Showing posts from April, 2017

Anti-Drilling Activist Suggests That People Should Start Murdering Oil and Gas Workers

From the Colorado Springs Gazette: The Boulder Daily Camera published a letter to the editor April 19 that recommended bombing fracking sites to "eliminate fracking and workers." Here is an excerpt:  "If the oil and gas industry puts fracking wells in our neighborhoods, threatening our lives and our children's lives, then don't we have a moral responsibility to blow up wells and eliminate fracking and workers?" wrote Andrew J. O'Connor, who is trying to get an anti-fracking measure on November's ballot.  We repeat. This is not pretend. This letter appeared in the Daily Camera.  After readers expressed dismay, the newspaper softened the online version of the call to violence. Instead of suggesting bombs, the revised version says we "have a moral responsibility to take action to dissuade frackers" from operating.  An editor's note, explaining the revision, said the Camera does not condone violence. The note goes on to defend th

Rover Pipeline Feeling Heat After 2 Spills; Will Also Pay $2.3 Million for Demolishing Historic Home

As we previously posted about here on The Daily Digger , the Rover pipeline has had a couple of spills during the construction process.  These occurrences are drawing attention to the project - no doubt the kind of attention that Energy Transfer Partners would rather avoid. From The Columbus Dispatch : Here’s how the company says it happened:  “Due to the subsurface conditions and other environmental conditions of the locations, the drilling mud was able to migrate through naturally occurring fractures in the soils and reach the surface.”  So Earth did it, in cahoots with the environment.  No one should be surprised that construction of the pipeline, which started only recently, has led to screw-ups. Rover has not hidden the fact that it is in a hurry.  Corporate attorneys argued this year in U.S. District Court that Rover had to make haste. The company needed permission to cut trees along the pipeline’s path ASAP because endangered bats would soon awaken from their wint

NRDC-Funded Study: ‘No Indication of Groundwater Contamination’ From Fracking

by Seth Whitehead, Energy in Depth Just two days after the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other anti-fracking groups “ marched for science ” as part of  Earth Day , an NRDC-funded study has added to the already long list of scientific evidence that fracking is  not a major threat  to drinking water. The new peer-reviewed Duke University-led  study  released Monday finds fracking “has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia.” As Duke professor of geochemistry and study co-author Avner Vengosh said of the  study , “Based on consistent evidence from comprehensive testing, we found  no indication of groundwater contamination  over the three-year course of our study.” This is just one of  numerous peer-reviewed studies  to confirm fracking is not a significant threat drinking water (see full list below). And like a 2015 University of Cincinnati study that also found the fracking process  did not contaminate  drinking water, this report is all-the-

Rig Count Climbs on Latest ODNR Permitting Report

New permits issued last week:  7   (Previous week:  8 )  -1 Total horizontal permits issued:  2476   (Previous week:  2469 )  +7 Total horizontal wells drilled:  1968   (Previous week:  1964 )  +4 Total horizontal wells producing:  1540   (Previous week:  1540 )  +0 Utica rig count:  22   (Previous week:  19 )   +3 Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Looking Back on the Unpredictable U.S. Shale Boom

From Forbes: Overemphasizing the shift in the energy markets since 2005 is hard. Had you predicted the shift that was to come, you would have been widely deemed a lunatic. But let me take you back there for a moment and remind you of where we stood, and what played out over the next decade.  U.S. oil production had seemingly peaked in 1970 at 9.6 million barrels per day (BPD), and by 2005 had declined for 35 years. Production in 2005 stood at 5.2 million BPD, and crude oil imports had reached 10.1 million BPD -- just under 50% of total U.S. petroleum consumption. The U.S. economy was in a precarious situation, highly dependent on oil imports from countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia; countries whose interests weren’t always aligned with our own.  Concerns about oil supplies weren’t limited to the U.S. In 2005 energy investment banker Matt Simmons published Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy. Simmons helped set off a fierce debate about

Exxon is Turning Loose its Shale Unit

From Bloomberg: In a matter of weeks, crews working for Exxon’s XTO Energy Inc. unit will begin erecting drilling rigs across a patch of southeast New Mexico to exploit the region’s mile-thick strata of oil-soaked rock. ExxonMobil Corp. paid almost $6 billion for the drilling rights in late February—its biggest acquisition in more than six years—but that’s where the parent company’s involvement ends: Decisions on when and how to harvest the crude fall solely on the shale experts at XTO.  Exxon Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods and his top lieutenants at corporate headquarters in suburban Dallas are intentionally staying out of the way of the tightly knit phalanx of XTO engineers, physicists, and geologists leading the oil major’s advance into shale. Based largely in the Texas cities of Fort Worth and Midland, XTO’s 5,000-person staff has been exempt from many of the centralized bureaucratic and planning structures of their overlords since Exxon acquired XTO for $35 billion in 2

Lack of Confidence Evident in Energy Sector

From the Washington Post: The most striking aspect of the energy sector in recent weeks has been an all-round lack of confidence.  Relative to the wider market, the E&P sector's performance this month looks even worse given that the S&P 500 is essentially flat.  Clearly, crude oil hovering around $50 a barrel doesn't represent a return to the good old days.  Equally, though, it isn't at the disastrous levels of a year ago. The futures "strip" -- the average price for the next 12 months -- has recovered from the sell-off in March and trades around the same level it jumped to in the aftermath of the OPEC supply-cut announcement at the end of November.  Moreover, many E&P companies have already taken the opportunity to lock in prices at around that level via hedges, according to data from Bloomberg Intelligence, providing some protection against any weaker prices ahead. Meanwhile, rig counts, payrolls and services providers such as Halliburton

Gulfport Energy Provides First Quarter Update

From a Gulfport Energy press release: Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: GPOR ) (“Gulfport” or the “Company”) today provided an update for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Key information includes the following:   Net production during the first quarter of 2017 averaged 849.6 MMcfe per day, an 8% increase over the fourth quarter of 2016 and a 23% increase versus the first quarter of 2016. Realized natural gas price, before the impact of derivatives and including transportation costs, averaged $2.68 per Mcf during the first quarter of 2017, a $0.63 per Mcf differential to the average trade month NYMEX settled price. Realized oil price, before the impact of derivatives and including transportation costs, averaged $47.52 per barrel during the first quarter of 2017, a $4.34 per barrel differential to the average WTI oil price. Realized natural gas liquids price, before the impact of derivatives and including transportation costs, averaged $0.63 per gallon, equivalent to $2

Over $1 Billion Invested in Mahoning Valley, Highlighted by Lordstown Energy Project

From Business Journal Daily: Boosted by the Lordstown Energy Center project, private companies invested more than $1 billion last year in the Mahoning Valley, according to data released Monday by the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber.  The data, compiled by the chamber and its economic development partners and published in the 2016 Economic Development Report Card, show 111 projects resulted in investment of $1.09 billion, 1,253 new jobs and 3,092 retained jobs.  The chamber, in partnership with 15 agencies, gathers data annually on economic development investment in the Valley. The development agencies pool resources to assist companies with infrastructure investment, tax incentives, loans, project coordination, grant oversight, technical advisement, property development and other services. Click here to read more. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Fracking Generates $200 Million for Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth Perhaps one of the best examples of how fracking is a win for the environment and the economy can be found in Ohio, where fracking has brought more than $200 million in mineral lease and royalty revenue to the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District ( MWCD ) since 2011. A direct result of leases signed with Utica Shale developers in the eastern portion of the district, the revenue has been used to improve the watershed of this political subdivision of the State of Ohio, proving that conservation and shale development can work hand-in-hand. Created in 1933,  MWCD  is tasked to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial uses in the Muskingum Watershed, which covers nearly 20 percent of the state. Today, the MWCD covers 8,000 square miles with 16 dams and reservoirs that provide flood reduction, recreation and water conservation for the region. Given its location in the state, partnering with the oil and gas industry is nothing new for t

Oil Producers Relying More on Technology to Deal With Changing Landscape

From Bloomberg: The nodding donkey was invented nearly a century ago, and it’s still hard at work in the oil patch, virtually unchanged, pumping oil out of the ground. There’s been a recent innovation, though: Algorithms adjust the extraction flow based on computer monitoring hundreds of feet below.  Finally. “Onshore North America used to be a market where state-of-the-art technology went to be humiliated,” said Tom Curran, an energy analyst at FBR Capital Markets & Co. “You’ve had a clear shift occur where onshore North America for the first time in recent history has become a technology play.”  The worst crude-market crash in a generation propelled energy companies into the digital world. They had already pretty much tested their physical limits with brute strength, ramping up injections of sand to tease more oil out of subterranean pockets and drilling wells longer and longer. Now they’re using DNA sequencing to track crude molecules and mapping buried streams with imagi

Researcher: Anti-Fracking Studies ‘Cannot Tell Us That Oil and Gas Caused Any of These Health Outcomes’

by Aileen Yeung, Energy in Depth Her team’s latest study that claims adverse health impacts associated with oil and natural gas development “cannot tell us that oil and gas caused any of these health outcomes,”  admitted  Lisa McKenzie, a researcher whose work is routinely cited by anti-fossil fuel activists, on a  conference call  hosted by an anti-fracking group last week. The  call  came after the study was  debunked and disavowed  by state health officials, and after her team  already conceded  that its latest findings “do not provide enough evidence to say that living near oil and gas wells causes leukemia or does not cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” A team led by McKenzie, an assistant research professor at the University of Colorado,  released  a  new study  earlier this year that  attempted to link  oil and natural gas development to childhood leukemia. The study immediately became a  talking point  for “ban fracking” activists, even though it was  quickly discredited  by stat

Two Spills Have Occurred During Construction of Rover Pipeline

From The Columbus Dispatch: Crews installing the Rover pipeline dumped an estimated 2 million gallons of drilling mud into two Ohio wetlands, according to a notice of violations filed with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.  Once constructed, the $4.2 billion underground pipeline will run from Washington County in southeast Ohio northwest to Defiance and connect with pipelines to send Ohio natural gas to markets nationwide.  The larger spill coated 500,000 square feet of a wetland adjacent to the Tuscarawas River in Northeast Ohio with as much as 2 million gallons of bentonite clay mud, which is used as a drilling lubricant.  The drilling fluid is not toxic and won’t harmf the environment, Alexis Daniel, a spokeswoman for the Rover Pipeline, said in an email statement.  The company has ceased operations at its Navarre-area site and constructed barriers to keep the mud from reaching the river while vacuum trucks and pumping systems continue cleanup efforts. Continue r

EIA Predicts May Will See Biggest U.S. Oil Production Increase in Two Years

From Rigzone : U.S. shale production in May was set for its biggest monthly increase in more than two years, government data showed on Monday, as producers stepped up their drilling activity with oil prices hovering at over $50 a barrel.  May output is set to rise by 123,000 barrels per day to 5.19 million bpd, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's drilling productivity report. That would be the biggest monthly increase since February 2015 and the highest monthly production level since November 2015.  In the prolific Permian play located in West Texas and New Mexico, oil production is forecast to rise by nearly 76,000 bpd to 2.36 million bpd, data showed, a new record for the largest U.S. shale play.  In the Eagle Ford region, output is set to rise by 39,000 bpd to 1.22 million bpd, the third monthly increase. Production in the Bakken is forecast to drop 1,400 bpd to 1.02 million bpd, the third consecutive monthly decline. Further, this comes from CNBC

Rig Count and Permitting Activity Both Drop on Latest ODNR Report

New permits issued last week:   8   (Previous week:  15 )  -7 Total horizontal permits issued:  2469   (Previous week:  2461 )  +8 Total horizontal wells drilled:  1964   (Previous week:  1951 )  +13 Total horizontal wells producing:  1540   (Previous week:  1534 )  +6 Utica rig count:  19   (Previous week:  20 )   -1 Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Wealthiest County in America is Driven by Shale

From Bloomberg: There are three good guesses for which U.S. county has the the highest adjusted gross incomes (AGI): New York County, otherwise known as Manhattan; Connecticut’s Fairfield County, where those rich Manhattanites land when they want a lawn; and Wyoming’s Teton County, home of Jackson Hole, where the richest of the rich go to play and sometimes stay. As you run out of reasons to procrastinate (the deadline to file your taxes is Tuesday!), chew on this: The correct answer is McMullen County, Texas. This rectangle, about 70 miles northwest of Corpus Christi, is home to 8,000 living people and, in Boot Hill Cemetery, dead ones who saw violent ends and were—as the saying goes—buried “ with their boots on .” The average AGI in McMullen County per federal return in 2015 was a whopping $303,717, according to a database search on the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). 1 On the county level at least, income from shale oil in South Texas overshadowed East Coas

Beck Energy's Battle With Munroe Falls Continues

From Gas & Oil: An oil and gas drilling company has dropped four counterclaims it has made against the city of Munroe Falls, but legal wrangling in the case concerning a well on the Sonoco paper mill property is not over.  According to Summit County Court of Common Pleas records, Ravenna based Beck Energy dismissed its counterclaims, in which the company contended the city had violated its rights and was asking for unspecified damages, against the city on Feb. 1 in a declaratory judgment case filed by the city in May 2016.  However, on Feb. 3, Beck Energy then filed a motion asking the court for sanctions against the city. The company is claiming that the court case is “frivolous” because it involves a question already dealt with by an earlier Ohio Supreme Court case. Beck is therefore asking the court to order the city to compensate it for “court costs, attorney fees, and other reasonable expenses” Beck is spending on the case.  “They’re saying basically we’re re-litigati

Anti-Driller in Dimock Sues Driller Despite Previously Accepting a Settlement

From The Times-Tribune: Two weeks after a judge reversed a $4.24 million well contamination verdict against Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., another Dimock Twp. resident filed a federal lawsuit alleging the company’s Marcellus Shale drilling operations contaminated his well water.  Ray Kemble claims Cabot’s negligence in drilling natural gas well pads contaminated the well water at his home on Route 3023 with toxic chemicals and high levels of methane.  Kevin Cunningham, a spokesman for Cabot, said Kemble’s lawsuit appears to include claims that were resolved by a settlement he reached with Cabot years ago.  “Mr. Kemble has been active for years in the media voicing his opposition to development of natural gas in Pennsylvania and this suit appears to be a continuation of that monologue,” Cunningham said in a statement. “Cabot intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit.” Click here to read more. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Community “Disgusted” As Columbus Teachers Force Pre-K Students to Protest Wayne Fracking

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth After the  Columbus Dispatch  exposed how teachers at Little Dreamers, Big Believers daycare forced preschool children to submit public comment to protest fracking around the Wayne National forest, criticism from the community has come pouring in. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the teachers told  children to make drawings of their opposition to leasing in the Wayne. The children characterized it this way to the Dispatch: “The children, whose ages range from 3 to 5 years, gave all kinds of reasons for  defending the forest . Trees are pretty. They are good for climbing and spotting bird nests. And they help humans breathe.” The teachers even went so far as to submit their drawings as “formal public comment” to the Bureau of Land Management, although what exactly they are protesting is unclear as the June lease sale will not include any minerals for sale in the Wayne. One day after the story ran, a letter to the editor was published by a

U.S. Shale Investment Increases Again

From Bloomberg View: Global upstream oil and gas merger and acquisitions reached $136 billion in 2016, according to Evaluate Energy's global M&A 2016 review . And one area seeing a jump in activity was the U.S. Marcellus shale, where close to eight times more was invested in asset and corporate acquisitions in 2016 than in 2015.  The Marcellus formation, which runs through northern Appalachia, primarily in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and Ohio, is considered the second-largest natural gas field in the world, after Northfield in Qatar and Iran. Marcellus spans approximately 60.8 million net acres with an estimated 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, about 50 trillion cubic feet of which is recoverable using current technology.  In 2015, the U.S. shale industry was one of the main casualties of the oil price downturn, suffering a 75 percent drop in year-on-year merger and acquisition spending to $13 billion. This amount was the lowest annual M&A U.S. shal