Showing posts from March, 2016

03/31/16 Links of the Day: Halliburton-Baker Hughes Merger in Jeopardy, Former EPA Employee Seeks to Vindicate Botched Investigation, and More

Seeking Alpha:   Halliburton and Baker Hughes: Is it Time to Cut Losses?   -    "Halliburton (NYSE: HAL ) and Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI ) announced the agreement to merge in November 2014. At the time of the announcement, the two companies expected that the transaction would close within approximately a year. Several months past the initial deadline in the merger agreement, the two companies are nowhere close to having received the most important regulatory..." Victoria Advocate:   Schools Hit Hard by Oil Devaluation   -    "As oil inventories continued to rise this week with new U.S. Energy Information Administration data, the effects of the ongoing downturn continue to be felt far and wide, but especially in oil play towns. Local school districts such as Cuero ISD are facing budget shortfalls as the downturn in oil revenue and valuations hits a revenue stream that had seen years of record..."   Climate Campaigner Bill McKibben's Misleading Anti

Report Says Bernie Sanders' Plan on Fracking Could Cost States Nearly $850 Billion

From Rigzone: Clinton has been clutching the coattails of the Obama Administration mightily since announcing her candidacy. Although the industry and many in Republican circles are quick to discount their policies, it’s hard to argue they haven’t given some thought to their position and its ramifications.  But the senator from Vermont? Not so much.  It’s easy to give a pithy, crowd-pleasing response when you refuse to delve into the details. But similar to Sen. Sanders’ other grandiose plans – each lacking a crucial component of ‘Where’s the money?’ –telling those governors in oil-producing states not to depend on fracking comes with a cost.  According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the cost could be around $846 billion – the total state tax collections during the heyday of the energy renaissance in 2013. Oil-and-gas producing states depend on that cash for things like public schools, criminal justice and health care. Click here to read more.  Connect wit

Economists Say the Worst of the Oil Collapse is Over

From KBTX: Researchers at the Texas A&M University Real Estate Center say a month ago, oil bottomed out around $29 a barrel. This week, it's around $39.  In the last three months, Chief Economist Dr. Jim Gaines says Texas' unemployment is slowing after a major decline in the energy industry last year.  "The biggest monthly job loss was probably in about November,” said Gaines. “In January and February, we were still losing jobs, but not nearly as fast, and it appears now that it's going back the other way."  If the trend is true, Gaines says the state may have hit its maximum job loss. He says the rate of active rigs has also begun to level off. Read the whole article by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Canton Chamber to Discuss Oil & Gas Development at April 6 Seminar

From The Repository: No company has wanted to drill a Utica Shale well in Stark County for almost four years, and the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon.  Even in neighboring Carroll County, which once boomed with drilling, only one rig remained last week, according to the Baker Hughes weekly count.  Against that backdrop, the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a seminar April 6 at the Pro Football Hall of Fame to talk about the upstream — drilling and production — sector of the oil and gas industry.  “I think there’s some basic faith in the long term, or people still willing to ride it out and see what happens, and not wanting to be flat-footed if suddenly (drilling) should start taking off again,” said David Kaminski, the chamber’s vice president for public policy and energy. Continue reading more by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

3 New Permits Issued for Utica Shale Drilling Last Week

The latest weekly permitting report for the Utica shale has been made available by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  View it below or click here . Permitting remained slow, with just 3 new permits listed.  The rig count did increase by one, to 12. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Demolition Proceeding on Proposed Site of Belmont County Cracker Plant

From The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register: As PTT Global Chemical decides whether it will build a $5.7 billion ethane cracker in Belmont County, contractors working for FirstEnergy Corp. continue demolition work at the former R.E. Burger power plant site where the massive petrochemical facility would be located.  Even if the company meets that self-imposed deadline to make a final investment decision, however, the cracker plant likely would not be ready to process natural gas liquids until at least 2020.  Bulldozers, track hoes and other equipment are ripping apart the facility that began generating coal-fired electricity in 1944. The planned ethane cracker would occupy a nearly 500-acre area, bordered by Ohio 7, the Ohio River, the Arch A. Moore Jr. Bridge crossing to Moundsville and the Roger Lewis residence in Dilles Bottom. Click here to read this whole article. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

U.S.G.S. Predicts a Reduction in Human-Induced Earthquakes in Ohio

From The Columbus Dispatch: Even though the report found that the risk of damage from earthquakes is likely to be lower in Ohio this year, geologists found that four Ohio counties — Belmont, Guernsey, Harrison and Washington — could see earthquakes increase because of human causes. All four are counties where oil and gas activity has grown.  Since 2014, after earthquakes connected with the oil and gas industry affected parts of eastern and northeastern Ohio, the state has required operators of any fracked well within 3 miles of a known fault or in areas prone to seismic activity to install seismic monitors. Injection wells — wells that take fracking wastewater — that operate in areas where earthquakes have happened in the past also are required to monitor for quakes.  Jackie Stewart, a spokeswoman for Energy in Depth, an organization that promotes the oil and gas industry, said the report is "good news for Ohioans."  "It's clear that due to Ohio's aggress

Department of Energy Report: Over 5.5 Million People Working in Energy Industry

From the U.S. Department of Energy: The U.S. Department of Energy today released the agency’s first annual analysis of how changes in America’s energy profile are affecting national employment in multiple energy sectors. By using a combination of existing energy employment data and a new survey of energy sector employers, the inaugural U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) provides a broad view of the national current energy employment landscape.  USEER examines four sectors of the economy -- electric power generation and fuels; transmission, wholesale distribution, and storage; energy efficiency; and motor vehicles -- which cumulatively account for almost all of the United States’ energy production and distribution system and roughly 70 percent of U.S. energy consumption. By looking at such a wide portion of the energy economy, USEER can provide the public and policy makers with a clearer picture of how changes in energy technology, systems, and usage are affecting the economy

Once an Advocate of Natural Gas, Activist Bill McKibben Now Criticizing Others for Having Done the Same

From The Daily Caller: The founder of anti-fossil fuel group also tossed side-eye at the former director of Sierra Club, Carl Pope, for allegedly cavorting with then-fracking giant Chesapeake Energy for the expressed purposes of championing liquefied natural gas production. Pope received $25 million from now-deceased former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon to fund his environmental causes.  The final blow may be McKibben’s decision to give credit to Josh Fox — the film director who produced the 2010 anti-fracking film “Gasland” — for helping to kick-start the anti-fracking movement.  McKibben was singing a different tune in 2009 when he felt so strongly about power plants switching to natural gas, he was willing to do a stint in the hoosegow in support of the cause.  He was one of several celebrities who protested on the front steps of the Capitol Power Plant in Washington, D.C.  “There are moments in a nation’s—and a planet’s—history when it may be necessary

EnerVest Using Horizontal Drilling to Chase Oil in Clinton Sandstone

From NGI: There was a time before the advent of Ohio's Utica Shale boom when the Clinton Sandstone was king, reigning as the state's most actively produced formation. But EnerVest Operating LLC is trying to breathe new life into the old play by reviving the stubborn rock with horizontal drilling.  Located in the East Canton Oil Field, which stretches across roughly seven counties from Northeast Ohio southward, 1.5 billion bbl of oil is still thought to be in place in the Silurian-aged Clinton, according to a 2010 study by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Geological Survey. Barry Lay, general manager of EnerVest's Appalachia north asset team, said 90% of the oil-in-place is thought to be there and recoverable.  There are 3,100 current or formerly producing wells in the East Canton field, which was discovered in 1947. As of 2010, the Clinton had produced 95 million bbl of oil, making it the overshadowed, but most significantly produced, oil fi

Aubrey McClendon's Biggest Backer in Danger of Losing Billions of Dollars

From Bloomberg: McClendon, who died March 2 in a car crash, had recently been ousted from Chesapeake Energy Corp. when he invited a handful of private equity firms to bankroll what he called “the second half of my career.” The terms outlined in the April 2013 pitch, obtained by Bloomberg, were so favorable to McClendon, however, that most investors turned him down, according to people familiar with the response. After some haggling, one of the few that accepted was Energy & Minerals Group, the firm led by [John] Raymond, son of the former Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Officer Lee Raymond.  Though there’s still time to salvage the bets, much if not all of the estimated $2.6 billion that an EMG fund put into a half-dozen enterprises set up by McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP could be lost, according to Carin Dehne-Kiley, a Standard & Poor’s credit analyst, who tracks three of the four biggest ventures. Side bets by EMG investors added hundreds of millions of dolla

Drilling Opponents Not Letting Ohio Law Stop Them From Pushing for Bans

From the Akron Beacon Journal: Grass-roots groups in Medina and Portage counties are trying to get community bill of rights charters approved by voters on Nov. 8.  Sustainable Medina County is circulating petitions to put the issue before voters in a grass-roots campaign to block the Nexus natural gas pipeline and a pipeline compressor station west of Wadsworth in Guilford Township.  The current structure of Medina County government would remain intact under the proposed charter, but the charter would give the county’s elected officials the authority to protect residents from “corporate harm.” In addition, the people’s right to initiative and referendum would be codified under the plan to give them more control.  It is the second time that such an effort has been undertaken in Medina County.  “This charter will empower the people of our county to say no to Nexus and its threats to the health and safety of our families and the environment,” said spokeswoman Kathie Jones of Wad

Super Tuesday Strikes a Blow to Anti-Fracking Groups

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth All eyes were on Ohio for the Super Tuesday last week, as voters made their way to the polls to cast ballots for the presidential primaries. However, one issue that did not make headlines, but should have, was the overwhelming support for oil and natural gas development in Ohio. From the local level all the way up the ticket you can see obvious examples of key races where voters rejected anti-fracking rhetoric, instead voting in favor of pro-energy policies. The most glaring examples of this reality played out in two key Democrat primaries, one in northeast Ohio, and another in southeast Ohio, where candidates attempted to run “ban-fracking” campaigns.  Each ban-fracking candidate lost by double digits . Northeast Ohio Continues to Support Oil and Natural Gas After voters rejected the  Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund’s (CELDF)   fifth attempt  at a ban-fracking measure last fall, it was surprising that the vocal minority would atte

03/24/16 Links of the Day: Venezuela Thirsty for U.S. Oil, Industry Calls on IBM's Watson to Combat Anti-Drillers, and More

Bloomberg:   Oil Investors See $7.4 Billion Vanish as Dividends Targeted   -    "Bludgeoned by falling energy prices, at least a dozen oil and natural gas companies have opted to cut dividends this year to preserve cash, cannibalizing payouts considered sacrosanct by many investors. The cost to shareholders: more than $7.4 billion in lost income, compared to..." Pittsburgh Business Times:   United States Steel Corp. Lays Off 800 Employees Nationwide   -    "The Lone Star Tubular Operations in Lone Star, Texas, and the Fairfield Tubular Operations in Fairfield, Ala., will be idled temporarily, according to a statement from U.S. Steel (NYSE: X). Included in the announcement were 450 employees at Lone Star, 200 employees in Fairfield, Ala., and 120 salaried nonunion employees in Alabama, Texas and Lorain, Ohio..." Yahoo Finance:   Struggling U.S. Oil and Gas Companies Eye Rare Financing Deals   -    "Some cash-strapped U.S. oil and gas companies are conside

Mark Ruffalo to Rehash Long Discredited Fracking Claims in “Dear President Obama”

by Katie Brown, Energy in Depth Anti-fracking activist and Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo has been busy this week  promoting  a new film he is narrating called “Dear President Obama,” which  calls on the president  to “take action in the remaining months of his presidency to end hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.” The premiere of the film, which takes place in Washington, D.C. tonight, hasn’t gotten much traction in the press, but that’s not surprising considering that – like the   Gasland  films before it – “Dear President Obama” simply rehashes claims that the nation’s top scientists (and indeed the world’s top scientists) have thoroughly debunked. President Obama’s climate legacy: dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to natural gas In an  Op-Ed  in the  Huffington Post , Ruffalo and film director Jon Bowermaster claim, “At issue: President Obama’s environmental tenure and legacy, which has included both substantial steps forward and backward. He enact

Chesapeake Energy Considers 1.5 Lien Debt Exchange

From Reuters: Chesapeake Energy Corp( CHK.N ), an oil and gas company struggling in the commodities rout, is considering swapping out some of its existing debt for new 1.5 lien debt, according to CapitalStructure, a provider of news and analysis on the sub-investment grade space, citing sources close to the situation.  Depending on credit agreements, companies can generally wedge 1.5 lien debt in between their first and second liens. Chesapeake has not made any decisions on the swap yet, and the timing is uncertain, according to CapitalStructure, citing one of the sources. The swap is attractive, however, based on Chesapeake bonds' current pricing, CapitalStructure said, citing one of its sources.  The company's bond maturing in 2017 were trading at around 70 cents on the dollar on Thursday, and its bonds maturing in 2018 at around 50 cents, according to Thomson Reuters data. Those levels are considered depressed. Just click right here to read more. Connect with us on

One New Utica Shale Permit Last Week; Rig Count Dips Even Lower

The latest weekly permitting update from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has been released.  View it below or click here to download it . Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Crowd Turns Out to Voice NEXUS Pipeline Opposition

From The Toledo Blade: A boisterous crowd of nearly 600 packed the Waterville Primary Community Room on Wednesday night for a state environmental hearing on the compressor station NEXUS Gas Transmission wants to build in Waterville Township along Moosman Drive, south of Neapolis Waterville Road.  All 450 seats were taken and well over 100 people stood in the back and along the sides of the room, which has a 680-person capacity. Nearly all available street parking within a half-mile was taken.  “We are kind of pushing the comfort of the fire marshal with the large crowd we have tonight,” the hearing moderator, Mike Settles, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency public involvement coordinator, said as he asked people to find seats when they became available.  The agency didn’t initially plan a hearing in this area, then agreed to have one after learning of the high demand for one. Read more by clicking here.  Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Stalled EPA Clean Power Plan Called a "Trojan Horse" for Natural Gas

From Forbes: It was widely acknowledged that the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the Obama administration’s program to cut greenhouse emissions, was hard on coal. Now, upon closer examination, more experts say the plan could seriously undermine the country’s natural gas industry.  For now, the CPP is on ice. The U.S. Supreme Court stayed the plan on Feb. 9, sending it to a lower court for a ruling and undermining Obama’s signature environmental policy after critics had argued it was federal overreach. It was the first time the Supreme Court halted a regulation even before the lower court ruled. If courts eventually judge that the White House overstepped its authority, that may be good news for the natural gas industry.  Like many observers, my initial view of the CPP was that the coal industry was the big loser. That much is indisputable; but when the final plan was first unveiled, many observers, including myself , overlooked the punch in the nose that the CPP is on natural gas, too. Bu

OOGA's Annual Debrosse Memorial Report on Ohio Oil and Gas Activity Now Available

OOGA's DeBrosse Memorial Report: 2015 Oil & Gas Activity in Ohio from Marcellus Drilling News Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Rex Energy Reports $373 Million Net Loss for 2015

From a Rex Energy press release: Operating revenues from continuing operations for the full year 2015 were $172.0 million, which represents a decrease of 42% from 2014 operating revenues. Commodity revenues, including settlements from derivatives, were $226.8 million, a decrease of 25% from full year 2014. Commodity revenues from oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs), including settlements from derivatives, represented 49% of total commodity revenues for the full year 2015.  LOE from continuing operations was $119.0 million, or $1.66 per Mcfe for 2015. This represents a 7% decrease on a per unit basis as compared to the full year 2014.  Cash general and administrative (G&A) expenses from continuing operations, a non-GAAP measure, were $23.0 million, or $0.32 per Mcfe for the full year 2015, which represents a 41% decrease on a per unit basis as compared to full year 2014.  Net loss from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders for full year 2015 was $372.9 mil

Many Drillers Chose Not to Hedge Last Year Only to Regret it Early This Year

From Rigzone: Last October, as U.S. oil prices seemed to be stabilizing around $45 a barrel, some bullish traders chuckled at the notion of U.S. shale firms racing to hedge production at what they thought was the bottom of a 19-month rout. Now, a handful of producers, such as Anadarko Petroleum, which sporadically hedges in large chunks every few quarters, and, surprisingly, natural gas giant Chesapeake Energy, may have the last laugh.  They were among the few to increase hedging in the fourth quarter, according to a Reuters analysis of filings from the largest shale firms. That group locked in prices for nearly 38 million barrels of future production just before crude tumbled a further $15 a barrel in the early weeks of 2016.  However, the figures show that, taken together, the 28 analyzed companies ended the quarter with some 28 million fewer hedged barrels, totaling 291 million, than when they started. Analysts estimate that between 15 and 20 percent of 2016 U.S. oil producti

Ohio Courts Continue to Rule Against Local Fracking Bans

From the Athens News: Another Ohio court case has gone against community activists seeking local restrictions on oil and gas drilling. The appeals court’s decision in this Cuyahoga County civil case is especially noteworthy in that it directly addresses – and dismisses – the legal underpinnings of “community bill of rights” laws that voters have passed in the city of Athens and other communities around the state. A similar anti-fracking “bill of rights” is part of a charter amendment that local fracking opponents hope to place on the Athens County ballot next November. So far, no Ohio court, including the state Supreme Court, has upheld the local fracking restrictions in question, each time ruling that Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1509 reserves oil and gas regulation to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. However, until now, none of those court decisions had directly addressed the core “bill of rights” argument that “the people have an inalienable and fundamental right to l

Utica Shale Rig Count Drops to 12 on Latest ODNR Report

View the latest weekly permitting update from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources below, or click here to download it. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Energy in Depth Releases Video Tribute to Aubrey McClendon

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog