All CATEGORIES
☰ Menu
Ohio Utica Shale

Portage County injection well under fire, ODNR defends well

By Bob Downing Published: June 30, 2014

Two groups have filed a complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency against an injection well in northern Portage County for allegedly accepting millions of gallons of drilling wastes illegally.

Concerned Citizens Ohio and the Virginia-based Center for Health, Environment and Justice contend that the Kovach injection well at 9795-9899 Coit Road in Shalersville Township has illegally received wastes for years to be injected into rock formations underground.

The two groups are asking the U.S. EPA to issue an immediate order to stop further injection.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources disagreed with the activists and said the injection well is legally operating, said spokesman Matt Eiselstein on Monday. .

To read more or comment...

Saturday fire hits Statoil well pad in Ohio's Monroe County

By Bob Downing Published: June 30, 2014

A fire hit a well-drilling pad late Saturday in Monroe County in southeast Ohio.

A number of trucks were destroyed and a fish kill was reported in Possum Creek that may be linked to the fire, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Statoil North America has eight wells on the pad.

Click  here  to read the full story.

To read more or comment...

Activists file complaint against Portage County injection well

By Bob Downing Published: June 30, 2014

From Concerned Citizens Ohio:

On June 27, 2014, Concerned Citizens Ohio, Portage County’s environmental and human rights group, brought a complaint to the United States Environmental Protection Agency against the Kovach enhanced recovery injection well at 9795-9899 Coit Road in Mantua, Shalersville Township. Along with the Center for Health and Environmental Justice, the complaint states that the well has received millions of gallons of waste illegally for years. The two groups are asking for an immediate “cease and desist” order to stop further dumping. 

 “Injection wells are dumps for oil and gas hazardous waste,” said Mary Greer, coordinator of Concerned Citizens Ohio. “Residents are shocked to find out that this well appears to have operated as a disposal well without a permit in our county for years. With Portage County’s 18 injection wells, more than any other county in the state, we already bear all the risk while the well owners and out-of-state companies get all of the profit.”

According to research conducted by the CHEJ, the Coit Road enhanced recovery well was permitted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources only in order to stimulate production by two nearby wells.

To read more or comment...

New York high court says communities can zone out drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 30, 2014

From Earthjustice today:

NY Communities Triumph Over Fracking Industry In Precedent-Setting Case

As NY high court rules towns can zone out oil and gas operations, trend spreads to other states

 

To read more or comment...

Linn Energy offers details on $2.3 billion Devon purchase

By Bob Downing Published: June 30, 2014

From Linn Energy today:

HOUSTON , June 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LINN Energy, LLC (Nasdaq:LINE) ("LINN" or "the Company") and LinnCo, LLC (Nasdaq:LNCO) ("LinnCo") announced today that LINN has signed a definitive agreement to acquire assets in five U.S. operating areas from Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN) ("Devon") for $2.3 billion . The assets are currently producing approximately 275 MMcfe/d, approximately 80 percent of which is natural gas, with a shallow base decline of approximately 14 percent. Total proved reserves are estimated to be between 1.3-1.5 Tcfe (approximately 75 percent PDP) with total resource potential of approximately 3 Tcfe. The asset package is comprised of approximately 900,000 net acres across the Rockies, Mid-Continent, east Texas , north Louisiana and south Texas regions with approximately 4,500 total wells. LINN has identified over 1,000 future drilling locations and over 600 recompletion opportunities. LINN's acquisition of Devon assets is intended to be financed ultimately through the sale of its Granite Wash assets and other non-producing acreage in LINN's portfolio. Potential excess proceeds from the sale of assets, if any, will be used initially to reduce debt and for general corporate purposes.

 

"Early in 2014, we outlined four keys to success at LINN: realize value for the Midland Basin position; continue to make accretive acquisitions; reduce capital intensity while increasing efficiency; and improve credit metrics," said Mark E. Ellis , Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe today's announcement is a positive development in achieving these objectives. As we enter into the second half of the year, we remain committed to these important goals."

To read more or comment...

Utica, Marcellus gas production expected to grow by 36 percent

By Bob Downing Published: June 30, 2014

Virginia-based ICF International says the natural gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shales will continue to grow.

In its second quartyer 2014 Detailed Production Report, ICF says it projects the gas production in the two shales to grow from 25 billion cubic feet per day in 2014 to 34 billion cubic feet per day in 2035, a 36 percent increase.

That's in part because the Utica shale is more gassy than had first been expected.

To read more or comment...

BlackRock says federal regulators may file legal action

By Bob Downing Published: June 30, 2014

From Bloomberg News on Saturday

By Mary Childs

BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest money manager, said regulators are considering filing action against the firm over a former money manager who used BlackRock funds to invest in a company with which he had financial ties.

BlackRock said yesterday in a filing it received a Wells notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on June 17 indicating the regulator’s staff is recommending action against a unit at the firm, which manages about $4.3 trillion.

To read more or comment...

Refinery capacity grows, ownership shifts, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: June 30, 2014

From the U.S. Enery Information Administration today:

 

As of January 1, 2014, there were 139 operating refineries and three idle refineries with total atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity (ACDU) of 17.9 million barrels per calendar day (bbl/cd), a 101,000-bbl/cd increase in capacity from January 1, 2013. In 2013, four refineries changed ownership, continuing the trend of a handful of sales each year. This information is detailed in EIA's recently released Refinery Capacity Report, which surveys U.S. refinery ownership and capacity annually at the start of each year.

To read more or comment...

API backs legislation to boost drilling on federally controlled lands

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute from Thursday:

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2014 – API today urged swift enactment of H.R.4899, which would allow greater domestic oil and natural gas development in federally controlled areas offshore, onshore and in Alaska while streamlining leasing and permitting. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote in favor of the bill later today.

“An energy renaissance on state and private lands has created hundreds of thousands of jobs and helped consumers save on energy,” said API Upstream Group Director Erik Milito. “But due to obstacles imposed by the federal government, production from federal lands has significantly lagged behind the rest of the country.”

U.S. production of crude oil and natural gas on state and privately owned lands rose from 2009 to 2013 by 61 percent and 33 percent, respectively, according to the Congressional Research Service. On federal lands and offshore areas, production of crude oil dropped by 6 percent and natural gas by 28 percent over the same period.

“Reducing obstacles to oil and natural gas production on federal lands and waters could kick our economy into high gear, create jobs across the country and generate billions of dollars in revenue for the government,” said Milito.

The legislation also allows every coastal state the opportunity to share a percentage of government revenues generated by energy production off its coast.

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.
 

To read more or comment...

API supports new center to fight gas, oil cyber-attacks

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute on Thursday:

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2014—The American Petroleum Institute (API) expressed its support for the new Oil and Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ONG-ISAC), which will help protect infrastructure from cyber-attacks. While API helped form the center, it will exist as an independent organization to facilitate the exchange of information, help evaluate risks, and provide up-to-date security guidance to U.S. companies.

“Computer-based attacks are one of the fastest-growing threats to American businesses and infrastructure,” said API Vice President Kyle Isakower. “The center builds on existing programs to help companies quickly identify and respond to threats against energy production and distribution systems such as refineries and pipelines and stay connected with law enforcement agencies.”

An industry-owned and operated organization, the ONG-ISAC will be structured similar to other industry ISACs in order to:

- Allow participants to submit incidents either anonymously or with attribution via a secure web portal;
- Circulate information on threats and vulnerabilities among ONG-ISAC members, other ISACs, vendors, and the U.S. government;
- Provide industry participants with access to cyber security experts;
- Alert participants of cyber threats deemed ‘Urgent’ or ‘Elevated’ in near real-time; and,
- Coordinate industry-wide responses to computer-based attacks.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the ONG-ISAC will serve as a central hub for the rapid collection and distribution of intelligence on cyber threats against U.S. energy networks.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.

To read more or comment...

Ohio panel dismissses appeal of Athens County injection well

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

An appeal of a drilling permit for an Athens County injection well has been dismissed by the Ohio Oil & Gas Commission.

The Athens County Fracking Action Network had appealed a permit issued last December to K&H Partners for a well in Troy Twp.

Both the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and K&H Partners filed motions seeking dismissal of the appeal.

In its decision, the state commission said that under Ohio law and an Ohio Supreme Court ruling it lacks jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

To read more or comment...

Industry, environmentalists fight over record transparency

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

Energy in Depth-Ohio is at odds with Food & Water Watch over what was found in Ohio state records released by the Kasich administartion.

Click  here  to read the EID-Ohio account from blogger Shawn Bennett.

To read more or comment...

Rail shipments of oil pose growing threat, federal official says

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

From the Associated Press:

U.S. officials say the danger posed by a dramatic increase in North American oil train traffic extends far beyond shipments from the booming Bakken region on the Northern Plains.

Acting National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Chris Hart says all crude shipments are flammable and a risk to communities and the environment — not just the Bakken oil involved in a string of fiery accidents.

Hart cited recent train accidents in Mississippi, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New Brunswick that involved oil shipments from Canada.

To read more or comment...

Encana sells its Alberta assets in shift to oil production

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

From Bloomberg News:

Encana Corp. Canada’s largest natural gas producer, agreed to sell its Bighorn assets in Alberta to Apollo Global Management LLC for about $1.8 billion as the company continues its shift into oil production.

The sale includes about 360,000 acres along with interests in pipelines, facilities and service arrangements, Calgary-based Encana said today in a statement. Total net proved reserves at the end of 2013 were approximately 1.1 trillion cubic feet equivalent, about 75 percent of which is natural gas.

Encana has been selling gas fields and buying oil fields to boost profit by producing the more valuable fuel. It has sold or agreed to sell $4.1 billion of assets this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Earlier this month, Encana paid $3.1 billion for Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. assets in the Eagle Ford Basin in Texas, doubling its crude output.

To read more or comment...

Central Oklahoma residents troubled by earthquake swarms

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

From the Associated Press:

Central Oklahoma residents are demanding to know whether earthquake swarms that have shaken their homes and their nerves in recent months are caused by oil and gas drilling operations in the area.

About 500 people attended a meeting with regulators and research geologists Thursday night in Edmond. Many urged the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, to ban or severely restrict the wells that are used to dispose of wastewater from drilling and that some scientists say could be linked to the quakes.

“We’re going to have people hurt and damaged,” said Angela Spotts of Stillwater, who has collected names for a petition calling for a ban on deep-well injections of wastewater.

To read more or comment...

Fuel-economy standards drive down gasoline use

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

From the U.S, Energy Information Adminstration earlier this week:

 

In the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014) Reference case, more-stringent vehicle fuel economy standards contribute to a decline in motor gasoline consumption through 2040. At the same time, growth in heavy-duty vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is greater than increasing heavy-duty vehicle fuel economy, contributing to rising diesel fuel demand.

To read more or comment...

EPA is withholding report on earthquake investigation

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding back the release of a report on earthquakes related to drilling and related operations,EnergyWire reports.

A team of EPA officials has been looking into concerns that deep injection wells  – where wastewater from oil and gas drilling is disposed underground – have caused a spate of earthquakes in Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Colorado, says NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania.

EnergyWire reports the team sent a final draft to EPA headquarters in January, but has not officially released it to the public five months later.

Click  here  to read the full story from NPR.

To read more or comment...

States looking more closely at fracking, earthquakes

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

From the Associated Press:

By Emily Schmall and Kristi Eaton


Oklahoma residents whose homes and nerves have been shaken by an upsurge in earthquakes want to know what’s causing the temblors — and what can be done to stop them.

Hundreds of people are expected to turn out in Edmond, Oklahoma, on Thursday night for a town hall meeting on the issue.

To read more or comment...

Rising U.S. shale gas production to impact prices for decades

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

From Bloomberg News on Thursday:

Rising U.S. shale gas production is driving fear out of the futures market, says Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and will constrain prices for the next two decades.

Gone will be the near tripling of costs to $15.78 as in 2005 as traders remain confident the fuel will be there when needed. Natural gas will trade “largely” at $4 to $5 per million British thermal units for the next 20 years, says Goldman Sachs. Societe Generale SA sees prices at $5 through 2019. Bank of America Corp. forecasts $5.50 for 2017, while BlackRock Inc. projects $4 to $5 for the next decade.

To read more or comment...

BLM unveils plan for Wyoming lands, greater sage-grouse

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2014

From the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership on Thursday:

WASHINGTON – A new Bureau of Land Management plan for public lands important to greater sage-grouse makes progress toward landscape-scale planning efforts to conserve populations of the imperiled game bird, say sportsmen.

The Lander, Wyoming, resource management plan is the first RMP to be released that affects sage-grouse habitat and attempts to balance conservation measures with multiple uses of these public lands. The plan employs measures consistent with the state of Wyoming’s core area strategy, developed cooperatively by the state, counties, federal agencies and a variety of stakeholders and generally viewed as a balanced approach to conserving sage-grouse habitat while enabling economic activities like energy development.

“The Lander resource management plan appears to be a step in the right direction for sage-grouse conservation in multiple use landscapes,” said Ed Arnett, director of the Center for Responsible Energy Development at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “However, the plan is not perfect, and it does seem to have missed an opportunity to employ stronger measures for long-term protection of core habitat.

To read more or comment...

Range Resources signs transportation, marketing pacts

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2014

From Range Resources today:

 

FORT WORTH, TX -- ( Marketwired ) -- 06/26/14 -- RANGE RESOURCES CORPORATION (NYSE: RRC) announced today that it has signed additional transportation and marketing agreements to support its future natural gas and ethane production growth.

Range has signed an agreement to act as a foundation shipper on the ET Rover pipeline, a natural gas pipeline project of ET Rover Pipeline, LLC , a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE: ETP). The project will provide Range the flexibility to move Pennsylvania natural gas to Dawn, Ontario and south to the Gulf Coast . Range has agreed to transport up to 400,000 Mmbtu per day for 20 years starting in October 2017 . The natural gas will be supplied directly from a regional processing plant so there will be no additional transportation charge to move this gas to these potentially premium markets.

To read more or comment...

McClendon adds a stake in Oklahoma pipeline project

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2014

From Bloomberg News on Wednesday:

Aubrey McClendon, the U.S. shale wildcatter who’s raised $10 billion in capital since getting fired from Chesapeake Energy Corp. last year, acquired a stake in an Oklahoma pipeline project.

An affiliate of McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP contributed natural gas lines in exchange for a minority interest in Tall Oak Midstream LLC’s planned 250-mile (1,600-kilometer) pipeline and processing network, Oklahoma City-based Tall Oak said in a statement today.

To read more or comment...

USGS animation looks at small quakes in Oklahoma

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2014

The U.S. Geological Survey has created an animated look at earthquakes in the state of Oklahoma.

The animation covers from Jan. 2, 2008, through April 30, 2014, and looks at 3,685 small earthquakes.

Drilling and injection wells are believed linked to such quakes, the experts say.

Click  here  to see the animation.

To read more or comment...

Report says fracking chemicals can disrupt human hormones

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2014

A new study, released on Monday, indicates that fracking chemicals have a bigger ability to disrupt human hormones than first reported.

Click  here  to read more from Science Codex.

To read more or comment...

Columbia Pipeline Group cited for environmental excellence

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2014

From the Columbia Pipeline Group:

Tampa, Fla. - The Southern Gas Association (SGA) presented the Chairman’s Award for Environmental Excellence to Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG) on Tuesday, June 24 at the organization’s Environmental, Safety & Health and Training Conference in Tampa, Fla.

SGA grants the Chairman’s Award for Environmental Excellence based on the recommendation of the group’s environmental committee, something that hasn’t been done since 2008. CPG was selected due to the comprehensive work displayed with its Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The HCP is designed to streamline compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), while enhancing species conservation using a single comprehensive environmental plan across the company’s multi-state natural gas pipeline network.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Southern Gas Association with their highest distinction for environmental excellence,” said Shawn Patterson, CPG president, Operations and Project Delivery. “Being good stewards of the environment is something we take seriously every day and our Habitat Conservation Plan is a testament to that.”

To read more or comment...

NETL reports supports LNG exports from U.S.

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2014

From the Center for Liquified Natural Gas::

 

The U.S Department of Energy recently released a study conducted by the National Energy Technology Laboratory which found that U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe and Asia would significantly reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While it was previously known that increased natural gas usage could help the U.S. reduce its own GHG emissions, it is now also clear that exports of U.S. LNG can help reduce global emissions.

 

To read more or comment...

California agency has released draft drilling rules

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2014

In June 13, the California Department of Conservation released draft rules for hydraulic fracturing in the state.

The BakerHostetler law firm takes a look at the draft drilling rules proposed by the state agency.

Click  here  to read the full story.

To read more or comment...

U.K. unveils new license terms to spur shale drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2014

From Bloomberg News earlier this week:

By Nidaa Bakhsh

The U.K. announced new license terms to spur the development of the resource that may supply the nation with half a century of natural gas from shale rock.

The measures will allow license holders to retain bigger areas and cut costs, Energy Minister Michael Fallon said today at a conference. The 14th licensing will be launched "shortly," he said.

To read more or comment...

Velocys acquires Pinto Energy, Ashtabula County GTL project

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2014

From Velocys today: 

25 June 2014

Velocys plc (VLS.L), the technology innovator for smaller scale gas-to-liquids (GTL), is pleased to announce the acquisition of Pinto Energy LLC ("Pinto Energy") and the Ashtabula GTL project.

Pinto Energy is one of the leading project developers of smaller scale GTL in North America. As its first facility, Pinto Energy is developing an approximately 2,800 barrels per day (bpd) plant at an 80 acre industrial site that it owns near the Port of Ashtabula, Ohio, USA. The project will have access to abundant low-cost natural gas from the Marcellus shale region, as well as benefitting from substantial existing infrastructure. Initial engineering for the facility is complete and the air permit has been issued. Final investment decision is expected within six to nine months. Future expansions could see installed capacity of 10,000 bpd or more at the site. In addition to Ashtabula, Pinto Energy has a pipeline of smaller scale GTL projects it is seeking to develop throughout North America.

To read more or comment...

Commerce Department easing federal rules on U.S. oil exports

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2014

From Bloomberg News today:

By Zain Shauk, Dan Murtaugh and Rakteem Katakey

The U.S. Commerce Department opened the door to more U.S. oil exports as long as the crude is lightly processed, tempering the impact of a law that’s banned most overseas petroleum shipments for the past four decades.

The department widened its definition of what’s traditionally been considered a refined product eligible for shipping to customers abroad. That means more of the oil being pumped from U.S. shale formations may be eligible for export after being run through small-scale processing units.

To read more or comment...

Chesapeake pleads 'not guilty' in Michigan racketeering case

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2014

From Bloomberg News today:

By Andrew Harris

Chesapeake Energy Corp., already facing antitrust claims in Michigan over bids on gas exploration rights, pleaded not guilty to charges that it lied to landowners about leases it took out on their property.

Representatives of the Oklahoma City-based company entered the plea to racketeering and fraud charges today in Michigan state court in Cheboygan.

To read more or comment...

Colorado shuts down injection well after two quakes

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2014

From the Associated Press:

Colorado regulators have ordered the shutdown of an oil and gas wastewater disposal well east of Greeley after seismologists detected two earthquakes in the area in less than a month.

The Greeley Tribune reports the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission directed High Sierra Water Services to stop injecting water into the well after a team of University of Colorado seismologists recorded a 2.6-magnitute earthquake Monday afternoon. The team began monitoring the region after a 3.4-magnitude earthquake May 31.

The company agreed Monday to halt wastewater injection at the site for 20 days as a precaution. Regulators plan to evaluate the area’s baseline, historical seismic activity and evaluate other disposal wells in the area.

To read more or comment...

Loveland voters reject two-year fracking moratorium

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2014

From the Associated Press:

The Colorado municipality of Loveland has rejected a fracking moratorium that would have made it the sixth community to limit or ban hydraulic fracturing.

The two-year moratorium failed by about 1,000 votes, out of about 23,000 ballots cast.

Five other municipalities in Colorado have voted to limit or ban hydraulic fracturing, an action that state oil and gas regulators have said isn’t permitted.

To read more or comment...

API supporting bill on cross-border energy projects

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday:

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2014 ─ The American Petroleum Institute (API) strongly supports H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, which would modernize and reform the approval process for cross-border energy projects. API Downstream Group Director Bob Greco said we need to fix the broken permitting process for approving energy projects to put an end to unjustified delays of much needed pipelines.

“One of the biggest threats to our current energy revolution is government imposed roadblocks to building infrastructure,” said Greco. “The Keystone XL review debacle is a prime example of bureaucratic red tape stifling a promising project that would create thousands of jobs and enhance our energy security.

“As our North American energy production grows, building the infrastructure to move these supplies to consumers is vital because Americans depend on stable, affordable energy to fuel their daily lives.

“The U.S. should have a robust and consistent oversight process for all energy infrastructure projects, but the process should be fair and balanced. We need to reduce regulatory burdens on the private sector to stimulate investment in our new energy reality. Americans need energy policies that will create jobs, power our economy, and lower prices for consumers.”

API thanked U.S. Representatives Fred Upton (R- Mich.) and Gene Green (D-Texas) for their leadership in trying to implement a transparent, modern and standardized permitting process for all energy projects that cross U.S. borders.

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.

To read more or comment...

Oil leak reported from Trumbull County storage tank

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2014

From the Associated Press:

 

NEWTON FALLS, OHIO: Local officials say nearly 1,000 gallons of gas and oil spilled from a holding tank at an oil well in Northeast Ohio.

To read more or comment...

API defends U.S. oil and gas industry from critics

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday:

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2014 ─ API urged policymakers to consider the proven environmental and economic benefits of America’s oil and natural gas industry when weighing the risks claimed by opponents of U.S. energy production.

“It is no coincidence that U.S. carbon emissions have dropped to near 20-year lows, while U.S. shale gas production had quadrupled since 2008,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “America’s oil and natural gas industry has led an energy renaissance that is helping to grow the economy, create jobs, and provide environmental benefits.

“America is now the world’s leading producer of clean-burning natural gas, demonstrating that economic prosperity and environmental progress are not mutually exclusive. In fact, from 2000 to 2012, America’s oil and natural gas industry invested more in zero- and low-emissions technologies than the federal government and nearly as much as all other industries combined. These research and development efforts drive America’s competitiveness and could produce technologies that will change the energy landscape across markets and geography. But America’s success as an energy superpower depends on an all-of-the-above strategy, where science and free markets determine investments -- not politics and ideology.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.

To read more or comment...

Pennsylvania considering monthly drilling production reports

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2014

A bill introduced in May by Pennsylvania Rep. Tina Pickett would require drillers in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale to report how much gas they’re producing on a monthly basis, NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania reports.

Since 2010, Pennsylvania has required production reports to the Department of Environmental Protection twice a year.

The more-frequent reporting would aid state regulators in assessing production trends and help landowners trying to determine royalty payments, supporters say.

Click  here   to read the full story from NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania.

To read more or comment...

Magnum Hunter announces dismissal of securities lawsuit

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2014

From Magnum Hunter Resources:

 

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - Jun 24, 2014) - Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation ( NYSE : MHR ) ( NYSE MKT : MHR.PRC ) ( NYSE MKT : MHR.PRD ) ( NYSE MKT : MHR.PRE ) ("Magnum Hunter" or the "Company") announced today that the consolidated securities class action lawsuit filed against the Company last year has now been dismissed in its entirety by the judge overseeing the case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

With the dismissal of this consolidated securities class action lawsuit on June 23, 2014, the Company has been successful in securing dismissals of a total of five separate securities class action and shareholder derivative lawsuits filed in four different judicial courts without any monies paid to any plaintiffs or their respective legal counsel. Three of the lawsuits were dismissed on motions by the defendants, while the other two were voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs. The Company is currently working to obtain dismissal of the last remaining shareholder derivative lawsuit. The plaintiffs in the consolidated securities class action lawsuit can appeal yesterday's dismissal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

To read more or comment...

One additional Ohio scholarship winner named

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2014

Need to add one name to the Ohio winners of scholarships from the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program and its scholarship foundation: Curtis Cameron of Zanesville, who is a Marietta College student.

Earlier OOGEEP had named 45 students who had earned scholarships. They attend 19 different schools.

To read more or comment...

New EPA power plant rule is a sweet deal for fracked gas

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2014

From the New York-based Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy today:

Ironically, since the rule promotes the construction of gas power plants that rely on fracking, it could be considered literally "groundbreaking." However, as a strategy for combatting climate change, the rule falls short.

Although claiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, the rule is weaker than advertised, since nearly half of that reduction has already occurred. Meanwhile, methane emissions—which the rule completely ignores—have skyrocketed because of fracking. The main ingredient of natural gas, methane is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a driver of climate change over a twenty year timeframe.

"Converting to natural gas plants, which is what this latest rule is likely to do, will actually aggravate climate change, not make things better," said Cornell's Dr. Robert Howarth. "It's well enough established to suggest the EPA is on the wrong side of the science."

New Yorkers—already faced with an onslaught of power plants, pipelines, and storage facilities—are likely to see an even greater assault of gas infrastructure in the near future if the rule is adopted. Oddly, the EPA suggests that with efficiency improvements, accelerating the construction of gas-fired power plants now could lead to the use of less gas in 2030 than without the rule—although overall consumption of gas would still be much greater than today.

"Are we supposed to find that comforting?" asks economist Dr. Jannette Barth. "Such an argument is not only self-defeating; it's an insult to everyone fighting to protect New York from fracking—and it's fatally flawed."

Barth says that advances in technology and falling costs are making wind and solar competitive with traditional energy supplies. However, by promoting natural gas right now, the federal government could tip the scales toward fossil fuels for decades to come. Once new gas-fired plants are operational, there will be less incentive for utilities to reinvest in renewables, since the massive capital outlay for gas infrastructure will have already occurred. Although proponents argue that the new rule will encourage renewables, the EPA's own Regulatory Impact Analysis predicts that it would result in eight to ten times more new power generation from fracked gas compared to without the rule than from renewable energy in 2020, and have almost no effect on renewable power generation in the country by 2030.

There is no question that energy efficiency is a worthy pursuit and dirty coal plants should be replaced—but not with fracked gas. Rather than promoting the gas industry under the guise of climate policy, President Obama should direct the EPA to develop a rule addressing all greenhouse gas emissions that will swiftly transition America from a nation dependent on fossil fuels to one built on truly clean, renewable energy.


 


 

To read more or comment...

Group says proposed Ohio severance tax is too low

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2014

From Ploicy Matters Ohio last week:

 

Severance tax too small

Report finds HB 375 leaves communities to foot the bill for fracking

To read more or comment...

New Russian pipelines will impact Europe, Asia, study says

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2014

From GlobalData today:

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 24 June 2014 - Russia plans to build 13,009 miles (mi) of pipelines through to 2018, which will have a substantial impact on natural gas trade flows into Europe and crude oil and natural gas flows into Asia, specifically into China and North Korea, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report* states that Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), which includes Russia and most of the former Soviet Union countries except Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, will witness the largest addition of oil and gas pipelines globally between 2014 and 2018.

With 36,650 mi of planned pipeline length additions, the EMEA region will be the single largest contributor to the global total of 90,101 mi, accounting for 41% during the forecast period.

To read more or comment...

Refining capacity to grow by 1 million barrels in 2014, study says

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2014

From GlobalData last week:

 

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 18 June 2014 - Global refining throughput levels for 2014 will be one million barrels per day above 2013 levels, largely due to increased capacity in China and the Middle East, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report* states that just over 500 thousand barrels per day (mbd) of new refining capacity will commence operation in China in early 2014, including the new 200 mbd Pengzhou and 240 mbd Quanzhou refineries and a 90 mbd expansion at Yangzi. However, these higher refining throughput levels in China from additional capacity will be somewhat offset by an increase in maintenance activities during the second and third quarters of 2014.

To read more or comment...

Documents show Ohio had state park drilling plans, group says

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2014

From Food & Water Aatch last week:

New Documents Reveal Kasich Administration Clearly Misled Public Over Plans to Promote Fracking on State Lands

Investigation by Consumer Group Leads to Questions About Ongoing Nature of “Frackgate”

Columbus, Ohio– The consumer group Food & Water Watch today released newly discovered documents revealing the Kasich Administration continued, at least through November 2012, to refine plans to promote fracking on state lands, directly contradicting statements from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) that such plans were halted after its August 20, 2012 meeting. These latest “Frackgate” revelations have raised serious questions about whether the plan to promote fracking was indeed implemented.

To read more or comment...

Carrizo Oil & Gas outlines 2014 Utica shale drilling plans

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2014

Carrizo Oil & Gas Co. has plans to drill nine new Utica shale wells in southern Ohio in 2014, according to a recent presentation made by the Texas-based company.

For details, go to the Utica Shale blog by clicking here.

To read more or comment...

Ohio has 925 drilled Utica wells with 470 in production

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2014

Ohio last week approved 32 new Utica shale permits, says the Ohio Department of Natural resources.

That includes six in Belmont County, three in Carroll County, four in Guernsey County, eight in Harrison County, seven in Monroe County, three in Noble County and one in Trumbull County.

As of June 21, Ohio has approved 1,364 Utica shale permits.

Of that total, 925 wells are drilled and 470 are in production.

To read more or comment...

Magnum Hunter announces JV in Ohio's Washington County

By Bob Downing Published: June 24, 2014

From Magnum Hunter Resources on Monday:

 

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - Jun 23, 2014) - Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation ( NYSE : MHR ) ( NYSE MKT : MHR.PRC ) ( NYSE MKT : MHR.PRD ) ( NYSE MKT : MHR.PRE ) ("Magnum Hunter" or the "Company") announced today the formation of a new Joint Venture under a Joint Operating Agreement ("Agreement") with EM Energy Ohio, LLC ("EdgeMarc"), a privately-held company headquartered in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The contract area covers an existing mineral leasehold position currently owned by both companies which includes collectively approximately 1,080 net acres in the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale Formations located in Washington County, Ohio.

Terms of the new Agreement include Magnum Hunter's wholly-owned subsidiary, Triad Hunter, LLC ("Triad Hunter") and EdgeMarc, collectively working together within the contract area on two units in Washington County, Ohio, the Merlin Pad and the Haynes Pad.

To read more or comment...

Shell to sell shares in U.S. pipeline unit amid energy boom

By Bob Downing Published: June 22, 2014

From Bloomberg News last week:

 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc. will sell shares in a U.S. pipeline business in the second half of this year as Europe’s largest oil company takes advantage of investor appetite for North America’s energy infrastructure.

To read more or comment...

Judge upholds $2.9 million verdict in Texas drilling case

By Bob Downing Published: June 22, 2014

A Texas judge has upheld a verdict that gave $2.9 million to a family that said toxic emissions from gas and oil drilling made them sick.

Judge Mark Greenberg late Thursday denied a motion by Aruba Petroleum to reject the jury's verdict.

The lawsuit was filed by Bob and Lisa Parr.

To read more, click  here  to read the story by David Hasemyer of InsideClimate News.

To read more or comment...

Carrizo drilling second Utica shale well in Guernsey County

By Bob Downing Published: June 22, 2014

From Carrrizo Oil & Gas last week:

HOUSTON, June 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRZO) today announced an operational update, which includes the following highlights:

Niobrara Formation

Carrizo recently began production from its first multiple-geological-bench downspacing pilot in the Niobrara formation. The pilot consisted of eight wells in the company's Bringelson Ranch area in Weld County, CO. The pilot tested both B-A-B and B-B-B lateral orientations spaced 300 ft. apart, equating to 40-acre spacing. The wells were drilled with an average effective lateral of approximately 4,000 ft. and completed with an average of 14 frac stages. The average peak rate from the eight wells was 1,021 Boe/d (89% oil). This compares very favorably to our current Area 1 type curve, which assumes an average IP rate of approximately 800 Boe/d (80% oil). The five B bench wells had a peak rate of 957 Boe/d (89% oil) while the three A Bench wells had a peak rate of 1,127 Boe/d (88% oil). One of the A Bench wells, the Bringelson Ranch 6-20, had a peak 24-hour flowing rate of 1,633 Boe/d (87% oil), the strongest peak rate to date from the Company's Niobrara program. Carrizo operates the Bringelson Ranch wells with an approximate 29% working interest.

To read more or comment...

Federal regulators keeping eye on lending for Ohio drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 22, 2014

Financial regulators, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, are watching the fast-developing Utica shale play in eastern Ohio for signs of overzealous lending and unhealthy lender balance sheets.

There are no warning signs of a coming oil-and-gas bust in Ohio, reports Columbus Business First, but those who safeguard financial markets aren’t taking any chances as they closely monitor credit underwriting practices of those developing the Utica play.

To read the full story, click  here.


 

To read more or comment...

Permits sought for natural gas-fired power plant in Middletown

By Bob Downing Published: June 22, 2014

Florida-based NTE Solutions has filed an application with the Ohio Power Sitting Board for its proposed $500 million natural-gas fired power plant in Middeletown in southwest Ohio.

The Dayton Business Journal reports the company has created a new subsidiary for Ohio, NTE Ohio LLC.

NTE Ohio hopes to break ground on the plant in the second quarter of 2015 and start commercial operations in the second quarter of 2018.

To read more, click here.

To read more or comment...

Italian firm has plans for new plant in Weirton, W. Va.

By Bob Downing Published: June 22, 2014

An Italian company has plans for a new plant in Weirtom, W. Va.

The Pietro Fiorentini Group of Vicenza, Italy, plans to build a new plant to make valves, meters and other components used by the drilling industry.

The plant will employ about 50 workers and be completed in two years.

The company currently has 15 workers in Weirton.

To read more or comment...

Total U.S. petroleum deliveries up 1.9 percent in May

By Bob Downing Published: June 22, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute on Thursday:

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2014 ─ Total U.S. petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) rose 1.9 percent from May 2013 to average 18.9 million barrels per day last month. These were the highest May deliveries in six years.

“Last month saw a continuation of recent trends, with strong demand and even stronger production resulting in falling import levels,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy.

Gasoline demand gained 3.6 percent from May 2013 to average 9.3 million barrels per day, the highest level for the month since 2007. Demand increased for jet fuel by 0.6 percent and for distillate by 5.2 percent from the prior year to average 1.4 million barrels per day and just below 4.0 million barrels per day, respectively. Residual fuel deliveries fell over the same period by 13.5 percent to an all-time record low of 186 thousand barrels per day, and demand for “other oils” fell 1.1 percent over year-ago levels.

U.S. crude oil production increased by 14.7 percent from last May to 8.3 million barrels per day, the highest level for the month since 1987. According to the latest reports from Baker-Hughes, Inc., the number of oil and gas rigs in the U.S. in May was 1,859, up 24 counts from April, and up by 92 counts from May 2013. This was the highest count since September 2012.

Total imports averaged just below 9.6 million barrels per day in May, falling by 4.5 percent from the prior year. Crude oil imports fell 1.9 percent over the same period to 7.6 million barrels per day. Both figures represent the lowest May levels in 19 years. Imports of refined products fell by 13.2 percent from last year to the lowest imports level in 18 years at 2.0 million barrels per day.

Gasoline production rose to a new all-time high of 10.3 million barrels per day – the first time ever above 10.0 million barrels per day – on an increase of 10.9 percent over May 2013’s output. Production of distillate fuel reached the highest output level ever recorded for the month of May. The 5.0 percent increase from the prior year lifted distillate production to just over 5.0 million barrels per day.

At 16.1 million barrels per day, U.S. refinery gross inputs were up 2.4 percent from last May to the highest level for the month since 2005. Exports of refined petroleum products were up by 10.9 percent from the prior year to average 3.8 million barrels per day. These were the highest exports for the month on record. The refinery capacity utilization rate averaged 89.7 percent in May. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.934 million barrels per day.

Crude oil stocks ended at 382.9 million barrels, down by 2.4 percent from the prior year. Stocks of motor gasoline were down by 3.6 percent from last year to 213.7 million barrels in May. Distillate, jet fuel and “other oils” stocks were all down from year ago levels.
 

To read more or comment...

Four oilfield service firms merge into Nine Energy Service

By Bob Downing Published: June 22, 2014

Four oilfield services companies have merged to form Nine Energy Service to offer completion solutions and wire-line services for oil and natural gas development, reports Citybizlist in Houston.

The partners in the venture are Northern States Completions, Tripoint LLC, CDK Perforating and Integrated Production Services Canada.

The company has an office in Marietta in southern Ohio.

To read the full story, click  here.

To read more or comment...

45 Ohio students win OOGEEP energy scholarships

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2014

From the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Educationj Program::


The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) and their scholarship Foundation (Foundation) are pleased to announce the 2014 Energy Scholarship Award winners.

45 students attending 19 institutions were awarded scholarships to pursue careers in the oil and natural gas industry.

To be eligible for the annual scholarship, students must have an energy career goal and are required to be either an Ohio resident or planning to attend an Ohio trade school, college or university. The students are judged on career goals, essays, letters of recommendation, academic achievement, awards or special recognitions, community service and other outside activities.

In 2011, OOGEEP released its Economic Impact Study estimating over 200,000 jobs would be needed in Ohio’s oil and natural gas industry through 2015. At the time of the study’s release, there were 14,400 employed in related oil and gas industries in the state. According to the most recent report from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, there are now over 189,000 Ohioans employed by our industry. With growth in the development of Ohio’s 30 carbon-bearing formations, and the development of the Utica-Point Pleasant still in its early stages, these job numbers will continue to increase.

“The demand for a well-trained workforce has never been greater, and the opportunities for careers in energy have never been as abundant as they are today. By establishing these scholarship opportunities, we can not only reward these exceptional students, but ensure the continued success of Ohio’s oil and gas industry through fostering the education of our future energy leaders,” said Rhonda Reda, Executive Director, OOGEEP and the Foundation.

In Ohio and across the country, the oil and natural gas industry has placed great emphasis on the training and education of the next generation of energy workers. With average age of an oilfield worker at 55 years old, and the rapid growth of development across the state, this focus on training and education is imperative now, and in the years to come. These efforts have been a primary objective of OOGEEP, and the Foundation.

“The education of this generation is essential to meet the growing need for energy resources in Ohio and all of the United States, and it drives our need to encourage more students to pursue careers in the domestic energy fields. Today is the time to train and prepare our workforce to help discover, develop, and supply tomorrow’s energy resources, and supporting these outstanding young minds is a great start,” states Scholarship Committee Chairman Frank Gonzalez, GonzOil.

Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Foundation 2014 Energy Scholarship Award Winners:

Belmont College
Matthew Yoder, Carrollton

Hobart Institute of Welding Technology
Lance Busch, Napoleon, OH
Brandon Rahn, Dayton, OH
Gabriele Travis, Worcester, NY

Kent State University - Stark
Nathan Haas, Alliance, OH

Malone University
Debra Harrington, Dellroy, OH
Josh Harley, Burbank, OH

Marietta College
Adam Stupak, Shadyside, OH
Cory Almady, Rocky River, OH
Joseph Pernell, Pataskala, OH
Trent Paul, Newark, OH
Carley Yontz, Woodsfield, OH
Joel Anderson, Dayton, OH
Eric Rothermel, Bridgeville, PA
Blair Wilson, Sidney, OH
Myles Shade, Lordstown, OH
Dakota West, Dennison, OH
Sheldon Mullet, Dundee, OH
Evan Hensel, Strasburg, OH
Jacob Markiewicz, Marietta, OH
John Moore, Fleming, OH
Kaitlin Pottmeyer, Fleming, OH
Erica Ohler, Wingett Run, OH
Abbey Tornes, Lowell, OH
Jason Long, New Martinsville, WV

North Central State College
Josh Widrick, Mansfield, OH

Pennsylvania State University
Zachary Black, Poland, OH

Stark State College
Thomas Holowecky, Avon, OH

The Ohio State University
Sean Harlan, Steubenville, OH

The Ohio State University's Agricultural Technical Institute
Hunter Smith, Norwich, OH

The University of Akron
Madeline Lee, North Canton, OH
Stephen Callow, Girard, OH

University of Cincinnati
James Pike, Galena, OH

University of Mount Union
Emily Zbasnik, Minerva, OH
Ashley Haas, Alliance, OH

University of Pittsburgh
Jeffrey Schallick, Columbiana, OH

Virginia Tech
Connor O'Brien, Alliance, OH

West Virginia University
Derek Craig, Fairfield, OH
Alec Rufener, Mogadore, OH
Grant Stokes, Wooster, OH

Wheeling Jesuit University
Benjamin Standiford, Cambridge, OH

Youngstown State University
Haileh Ahmed, Canfield, OH

Zane State College
Levi Davis, Athens, OH
Jacob Altier, Glouster, OH
Joseph Zollars, Killbuck, OH

Photos available upon request. Please contact Dan Alfaro at dalfaro@oogeep.org for additional information or to request a photograph.

The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program is a non-profit statewide public outreach program. The mission of OOGEEP is to facilitate educational, scholarship, safety and training programs; to promote public awareness about the industry; and to demonstrate to the general public the environmental, energy and economic benefits of Ohio’s independent natural gas and crude oil producers. OOGEEP is not funded with any tax payer dollars. Scholarships are primarily funded through special industry training proceeds, memorial contributions, and general donations from Ohio’s natural gas and crude oil industry.
 

To read more or comment...

Ohio has plentiful water supply for drillers, others, EID-Ohio says

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2014

Shawn Bennett of Energy in Depth-Ohio, a pro-drilling trade group, looks at Ohio's available water supply for drillers and others.

Click  here  to read his blog.

To read more or comment...

EQT, Range Resources complete asset exchange in Texas, Va.

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2014

From EQT Corp. earlier in the week:

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT) and Range Resources Corporation (NYSE: RRC) today announced completion of the asset exchange that was announced in late April 2014. In the transaction, EQT received approximately 73,000 net acres and more than 900 producing wells in the Permian Basin of Texas. Range received approximately 138,000 net acres and the remaining interest in a supporting gathering system in the Nora Field of Virginia, plus $145 million cash, less the normal post-closing adjustments.

RANGE RESOURCES CORPORATION is a leading independent oil and natural gas producer with operations focused in Appalachia and the Midcontinent region of the United States. The Company pursues an organic growth strategy targeting high return, low-cost projects within its large inventory of low risk, development drilling opportunities. The Company is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. More information about Range can be found at www.rangeresources.com.

About EQT Corporation:
EQT Corporation is an integrated energy company with emphasis on Appalachian area natural gas production, gathering, and transmission. EQT is the general partner and significant equity owner of EQT Midstream Partners, LP. With more than 125 years of experience, EQT continues to be a leader in the use of advanced horizontal drilling technology – designed to minimize the potential impact of drilling-related activities and reduce the overall environmental footprint. Through safe and responsible operations, the Company is committed to meeting the country’s growing demand for clean-burning energy, while continuing to provide a rewarding workplace and enrich the communities where its employees live and work. Company shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange as EQT.

To read more or comment...

Retirees say Pa. health agency limited action by state workers

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2014

Two retirees from the Pennsylvania Department of Health say state employees were muzzled by higher-ups when health questions arose in commection with Marcellus shale drilling.

To read the story from NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania, click  here.

To read more or comment...

Access Midstream confirms sale, merger plans with Williams

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2014

From Access Midstream earlier this week:

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 15, 2014-- Access Midstream Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ACMP) (the “Partnership”) today confirmed that Williams Companies, Inc. (“Williams”) announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire all of the interests in both Access Midstream Partners, L.P. (the “Partnership”) and the Partnership’s general partner, Access Midstream Partners GP, L.L.C, currently owned by Global Infrastructure Partners II (“GIP”). If this transaction is completed, Williams will own and control the Partnership’s general partner and GIP will no longer have any ownership interest in the Partnership or its general partner.

Williams also announced a proposal regarding a possible merger transaction involving the Partnership and Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ). The board of directors of the Partnership’s general partner will carefully consider any such proposal with its advisors and, if appropriate, may authorize the conflicts committee of the board to consider such proposal.

"First, I'd like to thank GIP for their partnership with us, which dates back to the pre-IPO formation of ACMP in 2009. Since that time, they have provided superb guidance and support that has allowed our partnership to create substantial equity value for all of our unitholders,” J. Mike Stice, ACMP’s CEO commented. “I am also excited about ACMP being a part of the Williams family of companies. Since Williams invested in ACMP in 2012, it’s been clear to me that our companies share many common values on matters such as customer service, operational excellence and the focus on the development of our employees. With respect to the proposed merger of ACMP and WPZ, I am confident that ACMP’s board of directors will engage in a thorough analysis and process to provide a positive outcome for ACMP unitholders."

To read more or comment...

API hails LNG decision in Louisiana, urges speedier action

By Bob Downing Published: June 21, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute on Thursday:

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2014 ─ API welcomed today’s approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of a facility to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Cameron Parish, Louisiana and urged Congress to accelerate the process for future applicants.

“After years of delay, the Cameron Liquefaction Project is only the second LNG export facility to receive final FERC approval along with its conditional approval from the Department of Energy,” said API Upstream Group Director Erik Milito. “This is great news for the workers of Louisiana and for the U.S. economy, but it shows how slowly the current process is working to unlock the economic opportunities created by the U.S. energy revolution. Members of both the House and Senate are working to expedite the process, and the sooner we act, the sooner that America can cut its trade debt, create thousands of new jobs, and harness its international power as the world’s top producer of natural gas.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.

To read more or comment...

Gastar Exploration update on its first Utica shale well

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2014

From Texas-based Gastar Exploration earlier this week:

HOUSTON, June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Gastar Exploration Inc. (NYSE MKT: GST) ("Gastar") reported today that it has reached total depth on the vertical pilot hole for its first Utica/Point Pleasant well in Marshall County, West Virginia.  The Simms 5-UH well was drilled to a total depth of 11,410 feet and encountered approximately 92 net feet of pay in the Point Pleasant formation with measured porosities up to 17%.  Gastar expects estimated formation pressures to be approximately 9,400 psi upon completion of the well.

Gastar is currently plugging back the well in order to drill a 4,200 foot horizontal section in the Point Pleasant formation.  After drilling the lateral, a 23-stage completion is planned followed by a three week "soaking" of the well with first production expected in late August 2014. 

Gastar's President and CEO, J. Russell Porter, commented, "These results have confirmed our expectations regarding the Utica/Point Pleasant formation.  As a result of this information, and the Utica/Point Pleasant results reported by other nearby operators, we are planning to move forward with a program that should rapidly de-risk this asset and add substantial net asset value to Gastar."

To read more or comment...

North Dakota is fourth state to top 1 million barrels per day of oil

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2014

From Bloomberg News earlier this week:

North Dakota, home to the Bakken shale formation, became the fourth state in U.S. history to produce more than 1 million barrels of oil a day in April.

Output increased by 2.5 percent from March to 1,001,149 barrels a day, the state’s Department of Mineral Resources reported today. Texas, California and Alaska have crossed the million-barrel mark. Only Texas remains above it, at almost 3 million barrels a day.

To read more or comment...

PDC Energy getting new president-CEO Barton Brookman

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2014

From Colorado-based PDC Energy earlier this week:

DENVER, June 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PDC Energy, Inc. ("PDC" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:PDCE) announced today that James M. Trimble, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), will step down and return to his previously held Board of Directors role in January 2015. He will be succeeded as President and CEO by Barton Brookman. Mr. Brookman will be appointed President effective immediately. He has been with the Company since 2005, most recently serving as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since his appointment in June 2013.

"Bart's appointment to President and CEO represents a leadership transition that we expect to be seamless," said Jeff Swoveland, Non-Executive Chair. "Over the past several years, Bart has been actively mentored by Jim, and the Board is confident that Bart will continue the growth and expansion that PDC has seen under Jim's leadership. On behalf of the Board, I'd also like to thank Jim for his tireless leadership over the past few years. During his tenure as CEO, the Company has seen tremendous growth in production, profitability and shareholder returns. We are especially pleased that Jim will continue to serve on the Board, providing PDC with the ongoing benefit of his many years of industry and company experience."

"As I begin my transition back to being a non-management member of the Board of Directors, I am proud to reflect on three years of noteworthy accomplishments - including restructuring the Company to focus on liquids, delivering substantial production growth and initiating successful exploration in the Utica shale," said Mr. Trimble. "During my time as CEO we also executed many strategic and operational changes that have driven significant value for our shareholders. Bart has been an integral part of our operational excellence and I have every confidence in his ability to lead PDC Energy in the future."

To read more or comment...

Pennsylvania fines Carrizo $192,044 for Wyoming County probleml

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2014

From Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection this week:

“These were serious incidents that resulted in environmental degradation and the evacuation of citizens from their homes,” DEP Director of District Oil and Gas Operations John Ryder said. “The department has been working closely with Carrizo during the past year to ensure the company implements changes that will greatly minimize a recurrence of these incidents.”

The well control incident in Washington Township began in the early evening of March 13, 2013, during the hydraulic fracturing of the Yarasavage 1H well. Carrizo reported that production fluid was escaping uncontrolled from the gas well at a rate of 800 to 1,100 barrels per hour and was escaping containment.

Carrizo initially responded to the incident by implementing temporary containment, removing escaped fluid with vacuum trucks, and contacting a well control specialist company for assistance.

To read more or comment...

Utica player Eclipse Resource raises $818 million with IPO

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2014

From Bloomberg News today:

Eclipse and existing owners sold 30.3 million shares for $27 each, according to a statement distributed by Business Wire, after offering them at $27 to $30. The shares will start trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ECR.

At $27 a share, Eclipse has a market value of $4.32 billion, according to the terms of its original filing. The company, which is backed by the private-equity firm EnCap Investments LP, will use the money it raised to pay off some of its debt and fund capital expenditures.

To read more or comment...

American Energy Partners forming new midstream company

By Bob Downing Published: June 20, 2014

From American Energy Partners earlier this week:

OKLAHOMA CITY, JUNE 18, 2014 - American Energy Partners, LP (AELP) and The Energy &
Minerals Group (EMG) today announced the formation of American Energy – Midstream, LLC
(AE-MidCo), which will make investments in the midstream oil and natural gas industry. AEMidCo’s
primary focus will be in areas where affiliates of AELP and affiliates of EMG have
active upstream operations. AE-MidCo plans to build a portfolio of midstream assets
strategically focused on natural gas gathering and processing systems and long-haul pipelines
associated with four affiliates of AELP that have a play-specific mandate: American Energy –
Utica, LLC (AEU), American Energy – Woodford, LLC (AEW), American Energy – Marcellus,
LLC (AEM), and American Energy – Permian Basin, LLC (AEPB). AELP provides management
services to each of AEU, AEW, AEM and AEPB and EMG is the lead equity investor in each.
About

To read more or comment...

How shale fracking raised ice cream prices. Really. With a chart!

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 19, 2014

Here are five things you may not know about hydraulic fracking, writes Martin Tillier.

Among them, fracking has raised ice cream prices. And the Environmental Protection Agency likes to use fracking as well. For the details, read on.

Tillier: "Fracking has had profound effects on the energy industry, so far mostly in the U.S., where it has created oil and gas booms in non-traditional places, moved the country closer to energy independence, and resulted in a huge reduction in the cost of energy, particularly natural gas.

"It is, however, not without controversy. Environmental groups worry that we don't know the possible effects of chemicals used in the process, and that contamination of the water supply could cause major environmental problems at some point in the future. Breaking up subterranean rock formations just sounds like a harmful thing to do and many believe that earthquakes have been or will be caused.

To read more or comment...

Westbound natural gas to begin flowing in REX Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: June 18, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

The Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) announced on Monday that it expects service to commence as soon as today for the first 0.25 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of capacity on its 0.60 Bcf/d Seneca Lateral pipeline in southeast Ohio. The 14.3-mile lateral will flow gas north from the MarkWest Seneca natural gas processing plant to the REX mainline, where a newly built compressor station will allow this gas to be delivered to points west in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. No new pipelines will be added to the mainline; the project will allow bidirectional flows—both east and west—to occur on existing portions of the pipeline, where until now natural gas could only flow east, predominantly from western basins (see map above).

Read More ›

To read more or comment...

Magnum Hunter, Rice competing for biggest Utica well

By Bob Downing Published: June 18, 2014

Texas-based Magnum Hunter Resources and Pennsylvania-based Rice Energy are competing to see who has the No. 1 producing Utica shale well.

Rice currently holds that title with its recent Bigfoot well announcement.

The Houston Business Journal reports on the two companies' efforts in this June 2 article.

To read more or comment...

Natural gas next to be shipped by rail from shale sites?

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 17, 2014

Energy and rail companies look to move natural gas, not just oil, by rail from remote shale sites in the United States, news service Reuters reports.

Reuters: " As politicians debate the dangers of a massive increase in oil carried by rail in North America, railroads and energy producers are considering the same for natural gas.

"Buoyed by the unexpected success of crude by rail, companies are beginning to consider transporting natural gas as remote drilling frontiers emerge beyond the reach of pipelines, executives said.

"Natural gas by rail is years away and likely to face strong public resistance after a series of explosive crude-by-rail accidents. But the potentially multibillion-dollar development could connect gas-rich regions like North Dakota with urban centers, presenting an opportunity for railroads, drillers and tank car makers already cashing in from hauling oil on trains.

To read more or comment...

Bakken shale oil goes everywhere by rail and lowers prices

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 17, 2014

Bakken shale products typically move by rail, not pipeline, the RealClearEnergy site notes.

RealClearEnergy: "Despite the delay in building the Keystone Pipeline, crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota is making its way to refineries around the country on the East, West and Gulf coasts and lowering the price of oil.

" ...New rail capacity is built to handle shale oil coming out of the Niobrara and Permian Basins in Colorado and West Texas and rail is now shouldering a considerable portion of the nation's oil transportation. However, an update report issued by the State Department this week says that rail transport still remains much more accident-prone than transport by pipeline"

Read the full post here.

To read more or comment...

Fracking fracas in Loveland

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 17, 2014

There's a big vote coming up soon in Loveland, Colo., notes National Review Online:

"Loveland, Colo., has been best known nationally for its romantic name; each February, more than 100,000 letter-writers send notes through the city to their sweethearts. Loveland relies on volunteers to hand-stamp the mail with a love poem and forward the letters on to their intended valentines.

"But next week, Loveland might well be the site of an epic break-up between Colorado’s environmentalist liberals and its Democratic establishment. The city’s 70,000 residents will vote on a highly divisive fracking moratorium, becoming the latest in a series of Front Range communities to weigh restrictions on this technique for extracting underground natural gas and oil.
 

Read the whole thing here.

To read more or comment...

Williams to acquire Access Midstream interests for $6 billion

By Bob Downing Published: June 16, 2014

From Williams Co. yesterday:

Williams (NYSE:WMB) today announced that it has agreed to acquire the 50 percent general partner interest and 55.1 million limited partner units in Oklahoma City-based Access Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE:ACMP) held by Global Infrastructure Partners II ("GIP") for $5.995 billion in cash. At the close of trading on Friday, June 13, the 55.1 million LP units had a market value of $3.6 billion. Upon closing, Williams will own 100 percent of the general partner and 50 percent of the limited partner interests in Access Midstream Partners. This transaction follows Williams' acquisition of its 50 percent GP interest and 23 percent LP interest in Access Midstream Partners in December 2012. Williams expects the acquisition to close in the third quarter of 2014. Following the closing of the acquisition, Williams plans to increase its third-quarter 2014 dividend by 32 percent to $0.56 per share.

Williams also today announced a proposal to merge Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) with and into Access Midstream Partners.

"Today, we're announcing a series of steps designed to amplify the benefits of our existing relationship with Access Midstream Partners, an increase in our dividend and the acceleration of Williams' move to a pure-play GP holding company of two leading master limited partnerships," said Alan Armstrong, Williams' chief executive officer.

To read more or comment...

U.S. crude exports in April rise to 15-year high level

By Bob Downing Published: June 16, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

The United States exported 268,000 barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil in April (the latest data available from the U.S. Census Bureau), the highest level of exports in 15 years. Exports have increased sharply since the start of 2013 and have exceeded 200,000 b/d in five of the past six months. The increase in crude exports is largely the result of rising U.S. crude production, which was 8.2 million b/d in March.

Read More ›

To read more or comment...

API supports more federal offshore oil, natural gas leases

By Bob Downing Published: June 16, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute on Friday:

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2014 – The Interior Department should open new areas to offshore oil and natural gas development as it writes the schedule of lease sales for 2017 to 2022, API Senior Policy Advisor Andy Radford told reporters on a press conference call today.

“The United States has a long and successful history of producing oil and natural gas offshore, but government restrictions keep 87 percent of federal offshore waters locked away.

“Our energy renaissance has put millions of Americans to work, generated billions of dollars in revenue for the government, and put downward pressure on prices for consumers.

“But earlier this month, the International Energy Agency reported that we could fall behind OPEC countries if U.S. production plateaus, which IEA says could add $15 per barrel to the price of oil.

“Opening new areas like the Atlantic and eastern Gulf of Mexico would send a signal to the markets and to the world that America’s oil and natural gas renaissance is here to stay.

“America’s long-term energy security can only be ensured with a lasting commitment to expanding oil and natural gas development both on and offshore.”

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.

To read more or comment...

Six Ohio counties now top 100 Utica shale drilling permits

By Bob Downing Published: June 16, 2014

Carroll County remains No. 1 in Ohio for Utica shale permits.

But six Ohio counties have now topped 100 permits each, according to Shawn Bennnett of Energy in Depth-Ohio, a pro-drilling trade group.

Carroll County has 408 permits, Harrsion County has 234, Noble County has 108, Belmont County has 105, Guernsey County has 104 and Columbiana County has 103.

In addition, Monroe County with some of Ohio's best-producing wells has 88 permits.

To read more or comment...

Analysts look at CONSOL Energy financial picture

By Bob Downing Published: June 16, 2014

From the New York-based anaylst firm Sterne Agee and analysts Michael Dudas and Satyadeep Jain:

CONSOL ENERGY (NYSE: CNX) RATING: BUY
Price: $44.82
Price Target: $56.00


Our Call
Consol's new management team rolled out a thorough and supportive overview, especially gas delineation and growth expectations, capital efficiency, stacked pay potential, firm transportation, midstream MLP/non-core asset monetization, and coal and overall cash flow targets. As market digests the voluminous data generated, we believe CNX remains on track to deliver asset value growth while continuing to selectively monetize non-core assets. Plan execution will remain a key catalyst.

• Management stressed quality, cost and capital efficiency of its gas operations. RCS/SSL techniques are generating almost a 40% increase in IP rates and 15-20% increase in EURs. Management seems confident of achieving 5-10% reduction in total operating cost per Mcfe over next three years. Consol has solid acreage position in Utica dry gas in Eastern OH, Southwest PA and Northern WV. Consol could have significant valuation upside from its stacked pays in Southwest PA, Monroe County, OH, Pittsburgh airport, Dominion Transmission storage field.

• Consol remains long firm transportation and has structured its capacity contracts to allow for 30% growth targets through 2016. We are pleased with Consol’s existing diverse transportation capacity and its efforts to further expand the reach to other markets. Consol and Noble announced intention to form an MLP for their midstream gathering services. If Consol and Noble do decide to go ahead with the IPO, we expect closing in late 2014/early 2015.

• Coal - NAPP coal stockpile levels have dropped considerably over this winter. Management expects 2014-end coal stockpiles at 110-120 MT (vs our estimate of 115 MT). In a carbon regulated world, Bailey coal would have an advantage over sub-bituminous coals.

• Consol expects monetization of non-core assets to yield nearly $1B over next five years, with annual targets of $100-$300M. Management wants to be calculating on timing and value and can therefore be expected to be patient through the process. Consol cash flow estimates call for modest $100-$300M cash needs each year through 2016, and should be able to plug the cash flow gap through higher efficiencies, tapping the revolver, hedging strategies, higher realizations from asset sales, among other alternatives.

• Investment Summary - We believe that as additional, smaller sized, non-core asset sales emerge, thermal prices continue to improve, and metallurgical coal market prices normalize, and Consol's shale profile achieves targeted growth, the valuation gap should continue to narrow during the next 12-18 months. We support our $56 target using asset valuations for coal and gas businesses.

To read more or comment...

Wyoming group calls for fuller review of Pavillion water problem

By Bob Downing Published: June 16, 2014

From Earthworks and a grass-roots group in Wyoming:

 

Pavillion, WY, June 13 – Yesterday Wyoming state regulators met with Pavillion-area residents to provide an update on their investigation into whether Pavillion-area water was polluted by oil and gas development, including fracking.

“This meeting didn’t provide us anything except more questions,” said John Fenton, impacted rancher and president of the Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens. He continued, “The EPA study was ready for peer review when Wyoming took over. The state’s closed door process, funded by Encana, doesn’t inspire confidence.”

To read more or comment...

Congressional group against steel pipe dumping by South Korea

By Bob Downing Published: June 16, 2014

From the Alliance for American Manufacturing on Friday:

Bipartisan Group of 150+ Members of Congress Urge Commerce Department to Act on Dumping of Steel Pipe

Today, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) praised a bipartisan group of more than 150 Members of Congress for signing a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker urging a thorough investigation of the dumping of Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) steel pipe in the U.S. market by South Korea. The letter, which was jointly organized by Reps. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Pete Visclosky (D-IN), emphasizes the strategic economic importance of OCTG pipe to the future of U.S. energy independence. A similar letter was signed last month by a majority of the U.S. Senate.

The bipartisan letter comes after a preliminary ruling by the Commerce Department had determined that eight countries are dumping OCTG pipe in the U.S. at below fair-market value. Notably absent, however, in the Commerce Department analysis was any finding of wrongdoing by South Korea, the primary source of imported OCTG products. With no market of its own, South Korea exports nearly all of its OCTG production – often at well-below market prices – to the United States. With a final decision set for July, the House letter urges Secretary Pritzker to fully investigate concerns regarding the accuracy of data submitted by South Korean steel companies.

To read more or comment...

Newsweek examines mandatory pooling laws in 39 states

By Bob Downing Published: June 16, 2014

Newsweek takes a look at mandatory pooling, a practive allowed in Ohio and Pennsylvania and 37 other states to help drillers assemble workable tracts to be drilled.

Click  here  to read the full story..

To read more or comment...

Drug gangs with tanks stop Mexican shale exploration

By Bob Downing Published: June 16, 2014

From Bloomberg News on Thursday:

By Nacha Cattan and Adam Williams

Oil shale drillers in Texas have had to contend with environmental opposition and soaring costs. A few miles south of the border in Mexico, Angel Torrez and co- workers duck gunfire sprayed from drug traffickers.

When gunmen pulled up in April in a makeshift tank and riddled the Hotel Asya with bullets, Torrez dropped to the floor. After the attack, the 21-year-old machine operator for Weatherford International Ltd. and his crew of about 30 left town under police escort. Ciudad Mier, in the gas-rich region along the Texas border known as the Burgos Basin, had already become a ghost town after most of its inhabitants had fled following years of bloodshed.

To read more or comment...

Pennsylvania hikes permit fees for Marcellus shale drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2014

Pennsylvania has, effective today, raised the permit fees paid by drillers in the Marcellus shale.

The higher fees are expected to generate about $4.7 million annually for the state's Department of Environmental Protection.

The money will be used to hire more inspectors and to computerize state records.

Click  here  to read the full story from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

To read more or comment...

Williams seeks to buy Access Midstream for $3 billion

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2014

From Bloomberg News on Friday:

Williams Cos., the fourth-largest U.S. pipeline company, is in advanced talks to buy control of Access Midstream Partners LP for about $3 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Williams would buy the stake from Global Infrastructure Partners, which owns almost one third of Access Midstream as well as half of its general partner, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. An agreement could be announced as soon as next week, the people said.

The deal is intended to accelerate Williams’ growth prospects, four months after the company avoided a potential proxy fight by giving board seats to activist investors Keith Meister and Eric Mandelblatt, who had urged it to consider“strategic combinations.”

To read more or comment...

Cash-strapped Pennsylvania taking another look at taxing drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 13, 2014

Faced with a $1.5 billion state budget deficit, Pennsyvania lawmakers are taking another look at taxing the shale drilling in the Marcellus shale, despite opposition from Gov. Tom Corbett.

Click  here  to read more from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

To read more or comment...

Utica wells are matching high-production Marcellus wells

By Bob Downing Published: June 13, 2014

The southeast corner of the Utica shale window in eastern Ohio is a big attraction these days, according to the Houston Chronicle.

It reports that wells in Belmont and Monroe counties are matching the production from some of biggest wells in the Marcellus shale in north-central Pennsylvania.

Ohio can offer wet gas plus high-performing affordable wells that are very attractive to drillers.

Click  here  to read the full story.

To read more or comment...

Spinoff Chesapeake Oilfield Services to offer $500 million in notes

By Bob Downing Published: June 13, 2014

From Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Thursday:

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 12, 2014-- Chesapeake Oilfield Operating, L.L.C., (the “Company”), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation (“Chesapeake”) (NYSE: CHK) that will be renamed Seventy Seven Energy Inc. in connection with its previously announced spin-off from Chesapeake, announced today the pricing of $500 million in aggregate principal amount of 6.5% senior unsecured notes due 2022 (the “Notes”) in a private placement under Rule 144A and Regulation S of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), to eligible purchasers. The Notes mature on July 15, 2022 and will be issued at par.

The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the private placement to make a cash distribution to COS Holdings, L.L.C., its direct parent, to repay all outstanding indebtedness under the Company’s new asset backed lending credit facility to be entered into in connection with the spin-off and for general corporate purposes. The offering of the Notes is not conditioned on the consummation of the spin-off from Chesapeake.

The offering of the Notes is expected to close on June 26, 2014, subject to customary conditions.

To read more or comment...

Gas-fired generation dependent on fuel availability, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: June 13, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Different scenarios of natural gas resource availability in the Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014) Reference case, High Oil and Gas Resource case, and Low Oil and Gas Resource case affect the growth of natural gas-fired electric generation. As increasing amounts of natural gas become economically available to power sector and onsite generators, gas-fired electric generation increases in all three cases. However, the cases differ in terms of whether growth in gas-fired generation is sufficient to overtake coal-fired generation by 2040.

Read More ›

Tags: AEO2014 (Annual Energy Outlook 2014) , coal , forecast , generation , natural gas , production

To read more or comment...

Is Ohio's Utica shale similar to N.D.'s Bakken shale?

By Bob Downing Published: June 13, 2014

Could Ohio's Utica shale be similar to North Dakota's Bakken shale?

That possibility is explored by the Bismarck Tribune in a story after an industry conference in Pittsburgh.

Click  here  to read the full story.

To read more or comment...

EQT, NextEra announce plans for 330-mile pipeline to Southeast

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2014

From EQT Corp.:

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT) and NextEra US Gas Assets, LLC, an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc (NYSE: NEE) today announced the commencement of a non-binding open season for the Mountain Valley Pipeline project, which is expected to connect Marcellus and Utica natural gas supply to demand markets in the Southeast region of the United States. The companies also announced the signing of a letter of intent to form a joint venture that is expected to construct and own the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Under the letter of intent, EQT is expected to, through one or more of its affiliates, including EQT Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE: EQM), operate the pipeline and own a majority interest in the joint venture.

Subject to FERC approval, the 330-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline project will extend the Equitrans transmission system from Wetzel County, West Virginia; and travel south to its expected primary delivery point, Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company’s (Transco) Zone 5 compressor station 165 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. In addition to the primary delivery point, the Mountain Valley Pipeline has numerous potential interconnects with pipelines and processing facilities; and shippers will have the option to request a project extension to delivery points further south into North Carolina. The Mountain Valley Pipeline is expected to initially provide at least two billion cubic feet per day of firm transmission capacity. Including EQT, the open season has commitments from two foundation shippers that, combined, have agreed to one Bcf per day of firm transmission capacity through 20-year contracts on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Delivery to Transco station 165 is expected to be in service by the fourth quarter of 2018.

“By leveraging our existing asset footprint and extensive pipeline network, this project will provide Marcellus and Utica producers a unique opportunity to transport their growing natural gas production to the southeast, one of the nation’s fastest growing demand markets,” stated Randy Crawford, senior vice president, EQT Corporation; and chief operating officer, EQT Midstream Partners.

To read more or comment...

U.S. imports fall to 15-year seasonal low as domestic crude booms

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2014

From Bloomberg News:

U.S. fuel imports fell to a 15-year seasonal low as refineries processed increasing domestic crude output, moving the nation closer to energy independence.

Deliveries slid 653,000 barrels a day to 1.68 million in the week ended June 6, the fewest for the period since 1999, the Energy Information Administration data showed today. The 28 percent drop was the biggest decline since the week ended June 18, 2013. Fuel imports peaked at 4.97 million barrels a day in October 2005.

To read more or comment...

Ohio is leading multi-state push on human-induced quakes

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2014

From the Associated Press:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio is leading a group of drilling states working with seismology experts from energy companies, government agencies and universities across the U.S. on how best to detect and regulate human-induced earthquakes.

The initiative follows Ohio’s discovery in April of a probable link between the drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing and five small tremors in eastern Ohio, a first in the Northeast.

In 2012, Gov. John Kasich halted disposal of fracturing wastewater surrounding a well site in the same region after a series of earthquakes later tied to a deep-injection well. The company that ran the well has disputed the link.

To read more or comment...

CONSOL, Noble to form Marcellus master limited partnership

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2014

From CONSOL Energy today:

 

PITTSBURGH , June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) announced today that CONSOL Energy and its Marcellus Shale joint venture partner, Noble Energy, Inc. , intend to form a master limited partnership (MLP) to provide midstream gathering services for production from their jointly owned acreage in the Marcellus Shale .

In furtherance of that intention, CONSOL Energy and Noble Energy have caused a draft registration statement on Form S-1 to be confidentially submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC ) for an initial public offering of common units of the MLP. The offering is expected to be completed late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2014.

To read more or comment...

Carroll County remains No. 1 for Ohio Utica shale permits

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2014

The Columbus-based Ohio Energy Resource Alliance reports that Carroll County remains the No. 1 Ohio county for Utica shale permits with 406.

No. 2 is Harrison County with 232 and Columbiana County is third with 103 permits.

To read more or comment...

API embarking on new campaign to find drilling workers

By Bob Downing Published: June 12, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute today:

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2014 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) officially launched – www.oilgasworkforce.com – a new website that provides information to anyone interested in careers, training, and certifications in the oil and natural gas industry.

“The website is another tool building on API’s worldwide leadership in standards, training and certification to strengthen the next generation of oil and natural gas development and the industry workforce,” said John Modine, API vice president of Global Industry Services in a conference call with reporters. “Our goal is to create a resource to help meet our nation’s ever-growing need for a workforce that can help us realize our energy potential for the future.”

A recent report by IHS predicts an additional 1.3 million new career opportunities in the oil and natural gas industry by 2030, and a 2013 Energy Information Administration study estimates that job growth has been 40-times higher in the oil and natural gas industry compared to the economy as a whole.

“The 21st century energy revolution has made the United States the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world, and we are on track to become the largest producer of crude within a few years,” Modine said. “The rapid expansion of energy production in our country has created hundreds of thousands of job opportunities at a level of pay significantly higher than the national average.”

Modine said the new website offers both English and Spanish versions and builds on existing recruiting initiatives by API and companies to reach veterans’ groups, labor unions, African American and Hispanic communities, and colleges and universities.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.

To read more or comment...

Shell company to join in EDF's methane-detection program

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2014

From the Environmental Defense Fund today:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 11, 2014) Environmental Defense Fund welcomes SWEPI LP (Shell) to the list of companies participating in the pioneering “Methane Detectors Challenge” with seven days remaining for technology developers to submit proposals. Announced on April 3, the Challenge is a collaborative project between EDF and five other oil and natural gas companies aimed at identifying and bringing to market new, cutting-edge technologies that could ultimately help reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations.

“Shell is pleased to join the ‘Methane Detectors Challenge’, an innovative approach to continuously improve the techniques and tools available to industry to take full advantage of the benefits of natural gas in a responsible and sustainable way,” said Paul Goodfellow, Vice President – U.S. for Shell Upstream Americas’ Unconventionals business.

Methane emissions present both an economic and environmental opportunity for the oil and gas industry. There is a market need for cost-effective technologies that provide continuous detection of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that can escape to the atmosphere during production, transportation and delivery of natural gas. Shell joins Apache Corporation, BG Group, Hess Corporation, Noble Energy and Southwestern Energy as an industry partner in this effort to help catalyze new technologies for enhanced detection of oil and gas emissions.

To read more or comment...

First-of-its-kind lawsuit aims to protect Colorado home rule

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2014

From the Colorado-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund on Tuesday:

LAFAYETTE, CO:Today, residents of Lafayette, CO, filed a first-of-its-kind class action lawsuit against the State of Colorado, Governor John Hickenlooper, and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.The lawsuit was filed to protect the rights of the people of Lafayette to self-governance, including their right to ban fracking.

 

In November 2013, residents of Lafayette overwhelmingly adopted a Home Rule Charter Amendment banning all new commercial extraction of natural gas and oil within the City limits.The Amendment establishes a Community Bill of Rights - including the right of human and natural communities to water and a healthy environment.The Bill of Rights bans fracking and other extraction as a violation of those rights.

To read more or comment...

Sand operations for fracking spread in Illinois' Lasalle County

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2014

The demand for fracking sand is spreading in Illinois.

Compnies have acquired 3,100 acres in Lasalle County, driving some farmers off their land, the Chicago Trobune reports.

Click  here  to read the latest story.

To read more or comment...

Magnum Hunter Resources pleased with Marcellus, Utica shales

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2014

Houston-based Magnum Hunter Resources is pleased with its options in the Marcellus and Utica shales, says CEO Gary Evans.

Click  here  to read the full story from the Houston Business Journal.

To read more or comment...

Pennsylvania investgating Range Resources' wastewater leak

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2014

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection confirmed Wednesday that it investigating a leak from a wastewater impoundment operated by Range Resources in Washington County's Amwell Township.

Click  here  to the latest story.

To read more or comment...

CONSOL Energy closes field office in Columbiana County

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2014

Pittsburgh-based CONSOL Energy has closed its field office in Ohio's Columbiana County.

The reason? The company is shifting its operations further south in Monroe and Noble counties, reports National Gas Intelligence, a trade publication.

The company had leased office space in Leetonia in March 2012.

CONSOL has 44 horizontal Utica permits in Ohio, most of which are in Noble County. It also has a Utica joint venture with Hess Corp.

To read more or comment...

U.S. natural gas output in 2014 likely record high, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2014

From Bloomberg News today:

U.S. natural gas output will reach 73 billion cubic feet a day for the first time this year as new pipelines tap into shale supplies stranded in the Marcellus formation in the Northeast, a new government report showed.

Marketed gas output in the lower 48 states will increase 4 percent from 2013, setting a record for the fourth straight year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook, released Tuesday in Washington. The production estimate was raised from 72.26 billion in last month’s report as “several new projects to support Marcellus production have either recently come on line or will begin operations later this year,” the government said.

The EIA left its 2014 price outlook unchanged at $4.74 per million British thermal units as the gains in shale output are partly offset by increased gas use. Gas inventories fell to an 11-year low in March after a frigid winter spurred record demand and hampered production, according to the EIA.

To read more or comment...

Ohio approves 32 new Utica shale permits last week

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2014

Ohio drillers had a big permitting week.

A total of 32 new Utica shale permits were paproved as of June 7 by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

That included three in Belmont County, two in Carroll County, one in Guernsey County, two in Harrison County, one in Hefferson County, seven in Monroe County, 14 in Noble County, one in Tuscarawas County and one in Washignton County.

To date, Ohio has approved 1,312 Utica shale permits with 904 wells drilled and 467 in production.

To read more or comment...

Marksmen Energy offers update on Ohio shale drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2014

From Marksmen Energy on Monday on Ohio drilling:

 

You can view the Previous News Releases item: Thu May 29, 2014, MARKSMEN ANNOUNCES DRILLING UPDATE

To read more or comment...

Summit Midstream announces new plans in N.D.'s Bakken shale

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2014

From Summit Midstream Partners today:

Dallas, Texas (June 10, 2014) – Summit Midstream Partners, LLC ("Summit Investments"), the privately held company that owns and controls the general partner of Summit Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE: SMLP) and also owns a 56.8% limited partner interest in SMLP, today provided a commercial update for its wholly owned operating subsidiary, Meadowlark Midstream Company, LLC ("Meadowlark"), and announced the development of a new oil, gas and water gathering system by its new, wholly owned operating subsidiary, Tioga Midstream, LLC ("Tioga Midstream"). Meadowlark is composed of the Divide Crude Oil & Water Gathering System (the "Divide System") and the Polar Crude Oil & Water Gathering System (the "Polar System"), both of which are located in the Bakken Shale Play in North Dakota. Meadowlark also owns the Niobrara Gathering & Processing System, which is located in the Denver-Julesburg Basin in Weld County, CO.

Collectively, the four new development projects represent approximately $300 million of future capital expenditures. These projects will expand Summit Investments’ crude oil, water and associated natural gas gathering footprint in Williams and Divide counties in North Dakota and will provide its customers with additional interconnects to help maximize the value of the crude oil gathered by each of Summit Investments’ Bakken Shale gathering systems.

A summary of each of the development projects is provided below:

To read more or comment...

Pa. waste cleanup firm, owner charged with improper disposal

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2014

From the Associated Press last week:

A waste cleanup firm and its owner improperly disposed of toxic natural gas drilling waste, the state Attorney General's Office said in charges filed on Friday.

Minuteman Environmental Services and Brian Bolus, who owns the Milton-based company, were charged in Union County with unlawful conduct. Bolus also is charged with conspiracy, prosecutors said.

Bolus, 43, did not respond to a telephone message left with a Minuteman receptionist.

To read more or comment...

New poll: Pennsylvanians support drilling but not under parks

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2014

From the Associated Press last week:

 

HARRISBURG — A new poll shows that Pennsylvanians support natural gas exploration by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, but they're opposed when it occurs under state parks and forests.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Friday put support for Marcellus Shale drilling at 58 percent, with 33 percent opposed. Democrats are against drilling by a margin of 48 percent to 41 percent.

To read more or comment...

Gastar Exploration offers update on Utica, Marcellus drilling

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2014

From Gastar Exploration on Monday:

HOUSTON, June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Gastar Exploration Inc. ("Gastar") (NYSE MKT: GST) today provided an update on its Hunton Oil Play operations in the Mid-Continent as well as its Marcellus and Utica operations in Appalachia.

Mid-Continent

In our Mid-Continent Hunton Oil Play, we currently have 20 gross (10.1 net) recently drilled wells on production, of which 15 gross (7.2 net) wells are non-operated in our area of mutual interest (AMI), two gross (0.2 net) are non-operated outside our AMI, and three gross (2.7 net) are operated wells. The table following this news release includes detailed production data for each well. We intend to post this table on our website and will be updating it from time to time. Investors interested in receiving an email notice indicating that the table has been updated can register to receive alerts at http://www.gastar.com/alerts.cfm.

To read more or comment...

U.S. EPA seeks 30 days to comment on Cove Point LNG plan

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking an additional 30 days to comment on plans for the Cove Point LNG terminal in Maryland.

The plan won approval earlier from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Click  here  to read the latest story from NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania.

To read more or comment...

Bakken crude shipped by rail to major U.S. markets

By Bob Downing Published: June 10, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

 

As onshore crude oil production in the United States increased over the past few years, producers have increasingly moved crude oil out of production areas by rail. Producers in North Dakota, in particular, have used rail to ship crude oil to refineries and midstream companies at newly built unloading terminals on the East Coast and West Coast.

To read more or comment...

McClendon firms spending $4.25 billion in Ohio, W. Va., Texas

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2014

Energy wildcatter Aubrey McClendon announced on Monday that his companies were spending $4.25 billion to enlarge drilling areas in Ohio and to add new areas in West Virginia and Texas for the first time.

Those purchases include 27,000 leased acres in Monroe County in southern Ohio’s Utica shale.

That land was acquired from Florida-based East Resources and a second unnamed private company by American Energy-Utica LLC, a subsidiary of McClendon’s Oklahoma-based American Energy Partners LP.

McClendon, the former CEP of Chesapeake Energy Corp., the No. 2 natural gas producer in the United States, formed his new company in April 2013, after being ousted by Chesapeake. His new company has quickly become a major player in the Utica shale.

To read more or comment...

Policy changes, natural gas supply key power sector emissions

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

In 2012, almost 40% of total energy-related CO2 emissions resulted from electricity generation. About three-fourths of those power sector emissions occurred from burning coal, the most carbon-intensive fuel. Policies to reduce CO2 emissions could result in less consumption of coal in favor of natural gas, which emits about 40% as much CO2 per kilowatthour as typical coal-fired generation when used in a combined-cycle plant, as well as increases in other low- or zero-carbon power generating technologies such as renewables and nuclear.

To read more or comment...

McClendon firms pay $1.75 billion for Utica, Marcellus acres

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2014

From two of Aubrey McClendon's American Energy Partners companies:

 

AMERICAN ENERGY – UTICA, LLC AND AMERICAN ENERGY – MARCELLUS, LLC AGREE TO ACQUIRE 75,000 NET ACRES AND 175 MMCFE PER DAY OF NET PRODUCTION IN THE SOUTHERN UTICA AND SOUTHERN MARCELLUS

SHALE PLAYS FROM EAST RESOURCES, INC. AND AN UNNAMED PRIVATE COMPANY FOR $1.75 BILLION

To read more or comment...

McClendon company acquires Permian acres for $2.5 billion

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2014

From American Energy -- Permian Basin today:

 

OKLAHOMA CITY, JUNE 9, 2014: American Energy – Permian Basin, LLC (AEPB), an affiliate of American Energy Partners, LP (AELP), announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire approximately 63,000 net acres of leasehold in the southern Permian Basin, primarily in Reagan and Irion Counties, Texas from affiliates of Denver-based Enduring Resources, LLC (Enduring) for $2.5 billion. At closing, the properties are expected to have net production of approximately 16,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The Enduring transaction marks AEPB’s entry into the Permian Basin and the company intends to increase its position in the Permian through additional acquisitions over time. Enduring is currently using four rigs to develop this acreage and AEPB plans to increase operated drilling activity to 6-8 rigs by year end 2015. AEPB plans to drill up to approximately 2,500 gross wells and 1,750 net wells on its acreage over the next decade.

To read more or comment...

Chesapeake directors approve spin-off of oilfield services unit

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2014

From Chesapeake Energy today:

June 19 Record Date and June 30 Distribution Date

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 9, 2014-- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) announced today that the spin-off of Chesapeake’s oilfield services business into a stand-alone, publicly traded company called Seventy Seven Energy Inc. (SSE) has been approved by the Chesapeake Board of Directors.

The two companies will be separated through the distribution of SSE common stock to holders of Chesapeake common stock on a pro rata basis. Chesapeake shareholders will receive one share of SSE common stock for every 14 shares of Chesapeake common stock held at the close of business on the record date of June 19, 2014. No fractional shares of SSE common stock will be issued; however, shareholders entitled to receive a fractional share of SSE common stock in the distribution will instead receive the cash value of that fractional share. Subject to the satisfaction of the conditions to closing, the distribution is expected to occur following the close of business on June 30, 2014.

To read more or comment...

Pittsburgh law firm releases new Appalachian shale report

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2014

From Babst Calland law firm today:

PITTSBURGH, June 9, 2014 – The law firm of Babst Calland released its fourth annual energy industry report, “The 2014 Babst Calland Report – Appalachian Shale Industry in Transition: Evolving Challenges for Producers and Midstream Operators.” This annual review of natural gas and energy development activity acknowledges the significant growth of the Appalachian shale industry and offers insights on the issues and legal implications resulting from such growth.

 

This year’s Report explores major challenges for the industry ranging from political, regulatory and local government influences to property rights, land use issues and workforce safety. As the industry transitions from its startup years to an era of production efficiencies and a promising outlook of manufacturing renaissance, Babst Calland attorneys provide comment in this Report on related Marcellus and Utica shale issues and developments relevant to Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

To read more or comment...

Partners get Spanish extension to search for oil, gas

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2014

From Bloomberg News on Friday:

By Todd White

A venture including Texas shale explorer Heyco Energy Group won an extension of its permit to search for oil and gas in an area of northern Spain that the industry designated as one of the richest to be fracked.

The original 2006 permit ran out in August before the government ruled on whether drilling was compatible with environmental laws, according to a May 14 resolution that wasn’t published until today. The venture’s biggest partner is Shesa, an energy company of the Basque regional government.

To read more or comment...

NGWA to hold free webinar for well owners on June 11

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2014

From the National Ground Water Asociation on Friday:

 

Free well owner webinar on hydraulic fracturing to be offered June 11

To read more or comment...

Asian chemical makers face escalating costs, competition

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2014

From IHS Forum on Friday:

As Global Spending on Capacity Additions Peaks, Asia Still Giant in Chemical Demand and Production Growth but Facing Escalating Costs, Competition, IHS Says

Lower cost feedstocks in Middle East and North America drawing investment from higher cost regions like Asia; discussions will take center stage at IHS Forum Singapore

SINGAPORE (June 06, 2014) – Global spending on chemical production capacity additions will peak in 2014 at $120 billion and then begin to decline, according to analysis from IHS (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of critical information and insight. Asia, and China in particular, long the epicenter of global chemical supply and demand, will remain the dominant global force for chemicals beyond 2020. However, Asia will feel the pinch as some capacity additions shift to North America and the Middle East, where feedstocks are less costly thanks, in part, to unconventional shale energy.

To read more or comment...

Earthworks: Scientists confirm Texas pollution from fracking

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2014

From Earthworks on Friday:

Scientists: Fracking Polluted Texas Family's Drinking Water

Last night a Texas TV station broke the news that new independent analysis refutes the oft-repeated claim by the oil and gas industry that “there’s never been a confirmed case of fracking polluting drinking water”.

Using data from Texas regulators, WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas reported that two independent scientists confirmed fracking in Parker County, Texas by the oil and gas company Range Resources polluted resident Steve Lipsky’s drinking water with dangerous levels of methane from the Barnett Shale.

To read more or comment...

Shell takes steps on Pa. cracker, but still no firm commitment

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2014

Shell Chemical has signed 10 third-party contracts and filed for an air permit but has not yet committed to building a new cracker plant on the Ohio River northwest of Pittsburgh in Beaver County.

That news came from a chemical conference in Colorado, the West Virginia-based State Journal reported late Thursday.

The plant would be built in Monaca, Pa.

It is one of two proposed cracker plants to turn ethane into polyethylene for plastics in the Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Viorginia area.

To read more or comment...

Increased U.S. crude production from tight formations

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

 

U.S. crude oil production has grown rapidly in recent years, primarily from light, sweet crude (a characteristic of crude quality, as measured by API gravity and sulfur content) from tight resource formations. Roughly 96% of the 1.8-million-barrel per day (bbl/d) growth in production from 2011 to 2013 consisted of light sweet grades with API gravity of 40 or above and sulfur content of 0.3% or less.

To read more or comment...

Shale drilling saved Ohio schools $60 million in 2013, study says

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute on Thursday:

Columbus, Ohio, June 5, 2014 ─ A new study shows that America’s shale energy revolution is saving millions for Ohio school districts and other government offices, said Executive Director of API-Ohio Chris Zeigler.

“The oil and natural gas revolution isn’t just supporting manufacturers, it’s helping to keep costs down for Ohio schools and government offices,” said Zeigler. “School districts in our state saved $60 million dollars on energy last year, enough to employ 700 teachers. During the same period, state and local taxpayers in Ohio saved another $10 million on other government spending. For towns and schools still struggling with the ripple effects of a recession, the economic benefits resulting from new advances in U.S. energy production are making a huge difference.”

The study by IHS Global Insight estimated energy savings during the 2012-2013 fiscal year from unconventional oil and natural gas production -- resources generally unlocked from shale deposits and other tight formations using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. In total, Ohio public elementary and secondary school districts saved approximately 8.4% on electricity and 28.7% on natural gas, for a total of $60 million. State and local governments saved an estimated $10.2 million, or the cost to employ about 158 government workers.

“America is now the world’s top producer of natural gas, and it’s helped to push down the cost of keeping our students warm and local governments running,” said Zeigler. “For Ohio taxpayers, these energy savings can mean more funding for education and local services. To protect these benefits and grow the economy, our policymakers must turn aside efforts that would impose duplicative regulations on shale development, slow permitting, or limit access to domestic resources.”

Across the U.S., unconventional oil and natural gas production saved U.S. schools an average of 9.3% on electricity and 21.3% on natural gas, for a total of $1.2 billion, the approximate cost to employ 14,246 full-time teachers, according to the report. America’s state and local governments saved an additional 9.5% on electricity and 21.6% on natural gas, for a total of $720 million, or the cost to employ about 10,995 government workers.

API-Ohio is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.

###

A one page summary of the study findings is available below:

To read more or comment...

Marathon Oil to sell Norwegian business for $2.7 billion

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2014

From Bloomberg New earlier this week:

By Mikael Holter

June 2 (Bloomberg) -- Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA, controlled by billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke, will buy Marathon Oil Corp.’s Norwegian business for $2.7 billion in a transformational deal that will boost output 14-fold and settle questions on funding.

Det Norske, 50 percent owned by Roekke’s Aker ASA, would add production of about 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2014, more than 13 times last year’s output, Chief Executive Officer Karl Johnny Hersvik said today in a presentation. It will pay $2.1 billion in cash excluding debt and other items.

To read more or comment...

Dominion seeks approval for N.Y., W. Va. compressor projects

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2014

From Dominion eaqrlier this week:

RICHMOND, Va., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion (NYSE: D) yesterday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve two projects that would provide additional natural gas supplies from the ever-growing production in the Appalachian Region.

The New Market project in upstate New York improves access for National Grid to meet its customers' growing demand for natural gas, while the Clarington project in West Virginia provides a secure and reliable route to transport growing gas supplies out of the Appalachian basin to market.

Dominion filed applications for Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity with the FERC, the federal agency responsible for reviewing and authorizing interstate natural gas transmission projects. The approximate costs of these two projects are $235 million.

To read more or comment...

Blue Racer seeking state approval for Berne electric line

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2014

Blue Racer Midstream LLC's fast-track plans for its new natural gas processing facility in Ohio's Monroe County are moving forward.

The company is seeking expedited approval for an electric transmission line at the plant near Berne from the Ohio Power Siting Board.

That plan has won preliminary approval and appears likely to get final state approval on June 13.

Click  here  to read the full story from Columbus Business First.

To read more or comment...

Athens County activists come under fire from Ohio geologist

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2014

An Ohio state official is unhappy with continued criticism of Ohio's injection well program.

Geologist Tom Tomastik said, "Here is the kind of crap I have to deal with from our folks who live in Athens," reported EnergyWire reporter Mike Soraghan on Tuesday.

His comment came along with a copy of detailed criticism from groups in Athens County to two industry consultants, the publication reported..

He also offered comment to the Government Accountability Project that is investigating Ohio's injection well program, it said.

To read more or comment...

Emails indicate Kasich's plans on state park drilling continued

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2014

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's administration was considering shale drilling under state parks and forests long after August 2012, when state officials have said such discussions ended.

That news was reported on May 31 by the Columbus Dispatch and is based on thousands of newly released state emails.

Click  here  to read the story by reporter Darrel Rowland.

To read more or comment...

Muskingum Watershed conservancy court to get water report

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2014

From the FreshWater Accountability Project and FracTracker today:

Dr. Ted Auch of FracTracker to Present on Watershed Impacts

Report will be presented at the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Annual Court June 7

 

To read more or comment...

Athens injection protestor charged with trespassing

By Bob Downing Published: June 6, 2014

From Appalachian Resist late Thursday:

June 5, 5:30 PM - Crissa Cummings, the Athens County woman who barricaded the gates of the K&H frack-waste transfer station near the rest area off of HWY 50 in Athens County today, unlocked after her action stopped injection operations for much of the business day Thursday.While Cummings was locked to the gate, numerous frack-waste trucks drove by, unable to enter the site, as Cummings’s gathered supporters cheered.

 

Of her action, Cummings said, “This is my home. I grew up on a farm near New Marshfield and now I live in Millfield.Our state regulators are not listening to us, and I’m worried that if we don’t do everything we can to stop injection wells here, the fracking industry will make this region unlivable.The K&H 2 has been operating unsafely since it was drilled.We believe it is in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act and state codes meant to protect water from contamination and ensure well safety”.

To read more or comment...

Lower crude feedstock prices boost refining profits

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

First-quarter 2014 financial results continued a three-year trend of North American refineries showing considerably higher profitability than European refineries as measured by earnings per barrel processed. While many factors contribute to refinery profitability, lower North American crude oil prices compared with world prices have been a key factor driving this outcome. North American refiners' earnings per barrel processed were more than $6 per barrel (bbl) higher than their European competitors for the first three months of 2014, based on an analysis of 26 energy companies with refinery operations that submit financial and operating information by segment to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

To read more or comment...

Adding more wells to drill pads will key CONSOL growth

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2014

CONSOL Energy expects to grow by putting more wells on its drill pads, company officials said on Wednesday at an industry conference in Pittsburgh.

Click  here  to read more from the Pittsburgh Buisness Times.

To read more or comment...

Industry study says shale impacting schools, aiding taxpayers

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute today:

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2014 ─ A new study shows that America’s shale energy revolution is saving billions for local schools districts, as well as state and local taxpayers, said API Vice President for Regulatory and Economic Policy Kyle Isakower.

“The oil and natural gas revolution has created millions of jobs, but that only scratches the surface of the economic benefits we’re seeing at the state and local level,” said Isakower. “U.S. school districts saved over a billion dollars on energy last year, enough to employ over 14,200 teachers. During the same period, state and local taxpayers saved another $720 million on other government spending. For cities and schools still struggling with the ripple effects of a recession, the economic benefits resulting from new advances in U.S. energy production are making a huge difference.”

The study by IHS Global Insight estimated energy savings during the 2012-2013 fiscal year from unconventional oil and natural gas production -- resources generally unlocked from shale deposits and other tight formations using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. In total, U.S. public elementary and secondary school districts saved approximately 9.3 percent on electricity and 21.3 percent on natural gas, for a total of $1.2 billion. State and local governments saved an estimated 9.5 percent on electricity and 21.6 percent on natural gas, for a total of $720 million, or the cost to employ about 10,995 government workers.

“America is now the world’s top producer of natural gas, and it’s helped to push down the cost of keeping our students warm and local governments running,” said Isakower. “For taxpayers, these energy savings can mean more funding for education and local services. To protect these benefits and grow the economy, policymakers in Washington must turn aside efforts that would impose duplicative regulations on shale development, slow permitting, or limit access to domestic resources.”

The study also estimated school and government savings for individual states and regions. For example, unconventional oil and natural gas production saved Colorado schools approximately 9.5 percent on energy last year, or $11.4 million, enough to employ 154 teachers. The state and local governments in Colorado saved an additional 9.6 percent on other energy costs, or $6.6 million, enough to employ about 99 government workers.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.

See: Press Conference Remarks from API’s Jack Gerard and Kyle Isakower.

IHS study and state-by-state summary below.

To read more or comment...

Anti-injection well protest under way near Athens

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2014

Breaking news from Appalachian Resist, a grass-roots group in Athens and Meigs counties in soyutheast Ohio:

Where: K&H Partners LLC, Frack Waste Transfer Station. West Belpre Pike. (Coming from Columbus or Athens: 50 E, turn off after Hwy 7, across from the rest area on the right hand side.)

TORCH, OHIO – An Athens County resident has barricaded the gates of a frack-waste transfer station near the rest area off of HWY 50. No trucks can enter or leave the site, and K&H injection well operations are effectively stopped for the business day. Crissa Cummings, age 42 of Millfield has locked herself to the gate, charging that the recently drilled K&H 2 injection well is operating unsafely. Cummings noted that ODNR reports show that more than 12 tons of contaminated soil and water have been removed from the site since January, and that 410 feet of cement casing has been lost down the injection well shaft, signifying a potentially dangerous situation. “In light of the recent studies that have linked fracking chemicals to birth defects, I feel sick when I think about all the babies and the pregnant friends that were protesting at this site in February, a couple of weeks after the brine spill,” says Cummings.

A banner has been placed over the gates that reads “12 TONS OF SOIL AND WATER CONTAMINATED. K&H2 NOT SAFE”. Supporters wearing white hazmat style suits and ventilator masks are gathering, holding signs and chanting. Cummings herself is wearing a ventilator, noting that at least 4 workers have died since 2010 from exposure to frack waste, which contains high rates of benzene and other chemicals that can sicken people and be fatal when inhaled. Cummings says, “When a community says it does not want injection wells because we don’t believe they are safe, and our public servants ignore the desires of the public and our locally elected officials, the only recourse left to us is to use our bodies to stop the toxic frack waste from being injected into these dangerous wells.”

To read more or comment...

Partners to expand Harrison County fractionation facility

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2014

From MarkWest Partners and the Energy & Minerals Group on Wednesday:

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 4, 2014-- MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) (“MarkWest or “the Partnership”) and The Energy & Minerals Group (“EMG”), today announced plans to add additional capacity at their Hopedale fractionation and marketing complex (“Hopedale complex”) in Harrison County, Ohio in order to meet growing natural gas liquids (NGLs) production in the Utica and Marcellus Shales under new contracted commitments from numerous producer customers. The Hopedale complex is jointly owned by a subsidiary of MarkWest and MarkWest Utica EMG, L.L.C. (“MarkWest Utica EMG”) a joint venture between the Partnership and EMG. The expansion will double the propane and heavier fractionation capacity at the Hopedale complex to 120,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) and is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2015.

MarkWest and MarkWest Utica EMG are committed to developing world-class fractionation capacity in the Northeast, as these facilities are critical for producers achieving the highest price for their valuable NGLs. Once the Hopedale expansion is complete, MarkWest will operate 300,000 Bbl/d of ethane and heavier fractionation capacity at four complexes in the Northeast. The Partnership also has an NGL gathering pipeline connecting its Hopedale complex to its industry-leading NGL infrastructure in the Marcellus Shale . NGL takeaway solutions to the Gulf Coast and international markets will be complementary to existing fractionation infrastructure and will provide producers with additional market outlets that are crucial to the long-term development of the region.

“Together with EMG, our expansion of fractionation capacity in Ohio is a resounding commitment to deliver exceptional midstream services and NGL solutions in the Northeast,” stated Frank Semple , Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of MarkWest. “As Northeast NGL production continues to grow, in-basin fractionation will be essential to support the ongoing development plans of our producers in the Utica and Marcellus.”

To read more or comment...

Michigan files new charges against Chesapeake Energy

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2014

From the Associated Press today:

Charges have been filed by Michigan against an Oklahoma-based energy company in what authorities say was a land-leasing scheme.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette on Thursday says he charged Chesapeake Energy Corp. with conducting criminal enterprises and false pretenses.

To read more or comment...

Range Resources readies first Utica shale well

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2014

Texas-based Range Resources is a major player in the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania.

It is getting ready to begin drilling in the Utica shale, company CEO Jeff Venyura said on Wednesday at an industry conference in Pittsburgh.

Click  here  to read the story from the Pittsburgh Business Times.

To read more or comment...

Drillers interested in Somalia, despite political instability

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2014

From GlobalData today:

Somalian Hydrocarbon Potential Remains to Be Explored Amid Political Instability, says GlobalData Analyst

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 5 June 2014 - Somalia’s upstream oil and gas industry will benefit from greater investor confidence and undergo subsequent growth in the years to come, if the Somalian government provides the political stability, security and infrastructure required for large-scale upstream development, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

John Sisa, Lead Upstream Analyst for GlobalData, says that after emerging from two decades of civil war and establishing a central government, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, president of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), now has one eye on the promise of petro-revenues and another on establishing authority over the regional governments.

To read more or comment...

Rose Rock acquires Chesapeake trucking assets in three states

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2014

From Oklahoma-based Rose Rock Midtrseam today:

TULSA, Okla., June 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rose Rock Midstream, L.P. (NYSE:RRMS) today announced that it has executed a definitive agreement to acquire crude oil trucking assets from a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK). The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2014 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Acquisition Highlights

Following the close of the acquisition, Rose Rock will operate a fleet of more than 250 trucks with approximately 350 employees, servicing the Bakken, DJ / Niobrara, Eagle Ford, Granite Wash, Mississippi Lime, Permian, San Juan and Utica plays.

To read more or comment...

Natural gas is false solution for global warming, group says

By Bob Downing Published: June 5, 2014

From Food and Water Watch on Wednesday:

Washington, D.C. –“Plans announced by the Obama administration this week to reduce carbon pollution ignore recent scientific studies regarding the negative effects of natural gas development on climate change and popular scientific wisdom that calls into question the benefits of switching from coal to natural gas. Natural gas obtained from drilling and fracking is still a false solution to our nation’s energy challenges.

“Switching from coal to natural gas will not deliver the climate change benefits touted in the EPA’s new proposal. Methane is the main component of natural gas, and is leaking into the atmosphere at least twice the rate estimated by the EPA.

“Though methane degrades more quickly in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, pound-for-pound it is more efficient at trapping heat. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) now estimates that a pound of methane traps 86 times as much heat as a pound of carbon dioxide, in the 20 years after being emitted, and 34 times as much heat as a pound of carbon dioxide over a 100-year time frame. These 20-year and 100-year methane global warming potentials (GWPs) are significantly larger than previous IPCC estimates, with the 20-year GWP reflecting about a 20 percent increase.

To read more or comment...

Groups wants ODNR to cancel permits for 23 disposal facilities

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2014

From the Ohio-based FreshWater Accountability Project:

:

State Attorney General Alerted to Illegal Orders by ODNR

 

To read more or comment...

Two groups want federal intervention into Ohio injection wells

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2014

From two grass-roots Ohio groups today:

ATHENS GROUPS SEEK FEDERAL INTERVENTION, CLAIM ILLEGAL NEGLIGENCE IN OHIO INJECTION PROGRAM

 

Athens, OH June 4, 2014 –– Today Athens County Fracking Action Network (ACFAN) and Appalachia Resist! (AR!) appealed to USEPA administrator Gina McCarthy for federal intervention in Ohio’s underground injection program. “We…ask you to immediately undertake a review of the following apparent violations and dangerous operations at the K&H # 2 (Permit No. 34009238230000) in Athens County, Ohio. This report is being made by Appalachia Resist! and the Athens County Fracking Action Network on behalf of citizens of Athens County, Ohio,” the letter states, going on to cite repeated violations and problems with K&H Partners’ wells near Torch Ohio and repeated outcry by Athens residents, including the Athens County Commission, for activity at the site to be stopped until drinking water protection can be assured.

To read more or comment...

Dominion seeks federal approval for two Appalchian pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2014

From Dominion on Tuesday:

RICHMOND, Va., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion (NYSE: D) yesterday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve two projects that would provide additional natural gas supplies from the ever-growing production in the Appalachian Region.

The New Market project in upstate New York improves access for National Grid to meet its customers' growing demand for natural gas, while the Clarington project in West Virginia provides a secure and reliable route to transport growing gas supplies out of the Appalachian basin to market.

Dominion filed applications for Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity with the FERC, the federal agency responsible for reviewing and authorizing interstate natural gas transmission projects. The approximate costs of these two projects are $235 million.

To read more or comment...

N.Y. high court weighing local fracking ban cases

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2014

From the Associated Press today:

By MARY ESCH

New York’s highest court is expected to decide by the Fourth of July whether municipalities can use local zoning laws to ban shale gas development using hydraulic fracturing within their borders.

The seven-member Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Tuesday in two cases where a midlevel appellate court unanimously concluded last year that state oil and gas law doesn’t trump the authority of local governments to control land use.

To read more or comment...

ODNR quietly expands seismic testing near injection wells

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2014

On New Year’s Eve 2011, Northeast Ohio was rocked by a 4.0 earthquake.

That quake was traced to an disposal well near Youngstownn where salty drilling wastes were injected into underground rocks for disposal.

That well, operated by D&L Energy Inc., was quickly shut down by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

That quake led ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management to quietly begin installing mobile seismic devices near other injection wells in seven counties in eastern Ohio.

To read more or comment...

Sierra Club pushing new protection from drilling in Colorado

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2014

From the Sierra Club late last week:

SIERRA CLUB OUTLINES STEPS TO PROTECT COMMUNITIES FROM RUNAWAY FRACKING IN COLORADO

 

Denver, CO – Today the Sierra Club sent a letter to Governor John Hickenlooper calling on him to protect Coloradans from unchecked expansion of toxic fracking operations in their communities. As negotiations continue around legislation that would clarify and expand regulatory control in local communities, the Sierra Club has, in this letter, outlined a list of priorities that any legislative solution must include in order to adequately protect the health and well-being of citizens in communities across Colorado.

To read more or comment...

Hagan wants Ohio IG to look into Kasich, drilling industry

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2014

From Ohio state Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown, on Monday;

COLUMBUS–State Rep. Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) is renewing calls for the state Inspector General to open an investigation into the cozy relationship between Governor John Kasich and the oil and gas industry after new details regarding a plan to sell Ohioans on the “benefits” of fracking in state parks were revealed in Saturday’s edition of the Columbus Dispatch.

The Kasich administration indicated in February that any consideration of fracking in state parks had ended in August of 2012, but records obtained through a public records request by the Columbus Dispatch show that meetings between high-level officials in the governor’s office and ODNR to discuss the marketing plan continued for months afterward.

To read more or comment...

Company acquires interest in Ohio Gathering Co. joint venture

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2014

From MarkWest Energy Partners:

 

 

Dallas, TX and Denver, CO (June 2, 2014)

To read more or comment...

Ohio has 879 drilled Utica wells with 467 wells in production

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2014

Ohio has approved 1,283 Utica shale permits, as of May 31, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources reports.

That total includes 879 Utica wells that have been drilled and 467 Utica wells are in production.

Ohio has 46 rigs at work.

Two new permits were approved: one in Noble County and one in Washington County.

To read more or comment...

McClendon's company adds thtree new executives

By Bob Downing Published: June 3, 2014

From American Energy Partners on Monday:

 

 

OKLAHOMA CITY, JUNE 2, 2014 - American Energy Partners, LP (AELP) today announced it has hired Jeff Agosta as the Chief Financial Officer of American Energy – Utica, LLC (AEU). Agosta, 47, most recently served as Chief Financial Officer of Devon Energy Corporation from 2010 to January 2014. Prior to his role as CFO, Agosta served Devon in various positions of increasing responsibility, including Senior Vice President - Corporate Finance and Treasurer. He began his career with KPMG and was a manager with the financial consulting firm, D. R. Payne & Associates immediately prior to joining Devon. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a BBA degree in Accounting with and is a Certified Public Accountant. Agosta serves on the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business Advisory Board and is Chairman of the Price College’s MBA Advisory Board. To date, AEU has raised approximately $3 billion of institutional capital and owns approximately 290,000 net acres in the southern Utica Shale play in eastern Ohio, the largest leasehold position in the most productive portion of the Utica Shale play.

To read more or comment...

Gulfport expanding corporate charitable programs in Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2014

Gulfport Energy is getting more involved in the local community in eastern Ohio, reports Shawn Bennett of Energy in Depth-Ohio.

Click  here  to read the full story.

To read more or comment...

Company issues results from Bigfoot well in Belmont County

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2014

From Rice Energy today:

CANONSBURG, Pa., June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rice Energy Inc. (NYSE: RICE) today reported that it has successfully tested the company's first Utica Shale well in central Belmont County, Ohio. In addition, Rice has strategically added to its firm transportation portfolio, providing increased market access for its growing production profile. Finally, Rice's borrowing base under its revolving credit facility was increased to $385.0 million.

Bigfoot 9H Production Test

We are pleased to announce the production test results of our first operated Utica Shale well, the Bigfoot 9H. After five days of flowback, the Bigfoot 9H stabilized at a rate of 41.69 MMcf/d of gas on a 33/64" choke with flowing casing pressures of 5850 psi. Based upon a gas composition analysis, the heat content is 1086 Btu and therefore will not require processing. We own an approximate 93% working interest in the well, which has an effective lateral length of 6,957 feet and was completed with a 40-stage frac. We anticipate first production by early July and will produce the well into sales through our restricted choke program.

To read more or comment...

Maryland panel approves Dominion's Cove Point LNG plans

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2014

From Dominion last Friday:

 

LUSBY, Md., May 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion (NYSE: D) said today it has received from the Maryland Public Service Commission a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) related to the company's plan to add export capability at its Cove Point liquefied natural gas facility in Calvert County.

To read more or comment...

U.S. production satisfies 84 percent of energy demand in 2013

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

 

Total U.S. energy production reached 81.7 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) in 2013, enough to satisfy 84% of total U.S. energy demand, which totaled 97.5 quads. Natural gas was the largest domestically produced energy resource for the third year in a row and, together with the other fossil fuels (coal, crude oil, and hydrocarbon gas liquids), accounted for more than three quarters of U.S. energy production. In total, the United States consumed 97.5 quads of energy, 82% of which was fossil fuels. Renewable and nuclear energy made up 10% and 8%, respectively, of U.S. energy consumption.

To read more or comment...

Houston, Pa., plant reopens after May 28 lightning strike

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2014

From MarkWest Energy today:

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 2, 2014-- MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) (“MarkWest” or “the Partnership”) announced today the resumption of operations at its Houston processing and fractionation complex (“Houston complex”) in Houston, Pennsylvania . As previously announced, the Houston complex was shut down following what appears to be a weather related incident that occurred on the evening of May 28, 2014 .

The Houston complex consists of three processing plants totaling 355 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) and 98,000 barrels per day of ethane and heavier fractionation capacity. An engineering assessment and inspection of the Houston complex’s facilities and equipment has indicated that the incident was isolated to a heat exchanger that is required for the operation of Plant III. Plants I and II and all of the fractionation units have safely been returned to operation. Plant III will remain shut down in order to complete repairs.

In order to minimize the disruption to producer customers utilizing the Houston complex, MarkWest is currently routing gas volumes to the Majorsville complex in Marshall County, West Virginia . The Majorsville complex currently consists of 870 MMcf/d of total processing capacity and is connected to the Houston complex through a large, high-pressure, rich-gas header system. MarkWest will continue routing gas to the Majorsville complex for processing until all required repairs to Houston’s Plant III equipment have been completed and the facility can safely return to normal operation.

To read more or comment...

MarkWest expands Butler County, Pa., processing, fractionation

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2014

From MarkWest Energy today:

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 2, 2014-- MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) (“MarkWest” or “the Partnership”) announced today the commencement of Bluestone II, a 120 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) cryogenic processing facility. The Bluestone II plant is part of the Partnership’s Keystone assets in Butler County, Pennsylvania and increases processing capacity for Marcellus producers operating in the rich-gas area of northwest Pennsylvania to 210 MMcf/d. Concurrently with the new processing plant, MarkWest has also completed 20,000 barrels per day of ethane and heavier fractionation capacity at the Bluestone facility, and a 32 mile purity ethane pipeline connecting to Mariner West.

The Bluestone II plant primarily supports the expanding rich-gas production of Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: REXX) (“Rex Energy”). Rex Energy now has 190 MMcf/d of dedicated processing capacity at MarkWest’s Keystone facilities, which also consist of 50 MMcf/d of capacity at the Bluestone I plant and 40 MMcf/d of capacity at the Sarsen facility. MarkWest continues to develop its rich-gas gathering system throughout Butler County and surrounding areas in order to support the continued growth of its processing facilities.

“We are excited to expand our processing and fractionation capacity in the Marcellus Shale with the addition of new facilities in Butler County,” stated Frank Semple , Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of MarkWest. “Rex is a proven operator and has been highly successful developing their Marcellus and Upper Devonian resources in northwest Pennsylvania.”

To read more or comment...

Rex Energy flows gas to MarkWest Energy's Bluestone II

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2014

From Rex Energy today:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. , June 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rex Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:REXX) today announced that it has begun flowing gas into MarkWest Energy Partners, LP (NYSE:MWE) ("MarkWest") Bluestone II processing facility.

Rex Energy began flowing gas into the Bluestone II facility on May 19, 2014 . Once fully commissioned, the expanded facility will add an incremental 120 MMcf/d of processing capacity in the Butler Operated Area (of which 100 MMcf/d will be dedicated to Rex Energy ). When combined with the 90 MMcf/d of processing capacity already available at the Sarsen and Bluestone I processing facilities, Rex Energy will have approximately 190 MMcf/d of dedicated processing capacity to support its Butler Operated Area development plans. Of the 11 wells that were previously completed and awaiting processing capacity, the company has placed 5 wells into sales and expects to place 5 more into sales this week. The company expects to place the one remaining well into sales by the end of the second quarter. In addition, Rex Energy expects its first ethane sales of approximately 2,000 bbls/d to occur in early June 2014 , with an incremental 3,000 bbls/d of ethane sales to begin on or around July 1, 2014 . The company expects to update its previously announced production guidance in the upcoming weeks as additional information regarding the plant commissioning process becomes available.

"We would like to thank our partners at MarkWest for their hard work and diligent efforts to bring the Bluestone II processing facility online," said Tom Stabley , Chief Executive Officer of Rex Energy . "We are pleased that we've begun delivering gas to the Bluestone II facility and, once fully commissioned, the increased processing capacity will support our development plans and help us to maximize the potential of our Butler Operated Area assets."

To read more or comment...

IECA offers cautious support for new LNG permitting process

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2014

From the Industrial Energy Consumers of America release on Thursday:

IECA STATEMENT ON NEW DOE PROCESS FOR LNG EXPORT TERMINAL DECISIONS

 

The Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) cautiously supports the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for issuing a new process for LNG export terminal decisions and a new economic study. These decisions are especially important given that the EIA has forecasted the delivered industrial natural gas price to reach $7.96 per mmBtu in 2025. At these price levels, manufacturing competitiveness is greatly impacted. Already approved applications will vault the U.S. past Qatar as the largest LNG exporter in the world. The difference is that Qatar does not have a substantial manufacturing sector.

To read more or comment...

Fracking added to Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary

By Bob Downing Published: June 2, 2014

Fracking is among 149 words that have been added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary.

And the word has a K, much to the chagrin of the drilling industry that much prefers fracing, short for fracturing. Fracking, that side says, has its own connotations.

Click  here  to read more from NPR.

.

To read more or comment...

SUBSCRIBE VIA RSS

OHIO.COM VIDEOS

See the most recent drilling report and an injection wells map From NewsOutlet.org
Prev Next

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.