Showing posts from October, 2012

Did Sandy Increase Fracking Dangers?

From the San Angelo Standard-Times: As Sandy lashed the Eastern Seaboard this week, some environmental groups raised concerns that the superstorm's brute force could overwhelm feeble storage pits adjacent to fracking sites. In turn, critics said, that could allow the unintended release of toxic materials from the oil and gas hydraulic fracturing operations into streams and farmland in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio which were hit by Sandy. Industry groups say they hunkered down for the storm before it reached land Monday and were well prepared to keep the waste quarantined. They dispute any accusation from critics that they cut corners in securing toxic fluids. At issue are the storage sites holding chemicals near the wells. Fracking, as the controversial process is known, involves pumping millions of gallons of water and additives into underground rock formations to release deposits of oil or natural gas. Read the rest of the article by clicking here. Connect w

Midstream Projects Will Ramp Up in Ohio as More Wells Produce

From the Akron Beacon Journal: Ron's Workingman's Store had been a small, durable business here for nearly 75 years, serving eastern Ohio's industrial workers. And then Chesapeake Energy Corp. moved in across the street last year, as the Oklahoma firm made its foray into the Utica Shale gas development. "We created a great friendship, and a lot of their subcontractors came over here," said the store's purchasing manager, Lisa Nicodemo. Sales of fire-retardant clothing used in drilling operations spiked, along with business at the company's companion store, Wilkof Industrial Supply, handling industrial equipment and tools. "Two years ago, we were running this place with four people. Now we're up to nine," said Nicodemo, whose company has added a mobile store that goes to drilling sites. "This is just the beginning." Indeed, tapping into the Utica Shale resource is just beginning. Oil and gas companies have secured 405 permit

Gulfport Releases More Utica Shale Production Results

Gulfport Energy released production results on two of the company's Utica shale wells today.  The numbers are very solid, but don't match the pace of some of the top Utica wells. From the company's press release: Utica Shale Gulfport's Ryser 1-25H tested at a peak rate of 1,488 barrels of condensate per day, 5.9 million cubic feet ("MMCF") per day of natural gas, and 649 barrels of natural gas liquids ("NGLs") per day assuming full ethane recovery and a natural gas shrink of 21%, or 2,914 barrels of oil equivalent ("BOE") per day. Gulfport's Groh 1-12H tested at a peak rate of 1,186 barrels of condensate per day, 2.8 MMCF per day of natural gas, and 367 barrels of NGLs per day assuming full ethane recovery and a natural gas shrink of 18%, or 1,935 BOE per day. For comparison, here are some of the numbers of Chesapeake wells (excerpt taken from the September issue of the Carroll County Energy News): The Bailey well boasted d

Reporter Tours Guernsey County Injection Well Sites

From Columbus Business First: A recent trip into God’s country – rural Guernsey County in eastern Ohio – helped clear out some of the fog for me about injection wells used to dispose of fracking fluids from drilling operations in the Utica shale play. I had never seen an injection well until I was invited to a media tour of one operated by David Hill Inc. just outside Claysville, a speck-in-the road village surrounded by rolling hills, farms and not many people about five miles south of Interstate 70. Subscribers can see  my story in this week’s paper  about what I saw there. You also can also click on the slideshow to see photos I took that will give you a sense of what a well site looks like. Read the rest of the article and view the photos by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Is the Utica Shale For Real, or Just Set to Be a Real Disappointment?

From The Motley Fool (emphasis ours): Apparently, despite the value of releasing information, operators in Ohio don't want to give up the competitive edge you gain when no one knows what you're doing or how much you're producing. Plenty are skeptical and suspect that energy companies are merely buying time and hoping to hit a big well to justify Utica sunk costs, but we really have no way of knowing if this is really the case. Regardless of why companies really behave this way, investors must adapt or ignore this resource all together, the latter becoming increasingly more difficult as companies continue to pump resources into the shale. Winners, maybe The major concern for investors is that the Utica shale is a complete dud . Despite early comparisons to the Eagle Ford shale in Texas, the Utica is just not producing the way many thought it would . For example, after one year of shale drilling in the Eagle Ford, oil production increased 10 times over, to 120,000 bar

Coshocton County Leaders to Examine Utica Shale Effects

From the Coshocton Tribune: Local leaders are set to give consideration to the influence oil and gas drilling could have on Coshocton County.  The Coshocton Port Authority and the Ohio State University Extension Office are hosting a strategic planning session concerning the impending Utica Shale boom projected for the area. The meeting will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Frontier Power Community Room.  Port Authority Executive Director Dorothy Skowrunski said organizers expect about 40 to 50 people to attend from various sectors across the community as invited by the local Community Development Council. The initiative is being funded by $3,000 in Coshocton County Community Economic Development Plan funds . Read the rest of the article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Prominent Fracktivist is Accused of Having a Very Radical Agenda

Activist Bill McKibben is a very popular figure in the anti-fracking, anti-fossil fuel community.  He is usually right out front at anti-fracking rallies, making provocative statements about the evils and horrors of natural gas development. A new article takes a closer look at some of the things that McKibben has said, giving a little more insight into the mindset of a man whose anti-fracking commentary many people have put great stock in. From the Washington Examiner: This was his advice to the hundreds of millions of Americans that use their cars to commute to work: "If you carpooled [six miles per day], you'd have about three pounds of CO2 left in your daily ration -- enough to run a highly efficient refrigerator. Forget your computer, your TV, your stereo, your stove, your dishwasher, your water heater, your microwave, your water pump, your clock. Forget your light bulbs, compact fluorescent or not." It gets worse. This the alternate food reality McKibben wan

Energy Policy is on Voter's Minds as Election Nears

From the Akron Beacon Journal: With the presidential campaign in its final days each candidate’s policies are under constant review. While every individual American has his or her own set of priorities as to which policies contribute most to their support of one candidate over another, Americans as a whole seem to be placing higher importance on energy policy (with 77% rating it either very important or important) than on its frequent sparring partner, environmental policy (67%); in fact, among the policy areas tested, environmental policy appears to be the least influential over Americans’ likely presidential choice. This is not to say that environmental policy is unimportant to voters; rather, all policy types measured are considered either very important or important by strong majorities of Americans, and it is simply influencing a smaller majority than other policy areas; top influencers include economic/budget (88%), tax (86%), jobs (86) and healthcare (85%) policies. Read

Column Examines Fracking "Fairy Tales"

From Logic and common sense would engender unprecedented public, political and even environmentalist support for hydraulic fracturing and expanded oil and gas production. Indeed, that is Governor Romney’s perspective and policy. Unfortunately, Team Obama remains largely opposed to domestic drilling, fixated on “renewable” energy, despite having already  wasted some $97 billion  on wind, solar and algae projects – and poised to unleash a boxcar of new EPA and BLM rules designed to usurp state control and restrict or hyper-regulate fracking on federal, state and private lands alike, win or lose on November 6. Team Obama justifies its stance by citing public anxiety over fracking. It fails to mention that this anxiety has been nurtured and orchestrated by a host of environmental pressure groups whose existence, monetary sustenance and political power depend on a steady stream of new eco-hobgoblins. Their fractured fairy tales about this game-changing energy technology wo

Fracking and the Sundance Kid - Redford Records Anti-Fracking Ads

From EcoWatch: Academy Award winning director and actor Robert Redford hopes that more people will turn their attention to one of the most contentious environmental issues of our time— fracking . Fracking is the process of injecting millions of gallons of chemically laced fluids into underground rock formations to release natural gas or oil. To that end, this summer he taped a series of ads on the issue. Read the rest of the article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Ohio Congressman Espouses Benefits of Shale Development

Congressman Pat Tiberi Ohio's 12th Congressional District wrote an article featured on Energy in Depth Ohio which talks about the need to continue responsible development of the Utica Shale. From Energy in Depth Ohio: As I travel around Central Ohio talking to families and small business owners, I hear three common concerns:  the increasing cost of doing business or making ends meet, the high number of unemployed workers, and the troubled economy.   There are no “silver bullets” to solving these issues, but in Ohio, the Utica Shale Reserve is providing unmatched opportunities for families and businesses.   It’s creating jobs and  helping our state’s unemployment rate remain below the national average, bringing an estimated increase of  $12.3 billion  in gross state product into Ohio’s economy, and enhancing Ohio’s reputation as a great place to do business. Read the rest of Congressman Tiberi's editorial here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNe

Fracktivists Excited About Potential for Drill Site Problems From Hurricane Sandy

While people all along the east coast of the U.S. brace for the worst from Hurricane Sandy, anti-fracking organizations appear to be viewing the storm as opportunity knocking to further their agenda. From Energy in Depth: Natural gas opponents are looking for opportunities to benefit from a prospective natural disaster by capturing photos and videos of development sites impacted by a hurricane that is just hitting our area. Readers of this blog will recall the  infamous picture of a flooded natural gas rig  PennEnvironment put out last year.  You know…the one that turned out to be from Pakistan.  Well, it appears natural gas opponents haven’t learned anything and are waiting with anxious anticipation to capitalize on Hurricane Sandy.  They’ve put out the call to get some “great ammo” by videoing the impact of a storm on natural gas development sites. We found this on the Sierra Club’s Atlantic Chapter Facebook page: Read the rest of this article here.  Connect with u

Links on a Slow News Day: Industry Injury Rate Down, Drilling Site Air Test Results, Ohio Fracktivists Trained to Fight Drillers, Water is Big Topic at Shale Summit

Energy in Depth:   Injuries in the oil and gas industry were down 33 percent in 2011. SFGate:   Air tests clean at Pavillion gas field. Akron Beacon Journal:   Fracktivists in Ohio receive training to fight drillers. Akron Beacon Journal:   Water is the big topic at the World Shale Summit in Texas. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

8 New Carroll County Permits for Chesapeake

View the original pdf here .  Read about the latest permit activity here . Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Mahoning County Debate Over Fracking in Park Has Interesting Twist

People who use Mill Creek Park in Mahoning County have expressed concerns over the potential damage that could be done if fracking is used to withdraw resources from the shale under the park.  At a recent seminar those concerns were rendered rather irrelevant when it was mentioned that fracking was already taking place in the park - and none of the concerned residents could even see any effect on the land. From the Salem News: The fact revealed during the seminar is that more than 40 drilling operations are already extracting minerals from beneath Mill Creek Park. All were hydraulically fractured. Yet, nary a soul has even noticed because the drilling operations have left no environmental footprint on park land. The fiction, therefore, is that a drilling operation would disturb, even temporarily, pristine meadows, hiking trails, bodies of water and other Mill Creek Park treasures. All 40-some drills were erected off parkland, then horizontally drilled to release the minerals u

Magnum Hunter Resources Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Appalachian Basin Properties for $106.7 Million

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - October 25, 2012) - Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation ( NYSE :  MHR ) ( NYSE MKT :  MHR.PRC ) ( NYSE MKT :  MHR.PRD ) ("Magnum Hunter" or the "Company") announced today that Triad Hunter, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire 100% of the stock of privately-held Viking International Resources Co., Inc., or Virco, for a purchase price of approximately $106.7 million. The total consideration for this transaction will be paid 65% (or approximately $69.4 million) in the form of a convertible preferred stock (the "Preferred Stock") of the Company and 35% (or approximately $37.3 million) in cash. The Preferred Stock consideration will be payable in the form of depositary shares representing a new 8% Series E Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock of the Company, with each depositary share having a liquidation preference of $25.00 per share and a dividend rate of

National Attention Getting Focused on Mahoning Valley

From Business Journal Daily: Standing outside the Lemon Grove Café downtown, Frank Desoer, a journalist with CBC Radio-Canada in Montreal, noted the venue did not exist when he visited the city four years ago. “You can feel the difference. The atmosphere is different,” Desoer remarked. Desoer is just one of the many out-of-town – and even out-of--country – journalists to have discovered the Mahoning Valley. A Swiss TV crew has been shooting interviews here for several days, for example, and a crew from CBS was recording efforts Tuesday by the Mahoning County Democratic Party to transport county residents to the board of elections to cast their ballots. Tony Paglia, vice president for government and media affairs with the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, said the chamber lhas recently worked with CNBC, PBS News Hour, Huffington Post and the Associated Press as well as news outlets from Germany and Japan. “The pace of inquiries has been unbelievable the entire year, but has p

Is U.S. Poised to Be World's Top Oil Producer?

From Fuel Fix: U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer. Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951. The boom has surprised even the experts. “Five years ago, if I or anyone had predicted today’s production growth, people would have thought we were crazy,” says Jim Burkhard, head of oil markets research at IHS CERA, an energy consulting firm. The Energy Department forecasts that U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons, which includes biofuels, will average 11.4 million barrels per day next year. That would be a record for the U.S. and just below Saudi Arabia’s output of 11.6 million barrels. Citibank forecasts U.S. production could reac

The Key to Harvesting Natural Gas from Coal Beds May Be in Microbial Poop

We often hear about "unconventional" oil and gas when fracking shale deposits is discussed.  But when it comes to unconventional natural gas development, this story is on top. From Technology Review: Fracking technology has already made it practical to exploit previously inaccessible natural gas and oil in the United States (see " Natural Gas Changes the Energy Map "). Now several companies are demonstrating a way to use microörganisms that eat coal and excrete methane—the main ingredient in natural gas—as a possible means of extracting fuel from coal resources that had been too expensive to mine. Many coal beds contain large amounts of methane that can be harvested by drilling wells. In recent decades, researchers have demonstrated that a large fraction of the natural gas found in the coal beds is produced by naturally occurring microörganisms that feed on coal, and they have found ways to stimulate the microbes to produce more methane.  Luca Technologies ,

IHS Says Unconventional Oil & Gas Will Support 3 Million Jobs by End of Decade

In a press release, IHS said: The revolution in unconventional oil and gas production is fundamentally changing the United States energy outlook, generating significant job creation, economic growth and government revenues, according to a new IHS study. The entire upstream unconventional oil and gas sector will support more than 1.7 million jobs in 2012 at average wage levels dramatically higher than the general economy. The number of jobs is expected to increase to 2.5 million over the next three years. The number of jobs supported will continue to rise to nearly 3.5 million in 2035, according to the study. The new study,  America’s New Energy Future: The Unconventional Oil and Gas Revolution and the Economy  builds on previous IHS research on the economic impacts of unconventional gas to provide the most complete assessment to date of the economic contributions—in terms of jobs, economic value and government revenue—for both unconventional oil and unconventional gas in the Uni

Environmentalists Seek Federal Mandate on Chemical Disclosure by Drillers

From Fuel Fix: Environmentalists on Wednesday petitioned federal regulators to force energy companies to disclose chemicals unleashed by oil and gas drilling. The move is the latest gambit by environmental activists to shed more light on pollution from domestic oil and gas development, as a surge of drilling sends rigs to North Dakota, Pennsylvania, West Texas and other parts of the country. Although electric utilities, coal mining operations, refineries and other industrial facilities are required to report chemical releases to a 26-year-old national database known as the Toxics Release Inventory, oil and gas wellhead operations generally are exempt from the mandates. That could change as a result of the petition filed by more than a dozen groups with the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday.  The document  asks the EPA to add the oil and gas extraction industry to the list of entities that have to file annual reports on released chemicals to the TRI. Read the rest

Energy in Depth Ohio Launches 2012 Election Guide

Granville, Ohio  – Today, Energy in Depth - Ohio (EID Ohio) launched the Ohio Votes: Utica Shale and the 2012 Election Voters’ Guide.  Included in the guide is a fact-check on statements made by the presidential candidates regarding domestic energy development. The resource serves as Ohio’s only voters’ guide focusing exclusively on the positions federal and state candidates have on continued development of natural gas from shale resources. The Utica Shale has reinvigorated Ohio’s economy over the past year, and this guide serves as a one-stop information source on candidates’ positions on regarding it’s past, present, and future utilization. “Once again, the old phrase comes back into play – ‘As goes Ohio, so goes the nation’. Though candidates on both sides of the aisle have recognized Ohio’s pivotal role in national politics, there has also been a recognition of our state’s emergence as a leader in domestic energy production through Utica Shale development.  With that in mind, we ha

Select Energy Services Gets Tax Break in New Philadelphia

After shocking Carrollton officials by withdrawing from the Carroll County Commerce Park project, Select Energy Services set its sights on Tuscarawas County. New Philadelphia officials voted this week to pave the way for Select to set up a service facility in the west end of the city. From the Times Reporter: Following a suspension of council’s rules for three readings, members voted 6-0 to approve an emergency ordinance to grant Select Energy Services, a Texas-based company that provides well-site services for the oil and gas industry, a 50 percent income-tax break for the next three years, beginning Jan. 1. Councilman John Zucal, Salary Committee chairman, made the motion to suspend the rules for three readings, and the motion passed unanimously, clearing the way for passage. His committee met prior to council’s last regular meeting and sponsored the legislation, which was given a first reading Monday night. The only public discussion of the issue prior to its passage was

Principle Energy Services Launches
 Oilfield Noise Mitigation™
 Products and Services in Four Locations

WEATHERFORD, TEXAS (October 22, 2012) An upstream industry first, Principle Energy Services has launched its Oilfield Noise Mitigation™ product and service line in the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus and Utica shale plays to help oil and gas operators minimize reduce the costs, complaints and compliance issues associated with drilling, completion and production noise. The 3-tier approach to noise mitigation includes Sound Impact Assessments, Predictive Sound Modeling, and noise suppression technology for wellsites and compressor enclosures. The process begins with a recorded survey of ambient noise to accurately map noise levels around a planned well location before operations begin. Proprietary modeling software is then used to predict future noise levels from a library of drilling, completion and production equipment. If sound levels are expected to reach a level of agitation at nearby private or public property, then certified barriers are rapidly and cost-effectively implemente

Strides Being Made Toward Green Fracking

From TriplePundit: But given that we already have the infrastructure in place and it’s far cleaner than any of its conventional alternatives, it would seem to be the way to go for the next decade or so for home heating, power generation, and possibly even transportation fuel. That is, if we can get it out of the ground without killing ourselves in the process. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking does not meet that standard today. When I wrote about this as part of the energy pro and con series , I said, “As far as fracking is concerned, considering that there is already lots of gas available right now, there is no reason (other than greed) to be in a hurry to develop shale gas. Instead, we should take whatever time is necessary to develop a safer, more responsible way to access that gas, while investing heavily in more sustainable sources that will ultimately obviate the need for it.” Well, it seems that the folks in the industry been listening to me after all (and here I was thin

EcoWatch Says Fracking is Destroying Food, Water, Wine, and Milk

EcoWatch has an article sharing the "5 effects of fracking you may not know about."  It's sort of the typical anti-fracking fare, but here is an excerpt: Got milk? Maybe not for long. According to  research  from Penn State University, fracking has been found to reduce dairy production. The university researchers set out to uncover how fracking in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region is affecting dairy farming, the state’s top agricultural sector. The researchers examined dairy cow numbers, milk production and fracking activity among various counties in Pennsylvania between 2007 and 2010. They found that counties with 150 or more Marcellus Shale wells saw a 19 percent decrease in dairy cows, while counties with no wells saw only a 1.2 percent decrease. In a similar fashion, milk production in these counties with 150 or more wells declined by an average of 18.5 percent, while counties with no wells had about a 1 percent decline. This research seems to challenge the

Report on Utica Shale Oil Reserves Spotlights Carroll County

From An oil boom is coming to Carroll County in the hills of Appalachia, in eastern Ohio. Much of this region sits atop a geologic formation called the Utica Shale. In  a new report , the U.S. Geology Survey estimates the Utica contains nearly a billion barrels of crude oil. Read the entire article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Mineral Rights Agreement Reached by Some in Columbiana County's Brinker Storage Field

From The Vindicator: Some of the residents who live within the Brinker Storage Field in Columbiana County have reached an agreement with the parent company of Columbia Gas about deep mineral rights.   The company offered a group that had elected not to sue NiSource, the parent company of Columbia, a 15 percent royalty on oil and gas production, said state Rep. Craig Newbold, R-1st, who helped facilitate the deal.   Newbold, of Columbiana, met with both residents and NiSource separately to discuss the situation. NiSource has signed an agreement with Hilcorp, a Houston-based oil and gas company, to develop oil and gas in the storage field.   “I think both groups were willing to compromise,” he said. “The agreement the residents got was a little above their expectations.”   The properties had been subject to decades-old storage leases, which meant no lease bonus and royalties of just $200 a year if gas was being stored under their property — and nothing if it wasn’t.

Some Residents in Pavillion, Wyoming Say the Water Was Always Bad

From Business Insider: Pavillion, Wyoming — population 231 — has become the  epicenter of the fracking debate. In December, EPA tests  revealed  the presence of "synthetic chemicals, like glycols and alcohols consistent with gas production and hydraulic fracturing fluids, benzene concentrations well above Safe Drinking Water Act standards and high methane levels." More recently, the agency  announced  new USGS test results were consistent with its December results that fracking likely contaminated groundwater there. Encana, the company behind the fracking in Pavillion, has said the tests contain flaws. But for residents in the area, it's all a bunch of noise. "I think it's all a money game," Jana Peterson, who manages the Buckaroo Bar on Center Street, told us by phone recently. "If people want to get an outrageous amount of money for their farms…the squeaky wheel gets the oil." "This community, for 50 years or more, it's al

First Responders to Address Shale Gas Risks at Carroll County Meeting

PRESS RELEASE: OCTOBER 21, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE First Responders Share Their Readiness for Shale Gas Risks Carroll County’s Emergency Management Agency’s Director, Tom Cottis, as well as, other first responders from law enforcement, fire and EMS will participate in a question and answer session at the November 1 meeting of Carroll Concered Citizens. Topics such as traffic safety, well fire and hazardous spill response, and law enforcement oversight will be discussed. Paul Feezel, Chair of Carroll Concerned Citizens, added, “Communities in other states that are a little ahead of us in the shale boom cycle have seen what happens when local law enforcement and public safety agencies don’t take the lead. We are hopeful that our Carroll County agencies will receive the training and resources needed to minimize the risks from the projected 2,000 wells expected to be drilled.” The meeting will be held at the Church of Christ, 353 Moody Ave. Carrollton beginning at 7pm. It is free