Showing posts from August, 2014

Billions Invested in Utica Shale, and More Development Keeps on Coming

Now that's big money - being invested in Utica shale From Energy in Depth: Yesterday,  Appalachian Resins  announced that it will  build  a $1 billion facility in Monroe County that will be able to process approximately 18,000 barrels per day of ethane into ethylene and polyethylene, the feedstock for plastic and many other items we use in our daily lives.  The facility is expected to begin operating in early 2019 and will produce 600 million pounds of ethylene/polyethylene per a year.  This new feedstock has the potential to reinvigorate the manufacturing sector in the region, which will, in turn, increase investment and jobs in the Ohio Valley.   In addition to the Appalachian Resins announcement,  Columbia Pipeline Group  also  announced its plans to invest $1.75 billion in a 160-mile pipeline in Ohio and West Virginia to support shale development in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.  The pipeline will be capable of transporting 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas

Drillers Continue to Work on Environmentally Friendly Frack Fluids

From The Motley Fool: The quest for green fracking fluids    Some companies believe they are on the verge of such a discovery.  ExxonMobil  ( NYSE: XOM     ) , for instance, says it has developed a new generation of fracking fluids that don't pose a threat to the environment. While the oil major's newly developed concoction hasn't been tested in the field yet, the company assures us that it doesn't contain any toxic chemicals.   Similarly,  Halliburton  ( NYSE:  HAL     ) has developed a green fracking fluid that uses ingredients sourced from the food industry. Halliburton claims that the product, called CleanStim, provides an "extra margin of safety" to people, animals, and the environment in the event of a spill. To prove that the product is truly harmless, a Halliburton executive actually took a sip of CleanStim during an industry event last year.   Besides the companies that actually do the fracking, smaller specialist firms are also making impre

PA DEP Releases Details of 243 Cases of Water Contamination Caused by Oil and Gas Development

From the Associated Press: Six years into a natural gas boom, Pennsylvania has for the first time released details of 243 cases in which companies prospecting for oil or gas were found by state regulators to have contaminated private drinking water wells.  The Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday posted online links to the documents after the agency conducted a "thorough review" of paper files stored among its regional offices. The Associated Press and other news outlets have filed lawsuits and numerous open-records requests over the last several years seeking records of the DEP's investigations into gas-drilling complaints.  Pennsylvania's auditor general said in a report last month that DEP's system for handling complaints "was woefully inadequate" and that investigators could not even determine whether all complaints were actually entered into a reporting system.  DEP didn't immediately issue a statement with the online rel

SEC Charges Chimera Energy With Fraud Over Waterless Fracking Claims

UPDATE (08/15/14) Chimera Energy has been charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to reports.  Along with the company, Andrew Farmer (mentioned below in a previous update regarding the SEC investigation into Chimera), Charles Grob Jr, and Baldemar Rios are being charged. From the Houston Business Journal: The  Securities and Exchange Commission  is charging the now-defunct Houston-based Chimera Energy Corp. and its founders with alleged fraud.   Going back to 2012, the SEC alleges Chimera was falsely  touting contracts with state-owned   Pemex  in Mexico and was claiming it had developed revolutionary and environmentally friendly extraction technology that would replace hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.   The SEC, which  suspended Chimera trading in 2012  before filing federal charges this week, claims none of this was true. The SEC is charging the penny-stock company and four individuals behind a "pump-and-dump scheme that misled investo

Cases Before Ohio Supreme Court Have Major Financial Implications

From The two cases before the court are battles over mineral rights – who owns the potentially valuable stuff below the surface, in these cases, oil and gas.   Most landowners have both surface and mineral rights, but sometimes the two have been severed, meaning one owner controls the surface, while the other controls what’s beneath. Ohio law says if you own mineral rights but don’t exercise them for 20 years, the surface landowner can claim them back.   But then what does it mean to exercise your right to a property’s minerals?   That’s what the two Supreme Court cases are about. They both involve mineral rights owners from long ago, trying to reassert their ownership over the objection of surface landowners. The land in question is in Harrison County, part of the Utica shale gas boom, so the question of who owns what has big financial implications. Read the whole article here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

14 New Utica Shale Permits on Latest Report

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has released the latest weekly update on permitting activity in the Utica shale.  After passing 1,000 wells drilled 2 weeks ago and 500 wells producing last week, there were no new milestone numbers reached on this report.  Permitting activity keeps rolling along, though. 14 new permits were issued for horizontal drilling in Ohio's Utica shale last week.  5 of those permits went to Hess Ohio Developments for Belmont County wells.  4 more were issued to Chesapeake Energy for Harrison County sites, while 2 permits each were issued for wells in Guernsey and Noble counties.  The final permit was for Chesapeake's Keystone Trust 34-10-3 1H well in Jefferson County. With this activity added on, there have now been 1,457 permits issued for Utica shale drilling in the state.  1,038 wells are drilled and 549 are producing.  The Utica rig count is 46. View the report by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @E

Landowners in Crawford and Richland Counties Take in Information on Pipelines

From the Mansfield News Journal: More than 50 landowners from across Crawford and Richland counties were informed Tuesday evening that there's not much they can do about a natural gas pipeline that's planned for their area, possibly their very property.  But neither is the coming process of welcoming a giant pipeline to the neighborhood as grim as it might appear.  That was the message from two eminent-domain attorneys from Columbus who organized a meeting in the northern Crawford County village of New Washington, at the Knights of Columbus hall. Yes, they were there seeking new clients, and likely to get some, as surveyors for Energy Transfer's proposed Rover pipeline, which would transport natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale gas plays in Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio through this region, and ultimately to Canada, are already surveying.  Michael Braunstein and Bill Goldman, of Goldman & Braunstein, LLP, noted that there are plenty of other attorney

Stark State College's Well Site Training Center Goes Live in Canton

From the Alliance Review: A $2.3 million Well Site Training Center was opened Thursday by Stark State College as Phase I of its downtown Canton expansion.  The 7,000-square-foot site is located at the corner of Cherry Avenue and Third Street Southeast, which Para Jones, president of the college, said during her remarks at the grand opening is a perfect location as it connects with U.S. Route 30, state Route 43 and I-77. The purpose of the site is "to make us the shale capital," Jones said.  "This facility showcases our mission of creating public/private partnerships to provide students with state-of-the-art education and training and prepare the workforce needed by business and industry in the region," Jones explained.  She also pointed out that once a state appropriation from Gov. John Kasich of $10 million was given to the college about two years ago for the expansion, Kathleen Steere, coordinator of the college's gas and oil programs, seized the opp

Links for 8/21/14: Methane in Wells Where No Fracking is Taking Place, Ohio Operator Files Lawsuit, and More

Energy in Depth:   Methane in Pike County Water Wells Unrelated to Shale Development   -    "The study began in the summer of 2012 sampled 20 water wells throughout Pike County in various geological formations. Of those 20 wells, four were chosen and monitored monthly for one year to give a solid baseline of water quality for the area.  With 80 percent of the wells testing positive for concentrations of methane, one might assume shale development is taking place in the area. That assumption would be incorrect. In fact..." America's Natural Gas Alliance:   TVA Approves New Natural Gas Plant, Cites As ‘Best Way to Help Meet Our Cleaner Air Goals’   -    "Thanks to a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) decision today, nearly 600,000 homes in the greater-Memphis area will soon be powered by a state-of-the-art and cleaner combined cycle natural gas plant.  The new facility will replace the 55-year-old Allen coal plant, which after a significant environmental review by

Musings on the Second Great Recovery Experiment and the Promise of Natural Gas: Ron Muhlenkamp

Source: Tom Armistead of The Energy Report (8/21/14) Like the economy as a whole, the Muhlenkamp Fund is still struggling to extricate itself from the morass of the Great Recession. Ron Muhlenkamp, founder of Muhlenkamp & Co. Inc., sees a forerunner to this downturn in the 1980–82 recession. In this interview, he tells The Energy Report how good policy ended the earlier slowdown and set the stage for two decades of prosperity. He also explains why bad policy is hampering recovery now, and what this means for investors. The Energy Report: Ron, in an online seminar in June, you compared the government's response to the 2008 financial panic and recession with its response to the recession of 1980–82. How are those recessions comparable? Ronald Muhlenkamp: We've had 12 recessions since World War II. We had a serious recession in 1973–74,

Report: Over 20,000 Jobs Created by Oil & Gas Industry So Far This Year

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Youngstown Oil & Gas Conference Cancelled Due to Lack of Interest

From the Youngstown Vindicator: YOUNG had three successful years, according to the chamber, but this year there was a decline in participation.  “Some of the major oil and gas companies have reprioritized their areas of exploration, and there are other industry delays overall,” Vice President of Marketing and Business Services for the chamber Kim Calvert said in a statement.  “We hold our events to the highest standards and did not feel that we could move forward with this particular event if it was going to be anything less than it has been the past three years or not meaningful or valuable to participants and attendees.” Read the rest by clicking here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Shale Boom Credited With Dropping Crude Oil Prices

From The Economic Times: In a chat with ET Now,  Narendra Taneja , Energy Expert, shares his view on oil prices. Excerpts: ET Now: How are you looking at the Brent prices for 2014? It is down nearly 7.5% and still sliding. Narendra Taneja: The Brent may slide even further. The demand is now growing and at the same time the market is very well supplied. Of course, the game changer has been America's Shale oil and Shale gas revolution which is the biggest consumer of hydrocarbon. The US is no longer as dependent on imports as it used to be and increasingly you would see the US bringing down its dependence on oil imports and gas imports, particularly from the Middle East. So, what has happened is that their oil is now available for other fast growing economies such as India and China, and demand from India and China is not really going up, which means that plenty of oil is available in the market for others to consume it. Click here to read the whole interview.  Connect w

EnerVest Expresses Optimism Over Ability to Capitalize on Utica Shale Oil Window

From the Youngstown Vindicator: EnerVest has found in Tuscarawas and Guernsey counties that by using more water and sand in the fracking process, there can be success in the oil-rich portions of the Utica, McKinney said.  “Oil has different molecules than gas,” he said.  Companies were using 200 feet to 250 feet spacing between injections, but for the oil area it needs to be shorter, about 150 feet, McKinney said.  “It allows the oil to move more freely toward the well bore,” he said.  If the tests for EnerVest are successful, there will be companies interested in leasing land in Trumbull and Stark counties, McKinney said. Trumbull and Stark counties are thought to be areas with oil-rich shale.  The sections of the Utica can be divided into the dry-gas area, which is located around Belmont, Harrison and other counties in the southeast part of the state. Then there is the wet-gas area, which includes Carroll County and the sections of Ohio where most of the drilling activi

Gates Mills Community is Fighting About Fracking

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer: Gates Mills Village Council refused on Tuesday to consider residents' petition for a bill of rights to ban additional fracking in the village.  Residents formed the Citizens for the Preservation of Gates Mills when Mayor Shawn Riley announced his plans for villagers to pool their land to prepare for gas wells in the village. The group has gathered more than 130 signatures to have a bill of rights placed on the November ballot that would outlaw all new wells in the village.  Council was supposed to vote on Tuesday whether to submit the issue to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Council has until Sept. 6 to do it, but members "need more time to review the issue," Councilman Will Barnes said, refusing to comment further.  On Friday, Law Director Margaret Cannon told petitioners they do not have enough valid signatures. Click here to read the entire article. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

ODNR Responds to Concerns Over Brine Disposal Orders

From Business Journal Daily: The Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued orders in January giving two Pennsylvania companies authority to dispose of brine at the Northstar Disposal Well #1, the well that officials say was responsible for a series of earthquakes that shook the Mahoning Valley in 2011 and early 2012. Some were quick to sound off with grandstanding statements about how irresponsible it was for the ODNR to allow companies to bring frack waste to this site.  But the ODNR explained: The separate orders to modify the two companies’ disposal plans each listed Northstar among the sites each had previously received approval to use. The orders approved adding the Barnesville #1 Well in Warren Township, Belmont County, to both companies’ lists. West Penn Energy’s order added the Kleese #1 and #2 wells in Vienna Township, Trumbull County, as well as sites in Guernsey and Morgan counties.  The Northstar well, which had been operated by D&L Energy, was discovered to

Shell Divests U.S. Onshore Gas Assets in Pinedale and Haynesville, Adds Acreage in Marcellus and Utica

Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”) announces today two separate transactions whereby the company will exit its Pinedale and Haynesville onshore gas assets in exchange for approximately $2.1 billion of cash, plus additional acreage in the Marcellus and Utica Shale areas in Pennsylvania. In one agreement with Ultra Petroleum, Shell will acquire 155,000 net acres in the Marcellus and Utica Shale areas in Pennsylvania and receive a cash payment of $0.925 billion from Ultra in exchange for 100 percent of Shell’s Pinedale asset in Wyoming, including associated gathering and processing contracts, subject to closing. In a separate agreement with Vine Oil & Gas LP and its partner Blackstone, Shell has agreed to sell 100 percent of its Haynesville asset in Louisiana, including associated field facilities and infrastructure for $1.2 billion in cash, subject to closing. “We continue to restructure and focus our North America shale oil and gas portfolio to deliver the most value in

Utica Shale Blows Past Another Milestone in Latest Weekly Report

Ohio's Utica shale went flying past yet another milestone number in the latest weekly permitting update from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  This week the number to be reached was 500 producing wells. 19 new permits were issued last week.  8 of those were for Harrison County, 7 for Belmont County, and the remaining 4 for Carroll County.  10 of those permits were issued to Aubrey McClendon's American Energy Utica. These 19 permits bring the cumulative total to 1,446.  The wells drilled number has grown to 1,025 after crossing over the 1,000 mark last week.  And after inching closer to 500 wells producing on last week's report, 52 new producing wells were added this week, bringing the new total of producing wells to 547.  The Utica rig count is 46. View the whole report by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

ODNR Reviews Updates to Mining’s Water Replacement Rules

CARROLLTON, OHIO: After pressure from landowners and the US Department of the Interior, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has updated the Procedural Directive that dictates if and how domestic and agricultural water sources are replaced when coal mining impacts water wells or springs. On September 4, Cheryl Socotch, Administrator of Remining and Field Hydrology at ODNR, will review the regulatory requirements, highlight recent changes, and the process for initiating a water replacement investigation. She will also discuss options for landowners to better document their premining water quality and quantity and answer general questions. Ms. Socotch will not be able to comment specifically on individual landowner issues or any pending coal permit applications. “The initial 9,600 acre phase of the proposed Rosebud Carrollton Mine has already identified dozens of landowners who will either lose their water or have a likelihood of negative groundwater impacts. It is critical th

1st NRG Reports First Utica Shale Test Well Coming in September

DENVER, CO / ACCESSWIRE / August 14, 2014 /  1st NRG Corp. (OTC Pink: FNRC) (PINKSHEETS: FNRC), is an exploration and production company currently engaged in the development of natural gas producing properties in the United States.  Headquartered in Denver Colorado, our focus has been centered in the Powder River Basin, where we hold a working interest in 42 producing wells, 8 permitted locations and 3,300 undeveloped acres of coal bed methane reserves.  The Company has expanded its activities into one of North America’s most exciting shale plays participating in a development of prospective acreage in SE Ohio encompassing approximately 7,000 acres. At Clabaugh Ranch we have been slowly advancing toward the highly anticipated initial production from the 42-15 well drilled in December 2013.  We are awaiting approval of our applications to use the ARID tool for water disposal, power has been installed and we are exploring our options to transport our natural gas production.  In