying Quantities   -   "Oil and gas leases typically include language indicating that the lease will remain in effect so long as the leased property continues to produce oil and gas in paying quantities. Ohio courts have long held that a well is producing in paying quantities if the revenues from the well exceed the expenses involved in maintaining the well. Unless production from the leased property has ceased..."

Ashland Times-Gazette:  Rover Pipeline Fine Will Be Used for Work at Ashland County Courthouse   -   "Ashland County should be receiving its $50,000 payment this week as part of a settlement with one of the companies building a natural gas pipeline across Ohio. During a departmental update Thursday, building maintenance supervisor Dennis Harris told Ashland County commissioners the check was mailed Monday from Houston-based Energy Transfer Partners. The company is building the $4.2 billion Rover pipeline to carry natural gas from wells in the shale areas of southeastern Ohio to distribution points in..."

Bloomberg:  Shale's Record Fracklog Could Force Crude Prices Even Lower   -   "There’s yet another concern growing as oil prices continue to erode: A record U.S. fracklog. There were 5,946 drilled-but-uncompleted wells in the nation’s oilfields at the end of May, the most in at least three years, according to estimates by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In the last month alone, explorers drilled 125 more wells in the Permian Basin than they would..."

The Courier:  Marathon Completes 50-Mile Pipeline in Northwestern Ohio   -   "A new 50-mile pipeline, constructed between Harpster in Wyandot County and Lima in Allen County, is operational and will supply fuel to 10 Midwestern refineries. The new line is a project of Marathon Pipe Line, a subsidiary of MPLX. On Tuesday, company officials said it took 450 contractors over one million man-hours to construct the pipeline, but the project was on time and under budget. The pipeline, known as Harpster-Lima, passed several tests during..."

Gas & Oil:  Supreme Court to Rule on Free Gas vs. Lease Argument   -   "The Ohio Supreme Court must decide whether the acceptance of free gas is sufficient to prevent a property owner from terminating an oil and gas lease on her property. Justices heard oral arguments on that issue Tuesday in a case pitting a Washington County landowner against an oil and gas company, with the decision having implications for other leases across eastern Ohio’s emerging shale gas and oilfields. “The appeal concerns a fundamental question that directly and immediately affects..."

The Repository:  Working to Keep Pipelines Secure   -   "Regional first responders gathered Tuesday at the Stark County Emergency Management Agency to discuss how to safeguard pipelines and respond to emergencies with them. The meeting was timely given the ongoing construction of Energy Transfer’s Rover Pipeline in Stark, Carroll and Tuscarawas counties. Class attendees included..."

Tribune Chronicle:  Public Hearing Set for Proposed Energy Center   -   "So far, most of the comments Mayor Arno Hill said he’s heard about the proposed Trumbull Energy Center have been positive. But he will be better able to gauge community views on Clean Energy Future’s plans to build its second electric generating facility along Henn Parkway following a public hearing next month, Hill said. “I’d say 90 percent of what’s being said..."

Business Journal Daily:  ODNR OKs 2 New Injection Wells in Brookfield   -   "The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has approved permits for Pittsburgh-based Highland Field Services LLC to begin work on two new wastewater injection wells in the township. Highland Field Services submitted its permit applications on Jan. 19, seeking approval for two injection wells — No. 1 and No. 5 — on land just west of state Route 7, north of Warren-Sharon Road, or “Old 82,” and south of Merwin Chase Road, according to documents filed with..."

WFMJ:  Suit Alleges Pollution Violations by Warren and Drilling Waste Treatment Plant   -   "An environmental watchdog group has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that the City of Warren and an oil and gas waste disposal facility in the city are responsible for violating standards for chemicals being allowed to flow into the Mahoning River. The Michigan-based, Fresh Water Accountability Project filed a civil action in..."

Marcellus Drilling News:  Rover (Again) Asks FERC For Permission to Finish Horizontal Drilling   -   "Yesterday Energy Transfer Partners, the builder of the Rover Pipeline, once again asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) if they could pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top resume horizontal directional drilling (HDD) in a couple of key locations in Ohio, so they can finish phase one of..."

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

API Releases 50-State Analysis of Natural Gas Benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2017 – API today released a new study on the benefits natural gas brings to the nation in terms of consumer savings, family-sustaining jobs and economic growth. The study shows that all 50 states benefit from natural gas produced domestically, including non-producing states.
“From power generation for homes and businesses that benefit from affordable and reliable electricity, to the industry’s skilled workforce that produces natural gas, to pipelines and the workers who build them, the advantages of natural gas are wide-ranging,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “With energy week in full swing, this study is another example of the job and consumer benefits of natural gas across the country.” 
The study by ICF International examined the economic benefits and opportunities from the entire natural gas value chain, including the production of natural gas, its transportation and end uses like power generation and manufacturing.
Key findings in the report include:
  • By 2040, consumers across the country will save an estimated $100 billion, or $655 per household, from the increased use of natural gas throughout our economy – from manufacturing to generating affordable electricity.
  • In 2015, the natural gas supply chain supported 3 percent of the U.S. economy, including direct, indirect and induced activities and jobs associated with natural gas.
  • In 2015, natural gas supported more than 4 million jobs across the country from production to end uses like manufacturing. That number is expected to rise to 6 million jobs by 2040.
The full study containing information on the benefits of natural gas in each of the 50 states is available on API’s website.
API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry support 9.8 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Stanford Geophysicist Debates Fracking with Anti-Drilling Activists

From Forbes:
The benefits of fracking far outweigh its costs not only economically, but environmentally, a Stanford University geophysicist said Friday. 
After teaching geophysics at Stanford for 30 years Mark Zoback took the helm of Stanford's new Natural Gas Initiative three years ago, he said, because of gas's environmental benefits. 
"We did it because there were so many important and obvious environmental benefits to the utilization of natural gas," Zoback said. "So it’s somewhat ironic to be asked to argue for the notion that these benefits outweigh the environmental costs, when it’s the environmental benefits that got me into this business in the first place." 
Zoback's remarks opened the annual debate at Stanford's Silicon Valley Energy Summit, and were swiftly challenged by representatives of the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Click here to read more of that article.

View the whole debate below.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bloomberg Chronicles the Rover Pipeline Construction Struggles

From Bloomberg:
Energy Transfer Partners LP is making a mess of its biggest project since the Dakota Access pipeline. 
Construction of the $4.2 billion Rover natural gas line has caused seven industrial spills, polluted fragile Ohio wetlands and angered local farmers. The company owes $1.5 million in restitution after demolishing an historic house. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is furious and a federal energy regulator has launched a rare public investigation that threatens to delay the pipeline’s scheduled Nov. 1 completion. 
“We’ve not seen a project in Ohio with spills at this size and scale, and if we can’t even trust Rover to construct this pipeline, how can we trust them to operate it when it’s complete?” said Heather Taylor-Miesle, executive director of the Ohio Environmental Council. 
Energy Transfer, the Dallas-based company led by billionaire Kelcy Warren, promised part of the 713-mile (1,147-kilometer) pipeline would open in July, but work is stalled on key segments until the company’s responsibility for the spills can be assessed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.
Keep reading by clicking here.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

DOE to Invest $20 Million in New Oil and Gas Research Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the availability of $20 million for cost-shared oil and gas research projects to increase recovery efficiency from unconventional oil and gas wells and to prevent offshore spills and leaks. This new funding opportunity seeks projects that will advance DOE’s objective to support a more environmentally responsible, secure, and resilient U.S. energy infrastructure, while enhancing economic competitiveness and national security.

“This oil and gas research funding opportunity underscores the Department’s commitment to developing all of the nation’s energy resources,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Doug Hollett. “Increased efficiency and reliability of preventative and recovery measures promote our energy security, and contribute to making the United States energy dominant.”

Projects under this funding opportunity will support the Office of Fossil Energy’s efforts to ensure environmentally sustainable domestic and global supplies of oil and natural gas. Funded projects will cover three topic areas – two addressing unconventional oil and gas recovery and one focused on offshore oil and gas leak prevention.

Technology validation using field laboratories - $15 million

Advancement in subsurface diagnostics - $3 million

These two topic areas address critical gaps in the understanding of reservoir behavior and optimal completion, stimulation, and recovery strategies for unconventional oil and gas. The aim of these topic areas is to increase and enable more cost-efficient and environmentally sound recovery from shale gas, tight oil, and tight gas reservoirs.

Offshore spill and leak prevention - $2 million

This topic area focuses on offshore oil and gas spill and leak prevention. The aim of this topic is to develop innovative solutions that predict geologic hazards, and prepare for and prevent offshore incidents through risk reduction and mitigation technologies. Learn more about this funding opportunity HERE.

To learn more about the Department’s programs and research within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit their website HERE. Information on additional funding opportunities can be found HERE.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Chemical Plants Helping to Revive Youngstown Manufacturing Industry

From ValueWalk:
Youngstown seems like the heart of the rust belt, a former steel town with a strong union presence that saw massive job losses after changing economic conditions forced the closure of manufacturing plants in the 1970s. Industry is returning to Youngstown, however–it just looks a little different. Instead of the steel pipes and raw materials the area produced before, manufacturers are instead looking at the area as a perfect location for chemical manufacturing. This, in turn, is boosting hiring in the area. 
Royal Dutch Shell is building a $6 billion cracker plant 40 miles south of Youngstown in Monaca, Pa. In addition, PTT Global, a Thai company, is considering a similar scale project in Belmont County. Plants of this scale will create thousands of construction jobs for a two to three year period, and hire a 600 person staff once completed. 
These figures don’t include the thousands of jobs necessary to bring the various new plants on line. The Shell cracker plant alone is predicted to provide temporary work for more than 6,000 tradesmen and take 18 months to construct. 
“This plant will have serious ramifications for our supply chain companies, especially in plastics and petrochemicals,” says Guy Coviello, vice president of governmental affairs at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Click here to read this whole article.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Permitting Slow in Utica Shale; Rig Count Holds Steady

New permits issued last week: 3  (Previous week: 6-3
Total horizontal permits issued: 2536  (Previous week: 2533+3
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2032  (Previous week: 2026+6
Total horizontal wells producing: 1584  (Previous week: 1574+10
Utica rig count: 24  (Previous week: 24)  +-0

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Shale Efficiency May Have Hit Its Peak For Now

Learning takes time and effort. But a good education pays off. 
North America’s oil industry has been in school for the past three years, studying how to become more productive in a fragile $50-a-barrel world. Many companies in the class of 2017 have graduated and are now competing hard for a greater share of global barrels.

Having said that, North America’s education on how to make oilfields more productive appears to be stalling. After a breathtaking uphill sprint, productivity data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) shows that the last few thousand oil wells in top-class American plays may have hit a limit—at least for now.

Our Figure this week shows a classic S-curve learning pattern in the mother lode of all oil plays: the Permian Basin. Slow improvements to rig productivity (2012 to 2015) were followed by a steep period of rapid learning (2015 to 2017). Eventually limitations set in and advancement quickly stalled upon mastering new processes (2017 to the present).
Continue reading by clicking here.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Utica Rig Count Drops One on Latest ODNR Report

New permits issued last week: 6  (Previous week: 8-2
Total horizontal permits issued: 2533  (Previous week: 2526+7
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2026  (Previous week: 2018+8
Total horizontal wells producing: 1574  (Previous week: 1575-1
Utica rig count: 24  (Previous week: 25)  -1

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Eclipse Resources Goes Long Again with Third "Super-Lateral" Well

From an Eclipse Resources press release:
The Company has recently turned its seven well Moser pad to sales, located in the Company’s Utica Shale dry gas window acreage in eastern Monroe County, Ohio. The Moser pad wells are currently producing approximately 100 MMcf per day collectively as the Company continues to implement its “engineered” flowback procedure designed to bring the wells up to target production rates while preserving fracture conductivity and minimizing formation damage. These wells were completed using a number of new completions techniques, which may form the basis of future completion designs beyond the Company’s “Generation-3” design that resulted in the Company increasing all of its Utica Shale type well expectations over the course of the year. 
The Company also announced today that it has successfully drilled its third and newest “Super-Lateral” well, the Outlaw C 11H, with a total measured depth of approximately 27,750 feet and a lateral extension of approximately 19,500 feet in 17 days from spud to TD in the Company’s Utica Shale Condensate area, setting a new lateral length record for the Company. 
Commenting on the operational activity, Benjamin W. Hulburt, Eclipse Resources Chairman, President and CEO, said the following, “I remain extremely pleased with our team’s operational cadence, and look forward to assessing the results from the seven well Moser pad. This pad, which contains 7 gross (7.0 net) wells with an average lateral length of approximately 7,200 feet, has recently been turned to sales slightly ahead of schedule, with starting pressures ranging up to approximately 7,500 pounds (psi). Building upon our Gen-3 frack design, this pad includes wells which are designed to test higher proppant volumes, engineered stage lengths and the use of diversion chemicals. Although extremely early in the life of these new exciting wells, we are initially very intrigued with what we are seeing. Based on the results of these wells so far, the continued performance of our Gen-3 wells, and the team’s ability to shorten our cycle times, I expect our production in the third quarter 2017 to be at least 350 MMcfe per day. 
I am also pleased to announce that we have drilled our third “Super-Lateral” well, with a record setting lateral length of approximately 19,500 feet in 17 days. This well, located in the Utica Condensate area, along with the recently drilled 19,300 foot Great Scott 3H well are expected to begin completions in the third quarter of this year. Additionally, we have completed the drilling of our second Marcellus Condensate well and are excited to begin applying our innovative completion techniques to this portion of our acreage during the third quarter of 2017. These Marcellus wells should allow us to further prove-up this area of our acreage that includes over 70 risked 10,000 foot lateral locations that can be developed in conjunction with our Dry Gas Utica position in this area of southeastern Ohio.”
- See more at:
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

EQT to Acquire Rice Energy, Become Largest Gas Producer in U.S.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The largest natural gas basin in the U.S. will be home to the largest natural gas producer when two of southwestern Pennsylvania’s biggest oil and gas drillers become one in a $6.7 billion acquisition. 
EQT Corp., a Downtown-based firm, is buying Canonsburg-based Rice Energy Inc. in a deal that will put EQT ahead of ExxonMobil in gas production. It will also draw EQT’s focus even more to Washington and Greene counties, where much of Rice’s acreage zigzags EQT’s. 
The deal includes all of Rice’s exploration and production assets, as well as its interest in midstream master limited partnerships, which operate natural gas gathering and compression assets and water pipelines. 
It’s not clear yet what will happen to Rice’s 500 full-time employees, although layoffs are expected.
Click here to read more.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ohio Laborers Report More Than 4 Million Work Hours Over 16 Months — Thanks to Shale

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth

The Ohio Laborers District Council (OLDC) recently reported that it surpassed 2016 expectations by more than a million work hours and totaled 4.2 million work hours over a 16-month period from January 2016 to April 2017, thanks to the numerous shale-related pipeline and natural gas power plant projects taking place in the Buckeye state.
Today, there are 3,000 Ohio laborers working on various stages of oil and gas development. And not only has Ohio’s flurry of shale-related activity resulted in thousands of jobs for skilled laborers from the OLDC — which represents a large share of Laborers International Union of North America-member (LiUNA) workers — the laborers are anticipating work for years to come, as Ohio Laborers Training Center executive director Robert Chatterson recently stated,
“The distribution work in gas pipelines is a 25-year project. Conceivably a young person can go into distribution work and work their whole career and retire with a great pension.”
Laborers’ work craft covers four main areas of shale-related construction: processing facilities, pipelines, road work and well pad construction. The skills for these jobs are taught at the 56,000 square foot Drexel J. Thrash Training Centerlocated 12 miles east of Mt. Vernon in Howard, Ohio. LIUNA has been preparing for the shale renaissance for years by ramping up their apprenticeship programs and recruiting Ohio men and women to work on pipelines and natural gas power plants. Just a few months ago, members of the Ohio State Senate discussed the pipeline workforce development training going on and how there is broad support for training the “jobs of the future.”
The laborers have been working for almost all the major oil and gas companies operating in Ohio, debunking a common myth perpetrated by anti-fracking activists that jobs are not coming to local communities. Remember this recent Columbus Dispatch headline?
The Dispatch claimed in that January 2014 article that, “there has been little change in the underlying labor market… transient workers are among the most tangible signs of the shale ‘boom’.” If that’s actually true, then why are union halls currently being reported as at maximum capacity.
Rocky DiGennaro, president of the Western Reserve Construction and Building Trades Council recently said,
“Building work is really good and most of the crafts are at maximum capacity.”
Also, according to Ray Hipsher, Pipeline Specialist at the Ohio Laborers District Council, the laborers in Ohio have worked on projects for: American Energy Partners, Antero Resources, Chesapeake Energy, Columbia Gas, Dominion East Ohio, Duke Energy, East Ohio Gas, Eclipse Resources, Gulfport Energy, Kinder Morgan, MarkWest Energy Partners, Rice Energy, Williams, Clean Energy Future, Energy Transfer Partners, TransCanada and Advanced Power, just to name a few. LiUNA has 17,000 members statewide and they would like to continue this work and expand their operations into other projects as well. But don’t take our word for it, as Hipsher also recently said,
The shale industry is hiring local workforce. That’s going to keep the money in the community and the laborers doing the work are going to take pride and care of the quality of their work, because we are your neighbors. We care about doing this pipeline work right and environmentally sound.”
Anti-fracking groups also try to perpetuate the myth that all jobs created by shale are only temporary. In 2011, ThinkProgress put out a blog entitled “Oil Industry Report Outlines How to Create Temporary Jobs While Permanently Destroying the Climate” that said, “They are all temporary jobs, since they aren’t sustainable.”
Statements like these prove how incredibly out of touch groups like ThinkProgress are with what’s really happening in states like Ohio.
As Chatterson stated earlier, distribution work on pipelines requires long-term maintenance. The same is true for natural gas power plants, and Ohio happens to have $10 billion worth of natural gas power plant development in progress at the moment, activity that is slated to create over 6,700 jobs. Each one of these plants requires millions in maintenance and labor needs per year, and each plant is slated to be operation for 40 years.
Another curious example of misinformation campaign is the New Republic’s recent article entitled, “Fracking Isn’t the Job Creator You Think It Is.” The article posed these questions:
“Where do the workers extracting gas in Pennsylvania or Ohio live and spend their money? Where are the best jobs located? While the fracking industry may support the national economy as a whole, some places are winners and others are losers.”
Those are easy questions to answer: It’s clear that the workers there are 3,000 laborers working in Ohio and spending their money in Ohio. Where are the best jobs located? Ohio it appears, thanks to over $50.4 billion invested by the oil and gas industry. When it comes to creating millions of work hours and local jobs, it’s clear that Ohio is a “winner” — and it’s all thanks to fracking.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Fallout From Rover Pipeline Spills Includes Construction Delays for Energy Transfer

From TheStreet:
After blitzing through Ohio's wetlands, Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) is once again facing a problem of its own making: pipeline construction delays.

Until recently, the company's subsidiary Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) has defied long odds and analyst expectations in its rush to complete its new giant, Rover, a $4 billion, 713-mile natural gas pipeline designed to deliver natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to markets in the northeast.

But the storyline shifted in April after the company spilled 2 million gallons of drilling fluid near the Tuscarawas River. Following the spill, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission halted new horizontal drilling on the project. FERC then opened an investigation into the spill in June after diesel was detected in samples collected from the spill site.

The halt in horizontal drilling, a type of drilling that is necessary for the project to be completed, turns into a near-impossibility the longshot bid to complete the project on time and raises questions about whether Energy Transfer's checkered environmental record should be of concern to the company's shareholders.
Read the whole article by clicking here.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

EPA Puts Methane Rule on Hold to Conduct a Review

From The Hill:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed pausing an Obama administration oil and gas pollution rule for two years while it reconsiders the regulation. 
EPA officials on Tuesday formally proposed a two-year pause on implementation of the rule, which would limit methane leaks at drilling sites and set standards for equipment and employee certification within the oil and gas drilling sector. 
Obama officials finalized the rule last May as part of a federal effort to cut pollution of methane, a greenhouse gas with 25 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide.

Drillers contend the rule would be costly and duplicative and have urged Trump administration regulators to reconsider the measure. The EPA, under Administrator Scott Pruitt — who sued against the rule while Oklahoma attorney general — said in April that it would formally review the rule, a lengthy process that could take years to complete. Such a measure is subject to lawsuits as well.
Continue reading by clicking here.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Are Conditions Ripe for Oil and Gas Mergers?

From Forbes:
The sell-off of oil and gas exploration and production stocks has been brutal. Exchange-traded funds that specialize in the sector have fallen around 10% to 20% this year, versus an 8% uptick in the market overall. Blame oil prices, which have slid despite members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreeing last month to keep production cuts in place for another nine months. 
In a note last week, analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. said prices of exploration and production stocks sat at 55% of their expected targets versus 58% just a month ago. Raymond James said both the Bollinger Band and Relative Strength Index signals within its proprietary timing model breached oversold levels last week for the first time in five weeks, "indicating a strong potential buy signal." 
With stock prices down so much, it might be a good time for the long-term investor to jump in. Could it also be a good time for some corporate mergers? 
There are already early indications that it is. Penn Virginia Corp., which focuses on South Texas' Eagle Ford shale, has hired investment bank Jefferies LLC to advise it on strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including a possible sale, Reuters reported Monday. Stone Energy Corp., which explores for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, is also looking for a buyer with Petrie Partners LLC assisting it. Both companies emerged from bankruptcy in the last eight months and are owned by hedge funds that invest in distressed debt.
Read the entire article by clicking here.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Ohio Nuclear Plant Bailout Stumbles in Statehouse

A proposed bailout for Ohio’s two nuclear power plants that would lead to rate increases for FirstEnergy customers appears to be stalled in the Legislature. 
One legislative committee considering the idea suspended testimony last month amid protests against the plan while another committee held its fourth hearing this week without taking a vote. 
Much of the written testimony submitted to lawmakers opposes a plan that could lead to $300 million a year in new charges for FirstEnergy customers, The Plain Dealer reports. 
FirstEnergy’s average residential customer would pay about $5 more per month, while businesses and factories would see much larger increases if the Legislature approves the bailout. 
The Akron-based utility says subsidies are needed to save the Davis-Besse and Perry plants, which sit along Lake Erie and produce 14 percent of the state’s electricity. The company has said the plants might be sold even if subsidies are approved.
Click here to continue reading this article.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

PA Landowners Continue Fight Over Chesapeake's Underpaid Royalties

From NGI:
Hundreds of landowners from Northeast Pennsylvania asked a federal court this month to deny motions filed by Chesapeake Energy Corp., Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Williams Partners LP and other companies to arbitrate their antitrust claims outside of court and dismiss parts of their complaint. 
The case, which pits more than 300 landowners in Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties against the companies, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania roughly a year ago. 
It alleges that the companies conspired to "reduce, restrain or eliminate competition for gas and mineral rights, operations rights and gathering serves in multiple counties in Northern Pennsylvania." The "anticompetitive conspiracy," the plaintiffs claim, allowed the defendants to deduct "artificially inflated" post-production costs from royalty payments. 
In briefs filed on Wednesday, the plaintiffs said the arbitration agreements in the Chesapeake leases "expressly limit" disputes to those between a lessor and lessee. They argue that none of the non-signatory defendants named in the case are lessors or lessees and can therefore not be parties to arbitration. Plaintiffs requested that any claims the court finds arbitrable should be stayed so litigation can proceed for those remaining.
Continue reading the article by clicking here.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Hamilton County Residents Hurl Accusations, Voice Their Hatred of Duke Energy Pipeline

First, from WCPO 9:
A city leader and county leader have accused Duke Energy of using intimidation tactics to push through a natural gas pipeline. 
Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune called Duke a good corporate citizen but said Monday the company's recent behavior was "alarming." 
According to Portune, some people reported Duke workers came to their property and asked them to sign away their rights. 
A high-pressure pipeline, proposed to run through eastern Hamilton County, is at the center of the controversy. Duke has maintained the new pipeline is essential, and that it would be operated safely. It will replace one that has been in use since the 1950s and is reaching the end of its usable life, according to the company. 
The utility giant already operates more than 14,000 miles of natural gas pipelines, including 250 miles of high-pressure pipelines, in Ohio and Kentucky, spokeswoman Sally Thelen said. 
But a group calling themselves NOPE, or Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension, has pushed back. Duke revised its plans, reducing the pipeline's size and offering a new set of proposed routes. Still, opponents aren't swayed.
And then from
Rick Schweet is willing to let a new $2.5 million building sit empty if Duke Energy builds a large high-pressure gas pipeline near his property line.

"I have to sleep at night," said Schweet, who first opened his design and software company Kinetic Vision in 1989. He employs roughly 130 people in a facility in Evendale and plans to add 60 jobs at the new structure under construction nearby. 
He doesn’t like the idea, but Schweet said he wouldn't let his employees work in the new building, if the project is constructed within 25 feet of the structure.

Schweet joined roughly 100 residents, business owners and local politicians Thursday, who signed up to voice opposition to a 13-mile natural gas pipeline proposed by Duke Energy through central Hamilton County.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, June 16, 2017

NEXUS Pipeline Project Ready to Go, Awaiting Federal Approval

From the Canton Repository:
The stalled NEXUS Gas Transmission project still could be completed before year’s end, but federal regulators would have to approve the pipeline soon to meet that target. 
“We’ve got that race car sitting there revved and all ready to go, we just need that go ahead,” NEXUS President James Grech said Wednesday during the Utica Capital Midstream Seminar at Walsh University. 
NEXUS was one of several pipeline projects discussed at the conference hosted by the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and 
NEXUS is a proposed 36-inch-diameter interstate natural gas pipeline. The $2.1 billion project would cross eastern and northern Stark County and the city of Green in Summit County and carry natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales to users in Ohio, Michigan, Canada and other Midwestern markets. 
Detroit-based DTE Energy and Spectra Energy, which merged this year with Calgary-based Enbridge, are partners in the project.
This article can be continued by clicking here.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Agency Instrumental to Shale Boom Slated for Budget Slash by President Trump

From Bloomberg:
An agency instrumental to America’s surge in energy production would lose half its funding in President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget. 
The Energy Department’s Office of Fossil Energy, whose research helped push the U.S. closer to self-sufficiency, is slated for a 58 percent cut for next year, to $280 million. The shale innovations the office develops are available to any company that can use them, including industry giants that keep results of their own studies, but they’re most beneficial to independent drillers that might otherwise find it tough to compete with behemoths such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and its $1.06 billion annual research-and-development budget
“What the federal government, at times, has done very well is they help get experiments run that many companies may not be able to afford on their own, or wouldn’t have the moxie to pull off,” said Greg Leveille, chief technology officer for ConocoPhillips, one of the country’s biggest producers. 
Many in Congress, even Republicans who favor cutting programs, have balked at the cuts. Senate appropriators defended the Energy Department’s research program, citing the agency’s work on shale gas development.
Click here to continue reading.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

After Several Defeats, Activists in Youngstown Hope to Rig the Laws in Their Favor

From Business Journal Daily:
Opponents of oil and gas activity within the city are adopting new tactics to prohibit the industry, including a new version of the so-called Youngstown Community Bill of Rights, that would deal a blow to one of the city’s key economic development tools. 
Having failed to pass the charter amendment six times — most recently last November –this time the activists are circulating petitions to place two amendments on the ballot. 
“Citizens are never going to have their voices heard again unless we change the system,” said Lynn Anderson, a longtime opponent of oil and gas activity in the city and who is affiliated with the Community Bill of Rights Committee. 
One petition supports a modified version of the earlier bill of rights titled the Youngstown (misspelled as “Younstown”) Drinking Water Protection Bill of Rights.
The article later continues:
The other petition calls for amending the city charter so it would restrict donors’ ability to make campaign contributions to “any local candidate or issue” to registered voters in the city and cap those contributions at $100 per elector per ballot measure or candidate. Corporations, labor unions, political action committees, political parties and other funding entities would be barred from donating to local candidates or issue campaigns, or from spending money “to influence the outcome of any ballot measure or candidate.” 
Among other provisions of that charter amendment are preventing city government from requiring individuals who wish to speak at meetings to register in advance or seek permission; requiring meeting agendas be made available 24 hours in advance; and requiring a form of paper ballot tracking be made available to verify electronic voting results.
Read more by clicking here. 

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Utica Rig Count Hits Highest Level Since 2015 on Latest ODNR Report

New permits issued last week: 8  (Previous week: 3+10
Total horizontal permits issued: 2526  (Previous week: 2518+8
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2018  (Previous week: 2014+4
Total horizontal wells producing: 1575  (Previous week: 1570+5
Utica rig count: 25  (Previous week: 21)  +4

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Utica Shale Production in the 1st Quarter of 2017: A Closer Look

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has now released the production data from the Utica shale for the first quarter of 2017. 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.


First up, let's take a look at how the quarterly data compares from the 1st quarter of 2014 through the first quarter of 2017. As a reminder, all oil figures are 42-gallon barrels, and all gas production is measured in MCF:

So, after four consecutive quarters of declining oil production (and six consecutive quarters of oil production rates falling), the first quarter of 2017 saw a quarter-to-quarter rise in total oil production and in oil per day in production as well as oil per well.

Gas production was back on the rise as well after there was a decrease in total production and a decline in production rates in the fourth quarter of 2016.  In fact, the first quarter of 2017 saw a new high in shale gas production from the Utica.

After year-to-year oil production saw a decline in 2016 from 2015, the first quarter results suggest that production could be on the decline for the year of 2017 as well.  If oil production continues at its current pace, over 2,000,000 less barrels would be produced from the Utica shale in Ohio in 2017.

The gas production numbers are different.  2016 continued the trend of total production increasing year-over-year, and based on the first quarter results 2017 could very well be the same.  If gas production continues at its current pace, there would be an increase of over 117,000,000 MCF this year.  That would be the smallest increase in four years.


These are the top 10 oil producing wells from Q1 of 2017:

After Carroll County had 2 of the top 10 oil wells in Q4 of 2016, it falls off the list this quarter.  Instead, there are 5 wells in Harrison County among the top 10.  Guernsey has the other 5, after having 5 of the top 10 wells in the previous quarter.  The Purple Hayes 1H well was the top oil-producing well for the second straight quarter, although the total barrels produced and the oil per day both dropped.

And here are the top 10 gas producing wells from Q1 of 2017:

There was quite a bit of change here from what was seen in Q4 of 2016.   Jefferson County had none of the top 10 gas wells in the Q3 of 2016, then had 4 of the top 10 in Q4.  Now it again had none of the top 10 gas wells in Q1 of 2017.  Instead, Monroe County - which had none of the top 10 wells in the previous quarter - had the top 5 gas producing wells in this quarter.


Yellow highlights mark the county the highest totals for any county during the quarter.


Yellow highlights mark the county the highest totals for any operator during the quarter.

Click here to download the full report from the ODNR with all of the data.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Epic Fail: Anti-Fracking Activists’ Attempt at #NODAPL Copycat Camp Lasts One Weekend

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth

Despite the backing of fringe national environmental groups who brought Dakota Access Pipeline organizers to Ohio to protest fracking in the Wayne National Forest, a recent #NODAPL copycat “long-term resistance camp“ in Monroe County has proven to be nothing more than a decidedly short-term political stunt.
The beautiful campsite where the so called “long-term resistance camp” was set to be held this week is absent of one single protestor and is evidence that there is in fact no “long-term resistance camp” whatsoever.
This example proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the recent public relations stunt was in fact hosted, organized and attended by people who do not actually live and work in the area. It also shows the entire fiasco was concocted for the sole purpose of generating misleading headlines to promote a movement that has no real local following.
Out of Town And Out of TouchLast month, EID took a look at the various #NoDAPL-style pipeline protest camps cropping up throughout the country. At the time, no such camps had been set up in Ohio. But just one month later, this latest craze of the “Keep It in the Ground” (KIITG) movement made its way to the Buckeye State.
A so-called #NoDAPL copycat “action camp” aimed at stopping fracking and proposed pipeline routes was set up in the Wayne National Forest. And it was organized by none other than Myron Dewey, an independent filmmaker and one of the more prominent online voices of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests, along with Athens-based Appalachia Resist!, Ohio’s most fringe environmental activist groups.
As described by a local Monroe County resident in the Times-Leader, the campers were anything but a local contingent,
The folks came in for a weekend of camping from all over. There were people from Vermont, Michigan, Carolina, and all across Ohio. The police were very vigilant and I appreciated their presence.” (Emphasis added)
That police presence was warranted, considering the violence earlier this year at the Dakota Access Pipeline camp and the fact that convicted criminal Peter Gibbons-Ballew was in attendance at the Ohio copycat camp. EID recently revealed that Gibbon-Ballew — who is currently serving an 18-month probation sentence  — is using the alias “Cusi Ballew” in local media reports. The Appalachian Resist! leader even admitted he is an outsider in a recent interview with the Times Leader,
People say I’m an outsider when I’m from Athens County, but I will have to fight fracking when it comes to Athens County.  I would rather fight it here so it won’t even come there.” (Emphasis added)
Here’s a snapshot of Peter, aka “Cusi,” Gibbons-Ballew being arrested just months ago:
“Long Term” Resistance Camp an Epic Fail
While out-of-town weekend copycat campers like to talk a big game regarding their “long-term resistance” plans in Ohio, the reality is anything but.
In a recent press release, activists announced “long term resistance camp launched,” followed by a May 31 Facebook post calling on campers to come join their so-called resistance camp at Lamping Homestead Campground in the Wayne National Forest.

ODNR Releases 1st Quarter 2017 Utica Shale Production Figures

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources:
During the first quarter of 2017, Ohio’s horizontal shale wells produced 3,904,732 barrels of oil and 371,921,659 Mcf (371 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, according the figures released today by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Natural gas production from the first quarter of 2017 showed an increase over the first quarter of 2016, while oil production was reduced for that same period. 

Barrels of oil
Mcf of natural gas
The ODNR quarterly report lists 1,613 horizontal shale wells, 1,560 of which reported oil and natural gas production during the quarter. Of the 1,560 reporting oil and natural gas results:
  • The average amount of oil produced was 2,503 barrels.
  • The average amount of natural gas produced was 238,411 Mcf.
  • The average number of first quarter days in production was 86.
We will have our breakdown of the production data published as soon as it's ready!

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!