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Pennsylvania concerned about possible jobs shortage for new ethane cracker

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 29, 2016

Pennsylvania political and business leaders are worried about a possible skilled job shortage for the upcoming Shell petrochemical plant in Beaver County, the Pittsburgh Business Times reports:

"One big concern: Whether there's going to be enough skilled workers in the region to fill the jobs to build the ethane cracker, staff the cracker and then build and staff the place for the manufacturing of plastic products that is expected to sprout up within 100 miles of Shell's plant.

"'The challenge is to make sure we have enough trained workers, not only to build the plant, but then to move on and do all the manufacturing that goes on,' [Allegheny County Executive Rich] Fitzgerald said. 'Those skills are in short supply right now.'"

Read the full story here.

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Clinton will seek to end 'Halliburton' fracking loophole

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 29, 2016

No more "Halliburton loophole" under a Hillary Clinton presidency? Here's what The Hill is reporting:

"Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton would push Congress to reverse a 2005 measure that exempts hydraulic fracturing from certain federal environmental standards, a top adviser said.

"Ending what environmentalists call the “Halliburton loophole” would be the Democratic candidate’s first priority in regulating fracking, adviser Trevor Houser said.

Read the full story here.

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Big increase in crude oil prices is coming, energy exec believes

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 29, 2016

$60 a barrel crude oil is coming, a top energy executive says. While some question the timing, analysts say prices will rise eventually. The Houston Chronicle reports:

"Growing demand for petroleum could push oil prices to $60 a barrel by year's end, the CEO of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. said Wednesday, but recent market trends suggest that the return to those levels won't be reached until further into the future.

"Only about two hours after Al Walker, CEO of The Woodlands exploration and production company, made the prediction, the Energy Department reported that crude inventories rose for the first time in 10 weeks and stockpiles of all petroleum products, including gasoline, climbed toward record levels - despite growing demand. Oil prices fell for the fifth consecutive day, losing $1 on Wednesday to settle at $41.92 a barrel.

"Crude prices have declined 15 percent since breaking above $50 a barrel in June.

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Pipelines succeeding trucks in Bakken shale region

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 29, 2016

Pipelines continue to replace trucks in the Bakken shale region of North Dakota, the Bismarck Tribune reports:

"The buildout of a pipeline system that likely spells the end of the truck and train boom in the Bakken is continuing.

"The latest in the series involves a short segment of 12-inch pipeline that travels a mere 1.1 miles, but could have a major impact on Bakken crude. The line is being built by the Hess Corp.; and while short, it connects to something long indeed: the Dakota Access pipeline, which travels 1,172 miles to Patoka, Ill. Its maximum overall capacity is listed online as up to 570,000 barrels a day.

"That line, which is being built by Energy Transfer Partners, can ultimately tie North Dakota’s sweet Bakken crude — naturally low in sulfur — to other markets, including Texas, where ExxonMobil announced on Tuesday that it is expanding its ultra-low-sulfur fuel production at the Beaumont Refinery by 40,000 barrels a day.

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Oilfield drilling rigs increase by one in the U.S.

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 29, 2016

The number of oilfield drilling rigs working in the U.S. rose by one from a week ago to 463, according to the latest Baker Hughes report. The number of rigs is down 411 from the same period in 2015.
To read the full report, go here.

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Ohio anti-fracking initiatives fail in two counties

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 28, 2016

Anti-fracking initiatives in Miegs and Summit counties in Ohio have hit serious roadblocks, reports Energy In Depth:

"The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has hit another wall as its anti-fracking “Community Bill of Rights” initiative submitted for the November ballot in Meigs County has been ruled invalid by a 4-0 vote by the county Board of Elections.

" ... earlier this week, in Summit County, Judge Paul Gallagher said that an ordinance of the city of Munroe Falls requiring an oil and gas company to apply for a zoning certificate was invalid."

Read the full post here.

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U.S. gets large amounts of natural gas from stripper wells

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 28, 2016

We're not talking pole dancers, folks.

The U.S. Energy Information Administrations says the nation gets a sizeable amount of its natural gas from numerous low-producing wells.

Stripper wells, also known as marginal wells, individually produce small volumes of natural gas or oil but in aggregate have provided 11% to 15% of total U.S. oil and natural gas production over the past decade.

Natural gas stripper wells (so called because they are stripping the remaining natural gas out of the ground) are characterized as producing no more than 90,000 cubic feet per day over a 12-month period.

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Oil prices could drop into the $30s

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 28, 2016

An oversupply of gasoline and other factors are driving down crude oil prices, CNBC reports:

"Oil prices are heading lower and could fall into the $30s before the latest shakeout ends sometime during the fall months.

"But analysts say this sell-off is nothing like the one that took West Texas Intermediate crude to $26 earlier this year, and some of the factors behind it are seasonal.

The full story is here.
 

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Halcon Resources Corp. files for Chapter 11

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 28, 2016

Houston-based Halcon Resources Corp, which has about 128,000 acres in the Utica and Point Pleasant shales in Ohio, has filed for Chapter 11 bankrtuptcy protection. Here is the press release:

"Halcón Resources Corporation (NYSE:HK) ("Halcón" or the "Company"), and certain of its subsidiaries, today announced that they had filed voluntary petitions under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code to pursue a pre‐packaged plan of reorganization in accordance with its previously announced comprehensive balance sheet restructuring efforts (the "Restructuring Plan").

"Under the Restructuring Plan, the Company will eliminate approximately $1.8 billion in long-term debt and will reduce annual interest expense by more than $200 million. The Restructuring Plan also provides that existing holders of Halcón common stock will receive 4.0% of the common stock of the reorganized Company (subject to dilution set forth in the Restructuring Plan).

For the full release, go here.

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Ohio shale drilling rigs total 16

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 26, 2016

The number of drilling rigs in the Utica Shale and Point Pleasant Shale areas of Ohio totaled 16 as of July 23, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.
The number of permits for horizontal wells totalled 2,201, while the number of horizontal wells drilled in the state totaled 1,763.

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Higher oil prices leading to increased drilling in U.S.

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 26, 2016

Higher and more stable crude oil prices are contributing to increased drilling in the United States, which may slow the pace of production declines, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Tuesday.

Plus this:

"In addition to having more rigs drilling new wells, the average productivity of rigs continues to increase.

"The new-well oil production per rig through July 2016 averaged 796 barrels per day (b/d) in the Bakken region, 983 b/d in the Eagle Ford, and 470 b/d in the Permian, according to EIA's latest Drilling Productivity Report.

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U.S. oil rigs are resurgent

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 25, 2016

The number of oil rigs in the United States is bouncing back despite low oil prices, indicating that the shale oil industry is bouncing back,  writes The American Interest web site:

"Rig counts were the primary metric seized on by analysts and the media as evidence of the shale boom going 'bust,' but we noted then that this was something of a problematic indicator—the first rigs taken out of operation were naturally the least profitable and least productive.

"n other words, this was more a culling of the herd than evidence of an impending population collapse."

Read the whole thing here.

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Ohio's natural gas production is up 1,000 percent from 10 years ago

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 25, 2016

The ever-increasing amount of natural gas coming from Ohio's Utica Shale is getting ever-increasing national attention. Take this story from The Daily Caller:

"... The state’s energy production is still surging, as its natural gas production grew 41 percent faster last year than it did in 2014, according to the Energy Information Administration

“'The energy renaissance that’s transforming our nation is bringing great benefits to Ohio including jobs in the state. In fact over 255,000 jobs are supported by the oil and natural gas industry in Ohio,' Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, wrote in Your Oil And Gas News. 'Over the last decade, natural gas production has increased by more than 1000 percent in the state due in part to the technological advancements in hydraulic fracturing that has contributed to Ohio’s energy revolution.'”

Read the full story here.

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U.S. natural gas production rises, carbon emissions drop: API

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 25, 2016

The trade association American Petroleum Institute says the dramatic increase in natural gas production from fracking in the United States has led to an equally dramatic reduction in carbon emissions:

"The United States is leading the world in natural gas production that has increased 46 percent over the past decade. The leadership of the United States in natural gas production has also led to our nation being a global leader in the reduction of carbon emissions which are near 20-year lows."

Read the API story here.

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Gasoline glut could drive down oil prices, report says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 25, 2016

Gear up for a fall in oil prices, writes FuelFix.com:

"The global oil market is 'severely oversupplied' with gasoline — with stocks at a five-year high — serving as a blow to crude prices from next month, reckon Morgan Stanley analysts led by Adam Longson.

"In a report published on Sunday, the analysts foresee “worrisome trends” for oil supply and demand, led by refineries generating too much gasoline in recent months. Faced with the need to cut back on capacity utilization to protect profit margins, these refineries are set to crimp crude oil purchases and drag prices lower, the analysts say."

The full FuelFix story can be found here.

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'Fracklogging' has stopped, according to RealClearEnergy

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 25, 2016

The RealClearEnergy web site delivers its take on the so-called "fracklog":

"The fracklog -- like backlog, geddit? -- are the dormant, half-finished, or mothballed crude and natural gas wells in America's oil patch, and that that backlog is at least not growing is what passes for big news these days in an oil patch, waiting, praying for good news."

Read the full story, including a chart, here.

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U.S. drilling rigs rise by 15

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 22, 2016

Oil drilling rigs in the U.S. rose to 462 as of Friday, up 15 from a week ago, according to the latest Baker Hughes report. The number of drilling rigs is down 414 from a year ago.
To read the full report, go here.

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Oil producers to cut $150 billion from U.S. drilling budgets, report says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 21, 2016

U.S. oil companies are making deep, deep budget cuts that could lead to a significant reduction in oil output in upcoming years, according to a story at fuelfix.com:

"Oil producers across the continental United States have snipped more out of their drilling budgets than their rivals in other countries, with plans to shed $150 billion by 2017, Wood Mackenzie says.

"The energy research firm says that’s three times more spending than producers in any other region have cut. The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas and the Bakken Shale in North Dakota took the biggest hit, making up more than a third of the industry’s spending cuts."

Read the full story here.

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DeSmog criticizes contractor involved in Algonquin gas pipeline project

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 21, 2016

The anti-global-warming site DeSmogBlog is criticizing disclosures about a contractor involved in the Algonquin Incremental Market , or AIM, Spectra Energy gas pipeline project. DeSmog:

"In a potential conflict of interest, a contractor hired by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review a proposed Spectra Energy natural gas pipeline project had already been working for the company it was reviewing on a different but interconnected pipeline. Spectra then directly hired the contractor, Natural Resource Group (NRG), for no fewer than five other projects during the review period.

"These revelations raise questions about the contractor’s ability to impartially review Spectra’s application on behalf of the government regulator.

" ... For AIM, FERC determined that NRG’s work for Spectra fell below the level of conflict of interest."

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Natural gas, petroleum and renewables rising, coal dropping, among energy producers, U.S. reports

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 21, 2016

Electric utilities are using less coal and more natural gas, petroleum and renewable resources, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports:

"In 2015, natural gas consumption increased more than any other energy source, accounting for 29% of total primary energy consumption. As domestic natural gas production continues to reach record levels, natural gas prices have remained low. Low natural gas prices have led to increased use of natural gas-fired generators in the electric power sector.

"Coal supplied 16% of total U.S. primary energy use in 2015, down from 18% in 2014. Coal consumption declined by more than 12% in 2015, and it is now at its lowest level since 1982. Nearly all coal is used for electricity generation. In 2015, demand for coal in the power sector reached its lowest level since 1987."

Read the full report here.

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Sunoco wins Pennsylvania pipeline court ruling

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 20, 2016

Sunoco won a court battle regarding taking private property for a pipeline in Pennsylvania, reports ShaleOhio:

"The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court has upheld Sunoco Logistics Partners' authority to take private property for its Mariner East Pipeline, adding momentum to the company’s plan to deliver natural gas from the Marcellus shale region to the Marcus Hook export terminal near Philadelphia."

Read the full post here.

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Law firm looks at new FAA rules impacting drones and the energy industry

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 20, 2016

The Federal Aviation Industry is clarifying the use of drones by the energy industry, including flying over pipelines, reports Babst/Calland's ShaleEnergyLaw blog:

"Babst Calland’s Pipeline and HazMat Safety team has prepared a Pipeline Safety Alert noting observations on some of the key provisions in the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016.

The blog and a link to Babst/Calland's report can be found here.

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Halliburton's failed buyout of Baker Hughes costs it billions

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 20, 2016

Breaking up can be mighty expensive, reports Jordan Blum at FuelFix.com:

"Halliburton reported a $3.2 billion loss in the second quarter Wednesday, largely because of a $3.5 billion breakup fee it paid rival and former acquisition target, Baker Hughes.

"Halliburton’s acquisition of Houston-based Baker Hughes fell apart in early May after the Justice Department intervened because of anti-competitiveness concerns."

Read the full story here.

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Shale keeping oil prices lower for longer, Forbes writes

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 20, 2016

Oil prices are expected to remain lower for longer, writes Kate Stalter at Forbes:

"There has been much talk on Wall Street and in the financial press lately that the oil price decline that began in 2014 was indeed different from past 'oil shocks' and that now oil prices will remain 'lower for longer'.

"The chief explanation offered for this is that there has been a fundamental shift in supply. And, the root cause cited for that shift, or increase, has been the boom in U.S. shale oil production."

Read the full story here.

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Utica Region Drilling Productivity Report for July is out

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 19, 2016

The Utica Drilling Region Productivity report for July is out from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

You can see the report here.

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Ohio River locks, dams may get upgrades because of Shell ethane cracker plant

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 18, 2016

The upcoming Shell Chemical ethane cracker plant may push action to upgrade locks and dams on the Ohio River, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:

"River industry officials hope Shell Chemical’s decision to build an ethane cracker plant on the Ohio River will provide enough of an incentive to get a long-delayed, $2.3 billion lock and dam project off the ground.

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been considering modernizing Depression-era locks and dams on the Ohio River at Emsworth, Dashields and Montgomery since 2003. The Corps is expected to sign off on a study justifying the work this fall, which would be enough time to get Congress to authorize the project before the current session ends.

"Shell has already built two docks for barges at the site, located in Potter and Center townships, Beaver County, and has moved in materials by barge as part of its preliminary work. Industry officials expect the company, a division of Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell, will rely on the river to move material and they say the businesses expected to be created by the cracker plant also will need dependable river infrastructure.

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U.S. oil company finances appear to be improving

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 18, 2016

U.S. onshore energy company finances appear to improving even with lower crude oil prices, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports:

"Although the crude oil price decline since 2014 has led to significant reductions in operating cash flow for U.S. oil companies, their immediate financial situations are improving. As oil companies' spending falls and crude oil prices increase, the need for oil companies to find external sources of funding may decline, which could reduce financial strain in the coming quarters.

"First-quarter 2016 financial results from U.S. onshore producers reveal an improving balance between capital expenditure and operating cash flow."

Read the full report here.

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Shale industry 'painfully' adapts to low oil prices

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 18, 2016

The shale industry is "painfully" adapting to low oil prices, writes the web site financialsense.com:

" ... The key towards a survival of the US shale industry currently lies in its ability to raise money to finance its renewed activity.

"One of the shale’s weak spots was always its dependency on capital inflow and high level of debt. In the world of high oil prices and lax capital markets, this did not matter so much. However, since the oil price crashed two years ago, financing has become the industry’s central problem.

"Bond sales of US independent energy companies are currently at its lowest level in more than a decade, and the markets are still not convinced enough to devote fresh capital to new energy projects, despite the brighter outlook that came with higher prices of oil.

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Gasoline prices drop to lowest in 12 years, AAA reports

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 18, 2016

Gasoline prices for the month of July are the lowest in 12 years, AAA reports:

"The national average for regular, unleaded gasoline has fallen for 35 out of 36 days to $2.21 per gallon and sits at the lowest mark for this time of year since 2004.

"Gas prices continue to drop in most parts of the country due to abundant fuel supplies and declining crude oil costs.

"Average prices are about 55 cents less than a year ago, which is motivating millions of Americans to take advantage of cheap gas by taking long road trips this summer."

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Shale tech could unleash aging conventional oil fields

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 18, 2016

From the web site of The American Interest:

"The shale revolution came about because drillers combined two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling—to successfully plumb hydrocarbons from rock formations that were previously thought to be inaccessible. Now, analysts believe companies could deploy horizontal well drilling in conventional oil fields to boost production.

" ... Stepping back a bit, the shale revolution came about because companies took risks—calculated, but risks nonetheless—on the deployment of two technologies that previously were believed to be unrelated. In doing so they made fools of the 'Peak Oil' crowd and strengthened not only America’s energy position, but also helped provide the global market with a stable new supply of oil."

Read the full story here.

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Ohio has 2,192 horizontal well permits issued for Utica, Pt. Pleasant shales

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 15, 2016

Through July 9, there were 2,192 permits issued in the Utica and Point Pleasant shales, according to state figures released this week.
There were 1,756 horizontal wells drilled and 1,334 wells producing. There were 13 rigs in the state as of July 9.
 

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Electricity from natural gas-fired plants to hit record in U.S. this year

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 15, 2016

Natural gas from fracking in the U.S. is firing up more and more power plants, says the Energy Information Administration:

"Natural gas-fired electricity generation in the United States is expected to reach a record level this year, providing an average of 3.8 million megawatthours per day in 2016, or 4% higher than in 2015.

"Based on EIA's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), monthly natural gas-fired generation is expected to reach record highs in July and August, when weather-related demand for air conditioning increases electricity demand.

Natural gas had long been the second-most prevalent fuel for electricity generation behind coal. Natural gas-fired generation first surpassed coal generation on a monthly basis in April 2015.

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U.S. frackers now lean and profitable, analysts say

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 15, 2016

From marketplace.org:

"There are signs the long slump in oil prices may be ending. The International Energy Agency says supply and demand globally are 'near balance.' And already, some American drillers are betting on higher prices and putting drill-bits into the ground, measured by the private-sector oil rig count. That includes those employing high-tech 'fracking,' which is growing more affordable by the day.

"Four years ago, it cost around $60 to drill and frack a barrel of shale oil in southeastern Texas. Now, U.S. shale can be produced there for around $40, estimates the consultancy Rystad Energy in Norway.

“'It was the underdog a couple years ago,' Rystad senior analyst for North America, Bielenis Villanueva, said. 'But now shale is really one of the main sources of supply for the global picture."

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U.S. shale 'lowest cost option' for future oil production, report says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 14, 2016

There's good news for U.S. shale producers, write the folks who put together "charticles" at the web site RealClearEnergy.

Via the Financial Times:

"US shale reserves are the lowest-cost option for future oil production and are likely to attract more investment than competing projects such as deepwater fields...About 60 per cent of the oil production that is economically viable at a crude price of $60 a barrel is in US shale, and only about 20 per cent is in deep water...Companies with US shale assets are likely to be at a competitive advantage over the next few years."

Read the whole thing, with chart, here.

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Utica, Marcellus shale producing wells at historic highs, Cleveland Fed says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 13, 2016

Here's what the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland had to say about the Utica and Marcellus shale regions in today's Beige Book report:

"The number of rigs operating in the Marcellus and Utica Shales was little changed during this reporting period after declining precipitously during the past year.

"Nonetheless, the number of producing wells and regional natural gas output both remain at historic highs.

"Several contacts expressed the sentiment that the oil and gas industry may have reached the bottom of the current cycle, and they are hopeful that the industry will begin turning around late this year.

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U.S. expects fossil fuel production to increase for decades

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 12, 2016

The U.S. government expects the nation's fossil fuel production, including from shale, to grow through 2040, according to a report from the Energy Information Agency:

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that U.S. petroleum and other liquid fuels production, which in addition to crude oil and condensate production includes natural gas plant liquids derived from natural gas processing as well as biofuels and volume gain at refineries, is projected to grow from 14.8 million barrels/day (b/d) in 2015 to 18.6 million b/d in 2040 in its Annual Energy Outlook 2016 (AEO2016) Reference case.

Given the uncertainty inherent in making projections, AEO2016 also includes several alternative cases, based on different assumptions for world oil prices, macroeconomic growth, resource availability, technology improvement, and other factors.

Differences in crude oil from tight formations (tight oil) and natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) account for most of the differences in production across these cases.

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Shale's long-term performance depends on drilling technology, EIA says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 12, 2016

Drilling technology will play a major role in how well the U.S. shale industry performs, the Energy Information Administration reports in a story by FuelFix.com:

"After the energy bust, the future of U.S. shale oil will depend greatly on how quickly drilling technology can evolve over the next 25 years, the Energy Information Administration says.

"Rapid technological change and high energy prices could help domestic drillers push shale oil production to 12.9 million barrels a day by 2040, up from last year’s 4.9 million barrels a day, the EIA said Monday in an early look at some of its long-term projections due in a report later this month.

"But if crude prices languish and breakthroughs in drilling come slowly, the shale plays at the center of the recent oil boom could produce just 3.1 million barrels a day, the EIA says. In this projection, technological advancements come in at half the speed as the first scenario."

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U.S. energy drillers defaulting on junk bonds

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 12, 2016

From FuelFix.com:

"Oil explorers have failed to pay $28.8 billion they owed to junk-bond investors this year, bringing the debt default rate among U.S. drillers to a record level, Fitch Ratings says.

"It’s a grim milestone for the companies, which helped rack up a half-trillion dollars in corporate debt to pay for a shale drilling boom that produced more oil than the market could absorb. The glut is still bankrupting companies two years on.

"Oil prices that recently have risen still aren’t high enough to provide profits to smaller drillers working in high-cost shale plays."

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Revised university study shows low emission levels near fracking sites

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 12, 2016

Corrected data for a University of Cincinnati air pollution study shows emissions from shale fracking sites are below EPA-allowed levels, EnergyInDepth reports:

"Retractionwatch.com confirmed Friday what EID suspected when it broke news of the retraction earlier this week — corrected data from the study shows that the levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) found near fracking sites is below the levels the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says would increase risk of cancer."

Read the whole thing here.

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Frackfree Mahoning Valley to hold prayer service, vigil today

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 12, 2016

From a press release this morning:

Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FMV), an anti -fracking group whose members live in an area that experienced man-made earthquakes in northeastern Ohio, will participate in a prayer service/vigil conducted by Reverend Monica Beasley-Martin and hold an informational rally on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at 12 noon to 1 PM, just west of 4555 McCartney Road, Coitsville, Ohio, 44436, near an injection well site. The public and media are invited to attend.


FMV will demand that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) release details of the 30-foot “geyser” and industrial activity seen at an injection well site that had experienced a 2011 spill. The group wants transparency and a public ODNR meeting, preferably televised, to be held locally.

 

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Dominion, Dominion Resources to release 2nd quarter results Aug. 3

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 11, 2016

Dominion Resources and Dominion Midstream Partners will release second quarter results in early August:

"Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE: D) and Dominion Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE: DM), will host their second-quarter earnings conference call at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016. Management will discuss second-quarter financial results and other matters of interest to the financial community.

"Domestic callers should dial (877) 410-5657. International callers should dial (334) 323-9872. The passcode for the conference call is "Dominion." Participants should dial in 10 to 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Members of the media also are invited to listen.

"A live webcast of the conference call, including accompanying slides, and other financial information will be available on the investor information pages at www.dom.com/investors and www.dommidstream.com/investors."

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Company completes 18,544-foot-long lateral in Guernsey County

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 11, 2016

Nine Energy Service Inc. built a complex, 18,544-foot-long lateral in Ohio's Guernsey County, according to Ohio Oil & Gas:

"Nine Energy Service, Inc. successfully completed 124 perforated stages in an 18,544 ft. lateral in Guernsey County for Eclipse Resources, a premier independent E&P company in the Appalachian Basin.

"In one of the most complex wells ever completed by either company, Nine’s Wireline Division worked directly with Eclipse to design the plug and perf system through Cerebus Well Modeling software, enabling more effective planning and deployment of cable-conveyed tools. Nine completed all 124 stages in 23.5 days without any non-productive time."

Read the whole thing here.

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Higher crude prices has shale producers focus on higher profit fields

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 11, 2016

The recovery in the price of crude oil to close to $50 a barrel has encouraged shale producers to focus on the most profitable fields, ShaleOhio reports.

Read the story here.

 

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U.S. oil rigs rise slightly; Ohio figures stay steady

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 11, 2016

Baker Hughes reports that the number of U.S. oil drill rigs has increased slightly from a week ago but remain significantly down from a year ago.

The number of rigs in Ohio remained at 12 as of July 8, the same as the previous week.

To read the report, go here.

To see rigs by state, go here.

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Oil well completions drop significantly in second quarter, API reports

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 11, 2016

New oil and gas well figures are out from API:

"Estimated U.S. oil well completions decreased by 69 percent in the second quarter of 2016 compared to year-ago levels, according to API's 2016 Quarterly Well Completion Report, Second Quarter.

“'America’s shale energy revolution has helped the U.S. lower our greenhouse gas emissions while lowering the cost of energy for American consumers,' said Hazem Arafa, director of API's statistics department. 'To continue this progress, we must revisit current energy policy, speed up the LNG export approval process and avoid unnecessary regulations to help U.S. producers to compete effectively in the global market under the low-price environment.'”

Read the whole thing here.

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American Midstream to announced 2nd quarter earnings Aug. 8

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 11, 2016

Americfan Midstream Partners will announce second quarter earnings in August.

From the company's web site:

American Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE: AMID) today announced that its second quarter 2016 fiscal results will be released after the market closes on Monday, August 8, 2016. The Partnership will host a conference call at 10:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 to discuss results. The call will be webcast and archived on the Partnership’s website for a limited time.

Second Quarter 2016 Earnings Call Information
Date: Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. ET
Dial-In Numbers: (877) 291-4570 (Domestic toll-free)
(647) 788-4901 (International)
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University retracts shale fracking air pollution study

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 7, 2016

The University of Cincinnati has retracted a study on shale fracking air pollution in Carroll County, pro-fracking organization Energy in Depth reports:

"The University of Cincinnati (UC) has yet to publish the results of a now year-old study that found no water contamination from hydraulic fracturing in a scientific journal, despite scrutiny, media attention, and numerous calls from groups and elected officials to do so.

"This indefinite delay is all the more interesting considering that UC couldn’t wait to publish the results of its 2015 study that claimed fracking was causing significant air pollution in Carroll County. That study appeared in Environmental Science & Technology just three months after it was completed.

"But the UC researchers’ urgency has apparently come back to bite them as they have just retracted the study due to 'errors' and 'incorrect' calculations ..."

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Shares of shale gas drillers outperform in 2016

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 7, 2016

Shale stock investors may be smiling more than other investors these days, S&P Global intelligence writes, via CONSOL Energy:

"An index of 10 major Appalachian shale gas drillers' stocks significantly outperformed the S&P 500 and an S&P upstream index in the first half of 2016, but the region's producers still have some gains to make to recover their values from summer 2015, according to an SNL Energy analysis.

"Shares of two Appalachian shale gas producers more than doubled since the start of the year, while the equally weighted index of the top Marcellus and Utica shale drillers gained 53% from the market close Dec. 31, 2015, to the end of the first half.

"CONSOL Energy Inc.'s shares shot up 104% in the six months SNL examined, while Rice Energy Inc. gained 102%. Both drillers are focused on the Marcellus Shale in southwestern Pennsylvania. A third southwest Pennsylvania driller, Marcellus Shale pioneer Range Resources Corp., saw its stock gain 75% in the first six months of the year.

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Writer questions whether U.S. has largest oil "reserves"

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 6, 2016

Does the U.S. really have the largest oil reserves in the world, thanks to shale? Dave Middleton in a column at the web site Watts Up With That? questions the use of the word "reserves" in a new, widely circulating study by Rystad Energy.

Middleton:

"Most estimates of undiscovered resource potential in the United States (onshore + offshore) are in the range of 400 billion barrels. If you count oil shales (different from shale oil) you can push the number up to 1.4 trillion barrels. So, Rystad’s 264 billion barrels is actually a conservative estimate of reserves and resource potential. The US has huge potential for future oil and gas discoveries, probably far greater than Saudi Arabia or Russia. However, those future discoveries aren’t reserves.

"I applaud Rystad Energy for trying to draw an 'apples to apples' comparison of oil reserves in the U.S. and other rule of law nations to those of countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. However, they are blurring the distinction between reserves and resource potential.

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Fracking 'fundamentally transformed' America's energy landscape, group writes

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 6, 2016

The large-scale tapping of shale in the United States happened quickly and now a study says the U.S. has the largest oil reserves in the world, writes The American Interest:

"This energy revolution has happened virtually overnight, as well. At the start of 2010, the United States was producing roughly 5.5 million barrels of oil per day. Compare that to last summer, when U.S. production topped 9.6 million bpd, and you get an idea of the scale of shale.

"Sure, America’s output has tapered over the past year as a result of falling crude prices (production is now around 8.6 million bpd), but these new estimates of America’s recoverable reserves paint a rosy picture for the future of our energy security."

Read the whole thing here.

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Ohio now has 1,334 shale wells producing natural gas and oil

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 6, 2016

Through July 2, there were 2,187 permits issued for horizontal drilling and 1,755 horizontal wells drilled in the Utica and Point Pleasant shales, according to state figures released this week.

There were 1,334 wells producing in the state, Ohio’s Division of Oil & Gas Resources reported.

A permit was issued July 1 to XTO Energy Inc. for a well in Belmont County and a permit was issued June 27 to Antero Resources Corp. for a well in Noble County.

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Civil penalties increased for pipeline safety violations

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 5, 2016

An update on pipeline safety civil penalties, via ShaleEnergyLawBlog.com:

"On June 30, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) issued an interim final rule, effective August 1, 2016, titled “Pipeline Safety: Inflation Adjustment of Maximum Civil Penalties.” This interim rule increases the maximum administrative civil penalties that may be issued for a violation of the pipeline safety laws and regulations from $200,000.00 per violation per day up to $205,638.00, and from $2 million for a related series of violations up to $2,056,380.00"

Read the whole thing here.

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U.S. oil reserves now world's largest, study shows

By Jim Mackinnon Published: July 5, 2016

U.S. shale reserves now rule the world, a new study says. From CNBC:

"The US holds more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia and Russia, the first time it has surpassed those held by the world's biggest exporting nations, according to a new study.

"Rystad Energy estimates recoverable oil in the US from existing fields, discoveries and yet undiscovered areas amounts to 264bn barrels. The figure surpasses Saudi Arabia's 212bn and Russia's 256bn in reserves.

"The analysis of 60,000 fields worldwide, conducted over a three-year period by the Oslo-based group, shows total global oil reserves at 2.1tn barrels. This is 70 times the current production rate of about 30bn barrels of crude oil a year, Rystad Energy said on Monday"

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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.