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Ohio Utica Shale

Childhood asthma linked to oil and gas emissions, report says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 31, 2016

A new report from the Clean Air Task Force says it shows links between childhood asthma and emissions from oil and gas operations:

"Today, the Ohio Environmental Council and the Clean Air Task Force released a new analysis showing that 7,129 childhood asthma attacks in the Columbus metro area, and 7,558 in the Cleveland metro area each year are due to smog resulting from oil and gas operations.

“'What this report clearly shows us is that air pollution from the oil and gas industry can have a significant impact on children’s health even in areas far from oil and gas production,' said, Melanie Houston, Director of Oil and Gas at the Ohio Environmental Council. 'As the mother of a young child, I can’t stress enough that safeguards are urgently needed to protect our children and communities from this dangerous pollution. Cutting methane pollution from oil and gas will have an immediate benefit for our children.'”

The full press release is here.

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Oil shortfall coming? New discoveries at 70-year low

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 30, 2016

Is an oil shortfall in the works? Fuelfix.com says that's possible:

"Explorers in 2015 discovered only about a tenth as much oil as they have annually on average since 1960. This year, they’ll probably find even less, spurring new fears about their ability to meet future demand.

"With oil prices down by more than half since the price collapse two years ago, drillers have cut their exploration budgets to the bone. The result: Just 2.7 billion barrels of new supply was discovered in 2015, the smallest amount since 1947, according to figures from Edinburgh-based consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. This year, drillers found just 736 million barrels of conventional crude as of the end of last month.

"That’s a concern for the industry at a time when the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that global oil demand will grow from 94.8 million barrels a day this year to 105.3 million barrels in 2026. While the U.S. shale boom could potentially make up the difference, prices locked in below $50 a barrel have undercut any substantial growth there."

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Energy stocks boosted by anti-fracking failures

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 30, 2016

Anti-fracking ballot failures are boosting stock prices of some energy firms, CNBC reports:

"Energy stocks with exposure to Colorado's oil and natural gas extraction business are rallying Monday after word two anti-fracking measures failed to qualify for the ballot.

"Synergy Resources gained nearly 4 percent on the day, while Bill Barrett Corp. rose more than 4 percent. Also, PDC Energy and Noble Energy climbed 2 percent and about 1.8 percent respectively.

"In a release issued Monday, the Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced initiatives 75 and 78 'aimed at adding more limitations on oil and natural gas drilling in Colorado failed to make the November ballot because supporters didn't collect enough valid voter signatures.'"

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Entities seek millions from estate of Aubrey McClendon, former Chesapeake Energy CEO

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 26, 2016

Duke University is among the entitiesfiling claims against the estate of Aubrey McClendon, former head of Chesapeake Energy Corp., fuelfix.com reports via The Associated Press:

"Duke University has filed a $9.9 million claim against the estate of former Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon for pledges the Duke alumnus made that the university says were unpaid at the time of his death in a fiery highway crash.

"The claim, which the Durham, North-Carolina-based school filed Aug. 12 in Oklahoma County District Court, is among several totaling hundreds of millions of dollars that seek part of the estate. McClendon was one of the founders of the Oklahoma City-based petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company and part owner of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

"McClendon, 56, was killed March 2 when his SUV smashed head-on into a bridge wall at nearly 80 mph a day after McClendon was indicted by a federal grand jury for alleged bid rigging"

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Utica Shale rigs unchanged, drilled wells increase

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 24, 2016

The number of drilling rigs in the Utica Shale and Point Pleasant Shale areas of Ohio totaled 14, the same as a week ago, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.
The number of permits for horizontal wells totalled 2,217, while the number of horizontal wells drilled in the state rose to 1,776, up from 1,771 a week ago.

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Here are the dominant companies in the Utica Shale

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 24, 2016

The Motley Fool investment advice web site takes a look at the major companies tapping the Utica Shale:

"Due to the energy market downturn, Ohio's production will not grow that rapidly in 2016.

"However, the Utica shale boom is far from over, because there's still a tremendous amount of oil and gas trapped within its rocks.

"Several producers are working to extract those hydrocarbons, though five companies stand above the rest as the dominant players in the Utica."

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Windfall profits 10 years ago, now a record $184 billion in debt

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 24, 2016

Slumping oil prices have led to a record $184 billion in debt for four of the world's largest energy companies.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

"The soaring debt levels are a fresh reminder of the toll the two-year price slump has taken on the oil industry. Just a decade ago, these four companies were hauled before Congress to explain 'windfall profits' but now can’t cover expenses with normal cash flow"

Read the full story here.

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Rising oil prices test 'shale band' theory

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 24, 2016

The Wall Street Journal writes that the so-called "shale band" theory is being tested:

"The return of oil prices to about $50 a barrel presents a test for an idea that gained currency early after the market’s long swoon began two years ago: the “shale band.”

"The term was coined back in May of 2015 by Olivier Jakob, managing director of Petromatrix, a consultancy based in Switzerland. Mr. Jakob said U.S. oil production trends would be determined by two price points—$45 a barrel, below which oil produced from shale formations would drop off, and $65 a barrel, above which there would be 'massive [shale] production coming online.'

"In between was the shale band, a range where shale supply would be basically steady, according to Mr. Jakob’s theory."

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Large increase in U.S. shale drilling rigs tied to oil price rise

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 22, 2016

U.S. shale drillers have dramatically increased the number of working rigs as oil prices have gone up, fuelfix.com reports.

Fuelfix.com: "U.S. producers have put 76 oil rigs back to work in eight weeks, the biggest and longest increases since 101 were added a couple months before the price crash started in mid-2014, Baker Hughes Inc. data released Friday show."

Read the full story here.

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U.S. drilling rigs rise by 10

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 22, 2016

The number of drilling rigs working in the U.S. as of Aug. 19 rose by 10 from a week ago to 491, according to the latest Baker Hughes report. The number of rigs is down 394 from the same period in 2015.
To read the full report, go here.

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Utica Shale natural gas production to increase for decades

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 22, 2016

The Utica and Marcellus shales are expected to increase natural gas production through 2040, the federal government reported Monday.

From the Energy Information Administration: "The two Appalachian shale gas plays, the Marcellus and Utica, have factors favorable for production: shallower geologic formation depths and proximity to consuming markets.

"Both Appalachian shale gas plays have remained resilient to the low natural gas prices and are projected to continue to drive total U.S. production in the long term.

"Shale gas production in these plays is expected to reach more than 40 Bcf/d by 2040, providing just over half of U.S. total shale gas production."

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Ohio Oil and Gas Association gives Tom Stewart its Oilfield Patriot Award

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 18, 2016

Tom Stewart, the former executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, was recently presented with the association's Oilfield Patriot Award.

Here's the news release:

During an August 15 ceremony, the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) presented Tom Stewart, former executive vice president of the OOGA and principal at Oilfield Policy Advisors with the Oilfield Patriot Award, an annual honor bestowed by the trade association.

Established in 2006, the award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to protect, promote and advance the common interests of those engaged in all aspects of Ohio’s crude oil and natural gas industry. Stewart was honored for his long-time advocacy on behalf of the industry, which has included working with both state and federal legislators and representing the interests of Ohio’s oil and gas producers for more than two decades. Stewart’s advocacy for producers wasn’t limited to actions before the legislature; he was also integral in negotiating a landmark agreement between producers and Dominion East Ohio that benefitted all parties.

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Stark State's ShaleNET program expands

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 18, 2016

Stark State College is expanding its role in the ShaleNET program:

"Stark State has been awarded $506,483 from Ohio’s Education Innovation program to provide ShaleNET education and training to students at Eastern Gateway Community College and Hocking College.

"The Ohio Department of Higher Education selected the ShaleNET Share project for funding because it meets Governor John Kasich’s higher education strategy of promoting educational excellence and economic efficiency and stabilizing or reducing student tuition rates at colleges and universities.

"Through resource-sharing, the project leverages the equipment and technology in Stark State College’s $3.7 million Well Site Training Lab to provide state-of-the-art, industry-driven oil and gas education and training to students at Eastern Gateway and Hocking, expanding education and training opportunities at the lowest possible cost to students and the state. This collaborative approach will enable up to 80 students annually to earn a ShaleNET Measurement and Mechatronics Technician AAS degree and a ShaleNET Instrumentation and Measurement Technician Certificate by completing 40 hours of core/technical classes at their home institutions and 20 hours of field-specific, hands-on courses at Stark State College.

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Utica Shale still has growth potential, oil executive says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 18, 2016

A Texas energy company chairman thinks highly of the growth prospects for Ohio's Utica Shale, Columbus Business First reports:

"Kelcy Warren, chairman of Dallas, Texas-based pipeline Energy Transfer Equity LP (NYSE:ETE), described to Bloomberg the Permian basin in western Texas as 'mind-boggling,' but said infrastructure in Texas and Louisiana might already be overbuilt.

"He singled out the natural gas-heavy Utica and Marcellus shale plays, as well as the Bakken in North Dakota, for their growth potential."

Read the full story here.

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Oil, gasoline inventories slowly dropping

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 18, 2016

While the United States still has historically high stockpiles of crude oil and gasoline, those inventories are starting to drop, Fuelfix.com reports:

"Although oil and refining production levels are on the rise, the amount of oil and gasoline sitting in storage are falling. Crude inventories fell by 2.5 million barrels from last week, while motor gasoline stockpiles dipped by 2.7 million barrels."

Read the full story here.

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U.S. shale fracking may create a sand boom

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 17, 2016

When it comes to determining the health of the U.S. shale industry, follow the sand, Oilprice.com writes:

"When oil companies talk about constantly improving the efficiency of their wells, one common theme is increasing the amount of sand they pour into them. More sand makes for more oil, at no great cost increase.

"As energy analyst and industry veteran Robert Rapier notes in an article for Investing Daily, sand miners supplying shale boomers suffered badly when prices tanked. Now, however, they are experiencing a veritable renaissance as the outlook for oil is turning rosy, and a rising amount of rigs are being put back at work."

Read the full story here.
 

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Carbon emissions from natural gas expected to surpass coal soon

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 17, 2016

Carbon emissions from burning natural gas are expected to surpass emissions from burning coal, the federal government says.

That's not because natural gas emits more carbon dioxide but because coal use is declining and natural gas use is rising. The Energy Information Administration reports:

"Energy-associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from natural gas are expected to surpass those from coal for the first time since 1972.

"Even though natural gas is less carbon-intensive than coal, increases in natural gas consumption and decreases in coal consumption in the past decade have resulted in natural gas-related CO2 emissions surpassing those from coal.

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Utica Shale drilling rigs drop by 2

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 16, 2016

The number of drilling rigs in the Utica Shale and Point Pleasant Shale areas of Ohio fell to 14 as of Aug. 16, down from 16 a week, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.
The number of permits for horizontal wells totalled 2,213, while the number of horizontal wells drilled in the state rose to 1,771, up from 1,767 a week ago.

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EPA advisory board asks for changes in fracking drinking water study

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 16, 2016

The EPA Science Advisory Board has written a 180-page document offering suggestions and asking for changes to a major EPA assessment report on fracking and its impact on drinking water.

The document can be found here.
 

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New Utica Region productivity report is released

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 16, 2016

The new (August) federal Utica Region drilling productivity report is out.

The report is here.

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Shale natural gas production to significantly grow

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 16, 2016

The amount of natural gas from shale is expected to signifcantly grow in upcoming years, particularly in the United States..

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports:

" ...natural gas production worldwide is projected to increase from 342 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015 to 554 Bcf/d by 2040. The largest component of this growth is natural gas production from shale resources, which grows from 42 Bcf/d in 2015 to 168 Bcf/d by 2040. Shale gas is expected to account for 30% of world natural gas production by the end of the forecast period.

"Although currently only four countries—the United States, Canada, China, and Argentina—have commercial shale gas production, technological improvements over the forecast period are expected to encourage development of shale resources in other countries, primarily in Mexico and Algeria. Together, these six countries are projected to account for 70% of global shale production by 2040.

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U.S. increasing crude oil exports

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 16, 2016

The United States is increasing the amount of crude oil it exports, the federal government reports. From the Energy Information Administration:

"The number of countries receiving exported U.S. crude oil has risen since the removal of restrictions on exporting U.S. crude oil in December 2015. U.S. crude oil exports have occurred despite relatively small price spreads between international crude oils and domestic crude oils, as well as other factors that should reduce crude oil exports such as falling U.S. crude oil production and added cargo export costs.

"Based on the latest available data, U.S. crude oil exports averaged 501,000 barrels per day (b/d) in the first five months of 2016, 43,000 b/d (9%) more than the full-year 2015 daily average."

Read the full report here.

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U.S. oil drilling rigs up sharply

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 12, 2016

The number of drilling rigs working in the U.S. rose sharply from a week ago. The rig count climbed by 17 to 481 compared to a week ago, the latest Baker Hughes report shows. The number of rigs is down 403 from the same period in 2015.
To read the full report, go here.

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U.S. shale oil production expected to lead the world

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 12, 2016

U.S. shale is expected to expand oil production by millions of barrels per day in upcoming years, the federal government anticipates. Globally, shale oil production, led by the U.S. is expected to double by 2040, the Energy Information Administration said :

"United States tight oil production, which reached 4.6 million b/d in March 2015 but fell to 4.1 million b/d in June 2016, has proven more resilient to low oil prices than many analysts had anticipated. U.S. tight oil production is expected to reach 7.1 million b/d in 2040 ..."

Read the full report here.

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Check out shale's hottest zip codes

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 10, 2016

Who knew that U.S. shale had hot zip codes?

The web site RealClearEnergy reports: "Shale's hottest zipcodes are currently in Texas and New Mexico's Permian Basin where, according to Bloomberg, 'companies say they can still make a profit despite depressed oil prices.'"

Read the full story, with chart, here.

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Shale helping U.S. get closer to energy independence

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 10, 2016

The U.S. is becoming less and less dependent on imported energy because of the shale revolution, CNN reports.

But consumers will have to pay significantly more for oil than they are now for the U.S. to reach anything close to independence, CNN said:

"... the shale oil and gas revolution of the last couple of decades has made the improbable goal of American energy independence close to reality. Analysts at Raymond James recently predicted the U.S. will be 'tantalizingly close' by 2020, as long as oil prices and domestic production rebound.

" ...if shale production accelerates, thanks in part to more rapid technological improvements, the EIA projects the U.S. would become a 'net petroleum exporter by 2024.' If oil prices rise sharply, surpassing $100 a barrel in the next few years, the EIA thinks the U.S. could achieve complete energy independence by 2022"

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Gasoline to fall below $2 a gallon, government projects

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 10, 2016

Gasoline prices nationally are expected to fall below $2 a gallon before the year ends, the Energy Information Administration reports in its latest short-term energy outlook.

You will need to check out the interactive chart to see the gasoline price projections. The EIA report also says:

"U.S. regular gasoline retail prices this summer (April through September) are forecast to average $2.19/gallon (gal), 6 cents/gal lower than forecast in last month's STEO and 44 cents/gal lower than last summer.

"U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are forecast to average $2.06/gal in 2016 and $2.26/gal in 2017.

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U.S. energy company bankruptcies skyrocket on falling oil prices

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 9, 2016

Falling oil prices have been unkind to debt-laden energy companies in the United States, Oilprice.com notes:

"A report published earlier this month by Haynes and Boone found that ninety gas and oil producers in the United States (US) and Canada have filed for bankruptcy from 3 January, 2015 to 1 August, 2016.

"Approximately US$66.5 billion in aggregate debt has been declared in dozens of bankruptcy cases including Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 15, based on the analysis from the international corporate law firm.

"Texas leads the number of bankruptcy filings with 44 during the time period measured by Haynes and Boone, and also has the largest number of debt declared in courts with around US$29.5 billion."

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Utica Shale drilling rigs rise by one

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 9, 2016

The number of drilling rigs in the Utica Shale and Point Pleasant Shale areas of Ohio totaled 16 as of July 30, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources reported Tuesday. That’s up one from a week ago.
The number of permits for horizontal wells totalled 2,210, while the number of horizontal wells drilled in the state totaled 1,767.
 

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U.S. drilling rigs increase by one

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 9, 2016

The number of drilling rigs working in the U.S. rose by one from a week ago to 464, according to the latest Baker Hughes report. The number of rigs is down 420 from the same period in 2015.
To read the full report, go here.

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Smaller shale companies doing better

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 8, 2016

The RealClearEnergy web site notes a Wall Street Journal report indicating smaller shale companies are weathering the price drop in crude oil.

RealClearEnergy: " ...the paper sees signs that 'smaller U.S. energy companies appear to be mostly shrugging it off' the global drop in crude oil prices."

Read the full post, including chart, here.

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Gulfport Energy ramps up Utica Shale drilling activity

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 5, 2016

Gulfport Energy, one of the larger drillers in the Utica Shale, says it will speed up drilling new wells in September after starting 12 wells in Ohio during its second quarter ending June 30.
The Oklahoma City energy company this week said it has budgeted to drill 36 to 39 horizontal wells and “turn to sale” 37 to 41 wells in the Utica Shale by the end of this year. Gulfport said it began selling product from five new wells in the shale in the last week of June.
Gulfport said it has three drilling rigs in Ohio and has contracted a fourth to start operations in September.
Gulfport on Wednesday reported it lost $339.8 million, or $2.71 cents per share on negative revenue of nearly $28.2 million for the quarter ending June 30.
“With an improving fundamental outlook for natural gas and the recent strengthening in commodity prices, our strong financial position has provided us with the ability to react quickly and increase our activity within the basin,” Michael G. Moore, chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We now plan to increase our activity in the near-term to take advantage of an improving natural gas market as we enter 2017, providing us leverage at a point in time when we see significant potential for strength in the curve.”

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Oil, natural gas jobs down 26 percent from 2014 peak

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 5, 2016

Oil and natural gas jobs have plunged from 2014 peak levels, the federal government reported Friday. From the Energy Information Administration:

"Despite increases in crude oil prices since the start of the year, employment in oil and natural gas extraction and support activities continued declining from levels reached in the fall of 2014, just before the onset of falling oil prices.

"The total rig count (including both oil-directed and natural gas-directed rigs) has declined even more sharply, from nearly 1,800 rigs in the fall of 2014 to a weekly low of 404 rigs in May 2016.

"Crude oil production has also declined, but to a much lesser extent than either employment or rig counts, while natural gas production has leveled off."

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Sand increasingly a powerful tool to improve fracking output

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 5, 2016

Frackers are increasingly showing more grit, reports the RealClearEnergy web site in what it calls a "charticle". Grit as in using more sand to get more oil out of shale:

"Time and again, they’ve found that the more grit they pour into horizontal wells -- seemingly regardless of how extreme the amounts have become -- the more oil comes seeping out."

"The message from drillers is 'more, more, more sand,' said Sean Meakim, an oil-services analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. 'All of the numbers are going up and they’re going up dramatically.'"

Read the full story, with chart, here.

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Chesapeake Energy loses more than $1.7 billion, will continue drilling in Utica Shale

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 4, 2016

Top Utica Shale driller Chesapeake Energy on Thursday reported a more than $1.7 billion loss for its second quarter – a significant improvement from over a year ago.
The Oklahamo-based energy company raised its production forecast for the year and said it will continue to operate a drilling rig in its Utica Shale acreage. The company has more than 600 wells in Ohio, according to the latest state figures.
Chesapeake Energy said it lost $1.75 billion, or $2.48 per share, on revenue of $1.6 billion for the quarter ending June 30. That compares to a loss of nearly $4.2 billion, or $6.27 a share, on revenue of $3.5 billion a year ago.
Chesapeake said its revenue fell by 54 compared to a year ago and it lost money in the quarter largely because of falling energy prices, noncash impairments of more than $1 billion, plus “unrealized hedging losses of approximately $544 million”.
The company, which has been struggling with heavy debt, said it has paid off about $1 billion in debt so far this year.
“Financial discipline remains our top priority, and we continue to work toward additional solutions to improve our liquidity, reduce our midstream commitments and enhance our margins,” Doug Lawler, chief executive officer, said in a statement. “With continued improvements in our operating expenses and the disposition of non-core properties, we have refined our portfolio to provide a more competitive foundation for Chesapeake. In addition, the application of new technologies, including longer laterals and enhanced completion techniques, to our extensive undeveloped acreage position provides us with a robust portfolio of development opportunities.”
Chesapeake raised its full-year 2016 production guidance by 3 percent from a range of 605,000 to 635,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to a range of 625,000 to 650,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Adjusted earnings showed a net loss of $145 million, or 14 cents per share, the company said.
The company said it will continue to sell off assets, including a portion of its Haynesville Shale properties, with total sales this year expected to be more than $2 billion.
Chesapeake said it has 10 drilling rigs; three in the Eagle Ford Shale; three in the Haynesville Shale; three in the Mid-Continent area; and one rig in the Utica Shale. Chesapeake said it plans to operate the 10 rigs through the remainder of the year and. That will result in more than 100 additional wells. Chesapeake said it will place approximately 75 additional wells in production this year.

The full earnings report is here.

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Trump says local governments should be able to ban fracking

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 4, 2016

Donald Trump says he favors fracking but also says local governments need to have a say in where it is allowed, The Hill reports:

"Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is stirring unease in the oil and natural gas industry with his remarks about hydraulic fracturing.

"Trump supports fracking but says towns and states should be allowed to ban the drilling practice. That position is at odds with industry groups and congressional Republicans, who say the practice is safe and should be permitted nationwide."

Read the full story here.

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Newspaper looks at issue of making safer oil trains

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 4, 2016

Can oil trains ever be made safe? That's the issue the Bellingham Herald newspaper, in the state of Washington, looks at:

"The volume of oil being shipped by rail across most of the rest of the nation has plummeted, as low oil prices and more pipeline capacity have reduced the need for trains. The number of rail cars carrying petroleum is down about 40 percent from the peak in 2014, according to the Association of American Railroads.

"But here along the Columbia River gorge, about 60 miles east of Portland, the trains have continued to rumble through Oregon and Washington in numbers near their peak. Even with lower oil prices, railroad industry experts said, crude heading by rail to refineries in the Pacific Northwest has a shorter distance to travel from North Dakota, making the route cost effective."

Read the full story here.

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Natural gas liquids production depends on numerous factors

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 4, 2016

 

The federal government today looks at what makes natural gas plant liquid production viable.

From the Energy Information Administration:

"Natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) accounted for 22% of total U.S. petroleum and other liquid fuels production in 2015. In EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2016 (AEO2016) Reference case, increases in NGPL account for a significant share of total increases in petroleum and other liquid fuels production over 2015–40.

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Eclipse Resources restarts Utica Shale drilling, upgrades financial forecast

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 3, 2016

Eclipse Resources Corp. is looking to boost Utica Shale production and restart drilling and has upgraded its full-year financial forecast even after posting a second quarter loss of $73 million.
The State College, Pa., company, which has more than 50 wells in Ohio’s Utica Shale region, reported earnings after the stock market closed Tuesday.
The company reported losing $73 million, or 33 cents per share, on revenue of $47.06 million for the quarter ending June 30. That compares to a loss of $42 million, or 19 cents per share, on revenue of $74.5 million a year ago.
“After completing our recent equity offering, recommencing our drilling and completion activities in our dry gas Utica Shale acreage and completing our drilled uncompleted wells in our lean condensate Utica Shale area, we have transitioned back to a growth-oriented company with a well-funded business plan, reduced commodity price exposure through our active hedging program, and leading technical and operational team,” Benjamin W. Hulburt, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“While we remain cautious, we are increasingly optimistic about industry fundamentals and are excited to restart our drilling program, albeit at a measured and methodical pace,” he said. “Additionally, with the improvement in commodity prices over the last six months, we have made the decision to begin the process of ceasing our voluntary curtailment approach and as of the beginning of August, we are commencing the gradual process of transitioning our producing wells back to rates consistent with our type curve pressure-managed approach.”
As a result, Eclipse now expects to see “robust production growth” into 2017, he said.
Eclipse said that since resuming operations, the company has drilled three Utica Shale wells and is continuing its drilling program in the dry gas portion of its Utica Shale acreage.
The company also said it has completed seven wells in the liquids rich portion of its Utica Shale acreage. The company put its first four-well pad into sales this week and said it expects to bring its next five-well pad into sales during the next 30 days.

The full press release is here.

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Utica Shale driller Antero Resources posts large second quarter loss

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 3, 2016

Ohio Utica Shale driller Antero Resources Corp. lost barrels of money in its second quarter.
The Denver company reported losing $596 million, or $2.12 per share, on revenue of $574.8 million for the quarter ending June 30. That compares to a loss of $145 million, or 52 cents per share, on revenue of $727.9 million a year ago.
When adjusted for one-time factors, including non-cash losses of more than $1 billion, Antero said it had net income of $41 million, or 14 cents per share.
Antero said its Antero Midstream operations in the second quarter shifted Ohio Utica Shale development from its highly-rich gas/condensate area to higher rate of return drilling in the highly-rich gas area. It also shifted Antero Resources’ development program to the Marcellus Shale from the Utica Shale, citing what it called “firm transportation constraints to premium markets in the Utica Shale.”
Antero Resources released its quarterly results on Tuesday. The full release is here.

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Crude-oil rail shipments are declining

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 3, 2016

Trains are carrying less crude oil in the United States this year, the federal government reported Wednesday.

According to the Energy Information Administration:

"Movements of crude oil by rail within the United States averaged 443,000 barrels per day (b/d) in the first five months of 2016, down 45% from the same period last year.

"Fewer shipments of crude oil by rail from the Midwest (PADD 2) to the East Coast (PADD 1) account for about half of the decline.

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Ohio Utica Shale rigs total 15; drilled wells at 1,764

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 2, 2016

The number of drilling rigs in the Utica Shale and Point Pleasant Shale areas of Ohio totaled 15 as of July 30, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.
The number of permits for horizontal wells totalled 2,205, while the number of horizontal wells drilled in the state totaled 1,764.
 

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Ohio, Pennsylvania pipelines boosted with shale-derived LNG

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 2, 2016

Shale-produced liquified natural gas is fueling pipeline projects in Ohio and Pennsylvania, The Business Journal in Youngstown reports:

"Despite the collapse of oil and gas prices that started at the tail end of 2014, industry executives are upbeat about the prospects of increased international demand for natural gas liquids found in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays.

"That means more opportunities to export these liquids through pipelines and major ports that have been reconfigured to ship ethane, butane and propane to markets around the world.

“'We’ve entered the next phase of the shale revolution,' says Joseph Coella, senior vice president of business development at Sunoco Logistics. 'With the completion of new ethane crackers and export facilities, ethane supply and demand can become tighter'"

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Facebook now worth more than ExxonMobil

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 2, 2016

Facebook on Monday became more valuable than ExxonMobil, oilprice.com noted. And it is possible that at the end of the year the energy giant could fall below the top five largest companies, based on market capitalization, for the first time since 1980.

Oilprice.com:

"Tech companies Amazon and Facebook both surpassed Exxon Mobil to become the world’s fourth- and fifth-most valuable firm based on market capitalization at the close of trading on Monday.

"As reported in Business Insider, shares for the U.S. oil giant fell by 3.47 percent and this pulled the company’s value down to US$351 billion. Conversely, Amazon’s value rose to US$366 billion after its stock price grew by 1 percent. Facebook jumped into fifth place with a value of US$354 billion."

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Gasoline prices fall nationally, rise a bit in Ohio

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 1, 2016

National gasoline prices have fallen 50 of the past 51 days for a total of 25 cents per gallon and are at the lowest level for this date in 12 years, AAA reported Monday.
The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.13 per gallon. That is the lowest level in the past 100 days and the lowest price for this date since 2004, AAA reported.
The $2.13 price is three cents less than one week ago, 15 cents less than one month ago and 52 cents less than the same date last year.
Ohio was one of the few states where gasoline prices rose, AAA said. Ohio prices on average were up 3 cents per gallon from a week ago. Gas prices dropped in 45 states and Washington, D.C.
Akron-area prices averaged less than $2.01 per gallon of regular unleaded, about the same as a week ago. Prices were down from $2.21 a month ago and $2.29 a gallon a year ago.

The full AAA report is here.

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Consol Energy to resume Utica Shale drilling

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 1, 2016

Consol Energy Inc. is going to resume drllling in the Utica and Marcellus shales, triblive.com reports:

"Consol Energy Inc. executives think natural gas producers have turned the corner on low prices and tepid demand, prompting the company to begin a slow return to drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shales.

“'We're now starting to come off the bottom of the market,' David Khani, chief financial officer at Consol, told analysts Tuesday after the company said it would put two drilling rigs in Monroe County, Ohio, and Washington County next month. Consol halted drilling of new wells last year.

"Consol's return — which follows an announcement last week that fellow shale gas producer Southwestern Energy would resume drilling with five rigs — comes as benchmark prices for gas have risen more than a dollar since hitting 17-year lows in March and a warm summer drives demand from power plants.

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Scientists find promising 'green' mud for cleaner fracking

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 1, 2016

There is a promising "green" mud that frackers can use in drilling that reduces radioactive and hazardous waste to below federal guidelines, a new university study says. The State Journal newspaper reports:

"West Virginia University researchers studying drilling wastes produced a pair of research wells near Morgantown say they are well below federal guidelines for radioactive or hazardous waste, the university reports.

" ... Drilling a horizontal well in the Marcellus Shale produces about 500 tons of rock fragments, known as cuttings. WVU researchers have been studying the radioactivity and toxicity of the drill cuttings, which are trucked on public roads to county landfills.

"... scientists found that using the 'green' drilling mud BioBase 365 at the well site resulted in all 12 cuttings samples passing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s test for leaching toxicity, allowing them to be classified as non-hazardous for non-radiological parameters like benzene and arsenic."

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U.S. shale successfully competing against Saudi Arabia

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 1, 2016

Texas shale has fought Saudi Arabia to a standstill, the (U.K.) Telegraph reports:

"Opec's worst fears are coming true. Twenty months after Saudi Arabia took the fateful decision to flood world markets with oil, it has still failed to break the back of the US shale industry.

"The Saudi-led Gulf states have certainly succeeded in killing off a string of global mega-projects in deep waters. Investment in upstream exploration from 2014 to 2020 will be $1.8 trillion less than previously assumed, according to consultants IHS. But this is a bitter victory at best.

"North America's hydraulic frackers are cutting costs so fast that most can now produce at prices far below levels needed to fund the Saudi welfare state and its military machine, or to cover Opec budget deficits."

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Global LNG market shook up by shale natural gas

By Jim Mackinnon Published: August 1, 2016

Natural gas from shale is shaking up the global liquified natural gas market, FuelFix.com reports:

"Shale drillers from Pennsylvania to Texas flooded the U.S. with so much natural gas over the past decade that prices slid to a 17-year low. Now they’re going global, with the potential to upset markets from London to Tokyo.

"The U.S. began shale gas exports by sea this year and is projected by the International Energy Agency to become the world’s third-largest liquefied natural gas supplier in five years. Gas will challenge coal at European power plants and become affordable in emerging markets, where prices have been high and supplies limited, according to the IEA and Goldman Sachs Group Inc."

Read the full story here.

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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.