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Ohio Utica Shale

Pennsylvania drillers getting very interested in Utica Shale

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2015

Pennsylvania shale drillers have a growing interest in the little-known Utica Shale.

It is deeper and less-understood than the prominent Marcellus Shale.

There are about 100 Utica wells in Pennsylvania.

But some Utica wells in Pennsylvania are putting up big, big numbers of dry natural gas.

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New research finds link between 2010 drilling, water contamination

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2015

New research published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows evidence of a connection between gas drilling and water contamination that occurred in Pennsylvania's Bradford County in 2010.

The researchers at Penn State University used a new method of testing for contaminants that can detect much smaller amounts of chemicals than the instruments typically used in commercial laboratories.

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

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Ohio has 1,466 drilled Utica wells, 861 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2015

Ohio has approved 1,889 Utica Shale permits, as of May 2.

That total includes 1,466 drilled Utica wells and 861 producing Utica wells, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Ohio has 29 drilling rigs at work.

Eight new permits were approved: six in Belmont County and two in Monroe County.

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Stone Energy to postpone new Utica, Marcellus shale wells

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2015

From Louisiana-based Stone Energy Corp. on Monday:

LAFAYETTE, La., May 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Stone Energy Corporation (NYSE: SGY) today announced financial and operational results for the first quarter of 2015. Some of the highlights include:

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer David Welch stated, "We delivered increased production in the first quarter, driven by our successful Cardona project and incremental Appalachian volumes, and will have additional deep water development projects in progress during the year. Given the current commodity price environment, we have made significant reductions across our capital budget and in our lease operating expenses.  The suspension of our Appalachian drilling has allowed our team to focus on the most efficient and effective ways to develop our acreage position for both the Marcellus and Utica shales.  Additionally, we have an exciting portfolio of exploration prospects that provides us with significant resource potential. We remain committed to maintaining a liquid and flexible balance sheet with an undrawn bank facility and over $160 million in cash." 

Financial Results

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Investment in Ohio's Utica Shale reaches $28 billion, report says

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2015

Ohio’s Utica Shale boom continues to grow, despite low commodity prices, according to a new report by a Columbus-based law firm.
The investment in shale projects in eastern Ohio now tops $28 billion, a 26 percent increase in total investments since last fall,   says Monday’s report from Bricker & Eckler LLP that lists 148 projects. That includes 15 new projects since last fall,
One of the local beneficiaries is Blair Rubber Co. in Medina County.
It added a 50,000-square-foot expansion at its Seville plant, partially due to the increased use of rail by the fracking industry. The $5 million expansion doubled the facility’s size.
The company makes rubber linings for storage vats and rail cars.
“Despite recent fluctuations in oil prices, the number of shale projects in Ohio continues to grow,” said Matt Warnock, partner and co-chair of the law firm’s oil and gas industry group.
“Further — and somewhat surprising — we haven’t seen any significant slowdown in the number of high-dollar projects. All of this bodes well for Ohio, particularly the southeastern region of the state,” he said on the company’s fourth Utica Shale economic report.
Added attorney Aaron Bruggeman, “The activity we have witnessed in the last six months has diverted from a focus on exploration and production to downstream infrastructure. We continue to see an increase in the number of pipeline projects, particularly interstate lines, gathering facilities, compressor stations and related investment.
The Utica Shale investment has grown from $12.2 billion in October 2013, to $16.8 billion in spring 2014 to $22.3 billion in fall 2014.
The report does not include projects with unknown values or one of the biggest potential projects, an ethane cracker plant in Belmont County with a multi-billion price tag.
That project, announced on April 22 by Gov. John Kasich, is under study by Thai-based PTT Global Chemical and Japanese-based Marubema Corp. They plan to spend about $150 million for engineering and permit work to determine if the project will move forward.
If that happens, the facility would create several hundred permanent jobs, several thousand construction jobs and a total investment of several billion dollars, the Bricker &Eckler report says.
It might be built at Shadyside at a FirstEnergy Corp. power plant that is largely shuttered.
The new plant would be used to convert liquid ethane from shale drilling into polyethylene, a key ingredient to make plastics.
Three other ethane cracker plants have been proposed in Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania.
Projects that have been killed or delayed include a $70 million gas-processing plant by Blue Racer Midstream LLC in Mahoning County (shelved last January) and a $100 million U.S. Steel/Republic Steel and Lorain Tubular project to make steel casings for shale development (plant idled last January).
The decline in drilling also triggered layoffs at the Timken Steel's three mills in Stark County. The company had planned $245 million in mill improvements that were shelved.
Also dead is a $1.5 billion Bluegrass Pipeline that was to move Utica and Marcellus natural gas liquids to the Gulf Coast. Not enough interest from drillers, officials said.

Click  here  to read the list.

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Crude by rail accounts for 52 percent of East Coast refinery supply

By Bob Downing Published: May 5, 2015

Note: Such shipments pass through Ohio and other states from North Dakota to the East Coast.

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Monthly rail receipts of crude oil accounted for more than half (52%) of the crude oil supply to East Coast refineries in February. As U.S. and Canadian production of crude oil has increased, crude supply by rail to East Coast (PADD 1) refineries has grown, displacing waterborne imports of crude oil from countries other than Canada, such as Nigeria. While refinery utilization in Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) 1 in early 2015 has been below typical levels, this still marks the first time in EIA's dataset that crude deliveries by rail have accounted for such a high percentage of East Coast refinery supply.

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Letter to Ohio Gov. John Kasich from Belmont County residents

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2015

Here's copy of letter to Gov. John Kasich from Belmont Counyt residents:

Concerned Barnesville Area Residents

P.O. Box 332, Barnesville, OH 43713

740-312-4692 • 740-238-1256 • 740-926-1481

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Belmont County residents worried about fracking near reservoir

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2015

From a press release today:

Citizens Send Mayday Message to State Officials Regarding Fracking Threat to Water Supply

Petition to Protect Slope Creek Reservoir Presented to Governor and Environmental Agency Directors

COLUMBUS, OH – More than 2,300 citizens served by Slope Creek Reservoir in Belmont County and supporters signed their names to a petition to protect the water supply from risks associated with shale gas development (AKA fracking), and stop Gulfport Energy Corporation’s plans to place multiple well pads as close as 500 feet from the reservoir.


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WPX Energy continues to monetize its Marcellus Shale assets

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2015

Oklahoma-based WPX Energy announced today it signed an agreement to sell a package of Marcellus Shale marketing contracts and release certain related firm transportation capacity to an undisclosed buyer for in excess of $200 million cash.

The sale includes various long-term natural gas purchase and sales agreements, along with 135 million Btu per day of firm transportation capacity on Transco’s Northeast Supply Link project.

This is WPX’s second transaction monetizing its holdings in the Marcellus Shale. Earlier this year, WPX completed a $300 million sale of its Northeast Pennsylvania assets.

Click  here  to read more.

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Chesapeake Energy names new vice president of exploration

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2015

Chesapeake Energy Corporation announced today that Frank Patterson will join the company as Executive Vice President – Exploration, Land and Subsurface Technology.

Patterson replaces John Kapchinske, who recently retired from the company.

He will report to Chesapeake’s Chief Executive Officer Doug Lawler.

Lawler commented, “Frank is a world-class explorer with more than 30 years of experience developing and executing exploration programs. His leadership will propel our exploration resources and capabilities to new levels of performance while helping drive the greatest value from our outstanding portfolio.”

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

Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

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

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

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

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

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

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

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

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

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

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

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

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

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

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

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

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

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

Penn State Marcellus Center.

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

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.