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Ohio Utica Shale

Ohio groups support tougher air limits on oil, gas operations

By Bob Downing Published: November 30, 2015

From a Monday press release:

Ohioans support tougher air pollution standards on oil and gas operations

New standard will help safeguard public health in Ohio while mitigating climate change and creating jobs 

Mansfield, Ohio - On Monday eco-groups, labor voices and a local official discussed support for the US EPA’s proposed standard to cut methane and air pollution from new and modified sources in the oil and gas industry. The groups highlighted over 700,000 comments submitted across the US in support of the EPA standard. 71,000 of those supportive comments were submitted from Ohioans. Approximately 30 detailed,  personal testimonies of Ohioans were delivered to the EPA during the agency’s own public hearing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and during two citizen hearings in Barnesville and Carrollton, Ohio. Ohioans still have four days to submit comments to the EPA before the comment period comes to a close on December 4th.

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Drilling boom hits speed bump in Ohio's Utica Shale

By Bob Downing Published: November 30, 2015

The Columbus Dispatch on Friday took a look at the slowdown in drilling in eastern Ohio's Utica Shale because of low commodity prices.

Click  here  to read the story.

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Natural gas industry hobbled by low prices, pipeline opposition

By Bob Downing Published: November 30, 2015

From the Cleveland-based IEEFA last week:

The U.S. natural gas industry is facing a daunting set of “new normals” that in combination are presenting significant obstacles for infrastructure expansion.

These shifting dynamics, well documented in a new report by the global engineering firm Black & Veatch, are on especially sharp display today in New England, where several controversial new natural gas pipelines are on the drawing boards.

And Black & Veatch isn’t the only putting out reports that has the natural gas industry worried. Just last week, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued a study concluding that additional pipeline capacity is not needed to preserve electric system reliability in that region. Healey’s report was praised by environmental advocates and criticized by pipeline development companies—one clear manifestation of a new normal that includes the importance of growing opposition to such project.

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Shell Chemical LP to expand alpha olefin production in La.

By Bob Downing Published: November 30, 2015

From Shell Chemical today:

“This important investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the growth potential in chemicals,” said Graham van’t Hoff, Executive Vice President for Royal Dutch Shell plc’s global Chemicals business. “With the investment in new, profitable facilities, Shell Chemicals is well placed to respond to increased global customer demand for linear alpha olefins. We have strong technology, advantaged ethylene feedstock from nearby Norco and Deer Park sites, and operational flexibility to allow us to respond to market conditions.”

Construction of the new unit will begin in the first quarter of 2016.  The new capacity brings the total AO production at Shell’s Geismar site to more than 1.3 million tonnes per annum; the site, with a strong track record of reliable and safe performance, also produces alcohols, ethoxylates, ethylene oxide and ethylene glycols. 

The Shell Geismar Chemical Plant is located next to the Mississippi River, about 20 miles south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a stand-alone chemicals manufacturing plant, operated by Shell Chemical LP. In addition to Geismar, Shell produces AO at Stanlow in the UK, operated by Essar Oil (UK) Ltd on Shell’s behalf as part of an integrated oil refinery and petrochemicals site.

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U.S. oil, natural gas reserves increased in 2014, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: November 30, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

U.S. crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves increased by 9% to 39.9 billion barrels, and natural gas proved reserves increased by 10% to 389 trillion cubic feet in 2014, according to EIA's U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves report. U.S. crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves reached the highest level since 1972, and natural gas proved reserves surpassed last year's record level.

Proved reserves are volumes of oil and natural gas that geologic and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable under existing economic and operating conditions. Because they depend on economic factors, proved reserves shrink or grow as commodity prices and extraction costs change. EIA's estimates of proved reserves are based on an annual survey of domestic oil and natural gas well operators.

Texas had the largest increase in proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate, representing 60% of the nation's total net increase in 2014. This increase was driven by development of tight oil plays (e.g., Wolfcamp, Bone Spring) in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale play. North Dakota had the second-largest increase, 362 million barrels, which came mostly from the Bakken tight oil play in the Williston Basin.

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Pa. company wants to pipe water from Ohio River for fracking

By Bob Downing Published: November 27, 2015

A Pennsylvania-based drilling company, PennEnergy Resources LLC, wants to build a pipeline to transport water from the Ohio River to Beaver County, Pa., for hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

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EXCO Resources to focus on Haynesville Shale in early 2016

By Bob Downing Published: November 27, 2015

From EXCO Resources this week:

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EXCO Resources, Inc. (NYSE: XCO) (“EXCO” or the “Company”) on Wednesday announced that the Company is executing on its disciplined capital allocation approach to ensure the highest and best uses of capital. EXCO will be selectively developing its asset base during the first six months of 2016, while deferring a significant amount of the Company’s drilling inventory until commodity prices improve.

Capital Budget Overview

EXCO’s Board of Directors has approved an operated drilling and completion capital budget of $70 million for drilling nine gross wells through June 2016 and completing 18 gross wells through August 2016, a reduction of $101 million, or 59%, as compared to operated drilling and completion capital expenditures of $171 million through August 2015. Development during 2016 will be focused on natural gas drilling and completion activities in North Louisiana and East Texas where EXCO is targeting 20% to 35% rates of return.

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Oil train terminal would result in derailments every two years

By Bob Downing Published: November 27, 2015

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — A proposal to build the largest oil train terminal in the Pacific Northwest could result in a derailment every two years and an oil spill from a derailment once every 12, according to a draft analysis by a Washington state agency.

The document, released Tuesday, indicates that most fire departments along the oil trains’ rail route are not prepared for a spill or fire that could accompany a derailment. Out of the 12 departments that responded to the survey request, only one indicated its firefighters are trained and equipped for such an incident.

Further, only half the departments said they knew the locations of BNSF Railway’s specialized firefighting equipment closest to their jurisdiction. And while three-quarters of them reported having access to personal protective equipment, firefighting foam and foam applicators, only a quarter said they had access to oil spill containment booms.

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North Dakota city sets deadline to eliminate 'man camps'

By Bob Downing Published: November 27, 2015

Fom the Associated Press this week:

Williston’s City Commission has set a July 1 deadline for the elimination of oil field crew camps or man camps within city limits, but the issue still might not be resolved.

Commissioners on Tuesday voted 3-2 to approve an ordinance setting the deadline, after debate about its impact on the energy industry. However, Mayor Howard Klug said he will push for an amendment that could allow some temporary housing.

“It will be at the direction of the mayor, because I made a promise to get it done,” he told the Williston Herald after the meeting.

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Washington state drafting new rules for crude oil trains

By Bob Downing Published: November 27, 2015

From the Associated Press earlier this week:

State regulators are working on new rules that will guide the transportation of crude oil across Washington state.

The Department of Ecology is developing a rule that will require facilities to give the state advance weekly notice about crude oil shipments they receive. Pipelines would be required to provide biannual notice.

The agency is also figuring out what type of information the state will disclose to emergency responders, local and tribal governments and the public.

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U.S. gasoline prices on Thanskgiving are lowest in 7 years

By Bob Downing Published: November 25, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

U.S. retail regular-grade gasoline prices continue to decline, averaging $2.09 per gallon (g) as of November 23, 73 cents lower than this time last year and the lowest heading into a Thanksgiving holiday weekend since 2008.

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Tags: gasoline , retail prices , transportation

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Shale drilling fuels lower gasoline prices for Ohio motorists

By Bob Downing Published: November 25, 2015

From Energy in Depth-Ohio, a pro-drilling trade group:

by Jackie Stewart
jackie@energyindepth.org, Canfield, Ohio

Ohioans have much to be thankful for this year. Not only has shale investment brought over $33 billion to the state (creating thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenues), but this holiday season, travelers can be especially thankful for cheap prices at the pump.

Today, drivers from across the state have seen gas prices have fall to six year lows, dipping under $1.50 in some areas, a drop of more than 20 cents in just one week. In the Cincinnati area, gas prices have dropped 62 percent! That’s not the only good news this holiday season, either. The drop in gas prices means consumers will save a reported $7 billion at the pump during this holiday season, or about $40 per driver. So, feel free to invite your in-laws over for Thanksgiving, as this saving means Thanksgiving dinner for 8 people, according to the Farm Bureau. The Cincinnati Enquirer quoted Patrick DeHaan, a petroleum analyst for Gasbuddy, who said,

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Utica-Marcellus growth continues, ScottMadden reports

By Bob Downing Published: November 25, 2015

From a recent press release:

ScottMadden, Inc., one of North America’s leading energy consulting firms, recently released its latest edition of The Energy Industry Update. This semi-annual publication offers our inside view of major events and emerging trends in the energy industry.

 

This edition of ScottMadden’s Energy Industry Update looks at the natural gas industry, in particular how ever-increasing gas resources can find adequate infrastructure to make their way to market.

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EID cites activist behavior at hearings on Ohio forest drilling

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2015

From Energy in Depth-Ohio on federal hearings to allow drilling in the Wayne National Forest in southern Ohio:

by Jackie Stewart
jackie@energyindepth.org, Canfield, Ohio

Last week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held three public meetings regarding leasing federal minerals located in the Wayne National Forest (WNF). The meetings were held over a course of three days: the first meeting took place in Marietta, followed by Athens, and Ironton, Ohio. EID attended all three meetings in their entirety and witnessed, firsthand, how radical activists made a mockery of the opportunity to give public comment.

If the BLM thought the Athens meeting would go similarly to the first meeting in Marietta, where impacted citizens took the time to ask questions and submit public comment, they were sadly mistaken. In fact, the second meeting in Athens, a known anti-fracking activist hot bed, was the exact opposite of the previous night in Marietta. In fact, activists’ behavior got so out of hand at the Marietta meeting that BLM had to shut down the meeting early.

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GlobalData says Egyptian gas field could boost other drilling

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2015

From a press release today:

Egypt’s Zohr Gas Field Could Boost Other East Mediterranean Projects, says GlobalData

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 24 November 2015 - With the giant Zohr gas field in Egypt expected to come online by 2018, and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi agreeing to remove any political obstacles to Eni commercializing the field, the stage is being set for a wider regional development plan catalyzing other projects in the east Mediterranean, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest analysis indicates that Zohr will yield an internal rate of return of 25%, assuming a flat gas price of $5.88 per thousand cubic feet and recoverable reserves of 22 trillion cubic feet (tcf), justifying a fast-track development. 

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BP looking to sell Alabama petrochemical facility

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2015

From a press release last week:

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Reserves of oil and natural gas grew in 2014, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2015

Reserves of oil and natural gas in the United States shot higher last year, according to government data released Monday, setting records that reveal the extent to which a decade-long drilling boom has transformed the energy landscape.

Proved reserves of natural gas rose by 34.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf), or 10 percent, to a record high of 388.8 tcf in 2014, while oil reserves rose 3.4 billion barrels, or nine percent, to 39.9 billion barrels, the highest since 1972, the Energy Information Administration said in a statement.

The EIA describes proved reserves as oil and gas that can be extracted using current technology and under today's economic conditions.

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Houston law firm to close Pittsburgh office on Dec. 31

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2015

A Houston-based law firm s closing its Pitstburgh office after six years, due to the decline in oil prices and the slowdown in drilling, the Pisttburgh Business Times reports.

The Dec. 31 closure was announced by Burleson LLP.

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EQT in legal battle with Pennsylvania over leaky impoundment

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2015

Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp. has been battling with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Agency since 2012 over a leaky impoundment in Tioga County.

Now the case goes to the state Supreme Court.

Click  here  to read more from the Baker Hostetler law firm.

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Chesapeake to pay $1.4 million fine for Pennsylvania landslide

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2015

From a Monday press release:

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Ohio has 1,645 drilled Utica wells, 1,118 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2015

Ohio has approved 2,085 Utica Shale permits, as of Nov. 21.

That total includes 1,645 drilled Utica wells and 1,118 producing Utica wells, said the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

There are 19 rigs working in Ohio's Utica Shale.

Six new Utica permits were approved: five in Belmont County and one in Carroll County.

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33 U.S. energy firms have filed for bankruptcy in 2015

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2015

It started on Jan. 3, 2015, with WBH Energy Partners and continued through Nov. 5, 2015, with Escalara Resources Co.

Through Nov. 18, there have been 36 U.S. energy companies that have filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015, due to low commodity prices and heavy debt, according to a new report from the Dallas-based Haynes & Boone law firm.

The total debt of those firms, it said, was about $13 billion.

A total of 16 of those firms filed for bankruptcy in Texas, plus six in Canada, four in Delaware and four in Colorado, it said.

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Dominion donates $1 million to 119 groups in 12 states

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2015

From a pres release on Monday:

Nov 23, 2015

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Resources announced today that it is providing $1 million in grants through its charitable foundation to help feed, shelter and care for people in need across 12 states this holiday season. Donations will be shared by 119 non-profit organizations that are providing essential community services in areas of housing, food security, medicine and medical services. The Critical Community Needs grants will be awarded by the Dominion Foundation. 

"The grants will support proven programs that provide the basic necessities we all need to survive and thrive, such as safe shelter, nutritious meals and medical care," said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and CEO. "These essential programs strengthen the fabric of our communities by improving lives and providing hope for people in need."

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Energy-related carbon dioxide drop in nearly every state

By Bob Downing Published: November 24, 2015

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

The United States has a diverse energy landscape that is reflected in differences in state-level emissions profiles. Since 2005, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell in 48 states (including the District of Columbia) and rose in 3 states. EIA's latest analysis of state-level energy-related CO2 emissions includes data in both absolute and per capita terms, including details by fuel and by sector.

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Tags: CO2 (carbon dioxide) , emissions , states

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Earthworks films Ohio drilling emissions with infrared camera

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

BARNESVILLE: Peter Dronkers of Earthworks makes invisible air pollution from shale drilling visible to everyone.
The viewfinder of Dronkers’ special infrared gas-recording camera shows billowing clouds or wispy leaks.
What appears in the videos as wind-blown plumes of smoke are really pollutants that are invisible to the naked eye.
Earthworks, a national environmental group based in Washington, D.C., quietly came into Ohio during the summer with its camera to determine if shale drilling, natural gas processing and transportation are fouling the air and sickening Ohio residents.
The $100,000 optical gas imaging thermographer camera can detect up to 20 different gases that environmentalists say could pose a health threat to those living in Ohio’s Utica Shale, the region in eastern Ohio with natural gas and liquids.
Earthworks initially posted eight Ohio videos to YouTube. It returned recently to film seven additional Ohio sites that will be posted soon.
The group has been recording emissions from shale sites in Ohio and six other states.
Such emissions increase the likelihood that air pollution problems will be found, said Nadia Steinzor of Earthworks’ Citizens Empowerment Project.
Her group and the Ohio Environmental Council are pushing a new grass-roots effort to determine how big a threat shale drilling and related emissions are to neighbors in Ohio.
The Ohio videos show “lots of intense emissions that are, in some cases, continuing unabated,” Steinzor said. “The emissions we’re seeing in Ohio are significant.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to impose new rules to cut air emissions from new drilling facilities by 40 percent, starting next year. The cuts could reduce methane releases by 400,000 tons and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 180,000 tons a year.
The industry is opposed, saying such action is unneeded. The agency is accepting public comment through Dec. 4. The proposed cuts would not affect existing facilities.
Energy in Depth, a pro-drilling trade group that spoke on behalf of the companies whose sites were examined, also isn’t impressed by what Earthworks is doing.
“It sounds like a solution in search of a problem,” said Jackie Stewart, a spokeswoman for Energy in Depth-Ohio. “It sounds like a lot of smoke and mirrors … and very unscientific and of very limited use.”
Residents worried
Landowners Jeff and Kerri Bond said they are troubled by the emissions spewing from the wells on their 176-acre property near Seneca Lake in Noble County. They’re convinced those emissions — captured on video during visits by the Earthworks crew in July and October — triggered headaches, nausea, dizziness and other medical problems and killed a dozen trees in the yard this year because of chemical-laced morning mists.
There are 15 well pads and a compressor station within two miles of their house, said Kerri Bond.
“There is a chemical smell in the air, an acidy smell,” said 60-year-old Jeff Bond, who lives in Seneca Township.
The couple keep their windows closed to keep the smells out.
“We want out,” he said.
In all, Earthworks has posted about 150 infrared videos from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, California and New York.
The videos from Noble, Carroll, Columbiana and Belmont counties provide “a snapshot of what’s being released,” said Alan Septoff of Earthworks.
It is part of an initiative by Earthworks to prove that such air pollution is a real problem and to help drilling communities with such problems to fight back, Steinzor said.
Such emissions can sicken neighbors and those living downwind of the wells, processing plants, compression stations or pipelines, Septoff said.
The Ohio emissions include VOCs that can affect human health and contribute to unhealthful smoggy air, said Paul Feezel, president of Carroll Concerned Citizens, a grass-roots group in Carroll County southeast of Canton.
Ohio activist John Morgan, 69, of Beallsville said the videos are “a visual way to show people that something is going on, that we have a problem here.”
Finding emissions
The Earthworks program in Ohio is being slowly expanded to include collecting air samples for analysis, but that is costly, Steinzor said.
During a recent tour of Ohio’s Belmont County, Colorado-based Dronkers found significant air emissions from a compressor station outside Barnesville and at nearby wells where drillers are getting natural gas, oil and other liquids.
A MarkWest Energy Partners’ compressor station produced what Dronkers described as a fairly thick plume that was visible through his camera up to 800 feet away from the plant’s six stacks.
He estimated the emissions compared to the diesel exhaust of more than 50 idling semis.
Steinzor said the plant is an issue because it released emissions when it was filmed in July and was still releasing emissions on a subsequent visit several months later.
From a ridge outside Barnesville, the camera — using its infrared imaging — showed a hot spot on a flare that was burning natural gas at a Utica Shale well drilled by Hess, a New York-based energy company.
A small leak was detected from a valve at a nearby Blue Racer Midstream gas-gathering facility outside Barnesville. Dronkers stood just outside the fence and recorded the thermal images. “There’s not anything unusual here, but there are emissions,” he said.
There was no sign of leaks at another injection well for drilling wastes off state Route 800 outside Barnesville. “Nothing,” Dronkers said. “It’s as clean as a whistle.”
The biggest problem for Earthworks is getting close enough to the facilities while on public roads without trespassing, Steinzor said.
“We’re making the pollution visible to regulators,” Steinzor said. “It cannot be ignored. We force them to be more responsive. … Such citizen monitoring is becoming more and more important as state regulatory agencies face budget cuts.”

SIDEBAR:

The infrared gas-finding camera used by Earthworks can detect certain volatile organic compounds that can affect human health, plus methane, the main ingredient in natural gas and a key global-warming gas.
It is tuned to the infrared wavelengths absorbed by gases, including methane and carcinogenic benzene.
The camera can detect about 20 VOCs if the emissions exceed the minimum detection leak rates. That includes such chemicals as toluene, xylene, propane, hexane, ethane and butane.
They can cause respiratory problems, nosebleeds, headaches, nausea and other health problems.
The camera cannot determine the exact makeup of the emissions, the concentrations or the volume of the air pollution, said Nadia Steinzor of Earthworks, a national eco-group.
The infrared camera is also used by the energy industry and some federal-state regulators.
In some cases, Earthworks has taken its videos to regulatory agencies seeking corrective actions.
— Bob Downing

 

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Here is Nexus Pipeline statement on beginning federal review

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

Here is the press release on Friday from Nexus Gas Transmission:

November 20, 2015

The NEXUS Gas Transmission project reached a significant milestone today as it formally applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct and operate an approximately 255-mile interstate natural gas pipeline. The NEXUS project provides critically needed Appalachian Basin natural gas to growing markets in Ohio, Michigan and the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada.

“The NEXUS project relieves pipeline capacity constraints in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays and will deliver clean-burning, affordable natural gas to customers in Ohio, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada. We have agreements with local gas distribution companies as well as producers that plan to use the pipeline to provide their customers with this vital energy resource, so important to the local economy,” said Bill Yardley, president of U.S. Transmission and Storage for Spectra Energy. “NEXUS has also recently signed a number of interconnect agreements with industrial facilities and power generators, as businesses need natural gas to grow and to keep jobs in the region. These agreements demonstrate support not only for the project, but the route as well.”

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Proposed Ohio ethane cracker plant to use INEOS process

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

From a recent press release from INEOS, the Swiss-based chemical giant:

INEOS Technologies is pleased to announce that it has licensed its Innovene S Process for the manufacture of medium density and high density polyethylene to PTTGC America LLC, an affiliate of PTT, Thailand’s largest petrochemical and refining company, at its new cracker complex to be located near Dilles Bottom, Ohio, USA.

The Innovene S HDPE plant will consist of two lines having a total capacity of 700 KTA, producing a wide range of polyethylene grades to serve the growing demand for high performance products in the US and export markets.

Peter Williams, CEO of INEOS Technologies, said: “INEOS is delighted to have been selected by PTTGC as its licensing partner for the HDPE plant in Ohio . We look forward to working with the PTTGC team to deliver an asset that will meet fully both the current and future requirements of PTTGC’s customers.”

Panod Awaiwanond, General Manager of PTTGC America stated that: "PTTGC is very excited by this project based on the US Shale Gas economics. We have chosen a very dynamic location for the plant at Dilles Bottom, Ohio with a highly skilled work force and support of the local and state governments. The INEOS Innovene S technology fits with our economic and market needs to ensure a successful project for all of our new stakeholders"

ENDS

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Ohio's mineral resources valued at $2.1 billion in 2014

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

From a Friday press release:

COLUMBUS, OH – A just released mineral industries report from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) shows the development of Ohio’s mineral resources in 2014 produced more than $2.1 billion worth of geologic commodities, including increases in the mined amount of limestone, salt, sand and gravel.

The 2014 Report on Ohio Mineral Industries: An Annual Summary of the State’s Economic Geology contains information regarding the production, value and employment totals of Ohio’s various mineral industries. Some highlights include:

ODNR, through a dedicated staff of inspectors, geologists and support staff, regulates the responsible extraction of Ohio’s natural resources, including coal, natural gas, limestone, sand and gravel, salt and more. Part of ODNR’s regulatory responsibility is to annually catalog Ohio’s extractive industries.

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Company files application for Northeast Energy Direct pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., a Kinder Morgan company, filed a certificate application Friday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its proposed Northeast Energy Direct project.

The $5 billion natural gas pipeline, which has met with stiff opposition from environmentalists and property owners, would transport natural gas from the Marcellus region of Pennsylvania to markets in the Northeast.

"As natural gas has become the baseload fuel for electricity generation in New England, the interstate pipeline system in New England has not significantly expanded to supply this load," said Kimberly Watson, east region natural gas pipelines president for Kinder Morgan.

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Guernsey County commissioners oppose EnerGreen 360 project

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

The Guernsey County commissioners are opposed to a proposed drilling waste water treatment facility in the east-central Ohio county.

EnerGreen 360, with offices in Columbus, wants to build the plant in the Desmond Hall Industrial Park south of Cambridge.

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Noble Energy shelves initial public offering for midstream firm

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

Texas-based Noble Energy has postponed an initial public stock offering for its Noble Midstream Partners LP with major midstream assets in Colorado after it was unable to raise $237 million.

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Natural gas-fueled towboat to be built in Ohio Valley

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

Plans are taking shape to build and test a natural gas-fueled towboat on the Ohio River.

The towboat would be fueled with liquidifed natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales, not diesel fuel

Hundreds of towboats operate on the Ohio River in Ohio, West Virginiaand western Pennsylvania.

Click  here  to read more from The Intelligencer/Wheeling News Rigister.

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West Virginia to take another look at mandatory pooling

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

West Virginia is likely to try a second time to pass mandatory pooling legislation.

That initial effort failed last March.

New legislation is expected to be introduced in January, the Charleston MetroNews reports.

Mandatory pooling enables drillers to force unwilling landowners into drilling packages.

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East Coast refineries to take more imports, less crude by rail

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

Rail shipments of crude oil from North Dakota to East Coast refineries are dropping, and Philadelphia area refiners are planning to accept more imports and less crude-by-rail shipments, says NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania.

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Companies to ship ethane from U.S. shale gas to Scotland

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

From a recent press release from Swiss-based chemical giant INEOS:

INEOS Europe AG, ExxonMobil Chemical Limited and Shell Chemicals Europe B.V. today announced a long-term sale and purchase agreement to secure ethane from US shale gas for the Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP) at Mossmorran in Scotland, from mid 2017.

The Fife plant will receive ethane from INEOS’ new import terminal in Grangemouth, Scotland. Access to this new source of feedstock will help complement  supplies from North Sea natural gas fields. The agreement will also ensure the competitiveness of a major manufacturing facility in Scotland and help secure skilled jobs in the long run.

FEP is owned and operated by ExxonMobil and Shell has 50 percent capacity rights.

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Williams saluted for its female board representation

By Bob Downing Published: November 23, 2015

The Women’s Forum of New York recently honored Okalhoma-based Williams  at the third biennial Breakfast of Corporate Champions for achieving at least 20 percent female representation on its board.

The pipeline company, which has a representation of 33 percent women on its board, was applauded as a corporate game changer that is making special efforts to advance women in the boardroom.

Click  here  to read more.

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Nexus Pipeline files application to begin official FERC review

By Bob Downing Published: November 21, 2015

The company behind the Nexus Pipeline across northern Ohio on Friday announced its intention to proceed.

Texas-based Nexus Gas Transmission LLC officially filed paperwork with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, asking the federal agency to begin its environmental review of the 255-mile natural gas pipeline.

The company had earlier filed preliminary paperwork.

The company is seeking what’s called a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the federal agency that oversees interstate pipelines.

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Pennsylvania judge orders $5.69 million bond for appeal

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2015

A Pennsylvania judge has ordered a landowner a $5.69 million bond to proceed with a legal appeal in Lycoming Co.

Inflection Energy LLC had been granted approval to drill, but a landowner filed an appeal.

Senior Judge Brendan J. Vanston ordered the bond, if the appeal was to proceed.

Click  here  to read more.

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Sunoco Pipeline to pay $59,000 for Pa. wetland violations

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2015

From a press release last week from Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection:

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Petroleum deliveries drop 0.3 percent in October, API says

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2015

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2015 – Total petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) fell slightly in October by 0.3 percent from year ago levels, according to API’s Monthly Statistical Report for October 2015. Production of all four major products–gasoline, distillate, jet fuel and residual fuels was higher than deliveries for those products, so refined products were exported. Monthly Statistical ReportPetroleum Facts at a GlanceMonthly Import Statistics for October 2015

“October brought strong demand for gasoline, but record refinery production actually outstripped demand for all four major petroleum products,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “Fortunately, the rest of the world is also eager to buy from U.S. refineries.”

Total motor gasoline deliveries (a measure of demand) rose 0.8 percent from October 2014 to just above 9.2 million barrels per day. Distillate deliveries decreased by 3.7 percent from October 2014 to average 4.1 million barrels per day in October.

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Pennsylvania pipeline task force releases draft report

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2015

From a recent release from Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection:

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200 attend Athens hearing on drilling in Ohio's Wayne NF

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2015

From a press release Thursday from Appalachia Resist:

It should be noted that there were eight counter-protesters there, compared to the nearly 200 community members there to vocally oppose fracking.  At least one of the counter protestors was paid to be there by the oil and gas industry.

 

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Bloomberg: Credit investors starting to give up on Chesapeake

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2015

Credit investors who lent $11 billion to Chesapeake Energy Corp. are starting to give up on the company, the second-biggest junk-debt issuer in the U.S. energy industry, Bloomberg Businsess reported.

Nearly all of the energy producer’s bonds plummeted to their lowest levels ever on Thursday as oil dropped toward a more-than six-year low, it said.

Chesapeake notes were the second-most actively traded in the high-yield market, just behind Petrobras Global Finance BV.

Click  here  to read more.

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EPA, Pennsylvania gas processing plants reach settlement

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2015

The owners of five Pennsylvania natural gas processing plants have reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly failing to take measures to guard against spills and leaks on their sites in McKean and Warren Counties, NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania reported.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Anadarko Petroleum earns award for humanitarian aid

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2015

From a press release this week:

ATLANTA, Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- MedShare International's Northeast Regional Council held its fifth annual "Share the Good Gala" on Nov. 9 and honored Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) for its outstanding humanitarian partnership with MedShare in Sierra Leone.

MedShare is a humanitarian aid organization that sources and distributes essential surplus medical supplies and equipment to underserved communities in 96 countries around the world. The Northeast Regional Council was organized by Sandy Tytel to bring Medshare's mission to New York City's dynamic, international community.

Anadarko was instrumental in providing financial and logistics support to send seven shipments of medical supplies and equipment to key hospitals in areas where the company operated. It also provided generous financial support specifically for MedShare's work in stemming the spread of the Ebola virus.

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Bill introduced in Congress to ban Marcellus Shale exports

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2015

A bill has been introduced in Congress that would ban exports of Marcellus Shale natural gas to other countries.

Click  here  to read more.

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Oklahoma to curtail 25 injection wells after 4.7 quake

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2015

From the Associated Press:

CHEROKEE (AP) — The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says it’s working to have two disposal wells shut down and volume reduced at 23 others after a magnitude 4.7 earthquake rattled northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas early Thursday.

The commission’s oil and gas division released a plan calling for changes to oil and gas wastewater disposal wells in the area near the towns of Cherokee and Carmen.

According to the National Earthquake Information Center, the quake occurred at 1:42 am. Thursday and was centered about 8 miles southwest of Cherokee.

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Sewage plant in Warren, Pa., gets new vapor system

By Bob Downing Published: November 20, 2015

From a press release:

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Purestream Services, LLC, announced the company's latest technology deployment of a thermally efficient wastewater treatment AVARA vapor recompression system at a commercial waste water disposal facility in Warren, Pennsylvania. 

The AVARA system is now operating within a wastewater disposal and treatment plant's existing train of treatment technologies. The AVARA Vapor Recompression technology completes the overall water treatment process at the Warren facility, bringing the discharge water quality levels to regulatory compliance by meeting new discharge criteria in the state of Pennsylvania. The system treats about 2,000 barrels (84,000 gallons) of water per day.

AVARA is an innovative, patented, vapor recompression technology with an optimized, smaller footprint that easily integrates into existing plant and field operations. Purestream originally developed the AVARA project in partnership with Utah State University's Space Dynamics Research Lab scientists. The AVARA system includes state of the art thermal management processes, automated functions and remote monitoring capabilities. It is a robust system that consistently provides a clean, distilled quality, water effluent stream. This advanced vapor recompression process concentrates the waste stream for significant waste volume reduction. The AVARA technology has been commercially utilized for over four years in various onshore oil and gas wastewater operations. Current active AVARA deployments are operating in Arkansas, Texas, and Wyoming to treat produced and frac water in oil and gas operations for volume reduction, re-use and discharge. It has successfully demonstrated consistent ability to meet stringent NPDES discharge limitations in a number of applications.

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Ohio State Grange endorses Rover, Nexus gas pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: November 19, 2015

A major Ohio farm group on Thursday  endorsed the development of major pipelines to transport natural gas.
The Ohio State Grange with 6,000 members and 145 local groups in Ohio said farmers will benefit from the development of pipelines to move natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales across Ohio.
The rural-based group is supportive of the Rover and Nexus pipelines that would cross northern Ohio, officials said.
The Wayne County commissioners and the Wayne County Farm Bureau Federation both opposed the Rover Pipeline because of its potential impacts on local farms. Locally, it would cross Wayne and Stark counties. A decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is expected next summer.
The Ohio State Grange released a new report by Drs. Gary Wolfram and Charles Steele of Michigan’s Hillsdale College that concluded that farmers would benefit from affordable natural gas prices and lower costs for fertilizers and pesticides.
More pipelines are needed to get that natural gas to users including farmers, Wolfram said in a teleconference.

Click  here  to read the report.

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Ashtabula County group kicks off drive against injection wells

By Bob Downing Published: November 19, 2015

A grass-roots group in Ohio's Ashtabula County has kicked off a new campaign against fracking wastewater.

The group behind the new educational initiative is Ashtabula County Water Watch.

It is concerned about the threat from injection wells that take drilling wastes.

Click  here  to read more from the Ashtabula Star Beacon.

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Marathon Oil Corp. executive set to retire on Nov. 30

By Bob Downing Published: November 19, 2015

From a Wednesday press release:

Michael J. Stover, Vice President of Operations Services for Marathon Oil Corporation, to Retire

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

HOUSTON, Nov. 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) announced today that Michael J. Stover, currently vice president of Operations Services, has elected to retire effective Nov. 30 following nearly 30 years of service.

"Mike's many years of service to Marathon Oil and the industry have been marked by the highest levels of professionalism, dedication and a commitment to advancing the responsible development of oil and gas resources wherever our Company operates," said Lee M. Tillman, president and CEO of Marathon Oil Corporation. "Mike's strong blend of operations, technical and planning experience has been an important element of Marathon Oil's ongoing efforts to advance the improvement of our operating efficiencies in both our conventional and unconventional resource plays while maintaining a sharp focus on the Company's core values.  We thank Mike for his many contributions to our success and wish him and his family the very best in their retirement and future endeavors." 

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Southwestern Energy enters into $750 million loan agreement

By Bob Downing Published: November 19, 2015

From a Tuesday press release:

Houston, Texas – November 17, 2015...Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE: SWN)
today announced that it entered into a $750 million three-year term loan agreement and
used its proceeds to pay down balances under its existing credit facility and commercial
paper program. The term loan is unsecured and includes an interest rate calculated
based upon the Company’s credit rating (currently 137.5 basis points over the current
London Interbank Offered Rate). The term loan is prepayable at any time and requires
prepayment from the net cash proceeds of any issuance of debt or equity securities and
sales of assets, with certain exceptions. The other provisions in the term loan are
substantially the same as those contained in the existing revolving credit facility.
The Company also filed an automatic shelf Registration Statement (“new shelf”) on Form
S-3 that will replace the Company’s former automatic shelf Registration Statement on
Form S-3 dated November 9, 2012 (“old shelf”). The old shelf expired on November 13,
2015, the third anniversary of its effective date, in accordance with the rules pursuant to
the Securities Act of 1933. The Company filed the new shelf due to the expiration of the
old shelf and not in anticipation of any specific securities offerings.
“We are pleased with the strong support from our banks in moving $750 million of our
existing debt to the term loan and increasing our liquidity. We are committed to creating
long-term value to our shareholders. The actions announced today reflect sound financial
policies that are aligned with this commitment. We also remain committed to a flexible
capital program that is responsive to the commodity price environment and anticipate
outstanding debt to remain flat or decline throughout 2016,” remarked Steve Mueller,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Southwestern Energy.
Southwestern Energy Company is an independent energy company whose wholly-owned
subsidiaries are engaged in natural gas and oil exploration, development and production,
natural gas gathering and marketing. Additional information on the company can be found
on the Internet at http://www.swn.com

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Passenger travel dominates world transportation energy use

By Bob Downing Published: November 19, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

The transportation of people and goods accounts for about 25% of all energy consumption in the world. Passenger transportation, in particular light-duty vehicles, accounts for most transportation energy consumption—light-duty vehicles alone consume more than all freight modes of transportation, such as heavy trucks, marine, and rail.

Read More ›

Tags: consumption , energy , international , liquid fuels , oil/petroleum , transportation

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Nevada counties fighting federal grouse rules face uphill battle

By Bob Downing Published: November 19, 2015

From the Associated Press on Wednesday:

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Eight Nevada counties that want a court to block new U.S. protections for the greater sage grouse face an uphill battle to prove such a “drastic” move is necessary across thousands of square miles in the West, a federal judge said Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Miranda Du said she knows the counties and two mining companies have serious concerns about new restrictions on mining, livestock grazing and other development adopted when the federal government decided in September not to list the bird as threatened or endangered.

But she questioned whether any alleged delays in approval of proposed development in Washoe, Elko, Eureka, Washoe and White Pine counties were out of the ordinary, or directly related to grouse protection.

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District to spend gas-oil funds on recreational improvements

By Bob Downing Published: November 19, 2015

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District will spend $1.4 million from gas and oil leasing revenue on improvements at three lakes.

Charles Mill will get boat ramp and paving improvements.

Leesville’s South Fork boat ramp will be replaced.

Atwood will get a new handicapped accessible trail of 1,000 feet and an 800-foot-long pedestrian bridge connecting the parking lot at Marina West to the new Welcome Center at the park entrance. A new kayak-canoe launch is also planned.

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API, ANGA to combine forces into single trade association

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

From a Wednesday press release:

API and ANGA: Two energy trades to combine forces

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2015 – Following approval of both boards of directors, the American Petroleum Institute and America's Natural Gas Alliance announced the two organizations will combine into a single trade association, effective January 1, 2016. The combined association will continue ANGA's mission under API.

“There is a natural synergy between our organizations,” said API CEO Jack Gerard. “As a single organization, the combined skills and capabilities bring an enhanced advocacy strength to natural gas market development – ANGA’s primary mission – and the combined association’s expanded membership will provide additional lift to API’s ongoing efforts on important public policy issues.”

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David Hughes in Youngstown lecture at 7 p.m. today

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

From a press release:

A Reality Check on the “Shale Revolution” Geological Fundamentals, Long-term Sustainability, and Implications for Future Energy Security
J. David Hughes
Post Carbon Institute
Global Sustainability Research Inc.

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015, 7 p.m.
Cushwa Hall Room B100
Youngstown State University
Website: www.tinyurl.com/YSU-F15-Energy

The “Shale Revolution” has been a game changer for U.S. oil and gas production which as recently as a decade ago was thought to be in terminal decline. A close look at production data shows, however, that good shale plays are not ubiquitous. A third of shale gas production comes from one play, the Marcellus, and more than half of 2014-2040 tight oil production is expected to come from two plays, the Bakken and Eagle Ford, according to the U.S. Government. Furthermore, shale plays exhibit high well and field decline rates, which mandate high capital inflows to maintain the drilling treadmill required to offset these declines. “Sweet spots” or “core” areas, which typically comprise a small part of individual plays, are high-graded early on in the development life-cycle – the best and most economic parts of these plays are being drilled now, saving lower quality rock, requiring higher prices to justify ever higher drilling rates, for later. The falloff in well quality is now being observed in the most productive counties of plays like the Bakken, despite low prices which compel companies to maximize well productivity.

Notwithstanding the reprieve from high prices that the shale revolution has provided, the narrative of low prices and high levels of production for the foreseeable future, as promoted by industry and government, is unlikely to be realized.  The collateral environmental impacts of the fracking treadmill required are also a widespread concern.

J. David Hughes is an earth scientist who has studied the energy resources of Canada for nearly four decades, including 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada as a scientist and research manager. He developed the National Coal Inventory to determine the availability and environmental constraints associated with Canada’s coal resources. As Team Leader for Unconventional Gas on the Canadian Gas Potential Committee, he coordinated  publication of a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s unconventional natural gas potential. He is currently president of a consultancy dedicated to research on energy and sustainability issues.

The lecture is free and open to the public. There is free on-street parking after 5 p.m. at the metered parking spaces along Lincoln Avenue and nearby streets.

Last week's lecture by Thomas Linzey is available on Youtube

Ohio 2015 Community Rights Tour" Attorney Thomas Linzey, co-founder and director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) speaks at YSU

Part 1  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APv8irksuTc

Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywNrMMMPLSA



Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer
Distinguished Professor of Geology
Dept. of Geological & Environmental Sciences
Youngstown State University
Youngstown, Ohio 4455

(330) 941-1753
ray@cc.ysu.edu




 

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CSU releases report on Utica Shale economic opportunities

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

From a Cleveland State University press release today:

A new report on the economic development opportunities offered by Ohio shale shows that shale development may present new business and job opportunities beyond traditional exploration and production activities, such as drilling and producing new wells.

Additional jobs and economic opportunity may also exist in:

Midstream oil and gas activities, such as transportation, storage and processing.

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Mountaineer Keystone Energy gets new CEO

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

From a Tuesday press release:

Mountaineer Keystone Holdings, LLC Announces Rob Kozel Stepping Down as CEO, David Wood Appointed New CEO.

Pittsburgh, PA, November 17, 2015 – Mountaineer Keystone Energy, LLC (“Mountaineer Keystone” or the "Company"), a portfolio company of First Reserve, the largest private equity firm exclusively focused on energy, today announced that Rob Kozel has stepped down as CEO.  David Wood, Chairman of the Board at Mountaineer Keystone, has been appointed as the new CEO.  Mr. Wood will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Wood first joined Mountaineer Keystone’s board in 2014 after serving as President and CEO of Murphy Oil Corporation, a director of the American Petroleum Institute, and a member of the National Petroleum Council. Mr. Wood is a Director of Deep Gulf Energy and also maintains a seat on the board of Crestwood Equity Partners. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and has completed the Advanced Management program at Harvard University.

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Statoil to exit Alaska, after nearby exploratory drilling

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

From a press release:

Statoil is committed to optimising its portfolio, strengthening financial performance, and positioning for long-term value.

The leases in the Chukchi Sea are no longer considered competitive within Statoil’s global portfolio, so the decision has been made to exit the leases and close the office in Anchorage, Alaska. 

Tim Dodson, executive vice president for exploration in Statoil. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

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Four injured in chemical fire at Pennsylvania warehouse

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

From the Associated Press on Tuesday:

LEETSDALE, Pa. (AP) — Workers at a Pennsylvania warehouse were pouring hydraulic fracturing chemicals into a production tank Tuesday when a fire started, forcing residents from more than 70 nearby homes and injuring four people, emergency and company officials said.

Hazardous materials crews moved people living near the warehouse in Leetsdale to a high school gymnasium as a precaution. The warehouse about 15 miles northwest of Pittsburgh is owned by Lubrizol Corp.

The company and Allegheny County Emergency Services Chief Alvin Henderson said three employees were injured. One reportedly had a burned hand and two inhaled fumes, Henderson said. A firefighter also was being evaluated for inhaling fumes. None of the injuries was deemed life-threatening, Henderson and the company said.

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BLM unveils protective drilling plan for Colorado plateau

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

From the Associated Press:

DENVER (AP) — Federal land managers have released a tentative plan to protect most of the wild but energy-rich Roan Plateau in western Colorado.

The Bureau of Land Management unveiled an updated environmental impact statement Tuesday for the plateau, a step toward implementing a landmark compromise between conservationists and the Bill Barrett Corp., an energy company.

Under last year’s compromise, Barrett Corp. agreed to give up most of its leases to drill for natural gas on federal land atop the plateau.

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Less than 1 percent of U.S. injection wells tied to seismicity

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

From Energy in Depth:

Below are the key findings, by the numbers:

The report helps to quantify the risk of induced seismicity from underground wastewater disposal, demonstrating that despite prevalent media coverage of each seismic event, the number of wells even potentially linked to earthquakes is comparatively small across the United States. Even in the individual states where most of the attention on induced seismicity has been focused, the vast majority of injection wells are operating aseismically.

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Ohio's Utica Shale boom grows by $5.7 billion or 20.4 percent

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

Ohio’s Utica Shale has seen an additional $5.7 billion in investment or a 20.4 percent increase since last spring,  says a Columbus law firm in a new report.
The shale industry has invested $33.7 billion in Ohio, says the report from Bricker & Eckler LLP that tracks the industry.
Ohio’s shale development is growing, despite low commodity prices and a natural gas glut that have hurt some drilling companies.
The biggest factors in Ohio’s Utica Shale boom are continuing development of needed infrastructure including pipelines and natural gas-processing plants, plus development of new natural gas-fired power plants that will generate electricity, said attorney Matt Warnock, partner and co-chair of Bricker & Eckler’s oil and gas industry group.
“The infrastructure continues to get built out,” he said. Major interstate pipelines are being added and natural gas processing plants are being expanded, he said.
The report looks largely at what are called midstream and downstream development, not the actual leasing and drilling of wells, he said.
Many of those big-dollar projects in eastern Ohio are continuing, despite the economic downturn, he said.
The report lists 162 projects, of which 16 are new since last spring’s report.
Stark County’s Tiger Sand & Gravel is one of the newest local benificiaries. It will get $4.4 million to furnish concrete sand for the Rover Pipeline across northern Ohio.
New projects in the report include:
•A $1 billion system of gas-gathering pipelines by MarkWest Energy Partners and the Energy and Mineral Group in Belmont and Jefferson counties.
•A $640 million expansion of gas and water lines by Rice Midstream Holdings and Gulfport Energy Corp. in Belmont and Monroe counties.
•A new 15-acre retail development known as Kettler’s Ridge and a new 48-unit apartment complex, both in St. Clairsville.
•TestAmerica has opened a regional laboratory in Cambridge .
•A new charter school, the Ohio Valley Energy Technology Academy, has opened. It is part of the Buckeye Local School District in Jefferson County.
•New hotels catering to drill workers in Belmont, Harrison and Mahoning counties.
•Heinrich Enterprises is converting three wells in Washington County to inject liquid drilling wastes.
The last Bricker & Eckler report listed $28 billion in Utica Shale investments.
Utica Shale investment in Ohio grew from $12.2 billion in October 2013 to $16.8 billion in spring 2014 to $22.3 billion in fall 2014 to $28 billion last spring.
The report’s dollar total does not include projects with unknown values.
You can access the 16-page report at www.bricker.com/documents/resources/Shale_Economic_Development_Chart.pdf.

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Kinder Morgan donates $20,000 for new Ohio walking path

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

A Texas-based pipeline giant is contributing $20,000 to help a township in Ohio's Wayne County build a new walking path.

The contribution came from Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. that is planning its Utopia East Pipeline that will cross East Union Township.

The company announced its $20,000 pledge in an Nov. 10 Facebook post and a meeting with township officials.

The 1-mile loop will be built in East Union Park in Apple Creek.

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Strong support for drilling in Wayne NF at Marietta hearing

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

From a press release late Tuesday:

Overwhelming Show of Local Support for Shale Development in the Wayne National Forest

 

November 17, 2015

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Carroll County gets first CNG fueling station in Carrollton

By Bob Downing Published: November 18, 2015

Carroll County got its first compressed natural gas service station.

The facility near Carrollton is a joint venture by Pittsburgh-based American Natural and the Carrollton Exempt Village School District.

It opened on Tuesday.

Click  here  to read more.

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BLM postpones auction of federal leases in Utah

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2015

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management late Monday postponed a planned auction of federal leases in Utah on Tuesday where activists had pledged to protest.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Should utilities invest in natural gas-oil wells?

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2015

Last week, the Virginia State Corporation Commission dealt a blow to a $126 million deal that would have made an out-of-state natural gas utility the owner of 25 Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Washington Gas, a subsidiary of Washington, D.C.-based WGL Holdings, announced in May that it had signed a 20-year deal with Energy Corp. of America, a Colorado-based oil and gas driller, for a 96 percent stake in 22 Marcellus wells in Greene County and another three wells in Clearfield.

The gas produced from the wells would be delivered to Washington Gas’ customers in Virginia and the length of the deal would protect them from supply and price volatility, the company argued.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Summit Midstream Partners tap new executive VP-COO

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2015

From a Monday press release:

The Woodlands, Texas (November 16, 2015) – Summit Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE: SMLP) announced
today that Leonard Mallett has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Summit
Midstream Partners, LLC, and Summit Midstream GP, LLC (the “general partner”), which manages and
operates SMLP. This appointment is effective December 1, 2015. Mallett will have strategic oversight and
primary responsibility for Summit’s engineering, construction, and operations functions.
Mallett, who will be based at Summit's corporate headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas, assumes primary
responsibility for the profitable, safe, and environmentally compliant operations of the Company’s assets. He
will provide organizational leadership for all planning and execution of projects and operations across Summit’s
diversified footprint including natural gas gathering, treating, and processing facilities, crude oil and produced
water. Mallett will report directly to Steve Newby, Summit’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
"Summit has a commitment to develop and maintain a safe, effective and efficient operations platform. Leonard
brings a unique blend of engineering, operations, and project management experience that naturally align to
our strategic priorities as we double in size over the next several years,” said Mr. Newby. “His strong credibility
and leadership in our industry will only enhance our ability to execute on significant development and expansion
projects and continue our focus on value creation for our stakeholders. We are extremely excited that Leonard
is joining the Summit team.”
Mallett has more than 35 years of industry experience. Most recently he served as Senior Vice President of
Engineering for Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. (EPD), where he was responsible for the engineering, project
management, sourcing and technical support functions supporting all of EPD’s pipeline and related plants.
Mallett began his career with TEPPCO as a Project Engineer and spent the next three decades working with
TEPPCO and successor entities in various engineering, transportation, and operations roles. At the end of
2006, EPD bought TEPPCO’s General Partner from Duke Energy Field Services, at which time Mallett was
serving as SVP of Operations for TEPPCO. Post-merger, Mallett was named SVP-Environmental, Health and
Safety, where he also trained in emergency response and was named Incident Commander.
Mallett holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University and a Master
of Business Administration from Houston Baptist University.
About

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Sand company says drillers to extend holiday break to Jan. 1

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2015

Ohio-based Fairmount Santrol says drillers are likely to shut down from Thanksgiving through Jan. 1.

That assessment came from president and CEO Jenniffer Deckard in an earnings call with analysts and the media.

That is likely because drillers in the Utica and Marcellus shales in Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania are facing low commodity prices, she said.

Her company, based in Chesterland in Northeast Ohio, provides fracking sand to drillers.

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Dominion projects to provide $10 billion boost to Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2015

From a Tuesday press release:

Nov 17, 2015

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Investments by Dominion over the next six years for projects to strengthen Virginia's energy infrastructure and meet environmental goals will create thousands of jobs and inject $10.1 billion into the state's economy, according to a new study by Chmura Economic & Analytics available here: https://www.dom.com/library/domcom/pdfs/dom-cap-ex.pdf

"Our growing commonwealth requires an expanding and reliable energy infrastructure," said Paul Koonce, CEO of Dominion's Energy Infrastructure Group and President of Dominion Virginia Power. "Our capital investment program over the next six years is designed to meet that need and achieve environmental goals related to the federal Clean Power Plan. We are very pleased that in doing so it will create a huge economic and jobs impact in Virginia."

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Marathon Petroleum hikes cash to MarkWest shareholders

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2015

From a press release today:

FINDLAY, Ohio & DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- MPLX LP and MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P.  today announced that, in connection with the anticipated combination of MPLX and MarkWest, Marathon Petroleum Corporation has agreed to further increase the amount of the one-time cash consideration payable to MarkWest common unitholders to $6.20 per unit, up from the cash consideration previously announced on Nov. 10, 2015, of approximately $5.21 per unit.

This cash consideration represents a significant enhancement to the initial July 13, 2015, offer which was approximately $3.37 per unit.

Under the revised terms of the merger agreement announced today, which represents the best and final offer, MarkWest common unitholders will receive approximately $1.28 billion in total cash consideration and 1.09 MPLX common units per MarkWest common unit, for a total consideration of approximately $51.74 per MarkWest common unit, based on the closing price of MPLX’s common units on Nov. 16, 2015.

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Ohio has 1,644 drilled Utica wells, 1,059 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2015

Ohio has, through Nov. 14, approved 2,079 Utica Shale permits.

That total includes 1,644 drilled Utica wells and 1,059 producing Utica wells, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Nineteen rigs are at work in Ohio.

Four new permits were approved: all in Belmont County for XTO Energy Inc.

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America's market-driven model needed to deal with climate

By Bob Downing Published: November 17, 2015

From the American Petroleum Institute on Monday:

WASHINGTON, November 16, 2015 ─ API urged leaders to use the proven results of America’s market-driven model for addressing climate challenges during an upcoming conference in Paris.

“America’s private sector has already taken the lead on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, even as we increase economic activity and domestic energy production to keep energy reliable and affordable for consumers,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard during a conference call Monday with reporters. “Our success is driven, not by government mandate or legislative fiat, but through innovation, investment and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Gerard shared a new analysis by API, which demonstrates how the United States has become the world leader in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. He also cited EPA data showing that methane emissions are plummeting, with the largest reductions coming from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells.

“The fact is that the nation’s 21st century energy renaissance, which has made domestically produced natural gas cheap and abundant, has helped us achieve substantial and sustained emissions reductions without command and control style regulatory intervention,” said Gerard. “By contrast, the administration continues to hew to last century’s thinking that increased energy production and achieving climate goals are mutually exclusive, pursuing costly government mandates to detriment of the American consumer and our economy.

“Where other nations have pledges, we have progress and results. America’s market-driven success should be the model for the Paris conference. As the president and his advisers work on a climate deal, they should keep consumers and our economy at the forefront.”

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 625 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 25 million Americans.

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Portage activists fight injection wells, mark Day of Action

By Bob Downing Published: November 16, 2015

From a press release:

News Release

Subject:   National Day of Action for Ohio Groups Against Injection Wells

 

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Energy Transfer to sell fuel, retail assets to affiliate Sunoco

By Bob Downing Published: November 16, 2015

Energy Transfer Partners LP, a unit of the pipeline group led by billionaire Kelcy Warren, agreed to sell wholesale fuel and retail marketing assets for about $2.23 billion to its affiliate Sunoco LP.

The transaction, which completes $5.7 billion of retail-business dropdowns from Energy Transfer to Sunoco in just over a year, will be effective Jan. 1 and is expected to close in February, the companies said Monday in a statement.

Click here  to read more from Bloomberg Business

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FERC opens public comment on Mountain Valley Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: November 16, 2015

From Friday FERC notice:

On October 23, 2015, Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (Mountain Valley), having its principal place of business at 625 Liberty Avenue, Suite 1700,Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-3111, filed an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) regulations seeking: (1) A certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing Mountain Valley to construct, own, and operate the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project; (2) a blanket certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing Mountain Valley to provide open-access interstate transportation services, with pre-granted abandonment approval; (3) a blanket certificate of public convenience and necessity under Part 157, Subpart F of the Commission's regulations for Mountain Valley to construct, operate, acquire, and abandon certain eligible facilities, and services related thereto; (4) approval for its proposed interim period rates and initial recourse rates for transportation service and for its pro forma tariff; and (5) such other authorizations or waivers as may be deemed necessary to allow for the construction to commence as proposed.

On October 27, 2015, Equitrans, LP (Equitrans), having its principal place of business at 625 Liberty Avenue, Suite 1700, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-3111, filed an application pursuant to sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) regulations seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct, own, and operate the Equitrans Expansion Project. Equitrans also seeks authority to abandon an existing compressor station located in Greene County, Pennsylvania.

The proposals of both applicants are more fully described in the applications, which are on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filings may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or call toll-free, (866) 208-3676 or TTY, (202) 502-8659.

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Warren Resources names James Watt new president-CEO

By Bob Downing Published: November 16, 2015

From a press release today:

DENVER, Nov. 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Warren Resources, Inc. (“Warren” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:WRES) today announced that, effective immediately, the Board of Directors has appointed James A. Watt as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. The Company expects that Mr. Watt will be named to the Board of Directors at the next meeting of the Board of Directors. Lance Peterson, who has served as Interim Chief Executive Officer since December 4, 2014, has stepped down from this role and will continue as a Director.

“We are pleased to appoint Jim to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer and to have him lead our management team as the Company enters a new chapter," said Chairman of the Board Dominick D’Alleva. "The Board believes that Warren has outstanding assets and a dedicated and effective employee base and, with Jim’s record of leadership, we believe he is the right person to guide the Company through the current economy and take the Company to the next level.”

“I look forward to working alongside the Warren Board and management team, and I believe that we are well positioned to continue deleveraging our balance sheet and to return the Company to a trajectory of growth that will enhance value for all of our stakeholders,” said Mr. Watt.

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GreenHunter Resources reports on 3Q finances, operations

By Bob Downing Published: November 16, 2015

From a Monday press release:

GRAPEVINE, Texas, Nov. 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GreenHunter Resources, Inc. (NYSE MKT:GRH) (NYSE MKT:GRH.PC), a diversified water resource, waste management, environmental services, and hydrocarbon marketing company specializing in the unconventional oil and natural gas shale resource plays within the Appalachian Basin, announced today financial and operating results for the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2015. 

Third Quarter Financial and Operational Highlights and Current Developments

FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2015

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New classifications of natural gas storage regions soon

By Bob Downing Published: November 16, 2015

From U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

EIA's Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report (WNGSR) publishes weekly natural gas storage inventories by region. Natural gas storage levels have been high and recently reached a record 3,978 trillion cubic feet as of Friday, November 6. In an effort to better illustrate regional storage trends, EIA will publish weekly data divided into five regions, rather than the current three, beginning with the November 19 report. Later today, the WNGSR page will reflect the new five-region format, and the three-region series will be discontinued.

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Tags: natural gas , storage

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EnLink Midstream acquires share of Texas processing plant

By Bob Downing Published: November 16, 2015

From a Monday press release:

DALLAS,November 16, 2015 —EnLink Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE: ENLK) (“EnLink” or the “Partnership”) today announced that its subsidiary has acquired a 50-percent ownership interest in the Deadwood natural gas processing facility from a subsidiary of Apache Corporation (NYSE: APA) (“Apache”). The cost of the accretive acquisition was approximately $40 million. 

 

The facility is located in Glasscock County, Texas in the Permian Basin. Pursuant to a 2011 agreement, EnLink and Apache jointly funded the development of a new-build processing facility in which each company held a 50-percent undivided ownership interest. EnLink managed the plant’s initial construction and has operated the facility since its startup. The plant has a capacity of 58 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), and is currently processing approximately 45 MMcf/d. The acquisition brings EnLink’s net processing capacity in the Permian Basin to 343 MMcf/d, excluding the Riptide processing plant, which is currently under construction and will add another 100 MMcf/d of processing capacity in the Midland Basin. 

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National oil companies top Energy Intelligence rankings

By Bob Downing Published: November 16, 2015

From a press release today:

National Oil Companies Hold Top Spots in Energy Intelligence’s Ranking of Top Oil Firms

State-owned oil companies are retaining their dominant position in the world petroleum industry according to Energy Intelligence’s annual ranking of the world's top 50 oil and gas companies, which was published today in Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW). It isthe only ranking system that compares private sector firms with national oil companies.The top three spots are held by national oil companies and over 60% of the top 25 firms are majority government-owned. Supermajors retain four of the Top 10 spots.

Highlights from the 2015 ranking include:

“This year’s rankings seem to reflect the calm before the storm, before the impact and implications of the current oil price downturn have really been appreciated or felt,” PIW editor Jim Washer said. “Looking back 20 years, we can see that 14 of the companies in the PIW Top 50 in 1995 disappeared in the next few years mainly as a result of megamergers. We’re not expecting a similar shakeout from the current downturn, but this year’s rankings are likely to be a moment of stability before major change in the years ahead.”

The Top 10 companies in this year’s rankings are:

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Ohio groups to fight plan to frack in Wayne National Forest

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2015

From a Friday press release:

Grassroots Organizations Denounce Plans to Frack Ohio's National Forest

 

Athens, OH Nov. 13, 2015 –– Opponents of a federal government proposal to lease some 31,000 acres of the Wayne National Forest for fracking today challenged the proposal’s legitimacy and demanded a full-scale environmental report be compiled and put before the public before any decision to take bids from drilling firms. Activists from the Buckeye Forest Council, Athens County Fracking Action Network, Heartwood,Freshwater Accountability Project, Appalachian Ohio Group of the Sierra Club, and Center for Health, Environment, and Justice called previous studies by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service “poorly conceived” and “shallow” and cited many harms from fracking that have never been admitted by the agencies.
 

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Letter against Wayne National Forest drilling from Ohio groups

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2015

From a Friday letter from Ohio eco-groups:

 

Kurt Wadzinski

Planning & Environmental Coordinator

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Ohio activists planning National Day of Action on Tuesday

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2015

From a Friday press release:

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Company to drill test well in West Virginia's Rogersville Shale

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2015

West Virginia-based Hard Rock Exploration has won state approval to drill a vertical test well in the Rogersville Shale in Putnam County.

Approval came on Nov. 2 from the state's Department of Environmental Protection.

The well will be drilled near Winfield.

The Rogersville Shale underlies southern West Virginia and parts of adjoining Kentucky. It is not well mapped and previous drilling has been shrouded in secrecy.

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Ruffalo hails Cuomo decision on Port Ambrose LNG terminal

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2015

From a press release from Americans Against Fracking:

Actor and Advisory Board member of Americans Against Fracking, Mark Ruffalo issued the following statement:

“Governor Cuomo’s veto of Port Ambrose today is what real national leadership on climate change looks like. Following Governor Cuomo’s wise decision to listen to the science by banning fracking – keeping fossil fuels in the ground – New Yorkers and Americans across this country are heralding him for once again protecting public health and the environment. It’s time for other Governors and President Obama to follow his lead.”

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Noble Midstream kicks off initial public offering

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2015

From a Thursday press release:

Houston, TX - November 12, 2015 - Noble Midstream Partners LP ("Noble Midstream") today announced that it has commenced its initial public offering of 12,500,000 common units representing limited partner interests in Noble Midstream, at an anticipated initial public offering price between $19.00 and $21.00 per common unit, pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-1 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Noble Midstream expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,875,000 common units at the initial public offering price. The common units are expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "NBLX."

The common units being offered to the public represent an approximate 34 percent limited partner interest in Noble Midstream, or an approximate 39 percent limited partner interest if the underwriters exercise, in full, their option to purchase additional common units. Noble Energy, Inc. ("Noble Energy") and certain of its subsidiaries will own the remaining limited partner interest in Noble Midstream and all of its incentive distribution rights and will serve as Noble Midstream's general partner.

Barclays, Baird, J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank Securities and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as book-running managers for the offering and Barclays and Baird are acting as structuring fee agents for the offering. The offering of these securities is being made only by means of a written prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933. When available, a copy of the preliminary prospectus may be obtained from:

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Rapid Bakken growth challenges N.D. gas-flaring targets

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Increases in North Dakota's crude oil production have resulted in increased associated natural gas production from oil reservoirs, especially in the Bakken region. Because of insufficient infrastructure to collect, gather, and transport this natural gas, about one-fifth of North Dakota's natural gas production is flared rather than marketed. North Dakota's Industrial Commission (NDIC) has established natural gas capture targets in an effort to reduce the amount of flared gas, and they recently issued a revision to the flaring targets in response to faster-than-expected gas production growth in the Bakken region.

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Tags: Bakken , crude oil , natural gas , North Dakota , production , states

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TransCanada to build Tuxpan-Tula pipeline in Mexico

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2015

From a press release earlier this week:

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO--(Marketwired - Nov. 11, 2015) - TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP)(NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) today announced that it has been chosen to build, own and operate the Tuxpan-Tula Pipeline in Mexico. Construction of the pipeline is supported by a 25-year natural gas transportation service contract with the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), Mexico's state owned power company.

"The Tuxpan-Tula Pipeline demonstrates our continued commitment to developing Mexico's energy infrastructure to meet the need for increased natural gas supply," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer.

TransCanada expects to invest approximately US$500 million in the 36-inch diameter pipeline and anticipates an in-service date in the fourth quarter of 2017. The pipeline will be approximately 250 kilometres (155 miles) long and have contracted capacity of 886 million cubic feet a day (MMcf/d).

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N.Y.'s Cuomo opposed to offshore Port Ambrose LNG terminal

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2015

From the Associated Press:

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has rejected a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in the waters off New York and New Jersey, effectively killing the project amid an outcry from residents of some coastal communities that it could endanger the environment and be a target for terrorists.

The deep-water docking station known as Port Ambrose was to be built 19 miles off Jones Beach on Long Island and 29 miles off Long Brach, New Jersey. Liberty Natural Gas LLC, the company vying to develop Port Ambrose, said the port would allow it to inject natural gas into the New York-area pipeline, which could lower home heating bills there, among the most expensive in the nation.

The company had been trying for years to obtain approval from the federal Maritime Administration to operate the facility. But federal regulations require the governors of the neighboring states — New York and New Jersey — to approve the project. According to the regulations, either governor could object to the proposal, forcing the agency to deny Liberty’s application.

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McCrea tapped for new post with Energy Transfer Equity

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2015

Energy Transfer Equity LP and Energy Transfer Partners LP  announced recently that  Marshall (Mackie) S. McCrea, formerly President and Chief Operating Officer of ETP, has been promoted to Group Chief Operating Officer and Chief Commercial Officer for ETE.

Also effective today is the appointment of long-time ETE board member, Matthew S. Ramsey as President and Chief Operating Officer of ETP.

Click  here  to read more.

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Ohio pipelines will bring in $256 million in new taxes, EID says

By Bob Downing Published: November 13, 2015

Corrected from what first appeared on Oct. 30

 

By Jackie Stewart
jackie@energyindepth.org, Canfield, Ohio

There’s been a lot of talk this week about how Ohio has gotten “ lucky with a thing called fracking.” In addition to the hundreds of thousands of jobs the industry has supported and billions in investments that have poured in over the past five years, it may be that Ohio’s most exciting times are still yet to come, thanks to pipeline and infrastructure projects that support drilling activities.

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Activists plan protest at BLM's oil-gas auction in Colorado

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

From a press release:

“Keep it in the Ground” Rally to Target BLM’s Oil and Gas Auction in Colorado

DENVER—Dozens of people will stage a “Keep it in the Ground” climate rally on Thursday morning outside of the Bureau of Land Management’s oil and gas lease sale in Lakewood, Colo. The Bureau’s “climate auction,” as protesters dubbed it, will allow industry to bid on more than 90,000 acres of publicly owned oil and gas in central and eastern Colorado – which contain upwards of 1 million estimated tons of potential greenhouse gas pollution, and possibly much more.

 

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Magnum Hunter Resources looking at partial bankruptcy

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

Texas-based Magnum Hunter Resources could be looking at Chapter 11 bankruptcy for its natural gas companies.

The money-troubled company made that admission is a filing this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company has drilling operations in Ohio's Utica Shale, plus West Virginia and Pennsylvania. It also has gas-transporting operations.

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Company to expand ethane exports from new Texas terminal

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners LP is announced an additional long-term contract to export ethane from shale drilling from a new terminal now under construction in Morgan Point, Texas.

Click  here  to read more.

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KinderMorgan, Trailstone in JV to form Mexican gas marketer

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

A subsidiary of Kinder Morgan announced it has signed a joint venture letter of intent  with a subsidiary of the TrailStone Group to form a Mexican natural gas marketing company.

The joint venture between KMI and TrailStone subsidiaries will combine North American gas supply and transportation to provide competitively priced gas supply to industrial markets and power generators in the Monterrey area and to other markets that can be accessed via the national system of gas pipelines to be owned and operated by CENAGAS.

Click  here  to read more.

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Canada's import supply share rises, as U.S. crude imports fall

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

Although overall U.S. crude oil imports have been declining since 2005, crude oil imports from Canada have been increasing. As of August, Canada provided 45% of all crude oil imports to the United States, almost three times as much as all Persian Gulf countries combined.

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Tags: Canada , crude oil , imports , liquid fuels , oil/petroleum , rail

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North Dakota oil town may ban 'man camps' within city limits

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

From the Associated Press:

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — City commissioners in Williston have given initial approval to an ordinance that would eliminate oil field crew camps within city limits next year, even though oil companies saying there remains a need for temporary worker housing despite the oil slowdown.

Commissioners on Tuesday voted 3-2 to set a July 1 deadline for crew camps to close, the Williston Herald reported. A final vote will come later.

Some people believe crew camps are unsightly and feed crime problems in the city. They also say a multimillion dollar expansion of apartments and hotels in Williston has eased a housing crunch. A recent report from a consultant concluded that if all crew camps in the city and surrounding Williams County were to close, there would still be a surplus of nearly 1,300 apartments and hotel beds in Williston.

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North Dakota's number of millionaires jumps by 7.5 percent

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

From the Associated Press:

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The number of North Dakotans reporting income of more than $1 million went up 7.5 percent last year, and the number of residents’ tax returns rose by more than 20,000 to a new high, the state Tax Department said.

Figures released to The Associated Press show 1,120 North Dakota taxpayers reported adjusted gross income of more than $1 million in 2014, compared with 1,041 North Dakotans in that category in 2013.

The number of North Dakotans reporting seven-figure incomes has more than doubled since 2010.

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Apache Corp. rejects Anadarko Petroleum's acquisition offer

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

From Anadarko Petroleum Corp.:

HOUSTON, Nov. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) today announced the following statement from Chairman, President and CEO Al Walker:

"We constantly strive to make Anadarko a better company. As part of these efforts to enhance value, and after extensive analysis of public information, we recently sent Apache Corporation a non-binding offer to acquire the company. The proposed all-stock transaction, which included a modest premium, would have been highly accretive to Anadarko on a cash flow per-share basis, even before synergies. Further, based on public information and Apache's historic financial and operating underperformance, the proposed transaction offered shareholders of both companies numerous value-creation opportunities given Anadarko's demonstrated success at building value through operational excellence, proven capital allocation, and active portfolio management.

"Our efforts to enter into a mutually acceptable confidentiality agreement for the purpose of exploring the merits of a potential transaction were summarily rejected and no discussions of substance occurred. We are unwilling to pursue the transaction without access to detailed non-public information, and based on our analysis, which shows that Apache appears to trade at or near full value currently, the offer was withdrawn."

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MPLX adds cash contribution to sweeten MarkWest deal

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

Ohio-based MPLX LP has agreed to pay an additional $400 million in cash as part of its merger with Colorado-based MarkWest Energy Partners.

That will raise MPLX's cash contribution from $675 million to $1.75 billion.

Click  here  to read more..

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Ohio has 1,635 drilled Utica wells, 1,034 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

Ohio has approved 2,078 Utica Shale permits, as of Nov. 7.

That total includes 1,635 drilled Utica wells and 1,034 producing Utica wells, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

It says 20 rigs are working in Ohio.

A total of 16 new permits were approved: 14 in Belmont County and two in Columbiana County.

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Rex Energy begins production on Utica well in Lawrence Co.

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

From Pennsylvania-based Rex Energy:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Nov. 09, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rex Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:REXX) announced its third quarter 2015 operational and financial results.

Commenting on the quarter, Tom Stabley, Rex Energy's President and CEO, said, "We have continued to improve our drilling operations by lowering costs and increasing work efficiencies. The average well cost for a 5,000 foot lateral in Butler is now down to $5.2 million. Our average drilling rate for the last eight wells was 595 feet per day, as compared to a rate of 402 feet per day for the first nine wells in 2015, an improvement of 48%. With the exceptional performance of our operations team combined with well performance, and the nature of our rock in Butler County, we have been able to increase our overall reserves profile. Cost containment and operational efficiencies are positioning us to weather the low commodity price environment."

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Noble Energy is cutting an additional 180 jobs

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

Texas-based Noble Energy is cutting an addiitional 180 jobs, due to low commodity prices.

The firm had cut 230 jobs last April.

It has pulled all its rigs from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Click   here   to read more from the Houston Chronicle's FuelFix blog.

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ConocoPhillips' Lance named to head API Board of Directors

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, November 9, 2015 – ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance has been elected chairman of API’s Board of Directors effective January 1, 2016. Phillips 66 Chairman and CEO Greg Garland has been elected chair of the Finance Committee.

“Ryan Lance’s experience, knowledge and vision for our nation’s energy future will advance API’s goal of ensuring that our nation takes full advantage of its enormous energy potential,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard.

“Greg Garland’s long record of leadership and unique insight as well as operational knowledge of the industry’s financial landscape will maximize value for our members and provide guidance for API’s strategy.

“API’s new board leadership team knows firsthand how America’s oil and natural gas industry creates jobs, generates revenue for the government, and makes our nation more energy secure.”

Mr. Lance is a petroleum engineer with more than 31 years of oil and natural gas industry experience in senior management and technical positions within ConocoPhillips and has served as chairman and CEO since 2012. His past executive assignments with ConocoPhillips have included responsibility for international exploration and production, regional responsibility at various times for Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North America, and responsibility for technology, major projects, downstream strategy, integration and specialty functions.

Mr. Garland has more than 35 years of industry experience in technical and executive leadership positions within the oil and natural gas and chemicals industries and has served as chairman and CEO of Phillips 66 since 2012. Previously, he had served as senior vice president, Exploration and Production, Americas, for ConocoPhillips since 2010. Prior to joining ConocoPhillips, Garland was president and chief executive officer of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company.

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 625 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 25 million Americans

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API honors Devon Energy Corp.'s J. Larry Nichols

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, November 9, 2015 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) awarded its highest honor – the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement – to J. Larry Nichols of Devon Energy Corporation in recognition of his outstanding leadership and service to the oil and natural gas industry, his community, and the nation.

“Larry Nichols has been a pioneer of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “His entrepreneurial spirit and vision helped to create and guide one of America’s leading independent energy companies.”

Nichols led Devon Energy for more than four decades, providing steady leadership during both good and challenging economic times and helped to grow Devon Energy from five employees in 1971 to more than 5,000 today, according to Gerard. Nichols served as Devon Energy’s executive chairman since June 2010 after serving as chief executive for three decades.

“His passion, personal integrity, advocacy and leadership have been a significant positive force for the oil and natural gas industry and an important part of America’s 21st century energy renaissance,” Gerard said. “In recognition of his outstanding leadership and distinguished service to our industry, the community and our nation, the American Petroleum Institute awards Larry Nichols its highest honor – the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement.”

Prior to his career in the oil and natural gas industry, Nichols distinguished himself as an attorney and served our nation as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and Justice Tom Clark. He then served as special assistant to then-Assistant Attorney General William Rehnquist in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Nichols is also a graduate of two of our nation’s leading institutions of higher education, Princeton University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in geology, and the University of Michigan, where he earned a juris doctorate.

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 625 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 25 million Americans.

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Eco-groups running TV ads against North Carolina governor

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

From the Associated Press:

(AP) — A coalition of environmental groups is on television again, criticizing Gov. Pat McCrory for signing bills into law designed to encourage a type of shale gas exploration in North Carolina called fracking.

The North Carolina Environmental Partnership began airing a 30-second commercial Tuesday. Documents show it already intends to spend $300,000 over four weeks on at least two Raleigh TV stations, including WRAL, which first reported the commercial's existence.

The partnership cites three bills that McCrory signed that have provisions related to fracking, including one that became law this month and is designed to stop local governments from ordinances that prohibit hydraulic fracturing directly or indirectly. The ad says hydraulic fracturing can pollute air and threaten drinking water. It asks viewers to tell McCrory "to stand with us, not the polluters, and say no to fracking."

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'Monster' natural gas wells are fueling Utica Shale boom

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

"Monster"  natural gas wells in the Utica Shale in Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania are having a big imapct on drillers, Reuters reports.

Drillers elsewhere are scaling back because of low commodity prices.

Click  here  for more.

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Eclipse Resources reports 13 percent growth in natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: November 12, 2015

Pennsylvania-based Eclipse Resources reported that natural gas production in the third quarter 2015 grew by 13 percent from the previous quarter and by 163 percent from a year ago.

The company, a key player in Ohio's Utica Shale, reported that it had drilled nine wells in 3Q 2015, completed 15 wells and started production on 22 wells.

Click  here  to read more.

 

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Eco-groups issue report looking at oil trains, rail deficiencies

By Bob Downing Published: November 10, 2015

From a press release today:

New Investigative Report Documents Threat from Oil Trains on

Nation’s Neglected Rail Infrastructure

With a 5,000% increase in oil train traffic, Waterkeepers across the U.S. identify significant areas of concern with 114 railway bridges along known and potential routes of explosive oil trains

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Working natural gas in storage matches record high

By Bob Downing Published: November 10, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration recently:

Working natural gas in storage reached 3,929 billion cubic feet (Bcf) as of October 30, according to EIA's latest Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report. This level matches the previous weekly record of 3,929 Bcf set November 2, 2012. Although October marks the traditional end of the injection season, inventory increases commonly continue into the first weeks of November. Largely depending on the weather, inventories could surpass 4 trillion cubic feet in the coming weeks.

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Kansas to extend rules on injection wells due to quakes

By Bob Downing Published: November 10, 2015

From the Associated Press:

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Oil and gas industry restrictions meant to decrease the frequency and intensity of earthquakes in south-central Kansas will remain in place until at least March 2016, state regulators decided Thursday.

The Kansas Corporation Commission issued an order extending limits on the injection of wastewater into the ground by oil and natural gas producers during fracking. The limits, first imposed in March of this year, apply to five earthquake-prone areas in Harper and Sumner counties.

The restrictions had been set to expire in September, but the commission’s staff recommended continuing them after a drop in the number and intensity of earthquakes in the spring and summer. The restrictions will be revisited early next year, the order said, but they could stay in effect longer.

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Pennsylvania unlikely to adopt natural gas severance tax

By Bob Downing Published: November 10, 2015

It appears unlikely that a new natural gas severance tax will be adopted in Pennsylvania, where budget talks are continuing, reports NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania.

Click  here  to read more.

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Eclipse Resources seeking bids from rival drillers

By Bob Downing Published: November 10, 2015

Eclipse Resources, a major player in Ohio's Utica Shale, is seeking birds from rival drillers, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today.

The company, based in State College, Pa., went public last year.

It is valued at about $500 million.

Click  here  to read more.

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USFS begins review of drilling in Ohio's Wayne National Forest

By Bob Downing Published: November 10, 2015

The U.S. Forest Service is looking at opening rhe Wayne National Forest in southern Ohio to shale drilling.

The agency is studying the feasibility of opening about 32,000 acres to drilling.

Its review is under way.

Click  here  to read more from the Columbus Dispatch.

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Dartmouth study says fracking benefits extend 100 miles

By Bob Downing Published: November 10, 2015

From a recent press release:

Here’s the link to the study: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21624

 

Dartmouth Study Shows Regional Economies Reap Benefits From Fracking Within 100-Mile Radius

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EV Energy Partners reports 13 percent production drop in 3Q

By Bob Downing Published: November 9, 2015

From a press release today:

HOUSTON, Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- EV Energy Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: EVEP) today announced results for the third quarter of 2015 and the filing of its Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Additionally, EVEP has provided an update on distributions and fourth quarter 2015 guidance.

Third Quarter 2015 Results

Adjusted EBITDAX for the third quarter of 2015 was $43.8 million, a 29 percent decrease from the third quarter of 2014 and an 18 percent decrease from the second quarter of 2015.  Distributable Cash Flow for the third quarter of 2015 was $20.1 million, a 37 percent decrease from the third quarter of 2014 and a 23 percent decrease from the second quarter of 2015.  The decreases in Adjusted EBITDAX and Distributable Cash Flow are primarily due to the sale of our Utica midstream interests, lower production and lower realized commodity prices, partially offset by decreased operating costs and expenses.  Adjusted EBITDAX and Distributable Cash Flow are Non-GAAP financial measures and are described in the attached table under "Non-GAAP Measures."

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Pennsylvania township adopts community bill of rights

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2015

From a Wednesday press release:

Grant Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania — November 4, 2015

Last night, the people of Grant Township adopted the country’s first municipal charter establishing a local bill of rights. The Grant Bill of Rights codifies environmental and democratic rights, and bans frack wastewater injection wells as a violation of those rights.  

Grant joins growing numbers of communities across Pennsylvania and the U.S. that are coming together in a Community Rights Movement, to stand up to a system of law that forces frack waste wells and other practices into communities, and protects corporations over people, communities, and nature.  

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Alternate-fueled vehicles added to federal highway bill

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2015

From U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles:

Washington, DC –The U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment by Congressman Tim Ryan to the six-year highway reauthorization bill (DRIVE Act). The amendment ensures states have the discretion to identify the most cost effective emission reduction technologies, including alternative fuel vehicles. Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA) cosponsored the amendment.

“Communities across the country are striving to improve air quality and reduce congestion, and the CMAQ program is a critical tool to achieve our goals. The Ryan-Napolitano Amendment ensures that states will have the discretion they need to find innovative creative solutions to reduces emissions—including vehicles that run on clean natural gas, propane or electricity,” said Congressman Tim Ryan.

The amendment addresses one specific provision in the highway bill that modifies how Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds can be used in regions exceeding pollution standards. The purpose of the CMAQ Program is to fund transportation projects or programs that will contribute to the compliance or maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Without this amendment, the highway bill’s language could have restricted the states’ ability to identify the most effective emission reduction technologies and effectively limit their options to only diesel retrofits. 

"Natural gas vehicles offer immediate benefits to improve air quality and the CMAQ program has been a valuable tool for communities across the country to achieve this goal. NGVAmerica applauds Rep. Ryan for his amendment which gives states new flexibility in utilizing CMAQ funds to select the best fuels and solutions to meet their individual challenges," said Matthew Godlewski, President of NGVAmerica.

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Fracking is best way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2015

From the Manhattan Institute:

Today the Manhattan Institute released a Reality Check on U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions, showing that the fracking-led natural gas boom, not renewable energy, is the nation’s single most effective tool for achieving reductions. Since 2007, fracking has helped reduce emissions 13 times faster than solar power. This is the second installment in the Institute's Issues 2016 series.

Fracking, Not Solar Power, Is Reducing U.S. Carbon-Dioxide Emissions
Oren Cass

In Reality

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API VP responds to proposal to restrict energy development

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2015

From a Wednesday press release:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- API Executive Vice President Louis Finkel made the following remarks in response to an anti-consumer proposal to restrict energy development on federal lands, which could raise energy costs on consumers, destroy American jobs, deprive the federal government of billions in revenue, and weaken our national security.

"This extreme proposal is anti-consumer and anti-jobs. It could significantly raise energy costs, destroy tens of thousands of well-paying American jobs, eliminate billions of dollars in federal revenue, and put a big dent in one of the few bright spots of our economy. Analysis of the latest government figures show that oil and gas production supported nearly half a million jobs.

"Consumers demand and rely on affordable energy. Shutting off America's development of our abundant resources on federal lands would make us more dependent on foreign sources of oil and gas—just when we've decreased our dependency on foreign oil from 58 percent to 26 percent, over the last ten years.

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Youngstown community bill of rights fails again

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2015

From a Wednesday press release:

Youngstown, OH  — November 4, 2015

In a dramatic election night, and despite being well outspent by opposition,  the people of Youngstown garnered 49% of the vote in favor of a Community Bill of Rights charter amendment that would have protected the City’s clean air, clean water, and local self-government, and banned fracking activities as a violation of those rights.

While rights-based laws are part of a growing Community Rights Movement, and are being adopted by municipalities across the country to protect themselves from corporate harms, all efforts were made by Youngstown local government, industry, media, chamber of commerce, and others to quash the residents’ rights-based charter amendment.

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Hull, Jobes Hendreson announce corporate merger

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2015

From a press release:

HULL AND JOBES HENDERSON ANNOUNCE CORPORATE MERGER
DUBLIN, Ohio — Hull & Associates, Inc. (HULL) CEO Craig Kasper and Jobes Henderson & Associates, Inc. (JHA) President/CEO Jim Roberts recently announced the completion of their corporate merger. The combination brings together two well-established, Ohio-based firms and allows greater service offerings by combining Hull’s reputation in the environmental and energy markets with JHA’s reputation in the infrastructure market.
Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, HULL is a privately held consulting firm specializing in creating sustainable solutions for the environmental, brownfields, waste management, shale oil & gas, and alternative energy markets. JHA, who recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, is a civil engineering and surveying firm in Newark, Ohio providing services to municipal, state, federal and private sector clients.
Kasper said, “This merger helps complete HULL’s long-term strategy of providing services in the environmental, energy and infrastructure markets. We are bringing together two extraordinary groups of employees and are looking forward to continued growth and opportunities for them and our clients.”
Roberts added “As this chapter for JHA comes to a close, an exciting new volume is just beginning. With the added strength of the HULL team, Jobes Henderson looks forward to a bright new future full of exciting opportunities.”
As part of the integration process, and to provide familiarity to current clients and customers, JHA will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of HULL for a period of time and employees will continue to work in the Newark, Ohio office. Following the transition, all offices and staff will operate under the HULL brand. Kasper will continue to serve as CEO of the firm; Roberts has been named a Vice President and a member of the CEO Leadership Team.
Hull & Associates, Inc., an ENR Top 500 Firm, is an industry leader in project development, energy, and environmental consulting. HULL's focus is to provide innovative, value-added services to many pressing and complex challenges in the alternative energy, brownfields, environmental, shale oil and gas, and waste management markets.
-30-
www.hullinc.com

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Louisiana pipeline system to grow to serve LNG facility

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2015

Williams and Williams Partners announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved its application to expand the Transco pipeline system in Louisiana to serve Cheniere Energy Partners's Sabine Pass LNG terminal.

Click  here  to read more.

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Range Resources to sell Virginia assets for $876 million

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2015

From a press release:

FORT WORTH, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 11/03/15 -- RANGE RESOURCES CORPORATION (NYSE: RRC) today announced that it has signed a definitive sales agreement to sell its Nora assets for a purchase price of $876 million.

The properties encompass approximately 3,500 operated wells and approximately 460,000 net acres in the Nora/Haysi combined fields located primarily in southwestern Virginia.

Third quarter production for the Nora assets was 109 Mmcf per day representing 7.5% of Range's net production.

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Rice Energy: production growth, completes water deal

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2015

From Rice Energy today:

CANONSBURG, Pa., Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Rice Energy Inc. (NYSE: RICE) ("Rice Energy") today reported third quarter 2015 financial and operational results. Highlights during the quarter include:

Commenting on the results, Daniel J. Rice IV, Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our third quarter results demonstrate our ability to continue executing our development plan despite challenging commodity markets. The economic investment decisions we are making today will continue to deliver significant growth in the future. We are proud of our team's strong initiative and collaboration this year, evidenced by our strong results, which positions us for continued success in 2016."

(1)

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Gulfport to curtail production from Nov. 1 to early 2016

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2015

From Gulfport Energy:

OKLAHOMA CITY, Nov. 04, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:GPOR) (“Gulfport” or the “Company”) today reported financial and operational results for the quarter ended September 30, 2015 and provided an update on its 2015 activities.  Key information for the third quarter includes the following:

Michael G. Moore, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “While we are certainly proud of our operational performance this quarter, we also acknowledge these are challenging times for the industry.  Gulfport has differentiated itself to not only weather these challenges but navigate them opportunistically and ultimately exit in a position of strength.  Our core philosophy of maintaining conservative leverage and preserving the strength of our balance sheet has been and will continue to be the driving force of our business and our number one priority.”

“With regard to 2016, Gulfport anticipates providing its 2016 guidance and budgeted activity levels in early 2016. In light of today’s commodity price environment, we currently plan to forego adding a fifth rig in the Utica at the beginning of 2016, idling a completion crew during the first quarter of 2016 and we are directionally moving downward towards the middle of the previously provided bookends of activity next year. As we contemplate levels of activity going forward, I assure you that we will continue to act thoughtfully and in a financially responsible manner.” 

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Chesapeake Energy expects to sell $300 million in assets

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

Chesapeake Energy Corp. said today in an earningscall that it expects to sell $300 million in assets ine arly 2016, Columbus Business First reported.

The Oklahoma-based energy company did not say what assets might be sold.

Click  here  to read more.

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Chesapeake's Utica production drops 15 percent in 3Q 2015

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s natural gas production in Ohio’s Utica Shale dropped 15 percent in the third quarter 2015, the Oklahoma-based energy company said on Wednesday.  
It averaged 106 million barrels of oil equivalents per day in the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio, a 15 percent reduction from the second quarter 2015, the firm said.
Part of the drop was because Chesapeake, the No. 1 player in the Utica Shale, had voluntarily curtailed production of natural gas by 20 million barrels of oil equivalents per day from the Utica Shale because of weak commodity prices.
A new regional pipeline scheduled to begin operations in late 2015 will enable Chesapeake to move an additional 350 million cubic feet per day out of the Utica Shale and to provide greater access to higher natural gas prices on the Gulf Coast.
In the third quarter, the company drilled its longest lateral in the Utica Shale: 12,976 feet.
The company had two rigs drilling in the Utica Shale in the third quarter and that will continue through the end of the year.
The cost of a Utica well in 2015 is $7.7 million with 7,900-foot laterals. In 2014, the average well with a 6,200-foot lateral cost $7.2 million.
The company is the No. 2 natural gas producer in the United States.

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Air pollution is topic of programs in Belmont, Carroll counties

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

Air pollution from drilling, processing and shipping of natural gas and liquids will be the subject of two public programs in Belmont and Carroll counties in eastern Ohio.

The programs looking at the health threat from drilling will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 7, at the First United Methodist Church, 123 W. Main St., Barnesville, and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, at the Church of Christ-Christian Disciples, 353 Moody Ave. Carrollton.

Speakers include Melanie Houston of the Ohio Environmental Council and Nadia Steinzor of Earthworks.

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Pennsylvania drillers going after deeper Utica Shale

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

Some drillers in southwest Pennsylvania are looking deeper -- to the Utica Shale.

The companies have been successfully tapping the shallower Matrcellus Shale, but now some are beginning to drill the deeper and more costly Utica Shale.

Not everyone is going that route.

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

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USGS has new tool to gauge stream vulnerability to drilling

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

From the U.S. Geological Survey on Tuesday:

On average, streams in the Niobrara-Mowry Play of eastern Wyoming, Fayetteville Play of Arkansas, and Barnett Play of Texas ranked most vulnerable to unconventional oil and gas development, but for different reasons, according to recent U.S. Geological Survey coauthored research.

Streams in the Fayetteville and Barnett were vulnerable mostly from existing man-made stressors, whereas streams in the Niobara-Mowry were vulnerable largely due to a stream's natural sensitivity to alterations. However, the study also shows that streams in all regions have the potential to be impacted by such development.

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Marcellus Shale factors into closing of N.Y. nuclear plant

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

From a Monday press release:

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) announced today that it will close the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, NY, in late 2016 or early 2017.  The company said its decision to close the plant is based on the continued deteriorating economics of the facility. The key drivers cited by the company include significantly reduced plant revenues due to low natural gas prices, a poor market design that fails to properly compensate nuclear generators like FitzPatrick for their benefits, as well as high operational costs.

Entergy is reporting today to the operator of the electric grid, the New York Independent System Operator, and to the New York State Public Service Commission that it will retire the plant at the end of the current fuel cycle.

Entergy and New York State officials worked tirelessly over the past two months to reach a constructive and mutually beneficial agreement to avoid a shutdown, but were unsuccessful. 

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Two eco-groups threaten lawsuit over Oklahoma quakes

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

Two environmental groups have warned four Oklahoma companies that they will file a lawsuit against waste injection wells that are triggering earthquakes.

Click here  to read the full story.

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Comments critical of crude rail terminal left out of report

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

From a press release from Earthjustice:

COMMENTS CRITICAL OF CRUDE BY RAIL TERMINALS LEFT OUT OF ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW
Leaders of the Quinalt Indian nation, local fishermen and environmental groups condemn the omission of at least 32 substantial comments on a controversial project at Grays Harbor

GRAYS HARBOR, WA — Leaders of the Quinault Indian Nation, Washington Environmental Council, the Washington Dungeness Crab Fishermen’s Association, Willapa/Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association and retired oyster grower Brady Engvall condemned the omission of their input into the environmental review process for proposed crude-by-rail terminals in Grays Harbor, Washington. 

During review of the draft environmental impact statements, these groups — represented by Earthjustice — discovered that their extensive scoping comments submitted in 2014 were not included in a final scoping report prepared by ICF International, the consultant hired by the City of Hoquiam and the Washington State Department of Ecology. Nor have any scoping comments been made publically available on the website created for the projects, in contrast to other controversial projects in the state. 

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Ohio's Franklin University to add energy management major

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

From a press release:

Columbus, OH — Franklin University, a leading educator of working adults, is pleased to announce the addition of its new Energy Management major to the Ross College of Business offerings.

The energy industry is the third-largest industry in the United States. The recent resurgence of oil and gas production from shale is expected to propel the United States into the top spot globally for oil and gas production and it is estimated that the country will be nearly self-sufficient within the next two decades.

With Franklin University’s transfer-friendly Energy Management degree-completion program, students build on technical knowledge and learn how to apply traditional business concepts like accounting, economics, finance, management and marketing that will help to take on supervisory and management roles within the energy industry.

Unlike most energy management degree programs that focus primarily on engineering, Franklin University’s Energy Management is housed within the Ross College of Business so students are equipped with a management degree that builds on technical skills – providing the best of both worlds. By mastering business concepts like accounting, marketing and finance, and learning how to apply them within the energy industry, students will be prepared to drive the development of energy sources, effectively manage costs associated with production and transportation, and analyze oil and gas markets for risks, benefits and opportunities.

Students gain an understanding of the operations used to find, evaluate and deliver resources, as well as the equipment and processes to evaluate promising formations, drill wells, manage production, and transport oil and gas.  Energy markets and cost structure for various forms of energy and the role utility companies play in providing energy through various sources are also explored.

Curriculum exposes students to the current and future states of domestic and international energy markets and provides the opportunity to examine innovation and techniques to improve energy process design and efficiency.

Graduates of the new Energy Management program have a number of career options including commodity trader, gas marketing representative, power trader, field landman, contracts manager, land manager, environmental manager or division order manager.

Up to 24 hours of prior-learning credit for certifications, licensures, on-the-job training, and previously earned college credits are available, providing students with credit for technical knowledge allowing them to earn a degree faster and lower tuition costs. Existing education or experience, combined with Franklin University’s Energy Management major, can propel students to the management level and more career opportunities. Moreover, convenient, online courses mean Franklin University students can earn a degree where and when it’s most convenient. Coursework is available completely online or at one of the University’s Midwest locations.

For more information visit our Energy Management - Bachelor of Science Degree page.

Founded in 1902, Franklin University is one of the leading and most experienced educators of adult students. Annually, nearly 10,000 students attend Franklin, through its Main Campus in downtown Columbus, Ohio, three Central Ohio locations and in Beavercreek, as well as at co-locations across Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, in addition to online. Franklin offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs (including the new Certificate in Criminal Justice and Logistics Management major) and graduates more than 1,500 students annually. The University’s MBA program is offered internationally through agreements with institutions in Europe and the Middle East. Further information regarding Franklin University can be found at www.franklin.edu.

Franklin University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

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Anadarko Petroleum taps Ingram to oversee global LNG

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

From a Monday press release:

HOUSTON, Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) today announced its Board of Directors named Mitchell W. Ingram to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Global LNG, effective immediately.

"Mitch Ingram is a recognized leader in industry for his ability to advance large-scale LNG (liquefied natural gas) projects effectively, safely, and in collaboration with host governments and local communities," said Anadarko Chairman, President and CEO Al Walker. "His leadership, industry knowledge and track record of success will be additive to the strong organization we have built to advance the development of LNG in Mozambique and make this line of business an increasingly important part of Anadarko's future. As our Board and Executive Committee evaluated how to best manage the company's growing global LNG position over the next decade, we concluded expanding our ranks to include a proven leader to manage this business platform would optimize our success. We look forward to adding Mitch's expertise, business acumen and perspective to the management of our company."

Ingram joins the following members of Anadarko's Executive Committee reporting to Walker:

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Stone Energy halts Appalachian drilling, fields still shut in

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

From a Monday press release:

LAFAYETTE, La., Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Stone Energy Corporation (NYSE: SGY) today announced financial and operational results for the third quarter of 2015. Some of the highlights include:

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer David Welch stated, "We are pleased with our third quarter progress as we brought the Cardona #6 well online and have increased production at the Cardona field to over 15,000 barrels a day.  In late September, we began our completion operations at our Amethyst discovery and expect to have first production by the first quarter of 2016.  We will next move the rig to our Cardona #7 development well and would expect to see production by the second quarter of 2016.  Finally, we have secured the Pompano platform rig for development wells in 2016. Our Gulf of Mexico development projects are expected to give us year-over-year production growth as we continue navigating through this difficult pricing environment.  We have taken steps to reduce our overhead and operating costs, and expect to curtail capital spending in 2016 to more closely align with our cash flow projection."

Financial Results

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GreenHunter Resources files lawsuit against two former VPs

By Bob Downing Published: November 4, 2015

Texas-based GreenHunter Resources has filed a federal lawsuit against two former company executives and another man in connection with its operations in southern Ohio, according to the Marcellus Drilling News.

The suit was filed Oct. 15 in U.S. Dustrict Court in Columbus.

The defendants are John Jack, former vice president of Appalachia operations for GreenHunter, and Rick Zickefoose, former vice president and operations manager at GreenHunter.

The suit also names Dean Grose, CEO of Comtech Industries and involved in Water Energy Services, both competitors of GreenHunter.

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Magnum Hunter Resources faces $29 million interest payment

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

Financially troubled Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. faces another financial deadline: a $29 million interest payment on Nov. 15, Columbus Business First reports.

The Texas-based company is a player in Ohio's Utica Shale.

Click here  to read the latest story.

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Columbia Pipeline Group adds to Utica, Marcellus pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From a press release today:

HOUSTON, Nov. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc. (NYSE: CPGX) ("CPG") reported net operating earnings from continuing operations - controlling interest (non-GAAP) of $68.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2015, compared with $53.3 million for the prior-year period.

Operating earnings (non-GAAP) for the third quarter were $142.4 million compared with $94.5 million for the prior-year period. For the third quarter, Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) was $178.1 million compared with $126.4 million in 2014. Additionally, distributable cash flow (non-GAAP) was $111.3 million for the third quarter. Please refer to Schedules 1 and 2 in the financial tables below for a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.

On a GAAP basis, CPG reported income from continuing operations - controlling interest for the three months ended September 30, 2015 of $63.1 million compared with $53.7 million for the prior-year period. Operating income for the third quarter was $135.9 million compared with $94.5 million for the prior year period.

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TransCanada asks State Department to pause pipeline review

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From a Monday press release:

 

View PDF

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Nov. 2, 2015) - TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) today announced it has sent a letter to Secretary John Kerry of the U.S. State Department asking the Department to pause its review of the Presidential Permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline. The company believes there is sound precedent for making this request.

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Noble Energy completed first Utica well in West Virginia

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From a Monday press release:

HOUSTON, Nov. 02, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) ("Noble Energy" or "the Company") announced today a third quarter 2015 net loss of $283 million, or $0.67 per diluted share.  Excluding the impact of certain items which would typically not be considered by analysts in published earnings estimates, third quarter 2015 adjusted loss(1) was $90 million, or $0.21 per diluted share. Included in the Company's third quarter adjusted loss(1) was tax expense of $8 million, with a current tax benefit offset by a deferred tax expense.  Results from the Company's value change in commodity positions, exploration results, and forecasts for full year tax projections, amongst other factors, affected tax expense for the quarter.

Total sales volumes for the quarter averaged 379 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d), with liquids comprising 44 percent (30 percent crude oil and condensate and 14 percent natural gas liquids) and natural gas the remaining 56 percent.  Included in sales volumes for the third quarter of 2015 were the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian assets following the July 20th closing of the Rosetta Resources transaction.  Legacy Noble Energy volumes totaled 337 MBoe/d for the quarter, an increase of 12 percent versus the comparable third quarter 2014 amount.  Higher legacy volumes were driven by record sales from the Company's DJ Basin, Marcellus Shale and Israel assets.  Total sales volumes for the third quarter of 2015 were less than production by four thousand barrels per day (MBbl/d) due to the timing of liquid liftings in Equatorial Guinea.

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Dominion reports that Cove Point LNG project is progressing

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From a Monday press release:

Nov 2, 2015

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Resources (NYSE: D) today announced operating earnings for the three months ended September 30, 2015, of $611 million ($1.03 per share), compared to operating earnings of $545 million ($0.93 per share) for the same period in 2014.  Operating earnings are defined as reported earnings, determined in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), adjusted for certain items. 

Unaudited reported GAAP earnings for the three months ended September 30, 2015, were $593 million ($1.00 per share) compared with earnings of $529 million ($0.90 per share) for the same period in 2014. 

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U.S. propane exports increasing, reaching distant markets

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

As U.S. propane production has increased and domestic demand has remained relatively flat, the United States has transitioned from being a net propane importer to a net exporter. Facilitated by rapid expansion in the capacity to export domestic supply, propane exports from the United States are changing traditional propane trade patterns across the globe.

Read More ›

Tags: exports , imports , production , propane

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Ohio has 1,629 drilled Utica wells, 1,032 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

Ohio has approved 2,065 Utica Shale permits, as of Oct. 31.

That total includes 1,629 drilled Utica wells and 1,032 producing Utica wells, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported.

In all, 22 rigs are at work in Ohio.

One new permit was approved last week: an XTO permit in Belmont County.

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Rex Energy 3Q 2015 production slips 6 percent from 2Q 2015

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From a Monday press release:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Nov. 02, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rex Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:REXX) announced third quarter 2015 production volumes and price realizations.

Production Results and Price Realizations

Rex Energy's third quarter 2015 production was 194.3 MMcfe/d, an increase of 14% over the third quarter of 2014 and a decrease of 6% from the second quarter of 2015.  Net production consisted of 116.6 MMcf/d of natural gas and 12.9 Mboe/d of oil and NGLs (including 4.6 Mboe/d of ethane). Oil and NGLs (including ethane) accounted for 40% of net production during the quarter.

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BLM schedules Nov. 17-19 meetings on Wayne NF drilling

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From a press release this week:

Energy Development in the Wayne National Forest One Step Closer to Approval

 

CONTACT:Becky Clutter

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Group disappointed that Keystone XL will be delayed again

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From a press release:

R Street disappointed that government regulation delays Keystone XL pipeline once again

 

WASHINGTON (Nov. 3, 2015) – Having already waited seven years for a decision from the U.S. State Department, the R Street Institute was disappointed at yesterday's news that TransCanada was forced into asking for further delays to the Keystone XL review and approval process.

"For years, this project has been languishing, when it could be creating thousands of jobs and contributing billions of dollars to the economy," said Catrina Rorke, R Street's director of energy policy. "The approval process has become so politicized that TransCanada has decided it would be better to wait another year for an approval decision than face sure defeat at the hands of this administration."

The move by TransCanada is an effort to delay the final State Department ruling and executive branch decision until after the Nebraska Public Service Commission completes review of the pipeline. That likely won't happen until after President Barack Obama leaves office. Most parties believe the Obama administration would oppose moving forward with the pipeline, despite the obvious benefits to the U.S. economy.

R Street has been a leader in crafting conservative solutions to America's energy and environmental challenges, such as promoting responsible hydraulic fracturing, identifying free-market alternatives to command-and-control greenhouse gas regulation and supporting greater exports of domestically produced natural gas.

The pipeline would offer U.S. refineries access to a secure source of North American oil. The State Department's own estimates show it would create 42,000 jobs and contribute roughly $3.4 billion to the U.S. economy. Because pipelines are safer and less emissions-intensive than other forms of transport, the State Department found the project also is likely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to lower the risk of oil spills, when compared with existing transport methods.

"Although this request will lead to yet more delays in the process, we are hopeful that it serves a greater good," said Rorke. "Keystone XL is just one pipeline, but the gross mismanagement of the decision process by this administration has highlighted the risk for all other companies looking to invest in American infrastructure. Perhaps in a new administration, the benefits of the pipeline will be better recognized and accepted, and the road forward will be smoother."

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Environment America backs Obama pipeline rejection

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From Environment America today:

WASHINGTON, DC - TransCanada, the company sponsoring the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, has asked the White House to suspend review of its permit application, a request that if granted could push a decision on the pipeline to the next administration.

Environment America’s Anna Aurilio, director for the organization’s Global Warming Solutions program, issued the following statement:

“Thanks to years of citizen pressure to protect our waters and our forests and to act on climate, TransCanada is losing, and now they’ve made a desperate request for a delay. But a delay won’t change the facts: in two years Keystone XL will still accelerate global warming and threaten our communities. That’s why President Obama should reject this dirty pipeline now, once and for all.”

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Friends of the Earth claim victory in pipeline fight

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From a press release:

Last night TransCanada -- the company trying to build the Keystone XL pipeline -- asked to suspend its permit application.  

TransCanada realizes that it is likely to lose on the permit and could do so in a dramatic way in the run-up to the Paris climate negotiations. So we won this round.

This is a very important moment for the climate movement. It means that together, we have impeded the growth of the tar sands industry. We have been a part of something that history will note as a major step in building the global movement to stop catastrophic climate change.

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Eco-group calls for Obama to reject Keystone XL Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From a press release from Rainforest Action Network:

 

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Republic Services adds eight CNG trucks to fleet

By Bob Downing Published: November 3, 2015

From a press release:

RALEIGH, N.C., Nov. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Republic Services announced today the addition of eight Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) solid waste collection trucks to its fleet serving customers throughout the greater Raleigh area. The CNG trucks replace older diesel-powered trucks, and bring the total number of natural gas vehicles operated by Republic throughout North Carolina to 25.

"Natural gas-powered collection trucks run cleaner and quieter," said Drew Isenhour, area president of Republic Services. "We're dedicated to providing our customers with outstanding service while doing business in the most sustainable manner possible. This also embodies the responsibility we assume for doing our part to preserve North Carolina's natural beauty for future generations."

Republic's Raleigh Hauling Division has 100 employees who serve approximately 8,000 local Homeowners Associations, municipalities, and commercial customers. Republic also owns and operates six landfills, eight transfer stations, four recycling centers, and 18 hauling divisions throughout the state of North Carolina.

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OOGA holding Cambridge conference on Nov. 4-5

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association is holding its Technical Conference and Oilfield Expo on Nov. 4-5 in Cambridge.

The event will be held at the Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center, 7033 Glenn Highway.

Click  here  for more information.

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$3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline files for FERC approval

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

The $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline to carry natural gas from West Virginia to Virgina has filed paperwork seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

It was filed Oct. 23.

The 301-mile line would takeUtica and Marcellus natural gas from Wetzel County, W. Va., to Pittsylvania County, Va.

Click  here  to read more.

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Range Resources to skip Utica Shale drilling in 2016

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

Texas-based Range Resources is one the biggest players in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale.

The company has drilled its first three Utica Shale wells in southwest Pennsylvania.

Company officials told analysts and the media in an 3Q 2015 earning call last week that it intends to stick totally with the Marcellus Shale in 2016.

Drilling there just makes more economic sense for the company, CEO Jeff Ventura said.

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CONSOL Energy to curtail new wells in 2016 due to low prices

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

CONSOL Energy reported that last week that it does not intend to drill any new wells in 2016, until natural gas prices rise.

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

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Three state groups pushing expanded offshore drilling

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

State petroleum groups in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina are touting the economic benefits of expanded offshore drilling.

Click  here  to read more from the American Petroleum Council.

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Pipeline developers are facing growing opposition

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

Pipeline companies are encountering growing opposition from environmental and grass-roots groups, Platts reports.

Tallgrass Energy Partners officials at a recent conference in Pittsburgh  reported that it got more opposition from its plan to make the Rockies Express Pipeline flow both directions to get natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales to markets in the Midwest than when the pipeline was originally built.

The 1,700-mile pipeline runs from Wyoming and Colorado to eastern Ohio. It was completed in 2009 and drew little opposition at that time, officials said.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Australian engineering firm eying Utica, Marcellus projects

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

An Australian engineering frim and a Pittsburgh-based construction company have formed a joint venture to develop projects in the Utica and Marcellus shales in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The companies are Monadelphous and Mascaro Construction.

Click  here  to read more.

(Thanks to Bricker & Eckler's shale blog).

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear more Act 13 arguments

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week said it would hear additional arguments on Act 13, the state's revised rules on oil and gas drilling.

That comes after the court ruled on some Act 13 issues in December 2013.

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

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Enterprise Products looking at Aegis pipeline expansion

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

Texas-based Enterprise Products Partners LP is trying to gauge shippers' interest in a proposed expansion of its Aegis pipeline system.

The 270-mile line would carry purity ethane from its Mont Belvieu storage facility in Texas to facilities in Texas and Louisiana.

About 105 miles of the pipeline have been built.

The expansion would carry the line to the Mississippi River corridor.

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Number of Oklahoma quakes has dropped in last 90 days

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

From the Associated Press last week:

OKLAHOMA CITY — While the overall number of earthquakes skyrockets in Oklahoma, the new director of the state Geological Survey says there has been a modest decline over the last three months.

Jeremy Boak, hired in June to head the agency that studies geology and mineral resources, was one of several experts who testified Friday about the increase in earthquakes before a joint House and Senate committee. The rise has been linked to disposal wells where wastewater from oil and gas production is injected deep underground.

Boak says the average number of earthquakes of magnitude 2.8 or higher recorded in Oklahoma has dropped from five per day to 3.5 per day over the last 90 days. A dramatic drop in the price of oil over the last year has led to a decline in oil and gas drilling activity, and regulators have taken new steps to control wastewater wells, but Boak said it’s too early to draw any scientific conclusions.

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Chevron to cut its work force by 7,000 due to low prices

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

Chevron Corp. announced last week that it will cits its work force by 7,000 or 11 percent due to low commodity prices.

The company has 64,700 employees.

Click  here  to read more.

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Changes proposed in Atlantic Coast Pipeline route

By Bob Downing Published: November 2, 2015

From a Friday press release:

RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC, (Atlantic) today submitted additional information to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the 564-mile interstate natural gas transmission pipeline designed to meet the need for cleaner electricity generation, satisfy the growing demand for natural gas to heat homes and businesses, and promote consumer savings and economic growth.

The Supplemental Filing provides route alternatives, variations and adjustments developed since Atlantic submitted its formal application on Sept. 18, to minimize impacts of the proposed route on several environmental, historic and public land issues.

"We believe these route adjustments meet the project's critical need of supplying clean, inexpensive energy to public utility customers while protecting the environmental and cultural resources of communities along the route," said Diane Leopold, president of Dominion Energy, which is responsible for routing, building and operating the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, pending FERC approval. "While the route adjustments themselves are minor, they reflect Atlantic's strong and sincere commitment to listening to project stakeholders at every stage and addressing their concerns to improve the proposed route."

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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.