Showing posts from March, 2018

Hilcorp Gets Permits for Four New Columbiana County Wells

From Business Journal Daily: Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co. has applied for permits to drill four new horizontal wells in Columbiana County, according to the latest data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  If approved, the wells would be the first permits issued for new wells in the northern tier of eastern Ohio’s Utica shale this year.  According to ODNR, the agency received on March 26 applications for two new wells apiece on the Wertz and Johnston properties in Elk Run Township. There was no new permit activity reported in Mahoning or Trumbull counties, according to ODNR.  Meanwhile, the agency reported it issued 14 new permits for horizontal wells for the week ended March 24 in Ohio’s Utica. Read more by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Russia and OPEC Discuss Long-Term Alliance

From Reuters: Saudi Arabia and Russia are working on a historic long-term pact that could extend controls over world crude supplies by major exporters for many years.  Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Reuters that Riyadh and Moscow were considering a deal to greatly extend a short-term alliance on oil curbs that began in January 2017 after a crash in crude prices.  “We are working to shift from a year-to-year agreement to a 10 to 20 year agreement,” the crown prince told Reuters in an interview in New York late on Monday.  “We have agreement on the big picture, but not yet on the detail.” Russia, not a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has worked alongside the 14-member group during previous oil gluts, but a 10 to 20 year deal between the two would be unprecedented. The whole article can be read by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

New Study Claims That More People Have Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Ohio Counties with Fracking

From the Yale School of Public Health: Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have discovered that the rates of two major sexually transmitted infections (STIs), gonorrhea and chlamydia, are 21% and 19% higher, respectively, in Ohio counties with high shale gas activity (“fracking”), compared to counties without any fracking. Rates of a third STI, syphilis, were not elevated.  The findings are published in the journal PLOS One.   Shale gas extraction is associated with large influxes of specialized, trained workers into rural areas to meet the labor demands of the drilling rigs, and commonly involves the formation of “work camps” composed of relatively young men. The influx of workers in these situations is thought to increase STI risk because male workers typically live and socialize in communities with masculinized social norms, do not bring families and thus have opportunities to seek other sex partners, and may have few emotional ties to the local community.  “Bey

Eclipse Resources Provides Operations Update and Announces Financial Review Initiative

From an Eclipse Resources press release: “Additionally, the Company has continued to showcase its operational capabilities, successfully drilling its longest Dry Gas lateral to date, the Wiley D 8H, with a total measured depth of approximately 30,130 feet and a lateral extension of approximately 19,335 feet. This well was drilled from spud to total depth in 20.5 days and set a new Utica Dry Gas lateral length record for the Company. Our team has also now spud the Company’s first Flat Castle area well, which will include a number of scientific and data mining technical applications to allow us to further study the potential of this new area. We anticipate turning this well to sales late in the third quarter of 2018.”  “I am pleased to note that, based upon recent State of Ohio cumulative production data, Eclipse Resources had eight of the top ten oil producing wells during the fourth quarter of 2017. We believe this data further confirms the Company’s competitive advantage over othe

Proposal Floated to Use Fracking Brine on Icy Ohio Roads

From WOSU: The first day of spring is bringing a Winter Weather Advisory in Central Ohio. And while the snow begins to come down, legislators in an Ohio House committee will be considering a new way to remove ice from the roads - using the byproduct of fracking.  HB 393 , which was introduced in October, would allow for the sale of fracking brine for surface applications, like deicing roadways during Ohio's slick winters. The bipartisan bill is co-sponsored by Republican state Rep. Anthony Devitis and Democrat state Rep. Michael O'Brien.  O'Brien says a particular company, Aquasalina, processes brine from hydraulic fracturing wells to make it usable.  "Whether it be residential deicing, for something as simple as one sidewalk," he says, "or sell to road departments for the county road departments, the city street departments and such, for the deicing method for the winter months." Not surprisingly, this is opposed by environmental groups such as

ODNR Approves 3 New Injection Wells in Brookfield

From Business Journal Daily: The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has issued permits for Pittsburgh-based Highland Field Services Inc. to drill three new Class II injection wells just off state Route 7 in the township.  ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas approved the three permits March 16, according to ODNR records.  The company, a division of Seneca Resources, last year received permits to drill two wells at the site. Preparatory work at the site is underway, with work crews clearing out trees and brush to make room for the well complex.  The injection well site is just west of state Route 7 in the township and south of Merwin-Chase Road.  Class II injection wells are used to store contaminated wastewater from oil and gas drilling operations.  Brookfield Township trustees have long opposed the development of new injection wells in the township, citing their potential for triggering earthquakes and the risks of environmental contamination. Continue reading by clicking her

Epic Fail: Kucinich A No Show at Fake Ohio Leasing Forum

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth It took less than three months for Ohio Gubernatorial Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich to realize that running on a platform to “stop oil and gas development” was a bad idea. So bad in fact, that he skipped his keynote speech at the first event held by the  fake Tri-County Landowners Coalition   this weekend. Is Kucinich running from his policy to end oil and gas development in Ohio because all of his fellow Democratic gubernatorial opponents have disagreed with him? Or did he skip the so-called “leasing forum” because they couldn’t even muster 20 people to attend? In either event, it was another epic fail for the fringe environmental activists and highlights, yet again, that Ohio soundly supports oil and natural gas development. You may recall that on Jan. 17 the “ moonbeam congressman ” announced his candidacy for Ohio governor. Just eight days later, Kucinich  launched a media stunt  where he unveiled his most pressing policy issue — to end

Editorial Takes Aim at Relentless Anti-Drilling Activists in Youngstown

From the Youngstown Vindicator: A group of self-appointed guardians of Youngstown are at it again, pushing an amendment to the city’s home-rule charter that is clearly unconstitutional.  Sensible Youngstown voters rejected the issue six times, and the Ohio Supreme Court made sure the so-called Community Bill of Rights wasn’t on the ballot last year.  But the anti-frackers, led by Ray and Susie Beiersdorfer, won’t take “no” for an answer. They’re going back to the high court in the belief that last year’s 4-3 vote is an indication that the justices can be swayed to rule in their favor.  Given our long-standing opposition to the charter amendment because it is nothing more than an exercise in futility, we urge the court to issue an unequivocal opinion.  It’s time to send the anti-frackers a clear message that their effort to ban hydraulic fracturing in the city of Youngstown is misguided and unconstitutional. Read the rest of the editorial by clicking here. Connect with us o

Ohio Rep. David Leland Proposes Fracking Ban in State Parks and Nature Preserves

From WKSU: A central Ohio lawmaker is seeking a ban on fracking in certain parts of the state. The proposal comes as a commission that regulates this types of drilling prepares for its first meeting.  Democratic Rep. David Leland wants to prevent oil and gas companies from drilling in public parks and nature preserves.  Leland says he understands the economic value of fracking for natural gas in Ohio, but “we’ve got to have little spots of land in the state of Ohio that don’t have to be subjected to fracking. We can run an economy, we can get our energy needs in the state of Ohio and still preserve the state parks and nature preserves for people to use not only now but in the future," Leland says. Click here to view the original article. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Rover Pipeline in Hot Water with FERC Over Missed Deadlines for Restoration Work

From NGI: Rover Pipeline LLC has not completed restoration work it agreed to when it received authorization to start up two compressor stations, an issue that could bear on pending in-service authorizations, FERC told the developer this week.  In a letter Monday, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff listed a series of restoration activities that it said Rover has failed to complete within the timeframes agreed to when the Commission cleared the pipeline’s Compress Station 1 (CS1) and Compressor Station 2 (CS2) to enter service in December and February, respectively.  “Because restoration of these sites was not complete at the time of in-service authorization, Rover committed to completing the remaining restoration within specified dates...In turn, the Commission’s authorizations for commencement of service of CS1 and CS2 were based upon those commitments,” FERC wrote.  “...However, as of March 20, our monitors’ reports indicate several instances where the agreed-upon re

Source of Contamination Along Rover Pipeline Route Still Not Identified

From Kallanish Energy: The source of a chemical contaminant found last February in drilling fluids along the Rover natural gas pipeline route in Ohio has “not yet been definitively identified,” Rover Pipeline said.  Its assessment came in a new filing last week with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Kallanish Energy reports.  Rover Pipeline, an Energy Transfer Partners company, hired engineering firm GHD to investigate the contamination reported along the Tuscarawas River in southern Stark County, where horizontal directional drilling was being used to route the pipeline under the river.  The Ohio Environmental Agency found low levels of tetrachloroethene (PCE) and called for additional testing. GHD reported the drilling fluid will not leach PCE to impact groundwater at levels that would exceed Ohio standards.  The PCE contamination was also not detected in the sediment, groundwater or surface water samples tested, Rover Pipeline told FERC. That may be due to regional

Trend Reverses as Utica Rig Count Goes Up Last Week

New permits issued last week:   14   (Previous week:  6 )  +8 Total horizontal permits issued:  2797   (Previous week:  2787 )  +10 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2307   (Previous week:  2299 )  +8 Total horizontal wells producing:  1870  (Previous week:  1865 )  +5 Utica rig count:  20  (Previous week:  16 )   +4 Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Investigation into XTO Well Blowout Continues; New Video Released with Footage of Explosion Aftermath

From The Herald Star: Belmont County is slowly returning to normalcy in the aftermath of a well pad explosion on Feb. 15 near Powhatan Point, but the cleanup process continues.  XTO Energy spokeswoman Karen Matusic spoke to the Belmont County commissioners during a Wednesday meeting and commended the people of Belmont County, the elected officials and first responders, as well as charities such as the Salvation Army.  “Now what we’re working on is the investigative phase. The regulators are out there with our guys. Nobody wants to get to the bottom of this more than us, to see what went wrong and what were the lessons learned,” Matusic said.  At this point, there is no timetable for when the investigators might have details about what went wrong. She added that spring will provide further opportunity to determine any long-term environmental impact of the incident.  “The good news is, any water testing and air testing has shown nothing that would be harmful to the environment

EnerVest is Filing for Bankruptcy

From the Houston Chronicle: The publicly traded business of Houston energy investment firm EnerVest plans to file for bankruptcy to restructure and reduce its debt.  The upstream oil and gas business, EV Energy Partners, said it has agreed to a bankruptcy plan with a majority of its lenders to renegotiate its debt and restructure its ownership in order to avoid a financial default.  The Houston parent firm is not filing for bankruptcy, although EnerVest has seen the value of some of its investment funds plummet during the recent oil bust. EV Energy Partners has struggled for a few years, finally seeing its stock value dip below $1 per unit in May 2017. It's now listed below 20 cents. The business was considered a default risk for quite some time. To read more, click here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

First Permit Moves Cabot Closer to Exploring the Utica Shale

From the Times-Gazette: The first drilling permit for an exploratory well has been filed by Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources as the Pennsylvania company attempts to determine what is under Utica Shale in Ashland County. The permit, filed March 6, is for land on Township Road 2375, near the Ashland and Richland County lines and located north of Ohio 39 but south of Widowville. Work on the exploratory well would use the process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to bore into the earth to determine if there is natural gas or oil below Utica Shale shelf that extends into Ashland County, according to George Stark, director of external affairs at Cabot. The well would be one of potentially five exploratory wells within Ashland County or in surrounding areas, including Richland County. “We want to drill one (well) and we want to test it,” Stark said. From there, the idea would be to drill in other locations to get a better understanding of what

Rig Count Declines Again in Utica Shale

New permits issued last week:   6   (Previous week:  17 )  -11 Total horizontal permits issued:  2787   (Previous week:  2779 )  +8 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2299   (Previous week:  2282 )  +17 Total horizontal wells producing:  1865  (Previous week:  1862 )  +3 Utica rig count:  16  (Previous week:  17 )   -1 Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Belmont County Commissioners Urge Patience as Decision is Awaited on Cracker Plant

From WTOV: Belmont County commissioners are keeping Monday's press conference at Ohio's Statehouse in Columbus back into the spotlight, as the Ohio Valley eagerly awaits a decision on the project. In the commissioners’ meeting Wednesday, county leaders recapped their trip for an update on the proposed ethane cracker plant at Dilles Bottom.  During the news conference, some in attendance wondered, 'why Belmont County?' Most of the similar ethane cracker facilities are located on the Gulf Coast."  The reality is manufacturers locate close to either their source material or their finished customer," Larry Merry, Belmont County Port Authority director.  “By being here, in the valley, they're close to their raw material, but also 60-65 percent -- 1 days’ travel with a truck, 60-65 percent of the North American population.” Click here to read more. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Rolling Stone Publishes Anti-Fracking Article; Industry Calls it "Hilariously Awful"

From Rolling Stone: The most authoritative study of its kind reveals how fracking is contaminating the air and water – and imperiling the health of millions of Americans  "Our examination…uncovered no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health," states a blistering 266-page report released today by Concerned Health Professionals of New York and the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group, Physicians for Social Responsibility. Drawing on news investigations, government assessments and more than 1,200 peer-reviewed research articles, the study finds that fracking – shooting chemical-laden fluid into deep rock layers to release oil and gas – is poisoning the air, contaminating the water and imperiling the health of Americans across the country. "Fracking is the worst thing I've ever seen," says Dr. Sandra Steingraber, one of the report's eight co-authors, a biologist who has worked as a public health advocate on issues

Board of Elections Chooses to Keep Youngstown Fracking Ban Off the Ballot Again

From the Youngstown Vindicator: After the Mahoning County Board of Elections voted to keep an initiative to ban fracking in Youngstown off the May 8 ballot, supporters of the measure said they’d again take the matter to the Ohio Supreme Court.  Board members said Tuesday nothing has changed since they decided in September 2017 to not allow a similar proposal to be put in front of city voters. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in October 2017 to uphold the board’s decision to not permit the measure on the November 2017 ballot.  The board voted 4-0 to keep the proposal off the city’s primary ballot. Again, the board pointed to House Bill 463, which requires election boards to invalidate local initiative petitions if they determine part of the petition falls outside a local government’s authority to enact them.  “This is not a consideration of the constitutionality, legality or merits of this proposal, but rather the power sought to be exercised is beyond the scope of the city’s au

Green Residents Turn in Petition in Continued Battle Against NEXUS Pipeline

From News 5: The NEXUS pipeline saga continues in the city of Green, with a group of residents filing a petition for a referendum Thursday afternoon.  The petition contains more than 1,500 signatures from concerned citizens who hope the referendum makes it onto the ballot.  “Nobody wants a pipeline in their city, nobody wants it in their backyard,” said resident Erin Swartzwelder. “We don’t want to see our children play sports in a blast zone, we don’t want to see property values decrease. And that effects the entire city, not just individual homeowners, but everyone.”  In February, after years of fighting against it, Green city council voted 4-3 on a settlement with NEXUS — receiving roughly 20 acres of land and $7.5 million and selling easements for 2.5 acres. Click here to see the original article. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Rover Pipeline Faces Another Order to Stop Construction, This Time in West Virginia

From the Charleston Gazette-Mail: State regulators have slapped a cease-and-desist order on a natural gas pipeline, citing multiple water pollution violations, according to a letter made public by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The 713-mile-long Rover Pipeline , which would transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from processing plants in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, received the order on March 5 from Scott Mandirola, director of the Division of Water and Waste Management, documents show. According to the order, DEP officials conducted inspections on four days in February, during which they said they found 14 violations in Doddridge, Tyler and Wetzel counties. The alleged offenses include leaving trash and construction debris partially buried on site, improperly installing perimeter control and failing to inspect or clean public and private roads around the construction site. The pipeline, owned by Energy Transfer Partners, has be

EQT Corp CEO Steve Schlotterbeck Unexpectedly Resigns

From the Pittsburgh Business Times: EQT Corp. announced Thursday that President and CEO Steve Schlotterbeck had resigned immediately and would be replaced in the interim by former Chairman and CEO David L. Porges .  EQT (NYSE: EQT), the largest independent natural gas producer in the U.S., said Schlotterbeck left as president and CEO and the EQT board for personal reasons. EQT did not elaborate. He also resigned his posts at EQT subsidiaries EQT GP Holdings LP (NYSE: EGQP), EQT Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: EQM) and Rice Midstream Partners (NYSE: RMP).  "We thank Steve for his dedicated service to EQT and its stakeholders over the last 18 years," the board of directors said in a statement. "Steve was a valued contributor as EQT transformed from a regional, retail gas company into the largest natural gas producer in the United States." Schlotterbeck had a 18-year career with EQT and a 30-year career in the energy industry, and had spent the last year as CEO,

With New Partner in Mix, Proposed Cracker Plant in Belmont County Grows in Scope

From The Intelligencer: Gov. John Kasich said a pair of international energy firms now control about 500 acres of property needed to build the planned Belmont County ethane cracker, a project he said could now cost up to $10 billion.  During a Monday news conference at the Ohio Statehouse, Kasich formally announced the partnership between Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical and South Korea’s Daelim Industrial Co., a pairing initially reported by The Intelligencer on Jan. 31.  “It’s great to see these two world-class companies coming together to develop an exciting 21st century industry that will dramatically transform Ohio,” Kasich said. “Building this massive ethane cracker plant here will be a game-changer, not only for Eastern Ohio, but for the entire state, as it will create so many new opportunities for economic development.”  Two-and-a-half years ago, PTT officials joined Kasich at the Statehouse to announce plans to spend $100 million for engineering and design work. Mond

Appeals Court Hears Arguments in Battle Over Athens Home Rule Anti-Drilling Charter

From the Athens News: The 4th District Court of Appeals heard brief arguments Thursday morning in a local group’s appeal of the Athens County Board of Elections decision last July rejecting an anti-fracking county charter ballot proposal submitted by the group. While supporters of the group, the Athens County Bill of Rights Committee (ACBORC), rallied in protest in the rain outside the Athens County Courthouse, chanting “Let Us Vote,” the three-judge appellate panel heard brief arguments inside the courthouse from each side in the case. A decision in the appeal case is expected no sooner than 30 days and could take several months. Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn, whose office is representing the county Board of Elections in the appeal case, said attorneys for both sides Thursday morning mainly touched on points already included in their legal filings in the appeal. The party appealing the case, described as “a committee of petitioners for the county charter proposal,” on Ju

Pin Oak Hopes to Find Success in Much-Maligned Northern Utica Shale

From Business Journal Daily: Where others have experienced nothing short of a bust, an Akron oil and gas company envisions nothing but opportunity.  Pin Oak Energy Partners LLC is jockeying for position in the northern tier of the Utica shale, especially in Trumbull County and parts of Mahoning County in Ohio, and Mercer County in Pennsylvania. In February, the company announced it has acquired more than 70,000 leasehold acres in the southern and northern Utica and a collection of active wells.  “We’re not buying acreage,” says Mark Van Tyne, Pin Oak chief business development officer. “We are buying cash-flowing assets. We’ve acquired assets that others didn’t feel were producing.”  Energy giants BP America and Halcon Resources Corp. moved into the region in 2012 during the early phase of Utica shale exploration. After almost two years, the payoff hoped for from the wells that both companies drilled, mostly in Trumbull and Mercer counties, simply was insufficient to justify c

Rig Count Drops Again as 17 New Permits Are Issued in Utica Shale Last Week

New permits issued last week:   17   (Previous week:  2 )  +15 Total horizontal permits issued:  2779   (Previous week:  2767 )  +12 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2282   (Previous week:  2276 )  +6 Total horizontal wells producing:  1862  (Previous week:  1850 )  +12 Utica rig count:  17  (Previous week:  19 )   -2 Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Belmont, Monroe and Jefferson Were the Utica Hot Spots in 2017

From Kallanish Energy: Ohio's Belmont, Monroe and Jefferson counties were the Top 3 shale-drilling counties in the state in 2017.  But if you drill into the data, the three counties' results tell a different story, according to a numbers-filled presentation Thursday by Martin Shumway, technical officer at Locus Bio-Energy Solutions Resources.  Shumway spoke at the Ohio Oil and Gas Association’s 71th annual winter meeting, in the state capital of Columbus. Roughly 800 people, including Kallanish Energy, attended Day One of the three-day conference. Read more by clicking here. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

XTO Finally Caps Well After 20 Days in Powhatan Point

From The Intelligencer: After weeks of work through inclement weather and the evacuation of 30 households following a well pad explosion Feb. 15, XTO Energy announced Wednesday that the well was successfully capped. In order to make the site safe for workers to plug the leak, XTO “flared,” or burned off excess gas, at the site. The mostly methane gas was directed to an excavated containment area and ignited. The gas burned through the night, illuminating the sky above much of Belmont County with an orange glow. Residents in areas such as Morristown, Belmont and Centerville reported seeing the light from the flames, as well as bright flashes of light they compared to lightning.  The flaring process made the area safe for workers. Capping operations subsequently were completed fairly quickly Wednesday morning.  “We have gained control of the well. It has stopped flowing,” XTO spokeswoman Karen Matusic said. “We did the flare (Tuesday), and that was to move the gas away from the s

Digging Deep Into the 4th Quarter 2017 Utica Shale Production Data

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has now released the production data from the Utica shale for the fourth 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. Of course, we can now see how the entire year's production from 2017 stacks up to previous years.  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 fourth quarter of 2017. As a reminder, all oil figures are 42-gallon barrels, and all gas production is measured in MCF: So, total oil production has now risen in four straight quarters after declining during every quarter of 2016.  Oil production rates, though, dropped off to the lowest levels we've seen in the last four years during the final

ODNR Releases Utica Shale Production Data From Quarter 4 of 2017

From an ODNR press release: During the fourth quarter of 2017, Ohio’s horizontal shale wells produced 4,193,562 barrels of oil and 503,066,907 Mcf (503 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, according to the figures released today by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).   2016 Quarter 4 (Shale) 2017 Quarter 4 (Shale) Percentage Change Barrels of Oil 3,605,185 bbl 4,193,562 bbl 16.32% Mcf of Natural Gas 363,502,758 Mcf 503,066,907 Mcf 38.39%   Total production for the last two years, with the percent change in production for 2016 to 2017, can be found below:   2016 Shale 2017 Shale Percentage Change Barrels of Oil 18,015,346 bbl 16,350,040 bbl (9.24%) Mcf of Natural Gas 1,388,656,313 Mcf 1,725,495,877 Mcf 24.26%   The ODNR quarterly report lists 1,897 horizontal shale wells, 1,869 of which reported oil and natural gas production during the quarter. Of the 1,869 reporting oil and natural gas results:   The average