Showing posts from September, 2012

Today's Links: "Promised Land" Generating Controversy, Oil Prices Could Deal Another Blow to Drillers, Shale Focus of Energy Conference, and Much More

New York Post:   "FrackNation" producer reveals plot twist of Matt Damon's anti-fracking film, "Promised Land" Knapp Acquisitions & Production PA Shale Gas Blog:   Residents of location where "Promised Land" was filmed angry about misrepresentation of the project (This one doesn't ring true - did these people really think that this movie wasn't going to cast gas development in a negative light?) The Motley Fool:   Oil's drop could be a disaster for drillers, such as Chesapeake The Cleveland Plain Dealer:   Shale is the focus at recent energy efficiency conference Knapp Acquisitions & Production PA Shale Gas Blog:   The Sautner family flees Dimock with settlement money from Cabot and buys property with gas lease in New York  (If all of this is true, it undeniably adds validation to the feelings many had that this family was simply taking advantage of what they saw as an opportunity to parlay hysteria into 15 minutes o

New Permit Numbers Released by Ohio Department of Natural Resources

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has released the latest update on horizontal drilling permits in the Utica shale.  7 new permits were issued last week.  3 were in Portage County, 2 in Harrison, and Mahoning and Monroe each had 1 new permit. The entire report on all horizontal Utica permits is below. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Anti-Drilling Organization Reviews Regulation of Fracking

If an anti-drilling organization like Earthworks decides to publish a review - funded by the anti-drilling philanthropy The Heinz Endowments - of how well states have regulated fracking, the conclusions of the study are entirely predictable.  In fact, many would probably guess that the conclusions were written before the study began, and that they worked backwards from there. Anyhow, Earthworks recently conducted just such a review.  And, of course, they concluded that state regulation of fracking is a failure. And then Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe, a reporter whom the Denton Record-Chronicle in Texas allows to continue covering the oil and gas industry despite the fact that she is suing them, wrote an article drawing attention to the study. From The Denton Record-Chronicle: States with the heaviest oil and gas development in the shale drilling boom are doing a poor job enforcing rules meant to protect public health and safety, according to a new analysis by Earthworks. The 124-page

Welders Needed in Marietta; Job Opportunities From Shale Development

From the Marietta Times: Pioneer Group owner and Chairman Dave Archer has been saying for years the area needs more welders and pipefitters. Now that his prediction is coming true with the rising oil and natural gas industry, his company is taking matters into its own hands to develop that expanded workforce. Pioneer Group this month began a pre-apprenticeship program in partnership with the Washington County Career Center, in which half a dozen students are spending part of their day in the welding lab at Pioneer's Westview Avenue facility. The 16-week Senior Welding Apprenticeship Program benefits all parties involved by teaching the students needed skills in a workplace setting and helping Pioneer add quality employees for the long haul, said Pioneer chief operating officer Matt Hilverding. "There's probably enough of this work for enough years they could make their whole career right here at home," he said. "That's our whole goal here is to devel

Today's Links: Kent Looks to Ban Fracking, Buckeye Brine Facility Near Completion, Auto Dealers in Columbiana Enjoying Shale Boom, AP Reports on Government's Fracking Contributions, Business Seminar Coming Up

I am on vacation this week, but will still try to at least post daily links to stories, even if I don't have time to do several individual articles.  Here is the news today:  Kent group seeks measures to keep fracking out of city Coshocton Tribune:   Buckeye Brine injection facility near completion Coshocton Tribune:   Safety a priority for Buckeye Brine, but brine injection concerns remain EID Ohio:   Auto Dealerships Share the Community Benefits of Shale Development Worcester Telegram & Gazette:   Decades of federal dollars have helped fuel gas boom Marcellus Drilling News:   AP Erroneously Says Government Discovered Fracking (subscription required) Herald Star:   Business seminar to focus on shale boom Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Trailer Released For Hollywood Frack Attack "Promised Land"

The trailer for "Promised Land", an anti-fracking feature film starring Matt Damon and a host of other big names, is now available.  View it below. Spoiler alert:  The gas industry is evil. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

National Resources Defense Council Plans to Help Ohio Towns Fight Fracking

From Columbus Business First: A New York-based environmental group is setting up an initiative aimed at helping Ohio communities in disputes over the use of hydraulic fracturing to pull oil and natural gas from underground. The  Natural Resources Defense Council’s new Community Fracking Defense Project expands on the group’s environmental protection work in New York state, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The focus of the project includes controlling the extent of fracking and defending zoning provisions. Read the rest of this article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Over $3 Million Awarded to Stark State College For Oil & Gas Training

From the Canton Repository: Stark State College is part of a consortium of colleges that will receive federal grants to develop and expand innovative training programs. U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced Wednesday $500 million in grants to community colleges and universities around the country. Stark State College has been awarded more than $3.26 million from the Department of Labor  and the Timken Foundation to fund oil and gas related labs and equipment at the Energy Innovation Center of its Downtown Canton Satellite Center scheduled for completion in 2015. Read the rest of the story here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

9/20 Links: 26 Dead From Pipeline Fire, Utica Shale Prospects Good (or Bad, Depending on Who You Ask), Frack Fact Check, New Anti-Fracking Group in Ohio, Shale Gas Exporting Update, Youngstown Delays Lease Decision, Drillers Looking to Use Less Water, Sean Lennon Insults Non-Fracktivist on Twitter, Frack Attack from New York

Yahoo News:   26 killed in Mexico pipeline fire near US border Businessweek:   Utica Shale Prospects Dim Amid Disappointing Lease Offers Columbus Business First:  Expert panel bullish on Utica shale potential WVIZ:   Fact Checking Fracking: Can Fracking Trigger Earthquakes? WOUB:   New Anti-Fracking Group Takes Different Approach Fuel Fix:   Gas-export study delay puts U.S. projects in limbo for this year Tribune Chronicle:   Youngstown delays gas lease vote San Antonio Express-News:   Drillers looking at cutting need for lots of water Mail Online:   Sean Ono Lennon tells woman she is "an argument for abortion" after she challenges his environmentalist views Village Voice:   New York Fracking: Boom or Doom Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Abrahm Lustgarten Sounds Alarm on Injection Wells

Abrahm Lustgarten of ProPublica is no stranger to writing articles which the oil and gas industry do not like.  And he's at it again. Where Lustgarten has previously dropped the hammer on fracking, he now has research and numbers that shed unfavorable light on injection wells. From ProPublica: There are now more than 150,000 Class 2  wells in 33 states, into which oil and gas drillers have injected at least 10 trillion gallons of fluid.  The numbers have increased rapidly in recent years, driven by expanding use of hydraulic fracturing to reach previously inaccessible resources. ProPublica analyzed records summarizing more than 220,000 well inspections conducted between late 2007 and late 2010, including more than 194,000 for Class 2 wells. We also reviewed federal audits of state oversight programs, interviewed dozens of experts and explored court documents, case files, and the evolution of underground disposal law over the past 30 years. Our examination shows that, ami

Energy in Depth Touts Ohio's Well Construction Regulations, But Others Questions How Strong They Really Are

From Energy in Depth: Throughout it’s history, Ohio’s oil and natural gas industry – and the regulators who oversee these operations – have placed the highest priority on safety standards. Nowhere is this more evident than during the well construction stage, and the high standards set forth by Ohio’s industry and it’s regulators to ensure this vital phase is completed meeting  stringent standards that are second-to-none, and serve as a model for developing states across the country. With the passage of  Senate Bill 315  earlier this year – an update on the two year old  SB 165  – Ohio now has the most robust, transparent regulatory system in the country, and, in looking at the graphic below, we can see how our state is setting the bar when it comes to well construction rules. Read the rest of the article, which lauds Ohio for the stringent well construction regulations included in the recently passed bill. However, the National Resources Defense Council raised many q

Utica Shale Exploration Gets Viewed From the Air

From Business Journal Daily: From two thousand feet above, flying over Mahoning, Columbiana and Carroll counties, it’s a challenge to keep count. Looking out the window on the left side of a small seaplane, we see a well pad waiting for a rig. From the window on the right side, we see bulldozers moving dirt, piling gravel for the well pad being built. Outside the front window, looking to our pilot’s left, we see a drilling rig at work on another site. Then, to the right, two wellheads standing alone on a well pad – a site either in production or waiting to be fracked. “You can see a lot more from up in the sky than you can from the ground driving around,” says our pilot, Bill Bieber, who flies over this changing landscape nearly every week, both for business and pleasure. Read the rest of this article by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Utica Shale Results Starting to be Measured Against Predictions

From Crain's Cleveland Business: As the temperature drops and fall approaches, we start to think about the fall harvest. Falls is usually associated with picking apples, but this year we're picking data from new Utica shale wells to see if it supports our projected economic outcomes for Ohio.  There are three pillars of data that were the basis of projections in a recent study, “The Economic Impact of the Ohio Shale,” conducted by Cleveland State University: drilling activity, production per well, and the decline curve of production over time.  As of Sept. 10, the number of wells drilled in Ohio reached 133, which shows that out of a projected 160 wells for 2012, as predicted by the study, 100 were already drilled the first eight months of this year. At least for the first projected year, expansion of drilling activity is going up to speed.  Read the rest of the article here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

PDC Energy Updates Operation Activities in the Utica Shale

September 19, 2012 PDC Energy Updates Operational Activities in the Utica Shale DENVER ,  Sept. 19, 2012  (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  PDC Energy, Inc.  ("PDC" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:PDCE) today announced the Company is pursuing development of its  Utica Shale  ("Utica") position in southeast  Ohio  independently and is no longer actively seeking a joint venture ("JV") partner to develop the play. The Company received various joint ownership and development proposals from interested potential JV partners in August and early September, 2012 and has determined that the proposals do not meet PDC's value expectations. PDC believes that developing its approximate 45,000 net acre  Utica  position on a standalone basis will produce greater long-term value, particularly given the very high initial production rates and high liquids content from recent well results announced by other E&P companies in close proximity to the Company's ac

A Look at Shale Gas From the "Rational Middle"

From Visual Capitalist comes a series on shale gas, which acknowledges that there are risks inherent in the process but argues that the benefits of shale gas extraction make it too attractive to abandon.   Visit their site by clicking here.  Below is a graphic released in association with the series. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

S&P Report Looks at Impact of Fracking Boom

From Reuters: The use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal wells over the past few years have dramatically altered the U.S. energy landscape, and many believe the boom is still in its relative infancy, according to a recent report published by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. "By combining fracking and horizontal drilling, exploration and production companies have greatly increased their access to previously untapped oil and natural gas reserves, which has led to a significant boost in output," said credit analyst Marc Bromberg. "The result of this pairing has been a significant rise in energy production--a trend that we believe will continue to grow." Read the rest of the article here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

A Balanced Approach on Fracking From South Africa

From BDlive: I SUPPOSE it is human nature in times of conflict to gravitate towards the extremes rather than the centre, for fear of making concessions that may strengthen the opposition’s argument. It is a great pity though, because there are precious few situations that are so starkly black or white. Some or other shade of gray is invariably the correct course of action with the benefit of hindsight, and a willingness by both sides to compromise, or at least attempt to understand the other side’s position better, would get us there quicker. So it is when it comes to the question of whether the vast shale gas reserves that are believed to lie under the Karoo should be extracted, and especially whether we dare experiment with the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technique that is in the process of turning the global energy sector on its head. There are a few who would frack and be damned in the interests of turning a profit and there are others who fervently believe the economic

Worthington Industries Positions Itself to Profit From Utica Shale

From The Columbus Dispatch: Worthington Industries yesterday announced an acquisition that will allow it to benefit from the oil and gas coming from Ohio’s Utica shale. Columbus-based Worthington paid $70 million for Westerman Cos., which makes and sells storage tanks to the oil and gas industry. Westerman, which has about 225 employees, is based in Bremen in Fairfield County and also has a plant in Wooster. There are no plans to change the staffing, said Worthington spokeswoman Cathy Lyttle. The newly acquired company will become part of Worthington’s pressure-cylinders business, continuing several years of expansion for a part of the company that makes fuel tanks for gas grills and helium tanks used to inflate balloons, among other products. Read the rest of the article here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Canton Calls Itself Utica Capital, But Drillers Are in Carroll County

Both the Times Reporter and the Canton Repository ran different versions of the same article today about the shale boom in Carroll County.  Not surprisingly, the Repository avoided the headline that the Times Reporter chose:  "Carroll County is Utica shale capital of Ohio." Here is a snippet from the Times Reporter article: Although Canton claims to be the Utica shale capital, Carroll County is where the action is taking place. Locals first began noticing the oil boom that has swept through Carroll County two years ago. That’s when landmen from oil companies began offering to buy mineral rights. The companies were seeking rights to drill horizontal wells into the Utica and Marcellus shale formations, where they expect to find oil and natural gas. The influx of drilling companies has generated jobs, spawned new businesses and boosted the county’s tax base. “I have yet to see any negatives,” Glenn Enslen, Carroll County’s economic  development director, said of dril

Natural Gas Prices Quickly Heading For $4?

From Forbes: The boom in natural gas production that has pushed prices below $2 per thousand cubic feet back in April has planted the seed for a huge correction the other way.  As gas-directed exploration & production has fallen materially and the large storage surplus flips on gas-fired power demand, prices are set to rebound strongly, hitting $4 by the end of the year and possibly breaking higher, according to  Canaccord Genuity . Commodity markets are by nature violent, and natural gas futures are no exception.  After bottoming out at $1.90 per million metric British thermal units (mmBtu) in mid-April, prices surged 72% to $3.29 toward the end of July, and then fell 13.9% to Monday’s $2.88; from the April bottom to Monday, prices are up 51.6%. Read the entire article here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

State Permit Count For Ohio Rises to 375

From the Coshocton Tribune: Statewide, a total of 375 permits have been issued so far, with 134 wells already drilled and 32 already producing. Most of that activity is centered around Carroll County, which has 139 permits. Read the entire article on the latest issued permits here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Is Shale Gas an Ideal Bridge to Renewable Energy Sources?

From Forbes: With the battle lines drawn and the sides already chosen, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is set to get the fossil fuel vote. But would there be a marked shift in how he would use the regulatory levers and if so, what would that be? A major question is over how shale gas is extracted. Estimates are that there a century’s worth of those reserves here. Indeed, both President Obama and Governor Romney  understand the potential but they are diverging over how the drilling process would be monitored. The current White House says that such unconventional natural gas is such a game-changer and that it requires more federal oversight while a Romney presidency would continue to let the states supervise the development of gas drilling. “While fracking requires regulation just like any other energy-extraction practice, the EPA in a Romney administration will not pursue overly aggressive interventions designed to discourage fracking altogether,” says Romney’s positi

EnerVest Looking to Unload 539,000 Ohio Acres For Over $11,000 Per Acre

From the Wall Street Journal: Privately held EnerVest, with its publicly traded arm EV Energy Partners LP, plans to shed 539,000 acres above the Utica, a dense layer of rock that many believe holds great petroleum wealth. The firm is pursuing a sale by the end of the year that would be the largest in the company’s 20-year history and mean a big payday for its institutional investors. EnerVest wound up with this would-be bounty almost by happenstance. The Houston-based company had been acquiring drilling rights to the Utica in Ohio since 2003 but had no intention of tapping it or any notion of its potential. Instead, it was targeting deposits at different depths than the Utica that were known to contain oil and gas, pursuing its usual strategy of buying drilling rights to traditional energy fields and coaxing greater output from them. But EnerVest and other companies in the last year have begun to unlock vast fossil-fuel deposits from the Utica through horizontal drilling and hyd

Chesapeake CEO McClendon Addresses Public For First Time in Months

From Power Play: Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon spoke publicly for the first time in months at the Barclays CEO Energy and Power Conference on Thursday morning in New York. McClendon reiterated that the Oklahoma City oil and natural gas company plans to sell $17 billion to $19 billion in assets — about one and a half times Chesapeake’s equity market capitalization — by the end of 2013 while continuing to increase its total production. Read the rest of the article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Database is Designed to Reduce Out-of-State License Plates at Ohio Drilling Sites

From While national oil and gas companies are flooding eastern Ohio to get involved in the Utica Shale, a service is being developed to help local companies provide information about what they can offer.   The Ohio Shale Energy is a database that provides information for oil and gas producers and field-services companies to find local contractors who can provide services.   The program initially had been limited to a 12-county area in southeastern Ohio, but Ohio University, which developed the database, is working with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce to expand it statewide, said Scott Miller, director of energy and environmental programs for the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at OU.   “We thought there might be a benefit to a tool to get businesses together,” Miller said. “It will allow small and mid-sized businesses to get involved.”   The goal is to help Ohio companies succeed, he said. The database should help reduce the number of out-

Columbia Gas & Hilcorp Working With Angry Columbiana County Landowners

From the Morning Journal: Two days this past week those who own land in the Brinker Storage Field were invited to meet with Columbia Gas Transmission and Hilcorp Energy officials to discuss what will become of the already existing mineral gas leases there, among other things. The meetings are only two of other meetings held in private between the landowners and Columbia Gas, but officials had declined to make any information public in the past. Although the meetings remained closed to non-landowners, spokesmen for the companies offered a brief insight into what was taking place. Justin Furnace, corporate manager of external affairs for Hilcorp Energy, verified the bulk of the meetings have focused on the landowners' concerns regarding already existing land leases owned by Columbia. Hilcorp will be doing the actual drilling for Columbia. The mineral rights leases on the 35,000-acre storage field date back to the 1940s, and due to the terms are keeping interested landowner

Will New Federal Rules Create Unnecessary Hindrance For Drillers?

From Free Enterprise: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed new rules on hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and natural gas on federal and Indian lands. I guess after watching  EPA and the Department of Transportation  go after shale energy, they wanted to get in on the action too. In her  response to BLM , Institute for 21st Century Energy president and CEO, Karen Harbert pointed out that the proposed rule is unnecessary, duplicative of state regulatory efforts, and will harm the job-creating energy industry. First, BLM doesn’t offer a reason to issue a new rule. They don't explain how current federal and state rules are inadequate. “This underlying work is the minimum one would expect from the agency before proposing regulations, and without such a minimal foundation, it is premature to propose this rule,” comments Harbert. Second, unlike many state regulations, the proposed BLM rule lacks clear standards. “The rule focuses on information which needs to be submit

Studying Fracking as an Academic Exercise

The New York Times offers a suggestion for how a teacher may help students to learn about fracking: Overview  | What is hydraulic fracturing? Why is it so controversial? In this lesson, students will define hydrofracking, identify how the demand for natural gas is changing, then research and map how natural gas development may impact a community. Materials  | Projection equipment, computers with Internet access, and a large map. (If gas drilling is a reality or possibility in your region, use a map of your county; if not, you might want to create a fictional map.) Warm-Up  | Before students arrive, write the words “natural gas” and “hydrofracking” in the center of the classroom board, circling both terms. When students enter, have them work in small groups to brainstorm everything they know, think they know, or may have heard about both, taking notes. They may supply one-word reactions, facts, personal experience,or anything else that is relevant. Next, invite groups to report