Showing posts from September, 2015

FrackNation Director Coming Out with Short Film to Counter Latest Josh Fox Production

From Breitbart: Journalist and filmmaker Phelim McAleer is releasing a new short film that draws attention to the scaremongering and deceptive tactics of anti-fracking activists.  GasHoax will be released on Thursday, October 1 to coincide with the premiere of a new Josh Fox film, GASWORKS, which McAleer describes as “a zero credibility film because it comes from filmmaker Josh Fox who has a history of health hoaxes regarding fracking.”  GasHoax will go live at 9 a.m. Eastern on so the public can know the truth about Josh Fox before his new film airs on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes at 8 p.m.  GasHoax highlights how many of Fox’s claims have been debunked, and it criticizes journalists for continuing to report new claims despite Fox’s record of unethical and misleading journalism.  “Journalists should reject all of Fox’s claims about fracking and health until he corrects the record and apologizes for his notorious film, The Sky Is Pink, which claims that fra

Final Rule Expected This Week on Stricter Ozone Standards

From TheHill: The Obama administration is poised this week to issue a final rule on ozone levels that business groups contend would be the single most expensive regulation ever imposed by the U.S. government.  The air pollution rule, due by Thursday, will touch off another flurry of legal battles and congressional tussling over the president’s environmental agenda, with business groups and Republicans opposed to the rule looking to block it.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to tighten its standard for surface-level ozone from 75 parts per billion to between 65 and 70 parts per billion.  Green groups and health organizations say a tighter standard will help the environment and improve public health, but they too feel they could be left disappointed in the long-awaited rule.  Industry groups mounted a massive blitz against a draft version of the rule, warning that large sections of the country would fall out of compliance with the standards and that it wo

Chesapeake Energy Fires 15% of Its Workforce

From Chesapeake Energy Corporation laid off hundreds of employees Tuesday.  Officials say a total of 740 employees from all areas and levels of the company were laid off; 562 of those employees are from Oklahoma City.  The layoffs affected 15% of employees overall, but the numbers represent 19% of the Oklahoma City employees.  After today, there are about 4,000 employees left working for Chesapeake, with 2,500 of those employees being in Oklahoma City.  A filing from the company in regards to “Costs Associated with Exit or Disposal Activities” said, “On September 29, 2015, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (the “Company”) implemented a workforce reduction initiative as part of an overall plan to reduce costs and better align its workforce with the needs of the business and current oil and natural gas commodity prices. The plan resulted in a reduction of approximately 15 percent of its workforce. In connection with the reduction, the Company estimates it will incur a

10 New Permits for Utica Shale Drilling Issued Last Week

The latest weekly permitting update has been made available by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and activity continued for the second straight week to be busier than over the previous couple of months. 10 new permits were issued last week.  Gulfport Energy was the busiest driller, securing six permits for wells in Belmont County.  The other four permits on the report were all issued to Ascent Resources, with two for Jefferson County, one for Guernsey County, and one for Harrison County. The report shows that there are now 2,017 permits issued for horizontal drilling in Ohio's Utica shale, along with 1,598 wells drilled and 1,014 producing.  The Utica rig count dropped back down to 21. View the report below. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

09/29/15 Links of the Day: Chesapeake Energy Cutting Jobs, Debt Problems Loom Large for Drillers, and More

Columbus Business First:   Chesapeake Energy Cutting 750 Jobs, According to Media Reports in Oklahoma City   -    " Chesapeake Energy Corp. , the largest oil and gas driller in Ohio, is laying off 750 employees, according to media outlets in its Oklahoma City home base. The company hasn't commented, but KFOR-TV is reporting employees were notified today and that cuts are..." Energy in Depth:   Activists Fast for "World Free of Fracking" in (Failed) Attempt to Capitalize on Pope's Visit   -    "Yesterday, EID noted that a group of activists decided to try and capitalize on Pope Francis’ visit by fasting for 18 days to protest pipelines – or as one of their signs puts it, for a “world free of fracking.” According to..." Forbes:   With Redeterminations Looming and Hedges Rolling Off, 4Q 2015 Looks Bleak   -    "October will mark the second bi-annual review of the credit lines for many heavily indebted shale players. Unfortunately their

Video: Debate Continues Over Increasing Ohio Severance Tax, and Where the Extra Money Would Go

From WTOV 9 : Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Morgan Stanley Admits Mistake, Backs Away from Energy Stocks

From Bloomberg: Toward the beginning of 2015, with crude oil prices in free fall , Morgan Stanley's equity strategy team made a bold call, upgrading the energy sector to overweight.  But there's been no reprieve for those stocks this year, with the S&P 500 energy sector index losing nearly one-quarter of its value year-to-date:   Bloomberg Now, in a display of candor that's rare on Wall Street, chief U.S. equity strategist Adam Parker is waving the white flag. "We made a really bad call by going overweight energy at the beginning of this year," he wrote.  Morgan Stanley downgraded the sector to market weight, indicating the supply glut in oil may not improve for another year, at a minimum, and that investors will likely find a better entry point in six to nine months. Read more of this article by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Energy Transfer is Buying Williams Cos. in $32.61 Billion Deal

From the San Antonio Express-News: Energy Transfer Equity is buying pipeline operator The Williams Cos. for approximately $32.61 billion.  The companies said Monday that the combination creates one of the five biggest energy companies in the world.  Energy Transfer Equity LP will pay $43.50 per share, a 4.6 percent premium to Williams' Friday closing price of $41.60. Williams' shareholders can choose shares of Energy Transfer Equity affiliate Energy Transfer Corp., cash or a combination of both.  The companies put the deal's value at about $37.7 billion, including debt and other liabilities.  Williams' stockholders will also receive a one-time special dividend of 10 cents per share that will be paid immediately before the acquisition closes. Read the whole article by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Is the U.S. Shale Boom Over, or Just On Hold?

From The Fuse: U.S. oil production has received a lot of attention lately for stalling out and beginning to decline, but the U.S. shale gas revolution also appears to have slowed down, at least for now. It’s far from over: New sources of demand and improved drilling efficiency will mitigate damage to the industry in the medium term, but for now, the shale gas industry appears to be experiencing a painful adjustment that is impacting both company balance sheets as well as U.S. production as a whole.  Years before the boom in shale oil production, drillers were extracting massive volumes of natural gas by fracturing shale. As a result, U.S. natural gas production surged by more than 40 percent between 2006 and 2015, making the country the world’s largest producer.  The dramatic rise in shale gas production caused prices to crash. Henry Hub spot prices for natural gas routinely traded above $6 per million Btu (MMBtu) in the years preceding the shale boom, but since early 2010, natu

Analyst: Marcellus and Utica Shale to Buck the Trend With Gas Production Growth Next Year

From SNL: The galloping growth rate of natural gas production in Appalachia will slow in 2016, but the Utica and Marcellus shales will be the only plays in the U.S. with dry gas production growth, Jefferies LLC gas analyst Jonathan Wolff told his clients on Sept. 24.  Introducing a new 21-basin U.S. gas production model, Jefferies said overall U.S. domestic production will fall by 0.8% in 2016 as non-Marcellus gas and associated gas production volumes decline.  But in low-cost Appalachia, growth is still in the cards.  "After rising ~3 Bcf/d per annum over the past 6 years (to ~20 Bcf/d), we expect northeast natural gas output growth to slow in 2016/2017 due to weak local prices and pipeline bottlenecks," Jefferies said. "For 2016, we forecast northeast supply growth of ~1.4 Bcf/d, with a fairly equal split between the Marcellus and Utica developments."  "Within the model, we have PA production rising ~0.5 Bcf/d between now and year-end (largely from

Small Monroe County Cracker Plant on Hold Thanks to "Manpower Draw" of Other Projects

From Rigzone: The underlying economics are still good and the concept remains solid, but the prospect of finding enough qualified people to actually build and staff it is too daunting – at least for now. Such are the conclusions of Houston-based Appalachian Resins, Inc. (AR), whose board earlier this month decided to put its "less-than-world-scale" ethane cracker project in Monroe County, Ohio, on hold.  "Looking at the timing, we are not able to get ahead of the two other projects," Bob Mifflin, AR's president, told Rigzone.  The "two other projects" to which Mifflin refers are world-scale ethane crackers proposed by PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) and partner Marubeni Corp. in Belmont County, Ohio, and Shell Chemical in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Like AR, PTTGC/Marubeni and Shell have been considering building ethane crackers in Appalachia to leverage plentiful natural gas liquids (NGL) feedstocks from the region's Marcellus and Utica shale p

Sources Say 20,000 Layoffs Coming From Halliburton

From Seeking Alpha: Two days ago, my oil and natural gas contact network allowed me access to an internal Halliburton (NYSE: HAL ) document that was sent out by Halliburton President Jeff Miller to the company-wide employee base.  This internal memo summarized the commodity pricing downturn driven structural pressures that the company is under as well as cost reduction measures HAL would take to help remedy some of the structural stress pressing down on its share price. Of course, Halliburton is also in the midst of acquiring Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI ), which has provided its own equity pressure addition in the form of short selling coming from parties doubting the success of the transaction, as well as those hedging the merger spread.  Since I published this memo for public viewing, and it was immediately sent out to my Seeking Alpha follower base via Seeking Alpha's new contributor messaging function, Suzanne Edwards of the Houston Business Journal has confirmed with a Hal

Links for 9/25/15: Ruling on NEXUS Pipeline Access in Medina County Coming on October 2, Job Loss Continues, and More

The Sun Herald:   Leonardo DiCaprio says he's shedding fossil fuel investments   -    "Leonardo DiCaprio is joining a campaign to use investment decisions to fight global warming: He's planning to shed his own investments in fossil fuels, an activist group said..." Read more here:" Gas & Oil:   The Myths About Hydraulic Fracturing Are Many and Damaging   -    "Fracking media coverage is a confused mess. One day there's a news story implying that fracking is causing earthquakes or groundwater contamination; the next day there's a different story asserting there's no clear connection. No wonder the Gallup Polling Co. recently found that an equal number, 40 percent, supported and opposed..." NGI:   Oil/Gas Job Cuts Continue in Appalachian Basin   -    "Oil and gas industry jobs continue to be eliminated in the Appalachian Bas

Gulfport Energy Awards Nearly $35,000 in Grants in Ohio

From Gas & Oil: The Gulfport Energy Fund at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio has announced its first 2015 grant recipients.  During this first round, the Gulfport Energy Fund awarded nearly $35,000 to 10 projects throughout four counties, including projects benefitting local citizens in Guernsey and Belmont counties.  “We are proud to invest in educational opportunities through the Gulfport Energy Fund,” said Gulfport Energy President and CEO Mike Moore. “Investing in the communities where we operate is a hallmark of our work and we appreciate the opportunity to support the efforts of these dedicated educators.”  The Gulfport Energy Fund was created to support projects that create opportunities by improving quality of life, creating access to opportunities, or identifying and implementing a solution for a community need or issue in the counties where Gulfport operates. Tax-exempt organizations from Belmont, Guernsey, Harrison, and Monroe counties are eligible to apply fo

Winter Forecast Calls for Low Natural Gas Prices and Relatively Mild Weather

From The Columbus Dispatch: Here’s one winter forecast that most people will be glad to hear: Natural gas prices are low and look to stay that way. Demand for gas is increasing, but not nearly enough to catch up to growth in supply, according to analysts. That, plus a forecast of a relatively mild winter, adds up to a continuation of low prices through the heating season. “I think, overall this winter, we’ll have a little extra in our pockets and save on heating,” said Paul Pastelok, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather in State College, Pa. In Ohio, 67 percent of households heat with gas, according to the Census Bureau. An additional 22 percent heat with electricity, whose market prices are closely tied to gas prices. That leaves 11 percent that use other fuels, including propane, fuel oil, wood or others. It’s a good time to heat with gas. The U.S. benchmark price is hovering between $2.50 and $3 per 1,000 cubic feet of gas, which is so low that some producers are struggling

Five Key Things to Know About EPA’s New Report on Ohio’s Class II Injection Wells

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth Last week, the U.S. EPA released a  report   praising  the effectiveness of Ohio’s Class II Underground Injection Control (UIC) regulatory program.  The 34 page report debunks anti-fracking activists who have  claimed  Ohio’s standards are “ profoundly weak ” and not protective of public health. EPA concluded that Ohio runs a “good quality program” and highlighted five noteworthy areas where the state received particularly strong remarks.  These include: preventing contamination of drinking water, seismic monitoring, permitting, inspections, and resolving violations. Here’s what the  report  said: 1) Ohio’s Class II UIC program is complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1425 EPA looked at Ohio’s compliance under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and concluded that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is running a “good quality program.” Since Ohio was granted primacy over its

Ohio Lawmakers Not Going to Meet October 1 Deadline for Severance Tax Proposal

From Ohio lawmakers said this week they won't meet a self-imposed Oct. 1 deadline to hammer out recommendations on an oil and gas severance tax deal, as they need more time for negotiations.  The impasse is the latest delay in a years-long effort to tap into a potentially lucrative source of revenue to pay for income-tax cuts and funding to local governments in eastern Ohio, where drilling activity is ramping up.  In June, House and Senate leaders held a rare joint news conference to announce that a legislative study committee would work over the summer to reach a compromise agreement on raising taxes on fracking activity.  Senate President Keith Faber, a Mercer County Republican, told reporters that Oct. 1 was a "hard deadline" to compile recommendations on a compromise between industry groups, which oppose any severance tax increase, and Gov. John Kasich's administration, which has called for a major tax hike.  At the time, Faber disputed t

Senator James Inhofe Calls Out Obama Administration's "War on Fossil Fuels"

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe is not in agreement with the Clean Power Plan and the methane regulations recently announced by the Obama administration.  He makes his case against the approach of the administration in an editorial appearing on website Human Events: President Obama and his administration are embroiled in an all-out war on fossil fuels. Under the guise of saving the planet from global warming, the administration has issued rampant regulations trying to further reduce CO2 emissions under the so-called Clean Power Plan. Not only have these regulations been shown as ineffective at actually impacting global temperatures or sea levels, it turns out that the rules will have serious economic impacts on all Americans, especially low-income and minority families.  A study by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) found the president’s climate agenda would only reduce CO2 concentration by less than one-half of a percent; reduce the average global temperature

Truck Hauling Fracking Coil Strikes Railroad Bridge in Columbiana County

From Shale Play: It's been said that 13 is an unlucky number, and James Bumbarger most likely feels this way after his over-sized load of fracking coil didn't pass through the 13-foot clearance under the Youngstown-Southeastern Railroad Co.'s train trestle Sept. 10. The 1930s-built bridge trestle was ripped off the overpass and fell onto state Route 558 in Fairfield Township, Columbiana County, blocking it completely.  According to highway patrol trooper Michael Smith, a tractor-trailer driven by Bumbarger, 43, of Phillipsburg, Pa., was eastbound on Route 558 hauling a large fracking coil. Click here to read the whole story. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

400 Jobs Coming to Dover in Connection with Pipeline Project

From the Times-Reporter: About 400 good-paying jobs with the Price Gregory pipeline company will be coming to the city as it becomes the headquarters for a major pipeline project covering 52 miles from Cadiz to Canton.  Mayor Richard Homrighausen made the announcement at Monday night’s Dover City Council meeting.  “This will indeed be a boon to Dover’s economy and to this area,” the mayor said. “It will generate untold tax dollars, not only to the city, but also to businesses throughout the Dover area” and Tuscarawas Valley region.  The 16-inch diameter pipeline project is for Marathon Oil.  Price Gregory will employ about 400 people based at the site, he said, adding that at least half of them will be subject to Dover’s 1.5 percent city income tax. You can read the whole article by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

09/24/15 Links of the Day: Chesapeake Looking to Up Oil Production, Forced Pooling is Addressed in Ohio, and More

Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association:   The Economic Impact of Shale GasDevelopment: A Natural Experimentalong the New York / PennsylvaniaBorder   -    "Over the past decade, the technological advancements of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have led to the economic feasibility and rapid growth of natural gas production using shale and other unconventional sources. Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) is the process..." Energy in Depth:   New Report Attempts to Downplay Incredible Job Creation from Shale Development   -    "A new report published in the August edition of Agricultural and Resources Economics Reviewattempts to undermine the job creation and economic development that has taken place over the last decade thanks to shale development. According to the researchers, countywide employment and wages varied little in counties..." StateImpact Pennsylvania:   Giuliani urges shale industry to fight ‘irrational’ public fear

Former EPA Employee Says New Ozone Standard is Unreasonable

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal: The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing much tighter federal standards for ground-level ozone. These regulations will punish the West for emissions we did not create, including pollution from China and wildfires from California, while simultaneously driving industries out of America and into countries such as China, which have very few clean air protections. Accordingly, the EPA's ozone plan will actually do more harm than good.  This doesn't make sense, which is why President Barack Obama rejected a similar plan in 2011. I previously served as chair of EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, and I applauded the president's common-sense decision four years ago. But now, the White House and new advisers at the EPA are pushing the same idea all over again. A decision is due by Oct. 1.  Environmental groups want the EPA to replace the existing ozone standard of 75 parts per billion — set in 2008 — with a much stricte

Ohio Supreme Court Rules That Youngstown Fracking Ban Will Go to Vote for Fifth Time

From the Youngstown Vindicator: The Ohio Supreme Court agreed with Youngstown that the Mahoning County Board of Elections lacks authority not to certify an anti-fracking charter amendment and ordered it placed on the Nov. 3 ballot.  In a 7-0 decision Thursday, the court ruled the board does “not have authority to sit as arbiters of the legality or constitutionality of a ballot measure’s substantive terms. An unconstitutional amendment may be a proper item for referendum or initiative. Such an amendment becomes void and unenforceable only when declared unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction.”  “We’re pleased the court did what we thought was the law and glad citizens will have an opportunity to vote on the proposed charter amendment,” said city Law Director Martin Hume. “This was about the separation of powers. The board made a decision that should be the responsibility of the judicial branch.”  The city filed a writ of mandamus with the high court Aug. 28, two da

Americans Still Support Keystone XL Pipeline Construction, Poll Says

CALGARY – A poll of American voters for the American Petroleum Institute published Thursday shows the majority of Americans support the construction of TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline. Harris Poll contacted 907 registered voters for API, the largest oil industry association in the U.S., and found that 68 per cent of respondents supported building Keystone XL.…

Utica Shale Permitting Picks Up, Rig Count Increases

After some more weeks of slow activity, permitting for the Utica shale saw an uptick in the latest weekly report from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. 15 new permits were issued last week by the ODNR.  Harrison County led the way, with five new permits.  All five were issued to Hess.  Belmont and Guernsey counties each saw four new permits last week.  Ascent Resources is the operator on all four wells in Guernsey County and on two of the Belmont County wells.  XTO Energy is the driller for the other two Belmont County wells.  Noble County rounds out the report, with two permits issued to Antero Resources. After the busiest week in some time there are now 2,013 total permits issued for horizontal drilling in Ohio's Utica shale.  1,591 wells have been drilled, 1,009 are producing, and the Utica rig count increased to 22. View the report below. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

As Drillers Slow Down Thanks to Oil Prices, Natural Gas Supplies Could Run Short

From Bloomberg: The retrenchment in drilling for U.S. oil is threatening to leave a different market short: natural gas.  “The impacts of oil rig counts extend beyond oil: the outlook for U.S. natural gas is critically dependent on the outcome of this balancing act in U.S. oil rigs,” Anthony Yuen, a strategist at Citigroup Inc. in New York, said in a report to clients Wednesday. “If the oil market remains oversupplied and oil-rig counts fall, the decline in associated gas production would leave the market short of gas.”  Associated gas is the gas that comes out of oil wells along with the crude. Supplies of this byproduct from fields including the Bakken formation in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas may fall by about 1 billion cubic feet a day next year as drillers idle rigs in response to the collapse in oil prices, Yuen said. That’s about 7 percent of U.S. residential gas demand. Read more by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @Energy

Rover Pipeline Awards Contract to Ariel Corporation

A press release from Ariel Corporation: Rover Pipeline LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and Mount Vernon, Ohio-based Ariel Corporation announced today that Ariel has been awarded the contract to supply 39 natural gas compressors to the Rover Pipeline. The total cost of the contract is estimated at more than $34 million. Rover Pipeline is a natural gas pipeline that will transport domestically produced natural gas from multiple processing facilities in Northeast Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to multiple markets in the central United States including Ohio and Michigan. The pipeline also will facilitate natural gas deliveries to markets in the Northeast, Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions of the United States as well as to Canadian Provinces. The $4.2 billion pipeline is designed to transport up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas through 36” and 42” diameter pipeline. “Energy Transfer has a ‘buy American’ mentality,” said Joey Mahmoud, senior vi

Asian Utilities Taking a Look at What Chesapeake Energy Has to Offer

From Bloomberg: Chesapeake Energy Corp., the U.S. natural-gas producer that’s been selling assets to cut debt by more than $3.8 billion, said Asian utilities have begun kicking the tires at fields it might divest.  Utilities seeking a hedge to gas they’ve contracted to import in liquefied form have shown “significant interest” in “the things we are going to potentially sell,” Chief Executive Officer Doug Lawler said today in a web cast from the Barclays CEO Energy/Power Conference in New York. To raise cash, Chesapeake has been selling assets including gas fields, pipelines and buildings, and has said it will consider partners for joint ventures.  Lawler’s predecessor, Aubrey McClendon, had an affinity for Asian deals. Under McClendon, Chesapeake sold stakes in fields to CNOOC Ltd. in 2010 and to China Petroleum & Chemical Co. in 2013. In December, U.S. utility Florida Power & Light, a unit of NextEra Energy Inc., won regulatory approval to partner with a gas producer to