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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Eighth Consecutive Loss for CELDF in Youngstown

by Dan Alfaro, Energy in Depth

For the eighth consecutive time, the citizens of Youngstown have voted overwhelmingly against a Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) initiative aimed at banning fracking and all fossil fuel-related activity within the city limits.
Unofficial results show nearly 57 percent of the city’s voters rejected the proposal – nearly identical to the margin on the seventh failed attempt.
City voters rejected similar ballot measures six times between 2013 and 2016: twice in both 2013 and 2014, and once each in 2015 and 2016. The group – under the guise of the all-too-familiar “Community Bill of Rights” – again attempted to repackage and re-purpose what ultimately amounts to a symbolic ban on fracking.
As in years past, the Youngstown Vindicator editorial board joined a chorus in urging voters to stop the “job-killing” madness. Again:
“What part of ‘no’ – multiplied tens of thousands of times over in votes over five years – do the self-appointed do-gooder backers of the Youngstown Drinking Water Protection Bill of Rights don’t understand?
“Apparently not much, given their foolish and unrelenting pursuit of their misguided and foolhardy proposal.
“After all, responsible and civic-minded Youngstown residents have convincingly and resoundingly said no to the jobs-killing initiative seven times over now – from 2013 to the 2018 primary election.”
The effort was again opposed by a broad, diverse coalition of Youngstown city officials, community and business leaders, and labor groups, many of whom joined in the Mahoning Valley Jobs and Growth Coalition. Following the vote, the coalition reiterated the clearly stated (eight times) fact residents of Youngstown are not inclined to support the out-of-state driven effort:
“We urge the backers of the Youngstown Drinking Water Protection Bill of Rights to stop abusing our electoral system by repeatedly placing this amendment on the ballot. In rejecting this amendment eight times, Youngstown voters have made it crystal clear they don’t want this proposed charter amendment. Continuing to place it on the ballot in the future will only serve to waste our tax dollars on election administration costs – tax dollars that could otherwise be spent bettering our community.”
The repeated attempts, and subsequent rejections of the initiative has been a costly endeavor for the city, with a burden more than $180,000 placed on the backs of taxpayers.
Despite repeated failures, unfortunately this is unlikely to be the last time voters have to face (and fund) the issue on the ballot. Susie Beiersdorfer, a member of the Committee for the Youngstown Water Protection Bill of Rights, stated as much to the Vindicator following the seventh defeat:  “It’s not like we’re going to stop. Our motto is we don’t lose until we quit.”
Thankfully the resolve of an informed electorate has stayed steadfast in opposition, a trend that will continue should the group continue to ignore the will of the voters, and attempt to foil the city of Youngstown with yet another fruitless fracking ban.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Rig Count Dips in Utica Shale

New permits issued last week: 8 (Previous week: 0)  +8
Total horizontal permits issued: 2913 (Previous week: 2905)  +8
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2446 (Previous week: 2439)  +7
Total horizontal wells producing: 2072 (Previous week: 2057)  +15
Utica rig count: 17 (Previous week: 20)  -3

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With Deal Finalized, Encino Acquisition Partners is In the Utica Shale and Chesapeake Energy is Out

From the Times Reporter:
The Chesapeake deal gives Encino Acquisition Partners more Utica wells than any other company in the state. 
“The Utica is our most important asset,” said Encino Energy President and Chief Executive Hardy Murchison. “It’s by far our largest and it’s our focus for the foreseeable future. We see decades of drilling ahead of us there and we see it as being profitable across a wide range of oil and gas price outlooks. This is our focus.” 
The new partnership looked at oil and natural gas basins around the country. Chesapeake held a lot of high-quality acreage in the Utica Shale, and had built a great team of workers in Ohio, all of whom joined Encino, Murchison said. 
Chesapeake also was looking to sell assets to pay off debts.

Chesapeake’s acreage spanned the Utica Shale region, which has areas that produce everything from oil to natural gas to hydrocarbons like ethane that are used in making plastics and other chemicals.
Click here to read more.

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Rover Pipeline Gets Final Permissions to Come 100% Online

From Reuters:
U.S. pipeline company Energy Transfer LP said on Friday that federal energy regulators approved the company’s request to put the last two segments of its $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline into service: 
* The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) allowed Energy Transfer to put its Sherwood and CGT laterals in West Virginia into service. 
* Energy Transfer originally planned to complete Rover in November 2017, but since starting construction in March 2017, has been delayed by numerous notices of violation in Ohio and other states, some of which led to temporary stop work orders from state and federal regulators. 
* The 713-mile (1,148-kilometer) Rover is designed to carry up to 3.25 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to Michigan. 
* One billion cubic feet is enough gas to supply about five million U.S. homes for a day.
Click here to view the rest of the article.

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Eclipse Resources Enjoys Strong 3rd Quarter as Merger with Blue Ridge Mountain Resources Looms

From Kallanish Energy:
Independent producer Eclipse Resources, currently in the process of acquiring fellow independent Blue Ridge Mountain Resources, reported Wednesday recording-setting third-quarter revenue. 
Revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30, hit $130.12 million, up from $91.55 million one year ago, Kallanish Energy reports. 
“For the third quarter of 2018, the company was able to achieve record revenue of $130.1 million, a 42% increase over the third quarter of 2017, while also posting a 46% increase in adjusted EBITDAX over the third quarter of 2017, which came in at a new company record of $66.8 million,” said Benjamin W. Hulburt, chairman, president and CEO. 
Eclipse’s crude oil and natural gas liquids jumped year-over-year, with crude production up more than 100%, to 574,800 barrels, while NGL production rose 34.2%, to 906,400 barrels during the three-month period.
Read on by clicking here.

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Gulfport Energy CEO Resigns Amid Allegations of Misconduct

From NGI:
Gulfport Energy Corp. CEO Michael Moore has resigned after the company more than $ 600,000 in costs over five years for the unauthorized use of a chartered aircraft. 
The company is seeking reimbursement for $ 649,200 incharges, including hourly charter fees, flight fees and fuel expenses, in a regulatory filing Thursday, among other things. 
According to the filing, Moore for years also made personal charges on his Gulfport credit card, ranging from a low of $ 808 to a high of $ 347,164. While the charges were repaired and the company reported them, Gulfport said the charges may have constferent personal loans that were not permissible under the Sarbanes - Oxley Act of 2002. 
No other Gulfport executives used the chartered aircraft for personal purposes, the regulatory filing said.

Moore, 62, who joined the company as CFO in 2000 and was appointed CEO in 2014, is to receive $ 400,000 in separation payments. He earned $ 4.7 million in compensation last year, according to company disclosures.
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Is It Just a Matter of Time Until Oil Hits $100 Again?

From Forbes:
Bloomberg:  “Rising oil prices are prompting forecasts of a return to $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014, creating both winners and losers in the world economy.” 
The media is full of stories predicting that the oil price will go over $100 a barrel within a year or two while others predict “lower, longer” prices. Odd as it might seem, both are possible depending primarily on what happens in certain oil producers, especially Iran and Venezuela, as well as Libya and Nigeria. All these countries are suffering from political problems of different sorts, and each could see either a recovery in production or further disruptions. 
But this also reflects a tendency towards superficial views of the market. This was made obvious when the price of oil was over $100 a barrel and many executives argued that the marginal cost of production was $100, so that the price could not be below that for any length of time. Such is simply untrue:  lower prices would mean expensive projects would be abandoned, reducing the apparent marginal cost, and lower investment would reduce upstream costs, which had been seriously inflated for cyclical reasons. 
Still, several market watchers have argued that 3 mb/d of planned projects have been cancelled or delayed by the 2014 price collapse, and the IEA has noted that upstream investment has dropped by about one half from 2014 to 2016. There has been some recovery, but investment is still about 1/3 below the peak, and international drilling is lower by roughly the same amount (figure below).
Click here to see the figure referenced there and read the rest of the article. 

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U.S. Gas Production Continues Going Up - Can Demand Keep Pace?

Natural gas production hit another high in the United States at approximately 87 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) over the last weekend. The rise in production contributed to a total gas supply over 91 Bcf/d before we even head into the winter months. 
The surge in domestic natural gas production comes at the same moment as we are experiencing a shortage in storage going into the season with highest natural gas demand. Storage is vital during the winter months when demand for natural gas spikes and production is not able to keep up, causing the necessity to dip into reserves. 
Currently storage is at a 10-year low, coming in below 3.2 trillion cubic feet of available storage capacity. What’s more, net imports of Canadian natural gas have been low thanks to Enbridge’s pipeline rupture near Prince George, British Columbia. When the import volumes return to their normal levels, total gas supplies in the U.S. would rise even higher, potentially exceeding 92 Bcf/d.
Read the whole article by clicking here.

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ODNR Publishes Updated Utica & Marcellus Shale Activity Maps

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

FERC Gives Green Light to NEXUS Pipeline

From Reuters:
U.S. energy regulators on Friday approved part of Canadian energy company Enbridge Inc’s request to put more of its $2.6 billion NEXUS natural gas pipeline from Ohio to Michigan into service. 
In a filing, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said it approved the company’s request to put the Clyde compressor station in Sandusky County, Ohio, into service, but not the Wadsworth compressor in Medina County, Ohio. 
FERC said once NEXUS demonstrates restoration progress at Wadsworth, it would reconsider the company’s request to put that facility in service. 
Enbridge sought FERC permission to put both compressors into service on Oct. 19. 
NEXUS is one of several gas pipelines designed to connect growing output in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with customers in other parts of the United States and Canada.
Read more by clicking here.

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