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Ohio Utica Shale

Pennsylvania DEP reports 248 water-contamination cases

By Bob Downing Published: August 29, 2014

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has determined that shale drilling has contaminated drinking water in 248 cases across the state since 2008.

That number is higher than the 209 cases the agency had reported in July.

Click  here  to read the story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Appalachian Resins to build $1 billion cracker in Monroe County

By Bob Downing Published: August 29, 2014

A Texas-based company has plans to build a $1 billion cracker plant to turn ethane into polyethylene for plastics in southeast Ohio's Monroe County.

Appalachian Resins, based in Houston, has reportedly leased 50 acres from the Monroe County Port Authority.

The property is near Clarington.

The company had earlier been eying land in West Virginia.

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Industry reacts differently to drilling opposition in Texas, Colorado

By Bob Downing Published: August 29, 2014

From Bloomberg News on Thursday:

By Zain Shauk and Bradley Olson

August 28 (Bloomberg) -- A fight over fracking is looming in Texas. Another stand-off is shaping up in Colorado. Yet drillers’ reactions couldn’t be more different.

In Texas, drillers are doing their noisy in-your-face fracking as usual. Meanwhile, on a small farm about an hour from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the oil industry is giving fracking a makeover, cutting back on rumbling trucks and tamping down on pollution.

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New gas-processing plant in Mahoning County back on track

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2014

Plans for a new natural gas-processing plant in Mahoning County appear to back on track, the Youngstown Business Journal reports.

Blue Racer Midstream LLC wants to build the plant southeast of Youngstown near Petersburg in Springfield Township.

The $70 million plant would be capable of processing up to 200 million cubic feet per day.

It could begin operations in June 2016.

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Marcellus shale has $90 billion in remaining value, study says

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2014

From Wood Mackenzie on Wednesday:

Our granular well-level analysis of this key shale gas play indicates a strong future of continued growth 

The Marcellus is currently the largest shale gas play in the world. Its recognised commercial area spans over 30 million acres across four states and our latest research has revealed it to hold over US$90 billion in remaining value.

We expect the top 20 operators to drill 25,000 wells through to 2035 at a cost of nearly $110 billion.

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U.S. rail deliveries of oil continue to grow in 2014

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

The amount of crude oil and refined petroleum products moved by U.S. railroads increased 9% during the first seven months of this year compared with the same period in 2013. In July, monthly average carloadings of oil and petroleum products were near 16,000 carloads per week, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). The increase in oil volumes transported by rail reflects rising U.S. crude oil production, which reached an estimated 8.5 million barrels per day in June for the first time since July 1986.

Read More ›

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Pennsylvania reschedules Hilcorp spacing order hearing

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2014

From the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday:

Hilcorp Energy Co. is applying for a well spacing order that establishes four gas well drilling units on 3,267 acres to drill into the Utica Shale Formation in Pulaski Township, Lawrence County and Shenango Township, Mercer County.

Under the Oil and Gas Conservation Law of 1961, when a spacing order application is submitted, an administrative hearing must be held prior to a final decision on the application.

On July 11, the hearing officer rescheduled the hearing sessions for September 16 and 17, after two previous postponements. Due to a scheduling conflict, Hilcorp requested new hearing dates. At the request of the hearing officer, the parties determined agreeable dates for the hearing.

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Leaking Pennsylvania impoundment impacts drinking water

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2014

Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental protection has confirmed that a leaking drilling wastewater impoundment has contaminated drinking water in Westmoreland County.

The agency cited driller WPX Appalachia LLC, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports..

The problem affects three families near Ligonier, the paper said.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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WPX adds partner to expedite Colorado drilling project

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2014

From WPX Energy on Tuesday:

8/26/2014

Agreement value exceeds $200 Million

$170 million carry on nearly 400 wells

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ExxonMobil company to pay $1.4 million fine for 2012 spill

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2014

From the U.S. EPA on Tuesday:

 

ExxonMobil Pipeline Company to Pay Civil Penalty Under Proposed Settlement for Torbert, Louisiana Oil Spill

Settlement Resolves Clean Water Act Violation Stemming from 2012 Spill

WASHINGTON — ExxonMobil Pipeline Company (ExxonMobil) has agreed to pay a civil penalty for an alleged violation of the Clean Water Act stemming from a 2012 crude oil spill from ExxonMobil’s “North Line” pipeline near Torbert, Louisiana, the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. Under the consent decree lodged today in federal court, ExxonMobil will pay $1,437,120 to resolve the government’s claim.

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U.S. liquids fuels production grows, despite supply disruptions

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

Record-setting liquid fuels production growth in the United States has more than offset the rise in unplanned global supply disruptions over the past few years, although differences in quality and location suggest that the substitution may not be exactly 1-for-1. U.S. liquid fuels production, which includes crude oil, hydrocarbon gas liquids, biofuels, and refinery processing gain, grew by more than 4.0 million barrels per day (bbl/d) from January 2011 to July 2014, of which 3.0 million bbl/d was crude oil production growth. During that same period, global unplanned supply disruptions grew by 2.8 million bbl/d.

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Antero Resources raising 2014 production guidance

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2014

From Antero Resources late Tuesday:

DENVER , Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Antero Resources Corporation (NYSE: AR) ("Antero" or the "Company") today announced an update to its 2014 guidance, 2015 and 2016 production targets and capital budget.

Guidance Update

Driven by the successful execution of Antero's development program to date, along with its positive operating outlook for the remainder of the year, the Company is raising 2014 net production guidance to an average of 990 – 1,010 MMcfe/d, which is a 5% increase from the midpoint of previously announced guidance. Antero estimates that second half 2014 net production will average 1,160 MMcfe/d, an increase of 100 MMcfe/d or 9% from the midpoint of previously estimated second half 2014 production. Additionally, the average production target for 2015 has been increased to 1.5 Bcfe/d from a previous 1.4 Bcfe/d and the 2016 target has been increased to 2.2 Bcfe/d from a previous 2.1 Bcfe/d.

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Portage County group to test drinking water on Sept. 7

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2014

From Concerned Citizens Ohio/Shalersvill egroup:

Free Quarterly Water Monitoring Conducted by Concerned Citizens Ohio/Shalersville Group.

New Location: 4311 State Route 303, Sand Hill Stable, (just west of 44 on 303), Shalersville Township north of Ravenna.

Time: 3:15 on Sept. 7.

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Pennsylvania taking look at noise from compressor stations

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2014

Pennsylvania is taking a closer look at the noise from compressor stations on pipelines.

The investigation is being handled by the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Click  here  to read more from NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania.

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Pennsylvania man, oil firms to pay $250,000 fine, correct problems

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2014

From the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday:

MEADVILLE -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced a Consent Order and Agreement with William C. Henderson, Titusville Oil & Gas Associates Inc., Eagle Line Corporation, and Olympia Oil Services Inc., which includes $250,000 in civil penalties.

The civil penalties stem from various violations of the Clean Stream Law, Solid Waste Management Act, and Oil and Gas Act, including failure to obtain Erosion and Sediment Control general permits during earthmoving, unauthorized discharge of production fluids, failure to report such unauthorized discharges, failure to plug abandoned wells, and other violations. The violations were discovered during inspections of various properties owned and operated by Henderson and his companies between March 2010 and June 2014.

Further investigations by DEP also concluded that Henderson and Titusville Oil had disturbed more than five acres and disturbed wetlands without permits, along with several other on-going issues.

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CONSOL Energy, Noble Energy announce new midstream MLP

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2014

From CONSOL Energy on Monday:

PITTSBURGH , Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) announced that CONSOL Energy and its Marcellus Shale joint venture partner, Noble Energy, Inc. , caused a Registration Statement on Form S-1 to be filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the initial public offering of common units of a master limited partnership (MLP) to be known as CONE Midstream Partners LP . CONE Midstream Partners will provide midstream gathering services for production from CONSOL Energy's and Noble Energy's jointly owned acreage in the Marcellus Shale .

The number of common units to be offered and the price range for the offering have not been determined. The offering is expected to be completed late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2014. CONE Midstream Partners has applied for a listing of the common units on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CNNX".

A registration statement relating to the securities of CONE Midstream Partners LP has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective.

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Ohio Supreme Court gets two dormant mineral rights cases

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2014

Big money is at stake in two cases argued this week before the Ohio Supreme Court. The decisions could change who profits from the boom in oil and gas drilling.

The two cases before the court are battles over mineral rights – who owns the potentially valuable stuff below the surface, in these cases, oil and gas.

Most landowners have both surface and mineral rights, but sometimes the two have been severed, meaning one owner controls the surface, while the other controls what’s beneath.

Ohio law says if you own mineral rights but don’t exercise them for 20 years, the surface landowner can claim them back.

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Ohio has 1,038 drilled Utica wells, 549 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

Ohio has approved 1,457 Utica shale permits, as of Aug. 23.

That total includes 1,038 drilled Utica wells and 549 producing Utica wells, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Ohio has 46 drilling rigs at work.

Fourteen new permits were approved last week: five in Belmont County, two in Guernsey County, four in Harrison County, one in Jefferson County and two in Noble County.

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West Virginia seeking drilling leases for under the Ohio River

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

West Virginia is seeking leases from drillers for land under the Ohio River.

The deadline to submit bids is Sept. 11, according to legal notices filed late last week.

The state is seeking bids in three counties.

It owns the land under the Ohio River, not Ohio.

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Stark State opens new Canton training facility for drillers

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From Stark State College late last week:

(Aug. 21, 2014 - North Canton, OH) Phase I of Stark State College’s expansion in downtown Canton was revealed Thursday with the opening of the $2.3 million Well Site Training Center at the corner of Third Street SE and Cherry Ave. The 7,000-square-foot site will focus on developing the workforce needs of the growing oil and gas industry in the region, according to Dr. Para M. Jones, president of Stark State College.

“This facility showcases our mission of creating public/private partnerships to provide students with state-of-the-art education and training and prepare the workforce needed by business and industry in the region.” said Jones. “Students will have hands-on learning experiences, much like those they would experience in the field or on oil rigs, but in a controlled and safe learning environment,” said Jones.

The training lab houses an indoor ShaleNET well site trainer along with:

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Shale drilling is under way at Pittsburgh International Airport

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

CONSOL Energy and Pittsburgh area officials on Monday celebrated drilling getting under way at Pittsburgth International Airport.

CONSOL began drilling on Aug. 15.

It expects to drill 47 Marcellus shale wells on part of the 9,000 acres owned by the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

The authority got a $50 million signing bonus for the lease.

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Williams opens sign-ups for Transco's Diamond East Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From Williams today:

 

To Provide Additional 1 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus natural gas to Northeast Market

Williams (NYSE: WMB) today announced that it is initiating an open season from August 26 to September 23, 2014 for the Diamond East Project, an expansion of the Transco interstate pipeline to provide firm natural gas transportation capacity to markets in the northeastern United States by mid-2018. Transco is a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams Partners, L.P. (NYSE: WPZ), of which Williams owns controlling interests and is the general partner.

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Research shows potential health risk to babies born near drilling

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From Bloomberg News today:

The first research into the effects of oil and gas development on babies born near wells has found potential health risks. Government officials, industry advocates and the researchers themselves say more studies are needed before drawing conclusions.

While the findings are still preliminary, any documented hazards threaten to cast a shadow over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking -- the process of blasting chemicals, sand and water deep underground to extract fuel from rock that’s helped push the U.S. closer to energy self-sufficiency than at any time since 1985.

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FTC grants Kinder Morgan early termination of waiting period

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From Kinder Morgan on Monday:

 

HOUSTON --(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 25, 2014-- Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI) today announced the Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR) for its proposed acquisition of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP). The proposed acquisition was announced on Aug. 10, 2014, along with the proposed acquisitions of Kinder Morgan Management, LLC (NYSE: KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. (NYSE: EPB), for which no HSR filings were required.

The approximately $70 billion transaction is expected to close by the end of 2014 following unitholder and shareholder votes, and standard regulatory notifications and approvals.

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Rex Energy expanding processing capacity in Butler, Pa.

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From Rex Energy today:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. , Aug. 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rex Energy (Nasdaq:REXX) today announced that it has signed agreements with MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE:MWE) ("MarkWest") that will expand the company's processing capacity in the Butler Operated Area.

MarkWest will increase the total processing capacity available in the Butler Operated Area through the construction of the Bluestone III and Bluestone IV processing and fractionation facilities at its Keystone Complex (which currently includes the Sarsen, Bluestone I and Bluestone II facilities). The Bluestone III facility, which is expected to be commissioned during the fourth quarter of 2015, will bring Rex Energy's total priority processing capacity in the Butler Operated Area to 280 MMcf/d. In addition, the company has secured incremental processing capacity above the 280 MMcf/d based upon plant performance and unused capacity of other operators. The Bluestone IV processing facility is expected to be commissioned during the second quarter of 2016 and will add approximately 125 MMcf/d of priority processing capacity, increasing the company's total priority processing capacity to 405 MMcf/d. The new arrangements also provide that MarkWest will install additional fractionation facilities at the Keystone Complex , and that Rex Energy has the right to incremental priority processing capacity in future expansions at the MarkWest Keystone complex.

"The recently announced Shell transaction will significantly expand our Butler Operated Area, and we are excited to partner with MarkWest to support our growth with this increased processing and fractionation capacity," said Tom Stabley , Chief Executive Officer of Rex Energy . "These agreements firmly position us to execute our development plans for both our legacy acreage and the new Shell acreage in the Butler Operated Area. Looking forward, having secured the right to additional capacity in future expansions provides a strong foundation for our long-term development plans in the region."

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MarkWest to expand Keystone complex in Butler County

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From MarkWest Energy Partners today:

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 26, 2014-- MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) (“MarkWest” or “the Partnership”) announced today a major expansion of midstream infrastructure at its Keystone complex in Butler County, Pennsylvania , to support growing rich-gas production from the Marcellus Shale and Upper Devonian formations. The expansion will be supported by new agreements with Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: REXX) (“Rex Energy”) and EdgeMarc Energy (“EM Energy”). As part of these agreements, MarkWest will construct Bluestone III and IV, both of which are 200 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) plants that are expected to begin operations during the fourth quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2016, respectively. In addition, the Partnership will construct 40,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) of additional de-ethanization capacity and over 20,000 Bbl/d of additional propane and heavier NGL fractionation capacity.

The Keystone complex currently consists of the Bluestone processing and fractionation complex and the Sarsen processing facility which combined currently provide 210 MMcf/d of processing capacity and 26,500 Bbl/d of fractionation capacity. The Keystone complex is anchored by Rex Energy and in May 2014 , MarkWest began operations of the 120 MMcf/d Bluestone II plant and 10,000 Bbl/d each of ethane and propane plus fractionation capacity to continue supporting Rex Energy’s growing rich-gas production. In addition to the new Bluestone processing and fractionation plants, the Partnership completed a 32 mile purity ethane pipeline connecting the Bluestone facility to Sunoco’s Mariner West pipeline project.

In conjunction with additional processing and fractionation infrastructure, MarkWest continues to develop its rich-gas gathering system throughout Butler County and surrounding areas in order to support the growth of its producer customers’ production.

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3,400 oppose Ohio River barge terminal for fracking wastes

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From Americans Against Fracking today:

 

 

 

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Kent voters to decide on community bill of rights on Nov. 4

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From a grass-roots group in Kent on Saturdfay:

KENT, Ohio (August 23, 2014) – Kent City Council unanimously approved the placement of a proposed amendment to the city Charter, a Community Bill of Rights, on November’s ballot. Council’s written communications going into the August 20 meeting stated, “On August 1, 2014 ninety-two (92) petitions with 2509 signatures (were) delivered to the Clerk of Council from the Kent Environmental Rights Group, representing an initiative Charter amendment… On August 7, 2014, the Board of Elections attested that the petitions contained 1906 (valid) signatures, while needing 1707 valid signatures. They determined the petitions were sufficient to proceed with placing the amendment on the ballot.” 10 percent of the electorate must approve a ballot initiative in Kent.

 

“Let the voters decide,” said Ward 5 Councilwoman Heidi Shaffer.

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Study says methane leaks from Atlantic seafloor are widespread

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From the U.S. Geological Survey on Monday:

Natural methane leakage from the seafloor is far more widespread on the U.S. Atlantic margin than previously thought, according to a study by researchers from Mississippi State University, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other institutions.

Methane plumes identified in the water column between Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and Georges Bank, Massachusetts, are emanating from at least 570 seafloor cold seeps on the outer continental shelf and the continental slope. Taken together, these areas, which lie between the coastline and the deep ocean, constitute the continental margin. Prior to this study, only three seep areas had been identified beyond the edge of the continental shelf, which occurs at approximately 180 meters (590 feet) water depth between Florida and Maine on the U.S. Atlantic seafloor.

Cold seeps are areas where gases and fluids leak into the overlying water from the sediments. They are designated as cold to distinguish them from hydrothermal vents, which are sites where new oceanic crust is being formed and hot fluids are being emitted at the seafloor. Cold seeps can occur in a much broader range of environments than hydrothermal vents.

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Report says revised policy will make Mexico an energy power

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From the Atlantic Council on Monday:

New Atlantic Council Report on Mexico’s Energy Reform: Mexico Ready to Launch

 

Predicts Large Foreign Investment, Boost in Manufacturing from Cheaper Electricity

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Eco-group critical of flaring of natural gas in M.D., Texas

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2014

From Earthworks late last week:

 

Aug 22 -- Today Earthworks released a new report showing that eliminating natural gas waste in two shale plays would have the same effect as taking 1.5 million cars off the road. The report is accompanied by an interactive map developed by SkyTruth showing flaring activity in the U.S. and around the world based on nightly, infrared satellite data.

Up in Flames: U.S. Shale Oil Boom Comes at Expense of Wasted Natural Gas, Increased Carbon Dioxide, is an investigation of the amount of flaring in North Dakota’s Bakken and Texas’s Eagle Ford shale plays, and the policies that manage it. Flaring is the burning as waste of the natural gas produced as a byproduct of oil drilling.

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Energy reform could boost Mexico's long-term oil production

By Bob Downing Published: August 25, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

On August 11, Mexico's president signed into law legislation that will open its oil and natural gas markets to foreign direct investment, effectively ending the 75-year-old monopoly of state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex). These laws, which follow previously adopted changes in Mexico's constitution to eliminate provisions that prohibited direct foreign investment in that nation's oil and natural gas sector, are likely to have major implications for the future of Mexico's oil production profile. As a result of the developments in Mexico over the past year, EIA has revised its expectations for long-term growth in Mexico's oil production.

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Chesapeake Energy names Sylvester as new vice president

By Bob Downing Published: August 25, 2014

From Chesapeake Energy late last weeK:

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 21, 2014-- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) today announced that Brad Sylvester will join Chesapeake as Vice President – Investor Relations and Communications. Sylvester joins Chesapeake from Southwestern Energy Company. He will report to Chesapeake’s Chief Financial Officer, Nick Dell’Osso.

Doug Lawler, Chesapeake’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Brad is a highly talented and proven investor relations professional with more than 20 years of solid experience in the exploration and production industry. His leadership skills and extensive experience uniquely qualify him to lead our Investor Relations and Communications teams. I look forward to working very closely with Brad as we continue to drive value for our shareholders.”

Dell’Osso added, “Brad has consistently been recognized as one of the industry’s top investor relations officers by both buy-side and sell-side analysts and investors. He will maintain and build those relationships as he highlights the differential investment opportunity available with Chesapeake.”

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Bennett joins Ohio Oil and Gas Association as senior vice president

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2014

From the Ohio Oil and Gas Association today:


COLUMBUS, Ohio, August 21, 2014 — As its membership grows alongside the state’s expanding oil and gas industry, Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) Executive Vice President Thomas E. Stewart today announced that Shawn Bennett, a long-time supporter and voice for Ohio energy producers, has joined the association as senior vice president.

In his new role, Bennett will contribute to OOGA’s advocacy and public-policy efforts on behalf of the association’s more than 3,300 members and assist with managing day-to-day operations. 

“Shawn has been a strident supporter of energy development in the state for many years and has great knowledge about the processes, regulations and issues concerning our industry in Ohio,” said Stewart. “I am pleased to have him join my team to support the hundreds of oil and gas producers operating throughout the state.”   

Previously, Bennett served as director of Energy In Depth-Ohio (EID), a grassroots advocacy, research and education initiative organized in support of responsible oil and gas development. In his role as EID director, Bennett worked with business leaders, elected officials and residents in eastern Ohio regarding the safety and economic benefits of oil and gas exploration. 

A native of Cambridge, Ohio, Bennett received his bachelor’s degree in political communications from Ohio University. For his work on behalf of the oil and gas industry, Bennett received the Southeastern Ohio Oil and Gas Association’s Workhorse Award, The Daily Jeffersonian’s 2013 Person of the Year Award and was named to Columbus Business First’s Top 20 to Know in Energy in 2013.

About the Ohio Oil and Gas Association
The Ohio Oil and Gas Association is a trade association with more than 3,300 members who are actively engaged in the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas within the state of Ohio. For more information, visit www.ooga.org.

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BLM rolls out meetings on greater sage grouse, drilling

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2014

From Western conservation groupson Wednesday:

Conservationists Praise Federal “Roll-Up” Meetings as Critical Step toward Protecting the Greater Sage-grouse, Western Economies

 

Polling Shows Interior Department Efforts Have Broad Support Among Westerners

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Companies look at refracking Pennsylvania shale wells

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2014

In 2009, CONSOL Energy drilled a half dozen Marcellus shale wells in Pennsylvania's Greene County.

The wells in Center Township were not overly successful.

The energy company then hired Halliburton to refrack the wells. That's been done and CONSOL is very happy with the results.

It says it has another 200 wells that could be refracked, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Shale boom may help offset costs of reducing carbon footprint

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2014

From Purdue University earlier this week:

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Unanticipated economic benefits from the shale oil and gas boom could help offset the costs of substantially reducing the U.S.'s carbon footprint, Purdue agricultural economists say.

Wally Tyner and Farzad Taheripour estimate that shale technologies annually provide an extra $302 billion to the U.S. economy relative to 2007, a yearly "dividend" that could continue for at least the next two decades, Tyner said.

Using an economic model, they found that "spending" part of this dividend on slashing the nation's carbon emissions by about 27 percent - about the same amount set forth in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recently proposed Clean Power Plan - would reduce the shale dividend by about half.

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The biggest shale play in the U.S. remains largely unknown and untapped

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 21, 2014

The biggest shale play in the United States -- and likely one you have never heard of -- is in Texas, according to the web site RealClearEnergy.

RealClearEnergy: "Estimated at between 50 and 75 [billion] barrels, the Spraberry-Wolfcamp is exceeded in the world only by the notorious Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, which started pumping in 1948 and is still going strong. By contrast the Eagle Ford holds 27 billion barrels and the Bakken 13 bbl. What makes the Spraberry-Wolfcamp different is it's depth. While the Eagle Ford is 300 feet deep, the Spraberry-Wolfcamp is 3500-4000.

"... So the shale revolution isn't over. In fact, it may only be beginning."
 

The entire RealClearEnergy article, with chart, is here.

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Average Brent crude prices trade within $5 range for 13 months

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $107 per barrel (bbl) in July, marking the 13th consecutive month in which average Brent crude oil prices were between $107/bbl and $112/bbl (see graph above). Although supply growth from non-OPEC countries has outpaced world consumption in the past year, its potential price-reducing effect has been offset by unplanned supply outages among producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The result has tightened world oil markets and placed upward pressure on prices.

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Gastar Exploration increases borrowing base by $25 million

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2014

From Gastar Exploration last week:

HOUSTON , Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Gastar Exploration Inc. (NYSE MKT: GST) ("Gastar") today announced that the borrowing base under its revolving credit facility has been increased to $145 million . This represents a $25 million increase over Gastar's previous borrowing base effective March 2014. Currently, Gastar has drawn $20 million under the revolving credit facility, resulting in $125 million of unused borrowing capacity.

Michael A. Gerlich , Gastar's Chief Financial Officer, commented, "Cash on hand, internally generated cash flow and available borrowings under our revolving credit facility should give Gastar more than adequate liquidity to fund our recently expanded 2014 capital expenditures budget. The previously announced $32 million increase in our budgeted capital spending is a direct reflection of our successful drilling efforts in the first half of 2014 and our continuing ability to identify additional reserves and increase production in both our Appalachia and Mid-Continent plays."

About Gastar
Gastar Exploration Inc. is an independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil, natural gas, condensate and NGLs in the United States. Gastar's principal business activities include the identification, acquisition, and subsequent exploration and development of oil and natural gas properties with an emphasis on unconventional reserves such as shale resource plays. Gastar is currently pursuing development within the primarily oil-bearing reservoirs of the Hunton Limestone horizontal oil play in Oklahoma and the development of liquids-rich natural gas in the Marcellus Shale play and dry gas in the Utica Shale play in West Virginia. For more information, visit Gastar's website at www.gastar.com.

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Refracking tech rejuvenates wells after fracking peters out

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 21, 2014

What comes after fracked oil and gas wells start running dry? Refracking, according to The American Interest blog, The Feed.

The Feed: "Critics ... have pointed out that these new wells often give way to a rapid decline in output, arguing that the shale boom isn’t all it’s fracked up to be. The shale drilling industry is working to solve this problem, and one method, which involves tiny plastic balls added to the slurry pumped underground to break up shale rock, is allowing producers to 'refrack' wells previously thought to be tapped out.

"It’s a common but very serious mistake to predict the future based on what holds true today. In this case, those who have predicted the demise of the shale revolution may soon be forced to eat their words. The pace of technological change is accelerating, redefining possibilities along the way."

Read the whole thing here.

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Arctic Circle a new frontier for fracking

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 21, 2014

Shale fracking is moving north to the Arctic Circle, writes Ed Struzik at Yale Environment 360.

Struzik: "No one knows yet exactly how much shale oil and gas there is in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and the territory of Nunavut. But the government of the Northwest Territories estimates that the Canol Shale underground deposit, which extends from the mountains along the Yukon border several hundred miles east towards Colville and Great Bear lakes, contains 2 to 3 billion barrels of recoverable oil, as much or more than in the highly productive Bakken formation in North Dakota.

"Such potential reserves have drawn significant interest and mark the first time that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and gas has moved this close to the Arctic Circle in Canada."

You can read the whole thing here.

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'Poisoned waters' billboards trigger Coshocton County lawsuit

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2014

 

A Coshocton County man is speaking out against fracking wastes, and his two billboards have got him in hot water with a Texas-based company that operates Ohio injection wells.

Mike Boals, 55, a selective-cut lumberman, who lives outside Coshocton, has been sued by Buckeye Brine in Coshocton County Common Pleas Court.

Boals rents the two billboards a few hundred yards from two injection wells in Coshocton that are used to dispose of liquid drilling wastes. They are near the corner of U.S. 36 and Airport Road. He refuses to take them down.

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Shale boom triggers big changes to U.S. midstream infrastructure

By Bob Downing Published: August 19, 2014

The U.S. shale boom is triggering major growth in pipelines, gathering line and processing plants, according to a new report from the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions.

The shale boom has been a game changer for U.S. midstream operations, the report says.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Cabot Oil fined $76,000 for Susquehanna County well incident

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2014

From the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection:

 

DEP Fines Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. More Than $76,000 for Susquehanna County Well Control Incident
 

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it has fined Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. of Pittsburgh $76,546 for a January well control incident at the company’s Huston well pad in Brooklyn Township, Susquehanna County.

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Russia to provide natural gas to northern, eastern China

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

 

China's natural gas demand has been growing as the government seeks to move away from coal in favor of cleaner fuels. According to EIA's International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013) Reference case, demand will more than triple from 5.2 Tcf in 2012 to 17.5 Tcf by 2040.

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Canadian agency cites weak safety culture in Quebec rail crash

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2014

The weak safety culture of a now-defunct railway company and poor government oversight were among the many factors that led to an oil train explosion that killed 47 people in Quebec last year, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said in a new report released Tuesday.

TSB chair Wendy Tadros said 18 factors played a role, including a rail company that cut corners and a Canadian regulator that didn’t do proper safety audits.

The safety board issued its report 13 months after a runaway train carrying 72 carloads of volatile oil from North Dakota derailed, hurtled down an incline and slammed into downtown Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Several train cars exploded and 40 buildings were leveled. The unattended train had been parked overnight on a rail line before it came loose.

To read the full story, click  here.

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Eco-groups want investigation of Pennsylvania health agency

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2014

Pennsylvania environmental-health groups are pushing for an investigation of the state's health department and the way it handled complaints from residents about shale drilling.

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

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Marcellus shale production jumps 14 percent, new data shows

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2014

Pennsylvania's 5,400 Marcellus shale wells produced nearly 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the first six months of 2014, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

That volume is up 14 percent from the last six months of 2013.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Akron teacher attends OGEEP two-day workshop on drilling

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2014

From the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program:

A teacher from Summit County attended the Teacher Workshop hosted by the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) in July. OOGEEP provides the workshops to help teachers engage and connect students to the energy industry through science education.

Lori Villanova with David Hill Community Learning Center participated in the two-day workshop held July 30 and 31 at the R.G. Drage Career Technical Center in Massillon

“Our well-rounded science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) based-curriculum provide teachers with educational content and materials necessary to prepare lesson plans that are applicable to the real world,” said Rhonda Reda, executive director of OOGEEP.

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Groups in West working to help greater sage grouse

By Bob Downing Published: August 19, 2014

From the Western Values Project today:

Denver, CO — Today, a diverse set of groups sent a letter to the Western Energy Alliance (WEA), an oil and gas trade group, highlighting the efforts of many environmental and conservation groups working to craft conservation plans to prevent the need to list the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) while protecting the west’s economy and outdoor heritage.

WEA recently launched a public ad campaign opposing a listing of the Greater Sage Grouse under the ESA. The campaign claims that ‘environmental lawyers’ are trying to shut down the west’s economy through the courts by adding the bird to the endangered species list.

However, groups like the Wilderness Society, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Audubon Society, Western Values Project and many more are working across the west with all stakeholders on conservation plans that protect existing rights, allow for needed new development, and commit to conservation protections sufficient to avoid the necessity of listing the Greater Sage Grouse. In fact, many have been working with the oil and gas industry for years to accomplish this goal and invite WEA to work in a similar fashion going forward.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency has another year to make a decision about the listing, but the sage grouse issue has become a hot-button on the campaign trail. Greater Sage Grouse habitat covers millions of acres of public, private and state land in the west and while the bird has lost nearly half of its habitat due to development, fire and other threats, there is a historic opportunity to advance conservation plans that protect the bird’s habitat in order to prevent a listing under the ESA.

“While it may be tempting in an election year to turn sage grouse into a political football, in reality, it is one of the few areas where we have seen stakeholders from all sides -- conservationists, energy developers, sportsmen, and landowners -- engaging in an open dialogue with public officials to forge a path forward,” said Brian Rutledge from the National Audubon Society.

As the letter points out, this strategy is already working in Wyoming, where leading oil and gas companies and other stakeholders came to the table to hammer out a conservation plan.

“While it’s not perfect, the plan proves that a collaborative approach can be effective, but only if we can put our differences aside and focus on our common ground,” said Rod Torrez of HECHO. “The longevity of our Western traditions -- and future economic growth -- depends on it.”

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Ohio has 1,025 drilled Utica wells, 547 Utica wells producing

By Bob Downing Published: August 19, 2014

Ohio has approved 1,446 Utica shale permits, as of Aug. 16, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Of that total, 1,025 wells have been drilled and 547 wells are in production.

A total of 46 rigs are working in Ohio.

A total of 19 new permits were approved: seven in Belmont County, four in Carroll County and eight in Harrison County.

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North Carolina to hold first public hearing on fracking rules

By Bob Downing Published: August 19, 2014

North Carolina will hold its first public hearing on Wednesday on proposed fracking rules.

The first session will be in Raleigh.

Three other hearings are planned.

Click  here  to read more from the BakerHostetler shale blog.

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Harvard rounds up research reports on health impact of fracking

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 19, 2014

Fracking research roundups! We have fracking research roundups!

Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy has a useful roundup of research reports that examine the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

The "Fracking, shale gas and health effects: Research roundup" is aimed at journalists but accessible to anyone.

You can find it here.

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Enlink Midstream to add 45-mile Ohio condensate pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2014

From EnLink Midstream companies today:

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The EnLink Midstream companies, EnLink Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE:ENLK) (the Partnership) and EnLink Midstream, LLC (NYSE:ENLC) (the General Partner), today announced plans to construct a new 45-mile, eight inch condensate pipeline and six natural gas compression and condensate stabilization facilities that will service major producer customers in the Utica Shale , including Eclipse Resources . The total investment for the expansion project is over $250 million , roughly doubling the capital EnLink Midstream has invested in the Ohio River Valley to more than $500 million .

“This new expansion project is a major step forward for EnLink, as it enables us to build upon our existing asset platform and take advantage of the tremendous growth opportunities in the Utica Shale ,” said Barry E. Davis , EnLink Midstream’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This project is a game changer for our Ohio River Valley business and positions us in the heart of the gas and condensate production fairway. By further enhancing our midstream capabilities, we will provide multiple take-away options for stabilized condensate via our pipeline system, rail terminal and barge facility. We believe these service offerings, in addition to our extensive truck fleet and the expansion of our gas compression and condensate stabilization facilities, will create significant value for our customers by providing them access to premium priced markets.”

As a component of the project, the Partnership has entered into a long-term, fee-based agreement with Eclipse Resources for compression and stabilization services and for the purchase of stabilized condensate. Eclipse Resources is a leading Utica Shale focused exploration and production company that is currently running four horizontal rigs in the Utica Shale and expects to add an additional two rigs by year end.

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Gates Mills votes against request for community bill of rights

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2014

Gates Mills Village Council has refused to consider a petition from residents for a community bill of rights to ban fracking in the village east of Cleveland, the Plain Dealer reported last week.

Residents formed the Citizens for the Preservation of Gates Mills after Mayor Shawn Riley announced plans for villagers to pool their land for gas wells in the village.

The grass-roots group had gathered more than 130 signtures in support of the community bill of rights.

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Shale boom is fueling major infrastructure growth in U.S.

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2014

The shale boom in the United States is fueling a major growth in pipelines, gathering systems and processing plants, says Deliitte Center for Energy Solutions.

It has released a 20-page report looking at the shale boom infrastructure impacts.

Click  here  to see the full report.

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Harrison County hit by positive magnitude fracking quakes in 2013

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2014

There is new evidence that small earthquakes triggered by hydraulic fracturing or fracking rocked Ohio’s Harrison County in late 2013.

The nearly 500 micro-quakes occurred from early October to mid-December near Clendening Lake in an area with no recorded earthquakes, according to seismologist Paul A. Friberg of the New York-based Instrumental Software Technologies Inc., a private company specializing in seismology analysis and equipment, who has co-authored a scientific paper on the quakes.

The little-known Harrison quakes were the fifth "positive magnitude" quakes in the world to be triggered by hydraulic fracturing and the second in Ohio. Similar quakes were reported in Mahoning County last March.

The quakes trouble activists like Paul Feezel, who heads up Carroll Concerned Citizens, a grass-roots group in Carroll County. "It is quite worrisome…and a big concern," he said.

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Industry poll says Pennsylvania voters support energy growth

By Bob Downing Published: August 15, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute on Thursday:

Harrisburg, Pa., August 14, 2014 ─ Strong bipartisan majorities of registered Pennsylvania voters support increased development of U.S. energy infrastructure and will back candidates who support producing more U.S. oil and natural gas, according to a new poll released by API.

“Pennsylvania voters, regardless of party affiliation, want more American made energy,” said Stephanie Catarino Wissman, executive director of API’s Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania. “Voters are more likely to support candidates who encourage smart energy policy that will increase investments in the commonwealth and increase energy and job security for Pennsylvanians in the future.

“People in the ‘Keystone State’ recognize the abundance of energy that lies in the Marcellus Shale and want to capitalize on the opportunity to benefit all Americans, by investing in the commonwealth’s ability to transport natural gas to consumers nationwide.”

The state-wide telephone poll, conducted for API by Harris Poll among 608 registered voters in Pennsylvania, also found that:

 

The Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania 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.

Methodology
The study was conducted July 29 – August 3, 2014 by telephone by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute among 608 registered voters in Pennsylvania, with a sampling error of +/- 4%. A full methodology is available upon request.

"What America is Thinking on Energy Issues" is a public opinion series provided by API, offering data to inform policy discussions and ensure policymakers and others know Americans' perspectives on key energy issues.

File Type: pdf | File Size: 972615

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Gas-fired electric generation growth varies by region

By Bob Downing Published: August 15, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

 

EIA projects that natural gas-fired electric power sector generation in the contiguous United States will increase to 1,600 million megawatthours (MWh) by 2040, a 1.3% average annual increase. This growth is spread throughout the Lower 48 states, and the reasons for the growth vary by region.

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Royal Dutch Shell concentrating Utica acreage in northeast Pa.

By Bob Downing Published: August 15, 2014

Royal Dutch Shell appears to concentrating its Utica shale acreage in northeast Pennsylvania, as part of a $2.1 billion deal announced on Thursday.

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

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Shell adds to its Marcellus, Utica acreage in Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: August 15, 2014

From Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday:

 

In one agreement with Ultra Petroleum, Shell will acquire 155,000 net acres in the Marcellus and Utica Shale areas in Pennsylvania and receive a cash payment of $0.925 billion from Ultra in exchange for 100 percent of Shell’s Pinedale asset in Wyoming, including associated gathering and processing contracts, subject to closing.

In a separate agreement with Vine Oil & Gas LP and its partner Blackstone, Shell has agreed to sell 100 percent of its Haynesville asset in Louisiana, including associated field facilities and infrastructure for $1.2 billion in cash, subject to closing.

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Heavy traffic develops in Carrollton as shale drilling grow

By Bob Downing Published: August 15, 2014

Friend and WKSU- FM radio reporter Tim Rudell takes a look at Utica shale drilling and its impacts on tiny Carrollton, the county seat of Carroll County in eastern Ohio.

It is one of the most impacted counties in Ohio for shale drilling.

Click  here to see Rudell's story.

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Eclipse Resources has 110 producing wells in Utica, Marcellus

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2014

From Eclipse Resources today:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eclipse Resources Corporation (“Eclipse Resources”) (NYSE: ECR) today announced financial and operational results for the quarter ended June 30, 2014. Highlights for the period include:

Record Production and Operating Results:

Strong Financial Results:

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Production grows in Utica, two other shales for PDC Energy

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2014

From PDC Energy last week:

DENVER , August 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PDC Energy, Inc. ("PDC," the "Company," "we" or "us") (Nasdaq:PDCE) today reported its 2014 second quarter financial and operating results from continuing operations.

2014 Second Quarter Highlights Compared to 2013 Second Quarter

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PDC Energy expands its Utica holdings to 67,000 acres

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2014

A belated post from July 30 from PDC Energy:

 

 

DENVER, July 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PDC Energy, Inc. ("PDC" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:PDCE) today announced that it agreed to sell its fifty percent interest in PDC Mountaineer LLC ("PDCM"), a Marcellus Joint Venture ("JV"), to Mountaineer Keystone Energy, LLC for approximately $250 million subject to certain purchase price adjustments. PDC's net pre-tax proceeds from the sale, after its share of JV debt repayment and other working capital adjustments, is expected to be approximately $190 million comprised of $150 million in cash and a $40 million note. The transaction includes the buyer's assumption of PDC's share of the firm transportation obligations related to the assets owned by PDCM as well as PDC's share of certain PDCM natural gas hedging positions for the years 2014 and 2015.

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Texas commission calls for new injection rules in seismic areas

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2014

The Texas Rail Commission is eying new rules for injection wells in high-risk seismic areas, reports the law firm BakerHostetler.

There is growing concern that such uinjection wells can trigger earthquakes.

Click  here  to read more.

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Spectra halts work on Marcellus gas pipeline to North Carolina

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2014

Spectra Energy has put a proposed interstate natural gas pipeline on hold, according to the Associated Press and the Houston-based Fuel Fix blog.

The pipeline would have run from Pennsylvania to North Carolina and would have crossed Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.

Arthur Diestel, spokesman for the Houston-based pipeline builder and operator,said the company is suspending development work on the proposed project.

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Five LNG terminals planned along Canada's Atlantic coast

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2014

Canada is very interested in exporting liquified natural gas.

In fact, there are five planned or proposed LNG terminals along Canada's Atlantic coast that could serve American drillers-producers.

Click  here  to read more from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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PennEast proposes $1 billion Marcellus shale pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2014

Pennsylvania-based PennEast Pipeline Co. has announced plans for a new $1 billion natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The line, 30 inches in diameter, would begin in Pennsylvania's Luzerne County and run 105 miles to the Trenton-Woodbury interconnection in New Jersey.

It could transport Marcellus shale natural gas toheat as many as 4.7 million houses.

Click  here  to read more from NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania.

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API endorses more Outer Continental Shelf oil-gas leasing

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute earlier this week:

WASHINGTON, August 13, 2014 – API released comments today urging the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to consider all Outer Continental Shelf areas for inclusion in the government’s offshore oil and natural gas leasing program for 2017 – 2022.

“Expanding opportunities for U.S. offshore energy production would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, raise billions of dollars for the government and strengthen America’s international diplomacy and national security,” API Senior Policy Advisor Andy Radford told reporters on a conference call. “As the government works on the next leasing program, it should examine all areas with the potential to generate jobs and new revenue by advancing America’s energy renaissance.”

American voters – including majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents –support offshore drilling and increasing U.S. oil and natural gas production, according to recent polling by Harris Poll. However, most voters do not think the federal government does enough to encourage the development of oil and natural gas resources in the U.S.

“Decisions the government makes now will impact our economy and our ability to exert diplomatic influence for decades,” said Radford. “Opening new offshore areas to exploration and development could empower the U.S. and our allies by shifting the geopolitical balance.

“To remain a global energy superpower, the U.S. must continue to explore for and produce new domestic supplies of oil and natural gas. We urge BOEM to keep existing areas available for leasing and include new areas in the Atlantic, Eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific.”

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.

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OSHA concludes its investihation into Pa. well fire death

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2014

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has wrapped up its investigation into the death of a worker at a Chevron natural gas well site in southwest Pennsylvania.

The agency announced in a brief statement Tuesday it will not issue citations or fines for the incident.

Click  here   to read more from NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania.

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EID rebuts today's EIP report on diesel used in fracking

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2014

From Energy in Depth today:

This afternoon, the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) released yet another report attempting to undermine hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), this time claiming that the oil and gas industry is bucking the law by using diesel fuel in epic proportions.  According to EIP, there are “351 unpermitted wells fracked with diesel fuels between 2010 and July 2014,” presumably based upon data collected from FracFocus.org, an online disclosure registry for additives used during hydraulic fracturing.

But a closer look reveals that EIP is distorting the data and deliberately misleading the public about the use of diesel, as well as the rules and regulations that apply.

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EIP investigation finds continued use of diesel in fracking

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2014

From the Environmental Integrity Project today:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The illegal injection of diesel fuel during hydraulic fracturing has continued over the last four years, despite repeated denials by the drilling industry, according to a report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP). In its investigation, EIP also found troubling evidence that drilling companies have been changing and eliminating their disclosures of past diesel use from the industry self-disclosure database of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, called FracFocus.

Injecting diesel fuel into the ground to fracture shale and extract gas or oil is a potential threat to drinking water supplies and public health because diesel contains toxic chemicals, such as benzene, that cause cancer or other serious health problems, even at low doses.

EIP’s report, “Fracking Beyond the Law,” uses self-reported data from drilling companies and federal records to document at least 33 companies fracking at least 351 wells across 12 states with fluids containing diesel from 2010 through early August 2014. Diesel fuels were used to frack wells in Texas, Colorado, North Dakota, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Kansas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Montana without required Safe Drinking Water Act permits.

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Blackstone eying Royal Dutch Shell holdings in Louisiana

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2014

From Bloomberg News earlier this week:

By David Carey

Blackstone Group LP, the private-equity firm led by billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, is in advanced talks to acquire Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA)’s 50 percent stake in a shale-gas field in Louisiana, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Blackstone would pay about $1.2 billion for Shell’s half-interest in the Haynesville formation, the person said. The deal would follow a parade of gas-acreage sales by oil companies including Shell and Apache Corp. (APA) to investors as they trim holdings amassed when natural-gas prices were higher.

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Warren Resources closes on $352.5 million Marcellus deal

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2014

From Warren Resources:

 

NEW YORK , Aug. 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Warren Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq:WRES) ("Warren" or the "Issuer") announced today that it has closed on its previously announced acquisition of the Marcellus assets of Citrus Energy Corporation and two additional working interest owners for $352.5 million . The purchase price consisted of $40 million in Warren common stock priced at $6.00 per share, and approximately $312.5 million paid in cash, subject to further customary post closing adjustments.

In connection with the acquisition, Warren also entered into a five-year, Third Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, with Bank of Montreal , as Administrative Agent, which will provide for a maximum credit amount of $750 million and an initial borrowing base of $225 million .

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Is fracking shale the U.S. answer to Russia's energy weapon?

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 13, 2014

The American Interest notes in its blog, The Feed, that shale fracking is blunting oil prices and therefore having a negative impact on Russia's oil and gas dependent economy.

Stockpiling of cheaper oil by nations also hurts one of Russia's biggest geopolitical weapons as well, the cutting off of energy supplies, the blog post says.

The Feed: "But the fact that oil prices aren’t soaring, despite turmoil in Iraq and Libya—in large part because of the supply boost from North America—must also worry the Kremlin, which the Telegraph notes 'needs a price near $110 to balance its budget.' The shale boom is the American answer to Russia’s energy weapon, and it’s threatening the Russian economy.

"Frack, baby, frack."

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Utica shale continues to grow in importance

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 13, 2014

The RealClearEnergy web site notes that Utica shale natural gas production is snowballing.

RealClearEnergy: "The Utica Shale is coming on strong as the nation's second-fastest natural gas formation, right behind the Marcellus. ... Production in the Utica has risen tenfold since the field was opened in 2012, from 155 million cubic feet per day to 1.3 billion."
 

Read the whole thing, including a chart, here.

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Carrizo says farewell to retiring CFO, replacement named

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2014

From Carrizo Oil & Gas today:

HOUSTON , Aug. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRZO) announced today that Paul F. Boling , Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary, and Treasurer, has retired effective August 11, 2014 . In order to ensure an orderly transition of responsibilities, Mr. Boling will stay on as a consultant as necessary.

In connection with Mr. Boling's retirement, Carrizo has named David L. Pitts , the Company's current Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, as its new Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer in addition to his current positions.

S.P. "Chip" Johnson, IV , Carrizo's President and CEO, commented, "Paul has been with Carrizo for over 11 years. In that time he has contributed significantly to the growth of the Company from one with a market cap of less than $80 million to one with a market cap of more than $2.7 billion today. Paul's accomplishments and integral contribution to the Company's success are too numerous to mention, but included raising over $2.5 billion in senior notes, borrowing base and equity during his tenure. Carrizo is grateful that he will stay on to assist in the transition."

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China may double imports to 'teapot' refineries to expand refining

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2014

From GlobalData today:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Doubling Crude Oil Imports to ‘Teapot’ Refineries Could Expand China’s Refining Market, says GlobalData

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 13 August 2014 - China’s government is deciding whether to double the amount of crude oil imported by smaller, independent refineries, in what could prove a key move towards expanding the country’s import market, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

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Rex Energy buys 208,000 acres in Ohio, Pennsylvania from Shell

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2014

From Rex Energy today:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. , Aug. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rex Energy Corporation ("Rex Energy") (Nasdaq:REXX) today announced the acquisition of approximately 208,000 gross (207,000 net) acres in the company's Butler Operated Area.

Acquisition

Rex Energy has entered into a definitive purchase agreement with SWEPI, LP , an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell, plc ("Shell") to acquire a 100% interest in approximately 208,000 gross (207,000 net) acres prospective for the Marcellus, Upper Devonian/Burkett and Utica Shales in Pennsylvania and Ohio for approximately $120 million in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in September 2014 .

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More Democrats embrace fracking, risk ire of environmentalist base

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 12, 2014

Democrats increasingly say they are in favor of fracking shale, notes The American Interest at its blog, The Feed.

The Feed: "In the run-up to this fall’s midterm elections, Democrats seem to be stifling some of their green sensibilities and embracing the recent U.S. energy revolution. Fracking has completely transformed the American energy landscape in just a few short years, and environmentalists, a key component of the Democratic base, aren’t happy. As the WSJ reports, many on the left seem willing to weather the criticism of this increasingly out of touch interest group as they tout the numerous benefits of the shale boom ...

Read The Feed's post here. (Full online story at Wall Street Journal requires a subscription.)

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EIA chief on August 2014 Short-Term Energy Outlook

By Bob Downing Published: August 12, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

U.S. Energy Information Administration Administrator Adam Sieminski issued the following comments on EIA’s August 2014 Short-Term Energy Outlook, released on Tuesday:

The full STEO can be downloaded at: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/

 

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Ready Response Brigade returns to Athens County

By Bob Downing Published: August 12, 2014

From the Ready Reponse Brigade today:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THE READY RESPONSE BRIGADE RETURNS TO ATHENS COUNTY

 

WHAT: TRAINING FOR THE READY RESPONSE BRIGADE!

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Ohio celebrates 1,000th Utica shale well drilled...and four more

By Bob Downing Published: August 12, 2014

Ohio tops 1,000 Utica shale wells drilled.

According to data released on Tuesday, Ohio now has 1,004 drilled Utica shale wells.

Of that total, 495 Utica wells are in production, as of Aug. 9, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

A total of 1,431 Utica permits have been approved.

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Pa. DEP fines driller for unpermitted wells in Bradford County

By Bob Downing Published: August 12, 2014

From the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection:

WILLIAMSPORT -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced it has fined Southwestern Energy Production Co. of Houston, Texas, $128,031 for drilling five Marcellus shale natural gas wells in Herrick and Stevens townships, Bradford County, after drilling permits had expired.

A DEP investigation revealed that Southwestern had drilled at the Reeve Sutton 4H well pad in Herrick Township, Bradford County for nine days in October 2012, about 18 months past the permit’s expiration date. The department issued notice of violation (NOV) letters for this unpermitted drilling to Southwestern in January 2013.

Southwestern committed the same violations at four other wells in Bradford County in October 2012 and February 2013, conducting drilling four to 16 months after permits had expired. Two of the four wells were drilled after the company received the NOVs from the department in January 2013.

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EIA adds Ohio's Utica shale to Monthly Productivity Report

By Bob Downing Published: August 12, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Aug 12, 2014

The Utica Region in eastern Ohio, one of the fastest growing natural gas production areas in the United States, has been added to the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). Total natural gas production in the Utica Region, which includes production from the Utica and Point Pleasant formations as well as legacy production from conventional reservoirs, has increased from 155 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) in January 2012 to an estimated 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in September 2014.

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Columbia pipeline plans Utica pipeline, compression projects in Ohio, West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: August 12, 2014

From the Columbia Pipeline Group today:


Columbia Pipeline Group Announces $1.75 Billion in New Investments To Serve Appalachian Supply Basins
· Infrastructure enhancements will provide producers with critically needed access to Midwest, Gulf Coast markets
· Ohio, West Virginia pipeline project expected to generate new jobs and tax revenues


August 12, 2014—Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG), a unit of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), today announced a total of $1.75 billion in new investment in infrastructure that will enable it to transport up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/D) of natural gas from Marcellus and Utica production areas to markets served by its Columbia Gas Transmission (Columbia Transmission) and Columbia Gulf Transmission (Columbia Gulf) pipeline systems.

The new investments include two significant projects, one of which involves construction by Columbia Transmission of a new natural gas pipeline in Ohio and West Virginia that will enhance its existing infrastructure and support natural gas supply development in western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio.

“We have been a part of Ohio and West Virginia for more than 100 years and have an unparalleled footprint in the Marcellus and Utica production areas,” said Glen Kettering, CPG’s chief executive officer. “These newly announced investments reaffirm our commitment to this important region and will increase the capacity and flexibility of the Columbia Transmission and Columbia Gulf systems to further enhance transportation options for producers in Appalachia. In addition, this investment will further support our commitment to economic growth and development by creating new project-related jobs and generating ongoing tax revenue for local communities.”

The proposed Ohio and West Virginia pipeline, known as Columbia Transmission’s Leach XPress project, is supported by long-term firm service agreements with Range Resources - Appalachia, LLC, Noble Energy, Inc., Kaiser Marketing Appalachian, LLC and American Energy Utica - LLC. The project, which involves construction of approximately 160 miles of pipeline, compression and related facilities on Columbia Transmission’s system, will provide access to multiple Marcellus and Utica receipt points and establish a substantial new header system serving the heart of the Appalachian supply basin.


Delivering Appalachia Supplies to Growing Markets

As production volumes continue to grow in the Marcellus and emerging Utica shale plays, Columbia Transmission has been working closely with natural gas producers to provide new transportation options to move gas out of the capacity-constrained supply basin and into the interstate market. The Leach XPress project will increase the capacity of Columbia Transmission’s system by 1.5 Bcf/D and move regional gas supplies to various markets, including its interconnect with Columbia Gulf in Leach, Kentucky. By connecting production areas to Columbia Transmission’s mainline system, the project will allow producers access to high-demand energy markets and support delivery of affordable, domestic energy for consumers.

A second project included in the overall investment announced today, which is supported by long-term firm service agreements with the same four shippers, will provide additional capability for shippers to efficiently transport Appalachian production to markets via Columbia Gulf, which spans a corridor stretching from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Appalachia. Columbia Gulf’s Rayne XPress project primarily involves the addition of compression to Columbia Gulf’s existing pipeline facilities to provide transportation of over 1.0 Bcf/D for the project shippers. The project is supported by long-term firm shipping contracts.


Focus on Safety and the Environment

In addition to generating substantial local economic benefits, CPG’s projects are designed, constructed and operated with a core focus on safety and respect for landowners and local natural resources. CPG’s efforts to meet and exceed safety and environmental standards have earned the company awards and recognition from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the American Gas Association. CPG also shares in NiSource’s worldwide status as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies as determined and designated by the Ethisphere Institute.


Working Closely with Residents and the Community

CPG has already begun extensive outreach to landowners and communities in areas where the projects will take place. Prior to construction, the projects will undergo comprehensive and transparent environmental reviews overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Throughout the review period, CPG’s project teams will continue to work closely with landowners, local officials and communities to provide up-to-date information and ensure community involvement in the process.

CPG anticipates initiating construction of both projects in fall 2016, with a targeted in-service date during the second half of 2017.

For more information about Columbia Pipeline Group, visit: www.columbiapipelinegroup.com.


About Columbia Pipeline Group
As units of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), the CPG companies also include Columbia Gas Transmission, Columbia Gulf Transmission, Crossroads Pipeline, Central Kentucky Transmission and Hardy Storage. Combined with CPG’s operation of Millennium Pipeline Company, the CPG companies operate about 15,000 miles of interstate natural gas pipeline and 37 storage fields, delivering over 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year. For more information about Columbia Pipeline Group, please visit www.columbiapipelinegroup.com. Connect with CPG on Facebook at www.facebook.com/columbiapipelinegroup.

About NiSource
NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), based in Merrillville, Ind., is a Fortune 500 company engaged in natural gas transmission, storage and distribution, as well as electric generation, transmission and distribution. NiSource operating companies deliver energy to 3.8 million customers located within the high-demand energy corridor stretching from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England. Information about NiSource and its subsidiaries is available at www.nisource.com. NI-F
 

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EV Energy to drill exploratory oil well in Tuscarawas County

By Bob Downing Published: August 11, 2014

Texas-based EV Energy Partners LP is expecting to drill a well in Ohio’s Tuscarawas County this fall as part of concentrated efforts to tap into Utica shale oil.

Work on the exploratory well will likely begin about Oct. 1, said John B. Walker, the company’s executive chairman, in an earnings call with analysts and the media on Monday.

The company did not disclose the location of the planned well except to say in mid-Tuscarawas County.

That effort will include testing new completion techniques that might enable the company to produce significant quantities of Utica oil, said company president and CEO Mark Houser.

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MarkWest expands Utica infrastructure with two Ohio projects

By Bob Downing Published: August 11, 2014

Denver-based MarkWest Energy Partners is continuing to expand its processing facilities for natural gas and liquids in Ohio’s Utica shale.

The company has announced seven major infrastructure projects including two new projects in Ohio.

That includes a 200 million cubic foot per day expansion at the gas-processing plant at Cadiz in Ohio’s Harrison County. Known as Cadiz III, the addition is scheduled to be completed in first quarter 2015. It will increase the capacity of Cadiz to 525 million cubic feet per day.

The Cadiz complex currently has 125 million cubic feet of day of capacity. That will grow to 325 million cubic feet per day in September with the addition of Cadiz II and will grow again with the completion of Cadiz III, says MarkWest Utica EMG, a partnership between MarkWest and the Texas-based Energy and Minerals Group.

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Kinder Morgan announces $44 billion sales agreements

By Bob Downing Published: August 11, 2014

From Kinder Morgan:

 

HOUSTON --(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 10, 2014-- Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP), Kinder Morgan Management, LLC (NYSE: KMR) and El Paso Pip eline Partners, L.P. (NYSE: EPB) today announced that KMI will acquire all of the outstanding equity securities of KMP, KMR and EPB.

KMI has secured committed financing for the cash portion of the transaction.

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Exxon Mobil begins well in Russian Arctic Ocean

By Bob Downing Published: August 11, 2014

From Bloomberg News on Friday:

Sanctions, what sanctions?

 Exxon Mobile Corp. will start drilling a $700 million well in the Arctic Ocean tomorrow, Russia’s government said, showing that for all the talk of action against Vladimir Putin’s oil industry, the largest U.S. energy company is undeterred.

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Rice Energy to form new midstream partnership

By Bob Downing Published: August 11, 2014

From Pennsylvania-based Rice Energy today:

CANONSBURG, Pa., Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rice Energy Inc. (NYSE: RICE) today announced that it is pursuing the formation of a midstream master limited partnership (MLP) and intends to confidentially submit a draft Registration Statement on Form S-1 to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering (IPO) of common units of the MLP. The offering is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015.

It is expected that the initial assets of the MLP will consist of Rice Energy's Pennsylvania gas gathering and water sourcing and distribution assets. Following the closing of the contemplated IPO, Rice Energy will control the general partner of the MLP and will own 100% of the incentive distribution rights and a majority of the MLP limited partnership units.

This announcement shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. Any offer, solicitations to offer to buy, or any sales of securities will only be made in accordance with the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 or an exemption therefrom. This announcement is being made pursuant to and in accordance with Rule 135 under the Securities Act of 1933.

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Northeast natural gas prices sensitive to temperature swings

By Bob Downing Published: August 11, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

Natural gas spot prices fluctuate throughout the year in response to several factors, including weather, production levels, supply interruptions, pipeline constraints, inventory levels, and the availability of other energy sources. Temperature changes, more than any other factor, most frequently correlate with natural gas spot price movements. Natural gas demand and, in turn, natural gas prices in the spot market, will generally rise as temperatures move further away from 60 degrees Fahrenheit, as more natural gas is needed for space heating as temperatures cool and for power generation as temperatures warm.

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EV Energy Partners sells portion of its Eagle Ford holdings

By Bob Downing Published: August 11, 2014

From EV Energyu Partners today:

HOUSTON , Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EV Energy Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: EVEP) announced results for the second quarter 2014 and filed its Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission . EVEP also provided an update on midstream guidance for the remainder of 2014, an update on its commodity hedge positions, and an agreement to sell certain Eagle Ford formation rights.

Agreement to Sell Eagle Ford Formation Rights

EVEP announced that it, along with certain institutional partnerships managed by EnerVest, Ltd. , has signed an agreement to sell certain deep rights in the Eagle Ford formation in Burleson , Brazos and Grimes Counties to an undisclosed buyer for net proceeds to EVEP of $30 million ( $218 million for all EnerVest -affiliated entities combined). EVEP and EnerVest institutional partnerships will retain all non-Eagle Ford formation rights, including the Austin Chalk formation and corresponding production. The transaction is expected to close by October 15th and is subject to customary closing conditions and purchase price adjustments.

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Activists happy that Corps of Engineers taking more comments

By Bob Downing Published: August 11, 2014

From the Athens County Fracking Action Network today:

Aug. 8, 2014 ––Appalachian region environmental advocates are celebrating the success of their efforts to convince the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to extend the comment period on a frackwaste barge dock permit proposed for Portland, Meigs County, Ohio. The new comment period ends Aug. 24. “We have gained another window for the public to submit additional and we hope more extensive, specific concerns,” said Andrea Reik of Athens County (Ohio) Fracking Action Network. “We urge people to look at the model comments posted at acfan.org and to call on the Corps to conduct both a public hearing and an environmental impact study on this dangerous proposal.”

 

Reik explained, “The 981 miles of the Ohio River provide drinking water to over 3 million people. 10% of the country lives in the Ohio River Basin. GreenHunter’s proposed dock would accept over 105 million gallons of frackwaste annually. Why would the Corps even consider approving this project when the chemical makeup of radioactive frack waste is a guarded secret? Look at ongoing impacts of poisoned water on the cities of Charleston and Toledo and of C8, which after years is still poisoning the very region where this dock is proposed,” she warned.

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Rice Energy: Utica well producing, leases added in Ohio, Pa.

By Bob Downing Published: August 11, 2014

From Rice Energy today:

CANONSBURG, Pa., Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rice Energy Inc. (NYSE: RICE) today reported second quarter 2014 financial and operational results, provided updated basis differential information, and updated full year 2014 guidance.

Second Quarter Highlights

Commenting on the results, Daniel J. Rice IV, Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our results for the first half of 2014 are a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our entire team. We brought online 14 Marcellus wells and our first Utica well, which tested at a stabilized rate of 42 million cubic feet of gas per day and is shaping up to be one of the best wells in our company's history. In addition, we've managed to grow our core acreage position by 40% since IPO, and we are confident this growing inventory of high rate of return projects in the Marcellus and Utica will generate significant value for our shareholders for many years to come."

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Kimble Companies plan CNG refueling station in Stark County

By Bob Downing Published: August 9, 2014

Construction is scheduled to begin in September on a new compressed natural gas refueling station in Stark County.

The facility with four refueling spots open to the public is planned by the Dover-based Kimble Companies.

It would be the second public CNG refueling spot in Stark County.

The facility could open by late October, pending final approval of building plans, said company spokesman Keith Walker.

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Plans progress for Canton drilling training site, academic center

By Bob Downing Published: August 9, 2014

Plans are progressing for a new natural gas-oil drilling training center and satellite academic center in downtown Canton for Stark State College.

The facility is scheduled to open in January, said college spokeswoman Irene Lewis Motts.

On July 28, the Ohio Controlling Board released nearly $2.6 million in two grants to renovate what’s officially called the Downtown Canton Satellite Center.

The two grants for $2.6 million are part of $10 million pledged two years ago by the state of Ohio.

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Magnum Hunter outlines Marcellus, Utica operations

By Bob Downing Published: August 8, 2014

From Magnum Hunter Resources on Thursday:

Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale

During the second quarter of 2014, the Company completed drilling five gross (2.1 net) wells in the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale plays. In addition, the Company drilled and cased to the intermediate casing point four gross (3.1 net) wells, three of which are operated. As a result of our development plan, two gross (one net) wells on the Stalder Pad and four gross (four net) wells on the WVDNR Pad are currently shut-in due to additional drilling activities on these pads. The Company's net production in the second quarter of 2014 attributable to Triad Hunter, LLC's operations was approximately 72.8 Mcfe/d, a 76% increase over the prior year quarter.

The Company drilled and cased the Stewart Winland #1300, its first dry gas Utica Shale well in Tyler County, West Virginia to a true vertical depth of 11,050 feet. The Stewart Winland #1300 targeted the Point Pleasant formation, which is approximately 350 feet deeper than the same formation targeted by the Company's first Utica Shale dry gas well, the Stalder #3UH in Monroe County, Ohio. The wireline logging data confirmed the Point Pleasant target formation from the Stewart Winland #1300 pad location contains hydrocarbons and appears to possibly have even more bottom hole pressure than the Stalder #3UH. The Stewart Winland #1300 was drilled and cased with a 5,500 foot horizontal lateral, and was successfully fracture stimulated with 22 stages and is presently resting. Currently, the Company is using a combination of zipper fracing and fracture stimulation on the three 100% working interest Marcellus Shale wells on the same pad. The Company expects to report initial production test rates from these four 100% owned wells sometime in mid-September 2014.

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Colorado judge overturns Fort Collins moratorium on fracking

By Bob Downing Published: August 8, 2014

A judge in Colorado's Larimer County on Thursday overturned Fort Collins' five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Calumet acquires Specialty Oilfield Solutions for $30 million

By Bob Downing Published: August 8, 2014

From Calumet Specaility late last week:

INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: CLMT) ("Calumet" or the "Partnership") a leading independent producer of specialty hydrocarbon and fuel products, today announced that it acquired substantially all of the assets of privately-held Specialty Oilfield Solutions, Ltd. ("SOS") on August 1, 2014 for total cash consideration of $30.0 million.

Founded in 2005, Houston-based SOS is a full-service solids control and drilling fluids company with operations in the Marcellus, Eagle Ford and Utica shale plays. This transaction further positions Calumet as one of the leading suppliers of specialty oil field products and services to the drilling industry, building upon the Partnership's acquisition of Anchor Drilling Fluids in March 2014. SOS will operate as a subsidiary of Anchor Drilling Fluids, which is wholly-owned by Calumet. The Partnership believes this transaction will enable Calumet to provide a more comprehensive offering that extends beyond drilling fluids to include solids control equipment and services.

"Oil field services remains a rapidly growing, yet highly fragmented industry," stated Jennifer Straumins, President and COO of Calumet. "This accretive transaction helps to further build upon Calumet's position as a leading supplier of specialized, high-quality products and services to drillers in the field."

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Stone Energy drills its first Utica well in West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: August 8, 2014

From Louisiana-based Stone Energy Corp.:

LAFAYETTE, La., Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Stone Energy Corporation (NYSE: SGY) today announced financial and operational results for the second quarter of 2014. Some of the highlights include:

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer David Welch stated, "In the second quarter of 2014, we continued to execute our growth model by sanctioning our deep water Amethyst discovery, spudding the Utica shale test well, progressing our Cardona development project, obtaining an agreement to sell our non-core conventional shelf assets, and completing a successful equity offering. The deep water Cardona project is expected to come on production less than six months after drilling was completed. The divestiture of non-core shelf assets coupled with the equity offering were important steps in our growth plan as we look to secure a multi-year deep water rig contract, advance our deep water and deep gas exploration prospects, and evaluate development options for our Utica position. Our deep water development projects and steady Appalachia drilling underpin our projected production growth through 2016, while our deep water portfolio, deep gas prospects and Utica position provide material exploration exposure into the future."

Financial Results

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U of Michigan report: Shale gas to boost manufacturing

By Bob Downing Published: August 8, 2014

From the American Chemistry Council today:

ACC COMMENTS ON UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN REPORT ON SHALE GAS AND AMERICAN MANUFACTURING

 

WASHINGTON (August 8, 2014) -- The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today responded to the release of a report by the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute and Institute for Manufacturing Leadership, "Shale Gas: A Game-Changer for U.S. Manufacturing." Additional information about the report is available at http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/22319-u-m-report-how-shale-gas-can-boost-u-s-manufacturing

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Energy companies cautiously look at off-shore fracking

By Bob Downing Published: August 8, 2014

From Bloomberg News:

Energy companies are taking their controversial fracking operations from the land to the sea -- to deep waters off the U.S., South American and African coasts.

Cracking rocks underground to allow oil and gas to flow more freely into wells has grown into one of the most lucrative industry practices of the past century. The technique is also widely condemned as a source of groundwater contamination. The question now is how will that debate play out as the equipment moves out into the deep blue. For now, caution from all sides is the operative word.

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Deep water oil deposits increasingly will be fracked

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 7, 2014

Fracking's next major frontier is deep under water, according to a story at Financial Post.

Bloomberg News says energy companies are starting to frack beneath water depths of more than a mile.

Bloomberg News: "Energy companies are taking their controversial fracking operations from the land to the sea — to deep waters off the U.S., South American and African coasts.

" ... Offshore fracking is a part of a broader industrywide strategy to make billion-dollar deep-sea developments pay off. The practice has been around for two decades yet only in the past few years have advances in technology and vast offshore discoveries combined to make large scale fracking feasible.

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Antero to ship Ohio natural gas to Louisiana to become LNG

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

Colorado-based Antero Resources has agreed to sell a portion of its Utica shale natural gas for foreign export from the Gulf Coast.

The company intends to sell up to 200 million cubic feet per day to Texas-based Cheniere Energy Inc. to be turned into liquified natural gas for shipment by tankers to overseas destinations.

The gas will be shipped from Ohio via pipelines to the Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC and its plant in Louisiana’s Cameron Parish. The volume being turned into LNG will increase as the plant grows.

That news was released on Thursday in an earnings call with financial analysts and the media.

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Gulfport Energy CEO discusses expanding Utica shale operations

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 7, 2014

Gulfport Energy Corp.’s top executive, Michael G. Moore, president and chief executive officer, had a lot to say about the Utica shale in a conference call with industry analysts.
Here is what Moore said during Thursday’s call:
• Utica shale is “one of North America’s premier shale plays.”
• “Gulfport drilled 20 wells in the second quarter with an average drill time of 24 days per well, a decrease of 39 percent over the average drill days of 2013.”
• “The team drilled the company’s longest lateral to date of 11,147 feet.”
• “Later in the second quarter, Gulfport brought online ten wells in Utica, eight wells in the wet gas window and two wells in the condensate window of the play.”
“Gulfport continues to acquire acreage focus areas in Ohio and West Virginia and today have approximately 184,500 acres under lease.” In Ohio, the company is paying about $7,000 an acre and focusing primarily on Belmont and Monroe counties.
• “With 2 1/2 years of drilling in Ohio under our belt and over 60 wells producting, we’re pleased Gulfport is sitting at a very unique position compared to other companies in play.”
• Gulfport put ten wells online in the second quarter.
• Gulfport expects to put 14 to 20 wells online in each of the current third and upcoming fourth quarters. Just one of those wells is expected to be a dry gas well. “In the third quarter I will tell you, we’ve already brought on seven wells and all of those are wet gas wells.”

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Energy, mining account for big share of some state economies

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

At the national level, establishments that extract crude oil and natural gas as well as naturally occurring mineral solids, such as coal and ores, collectively referred to as the mining sector in economic data, accounted for about 2% of the U.S. economy last year. In some states, though, the mining sector accounts for a much larger share of the economy. Of the six states where mining comprised more than 10% of the state's economy in 2013, mining growth resulted in five of those states having higher economic growth than the national average.

Read More ›

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McClendon joins Regency Energy in $500 million Utica pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

From American Enerny-Midstream LLC and Regency Energy Partners LP today:

 

DALLAS, August 7, 2014 – Regency Energy Partners LP (NYSE: RGP), (Regency or the Partnership) and American Energy – Midstream, LLC (AE-MidCo), announced today that they have entered into a joint venture agreement for the construction and operation of Regency’s previously announced Utica Ohio River Project. In addition, RGP and American Energy – Utica, LLC (AEU) will enter into a gathering agreement for gas produced from the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio by AEU.

Regency and AEU will contribute all previously signed agreements to the joint venture. These agreements include volume commitments and large acreage dedications. As a result, Regency and AE-MidCo will upsize the project to accommodate over 2 Bcf/d of firm volume commitments. These commitments represent the majority of the projected volumes in the 52-mile footprint of the pipeline.

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Magnum Hunter Resources moving offices to Dallas area

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

From Magnum Hunter Resources today:

 

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - Aug 7, 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 Company will relocate its corporate headquarters from Houston, Texas to the Dallas, Texas area effective on or about December 31, 2014. The Company's finance, treasury and reservoir engineering departments will be moving to the Dallas area as part of the corporate headquarters relocation. Additionally, the Company plans to consolidate its accounting department, which is currently located in Grapevine, Texas, to the new corporate headquarters.

Eureka Hunter Pipeline, LLC, a majority-owned subsidiary of the Company, will continue to maintain its corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas.

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MarkWest Energy Partners to expand Cadiz processing plant

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

 From MarkWest Partners today:

 

MarkWest Energy Partners Announces Major Expansion Projects and Reports Record Financial and Operational Results for Second Quarter 2014

Second quarter DCF of $161.7 million and increased quarterly distribution of 88 cents per common unit with 104 percent distribution coverage

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Human error, poor communications cited in Pa. fatal well fire

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

An inexperienced natural gas worker loosening a bolt without proper supervision likely caused the leak that days later led to a fatal fire on a Chevron gas well in Greene County, Pennsylvania state investigators said.

In two Department of Environmental Protection reports released on Wednesday, officials pointed to human error by the unnamed employee of contractor Cameron International Corp. with less than six months of experience as the likely culprit.

The DEP criticized Chevron for a lack of oversight on the Lanco well pad in Dunkard before the Feb. 11 incident, and poor communication with state officials in the hours and days afterward.

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MarkWest Energy Partners building new Cadiz office

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

MarkWest Energy Partners on Wednesday broke ground for a new headquarters building in Ohio's Utica shale.

The new building will be in Cadiz in Harrison County where the company has invested heavily, said Shawn Bennett of Energy in Depth-Ohio.

Click  here  to read his account.

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FirstEnergy building substation in Doddridge County, W. Va.

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

From Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. today:

 

Work Underway on New FirstEnergy Transmission Substation

in West Virginia to Support Shale Gas Industry and

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Gulfport Energy adds to Utica shale holdings

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 7, 2014

Gulfport Energy reported second quarter earnings and said it has added 4,500 acres to its position in the Utica shale.
Gulfport also had this to say about its Utica shale holdings:  
• Gulfport spud 24 gross (16.5 net) wells during the second quarter of 2014. At present, Gulfport has seven horizontal rigs drilling in the play.
• In the wet gas window of the play, Gulfport brought online eight wells during the second quarter. Initial seven-day sales rates from the wells, assuming full ethane recovery, averaged approximately 2,392 BOEPD with 42 percent liquids. The wells in the wet gas window were drilled with an average perforated lateral length of 7,925 feet and completed with 32 frac stages.
• In the condensate window of the play, Gulfport brought online two wells during the second quarter. Initial seven-day sales rates from the wells, assuming full ethane recovery, averaged approximately 955 BOEPD with 68% liquids. The wells in the condensate window were drilled with an average perforated lateral length of 8,298 feet and completed with 33 frac stages.
• To secure the movement of Gulfport’s Utica Shale production out of the basin, the company has most recently executed binding agreements with ET Rover Pipeline, LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer, to transport 100,000 MMBtu/day for a term of 15 years on the ET Rover pipeline project beginning in late 2016. This firm transportation arrangement will provide Gulfport the flexibility to move natural gas to the Dawn, Ontario and Gulf Coast markets.
• Since May 2014, Gulfport has increased its acreage position in the play, adding approximately 4,500 net acres, bringing the Company’s total acreage position to approximately 184,500 gross (183,500 net) acres under lease in the Utica Shale.

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New reports questions Pennsylvania oversight of drilling

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

From Earthworks:

 

Washington, DC - The environmental and health impacts of gas development have been connected for the first time with a lack of state oversight on a site-by-site basis in a new report released by Earthworks. A year in the making, Blackout in the Gas Patch: How Pennsylvania Residents are Left in the Dark on Health and Enforcement documents and analyzes the permitting, oversight, and operational record of 135 wells and facilities in seven counties--and identifies the associated threats to water and air that are harming the health of nearby residents.

Blackout’s findings, based primarily on documents and data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)--are a clear indication that the state:

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U.S. decision to export distilled condensates is big, analyst says

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

From GlobalData today:

US Approval to Export Distilled Condensates is a Potential Game Changer, says GlobalData Analyst

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 7 August 2014 - The recent approval by the US Department of Energy’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for two companies to export distilled condensate could be a game changer, opening the door to a significant increase in global exports of both this product and distilled crude oil from the US, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The BIS recently granted permits to Pioneer Natural Resource Company and Enterprise Product Partners to export lightly processed condensate from the US, a ruling which sets a precedent for further authorization of exports.

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Ethane agreement between Antero Resources, Borealis

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

From Borealis today:

Borealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers, has signed a 10-year agreement with Antero Resources to supply ethane from the United States for its flexible steam cracker in Stenungsund, Sweden. The project also includes a shipping agreement with Navigator Holdings and a related multi-million investment in an upgrade of the cracker and the construction of an ethane storage tank. The ethane supplied from the US complements the recently signed ethane supply contract with Statoil providing Borealis with an alternative attractive source of feedstock for its petrochemical plant in Sweden.

Supply and shipping agreements with Antero Resources and Navigator Holdings
Antero Resources will supply ethane originating from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations to Borealis in Stenungsund. The company has signed parallel fractionation, pipeline and terminal service contracts to enable free on board (FOB) delivery at the Marcus Hook terminal operated by Sunoco Logistics. The first delivery of ethane is planned for late 2016.

A related long-term shipping agreement has been signed with US-listed Navigator Holdings, one of the largest owners and operators within the handysize liquefied gas carrier segment. For this purpose, Navigator will build a new, 35000 cbm state-of-the-art ethane vessel equipped with dual fuel engines. The vessel will be among the most modern in the world and will ensure cost effective, safe and reliable transport of ethane to Stenungsund.

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Ohio ethane could be headed to Sweden under new agreement

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2014

From Bloomberg News/Akron Beacon Journal today:

Borealis AG, an Austrian petrochemical company controlled by Abu Dhabi, signed a long-term ethane supply contract with Antero Resources (AR) as it pushes ahead with a plan to import cheaper U.S. feedstock for its plant in Sweden.

Antero has significant holdings in the Utica shale in southeastern Ohio.

The ethane would be shipped from the Marcus Hook terminal near Philadelphia, starting in late 2016.

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Needed pipelines for Utica, Marcellus gas are couple years away

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

From Bloomberg News today:

By Alex Nussbaum

It could take a "couple of years" to build enough pipelines to handle surging natural gas production from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, the chief executive officer of Spectra Energy Corp. said.

Spectra, which owns 22,000 miles (35,400 kilometers) of oil and gas pipes, is rushing to alleviate a glut that has helped depress profits for drillers unable to get their product to market, CEO Greg Ebel said today in a phone interview.

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Sterne Agee analysts on Chesapeake Energy's quarterly report

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

From New York analyst Tim Rezvam and Truman Hobbs on Chesapeake Energy's second quarter 2014 report that they called "a miss."

CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP. (NYSE: CHK) Flash Note
RATING: NEUTRAL
Price: $26.83
Price Target:

Cash Costs Drive Miss to Our Below-Consensus Estimates. Pro Forma Net Debt Remains High. '15 Growth Outlook Brightens.

Our Call
CHK reported a slight EPS miss this morning, but any disappointment should be mitigated by a 1.5% increase to 2014 production guidance and 2014 exit-rate guidance of 730 mboe/d that suggests consensus 2015 production of 732 mboe/d is likely far too conservative. Shares could come under pressure after showing relatively resilient QTD performance (-11%) in a weak tape for the industry, but we believe a muted reaction is warranted following a positive update to 2015 growth.

• 2Q Earnings Lags Us and Consensus. 2Q adjusted EBITDA of $1.28 billion compared to our estimate of $1.32 billion and consensus of $1.35 billion. 2Q adjusted EPS of $0.36 lagged us at $0.42 and consensus at $0.44. Variance came from higher than expected cash costs (production taxes and G&A) and a higher effective tax rate, which more than offset the impact of higher oil and natural gas production. Cash unit expense of $7.02/boe was 6% higher than our estimate of $6.65/boe.

• Update on Asset Sale/Strategic Transactions Expected in 2014. The company updated its list of sources/uses of cash. In 2Q, the company removed $1.1 billion of debt with the Seventy Seven Energy (SSE, $22.85, NR) spin and closed on $675 million of non-core asset sales. Subsequent to quarter-end, the company plans to close on another $700 million of asset sales, pay $450 million to consolidate its Powder River Basin assets and pay $1,260 million to repurchase CHK Utica preferred equity shares. In total, we now estimate pro forma net debt of $11.1 billion and a pro forma net debt/TTM EBITDA multiple of 2.1x.

• Production Growth Outlook Improves. 2Q production averaged 695 mboe/d, 2% above both our 681 mboe/d estimate and consensus of 683 mboe/d. Crude production of 113 mb/d and gas production of 2.98 Bcf/d were both 4% higher than expected, while NGL production of 85 mb/d was 8% lower than expected. Strong 2Q volumes led to the company nudging up full-year production guidance by 1.5% to 695 mboe/d. The company provided exit-rate guidance of 730 mboe/d, which is well above our current 1Q15 production estimate of 722 mboe/d. In fact, Chesapeake's 2014 exit rate number is almost on top of consensus 2015E production of 732 mboe/d and our estimate of 734 mboe/d. We hope to get clarity on this topic on today's call.

• Operational Highlights. The company reiterated its plan to grow to 7-9 rigs in the Powder River Basin in 2015, acknowledging that gas processing plant delays will be a drag on production growth until 4Q14. The company confirmed it added a rig to test the dry gas window of the Utica Shale in northern West Virginia. In the Ohio Utica Shale, the company still has a large, 210 well inventory of wells awaiting completion or being turned to sales. The recent addition of additional gas processing should result in more wells being turned to sales in 2H14, reducing that backlog. In the Haynesville Shale, 2Q production averaged 508 mmcf/d, a 3% sequential increase.

Any Important Disclosures regarding Price Target Risks, Valuation Methodology, Regulation Analyst Certification, Investment Banking, Ratings Definitions, and any potential conflicts of interest may be found by clicking on the report link below. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
CHK Note

For the latest company report:
CHK Company Report


 

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Rex Energy reports on record-high quarterly production

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

From Rex Energy:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. , Aug. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rex Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:REXX) announced its second quarter 2014 operational and financial results.

Second Quarter Financial Results

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BakerHostetler weighs in on handling of Monroe County fire

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

BakerHostetler law firm in its North American Shale Blog weighs in the controversy in Ohio after a well fire in Monroe County and how state agencies responded.

Click  here  to see the post.

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Spectra Energy proposes four pipelines from Utica, Marcellus

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp. is seeking commitments from drillers to gauge interest in four new pipelines from the Utica and Marcellus shales.

The pipelines would go the Midwest, Canada, the Southeast and the Northeast.

Click  here  to see the whole story.

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American energy exports are boosting economy, API says

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, August 6, 2014 ─ This morning’s trade report from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows American energy exports are revitalizing the economy and shifting the balance of power around the world, said API Chief Economist John Felmy.

“Domestic oil and natural gas production helped drive record exports last year, and our ability to impact global markets continues to grow,” said Felmy. “But America’s potential as an energy superpower remains limited by outdated trade restrictions that prevent more U.S. oil and natural gas from reaching global markets. Lifting these barriers will mean more jobs and a more powerful position – both economically and diplomatically.

“Already, innovations in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have allowed U.S. energy exports to put a major dent in the trade deficit. Today’s reports shows that exports of crude oil and petroleum products are up more than $1.2 billion from the same month last year, to $12.7 billion. For the year to date, the total trade deficit for crude oil and petroleum products is down $20.4 billion from the same period last year.

“If policymakers act now to allow free trade, U.S. energy exports can further reduce the impact of unrest overseas and limit the influence of foreign suppliers that dominate other markets. And studies show that American crude oil exports will promote higher energy production and put downward pressure on prices for consumers.

“By acting now, we can send a major signal to world markets that competitors overseas cannot ignore. Congress and the administration must act quickly to accelerate Department of Energy approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and lift 70’s-era restrictions on crude oil exports.”

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 580 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.

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Shale development fueling growth for Marathon Oil

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

Texas-based Marathon Oil says its  profits are up 27 percent in its second quarter 2014 financial report due to growing  shale development.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Industry-backed study says Bakken oil not greater threat

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

An industry-funded study concluded that the oil from the Bakken region doesn’t pose a greater risk to transport than other similar, types of crude.

The study is the most scientific analysis of the region’s crude so far, the North Dakota Petroleum Council said.

The group hopes the report allays fears that Bakken oil may be more prone to ignition — after a series of accidents involving rail shipments of the oil.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Chesapeake happy with Ohio oil results, to drill in W. Va. for gas

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. is pleased with initial test results for oil in Tuscarawas County and is planning to drill its first Utica shale well for natural gas in West Virginia’s Wetzel County.

Those were among the items that company officials discussed on Wednesday in an earning call with analysts and the media.

Chesapeake and other companies are trying to tap into the oil area in southern Stark, western Carroll and eastern Tuscarawas counties.

Chesapeake is "encouraged with what we’re seeing" in results from its Parker well in Perry Township in the southeast corner of Tuscarawas County, said CEO Doug Lawler.

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Former Soviet Union to boost spending on refining capacity

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

From GlobalData today:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Former Soviet Union Refining Capital Expenditure to Hit $9.8 Billion by 2020, says GlobalData

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 6 August 2014 - The Former Soviet Union (FSU) is forecast to spend approximately $9.8 billion on new refining capacity between 2014 and 2020, adding over 400 thousand barrels per day, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

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EnLink Midstream releases 2Q financial, operations updates

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

From EnLink Midstream on Tuesday:

DALLAS,August 5, 2014 — The EnLink Midstream companies, EnLink Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE:ENLK) (the Partnership) and EnLink Midstream, LLC (NYSE:ENLC) (the General Partner), today reported results for the second quarter of 2014.

 

Second Quarter 2014 — EnLink Midstream Partners, LP Financial Results

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EnLink Midstream to expand in Permian Basin, Louisiana

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2014

From EnLink Midstream on Tuesday:

DALLAS,August 5, 2014 — The EnLink Midstream companies, EnLink Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE:ENLK) (the Partnership) and EnLink Midstream, LLC (NYSE:ENLC) (the General Partner), today announced two new growth projects that will expand EnLink Midstream’s footprint in the Permian Basin and south Louisiana. These investments will complement EnLink Midstream’s existing asset footprint and offer enhanced midstream services to producer customers in these regions.

 

“Earlier this year we outlined our growth strategy to reach our goal of doubling the company’s size by the end of 2017,” said Barry E. Davis, EnLink Midstream’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “These are exactly the types of projects we identified that will help us reach our objectives. Our strong asset base in premier oil and gas plays along with our focus on establishing long-term, fee-based contracts creates an extensive pipeline of opportunities. We look forward to continuing to execute our growth strategy to create value for our unitholders, customers and employees.”

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Mahoning County man gets 28-month prison sentence, $25,000 fine

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2014

From the Associated Press today:

CLEVELAND: The owner of a northeast Ohio business that collected and stored toxic fluids from oil and gas drilling operations was sentenced Tuesday in Cleveland to 28 months in federal prison and fined $25,000.

Ben Lupo, 64, of Poland, Ohio, had hoped to receive probation or home detention because of his various physical ailments. His attorneys said he had a kidney transplant in 2010 and receives dialysis five days a week. Prosecutors had asked for 36 months and a $250,000 fine.

“Clean air and fresh water is the birthright of every man, woman and child in this state,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said in a statement after the sentencing. “Intentionally breaking environmental laws is not the cost of doing business, it’s going to cost business owners their freedom.”

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Carrizo still working on Utica midstream partnerships

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2014

From Carrizo Oil and Gas today:

HOUSTON, Aug. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRZO)today announced the Company's financial results for the second quarter of 2014 and provided an operational update, which included the following highlights:

Carrizo reported second quarter of 2014 income from continuing operations of $3.2 million, or $0.07 per basic and diluted share as compared to income from continuing operations of $35.8 million, or $0.89 and $0.88 per basic and diluted share, respectively, in the second quarter of 2013. The income from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2014 includes certain items typically excluded from published estimates by the investment community. Adjusted net income, which excludes the impact of these items as described in the statements of income included below, for the second quarter of 2014 was $32.4 million, or $0.72 and $0.70 per basic and diluted share, respectively, compared to $24.0 million, or $0.60 and $0.59 per basic and diluted share, respectively, in the second quarter of 2013.

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Drilling outpaces scientific studies of fracking, report says

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2014

From Bloomberg News:

Bloomberg BNA -- Scientific understanding of the effects of hydraulic fracturing and other methods of extracting natural gas from shale rock has not kept pace with the rapid expansion of the industry in North America, leaving researchers with a limited grasp of what drilling could be doing to wildlife and plants, said a study published July 31.

The study in the peer-reviewed journal “Frontiers in Ecology” involved several U.S. and Canadian conservation biologists and organizations, and was led by British Columbia's Simon Fraser University.

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Production continues to grow in the Marcellus shale

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

Republished August 5, 2014, 10:35 a.m., text was edited to clarify content.

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API backs new Colorado plan with special state commission

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, August 4, 2014 ─ API welcomed the call by Gov. Hickenlooper for the withdrawal of anti-energy ballot measures in favor of a special commission to consider concerns about oil and natural gas development and the appropriate role for local communities in state energy decisions.

“Colorado has some of the strongest oil and gas regulations in the country, and our industry has a history of working collaboratively with state regulators and local communities to protect the environment while promoting economic growth: to the tune of 200,000 jobs already supported by responsible energy production,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard.

“Short-sighted initiatives that threaten responsible energy production and undermine job creation do a disservice to Coloradans who want a more reasoned discussion. Today’s call could clear the path for a more balanced and inclusive conversation that will preserve Colorado’s leading role in America’s energy revolution, and we look forward to participating in that dialogue.”

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.
 

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Colorado deal is blow to giving local communities more control

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2014

From Bloomberg News today:

Colorado's compromise with drilling opponents has dealt a blow to environmentalists’ expanding battle to give local communities more control to limit fracking.

Governor John Hickenlooper and Representative Jared Polis agreed to a deal that weakened the prospects for two proposed ballot initiatives aimed at restricting oil and gas activity, the two men said at a news conference in Denver yesterday. Polis, who was expected to help finance the campaign for the measures, agreed to withdraw his support after Hickenlooper promised to create a task force to study the industry’s impact on local communities.

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Ohio has 997 drilled Utica wells, 491 Utica wells in production

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2014

Ohio has approved 1,428 Utica shale permits, as of Aug. 2.

That includes 997 Utica shale wells that have been drilled and 491 that are in production, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

It says 47 drilling rigs are in Ohio.

Seven new permits were approved last week, all in Belmont County.

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Monroe County to host Aug. 7 public meeting after well fire

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2014

From the Communities United for Responsible Energy:

On Thursday, August 7, The Communities United for Responsible Energy (CURE), The Ohio Organizing Collaborative and allies will host a community meeting where concerned residents can voice their concerns and receive information in lieu of the Monroe County fire. The meeting will be held at Hilltop Community Centerin Clarington, Ohio at 7pm and is free and open to the public.

 

On June 28, Gus Dennis was at home in Clarington when he got a call from his brother letting him know that there was a fire at the horizontal fracking well pad just 200 yards away. An hour later, the nearby Woodsfield Fire Department told Dennis and his seven-year-old son they had to leave.

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For fourth time, Youngstown group to file bill of rights petitions

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2014

From the Youngstown-based groups:

 

“WE’RE BACK,” SAYS GROUP: ALL MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE YOUNGSTOWN COMMUNITY BILL OF RIGHTS COMMITTEE’S OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT THAT IT SURPASSED ITS GOAL OF COLLECTING THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF SIGNATURES TO PUT A COMMUNITY BILL OF RIGHTS CHARTER AMENDMENT QUESTION ON THE NOVEMBER, 2014 BALLOT:

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE WILL MAKE BRIEF REMARKS, PROVIDE UPDATES, AND ANSWER MEDIA QUESTIONS BEFORE DELIVERING SIGNATURES TO THE CLERK OF COUNCIL. THE GATHERING WILL TAKE PLACE ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2014 AT YOUNGSTOWN CITY HALL AT 2:30 PM ON THE SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO CITY HALL (BOARDMAN AND PHELPS STREETS).

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Auch to speak Aug. 24 at faith communities' meeting

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2014

From the Faith Communities Together for Frack Awareness:

CHESTERLAND, OH: FACT [Faith Communities Together for Frack Awareness] to host distinguished biogeochemist, Dr. Ted Auch at its August 24 meeting at the Community Church of Chesterland, beginning at 1:00 p.m. The church is located at 11984 Caves Rd in Chesterland.

At the meeting, Dr. Auch, Program Coordinator for the FracTracker Alliance will be presenting some of the detailed mapping work that he has completed relating to the hydraulic fracturing of shale in the U.S., with a special focus on Ohio. The mapping he will present will include information on oil and gas production wells, frack waste disposal wells (Class II), land under lease for fracking, water impacts, and additional details.

The goal of the nonprofit FracTracker Alliance is to serve as “an education-watchdog-outreach shop” for Eastern Ohio, said Auch, 37. “We want to be that clearinghouse for drilling data.” The educational component especially is needed as the Utica shale development spreads in Ohio, he said. Auch’s group is not against all drilling, but it does have “serious ecological concerns that we won’t hide” about fracking, he said.

FracTracker Alliance looks at such topics as drilling permits, well production data, water sources being tapped for fracking and even drilling violations. The Alliance is striving to offer the public “a more holistic assessment” of what’s happening with drilling with what he calls a “complete suite of local data.”

FaCT, the group hosting the August 24 meeting, has been working since 2011 to educate faith communities and communities at large in Ohio and beyond about the “threats to God’s Creation posed by fracking as well as the social justice aspects of this issue,” according to Ron Prosek, Convener of FaCT.

The group includes participants from more than 45 Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Unitarian-Universalist, and Jewish, faith communities, mostly in eastern Ohio.

Folks who are interested in helping with an inter-faith response to the problems posed by fracking in Ohio are invited to attend. There will be a light lunch served for participants starting at 12:30 p.m. before the 1:00 p.m. meeting. Interested parties are asked to RSVP if they would like to participate in this meeting (or the lunch AND the meeting) to Ron Prosek at: rprosek.fact@gmail.com or phone 440-974-2035.

 

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McClendon firms close on added Utica, Marcellus acreage

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2014

From American Energy Partners today:

 

AMERICAN ENERGY – UTICA, LLC AND AMERICAN ENERGY – MARCELLUS, LLC ANNOUNCE CLOSING OF UTICA AND MARCELLUS ACQUISITIONS,

$250 MILLION OF CONVERTIBLE SUBORDINATED NOTES

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GreenHunter Resources offers financial, operations updates

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2014

From GreenHunter Resources today:

GRAPEVINE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 4, 2014-- GreenHunter Resources, Inc. (NYSE MKT: GRH) (NYSE MKT: GRH.PRC), a diversified water resource, waste management, environmental services, and hydrocarbon marketing company specializing in the unconventional oil and natural gas shale resource plays in the Appalachian Basin , announced today financial and operating results for the Company’s quarterly report Form 10-Q for the three months ended June 30, 2014 .

Highlights from the Company’s financial and operating results include the following:

OPERATIONAL RESULTS FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED JUNE 30, 2014

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Kinder Morgan plans new pipeline to Florida, Georgia, S.C.

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2014

From Kinder Morgan today:

 

HOUSTON --(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 4, 2014-- Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP) today announced the launch of a binding open season to solicit commitments for the proposed Palmetto Project , which offers shippers a new refined products service to move gasoline, diesel and ethanol from Louisiana , Mississippi and South Carolina to points in South Carolina , Georgia and Florida . The approximately $1 billion project has a design capacity of 167,000 barrels per day and would consist of a segment of expansion capacity that Palmetto would lease from Plantation Pipe Line Company between Baton Rouge, Louisiana , and Belton, South Carolina . A new 360-mile pipeline from Belton, South Carolina , to Jacksonville, Florida , would also be constructed as part of the project.

“The Palmetto Project would provide access to new markets in the Southeast for pipeline shippers looking to move refined petroleum products from the Gulf Coast ,” said Ron McClain , president of Products Pipelines for KMP. “Pending customer commitments from the open season and timely regulatory approvals, the project could be in service by July 2017.”

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Bakken shale fuels North Dakota oil production growth

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Aug 4, 2014

North Dakota crude oil production surpassed 1.0 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in April and May (the latest data available). This record is the result of increasing crude oil production from the Williston Basin's Bakken and Three Forks formations in North Dakota and eastern Montana.

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Biologists find little public data on drilling spills, accidents

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2014

From a Friday press release:

Shale gas production in the United States has increased by more than 700% since 2007, yet the effects of this industry on nature and wildlife are not well understood. In a study to be published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment on August 1, a group of leading conservation biologists found that determining the environmental impact of chemical contamination from spills, well-casing failure, and other accidents is a top research priority.

 

A major impediment to this research, however, is the lack of accessible and reliable information on spills, wastewater disposal, and fracturing fluids. Of the 24 US states with active shale gas reservoirs, only five maintain public records of spills and accidents.

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Pennsylvania sharpening rules on state park, forest drilling

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2014

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has refined its definitions of what constitutes surface disturbances tied to drilling for oil and natural gas.

The new definitions were released as the state moved toward allowing drilling on state-owned land including state forests and parks.

Drillers would have to pay the state $3,000 an acre in signing bonuses plus royalties of 18 percent.

Click  here   to read more from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Fenstermaker taps into Utica shale with new Cambridge office

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2014

From Fenstermaker earlier this week:

Fresh on the heels of announcing the ribbon cutting ceremony for its office in Lakes Charles, Louisiana, Fenstermaker confirms that a new location has been established in Cambridge, Ohio. Providing energy services to a growing number of clients in the Utica Shale Play since October 2013, the company made the decision to move into the region to offer more expansive support for both existing and potential projects. John Fenstermaker, Vice President of Survey, says: The main objective is to continue our commitment to client satisfaction by going where they need us. Just as we established a Pennsylvania office to effectively oversee the growing activities surrounding the Marcellus Shale, we’re extending our full range of survey & mapping, environmental, engineering and advanced technology capabilities to Ohio.

With the tremendous momentum of exploration and development happening in the Utica Shale and Fenstermaker’s recent success of widening their business geographically, the verdict to initiate a new office location was both strategic and straightforward. The company assessed their clients’ priorities and simply aligned their goals to meet the demand for reliable results in the high-volume area. Jarrod Hughes, a Project Manager experienced in both field and office supervision, has stepped into the role of Northeast Operations Leader. The focus will be to bring the company’s entire roster of land surveying, environmental, engineering and laser scanning services to more efficiently and comprehensively handle projects in Ohio.

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Anti-fracking laws vs. property rights: Next legal battle

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2014

From the Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation:

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ET Rover proposes new gas pipeline across northern Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: August 2, 2014

Another natural gas pipeline has been proposed to carry Utica shale natural gas from eastern Ohio to Midwest markets.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP wants to route the line through southern Stark and Wayne counties en route to Defiance in northwest Ohio where it would connect with existing pipelines to the Midwest. A separate pipeline is planned to send the natural gas from Defiance to the Detroit area and into Ontario.

The first leg of the Rover Pipeline Project would run from the Leesville natural gas processing plant under construction in southwest Carroll County west 186 miles to Defiance. That line could be operational by December 2016.

The pipeline would include six laterals extending 197 miles into western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia to tap into the Marcellus shale.

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Express Energy links with Ohio's new Utica Shale Academy

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

From the Utica Shale Academy,a new drilling-based high school, that will open its doors in August in Ohio's Jefferson County:

Energy Express Services Participating in Utica Shale Academy

STEUBENVILLE-Oil and gas companies are taking an active role in the newly formed Utica Shale Academy that gets under way this month.

Express Energy Services LP will be one of  the businesses featured during the academy’s  lecture series throughout the year and representatives will address topics of interest with students. The Utica Shale Academy is being offered statewide to grades 9-12 under the auspices of the Jefferson County Educational Service Center and officially begins on Aug. 19through facilities housed at Southern Local High School in Salineville, Columbiana County.

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Ohio Supreme Court to rule on Dormant Mineral Act question

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

The Ohio Supreme Court has agreed to determine which version of the Dormant Mineral Act should apply to oil and gas drilling in the Buckeye state.

The court's ruling could have a big impact on drilling dollars in Ohio, says Columbus Business First.

Click  here  to read more.

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Hess Corp. still has big plans for its Utica shale holdings

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

Hess Corp. has been quiet in recent months, but it still has big plans for its Utica shale holdings.

The company has sold some of its Utica shale holdings.

But it is very anxious to drill with its partner, CONSOL Energy, in the wet gas window in southeastern Ohio, Hess officials said in a recent earnings call.

Click  here  to read more from Columbus Business First.

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Royal Dutch Shell writes off $1.9 billion in U.S. shale assets

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

From Bloomberg News:

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s biggest oil company, beat analysts’ second-quarter earnings estimates while pushing ahead with a restructuring program that saw it write off about $1.9 billion in U.S. gas assets.

Profit excluding one-time items and inventory changes gained 33 percent to $6.1 billion from $4.6 billion a year earlier partly on higher U.S. energy prices, The Hague-based Shell said today in a statement. That beat the $5.6 billion average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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Summit Midstream announces new Bakken oil projects

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

From Summit Midstream earlier this week:

 

 

Dallas, Texas (July 29, 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 56.7% limited partner interest in SMLP, today provided a commercial update for its wholly owned operating subsidiaries, Meadowlark Midstream Company, LLC ("Meadowlark") and Epping Transmission Company, LLC ("Epping Transco"). 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, and the Niobrara Gathering & Processing System which is located in the Denver-Julesburg Basin in Weld County, CO. Epping Transco is a newly formed subsidiary that will own and operate the Little Muddy Interconnect, described below.

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PPL plans major electric transmission project in five states

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

From Pennsylvania-based PPL on Thursday:

07-31-2014

ALLENTOWN, Pa., July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) announced Thursday (7/31) that its Pennsylvania utility, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, is proposing to build a major new regional transmission line that would make electric service more reliable and enhance the security of the electric grid while reducing the cost of electricity for consumers.

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American Energy-Permian Basin names Mobley CFO

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

From American Energy-Permian Basin today:

 

OKLAHOMA CITY, AUGUST 1, 2014: American Energy – Permian Basin, LLC (AEPB), an affiliate of American Energy Partners, LP (AELP), today announced it has named Jeffrey L. Mobley as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. Mobley, 45, most recently served as Senior Vice President – Major Acquisitions for AELP. Previously he served as Senior Vice President – Investor Relations and Research for Chesapeake Energy Corporation and also worked in Equity Research for Raymond James & Associates and in Investment Banking for Prudential Securities and ABN AMRO. He began his career in the energy sector at Enron Capital & Trade Resources in the Producer Finance and Equity Investments groups. Mobley is a CFA Charterholder and holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from The Wharton School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from New Mexico State University.

Additionally, AEPB announced it has hired Kayla D. Baird as Controller and it has named John C. McClendon as Director - Finance. Baird, 43, previously worked for four years for ConocoPhillips, most recently serving as Director of Lower 48 Strategy & Portfolio Management and Reserves Reporting & Compliance. Baird also previously worked for 13 years in public accounting, primarily for Ernst & Young, LLP, auditing large public oil and gas companies. Baird is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Langston University.

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American Energy-Permian Basin completes Texas deal

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

From American Energy-Permian Basin today:

 

 

OKLAHOMA CITY, AUGUST 1, 2014: American Energy – Permian Basin, LLC (AEPB), an affiliate of American Energy Partners, LP (AELP), announced today that it has closed on its acquisition of approximately 63,000 net acres of leasehold in the southern Permian Basin, primarily in Reagan, Irion and Crockett Counties, Texas and associated gathering assets from affiliates of Denver-based Enduring Resources II, LLC (Enduring) for $2.5 billion. Concurrently, AEPB closed on its offering of $350 million of floating rate senior unsecured notes due 2019, $650 million of 7.125% senior unsecured notes due 2020 and $600 million of 7.375% senior unsecured notes due 2021, which priced on July 16, 2014. A portion of the net proceeds from the senior notes offering was used to consummate the acquisition, while the remaining net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes.

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Metal manufacturers fueled by electricity, natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Aug 1, 2014

Unlike many manufacturing industries, the energy used for the production of metal-based durables (MBD) is mostly electricity and natural gas, rather than other fossil fuels (residual fuel oil, diesel, liquefied petroleum gases, natural gas liquids, and coal) or renewable sources. MBD producers are therefore well-positioned to benefit from energy efficiency programs and the increased availability and lower cost of natural gas.

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API pleased by federal approval of new Oregon LNG facility

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2014 ─ API welcomed today’s conditional approval by the Department of Energy (DOE) of a facility to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Warrenton, Oregon and urged the administration to accelerate the process for other projects.

“Today’s approval is a welcome signal that, despite ongoing delays, the administration continues to work through these important export approvals,” said API Upstream Group Director Erik Milito. “This project could mean billions of dollars in construction and new jobs for the people of Oregon, as well as a major opportunity for exports to spur growth here in the United States.

“As the world’s largest producer of natural gas, we should act now to bolster our allies and send a signal to global markets that America is ready to compete. Our growth as a major energy exporter will blunt the influence of foreign suppliers that dominate other markets and help to protect the stability and independence of our allies. We urge the administration to work with leaders in Congress who have shown they are ready to act, and accelerate this process so that we can grow the economy and strengthen America’s leverage overseas.”

Of over 30 applications, this is the eighth facility to receive conditional DOE approval, three of which have been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

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.

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Western drilling is impacting two endangered bird species

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

Ted Auch, Ohio program coordinator for the Frac Tracker Alliance, has looked at drilling impacts at two endangered species: the greater sage grouse and the lesser prairie-chicken.

The two birds are found in Wyoming and Colorado where shale drilling is booming.

Click  here  to red Auch's story.

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Kotsol takes over Winner Water Services, a JV with Battelle

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

From Battelle and Winner Water Services on Thursday:

 

Carolyn Kotsol Named President and CEO of Winner Water Services

Battelle engineer brings a wealth of industry experience to joint venture as it opens its first commercial unit

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Study looking at Pennsylvania drilling boom-and-bust cycle

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2014

From the Environmental Law Institute on Wednesday:

 

Pennsylvania’s Shale Gas: Examining the Boom and Bust Cycle

 

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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.