Monday, March 23, 2020

Ohio Bill Would Make Royalty Checks Easier to Understand

From Farm and Dairy:
Interpreting royalty checks from oil and gas companies can be confusing. The information laid out on the check stubs isn’t always clear, if the information is there at all. 
Ohio state Rep. Jack Cera heard that feedback from his constituents and others throughout the region for years. Cera, D-Bellaire, introduced legislation last year that would standardize the information sent out with royalty checks for landowners. 
House Bill 55 would require 15 different items to be included on a statement with the royalty check. Right now, the Ohio Revised Code requires producers to report three things and only if the royalty owner requests that information. 
Those three things are the volume of natural gas for which the royalty owner is being paid, the price per thousand cubic feet the producer received and the volume of natural gas that passed through the well’s meter. 
Most oil and gas companies already report the required information automatically with the landowner’s monthly royalty checks.
Read on by clicking right here. 

Judge Rules Against Gulfport Energy in Case Over Asset Sale

From Law360:
A Texas judge has rejected Gulfport Energy Corp.’s allegation that an oil and gas exploration company improperly backed out of a $26 million deal to acquire Marcellus shale assets in Ohio. 
Tarrant County District Court Judge Kimberly Fitzpatrick on Thursday granted summary judgment in a brief order for Quantum Energy Partner-backed TH Exploration LLC, or Tug Hill, which argues that it was under no obligation to pay for the assets because Gulfport Energy had not fulfilled all of the terms of the purchase and sale agreement, according to a Thursday order. 
Tug Hill argued that Gulfport was required to obtain releases from third parties connected to the oil and gas assets in question. Those releases were never sufficiently obtained by the appropriate date, according to Tug Hill. 
“The PSA’s plain terms required Gulfport to obtain releases of the dedication agreements by the extended closing date; because there is no genuine issue of material fact that Gulfport failed to do so, Tug Hill was never obligated to close, and Gulfport has no basis to assert a breach of contract claim or to request specific performance as a matter of law,” Tug Hill argued in its December summary judgment motion.
Read more by clicking here. 

Putin Pursues Plan to Sink U.S. Shale Industry

From Yahoo:
At 10:16 a.m. on a wet and dreary Friday morning, Russia’s energy minister walked into OPEC’s headquarters in central Vienna knowing his boss was ready to turn the global oil market upside down.Alexander Novak told his Saudi Arabian counterpart Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman that Russia was unwilling to cut oil production further. The Kremlin had decided that propping up prices as the coronavirus ravaged energy demand would be a gift to the U.S. shale industry. The frackers had added millions of barrels of oil to the global market while Russian companies kept wells idle. Now it was time to squeeze the Americans.After five hours of polite but fruitless negotiation, in which Russia clearly laid out its strategy, the talks broke down. Oil prices fell more than 10%. It wasn’t just traders who were caught out: Ministers were so shocked, they didn’t know what to say, according to a person in the room. The gathering suddenly had the atmosphere of a wake, said another. 
For over three years, President Vladimir Putin had kept Russia inside the OPEC+ coalition, allying with Saudi Arabia and the other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to curb oil production and support prices. On top of helping Russia’s treasury – energy exports are the largest source of state revenue – the alliance brought foreign policy gains, creating a bond with Saudi Arabia’s new leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 
But the OPEC+ deal also aided America’s shale industry and Russia was increasingly angry with the Trump administration’s willingness to employ energy as a political and economic tool. It was especially irked by the U.S.’s use of sanctions to prevent the completion of a pipeline linking Siberia’s gas fields with Germany, known as Nord Stream 2. The White House has also targeted the Venezuelan business of Russia’s state-oil producer Rosneft.“The Kremlin has decided to sacrifice OPEC+ to stop U.S. shale producers and punish the U.S. for messing with Nord Stream 2,” said Alexander Dynkin, president of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Moscow, a state-run think tank. “Of course, to upset Saudi Arabia could be a risky thing, but this is Russia’s strategy at the moment – flexible geometry of interests.”
Click here to view the original article. 

Schwarzenegger, Kerry and Kasich Team Up to Talk Climate Change

From 10 TV:
Arnold Schwarzenegger took some time away from his eponymous sports festival on Sunday (March 8) to talk climate change. 
The former California governor joined former Ohio governor John Kasich and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on stage at Otterbein University. The three men are founding members of World War Zero, a non-profit, non-partisan coalition to fight climate change.

"World War Zero is going to have hopefully 10 million conversations with our fellow Americans, many of them digital, through Facebook, through Snapchat, through Instagram," Kerry told the crowd. "In every way we can, we’re going to go out personally, we’re going to talk to people, and we’re going to make every effort for people to see that you have better health when the air’s cleaner, you have less cancer, children aren’t hospitalized in the summer because of environmentally induced asthma, which you spend $55 billion a year to deal with."

Click here to view the article on 10tv.com. 

New Developments in Latest Dimock Court Battle

Throughout the run of The Daily Digger blog, we have offered occasional updates on the latest developments from Dimock, Pennsylvania.  Dimock in may ways has served as the epicenter of the fight between the oil and gas industry and activists who insist that fracking inherently contaminates water supplies.

One episode of the ongoing Dimock saga involves a man named Ray Kemble, who for a time was something of a folk hero in anti-fracking circles (and correspondingly found himself the victim of ad hominem attacks by supporters of the industry).  More and more, it has become clear that Mr. Kemble has been victimized by opportunists looking to use him to draw attention to themselves and profit financially, including attorneys and some of his fellow Pennsylvania landowners.

Now here is a report on some of the latest developments in this story, from shaledirectories.com:
Attorneys who once represented the Dimock Twp. man sued by gas giant Cabot Oil & Gas must now pay the bills the gas company ran up in repeatedly trying to get those attorneys’ financial records Susquehanna County’s top judge said last week.

In another development, since those same attorneys still had not turned over the requested records last week, Cabot withdrew from settlement discussions with them, saying they only agreed to the discussions under the conditions that the defendants continued to exchange pre-trial documents and negotiate in good faith.

“Because the Defendants refused to negotiate in good faith, Cabot withdrew from the conference in early March,” Cabot spokesman George Stark said in a prepared release this week.

The defendants include Kansas City, Missouri, attorney Charles E Speer and members of the Kingston, Luzerne County, law firm of Fellerman & Ciarimboli. The lawyers once represented anti-fracking activist Raymond Kemble of Dimock.
Read the whole post by clicking here. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Rig Count Declines Again in Utica Shale

WEEK ENDING 02/29/20


New permits issued last week: 3 (Previous week: 8)  -5
Total horizontal permits issued: 3200 (Previous week: 3200 +-0
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2724 (Previous week: 2719)  +5
Total horizontal wells producing: 2451 (Previous week: 2451)  +-0
Utica rig count: 10 (Previous week: 11)  -1

New Report: Fracking Ban Would Lead to Loss of 7.5 Million Jobs in 2022 Alone, Cost Average Household Over $5,000 Per Year

From the American Petroleum Institute:
The American Petroleum Institute (API) today released a new economic analysis outlining the dire economic consequences of a ban on federal leasing and hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) for American families and businesses. The technology has enabled the U.S. to become the world leader in energy production and emissions reductions. 
The study – conducted by economic modeling firm OnLocation, Inc. – warns that banning federal leasing and fracking on public and private lands, which some presidential candidates have proposed, would cost up to 7.5 million American jobs in 2022 alone, lead to a cumulative GDP loss of $7.1 trillion by 2030, slash household incomes by $5,400 annually, increase household energy costs by more than $600 per year and reduce farm incomes by 43 percent due to higher energy costs. If a ban is enacted, the U.S. would flip from being a net exporter of oil and petroleum products to importing more than 40 percent of supplies by 2030. 
“If I told you about a technology that would help the environment, that would help American consumers, would reduce our trade deficit and increase American jobs, I think most politicians would jump on that, not try to ban it,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said. “American families should be shocked to hear proposals from candidates for high office that would ban this transformative technology, which would erase a generation of American progress and return us to the days of heavy reliance on foreign energy. There is perhaps no better example that points to the stark contrast we see today in the debate over America’s energy future.” 
American families would pay more under a fracking ban, according to the new analysis. On average, residential natural gas prices would increase 58 percent and electricity prices would average 20 percent higher per family annually. American farmers and manufacturers would also suffer, with the cost of wheat farming increasing 64 percent, cost of corn farming increasing 54 percent and cost of soybean farming increasing 48 percent, due to the impact of higher energy costs. 
“You can’t eliminate the very technology that has enabled the American energy revolution without damaging economic consequences,” said Lessly Goudarzi, founder and CEO of OnLocation, Inc. “As our analysis shows, assuming a full ban on fracking would threaten a U.S. recession and force American consumers to rely more on foreign energy rather than energy produced here in the U.S.” 
More than 95 percent of U.S. natural gas and oil wells today are developed using hydraulic fracturing. The study projected that states with the highest job losses if a fracking ban is enacted include Texas (1,103,000), California (765,000), Florida (711,000), Pennsylvania (551,000) and Ohio (500,000), for a total of 3.6 million job losses in those five states alone in 2022. 
The study was developed based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s National Energy Modeling System (NF-NEMS), a well-known and vetted model used to build the U.S. Department of Energy’s Annual Energy Outlook. Vienna, Va. based OnLocation, Inc. used the integrated model to capture interactions of economic changes and energy supply, demand and prices based on economy-wide projections, examining the impact of a fracking ban not only in the energy sector but across all industries and households.
Here is the actual report:



The API has also released the following videos to draw attention to the conclusions in the analysis:







ODNR Selects Eric Vendel as New Oil and Gas Chief

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources:
Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz announced today the selection of Eric Vendel as Chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. 
“Eric Vendel’s extensive legal and administrative experience in oil and gas regulation makes him the ideal candidate for this position,” said Director Mertz. 
“Over the past decade, Ohio’s oil and gas program has set a strong example for other states to follow, and I’m confident the division will continue its exemplary work under Eric’s leadership.” 
Vendel will oversee ODNR's regulation of Ohio’s oil and natural gas industry for the protection of the public and the environment while ensuring the state’s abundant natural resources are managed and developed responsibly. 
Eric Vendel has served as the Division of Oil and Gas Resource Management’s lead attorney since 2012 where he has drafted and reviewed oil and gas rules and regulations, Chief’s Orders, contracts, and compliance agreements, as well as advising staff on enforcement, permitting, engineering, underground injection control, emergency response, and the orphan well program. 
Before coming to ODNR, Vendel served as an attorney with the Ohio Legislative Service Commission where he was the principal drafter of several oil and gas bills. Vendel holds a J.D. from Capital University Law School, a master’s degree in organic chemistry from The Ohio State University, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wittenberg University. 
The Division of Oil and Gas Resource Management’s regulatory responsibilities include oil and gas drilling, underground injection operations, oil and gas waste recycling, solution mining, gas storage operations, permitting and construction of horizontal well sites, and inspecting the drilling, restoration and plugging of all oil and gas wells. 
Last week, ODNR released the fourth quarter production totals for Ohio’s Utica Shale. To learn more about the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, please visit oilandgas.ohiodnr.gov.
View the news release at the ODNR website by clicking here. 

Work at Proposed Site of Cracker Plant to Slow Until Final Decision on Construction is Made

From The Intelligencer:
Decreasing activity at the site of a proposed ethane cracker plant in Belmont County is not a sign of declining interest in the project.

Officials with PTT Global Chemical America of Thailand and Daelim Chemical USA of South Korea announced online Friday that contractors have completed the first phase of site preparation for the potential plant. The developers have purchased more than 500 acres of land, including the site of FirstEnergy’s former R.E. Burger coal-fired power plant, between the Ohio River and Ohio 7 south of Shadyside. Since mid-2019, heavy equipment has been visible at that location as PTTDLM’s contractors performed site preparation, engineering and design work to prepare for the possible world-scale petrochemical complex. 
PTTDLM said Friday that the first phase of this work is complete. As a result, activity on the site will be “significantly reduced for the next two or three months.” 
Now, the website pttbelmontcountyoh.com states, officials with PTTDLM are working toward finalizing project financing and supply agreements. 
“We will begin the next phase of this project closer to our final investment decision, which we continue to anticipate will come in the first half of this year,” the announcement states. “We thank JobsOhio, Governor Mike DeWine, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted and the local officials of Belmont County for their continued support, and we deeply appreciate the enthusiasm and the patience of the the Ohio Valley community throughout this process.”
Click here to read more. 

Company Looking for Permission to Build Two New Injection Wells in Ohio

From the Times Leader:
Tri-State Environmental of Cadiz has applied for permits to install two different brine injection wells off Fairview Road in Kirkwood Township, Belmont County.

According to a public notice, Tri-State has applied for permits with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to dig two wells to inject brine water associated with the production of oil and natural gas. The first well would be called Tri-State #1, in Section 31, Kirkwood Township. 
“The proposed well will inject into the Ohio Shale at a depth of 4,600 to 4,800 feet. The average injection is estimated to be 4,000 barrels per day,” according to the notice. “The maximum injection pressure is estimated to be 1,060 psi.” 
The second well would be called Tri-State #2, in Section 25, Kirkwood Township. 
“The proposed well will inject into the Bass Islands through Salina Group at a depth of 5,200 to 5,500 feet,” the notice states. 
The No. 2 well also would receive an estimated 4,000 barrels of brine per day. This would equate to about 168,000 gallons per day.
Read the whole article by clicking here. 

Gulfport Energy Lost $2 Billion in 2019

From The Canton Repository:
The driller with the third most Utica Wells in Ohio lost $2 billion last year. 
Gulfport Energy held a phone call Friday with investors to discuss its earnings. 
The loss was equal to $12.49 per diluted share. 
The Oklahoma City-based company has more than 400 Utica wells in Ohio, the most of any publicly traded company, and is only behind privately held Encino Acquisition Partners and Ascent Resources in total wells. 
Gulfport’s fourth quarter revenue was $281 million, down a third from the last quarter of 2018. Annual was held level at $1.35 billion.

In Ohio, Gulfport has 205,000 net acres under lease, 65 percent of which are held by production. 
Last year, the company drilled 16 wells and began production from nearly 45 wells in the Utica Shale.
Continue reading by clicking here. 

Utica Shale Production Data Now Available for 4th Quarter of 2019

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources:
During the fourth quarter of 2019, Ohio's horizontal shale wells produced 6,803,057 barrels of oil and 684,771,042 Mcf (685 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, according to the figures released today by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). 
Compared to a year ago, oil production increased by 17.08% and natural gas production showed a 3.2% increase over the fourth quarter of 2018. 
 
The ODNR quarterly report lists 2,523 horizontal shale wells, 2,452 of which reported oil and natural gas production during the quarter. Of the wells reporting oil and natural gas results: 
The average amount of oil produced per well was 2,774 barrels. The average amount of natural gas produced per well was 279,270 Mcf. The average number of third quarter days in production per well was 90. 
All horizontal production reports can be accessed at oilandgas.ohiodnr.gov/production. 
Ohio law does not require the separate reporting of Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) or condensate. Oil and gas reporting totals listed on the report include NGLs and condensate. 

Click here to read the whole release.

Click here to view the spreadsheet containing all of the production data for the quarter.