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Ohio Utica Shale

Jim Mackinnon out of the office

By Ohio.com Published: September 26, 2016

U.S. oil drilling rigs rise by five

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 23, 2016

The number of drilling rigs working in the U.S. as of Sept. 23 rose by five from a week ago to 511, according to the latest Baker Hughes report. The number of rigs is down 327 from the same period in 2015.
To read the full report, go here.

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Portage, Stark counties land listed in Utica Shale property sale

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 23, 2016

Anyone looking to buy land on top of the Utica Shale in Ohio, including in Portage and Stark counties? Oil and Gas Investor says there is property available:

"Dorfman Production Co. is selling operated interest in producing Appalachia assets in a negotiated transaction through The Oil & Gas Asset Clearinghouse.

"The assets are located in Mahoning, Columbiana, Portage, Stark and Carroll counties, Ohio. The offer includes development opportunities in the horizontal Clinton Play and the Utica Shale, according to Clearinghouse."

Read the full story here.

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Ohio's Utica Shale increasingly tapped for natural gas

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 23, 2016

Energy companies tapping the Utica Shale are increasingly going for natural gas, the federal government reports today. The Energy Information Administration said:

"Production of oil and natural gas in the Appalachian Basin's Utica play—which includes both the Utica and Point Pleasant formations—has increased significantly since 2012.

"Monthly natural gas production from Utica wells increased from 0.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in December 2012 to more than 3.5 Bcf/d in June 2016. Oil production increased from 4,400 barrels per day (b/d) to nearly 76,000 b/d over the same period."

Read the full report, with charts, here.

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Nexus crews can go on private land for pipeline survey, court rules

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 23, 2016

The Nexus Gas Transmission Co. can go onto private land in Ohio and conduct surveys for a natural gas pipeline in the state, an appeals court has ruled.

The decision by the 9th District Court of Appeals can be found here.

Landowners have not yet decided whether to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, according to a story in the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer newspaper.

Here's what law firm Bricker & Eckler, which represented the pipeline company, had to say on the decision:

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Shale fracking added nearly 115,000 jobs, $10 billion in Ohio, study says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 22, 2016

Ohio would have been out billions of dollars and nearly 115,000 jobs if not for fracking, according to an analysis from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Daily Caller, the Chamber report in part says:

" ... Ohio, for instance, would have lost nearly $10 billion in state GDP, $6 billion in wages, and 114,500 jobs, according to the group’s report, had anti-oil activists like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Bill McKibben found a way to wipe out the expansion in domestic energy.

" ...The U.S. would have bled millions of jobs and the economy would have contracted by $548 billion were it not for explosion in oil and gas development, according to a report by an energy industry group.

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First U.S. shale-derived ethane shipments reach Europe

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 22, 2016

The huge amounts of natural gas from U.S. shale has lead to the first shipments of  ethane to Europe, the federal government reports.

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

"Increased production of ethane in the United States has led to increased ethane exports, first by pipeline to Canada and more recently by tanker to overseas destinations. Ethane is used domestically and internationally as a key feedstock for plastics production and other industrial uses.

"The first U.S. ethane export terminal, located in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles southwest of Philadelphia, has an export capacity of 35,000 barrels per day (b/d) and began shipping ethane cargos in March 2016. The second U.S. ethane export terminal, opened by Enterprise Products Partners in Morgan's Point, Texas, recently sent its first shipment to Norway. This 200,000 b/d-capacity facility, located on the Houston Ship Channel, is the first ethane terminal in the Gulf Coast region."

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Billionaire investor cuts holdings in Chesapeake Energy

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 21, 2016

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has drastically reduced his holdings in Chesapeake Energy Corp, according to SEC filings. From MarketWatch.com:

"Icahn and associated partners reduced their stake in Chesapeake to 35.3 million shares, or 4.6% of outstanding shares, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Back in August, Icahn and partners reported a stake of about 73 million shares in the company."

Read the full story here.

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Frack sand is the unsung hero of the OPEC-shale price war

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 21, 2016

The resilience of U.S. shale is largely about sand, reports Oilprice.com:

"Sand has been the most significant innovation on the US shale playing field.

“'North American producers are rapidly increasing efficiency and reducing production costs, and we’re just at the beginning of this innovation curve,' says Select Sands Corp. CEO Rasool Mohammad.

“'Right now, it’s all about the frack sand. The story of US shale resilience is now about huge quantities of high-quality frack sand. This is the backbone of the comeback.'”

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U.S. shale making up for drop in conventional oil discoveries

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 20, 2016

Conventional oil discoveries have hit a low point, Fuelfix.com reports:

"Companies have never discovered as little conventional oil and gas as they did last year, according to a new report from energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.

"Globally, the industry last year found 11.6 billion barrels of oil and gas that it could access via traditional vertical drilling, as opposed to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. That’s 3 billion barrels or 21 percent less than it did in 1994, the next-lowest year on the list."

" ... As conventional finds are dropping, America’s shale plays are, in part, replacing them."

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Oil may hit $60 a barrel by end of year, investor says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 20, 2016

A prominent energy investor thinks oil prices are going up by the end of the year, CNBC reports:

"Oil investor T. Boone Pickens believes the price of oil will rise to a range of $55 to $60 a barrel by the end of the year"

But he thinks the amount of oil and gas the U.S. has in reserves will keep prices from hitting the $100 a barrel level.

Read the whole story here.

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Utica Shale drilling rigs drop by two

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 20, 2016

The number of drilling rigs in the Utica Shale and Point Pleasant Shale areas of Ohio totaled 14 as of Sept. 10, down two from a week ago, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.
The number of permits for horizontal wells totalled 2,240, the same as a week ago. The number of horizontal wells drilled in the state totaled 1,797, up seven from Sept. 10.
 

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U.S. has thousands of drilled but uncompleted oil and gas wells

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 19, 2016

There are more than 5,000 drilled but uncompleted oil and gas wells in the United States, which has major implications not just for supply but also price, reports Oilprice.com:

"Along with its monthly Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), the EIA released a supplement today which estimates the number of drilled uncompleted wells (DUCs) in the seven key oil and natural gas producing regions covered by the agency’s broader drilling report. The number of DUCs has been declining over the past few months, but it remains well above levels seen prior to the late-2014 price crash."

"Current EIA estimates show DUC counts as of the end of August totaling 4,117 in the four oil-dominant regions and 914 in the 3 gas-dominant regions that together account for nearly all U.S. tight oil and shale gas production. ..."

Read the full story here.

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U.S. drilling rig counts drop slightly this week

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 16, 2016

The number of drilling rigs working in the U.S. as of Sept. 16 dropped by two from a week ago to 506, according to the latest Baker Hughes report. The number of rigs is down 336 from the same period in 2015.
To read the full report, go here.

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New federal report counts uncompleted Utica Shale wells

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 16, 2016

There are 129 drilled but uncompleted wells in the Utica Shale as of August, a new report from the federal government shows.

The Energy Information Administration's September drilling productivity report now includes supplemental data that counts drilled but uncompleted wells in the nation's dominant shale regions.

The full report is here.

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Utica Shale drilling rigs fall by one; permits and wells drilled rise

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 13, 2016

The number of drilling rigs in the Utica Shale and Point Pleasant Shale areas of Ohio totaled 16 as of Sept. 10, down one from a week ago, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.
The number of permits for horizontal wells totalled 2,240, up from 2,233 as of Sept. 3, while the number of horizontal wells drilled in the state totaled 1,790, up one from a week ago.

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Utica Shale oil, gas production rises, federal report shows

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 13, 2016

Oil and natural gas production from the Utica Shale is up, the September Utica Region Drilling Productivity Report shows.

You can find the report here.

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U.S. oil drilling rig totals climb by 11

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 9, 2016

The number of drilling rigs working in the U.S. as of Sept. 9 rose by 11 from a week ago to 508, according to the latest Baker Hughes report. The number of rigs is down 340 from the same period in 2015.
To read the full report, go here.

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Oklahoma earthquake damages U.S. fracking industry reputation

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 8, 2016

The U.S. fracking industry may have suffered more damage to its reputation than Oklahoma had in actual damage following a larger than usual earthquake in that state earlier this month, RealClearEnergy reports:

"Hydraulic Fracturing may have invigorated huge swathes of America and basically removed the problem of 'energy insecurity' from the American psyche but it remains an embattled technology and last week's earthquake though hardly major (earthquakes tend to be designated 'major' around 7.0) gave its armies of enemies material which they will no doubt be using for a long time."

Read the full story here.

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Ohio shale drilling rigs total 17

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 8, 2016

The number of drilling rigs in the Utica Shale and Point Pleasant Shale areas of Ohio totaled 17 as of Sept. 3, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources reported this week.
The number of permits for horizontal wells totalled 2,233, while the number of horizontal wells drilled in the state totaled 1,789.

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Most anti-fracking ballot measures failed in Ohio, report says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 8, 2016

Most anti-fracking ballot initiatives in Ohio have failed this year, pro-fracking Energy In Depth reports:

:This year has marks another election season of failure for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and their local control initiatives.

"Recently, Ohio’s Secretary of State John Husted ruled that the countywide so-called Community Bill of Rights fracking bans are “invalid” and therefore will not be moving forward to the ballot box in November.

"This decision came after local county board of elections, the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, Affiliated Construction Trades of Ohio and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce all spoke out against these measures due to the harm they would impose on Ohio communities."

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Drillers say new Texas discovery holds huge amounts of oil, gas

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 7, 2016

Drillers say they have discovered a huge oil and gas field in the Permian Basin in Texas. Fuelfix.com:

"The Houston-based oil exploration company Apache has made a significant discovery in West Texas’s Permian Basin, estimated at 75 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and more than 3 billion barrels of oil — nearly the equivalent of an entire year of U.S. crude production, the company announced on Wednesday.

"The new field sits in the southern portion of the Delaware Basin, the Permian’s western and southern half. It is primarily in Reeves County, south of New Mexico, near the Davis Mountains. Apache is calling the field the 'Alpine High.'”

For the full story, go here.

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Oklahoma earthquake increases scrutiny of injection wells

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 6, 2016

A significant earthquake in Oklahoma will result in the shutdown of injection wells close to the epicenter, news reports say. From the Washington Post:

"A record-tying earthquake in the edge of Oklahoma’s key energy-producing areas rattled the Midwest from Nebraska to northern Texas on Saturday, and it probably will bring fresh attention to the practice of disposing oil and gas-field wastewater deep underground.

"The United States Geological Survey said a 5.6-magnitude earthquake happened at 7:02 a.m. Saturday in north-central Oklahoma, on the fringe of an area where regulators had stepped in to limit wastewater disposal. That temblor matches a November 2011 quake in the same region."

The full story is here.

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Nexus Pipeline builder Spectra Energy being sold in $28 billion deal

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 6, 2016

Spectra Energy, which is seeking to build the Nexus Pipeline in Ohio, is being bought in a mega-billion dollar deal. USA Today reports:

"Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc., said Monday it would acquire Houston-based Spectra Energy in a $28 billion all-stock deal.

"The merger would create North America's largest energy infrastructure company, valued at $127 billion, when it is completed in the first quarter of 2017, the companies said.

"Spectra is one of the backers the planned Nexus Pipeline, in partnership with Michigan-based DTE Energy. The $2 billion, 250-mile pipeline would carry natural gas from Ohio’s Utica Shale westward across Northern Ohio to Defiance and north to Detroit and Ontario, where it would connect with existing pipelines."

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U.S. retail gasoline prices at lowest level in 12 years

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 2, 2016

The U.S. average retail price for regular gasoline was $2.24 per gallon on August 29, the lowest price on the Monday before Labor Day since 2004, the federal government reported Friday.
That average price is 27 cents per gallon lower than the same time last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
According to the AAA Gas Prices web site on Friday, the average price for a gallon of regular in the greater Akron area was $2.11, down from $2.32 a gallon a year ago.
Lower crude oil prices are the main factor behind falling U.S. gasoline prices, the government said. Lower crude oil prices reflect continued high global crude oil and petroleum product inventories and increased drilling activity in the United States.

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Utica Shale natural gas production up more than 50 percent from year ago

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 1, 2016

Natural gas production from Ohio's Utica Shale for the second quarter of 2016 was up more than 50 percent from a year ago, while oil production was down, according to figures released Thursday by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources:

"During the second quarter of 2016, Ohio’s horizontal shale wells produced 4,839,792 barrels of oil and 334,257,982 Mcf (334 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, according [to] the figures released today by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

"Natural gas production from the second quarter of 2016 showed an increase over the second quarter of 2015, while oil production was reduced for that same period."

"As anticipated, today’s production numbers show that natural gas production has flattened while oil production continues to fall due to depressed market conditions. While a moderate amount of drilling in the Utica continues, once the market rebounds we fully anticipate a similar level of growth in our production like what took place before the 2014 price collapse," said Shawn Bennett, executive vice president, Ohio Oil and Gas Association.

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Oil and gas industry naysayers have been wrong

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 1, 2016

Here's how the shale oil and gas industry  has survived, according to story at Oilprice.com:

"The Saudis counted them out. So did the Russians, even many domestic analysts said North American shale and tight oil and gas production would decline in the face of low prices and that investment would dry up and output would fall.

"Well, guess what? They have all been proven wrong. Sure, rig counts have dropped and there have been painful layoffs of workers, but the industry is surviving and against all the 'experts' advice, production of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales of the U.S. Northeast is averaging 22.63 billion cubic feet per day in August, according to a Financial Times article.

"That is up 2 percent from July and the most since February’s all-time high of 22.78 billion cu-ft/d. Despite earlier U.S. government forecasts that combined gas output from the two shale areas lying beneath Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia would decline, producers have managed to maintain volumes by tapping inventories of drilled but uncompleted wells and burrowing deeper, longer wells that yield more gas.

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Shale health studies are flawed, organization says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 1, 2016

Studies that finger shale fracking as causing public health problems are flawed, Energy In Depth writes:

"Facing strong criticism, researchers at Johns Hopkins University, who have put out a number of studies blaming fracking in Pennsylvania for common ailments such as headaches, fatigue, asthma and sinus problems, published a defensive op-ed late last week attempting to justify their work.

"Their damage control is partially in response to Energy In Depth's work, which has exposed the flaws in the research team's papers. EID actually dug into the data of their last three health studies and discovered that areas with no drilling showed much higher levels of symptoms than areas with shale development – contrary to the researchers' claims of a link between development and health impacts.

"Their asthma study is contradicted by Pennsylvania Department of Health data, which show that heavily drilled counties have far lower rates of asthma hospitalizations than counties that have no shale production at all. The Department of Health data also show asthma hospitalizations declined by 26 percent from 2009 to 2013, when natural gas production in the state soared.

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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.