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Ohio Utica Shale

District approves Clendening water sale with American Energy-Utica

By Bob Downing Published: April 17, 2015

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District today approved a short-term water sale from Clendening Reservoir in Harrison County.
Oklahoma-based American Energy-Utica LLC will pay the district $6 per 1,000 gallons of water, said district spokeswoman Barbara H. Bennett.
The contract covers May 1 through July 31.
The maximum volume of water that can be withdrawn is 2.5 million gallons per day or 6 million gallons over three days, she said.
A 6-million-gallon withdrawl would lower Clendening about a quarter inch, she said.
The district that stretches from Akron to the Ohio River sold about 111 million gallons of water in 2013 and 136 million gallons in 2014 to drillers.
The district’s governing board also approved an easement on small parcel of district-owned land near Mohicanville in Ashland County for the ET Rover Pipeline. The easement covers 0.16 acres of agricultural land.

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Independent producers oppose higher royalty rates on federal lands

By Bob Downing Published: April 17, 2015

From a press release today:

America’s Independent Producers: Raising Fees Will Cause Our
Small Businesses to Suffer


WASHINGTON, D.C.– Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Political Affairs Dan Naatz criticized the Obama Administration’s proposal to raise royalty rates on federal lands.

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EIA offers update on U.S. LNG export facilities

By Bob Downing Published: April 17, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

“Cheniere Energy's Corpus Christi, Texas, liquefaction export facility, approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) this past December, is moving toward construction with an anticipated start-date during the second quarter of 2015. If it occurs as planned, there will be five liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities in varying stages of construction in the Lower 48 states.”---EIA

The information is in EIA’s new “Natural Gas Weekly Update” posted on the agency’s website at:

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FERC adopts final rule to improve gas-electric coordination

By Bob Downing Published: April 17, 2015

From the Federal Energy Regulatory Commision on Thursday:

FERC Approves Final Rule to Improve Gas-Electric Coordination

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today took further steps to improve coordination of wholesale natural gas and electricity market scheduling as the nation increasingly relies on gas for electric generation. The Final Rule, together with prior Commission actions, will help ensure the reliable and efficient operation of both the interstate natural gas pipeline and electricity systems. This Final Rule represents the culmination of more than three years of Commission efforts to evaluate whether changes are needed to the scheduling practices of the natural gas and electric industry in order to better ensure the reliable and efficient operations of our interstate natural gas pipelines and our electricity systems.

The Final Rule adopts two proposals submitted by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) to revise the interstate natural gas nomination timeline and make conforming changes to their standards. In the March 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR), the Commission proposed changes to the nomination timeline for natural gas pipelines, but provided the gas and electric industries with time to consider revisions to those proposals. Today, the Commission is adopting the proposal to move the Timely Nomination Cycle deadline for scheduling gas transportation from 11:30 a.m. Central Clock Time (CCT) to 1 p.m. CCT and the proposal to add a third intraday nomination cycle during the gas operating day to help shippers adjust their scheduling to reflect changes in demand.

The Final Rule declines to adopt the NOPR proposal to move the 9 a.m. CCT start of the gas day to 4 a.m. CCT. The Commission concluded that, while certain efficiencies could be achieved through a better alignment of the natural gas and electric operating days, the record in this proceeding does not justify changing the start time for the nationwide natural gas day. The Final Rule recognizes that several regional efforts continue to address the misalignment between the gas day and the regional electric days.

The Final Rule takes effect 75 days after publication in the Federal Register.


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FERC adopts new policy for cost recovery on gas modernization

By Bob Downing Published: April 17, 2015

From the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday:

FERC Implements New Policy on Cost Recovery for Natural Gas Facilities Modernization

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today approved a new Policy Statement allowing interstate natural gas pipelines to seek to recover through a surcharge mechanism certain capital expenditures made to modernize pipeline system infrastructure in a manner that enhances system reliability, safety and regulatory compliance.

Today's Policy Statement establishes guidance and a framework as to how the Commission will evaluate pipelines' proposals for recovering costs associated with replacing old and inefficient compressors or leak-prone pipelines and for performing other infrastructure improvements and upgrades to enhance the efficient and safe operations of their pipeline systems.

The Policy Statement adopts the standards proposed in the Commission's November 2014 Proposed Policy Statement. FERC will evaluate on a case-specific basis any proposal for a modernization cost surcharge subject to five guiding standards intended to ensure that the resulting rates are just and reasonable and protect natural gas consumers from excessive costs.

These five criteria are based on principles outlined in a January 2013 FERC order that allowed Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC to implement a similar tracker:

The Commission intends these standards to be flexible so as not to require any specific form of compliance but to allow pipelines and their customers to reach reasonable accommodations based on the specific circumstances of their systems.

The Policy Statement is implemented as a result of regulatory reforms by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration that likely will require interstate natural gas pipelines to make significant capital cost expenditures to enhance the safety and reliability of their systems. In addition, recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiatives may increase pipelines' environmental monitoring and compliance costs, and require them to replace or repair existing compressors and other facilities.

The Policy Statement takes effect October 1, 2015.

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Schlumberger cuts another 11,000 jobs due to drilling cutbacks

By Bob Downing Published: April 17, 2015

Oil field services giant Schlumberger is cutting another 11,000 jobs due to drilling cutbacks caused by low commodity prices.

That's in addition to 9,000 jobs cut by the firm last January.

The 20,000 jobs cut accounts for 15 percent of the company's work force.

The company is based in Houston, Paris and the Hague. It operates in 85 countruies.

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U.S. petroleum deliveries grew in March and first quarter, API says

By Bob Downing Published: April 17, 2015

From the American Petroleum Institute on Thursday:

File Type: pdf | File Size: 117829

File Type: pdf | File Size: 88700

File Type: pdf | File Size: 19390

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New EIA maps highlight characteristics of U.S. shale plays

By Bob Downing Published: April 17, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:


EIA is currently in the process of updating maps of major tight oil and shale gas plays, including the Eagle Ford and Marcellus plays, which will help to better characterize the geology of key areas of production in the United States. EIA's most recent maps focus on shale and tight oil plays, and characterize plays based on geologic characteristics, including rock type and age. Understanding geologic history and processes helps exploration and production companies reduce the risk of drilling dry, nonproducing wells and better understand hydrocarbon resource potentials.

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What's up with Ohio's proposed severance tax hike on drilling

By Bob Downing Published: April 16, 2015

From the Associated Press:

Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican leaders in the Ohio House pulled many of Gov. John Kasich’s tax plans from his state budget proposal, while announcing more money for schools, a smaller state income tax cut and changes to his poverty and health care initiatives.
The revisions to the Republican governor’s $72.3 billion, two-year spending blueprint come after Kasich’s sweeping tax package drew widespread opposition from business groups and state representatives. They disliked the proposed increases on business taxes, oil-and-gas severance taxes and cigarette taxes along with his sales tax increase and expansion.
The House budget plan removes the governor’s major tax changes and creates a commission to review the proposed increases.
Kasich had wanted to use part of the money from the tax increases to cut the state income-tax rate by 23 percent over the next two years, to a top rate of 4.1 percent by 2017.
The plan from the GOP-dominated House, which would fund state operations for the two years beginning July 1, would provide for a 6.3 percent income tax cut beginning in tax year 2015. That would lower the top rate to just below 5 percent. Representatives also want to make permanent a small business tax reduction passed last year.
House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger said he believed in the governor’s long-term vision, but he wanted businesses to have some predictability in their taxes and have time to know what’s coming.
“Ohio’s doing well,” Rosenberger said. “I don’t think there’s a problem to take this opportunity right now to time out a little bit and let everybody catch up.”
House Finance Chairman Ryan Smith said the revisions trim Kasich’s budget by roughly $775 million, but he didn’t specify where the bulk of the difference occurred. “We went through multiple areas and multiple items.”
The House Finance Committee accepted the changes Tuesday afternoon and was scheduled to take testimony on the revisions the rest of this week.
Responding to the House proposal, Kasich spokesman Rob Nichol said in a statement, “The budget is a long process and we will continue to work with lawmakers to move Ohio forward.”
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce signaled its early support for the direction the House tax changes were taking, as did the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.
State Rep. Denise Driehaus, the House finance panel’s top Democrat, said some of revisions were positive, but noted her side had little time to review them.
House Republicans also revisited Kasich’s education formula and added $179 million to the governor’s proposed school foundation funding.
His proposal gave less money to more than half of public school districts due to changes intended to better reflect a district’s capacity to raise revenue.
House GOP leaders said their plan would ensure that no district would receive less foundation funding over the next two budget years than it did in the current fiscal year.
Representatives will take a closer look at the governor’s efforts to help tackle poverty.
The House wants to spin out into a separate bill Kasich’s proposal to create a more comprehensive approach to address the needs of people receiving public assistance such as food stamps, childcare support, housing aid or cash assistance.
While House Republicans did not attempt to change the governor’s expansion of Medicaid, their plan would strip the ability of state’s Medicaid director to determine eligibility for the program in the future.
“I would think you’d want some input from the General Assembly on the Medicaid eligibility levels,” said state Robert Sprague, who leads a subcommittee that reviewed Medicaid issues. “Otherwise, we have very little control over the program.”
The GOP majority also want the state’s Medicaid agency to seek approval from federal officials to allow for health savings accounts.
Associated Press writer Julie Carr Smyth contributed to this report.

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Any increase in Ohio's severance tax on drillers is dead for now

By Bob Downing Published: April 16, 2015

Any increase in Ohio's severance tax on drillers is dead for now, Ohio lawmakers said.

The proposal ran into strong opposition from Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives.

It had been strongly pushed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, also a Republican.

Click  here  to read the latest.

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See the most recent drilling report and an injection wells map From

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.