Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Utica Rig Count Climbs for Second Straight Week

New permits issued last week: 9 (Previous week: 1)  +8
Total horizontal permits issued: 3006 (Previous week: 3000 +6
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2535 (Previous week: 2532)  +3
Total horizontal wells producing: 2141 (Previous week: 2141)  +-0
Utica rig count: 17 (Previous week: 15)  +2

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Encino Has Hired Over 100 People in Louisville

From WKSU:
Encino is a natural gas and oil acquistion and development company created by a group of successful former executives of other major gas & oil corporations. Late last year it made a multi-billion dollar deal to get the Ohio holdings of Chesapeake Energy, the original leader in the Utica Shale development. 
Encino's Director of External Affairs Jackie Stewart says the company is now committed to its new Utica headquarters in Louisville. “We’re trying to hire local. I mean, over 70% of our entire employees are here in Ohio.” 
She says the size and richness of the Utica shale has a lot to do with that. “When you think about the future and oil and natural gas career pathways in Ohio, we have world class rock here. So, we’re going to be here for a long time.” 
Stewart says Encino has already hired more than a 100 people in Louisville and is actively recruiting.
Read on by clicking here. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

CNX Utica Well Accident Will End Up Costing Company Millions of Dollars

Last month CNX discovered a leak as they were finishing a Utica shale well in Pennsylvania, as mentioned on our blog.  Now the price tag from the problem is becoming clear.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The opportunity to complete the three wells that didn’t trigger the problem still exists, the company told investors on Monday. But that’s not on the budget for 2019 or the carryover budget for 2020. 
These large Utica wells — which CNX pioneered in this area of southwestern Pennsylvania — are voluminous, both in gas production and expense. They are about a mile deeper than their Marcellus cousins and the gas they tap is therefore at greater pressure than in the shallower layers. 
In the most recent company earnings call, executives said they’re spending around $14 million per well for development, but they’re shooting to get that down to $12.5 million. 
On Monday, CNX disclosed that all told, the Shaw pad will account for $30 million in capital spending this year. That includes the cost of drilling and partially fracking the four Utica wells, as well as the remediation costs, which are anticipated to include plugging the leaky well with cement.
Continue reading by clicking here. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Ohio AG's Lawsuit Against Rover Pipeline Inches Through Court System

From the Times Reporter:
More than a year after Ohio’s Attorney General sued Rover Pipeline for polluting a Stark County wetland and other alleged environmental violations, the parties continue to fight over whether a local court should hear the case. 
The state has said Rover Pipeline and six subcontractors broke various regulations involving the release of stormwater, drilling fluid or water used in pressure-testing the 713-mile-long interstate natural gas pipeline. 
Rover Pipeline and the subcontractors have argued that only the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, not the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, has the power to enforce environmental regulations on an interstate pipeline. 
There is no timetable for when the judge will make her ruling. 
Rover Pipeline, comprising two 42-inch-diameter mainlines, transports up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Utica and Marcellus shale regions to users in the United States and Canada. Texas-base Energy Transfer owns the pipeline. 
Rover began partial operation in August 2017 and the last lateral pipelines that feed the system went on-line in November of last year. Locally, Rover’s mainlines cross Carroll, Tuscarawas, Stark and Wayne counties.
Click here to continue reading. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Permitting Slows to Crawl But Rig Count Goes Up in Utica Shale

New permits issued last week: 1 (Previous week: 15)  -14
Total horizontal permits issued: 3000 (Previous week: 3000 +-0
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2532 (Previous week: 2531)  +1
Total horizontal wells producing: 2141 (Previous week: 2141)  +-0
Utica rig count: 15 (Previous week: 14)  +1

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ohio Schools Await Financial Windfall from NEXUS Pipeline

From the Norwalk Reflector:
Area school districts in the path of the new NEXUS natural gas pipeline appear confident they will get new tax revenues beginning in 2020. 
Beyond that, there’s still uncertainty about what the net effect will be, as school districts such as Edison assume the state will cut school funding in response to the gas pipeline windfall. 
Late last year, gas began to flow through the 36-inch, 256-mile NEXUS natural gas pipeline, which runs from Kensington in southeast Ohio through to Michigan, passing through Erie and Sandusky counties. 
Several years ago, NEXUS published an estimate on the amount of ad valorem property tax revenues the pipeline would generate for local school districts and governments. 
Some of the biggest projected revenues for the first year of funding, which apparently will be 2020, are $3.6 million for Edison Schools, $735,200 for EHOVE, $1.4 million for Perkins Schools, $6.2 million for Margaretta Schools and $870,500 for Erie County.
Read the whole article by clicking here. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

XTO Provides $425,000 to Belmont County First Responders in Agreement with ODNR

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources:
Belmont County first responders will receive $425,000 to enhance their ability to keep their communities safe through new equipment and training, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). 
The funding for these first responders is provided in accordance with a compliance agreement between XTO Energy Inc. (XTO) and ODNR. This financial support will directly fund the purchases of equipment and training to bolster response capabilities within the communities of Belmont County. 
“The safety of our local first responders is paramount in any emergency situation,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “That is why we worked to help provide them with the additional support, training and equipment to ensure they are prepared and able to safely respond.” 
The table attached to this release designates the name of each public entity, the corresponding address and the amount to be remitted to the public entity. 
The compliance agreement remittance settles violations of ODNR’s regulations regarding an incident that occurred during drilling operations at the Schnegg Unit C 7-H well in Belmont County on Feb. 15, 2018. An additional $425,000 will be paid to the ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management’s regulatory programs.
View the original news release here. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Utica Rig Count Holds at 14 for Third Straight Week

WEEK ENDING 02/02/19

New permits issued last week: 6 (Previous week: 10)  -4
Total horizontal permits issued: 2993 (Previous week: 2992)  +1
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2524 (Previous week: 2517)  +7
Total horizontal wells producing: 2141 (Previous week: 2138)  +3
Utica rig count: 14 (Previous week: 14)  +-0

WEEK ENDING 02/09/19

New permits issued last week: 15 (Previous week: 6)  +9
Total horizontal permits issued: 3000 (Previous week: 2993)  +7
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2531 (Previous week: 2524)  +7
Total horizontal wells producing: 2141 (Previous week: 2141)  +-0
Utica rig count: 14 (Previous week: 14)  +-0

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

CNX Fracking Accident Leads to Flaring, Water Concerns

From TribLIVE:
The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County has asked for an extra water sample from Beaver Run Reservoir after a gas well located near the water source recently lost pressure. 
CNX Resources suspended fracking operations from its Shaw 1G well, a deep Utica well on the northwestern side of Beaver Run Reservoir, because of a “pressure anomaly” observed last week, the Canonsburg-based energy company said over the weekend. 
The Municipal Authority serves more than 400,000 people in five counties. Beaver Run Reservoir provides water to about 130,000 people in northern Westmoreland County through the authority’s George R. Sweeney Treatment Plant. It also serves small portions of Armstrong and Indiana counties. 
CONSOL Energy began establishing gas wells on seven pad sites near the reservoir in 2011.
Click here to continue reading that article.

CNX is investigating the cause of the problem, but the company already has announced the likely root cause.  From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
CNX Resources Corp. said a problem with the casing in its compromised Utica Shale well in Westmoreland County was the likely root of high pressure gas that flooded nearby shallower wells two weeks ago. 
The Cecil-based company told investors that the problem at its Shaw 1G well in Westmoreland County occurred about a mile underground.

It’s still early in the investigation, the company cautioned in its annual report filed on Thursday, “but based on the information we have at this time, we believe the issue is isolated to this well and was caused by a casing integrity issue that occurred at a depth below approximately 5,200 feet, allowing gas traveling up the wellbore to escape at that point.” 
At that depth, according to the well record filed with the state, there were two pipes in the ground, one a 9.6-inch diameter steel casing and inside of it a 5.5-inch diameter production casing. 
The narrower pipe, which is the conduit for the gas to travel up the wellbore, was cemented to the wider one at that depth. But the cement stopped a few hundred feet above that. Operators are not required to cement the production pipe all the way to the surface. 
When the gas escaped from the wellbore at that depth, it made its way to nine vertical wells, drilled to a depth between 3,700 feet and 3,900 feet, according to the DEP.
Click here to read the rest of that article. 

Anti-Fracking Groups Paid Dimock Landowner Who Traveled Country Claiming Fracking Contaminated Water

The battle in Dimock, Pennsylvania between a group of landowners and Cabot Oil and Gas is one that has just refused to end.  Dimock resident Ray Kemble sparked the latest round of legal wrangling by filing what would appear to be a frivolous lawsuit that attempts to relitigate matters that had already been resolved through the court system, which prompted Cabot to turn around and sue Kemble and his attorneys.  The resulting legal discovery process has exposed some fascinating details about the nature of the claims that have been so highly publicized regarding Dimock's water.  It also seems to reveal that Kemble has been used as a pawn by anti-fracking groups, neighbors in pursuit of fame and cash, and seedy attorneys.

From Natural Gas Now:
Yes, following the hearings yesterday in Montrose and the big news about Food & Water Watch and Catskill Mountainkeeper funding Craig Stevens, his deposition by Cabot, which was made a part of the court record, was published by FrackNation. It is such fascinating reading that it’s going to take 2-3 posts to discuss it and all its implications. Suffice it to say it proves, beyond any reasonable doubt, the entire Dimock narrative as spun by fractivists, with the aid of a compromised press, has been a dirty lie. 
The transcript, a highlighted version of which may be found here, reveals six big things every person interested in the truth needs to know: 
  1. Ray Kemble has been the hapless victim of his friends, their manipulators and their funders.
  2. True believer Bill Huston, who has attached himself to what he thought was a noble cause, has also been a victim of these people, as well as his own delusions of grandeur.
  3. Craig Stevens has been a victim of his own considerable ability to do the sales hustle.
  4. Trial lawyers have been trying for years to leverage Dimock to make it rain high-payout lawsuits and haven’t cared who they’ve had use to get what they want.
  5. Fractivist groups such as Food & Water Watch and Catskill Mountainkeeper have coordinated with each other and trial lawyers to frame the false Dimock narrative using stooges only too willing to be used.
  6. The entire enterprise has been purchased with huge dark money donations from wealthy elites.
There’s so much to discuss from the deposition transcript, and it has to be read in its entirety to fully appreciate the points made above. Stevens repeatedly reversed himself during the deposition as evidence came forward from Cabot proving what he had earlier said just wasn’t so. Therefore, unless you read it all, you won’t appreciate how hard he worked to avoid disclosing who his enablers were.
That post goes on to share a chunk of Stevens' deposition, and you can read it and decide for yourself if he sounds like an individual whose statements ought to be trusted.

In another post, Natural Gas Now's Tom Shepstone examines more of Stevens' deposition.  Specifically, the post focuses on a section of the deposition where Stevens' testimony before the New York General Assembly was broken down.  In his testimony, Stevens held up a paper holding pre-drilling test results on Ray Kemble's water and emphatically stated that the tests showed that there was "absolutely nothing wrong with the water and no methane in it before drilling occurred.”

Here is a portion of that post:

Q. Okay. Now, you say that there was no methane detected in the water, correct? 
A. That’s what it says here, no hydrocarbons detected, yes. 
Q. That’s not my question, Mr. Stevens. You said on there, there was no methane detected in the water, correct? 
A. Prior to your — 
Q. What you said on the video, you said holding up this predrill sample, you said there was no methane detected in the water, correct? 
A. Correct. 
Q. Can you show me on this document, Cabot Exhibit Number 5, where there was a test for the dissolved methane in water? 
A. It says no hydrocarbons detected right at the bottom — 
Q. And what — 
A. — there. 
Q. — what that says, field notes, LEL, lower explosive limit, monitoring performed with a LEL monitor. Do you know what an LEL monitor is? 
A. It tests for lower explosive limits so that’s — I guess I learned it’s below 27 milligrams per liter. 
Q. And when — when you use an LEL meter, where are you testing for the methane? 
A. I have no idea, I’ve never used one. 
Q. So you don’t even understand what LEL — what this LEL meter was testing or where or how, correct? 
A. I’m not an expert on testing for methane. 
Q. Okay. Now, do you have an understanding or — so I guess it would come to a surprise to you to know that using an LEL meter you are actually testing for methane in the air? 
MR. POSEY: Objection. You can answer if you know. 
THE WITNESS: I — I — yeah, I don’t know, so… 
Q. And there’s no test on here that shows what the dissolved methane is in water that shows that his water was being tested for dissolved methane, correct? 
MR. POSEY: Objection. You can answer if you know. 
THE WITNESS: I don’t have any idea. It looks like not included in this, that portion was not included in this. 
Q. Okay. So you don’t know if there was dissolved methane in Mr. — Mr. Kemble’s water when you stood up there and said that in front of the New York Assembly, correct? 
MR. POSEY: Objection. You can answer if you know. 
THE WITNESS: I don’t know. 
Q. Is that how you do consulting, you consult and make statements to government officials about things that you really don’t know about? 
MR. POSEY: Objection. You can answer if you know. 
THE WITNESS: I try to be as informed as I can, but it’s hard to keep up with how much damage was done in that area. So everybody had different tests, every home had a different level of everything. So very hard to keep up with. 
Q. This is — you are here focusing in that video on Mr. Kemble’s water. If you were going to speak about Mr. Kemble’s water, wouldn’t it have been prudent to make sure that you knew and understood the test results about Mr. Kemble’s water? 
MR. POSEY: Objection. You can answer if you know. 
THE WITNESS: I — I’ve seen methane in his water, so the testing data — this was prior to that, but after that massive — I mean, bubbles — a lot of bubbles in glasses of water. 
Q. And you — and you also said that you never saw Mr. Kemble’s water prior to 2010, correct? 
A. Well, that’s from 2013, the video, correct? 
Q. That’s correct. 
A. Okay. That’s after the fact. But, no, I did — had not seen his water before 2010. 
Q. So you don’t know if there — you could see methane bubbling in his water prior to 2010, correct? 
A. Correct.
There is much more to take in by reading the rest of that post.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Ohio Forced Pooling Law Withstands Legal Challenge

From Law 360:
The Sixth Circuit on Monday upheld the dismissal of a constitutional challenge to an Ohio law allowing drillers to tap properties near ones they’ve leased without getting consent from landowners, saying a permit issued by state regulators to Chesapeake Exploration LLC doesn’t constitute a “taking” under the 14th Amendment. 
An appeals court panel affirmed an Ohio federal judge’s June dismissal of a suit by landowners challenging the order issued by the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management under the state’s so-called forced pooling law allowing Chesapeake to horizontally drill below their properties. 
The landowners can’t cite a single case that such pooling schemes are unconstitutional, the Sixth Circuit panel said in its opinion. Meanwhile, the Ohio Supreme Court has said the state’s forced pooling law is a legitimate use of its police power in regulating oil and gas development, and courts in other states have reached similar conclusions about their respective pooling laws, the panel said.
Click here to continue reading. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Pennsylvania Royalty Legal Battle Continues to Rage On

From PA Homepage:
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is in Bradford County answering questions an ongoing lawsuit with two natural gas companies. 
The lawsuit, involving gas royalty payments, was first filed in 2015. Eyewitness News reporter Eric Deabill has the story. 
Pennsylvania’s Attorney General says his office has received more than 500 complaints from landowners who believe two gas companies engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices. 
Josh Shapiro j told the crowd here that even though this civil lawsuit has been in the courts for three years he is committed to keeping up the fight. 
Dozens of landowners filled the auditorium at Towanda High School Thursday to hear the latest about a lawsuit by the Pennsylvania Attorney Generals Office against two natural gas companies. 
Attorney General Josh Shapiro is looking to recover money for thousands of landowners who may have had money wrongfully deducted from their fracking royalty checks.
Click here to read more.