Showing posts from August, 2012

Links of the Day 8/31 - Devon Energy Will Take Care of Roads, Wet Gas Following Price Pattern of Dry Gas, Royalties Coming For Some, New Frack Technology Aims to Lower Costs, Chimera Energy Taking Swipes at Fracking

The Daily Record:   Devon Energy entering into agreements to protect Wayne County roads. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:   Drillers rattled as ethane, propane prices plunge. The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register:   Royalties coming down the pipe. Reuters:   Schlumberger's clever frack takes aim at gas costs. MDN:   Chimera Energy continues to bash away at fracking - possibly to their own detriment. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Chesapeake Upsetting Landowners By Exploiting Lease Technicalities and Taking Chunks Out of Royalty Payments

From Bloomberg comes a new report on another cost-cutting measure by Chesapeake which has many landowners around the country steaming. As gas prices were heading toward a 10-year low in April, Chesapeake began reinterpreting in its favor thousands of contracts with landowners from  Pennsylvania  to Texas that own the 1 trillion cubic feet of gas the company produced last year, according to interviews and documents reviewed by Bloomberg. Chesapeake, arguing that other contract language allows for cost deductions, is fighting more than a dozen lawsuits. Lawsuits based on this matter have had mixed results.  But whether or not Chesapeake has the legal justification within the leases to defend themselves for their actions, it is certainly a bitter pill to swallow for landowners who negotiated for a no-cost lease only to have the energy company turn around and pass costs on to the landowners anyways when the going got tough. Further, from the Bloomberg report (emphasis ours): The cos

Athens County Getting Closer to Seeing Their First Utica Well

From the Athens News: The first of two planned permit applications for additional oil-and-gas wells to be drilled in or near Athens County has been filed by local developer James Brent Hayes.   Records of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources show that last Friday, Hayes filed an application for a new well to be drilled into the Utica-Pt. Pleasant shale bed at a site near River Road in Rome Township.   The well site is reportedly within about 1,500 feet of a well for which Hayes and his business partner, Randy Wolfe of R. Wolfe Oil & Gas, have already gotten a permit, and for which they have done preliminary site work.   Hayes  told  The Athens NEWS  in mid-August  that he and Wolfe were hoping to begin drilling on the first well around October or November. Read the rest of the article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Guidelines For Water Testing Released by Marcellus Trade Group

The Marcellus Shale Coalition released a report entitled "Recommended Practices: Pre-Drill Water Supply Surveys" on August 28.  The document contains simple guidelines for oil and gas operators, as wells as water supply owners.  The report can be viewed below. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Heritage Foundation Says Fracking is Critical For Energy, Jobs, Economy

From The Heritage Foundation: Abstract:   Energy production on private lands in the United States has been one of the most promising success stories in recent years, at a time when the country has struggled to grow economically. A large part of the success behind this tremendous oil and gas production and jobs creation is due to an energy-extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing. Misconceptions about hydraulic fracturing abound. The Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris explains how, regulated effectively, hydraulic fracturing is safe—as well as necessary for energy production and job creation in the United States. While Americans continue to be disappointed by dismal jobs reports and a high unemployment rate, one of the few recent bright spots in the U.S. economy has been energy production, particularly the shale oil and shale gas revolution. In fact, the Yale Graduates Energy Study Group calculated that in 2010 alone, the consumer surplus (the consumer savings or gain from

Activists Call Out the Environmental Defense Fund For "Selling Out" to Frackers

The Environmental Defense Fund announced a key grant on Friday from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced today that it has been awarded a 3-year, $6-million grant for its work to minimize the environmental impacts of natural gas operations through hydraulic fracturing. The funding will support EDF’s strategy of securing strong rules and developing industry best practices in the 14 states with 85 percent of the country’s unconventional gas reserves. The grant was awarded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, a recognized leader in global environmental efforts. redOrbit  ( ) Read the entire press release here. Fracktivists quickly responded to say that they won't stand for the EDF selling out to frackers. I have news for the Environmental Defense Fund: the fracking activist community is shocked that  you received $6 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies  to advocate for fracking regulations. And we aren’t going to stand for it. EDF

Carroll County on Frontlines of Shale Boom, Experiencing the Early Benefits

From The Daily Record: Oil and gas production stemming from horizontal hydraulic fracturing is expected to pump billions of  dollars and tens of thousands of jobs into the state economy in coming years. Carroll County is already experiencing the benefits. Rutledge said taxable sales have risen to $125.7 million, compared to $94.8 million in 2011. And sales tax collections this year are up $300,000-plus. "That's the industry buying things locally," Rutledge said. "They're buying hotel rooms, rood [sic], other products. ... Carroll County has less than 30,000 (people who) live in the whole community. To see an increase in your sales tax of $300,000, that's significant." Rutledge spoke about the results during a meeting of the Consumer Energy Alliance near the Statehouse on Friday, where the group presented the findings of a new North American study calling for policy changes that support exploration, protect the environment and reduce burdensome r

Is the Shale Gas Boom Another Bubble That is Bound to Pop?

From Seeking Alpha: It is looking highly likely that once again the public will get the short end of the stick in a few years as the supply of gas from these shale formations runs out much faster than estimates, leaving the public with a large glut of natural gas fueled cars and trucks and natural gas fueling stations, all of which were built on the promise of 100+ years of supply at cheap prices and the dream of energy independence. As this surplus demand infrastructure is built out and as supplies run out quicker than expected, prices will naturally rise dramatically. The production levels drop dramatically after the first 20 months on the majority of shale wells and a huge amount of wells have been drilled over the past 5 years so the ability to find high producing wells will diminish quickly and the ones that have already been drilled will be producing far lower supplies. The natural gas market should begin to feel this constraint over the next three to 12 months. Consumers

Baker Hughes Closes on 108 Acres in Massillon, May Break Ground This Year

We reported back in February on the potential purchase by Baker Hughes of land at the Northeast Ohio Commerce Park in Massillon, and the 700 jobs it could bring to the area.  Now the Houston-based company has closed the deal. From the Akron Beacon Journal: Energy company Baker Hughes may break ground on its Utica shale gas operations hub in Massillon before the year ends, the city’s mayor says. Baker Hughes Oilfield Services closed this month on a multi-million-dollar purchase of 108.8 acres at the Northeast Ohio Commerce Park. The Houston-based energy industry giant, with $19.8 billion in sales last year, confirmed it closed on the land on Aug. 14. The company declined to comment further. The price tag is estimated at $3.3 million for the site at 3400 Millennium Drive. Massillon Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry said Baker Hughes may break ground before the end of the year. “We’re kind of waiting to see how the [natural gas price] rebounds,” she said Monday. Historically low na

Methane Migration Problems Continue in PA - Hanger Says Companies Must Take it Seriously

From NPR comes a report on methane from drilling sites polluting nearby water wells.  John Hanger, former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, notes that the gas migration problem is one that the industry needs to give serious attention to. It should be noted, as a reminder, that these instances of methane pollution are not caused by hydraulic fracturing. From NPR: Mike and Nancy Leighton's problems began on May 19, just as Mike was settling in to watch the Preakness Stakes. A neighbor in Leroy Township, Pa., called Mike and told him to check the water well located just outside his front door. "I said, 'I'll be down in 15 minutes.' I wanted to see the race," Leighton said. But as the horses were racing, Leighton's well was overflowing. Typically, there's between 80 to 100 feet of head space between the top of the well and its water supply. But when Leighton went outside, the water was bubbling over the top. D

Celebrities Fighting Fracking - Is It Selfish or Selfless?

As John Lennon's son sees his article against fracking published in the New York Times opinion page, an article on calls out celebrities for their selfishness in fighting fracking. From Lennon's op-ed in the New York Times: Though my father died when I was 5, I have always felt lucky to live on land he loved dearly; land in an area that is now on the verge of being destroyed. When the gas companies showed up in our backyard, I felt I needed to do some research. I looked into Pennsylvania, where hundreds of families have been left with ruined drinking water, toxic fumes in the air, industrialized landscapes, thousands of trucks and new roads crosshatching the wilderness, and a devastating and irreversible decline in property value. Natural gas has been sold as clean energy. But when the gas comes from fracturing bedrock with about five million gallons of toxic water per well, the word “clean” takes on a disturbingly Orwellian tone. Don’t be fooled. Fracking f

Fracktivists Gather in New York

From North County Public Radio: Hundreds of people joined a protest Monday on the bank of the Hudson River in Albany. They're hoping to convince Governor Andrew Cuomo to reject plans for hydraulic fracturing in New York. Companies hope to use the controversial drilling method to extract natural gas from deposits that lie deep underground. Cuomo is expected to decide any day now whether to give the industry the green light, and activists and lobbyists are scrambling to influence the governor's final plan and to shape how his decision is viewed by the public. The arguments have been framed and locked in for months. Pro-development groups that say central New York's rust belt needs new industry, new jobs. Environmentalists and their allies say fracking would contaminate groundwater supplies, devastating communities and farms.  Read the rest of the article and listen to the report here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

August 27 Links: Snake Wranglers in the Shale, Teachers Attend Oil & Gas Education, Energy in Depth Likened to Joe Camel, Crusades Against Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Fighting Diesel Fuel in Fracking, Fracking Dangers to Wildlife

NPR:   Snakes, And The Snake Wranglers Who Love Them. The Daily Jeffersonian:   Two local teachers attend oil, gas education program.   Energy in Depth is to fracking as Joe Camel is to cigarettes CNN:   Tightening the tap on '$1 trillion' a year fossil fuel subsidies Opposing Views:   More to be Done in Prevention of Diesel in Drinking Water Sources Center For Biological Diversity:   Fracking Threatens California's Wildlife Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Psychological Operations - How is the Gas Industry Working to Win the PR Battle?

Image has an article posted which talks about the gas industry's use of PSYOPS, or Psychological Operations, to influence public opinion on drilling. What is PSYOPS?  Here's how the anti-drilling blog breaks it down: Read the rest of this article by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Ohio Pipeline Project Moving Forward as Landowners Begin Receiving Visits

From WYTV 33 News: Read the article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Carrollton Landowners Talk About Benefits of Shale Development

From EID Ohio: Read the whole article by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Leases Land to Drillers

From The Marion Star: Protesters may have temporarily won the war on fracking in north central Ohio, but they continue to lose battles.  A month after environmental activists prompted the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District to temporarily halt the sale of water to oil and gas drillers, the district's board of directors voted Friday to approve the lease of almost two acres of land and grant right-of-way access to two drilling companies .  Gulfport Energy of Houston was approved for leasing 1.3 acres near Piedmont Lake at a rate of $5,000 per acre, and Enterprise Liquids Pipeline LLC out of Cleveland was granted right-of-way approval to extend drilling pipelines near Clendening Lake.  Gulfport Energy already is withdrawing 11 million gallons of water from Clendening Lake based on an April agreement with the conservancy district. That agreement was made before the sale moratorium.  Activists were disappointed by the board's approvals, saying they opened the gateway

Permitting Slows Down in Columbiana County

From The Salem News: The Columbiana County Courthouse hallways are no longer crowded, and an off-site location opened specifically because of those crowds is now closed. So where are all those workers who clogged the courthouse for the past two years while researching deeds for oil and gas drilling companies wanting to lease county property? The answer is twofold. First, much of the work can now be done online, and, secondly, the leasing phase of the shale gas boom appears to be winding down. "There's a dramatic reduction in traffic there (at the off-site location) and in the courthouse, so it appears to me back a more normal operation," said county Commissioner Mike Halleck. He keeps in contact with people in the shale gas industry and they have indicated leasing is slowing down as the focus shifts to the drilling phase. Read the rest of this article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Harrison County's Wagner Well Outperforms the Buell Well, Becomes New Utica Shale Top Dog

We've actually reported on the staggering results reported by Gulfport Energy for the second quarter already, but a new article from The Marion Star summarizes well just how impressive the production of the Wagner 1-28H well in Harrison County is: The Utica Shale continues to surprise - in most cases pleasantly - the megafirms that flocked to Ohio to tap into the formation.  Publicly traded companies, including some of the biggest names in energy, updated investors this month on what happened from April through June. Among those disclosures is that the championship belt for the state's most-generous well has changed hands.  Gulfport Energy's Wagner 1-28H well in Harrison County shows potential to produce 14 million cubic feet of dry natural gas and 1,881 barrels of natural gas liquids (after processing), along with 432 barrels of oil, according to company estimates.  When measurements are compared and variances are equalized, those numbers are 54 percent higher tha

Story of Dimock, PA Can Serve as Cautionary Tale to Other Shale Communities

As shale development continues in our area, it is worthwhile to look at what has happened in Dimock, Pennsylvania and try to learn from the horrible effects that water contamination, litigation, and in-fighting among residents over gas drilling has had on that small community. From comes an article that looks at where Dimock stands now, after the EPA's testing has cleared Cabot of contaminating water wells of residents who appeared set to cash in on the anti-fracking hysteria perpetuated by Gasland and the national media's portrayal of the town as a community that was left a diseased wasteland by shale drilling, only to find that scientific reality wasn't on their side. The article also gives a nice summary of the events that unfolded in Dimock. One quote in particular stood out to me as I read this story, and it came from John Hanger. "One of the things I've learned in the shale wars, there are people and interests that profit from conflict,"

Predictably, Not Everyone is a Fan of Romney's Energy Plan

Mitt Romney unveiled his energy plan, and not everyone is happy with it. Here is a report on Romney's plan. On the campaign trail, Republican candidate Mitt Romney has unveiled a new plan that would radically alter the nation’s energy policy. On Thursday, Romney called for ending the longstanding federal regulation of oil and gas drilling and coal mining on government-owned lands, and instead transferring responsibility over to the states. The move would mark a huge win for oil and gas companies as states notoriously have weaker regulatory mechanisms than the federal government. Romney also vowed speedy approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada’s tar sands to the Gulf Coast. Speaking in New Mexico, Romney said his plan would lead the United States to energy independence. Mitt Romney : "This is not just a matter of economy and jobs and rising incomes and a growing economy and more tax revenues. It’s also more security. It means we don’t have to rely on pe

Links for August 24th - Romney's Energy Plan, EID Attacks Another Anti-Drilling Report, NY Mayor Supports Fracking, Chesapeake Analyzed Again, DOE Debunks Howarth

Chicago Tribune:  In Romney plan, oil drilling unfettered by politics. Bloomberg:  Romney Energy Plan Would Expand States' Say in Production. Energy in Depth:  Flaws found in the National Resources Defense Council report on fracking. The Washington Post:  New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says fracking is too important to foul up. Seeking Alpha:  Analyzing Chesapeake's Asset Sales. John Hanger's Facts of The Day:  Department of Energy Issues Major Natural Gas Life Cycle Study That Debunks Howarth & Boosts Carbon Capture and Storage For Gas. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Most Misleading Story Lead Yet? You Decide

This is posted more for amusement and because I found it strange than for anything else. An article on StateImpact Pennsylvania may win the award for the most misleading and dishonest lead to an article.  And perhaps the most interesting thing is that the bulk of the very short post is the lead-in; the actual point of the article is...well, I'm not even sure what the point of the article is, other than to create a mental connection between fracking and earthquakes which even the article itself ends up stating would be incorrect. Check out the quick 3 paragraph article by clicking here and share your thoughts on it here.  What was the point of mentioning a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that had absolutely nothing to do with fracking or injection wells in an article that is supposed to be about fracking and injection wells? I think the first comment under the article on StateImpact PA's site sums it up best: Last year my septic tank backed up sending sewage spewing all over m

Fracktivists Bring Their Kids to "Toxic" Frack Site

From Boulder Weekly: According to the  Camera,  about 30 people showed up to demonstrate on Saturday morning. At least 10 children were present, including a 1-year-old.   “We’re trying to get the word out to people to alert them to the dangers of fracking,” said Karen Conduff, one of the demonstrators.   “We feel that it [fracking] causes harm to our health,” said Diana Caile, a member of The Mothers Project. “It causes water contamination, air pollution, contaminates the soil … and that this is a heavy industrial, toxic process that does not belong in our community.”   Cliff Willmeng, a member of East Boulder County United, characterized Encana’s project as “drilling five holes into the earth and injecting it with 50 million gallons of industrial waste.”   Cyndi Nusbaum, another one of the demonstrators, said she was “worried about the wildlife, worried about the water issue. Quite a bit of it is going to be turned into toxic waste never to be returned to the cycle

State Rep. Okey Promotes Bill to Protect Landowners From "Predatory" Drillers

From Columbus Business First: State Rep.  Mark Okey  is trying to turn up the heat on Republican leaders at the Statehouse to get behind a bill to protect landowners from oil and natural gas companies developing the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in eastern Ohio. Calling such companies “predatory,” the Democrat from Carrollton is urging Gov. John Kasich  and other Republican leaders to support his Truth in Leasing Act. It would establish regulations for the oil and gas leasing process and require companies to pay property owners a minimum royalty of 15 percent on oil and gas extracted in the shale plays. Okey and Rep.  Teresa Fedor , D-Toledo, introduced House Bill 493, in March but it has yet to receive a hearing in the House. They are pushing Republicans, the majority party in the House and Senate, to consider the proposal when lawmakers are back in session this fall. Okey told Columbus Business First he saw the need for regulation of oil and gas company leasing representat

Hilcorp Gets First Columbiana County Permit

From Business Journal Daily: Hilcorp, a privately owned oil and gas exploration company, was issued a permit Aug. 13 to drill on the Hanover-Mountz property in Hanover Township, records show. It is the 49 th  well permitted in Columbiana County since 2011, and is the first such well for Hilcorp in the county. Hilcorp recently signed an $836,000 drilling lease with the city of Campbell; the company has approached the city of Struthers and the Lowellville school board about leasing mineral rights for the lands both entities own. Read the rest of this article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Tips on Signing an Oil & Gas Lease

From HubPages: You have all the time in the world to work out a deal that is acceptable to both you and the oil company. You should first consider the amount of long term revenue or oil and gas royalties that you will be paid as oil and gas is produced. You can seek a higher percentage, within reason, and even a difference of 1/16th of oil and gas royalties can mean a huge difference over the life of the well. The lease payment is an up front payment for the right to explore for oil and gas on your property. Royalty payments are from actual production should oil or gas be discovered. Make sure you negotiate for a fair share of the production. Going rates are from 1/16 to 1/4 of production. Ask your attorney to look for, and delete the "Mother Hubbard" clause, which can give the company the right to drill on all adjacent properties you own and treat them as the same property. For example, if you own ten acres in one parcel and ten in another on the other side of the hig

Lawsuit Against Chesapeake Say McClendon Was Given Unjust Preference Over Stockholders

From Bloomberg: Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK)  let Aubrey McClendon, its chief executive officer, profit from lucrative Texas oil and gas wells while denying the same chance to leaseholders on the properties, according to a lawsuit. Chesapeake lost one-fifth of its market value this year as the impact of tumbling gas prices was compounded by disclosure that McClendon borrowed more than $800 million last year to finance his stakes in thousands of company-owned oil and gas wells. McClendon was stripped of his chairman’s role in June and is under investigation by the board for his borrowings. According to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Houston, McClendon was allowed to purchase a 1 percent to 2 percent interest in wells drilled by Chesapeake, using his stake in the wells as collateral. The company was contractually obligated to offer the leaseholders a similar chance to profit in wells it developed across a 10,900-acre swath described as the “sweet spot” of the  Ba

New Fracktivist Approach: Loosely Comparing Fracking to Rape

From EcoWatch: When Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives science and Technology committee, said that “legitimate rape” doesn’t cause pregnancy, jaws dropped across the nation. As follow-up statements by scientists and physicians made clear, the Congressman was bending the truth to fit his political viewpoint.  In fact, his assertions about female biology were at odds with the laws of nature themselves. Magical thinking and a refusal to listen to science are not confined to the topic of birth control.  They also infect the public discussion on hydraulic fracturing.  Many renowned scientists, including Drs.  Ron Bishop ,  Robert Howarth ,  Anthony Ingraffea  and Sandra Steingraber , have brought forth evidence showing that fracking can contaminate water and air, raises public health risk, and is at least as bad, and may be worse, for the Earth’s climate than coal. They show us that real science comes to the conclusions that the data presents.

Today's Links - Southern Ohio Looking at Leasing Activity Spike, Ohio Fractivist Interviewed, Ohio Town Bans Fracking, Chesapeake Screws Up in PA

Oil, gas exploration leasing activity likely to increase across Southern Ohio. Fractivist Bill Baker ponders progress and looks ahead. Yellow Springs, Ohio votes to ban fracking - against the advice of the Village Council's law director, who says they will likely be sued for their actions. Pennsylvania officials say Chesapeake Energy's production report was so full of ridiculous errors that they just decided not to include Chesapeake's numbers in their state report. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Advice For Businesses Looking to Work in Shale Industry: Safety First

From the Times Reporter: Small business owners hoping to work with oil and gas companies should understand that safety is a paramount concern of the energy industry. That’s according to experts who addressed the public Monday during a seminar on “Navigating Shale Development Opportunities,” held at the Small Business Development Center at Kent State University at Tuscarawas in New Philadelphia. The seminar comes at a time when opportunities are opening up for area businesses as major oil and gas companies — including Chesapeake Energy, Gulfport Energy and Rex Energy — move into the Tuscarawas Valley to develop the Utica shale play. Experts predict development will hit its peak phase locally in 2014 and 2015, with as many as 4,000 wells drilled in eastern Ohio. “Your company should have a safety policy if you want to work in the oil and gas industry,” said Liz Carter, owner of Elizabeth Carter Consulting of New Concord, a seminar speaker. Read the rest of the article here.

How Could the Industry Boost Its Image?

From The Akron Beacon Journal: The US shale revolution, which flooded the domestic market with both natural gas and opposition to the hydraulic fracturing drilling technique, now needs to stage its own public relations uprising, speakers said this week at an industry event in Denver. From Reagan to Twitter, the industry needs to use a variety of campaign tools if it wants to win over the broad swath of Americans caught in the middle of the hydraulic fracturing debate, communication experts said. Many Americans are still on the fence in the shale debate, between industry fans and detractors who say it wrecks the environment or just don't want it in their backyard. Among other strategies, a "Reganesque" message of American self-sufficiency might help them understand the industry's side, one communications expert advocated. Brand image specialist Scott Goodson, founder and CEO of StrawberryFrog, said the message for the oil and gas industry to push is that the

FracTracker Alliance Will Begin Operating in Ohio and Meet With Group in Carroll County

From the Akron Beacon Journal: A Pennsylvania-based watchdog/tracking agency for hydraulic fracturing is coming to Ohio. FracTracker Alliance has received a two-year $130,000 grant from the Cleveland-based George Gund Foundation and intends to hire a staffer who will be based in the Warren-Youngstown area. The nonprofit organization offers a website and interactive tool to explore data and map the impact of drilling for natural gas and oil. “We funded FracTracker because we felt there is a real lack of transparency and understanding about all the issues surrounding shale gas drilling,” said Caitlin Johnson, a Gund Foundation spokeswoman. “FracTracker is an unbiased source of information, data and analysis. A tool like this is sorely needed as the debate around hydraulic fracturing is all too often defined by ideology instead of facts.” Read the rest of that article here . From the Times Reporter : Carroll Concerned Citizens will host a speaker from FracTracker Alliance