Showing posts from 2017

Decision on Belmont County Cracker Plant Gets Delayed Again

From the Columbus Dispatch: Belmont County leaders are going to need to wait a little while longer to know if a giant petrochemical plant is coming.  Developers of a proposed multibillion-dollar “cracker” plant, which may be the largest economic-development prospect in the state, said on Thursday that they will “have a significant update that will demonstrate momentum for this project early in 2018.”  This is the latest of several delays by PTT Global Chemical of Thailand, which disclosed it was considering a Belmont County site in April 2015. At that time, the company said it was doing engineering studies and would decide whether to move forward with the project in 2016. The company said last February that it was delaying the decision until late 2017.  A cracker plant takes ethane, a component of natural gas, and breaks it down to produce ethylene, which is used in chemical manufacturing. Belmont County, which is along the Ohio-West Virginia border, is on top of plentiful gas

Deep Dive Into 3rd Quarter 2017 Utica Shale Production Data

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has now released the production data from the Utica shale for the third quarter of 2017. As always, we are going to give you a look at how the numbers compare to past quarters, past years, and how they break down among the various drillers who are active in Ohio and the counties where they are drilling. We also have the top 10 oil and gas wells detailed below. PRODUCTION RATE COMPARISONS First up, let's take a look at how the quarterly data compares from the 1st quarter of 2014 through the third quarter of 2017. As a reminder, all oil figures are 42-gallon barrels, and all gas production is measured in MCF: So, after four consecutive quarters of declining oil production, this makes three quarters in a row with a rise in total oil production.  Production rates dropped off for the second straight quarter, with the amount of oil per day in production matching the low point previously hit in the final quarter of 2016. Gas production hit

Rig Count Again Steady, Producing Wells Up 16 on Latest ODNR Utica Shale Report

New permits issued last week:   13   (Previous week:  10 )  +3 Total horizontal permits issued:  2716   (Previous week:  2603 )  +13 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2201   (Previous week:  2187 )  +14 Total horizontal wells producing:  1751  (Previous week:  1735 )  +16 Utica rig count:  21  (Previous week:  21 )   +-0 Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

ODNR Releases Third Quarter 2017 Utica Shale Production Data

From an ODNR news release: During the third quarter of 2017, Ohio’s horizontal shale wells produced 4,165,729 barrels of oil and 460,558,077 Mcf (460 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, according to the figures released today by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Natural gas production from the third quarter of 2017 showed an increase over the third quarter of 2016, while oil production also increased by nearly 3% for the same period.   2016 Quarter 3 (Shale) 2017 Quarter 3 (Shale) Percentage Change Barrels of Oil 4,045,898 bbl 4,165,729 bbl 2.96% Mcf of Natural Gas 361,184,697 mcf 460,558,077 mcf 27.51% The ODNR quarterly report lists 1,796 horizontal shale wells, 1,760 of which reported oil and natural gas production during the quarter. Of the 1,760 reporting oil and natural gas results:   •             The average amount of oil produced was 2,367 barrels. •             The average amount of natural gas produced was 261,681 Mcf. •     

One Activist Court Case Against NEXUS Pipeline Meets Defeat

From The Herald-Dispatch: A federal judge has delivered a blow to some Ohio property owners' efforts to stop construction of a high-pressure natural gas pipeline. U.S. District Judge John Adams in Akron on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed in May by more than 60 property owners. They want the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission prevented from approving construction plans for the 250-mile-long (402-kilometer) NEXUS pipeline. The judge accepted a magistrate's recommendation that the court in northern Ohio lacks jurisdiction to consider the challenge. The $2 billion project is designed to carry 1.5 billion cubic feet (42.5 million cubic meters) of gas daily from the Utica and Marcellus shale fields in Appalachia across northern Ohio into Michigan and Ontario, Canada. Read the rest by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Judge Allows Underpaid Royalties Case Against Chesapeake and Anadarko to Progress in Pennsylvania

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A judge in northeastern Pennsylvania will allow the state attorney general’s office to proceed with a major lawsuit accusing two natural gas companies of cheating Pennsylvania landowners out of shale gas royalties and fair leases.  In an order published Friday in Bradford County Court, Senior Judge Kenneth Brown rejected nearly all of the preliminary objections that were filed by Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in an attempt to get the case dismissed at its early stages.  Most significantly, the judge found that the state’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law applies in this case even though the harmed parties — the landowners — are technically the sellers in the transaction, not the consumers generally protected by the law.  But Judge Brown certified his conclusion on that issue and one other issue for immediate appeal to the Commonwealth Court, saying that it would be best for th

Energy Industry Stands to Win Big from Tax Legislation

From Forbes: The tax bill that is working its way toward President Trump's desk should be a boon to corporate America. The current proposal, which looks like it has the votes to pass, will drop the corporate tax rate from the current 35% to 21%.  But energy companies, which have historically had a higher tax burden than other companies, stand to benefit the most.  The Highest-Taxed Sector  According to the corporate tax calculator at MarketWatch , the energy sector's median tax rate for the past 11 years was 36.8%, far above the 30% average tax rate for all S&P 500 companies. Companies at the top of the list, like Marathon Oil Corporation and ConocoPhillips, pay taxes at a rate of nearly 50%. That's primarily because they have significant foreign operations, and incur foreign taxes that in some cases are much higher than U.S. taxes. In addition, they usually have to pay severance taxes for oil and gas they extract.  Even most of the lowest-taxed companies on t

Fracking Opponents Want More Time to Complain About Proposed Injection Wells

From the Youngstown Vindicator: Opponents of proposed plans to install additional fracking-waste injection wells in Trumbull County have sent a letter to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas, seeking a 60-day extension of the time for submission of public comments. They urge the deadline be moved from Dec. 25 to Feb. 25, 2018.  To have a deadline for comment on Christmas day is unreasonable, the letter said.  The letter, dated Dec. 11, was sent via electronic mail to James Zehringer, director of ODNR, and Richard Simmer, chief of the Division of Oil and Gas, by several residents of Brookfield and the Northeastern Ohio region, who also seek a public hearing on the matter.  The letter says that additional fracking-waste injection wells in the region of Trumbull County “will greatly exacerbate the potential environmental downside of drilling waste deposal wells, in the form of groundwater pollution and exhaustion of available solid waste disposal facil

Energy Transfer Announces FERC Approval to Place Rover Pipeline’s Phase 1B into Service

From an Energy Transfer press release: Project Moves Closer to its 3.25 Billion Cubic Feet Per Day Design Capacity to Transport Natural Gas Out of the Marcellus and Utica Shales  DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 15, 2017-- Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ETP) announced today that Rover Pipeline, LLC received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to place Phase 1B of the Rover Pipeline project into service, bringing the 713-mile pipeline closer to its 3.25 billion cubic feet per day design total. With the addition of the Phase 1B facilities, the project is now capable of transporting up to 1.7 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. Rover shippers now have access to six additional receipt points from Seneca thru Clarington areas of the Marcellus and Utica supply basins with an incremental receipt capacity of 2.45 billion cubic feet per day. Rover has been in partial service from Cadiz, Ohio, to Defiance, Ohio since August 31, 2017, capable of transporti

Ohio Utica Shale Counties to Watch in 2018: Belmont and Jefferson

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth While 2017 was the year of midstream development and pipeline construction in Ohio, 2018 will be the year of major investment decisions by large end-users of natural gas and natural gas liquids. Without a doubt, the most important Utica Shale developments to watch for in 2018 will revolve entirely around the development and final decisions for massive downstream investment in world-scale  petrochemical projects , the pipeline infrastructure and production to fuel them, and the storage to support them. Given all that’s occurred this year and is in the works for next, it’s no surprise Belmont County has made our list of “Ohio Utica Shale Counties to Watch” for the fourth consecutive year.  For the first time ever, Belmont County has surpassed Carroll County in number of drilling permits, and PTT Global Chemical (hopefully) will make a final investment decision in 2018 on a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant proposed in the county. And wh

12/15/17 Links of the Day: New Fracking Studies, New Court Decisions, and More

Stanford News:  Small Quakes at Fracking Sites May Indicate Bigger Tremors to Come    -    "Stanford geoscientists have devised a way of detecting thousands of faint, previously missed earthquakes triggered by hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The technique can be used to monitor seismic activities at fracking operations to help reduce the likelihood of bigger, potentially damaging earthquakes from occurring, according to..." Associated Press:  Gas Driller: Make Homeowner Pay for Disparaging Us   -    "A gas driller argued in court Monday that it's entitled to monetary damages from a Pennsylvania homeowner who continued bad-mouthing the company after settling his water-contamination lawsuit against it more than five years ago. Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. claims Dimock resident Ray Kemble and his former lawyers tried to extort the company..." Oil and Gas Investor:  Eclipse Acquires New Utica Core for "Cheap" $93.7 Million    -    &

Rover Pipeline Gets Full Green Light for Drilling From FERC Despite Ohio EPA Objections

From Reuters: U.S. energy regulators on Thursday approved Energy Transfer Partners LP’s request to resume horizontal drilling at eight sites in Ohio and West Virginia as it works to complete part of the Rover natural gas pipeline by the end of the year.  The approvals came as the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency sought a pause in Rover’s horizontal drilling in the state due to repeated spills of the clay and water mix used to lubricate the drilling blades.  The Ohio EPA asked the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the pause on Nov. 24.  “Ohio was only informed shortly before and not consulted about the FERC approval to Rover. We are still very concerned about the total and continuing number of environmental impacts Rover is causing in Ohio,” Ohio EPA director Craig Butler said in a statement.  Pipeline companies use horizontal directional drilling to cross under large obstacles like highways and rivers. ETP said that with the FERC approval on Thursday it

Cabot Oil & Gas Eyes Drilling in Ohio's Utica Shale, and Residents Voice Displeasure

From the Mansfield News Journal: Residents voiced their concerns with a company's plans for possible fracking in Ashland County during a public meeting Monday evening.  The meeting came after Houston-based Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation began initial work in recent months for potential exploratory wells in Ashland County.  About 10 people gathered in the shelter building at Kendig Park in Hayesville for the panel discussion.  "This little town will never be the same if the trucks come in and out and put in that well," said Ashland County resident and panelist Elaine Tanner with Friends for Environmental Justice. "And it's gonna come right off of Route 30, you know. That's the easiest way to get here, and we just don't want to see that happen." Click here to read more. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Utica Shale 2017 Drilling Year in Review: Record Production with No Major Incidents

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth Though still significantly down from previous highs, an EID data review reveals rig and permit counts in Ohio’s Utica Shale increased significantly last year, with rigs climbing over 130 percent and permits rising by 25 percent since 2016. Production results from the first and second quarters of 2017 reported by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) also showed significant gains this year. Natural gas production rose by 16 percent compared to the same quarter last year and also rose slightly – approximately 4 percent for a total of 388.6 billion cubic feet (Mcf) – compared to the first quarter of 2017. More importantly, as drilling has picked up and production of natural gas continues to break records, ODNR has confirmed that  unconventional drillers in Ohio have had no major incidents in 2017  classified under the ODNR Emergency Operations and Response Section. This year the Utica Shale Local Support Series also revealed some excitin