Thursday, November 30, 2017

CELDF Looking for Signatures to Get Amendment to Ohio Constitution on Ballot

Efforts to give Ohioans more power to pass and enforce local laws that might conflict with state laws gained initial approval Monday. 
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Monday certified petitions for two proposed amendments to the state constitution: the Ohio Community Rights Amendment and the Initiative and Referendum Amendment for Counties and Townships. DeWine's certification is the first in a long series of steps for the measures to appear on a statewide ballot. 
The community rights amendment would establish a constitutional right to local community self-government for the "health, safety and welfare of community members." The county and township amendment would extend Ohio's constitutional right to initiative and referendum on state and city laws to county and township laws. 
The amendments were drafted to address what supporters say is growing influence from the Ohio Statehouse on local, community decisions. The amendment is backed by the Ohio Community Rights Network and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.
Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

The goal of the CELDF, of course, is to get local bans of oil and gas activity put in place.  Where the organization has succeeded in getting such measures passed in Ohio communities they have not held up because of the state constitution, which gives sole discretion on permitting to the state.  This change, if passed, would allow local communities to block drilling, pipelines, and all other activity related to oil and gas without conflicting with state law.

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Program in St. Clairsville Offering Free Training for Natural Gas Utility and Pipeline Jobs

An exciting opportunity is here to access a training program to build a career in the natural gas utility and pipeline business. The training is free, companies are hiring and the careers are rewarding. 
The first round of classes start November 30th and January 8th at the Armstrong County Industrial Development Council in Freeport, PA and on January 15that Belmont College in St. Clairsville, OH. 
This new, targeted training program for displaced coal workers and others in the Appalachian region will introduce participants to natural gas utility and pipeline operations careers and enable them to become stronger candidates for jobs. 
The Natural Gas Utility & Pipeline Field Skills Training Program is 4 week of blended classroom and hands-on training that improves employability by providing a basic understanding and awareness of natural gas, the natural gas utility and pipeline industry.  This program was designed by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) in collaboration with and delivered at training venues in southwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio.  Key program attributes include: 
  • Pre-employment training program to introduce participants to natural gas pipeline careers.
  • Potential candidates include displaced coal workers (targeted group), veterans, high school graduates, and other displaced workers looking for an attractive, well-paying career.
  • The program is funded by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), so it is tuition-free for participants.
  • Starting salaries can exceed $50,000 and depending on skills and career path can lead to six-figure compensation.
  • Jobs are currently available with utilities, midstream and their contractors.  Industry activity replacing old lines and building out new pipelines is very robust and workforce is in demand.
  • The last day of the class includes a graduation celebration and job fair with potential employers.
Click here to visit the website where you can download an application today. 

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

EnerVest Faces FBI Investigation for Alleged Lease Fraud in Ohio

From the Wall Street Journal:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into an eastern Ohio landowner’s claims that oil-and-gas investment firm EnerVest Ltd. sold valuable shale-drilling rights on his property that should have been his to sell, according to people familiar with the matter. 
The probe follows allegations made against EnerVest in a more than two-year-old civil case filed in Ohio’s Guernsey County, where drilling into the prolific Utica Shale has made the state one of the country’s top energy producers. 
The case involves EnerVest as well as Ascent Resources LLC, a company started by the late oilman Aubrey McClendon and two big investment firms, which has delayed plans to drill the property because of the dispute. 
Ascent has become one of the country’s top natural-gas producers by drilling one gusher after another in eastern Ohio; it is preparing for an initial public stock offering or sale that could value the company at more than $3.5 billion. It acquired rights to drill some of the landowner’s property from EnerVest in 2013 and started the civil case when it sued landowner Matt Crislip for access to the property in 2015.
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Ohio EPA Comes After Rover Pipeline Again After New Spill

From The Canton Repository:
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency this week requested Rover Pipeline pause horizontal boring work after yet another spill of clay-based drilling slurry. 
The latest incident happened Nov. 16, when 200 gallons of drilling slurry spilled into the Black Fork Mohican River in Ashland County. It was the largest of three spills near the river this month, and close to the site of a 50,000-gallon spill in April. 
In a letter Wednesday, Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler asked Rover to pause its boring and review plans to prevent and clean up spills. 
Butler also said he would ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to intervene. 
“I cannot explain how disappointed I am with the continued trend of Rover causing environmental damage in Ohio by continuing operations causing unauthorized discharges to Ohio waterways,” Butler wrote. “I understand the significance of this project, and while Ohio remains supportive of oil and gas infrastructure development, it cannot come at a cost of jeopardizing public health or the environment.” 
In an email, Rover spokeswoman Vicki Anderson Granado said the pipeline is in compliance with plans approved by FERC and Ohio EPA. 
“We disagree with Mr. Butler and the information put forth in his letter last week, which is mostly misstatements of our horizontal directional drilling operations,” Granado wrote Monday.
Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

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Courts Grant City of Green a Victory in Fight Against NEXUS Pipeline

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
The city won a temporary reprieve Wednesday in its ongoing fight to keep the controversial 36-inch Nexus gas transmission pipeline out of the community. 
In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the city’s request to block construction of the pipeline in an 8-mile area of the city’s southern sector while other legal appeals to the project are pending. 
Judges Eric Clay and Bernice Donald approved the stay, while Judge David McKeague penned the dissenting opinion. 
“What’s most exciting is that by granting the stay it shows our objection has merit and we have potential to win the case,” Mayor Gerard Neugebauer said. “The court wouldn’t issue the stay if the case didn’t have merit.” 
The mayor said the stay means “Nexus cannot proceed with any construction within the city of Green [for now] as they anticipated.”
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Latest ODNR Report: Utica Shale Rig Count Holds at 23

New permits issued last week: 6  (Previous week: 7-1
Total horizontal permits issued: 2687  (Previous week: 2681+6
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2180  (Previous week: 2178+2
Total horizontal wells producing: 1729 (Previous week: 1714+15
Utica rig count: 23 (Previous week: 23)  +-0

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Activists Admit Methane FLIR Videos Not Supported by Scientific Analysis

by Seth Whitehead, Energy in Depth

An Earthworks spokeswoman made a big gaffe in a small Oklahoma newspaper last month that confirms what experts have been saying for years about anti-fracking groups’ misleading use of “Forward Looking Infrared” (FLIR) images— they are devoid of scientific evidence and are specifically designed to scare the public in an effort to advance the “Keep It In the Ground” movement’s agenda.
Earthworks’ Hilary Lewis admitted during an interview with the Kingfisher Times & Free Press that FLIR images featured in an Earthworks/Coalition for Oklahoma Renewable Energy (CORE) reportoffered no scientific data to support the report’s claim that Oklahoma oil and gas sites “spew toxic pollution into the air, like an invisible oil spill.” As the Times & Free Press reported:
No air quality tests were conducted in connection with the infrared drone photographs to quantify what amount of methane or other pollutants, if any, were being emitted at the named well sites.”
As the following new EID fact sheet illustrates, Lewis’ admission is just the latest — and potentially most damning — evidence that activist groups’ continued use of FLIR videos are intentionally misleading.
Earthworks has long used FLIR videos as a centerpiece of its “Keep It In the Ground” campaign. For example, FLIR videos and images are a key component of the group’s oft-recycled “Threat Maps” project, which is now being used as part of the group’s argument in support of costly and duplicative Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) methane regulations.
But not only does scientific data refute Earthworks’ claims — the most recent EPA data show that oil and gas system methane emissions are decreasing as production skyrockets — Earthworks seemingly has no interest in producing reputable scientific data to support its claims despite having the resources to do so. Lewis even told the Times & Free Press:
“It is the regulator’s job to do air testing to make sure that these sites are in compliance with state and national rules. Unfortunately, neither EarthWorks nor CORE has the resources to do air testing at all the oil and gas sites we visit.”
As a recent Western Wire report confirms, Earthworks certainly does have the resources to conduct such testing, as it reported receipts of more than $2.4 million on its 2015 Form 990 report. And contrary to Lewis’ claim, regulatory agencies actually do not have the authority to conduct air testing; they instead have the authority to conduct audits to ensure companies are complying. That said, Eagle Environmental air compliance specialist Trisha Fanning, who has experience in Clean Air Act compliance as a third party auditor for clients in multiple industries, told Western Wire:
“The fact that (Earthworks) won’t test, there’s no defense to say what they’re saying. If they want to test and prove that it’s methane or another volatile organic compound, then do the test. Because we have to follow the lay of the law.”
Of course, why would Earthworks conduct air sampling when grainy black-and-white FLIR videos can make even the most benign emissions — such as steam or vapor —appear ominous and generate the media coverage these groups truly covet?
As Fanning told Western Wire, “There’s a lot that can mimic an emissions plume.” For instance, Fanning noted in a recent Western Energy Alliance video debunk of activist FLIR videos that the emissions displayed in the following still image from an Earthworks video isn’t methane at all.
“In this video, it represents a lot of water vapor, a lot of steam coming off,” Fanning noted in the video.
The following infrared footage of a steaming tea kettle is another example of how steam can appear ominous when filmed using a FLIR camera.
“Keep It in the Ground” activists have also falsely presented FLIR video of standard combustion exhaust at oil and gas facilities as being hydrocarbon emissions. The most prominent example is a 2011 video file released by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). In the video, Cornell professor and noted anti-fracking researcher Robert Howarth claims the following still image demonstrates intentional venting of methane from an oil and gas facility.
But Howarth’s claim was thoroughly debunked by Dr. Ram Hashmonay, who is credited with co-inventing modern radial plume mapping technology. Hashmonay explained in a 2012 EID videothat the characteristics of the plume pictured above demonstrate that it was in fact combustion exhaust — composed primarily of carbon dioxide and water vapor — rather than hydrocarbon venting. As Dr. Hashmonay told EID:
“I did not see clear clips here that show [anything] that indicates any substantial hydrocarbon leaving any of these sites. … They’re not indicative of any hydrocarbon leaks.”
Hashmonay also told the Baltimore Sun:
“I’m not saying hydrocarbons are zero (in the plumes), but the levels are much lower than the detection of that camera.”
Hashmonay explained the distinct differences between hydrocarbon and combustion exhaust plumes in the EID video:
“When hydrocarbon gas is at the same temperature as the air around it can be visible in the sky background for a long distance downwind from the source. When you light it up, what you see is something very similar to a combustion source. You will see the hot plume coming off the gas grill and dissipate very quickly on the sky background.”
The unwillingness of activist groups such as Earthworks to conduct air sampling to corroborate claims made in reports featuring FLIR videos, of course, is part of their plan. After all, the intent of these videos is to frighten and mislead the public – not add clarity to the scientific argument. The above-listed blatant examples of harmless steam and combustion emissions being presented as methane emissions illustrates that fact clearly.
As Fanning told Western Wire,
“The bottom line is that they are misleading, and they are misleading on the scare tactic. Optical gas imaging is nothing more than that, it’s imaging,” she continued, saying that individuals without proper FLIR training and the understanding of many other variables could easily misinterpret what the camera sees.”
Further, as Fanning recently stated in a Western Energy Alliance video debunking misleading activist FLIR videos:
“Purposely deceiving the public does not help anyone, let alone help the environment.”

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Rex Energy is Still Targeting Carroll County

From The Canton Repository:
Rex Energy is working on 10 new Utica Shale wells in Carroll County that will begin producing next year. 
The company has drilled three wells on its Jenkins pad in Washington Township and plans to start production in January. Each well has an average lateral length of 6,500 feet. 
The company has three wells already producing in the area. Those wells will be shutdown while workers frack the three new wells with an improved technique, said Tom Stabley, Rex president and chief executive, during a conference call with investors Wednesday. 
Rex also is drilling the fifth of seven wells on its Goebeler pad in Harrison Township. Those wells have an average lateral length of 7,500 feet and should start producing during the second quarter of 2018.
The whole article can be read by clicking here.

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GE Considering a Dump of Baker Hughes Just Months After Merger

From the Houston Chronicle:
The future of Baker Hughes is again uncertain as its parent company, the financially struggling General Electric Co., considers unloading its ownership in the energy services giant just four months after acquiring a majority stake in a much-heralded merger. 
The disclosure by the new GE chief executive John Flannery that he is seeking a way out of the deal consummated by his predecessor, Jeffrey Immelt, adds to three years of turmoil for the storied Houston firm that traces its roots back to a revolutionary drill bit invented by Howard Hughes Sr. more than a century ago.

Since November 2014, Baker Hughes has been buffeted by an unsuccessful takeover bid by its local rival, Halliburton, and battered by the worst oil bust in a generation before seemingly getting rescued by a merger with GE's oil and gas division, which closed in July. 
GE owns 62.5 percent of Baker Hughes, but it's still unclear how it might divest its holdings. GE, headquartered in Boston, could seek a single buyer or unload the stock in smaller sales to investors and financial institutions, analysts said. But either way, Baker Hughes eventually would lose the benefits of GE's deep pockets, industrial reach and digital strengths.
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Friday, November 24, 2017

FERC Continues to Loosen the Leash on Rover Pipeline

From MDN:
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last Thursday granted Rover Pipeline permission to resume horizontal directional drilling (HDD) at four more locations where it had been stopped. One of those locations is drilling under the Ohio River in the Majorsville area. Rover is a $3.7 billion, 711-mile natural gas pipeline that (will eventually) run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and on to Canada. A large portion of the pipeline began flowing natural gas on Sept. 1st (see Big Portion of Rover Pipeline Now Up & Running – Thru Most of Ohio). Since then, Phase 1A of the pipeline has steadily increased its throughput and now flows over 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of Utica/Marcellus Shale gas to Defiance, OH (see Rover Pipe Nearly Doubles Flow with Addition of Carroll, OH Compressor). However, it could flow more, if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would allow Rover to finish Phase 1B pipeline work in OH/WV to feed more gas to the main part of the pipeline. The problem is that Rover had early missteps, the most serious of which spilled 2 million gallons of non-toxic drilling mud in a swamp (i.e. “wetland”) near the Tuscarawas River back in April (see Rover Pipeline Accident Spills ~2M Gal. Drilling Mud in OH Swamp). Following that and several other mishaps, FERC shut down all Rover HDD work–for months.
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Report: Ohio Counties Have Received More Than $300 Million For Road Improvements From Utica Shale Operators

A new report by Energy In Depth and the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) finds that oil and gas operators have paid more than $302.6 million for road, bridge and culvert improvements via the Road Use Maintenance Agreement (RUMA), which is used by Ohio counties to ensure road damages by heavy equipment being moved for shale drilling and pipeline work are either prevented or repaired.
The report finds that RUMA funds were used to improve more than 639 miles of roadways from 2011-2017 in Ohio’s eight Utica Shale counties: Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe and Noble. Columbiana County Engineer Bert Dawson explained to EID,
“Besides being an economic boom for eastern Ohio, the recent oil and gas activity has fostered millions of dollars of road improvements that have been much needed but unaffordable to cost strapped local government.”
The report, entitled “The Utica Shale Local Support Series: Ohio’s Oil and Gas Industry Road Improvement Payments,” also finds that the oil and gas industry is leaving Ohio infrastructure in “better condition than they were before the introduction of the industry.” In fact, an Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs study released earlier this year found that,
[A]lmost all interviewees stated that county roads under the purview of a Road-Use Maintenance Agreement (RUMA) were left in better condition than they were before the introduction of the industry. Increases in tax revenue from the industry led to infrastructure expansion like water and sewer upgrades, railroad revitalization, and new police vehicles. And, a majority of interviewees stated that the industry was good to work with; private industry often paid up-front costs for infrastructure improvements that benefited both their own industry operations and the local community.” (Emphasis added)
Below are the report’s key findings, by the numbers:
Key Findings for Ohio Shale Counties:
  • Total Investment Made in Ohio Infrastructure: More than $300 Million
  • Total Number of Road Miles Improved: More than 630 Miles
  • Amount of Investment Directly to Local Communities: 100 Percent
This report is a first of its kind – previous research only used estimates to calculate the cost associated with the Road Use Maintenance Agreement (RUMA), at least partially due to the lack of a central clearinghouse for information, making it challenging to collect this data.  EID and OOGA used the Freedom of Information Act, worked with county engineers from all eight counties, and collected data from the majority of Ohio’s oil and gas operators to arrive at these findings.
The report also provides a robust history of the RUMA process in Ohio – something EID has been tracking and reporting on for years. In fact, Ed Looman, then Executive Director or Progress Alliance said in a 2012 EID guest blog post,
“Local efforts began when the Jefferson County commissioners stepped forward and created a road use maintenance agreement. The agreement is working here and already a major drilling company has invested millions to repair county and township roads.”
In the years since that statement, and up until this report was released, it has remained unclear how many “millions” have been realized or how many miles have been improved. For some of these eight counties, the numbers are staggering.
In Carroll County, for example, $12 million was spent in just one year, which is about three times the amount of their entire county engineer’s budget!
Similar to the last report in this Utica Shale Local Support Series that looked at actual numbers and data on property taxes paid on production of oil and natural gas, this latest report does not use “estimates” or “predictions” of things to come. The data show real money already invested in local communities in Ohio, where 100 percent of the investment stays within the local community where shale development is occurring — at no cost to the taxpayer. Together, these two reports in the Utica Shale Local Support Series have collectively found that Ohio communities have realized a benefit of $343 million in taxes and road improvements thus far.
RUMAs are just another example of how the natural gas industry is a good neighbor and is providing support (along with jobs & revenue) to our local governments.

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Carroll County is No Longer the Leader in Utica Shale Permits

From The Canton Repository:
For the first time in six years, Carroll County doesn’t have the most Utica Shale well permits in Ohio. 
Belmont County surpassed Carroll on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources permit list released Tuesday. 
Belmont had 526 permits for the week that ended Nov. 18, while Carroll had 525 permits. 
Carroll had held the top number of Utica drilling permits in Ohio since 2011, according to an analysis of ODNR records by The Canton Repository. The county was an early focus of drillers before exploration migrated south and east toward the Ohio River.
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Rig Count Down on Latest Utica Shale Permitting Report

New permits issued last week: 7  (Previous week: 9-2
Total horizontal permits issued: 2681  (Previous week: 2674+7
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2178  (Previous week: 2174+4
Total horizontal wells producing: 1714 (Previous week: 1713+1
Utica rig count: 23 (Previous week: 24)  -1

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

IEA Predicts That U.S. Will Dominate Global Oil & Gas Markets During Biggest Boom in History

From Bloomberg:
The U.S. will be a dominant force in global oil and gas markets for many years to come as the shale boom becomes the biggest supply surge in history, the International Energy Agency predicted.

By 2025, the growth in American oil production will equal that achieved by Saudi Arabia at the height of its expansion, and increases in natural gas will surpass those of the former Soviet Union, the agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook. The boom will turn the U.S., still among the biggest oil importers, into a net exporter of fossil fuels. 
“The United States will be the undisputed leader of global oil and gas markets for decades to come,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg television. “There’s big growth coming from shale oil, and as such there’ll be a big difference between the U.S. and other producers.”

The agency raised estimates for the amount of shale oil that can be technically recovered by about 30 percent to 105 billion barrels. Forecasts for shale-oil output in 2025 were bolstered by 34 percent to 9 million barrels a day.

The U.S. industry “has emerged from its trial-by-fire as a leaner and hungrier version of its former self, remarkably resilient and reacting to any sign of higher prices caused by OPEC’s return to active market management,” the IEA said.
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School Districts Approve Tax Abatement for Natural Gas Pipeline

From the Star Beacon:
Two school districts in northeast Ashtabula County have approved 15-year tax abatement packages that will assist a $70 million natural gas pipeline construction project scheduled to start next year. 
At separate meetings last week, members of the Conneaut and Buckeye Local school boards accepted plans on behalf of RH Energytrans LLC of Erie, Pennsylvania, that would abate 75 percent of the property tax the districts would collect from the project over a 15-year period. Even when the abatement is applied, the districts will still see annual tax revenue gains approaching $100,000, officials said. 
At issue is a 30-mile stretch of new pipe that would originate in western Pennsylvania, pass through a portion of Conneaut and end at a location in North Kingsville, said Dennis Holbrook, a company spokesperson. As planned, the 12-inch pipe would be attached to an existing stretch of line, creating a 60-mile transport system, he said.

The new pipe would be evenly split between the two states, Holbrook said.
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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wells Producing in Utica Shale Drop for Second Straight Week; Rig Count Holds Steady

New permits issued last week: 9  (Previous week: 3+6
Total horizontal permits issued: 2674  (Previous week: 2665+9
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2174  (Previous week: 2166+8
Total horizontal wells producing: 1713 (Previous week: 1715-2
Utica rig count: 24 (Previous week: 24)  +-0

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Links of the Day: Rover Pipeline Progressing, Bowling Green Anti-Drilling Measure Flops, and More

Energy in Depth:  Anti-Fracking Antics in 2017 Have Been So Ridiculous It’s Scary   -   "The “Keep it In the Ground” movement has been a reliable source of ridiculous antics over the years, and 2017 has been no exception. In fact, anti-fracking stunts have been so absurd this year it’s downright scary..."

RBN Energy:  Back On Top - Marcellus/Utica Natural Gas Production Breaking Records Again   -   "A year ago, Lower-48 natural gas production was in steep decline and averaging less than 71 Bcf/d by the fall, down from nearly 74 Bcf/d in February 2016. The oil-price crash of 2014 had taken a toll on gas output, led by a drop in Texas. To add to that, Marcellus/Utica gas supply — which had helped prop up overall domestic gas production volumes — was no longer growing enough to..."

MDN:  FERC Gives Rover Pipe OK to Use Different Tech to Speed Up Drilling   -   "This story necessarily gets into the weeds of pipeline construction. But so you have the essential story line up front, this is it: On Monday Energy Transfer asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to dump something called annular pressure monitoring (APM) when drilling..."

Bloomberg:  The Fracking Boom's Midlife Crisis   -   "Crude prices bouncing around $50 to $60 a barrel have kept U.S. shale producers stuck on the edge of profitability. That hasn’t been enough to shut down the oil boom in places such as North Dakota, Texas, and New Mexico—at least not yet. Drillers are heading into 2018 on the defensive as they face skepticism from shareholders who want to see..."

Vorys Energy & Environmental Law Blog:  Supreme Court of Ohio to Hear Landman Licensing Case   -   "In March, we posted about Dundics v. Eric Petroleum Corp., a decision by Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals ruling that landmen were required to obtain real estate broker’s licenses in order to sue for compensation for brokering deals between landowners and oil and gas companies. Today, the Supreme Court of Ohio agreed to review the following..."

Seeking Alpha:  Chesapeake Energy (CHK) Q3 2017 Results - Earnings Call Transcript   -   "We're really excited about the program just continuing to evolve. As Doug mentioned, one of our strengths is the way that we use data and information across the company to optimize the asset and each technology from Haynesville and Utica and Eagle Ford and transfer those to these new..."

Seeking Alpha:  Gulfport Energy's (GPOR) CEO Mike Moore on Q3 2017 Results - Earnings Call Transcript   -   "On the operations front, in the Utica during the first nine months of 2017 we spud 77 gross wells utilizing six operating rigs, the wells release as an average drilled lateral length of approximately 7,882 feet and were normalized into an 8,000 foot lateral as assumed in our public type curve, we average the spud rig release of..."

Pittsburgh Business Times:  Rice Sees Production Increase — and Coins New Word — in Final 3Q Results   -   "Rice Energy Inc.’s final full quarter as a publicly traded company saw a production increase and the creation of a new word. Production in the third quarter was 131.2 billion cubic feet up from 68.7 million cubic feet in the same period a year ago with 32 wells drilled and 30 completed in the Marcellus and Utica..."

Associated Press:  Ohio Sues Gas Pipeline Developer Over Pollution Violations   -   "Ohio is suing the company building a $4.2 billion natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to Michigan over what it says are numerous water pollution violations during construction. The lawsuit filed Friday says work on the Rover Pipeline flooded a protected wetland with drilling mud and has damaged..."

Natural Gas Now:  Fracking is Killing Greenhouse Gas Emissions with Technology   -   "The EPA has a neat website tracking greenhouse gas emissions from onshore petroleum and natural gas production. The data shows they’re way down over the last five years in the Marcellus/Utica Shale region even though production is up and more data is being reported. Given that we know the substitution of natural gas for coal power generation has already..."

Business Wire:  Carrizo Oil & Gas Announces Third Quarter Results   -   "Over the past several months, Carrizo entered into agreements to sell its assets in the Utica Shale and Marcellus Shale. Both divestitures are currently expected to close during November; the impact of these divestitures on the Company's fourth quarter of 2017 production is estimated to be a reduction of approximately 3,050 Boe/d (2% oil) relative to..."

CNBC:  US Shale Oil Will Dominate the Market in Coming Years, OPEC Forecasts   -   "The American shale drillers that have upended the energy industry will capture much of the growth in oil demand in the coming years, OPECforecasts in a new report. But after years of booming U.S. production and flat output from OPEC, the tables will turn, the producer..."

Seeking Alpha:  Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) Q3 2017 Results - Earnings Call Transcript   -   "Growth on our Ohio River System in the Northeast continues to exceed our expectations, driven by greater than anticipated results from our anchor shippers on this pipeline in the dry Utica. We continue to see volumes fill up on our processing plants in the..."

The Blade:  Bowling Green Residents Reject Initiative That Would Ban Future Pipelines   -   "A citizen-led ballot initiative that calls for a ban on more pipelines transporting natural gas and other fossil fuels through city-owned property was soundly rejected by Bowling Green voters. The measure lost by a 61-39 percent margin. “I don't feel like it's an obituary,” said Terry Lodge, a Toledo attorney who represents citizens who successfully got the petition on the ballot. He added it has laid the groundwork for..."

World Oil:  Crude Tumbles After Shock Increases in Stored Oil and Production   -   "Traders dumped oil futures after a surprise increase in U.S. crude stockpiles and surging output dashed confidence that a worldwide glut is fading. Oil fell as much as 1.4% in New York after a U.S. government report on Wednesday found swelling crude stockpiles, shrinking overseas demand and skyrocketing output from American wells. The futures were on track for the first two-day decline in more than..."

Canton Repository:  Oil and Gas: Fuel for Business Growth   -   "From drilling to cheap energy to petrochemicals, oil and gas development can be an economic engine. Canton didn’t have a grand plan to become Ohio’s Utica Capital. Sure, local leaders cooked up the name and logo, but that was after the oil and gas industry had its sights on the energy-rich Utica Shale beneath eastern..."

EQT:  EQT Shareholders Approve Rice Energy Acquisition   -   "EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT) today announced that, based on the final tabulation provided by its proxy solicitor, EQT shareholders have approved the pending transaction with Rice Energy Inc. (NYSE: RICE) at the Company’s special meeting held earlier today. Of the total shares cast, approximately 84% percent voted..."

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Court Battles Continue Over NEXUS Pipeline

From The Canton Repository:
NEXUS Gas Transmission has federal approval to build its pipeline across Ohio, but it doesn’t hold rights to all of the land on the route. 
So, the company has gone to court, where a group of landowners hit back this week with their own lawsuit against the pipeline. 
NEXUS sued earlier this month to take temporary or permanent easements through eminent domain on 42 pieces of land in Stark, Summit, Wayne, Medina, Lorain, Sandusky, Wood and Erie counties. 
In its federal lawsuit, NEXUS said it negotiated easements on 97 percent of some 2,000 properties and made final offers to holdouts in September, but those landowners rejected or failed to respond to the company’s proposals. 
Many of the defendants are in Green, where landowners and the city have opposed the NEXUS project. 
NEXUS asked the court to let it immediately take the easements and start construction. Under the company’s plan, a three-person commission would decide later how much the company owes landowners. NEXUS said it would post a bond to ensure the property owners are paid.
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From WKYC:
An Ohio city is refusing to end its legal fight to move a high-pressure natural gas pipeline away from a community of 25,000 people. 
Officials in Green in southern Summit County are waging battles on different legal fronts against a partnership that has federal approval to begin construction of the $2 billion NEXUS pipeline. 
The partnership of Calgary, Canada-based Enbridge and Detroit's DTE Energy is poised to build a 255-mile-long pipeline capable of transporting 1.5-billion cubic feet of gas per day from Appalachian shale fields across northern Ohio and into Michigan and Canada. 
Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer says he'll keep fighting to get the pipeline moved "as long as there is hope."
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Chesapeake Energy Trying Some New Techniques in Utica Shale

From The Independent:
Chesapeake Energy has used new well-completion techniques to coax more production from its Utica Shale holdings. 
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake has drilled 735 Utica wells in Ohio, the most of any company. 
In July, the company’s eight-well Ellie pad in Carroll County’s Orange Township began producing at an initial rate of 1,100 barrels of oil equivalent per well per day. Sixty-five percent of the production came from liquids, the company reported Thursday before a conference call with investors to discuss third-quarter results. 
In the dry-gas part of the Utica, the three-well Schiappa Trust A pad in Jefferson County had an initial production rate of 20 million cubic feet of gas per well per day. 
The company said new completion techniques improved 120-day Utica well results by 25 percent, and it planned to continue testing new completions designs in the Utica and Marcellus shales.
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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

November 2017 Activity Maps Published by ODNR

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Rig Count is Up in Utica Shale, Number of Producing Wells is Down

New permits issued last week: 3  (Previous week: 6-3
Total horizontal permits issued: 2665  (Previous week: 2662+3
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2166  (Previous week: 2157+9
Total horizontal wells producing: 1715 (Previous week: 1717-2
Utica rig count: 24 (Previous week: 23)  +1

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Justice Department Gives Chesapeake the Go-Ahead to Continue Slashing Royalties

From Reuters:
The U.S. Department of Justice ended a three-year probe of Chesapeake Energy Corp’s (CHK.N) royalty payment and land purchase practices without taking action, the natural gas producer said in a securities filing on Thursday. 
The department subpoenaed documents from the company in 2014 after dozens of landowners and others accused it of short-changing them on royalties for natural gas and other fuels. 
Chesapeake said in the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the Justice Department advised it on Sept. 19 that it had concluded the probes. The company remains in discussions with the U.S. Postal Service and various states, which separately sought information about the practices, the filing said. 
A spokesman for the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, company declined to comment further.
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Pipelines Primed to Pump Up Appalachian Economy

From Bloomberg:
David Rheinlander used to dream of building a cabin in the woods behind his house in southwestern Pennsylvania. Now when the 57-year-old looks across his backyard, he sees a line of cut trees, piles of dirt, and stacks of steel pipe where he once envisioned a tiny cabin. For the past six months, construction crews carved their way through the back of his property. The roughly 100-foot-wide path they’re cutting through the rolling hills extends about 700 miles to the west, running through neighboring Ohio and all the way up into Michigan. 
The pathway is for a pipeline that will bring huge amounts of natural gas out of sparsely populated Appalachia and into big cities across the Midwest. The pipeline, called Rover, is being built by Energy Transfer Partners LP, of Dallas, which has spent three years and a total $4.2 billion on the painstaking process of winning permits, clearing miles of rugged terrain, and fighting a pitched legal battle against environmental groups and landowners.

Rover is scheduled to begin shipping as much as 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day in early 2018. When fed through a natural gas-fired power plant, that’s enough to power about 30 million homes. Rover is one of a handful of pipelines set to open next year that will begin moving natural gas from the massive Marcellus and Utica shale formations that lie beneath parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York.
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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Utica Rig Count Holds Steady for Second Straight Week

New permits issued last week: 6  (Previous week: 10-4
Total horizontal permits issued: 2662  (Previous week: 2657+5
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2157  (Previous week: 2150+7
Total horizontal wells producing: 1717 (Previous week: 1716+1
Utica rig count: 23 (Previous week: 23)  +-0

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