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Ohio Utica Shale

OOGA holding Oilfield Expo, Technical Conference on Dec. 3-4

By Bob Downing Published: November 28, 2014

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association will hold its Oilfield Expo and Technical Conference on Dec. 3-4 in Cleveland.

Click  here  for more information.

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Kinder Morgan completes three-company acquisition

By Bob Downing Published: November 28, 2014

From Kinder Morgan on Wednesday:

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI) today announced it has completed its acquisition of the outstanding equity securities of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP), Kinder Morgan Management, LLC (NYSE: KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. (NYSE: EPB). The approximately $76 billion transaction was initially announced Aug. 10, 2014.

Chairman and CEO Richard D. Kinder stated, “We are delighted to close the KMP, KMR and EPB transactions. We believe merging the companies benefits our shareholders and unitholders, simplifies the Kinder Morgan story by transitioning to one security and paves the way for superior growth at KMI for years to come. KMI projects a dividend of $2.00 per share for 2015, a 16 percent increase over the 2014 KMI dividend budget of $1.72 per share. The company expects to grow the dividend by approximately 10 percent each year from 2015 through 2020, while producing excess coverage of over $2 billion.”

Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI) is the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. It owns an interest in or operates approximately 80,000 miles of pipelines and 180 terminals. The company’s pipelines transport natural gas, gasoline, crude oil, CO2 and other products, and its terminals store petroleum products and chemicals, and handle bulk materials like coal and petroleum coke. Kinder Morgan is the largest midstream and third largest energy company in North America with an enterprise value of more than $125 billion. For more information please visit www.kindermorgan.com.

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OPEC keep production set despite low crude oil prices

By Bob Downing Published: November 28, 2014

From the Associated Press:

By George Jahn

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Low oil prices to delay drilling in northwest Europe, analyst says

By Bob Downing Published: November 28, 2014

From GlobalData on Thursday:

 

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 27 November 2014 - With oil prices falling to a four-year low, the development of two frontier basins in northwest Europe, the Barents Sea and the West of Shetland (WoS), is likely to be postponed and further progress will require cost reductions, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

Both Chevron and Statoil, operators of the WoS Rosebank and Barents Sea Johan Castberg fields, respectively, are continuing to delay their Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) for the projects, which have 240 and 545 million barrels of oil equivalent of recoverable reserves, respectively.

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Spectra Energy wins approval for British Columbia pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: November 26, 2014

From Spectra Energy Corp. on Tuesday:

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) today announced that its proposed Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project continues to advance, following receipt of an Environmental Assessment Certificate by the Government of British Columbia.

“We are very pleased that the Environmental Assessment Certificate granted today for our Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project brings us closer to achieving our vision of serving multiple LNG projects in the Prince Rupert area,” said Greg Ebel, president and chief executive officer of Spectra Energy. “We believe providing for multiple pipelines in a single corridor is a smart, thoughtful way to plan for the sustainable growth of a new LNG industry in British Columbia.”

The environmental review of the Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project assessed a natural gas transportation corridor that could accommodate up to two 48-inch pipelines with total design capacity of 8.4 billion cubic feet per day.

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Oil volatility here to stay, despite OPEC's possible actions

By Bob Downing Published: November 26, 2014

Whatever the outcome of Thursday's OPEC meeting, options traders are betting on oil-price swings.

That’s because the decision from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries isn’t likely to make much difference. Slowing global demand and a U.S. shale-drilling boom has created a glut that won’t fade any time soon, said Torbjoern Kjus of DNB ASA in Norway.

Half of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect a cut in production at the meeting in Vienna Thursday; the rest don’t see a deviation from OPEC’s 30 million barrel-a-day target.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Hilcorp targets Columbiana County's Brinker gas storage field

By Bob Downing Published: November 26, 2014

Hilcorp Energy Corp., one of the most active companies in the northern Utica shale in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, is gearing up to drill the Brinker storage field in Columbiana County.

The company has filed for 25 permits at three sites in Fairfield Township in the northern part of the county.

Six permits were approved. The rest are pending.

Click  here  to read the rest of the story.

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Growing shale infrastructure boosts midstream MLPs

By Bob Downing Published: November 26, 2014

From SNL Energy:

Rising market capitalization among midstream master limited partnerships reflects the momentum of North American natural gas infrastructure development and the asset class creating that infrastructure.

SNL ENERGY: MIDSTREAM MLPS' MARKET CAP SURGES IN MIDST OF SHALE BUILD-OUT

The surging level of market capitalization among midstream master limited partnerships — with some individual MLPs showing dramatic increases — reflects the momentum of North American natural gas infrastructure development and the asset class creating that infrastructure.

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Outgoing Maryland governor proposes tough fracking rules

By Bob Downing Published: November 26, 2014

Maryland's outgoing governor has proposed some of the toughest rules in  he country for fracking.

Gov. Martin O'Malley leaves office in January.

The state has put together a 104-page report by the Department of Environment and the Department of Natural Resources.

Western Maryland is home to Marcellus shale.

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Canadian firm begins waterless fracking in Tuscarawas County

By Bob Downing Published: November 26, 2014

A Canadian company has begun fracking with no water at a well in Tuscarawas County.

The company involved is GasFrac Energy Services Inc.

It is using gelled propane.

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

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Government data sharpens focus on crude-oil train routes

By Bob Downing Published: November 25, 2014

From ProPublica today:



North Dakota's oil boom has delivered jobs to local economics and brought the U.S. to the brink of being a net energy exporter for the first time in generations. But moving that oil to the few refineries equipped to process it is presenting a new danger to towns and cities nationwide, Isaiah Thompson writes.

That's because much of North Dakota's oil is being transported by rail -- saving the oil and gas industry the time and capital it takes to build new pipelines -- but with a trade-off of greater risk: The federal government estimates that trains are three and a half times as likely as pipelines to suffer safety lapses.

Key takeaways from Thompson's report:


Read the full story here: http://www.propublica.org/article/govt-data-sharpens-focus-on-crude-oil-train-routes.

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Chesapeake Energy loses bond dispute in 2-1 appeals' verdict

By Bob Downing Published: November 25, 2014

A divided federal appeals court said Chesapeake Energy Corp had no right to redeem $1.3 billion of notes early at a favorable price, saying the second-largest U.S. natural gas company waited too long to tell investors of its plans.

Tuesday's 2-1 decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed a May 2013 ruling by U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer, which followed a weeklong non-jury trial.

To read Reuters' story, click   here.

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Ohio has 1,200 drilled Utica wells, 698 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: November 25, 2014

Ohio has approved 1,638 Utica shale permits, as of Nov. 22.

That total includes 1,200 drilled Utica wells and 698 Utica wells in production, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Ohio has 52 drilling rigs at work.

Eights new permits were approved: three in Guernsey County, four in Harrison County and one in Monroe County.

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American Energy Partners affiliate acquires Texas assets

By Bob Downing Published: November 25, 2014

From American Energy Partners on Monday:

 

OKLAHOMA CITY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014: American Energy – Permian Basin, LLC (AEPB), an affiliate of American Energy Partners, LP, today announced the initial closing of an offering by its immediate parent, American Energy Permian Holdings, LLC (AEPH), of $515 million of 8.0% Exchangeable Junior Subordinated Notes due 2022 (Notes), the net proceeds of which are being contributed to AEPB in exchange for preferred units. In addition, AEPB today closed on a major acquisition of assets from Tall City Exploration LLC (Tall City), which is backed by private equity sponsor Denham Capital Management, LP, for $440 million, in cash and Notes. The assets include approximately 14,000 net acres of leasehold primarily located in Reagan County, Texas and 1,400 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day of production.

The Notes were offered and are being issued in a series of separate, but related, transactions, consisting of: (i) approximately $250 million in aggregate principal amount of Notes to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended; (ii) approximately $156 million in aggregate principal amount of Notes to Tall City as partial consideration for the Tall City acquisition; (iii) approximately $26 million in aggregate principal amount of Notes to Aubrey K. McClendon and other members of AEPB’s management; and (iv) approximately $83 million in aggregate principal amount of Notes to one or more affiliated funds managed by AEPB’s sponsors, The Energy & Minerals Group and First Reserve Management LP.

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Investment in gas, oil technologies tops $7 billion, report says

By Bob Downing Published: November 25, 2014

From Lux Research today:

Investment in Next Generation Oil and Gas Technologies Tops $7 Billion

Driven by shale gas, tight oil, and heavy oil, North America is the runaway leader with an 87% share of the dollars invested and 76% of the transactions since 2003, says Lux Research

 

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Shale gas is largest share of U.S. natural gas production in 2013

By Bob Downing Published: November 25, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

Total U.S. natural gas gross withdrawals reached a new high at 82 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2013, with shale gas wells becoming the largest source of total natural gas production. Natural gas gross withdrawals are a measure of full well stream production including all natural gas plant liquids and nonhydrocarbon gases after oil, lease condensate, and water have been removed. According to the Natural Gas Annual, gross withdrawals from shale gas wells increased from 5 Bcf/d in 2007 to 33 Bcf/d in 2013, representing 40% of total natural gas production, and surpassing production from nonshale natural gas wells. New technology has enabled producers to shift production to resources that are now easier to reach and have lower drilling costs. These trends have been reflected in a lower market price of natural gas.

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Winter gas prices to remain high in Boston, New York City

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

Despite expectations of a milder winter for 2014, marketers anticipate high prices for natural gas in Boston and New York City. Natural gas prices are expected to be lower than last winter, but higher than the average of previous winters, particularly in Boston.

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Open season for new Texas-to-Louisiana cruide oil pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2014

From Energy Transfer today:

HOUSTON & DALLAS --(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 24, 2014-- Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) and Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ETP) today announced the launch of a binding open season to assess interest in committed service under local tariffs for crude oil pipeline transportation originating at Nederland, Texas , for deliveries to various crude oil terminals and refineries in the vicinity of Lake Charles and St. James, Louisiana .

The binding open season will commence at 12 p.m. CST on Dec. 1, 2014 . Bona fide potential shippers that would like to receive copies of the open season documents, the throughput and deficiency agreement, and proposed tariffs must first sign a confidentiality agreement. More information about the open season will be available on the ETP website at www.energytransfer.com/ops_lc_sj.aspx upon commencement of the open season or by e-mail request to lc_sj@energytransfer.com.

About Phillips 66

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Ergon-Ironton acquires Ohio River oil terminal in Ironton

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2014

From Ergon:

Thu., Nov 6, 2014

Jackson, Miss. — Ergon - Ironton, LLC today announced it has purchased a petroleum storage facility located in Ironton, Ohio. The new terminaling operation consists of over 100,000 bbls of existing storage tanks, a dock, and approximately 47-acres of property along the Ohio River. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Ironton facility improves Ergon’s ability to purchase and transport crude oil in the Ohio River Valley region.

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Ohio activists oppose disclosure provisions of H.B. 490

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2014

From a press release on Friday from Ohio eco-groups:

On Wednesday, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 490 and now the state is poised to go backwards when it comes to protecting communities and first responders.

 

A coalition of first responders, community members, health professionals, scientists and environmental advocates including The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, the Buckeye Forest Council, the Center for Health and Environmental Justice, Ohio Citizen Action, the Ohio Environmental Council, Progress Ohio, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, Communities United for Responsible Energy (CURE), and the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative is joining together to call for the Ohio Senate to stop this dangerous provision from becoming law.

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U.S. petroleum deliveries dropped slightly in October, API says

By Bob Downing Published: November 21, 2014

From the U.S. Petroleum Institute on Thursday:

Total U.S. petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) edged down last month by 0.2 percent from October 2013 to average 19.3 million barrels per day.

“Production and refining activity were both quite strong in October,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “While total demand saw a small drop-off from last year, transportation fuels like gasoline and jet fuel hit recent highs for the month.”

Gasoline demand grew 0.3 percent from October 2013 to average just below 9.0 million barrels per day – the highest level for the month since 2010. Deliveries also rose over the same period for jet fuel (1.5 percent) and “other oils” (4.6 percent) but fell for distillate (6.2 percent) and residual fuel (11.2 percent). At nearly 1.5 million barrels per day, October deliveries of jet fuel reached the highest level in seven years.

Crude production last month averaged nearly 9.0 million barrels per day, up 17.0 percent from last year to the highest October output in over four decades. Record oil production occurred in the Bakken, the Eagle Ford, and the Permian regions last month, and the Marcellus region achieved record natural gas production, per the latest EIA Drilling Productivity Report.

Natural gas liquids (NGL) production, a co-product of natural gas production, averaged just above 3.1 million barrels per day, a 13.0 percent increase from the prior year. According to the latest reports from Baker-Hughes, Inc., the number of oil and gas rigs in the U.S. in last month was 1,925 – up 181 counts from October 2013.

Total petroleum imports fell by 5.3 percent from the prior year to average 9.1 million barrels per day last month while imports of refined products fell 29.4 percent to 1.5 million barrels per day. Both figures represent 19-year lows for October. Imports of crude oil increased by 1.6 percent from October 2013 to average 7.6 million barrels per day but were still the second lowest level for the month in 18 years.

Production of gasoline in October grew by 0.4 percent from the prior year to set a new record for the month of 9.5 million barrels per day. For distillate, production slowed by 3.7 percent from last year to 4.6 million barrels per day. Year to date production for gasoline and distillate both reached all-time records last month.

October records were set in refinery gross inputs and exports of refined products. Gross inputs grew 2.2 percent from last year to average 15.8 million barrels per day while exports were up 8.4 percent to average just over 4.4 million barrels per day.

With a number of refineries on turnaround, the refinery capacity utilization rate averaged 88.8 percent in October. This was a 2.9 percent drop from September but up 2.0 percent from last October and the highest rate for the month in 10 years. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.805 million barrels per day.

Crude oil stocks ended October at 374.3 million barrels, down 1.9 percent from the last year, and stocks of motor gasoline fell to 204.1 million barrels on a 4.6 percent decline. Jet fuel stocks also fell compared to the prior year while distillate and “other oils” stocks increased.
 

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Hess, Chevron begin new Gulf of Mexico production

By Bob Downing Published: November 21, 2014

New York-based Hess Corp. this week announced that production has commenced at the Tubular Bell Field in the Gulf of Mexico.

The project is 57 percent owned by by Hess and 43 percent by Chevron U.S.A.

It is expected to produce 50,000 barrels of oil; equivalents per day by Dec. 31, 2014, from three wells.

Click  here  to read more.

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Kinder Morgan investors approve $44 billion merger

By Bob Downing Published: November 21, 2014

Investors in Texas-based Kinder Morgan on Thursday approved the merger of four companies in a $44 billion move.

The deal is expected to officially close on Nov. 26.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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USGS report looks at buffers, greater sage-grouse populations

By Bob Downing Published: November 21, 2014

From the U.S, Geological Survey today:

The full report is available online.

The U.S. Geological Survey released a report today that compiles and summarizes published scientific studies that evaluate effective conservation buffer distances from human activities and infrastructure that influence greater sage-grouse populations.

Greater sage-grouse conservation buffers are specified protective distances around greater sage-grouse communal breeding locations, known as leks.

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FERC schedules 10 public Rover Pipeline scoping meetings

By Bob Downing Published: November 21, 2014

A new $4.4 billion pipeline that will carry natural gas across northern Ohio is in the spotlightat 10 public meetings.

The public scoping meetings for the Rover Pipeline planned by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners are being arranged by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Here are the details from FERC:

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the planned Rover Pipeline Project (Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by Rover Pipeline LLC (Rover) in multiple counties in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  The Commission will use this EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether the Project is in the public convenience and necessity.

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National oil companies top list of international oil firms in world

By Bob Downing Published: November 21, 2014

From London-based Energy Intelligence late today:

 

 

PRESS RELEASE Embargoed to 1800 EST on 20 November 2014

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Chemical maker to invest $1 billion in British shale exploration

By Bob Downing Published: November 21, 2014

From the Associated Press on Thursday:

Chemicals firm Ineos has announced plans to invest 640 million pounds ($1 billion) in shale gas exploration in Britain.

The company is applying for more licenses to expand its operations in Scotland and in northern England.

Chairman Jim Ratcliffe says he wants the company to become the biggest player in the industry in the country. He said Thursday he believes shale gas could revolutionize British manufacturing, and that Ineos has the resources and skills to extract the gas safely.

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Latest Ohio update from three agencies on drilling wastes

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

From the latest update on drilling wastes from the  Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Health.

Click  here  to read the four-page letter from Nov. 17.

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Ohio has 1,176 drilled Utica wells, 618 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

Ohio has approved 1,630 Utica shale permits, as of Nov. 15.

Of that total, 1,176 Utica wells have been drilled and 618 Utica wells are producing, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

It said 53 drilling rigs are at work in Ohio.

A total of 22 new Utica permits were approved: three in Belmont County, six in Columbiana County, two in Harrison County, seven in Monroe County, three in Noble County and one in Tuscarawas County.

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Williams tabs Purgason to oversee Utica, Marcellus development

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

From Williams today:

 

Williams (NYSE: WMB) today announced that Robert Purgason and Walter Bennett each will assume a role as senior vice president of one of the company's operating areas, effective Jan. 1. Williams' board of directors confirmed both Purgason's and Bennett's roles, which will report directly to Williams President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Armstrong.

The operating area Purgason will lead encompasses the assets and operations of Access Midstream Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ACMP), which includes natural gas gathering and processing in the Marcellus, Utica, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Barnett, Mid-continent and Niobrara producing areas.

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Oil markets hurt by expected lower global economic growth

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

Since August, both crude oil and currency markets have been influenced by lower economic growth expectations in countries outside the United States. Prices in both markets recently broke out of established trading ranges, driven by concerns about weaker future global demand. The current situation, with the dollar index and oil prices moving in opposite directions, presents a sharp contrast to one in which crude oil supply disruptions or geopolitical risks would cause both the dollar index and crude prices to rise.

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Offshore drilling could impact jobs, tax revenues, studies say

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

From the U.S. Petroleum Council on Wednesday:

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2014 – Offshore oil and natural gas leasing in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts could create nearly 840,000 American jobs and raise more than $200 billion in revenue for the government, according to new studies released today.

“The oil and natural gas industry is a rare bright spot in our economy,” API Director of Upstream Erik Milito told reporters today. “The ability to safely develop new offshore resources is critical to America’s continued energy security and job growth.”

The two studies published today examine the economic impact of opening the U.S. Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico to offshore oil and natural gas development. A previously released study in this series focused on the Atlantic OCS.

If the federal government begins holding lease sales in these regions in 2018, the three studies show that by 2035:

These areas today are almost entirely off-limits to offshore oil and gas development but could be included in the federal government’s next five-year leasing program.

“Polling shows that 70 percent of voters in this year’s midterm elections support offshore drilling, and 57 percent do not think the federal government does enough to encourage domestic oil and natural gas production,” said Milito. “The next offshore leasing program is an opportunity for the Obama administration to let those voters know their voices are being heard.”

An interactive map with state-by-state results for all three studies can be found at maps.api.org/offshore. All studies in this series were conducted by Quest Offshore Resources, Inc. at the request of API and the National Ocean Industries Association.

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

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Pennsylvania watershed intervenes in community bill of rights fight

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

From a press release earlier this week:

First-in-the-Nation Action - Ecosystem Files for Intervention in Lawsuit to Defend Own Legal Rights to Exist and Flourish

 

-- Comes as Industry Sues Township, Claiming it has a Corporate “Right”

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Report looks at growing U.S. push to approve LNG exports

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

From a press release today:

INVESTIGATION: NATURAL GAS EXPORTS BRIEFING RELEASED

Researchers Steve Horn of DeSmogBlog and Lee Fang of The Nation and Republic Report are today releasing a white paper based on their months-long and ongoing investigation into the multiple companies pushing for approval to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) out of the United States.

http://www.desmogblog.com/natural-gas-exports-lobbying-report

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EnLink Midstream relocates Dallas corporate offices

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

From JLL on Wednesday:

EnLink Midstream Relocates Corporate Office to Dallas Arts District

JLL negotiates 157,568-square-foot lease at One Arts Plaza near the Dallas CBD

 

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Justice Department investigating Chesapeake royalty payments

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

From ProPublica last week:

Chesapeake Energy Faces Subpoena on Royalty Payment Practices

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating how Chesapeake Energy pays landowners for the natural gas it drills on their property, according to disclosures made earlier this month in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Abrahm Lustgarten reports that the probe comes after years of complaints by landowners that they are being underpaid, and an investigation by ProPublica, which found the company was using the fees it had been paying those landowners to repay billions of dollars of hidden corporate debt instead.

Highlights from Lustgarten's story:

You can read the full post here: http://www.propublica.org/article/chesapeake-energy-faces-subpoena-on-royalty-payment-practices.

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Enlink Midstream picks Lamb to senior vice president post

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

Fron Texas-based EnLink Midstream this week:

DALLAS,November 18, 2014 — The EnLink Midstream companies, EnLink Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE:ENLK) (the Partnership) and EnLink Midstream, LLC (NYSE:ENLC) (the General Partner) (together “EnLink”), today named Benjamin D. Lamb to the position of Senior Vice President - Finance and Corporate Development, effective immediately. In his new role, Mr. Lamb will continue to lead mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions for EnLink. He will also partner with the Gas and Liquids Business Units to identify and execute development projects that support EnLink’s overall growth strategy.

 

Prior to joining Crosstex Energy, EnLink’s predecessor, in 2012, he worked in the investment banking industry, focusing on clients in the energy industry. Mr. Lamb earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance, economics and international business from Baylor University.

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New report: EPA can quickly cut methane from oil, gas industry

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

From five eco-groups today:

EPA CAN QUICKLY CUT DANGEROUS METHANE POLLUTION FROM OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY IN HALF, ACCORDING TO NEW REPORT

 

* * *

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Lawsuit says Ohio illegally approved 23 fracking waste facilities

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2014

A press release from Wednesday:

Columbus, OH – Today, a lawsuit was filed in Franklin County court against Governor Kasich and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) for the illegal approval of at least 23 fracking waste handling, storage, processing and recycling facilities to operate. The facilities were authorized by ODNR “Chief’s Orders”, bypassing the official rulemaking process required to permit such facilities. Fresh Water Accountability Project (FWAP) and Food & Water Watch (F&WW) brought the suit.

Before approving these types of fracking waste facilities, ODNR must adhere to the formal rule making process, which includes a public comment period. No rules have been made available to the public, yet ODNR has already approved several of these facilities. FWAP has appealed to ODNR, Governor Kasich and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), asking them to intervene and stop the building and operation of the frack waste facilities until rules are finalized and permitting procedures are in place, including a public comment period required by law.

“It truly is unfortunate that the only remedy that can now be sought is through the courts once again,” stated Lea Harper, Managing Director of FWAP. “I do not know what it takes to get our governing bodies to take action to protect Ohio’s environmental and economic future. These facilities are an imminent threat to public health. Once the fracking boom becomes a bust, it will be the Ohio taxpayer that pays the price for clean-up and health costs. We are doing everything we can to avoid that. We are also appealing to the state legislature to intervene without much luck. It is disheartening to see that in order to get our politicians and regulators to take us seriously in Ohio, it takes a lawsuit to stand out against the corporate monetary influence from the fracking industry.”

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MWCD ordered by Ohio appeals court to pay attorney fees

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2014

A press release on Monday from Ohio's FreshWater Accountability Project:

Court Orders Conservancy District to Pay Attorney Fees

 

The Fifth District Ohio Court of Appeals ruled last week that the  Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) must pay $12,900.00 in attorney fees after losing a lawsuit for public records that were illegally withheld.

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Forest Service to allow limited drilling in Virginia national forest

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2014

A press release today from the NRDC on the U.S. Forest Service's plan to allow drilling on 167,000 acres within the 1.1 million George Washington National Forest that is mostly in western Virginia:

Feds Protect Vast Majority of George Washington National Forest from Oil & Gas Development

WASHINGTON (November 18, 2014) —The U.S. Forest Service today released a management plan that protects the vast majority of Virginia’s George Washington National Forest from oil and gas development.

While early news reports focused on the fact that the Forest Service will allow fracking in parts of the George Washington National Forest, it actually protects all of the national forest from oil and gas development with the exceptions of land currently leased (1 percent of land where the federal government owns the mineral rights) and land where the oil and gas rights are privately owned.

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Crude oil, lease condensate production at highs since 1968

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Monday:

Crude oil and lease condensate production in the United States exceeded 8.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in August, a production volume not observed since July 1986, according to EIA's latest Petroleum Supply Monthly.

Read More ›

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USGS: North Dakota drilling has not affected groundwater quality

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2014

From the U.S. Geological Survey:

Energy development in the Williston Basin oil production area of Montana and North Dakota, which includes the Bakken and Three Forks Formations, has not affected shallow groundwater quality, according to a recently published study in the journal Groundwater. The paper is based on water samples collected by U.S. Geological Survey scientists from 30 randomly distributed, non-federal domestic wells screened in the upper Fort Union Formation. 

The study compared concentrations of several chemicals to health-based drinking-water standards, analyzed correlations between concentrations and oil and gas well locations and evaluated methane for indications of deep production-zone gases. 

“These results are good news for water users, and the data provide a valuable baseline against which future water-quality data can be compared,” said Peter McMahon, a USGS hydrologist and lead author of the study. “However, it is important to consider these results in the context of groundwater age.” 

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Halliburton to spend $34.6 billion to acquire Baker Hughes

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2014

Halliburton, the No. 2 well service company, has agreed to spend $34.6 billion to acquire Baker Hughes, the No. 3 well service company.

Click  here  to read more from Bloomberg News.

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500 families sign $100 million lease agreement in W. Va., Pa.

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2014

A coalition of landowners in northern West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania has  signed a $100 million drilling lease agreement with a Texas-based company.

The deal involves Tug Hill Operating.

The deal involves 500 families in Marshall and Ohio counties in West Virginia and Greene County in Pennsylvania.

Click  here  to read last week's story from the Pittsburgh Business Times.

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Coalition is pushing for increased Bakken shale oil stabilization

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2014

From the Coalition for Bakken Crude Oil Stabilization:

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Ohio House committee looks at opening public lands for drilling

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

A press release from the Ohio Environmental Council today:

Ohio House challenges Kasich on fracking state lands:

Back-door option would ignore public and leasing laws

 

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NiSource Midstream holds training for emergency responders

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

A press release today from NiSource Midstream Services:

NEWS RELEASE

Immediate Use

 

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Canadian company says it is fracking Utica well with no water

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

A Canadian company, GASFRAC, reports that it is fracking its first Utica shale well with no water.

The company offered few details and said more information would be released later.

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Magnum Hunter Resources is a natural gas company, CEO says

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

Magnum Hunter Resources is a natural gas company, not an oil company, according to CEO Gary Evans.

In the last two years, the Texas-based firm has divested itself of $700 million in oil assets.

The company is a player in Ohio's Utica shale.

Click  here  to read this week's story from the Columbus Business Journal.

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Strict drilling rules approved by second county in New Mexico

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

From the Associated Press

As a federal judge considers the constitutionality of one New Mexico county’s efforts to ban oil and natural gas development, commissioners in neighboring San Miguel County voted Wednesday in favor of imposing some of the strictest requirements on hydrocarbon exploration in the country.

The unanimous decision came during the commission’s regular meeting. Several dozen people were in attendance.

The new ordinance supersedes a moratorium on oil and gas development that had been in place since 2010. Now, exploration and drilling will be restricted to a sparsely populated stretch on the eastern side of San Miguel County, some 60 miles away from the county seat of Las Vegas.

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Texas commission to continue issuing drilling permits in Denton

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

From BakerHostetler's North American Shale Blog:

At a November 6 event, Texas Railroad Commission Chairwoman Christi Craddick unequivocally stated that the commission would continue to issue drilling permits to operators in Denton, despite the November 4 vote making it the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing.

“It’s my job to give permits, not Denton’s. We’re going to continue permitting up there because that’s my job,” said Craddick at an event sponsored by the Texas Tribune.

Chairwoman Craddick’s comments are similar to the arguments raised in the lawsuits filed last week by the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Oil and Gas Association, which assert that Denton’s municipal fracking ban is preempted by the Texas constitution and statewide laws governing the development of oil and gas.

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Shale boom to impact St. Croix refinery in Virgin islands

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

The St. Croix refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the world’s largest before being closed, is poised to see new life thanks to the U.S. shale boom, Bloomberg News reports.

Atlantic Basin Refining Inc. agreed to buy Hovensa LLC, the company said in a statement.

Hovensa’s refinery, which was converted into an oil storage terminal in February 2012, will process about 300,000 barrels of light oil a day when it reopens.

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Halliburton could be acquiring Baker Hughes, according to reports

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

One of the biggest well service companies could be acquired by a rival.

No. 2 Halliburton is looking at acquiring No. 3 Baker Hughes.

Both trail No. 1 Schlumberger Ltd. in size.

The deal could be worth $25 billion.

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Natural gas is dominant fuel in colder parts of United States

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

Natural gas consumption varies widely by region of the country. The majority of households that heat with natural gas are located in the Midwest and Northeast. In the upcoming winter months, homes in the East North Central Census division are expected to consume the most natural gas, but not as much as last winter. Extreme cold weather in natural gas-intensive regions caused unexpectedly high consumption during the winter of 2013-14.

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Pew survey: Public support for fracking declines from 2013

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows public support for fracking has declined since last year, reports NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania.

In a survey conducted last week, 41 percent of respondents said they favor the increased use of fracking, while 47 percent say they are opposed, NPR said.

Click  here  to read the full story..

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USGS finds low methane levels in N.C.'s Lee, Chatham counties

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

From the U.S. Geological Survey on Thursday:

RALEIGH, N.C.A study designed to provide baseline information on groundwater quality in Lee and Chatham counties prior to oil and gas exploration there found low levels of dissolved methane gas and a small percentage of wells with other constituents at levels exceeding federal and state drinking water standards, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The researchers inventoried 305 wells and sampled 56 wells and one spring. Of the wells sampled, they found 22 of the 57 samples contained naturally occurring methane. Concentration levels were low, ranging from 0.0005 to 0.48 milligrams per liter. The range of methane found does not pose any known risk.

The results also showed that 2 to 9 percent of the wells tested for constituents, such as nitrate, boron, chloride, sulfate or total dissolved solids, contained levels above drinking water standards. Well owners were notified of the results. While the number of wells tested for each constituent was fairly small, the results highlight the importance of private-well owners having their water tested.

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Illinois landowners sue state over delayed fracking rules

By Bob Downing Published: November 14, 2014

From the Associated Press:

Southern Illinois landowners are suing the state for failing to implement hydraulic fracturing, calling the long-running process for adopting rules governing the oil and gas extraction method tantamount to illegal government seizure of property already leased to developers.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Wayne County on behalf of seven households, names Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller. It comes as the state faces a Nov. 15 deadline for sorting out the rules for how developers would deploy high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," under an Illinois law approved last year.

A legislative panel that has the last word on whether the rules can take effect has put off voting on them until next month as it grapples with how to ensure regulations are fair to industry while protecting the environment.

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Noble County sheriff identifies dead worker from oil well explosion

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2014

From the Associated Press today:

SUMMERFIELD, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a worker at an eastern Ohio oil well has died in an explosion at the facility.

Noble County Sheriff Stephen Hannum said in a statement Thursday that 48-year-old Norman Butler of Virginia died in the accident Wednesday afternoon near the CONSOL Energy well pad, about 40 miles north of Marietta.

Authorities say the explosion occurred near an oil well head and caused a fire, which was contained but continued to burn Thursday. Rescuers were also still on the scene late Thursday morning attempting to recover Butler’s body from the site.

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Colorado county extends drilling moratorium to mid-2018

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2014

Boulder County, Colo., has extended its moratorium on new oil and gas drilling for 3.5 years.

The action was approved this morning by the county commissioners.

The county's first moratorium was approved in February 2012. It was extended several times.

The current moratorium was to expire on Jan. 1, 2015.

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Naturally occurring methane found in northeast Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2014

From the U.S. Geological Survey today:

 

 

Two reports are posted online (Wayne County and Pike County).

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Ohio has 1,162 drilled Utica wells, 617 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2014

Ohio has approved 1,609 Utica shale permits, as of Nov. 8.

That total includes 1,162 drilled Utica wells and 617 Utica wells that are producing, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Ohio has 46 rigs at work.

A total of 38 permits were approved last week: 13 in Belmont County, 14 in Carroll County, four in Guernsey County, one in Harrison County and six in Monroe County.

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Worker killed in pumping skid accident in Ohio's Noble County

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2014

A statement today from Blue Racer Midstream:

DALLAS – Nov. 13, 2014 – Late yesterday afternoon at approximately 4:15 p.m. an accident occurred at a condensate pumping skid in Noble County, Ohio that is owned and operated by Blue Racer Midstream (“Blue Racer”). The skid is adjacent to a CONSOL Energy well pad which was not operating at the time of the accident. The accident resulted in the death of an employee of Blue Racer’s electrical contractor. The name of that employee is being withheld pending notification of family members. There were no other injuries to Blue Racer or CONSOL Energy employees or contractors.

The Noble County Sheriff’s office arrived on the scene immediately following the incident along with local fire departments, the Noble County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), and the state Fire Marshall. The site has been secured and all production wells and pipelines have been shut in and secured. Safety is our first concern. With that in mind, we will work closely and diligently with all of the proper authorities as they investigate the accident.

Everyone at Blue Racer Midstream is deeply saddened by this event. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends that have been affected. We would like to extend our appreciation to Noble County Sheriff, Stephen S. Hannum, and his team, and to local fire departments, the Noble County EMA, and the State Fire Marshall for their rapid response.

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Rail shipments of oil, petroleum products up 13 percent, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Infromation Administration today:

 

U.S. rail traffic, including carloadings of all commodity types, has increased 4.5% through October 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. Crude oil and petroleum products had the second-biggest increase in carloadings through the first 10 months of this year, with these shipments occurring in parts of the country where there is also strong demand to move coal and grain by rail. In response to shipper concerns over the slow movement of crude oil, coal, grain, ethanol, and propane, federal regulators are closely tracking service among the major U.S. freight railroad companies.

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API's Gerard supports bipartisan Senate effort on Keystone XL

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, November 12, 2014 ─ API President and CEO Jack Gerard strongly supports the latest bipartisan Senate effort to get the Keystone XL pipeline approved.

“The bipartisan Senate legislation to approve KXL reflects the will of the American people," said Gerard. "Just last week, nearly 75 percent of voters said they wanted the pipeline built. The project continues to enjoy strong bipartisan support, because six years of federal reviews have all concluded the project is environmentally sound, a boon for job creation, and a net benefit to our economy.

"Enhancing our nation's energy security through the construction of a critical infrastructure project should be a no brainer. We applaud Congress's bipartisan leadership and hope President Obama will see this as an opportunity to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis for our country's future.”

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

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American Energy affiliate purchases Oklahoma oil assets

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2014

From Oklahoma-based American Energy Partners on Wednesday:

 

AMERICAN ENERGY NONOP, LLC ACQUIRES 1,800 BOE PER DAY OF NET PRODUCTION IN A SERIES OF ACQUISITIONS, MOST SIGNIFICANTLY FROM DOUBLE EAGLE ENERGY HOLDINGS LLC, IN THE SCOOP AND STACK RESOURCE PLAYS IN SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL OKLAHOMA

OKLAHOMA CITY, NOVEMBER 12, 2014: American Energy – NonOp, LLC (AENO), an affiliate of American Energy Partners, LP, today announced that it has closed a series of transactions with Double Eagle Energy Holdings LLC (Double Eagle) and several additional parties to acquire non-operated working interests with approximately 1,800 barrels of net oil equivalent (boe) of daily production in the SCOOP and STACK resource plays in southern and central Oklahoma. The properties, which are primarily located in the counties of Canadian, Carter, Garvin, Grady, Kingfisher, Love and Stephens, were acquired for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $251 million. In conjunction with the acquisitions, AENO has secured a $250 million credit facility led by MUFG Union Bank, N.A. The credit facility has an initial borrowing base of $50 million.

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Ohio State, West Virginia share federal grant for shale research

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2014

Ohio State and West Virginia universities will share an $11 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a new shale research lab.

The new facility will be based in Morgantown.

Click  here  to read the story from last week.

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Gulfport Energy, Rice Energy looking rosy, analysts say

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2014

From New York analysts Sterne Agee:

GULFPORT ENERGY CORP. (NASDAQ: GPOR) Flash Note
RATING: BUY
Price: $53.97
Price Target: $60.00

Analysts: Tim Rezvan, CFA (212) 338-4736 / Truman Hobbs (212) 338-4767
War Chest Update: $60 Million Added for FANG Sale. GPOR Has Raised Over $475 Million in Three Months.

Our Call
Management commentary remains guarded on '15 growth, but we can't help noticing that Gulfport continues to improve its liquidity optionality. With little capital expected to be allocated to leasehold acquisition in '15 and eight rigs running now, we have reason to believe '15 activity could exceed our six-rig forecast. Weak oil prices will drag on '15 Gulf Coast Cash Flow, but legacy oil production is becoming a much smaller piece of the pie (16% of 2015E revenue).

• FANG Stake Now Full Liquidated. Gulfport sold the remaining 942,000 shares it had in Diamondback Energy (FANG, $65.56, Buy) for approx. $65/share after the close last night. We estimate net proceeds of $60 million. The company has now fully divested its equity interest in the company.

• Updating the List of Recent Capital Raises. Last night's sale follows a previous sale of FANG shares in September that raised ~$105 million net and a tack-on debt offering in August that raised ~$313 million net. We estimate $478 million has been raised in the last three months. Updating 3Q14 financials for last night's sale, we estimate Gulfport has pro forma net debt of $404 million, a 1.3 net debt/TTM EBITDA metric.

• Gulf Coast Oil Becoming Less Important as Source of Funds For Utica Development. We expect Gulfport's ~5 mb/d of Gulf Coast production in '15 to generate $55-$95 million of free cash flow, based on a crude price realization range of $70-$90/b. In aggregate, we estimate Gulf Coast oil production will represent 30% of 2014E revenue, but only 16% of 2015E revenue. Crude pricing weakness is becoming less relevant to Gulfport's earnings outlook, so weak near-term pricing should not be viewed as a limiting factor to 2015 earnings growth that is increasingly driven by the Utica Shale.

• Getting Hard Not to Be Bullish on 2015 Growth Outlook, Given Rice Energy's Gassy Utica Results. As we wrote last week, we are modeling a six-rig, 75 net well program in 2015 for Gulfport, while acknowledging management is being prudent and conservative in managing expectations for 2015 growth. Given the strong dry gas Utica Shale update provided by Rice Energy (RICE, $27.01, Buy) this morning - restricted flow rates of 16 mmcfe/d with no decline anticipated for nine months for dry gas Utica wells with 9,000' laterals - Gulfport's comparable acreage merits a robust development program in 2015. With an enviable liquidity position and best-in-basin processing and takeaway, we believe management has the operational capacity, liquidity and resource capacity to exceed our earnings (2015E EBITDA of $709 million) and production (2015E production of 509 mmcfe/d) outlook for next year. We expect formal 2015 guidance early next year.

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Algeria's upstream oil, gas in critical condition, analyst says

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2014

From GlobalData on Wednesday:

Algeria’s Upstream Oil & Gas Sector in Critical Condition, says GlobalData Analyst

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 12 November 2014 - Algeria’s latest bid round was the most unsuccessful of all four rounds undertaken since the regulatory changes of the country’s 2005 Hydrocarbon Act, and urgent action is required to revive its upstream sector, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

According to Robert Stevens, GlobalData's Lead Upstream Analyst covering the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), security threats and unfavorable fiscal terms have meant that the changes introduced in 2013, designed to make Algeria’s investment environment more attractive, have had little impact, with just four blocks awarded from the 31 on offer.

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Crude oil prices will support drilling in major U.S. shale plays

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

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

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

 

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Rice Energy has three Utica wells in Ohio in production

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2014

From Pennsylvania-based Rice Energy today on its Ohio operations:

Operational Highlights - Ohio

In September, we turned online our second and third operated Utica Shale wells in Belmont County, the Blue Thunder 10H and 12H. These wells have 9,000 feet laterals and were spaced 500 feet apart. These wells have been producing for 55 days and are currently producing 16 MMcfe/d under our restricted choke program. Current flowing casing pressures are approximately 5,500 psi per well which yields an average casing pressure decline of approximately 13 psi/d. The heat content of the gas is 1090 Btu/scf and does not require processing prior to delivery to sales. We own a 67% working interest and 54% net revenue interest in each of these wells. We are encouraged by the initial results and will continue to monitor the production and pressure decline data in order to optimize our Utica well spacing.

As previously reported, our first Utica well, the Bigfoot 9H, was placed into sales during the second quarter, and in its first five months, the Bigfoot 9H has cumulatively produced approximately 2.0 Bcfe. This well continues to flow 14 MMcfe/d under our restricted choke program with an average pressure decline of approximately 11 psi/d.

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API releases five recommended practices for offshore drilling

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2014

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, November 11, 2014 – The American Petroleum Institute announced today the publication of five recommended practices for the design, construction, and maintenance of offshore structures used in oil and natural gas drilling and production operations.

“Technological improvements mean offshore resources that were once out of reach can now be tapped, and the guidelines for those who build and maintain offshore platforms must keep pace,” said API Director of Standards David Miller. “API continuously revises existing standards and develops new ones because innovation and change are constant features of our industry.”

One of the documents released today revises an existing standard, while four are new standards being published for the first time.

API first began publishing standards in 1924 and currently has over 650 standards and technical publications. Over 100 of them have been incorporated into U.S. regulations, and they are the most widely-cited industry standards by international regulators. The program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the same body that accredits programs at several national laboratories.

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

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Pennsylvania may have nearly 530 fracking ponds, NPR says

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2014

In 2005, Pennsylvania had 11 ponds filled with liquid drilling wastes.

In 2013, that total had jumped to 529 ponds in drilling areas across the state.

The Department of Environmental Protection said it is unable to say whether the ponds are used to store fresh water or if they are holding drilling wastewater.

Ohio is considering allowing such ponds in the future.

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Duke Energy may invest in shale natural gas production

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2014

North Carolina-based Duke Energy is interested in investing in shale natural gas production, Bloomberg News reports.

The utility giant produces its electricity from equal parts natural gas, coal and nuclear.

Investing in natural gas production could lock in lower prices for Duke Energy, officials said.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Increased production would meet most LNG demand from exports

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

 

Increased natural gas production is projected to satisfy 60% to 80% of a potential increase in demand for added liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the Lower 48 states, according to recently released EIA analysis. The report, Effect of Increased Levels of Liquefied Natural Gas Exports on U.S. Energy Market, considered the long-term effects of several LNG export scenarios specified by the Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy (FE). The study also considered implications for natural gas prices, consumption, primary energy use, and energy-related emissions. Effects on overall economic growth were positive but modest. A discussion of caveats and limitations of the analysis is also included.

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EV Energy Partners wants to sell off Utica assets in January

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2014

Texas-based EV Energy Partners is preparing to sell off its Utica shale assets in eastern Ohio in 2015, along with its interest in processing facilities.

There has been "enough drilling activity and consistent result to de-risk our assets and acreage," said John Walker, the company’s executive chairman.

The value of the company’s Utica shale leases have grown significantly, he said in an earnings call with analysts and the media earlier this week.

The company intends to kick off a serious sale effort in January to sell off its joint venture acreage with Chesapeake Energy and Total SA in 10 Ohio counties, plus other leases held by the company, he said.

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FracTracker Alliance launches oil, gas tracking app

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

From the FracTracker Alliance today:

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Eclipse Resources drills 16 Utica shale wells in 3Q 2014

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

Pennsylvania-based Eclipse Resources drilled 16 Utica wells in the third quarter 2014 and put 13 Utica wells into production.

Click  here  to read more about the company's statement.

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Rice Energy files with SEC on planned midstream IPO

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

From Rice Energy late last week:

CANONSBURG, Pa., Nov. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rice Energy Inc. (NYSE: RICE) ("Rice Energy" or the "Company") today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Rice Midstream Partners LP ("Rice Midstream"), has filed a Registration Statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its proposed initial public offering of common units representing limited partner interests. Rice Midstream's initial assets are expected to consist of the Company's Pennsylvania natural gas gathering systems and related compression assets.

The number of common units to be offered and the price range for the offering have not been determined. Rice Midstream intends to apply for a listing of the common units on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "RMP." Rice Energy will own the general partner of Rice Midstream and all of its incentive distribution rights and expects to retain a majority of Rice Midstream's common and subordinated units representing limited partner interests.

Barclays Capital Inc. will act as book running manager for the proposed offering. The offering of common units will be made only by means of a prospectus. A copy of the preliminary prospectus relating to this offering may be obtained, when available, from:

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Shell purchases old Pa. smelter as possible cracker plant site

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

A division of Royal Dutch Shell has exercised its option to purchase a now-closed smelter in Beaver County, Pa., as a possible site of a multi-billion ethane cracker plant.

The company strssed that it has not yet decided if it will build the plant that would turn ethane from shale drilling into polyethylene, a key ingredient in plastics.

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

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Antero Resources gets $1.1 billion for new midstream company

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

Colorado-based Antero Resources generated $1.1 billion in its initial stock offering for Antero Midstream Partners LP.

A total of 46 million shares were sold, the Pittsburgh Business Times reports.

Click  here  to read the full story.

.

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Utica to hit 1.667 billion cubic feet per day in December, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

Federal projections are that production in the Utica shale will hit 1.667 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day by December.

That came from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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

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Record injection boosts natural gas storage levels

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Friday:

 

Working natural gas in storage ended October at 3,571 billion cubic feet (Bcf), a record increase of 2,734 Bcf during the April 1 to October 31 injection season, and within 7% of the average of the last five end-of-season storage levels. While end-October natural gas stocks are at a five-year low, increased natural gas production, which has reached an all-time high, and new pipeline projects will help meet winter natural gas demand. Higher production means that even if this winter were as cold as last year, EIA expects that natural gas storage at the end of March 2015 will be above its March 2014 level.

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EIA tracks oil, gas production by surface location, rock formation

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Monday:

 

EIA uses two differing methods to determine production from major and minor oil and natural gas plays onshore in the United States. One method takes a geographic approach, focusing on surface-level analysis, and the other method uses a geologic approach, focusing on formation-level details. The differences between these two approaches can provide information on potentially emerging plays.

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Hess Corp. outlines Utica shale projections for first time

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

Texas-based Hess Corp. has offered its first look at what it expects from Ohio's Utica shale.

The company expects to tap 40,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day by 2020 from 500 well locations in the Utica shale.

Click  to read the company's statement: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=101801&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1987946.

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Ohio EPA to hold Nov. 18 public meeting on Texas Eastern pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

From the Ohio EPA:

  Ohio EPA will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. on Nov. 18, 2014, regarding water quality impacts associated with a proposed 75.8-mile pipeline and 75-foot construction right-of-way in five eastern Ohio counties. The information session and hearing will take place in the Steubenville Public Library, Schiappa Branch, 4141 Mall Drive, Steubenville. Texas Eastern Transmission, LP is the applicant.

 

The proposed open-cut pipeline project would impact 10.4 acres of wetlands and 1,930 linear feet of streams. The project area includes: East Township (Carroll County); Hanover, Franklin and Washington Townships (Columbiana County); Brush and Mount Pleasant Townships (Jefferson County); Colerain and York Townships (Belmont County); and Switzerland Township (Monroe County).

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Production from ISIL-controlled oil fields drops less than expected

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

A press release from GlobalData:

 

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 11 November 2014 - Production declines in oil fields controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been less dramatic than expected, because ISIL has promised to protect workers and pay their wages, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

Furthermore, ISIL is able to fund its war operations primarily by controlling oil fields that it has strategically seized, gaining an estimated $2–3 million daily from oil smuggling.

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Ohio oil, gas industry provides training to 92 firefighters

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

A press release from the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program::

Ohio’s Oil and Gas Industry Trains Local Firefighters How to Safely Respond to Oilfield Incidents

Nearly 100 firefighters complete OOGEEP training; total number trained tops 1,200

 

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Shale drilling on hold in Ohio's Ashtabula County, paper says

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

From the Associated Press:

Officials in northeast Ohio say drilling in shale deposits is on hold due to decreasing oil prices.

The Star-Beacon in Ashtabula reports (http://bit.ly/1EutxFe ) that although geographic studies have shown there are large shale deposits throughout Ashtabula county, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is on hold due to economic reasons.

State Rep. John Patterson of Jefferson tells the newspaper that a decrease in oil prices has reduced the demand for fracking over the short term.

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Utica shale is paying big dividends in Ohio's Carroll County

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

The Beacon Journal on Sunday took a look at how Utica shale drilling has impacted Carroll County, the Ohio county with the most drilling.

Click  here  to link to the story.

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Chief financial officer resigns, effective Jan. 15, at Rex Energy

By Bob Downing Published: November 11, 2014

From Rex Energy:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. , Nov. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rex Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:REXX) today announced that its Chief Financial Officer, Michael Hodges , has decided to resign from his position effective January 31, 2015 . There have been no disagreements with the Board of Directors or with executive management, and Michael's departure is not related to any issues regarding financial disclosures, accounting or legal matters.

"As CFO, Michael has led a first class finance organization and overseen a number of significant capital transactions and strategic initiatives," said Chief Executive Officer Tom Stabley . "We thank him for his leadership, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."

The company has commenced an executive search to fill the Chief Financial Officer position. Mr. Hodges will remain with the company for the next several months to ensure a smooth transition. In the event that a successor to Mr. Hodges has not been appointed at the time of his anticipated departure, Curt Walker , Rex Energy's Chief Accounting Officer, will serve in a dual role and assume the interim Chief Financial Officer duties until a permanent replacement is found. Mr. Walker has been serving as the company's Chief Accounting Officer since 2012 and was the Vice President, Accounting prior to that. He has been with Rex Energy since 2007.

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Industry explores potential game changer: Water-less fracking

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 7, 2014

Fracking technology continues to evolve, with the industry exploring ways to frack shale without using water, reports Andrew Topf at Oilprice.co.

Oilprice.com: "With an average frack well requiring about 2 million gallons of water, operators are under increasing pressure to limit their usage, and some jurisdictions have suspended water withdrawals to cope with low water levels in their watersheds, the result of low rainfall and higher-than-normal temperatures.

"But what if something other than water could be used alongside sand and chemicals to break apart the layers of shale?

"While the industry has often used nitrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) in so-called 'energized' or 'foamed' frack fluids to reduce water usage, recent research has focused on the use of C02 to completely eliminate water used in fracking."

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Sterne Agee analysts raise estimates for Gulfport Energy

By Bob Downing Published: November 7, 2014

GULFPORT ENERGY CORP. (NASDAQ: GPOR) RATING: BUY
Price: $51.95
Price Target: $60.00

Analysts: Tim Rezvan, CFA (212) 338-4736 / Truman Hobbs (212) 338-4767
We Believe a 75-Well Program in '15 Can More Than Double Production. It's a Good Time to Pivot to Dry Gas. Raise Ests.

Our Call
With infrastructure and initial development-related operating snafus now largely in the rear-view mirror, we believe Gulfport's future is bright. Prolific production growth from the core of the Utica should allow Gulfport to grow '15 production by 120+% from a 75 net well program, even with restricted choke program in place to mitigate decline rates. We remain bullish on both natural gas and Gulfport's best-in-class processing and takeaway solutions in Ohio.

• Hard to Have Conviction on '15 Outlook With So Many Unknowns, But ~120% Production Growth Seems Attainable With Six Rigs... Management provided a conservative framework for investors to think about '15 growth, given oil price weakness. Our updated estimates are based on the following assumptions: six rigs drilling 75 net wells in 2015, allocated to dry gas (40%), wet gas (40%) and condensate (20%) wells. We assume one-year production, net of royalties, is 4 Bcf for dry gas wells, 560 mboe for wet gas wells (54% gas, 46% NGLs) and 320 mboe for condensate wells (1/3 gas, 1/3 condensate, 1/3 NGLs). We then assume the wells come on throughout 2015 and factor in a base decline of 30% on existing production. Our modeling leads us to 2015E production of 84.8 mboe/d (72% gas). We recognize the myriad assumptions made in the face of official guidance from the company could skew our modeling, but we believe this is a reasonable baseline expectation. While we may be overlooking the impact of unplanned downtime, we view a six-rig program as an extremely low pace of activity.

• ...But With That Said, We Would Prefer to See Gulfport Run Harder Next Year, Given Our View on Natural Gas and the Utica's Strong Single-Well Economics. We remain a bullish outlier on natural gas in 2015, with a $4.35/mcf price deck. If our estimates prove too bullish, Gulfport's strong hedge book should support growth. Including swaptions, the company has hedges on 61% of 2015E natural gas production at $4.06/mcf and 22% of 2016E gas at $4.00/mcf. With leasehold spending essentially behind them, we think the company has the experience, balance sheet and hedge protection to ramp toward ten rigs in 2015.

• Bump Up '15/'16 Estimates - Despite Cautious Management Tone, We Think 123% Y/Y Production Growth in '15 and 50% in '16 is Possible. 2014-2016 EBITDA adjusts to $366/$709/$1,086 million from $368/$701/$1,066 million. EPS adjusts to $0.40/$0.21/$0.58 from $0.22/$0.74/$1.57. Lower EPS and higher EBITDA estimates largely reflect a more conservative DD&A assumption going forward in the face of a stronger production outlook.

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Drillers get 136 million gallons of water from three Ohio lakes

By Bob Downing Published: November 7, 2014

Three drillers in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale have withdrawn nearly 136 million gallons of water from three reservoirs in 2014.

The water was taken from Piedmont, Clendening and Seneca lakes, according to a new report from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.

That is a 22.5 percent increase from 2013’s total water sales volume of 111 million gallons.

That volume is comparable to what the city of Akron pumps in four days to its 300,000 water customers.

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Antero Resources adds to Utica, Marcellus acreage

By Bob Downing Published: November 6, 2014

From Antero Resources:

 

Denver, Colorado, November 5, 2014—Antero Resources Corporation (NYSE: AR) ("Antero" or the "Company") today released its third quarter 2014 financial results. The relevant financial statements are included in Antero’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC").

Third Quarter 2014 and Other Highlights:

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Gulfport Energy reports solid 3Q 2014 in finance, operations

By Bob Downing Published: November 6, 2014

From Gulfport Energy:

OKLAHOMA CITY , Nov. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gulfport Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:GPOR) today reported financial and operational results for the third quarter of 2014 and provided an update on its 2014 activities.

Financial and Operational Highlights

Michael G. Moore , Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased to report a solid third quarter as we continue to execute on our 2014 program. Production increased 60% over the second quarter of 2014, largely driven by the strong well performance from new Utica wells placed on production during the quarter. Our managed pressure program continues to yield positive results and we look forward to seeing additional production from these wells. In addition, overall cash operating costs per unit decreased approximately 25% from the second quarter as the incremental production coming online is driving per unit costs down. During the fourth quarter of 2014, we have continued to realize strong production growth and anticipate bringing online 14 to 20 wells, which includes nine wells that have been brought online to date. Our strong performance in the second half of 2014 has set up the Company for meaningful growth in 2015."

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Analysts offer updates on Gulfport Energy 3Q 2014 reports

By Bob Downing Published: November 6, 2014

From SterneAgee analysts in New York:


GULFPORT ENERGY CORP. (NASDAQ: GPOR) Flash Note
RATING: BUY
Price: $48.54
Price Target: $60.00

Analysts: Tim Rezvan, CFA (212) 338-4736 / Truman Hobbs (212) 338-4767
Growth Visibility and Unit Cost Reductions: Plenty to Like From Strong 3Q Earnings. Gulfport Gets its Mojo Back.

Our Call
As we have said in recent weeks, it's good to be gassy. GPOR shares should respond well to strong execution toward cost reductions and production growth guidance. Strong 3Q operating results provide quantitative proof of operational efficiencies management has discussed all year. Cash unit costs declined 31% q/q, pricing continues to buck expectations from the gassy Utica Shale, and the 4Q production outlook signals the much debated 2014 production growth outlook is well within reach.

• 3Q Earnings. Adjusted EPS of $0.13 exceeded us at ($0.02) and consensus at $0.05. We calculate adjusted EBITDA of $94.5 million, which is above us at $90 million, but below consensus of $96 million. Variance to our numbers came from slightly stronger realizations, sharply lower expense items, and a lower effective tax rate.

• Expense Items Come in Better Almost Across the Board. With Gulfport's production streams trending gassier each quarter, we have been waiting to see the subsequent decrease in unit expense to reflect lower operating costs associated with gas production. We saw the inflection point in a big way this quarter. All-in unit costs of $30.13/boe were 15% below our estimate and cash unit costs of $11.49/boe were 10% below our estimate. Every operating expense item except for Midstream, Processing, and Marketing came in below expectations. Impressively, LOE of $3.05/boe decreased 41% sequentially and G&A decreased 46% sequentially.

• Production/Pricing. 3Q production averaged 42.3 mboe/d (71% gas), a figure which was pre-announced in mid October. Pricing came in generally stronger than expected in the quarter. Natural gas realizations, including the impact of hedges, averaged $3.36/mcf, 4% above expectations, while oil realizations averaged $101.84/b, 7% above expectations. NGL realizations of $47.88/b were 2% below expectations.

• Operations Update - Utica Activity Now at Eight Rigs. The company drilled 31 and turned to sales 19 Utica Shale wells in the quarter from a program that was bumped up to eight rigs. 4Q activity is expected to moderate, with 14-20 wells expected to be turned to sales. We hope to get clarity on the backlog of wells waiting on completion anticipated into year-end on tomorrow's call.

• Oft-Scrutinized 2014 Production Guidance Appears Attainable, Assuming Restricted Choke Program Works. As it has done in recent quarters, the company provided some color on 4Q production to date. October volumes averaged 55.9 mboe/d and early November (1st through 4th) averaged 59.3 mboe/d. This is tracking above our estimate of 56.8 mboe/d for 4Q14 and is consistent with production for the first half of October, which averaged 53.4 mboe/d. While 4Q volumes appear to be trending toward 60 mboe/d, we note that 4Q has an early skew to well completions. Of the 14-20 wells planned to be turned to sales in the quarter, nine have already come on line. With a light completion schedule in the back half of the quarter, the degree to which the company exceeds guidance will depend on how flat the decline curves of these wells are. We hope to get an update on this topic on Thursday's call.

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Mexico's new licensing should be attractive in new bidding

By Bob Downing Published: November 6, 2014

Fron GlobalData today:

 

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 6 November 2014 - While the specific terms of Mexico’s new contractual frameworks for its oil and gas industry are yet to be announced, the regime appears an attractive one and should be conducive to active bidding, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

Mexico's first licensing round is rapidly approaching, with bids for shallow water areas formally scheduled for the first half of this month. Round 1 is being staggered, with areas offered in the following order: shallow water, extra-heavy oil, Chicontepec and unconventional, onshore, and deepwater.

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Department of Justice, states subpoena Chesapeake records

By Bob Downing Published: November 6, 2014

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy has gotten subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Justice and unnamed states over questions concerning royalty payments to landowners.

The company said it will respond to the subpoenas, according to filings with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

Click  here  to read the story.

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Sunoco Logistics to invest $2.5 billion in Mariner East 2

By Bob Downing Published: November 6, 2014

From Sunoco Logistics today:

SUNOCO LOGISTICS TO INVEST APPROXIMATELY $2.5 BILLION

FOR MARINER EAST 2

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Mendocino County is first California community to enact ban

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2014

From a press release today:

MENDOCINO, CA: Last night, Mendocino County, CA, residents adopted the first-in-the-state Community Bill of Rights law banning fracking by a vote of 67%. The initiative was brought forward by residents in partnership with San Francisco-based Global Exchange.

 

California’s unending shortage of water and its location – situated above major earthquake faults – make fracking of significant concern to residents. The fracking process requires millions of gallons of water, and fracking and frack wastewater injections wells, used to store the toxic wastewater produced from fracking, have been tied to earthquakes in Ohio and Oklahoma. It has also been linked to the contamination of drinking water. And, while many claim that shale gas is a “cleaner” fuel than coal or oil, studies are finding that fracking is a major global warming polluter.

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Rex Energy to grow production 30 to 40 percent in 2015

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2014

Pennsylvania-based Rex Energy Corp. earlier this week said it intends to boost production in 2015 by 30 to 40 percent.

At the same time, the company only plans to spend $325 million to $375 million on capital expenditures.

The company is an active player in Ohio's Utica shale.

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

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Texas leads nation in oil-gas jobs production jobs

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

 

Texas added more than 19,000 new private sector jobs in oil and natural gas production in 2013, almost six times the number added in New Mexico, the next highest state for oil and natural gas production jobs added last year. The extraction, drilling, and support jobs categories are a measure of on-the-ground production jobs, and do not reflect the many jobs at oil and natural gas corporate headquarters based in Texas.

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Chesapeake is interested in Utica shale crude oil area

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2014

Chesapeake Energy Corp. remains very intrigued by the crude oil potential of Ohio’s Utica shale.

The Oklahoma-based energy giant "continues to be pleased" by a horizontal well in Tuscarawas County that is producing more crude oil than expected, company senior vice president Chris Doyle said Wednesday in a third-quarter earnings call with analysts and the media.

The Parker well in Perry Township produced 14,714 barrels of oil from April through June, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ records.

Doyle said the oil is flowing naturally, although the company may add mechanical lift in the near future to improve oil flow from the well.

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Antero Midstream raises $1 billion in initial stock offering

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2014

Antero Midstream Partners LP, the pipeline partnership of Antero Resources Corp., rose in its first day of trading after raising $1 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, Bloomberg News reports.

Click  here to read the full story: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-04/antero-midstream-raises-tkt-million-in-u-s-pipeline-ipo.html

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Corbett out, Wolf is as Pennsylvania's governor

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2014

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is out and challenger Tom Wolf is in.

NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania looks at what the upcoming political change might mean for energy and the environment in Pennsylvania.

Click  here  to read the full story.

 

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Stone Energy to pay $177,500 fine for West Virginia damages

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2014

From the U.S. EPA on Tuesday:

PHILADELPHIA (November 4, 2014) – In a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Stone Energy Corporation will restore streams damaged by the company’s unauthorized discharge of dredged or fill material in Wetzel County, West Virginia.

Stone Energy has also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $177,500.

The alleged violations of the Clean Water Act occurred during construction of two Marcellus Shale well pads and access roads. Without first obtaining the required permit, the company filled in approximately 680 feet of tributaries to Fishing Creek at the Weekley Well Pad, and 420 feet of Duerrs Run as well as an associated tributary at the Maury Well Pad. Both Duerrs Run and Fishing Creek are part of the Ohio River watershed.

Stone’s failure to apply for and receive a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before dredged or fill material, such as dirt or stone, was discharged into the waterways resulted in the violation. This permit requirement protects important aquatic resources, and preserves their environmental, recreational, and economic functions, including flood control, water filtration, and wildlife habitat.

In an administrative settlement with EPA, Stone Energy has agreed to conduct a combination of stream mitigation and restoration of the affected streams. As part of the settlement, Stone Energy did not admit liability for the alleged violations.

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act requires anyone wishing to discharge fill material into wetlands and streams to obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For more information about Clean Water Act protection of wetlands and waterways, visit http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/
 

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Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale celebrates its 10th anniversary

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2014

Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale is now 10 years old.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review takes a look at the changes that have occurred over 10 years in Pennsylvania.

Click  here  to read the story.

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Texas community in Barnett shale votes to ban fracking

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2014

Voters in the city of Denton, Texas, have banned hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

It is the first community in Texas to take such an action in a much-watched election.

The proposal was approved with 59 percent of the vote.

Denton is surrounded by the Barnett shale.

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Athens is fifth Ohio community to pass rights-based fracking ban

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2014

A press release today from the CELDF on the Athens, Ohio, vote:

ATHENS, OHIO: Last night, residents of Athens, OH, overwhelmingly asserted their rights to clean air, water, and to local self-governance, banning fracking and frack wastewater injection wells through the adoption of a Community Bill of Rights. They join a growing number of communities across the U.S. that are uniting to assert their rights to protect themselves and create a sustainable future.

 

Athens residents adopted their rights-based fracking ban with 78% of the vote. They join Yellow Springs, Oberlin, Mansfield, and Broadview Heights, OH, which also adopted Community Bills of Rights banning fracking, beginning in 2012.

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Ohio voters reject three, approve one community bills of rights

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2014

Ohio voters on Tuesday approved one community bill of rights and rejected three similar proposals.

Athens city voters approved a community bill of rights that would ban hydraulic fracturing or fracking within city limits.

It was approved by 78 percent of the voters in unofficial final returns.

The issue was put on the ballot by the g5ass-roots Athens Community Bill of Rights Committeee.

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Ohio has 1,148 drilled Utica wells, 611 Utica wells producing

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2014

Ohio has approved 1,581 Utica shale permits, as of Nov. 1.

That total includes 1,148 Utica wells that have been drilled and 611 Utica wells that are producing, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Ohio has 46 rigs at work.

A total of 17 new permits were approved: one in Belmont County, one in Carroll County, three in C9olumbiana County, four in Guernsey County, six in Harrison County, one on Jefferson County and one in Tuscarawas County.

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GreenHunter Resources releases 3Q 2014 information

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2014

Texas-based GreenHunter Resources today released its third-quarter 2014 operations and financial reports.

Click  here  to see the company's press release.

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Pipeline workshop scheduled Nov. 19 in Stark County

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2014

From a press release received on Monday:

 

A COMPARISON OF TRUTHS AND MYTHS ABOUT OIL AND GAS PIPELINES TO BE TOPIC AT NOV. 19 EVENT IN STARK COUNTY

CANTON, Ohio (Nov. 3, 2014) – Executives, attorneys and other professionals involved with the oil and gas industry will cover the facts and myths about pipelines, both locally and nationally, at "Pipeline 101," an event to be presented by the Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at Tozzi’s on 12th in Canton.

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New CNG fueling station in Findlay in northwest Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2014

IGS CNG Services and Speedway LLC have opened a compressed natural gas fueling station in Findlay in northwest Ohio.

It is off state Route 99 off Interstate 75.

It is the ninth CNG station developed by IGS CNG Services in Ohio and West Virginia. Two others are under construction and six are already operating.

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West Virginia landfills to measure radiation from drill cuttings

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2014

Installation of equipment to measure radioactivity of drill cuttings going into West Virginiza landfills is nearly complete.

The equipment is being installed at swix landfills, reports the Department of Environmental protection.

Under legislation passed earlier, such equipment must be in place by January 2015 and limits on drill cuttings going into landfills has been lifted.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Opposition growing in New Jersey to PennEast Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2014

Opposition to the PennEast Pipeline is growing in New Jersey, acording to NPR's StateImpact Pennsyalvania.

The pipeline would carry Marcellus shale gas to New Jersey.

Click here  to read the full story. 

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Shell Midstream announces pricing of initial stock offering

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2014

From Shell last week:

Shell Midstream Partners, L.P., a limited partnership formed by Royal Dutch Shell, announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 40,000,000 common units representing limited partner interests at $23.00 per common unit.

The underwriters of the offering have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 6,000,000 common units from Shell Midstream Partners. The common units will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on October 29, 2014 under the ticker symbol “SHLX.” The offering is expected to close on or about November 3, 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

At the closing of this offering, the public will own a 29.0 percent limited partner interest in Shell Midstream Partners, or a 33.4 percent limited partner interest if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional common units.

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Shell to hold two cracker meetings on Nov. 13 in Midland, Pa.

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

Shell Chemicals is holding two public meetings on Nov. 13 on the proposed cracker plant in Pennsylvania's Beaver County.

The meetings will be at at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Both will be held at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in Midland, Pa.

Shell announced its interest in early 2012 to build the proposed cracker plant to turn ethane from the Utica and Marcellus shales into polyethylene for plastics.

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USGS: 2011 Colorado quake likely triggered by injection wells

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

A moderate earthquake in 2011 on the border between Colorado and New Mexico was likely triggered by drilling wastes from injection wells, the U.S. Geological Survey reported last week.

The quake measured 5.3.

It is the second largest quake triggered by injection well fluids.

Click   here  to read the full story.

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Gulfport Energy is boosting its Utica shale production

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

Oklahoma-based Gulfport Energy is boosting its production in the Utica shale in Ohio and West Virginia, according to a story on Sundat in The Okalhoman.

The com-pany has leased 184,500 acres in the Utica play.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Dominion asks FERC to begin review of Atlantic Coast Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

From Dominion on Friday:

 

Four major U.S. energy companies – Dominion, Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) and AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) – plan to build and own the pipeline, which would run from Harrison County, W.Va., southeast through Virginia with an extension to Chesapeake, Va., and then south through eastern North Carolina to Robeson County. The pipeline would help meet the growing clean energy needs of Virginia and North Carolina by providing direct access to the burgeoning natural gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

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U.S. gas prices move with Brent, not WTI crude oil

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

From the U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

Recent increases in U.S. crude oil production have sparked discussion on how this increase in supply will be used by U.S. refiners given current limitations on exporting domestic crude. On October 30, EIA released a study that explored the relationships between crude oil and gasoline prices.

Read More ›

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EnLink completes purchase of Gulf Coast pipeline assets

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

From EnLink Midstream companies today:

DALLAS,November 3, 2014 — The EnLink Midstream companies, EnLink Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE:ENLK) (the Partnership) and EnLink Midstream, LLC (NYSE:ENLC) (the General Partner) (together “EnLink”), today announced that the Partnership completed its previously announced acquisition of Gulf Coast natural gas pipeline assets including the Bridgeline system (“the natural gas assets”) from Chevron Pipe Line Company and Chevron Midstream Pipelines LLC.

 

“The acquisition of these highly strategic assets builds upon our franchise position in the Louisiana market and provides a substantial platform for growth in an area we know well,” said Barry E. Davis, EnLink Midstream President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our core capabilities and strong financial position allow us to take advantage of growing demand in South Louisiana’s industrial, refining and petrochemical marketplace. We look forward to providing high quality midstream services to our customers, both existing and new.”

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Two companies to burn gas to produce electricity in Carroll County

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

Carroll County now has two companies that want to generate electricity by burning natural gas from the Utica shale.

Advanced Power Services' Carroll County Energy LLC wants to build a $900 million plant north of Carrollton.

The plant could produce 700 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 700,000 houses.

That plan was unveiled in July 2013 by the Boston-based company.

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Leesville processing plant to begin operations in mid-November

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

Look for the new natural gas-processing plant at Leesville in southwest Carroll County to begin operations in mid-November.

That report came from Carroll County Economic Development director Araon Dobbs last week at a public meeting.

The company behind the plant is Utica East Ohio Midstream.

It is a partnership involving M3 Midstream, Access Midstream and EV Energy Partners.

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Oklahoma taking new look at injection wells, earthquakes

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

Oklahoma is taking a closer look at injection wells and what officials call a swarm of earthquakes.

The Arbuckle formation that houses about 3,000 saltwater injection wells is coming under scrutiny.

The issue is whether the injection wells are being drilled too deep into basement rock and that is more likely to trigger earthquakes.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Pennsylvania congressman wants investigation of drilling wastes

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

A Pennsylvania congressman is pushing for a federal investigation of how states monitor wastes generated in shale gas drilling.

That effort is being pushed by U.S. Rep.  Matt Cartwright, D-Schuykill County.

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

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Energy Transfer, Phillips 66 team up on Bakken pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

Energy Transfer and Phillips 66 are teaming up to build two crude oil pipelines in North Dakota's Bakken shale.

Click here  to read the announcement that came out last week.

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Argentina passes shale-friendly energy law, seeks investment

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2014

Argentina's Congress last week passed a shale-friendly energy law aimed at luring foreign investment in its promising oil and gas drilling.

Click  here  to read the full story from Bloomberg.

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Blue Racer's Berne processing plant likely to open in November

By Bob Downing Published: November 1, 2014

Blue Racer Midstream's new cryogenic natural gas-processing plant at Berne in Ohio's Monroe County is almost ready to open, according to reporter Tom Knox of Columbus Business First.

The first unit, capable of handling 200 million cubic feet per day, is expected to begin operations in November.

A second unit capable of an additional 200 million cubic feet per day is under construction and could be ready by April 2015.

A third unit is planned.

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