Showing posts from September, 2019

Ninth Attempt at Anti-Fracking Charter Amendment in Youngstown Dies Before Reaching the Ballot

From the Youngstown Vindicator: Supporters of an anti-fracking charter amendment, rejected eight times by Youngstown voters since 2013, didn’t submit documentation to put it on the ballot this year and may not do so next year. Organizers say they’re regrouping after failing to convince city voters that the issue is for their benefit.  But the future remains murky at best.  “I really don’t know if we’ll be back in 2020, but we’re definitely not giving up,” said Susie Beiersdorfer, a member of the committee that has supported the ballot issue and has used different names over the years. “We’re active in different ways. There’s a real change in the air with more people waking up and more activists visiting their legislators. We’re working on exposing the injustice and showing how important local control is.”  While language of the proposal has changed over the years, the charter amendment would have banned fracking in Youngstown and anything related to the extraction of fossil fue

Belmont County Cracker Plant Moves One Step Closer to Reality

From Columbus Business First: A legal challenge holding up a proposed $5 billion ethane cracker plant in Belmont County has been cleared.  Thailand-based developer PTT Global Chemical America has reached a settlement agreement with three environmental groups that will bring more pollution-detecting safeguards at the plant, ending a ten-month legal challenge before the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.  The safeguards include enhanced leak protection, additional stack testing and publication of more data on a public website. “We respect Sierra Club, Earthworks and FreshWater Accountability Project for working with us on this agreement,” Toasaporn Boonyapipat , president and CEO for PTTGCA, said in a statement. “The resolution of these issues is a tribute to their commitment to environmental protection. We also thank the people of the Ohio Valley community for their enthusiasm and support as we continue to work toward a final investment decision.”  PTTGCA says a final inves

Democratic Hopefuls Lay Out Radically Different Approaches on Climate and Natural Gas

by John Glennon, Energy in Depth At an MSNBC forum Thursday intended to allow Democratic presidential candidates to spell out their plans to deal with climate, Senator Bernie Sanders avoided talking about solutions and instead doubled down on past calls to criminally prosecute executives at oil and gas companies. Meanwhile, Senator Michael Bennet and Representative Tim Ryan both took a more rational path, emphasizing how natural gas will play an important role in a low carbon future. To justify his bombastic claims, Sanders laid out the same tired activist talking points that have been debunked time and time again : “Now, I wish I could tell you I had a 16-point plan that would do this, but at the end of the day you have executives in the fossil fuel industry, in the oil companies, coal companies, gas companies – Their scientists know exactly what they’re doing. In fact, as you know, there’s strong evidence that ExxonMobil, their scientists were telling them – what for decades –

Latest Wayne National Forest Lease Sales Yield Over $1.3 Million

From The Cleveland American: Nearly $1.326 million was generated by oil and gas lease sales in Ohio by the Bureau of Land Management this month.  The money was generated when the BLM successfully sold 14 parcels of land in the state that totaled nearly 655 acres, according to Francis Piccoli, the deputy state director for external affairs at the Eastern States State Office of the BLM.  Piccoli told The Center Square in an email that all money collected in the sales is deposited in the BLM-Eastern States Office of Natural Resources Revenue, which distributes shares to the states in which parcels are sold. The money collected is everything minus the cost of recovery fees, which is $165 per lease. Leases are awarded in 10-year terms, and the successful bidders maintain the lease as long as there is oil and gas production in paying quantities. The federal government collects a 12.5 percent royalty on the value of the production, and the state governments receive at least a 25 percent

What Will Be the Fallout From Strikes on Saudi Arabia's Oil Infrastructure?

From Forbes: Here are a dozen things everyone should know about the past weekend’s strikes on a major Saudi oil refinery, and the likely fallout from them:   The Houthis, a rebel army fighting against Saudi-led interests in Yemen, claimed credit  for launching the attacks on Saturday. However, the U.S. government now says it believes the assault was launched from Iran, and that it  may have involved cruise missiles  rather than drones. The strikes centered on Saudi Arabia’s  Abqaiq  facility . Abqaiq is the world’s largest crude processing facility, processing about two-thirds of the total Saudi supply each day. Saudi Arabia is the world’s second-largest producer of crude oil behind the United States. Several large Saudi oil fields  were also attacked .  Those attacks, along with the disruption of the Abqaiq facility required the Saudi government to shut-in about half of its current production, or about 5.7 million barrels of oil per day. According to the U.S. Energy Info

New Guidelines Put in Place for Landmen in Ohio

From Vorys Energy & Environmental Law Blog: The Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing issued new guidance for Ohio’s Oil and Gas Land Professionals (“Land Professionals”). First, the Division updated its Land Professional Disclosure Form. Ohio law requires Land Professionals to provide this disclosure form to landowners prior to or at its first meeting with landowners. Second, the Division is requesting that all Land Professionals complete the disclosure form in its entirety. Specifically, Land Professionals should include the address and tax parcel number of the subject property. The Division noted that landowners may own multiple properties; hence, the need to identify the subject property. Additionally, the Division recommends that Land Professionals remind landowners to return the disclosure form to the Land Professional and not the Division. Click here to see this post and a link to the new form. 

Oil and Gas Employment Numbers On the Decline Again

From Reuters: U.S. oil and gas employment has started to fall as producers and service companies respond to the sharp decline in prices since the fourth quarter of 2018.  The number of jobs in “mining support activities”, a category that includes oil and gas drilling, as well as site preparation and well completion services, has been drifting gently lower since October 2018.  In August, employment was 2% lower than in the same month a year earlier, and down by 4% from its recent peak, according to preliminary estimates published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.  Employment in the sub-category for “oil and gas support activities”, mostly covering site work and completion services, had fallen by around 11,000 jobs or 4% between October and July.  Oil and gas employment is trending lower as the industry adjusts to lower petroleum and natural gas prices and lower levels of activity ( ). Click here to read more. 

Rig Count Unchanging in Utica Shale as Permitting Drops Back to Dead Stop

WEEK ENDING 09/14/19 New permits issued last week:   14  (Previous week:  6 )   +8 Total horizontal permits issued:  3162  (Previous week:  3157 )    +5 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2694  (Previous week:  2690 )   +4 Total horizontal wells producing:  2317  (Previous week:  2317 )   +-0 Utica rig count:  14  (Previous week:  14 )   +-0 WEEK ENDING 09/21/19 New permits issued last week:   0  (Previous week:  14 )   -14 Total horizontal permits issued:  3162  (Previous week:  3162 )    +-0 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2698  (Previous week:  2694 )   +4 Total horizontal wells producing:  2317  (Previous week:  2317 )   +-0 Utica rig count:  14  (Previous week:  14 )   +-0

NEXUS Pipeline Ruling Could Have Broader Implications

From NGI: While unsuccessful in their request for rehearing at FERC and before a U.S. district court, Oberlin, a small college city in northern Ohio, and landowners in the state that formed the Coalition to Reroute Nexus, won what ClearView Energy Partners LLC called a “precedential opinion” last week before the DC Circuit in the case City of Oberlin, Ohio v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 18-1248.  …  Nexus secured precedent agreements with eight different entities for 825,000 Dth/d, or just 59% of the pipeline’s capacity. Two of the agreements were signed with Canadian companies serving customers in Canada, according to court documents.  Without the foreign agreements, the DC Circuit noted that only 42% of the project would have been subscribed. “…Because the Commission never considered whether the public benefits of the Nexus pipeline would outweigh its adverse impacts if it were only subscribed for 625,000 Dth/d, we may affirm its finding of public convenience an

Under New CEO Toby Rice, EQT Lays Off Almost 25% of Workforce

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Nearly 200 employees of EQT Corp. were cut from “Team EQT” on Tuesday as part of an effort to “transform EQT into a modern, technology-driven and efficient natural gas producer.”  The Downtown-based oil and gas company, fresh off a shareholder coup that installed Toby Rice as the CEO and replaced nearly all the senior managers with former Rice Energy Inc. executives, sent a letter to its 850 or so employees Tuesday morning saying the layoffs are “difficult but necessary.”  Mr. Rice, who came to power at EQT on the campaign promise of better planning, warmer relationships with stakeholders, and the ability to track everything at the company through a real-time digital lens, wrote to employees that EQT’s new, slimmed-down structure will “better challenge, empower and support [remaining] employees.”  EQT bought Rice Energy in 2017, making it the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S. and making Mr. Rice and his family, who founded Rice Energy,

ODNR Looking for Contractors to Plug Old Wells

From the Akron Beacon Journal: The state has millions of dollars to spend on plugging old and potentially hazardous oil and natural gas wells. Now, it’s looking for more contractors to do the work.  Prolific shale wells and a change in state law have boosted the Ohio Department of Natural Resources fund for plugging so-called orphan wells.  The orphan well program has nearly $25 million this fiscal year — $10 million more than the previous year — and is looking to have $28.1 million next fiscal year.  “We’ve got a lot of money to spend, and we want to plug a lot of wells,” Rick Simmers, chief of ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas, told a group of plugging contractors Wednesday during a meeting at Portage Lakes State Park.  “We need more contractors,” Simmers said. Read on by clicking right here. 

FirstEnergy Going All Out to Stop Nuclear Bailout From Being Overturned

After Ohio lawmakers passed a measure requiring electric customers in the state to pay for a massive bailout which would prop up dying FirstEnergy power plants, the company has taken steps to fight back against efforts to pass a referendum which would overturn the controversial law. Part of the company's effort is a $1 million scare ad campaign that a front group for FirstEnergy named Ohioans for Energy Security is running, which makes the rather bizarre allegation that the natural gas plants poised to take up the slack for electric generation in the state if the referendum is successful are backed by China, and thus Ohio's electric grid would be controlled by China if the law is repealed. Here is the ad: Not surprisingly, The Columbus Dispatch investigated these claims and did not find substance to them: LoParo sent along items from Power Finance & Risk , a website covering the power industry in the Americas. One, from Jan. 30, was related to financing for a pr

Construction Set to Begin on Massive $1.6 Billion Gas-Fired Power Plant in Guernsey County

From The Daily Jeffersonian: Caithness Energy announced that it has successfully closed a $1.6 billion financing for the construction of a fully-permitted 1,875 megawatt combined-cycle natural gas electric generating facility located in Guernsey County. The financing for the Guernsey Power Station clears the way for the project to move forward to construction. The proposed facility south of Byesville that will produce enough electricity to power nearly 1.5 million homes. “Caithness is proud to deliver this state-of-the-art electric generating solution for cleaner, more efficient power into the PJM Market,” said Ross Ain, Caithness Energy president. “Our energy design is cleaner, providing maximum power with minimal impact on the surrounding environment with a dry cooling system that reduces water use by 95 percent compared to traditional facilities. “We have worked closely with our partners, suppliers and contractors to complete financing and begin construction of this important proj

September Utica and Marcellus Shale Activity Maps Published by ODNR

Utica Wells in Production Figure Jumps by 51 on Latest ODNR Report

WEEK ENDING 08/31/19 New permits issued last week:   6  (Previous week:  15 )   -9 Total horizontal permits issued:  3157  (Previous week:  3157 )    +-0 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2690  (Previous week:  2684 )   +6 Total horizontal wells producing:  2317  (Previous week:  2266 )   +51 Utica rig count:  14  (Previous week:  12 )   +2

OOGEEP Enlightens Ohio Teachers on the Oil and Gas Industry

From Cleveland Patch: Thanks to the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP), teachers from 42 Ohio counties are heading back to their classrooms with an insider's look into Ohio's thriving natural gas and oil industry. Equipped with a first-class curriculum, classroom supplies, science labs and experiments, materials kits and more, teachers who attended OOGEEP's STEM and Geology Teacher Workshops are more prepared than ever to bring energy education to Ohio's students.  Charlene Hopkins-Bey, a teacher at Miles Elementary in Cleveland Metropolitan School District, participated in the STEM workshop held in Marietta.  OOGEEP holds teacher workshops throughout the year to help foster energy education by connecting STEM and geology education and the energy industry. The curricula for both of OOGEEP's workshops were designed by teachers, for teachers, to be integrated directly into Ohio's educational standards. Teachers spend a full day in the classro

ODNR Releases 2019 Utica Shale 2nd Quarter Production Data

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources: During the second quarter of 2019, Ohio's horizontal shale wells produced 5,813,755 barrels of oil and 614,218,362 Mcf (614 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, according to the figures released today by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).  Compared to a year ago, oil production increased by 29.54% and natural gas production showed a 10.81% increase over the second quarter of 2018.  The ODNR quarterly report lists 2,365 horizontal shale wells, 2,317 of which reported oil and natural gas production during the quarter. Of the wells reporting oil and natural gas results:  The average amount of oil produced was 2,509 barrels. The average amount of natural gas produced was 265,092 Mcf. The average number of second quarter days in production was 86. All horizontal production reports can be accessed at . Click here to read the whole release. Click here to download the spreads

Op-ed Attacks Ohio's First Energy Nuclear Plant Bailout

From the Toledo Blade comes an op-ed by Leah Vukmir, Vice President of the National Taxpayers Union: It was disappointing to see the Ohio legislature cave to special interest pressure with the passage of the “Ohio Clean Air Program” or House Bill 6 , a massive bailout for FirstEnergy Solutions and its failing nuclear power plants.  FES has maintained that their Ohio plants Davis-Besse and Perry are unprofitable and need assistance from the government to remain operational. Despite these claims, the company did not provide documents to show their financial well-being and fought an amendment requiring FES to open its financial books to prove they’re unprofitable. If a company is unwilling to be transparent it is safe to assume their intentions are not in consumers’ interests.  Instead of making a compelling argument, FirstEnergy defaulted to crony capitalism and rolled out a misleading public relations campaign. Ohio residents received glossy mailers urging them to contact their se

Utica Rig Count Takes a Dive on Latest ODNR Report

WEEK ENDING 08/31/19 New permits issued last week:   15  (Previous week:  8 )   +7 Total horizontal permits issued:  3157  (Previous week:  3148 )    +9 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2684  (Previous week:  2678 )   +6 Total horizontal wells producing:  2266  (Previous week:  2262 )   +4 Utica rig count:  12  (Previous week:  16 )   -4

Diversified Acquires Ohio Utica Assets from EdgeMarc

From a press release: Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (AIM: DGOC), the U.S. based owner and operator of natural gas, natural gas liquids, and oil wells as well as midstream assets, is pleased to announce that the asset purchase agreement with EdgeMarc Energy Holdings, LLC, and certain of its subsidiaries, ("EdgeMarc" or the "Seller") as announced on 25 July 2019 (the "Acquisition") has been approved by the Seller and the United States Bankruptcy Court. Accordingly, subject to satisfaction of certain remaining closing conditions, DGO will acquire EdgeMarc's natural gas development, production and exploration assets for a total cash consideration of $50 million (subject to customary purchase price adjustments). The assets to be acquired include 12 gross producing unconventional Utica natural gas wells and related facilities (the "Assets") in Monroe and Washington counties within the State of Ohio, as well as certain undeveloped lands containin

Bernie Sanders Wants to Prosecute Oil and Natural Gas Companies, But Doesn't Know What Laws They Violated

by William Allison, Energy in Depth 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is out with yet another climate proposal, this time to prosecute fossil fuel executives for causing climate change. In a tweet, the Vermont senator laid out his plan to go after certain energy companies: Bernie Sanders ✔ @BernieSanders Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused. # GreenNewDeal 41.3K 1:24 PM - Aug 22, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy 17.7K people are talking about this The attack continues on  his campaign website : “Bernie promises to go further than any other presidential candidate in history to end the fossil fuel industry’s greed, including by making the industry pay for its pollution and prosecuting it for the damage it has caused.” The problem? Sanders didn’t explain what laws these companies have broken. Spoiler alert: Providing affordable, rel

President Trump's Trade War Begins to Wear on the Oil Industry

From Forbes: President Donald Trump has done much to support the U.S. oil and gas industry since moving into the White House in 2017, but his approach to trade policy threatens to undo much of the good.  Trump escalated the trade war with China when he announced tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of imports earlier this month. Beijing retaliated this past week with new tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, including a 5 percent tariff on crude oil imports beginning September 1.  China, which is the world's fastest-growing energy market, now has tariffs on U.S. oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which includes fuels like propane and butane.  The trade war has now effectively cut off the U.S., the world's top oil and gas producer, from the most coveted market in the world for energy suppliers. Read the rest of the article by clicking here. 

US Shale Industry Credited with Driving 10% of US GDP Growth

by Jack Anderson, Energy in Depth The shale industry alone drove 10 percent of the growth in the U.S. economy’s gross domestic product from 2010 to 2015, according to a new  study  by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas showing how oil and natural gas deliver wins for the larger economy. During the same years, crude oil production jumped from 5.5 million barrels per day (bpd) to 9.4 million bpd, notes the  Journal of Petroleum Technology . This surge in output brought massive economic benefits to regions experiencing shale industry growth, and spread economic benefits throughout much of the country: “As the shale boom flooded the market with light crude, oil and oil-product prices declined, refiners took in as much domestically produced light oil as they could, and oil imports declined nearly 2 million B/D. Fuel prices in the US and abroad fell 14% as consumers benefited from free trade in refined products…” As the following graphic from the Dallas Fed shows, the shale indust