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Ohio Utica Shale

Price war helped U.S. shale break-even costs drop to $15 a barrel in some places

By Jim Mackinnon Published: December 5, 2016

The break-even point in some U.S. shale regions is now $15 a barrel; overall production costs to tap shale are about half of what they were just two years ago, according to this Reuters news story:

"In a corner of the prolific Bakken shale play in North Dakota, oil companies can now pump crude at a price almost as low as that enjoyed by OPEC giants Iran and Iraq.

"Until a few years ago it was unprofitable to produce oil from shale in the United States. But the steep slide in costs has U.S. shale operators poised to capitalize on Wednesday's decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cap output for the first time in eight years.

"In effect, even as OPEC has decided to reduce output to try to boost prices, that may end up being undermined by a potential increase in U.S. production.

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Chesapeake Energy selling Louisiana shale property for $450 million

By Jim Mackinnon Published: December 5, 2016

Chesapeake Energy Corp. continues with its financial restructuring, including the sale of significant holdings, Oil and Gas Investor reports:

"Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is delivering on its divestment plans, saying Dec. 5 it agreed to sell a package of producing Haynesville Shale acreage in northern Louisiana for about $450 million.

"The deal covers 78,000 net acres, with slightly more than half—40,000 net acres—considered core to Chesapeake. The buyer was not disclosed.

"The sale includes 250 wells producing 30 million cubic feet of gas per day (MMcf/d)."

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Utica Shale drilling rigs, wells drilled increase in Ohio

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 23, 2016

The number of drilling rigs in the Utica Shale and Point Pleasant Shale areas of Ohio totaled 21 on Nov. 19, up from 19 a week ago, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources reported.
The number of permits for horizontal wells totalled 2,311, up from 2,300 a week ago. The number of horizontal wells drilled in the state totaled 1,851, up from 1,838 on Nov. 12.

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Thanksgiving holiday gasoline prices 2nd lowest in 8 years

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 23, 2016

One thing to be thankful for now are some of the lowest gasoline prices in years, reports the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

"Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, U.S. retail regular-grade gasoline averaged $2.16 per gallon, up just six cents per gallon from the same time last year. This is the second-lowest gasoline price since 2008, when the national regular gasoline price averaged $1.89/g on the Monday prior to Thanksgiving.

"The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the heaviest travel times of the year. AAA forecasts 48.7 million people will be traveling 50 miles or more for the holiday this year, over one million more travelers than last year and the most since 2007. Of the 48.7 million total travelers, AAA expects that 43.5 million of them will drive, an increase of 1.5 million over last year"

According to AAA, Akron-area gasoline prices on Wednesday averaged just a smidge under $2 a gallon. That's lower than an average of $2.03 a month ago but higher than the $1.88 a gallon motorists paid a year ago.

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Pipeline growth will tap Utica Shale natural gas production

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 23, 2016

New pipelines in the works will help get natural gas from Ohio's Utica Shale to market, reports the Energy Information Administration:

"A number of pipeline projects that have been approved, or are in various stages of the approval process, would increase capacity to transport natural gas from the Utica production region in Ohio to natural gas markets. Collectively, these projects could add up to 6.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of takeaway capacity out of the Utica region by the end of 2018.

"Over the past several years, natural gas production in the Appalachian basin from the Marcellus and Utica shales has grown significantly. Because pipeline projects often have longer lead times than production projects, transport infrastructure for accessing natural gas demand centers and export locations in the Appalachian Basin has not kept pace with production capability. This situation has resulted in a lower price for natural gas from the Appalachian region relative to many other natural gas trading hubs in the United States."

Read the full story, with chart, here.

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Huge 20 billion barrels/oil, 16 trillion cubic feet/gas field discovered in Texas

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 16, 2016

Just wow. The U.S. Geological Survey says it has found the largest estimated "oil accumulation" in its history in a shale-rich part of Texas that is already being drilled. The estimated amount of oil alone would supply all U.S. needs for about three years.

From the USGS press release:

"The Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of Texas’ Permian Basin province contains an estimated mean of 20 billion barrels of oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of associated natural gas, and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to an assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate is for continuous (unconventional) oil, and consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.

"The estimate of continuous oil in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp shale assessment is nearly three times larger than that of the 2013 USGS Bakken-Three Forks resource assessment, making this the largest estimated continuous oil accumulation that USGS has assessed in the United States to date.

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Utica Shale drilling rigs total 19; drilled wells in Ohio at 1,838

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 15, 2016

The number of drilling rigs in the Utica Shale and Point Pleasant Shale areas of Ohio totaled 19 as of Nov. 12, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.
The number of permits for horizontal wells totalled 2,300. The number of horizontal wells drilled in the state totaled 1,838.

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Shale drilling increasingly focused on Texas, New Mexico

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 15, 2016

The Permian Basin in Texas and in New Mexico is getting more attention from shale drillers, reports the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

"The Permian now holds nearly as many active oil rigs as the rest of the United States combined, including both onshore and offshore rigs, and it is the only region in EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report where crude oil production is expected to increase for the third consecutive month."

Read the full story, with chart, here.

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New federal Utica Shale productivity report released

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 15, 2016

The November Utica Shale drilling productivity report is now on the U.S. Energy Information Administration website.

The new report can be found here.

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OPEC now expects oil won't top $60/barrel until after 2020

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 14, 2016

The world may have low oil prices through the end of the decade, according to a new OPEC report, says oilprice.com:

"OPEC warned in newly released report that oil prices might not rise above $60 per barrel until the end of the decade, in an acknowledgement that an array of bearish forces will conspire to keep a lid on any price rally.

"OPEC’s new World Oil Outlook (WOO) offers medium and long-term predictions for the oil market. OPEC’s Reference Basket (ORB) price will average $40 per barrel this year, and the group projects that the price will rise by $5 per barrel each year through the rest of the decade. That only takes ORB prices up to $60 per barrel in 2020.

"That is a remarkable prediction from a group of oil-exporting countries, often known for a much more bullish outlook for oil."

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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.