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Ohio Utica Shale

Ohio releases first quarterly production data from Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: December 31, 2013

The typical Utica shale well in eastern Ohio produced 137,168 thousand cubic feet of natural gas and 5,439 barrels of liquids from July through September, according to a new report released on Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

That is enough natural gas to generate about $550,000 and enough oil to generate an additional $490,000 from each of the the state’s first 245 Utica shale wells or nearly $1 billion a year  from all the wells.

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New York fracking ban continues, despite protests

By Bob Downing Published: December 31, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By MARY ESCH

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Ohio: 1,033 Utica permits, 661 drilled wells, 249 producing wells

By Bob Downing Published: December 31, 2013

As of Dec. 28, Ohio has approved 1,033 Utica shale permits.

Of that total, 661 Utica wells have been drilled, of which 249 are in production, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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Axiall Corp. picks Louisiana for possible $3 billion cracker plant

By Bob Downing Published: December 31, 2013

From the Axiall Corp. on Dec. 19:

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Axiall Corp. today announced that the company has selected the state of Louisiana as the location of a possible world-scale ethylene cracker to be built in conjunction with a related derivatives plant. Axiall proposes to construct the facility with a soon-to-be-named partner, and Axiall's contemplated capital investment in the project would be approximately $1 billion. Axiall expects to finance its portion of the investment with a combination of new debt and cash on hand. The combination of Axiall's approximately $1 billion investment with approximately $2 billion from a partner could result in a total capital investment approaching $3 billion.

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Oil train accident triggers North Dakota evacuation

By Bob Downing Published: December 31, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Authorities urged residents to evacuate a small North Dakota town Monday night after a mile-long train carrying crude oil derailed outside of Casselton, N.D., shaking residents with a series of explosions that sent flames and black smoke skyward.

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Ohio high court schedules Feb. 26 arguments in local-control case

By Bob Downing Published: December 30, 2013

The Ohio Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments on Feb. 26 in a much-watched Ohio case involving drilling companies and local communities.

The arguments will limited to 15 minutes per side, starting at 9 a.m.

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Survey shows that Americans know little about fracking

By Bob Downing Published: December 30, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By Benjamin Storrow
 

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Youngstown group again seeking signatures for charter amendment

By Bob Downing Published: December 30, 2013

From the Youngstown Community Bill of Rights Committee:

Youngstown, Ohio, December 27, 2013–The Youngstown, Ohio Community Bill of Rights Committee said they would be back, and they already are.

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AP offers look at 2013 in Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale

By Bob Downing Published: December 30, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The natural gas industry and environmentalists in Pennsylvania both had reasons to cheer and jeer in 2013 over the boom in Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

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Unemployment is dropping in Ohio's Utica shale counties

By Bob Downing Published: December 30, 2013

By Jim Mackinnon

and Bob Downing

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Shell extends land option for proposed Pennsylvania cracker plant

By Bob Downing Published: December 27, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Shell Chemical LP has extended its option to buy Pennsylvania land that could become a multibillion-dollar petrochemical plant and recently bought an adjacent property.

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Researchers to look at air impacts from drilling in Carroll County

By Bob Downing Published: December 27, 2013

From Carroll Concerned Citizens today:

 

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North Dakota is mapping pipelines under new state rules

By Bob Downing Published: December 27, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By James MacPherson

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U.S. EPA followed legal requirements against Range Resources

By Bob Downing Published: December 27, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Mark Drajem

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Maryland looking at possible health impacts from drilling

By Bob Downing Published: December 27, 2013

From the Associated Press:

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A state study of the possible public health effects of natural gas drilling in far western Maryland will be broad in scope but won’t recommend for or against hydraulic fracturing, the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Tuesday.

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Iowa grass-roots group fighting mining of fracking sands

By Bob Downing Published: December 27, 2013

A grass-roots group in northeast Iowa is pushing a petition to ban the mining of fracking sands in Iowa.

The Allamakee County Protectors want to gather 3,000 signatures before Jan. 13 to give to Iowa legislators.

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Crude production likely to top imports for first time since 1995

By Bob Downing Published: December 26, 2013

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

For the next two weeks (Dec. 23 - Jan. 3), Today in Energy will feature a selection of our favorite articles from 2013. Today's article was originally published on March 20.

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Seven public meetings set in Northeast Ohio on pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: December 26, 2013

Activists in Northeast Ohio have scheduled seven informational meetings in Portage and Trumbull counties on pipelines and pipeline construction.

The first meeting will Jan. 4 at the Garrettsville Library, 10482 South St.

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New database on water regulations in Ohio, 10 other states

By Bob Downing Published: December 26, 2013

A recent release:

A searchable, comparative law database outlining water quality regulations for Colorado and other states experiencing shale oil and gas development is now available on LawAtlas.org.

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Indian capital to help Carrizo Oil & Gas develop U.S. holdings

By Bob Downing Published: December 26, 2013

Carrizo Oil & Gas, a relatively small U.S.-based shale gas company, is acquiring capital from major Indian companies to help develop the Houston-based company's U.S. holdings, the Business Standard reports.

Carrizo, which has 21,700 net Utica acres in eastern Ohio, sold a 30 percent stake in its Niobrara shale assests in Colorado to Oil India and the Indian Oil Corporation for $85.2 million, reports the Ohio Shale blog by the Columbus law firm of Bricker & Eeckler.

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Marathon's Detroit refinery back to full rates after repairs

By Bob Downing Published: December 26, 2013

From Bloomberg News earlier this week:

By Christine Harvey

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Husky Energy looking at upgrading its Lima Refinery

By Bob Downing Published: December 26, 2013

Canada-based Husky Energy may spend $300 million to upgrade its Lima Refinery in northwest Ohio to handle heavy crude oil.

The project still needs approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and from the company's board.

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Marc McCord of FracDallas explains new, restrictive city rules

By Bob Downing Published: December 26, 2013

Marc McCord of FracDallas is interviewed by Truth-Out about the new, very restrictive city rules on hdyraulic fracturing or fracking.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Happy holidays, blog will return on Dec. 26

By Bob Downing Published: December 24, 2013

Happy holidays to all.

The blog will return on Dec. 26.

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Ohio has 658 drilled Utica wells and 249 producing wells

By Bob Downing Published: December 24, 2013

As of Dec. 21, Ohio has approved 1,030 Utica shale permits.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reports that 658 wells have been drilled and 249 are producing.

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Nearly $154 billion spent on drilling 46,736 U.S. wells in 2012

By Bob Downing Published: December 24, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, December 23, 2013 ─ An estimated $153.7 billion was invested in drilling approximately 46,736 oil and natural gas wells in 2012, according to API’s 2012 Joint Association Survey on Drilling Costs. The investment represents a 23.1 percent increase over 2011 levels.

“The U.S. oil and natural gas revolution is gathering momentum, as companies invest more into domestic production and expand our ability to supply America’s energy needs,” said API Statistics Director Hazem Arafa. “Companies are opening more oil and gas wells, with a rising share of new investment devoted to exploration and production of oil, both onshore and offshore.”

The total number of new wells increased by 5.8 percent from 2011 levels. Expenditures on oil represented 61.1 percent of all drilling costs in 2012, up from 49.3 percent in 2011. Gas expenditures accounted for 30.7 percent of costs, down from 44.2 percent in 2011.

“Natural gas production remains at historic highs, but we’re seeing that new production is following the market, where the demand for oil is driving growth,” said Arafa. “Each dollar spent means more jobs, more production, and more abundant energy to fuel America’s manufacturing and economic renaissance.”

The report also shows that expenditures on shale drilling represented 34.6 percent of costs, down from 52.5 percent in 2011. Most of the decline occurred in natural gas drilling, while the number of new shale oil wells increased from 3,414 in 2011 to 3,619 in 2012. Overall investment in offshore production also increased from 6.5 percent of all domestic oil and gas production expenditures in 2011 to 7.1 percent in 2012.

API’s 2012 Joint Association Survey on Drilling Costs is available through API’s primary distributor, Information Handling Services (IHS). If you would like to purchase this report, please contact IHS at 1-800-854-7179, or visit their website at www.global.ihs.com.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 550 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of nearly 20 million Americans. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $85 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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Kinder Morgan spends nearly $1 billion on tanker fleet

By Bob Downing Published: December 24, 2013

From Kinder Morgan Energy Partners on Monday:

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 23, 2013-- Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire American Petroleum Tankers (APT) and State Class Tankers (SCT) from affiliates of The Blackstone Group and Cerberus Capital Management for $962 million in cash. APT and SCT are engaged in the marine transportation of crude oil, condensate and refined products in the United States domestic trade, commonly referred to as the Jones Act trade.

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Illinois still accepting comment on tough fracking rules

By Bob Downing Published: December 24, 2013

From the Associated Press on Monday:

The public hearings have ended, but Illinois state officials said there’s still time to submit public comments on proposed rules for the high-volume oil and gas drilling known as hydraulic fracturing.

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Pipeline companies see big growth in third quarter, SNL Energy says

By Bob Downing Published: December 23, 2013

From SNL Energy today:

The nation's major natural gas transmission companies significantly increased transportation quantity on some of their biggest pipeline systems in the third quarter compared to the year-ago period, as new expansions to serve booming shale plays and changing demand patterns continued to come online, according to data from 139 FERC Form 2 filers.

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Ohio updates pipeline standards to minimize impacts

By Bob Downing Published: December 23, 2013

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources:

 

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Corps: No major impact with EQT lines at Crooked Creek Lake

By Bob Downing Published: December 23, 2013

From the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

The Pittsburgh District, US Army Corps of Engineers has released the draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) document related to the EQT Gathering, LLC, Pipeline Project in the vicinity of Crooked Creek Lake, Armstrong County. The undertaking entails the installation of a 12-inch diameter buried natural gas pipeline within the Crooked Creek Lake management area labeled - tracts L-27 and L-28.
The pipeline is approximately 8.1 miles long with a 2,337-foot-long by 75-foot-wide section (0.4 miles) crossing federal lands. The proposed crossing is located beneath the surface of the Crooked Creek crossing, running perpendicular to Cochrans Mills Road (S.R. 2028) in the vicinity of Ford City. Upon completion of the proposed project, the gathering line will serve to transport natural gas that is extracted within the region.

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Firms to boost Texas fractationation capacity to support pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: December 23, 2013

From Kinder Morgan late last week:

 

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Ohio Amish cashing out on Utica shale boom, leaving state

By Bob Downing Published: December 23, 2013

Reuters reports that some Amish in Ohio are cashing out on the Utica shale boom and leaving Ohio.

There is a company that will provide cash to the Amish in exchange for future royalties.

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Rice Energy hopes to raise $800 million in upcoming IPO

By Bob Downing Published: December 23, 2013

Pennsylvania-based Rice energy hopes to raise $800 million in its initial public stock offering, according to paperwork filed last week with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company started drilling its first Utica well in October.

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Pennsylvania court verdict leaves drillers in uncertain state

By Bob Downing Published: December 20, 2013

From the Associated Press today:

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New joint venture targets Ohio condensate from Utica shale

By Bob Downing Published: December 20, 2013

From MarkWest Energy Partners:

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2013-- MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) (“MarkWest”) and The Energy & Minerals Group (“EMG”), announced today the execution of definitive agreements with Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: GPOR) (Gulfport) to provide stabilization services and potential gathering services for condensate produced within an area that includes Belmont, Harrison, Guernsey, Noble, and Monroe counties, Ohio. Gulfport is rapidly developing their acreage within the wet gas, retrograde condensate and oil windows of the emerging Utica Shale and currently has over 147,000 net acres under lease. In conjunction with these agreements, MarkWest and EMG will form Ohio Condensate Company, LLC, a new joint venture related to the development of industry-leading facilities and services to support the rapid growth of condensate production occurring in the liquids-rich areas of the Utica Shale. Discussions regarding the joint venture’s condensate solutions are also underway with numerous other Utica producers.

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Magnum Hunter Resources offers drilling, pipeline updates

By Bob Downing Published: December 20, 2013

From Magnum Hunter Resources today:

HOUSTON, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 12/20/13 -- 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 certain updates on drilling activity and recently acquired lease acreage located in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Plays. Additionally, the Company is providing an update on the operations of its midstream division, Eureka Hunter Pipeline, LLC ("Eureka Hunter" or "Eureka").

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Blackhawk Midstream selling assets to Summit Midstream

By Bob Downing Published: December 20, 2013

From Gulfport Energy today:

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Environment America hails Pennsylvania court decision

By Bob Downing Published: December 20, 2013

From Environment America:

Statement of Erika Staaf, PennEnvironment Clean Water Advocate:

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Pennsylvania legislators eye severance tax on natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: December 20, 2013

A group of Pennsylvania lawmakers and advocates -- including state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks -- is calling on their colleagues to consider a tax on the production of natural gas.

Under Gov. Tom Corbett, the Legislature passed an impact fee, which puts a levy on each well drilled.

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Norse Energy sues New York governor of fracking moratorium

By Bob Downing Published: December 20, 2013

A defunct oil-and-gas company is making good on a threat to sue Gov. Andrew Cuomo and two of his top commissioners, arguing that the state’s review of hydraulic fracturing violates laws meant to guide the process.

Norse Energy USA, through its bankruptcy trustee, filed the lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Albany late Tuesday, according to attorney Thomas West.

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Magnetic fields help boost oilfield productivity, USGS says

By Bob Downing Published: December 20, 2013

From the U.S. Geological Survey on Thursday:

 

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Hormone-disrupting chemicals found in Colorado water samples

By Bob Downing Published: December 20, 2013

From the Angeles Times on Monday:

Water samples collected at Colorado sites where hydraulic fracturing was used to extract natural gas show the presence of chemicals that have been linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer, scientists reported Monday.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court backs local community zoning

By Bob Downing Published: December 19, 2013

From Earthjustice late today:

HARRISBURG, PA – Today the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned a portion of a controversial state law – Act 13 – that sought to override local zoning laws related to the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

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U.S. EPA fines Chesapeake $3.2 million for W. Va. water violations

By Bob Downing Published: December 19, 2013

From the U.S. EPA today:

Energy Company to Pay $3.2 Million Penalty to Resolve Clean Water Violations in West Virginia

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Sales tax revenue jumps nearly 50 percent in eastern Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: December 19, 2013

From Shawn Bennett of Energy in Depth-Ohio on Tuesday:

Since Utica Shale development took off in 2011, companies have been investing a tremendous amount of capital in eastern Ohio. Billions of dollars are being spent to create much-needed infrastructure, developing well sites, and constructing regional headquarters for service companies. In addition, landowners have benefited from lease payments, businesses have seen an uptick in sales activity, and counties are having their roads improved on behalf of the companies operating in their communities.

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Chief buys Marcellus acres in Pennsylvania from Chesapeake

By Bob Downing Published: December 19, 2013

From Pennsylvania-based Chief Oil and Gas on Tuesday:

Wexford, Penn – December 17, 2013 – Chief Oil & Gas and working interest partners Enerplus and Tug Hill have acquired MKR Holdings LLC from Chesapeake Appalachia LLC for approximately $500 million.

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21 scientists back California fracking plans for shale

By Bob Downing Published: December 19, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A group of 21 scientists is applauding California’s efforts to allow the fracking of its shale oil reserves, arguing the process is a safe way to improve the economy and reduce foreign oil dependence.

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Cabot to ship Marcellus natural gas to Maryland LNG terminal

By Bob Downing Published: December 19, 2013

From Texas-based Caboi Oil & Gas:

HOUSTON , Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE: COG) today reported the execution of a definitive gas sale and purchase agreement with Pacific Summit Energy LLC , a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation , under which Cabot has agreed to sell 350,000 MMBtu per day of natural gas from its Marcellus Shale position for a term of 20 years commencing on the in-service date of the Dominion Cove Point LNG liquefaction project currently scheduled for 2017.

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EQT plans to drill 21 Utica wells in Guernsey County in 2014

By Bob Downing Published: December 19, 2013

From Pittsburgh-based EQT on Wednesday:

 

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Niagara pipeline to ship natural gas to eastern Canada

By Bob Downing Published: December 19, 2013

From Kinder Morgan earlier this week:

 

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Kinder Morgan completes sign-ups for Tennessee Gas Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: December 19, 2013

From Kinder Morgan earlier this week:

 

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GAO takes Interior to task for leasing revenues from public lands

By Bob Downing Published: December 19, 2013

The General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigatory arm of the federal government, released findings of a new investigation concluding that the Department of Interior (DOI) has failed to ensure that U.S. taxpayers are being fully compensated for revenues generated by drilling activities on their public lands, according to blogger Bobby McEnaney of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Arguably worse, despite decades of recommendations and studies that have established that DOI has been negligent in addressing this taxpayer rip-off, GAO investigators learned recently that DOI officials decided to basically throw in the towel and abandon a series of remedies that were in the works that would have attempted to address this inequity.

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McClendon may face same conflicts in seeking new investors

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2013

By Bradley Olson and Leslie Picker today:

 

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Natural gas growing in Florida electric generation, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2013

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Dec 18, 2013

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Methane found in drinking water in south-central New York

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2013

From the U.S. Geological Survey on Tuesday:

TROY, NY – A new USGS study found that 15 percent of groundwater samples from 66 household wells across south-central New York contained methane at levels high enough to warrant monitoring or mitigation. Methane was more common and had higher concentrations in wells located in valleys rather than wells located in uplands. Valley wells that tap confined bedrock were the most likely to contain high levels of methane.

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Ohio has 636 Utica wells drilled, 250 wells in production

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2013

Ohio has approved 1,024 Utica shale permits, as of Dec. 14.

Of that total, 636 wells have been drilled and 250 are in production, says the Ohio Department of Natural resources' Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management.

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CONSOL Energy switching to electric drilling at Pittsburgh airport

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2013

From CONSOL Energy today:

PITTSBURGH , Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) announced plans to replace traditional diesel drilling equipment with electric powered equipment during oil and gas development on Pittsburgh International Airport property. The announcement was made during the second and final public workshop held on Tuesday.

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Mogadore youngsters get dose of science from Radio Disney

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2013

MOGADORE: The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at O.H. Somers Elementary School raced to build pipelines out of plastic chutes.

The two 15-member teams were charged with moving three pingpong balls that might have been natural gas or oil to a bucket at the end of the chute.

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1st NRG expects to drill first Utica test well in Q1 2014

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2013

From Colorado-based 1st NRG Corp. on Monday:

 

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EQT Corp. completes sale of gas distribution company

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2013

From EQT Corp. on Tuesday:

 

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Marathon Petroleum selects new vice president

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2013

From Marathon Petroleum on Monday:

FINDLAY, Ohio, Dec. 16, 2013 - Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: MPC) today announced the appointment of Pamela K. M. Beall as senior vice president, Corporate Planning, Government and Public Affairs, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

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Nucor Corp. supends gas drilling because of weak prices

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2013

From Bloomberg News on Tuesday:

By Sonja Elmquist

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API welcomes new EIA report on U.S. oil, gas production

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute on Monday:

WASHINGTON, December 16, 2013 ─ API today welcomed a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasting record-breaking production of domestic oil and natural gas, which will dramatically increase U.S. energy security.

“America is in the midst of a game-changing energy revolution,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “Growth in the oil and natural gas industry is the key to securing our future, creating millions of new jobs, and providing billions in revenue to the government. This potential has been unlocked by innovations in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that have made America the world’s top energy producer. And these latest predictions show that our energy future is only getting brighter, promoting exports, strengthening manufacturing, and keeping America as the leader in emissions reduction.”

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 550 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of nearly 20 million Americans. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $85 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives

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EIA projections support LNG export, trade group says

By Bob Downing Published: December 17, 2013

From the Center for Liquified Natural Gas:

 

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Noble Energy releases update at Houston conference

By Bob Downing Published: December 17, 2013

From Noble Energy:

HOUSTON , Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Energy, Inc.'s (NYSE: NBL) senior management is hosting a conference today in Houston, Texas with analysts and investors to provide an update on the Company's current operations, future plans and operational outlook. Today's presentation includes the following key highlights:

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New York to decide on fracking by Election Day 2014, maybe

By Bob Downing Published: December 17, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By Michael Gormley
 

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President-CEO of WPX Energy retiring, interim executive named

By Bob Downing Published: December 17, 2013

From Oklahoma-based WPX Energy today:

TULSA, Okla. – WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX) today announced that Ralph A. Hill will step down as president, chief executive officer and board member of the company and that the board of directors has appointed James J. Bender as interim president, CEO and board member, effective Dec. 31, 2013. Hill will remain with the company through March 31, 2014, to assist with the transition of his duties.

Hill spent over 32 years with Williams (NYSE:WMB) and WPX, working in various facets of the energy business. Over the past decade, he and his team were instrumental in building WPX into one of the nation’s largest domestic natural gas producers, culminating in WPX’s successful spinoff from Williams as of Jan. 1, 2012.

Bender is an experienced executive and has served as WPX’s senior vice president and general counsel and as a member of the company’s executive leadership team since the company spun off from Williams. Prior to WPX, Bender served for nine years as senior vice president and general counsel of Williams.

A search committee of the board of directors – currently consisting of four directors – has been established and the executive recruiting firm of Spencer Stuart has been retained to assist in an external CEO search. Bender will serve as the interim CEO until the selection process is complete.

Dennis C. Cameron will replace Bender as WPX’s senior vice president and general counsel. Cameron joined the company in January 2012 after nearly 25 years in private practice and most recently served as vice president and deputy general counsel of WPX. The company does not expect to make any additional senior leadership changes as this time.

Speaking on behalf of the board, WPX Chairman William G. Lowrie said, “We very much appreciate Ralph’s dedicated service to WPX Energy and wish him well in his future endeavors. Finding the right individual to lead the company at this pivotal time is one of the board’s highest priorities.

“The new CEO will be expected to critically review the strategic direction of the company and enhance its operating and financial performance, driving improved returns for all of our stakeholders. We are also fortunate to have an executive of Jim’s caliber to step into the leadership role at this time,” Lowrie added.

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Kinder Morgan plans Utopia pipeline from Ohio to Michigan

By Bob Downing Published: December 17, 2013

From Kinder Morgan on Monday:

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 16, 2013-- Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP) today announced that its subsidiary, Kinder Morgan Cochin LLC has signed a letter of intent with NOVA Chemicals Corporation (NOVA) to develop a new products pipeline from the Utica Shale . Under the agreement, Kinder Morgan Cochin will develop, construct, own and operate a 210-mile, 10-inch diameter pipeline from multiple fractionation facilities in Harrison County, Ohio , to Kinder Morgan’s Cochin Pipeline near Riga, Mich. , where the company will then move product via Cochin east to Windsor, Ontario, Canada .

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Pennsylvania is fastest-growing natural gas state, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: December 17, 2013

From the U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

Dec 17, 2013

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Allegheny County could get $73 million for park lease

By Bob Downing Published: December 17, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The county that includes Pittsburgh could reap more than $73 million by leasing a public park for gas well drilling, a newspaper reported Sunday.

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Hess moving to be exploration-production company

By Bob Downing Published: December 17, 2013

From Hess Corp. on Monday.:

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 16, 2013-- Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) updates realized selling prices and operating data for the first two months of the fourth quarter of 2013 and its guidance for the fourth quarter. In addition, Hess provides information on its continuing progress toward becoming a pure play Exploration and Production company.

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NiSource executive VP and group CEO is retiring

By Bob Downing Published: December 17, 2013

From NiSource Inc. on Monday:

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. , Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) today announced that Jimmy D. Staton , executive vice president and group CEO for the company's Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG) business unit, has elected to retire from the company, effective March 31 , 2014.

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Mexico ending state oil monopoly, production may double

By Bob Downing Published: December 17, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Joe Carroll and Bradley Olson

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U.S. crude oil production to approach record by 2016, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

U.S. crude oil production will approach a record by 2016, climbing to the highest level in 46 years as rising output from shale formations lifts domestic supplies, reducing the nation’s need for foreign oil.

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Pa. rally scrapped, after company keeps water tanks in place

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

A rally planned today in support of two families in Franklin Mills, Pa., was cancelled after the company involved promised to keep providing drinking water from two water buffalo tanks.

The news was announced by a grass-roots group, the Catskill Citizens for Clean Energy.

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McClendon, company seeks to raise $2 billion in federal filinjg

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

The Wall Street Journal reports that American Energy Capital Partners LP with ties to former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon has filed paperwork to raise $2 billion.

The paperwork to offer 100 million units for $20 each was filed late Friday with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Battle brewing over plan to ship drilling wastes by barge

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By KEVIN BEGOS

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Halcon Resources lowers 2014 drilling budget guidance

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

From Halcon Resources Corp. today:

HOUSTON, TEXAS , Dec. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Halcón Resources Corporation (NYSE: HK) ("Halcón" or the "Company") today announced a reduction to its 2014 capital spending program and unveiled 2014 divestment program plans.

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Shale oil, vehicle efficiency reducing U.S. oil imports

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

From the U.S. Energy Informaqtion Admi9nistration:

Dec 16, 2013

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EVEP on Utica shale bottlenecks, sales, oil hunt, drilling

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

EV  Energy Partners attended the 12th annual Wells Fargo Energy Symposium.

EVEP is very involved in the Utica shale. It owns significant acreage, is a drilling partner, is invested in midstream and is leading the push to find recoverable Utica oil.

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Ohio drillers face new chemical reporting deadline

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

Friday was the deadline for drillers to comply with Ohio’s revised chemical disclosure rules.

Drillers have to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing or fracking to local governments, first responders and the public, if certain thresholds are exceeded.

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Ohio Petroleum Council neutral on severance tax proposal

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

The Ohio Petroleum Council has not yet weighed in on a bill that would revise Ohio's severance taxes on drilling.

The bill has strong support from the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, but the petroleum group is taking a neutral position, says Jeff Bell of Columbus Business First.

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Could Utica condensate from Ohio be headed west to Canada?

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

Western Canada is the largest market for one of the byproducts of drilling in Ohio's Utica shale.

Condensate and natural gasoline has a ready market in Canada where it is used as a diluent to ship tar sands via pipelines.

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BP expected to decide on Utica shale future in early 2014

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

BP America is expected to make a decision in early 2014 on whether it will proceed with the Utica shale in Ohio.

The company has been analyzing its options, after it acquired 84,000 acres in Trumbull County in March 2012 for $331 million.

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Marcellus shale is the No. 1 gas-producing shale

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

A belated report from last month on the Marcellus shale from Wood Mackenzie:

Marcellus expected to dominate US gas supply

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Dallas tightens up rules on shale drilling in city limits

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

The city of Dallas has significantly tightened rules on shale drilling witnin city limits.

The city is flanked by the Barnett shale that has been heavily drilled in recent years.

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Marcellus trade group elects new board leadership

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

From the Pittsburgh-based Marcellus Shale Coalition, a pro-drilloing trade group:

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Range Resources Corporation vice president of government and regulatory affairs, K. Scott Roy, has been elected as the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s (MSC) next chairman by the organization’s board of directors. Mr. Roy previously served as the MSC’s vice chairman and treasurer. Heather Lamparter (Vice President, Legal, EXCO Resources (PA), LLC), Mark Hager (Senior Government Affairs Representative, Williams) and Gary Smith (Vice President and General Manager, EOG Resources) were elected to serve as vice chair, treasurer and secretary, respectively.

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Analysts say higher natural gas prices driven by cold weather

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

Analysts Tim Rezvan and Truman Hobbs of New York-based Sterne Agee say the recent boost in natural gas prices is weather-related and weather-driven and not indicative of a major long-term boost in gas prices.

Here's what they said last week:

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Judge gives driller approval to remove two water buffalos

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

From the Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy on Thursday:

Franklin Forks ~ Two Susquehanna County families fear they will face the holiday season without water after learning that a federal court judge has given a gas drilling company permission to come onto their property and remove the “water buffalos” and other equipment that have supplied their homes with water for the past twenty months.

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Forbes magazine looks at shale boom's next phase

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

Daniel Fisher of Forbes magazine looks at "How to Play the Shale Boom's Next Phase" in the Dec. 16 issue of the magazine.

It is an interesting read.

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USGS sending four seismic recorders to Texas to measure quakes

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey is ending four seismic recorders to Texas where small earthquakes have been reported in an area with drilling.

The recorders are going to the town of Azle, according to EnergyWire in a Dec. 6 report.

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Ohio's Straight A Fund includes educational programs in drilling

By Bob Downing Published: December 15, 2013

From the Associated Press:I

If approved on Monday, Ohio's first round of education innovation grants will go to foster careers in manufacturing and the drilling industry and early college and speciality programs tailored to Appalachia, Amish Country and the Great Lakes.

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Pennsylvania pushing use of mine runoff in fracking process

By Bob Downing Published: December 15, 2013

The state of Pennsylvania is again encouraging drillers to use mine acid runoff instead of freshwater in hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

The state is willing to ease liability concerns in Senate Bill 411.

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Fake anti-fracking group drill results in Athens County apology

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Officials in a southeastern Ohio county have apologized for a scenario they used for an emergency-responder drill that offended some people.

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Exxon Mobil: Natural gas is fastest-growing fuel through 2040

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

Natural gas will be the fastest-growing fuel through 2040, according to energy giant Exxon Mobil.

Shale energy and liquified natural gas will help reshape markets, it said in a new energy report.

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Researchers trying to determine scope of leaking methane

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

Last summer, a research plane  flew over three shale plays to determine how much methane gas was escaping into the air.

The research on methane leaks is being conducted by the University of Colorado and the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration.

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Abruzzo wins Pennsylvania Senate confirmation

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

From the Associated Press earlier this week:

Pennsylvania state senators have confirmed Gov. Tom Corbett's latest nominee to be his environmental protection secretary, but not before a dustup over climate change.

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Pennsylvania opens public-comment period on new drilling rules

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

From Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Quality Board on Thursday:

Harrisburg – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Environmental Quality Board announced today that the public comment period for a proposed regulation for environmental protection performance standards associated with oil and gas activities will open on Saturday, Dec. 14.

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Updated Ohio Utica shale activity map from ODNR

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

Click  here  to see the updated Utica shale activity map from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (dated Nov. 30, 2013):

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Waiting period expires on Crosstex-Devon midsteam deal

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

From Crosstex Energy today:

DALLAS, December 13, 2013—Crosstex Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: XTXI) and Crosstex Energy, L.P. (NASDAQ: XTEX) (collectively “Crosstex”) today announced that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (“HSR”), has expired in connection with the previously announced combination of substantially all of the U.S. midstream assets owned by Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE: DVN) (“Devon”) with Crosstex’s assets to form a new midstream business. Expiration of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the business combination.

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North Dakota oil shipments by rail expected to jump in 2014

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By James MacPherson

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150 eco-groups seek to halt offshore fracking in California

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

From the Associated Press:

More than 150 environmental groups are asking California coastal regulators to halt offshore fracking, saying the practice violates state law.

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Former Pa. drilling executive charged with stealing $9.2 million

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A former Pennsylvania gas drilling company executive has been charged with stealing $9.2 million from his company.

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Tronox spinoff may cost Anadarko up to $14 billion, judge says

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and its Kerr-McGee unit acted improperly in the 2005 spinoff of Tronox and may have to pay as much as $14 billion related to environmental cleanup and health claims, a judge ruled Thursday.

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API poll says voters support boosting U.S. energy infrastructure

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, December 12, 2013 ─ Overwhelming numbers of U.S. voters of all political persuasions agree that increased development of our energy infrastructure is in our nation's best interests, according to a new poll conducted for API by Harris Interactive. API Downstream Operations Senior Manager, Refining and Oil Sands Cindy Schild outlined the poll results for reporters this afternoon:

“The American people understand the value of investing in our energy transportation network in order to get energy to consumers efficiently, and to businesses that are thriving and creating jobs due to the abundance of affordable oil and natural gas. Ninety-three percent of respondents agree that increased development of energy infrastructure would help create jobs, while 89 percent agree infrastructure investment would strengthen America’s energy security.

“One obvious infrastructure project with significant economic and energy security benefits is the Keystone XL pipeline, and voters remain supportive of moving forward with the project. Seventy-two percent agree it is in the United States’ national interest to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline so that it can transport North American oil to U.S. refineries, while 63 percent would like to see America import more of the oil it needs from Canada, rather than other foreign countries.”

The telephone poll of more than 1,000 registered voters also found that 88 percent said that increased development of energy infrastructure is good for American consumers.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 550 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of nearly 20 million Americans. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $85 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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Buckeye Partners buys 20 petroleum terminals from Hess Corp.

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

From Buckeye Partners:

 

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Water for drilling may create long-term water supply problems

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

From the FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio on Thursday:

GRAND RAPIDS, OH (December 12, 2013) A report just issued from FracTracker, a data gathering and dissemination organization, supports concerns that water profiteering from sales of millions of gallons by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) in SE Ohio can create long-term water supply problems. According to the FracTracker initial study results found at http://www.fractracker.org/2013/12/water-demands/, “The sustainability of the watershed’s freshwater stocks and flows is of concern to many, given climate trends and the fact that the MWCD, according to their website, is ‘…awaiting results from a U.S. Geological Survey analysis of water availability at several other reservoirs before deciding whether to approve a growing number of requests for water by other drilling companies.’”

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Actuary: Shale boom more mirage than miracle

By Bob Downing Published: December 13, 2013

Actuary Gail Tverberg says the U.S. shale boom is more mirage than miracle.

You can access her comments by clicking here.

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Shale oil pushes U.S. crude production to 25-year high

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Christine Harvey and Asjylyn Loder

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Propane demand hits record high in November, says EIA

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

From the U.S. Enery Information Administration today:

Dec 12, 2013

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Magnum Hunter to spend $260 million in Utica, Marcellus shales

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

From Magnum Hunter Resources today:

HOUSTON, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 12/12/13 -- 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 its Board of Directors has approved a $400 million capital expenditure budget for fiscal year 2014, excluding acquisitions. The Company intends to allocate approximately $260 million in the Utica Shale and Marcellus Shale plays, approximately $50 million in the Williston Basin and approximately $90 million for midstream activities at Eureka Hunter Pipeline ("Eureka Hunter"). The contemplated capital budget includes the acquisition of mineral leases in both the Utica Shale and Marcellus Shale plays. This Appalachian-focused capital program is expected to further drive the Company's production volumes and enable it to achieve its 2014 projected exit production rate of 35,000 BOEPD.

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Halcon Resources seeking to build 14-mile gas pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

Texas-based Halcon Resources Corp. wants to build a 14-mile natural gas pipeline in eastern Ohio.

The line would run from Vienna to Lordstown, according to the Warren Tribune Chroncile.

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Cabot hits bonanza at 10-well pad in Susquehanna County

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

Ten wells drilled from one pad in northern Pennsylvania are producing as much natural gas as the city of Philadelphia uses in a month.

That assessment came from the Philadelphia Inquirer after Cabot Oil and Gas reported its production from the 10-well pad in Susquehanna County's Auburn Township.

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West Virginia proposes mapping routes of natural gas pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

A West Virginia state official told a legislative commitee this week that he supports the mapping of natural gas production lines.

The official suggested that all production line routes be submitted to the state and updated reguarly. Companies should also provide a contact for updating maps when problems arise.

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Marathon Petroleum to spend $3.6 billion on shale drilling in 2014

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum says it intends to invest $3.6 billion in 2014 in increasing its U.S. production.

That includes shale drilling in the Eagle Ford shale in Texas, the Bakken shale in North Dakota and the Woodsford shale in Oklahoma.

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Marathon Petroleum backs Sandpiper pipeline to Wisconsin

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

From Marathon Petroleum:

FINDLAY, Ohio, Nov. 25, 2013 - Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: MPC) and Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. announced that MPC will serve as an anchor shipper for the Sandpiper Project. MPC will fund 37.5 percent of the construction of the Sandpiper Project, which will become part of Enbridge Energy Partners' North Dakota System when it is completed. Sandpiper is targeted to be operational in early 2016. In exchange for MPC's commitment to participate in the open season for Sandpiper and its investment in this project, MPC will earn an approximate 27 percent interest in Enbridge Energy Partners' North Dakota System when Sandpiper is placed into service. MPC will also have the option to increase its ownership interest to 30 percent through additional investments in future system improvements.

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Health agency investigating high levels of benzene from drilling

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is investigating high levels of cancer-causing benzene in air samples collected near natural gas wells.

The health department is conferring with other agencies about the high levels of benzene.

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Range Resources selling its Permian Basin holdings

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

Texas-based Range Resources last week announced plans to sell off 90,000 acres in the oil-rich Permian Basin in Texas.

It appears that the company is focusing its efforts on the gas-rich Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania where it is one of the biggest players.

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Royal Dutch Shell to invest in Argentina shale drilling

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Pablo Gonzalez and Daniel Cancel

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The Economist defends potential impacts of U.S. shale

By Bob Downing Published: December 12, 2013

Despite growing skepticim about U.S. shale energy in some circles,The Economist offers a lengthy defense of shale and its future.

Click  here  to read that account.

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Open season extended by MarkWest on Pa. ethane pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

From MarkWest Energy Partners on Tuesday:

 

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PDC pleased with Utica results, ending Marcellus drilling in 2014

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

Colorado-based PDC Energy Inc. said in a document released on Wednesday that it is pleased with its Utica shalde results and intends to cease its marcellus shale operations in 2014.

Here is the company's statement:

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Will Canadian tar sands be shipped on Great Lakes to refineries?

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

Could the Great Lakes become the next shipping route for Canadian tar sands?

That possibility alarms the eco-group the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

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Ohio dealing with low-level radioactive waste from drilling

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

Tim Rudell of WKSU-FM takes a look at what Ohio is requiring drillers to do with liow-level radioactive waste from drilling.

Click  here  to see and hear his full account.

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Report: Environmentalists who oppose fracking make mistake

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

A report released last week puts the folly of anti-fracking activism squarely in the spotlight, according to Katie Brown of Energy in Depth, a pro-drilling trade group.

The report, authored primarily by University of California-Berkeley physics professor Richard Muller, comes to a sobering conclusion: “Environmentalists who oppose the development of shale gas and fracking are making a tragic mistake.”

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Proposed W. Va. cracker plant must meet air quality standards

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A proposed ethane cracker plant in West Virginia's Wood County likely would have to comply with a state regulation aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions from major industrial facilities.

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Hess Energy completes sale of Natuna asset in Indonesia

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

From Hess Energy:

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 6, 2013-- Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) today completed the previously announced sale of its Natuna A asset, located off the coast of Indonesia , to PT Pertamina and PTT Exploration and Production Company Limited for a total after-tax consideration of $650 million . The asset produced an average of 5,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day net to Hess in the first three quarters of 2013.

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Silverback Exploration aiming at Marcellus, other shales

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

From Texas-based EnCap Investments LP:

SAN ANTONIO - November 26, 2013 - Silverback Exploration, LLC (Silverback), a newly formed oil and gas exploration company, today announced a $350 million equity commitment from EnCap Investments, L.P. (EnCap). Led by a team of veteran energy executives with more than 200 years of collective experience, San Antonio-based Silverback will use the capital to pursue and develop primarily unconventional resource play opportunities in the United States, utilizing horizontal drilling technology.

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Noble Energy is targeting oil in northeast Nevada

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Noble Energy officials say it may be as far as a decade away, but they’re confident they’ll be drilling for oil in northeast Nevada.

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GE to build new Global Research Center in Oklahoma City

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

From the Motley Fool:

General Electric (NYSE: GE ) announced last week its selection of an Oklahoma City site for its first Global Research Center dedicated to oil and gas technology. The center will create 130 high-tech jobs and generate $13 million annually in economic impact for state and local economies, according to the company. It also further strengthens General Electric's hand in its oil and gas business, which is building on $14 billion in recent investments.

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Britain to offer communities financial rewards to permit fracking

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

Large swathes of Britain will be opened up for shale gas drilling under plans due to be announced next week, with local communities promised £100,000 in benefits for every well subjected to fracking - even if no gas is produced.

Ministers are preparing to identify thousands of square miles of land across the country that they believe are rich in shale and should be explored by gas companies.

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Columnist on Nov. 6 vote on Youngstown drilling moratorium

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

Forbes' contribtor Richard Levrick looks at the Nov. 6 vote in Youngstown on a proposed moratorium on fracking.

He calls the vote a win for the energy industry.

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New report looks at FERC approval of interstate pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

The federal Congressional Research Service has released new report looking at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its approval of interstate pipeline projects.

The Nov. 19 report was written by staffer  Paul M. Parmfomak.

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Statoil, Rosneft to explore for oil in shale in Russian Arctic

By Bob Downing Published: December 11, 2013

From Norwegian-based oil company Statoil on Saturday's agreement with the Russian state oil company Rosneft on what could be a $100 billion deal offshore in the Russian Arctic.

Statoil joined U.S.-based Exxon Mobil Corp.and Italy's Eni E which earlier signed simialr deals.

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Ohio set to begin releasing stricter rule packages on drilling

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will soon be releasing proposed rules to tighten up Ohio’s rules on natural gas-oil drilling.

The plan covers a sweeping array of drilling rules, many highly technical, from well-pad construction to wastewater treatment, processing and recycling.

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Fifty protesters rally in Philadelphia against Sunoco pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

From eco-groups involved in today's protest in Philadelphia against Sunoco Logistics' Mariner East Pipeline project:

 

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Fixing leaky old natural gas pipelines could cost $82 billion

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

From the Associated Press last week:

By Kevin Begos

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Drilling lease to save bankrupt Ohio volunteer fire department

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

The Neff Volunteer Fire Department in Belmont County may be saved by a drilling lease.

The department has signed a lease with Texas-based Paloma Resources that will pay $7,000 an acre and a royalty of 20 percent.

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Ohio reports 627 Utica shale wells drilled, 250 in production

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

Ohio has approved 1,015 Utica shale permits, as of Dec. 7.

Of that total, 627 wells have been drilled and 250 wells are in production.

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USGS develops new way to predict spills from drilling

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey has a new way to predict spills from drilling, according to blogger Amy Mall of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Click  here  to read her account.

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West Virginia loophole lets drill cuttings into landfills

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A memo released quietly by regulators earlier this year has carved a major loophole in West Virginia's rules restricting the amount of waste that can be accepted by the state's landfills, all with the intent to ease a burgeoning problem caused by the boom in gas drilling, environmentalists say.

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Bluegrass Pipeline extending open season to Jan. 17, 2014

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

From Bluegrass Pipeline LLC:

TULSA, Okla. and HOUSTON , Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Bluegrass Pipeline LLC, a joint venture between Williams (NYSE: WMB) and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (NYSE: BWP) (Boardwalk), today announced that it is extending its binding Open Season until Jan. 17, 2014 at 5 p.m. CST . The extension is in response to requests of interested shippers who would like additional time to evaluate the pipeline project and the project's market outlet options.

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Winter cold in U.S. boosts price of natural gas to $4.20-plus

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The price of oil fell slightly Monday, the first decline in seven trading sessions.

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Mexico ending 75-year oil monopoly with Senate agreement

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

From Bloomberg News on Monday:

By Adam Williams and Nacha Cattan

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Dominion to move West Virginia natural gas to Ohio, Midwest

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

From Dominion:

RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion (NYSE: D), one of the nation's largest energy companies, has contracted to deliver 500,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas produced in West Virginia to various interconnections with pipelines in Ohio, as producers look westward to seek new markets for Marcellus production.

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CONSOL acquires 90,000 Marcellus acres in West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

From CONSOL Energy on Monday:

 

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Gulfport Energy expands management team overseeing Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: December 10, 2013

From Gulfport Energy:

OKLAHOMA CITY , Dec. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gulfport Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:GPOR) today announced an expansion to its management team.

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Environmental activists seek to impose will on Youngstown's interests

By Jim Mackinnon Published: December 10, 2013

The energy community, not environmental activists, had Youngstown's best interests at heart regarding fracking, writes Richard Levick in Forbes. Levick describes himself as a former environmental activist.

Forbes: "According to numerous media reports, the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 396 spent $74,000 to defeat the Youngstown moratorium, which it saw as a 'job killer.' That’s not a lot of money, even in terms of a targeted, local campaign. It’s even less when you consider the ways in which activists utilize relatively inexpensive social media engagement to level the messaging playing field. But the union’s impact on the referendum can’t be measured in terms of dollars and cents.

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Methane research in American Geophysical Union spotlight

By Bob Downing Published: December 9, 2013

A press release received today from the Environmental Defense Fund:

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Protestors to rally against Mariner East Pipeline on Dec. 10

By Bob Downing Published: December 9, 2013

A press release received today:

Protesters Rally at Sunoco Logistics’ Center City Headquarters on Human Rights Day

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Cabot unveils its first 10-well pad in Marcellus shale in update

By Bob Downing Published: December 9, 2013

From Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. today:

HOUSTON , Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE: COG) today reported results from the Company's first 10-well pad in the Marcellus Shale . Additionally, the Company provided an update on its share repurchase program and announced the sale of legacy conventional Mid-Continent properties.

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Marcellus region to produce 18% of U.S. natural gas in December

By Bob Downing Published: December 9, 2013

From the U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

Dec 9, 2013

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Rex Energy offers data on five Utica wells in Guernsey County

By Bob Downing Published: December 9, 2013

From Rex Energy on Friday:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. , Dec. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rex Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:REXX) today provided an update on its operations.

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Interesting tidbits from OOGA's Oilfield Expo, Safety Congress

By Bob Downing Published: December 9, 2013

A few interesting facts and tidbits from the Ohio Oil and Gas Association’s Oilfield Expo and Safety Congress held Dec. 4-5 at Cleveland’s I-X Center:

1.. From the presentation by Peter MacKenzie, vice president of operations for the association:

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Environment America against wastewater barge shipments

By Bob Downing Published: December 6, 2013

From Environment America today:

Washington, D.C. – Today Environment America is delivering more than 29,000 public comments to the U.S. Coast Guard urging them to reject a policy proposal that would allow barging of waste water produced from fracking operations down the nation’s rivers and waterways.

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New York group troubled by compressor station problems

By Bob Downing Published: December 6, 2013

From the Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, a New York-based grass-roots group, today:

Fremont Center ~ At approximately 9:30 at night on Thursday December 5, a family on Hungry Hill Road in the Town of Hancock, Delaware County evacuated their home after a Millennium Pipeline Company employee knocked on their door and advised them to either leave the area within ten minutes or stay inside while the company vented natural gas into the atmosphere. The spokesperson said the process would be very noisy and last several hours. The family lives near the site where Millennium is constructing a new compressor station.

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Batchelder, Huffman comment on Ohio's H.B. 375

By Bob Downing Published: December 6, 2013

Batchelder and Huffman Release Statement on Oil and Gas Regulatory Legislation on Wednesday:

COLUMBUS-Today, Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina), Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Huffman (R-Lima), and other members of the House Republican Caucus introduced legislation to enhance Ohio's oil and gas regulatory program, a proposal that strives to promote economic development, address environmental concerns, and lower taxes on Ohioans and businesses.

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Top financial officer at EV Energy Partners to retire

By Bob Downing Published: December 6, 2013

From EV Energy Partners on Thursday:

HOUSTON , Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- EV Energy Partners, L.P., (NASDAQ: EVEP) and EnerVest, Ltd. today announced that Frederick Dwyer , Controller of EVEP and Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of EnerVest, Ltd. , will retire on January 31 , 2014. Dwyer will continue to serve in his current role until his retirement date and in an advisory role through March 31, 2014 . Ryan J. Flory , who currently serves as Controller of EnerVest , will assume the duties of Controller of EVEP upon Dwyer's retirement.

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Sunoco kicks off open season for Mariner East 2 pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: December 6, 2013

From Sunoco Logistics Partners LP on Wednesday:

HILADELPHIA, December 4, 2013 – Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE: SXL) today announced that it will commence a binding Open Season for its Mariner East 2 project.

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ATEX Pipeline to begin commercial service in January 2014

By Bob Downing Published: December 6, 2013

From Enterprise Products Partners LP on the ATEX Pipeline that crosses Ohio:

 

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Shell halts plans for $20 billion gas-to-liquids plant in Louisiana

By Bob Downing Published: December 6, 2013

From Bloomberg News on Thursday:

By Bradley Olson

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December natural gas prices spike in Boston

By Bob Downing Published: December 6, 2013

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Dec 6, 2013

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Ohio officially tops 1,000 for Utica shale permits

By Bob Downing Published: December 6, 2013

Ohio has officially topped 1,000 Utica shale permits.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported that as of Nov. 30, Ohio has approved 1,006 Utica shale permits in eastern Ohio,

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Bricker, Eckler offers a more-detailed look at Ohio's H.B. 375

By Bob Downing Published: December 6, 2013

From Bricker & Eckler, the Columbus-based law firm, and its shale blog:

Ohio Rep. Matt Huffman (R-Lima) this week introduced a new severance tax proposal in the Ohio House of Representatives.

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Marathon Petroleum plans pipeline from Utica shale to refinery

By Bob Downing Published: December 5, 2013

Marathon Petroleum Corp. is proceeding with a new 49-mile pipeline from the Utica shale in eastern Ohio to its Stark County refinery.

The company discussed the $140 million pipeline to transport shale liquids on Wednesday in a conference call with financial analysts.

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Poland may change fracking rules to speed up exploration

By Bob Downing Published: December 5, 2013

From Bloomberg News today:

By Marek Strzelecki

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Athens City Council goes on record against injection well

By Bob Downing Published: December 5, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A city council in southeastern Ohio is the second public body to oppose a proposed well for gas-drilling wastewater in the region.

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Eco-group says shale boom is triggering more greenhouse gases

By Bob Downing Published: December 5, 2013

From the Environmental Integrity Project:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 5, 2013 – Burning shale gas in power plants instead of coal reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but there is a hidden climate change impact to America’s fracking boom: the unleashing of a "tidal wave" of construction or expansion of more than 90 chemical, fertilizer, and petroleum plants that will release about as much greenhouse gas pollution as 21 large baseload coal-fired power plants, according to a major new report from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).

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Furnace efficiency impacts residential natural gas use

By Bob Downing Published: December 5, 2013

From the U.S. Enenergy Information Administration today:

Dec 5, 2013

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EQT gets clearance for sale of natural gas distribution business

By Bob Downing Published: December 5, 2013

From EQT Corp.  today:

 

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CONSOL Energy completes sale of five W. Va. coal mines

By Bob Downing Published: December 5, 2013

From the Associated Press today:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — CONSOL Energy Inc. says it has completed the sale of subsidiary Consolidation Coal Company to Murray Energy.

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Congressman calls on oil group to drop lawsuits in Colorado

By Bob Downing Published: December 5, 2013

From U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., today:

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Ohio Oil and Gas Association backs state tax reform proposal

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

Statement issued today by the Ohio Oil ands Gas Association on new Ohio tax reform proposal:

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Ohio, Midwest getting job results from U.S. energy boom

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

Mark Mills of Real Clear Energy looks at how Ohio's and the Midwest's job pictures are improving due to the America's energy boom.

Click  here  to see his account.

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Report says development plans for Monterey shale are a myth

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

From the Post Carbon Institute today:

(Los Angeles, CA—Wednesday, December 4) Post Carbon Institute (PCI) and Physicians, Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE Healthy Energy) released a groundbreaking report on Tuesday using industry data that presents compelling evidence that the promise of a Monterey Shale boom is a myth. Authored by geoscientist J. David Hughes, Drilling California: A Reality Check on the Monterey Shale (download the full report) is the first analysis of oil production data taken directly from the Monterey Shale Formation and questions whether previous studies modeled on assumptions from other regions are accurate when paralleled with real data.

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Philadelphia investment bank expands to eastern Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

With thanks to Columbus-based Bricker & Eckler law firm's ShaleOhio blog:

After seeing incredible growth in rural Pennsylvania banks as a result of the Marcellus shale boom, Philadelphia-based investment banking firm Boenning & Scattergood Inc. established a spinoff operation to capitalize on what it says is a similar situation happening in Ohio's Utica shale, Columbus Business First reports.

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New federal fracking rules could hurt energy boom, Donahue says

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

The head of the biggest business lobby in the United States warned the Obama administration this week that new federal rules on fracking would interfere with America's developing oil-natural gas boom.

The warning came from U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donahue.

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Eclipse Resources donates drill cuttings to Ohio state agency

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Geological Survey earlier this week:

On November 19, 2013, Eclipse Resources of State College, Pennsylvania, donated an extensive collection of well sample cuttings to the ODNR Division of Geological Survey. This collection of samples originally was accumulated by Oxford Oil Company of Zanesville, Ohio, which was recently acquired by Eclipse Resources.

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Colorado association sues two cities for fracking bans

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

From Bloomberg News today:

By Andrew Harris

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API unveils new bulletin for well construction interface

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

From the American Petroleum Institute today:

WASHINGTON, December 4, 2013 – API Director of Standards David Miller announced today the publication of a new oil and natural gas industry bulletin for well construction interface, the latest of several standards developed or strengthened as a result of post-Macondo task force recommendations.

“API standards help the oil and natural gas industry produce the energy to fuel our economy in a safe and responsible manner,” said Miller. “These well construction guidelines will help lease operators and drilling contractors ensure that they are on the same page when it comes to safety. We are constantly working to ensure industry standards reflect the best practices, technologies, safety standards and environmental protections possible.”

API Bulletin 97, Well Construction Interface Document Guidelines, provides guidance on information that is to be shared regarding well construction and rig specific operating guidelines. It is intended to align the lease operator’s safety and environmental management system (SEMS) with drilling contractor’s safe work practices (CSWP).

Immediately after the Macondo incident, the oil and natural gas industry formed joint industry task forces (JITFs) to examine every aspect of its safety systems, including equipment, operating practices, sub-sea well control, and spill response with the objective of strengthening industry standards. The JITFs also worked with the Department of the Interior and the presidential commission to help with their recommendations for offshore safety improvements, including changes to regulations.

API and the industry have a commitment to continuous improvement, and Bulletin 97 is the latest in a list of new or updated API standards focused on safe and environmentally responsible operations in the offshore that have directly resulted from the JITF recommendations. Others include:

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Hess Corp. selling Indonesian assets for $1.3 billion

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

From Hess Corp. on Monday:

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 2, 2013-- Hess Corporation announced today it has entered into two separate agreements with a joint venture between PT Pertamina and PTT Exploration and Production Company Limited to sell its interests in both the Pangkah and Natuna A assets located off the coast of Indonesia for a total after-tax consideration of $1.3 billion . Together, the two assets produced an average of 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day net to Hess in the first three quarters of 2013.

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Death toll in American drilling industry at all-time high

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

The number of fatalities in the oil and gas industry in the United States is at the highest level ever since a federal agency began tracking the death toll in 1992.

To read more, click  here  for Amy Mall's blog from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Natural gas for power drops, industrial use increases, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Dec 4, 2013

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Kinder Morgan outlines preliminary 2014 financial projections

By Bob Downing Published: December 4, 2013

From Kinder Morgan on Tuesday:

 

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Five states poised for North Dakota-like oil booms, paper says

By Bob Downing Published: December 3, 2013

The Bakken shale has produced a major oil boom in North Dakota, reports the Fiscal Times.

Here, the Times says, are the five states poised for similar oil booms: Texas, California, Oklahoma, Colorado and Louisiana.

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Two polls with slightly different New York numbers on fracking

By Bob Downing Published: December 3, 2013

Two surveys are out with slightly different numbers on how New Yorkers view shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist University poll of showed that 37 percent of respondents favor fracking, 47 percent are opposed and 16 percent are undecided.

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USGS: Denmark shale has 6.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: December 3, 2013

From the U.S. Geological Survey today:

The Alum Shale in Denmark contains an estimated mean of 6.9 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate comes from the first-ever USGS assessment of shale gas resources in Denmark.

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Core drilling jobs in Ohio jump 30 percent in two years, survey says

By Bob Downing Published: December 3, 2013

Shale jobs in Ohio grew by 30 percent from the first quarter 2011 to the first quarter 2013, according to a new state survey.

The survey was compiled by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

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FERC approves reversal of Rockies Express Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: December 3, 2013

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a plan to reverse the Rockies Express Pipeline to allow the pipeline to flow from east to west.

The pipeline that now flows from west to east runs Wyomiong to Ohio.

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New survey says 54 percent want more drilling protections

By Bob Downing Published: December 3, 2013

A new survey in Ohio and five other states shows that 54 percent of those surveyed believe that the conservation of natural habitats and water resources should get a higher priority over drilling.

In addition, 42 percent of those surveyed by The Nature Conservancy indicated that shale job creation should also get a higher priority.

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Judge reduces charges, defendants in W. Va. leasing suit

By Bob Downing Published: December 3, 2013

From the Associated Press:

More than half of the counts and more than a dozen defendants in a West Virginia oil and gas lease lawsuit have been dismissed.

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Chevron resumes shale search in northeast Romania

By Bob Downing Published: December 3, 2013

From the Associated Press:

 U.S. oil giant Chevron has resumed its search for shale gas in northeastern Romania amid ongoing opposition from local residents.

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South Africa's Zuma says country must pursue shale drilling

By Bob Downing Published: December 2, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Kevin Crowley

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Pipeline development will help shape Canada's energy future

By Bob Downing Published: December 2, 2013

From Bloomberg News today:

By Jeremy van Loon & Rebecca Penty

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Martin Sheen's 'Breakthroughs' to look at fracking issue

By Bob Downing Published: December 2, 2013

From Environment America today:

 

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Shale has produced 630 new millionaires in two Ohio counties

By Bob Downing Published: December 2, 2013

Ohio has 630 new millionaires, thanks to Utica shale.

That figure came from the Morgan County Herald in a story on Nov. 27 on a drilling company moving into Morgan County: Petroleum Development Corp. Energy LLC.

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Ohio hits 995 Utica permits with 609 Utica wells drilled

By Bob Downing Published: December 2, 2013

Ohio is quickly approaching 1,000 Utica shale permits.

As of Nov. 23, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says it has approved 995 permits, of which 609 Utica wells have been drilled.

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CONSOL Energy moves forward on sale of five W. Va. coal mines

By Bob Downing Published: December 2, 2013

From CONSOL Energy today:

 

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Shale drilling boom is fading across Kansas

By Bob Downing Published: December 2, 2013

From the Associated Press:

By Roxana Hegeman
 

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Park service withdraws 'inappropriate' fracking comments

By Bob Downing Published: December 2, 2013

From the Associated Press:

The National Park Service has withdrawn "inappropriate" comments about a proposed rule regulating hydraulic fracturing operations on public lands.

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

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

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

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

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

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

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

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

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

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

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

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

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

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

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

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

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

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

Penn State Marcellus Center.

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

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.