Showing posts from July, 2019

Utica Shale Permitting Remains Very Slow Last Week

New permits issued last week:   1  (Previous week:  3 )   -2 Total horizontal permits issued:  3129  (Previous week:  3129 )    +-0 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2654  (Previous week:  2650 )   +4 Total horizontal wells producing:  2238  (Previous week:  2226 )   +12 Utica rig count:  17  (Previous week:  17 )   +-0

What Goes Up Must Come Down: U.S. Oil Production Peak Could Come Soon

From Forbes: One of the most important questions in the global oil markets revolves around U.S. oil production. There is probably nothing OPEC would like to know more than when U.S. oil production will begin to decline.  The resurgence of U.S. oil production over the past decade diminished OPEC's control of the global oil markets. In less than eight years, U.S. oil production climbed from under 6 million barrels per day (BPD) to more than 12 million BPD. This surge is arguably the only reason oil prices today aren't above $100/barrel (bbl).  OPEC's current strategy seems to be to wait for U.S. production to begin declining so they can begin to regain control of the oil markets.  They may not have to wait all that long.  In last week's article , I covered the slowdown in oil production growth in the Permian Basin. This is the most important oil-producing region in the U.S., but of course it isn't the only one. And while most of the coverage of the resurgenc

Ohio Agencies Say They Don’t Get Many Fracking Health Complaints

by Nicole Jacobs, Energy in Depth Claims of health impacts from shale development have become a heated topic in the Appalachian Basin, with activists pushing a  misleading narrative  in the region. But the allegation that fracking is causing widespread public health issues is far from reality in the Buckeye State, according two state agencies. In response to a handful of activists  soliciting information  on households living near shale development in an attempt to create an agenda-driven health registry, the Ohio Department of Health said it does respond to each complaint received about the shale industry. As Rebecca Fugitt, assistant chief of the department’s Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection told  StateImpact  though,  regulators simply aren’t getting many complaints: “No, we only get, maybe…  it’s less than five a year …to be honest, it really is.  We don’t get very many .” (emphasis added) Similarly, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources receive

Article Asks Whether Good of Fracking Outweighs Bad in Belmont County

From the Times Reporter: People “just heard money and they were lined up, you know, clear around the (Barnesville) high school. Hundreds and hundreds of people (were) waiting to get in to sign up. That was very alarming to me just to see how blindly everyone embraced the industry,” said Jill Hunkler, a 44-year-old Barnesville resident who says she has suffered health problems because of the drilling.  Amid the drilling boom, environmentalists and health experts have descended upon Belmont and neighboring Appalachian counties in an effort to measure the impact of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, on water quality, air emissions and even emotional health.  “The evidence is strengthening and growing,” said Nicole Deziel, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Public Health, who has traveled to the region for three years to study air and water quality.  “Scientists are quickly conducting health studies to better understand whether there are health impacts or not.” Acti

Halliburton Cutting North American Workforce by 8 Percent

From Halliburton is cutting its workforce and shelving fracking equipment amid a slowdown in the U.S. shale industry.  The oilfield services giant said that its revenue fell 13 percent in the second quarter, and it decided to cut its North American workforce by 8 percent. The company’s share price jumped 9 percent on the news, with shareholders apparently heartened by the cost-trimming measures. Halliburton “is emphasizing a return on capital approach, and has stacked additional equipment in 2Q where returns were not justified, and expects activity down in [North America] in 3Q,” Morgan Stanley wrote in a note.  In an earnings call with analysts and shareholders on Monday, Halliburton CEO Jeff Miller laid out a few strategies in response to the weak shale market. The company has slashed capex by 20 percent as demand for its services has slowed. “We have sufficient size and scale in this market and see no reason to invest in growth when it comes at the expense of ret

Cracker Plant in Belmont County Would Take Nearby Houses

From WTOV : If an ethane cracker plant is going to be built in Dilles Bottom, several houses could be in jeopardy, including a newly restored home.   William and Tonya Rayl moved in a nearby, almost rundown home on Dilles Bottom Road 11 years ago. Brittany Grego ✔ @BrittWTOV9 This home is the oldest in Dilles Bottom and it could eventually be torn down for the ethane cracker plant, hear from the family at 6. @ WTOV9 5:02 PM - Jul 25, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy See Brittany Grego's other Tweets "This house was pretty much crumbling when we moved here, we spent every day, hard work every day to try to make it even livable," they said. It’s the oldest house in Dilles Bottom.

Man Behind New Ohio Natural Gas Power Plants Vows to Fight Back Against Nuclear Bailout

From Business Journal Daily: A referendum committee has been formed to overturn legislation signed into law Tuesday that subsidizes two nuclear plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions. The announcement by Bill Siderewicz, president of Boston-based Clean Energy Future, followed House Bill 6 being signed into law Tuesday afternoon by Gov. Mike DeWine. The bill passed by a 51-38 vote in the Ohio House of Representatives. On July 17, it was approved by a 19-12 vote in the Ohio Senate.  The legislation will apply monthly surcharges of $2.50 for residential energy customers, $20 for commercial customers and $250 for customers classified as industrial. It also creates the Ohio Clean Air Quality Development Authority, which would provide during the first year “clean air credits” under the Ohio Clean Air program to power plants, such as nuclear power plants, that produce zero carbon emissions. FirstEnergy Solutions operates two nuclear plants in Ohio, the Davis-Besse plant near Toledo and t

Rig Count Continues Yo-Yo Act in Utica, Drops Back to 17

New permits issued last week:   3  (Previous week:  9 )   -6 Total horizontal permits issued:  3129  (Previous week:  3126 )    +3 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2650  (Previous week:  2647 )   +3 Total horizontal wells producing:  2226  (Previous week:  2226 )   +-0 Utica rig count:  17  (Previous week:  18 )   -1

Activists and Coal Magnate Working to Fight Belmont County Injection Well

From The Intelligencer: Belmont County residents were in their commissioners’ office Wednesday, seeking county support against a proposed injection well. Earlier in the week, the Richland Township Trustees took action to block the project, while calling on the commissioners to support their actions at the county level. On Tuesday, the trustees indefinitely tabled two matters pertaining to the well, one permit and one road use maintenance agreement. The well is eyed for a field at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Ohio 331.  During the meeting the trustees and Belmont County Treasurer Kathy Kelich said appeals to the state representatives to help in preventing the well would hold more weight if the commissioners made a resolution of opposition.  Commissioners Josh Meyer, J.P. Dutton and Jerry Echemann said while the board has no jurisdiction over the proceedings, they are reaching out to representatives.  Pease Township Trustee Michael Bianconi said he had attended an informationa

Nuclear Bailout in Ohio is Now Law

From After 14 weeks of legislative negotiations, intense lobbying, and a deluge of ads , Ohio lawmakers on Tuesday gave final approval to legislation to subsidize nuclear and coal power plants with millions of dollars from the public and effectively gut the state’s green-energy mandates for utilities.  House Bill 6 , which passed 51-38, was quickly signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday afternoon. Under the bill, from 2021 until 2027, every Ohio electricity customer would have to pay a new monthly surcharge that ranges from 85 cents for residential customers to $2,400 for large industrial plants.  Starting next January, ratepayers around the state would also have to chip in up to $1.50 monthly (and up to $1,500 per month for commercial and industrial users) to subsidize coal plants in Ohio and Indiana run by the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.  However, HB6 would effectively stop Ohio’s decade-old energy-efficiency and renewable-energy mandates for util

9 Permits Issued Last Week in Utica as Rig Count Bounces Back to 18

New permits issued last week:   9  (Previous week:  3 )   +6 Total horizontal permits issued:  3126  (Previous week:  3120 )    +6 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2647  (Previous week:  2639 )   +8 Total horizontal wells producing:  2226  (Previous week:  2225 )   +1 Utica rig count:  18  (Previous week:  17 )   +1

Bill Watson Tabbed to Helm Utica Shale Academy

From the Weirton Daily Times: The Utica Shale Academy will have a new leader this fall after Bill Watson was named director of the community school. Watson, a resident of Wellsville, will helm the program at Southern Local High School and replace Rich Watson, who has become principal of Southern Local Elementary.  Watson has connections with education and industry and plans to bridge the two to help academy students find a place in the work force.  He received his diploma from Wellsville High School in 2001 as well as degrees from Bismarck State University of North Dakota in 2007 and Grand Canyon University in Arizona in 2012. Watson also has a connection with Southern Local, since he worked there as a special education teacher from 2012-14. Watson then moved on to become a nuclear specialist at the Beaver Valley Power Station operated by FirstEnergy Corp. in Shippingport, Pa., where his job entailed creating lessons to instruct nuclear instrumentation and control technicians. 

Energy Transfer Considers $2.5 Billion Sale of Rover Pipeline Stake

From Bloomberg: Energy Transfer LP, the U.S. pipeline giant controlled by billionaire Kelcy Warren , is weighing the sale of its 33% stake in a conduit that carries Appalachian natural gas to customers across the Midwest, according to people familiar with the matter. The Dallas-based pipeline operator has hired an adviser to pursue a potential sale of its operated interest in the Rover pipeline, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. The stake could fetch as much as $2.5 billion, one of the people said. No decision has been made and Energy Transfer could opt not to sell, the people said. A representative for the company declined to comment. Energy Transfer rose 0.6% to close at $14.91 a share.  Rover is 713 miles (1,148 kilometers) long and can shuttle 3.25 billion cubic feet of gas daily to customers across Ohio and Michigan, and as far away as Ontario. The project was originally expected to cost $4.2 billion and entered full service last

Restoration Work Continues for Pipeline Projects in Ohio; Legal Fights Continue as Well

From The Canton Repository: “We have developed plans to mitigate the unusual rain conditions and we remain on schedule to complete final restoration activities by the fourth quarter of 2019,” Parker wrote. “Most restoration occurs within the first year following completion of construction. However, the process can take longer, depending on weather and other environmental impacts that may interrupt the restoration process.”   Parker wrote that the goal was to restore the pipeline right-of-way to as close to pre-construction conditions as possible, and minimize long-term impacts. He encouraged landowners with questions about restoration to call the company’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 844-589-3655.   As the restoration continues, so do several lawsuits filed by landowners in counties along the NEXUS route, including five cases in Stark County.   The lawsuits allege NEXUS and its construction contractor, Michels Corp.: Pumped or diverted water onto farms and residential prope

OOGA President Provides Latest Update on Utica Shale

From The Canton Repository: The Ohio Oil & Gas Association held its annual summer meeting at Glenmoor Country Club earlier this week, and The Canton Repository caught up with OOGA President Steve Downey.  Downey, EnerVest Operating’s vice president of business development, is a 32-year veteran of the industry. He is in the first of two years as OOGA president. Between golf sessions Tuesday, he kept an eye on the upcoming vote on the state budget bill that included OOGA supported provisions concerning drilling units and eliminating the $60 minimum severance tax and the $100 per well transfer fee. He also shared his thoughts on the following topics:  The current state of the Utica Shale play and its future:  “The Utica has done really well since its inception... We’re producing probably about 9 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day in Ohio now, somewhere in that neighborhood. It’s ramped up greatly... As prices have moved for (natural gas liquids) and dry gas, the areas hav

Rice Brothers Win Battle for Control of EQT

Following a long and contentious fight for control of EQT, the Rice brothers have come out on top. From an EQT press release: EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) and the Rice Team jointly announced that, based on preliminary voting results at the EQT Annual Meeting today, shareholders have elected all seven Rice Team-nominated directors as well as the five nominees supported by both EQT and the Rice Team. All 12 elected directors received more than 80% of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting.  After voting results are certified by the independent inspector of elections, expected later today, EQT’s reconstituted Board will be comprised of Lydia Beebe, Dr. Philip Behrman, Lee Canaan, Janet Carrig, Dr. Kathryn Jackson, John McCartney, James McManus II, Anita Powers, Daniel Rice IV, Toby Rice, Stephen Thorington, and Hallie Vanderhider.  Following certification, the newly constituted Board will meet later today and is expected to name Toby Z. Rice as President and CEO, succeeding Robert McN

Rig Count Drops Yet Again in Utica Shale

New permits issued last week:   3  (Previous week:  8 )   -5 Total horizontal permits issued:  3120  (Previous week:  3117 )    +3 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2639  (Previous week:  2636 )   +3 Total horizontal wells producing:  2225  (Previous week:  2223 )   +2 Utica rig count:  17  (Previous week:  18 )   -1

Why is There a DUC on Your Property?

From Farm and Dairy: There are lots of reasons why a well may be drilled, but not finished and producing: The operator could be waiting for a pipeline to be connected, a crew to complete the fracking, or the markets to improve. Or it could be a well drilled to hold a lease, or a test well, and never put into production.  A drilled but uncompleted well (DUC) is a new well that has been drilled, but has not been fracked for the first time and put into production. There is also casing, cementing and other steps that need to be done before a well can start producing.  Why track drilled but uncompleted DUC wells? They are a signal of overall economic health of the oil and gas producers, as well as future production potential. Read the whole article, which explains more about the reasons behind DUC wells, by clicking here. 

Largest Grant in State History Will Help Prepare for Belmont County Cracker Plant

From The Columbus Dispatch: The state’s economic development arm has awarded its largest grant ever for site work for a massive, multibillion-dollar petrochemical plant being considered in eastern Ohio.  The $30 million JobsOhio grant is another in a series of steps being taken to determine whether Thai chemical company PTT Global Chemical America and its South Korean partner, Daelim Industrial Co., should proceed with the project in Belmont County. The company has committed $65 million to this phase, according to JobsOhio.  If the companies go forward, they would build one of the largest economic development projects in state history, one with thousands of construction jobs and probably several hundred permanent jobs once construction is completed.  “JobsOhio’s revitalization grant will support initial site-preparation work, which will begin later this month,” said Matt Englehart, JobsOhio spokesman. “While this is an important and positive step for the project, no final inves

Mahoning County Strikes New Agreement in Hopes of Cashing in on Shale Drilling

From the Youngstown Vindicator: Mahoning County now has rights to any Utica shale deposits underneath county-owned land in Canfield, under a new lease agreement with Ohio Valley Energy approved this morning.  “Under the current old leases, the gas company actually has the rights all the way from the surface to the center of the earth,” said Tim Tusek, the assistant county prosecutor who worked on the arrangements.  “The best part is there is a real possibility the Utica development will come back to this area, and when it does, the commissioners will be in a position to be able to benefit from it.”  The existing wells run below about 270 acres west of the Canfield Fairgrounds, near the Mahoning County Experimental Farm operated in partnership with the Ohio State University Extension office there. Tusek said though the wells do bring in a “small” revenue source for the county and offer free gas for the adjacent properties.  The wells were drilled about 30 years ago, but were s

Court Rules That Activist Effort to Deal Blow to FERC Can Proceed

From Law360: The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday refused to dismiss Oberlin, Ohio’s challenge of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the $2.1 billion Nexus gas pipeline, even though the city has granted permanent pipeline easements to the pipeline’s developer.  In a one-page per curiam order, Circuit Judges Judith W. Rogers, Sri Srinivasan and Robert L. Wilkins shot down Nexus’ bid to have the case tossed, apparently rejecting the pipeline company’s argument that the city and the Coalition to Reroute Nexus had lost standing to bring the case.  Nexus had argued that the city executed a settlement agreement granting the pipeline company a permanent easement for its project on May 7, one day after oral arguments were held in the D.C. Circuit case. The settlement “vitiates” the city’s standing, Nexus said.  Nexus acknowledged that the settlement agreement contained a provision that the deal had “no application” to the D.C. Circuit case, but the company argued that that “

New Report Warns Turning Away From Oil & Natural Gas Will Cost United States $4.5 Trillion

by Elizabeth Caldwell, Energy in Depth Removing oil and natural gas from the U.S. energy mix could have dire consequences, costing the country $4.5 trillion – or $35,000 per household – according to a new  report  from energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie: “For any country to embrace a nationwide transition to 100 percent renewable energy (RE100) or zero carbon (ZC100) emissions constitutes a massive disruption with far-flung economic and social repercussions.” As the report explains, in order to completely decarbonize by 2030: “We estimate the cost of full decarbonisation of the US power grid at US$4.5 trillion, given the current state of technology.  That’s nearly as much as what the country has spent, since 2001, on the war on terror.  From a budgetary perspective, the cost is staggering at US$35,000 per household – nearly US$2,000 per year if assuming a 20-year plan.” (emphasis added) This cost “includes everything needed to reliably produce and deliver clean energ

July 2019 Utica and Marcellus Shale Activity Maps

The ODNR has released the Utica and Marcellus shale activity maps for July.

Permitting Picks Back Up a Little in Utica Shale

New permits issued last week:   8  (Previous week:  1 )   +7 Total horizontal permits issued:  3117  (Previous week:  3113 )    +4 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2636  (Previous week:  2630 )   +6 Total horizontal wells producing:  2223  (Previous week:  2222 )   +1 Utica rig count:  18  (Previous week:  19 )   -1