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Ohio Utica Shale

U.S. drilling rigs rise by 15

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 22, 2016

Oil drilling rigs in the U.S. rose to 462 as of Friday, up 15 from a week ago, according to the latest Baker Hughes report. The number of drilling rigs is down 414 from a year ago.
To read the full report, go here.

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Oil producers to cut $150 billion from U.S. drilling budgets, report says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 21, 2016

U.S. oil companies are making deep, deep budget cuts that could lead to a significant reduction in oil output in upcoming years, according to a story at

"Oil producers across the continental United States have snipped more out of their drilling budgets than their rivals in other countries, with plans to shed $150 billion by 2017, Wood Mackenzie says.

"The energy research firm says that’s three times more spending than producers in any other region have cut. The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas and the Bakken Shale in North Dakota took the biggest hit, making up more than a third of the industry’s spending cuts."

Read the full story here.

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DeSmog criticizes contractor involved in Algonquin gas pipeline project

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 21, 2016

The anti-global-warming site DeSmogBlog is criticizing disclosures about a contractor involved in the Algonquin Incremental Market , or AIM, Spectra Energy gas pipeline project. DeSmog:

"In a potential conflict of interest, a contractor hired by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review a proposed Spectra Energy natural gas pipeline project had already been working for the company it was reviewing on a different but interconnected pipeline. Spectra then directly hired the contractor, Natural Resource Group (NRG), for no fewer than five other projects during the review period.

"These revelations raise questions about the contractor’s ability to impartially review Spectra’s application on behalf of the government regulator.

" ... For AIM, FERC determined that NRG’s work for Spectra fell below the level of conflict of interest."

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Natural gas, petroleum and renewables rising, coal dropping, among energy producers, U.S. reports

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 21, 2016

Electric utilities are using less coal and more natural gas, petroleum and renewable resources, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports:

"In 2015, natural gas consumption increased more than any other energy source, accounting for 29% of total primary energy consumption. As domestic natural gas production continues to reach record levels, natural gas prices have remained low. Low natural gas prices have led to increased use of natural gas-fired generators in the electric power sector.

"Coal supplied 16% of total U.S. primary energy use in 2015, down from 18% in 2014. Coal consumption declined by more than 12% in 2015, and it is now at its lowest level since 1982. Nearly all coal is used for electricity generation. In 2015, demand for coal in the power sector reached its lowest level since 1987."

Read the full report here.

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Sunoco wins Pennsylvania pipeline court ruling

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 20, 2016

Sunoco won a court battle regarding taking private property for a pipeline in Pennsylvania, reports ShaleOhio:

"The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court has upheld Sunoco Logistics Partners' authority to take private property for its Mariner East Pipeline, adding momentum to the company’s plan to deliver natural gas from the Marcellus shale region to the Marcus Hook export terminal near Philadelphia."

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Law firm looks at new FAA rules impacting drones and the energy industry

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 20, 2016

The Federal Aviation Industry is clarifying the use of drones by the energy industry, including flying over pipelines, reports Babst/Calland's ShaleEnergyLaw blog:

"Babst Calland’s Pipeline and HazMat Safety team has prepared a Pipeline Safety Alert noting observations on some of the key provisions in the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016.

The blog and a link to Babst/Calland's report can be found here.

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Halliburton's failed buyout of Baker Hughes costs it billions

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 20, 2016

Breaking up can be mighty expensive, reports Jordan Blum at

"Halliburton reported a $3.2 billion loss in the second quarter Wednesday, largely because of a $3.5 billion breakup fee it paid rival and former acquisition target, Baker Hughes.

"Halliburton’s acquisition of Houston-based Baker Hughes fell apart in early May after the Justice Department intervened because of anti-competitiveness concerns."

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Shale keeping oil prices lower for longer, Forbes writes

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 20, 2016

Oil prices are expected to remain lower for longer, writes Kate Stalter at Forbes:

"There has been much talk on Wall Street and in the financial press lately that the oil price decline that began in 2014 was indeed different from past 'oil shocks' and that now oil prices will remain 'lower for longer'.

"The chief explanation offered for this is that there has been a fundamental shift in supply. And, the root cause cited for that shift, or increase, has been the boom in U.S. shale oil production."

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Utica Region Drilling Productivity Report for July is out

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 19, 2016

The Utica Drilling Region Productivity report for July is out from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

You can see the report here.

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Ohio River locks, dams may get upgrades because of Shell ethane cracker plant

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 18, 2016

The upcoming Shell Chemical ethane cracker plant may push action to upgrade locks and dams on the Ohio River, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:

"River industry officials hope Shell Chemical’s decision to build an ethane cracker plant on the Ohio River will provide enough of an incentive to get a long-delayed, $2.3 billion lock and dam project off the ground.

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been considering modernizing Depression-era locks and dams on the Ohio River at Emsworth, Dashields and Montgomery since 2003. The Corps is expected to sign off on a study justifying the work this fall, which would be enough time to get Congress to authorize the project before the current session ends.

"Shell has already built two docks for barges at the site, located in Potter and Center townships, Beaver County, and has moved in materials by barge as part of its preliminary work. Industry officials expect the company, a division of Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell, will rely on the river to move material and they say the businesses expected to be created by the cracker plant also will need dependable river infrastructure.

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.