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Gastar Exploration to maintain $200 million borrowing base

By Bob Downing Published: August 31, 2015

From Gastar Exploration today:

Gastar Exploration Inc. (NYSE MKT: GST) ("Gastar") today announced that it has completed its second scheduled borrowing base redetermination of its revolving credit facility for 2015 and, as a result, the borrowing base has been reaffirmed by the lending participants at $200.0 million. Currently, Gastar has drawn $65.0 million under its revolving credit facility, resulting in $135.0 million of unused borrowing capacity. The next scheduled borrowing base redetermination is to occur by May 1, 2016.

Michael A. Gerlich, Gastar's Chief Financial Officer, commented, "Our successful drilling activity in 2015 combined with our strong hedging program allowed us to maintain our borrowing base in a difficult commodity price environment.  The available borrowings under this credit facility, along with our cash on hand and internally generated cash flow, will give Gastar more than adequate liquidity to fund our recently expanded 2015 capital expenditures budget and provide for a strong liquidity position as we enter 2016."

About Gastar

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Pa. eco-group sues pipeline company over eminent domain use

By Bob Downing Published: August 31, 2015

A Pennsylvania environmental group is suing Sunoco Logistics over the company's plan to use eminent domain to get the needed land to build a 350-mile pipeline across southern Pennsylvania to transport natural gas liquids.

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

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Tioga County airport project application withdrawn, DEP says

By Bob Downing Published: August 31, 2015

From Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection last week:

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WPX Energy to sell Bakken gathering system for $185 million

By Bob Downing Published: August 31, 2015

From WPX Energy today:

WPX Energy announced today that it has agreed to sell a North Dakota gathering system for approximately $185 million to a private equity fund managed by the Ares EIF Group, a subsidiary of Ares Management LP.

The parties expect to close the transaction in approximately 60 days.

The sale is part of WPX’s delevering plan targeting $400-$500 million in divestitures by the end of 2015. WPX also is targeting another $400-$500 million in asset sales in 2016.

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Halcon Resources announces debt swap, stock exchange notice

By Bob Downing Published: August 31, 2015

From Halcon Resourcesw last week:

HOUSTON, TEXAS, Aug. 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Halcón Resources Corporation (NYSE: HK) ("Halcón" or the "Company") today announced that it has entered into privately negotiated exchange agreements with certain holders of its outstanding unsecured debt securities as part of its efforts to deleverage the Company's balance sheet.

Halcón has agreed to issue approximately $1.02 billion aggregate principal amount of new 13.00% Third Lien Senior Secured Notes due 2022 (the "New Notes") in exchange for approximately $1.57 billion aggregate principal amount of its outstanding unsecured debt securities (the "Existing Notes") as follows:

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Youngstown seeks to keep anti-fracking charter issue on ballot

By Bob Downing Published: August 31, 2015

The city of Youngstown on Friday filed a complaint today with the Ohio Supreme Court asking it compel the Mahoning County Board of Elections and the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office to place a proposed anti-fracking charter amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot, the Vindicator reported.

The board ruled Wednesday not to put the measure on the ballot despite a city council vote two days earlier.

Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally and Law Director Martin S. Hume stated that the filing of the complaint for a writ of mandamus was not an endorsement of the content of the proposal. Rather, they said the complaint seeks to vindicate the proposition that citizens should have the right to petition the government in accordance with Youngstown’s home-rule charter and the federal and state constitutions.

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EIA improves monthly reports on crude oil production

By Bob Downing Published: August 31, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

With the release of the Petroleum Supply Monthly (PSM) later today, EIA is incorporating the first survey-based reporting of monthly crude oil production based on an expansion of its survey program earlier this year. Today's PSM includes EIA's first reporting of June crude oil production. EIA also begins using new survey data from multiple states and regions within the United States, and revises figures previously reported for January through May 2015.

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Tags: crude oil , liquid fuels , oil/petroleum , production

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Group unhappy with Mahoning County election board's action

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

From a Thursday press release:

Ohio Secretary of State Ruling Guides Mahoning County Board of Elections – Board Blocks Community Bill of Rights Initiative from November Ballot

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2015

Contact:
Tish O’Dell, Ohio Community Organizer
tish@celdf.org, 440-838-5272

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75 Ohio science teachers benefit from OOGEEP workshops

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

From a press release on Thursday:

Ohio’s Oil and Gas Industry Helps Local Teachers Prepare for School Year

 

GRANVILLE, OH – More than 75 educators head back to the classroom this fall with additional knowledge, materials and science labs and experiments supplied and designed by the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP). Through funding provided by Ohio’s oil and gas producers, OOGEEP hosted two statewide science teacher workshops over the summer. The organization also provides educators additional support and programs throughout the year.

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Reduced offshore share in energy production lowers hurricane risk

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Offshore energy production in the Gulf of Mexico has experienced relatively minor disruptions because of tropical storms and hurricanes in recent years, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a below-normal 2015 hurricane season in its updated Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, released on August 6.

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Tags: crude oil , Gulf Coast , liquid fuels , natural gas , offshore , production , weather

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Londonderry, Smith townships are Ohio oil, natural gas hot spots

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

Two townships are the current hot spots for natural gas and oil production in Ohio.

Guernsey County's Londonderry Township is the home of the Top 5 oil-producing wells in Ohio.

All five wells are owned and operated by American Energy Utica (now Ascent Resources), an Aubrey McClendon company.

The Caston well is No. 1 with 56,150 barrels of oil in 2Q 2015.

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Guernsey is top oil producer, Belmont is No. 1 for natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

From Ohio's 2Q 2015 production report (see Thursday blog post for story):

Here are the Top 5 Ohio counties for oil and natral gas production in 2Q 2015:

Oil:

1. Guernsey County, 1,762,056 barrels.

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Rice Drilling, Hess Energy in Top 5 for Ohio natural gas production

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

From Ohio production report for 2Q 2015 (for story see Thursday blog post):

Here are the Top 5 gas-producing companies in Ohio in 2Q 2015:

1. Chesapeake Energy, 83,206,508 Mcf.

2. Gulfport Energy, 53,161,892 Mcf.

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Chesapeake is No. 1 for Ohio oil production in 2Q 2015

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

From Ohio 2Q 2015 production report (see Thursday blog post for story):

Here are the Top 5 companies for 2Q oil production:

1. Chesapeake Energy, 2,180,048 barrels.

2. Eclipse Resources, 754,255 barrels.

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Chesapeake Energy is top Ohio driller with 506 wells

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

From Ohio's 2Q 2015 production report (for story see Thursday blog post):

Here are the Top 5 companies in Ohio with number of reporting wells:

1. Chesapeake Energy, 506 wells.

2. Gulfport Energy, 137 wells.

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Equity fund for drilling gets $445.7 million in commitments

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

From a press release earlier this week:

DALLAS, Aug. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Edge Natural Resources LLC ("Edge") today announced the final closing of its inaugural private equity fund, ENR Partners LP, with $445.7 million in total commitments. The fund will make investments in the North American oil and gas sector.

Edge Partner Jesse Bomer said, "We are extremely grateful for the confidence our investors showed in our team and strategy. This support allowed us to quickly conclude the fundraising process with demand far exceeding our self-imposed hard cap on commitments. Most importantly, we have patient capital from a diverse, energy-savvy investor base."

Edge Partner Oscar Pate continued, "With the fundraising completed, we are now actively pursuing opportunities to partner with best-in-class management teams and deploy capital at attractive risk-adjusted rates of return."

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Carroll, Harrison, Belmont counties have most Ohio producing wells

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

From Ohio Department of Natural Resources' 2Q 2015 production report (see Thursday blog post for story):

Here is where the drillers in the Utica Shale have been most active in Ohio:

1. Carroll County, 370 wells producing.

2. Harrison, 173.

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Pennsylvania drilling wastewater total in 2014 close to 2011 total

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

Pennsylvania in 2014 produced the same amount of drilling wastewater as it did in 2011, according to a new study.

The state produced 42.9 million barrels of wastewater or about 1.8 billion gallons.

Click  here  to read more.

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Jamaica to get containerized LNG from Florida for power plant

By Bob Downing Published: August 28, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

Jamaica Public Service (JPS), Jamaica's electricity distributor, and New Fortress Energy, an energy service provider and a subsidiary of the American based Fortress Investment Group, entered into a contract for New Fortress Energy to deliver containerized liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Florida to JPS's 120-megawatt (MW) Bogue power plant in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

This August 7 agreement was preceded by a joint commitment by the U.S. Department of Energy and the government of Jamaica, signed at the April 2015 United States and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit, which supported Jamaica's fuel diversification and shift to natural gas. It is considered by the Jamaican government and New Fortress Energy as the first step in establishing a potential LNG hub in Jamaica to meet the emerging LNG needs of the western Caribbean.

The Bogue power plant, which first went into service in 2003 as a 120-MW oil-fired generator, is being converted to allow for gas-fired generation, and is undergoing infrastructure work to allow for the receipt of containerized LNG, including the addition of regasification facilities. JPS anticipates bringing the converted Bogue power plant online in early 2016.

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Utica Shale sets new Ohio oil, natural gas production records

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2015

Ohio’s Utica Shale wells continue to break all previous production reports for the last 100 years.
The state’s 978 horizontal wells produced 5.5 million barrels of oil and 221 billion cubic feet of natural gas in the second quarter 2015, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported on Thursday.  
Ohio’s oil volume grew by 20 percent from the first quarter 2015: from 4.4 million barrels to 5.5 million barrels.
The state’s natural gas climbed nearly 21 percent: from 183 billion cubic feet to 221 billion cubic feet.
The first quarter 2015 totals included 877 wells in eastern Ohio.
The oil volume grew by 3.1 million barrels from a year ago and the natural gas jumped by 133 billion cubic feet in that time. Ohio had only 504 producing Utica wells. a year ago.
In 2015, Ohio has produced 10 million barrels of oil and 405 billion cubic feet of natural gas. That oil total is a 126 percent increase over the first six months of 2014 and the natural gas total is an 160 percent increase in that time.
In all of 2014, Ohio produced 11 million barrels of oil and 450 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
A billion cubic feet is enough natural gas to fuel one million homes for four days.
The state’s new report lists 1,020 wells, of which 978 reported production. A total of 42 wells reported zero production because they were awaiting connecting pipelines.
The typical Ohio well in 2015 produced 5,704 barrels of oil plus 226 million cubic feet of natural gas. That is a 28 percent increase from a year earlier. That typical well was in production for 83 days during the second quarter.
Drilling has slowed in the Utica Shale and other drilling areas due to low commodity prices. But the federal Energy Information Administartion says that production in the Utica Shale is projected to increase in September, while declining in all other shale drilling areas.
Ohio does not require a separate listing and natural gas liquids such as ethane, butane and propane are part of the natural gas total.
Ohio drilled its first Utica wells in 2011 and they went into production in 2012.
The new report is available at http://oilandgas.ohiodnr.gov/production.

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Elections board rejects Youngstown community bill of rights vote

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2015

The Mahoning County Board of Elections on Wednesday refused to put Youngstown's proposed community bill of rights on the Nov. 3 ballot.

By a 4-0 vote, the board said it took that action because of the Feb. 17 decision by the Ohio Supreme Court in the case involving the Akron area community of Munroe Falls and state control over drilling.

It would have been the fifth vote in Youngstown on the community bill of rights. Voters rejected the previous submissions.

Supporters of the bill of rights were unsure what happens next.

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Appalachian drillers interested in Utica over Marcellus shales

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2015

The deeper and more costly Utica Shale in southwest Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia is getting another look from drilling companies.

It could replace the Mar ellus Shale as the No. 1 place to drill in Appalachia, some companies say.

Click  here  to read Jamison Cocklin's story on Tuesday in NGI's Shale Daily.

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Energy Transfer interested in Magnum Hunter subsidiary

By Bob Downing Published: August 27, 2015

Energy Transfer Equity LP is bidding for Magnum Hunter Resources Corp.’s stake in the Eureke Hunter Pipeline, Bloomberg Business reported earlier this week.

The roughly 46 percent stake could be valued at as much as $600 million, Magnum Hunter has said.

Energy Transfer has been pursuing Magnum Hunter’s stake in Eureka while also chasing Williams Cos.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Eco-groups file legal notice over threat from drilling wastes

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2015

From the Environmental Integrity Project today:

Groups File Notice of Intent to Sue EPA Over Dangerous Drilling and Fracking Waste

Call on Agency to Issue Rules for Handling and Disposal of Oil and Gas Waste

WASHINGTON, D.C.  (August 26, 2015) – A coalition of environmental organizations filed a legal notice with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today demanding regulations to stop oil and gas companies from dumping drilling and fracking waste in ways that threaten public health and the environment.

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Schlumberger buys Cameron for $12.71 billion

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2015

From the Associated Press today:

HOUSTON (AP) — Schlumberger is buying Cameron in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $12.71 billion that would create an oilfield equipment and service powerhouse.

Cameron was the maker of the blowout preventer on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon rig, which was rocked by an explosion and fire in 2010 that killed 11 workers and touched off an enormous oil spill.

Cameron International Corp. shareholders will receive 0.716 shares of Schlumberger common stock and a cash payment of $14.44 for each of their shares. That equates to a value of $66.36 per Cameron share. That's a 56 percent premium to the Houston company's Tuesday closing price of $42.47.

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Pipeline company executes transportation service agreements

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2015

From Texas-based Buckeye Partners LP on expanded Ohio-Michigan pipelines to carry finished petroleum projects from Michigan and western Ohio to eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania:

BUCKEYE PARTNERS, L.P. ANNOUNCES EXECUTION OF
TRANSPORTATION SERVICES AGREEMENTS FOR
MICHIGAN/OHIO PIPELINE EXPANSION PROJECT

HOUSTON, August 24, 2015 — Buckeye Partners, L.P. (“Buckeye”) (NYSE: BPL) announced today that one of its operating subsidiaries, Buckeye Pipe Line Transportation LLC (“Buckeye Transportation”), has executed Transportation Services Agreements with all committed customers for its Michigan/Ohio Pipeline Expansion Project (the “Project”). Buckeye had previously announced the successful completion of an open season for the Project. These executed commitments will allow Buckeye Transportation to move forward with the engineering and construction of the Project. Once complete, the Project will allow Buckeye Transportation to offer expanded transportation service of refined petroleum products from origin points in Michigan and Ohio to destination points in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Project completion is scheduled for the second half of 2016.

About Buckeye Partners, L.P.
Buckeye Partners, L.P. (NYSE: BPL) is a publicly traded master limited partnership and owns and operates a diversified network of integrated assets providing midstream logistic solutions, primarily consisting of the transportation, storage, and marketing of liquid petroleum products. Buckeye is one of the largest independent liquid petroleum products pipeline operators in the United States in terms of volumes delivered with approximately 6,000 miles of pipeline and more than 120 liquid petroleum products terminals with aggregate storage capacity of over 110 million barrels across our portfolio of pipelines, inland terminals and an integrated network of marine terminals located primarily in the East Coast and Gulf Coast regions of the United States and in the Caribbean. Buckeye has a controlling interest in a company with a vertically integrated system of marine midstream assets in Corpus Christi and the Eagle Ford play in Texas. Buckeye’s flagship marine terminal, BORCO, is in The Bahamas and is one of the largest marine crude oil and refined petroleum products storage facilities in the world and provides an array of logistics and blending services for the global flow of petroleum products. Buckeye’s network of marine terminals enables it to facilitate global flows of crude oil, refined petroleum products, and other commodities, and to offer its customers connectivity to some of the world’s most important bulk storage and blending hubs. Buckeye is also a wholesale distributor of refined petroleum products in areas served by its pipelines and terminals. Finally, Buckeye also operates and/or maintains third-party pipelines under agreements with major oil and gas, petrochemical and chemical companies, and performs certain engineering and construction management services for third parties. More information concerning Buckeye can be found at www.buckeye.com.
* * *

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MPLX, MarkWest Energy merger wins initial federal approval

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2015

From a Tuesday press release:

FINDLAY, Ohio, and DENVER, Aug. 25, 2015 - MPLX LP (NYSE: MPLX) and MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) today announced that they have received notification of early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, in connection with the proposed merger whereby MarkWest would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of MPLX, thereby satisfying one of the conditions to closing of the transaction. The transaction remains subject to approval by MarkWest unitholders and to other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.

# # #

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Texas-based Summit Midstream Partners loses COO

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2015

From Summit Midstream Partners:

The Woodlands, Texas (August 25, 2015) – Summit Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE: SMLP) announced today
that its Chief Operating Officer, Rene Casadaban, will be leaving the company to pursue other interests.

Casadaban will continue his employment with the company until September 30, 2015, to help transition his
duties.

Steve Newby, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “Since joining Summit in 2010, Rene has
been an important contributor to the company's success. I would like to thank Rene for his contribution to
Summit and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

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EIA predicts short-term decline in gas production from shale areas

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Natural gas production across all major shale regions in EIA's Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) is projected to decrease for the first time in September. Production from these seven shale regions reached a high in May at 45.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) and is expected to decline to 44.9 Bcf/d in September. In each region, production from new wells is not large enough to offset production declines from existing, legacy wells.

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Tags: Drilling Productivity Report , natural gas , production , shale

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Railroads balk at release of Minnesota's rail disaster plans

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2015

Some 300,000 Minnesotans live within a half mile of railroad tracks that carry crude oil. But almost none of them have been able to see emergency plans the railroads were required to submit by July 1.

So far, only authorized local emergency officials have been allowed to review the plans that five railroads submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Even legislators who passed the requirement can't get access due to data privacy objections raised by the railroads. Some say that makes it impossible to judge the adequacy of the plans.

Click  here  to read the full story from Minneota Public Radio.

.

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Vice News looks at injection wells, quakes in Quakelahoma

By Bob Downing Published: August 26, 2015

Vice News has a great look at the earthquakes that are hitting Oklahoma.

The state had 585 quakes that were 3.0 or greater in magnitude in 2014.

It has already surpassed that total in 2015.

There is a growing likelihood of a big quake.

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Ohio close to 2,000 Utica permits, 1,000 Utica wells producing

By Bob Downing Published: August 25, 2015

Ohio is very close to two new and major milestones for Utica Shale.
The state has issued 1,997 Utica Shale permits, as of Aug. 22, reports the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
That’s just short of 2,000 permits since the shale drilling boom got started in late 2010.
The counties with the most permits are Carroll, 495; Harrison, 369; and Belmont, 244.
Ohio has 1,586 Utica wells that have been drilled and 998 Utica wells that are producing. The producing wells are just shy of hitting 1,000.
Twelve new permits were approved last week: four in Belmont County, four in Harrison County, one in Jefferson County and three in Noble County

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Frackfree Mahoning Valley to host Aug. 27 public meeting

By Bob Downing Published: August 25, 2015

From a press release today from Frackfree Mahoning Valley:

On Thursday, August 27, 2015, Concerned Citizens of Frackfree Mahoning Valley Will Hold a Public Townhall – Style Meeting in Youngstown, Ohio, Titled “A Community Discussion: Injection Wells, Fracking Waste, Man-made Earthquakes, and Other Fracking-Related Infrastructure: What Can People do to Protect Their Neighborhoods, Drinking Water, Air,  and Their Family’s and the Public’s Health, Safety, and Well-being?"

 

Youngstown, Ohio, August 25, 2015 – In a shocking turn of events, new fracking waste injection well drilling has started in Vienna, Ohio near a family’s home despite high-profile, public opposition and concern for public health, safety, and welfare of the entire region. In addition, gas flaring has begun near a Pulaski Township resident’s home.

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Encana Corp. sells its Haynesville assets for $850 million

By Bob Downing Published: August 25, 2015

Encana Corp., a Canadian gas and oil exploration company, is selling its Haynesville Shale assets in northern Louisiana for $850 million.

The company has about 300 wells on its 112,000 acres.

The buyer is GEP-Hayneville LLC.

Click  here  to read more.

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Pennsylvania finalizes penalty agreements with 3 drilling firms

By Bob Downing Published: August 25, 2015

From Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection today:

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TV ads urge New Jersey's Menendez to back crude export ban

By Bob Downing Published: August 25, 2015

From a press release today:

New TV Ad Calls on Senator Menendez to Stand Firm in His Support of Crude Oil Export Ban 

First Ad in Allied Progress Campaign Targeting Key Senators As Congress Considers Change in 40-year Policy

*** See the Television Ad Here: http://aldpr.gs/1Jg8dXg ***

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Camp Muskingum to offer oil, gas merit badge in 2016

By Bob Downing Published: August 25, 2015

From the Oil Oil & Gas Energy Education Program:

Boy Scouts recently attending a STEM camp at Camp Muskingum successfully completed an innovative oil and gas specific curriculum designed in partnership with the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) and the Muskingum Valley Boy Scout Council.

Based on the success of this camp, and through funding provided by Ohio’s oil and gas producers, OOGEEP plans to offer a full oil and gas engineering merit badge at the camp in 2016.

The merit badge is already in its third year at Camp Manatoc near Akron. The exciting program introduces scouts to the oil and gas industry through both classroom and field learning.

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Gulf Coast Western forms new well services subsidiary

By Bob Downing Published: August 25, 2015

From a press release last week:

Dallas-based Gulf Coast Western LLC announced today it has formed a subsidiary to provide a full suite of well completion and operational safety services to the oil and gas industry. Gulf Coast Western Energy Services, also headquartered in Dallas, provides oilfield spill and frac tank containment systems, water transfer, flow back water recovery services, well clean up services, onsite Cold Clean equipment cleaning services and high pressure pipe restraints.

Gulf Coast Western Energy Services was formed through the acquisitions of Midland, Texas-based Frac Restraints LLC in late 2014 and Weatherford, Texas -based CND Energy Services in early 2015.

The combined operations of these companies has positioned Gulf Coast Western Energy Services as a leading provider of well completion and safety services with a focus on the prolific resource play development areas in South and West Texas and the Marcellus and Utica Shale fields in Pennsylvania.

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Iowa board gets 3,700 objections to Dakota Access oil pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 25, 2015

From the Associated Press on Monday:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A utilities board that will soon decide whether to allow a private company to build an oil pipeline in Iowa says it has received roughly 3,700 objections on the project.

The Iowa Utilities Board says in a report filed Friday that statements against the proposed pipeline were received between November and July. The board also received about 560 letters of support for the pipeline.

The report says the objections include more than 2,600 statements submitted in July by several groups. Many objections focused on whether the board should allow Dakota Access, LLC to access private land for the pipeline.

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160,000 Californians call for statewide ban on fracking

By Bob Downing Published: August 25, 2015

From a press release late Monday:

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- On Tuesday, August 25th, as the California legislature holds a joint oversight hearing on a new report by the California Council on Science and Technology on the risks and dangers posed by fracking, State Sen. Ben Allen and State Asm. Das Williams will join with anti-fracking activists in a press conference on the steps of the Capitol calling for a statewide ban on fracking.

At the press conference, members of the California-based Courage Campaign joined by members of California Against Fracking, Rootskeeper and local Sacramento activists will deliver a petition signed by nearly 160,000 Californians backing a permanent ban on oil and natural gas fracking in the State.   

WHEN:  Tuesday, August 25th. 11:30am PT.  
WHERE:  State Capitol Building. Room 2040.  10th and L Streets, Sacramento CA.
SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Hollin Kretzmann, Center for Biological Diversity, Staff Attorney;Andrew Grinberg, Clean Water Action, Oil and Gas Program Manager; Senator Ben Allen; Assemblymember Das Williams

Earlier this Summer, a newly released independent scientific study by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) identified serious risks associated with oil development processes and concluded that state regulatory officials lack data to adequately protect the public or even to propose effective mitigation strategies to avoid associated health risks.

READ THE REPORT HERE: http://californiansagainstfracking.org/ccstreport/

“Right now we’re in the midst of critical moment when California could decide to turn away from extreme extraction and toward clean energy. Every time we’ve confronted Governor Jerry Brown and asked him to halt fracking over the past few years, he’s insisted that we wait until the release of an independent scientific report,”  explained Tim Molina, of the California-based Courage Campaign.  “When the report came out, it rang emphatic alarm bells about the dangers extreme energy poses to our air, water, ecological and geological security, and public health. It’s now clear that lives are at risk.  With Jerry Brown refusing to act, we need the our State Senate and Assembly to step in and protect California and the planet.”

SIGN THE PETITION HERE: http://stopfrackinginca.org/

For more information, or for interviews with Courage Campaign, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

# # # # #

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Southern Co., AGL Resources announce $12 billion deal

By Bob Downing Published: August 24, 2015

Southern Co., the third-largest U.S. utility owner, agreed to buy natural-gas distributor AGL Resources Inc. for $12 billion to capitalize on growing demand for the heating and power-plant fuel.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Growing global liquids inventories reflect lower crude prices

By Bob Downing Published: August 24, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Continued growth in global production of petroleum and other liquids has outpaced consumption growth since August 2014, resulting in rising global liquids stocks. Total global liquids inventories are estimated to have grown by 2.3 million barrels per day (b/d) through the first seven months of 2015, the highest level of inventory builds through July of any year since 1998. These strong inventory builds have put significant downward pressure on near-term crude oil prices: North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices have averaged $58/barrel through July of this year compared to $109/b over the same period in 2014, responding to growth in global inventories.

Read More ›

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Protestors march on Saturday against PennEast pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 24, 2015

From the Associated Press:

UPPER BLACK EDDY, Pa. (AP) — Several hundred protesters turned out Saturday to march across the Delaware River in opposition to a proposed 114-mile pipeline that would shuttle natural gas from Pennsylvania to New Jersey.

Those against PennEast’s proposal said during the mile-long march they’re concerned the pipeline would badly damage the landscape and natural resources in the region, and lower property values.

“The people of Pennsylvania and New Jersey are showing they are unified in their message to PennEast: Go home, we don’t want your pipeline,” said Maya van Rossum, who leads the nonprofit Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “It’s also a message to politicians and regulators. They have to decide whether they want to side with the people or with a corporation that cares only about profit.”

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Texas company provided stimulation for EQT's big Utica well

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2015

From a press release on Thursday:

FORT WORTH, Texas, August 20, 2015 –FTS International (FTSI) is proud to be the stimulation provider for EQT Corporation’s record-setting Utica well in southwestern Pennsylvania.

EQT announced that its first deep Utica well, for which FTSI provided hydraulic fracturing and wireline services, achieved an average 24-hour test rate of 72.9 MMcf per day into sales during the initial 24-hour flow back test. This initial production (IP) rate equates to a 22.6 MMcf per day IP rate per 1,000 foot of lateral. This well, known as Scotts Run and located in Greene County, Pennsylvania, has what is believed to be the highest reported IP of any Utica well to-date and is more than double the previous record.

”We worked with FTSI for months on the planning and execution of this completion and were proud to have them as our partner for the remarkably successful and safe completion of our first deep Utica well,” said Steve Schlotterbeck, President, Exploration and Production for EQT. “While this well continues to produce far beyond our initial expectations, we are now focused on improving our technology and processes in order to achieve better cost efficiencies for our next two Utica wells,” Schlotterbeck continued.

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Norway's Polarled is first gas pipeline to cross Arctic Circle

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2015

From Statoil, the Norwegian-based drilling company that is a small player in Ohio's Utica Shale:

This piece of pipe marks Polarled’s crossing of the Arctic Circle. It was laid down on the seabed at 05:04 Friday morning, 21 August. In the foreground from the left: Johannes C. Irgens, Statoil vessel representative, Keith Hassage, Allseas superintendent, Sijmen van der Plicht, Allseas vessel master. (Photo: Lars Chr. Henrichsen, Statoil)

The 482-kilometre long and 36-inch wide pipeline will run from Nyhamna in western Norway to the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea. The world’s largest pipelaying vessel, Solitaire from Allseas, is carrying out the job and is advancing slowly, exactly 24.4 metres at a time, every sixth minute or so, around the clock.

Pipe with this diameter has never before been laid this deep. Polarled will also be the deepest pipeline on the Norwegian continental shelf. (Photo: Eva Sleire)

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Marathon Petroleum names new VP of finance, treasurer

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2015

From the Marathon Petroleum Corp. on Thursday:

FINDLAY, Ohio, Aug. 20, 2015 - Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: MPC) today announced the appointment of Tom Kaczynski to the position of vice president of finance and treasurer, effective Aug. 31.

"It's a pleasure for us to welcome Tom to Marathon Petroleum," said Tim Griffith, senior vice president and chief financial officer. "He brings broad experience in the capital markets, managing corporate capital structures, and an extensive background in capital allocation strategies that balance the interests of various stakeholders across diverse situations. His skills and experience will be instrumental as MPC continues to focus on these important areas."

At MPC, Kaczynski will have responsibilities for capital structure, cash and banking, capital budgeting, financial planning and analysis, investor relations, insurance and commercial credit. He will report to Griffith.

Kaczynski comes to MPC from Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, where he served as vice president and treasurer. In that role, he was responsible for all insurance, capital market, cash management, treasury accounting, risk management, and banking and ratings agency relationships.

Kaczynski began his career with Ford Motor Company, starting as a financial analyst and moving up to international financing manager in its corporate treasury department. He then worked at Visteon Corporation as director of affiliate finance and of capital markets and bank relations before moving to Affinia Group Inc., where he served as vice president and corporate treasurer. At Affinia Group, Kaczynski managed liquidity through a multiyear restructuring program, developed strategies for financing international acquisitions and greenfield operations, managed investor relations, and managed all relationships with investment and commercial banks and credit ratings agencies.

Kaczynski earned a Bachelor of Science in engineering from Michigan State University in 1985, a Master of Science in engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1987 and a Master of Business Administration in International Business and Finance from the University of Chicago in 1992.

 

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Major fuel-producing states rely heavily on severance taxes

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Several states that produce large amounts of fossil fuels rely heavily on severance tax revenue—taxes based on the volume and/or value of oil, natural gas, coal, and other natural resources. On average, severance taxes accounted for less than 2% of state tax collections in 2014, but in three states—Alaska, North Dakota, and Wyoming—severance taxes provided a much larger share of total state tax revenue in that year. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is considering a severance tax, and currently derives less than 1% of its revenues from a well head fee.

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Tags: Alaska , liquid fuels , natural gas , North Dakota , oil/petroleum , Pennsylvania , states , taxes , Wyoming

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Petroleum deliveries grew by 2.2 percent in last year

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2015

From the American Petrleum Institute on Thursday:

WASHINGTON, August 20, 2015 – Total petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) grew by 2.2 percent from July 2014 to average nearly 19.6 million barrels per day last month, according to API’s Monthly Statistical Report for July 2015.  

“Demand for and production of oil and refined products grew across the board over the last year,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “In fact, demand for and production of oil and refined products were the highest July in eight years, since 2007.”

Gasoline demand rose last month by 2.1 percent from July 2014 to just above 9.4 million barrels per day, and distillate demand rose 1.1 percent.

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Chesapeake reports on voluntary dismissal of derivative action

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2015

From Chesapeake Energy today:

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 21, 2015-- This notice relates to a proposed voluntary dismissal of a shareholder derivative action and is being given pursuant to an order of The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The purpose of the notice is to advise Chesapeake Energy Corporation (“Chesapeake” or the “Company”) shareholders that plaintiffs Jacob Shochat and Norman Spiegel in the above referenced action wish to voluntarily dismiss the case. Additional information on the action and right to intervene can be found below.

Between April 20, 2012 and June 28, 2012, thirteen shareholder derivative actions were filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, all of which were consolidated on July 13, 2012, into a single related action entitled In re Chesapeake Energy Corporation 2012 Shareholder Derivative Litigation, Case. No. CIV-12-436-M (the “Derivative Action”). The Derivative Action alleges causes of action for breaches of fiduciary duty by directors and officers of Chesapeake related to their purported willful disregard of alleged conflicted, wrongful activities of former CEO Aubrey McClendon that violated corporate policies and his fiduciary duties and their waste of corporate assets. The alleged wrongful activities included: (i) McClendon’s $1.1-$1.3 billion in loans from related Company partners in order to finance his participation in a corporate incentive program called the Founders Well Participation Program; (ii) McClendon active management of a hedge fund he co-founded, Heritage Management Company LLC, out of the offices of the Company’s CEO and Chairman at the same time he was solely responsible for managing Chesapeake’s $17 billion hedge facility and running Chesapeake; (iii) the termination of McClendon without cause and conflicted investigation into McClendon’s activities; and (iv) the problematic replacement of the Company’s Board.

This notice of the proposed voluntary dismissal of the Derivative Action will be posted in the Investor Relations section of Chesapeake’s website for 30 days. Chesapeake shareholders are hereby advised:

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Carrollton meeting to look at change in chemical disclosure

By Bob Downing Published: August 21, 2015

From the Ohio Organizing  Collaborative today:

Importance of Local Engagement in Ohio’s Shale Gas Region

Carrollton Ohio: The Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) will explore four different perspectives of a recent change to chemical disclosure in the shale gas industry at the September 3 Carroll Concerned Citizens meeting.

A panel with representatives from the faith community, first responders, local citizens, and legislative watchdogs will each share their views on continued erosion of local control with the shale gas industry.

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Federal methane rules could wipe out marginal drillers

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2015

The methane limits proposed on drilling  this week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would wipe out marginal drillers, analysts said.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Bones found at Shell cracker site likely from old graveyard

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2015

From the Associated Press:

MONACA, Pa. (AP) — Bones found at the proposed site of a Shell Chemical refinery in western Pennsylvania are likely from a family graveyard more than 100 years old.

Howard Pollman, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, tells the Beaver County Times that two skulls and other remains were found by workers Aug. 6.

Shell spokesman Michael Marr says the area where the bones were found has been roped off while investigators trace the origin of the bones. But other work to prepare the site in Potter Township for possible development continues.

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McClendon negotiating for $100 million Australia land deal

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2015

U.S. shale explorer Aubrey McClendon, an active player in Ohio's Utica Shale, is negotiating a $100 million land deal in Australia, Bloomberg reports.

Click  here  to read more.

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Ohio Supreme Court to rule by Sept. 15 on county charter votes

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2015

Residents of Medina, Fulton and Athens counties have filed a lawsuit against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted for blocking local votes on county charter initiatives to block natural gas pipelines and injection wells.
The suit was filed on Wednesday  with the Ohio Supreme Court.
The case has been fast-tracked as an election case because it involves issues for the Nov. 3 ballot.
A decision is expected by Sept. 15 by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Last week, Husted invalidated county charter initiatives and said they would not appear on the Nov. 3 ballot in the three counties.
He said in a statement that each proposal attempted to circumvent state law and was contrary to court rulings that have upheld the Ohio Constitution. He added that allowing the illegal proposals to proceed would be a waste of taxpayers’ time and money.
“The issue of whether local communities can get around state laws on fracking has already been litigated,” Husted said in a statement. “Allowing these proposals to proceed will only serve a false promise that wastes taxpayer’s time and money and will eventually end in sending the charters to certain death in the courts.”
Under state law, Husted determines the validity of proposals and petitions and determines whether a petition should qualify for the ballot.
Local groups had circulated petitions to get enough signatures to place so-called county bill of rights’ initiatives on the ballots.
The issue in Medina and Fulton counties was the proposed Nexus Pipeline to transport natural gas across northern Ohio. In Athens County, the issue is injection wells to dispose of liquid drilling wastes.
The local groups, aided by the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, are pushing county charters to protect local health, safety and welfare from drilling threats.
“It is the people’s constitutional right to vote on our own initiatives,” said attorney James Kinsman who is representing the plaintiffs.
“The peoples’ right to initiative is being trounced upon by our own elected Secretary of State, who was clearly ‘moved’ by the arguments of the oil and gas industry (perhaps their funding as well), yet not by the very people who elected him,” he said.”Mr. Husted, elected to serve the people of Ohio, is instead serving the oil and gas industry,”
Added co-counsel Terry Lodge, “Secretary Husted has set himself up as Ohio’s censorship goalie.”
He added, “If the ‘wrong’ idea comes up for a vote, he alone can veto to cancel the election. If the Ohio Supreme Court okays this arrangement, look for every future referendum that involved people vs. corporations to disappear through the Husted Loophole in Ohio, the ‘bah-no-no republic,’” Lodge said in a statement.
Said Tish O’Dell of Broadview Heights, the Ohio organizer for the legal defense fund, “The right of initiative was designed to protect the peoples’ right to make law without having to receive approval or be interfered with by government. Mr. Husted, however, has determined he is empowered to interfere with that right as he attempts to protect the oil and gas industry from the democratic decisions of the people of Ohio.”
Husted “stands firmly” by his Aug. 13 decision, said spokesman Joshua Eck.

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Lawsuit seeks charter initiative votes in three Ohio counties

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2015

From a press release today:

Residents Sue Secretary of State Over 
Anti-Democratic and Pro-Gas Industry Ruling

Fulton, Medina, and Athens County residents insist on their constitutional right to vote

 

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Intrexon, Dominon Energy exploring gas-to-liquids plan

By Bob Downing Published: August 20, 2015

From a press release today:

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), a leader in synthetic biology, today announced that Intrexon Energy Partners (IEP), and Dominion Energy, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources (NYSE: D), have entered into an agreement to explore the potential for commercial-scale biological conversion of natural gas to isobutanol, a drop-in fuel with numerous advantages over other clean burning gasoline blendstocks. 

Intrexon's proprietary methanotroph bioconversion platform has the potential to transform the gas-to-liquids (GTL) industry through use of optimized microbial cell lines to convert natural gas into higher carbon compounds such as isobutanol and farnesene under ambient temperatures and pressures.  This novel approach avoids costly, resource intensive thermochemical GTL conversion methods, and offers a biofuel that does not utilize sugar or other plant-based feedstock, which are expensive carbon sources that compete with food crops for arable land. Additionally, through the substantial yield advantage of the methanotroph over other microbes, Intrexon's bioconversion platform has a favorable economic profile that, based on current targets, will allow even small scale demonstration plants to achieve profitability within the first year of production. 

"We are excited to partner with IEP and help realize the promise of their GTL platform to harness a plentiful feedstock in natural gas for the bio-production of isobutanol.  Dominion is committed to being a good environmental steward while providing reliable, affordable energy services for our customers," said Diane Leopold, President of Dominion Energy. 

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Warren Resources comments on its first two Marcellus wells

By Bob Downing Published: August 19, 2015

From Warren Resources on Tuesday:

NEW YORK, Aug. 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Warren Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:WRES) today announced initial results from its well completion operations in the Upper Marcellus formation, located within its acreage block in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania.

Warren successfully drilled and set pipe for two Upper Marcellus wells in the first quarter of 2015, and completion operations commenced in July 2015. The two Upper Marcellus wells have been flowing back for approximately two weeks and the current combined daily production rate is 17 MMcf per day with 3% of flowback load recovered. The wells are drilled from Warren's Mirabelli and Ruark pads.

Lance Peterson, Interim CEO, commented, "Warren's first two Upper Marcellus wells were drilled with the intent to test a wide swath of our acreage block. Warren is very encouraged by the early results from these wells, and we expect to see these wells continue to clean up and experience increased flow rates. Our 'core of the core' acreage position in the Marcellus continues to provide significant growth opportunities for the Company and deliver value for Warren's shareholders. I congratulate the team and all Warren employees for their hard work and commitment to the Company."

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EIA lowers crude oil price forecast through 2016

By Bob Downing Published: August 19, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

Amid high uncertainty in the global oil market, EIA has lowered crude oil price forecasts in the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), expecting West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices to average $49 per barrel (b) in 2015 and $54/b in 2016, $6/b and $8/b lower than forecast in last month's STEO, respectively. Concerns over the pace of economic growth in emerging markets, continuing (albeit slowing) supply growth, increases in global liquids inventories, and the possibility of increasing volumes of Iranian crude oil entering the market contributed to the changed forecast.

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Tags: crude oil , forecast , gasoline , liquid fuels , oil/petroleum , prices , retail prices , STEO (Short-Term Energy Outlook) , WTI (West Texas Intermediate)

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Antero, Veolia to build W. Va. wastewater treatment complex

By Bob Downing Published: August 19, 2015

From an Antero Resources press release today:

Antero Announces 60,000 Barrel per Day Advanced
Wastewater Treatment Complex
8/19/2015
DENVER, Aug. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Antero Resources Corporation (NYSE: AR) ("Antero" or the
"Company") announced today that it has signed an agreement with Veolia Water Technologies Inc. and Veolia North
America ("Veolia") to design and build a state-of-the-art advanced wastewater treatment complex in Doddridge
County, West Virginia. This complex includes an initially designed 60,000 barrel per day facility that will allow Antero
to treat and reuse flowback and produced water rather than permanently dispose of the water in injection wells.
Antero will own the treatment assets including any ancillary facilities. The complex will be centrally located in
Antero's footprint in the southwestern core of the Marcellus Shale play with the ability to serve the Company's
development in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays.
Announcement Highlights:
Veolia will design, build, operate and maintain a 60,000 barrel per day advanced wastewater treatment facility
under a turnkey contract for Antero in Doddridge County, West Virginia
Antero will own the $275 million treatment complex, which is expected to take two years to build, and
generate on a standalone basis $55 million to $65 million of EBITDA at full utilization three years following the
in service date
Complex will allow Antero to treat and reuse flowback and produced water rather than permanently dispose
of the water in injection wells
Treatment facility will save Antero approximately $150,000 per well on future completion costs
Combined with Antero's existing freshwater pipeline distribution system, the advanced wastewater treatment
complex places Antero at the forefront of environmentally conscious water management in U.S. shale plays
The complex will be an integral part of Antero's water business and is subject to Antero Midstream's option to
purchase the business
1
Advanced Wastewater Treatment Complex
The Antero advanced wastewater treatment facility will incorporate Veolia's proprietary AnoxKaldnes™ MBBR
biological treatment and its CoLD Process®, an advanced evaporation and crystallization technology, to treat a full
range of water qualities including Antero's completion flowback and produced water. This same technology has
been successfully utilized in dozens of facilities around the world. The 60,000 barrel per day facility will produce
fresh water that meets stringent fresh water quality specifications, resulting in the treated water being delivered
back into Antero's existing fresh water distribution system and reused for ongoing completions and development.
In addition to reusable fresh water, the facility is expected to produce marketable byproducts with commercial
value including salt and other brine products currently used by oil and gas operators for drilling and completion
activities.
Veolia has agreed to build the complex under a turnkey contract and will operate it under a 10-year agreement. The
contract contains performance guarantees including uptime availability, which considerably de-risks the project
economics and reliability. The treatment facility is expected to be in service by the end of 2017, pending finalization
of project logistics including regulatory permitting and construction.
Paul Rady, Chairman and CEO, commented, "Our concentrated acreage position in the core of the Marcellus and
Utica Shale plays has enabled Antero to build the largest freshwater delivery pipeline system in the industry and we
will now build the largest advanced wastewater treatment complex in Appalachia. These two solutions take the
freshwater source to the well pad and then to full recycling. This significantly improves the safety and reduces the
environmental impact of shale development by removing hundreds of thousands of water truckloads from the
roads every year, and recycles and reuses the water rather than dispose of it. The solutions also provide Antero
with a significant development cost advantage. The freshwater delivery and wastewater treatment projects are
integral to the long-term sustainability of Antero's development of its two world class shale plays."
Additionally, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin praised Antero's project, stating, "Antero's planned advanced
wastewater treatment complex in Doddridge County is good for the environment and good for West Virginia's
economy. This is a substantial capital investment that will create construction and long term operating jobs while
also reducing the amount of fresh water that Antero withdraws from state waterways. I commend Antero for
making a significant commitment to our state's economy and minimizing the impact of oil and gas operations on
local communities."
Estimated Capital Expenditures for Advanced Wastewater Treatment Complex
Capital investment for the advanced wastewater treatment complex is estimated to be $275 million, which includes
site preparation and construction, byproducts processing equipment and five miles of water pipeline that will
connect the Antero treatment facility to its existing fresh water distribution system.
2
Glen Warren, President and CFO, commented, "Based on Antero's current development plan and the resulting
flowback and produced water, we expect the treatment facility to be approximately 50% utilized upon the in service
date in 2017 and to ramp to full utilization within 36 months, excluding any potential third party volumes. Following
the $275 million buildout, and at full capacity assuming a $4.00 intercompany fixed fee per barrel charge for water
treatment, we expect the facility to generate $55 to $65 million in annual EBITDA on a standalone basis and
excluding sales of potential commercial byproducts. Based on our current drilling plans, we expect the facility to
generate attractive all-in cash on cash returns in-line with our midstream organic gathering and compression
capital investments of 4-times to 7-times EBITDA. Finally, we believe that the facility will save Antero approximately
$150,000 per well on future completion costs when compared to historical costs for simple recycling and disposal of
produced water."
 

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100 scouts earn drilling/engineering merit badge at Manatoc

By Bob Downing Published: August 19, 2015

A press release this week from O)GEEP:

Boy Scouts Complete OOGEEP Summer Program

Successful program primed for expansion

PENNISULA, Ohio – More than 100 Boy Scouts earned their engineering merit badge at Camp Manatoc this summer through an innovative oil and gas specific curriculum designed in partnership with the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) and the Great Trail Boy Scout Council. OOGEEP, funded by Ohio’s oil and gas producers, plans to build on the program’s success and expand to a second Boy Scout camp in 2016.

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McClendon has triggered pain for lenders, Bloomberg says

By Bob Downing Published: August 19, 2015

Bloomberg Business has taken a fresh look at former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon and the financial problems his new companies have run into in Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania.

He has been involved in American Energy Partners and Ascent Resources.

Click  here  to read the BloombergBusiness account.

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Dozen U.S. senators seek transparency on offshore drilling

By Bob Downing Published: August 19, 2015

From U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, on Tuesday:

Cardin Leads Effort to Bring Added Economic Transparency to Offshore Drilling Operations

 

Dozen senators urge federal financial regulators to require oil companies to disclose potential risks

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ANGA head calls EPA rules unneeded, counterproductive

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

From America's Natural Gas Alliance today:

Background: Following is a statement by Marty Durbin, president and chief executive officer for America's Natural Gas Alliance, on proposals by the Environmental Protection Agency of new methane regulations.

"Since 2005, natural gas producers have cut methane emissions 38 percent, while increasing production 35 percent. This impressive record has been accomplished through existing regulations and industry innovation. With further improvements certain to continue, we believe new and additional regulations are both unnecessary and counterproductive. This rule is simply not the best way to achieve our shared goal of methane emissions reductions.

"Natural gas producers will continue reducing methane emissions regardless of this proposal. Not only do we have an incentive to capture methane – it is the product we sell – but our track record of efficiency improvement and innovation are what drives the environmental, economic and energy security benefits of natural gas. A collaborative approach will bring greater reductions more quickly than new and unnecessary regulation."

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U.S. EPA outlines plan to cut methane emissions from drilling

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

Press release today from U.S. EPA:

Release Date: 08/18/2015
Contact Information: Enesta Jones Jones.enesta@epa.gov 202-564-7873 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – Continuing the Obama Administration’s commitment to take action on climate change and protect public health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing commonsense proposed standards today that would reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the oil and natural gas industry. The proposal is a part of the Administration’s strategy under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.

Methane, the key constituent of natural gas, is a potent GHG with a global warming potential more than 25 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. Methane is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activities, and nearly 30 percent of those emissions come from oil production and the production, transmission and distribution of natural gas.

“Today, through our cost-effective proposed standards, we are underscoring our commitment to reducing the pollution fueling climate change and protecting public health while supporting responsible energy development, transparency and accountability,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Cleaner-burning energy sources like natural gas are key compliance options for our Clean Power Plan and we are committed to ensuring safe and responsible production that supports a robust clean energy economy.”

The proposed standards for new and modified sources are expected to reduce 340,000 to 400,000 short tons of methane in 2025, the equivalent of reducing 7.7 to 9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. EPA estimates the rule will yield net climate benefits of $120 to $150 million in 2025. Those standards are also expected to reduce 170,000 to 180,000 tons of ozone-forming VOCs in 2025, along with 1,900 to 2,500 tons of air toxics, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene. Ozone is linked to a variety of serious public health effects, including reduced lung function, asthma attacks, asthma development, emergency room visits and hospital admissions, and early death from respiratory and cardiovascular causes. Air toxics include chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer and other serious health effects.

The proposed standards will complement voluntary efforts, including EPA’s Methane Challenge Program, and are based on practices and technology currently used by industry. To cut methane and VOC emissions, the proposal requires:



EPA’s Methane Challenge Program that was proposed earlier this year expands on the successful Natural Gas STAR program, which serves as a platform for companies who want to make an ambitious and transparent commitments to address methane emissions. This flexible program has the potential to foster significant cost-effective emission reductions across the oil and gas sector and to provide transparency on the progress partner companies are making to reduce emissions.

As part of the proposal announced today, the agency is updating the 2012 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) to address methane as well as VOC emissions for sources covered in that rule. EPA’s proposal would also require that industry reduce VOC and methane emissions from hydraulically fractured and refractured oil wells, which can contain significant amounts of natural gas along with oil. In addition, the proposal means methane and VOC reductions “downstream” from wells and production sites, covering equipment in the natural gas transmission segment of the industry that was not regulated in the agency’s 2012 oil and natural gas rules. Additionally, the agency proposes to clarify and streamline Clean Air Act permitting requirements in states and Indian country.

Today’s proposal includes proposed guidelines for states to reduce VOC emissions from existing oil and gas sources in certain ozone nonattainment areas as well as mid-Atlantic and Northeast states that are part of the Ozone Transport Region.

EPA will take comment on the proposals for 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register. The agency will hold public hearings and will announce details soon.

More information, including technical fact sheets, is available at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/actions.html

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API calls EPA methane rules duplicative, costly, unneeded

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

From the American Petroleum Institute today:

WASHINGTON, August 18, 2015 – EPA’s proposal for additional methane regulations on oil and gas wells and transmission are duplicative, costly, and undermine America’s competitiveness. The industry has already led the significant reduction in methane through innovation and existing regulations, according to API President and CEO Jack Gerard.

“The oil and gas industry is leading the charge in reducing methane,” Gerard said. “The last thing we need is more duplicative and costly regulation that could increase the cost of energy for Americans. Even as oil and natural gas production has surged, methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells have fallen nearly 79 percent since 2005, and CO2 emissions are down to 27-year lows. This is due to industry leadership and significant investments in new technologies.”

EPA’s own analysis shows that methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells have fallen dramatically. Total methane emissions from natural gas systems are down 11 percent since 2005 – a direct result of industry innovation at the same time production has increased significantly, according to API.

“API supports a common sense regulatory approach that builds on cost-effective controls already required by EPA for new equipment,” Gerard said. “Combined with smart, voluntary efforts for existing sources, this approach will continue to lower methane emissions. To avoid undermining American competitiveness, we urge the EPA to coordinate its efforts and not add duplicative rules.”

API is the 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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EDF chief calls EPA methane plan a 'critical step' forward

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

From the Environmental Defense Fund today:

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Earthjustice hails EPA plan to curtail methane pollution

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

From Earthjustice today:

EPA Proposes First-ever Protections to Reduce Methane Pollution
Earthjustice statement applauding new proposal that could
reduce unnecessary climate-changing pollution from the oil and gas industry

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will introduce another key element of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan by proposing first-ever protections to curb methane pollution from the oil and gas industry. The proposed Methane Pollution Standard offers sensible, cost-effective solutions to limit methane and toxic air pollution from rapidly escalating oil and gas development that is driving climate change and jeopardizing people’s health.

The oil and gas industry is wasting millions of tons of methane gas and leaking toxic chemicals into the air as it drills and transports oil and gas. The proposed standard begins to address this critical problem by targeting pollution from new sources, and lays the groundwork for essential regulation of existing sources.

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Ohio eco-groups respond to U.S. EPA methane proposal

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

A press release today:

Ohio Nurses, Mothers, Businesses and Environmental Groups Applaud New Methane Pollution Standard

New standard will help safeguard public health in Ohio while  mitigating climate change and reducing waste

Washington, D.C. - The Obama Administration today introduced the first-ever methane pollution standards for new and modified oil and gas facilities, a landmark announcement that will blunt the projected growth of global-warming methane and smog-forming pollution produced by the industry. The newly proposed standards will help to safeguard public health and put the United States on track to meet the Administration’s goal of reducing oil and gas methane pollution by 40 to 45 percent by 2025.

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Ohio has 1,570 drilled Utica wells, 969 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

Ohio has issued 1,988 Utica Shale permits, as of Aug. 15.

That total includes 1,570 drilled Utica wells and 969 producing Utica wells, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources today.

There are 25 drilling rigs working in Ohio.

Six new permits were approved. All six were in Monroe County and were requested by Eclipse Resources I LP.

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Royal Dutch Shell gets federal approval for Arctic Ocean drilling

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

From the Associated Press on Monday:

The federal government on Monday gave Royal Dutch Shell the final permit it needs to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska's northwest coast for the first time in more than two decades.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced that it approved the permit to drill below the ocean floor after the oil giant brought in a required piece of equipment to stop a possible well blowout.

The agency previously allowed Shell to begin drilling only the top sections of two wells in the Chukchi Sea because the key equipment, called a capping stack, was stuck on a vessel that needed repair in Portland, Oregon.

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U.S. Forest Service raises questions about planned pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

From the Associated Press recently:


The written comments to federal regulators question why the proposed route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has to go through the George Washington and Monongahela national forests and raises similar worries cited by residents along the path of the 550-mile energy project.

The 335 questions, comments and corrections were submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in late July by H. Thomas Speaks Jr., forest supervisor. The Forest Service already has given the builders of the proposed pipeline the green light to survey the forests.

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Spectra Energy to make bid for Williams Cos, Reuters says.

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

In a report on Friday, Reuters reported that Texas-based Spectra Energy is going to make a bid to buy the Oklahoma-based Williams Cos. in its entirety.

Houston-based Spectra is the company behind the proposed Nexus Pipeline across northern Ohio.

Tulsa-based Williams announced in June that it was opening itself up to a "strategic alternatives" process that could include a merger, a sale or continuing to pursue the company's existing growth plan.

Click  here  to read more.

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FERC OKs environmental report on Louisiana LNG terminal

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

Energy Transfer Equity LP and Energy Transfer Partners LP announced on Monday that they have received FERC’s Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Lake Charles LNG Export Company LLC liquefaction project.

Click  here  to read more.

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New SRBC report finds little drilling impact on streams

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

HARRISBURG, PA – The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) today released its third report on water quality conditions in select watersheds in the Marcellus shale region of the Susquehanna River Basin.

Prior to 2010, when SRBC began collecting the data through its state-of-the-art Remote Water Quality Monitoring Network (RWQMN), little to no water quality data existed for many smaller streams in northern Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York. SRBC’s first report in 2012 established existing conditions within the first 37 of 59 watersheds that SRBC is monitoring through the RWQMN. This third report provides a more comprehensive report of conditions across the full monitoring network.

“The Commission takes very seriously one of its core functions of monitoring water quality conditions in the streams and rivers of the Susquehanna Basin,” said SRBC Executive Director Andrew Dehoff. “This third report provides more information on the data collected as part of the Commission’s effort to evaluate whether or not water quality conditions in streams are reflecting impacts associated with natural gas drilling.”

SRBC’s objective of the RWQMN is to apply best available science to track changes in water quality conditions over time and to allow for timely responses in the case of pollution events. Other objectives are to reduce the cost of data collection by using advanced technologies, to enhance water supply protection through source water monitoring, and to be responsive to public concerns.

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Refinery outage results in higher Midwest gasoline prices

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administartion today:

On August 8, the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, the largest petroleum refinery in the Midwest, experienced an unplanned outage and was forced to reduce production. The BP Whiting refinery has a crude oil distillation unit (CDU) capacity of 413,500 barrels per calendar day (b/d), and it is an important source of gasoline and distillate fuel oil supply to the region.

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Tags: gasoline , Midwest , outages , prices , refining

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Kinder Morgan to build four new crude oil tankers for $568 million

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan Inc. is adding to its shipping fleet.

The Texas-based company has signed a $568 million contract to acquire four new oil tankers.

The ships will be built in Philadelphia and are scheduled to begin service in late 2017.

The four additional ships will bring the company's crude fleet to 16.

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Second LNG containership to be launched on Aug. 29

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

From a Monday press release:

Shipbuilders to launch second ship in series of world’s first natural gas powered containerships

 

 

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Crude pipeline use is creating shift in North Dakota's Bakken Shale

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

There is a noticeable shift occurring in the oil-rich Bakken Shale area of North Dakota and Montana.

More crude oil is leaving North Dakota by pipeline.

Rail has been the main transportation link to get the Bakken crude to markets.

Continental Resources reported in its second quarter 2015 report that it had shiped 160,000 fewer barrels of oil by rail and was relying more on pipelines.

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IPAA welcomes U.S.-Mexico crude announcement

By Bob Downing Published: August 18, 2015

From the Independent Petroleum Association of America on Friday:

IPAA Welcomes Approval of U.S.-Mexico Oil Exchanges

Urges further administrative action on crude oil export restrictions

 

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Pennsylvania oil train report includes 27 recommendationss

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2015

Governor Wolf Releases Oil Train Safety Report

 

Harrisburg, PA –Governor Tom Wolf today released a report written by Dr. Allan Zarembski focused on the safety of Pennsylvanians and protecting people from the potential of Bakken crude oil train derailments. In the report, Assessment of Crude by Rail Safety Issues in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Dr. Zarembski presents 27 recommendations.

 

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Pipeline opponents to hold Hands Across Our Land on Aug. 18

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2015

Anti-pipeline groups in West Virginia and Virginia are banding together on Tuesday, Aug. 18, to hold Hands Across Our Land.

There will be supportive demonstrations in some Ohio and Pennsylvania communities.

Click  here  to read a story from the Washington Post about the grass-roots protest.

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Pennsylvania releases new study on crude train safety

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2015

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf today released a study commissioned earlier this year to make recommendations on preventing oil train accidents in Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported..

“Every week, roughly 60 to 70 trains carrying crude oil travel through Pennsylvania destined for Philadelphia or another East Coast refinery, and I have expressed grave concern regarding the transportation of this oil and have taken several steps to prevent potential oil train derailments,” said Wolf. 

The study, conducted by Allan Zarembski of the University of Delaware, an expert on rail safety, made 27 recommendations, including improvements to rail car construction, track testing, speed reduction, inspections and more involvement of state officials in train safety issues.

Click  here  to read the full story.

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Move-the-pipeline group to meet in Green on Aug. 19

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2015

A grass-roots group fighting the Nexus Pipeline will meet on Aug. 19.

The Coalition to Reroute Nexus (CORN) will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. in the city of Green.

The meeting will be held at Akron General Medical Center's Wellness Center off Massillon Road (state Route 241).

The group wants the pipeline moved to a safer, less-developed corridor to the south.

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EIA says Utica production to decline in August, September

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2015

Natural gas and crude oil production from Ohio's Utica Shale is projected to decline for the first time in August and September, reports the U.S. Energy Information Administration

Low commodity prices had resulted in production drops in the other shale drilling areas earlier, but the Utica Shale had been growing.

Click  here  to see the EIA report.

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Private equity companies moving on shale drilling opportunities

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2015

Private equity companies are increasingly interested in tapping into shale drilling including Ohio's Utica Shale, reports Tom Knox of Columbus Business First.

Click  here  to read his story.

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Drilling impairments are growing as commodity prices fall

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2015

With low commodity prices, many drilling companies are looking at their assets and deciding they’re not worth as much as they thought, writes Anya Litvak of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Such so-called impairments or write-downs have peppered company earnings over the past year, their mentions getting more frequent and the dollar amounts ballooning as commodity prices continue their descent.

These one-time expenses result from a company’s calculation that the costs it has capitalized to develop its assets are higher than the cash such development would bring in.

The way things are going, 2015 is likely to see the most impairments in the past decade,analysts say.

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A closer look at shale drilling research at Morgantown, W. Va.

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2015

The Miami Herald has taken a look at shale drilling research under way by scientists from Ohio State and West Virginia universities.

They are involved in the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Lab at Morgantown, W. Va.

The $11 million project will give the U.S. Department of Energy and the scientists a closer look at wells fracked by West Virginia-based Northeast Natural Energy over the next five years.

Click  here  to read the story.

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Reed Frazier moving to NPR's environment, energy team

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2015

Pittsburgh-based Reed Frazier has been the main drilling reporter for the Allegheny Front radio show on NPR and has extensively covered the Marcellus Shale drilling in western Pennsylvania.

He has now been tapped to be part of NPR's new national environmental and energy team..

His show airs on radio stations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

Click  here  for a look at Frazier's work.

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Eclipse Resources boosts production by 24 percent from 1Q 2015

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2015

Pennsylvania-based Eclipse Resources reported that it has begun production from its three-well Sawyers Pad in Ohio's Monroe County and the Utica Shale's dry gas window..

In the second quarter, the company drilled eight wells, completed 15 wells and turned 19 wells to production.

Its revenue was up and production grew by 24 percent from the previous quarter.

Click  here  to read more.

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Energy Transfer seeking customers for new Delaware Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2015

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP is seeking drillers interested in its new 130-mile system of gathering pipelines in Texas and New Mexico.

The Delaware Pipeline, as it is called, is scheduled to begin service in the first half of 2016.

Click  here  to read more.

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Groups to seek Ohio constitutional change on community rights

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2015

Grass-roots groups in Medina and two other counties intend to keep fighting Ohio’s gas-and-oil industry, after Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted invalidated ballot proposals in those counties.
Husted upheld protests invalidating the county charter initiatives and said they wouldn’t appear on Nov. 3 ballots in Medina, Athens and Fulton counties.
Local groups had circulated petitions to get enough signatures to place the county bill of rights’ initiatives on the ballots.
Under state law, Husted determines the validity of proposals and petitions and determines whether the petition should qualify for the ballot.
He said in a statement that each proposal attempts to circumvent state law in a way that the courts have ruled violates the Ohio Constitution. He said allowing the proposals to proceed would waste taxpayers’ time and money.
The Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a statewide drilling group, was pleased by Husted’s ruling.
“We commend Secretary of State Husted’s decision, which is in line with both state law and other recent legal findings, including an Ohio Supreme Court decision,” said spokesman Mike Chadsey. “These petitions sought to circumvent these precedents and were rightfully disallowed on the November ballot. The decision will also mean that local taxpayer funds will not go towards an expensive ballot initiative that may have resulted in further lawsuits with the same finding.”
The groups involved in the petitions drives were angered by Husted’s ruling and studying legal options.
“We will not stand idly by as our communities are pillaged by an industry that has purchased the very government that was supposed to represent us,” said Debra Beckstett of Medina County in a statement. “This is our land, our air and water, our families – our communities. We will protect them,”
Added Milena Miller of Athens County, “The law is to uphold inalienable rights – not to strip them away – and the people have an inalienable right to vote on our own initiatives. We have an inalienable right to clean air and pure water. We have an inalienable right to govern ourselves.”
The groups involved were angered by Husted’s action and may seek a state constitutional amendment to protect community rights in the future.
“We will not stand idly by as our communities are pillaged by an industry that has purchased the very government that was supposed to represent us,” said Debra Beckstett of Medina County in a statement. “This is our land, our air and water, our families – our communities. We will protect them,”
Added Milena Miller of Athens County, “The law is to uphold inalienable rights – not to strip them away – and the people have an inalienable right to vote on our own initiatives. We have an inalienable right to clean air and pure water. We have an inalienable right to govern ourselves.”
“Mr. Husted’s claims that the people of Ohio have no community right to protect their own health, safety, and welfare, is unsurprising. He joins the state legislature and the judiciary in their stand to protect the oil and gas industry over people, communities, and nature,” said Tish O’Dell, Ohio community organizer for the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.
She said it was her opinion that Husted was using state law “to deny the people their constitutional right.”
Her group has been working with the Ohio Community Rights Network to fight natural gas pipelines, injection wells for drilling wastes and hydraulic fracturing of fracking.
O’Dell said, “It was only when the people altered and reformed our legal structure that unjust laws, such as the ones allowing slavery and women as property - and similar in design to the laws cited by Mr. Husted today – were changed. The abolitionists, suffragists and civil rights advocates did not go home when the might of the legislatures, executives, and judiciaries was wielded against them. So today do the people of Ohio refuse to fold simply because an elected declares, ‘It’s the law.’”

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Ohio groups unhappy with Husted decision on charter votes

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2015

From a press release today:

Ohio Secretary of State Denies Ohio Citizens
their Constitutional Right to Vote

 Removes Duly Qualified County Charter Initiatives from Ballot

 

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Ohio rules against county charter votes in three counties

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2015

From the Associated Press:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s elections chief has moved to invalidate ballot proposals in three counties related to the oil- and gas-drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, plus pipelines and inhection wells.
Secretary of State Jon Husted ruled Thursday on protests filed with his office that questioned the validity of county charter ballot proposals in Athens, Fulton and Medina  counties.
Husted upheld the protests invalidating the proposals and said they wouldn’t appear on Nov. 3 ballots. He says in a statement that each proposal attempts to circumvent state law in a way that the courts have ruled violates the Ohio Constitution.
Husted says allowing the proposals to proceed would waste taxpayers’ time and money.
Under state law, Husted determines the validity of proposals and petitions and determines whether the petition should qualify for the ballot.

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Gulfport Energy Fund awards $35,000 to 10 Ohio projects

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2015

From the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio last week:

Nelsonville, OH The Gulfport Energy Fund at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio has announced its first 2015 grant recipients. During this first round, the Gulfport Energy Fund awarded nearly $35,000 to ten projects throughout Belmont, Guernsey, Harrison, and Monroe counties.

“We are proud to invest in educational opportunities through the Gulfport Energy Fund,” said Gulfport Energy President and CEO Mike Moore. “Investing in the communities where we operate is a hallmark of our work and we appreciate the opportunity to support the efforts of these dedicated educators.”

The Gulfport Energy Fund was created to support projects that create opportunities by improving quality of life, creating access to opportunities, or identifying and implementing a solution for a community need or issue in the counties where Gulfport operates. Tax-exempt organizations from Belmont, Guernsey, Harrison, and Monroe counties are eligible to apply for these grants.

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Trumbull County injection well with tremors to stay shut down

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2015

An Ohio state panel has deteremined that am injection well near Niles in Trumbull County where tremors had been recorded will remain closed at this time.

Click  here  to read the story from WKSU's Tim Rudell.

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Texas private equity company acquires Australian shale stake

By Bob Downing Published: August 14, 2015

The Texas-based Energy & Minerals Group, a private equity company, has acquired a stake in fledgling  shale oil and gas development in northern Australia,

Click  here  to read more from Bloomberg.

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A look at Judge Rowland's ruling against Nexus Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands was not convinced the Texas-based company behind the Nexus Pipeline proved its need for a temporary restraining order to provide access for surveys on private property in Green and New Franklin.
In her 11-page decision, Rowlands questioned whether Nexus Gas Transmission LLC has the authority it claims under Ohio law to go on private property.
She disagreed with the company’s contention that it would suffer “irreparable harm” if it failed to get a TRO.
The company characterized the surveys as “minimal” intrusions, although residents presented a different picture. Residents would suffer damages immediately if the TRO was granted, while the damages suffered by the company if it failed to get a TRO would be in the future and would be speculative, economic in nature and not irreparable, the judge said.
The company also argued that the public interest would be served by granting the TRO. Rowlands disagreed.
If the TRO had been approved, the company would go on the private properties and conduct the surveys and the question of access would be moot, the judge said.
“Ultimately, under the authority cited herein, the decision as to who may enter the defendants’ land is up the defendants,” Rowlands wrote.
She scheduled a trial on the company’s request for declaratory judgment and a permanent injunction for Oct. 26.
The $2 billion pipeline would run from Ohio’s Utica Shale east to Defiance in northwest Ohio and then north to Detroit and Ontario where it would connect to existing pipelines. It would be 36 inches in diameter and could transport enough natural gas to fuel 6 million homes.
The project must be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Construction could begin in early 2017 and the pipeline could begin operations late that year.
In Medina County, Nexus Gas Transmission has filed a request to drop 109 additional landowners from its pending legal action.
The company had filed a request on Aug. 5 to add defendants to the original suit that had initially named four parties.
On Monday, Judge Christopher Collier said the trial could not proceed as scheduled on Sept. 24 with the additional defendants being added. They would need time to hire attorneys and the attorneys would have to be up to speed on the case.
Collier then scheduled a pre-trial conference on the case for Sept. 24 and said the trial would be delayed.
On Tuesday, Nexus Gas filed a request to dismiss 109 defendants in Medina County. Four defendants would remain. The company offered no explanation for the action. That request has not been acted upon by Collier.
The judge had dismissed the company’s TRO request on July 17. Nexus Gas had filed its TRO request on July 6 in Medina County.
In related developments, the company won a TRO against two Wayne County families.
That decision was made on Monday by Common Pleas Judge Mark Wiest after an Aug. 6 hearing.
The pipeline would cross a small section of Chippewa Township.

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Ecosystem seeks to intervene in Pennsylvania drilling suit

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

From a press release earlier this week:

Ecosystem, Community Group, and Municipal Authority File for Intervention in Lawsuit to Defend Community from Injection Well

 

-- Comes after Industry Sues Township, Claiming a Corporate “Right”

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Frack water treatment market worth $1.9 billion, report says

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

From Lux Research earlier this week:

 

Even though a dramatic decline in global oil prices has led to a fall in fracking activity, water reuse in areas like the Marcellus Shale is still in demand, says Lux Research

BOSTON, MA – August 12, 2015 – Despite a precipitous decline in frac activity following the dramatic decline in global oil prices, the market for frac water management is still estimated to be worth $1.9 billion, not including water transportation and disposal, according to Lux Research.

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Meigs County group sues commissioners on charter initiative

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

From the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund earlier this week:

Meigs County Commissioners Resort to Chicanery to Keep
 County Charter Initiative off the Ballot

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2015

Contact:

Tish O’Dell, Ohio Community Organizer

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Ascent Resources, EMG sue Aubrey McClendon law firm

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

The Appalachian exploration company originally formed by Aubrey McClendon and the company's major investors are suing a major law firm claiming it "mistakenly or fraudulently" acted on behalf of the former Chesapeake Energy Corp. chief.

McClendon remains a key figure in Ohio's Utica Shale.

Click  here  to read the full story.

.

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Oklahoma reduces injection rates at limited wells due to quakes

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

Responding to increasing numbers of earthquakes, an Oklahoma state commission has reduced injection rates for a limited number of injection wells in the 122-square-mile Arbuckle formation, reports the BakerHostetler law firm.

Click  here  to read more.

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Pennsylvania DEP releases revised drilling rules

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

From Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection earlier this week:

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Magnum Hunter finalizing $430 million Utica Shale joint venture

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

Texas-based Magnum Hunter Resources has filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on a proposed $430 million Utica Shale joint venture with an undisclosed private equity firm, reports Oil and Gas Journal.

The deal should be completed in 30 to 45 days with a closing 15 to 30 days after that.

Click here  to read the full story.

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PDC Energy reports 15 percent jump in 2Q production

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

From PDC Energy earlier this week:

DENVER, August 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PDC Energy, Inc. ("PDC", the "Company," "we" or "us") (NASDAQ:PDCE) today reported its 2015 second quarter financial and operating results and updated its 2015 full-year guidance.

2015 Second Quarter Highlights

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Nuclear accord could trigger more crude production from Iran

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

On July 14, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany) and Iran announced an agreement that could result in relief from United States and European Union nuclear-related sanctions (which include some oil-related sanctions). If the agreement is implemented and sanctions relief occurs, it will put additional Iranian oil supplies on a global market that has already seen oil inventories rise significantly over the past year.

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Tags: crude oil , international , Iran , liquid fuels , oil/petroleum , production

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Ohio has 1,568 drilled Utica wells, 935 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

Ohio has approved 1,985 Utica Shale permits, as of Aug. 8.

That total includes 1,568 drilled Utica wells and 935 producing Utica wells, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Ohio has 22 drilling rigs at work.

Three new permits were approved: one on Belmont County and two in Jefferson County.

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MarkWest, EMG to expand natural gas collection in Utica Shale

By Bob Downing Published: August 13, 2015

MarkWest Energy Partners LP and the Energy and Minerals Group have agreed to build  a gathering pipeline system for dry natural gas from Ascent Resources LLC and other drillers in Ohio's Utica Shale.

The $1 billion project would provide about 250 miles of pipelines in Ohio's Belmont and Jefferson counties and serve about 100,000 acres in the two counties.

The announcement came on Wednesday.

Click  here  to read the announcement.

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Nexus Pipeline denied TRO by Summit County Common Pleas judge

By Bob Downing Published: August 12, 2015

A Summit County judge on Wednesday said no to Nexus Gas Tranmission LLC on its request for a TRO against landowners in Green and New Franklin to allow acfcess for comp-any surveyors.

Click  here  to read more from co-worker Stephanie Warsmith.

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Summit County residents testify against Nexus Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 11, 2015

Here's the latest on the Nexus Gas Transmission LLC and its attempt to get a TRO in Summit County Common Pleas Court to allow access to private property for its surveyors.

Click  here  to read the full stort from my co-worker Ed Meyer.

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Utica Shale volatile oil changes result in $48.3 million loss for EVEP

By Bob Downing Published: August 10, 2015

Texas-based EV Energy Partners reported today that the company lost $48.3 million in the 2Q 2015 due to changes in its plan to drill in the Utica Shale's volatile oil window.

The details of  those changes were not disclosed in the company's statement nor in the earnings call with analysts and the media.

The volatile oil window stretches from Trumbull Couny through Portage, Stark, Tuscarawas, Guernsey, Muskingum, Athens and Meigs counties in eastern Ohio.

To date, about 90 wells have been drilled in the volatile oil window, of which 28 are producing and 32 are drilled but not yet producing.

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Magum Hunter Resources expects to close on two deals

By Bob Downing Published: August 10, 2015

Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. could close two major deals by the end of August that will raise some significant cas, Columbus Business First reports.

The company expects to generate more than $500 million by selling its interest in its Eureka Hunter Midstream pipeline system. That could happen in as soon as three weeks, although a longer timeline is possible.

The other deal is more likely to close sooner. A joint venture partnership for its Utica shale acreage should close early this week, executives from the Texas shale driller told analysts Friday in a second-quarter earnings call. It would bring in $450 million.

 

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Rail makes Midwest net shipper of crude oil, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: August 10, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Shipments of crude oil out of the Midwest region (Petroleum Administration for Defense District 2) to other U.S. regions have steadily increased as a result of pipeline reversals and rail transport. Rail movements out of the Midwest contributed to the region becoming a net shipper of crude oil. Without these rail movements, the Midwest region would still be a net recipient. The Midwest started to ship more crude oil to other regions than it received from those regions for a few months in 2013 and on an annual basis in 2014. The most recent Petroleum Supply Monthly, which contains data through May 2015, shows an average of 1.7 million barrels per day (b/d) shipped out of the Midwest during the first five months of the year, of which 638,000 b/d were transported by rail.

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Tags: crude oil , Midwest , pipelines , rail

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EV Energy Partners reports production dip in 2Q 2015

By Bob Downing Published: August 10, 2015

From EV Energy Partners today:

HOUSTON, Aug. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- EV Energy Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: EVEP) today announced results for the second quarter of 2015 and the filing of its Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Additionally, EVEP provided an update on its commodity hedge positions.

Second Quarter 2015 Results

Adjusted EBITDAX for the second quarter of 2015 was $53.4 million, a 2 percent decrease from the second quarter of 2014 and 1 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2015.  Distributable Cash Flow for the second quarter of 2015 was $26.2 million, a 1 percent decrease from the second quarter of 2014 and flat versus the first quarter of 2015.  The decreases in Adjusted EBITDAX and Distributable Cash Flow are primarily due to 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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Sunoco Logistics growth fueled by NGLs from Utica, Marcellus

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2015

From Sunoco Logistics:

SUNOCO LOGISTICS ANNOUNCES RECORD EARNINGS FOR SECOND QUARTER 2015 AND CONTINUED
FIVE PERCENT QUARTER ON QUARTER DISTRIBUTION GROWTH
PHILADELPHIA, August 5, 2015 – Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE: SXL) (the "Partnership") today announced
record results for the second quarter 2015. Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended June 30, 2015 was $326 million, a $46
million increase compared to the second quarter 2014. Net income attributable to partners for the second quarter 2015 was $276
million ($0.83 per limited partner unit diluted), which included a $100 million inventory adjustment resulting from the increase in
commodity prices. This non-cash benefit was excluded from the Partnership's determination of Adjusted EBITDA and Distributable
Cash Flow. Net income attributable to partners was $156 million ($0.53 per limited partner unit diluted) for the second quarter
2014. Recent highlights include:
• Distributable Cash Flow of $264 million for the second quarter 2015
• Twenty percent distribution increase to $1.75 (annualized) compared to the second quarter 2014
• Blue bar ratable earnings increased approximately 30 percent year over year
• Distribution coverage ratio of 1.47x for the quarter ended June 30, 2015
• Ended the quarter with a Debt-to-Adjusted EBITDA ratio of 3.3x calculated in accordance with our credit agreement
• Commenced operations on the Permian Express 2 pipeline project in July 2015
• Announced a 30 percent interest in the Bayou Bridge pipeline project
• Planning to conduct an open season for Mariner East 2 Expansion project
"We are pleased to announce record quarterly results," said Michael J. Hennigan, President and Chief Executive Officer.
"Once again, our blue bar (ratable) earnings, which have increased approximately 30 percent year over year, are driving our excellent
results. Our Mariner NGL projects were a key contributor to the growth as our three operating pipelines, Mariner West, Mariner
South, and Mariner East 1-Propane Service are delivering critical takeaway capacity out of rapidly growing areas. In addition, our
premier marine terminals, Nederland and Marcus Hook, are providing fee-based NGL storage and terminalling services for our
Mariner South and Mariner East systems."
Continuing on blue bar growth, Hennigan added, "Our core strategy is growing fee-based blue bar cash flow, as it drives our
distribution growth. As we previously reported, we are now in our fourth consecutive year of growing our distribution 20 percent
annually. This is a direct result of our execution on our extensive organic expansion projects."
On the start up of Permian Express 2, Hennigan said, "We are pleased to report that our Permian Express 2 project is
operational. This pipeline adds to our committed, ratable earnings and increases the takeaway capacity out of the growing Permian
Basin by approximately 200,000 barrels per day and provides access to multiple markets. Permian Express 2 was executed right
on schedule, started operations in July, and is operating at high capacity. The Permian Express 2 system is adequately sized to be
expanded by another 200,000 barrels per day providing a very competitive option for shippers relative to other projects when the
market need arises for additional Permian takeaway capacity."
On Bayou Bridge, Hennigan said, "We are happy to announce that SXL will have a 30 percent interest in the Bayou Bridge
project. This is another clear example of the synergies we have within the Energy Transfer family of partnerships. We believe being
connected to our premier 25 million barrel Nederland crude terminal on the gulf coast greatly benefits this project. Our extensive
pipeline system connects our West Texas Permian, Southern Oklahoma, Granite Wash, Eaglebine and East Texas systems to our
Nederland terminal and now will have enhanced capability to further deliver crude barrels eastward on the Bayou Bridge pipeline
into Louisiana."

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U.S. refineries running at record-high levels, EIA says

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Gross inputs to U.S. refineries exceeded 17 million barrels per day (b/d) in each of the past four weeks, a level not previously reached since EIA began publishing weekly data in 1990. The rolling four-week average of U.S. gross refinery inputs has been above the previous five-year range (2010-14) every week so far this year. The record high gross inputs reflect both higher refinery capacity and higher utilization rates.

Read More ›

Tags: crude oil , liquid fuels , refinery capacity

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Two ecogroups appeal granting of Shell cracker air permit

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2015

Two ecogroups are appealing Pennsylvania's granting an air permit to Shell for its proposed cracker plant on the Ohio River in Beaver County.

The appeal was filed by the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council and the Environmental Integrity Project in Washington, D.C.

The appeal is pending before the state's Environmental Hearing Board.

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

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Carizzo not planning any new Utica drilling but production grows

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2015

From Carizzo Oil and Gas Inc. on Thursday:

HOUSTON, Aug. 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRZO) today announced the Company's financial results for the second quarter of 2015 and provided an operational update, which included the following highlights:

Carrizo reported a second quarter of 2015 loss from continuing operations of $47.0 million, or ($0.92) per basic and diluted share compared to income from continuing operations of $3.2 million, or $0.07 per basic and diluted share in the second quarter of 2014. The loss from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2015 includes certain items typically excluded from published estimates by the investment community. Adjusted net income, which excludes the impact of these items as described in the statements of operations included below, for the second quarter of 2015 was $20.4 million, or $0.40 and $0.39 per basic and diluted share, respectively, compared to $32.4 million, or $0.72 and $0.70 per basic and diluted share, respectively, in the second quarter of 2014.

For the second quarter of 2015, adjusted earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, depletion, and amortization, as described in the statements of operations included below ("Adjusted EBITDA"), was $127.5 million, a decrease of 12% from the prior year quarter as the impact of lower commodity prices more than offset the impact of higher production volumes.

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Magnum Hunter Resources issues 2Q 2015 updates

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2015

From Magnum Hunter Resources:

IRVING, TX--(Marketwired - Aug 7, 2015) -  Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation (NYSE: MHR) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRC) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRD) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRE) (the "Company" or "Magnum Hunter") announced today financial and operating results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015. The Company plans to file its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 with the Securities and Exchange Commission later today, Friday, August 7, 2015. Highlights of the Company's financial and operating results include the following:

(a) Pro-forma production includes approximately 18.0 MMcfe/d associated with previously shut in production which was turned to sales in late June 2015, relating primarily to the Company's WVDNR pad.

(b) See Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Reconciliations below.

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No new Utica, Marcellus wells planned by Gastar Exploration

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2015

From Texas-based Gastar Exploration on Thursday:

HOUSTON, Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Gastar Exploration Inc. (NYSE MKT: GST) ("Gastar") today reported financial and operating results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015.

Net loss attributable to Gastar's common stockholders as reported for the second quarter of 2015 was $118.0 million, or a loss of $1.52 per share.  Excluding a $100.2 million non-cash, pre-tax ceiling test impairment charge and a $7.8 million loss resulting from the mark-to-market of outstanding hedge positions, adjusted net loss attributable to common stockholders was $10.1 million, or a loss of $0.13 per share.  This compares to second quarter 2014 reported net income of $2.0 million, or $0.03 per share, which includes the impact of an $8.6 million net benefit related to an arbitration settlement.  Excluding the impact of a $5.4 million loss resulting from the mark-to-market of outstanding hedge positions, second quarter 2014 adjusted net income was $7.5 million, or $0.12 per diluted share. (See the accompanying reconciliation of net (loss) income to net income (loss) excluding special items at the end of this news release.)  Second quarter 2015 results compare to a first quarter 2015 net loss of $3.0 million, or a loss of $0.04 per share, and an adjusted net loss of $7.3 million, or a loss of $0.09 per share, which excludes a $4.3 million gain resulting from the mark-to-market of outstanding hedge positions.

Adjusted earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, depletion and amortization ("adjusted EBITDA") for the second quarter of 2015 was $17.9 million, a decrease of 39%, compared to $29.4 million in the second quarter of 2014, which includes the impact of an $8.6 million net benefit related to an arbitration settlement, and a decrease of 11% compared to $20.0 million in the first quarter of 2015.  (See the accompanying reconciliation of net (loss) income to adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP number, at the end of this news release.)

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Magnum Hunter Resources names new key executive

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2015

From Magnum Hunter Resources on Thursday:

IRVING, TX--(Marketwired - Aug 6, 2015) - Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation (NYSE: MHR) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRC) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRD) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRE) (the "Company" or "Magnum Hunter") announced today that the Board of Directors has appointed Keith Yankowsky as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer effective September 1, 2015. Mr. Yankowsky, age 50, will report directly to Gary C. Evans, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Magnum Hunter.

Mr. Yankowsky brings more than 28 years of engineering experience, including operations, drilling and completions, within large independent oil and natural gas companies focused on both conventional and unconventional resource plays. Prior to his appointment at Magnum Hunter, Mr. Yankowsky served as Vice President of Appalachia South Business Unit at Chesapeake Energy Corporation ("Chesapeake") since 2013. During his nine year tenure at Chesapeake, he also held the title of Vice President of Engineering Technology and Special Projects and was involved in overseeing a variety of engineering and operational functions specifically related to horizontal drilling and fracture stimulation techniques within the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays. Mr. Yankowsky played a vital role in the discovery and development of many of the most prolific onshore U.S. unconventional resource plays for Chesapeake. In addition, he was responsible for the successful development and growth of certain Appalachian assets for Chesapeake and has overseen the successful disposition of some of these assets to other industry competitors. Prior to joining Chesapeake, Mr. Yankowsky served in various operational and engineering roles at Burlington Resources and Conoco Inc. Mr. Yankowsky earned a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering degree from Marietta College, Marietta Ohio. 

Mr. Yankowsky commented, "I am honored to join an exceptionally talented Magnum Hunter operations team. I look forward to utilizing my extensive Appalachian Basin experience to further drive improved production performance and cash cost efficiencies on the Company's attractive acreage position."

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Nexus Pipeline names 91 in Summt County access lawsuit

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2015

Jane Carl of New Franklin says she is convinced that natural gas pipelines are a risk and are dangerous.
Tim Samples says he doesn’t want a large pipeline on his 31 acres in New Franklin.
Judy Knapp and Bobby Geer of Green twice allowed surveyors for the Nexus Pipeline on one parcel they own off South Arlington Road but denied access to parcels they own off Koons and Thursby roads.
“It became a push, push, shove kind of thing,” Knapp of repeated access requests.
They are among 91 residents of Green and New Franklin who were named defendants in a lawsuit filed Thursday  file by Texas-based Nexus Gas Transmission LLC over access to properties.
The company is seeking a temporary restraining order in Summit County Common Pleas Court to force property owners tp allow surveyors access to their land.
There was no hearing on Thursday on the company’s request.
The case has been assigned to Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands.
Attorney David Mucklow, who has been fighting the pipeline, filed a 16-pare response to the comapny’s request.
The pipeline company notified residents on Wednesday that it intended to take the legal action.
The company said it needs access to the private property for the purpose of building the proposed $2 billion Nexus Pipeline that would cross northern Ohio to carry natural gas from the Utica Shale.
The company said denial of access is causing problems in preparing plans for the pipeline.
The Nexus Pipeline would stretch 250 miles from Columbiana County to Defiance in northwest Ohio. It would run north into Michigan and Ontario.
It is being developed by Nexus Gas Transmission, along with Detroit-based DTE Energy Co. and Texas-based Spectra Energy Partners.
The pipeline, 36 inches in diameter, is designed to handle up to 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, enough to fuel about 6 million homes.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission still must approve the pipeline that impacts 3,479 properties.
Construction could begin in January 2017 and the pipeline could be running by November 2017.
The city of Green and a grass-roots group, Coalition to Reroute Nexus, have suggested that 103 miles of the pipeline be rerouted to the south away from the Akron-Canton area through southern Stark and Wayne counties and western Medina County.
Putting the pipeline through southern Summit County “is just nuts,” Carl said. She said she feared that the pipeline would destroy the forest on her property.
“We don’t want it,” Samples said adding it should be buried deeper than 3 feet for safety.
Knapp said she was “upset but not manic” over the pipeline proposal. She said she feared that it would win approval and be built.
Nexus Gas Transmission has filed similar legal requests in counties along the pipeline’s proposed route. It has been granted access by judges in Columbiana, Sandusky, Wood, Lucas, Fulton, Hancock, Lorain and Jefferson counties.
Judges in Medina and Erie counties ruled against the company’s requests. A hearing is scheduled on Sept. 24 with Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Collier. The original complaint named three families. The company wants to add 94 Medina County residents to the suit but the judge has not yet ruled on that request.
The company’s request in Wayne County is pending. A hearing is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. It is seeking access from two couples in Chippewa Township.

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Gulfport Energy reports 2Q record production, financial loss

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2015

From Gulfport Energy:

OKLAHOMA CITY, Aug. 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:GPOR) ("Gulfport" or the "Company") today reported financial and operational results for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 and provided an update on its 2015 activities. Key information for the second quarter includes the following:

Financial Results

For the second quarter of 2015, Gulfport reported a net loss of $31.3 million on oil and natural gas revenues of $112.3 million, or $0.32 per diluted share. For the second quarter of 2015, EBITDA (as defined below) was $34.8 million and cash flow from operating activities before changes in working capital was $74.6 million. The GAAP net income for the second quarter of 2015 included the following items:

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Rice Energy offers 2Q update for Utica, Marcellus drilling

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2015

From Rice Energy today:

Aug 6, 2015

CANONSBURG, Pa., Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Rice Energy Inc. (NYSE: RICE) ("Rice Energy") today reported second quarter 2015 financial and operational results. Highlights during the quarter include:

Commenting on the results, Daniel J. Rice IV, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We had a tremendous quarter operationally, significantly surpassing our expected production by consistently turning wells online on time or ahead of schedule. I am proud of our team's collaborative efforts, evidenced by our strong quarterly results in spite of a challenging commodity price market."

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Stone Energy announces 2Q 2015 financial, operational results

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2015

From Louisiana-based Stone Energy on Wednesday:

LAFAYETTE, La., Aug. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Stone Energy Corporation (NYSE: SGY) today announced financial and operational results for the second quarter of 2015. Some of the highlights include:

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer David Welch stated, "Despite a difficult macro environment, we showed solid production from our base properties and maintained a good liquidity position at quarter-end.  We expect to have volumes from our Cardona #6 well on by the fourth quarter of 2015 and production from Amethyst by the first quarter of 2016.  For the next several quarters, we have narrowed most of our capital expenditure activity to our deep water development program, followed by our high potential Lamprey exploration project, targeted for early in 2016.  We are focused on our liquidity and are aggressively taking steps to reduce costs and capital expenditures." 

Financial Results

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Russia is largest producer of crude oil, lease condensate

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Russia is the world's largest producer of crude oil (including lease condensate) and the second-largest producer of dry natural gas, after the United States. Hydrocarbons play a large role in the Russian economy, as revenue from oil and natural gas production and exports accounts for more than half of Russia's federal budget revenue. However, recent international sanctions on Russia, coupled with low oil prices, have put pressure on the Russian economy.

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Tags: crude oil , exports , liquid fuels , natural gas , production , Russia

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Rex Energy reports increased production, drop in revenues

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2015

From Rex Energy earlier this week:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Aug. 04, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rex Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:REXX) announced its second quarter 2015 operational and financial results.

"We remain steadfast in our strategy to navigate through the current commodity price cycle," said Tom Stabley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rex Energy. "We have increased production, controlled costs and are divesting non-core assets. The team at Rex is implementing measures that are resulting in improved well performance while maintaining liquidity and financial discipline."

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Nexus Pipeline to file access lawsuits in Summit County

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2015

A Texas-based pipeline company intends to file lawsuits on Thursday  against Summit County residents who have refused to allow the company’s surveyors.
Nexus Gas Transmission LLC notified residents of Green and New Franklin of the impending legal action in notices delivered to their homes on Wednesday.  
The company said it intends to seek temporary restraining orders in Summit County Common Pleas Court to allow access to the private property for its surveyors for the proposed Nexus Pipeline that will cross northern Ohio.
The company said that such denials are causing problems in preparing plans for the $2 billion pipeline.
Efforts to contact the company about the number of suits that will be filed were unsuccessful.
Attorney David Mucklow, who lives in Green and has been active against the pipeline, said he intends to file legal papers opposing the company’s request, after the Nexus request is filed.
The Nexus Pipeline would stretch 250 miles from Columbiana County to Defiance in northwest Ohio. It would run north into Michigan and connect with existing pipelines into Ontario.
The project is being developed by Nexus Gas Transmission, along with Detroit-based DTE Energy Co. and Texas-based Spectra Energy Partners.
The pipeline, 36 inches in diameter, is designed to handle up to 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from eastern Ohio’s Utica Shale, enough to fuel about 6 million homes.
 It would run 12 miles through New Franklin and Green in Summit County, 19.8 miles through Stark County, 6 miles through Wayne County and 22 miles through Medina County where a compressor station would also be built.
The project needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
If approved, construction could begin in January 2017 and the pipeline could begin operations in November 2017.
The city of Green and a grass-roots group,  Coalition to Reroute Nexus, have suggested that 103 miles of the pipeline be rerouted to the south away from the Akron-Canton area through southern Stark and Wayne counties and western Medina County.
Nexus Gas Transmission has filed similar legal requests in counties along the pipeline’s proposed route. It has been granted access by judges in Columbiana, Sandusky, Wood, Lucas, Fulton, Hancock, Lorain and Jefferson counties.
Judges in Medina and Erie counties ruled against the company’s TRO requests.
The company’s request in Wayne County is pending. A hearing is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.  It is seeking access from two couples in Chippewa Township.

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Chesapeake to curtail Utica operations until pipeline opens

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2015

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. will continue to curtail production in Ohio’s Utica Shale.
In July, the company voluntarily cut production by 100 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, company officials said on Wednesday  in an earnings call with analysts and the media.
It is expecting that curtailment to trim production by 275 million cubic feet per day from August through October,  they said.
The production cuts were triggered largely by low commodity prices for natural gas and liquids. The company has also been hurt by Appalachian gas prices that are lower than other regions and falling propane prices.
Chesapeake, the No. 1 player in the Utica Shale, had announced last May that it was scaling back its Utica operations.
Those cutbacks will likely continue to November when a new pipeline will allow Chesapeake to ship its Utica natural gas to the Gulf Coast for the first time for better prices, said Chesapeake spokesman Chris Doyle.
The company said it expects “a significant pricing uplift” from Gulf Coast sales of its natural gas.
Texas-based Spectra Energy Corp. — it is the company behind the planned Nexus Pipeline across northern Ohio — is scheduled to complete the 76-mile pipeline extension in eastern Ohio. The 30-inch-in-diameter pipeline will run from Kensington in southern Columbiana County to Monroe County where it would connect with an existing pipeline.
The $468 million project, called the Ohio Pipeline Energy Network (OPEN), would run through Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties. The natural gas would go to Egan, La., via a bi-directional pipeline operated by Texas Eastern Transmission, a Spectra subsidiary.
That pipeline will allow Chesapeake to move 350 million cubic feet per day to the Gulf Coast, the company said.
Chesapeake said it has an additional 500 million cubic feet of natural gas on hold in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.
Despite the curtailment, Chesapeake’s production in the Utica Shale grew by 13 percent in the second quarter 2015, Doyle said.
Utica production averaged 124 million barrels of oil equivalents per day, the company said.
The completed well costs in the Utica are growing as Chesapeake builds longer laterals and larger well completions, the company said.
The cost of drilling a Utica well in the first quarter 2015 was $8.5 million with an average lateral of 8,000 feet. In 2014, such a well cost $7.2 million with a 6,200-foot lateral.
Chesapeake said it intends to maintain two drilling rigs in the Utica shale. It had four rigs working in the second quarter,  down from eight a year ago.
Chesapeake reported an adjusted net loss of $4.16 billion or $6.27 a share. The adjusted loss per share after adjustments was 11 cents.
It is willing to look at asset sales, joint ventures and drilling agreements to improve finances and is seriously looking at refracking wells to boost production, said CEO Doug Lawler. The company, he said, has “a ton of options.”

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Drilling in Rogersville Shale is shrouded in industry secrecy

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2015

NGI's Jamison Cocklin on July 24 took a detailed look at the drilling that is quietly taking place in eastern Kentucky and southwestern West Virginia in the Rogersville Shale.

Click   here  to access the NGI report.

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Totem Ocean to convert Midnight Sun to dual fuel LNG

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2015

From a Tuesday press release:

Totem Ocean Trailer Express Announces Shipyard for Conversion to Natural Gas

 August 4, 2015 (Tacoma, WA) – Totem Ocean Trailer Express (Totem Ocean) announced that it has signed a contract with Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M)'s wholly owned subsidiary Keppel Shipyard Ltd for the conversion of  the  Midnight Sun to dual fuel liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion.  This is the world’s first major conversion of a large RO/RO vessel to LNG.  The work will begin in December and is expected to be completed in 90 days.

Once complete, the Midnight Sun will emit fewer air and greenhouse gas emissions, reducing emissions of particulate matter by 91 percent, NOx by 100 percent, SOx by 90 percent and carbon dioxide by 35 percent.   Her sister ship, the North Star, is expected to be converted in the 2016/2017 time frame.

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TruStar Energy opens updated Sacramento CNG station

By Bob Downing Published: August 5, 2015

From PRNewswire today:

TruStar Energy Celebrates Grand Opening of County of Sacramento CNG Fueling Station

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- TruStar Energy, a national leader in development of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling infrastructure, is proud to announce the grand opening of Sacramento County's updated CNG fueling station.

TruStar Energy was contracted to completely refurbish the existing CNG fueling station – that had been in operation since the early 80's. The new combination time fill/fast fill station will be used primarily to provide fuel for the County's refuse fleet, but also has a fast-fill dispenser to allow other county vehicles to fuel up.

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Harrison County is Utica sweet spot, Hess president says

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

New York-based Hess Co. is not doing much drilling in eastern Ohio's Utica Shale.

But the company president, Greg Hill, does love Harrison County for being the hot spot in the Utica Shale.

That's what he told analysts last week.

Click  here  to read more from Columbus Business First.

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Devon Energy elects Dave Hager as new president, CEO

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

From Oklahoma-based Devon Energy today:

Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN) announced today that its board of directors has elected Dave Hager (58), most recently Devon’s chief operating officer, as the company’s new president and chief executive officer.

Hager succeeds John Richels (64), who announced plans to retire in December 2014. Hager assumed the roles of president and CEO on Aug. 1, the day after Richels’ retirement became effective.

Click  here  to read more about Hager.

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Halliburton Co. wins substantial compliance from U.S. DOJ

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

From Halliburton on Sunday:

HOUSTON – August 2, 2015 – Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) today announced that it has certified substantial compliance with the United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ) request for additional information (second request). Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE: BHI) previously certified substantial compliance with its second request on July 14, 2015.  The companies each received second requests from the DOJ in February 2015 in connection with Halliburton’s pending acquisition of Baker Hughes. The second requests were issued under the notification requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (“HSR Act”).  Both Halliburton and Baker Hughes continue to work constructively with the DOJ on the investigation.

Halliburton also confirmed that the company’s Form CO, the standard notification form required for merger approval by the European Commission, was filed on July 23, 2015.  On July 31, Halliburton received notice from the Commission requesting additional information in a few discrete areas. The Commission considers this information necessary to complete the Form CO.  Halliburton will work closely and cooperatively with the Commission to provide this additional information in the near future. This will then start the formal review process.

Halliburton is fully committed to a target of closing the acquisition in late 2015, though the acquisition agreement provides that the closing can be extended into 2016, if necessary.

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EQT Corp. offers more data from Scotts Run dry Utica well

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

From Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp. last week:

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT) today announced completion of the flow-back operation on its Scotts Run 591340 dry Utica well located in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Last week, EQT Corporation announced the well’s 24-hour deliverability test of 72.9 MMcf per day, with an average flowing wellhead pressure of 8,641 psi. Following the 24-hour deliverability test, the well produced an average of 27.0 MMcf per day for a period of seven days under restricted choke, with an average flowing pressure of 9,563 psi.

The well is currently shut-in for installation of permanent production facilities that the Company expects to complete next week, after which a choke restricted rate of 25-30 MMcf per day is expected. The BTU content of the well is 1.018 MMBtu/Mcf with 98.5% methane.

Click  here  to read more.

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Three companies announce plans for Bayou Bridge Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

A press release from last week from three companies:

Phillips 66, Energy Transfer and Sunoco Logistics Form Joint Venture to Construct Crude Oil Pipeline from Nederland, Texas, to Louisiana Refinery Market
Joint venture will launch expansion open season for service to
St. James, Louisiana
HOUSTON, DALLAS and PHILADELPHIA, July 30, 2015 – Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ETP) and Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE: SXL) announced that they have formed a joint venture to construct the Bayou Bridge pipeline that will deliver crude oil from the Phillips 66 and Sunoco Logistics terminals in Nederland, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana. The joint venture will also launch an expansion open season for service to the market hub in St. James, Louisiana. Phillips 66 holds a 40 percent interest in the joint venture and Energy Transfer and Sunoco Logistics each hold a 30 percent interest. Sunoco Logistics will be the operator of the system.
“The Bayou Bridge pipeline, combined with the storage and logistics capabilities of our Beaumont Terminal, provides enhanced opportunities to deliver North American heavy and light crudes into the Louisiana market that is heavily dependent today on marine and rail delivery of crude oil,” said Greg Garland, chairman and CEO of Phillips 66. “The pipeline also complements other pipeline projects we have underway to deliver Bakken crude oil to the Gulf Coast.”
“Energy Transfer is excited to be part of the Bayou Bridge pipeline with our two joint venture partners,” said Lee Hanse, executive vice president of Energy Transfer Partners. “This project is the logical next step in our development of logistical infrastructure to move crude oil to market centers across the U.S., and we believe that it will be a critical conduit for our shippers to transport multiple grades of crude oil to the major refining market in Louisiana.”
“We are pleased to partner with Energy Transfer and Phillips 66 on the Bayou Bridge pipeline,” said Michael Hennigan, president and CEO of Sunoco Logistics. “We believe being connected to our 25 million barrel Nederland crude terminal on the Gulf Coast greatly benefits this project. Our extensive pipeline system connects our West Texas Permian, southern Oklahoma, Granite Wash, Eaglebine and East Texas systems to our Nederland terminal and now will have enhanced capability to further deliver crude barrels eastward on the Bayou Bridge pipeline into Louisiana.”
Construction is underway on the Nederland to Lake Charles segment of the pipeline, which will be 30-inch diameter and is expected to begin commercial operations in the first quarter of 2016. The companies will also launch a binding expansion open season to assess additional shipper interest for service with connectivity to existing terminal infrastructure and refineries in and around the St. James area. The results of the expansion open season will be used to determine the size of the pipeline to St. James, which has a forecasted in-service date of the second half of 2017.
The binding expansion open season will commence in the third quarter of 2015. Bona
fide potential shippers that would like to receive copies of the expansion open season
documents, the throughput and deficiency agreement, and proposed tariffs must first
sign a confidentiality agreement. More information about the open season will be
available on the ETP website at www.energytransfer.com/ops_lc_sj.aspx upon
commencement of the open season or by email request to lc_sj@energytransfer.com.
About Phillips 66
Phillips 66 is a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company. With a portfolio
of Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties businesses, the
company processes, transports, stores and markets fuels and products globally. Phillips
66 Partners, the company's master limited partnership, is an integral asset in the
portfolio. Headquartered in Houston, the company has 14,000 employees committed to
safety and operating excellence. Phillips 66 had $49 billion in assets as of March 31,
2015. For more information, visit www.phillips66.com or follow us on Twitter
@Phillips66Co.
About Energy Transfer Partners
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ETP) is a master limited partnership owning and
operating one of the largest and most diversified portfolios of energy assets in the United
States. ETP’s subsidiaries include Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company, LP (the
successor of Southern Union Company) and Lone Star NGL LLC, which owns and
operates natural gas liquids storage, fractionation and transportation assets. In total,
ETP currently owns and operates more than 62,000 miles of natural gas and natural gas
liquids pipelines. ETP also owns the general partner, 100% of the incentive distribution
rights, and approximately 67.1 million common units in Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P.
(NYSE: SXL), which operates a geographically diverse portfolio of crude oil and refined
products pipelines, terminalling and crude oil acquisition and marketing assets. ETP
owns 100% of Sunoco, Inc. and 100% of Susser Holdings Corporation. Additionally, ETP
owns the general partner, 100% of the incentive distribution rights and approximately
44% of the limited partner interests in Sunoco LP (formerly Susser Petroleum Partners
LP) (NYSE: SUN), a wholesale fuel distributor and convenience store operator. ETP’s
general partner is owned by Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (NYSE: ETE). For more
information, visit the Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. website at www.energytransfer.com.
About Sunoco Logistics
Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE: SXL), headquartered in Philadelphia, is a master
limited partnership that owns and operates a logistics business consisting of a
geographically diverse portfolio of complementary crude oil, refined products, and
natural gas liquids pipeline, terminalling and acquisition and marketing assets which are
used to facilitate the purchase and sale of crude oil, refined products, and natural gas
liquids. SXL’s general partner is a consolidated subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners,
L.P. (NYSE: ETP). For more information, visit the Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. web
site at www.sunocologistics.com.

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Algeria reworking laws to attract foreign drilling investment

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Infromation Administration today:

Republished August 4, 2015, 1:00 p.m. to correct the map legend.

Algeria is the third-largest oil producer in Africa, after Nigeria and Angola, and the largest natural gas producer in Africa. However, production of both oil and natural gas has declined over the past decade. This declining production has led the Algerian government to amend its law regarding foreign investment in hydrocarbons in an attempt to attract the investment and technology improvements needed to help stop production declines. In 2014, the national oil and gas company Sonatrach offered 33 blocks located in four sedimentary basins with high shale gas and oil potential. This auction resulted in Sonatrach signing five contracts with Repsol, Shell, Statoil, and Dragon Oil-Enel. By law, Sonatrach takes a mandatory majority share (at least 51%) of any resulting projects.

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EQT to redirect drilling from Upper Devonian to Utica Shale

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

Buoyed by its first Utica Shale well in southwest Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp. is redirecting its resources from Upper Devonian drilling to focus on the Utica Shale instead.

Click  here  to read more.

 

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U.S. coal giant files for bankruptcy protection

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

The second largest U.S. coal company has filed for bankruptcy in Virginia.

Alpha Matural Resources produced metallurgical coal used in steelmaking.

It is also a driller in the Marcellus Shale.

Click  here  to read more.

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Ohio has 1,564 drilled Utica wells, 927 producing Utica wells

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

Ohio has drilled 1,982 Utica Shale wells, as of Aug. 1.

That includes 1,564 drilled Utica wells and 927 producing Utica wells, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Ohio has 20 drilling rigs at work.

Three new permits were approved: two in Guernsey County and one in Monroe County.

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Noble Energy to reduce drilling in Marcellus Shale in 2015

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

From Texas-based Noble Energy on Monday:

Company raises full year volumes while maintaining total capital and cost outlook

HOUSTON, Aug. 3, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) announced today a second quarter 2015 net loss of $109 million, or $0.28 per diluted share. Excluding the impact of certain items which would typically not be considered by analysts in published earnings estimates, second quarter 2015 adjusted income(1) was $101 million, or $0.26 per diluted share. Discretionary cash flow(1) was $461 million and net cash provided by operating activities was $424 million. Capital expenditures for the second quarter of 2015 totaled $799 million.

David L. Stover, Noble Energy's Chairman, President and CEO, commented, "Although these are challenging times in our industry, Noble Energy has maintained a strong financial position, improved operating efficiencies and continued our strong safety culture and performance. Operational execution again drove volumes above expectations while materially reducing our operating and overhead costs."

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API opposes federal EPA's Clean Power plan for power plants

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

From the American Petroleum Institute:

WASHINGTON, August 3, 2015 – The EPA’s final power plant rule imposes unnecessary costs on states and U.S. consumers, particularly poorer communities, while overlooking the proven, market-driven potential of natural gas to help reduce emissions, said API.  API opposes the rule because it oversteps the authority given to the EPA under the Clean Air Act.
 
“America is leading the world in reducing emissions thanks to a revolution in the production and use of natural gas,” said Howard J. Feldman, API senior director of regulatory and scientific affairs. “We can continue that progress without costly new regulations that could hurt consumers and stifle economic growth. 
   
“Meeting climate challenges must go hand-in-hand with ensuring that Americans have the affordable and reliable energy necessary to grow our economy and create jobs. Instead, the EPA rule could impose the greatest costs on those who can least afford it – Americans looking for jobs and families that don’t have the means to pay higher monthly bills to heat and cool their homes.
 
“Over the last few years, consumer-driven investments in natural gas have lowered energy bills for hard-pressed families while helping cut emissions to near 20-year lows. By picking winners and losers in the energy mix, EPA’s rules could force consumers to pay far more money for far fewer environmental benefits. 
   
 “America’s oil and natural gas industry invests more in zero- and low-emissions technologies than the federal government and nearly as much as all other industries combined. With or without new regulations, natural gas will continue to grow as a critical source of clean energy, but the EPA’s rule does more harm than good.”
         
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 20 million Americans.

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FracTracker Alliance has data on 1.7 million wells in U.S.

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

From the FracTracker Alliance on Monday:

1.7 Million Wells in the U.S. – A 2015 Update

Pittsburgh, PA – FracTracker Alliance has updated its national oil and gas wells count to 1.7 million - data now available for download and on a dynamic map. This new research digs deeper into the data to provide people with more accurate well counts and locations, and highlights the poor state of national oil and gas data.

Learn more: http://www.fractracker.org/2015/08/1-7-million-wells/

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Chambers hired as chief financial officer of AEP subsidiaries

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

From American Energy Partners on Monday:

OKLAHOMA CITY, AUGUST 3, 2015: American Energy Partners, LP (AELP) today announced that on August 24, 2015, Elliot J. Chambers will join AELP as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of its affiliates American Energy – Woodford, LLC (AEW), American Energy – Minerals, LLC (AEMN) and American Energy – NonOp, LLC (AENO). Chambers, 42, is replacing as CFO of AEW and AEMN, Jennifer M. Grigsby, who recently transferred to Ascent Resources, LLC as its CFO. Chambers previously worked for Chesapeake Energy Corporation for seven years in increasing roles of importance, including serving as Corporate Finance Manager from 2008 to 2009; Assistant Treasurer from 2009 to 2010; Vice President – Finance and Assistant Treasurer from 2011 to 2013; and Vice President and Treasurer from 2013 to 2015.

Prior to Chesapeake, Chambers worked in New York for Colgate-Palmolive Corporation, Prudential Financial, Verizon Communications and Ernst & Young in various accounting, finance and treasury roles. He earned his MBA from New York University in 2006 and a BBA in Accounting from Oklahoma State University in 1995. Chambers is a certified public accountant.

AEW has built a leading position of approximately 200,000 net acres in the Central Northern Oklahoma Woodford (CNOW) play, AEMN has built one of the largest mineral and overriding royalty interest (ORRI) positions in the Marcellus, Utica, Woodford and Wolfcamp Shale plays, with ownership of 30,000 net mineral acres and 40,000 net acres of ORRIs, and AENO has built one of the largest non-operated working interest positions in the STACK and SCOOP plays in Oklahoma with 20,000 net acres of leasehold distributed across more than 675 sections and with an interest in more than 360 wells. 

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City of Green is not involved in surveys for Nexus Pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: August 4, 2015

By co-worker Kathy Antoniotti on Monday:

Aug. 03--GREEN -- The city is not sending representatives for the Nexus pipeline project to survey properties for the project, Mayor Dick Norton advised in a letter to residents Monday.
A Green property owner told the city a surveying crew attempted to gain access to the property by saying the city sent them to complete the survey.
"This is simply not true," Norton said.
"It is the right of any property owner to deny or allow these surveys to take place. Nexus representatives cannot access your property without your permission or a court order," he said.
Norton city Law Director Steve Pruneski said the company has the right to request permission to do the survey, but if the property owner does not want to allow them on their land, they have the right to say so, even though the surveyors may be accompanied by an armed security officer.
"The best advice we can give the residents is to clearly communicate their refusal to allow the survey -- and that they are not going to change their minds. The armed security officer is there to protect the surveyors, not to intimidate the residents. If the guard does try to threaten or intimidate them, residents should call the Sheriff immediately," Norton quoted Pruneski as saying.
Norton told residents the city is working on behalf of residents to prevent the construction of the pipeline through Green.
"Most recently, the City submitted a response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding the errors and misinformation we found in the draft resource reports Nexus submitted to FERC on June 15," Norton said.
Residents can read a complete response on the city’s Nexus Pipeline Information page at www.cityofgreen.org/nexus-pipeline-information.
Residents can call the Summit County Sheriff’s office non-emergency number at 330-643-2181 if they do not feel the surveyors are listening to them or if the workers enter their property without owners’ permission or a court order.
Residents with questions or in need or additional information about the proposed Nexus project should contact Chrissy Lingenfelter, GIS planner, at 330-896-6614 or clingenfelter@cityofgreen.org.

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Columbia Pipeline Partners report solid 2Q 2015

By Bob Downing Published: August 3, 2015

From Columbia Pipeline Partners today:

HOUSTON, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: CPPL) ("CPPL"), a Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc. (NYSE: CPGX) ("CPG") company, today reported financial and operating results for the second quarter 2015.

"Columbia Pipeline Partners continues to deliver solid operational and financial results as well as highly visible long-term growth for its unitholders," said Robert C. Skaggs Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of CPP GP LLC, the general partner of CPPL. "By advancing several major growth projects and executing on Columbia Gas Transmission's long-term system modernization program, the team continues to strengthen our very competitive market position in the country's most prolific shale basins."

CPPL reported net income attributable to limited partners of $16.3 million, or $0.17 per common unit, and Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) of $21.3 million. CPPL generated Distributable Cash Flow (a non-GAAP measure) of $12.5 million. The distribution coverage ratio for the year-to-date period is 1.09x. Please see the definitions of non-GAAP measures in the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section of this press release and the reconciliation to the most comparable measure calculated in accordance with GAAP on Schedule 1 of the financial tables below.

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Firm begins open season for new W. Va. natural gas storage

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2015

From a press release on Friday:

Chestnut Ridge Storage, LLC Announces an Open Season for Services at the Junction Natural Gas Storage Facility in Southwest Pennsylvania

HOUSTON, July 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Interstate Natural Gas Storage Services – Chestnut Ridge Storage, LLC, owned by affiliates of eCORP International, LLC and financial partners, is conducting a non-binding Open Season for natural gas storage capacity and deliverability that will be offered at the Junction Natural Gas Storage Facility that is currently under development.

The Open Season for the initial 15 BCF of working gas capacity will begin on August 3, 2015 and will end at 5:00 pm CDT September 15th, 2015. After evaluating open season submissions, Chestnut Ridge will seek to execute definitive precedent storage service agreements with successful bidders.

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Anti-fracking rallies scheduled today in 16 California cities

By Bob Downing Published: August 1, 2015

From a press release from California''s Courage Campaign:

SATURDAY:  Statewide Day of Action in 16 Cities Calls on Governor Brown to Stop Fracking in California

FIND AN ACTION HERE: http://act.couragecampaign.org/event/cleannotextreme/search/

Rallies in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and a Dozen Other California Cities Urge Gov. Brown to Protect Public Health and Take Serious Action to Stop Fracking and Extreme Oil Extraction.

CALIFORNIA -- On Saturday, August 1st, as part of a statewide day of action, residents in 16 California cities will hold rallies to protest Governor Jerry Brown’s continued support of hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional oil and gas extraction methods.  Saturday’s day of action -- with events planned in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, San Rafael, Sacramento, Modesto, Roseville, Auburn, Eureka, Bakersfield, Ventura, Venice, Long Beach, San Diego, and Joshua Tree -- aims to unite Californians from across the State in an aim to end to extreme extraction, and a forge clearer path to 100% renewable energy.

FIND A DAY OF ACTION NEAR YOU: http://act.couragecampaign.org/event/cleannotextreme/search/

The statewide day of action, led by the California-based Courage Campaign in partnership with Californians Against Fracking and Rootskeeper comes after a newly released independent scientific study by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) identified serious risks associated with oil development processes and concluded that state regulatory officials lack data to adequately protect the public or even to propose effective mitigation strategies to avoid associated health risks.

In San Francisco, members of Courage Campaign and Californians Against Fracking (CAF) will join with local residents to rally at Justin Herman Plaza at 1 Market Street at 1:00pm PT.

In Los Angeles, members of Courage Campaign and Californians Against Fracking (CAF) will join with local residents to rally at Leimert Park on 4395 S. Leimert Blvd at 4:00pm PT.

In Sacramento, members of Courage Campaign and Californians Against Fracking (CAF) will join with local residents to rally at Capitol Park on the corner of 15th and N Streets. at 10:00am PT.

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See the most recent drilling report and an injection wells map From NewsOutlet.org
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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

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

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

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

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

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

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

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

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

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

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

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

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

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

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

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

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

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

Penn State Marcellus Center.

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

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.