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Aug 28, 2015

Pennsylvania agency fines natural gas companies for methane violations
 

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has finalized penalty agreements with three natural gas exploration companies for methane gas migration violations that affected private drinking water wells in Bradford, Lycoming and Tioga counties, reports the Akron Beacon Journal. “The department was able to conclusively determine that methane gas from natural gas wells had migrated off-site and impacted private wells serving homes and hunting clubs,” said DEP Director of District Oil and Gas Operations John Ryder. The penalties were imposed on Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, $193,135; XTO Energy Inc., $95,753; and SWEPI LP, $85,593. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Aug 27, 2015

Companies look at developing gas-to-liquids plants in Marcellus, Utica shale plays
 

Dominion Energy and Intrexon Corp. have entered into an agreement to explore development of biological conversion gas-to-liquids (GTL) plants in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays, reports the Youngstown Business Journal. The newspaper says the project calls for construction of facilities that use Intrexon’s method of converting methane into high carbon compounds such as isobutanol. Dominion would construct, own and operate the production facilities somewhere in the Utica and Marcellus regions of eastern Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to the Business Journal. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Aug 27, 2015

Stock market selloff takes its toll on oil and natural gas prices
 

The recent stock market selloff hurt the oil and natural gas sector, “tossing all related fuels into the same sinking barrel,” reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The newspaper says oil future prices at the West Texas Intermediate hub were at $38.20 per barrel on August 24, the lowest since 2009. Natural gas, whose price descent began three years ago, ended at $2.67 per million British thermal units that day, a six-week low. The Post-Gazette also says stock prices of oil and gas companies with operations in western Pennsylvania “came out bruised” from the selloff. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 26, 2015

Algerian reforms aimed at boosting shale gas production
 

Algeria, the largest natural gas producing country in Africa, is overhauling its laws in order to halt the decline of gas production that has stagnated for more than a decade, reports Business Insider. The business news site says Algeria, estimated to hold the world’s third-largest shale gas reserves, has experienced “a long gradual decline in both oil and gas production” because of delays in drilling and infrastructure projects. As a result, the Algerian government has reformed its energy laws in order to attract international investment in shale projects. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |  Permalink

 

Aug 26, 2015

Oil and gas drillers keep pumping in North Dakota despite low prices
 

North Dakota is holding its own when it comes to oil and natural production despite the continuing slump in prices and predictions that the U.S. shale boom is about to fade, reports USA Today. The newspaper says a new report from North Dakota's Department of Mineral Resources put the state's oil output at 1.21 million barrels a day in June, its second-highest monthly rate ever, and natural gas production at a record 1.6 billion cubic feet that month. "What we're observing is U.S. producers are not indicating any decrease in oil production," said Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota agency. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 25, 2015

Pennsylvania oil and gas rules draw criticism from industry, environmentalists
 

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released detailed updates to its oil and natural gas rules and is already getting push-back from industry and environmental groups, reports State Impact, a public radio news service. DEP Secretary John Quigley said the updated regulations are a “great step forward in responsible drilling in Pennsylvania.” But, the Marcellus Shale Coalition called the rules a regulatory overreach that will cost drillers too much to implement, and an environmentalist said the rules don’t go far enough. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Aug 25, 2015

U.S. may ease crude oil export ban in deal with Mexico
 

The U.S. government is taking its biggest step yet to erode the ban on crude oil exports that has been in place since the 1970s, reports OilPrice.com. According to the energy news site, a Department of Commerce official said the federal government is “acting favorably on a number of applications” that are seeking an oil swap with Mexico. Under the proposal, the Obama administration would approve the limited export of light oil to Mexico in exchange for the United States receiving heavier Mexican oil. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 24, 2015

Antero to build $275 million water treatment complex in West Virginia
 

Antero Resources Corp. has signed an agreement with Veolia Water Technologies Inc. and Veolia North America to design and build an advanced wastewater treatment complex in Doddridge County, West Virginia. Antero said in a release that the complex will include a 60,000-barrel per day facility that will allow it to treat and reuse flow-back and produced water from oil and natural gas drilling operations rather than dispose of the water in injection wells. Antero will own the $275 million treatment complex, which is expected to take two years to build. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Aug 24, 2015

Gulf Coast Western forms oilfield services subsidiary
 

Dallas-based Gulf Coast Western LLC has formed a subsidiary to provide well completion and operational safety services to the oil and natural gas industry. The company said in a release that the subsidiary, Gulf Coast Western Energy Services, has been formed through acquisitions of Frac Restraints LLC and CND Energy Services. The combined operations of the companies will focus on serving southern and western Texas and the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Pennsylvania. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 24, 2015

Join PUCO chairman and energy industry leaders on August 27
 

Bricker & Eckler will be hosting its biannual Energy Exchange: Legislative and Regulatory Insights event on August 27, 2015, to feature keynote speaker Andre Porter, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). This networking and educational opportunity will address the latest trends, rules and regulations pertaining to the energy industry. Policy makers, regulators, business owners and investors are invited to discuss current industry issues.

In addition to Andre Porter’s keynote address, Bricker attorneys Matt Warnock and Dylan Borchers will present information on recent Dormant Mineral Act cases before the Ohio Supreme Court and the Whitt v. Nationwide Energy Partners submetering case filed with the PUCO. Space is limited; register today


 
Posted by . Shale Task Force in  Miscellaneous  Ohio  Oil & Gas Litigation   |  Permalink

 

Aug 21, 2015

Cash-strapped oil companies taking calls from private equity firms
 

The latest slide in crude oil prices has companies returning calls from potential buyers in the private equity market, according to Reuters. The news service says that oil companies, which had been relying on capital market investors that bet on a quick recovery in prices, finally started to feel a squeeze when crude prices plummeted in July after a partial three-month recovery. Reuters says that opens opportunities for "deep-pocketed private equity firms to push for restructurings or buy assets as many companies need cash to replenish banks' slimmed-down lending facilities, service their bonds and finance drilling of new wells.” For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 21, 2015

U.S. Forest Service takes issue with Atlantic Coast Pipeline route
 

The U.S. Forest Service has raised hundreds of concerns about a proposed natural gas pipeline that would carve a 30-mile swath through national forests in West Virginia and Virginia, reports the Associated Press. The news agency says the Forest Service’s written comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission question why the proposed route of the 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline has to go through the George Washington and Monongahela national forests. The pipeline, proposed by Dominion Resources Inc., Duke Energy and two other energy partners, would carry natural gas from the Marcellus shale play in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to the southeastern United States. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Aug 20, 2015

Oil and gas company impairments rise as commodity prices tumble
 

Oil and natural gas companies are looking at their assets and deciding they’re not worth as much as they thought, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The newspaper says such impairments -- one-time expenses incurred when a company calculates the costs it has capitalized to develop its assets are higher than the cash such development would bring in -- have peppered company earnings over the past year. The Post-Gazette says “their mentions are getting more frequent and the dollar amounts ballooning as commodity prices continue their descent.” For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 20, 2015

Report: Pennsylvania group behind local fracking ban efforts in Ohio
 

The Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has been lobbying Ohio communities to adopt bans on hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas operations, according to Energy in Depth. The oil and gas advocacy and education organization reports that the CELDF is pushing a “Community Bill of Rights Fracking Ban,” an “Anti-Fracking Bill of Rights,” and other efforts to prohibit fracking. Energy in Depth says it is “by design that CELDF remains behind the scenes since its campaign is built on the illusion that individual communities are rising up” against fracking. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 19, 2015

Midstream deals drive increase in oil and natural gas mergers
 

Midstream transactions drove an increase in oil and natural gas merger-and-acquisition activity in the second quarter of 2015 “as companies adapt their operations and business objectives to the lower oil price environment,” according to ABL Advisor. Citing a report from PwC US, the financial site says there were 47 oil and gas deals with values greater than $50 million that accounted for $38.8 billion during the second quarter. That compared to 39 deals worth $34.5 billion in the first three months of 2015. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 19, 2015

Saudi Arabia strategy underestimated U.S. oil industry
 

The U.S. oil industry may have greater staying power than Saudi Arabia had banked on when it embarked on its strategy last November of flooding the market with oil to drive out rivals, reports the Telegraph of London. If the aim was to choke the U.S. shale industry, says the British newspaper, then “the Saudis have misjudged badly, just as they misjudged the growing shale threat at every stage for eight years.” The Telegraph also cited the latest stability report from the Saudi central bank that stated: "It is becoming apparent that non-OPEC producers are not as responsive to low oil prices as had been thought, at least in the short run." For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |  Permalink

 

Aug 18, 2015

MarkWest, EMG plan dry-gas gathering system for Utica shale play
 

CNBC reports that MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P and the Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) will develop a large-scale gathering system for dry natural gas in the Utica shale play. The system will be underpinned by a long-term, fee-based contract with a subsidiary of Ascent Resources, LLC, which has approximately 280,000 net acres of leasehold in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays. According to CNBC, MarkWest CEO Frank Semple said investment in the new gathering system could exceed $1 billion over the next three years. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 18, 2015

State ruling means Ohio counties won’t vote on fracking bans
 

A ruling by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted will prevent residents of three counties from voting in November on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas within their borders, reports the Columbus Dispatch. In a letter to the boards of elections in Athens, Fulton and Medina counties, Husted stated that Ohio courts had decided the issue by ruling that only the state has the authority to regulate oil and gas activity. (See our Feb. 17, 2015 blog, “Ohio Supreme Court: Oil & Gas Drilling Statutes Preempt "Home Rule" Power.”) The Dispatch says the three counties had planned to have questions on their ballots asking residents to amend their county charters to ban fracking. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 17, 2015

Low oil prices may limit borrowing options for U.S. producers
 

The depressed crude oil market could limit the borrowing options for North American oil and natural gas exploration and production companies, reports Oil and Gas Daily. The energy news site says that Paul O'Donnell, an equity analyst at IHS Energy, stated the low price of oil and expectations that the weak market will continue spells trouble for borrowing by drilling companies. "I think it is fair to say that companies who are constrained as far as borrowing is concerned could be candidates for asset sales or corporate acquisition targets," he said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 17, 2015

Oil and natural gas companies selling assets to stay afloat
 

Having exhausted other ways to raise cash as a glut of global oil depresses prices, a number of oil and natural gas producers announced more than $2.4 billion in asset sales in July 2015, according to data compiled by BloombergBusiness. The news service says that selling oil and gas fields to pay off lenders and fund new drilling is surging after a six-month lull. The rise in asset sales shows how the industry’s two-pronged strategy for staying financially healthy since oil prices dropped -- by raising capital while tightening belts -- may not be enough, according to Bloomberg. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 14, 2015

Oilfield services companies to drillers: ‘Frack now and pay later’
 

Business is so tough for oilfield service companies Schlumberger and Halliburton that they have come up with a new sales pitch to crude oil producers, according to Reuters. Saying the pitch amounts to "frack now and pay later,” the news service says that in some cases the two companies “are willing to take on the role of traditional lenders, like banks, which have grown reluctant to lend since the (oil) price drop that began last summer, or act like producers by taking what are essentially stakes in wells.” Reuters says the moves by Schlumberger and Halliburton show they are scrambling to book sales of new technologies to customers that are short of cash after a 60 percent slide in the price of crude oil in the past year. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 14, 2015

U.S. crude oil price dips to lowest level since 2009
 

The price of benchmark U.S. crude oil tumbled to its lowest level in more than six years on August 11th, falling to $43.08 a barrel in New York, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The newspaper says the price was the lowest since March 2009 and came as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported its production rose to a three-year high. The price of U.S. crude oil has been declining since reaching $61.43 on June 10, 2015. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 13, 2015

Advisory panel balks at proposed drilling rules in Pennsylvania
 

Members of Pennsylvania’s Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee have told the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that they will not support proposed revisions of rules for the drilling industry, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. According to the newspaper, the five voting members of the committee stated “the vast majority of the proposed changes are unnecessary and inappropriate, and the process for promulgating the rule for conventional oil and (natural) gas wells is fundamentally flawed and cannot be cured.” DEP’s oil and gas advisory boards are scheduled to meet later this month and in early September to review the department’s final version of revised rules for the drilling industry. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Aug 13, 2015

Chesapeake Energy looks at selling some of its non-core assets
 

Chesapeake Energy Corp., one of the biggest players in Ohio’s Utica shale play, appears to be looking to sell some of its land, reports Columbus Business First. According to the newspaper, Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler told stock analysts that the company has plenty of options to sell non-core assets this year and in 2016. Chesapeake won't divulge where it plans to divest some of its assets as it makes “billion-dollar write-downs to combat the steep drop in commodity prices,” says Business First, noting the company has about 1 million acres under lease in eastern Ohio. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 13, 2015

Report: Rogersville shale may rival Marcellus, Utica formations
 

A deep sub-basin of rock, known as the Rome Trough, could contain the type of “source rock that has sparked an oil and gas renaissance in Appalachia over the last decade,” reports Shale Daily. The energy news site says that some believe the potential for that resource in the Rogersville shale formation could be comparable to the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. According to Shale Daily, the organic-rich Rogersville formation is thought to be isolated and confined to Kentucky and West Virginia at depths of roughly 9,000 to 14,000 feet. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Aug 12, 2015

Magnum Hunter may close deals totaling nearly $1 billion
 

Columbus Business First reports that Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. could close two deals by the end of August that would raise close to $1 billion for the Texas-based oil and natural gas company. The newspaper says Magnum Hunter expects to generate more than $500 million by selling its interest in the Eureka Hunter Midstream pipeline system. In addition, a joint venture partnership involving Magnum Hunter’s Utica shale acreage is expected to close soon, bringing in $450 million, according to Business First. For more, read the full story. More articles about Magnum Hunter can be found here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 12, 2015

Oil and gas drilling permits nearly grind to a halt in Utica shale play
 

New permits for horizontal oil and natural gas wells in Ohio ground to a near halt during the week of July 27 as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) issued just three permits to two companies in the southern portion of the Utica shale play, reports the Youngstown Business Journal. The newspaper says ODNR awarded two permits to PDC Energy Inc. to drill wells in Guernsey County and a single permit to CNX Gas LLC for a well in Monroe County. In addition, no new permits were issued in western Pennsylvania’s section of the Utica shale play that week, according to the Business Journal. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Aug 11, 2015

Chesapeake to reduce Utica production until pipeline is completed
 

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is curtailing much of its Utica shale production as the company waits for a new pipeline to take its natural gas from Ohio to the Gulf Coast, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says the Oklahoma City-based company will cut gas production to 275 million cubic feet per day until November when the pipeline is expected to come online. Natural gas prices are higher on the Gulf Coast where the export of liquefied natural gas is also soon to take hold, according to Business First. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 11, 2015

Gas production nearly triples in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle
 

West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey statistics show drilling companies pumped nearly three times as much natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in the state’s Northern Panhandle during 2014 compared to 2012, reports the Wheeling Intelligencer/News-Register. In addition, West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association Executive Director Corky Demarco told the newspaper that production numbers should increase again once Dominion Resources’ Cove Point liquefied natural gas export facility opens in Maryland. That’s the case, he said, because a lack of pipelines has held back the amount of natural gas that can get to market. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Aug 10, 2015

Hess views Harrison County as eastern Ohio’s sweet spot for drilling
 

Hess Corp. will reduce its drilling rig count in eastern Ohio while continuing to focus on Harrison County, which the New York-based company considers “prime real estate” in the Utica shale play, reports Columbus Business First. "That’s truly the sweet spot of the play," Hess President Greg Hill recently told stock analysts. Business First says Hess had two drilling rigs with business partner Consol Energy in the Utica shale play in the first half of 2015 but will drop to a lone rig for the remainder of the year. For more, read the full story. More stories about Hess can be found here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 07, 2015

Noble Energy to cut drilling rig in Marcellus shale play
 

Noble Energy Inc. will cut its natural gas drilling rig in the company’s joint venture with Consol Energy Inc. in the Marcellus shale play, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. Citing the “current environment” for commodity prices, Noble said horizontal drilling will be reduced from the one drilling rig operating now to none by the middle of the third quarter of 2015. The Business Times says Noble also reported a loss of $109 million, or 28 cents a share, during the second quarter. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Aug 06, 2015

Antero’s natural gas production increases 67 percent
 

Colorado-based Antero Resources, one of the more active drilling companies in Ohio’s Utica shale play, reported its natural gas equivalent production in the second quarter grew by 67 percent compared to a year earlier, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. However, Antero said production was flat compared to the first quarter of 2015 because it has deferred 50 well completions in the Marcellus shale play due to the need for gathering pipelines. The Beacon Journal says a new pipeline, which will provide access to the Gulf Coast, is scheduled to be finished late this year, and the Antero wells will be completed in early 2016. For more, read the full story. More stories about Antero can be found here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Aug 06, 2015

West Virginia lab hunts for microbes that could help to prolong oil and gas boom
 

A hydraulic fracturing crew will drill thousands of feet underground “in a search for life itself” as part of research being conducted at the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory (MSEEL) near Morgantown, West Virginia, reports the Miami Herald. The newspaper says the drilling is a hunt for microscopic organisms that may have properties with the potential to help drillers produce more natural gas and prolong the U.S. energy boom. The Herald says the work is part of the much broader MSEEL, an $11 million initiative that will provide access for U.S. Department of Energy and university researchers to wells being drilled by Northeast Natural Energy. (See our July 2 blog, "Partners move forward on monitoring Marcellus shale well in West Virginia.") For more, read the full Miami Herald story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Aug 05, 2015

Iran’s plan calls for $185 billion in oil and natural gas projects
 

Iran’s plan to rebuild its industries and trade relationships following a nuclear agreement with world powers includes oil and natural gas projects worth $185 billion by 2020, according to Reuters. The news service reports that an Iranian official said the country would focus on its oil and gas, metals and car industries with an eye toward exporting to Europe after sanctions have been lifted. The United Nations Security Council recently endorsed a deal to end years of economic sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program, but Reuters say the sanctions are unlikely to be removed until 2016 because the deal requires approval by the U.S. Congress. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |  Permalink

 

Aug 05, 2015

REX Pipeline starts moving natural gas from Ohio to Illinois
 

The 1,698-mile Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) is starting full-scale shipments of natural gas from Ohio to the Midwest, reports the Akron Beacon Journal. The newspaper says the pipeline will provide a new means for Ohio drillers to move their natural gas out of Appalachia and receive better prices than they are getting now. The REX pipeline will be able to transport 1.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day -- enough to heat about 4 million homes -- from Clarington in eastern Ohio to Moultrie, Illinois. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 04, 2015

'POWER-GEN' to examine development of Marcellus and Utica shale plays
 

“POWER-GEN Natural Gas,” a conference and exhibition targeting gas-fired power generation related to the development of natural gas reserves in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, will be held August 18-20 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. The event, owned and produced by Tulsa, Okla.-based PennWell Corp., will be presented by industry experts at Oil & Gas Journal, Unconventional Oil & Gas Report and Power Engineering. Bricker & Eckler LLP is a conference sponsor.

The conference will feature some of the top experts in the energy industry to discuss issues surrounding technology, operation, construction and maintenance of gas-fired power and production from unconventional hydrocarbon resources such as those in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions. Click here to read the full story. For more information about the event, including registration, visit http://www.power-gennaturalgas.com/index.html.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 04, 2015

Drilling in Utica shale play hinges on oil and gas economics
 

The Utica shale play may hold an estimated 782 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, but industry officials say that does not mean it will make economic sense to extract such an amount, reports the Wheeling Intelligencer/News-Register. That is especially the case, according to the newspaper, when the price of natural gas now hovers around $2.90 per thousand cubic feet compared to about $4 in July 2014. “Just because it is there does not mean it is economical to produce,”  said Ohio Oil and Gas Association Executive Vice President Shawn Bennett. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 04, 2015

U.S. EPA wants to keep drilling wastewater out of municipal treatment plants
 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving to block oil and natural gas companies from sending wastewater from oil and gas drilling operations to municipal treatment plants, reports FuelFix.com. The energy news site says the facilities are “ill-equipped to remove the naturally occurring radium, bromide and other toxins carried with the (drilling) fluid out of the ground." Pennsylvania officials, facing pressure from the EPA, banned oil and gas companies from sending wastewater to municipal treatment facilities in 2011, but federal regulations still allow the practice, according to FuelFix. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Aug 03, 2015

Marcellus and Utica shale plays drive increase in natural gas production
 

Pipeline & Gas Journal reports that natural gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions has accounted for 85% of the increase in gas production since January 2012 based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The energy news site also says productivity of gas wells in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays is steadily increasing because of improvements “in the precision and efficiency of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing occurring in those regions.” For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Aug 03, 2015

Report: Low crude oil prices delay $200 billion in investments
 

A new report from Wood Mackenzie Ltd. finds that global oil and natural-gas producers delayed $200 billion of investments in more than 45 projects following the slump in crude oil prices, according to BloombergBusiness. The report says the project deferrals “create a substantial hole in the industry’s investment pipeline,” accounting for about 20 billion barrels of oil reserves. Bloomberg notes that Brent crude oil prices have dropped by about half in the last year after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) “decided to maintain output to defend market share amid a global supply glut.” For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |  Permalink

 

Jul 31, 2015

Gulfport reports 12 percent increase in oil and natural gas production
 

Gulfport Energy Corp.’s oil and natural gas production rose 12 percent during the second quarter, exceeding the company’s expectations, according to the Times Reporter in New Philadelphia, Ohio. The newspaper says that wells in the Utica shale play accounted for 97 percent of Gulfport’s total production or 457.6 million cubic feet equivalent of natural gas per day. The Oklahoma City-based company also reported it drilled nine wells and put 19 wells into production, all in the dry-gas portion of the Utica play. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 31, 2015

Oil and gas insiders think Utica shale play will bounce back
 

It’s been a tough year for Ohio’s shale-drilling industry and its supply chain, reports Crain’s Cleveland Business, but oil and natural gas insiders told the newspaper they remain confident the state’s Utica shale play still has a bright future. “This thing is cyclical and we’re in a little bit of a (down) cycle right now, but I feel good about where we are,” said Frank Tsuru, president and CEO of Houston-based Momentum M3 Midstream. The primary problem, industry experts told Crain’s, is the low price of natural gas nationally and that gas from the Utica play is selling at lower prices than elsewhere in the country. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 31, 2015

Saudi company looks to invest in U.S. shale gas projects
 

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s second largest chemical manufacturer, plans to expand investment in U.S. shale gas projects through joint ventures, reports Bloomberg News. The news service says that Sabic, as the company is known, has signed an agreement with Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners L.P. to acquire natural gas in the United States. The Saudi company may use the gas for feedstock in chemical manufacturing or export it to other countries such as the United Kingdom. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 30, 2015

Faced with low natural gas prices, Consol Energy cuts capital spending again
 

Consol Energy Inc. will cut its capital spending again as it waits out a drop in natural gas prices that has already led to two rounds of layoffs and a $603 million loss in the second quarter at the energy company, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says Consol announced it is trimming another $120 million from its capital budget for 2015 and would end the year with about $800 million in spending on the drilling and production of natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. That is down from the $920 million it previously expected to spend, which was revised in the spring from the $1 billion initially forecast for 2015. For more, read the full story. More stories about Consol can be found here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jul 30, 2015

Report: Halliburton’s takeover of Baker Hughes facing government resistance
 

BloombergBusiness reports that Halliburton Co.’s pending takeover of Baker Hughes Inc. is facing resistance from U.S. government officials who are concerned the acquisition could hurt competition. Citing a person “familiar with the matter,” the news service says Department of Justice lawyers reviewing the proposed $34.6 billion transaction are worried about consolidation in the industry from combining the No. 2 and No. 3 oilfield services firms. Though Halliburton has proposed selling some assets to other companies, Bloomberg says government officials aren’t convinced the plan would maintain sufficient competition. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 29, 2015

Analysis: Pipeline projects will ease price problem for Appalachia natural gas producers
 

With much-needed pipeline projects to be completed this year and in 2016, oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the Appalachia basin should finally start to get some relief from the price basis differentials for gas that have plagued the region, reports Seeking Alpha. The financial analysis site says that every producer in Appalachia, including Cabot, Range Resources, Antero Resources, Consol Energy, Gastar, Magnum Hunter, Rex Energy and Rice Energy “will benefit greatly as basis differentials shrink.” Seeking Alpha notes that a lack of pipelines has led to an oversupply of natural gas in Appalachia, causing prices at local distribution hubs and pricing points (e.g., Dominion South, Leidy and Tetco M2) to be well below Henry Hub prices. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jul 29, 2015

EQT gas well in western Pennsylvania shows ‘phenomenal’ results
 

After striking out in the Utica shale play in Ohio last year, EQT Corp. says it has found success with an expensive but high-flowing natural gas well in the Utica shale below Greene County, Pennsylvania, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The newspaper says EQT’s initial production levels at the well “top any others reported in the Utica.” “While this is clearly a phenomenal well, we need to (step) up the learning curve, get our cost down and get some decline history of this well so we truly understand what the economics are," EQT Executive Vice President Steven Schlotterbeck told analysts. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jul 28, 2015

Analysis: It will take years for refracturing of oil wells to impact the market
 

Refracturing of older oil wells likely won’t have a measurable impact on the oil market for the next five years, reports FuelFix.com. Citing a new analysis by energy consulting group IHS, the news site says that “a large-scale redo of oil wells won’t make sense until companies see better returns from returning to old wells than from drilling new ones.” IHS Managing Director Christopher Robart told Fuel.Fix that current returns are going to be significantly better from drilling a new well in just about every case. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 28, 2015

Halliburton lines up $500 million to fund refracking of oil and gas wells
 

Halliburton has tapped BlackRock Inc. for $500 million to help fund refracking of existing shale wells, reports Maritime Global News. The news site says it is the first such move by a major oilfield services provider at a time when companies are shying away from drilling new oil and natural gas wells. "Though a relatively small market today, we see a significant runway for ‘refrac’ in the future," Halliburton President Jeffrey Miller said during a post-earnings call. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 27, 2015

Company starts building natural gas-fired power plant in eastern Ohio
 

A groundbreaking ceremony was held recently for the $899 million natural gas-fired power plant that is being built near Carrollton, Ohio in the Utica shale play, reports the Akron Beacon Journal. The newspaper says Carroll County Energy’s 700-megawatt plant off State Route 9 will produce enough electricity to power 750,000 homes and is scheduled to begin operations in December 2017. The project would have been impossible without the development of the Utica shale play and its yield of large volumes of low-cost natural gas, said Thomas Spang, chief executive of Advanced Power AG, the Swiss company behind the plant. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 27, 2015

Oil and gas royalty payments plunge for Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District
 

Royalty payments from oil and natural gas drilling in the Utica shale play dropped nearly 75 percent in six months for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District in eastern Ohio, reports the Akron Beacon Journal. The newspaper says that monthly royalty payments to the watershed district from its 13 Utica shale wells topped $1 million in December 2014 but fell below $275,000 in May 2015. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 24, 2015

Consol lays off 470 workers because of weak commodity markets
 

Citing weak markets for coal and natural gas, Consol Energy Inc. has laid off about 470 people, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the across-the-board cuts affect about 290 people in Consol’s corporate and natural gas divisions, and 180 people at its Pennsylvania long-wall coal mines. Consol’s work force now stands at about 3,200 employees, down from 3,830 at the end of 2014. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jul 24, 2015

Halliburton, Schlumberger may cash in on U.S.-Iran trade accord
 

Oilfield services companies Halliburton and Schlumberger Ltd. may be waiting “in hopeful anticipation” that Iran's exports of crude oil will ramp up in the wake of its government's new trade agreement with the United States, reports the Houston Business Journal. "They are the quiet beneficiaries (of the trade deal)," Chilton Capital Management energy analyst Randall Grace told the newspaper. The agreement would limit Iran's nuclear capabilities and, in exchange, the United States could potentially lift trade sanctions, including ones on Iranian oil exports. Grace said the National Iranian Oil Company is “far behind the capabilities of … Halliburton and Schlumberger, both of which have a well-established presence in the region.” For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 24, 2015

PUCO chairman speaking at Bricker’s Energy Exchange event - August 27
 

Bricker & Eckler will be hosting The Energy Exchange: Legislative and Regulatory Insights on August 27, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. This networking and education opportunity will address the latest trends, rules and regulations pertaining to the energy industry. Policy makers, regulators, business owners and investors are invited to discuss current industry issues. 

The event will feature keynote speaker Andre Porter, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).  In addition, Bricker attorneys Matt Warnock and Dylan Borchers will present information on recent Dormant Mineral Act cases before the Ohio Supreme Court and the Whitt v. Nationwide Energy Partners submetering case filed with the PUCO.

For more event information or to register, click here.


 
Posted by . Shale Task Force in  Miscellaneous  Ohio  Oil & Gas Litigation   |  Permalink

 

Jul 23, 2015

Louisiana ‘cracker’ would process ethane from Marcellus and Utica shale plays
 

As Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical and Japan’s Marubeni Corp. plan a $5.7 billion ethane “cracker” complex in Belmont County, Ohio, another Asian company is working with Axiall Corp. to build a similar facility in Louisiana that would process ethane from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, reports the Wheeling Intelligencer/News-Register. The newspaper says Atlanta-based Axiall is partnering with South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corp. to design a facility they hope will produce 1 million metric tons of ethylene per year in Lake Charles, Louisiana by the end of 2018. Lotte already operates three ethane crackers in Asia. For more, read the full story. Stories about the Belmont County project can be found here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jul 23, 2015

Report: Energy Transfer Partners value enhanced by acquisition
 

Forbes reports that Energy Transfer Partners LP stands out as perhaps the best bargain among publicly traded partnerships with “several levers at its disposal to unlock value for unit holders." One of the reasons for that, says the magazine, is the natural gas and oil pipeline company’s acquisition of Regency Energy Partners LP in April 2015. Forbes says Regency’s gathering lines in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays complement Energy Transfer's Rover interstate pipeline that's under construction and will provide more than 3 billion cubic feet of natural gas takeaway capacity to the two plays. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jul 22, 2015

Hocking College adds petroleum technology program
 

Hocking College’s campus in Logan, Ohio has started enrolling students in its new petroleum technology program through a partnership with Stark State College, reports the Perry County Tribune in New Lexington. Through the partnership, the colleges will train students for good-paying jobs in the oil and natural gas industry and provide skilled workers to meet industry needs, said Hocking College President Betty Young in a news release. The college said the new program can lead to an associate degree through Stark State, which is a ShaleNet training provider. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 22, 2015

Reviving old oil wells could lead to second U.S. shale boom
 

The worst fear for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a follow-up technological revolution that will lead to a second oil boom in the United States, and “that fear is now being realized,” according to OilPrice.com. The energy news site says the "revolution" is about reviving mature oil fields through advancements in enhanced oil recovery, “potentially opening up not only new shale fields, but older fields that have been forgotten.” OilPrice.com cites two examples of such advancements: carbon dioxide EOR, which involves injecting carbon dioxide into aging oil fields to sweep residual oil to the surface; and Plasma Pulse Technology, or PPT, that enables wells to be reopened without water or chemicals. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 21, 2015

New horizontal well-pad construction rules take effect in Ohio
 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is implementing new rules for the construction of horizontal well-pads at oil and gas drilling sites, reports the Columbus Dispatch. The newspaper says the regulations are the result of a long process dating back to June 2012 when the Ohio General Assembly passed stricter regulations on new drilling technologies. Shawn Bennett, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, told the Dispatch that the regulations already are being followed by most oil and gas companies. “Some of them are necessary, others will put an unnecessary burden on the industry,” he said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 21, 2015

Rover Pipeline to spend $87 million with vendors in Ohio
 

Dallas-based Rover Pipeline LLC will spend about $87 million with Ohio-based companies for goods and services related to the construction of its natural gas pipeline across northern Ohio, reports the Akron Beacon Journal. The newspaper says vendors will supply pipeline parts, compression equipment, steel and bearings along with construction contractors and pipeline workers. The $4.2 billion pipeline will move natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shale plays in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Defiance in northwest Ohio where it will connect to other pipelines to carry the gas to the Midwest and Gulf Coast. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 20, 2015

New research boosts estimate of oil and gas in Utica shale formation
 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Utica shale formation and associated zones hold significantly more recoverable natural gas than early estimates had predicted. Citing new research from a partnership organized by West Virginia University, the newspaper says the Utica shale play could hold “technically recoverable volumes of 782 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and nearly 2 billion barrels of oil.” That is much higher than a 2012 assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey that had pegged the amount at 38 trillion cubic feet of gas and 940 million barrels of oil. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jul 20, 2015

Ohio trying to address backlog of abandoned oil and gas wells
 

Ohio’s oil and natural gas boom is generating new money for a state program that finds and plugs abandoned oil and gas wells, reports the New Philadelphia Times Reporter. The newspaper notes, however, that at the program’s current pace, the state will need 24 years to plug the 580 known wells on its list, and thousands more abandoned wells are likely out there. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 17, 2015

Attorneys flocking to North Dakota oil patch to ease shortage
 

Entrepreneurial young attorneys, including ones from Ohio, are moving to North Dakota and setting up practices in areas where the oil boom has resulted in a shortage of lawyers, reports Wyoming Public Radio (WPR). The radio network says the attorneys are filling a need in a state where there has been a “crazy increase in crime and legal disputes in an area without the legal infrastructure to handle it.” For example, WPR says felonies increased 436 percent from 2009 to 2014 in the Northwest Judicial District, which encompasses the heart of North Dakota’s oil patch. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 17, 2015

Natural gas passes coal as top fuel for U.S. power production
 

Natural gas surpassed coal as the top source of U.S. electric power generation for the first time earlier this spring, a milestone that “has been in the making for years as the price of gas slides and new regulations make coal more risky for power companies,” reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Citing a recently released report from research company SNL Energy, the newspaper says that 31 percent of U.S. electric generation in April came from natural gas compared to 30 percent from coal. The Post-Gazette says the shift has occurred because the drilling boom that started in 2008 has boosted U.S. natural gas production by 30 percent and driven down the price of gas to levels about 1/3 of what they were 10 years ago. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 16, 2015

Ohio agency approves permit for natural gas processing plant
 

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has approved a wastewater discharge permit for a proposed natural gas processing plant in Ashtabula County, reports the Star Beacon. The Ashtabula newspaper says the Ashtabula Energy plant will convert natural gas to diesel fuel and other liquids and create about 40 permanent, full-time jobs. Ashtabula Energy, a division of Ohio-based Velocys, said it will take about two years to build the plant, which will convert gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays into diesel fuel, lubricants, solvents and waxes. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 16, 2015

Ohio landowners file lawsuit regarding non-payment of oil and gas lease bonuses
 

About 50 Jefferson County, Ohio landowners, including Toronto City Schools and several villages, have filed a lawsuit against American Energy Utica LLC and Great River Energy LLC, claiming breach of contract and seeking more than $9.2 million in what they say are overdue lease-signing bonuses, reports Farm and Dairy. The newspaper says plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Toronto City Schools Board of Education v. American Energy Utica LLC in Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas, contend that American Energy Utica contracted with Great River Energy for help in acting as a land agent on its behalf in obtaining oil and gas leases. According to the lawsuit, Great River Energy was supposed to pay lease-signing bonuses and fees within 120 days of the signing unless a problem was found with title. Farm and Dairy says many of the plaintiffs claim they did not receive payment within that time frame and were not notified of problems with titles to their properties. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Oil & Gas Litigation   |  Permalink

 

Jul 16, 2015

Rex Energy searching for 'dry gas' in Pennsylvania’s Utica shale
 

Rex Energy has decided to try its hand with the dry gas portion of the Utica shale play in western Pennsylvania, announcing plans to drill a test well in Lawrence County, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. "Our first test well in the Western Lawrence Utica is another important step for Rex Energy as we continue to develop our core assets," said Rex CEO Tom Stabley in a statement. The Business Times says Rex Energy joins a growing list of energy producers that have or are tapping the “dry” Utica, including Range Resources, EQT Corp. and Rice Energy. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jul 15, 2015

Marathon Petroleum to acquire MarkWest in $15.6 billion deal
 

Reuters reports that Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s master limited partnership MPLX will buy MarkWest Energy Partners for $15.6 billion in an acquisition that will add natural gas processing facilities to MPLX's portfolio. "(Marathon’s) strong balance sheet and liquidity will enable MarkWest to accelerate organic growth in some of the nation's most economic and prolific liquids-rich natural gas resource plays,” said Gary Heminger, CEO of Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum. MarkWest has a number of natural gas processing facilities in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays and a regional office in Cadiz, Ohio. For more, read the full story. More stories about MarkWest can be found here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 15, 2015

Report shows 20 companies dominate global shale market
 

A new report by Visiongain calculates that the 20 leading companies in the shale gas industry in 2015 make up 78% of the $34.3 billion global market. A number of companies active in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays are among the top 20, according to the London-based business intelligence firm. They include Antero Resources, Chesapeake Energy, Chevron, Consol Energy, Range Resources, Royal Dutch Shell, Southwestern Energy and Statoil. The Visiongain report can be found here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |  Permalink

 

Jul 14, 2015

IBM to provide IT services to Columbia Pipeline Group in $180 million deal
 

IBM will supply cloud computing and other information technology services to Columbia Pipeline Group Inc., a new natural gas pipeline company spun off earlier this month from NiSource Inc., reports EnterpriseTech. The technology news site says the five-year IT services deal is worth $180 million to IBM. Along with cloud services, IBM said it would provide Columbia Pipeline, which is developing projects in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays, with analytics, security and mobile infrastructure services. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 14, 2015

Youngstown manufacturer to cut jobs because of oil and gas decline
 

Youngstown pipe manufacturer Vallourec Star will lay off up to 80 workers in response to the downturn in the oil and natural gas industry, reports Columbus Business First. According to the newspaper, the company said weak demand for pipe products used in drilling operations, high inventory "and sales significantly below 2014 levels" leave it no choice but to make the job cuts. A Vallourec spokeswoman said about 650 employees will staff the facility after the reduction. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 13, 2015

Company plans to spend $2.7 billion to move gas from Utica and Marcellus shale plays
 

Columbia Pipeline Group plans to spend $2.7 billion on its Mountaineer XPress and Gulf XPress pipeline projects to transport natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, reports the Wheeling Intelligencer/News-Register. The newspaper says company officials expect the Mountaineer pipeline to move natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale gathering areas in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania to a Columbia Pipeline station in Leach, Kentucky. The Gulf XPress pipeline will then transport the gas to Louisiana. The Intelligencer/News-Register says the company anticipates the pipelines will be operational before the end of 2018. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jul 13, 2015

First hotel opens in Ohio village in the heart of the Utica shale play
 

Cadiz, a village in the heart of eastern Ohio's Utica shale play, now has its first hotel with the recent opening of an 81-room Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham, reports Columbus Business First. Hotel developer Ben St. John, whose background is in housing renovation in the San Francisco area, told the newspaper he became aware of the emerging Utica shale boom in mid-2012 and began planning the hotel project at the end of that year. The Microtel Inn & Suites is one of two hotels that will open in Cadiz, with Business First saying that Drill Capital LLC will soon will open a Days Inn and Suites in the village. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 10, 2015

Argentina, China lead race to join U.S. in shale gas boom
 

Argentina and China are at the head of a worldwide hunt for shale gas, drilling nearly 500 wells in the past two years “for the fuel that kicked off the U.S. energy boom,” reports FuelFix.com. The energy news site says Argentina and China are the only nations outside of North America that are producing commercial quantities of natural gas trapped in shale formations. Both have the capacity to grow their output substantially, according to new report from U.S. Energy Information Administration. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |  Permalink

 

Jul 10, 2015

Pennsylvania company buys rig to serve drillers in Utica shale play
 

Pennsylvania-based Deep Well Services has taken delivery of a new rig that will allow it to tackle a greater number of projects associated with high-pressure natural gas wells to be drilled in the Utica shale formation, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. A company executive told the newspaper that the "snubbing" rig represents a $2 million investment, which will be important as gas producers further explore the deep Utica formation. The Business Times says producers are encountering gas pressures at levels atypical of what's been recorded in the Pennsylvania shale basin in the past. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jul 09, 2015

Consol Energy cutting retiree health benefits to cope with low commodity prices
 

Oil and natural gas company Consol Energy Inc. plans to stop paying health benefits for 4,400 retirees and their spouses at the end of 2015, reports WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. The television station says the move is the latest step in a plan by the Pittsburgh-based energy company to cut benefits by the end of 2019 to deal with declining coal and natural gas prices. About 68 percent of the affected retirees will be eligible for Medicare coverage when benefits end on Dec. 31, according to Consol. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jul 09, 2015

IHS says Wolfcamp Delaware basin could be next big shale play
 

A new analysis by IHS Energy says the Wolfcamp Delaware basin along the Texas and New Mexico border could be the next big shale play for oil production, reports United Press International. IHS finds that the Wolfcamp Delaware has the potential to support steady production even during the weak market for crude oil. The analysis also says the basin has some of the best normalized production rates in the country compared to other shale areas. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 08, 2015

Alpha Natural Resources buys out partner in Pennsylvania shale-gas project
 

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that coal mine operator Alpha Natural Resources Inc. is buying out its partner in a shale-gas development project in Pennsylvania and intends to start drilling operations soon. The newspaper says that Alpha has acquired the 50-percent interest in the joint venture held by an EDF Trading Resources subsidiary, and the $126 million deal leaves Alpha as the sole partner in Pennsylvania Land Resources Holding Co. That company has more than 25,000 net acres of leasehold and associated infrastructure in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jul 08, 2015

NiSource completes spin-off of Columbia Pipeline Group
 

NiSource Inc. has completed the spin-off of Columbia Pipeline Group as an independent company, culminating NiSource’s plan to become a pure natural gas and electric utility, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says that Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group operates more than 15,000 miles of natural gas pipelines and is a “huge player” in eastern Ohio's Utica shale play. As we reported in our May 19 blog “Columbia Pipeline Group to spend $10 billion in Ohio and neighboring states,” the company is planning major investments in natural gas projects in the coming years with much of the work to be in the Appalachia region. For more, read the full Business First story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 07, 2015

Halliburton to close Pennsylvania office and transfer operations to Zanesville
 

Oilfield services company Halliburton is closing its office in Indiana County, Pennsylvania as natural gas drilling customers pressured by low prices focus more of their activity in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The newspaper says the Houston-based company has notified the 430 workers in the Homer City office that it would close by the end of 2015, and operations will be moved to an existing office in Zanesville, Ohio. A Halliburton spokeswoman said the move will result in the loss of 90 jobs. The rest of the workers will receive offers to move to Zanesville or other company locations. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jul 07, 2015

Southwestern Energy to donate $500,000 to West Virginia colleges
 

Southwestern Energy plans to donate $500,000 to support scholarships for students studying petroleum technology at two community and technical colleges in West Virginia, reports the State Journal in Charleston. The newspaper says that Southwestern Energy will donate $250,000 to each of the foundations at Wheeling-based West Virginia Northern Community College and Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont. As we reported in our October 22, 2014 blog “Southwestern acquires Chesapeake acreage in $5.375 billion deal,” Houston-based Southwestern has 413,000 net acres of Chesapeake Energy's former Marcellus and Utica shale properties in West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania. For more about the scholarships, read the full State Journal story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jul 06, 2015

Hiring remains slow among oil and natural gas companies
 

Hiring in the oil and natural gas industry has slowed dramatically, with about one in eight firms saying they’ve now frozen their recruitment plans entirely, reports Crain’s Cleveland Business. Citing a new study by Houston-based Rigzone, the newspaper says 51% of the global oil and gas hiring managers polled reported they have decreased their hiring efforts in the past three months and an additional 13 percent said they have frozen their recruitment plans. Crain’s also says that after several years of low commodity prices, companies remain reluctant to bulk up their payrolls. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 06, 2015

Study: Water use in Utica shale play among highest in nation
 

Water use in the drilling of oil and natural gas wells in eastern Ohio's Utica shale region is among the highest in the nation, according to new research from the U.S. Geological Survey. Columbus Business First reports that the study says hydraulic fracturing in drilling operations "uses large amounts of water, though not as much as many have suspected in some areas.” The study also says water use is highest in the country's seven main shale regions, which include the Utica and Marcellus plays in Appalachia. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jul 02, 2015

Partners move forward on monitoring Marcellus shale well in West Virginia
 

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory and its partners, West Virginia University, Northeast Natural Energy and Ohio State University, are moving forward on a project to monitor the process and progress of unconventional natural gas production at a Marcellus shale well near Morgantown, West Virginia. A release from the Department of Energy (DOE) says that the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory project will provide continuous monitoring of water and air quality at the well site and give researchers access to a dedicated science well for subsurface geophysical observation. DOE says that Northeast Natural Energy began drilling the science observation well and two production wells at the site in the Morgantown Industrial Park on June 27. For more, read the full release.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jul 02, 2015

U.S. drilling rig count rises for first time in 29 weeks
 

Buoyed by increases in the number of natural gas-directed and offshore drilling rigs, the U.S. rig count gained two units during the week ended June 26, marking the first increase in 29 weeks, reports the PennEnergy oil and gas news site. Citing data from  Baker Hughes Inc., PennEnergy says the rise to 859 working rigs is the first increase since December 5, 2014. In addition, analysts at Raymond James & Associates Inc. noted in an energy update that 1,030 new well permits were issued nationally last week, representing the highest total since the first week of February 2015. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jul 01, 2015

Sunoco Logistics agrees to settle case involving drilling-fluid spills in Pennsylvania
 

Sunoco Logistics has agreed to pay $95,400 to settle a civil complaint arising from accidental drilling-fluid spills during construction of the Mariner East pipeline in Pennsylvania, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. According to a consent decree with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the spills occurred in Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland counties in 2014 during boring operations associated with construction of the pipeline. The Business Times says DEP claims that more than 1,000 gallons of fluid spilled in six separate instances. Sunoco Logistics declined comment. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jun 30, 2015

Magnum Hunter looks to sell interest in natural gas pipeline subsidiary
 

Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. is pursuing a sale of its stake in the company’s Ohio and West Virginia natural gas pipeline subsidiary, reports Columbus Business First. By divesting its 45.53% interest in Eureka Hunter, the company can raise between $600 million and $700 million, according to the newspaper. Business First also says that Magnum Hunter CEO Gary Evans said the sale's proceeds would enable the company to pay down $300 million to $400 million in debt and resume its drilling operations. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jun 30, 2015

Mark West opens Utica shale headquarters in Cadiz, Ohio
 

MarkWest Energy Partners LP has opened its new 20,000-square-foot building in Cadiz, Ohio that will house the company’s headquarters for its operations in the Utica Shale play. Some 70 to 80 people will work there, but the building has room for up to 110 employees, according to the New Philadelphia Times-Reporter. The building is in the Cadiz Industrial Park, across the road from a MarkWest natural gas processing facility. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jun 30, 2015

Saudis moving toward maximum oil production to keep pressure on U.S. drillers
 

Not content with the blow it has dealt to U.S. oil drillers, Saudi Arabia is set to escalate the battle for market share by raising production to maximum levels, reports FuelFix.com. Citing comments from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc., the energy news site says the Saudis have already increased oil output to a 30-year high of 10.3 million barrels a day and “will add even more to the global glut.” Having abandoned its role of swing supplier of oil — adjusting production in line with demand — Saudi Arabia will maximize sales to increase pressure on producers outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the banks said. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jun 29, 2015

17 pipeline projects planned to move natural gas from Marcellus region
 

The Marcellus shale region can expect to see 17 pipeline projects over the next three years to ship about 17.3 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas out of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Citing an analysis by IHS Energy, the newspaper says the pipelines will transport gas to New England, the Midwest, eastern Canada and the South. New pipeline infrastructure is in high demand, the Post-Gazette notes, because the existing network to move gas from well sites in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays has been maxed out. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jun 29, 2015

Blue Racer planning fifth processing plant in Utica shale play
 

Blue Racer Midstream LLC is planning a fifth cryogenic processing plant in the Utica shale play as natural gas drillers prepare to ramp up activity again, reports the Dallas Business Journal. The Dallas-based company’s fourth Utica shale processing plant was commissioned recently in Monroe County, Ohio, but the fifth was delayed about six months when commodity prices fell, a Blue Racer executive told the newspaper. Blue Racer will have capacity to handle 1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas once the fifth plant comes online in the first half of 2016. No location has been chosen yet. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jun 29, 2015

New natural gas pipeline will serve northern West Virginia
 

A pipeline under construction in northern West Virginia will help fill a need for infrastructure to transport natural gas produced in the state, reports the Wheeling Intelligencer/News-Register. The newspaper says Momentum’s Stonewall Gas Gathering pipeline will connect gas-producing areas in and around Doddridge and Harrison counties with Columbia Transmission's interstate pipeline that runs through Braxton County. Momentum said it expects construction to continue through the end of 2015. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jun 26, 2015

FirstEnergy power plant site could house Ohio ‘cracker’ plant
 

An executive with FirstEnergy Corp. has indicated that the company’s R.E. Burger power plant property is the site for a proposed ethane “cracker” plant in Belmont County, Ohio, reports Columbus Business First. According to the newspaper, James Lash, president of FirstEnergy Generation, recently said the company is moving a machine shop from the Burger plant to Canonsburg, Pennsylvania in part because the cracker facility could take over the Burger property. FirstEnergy plans to retire the power plant in 2016, opening the door for the site to house the cracker facility should Thailand's PTT Global Chemical Public Company and Japan's Marubeni Corp. decide to proceed with the project.  For more, read the full story. More articles related to the Ohio cracker project can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jun 26, 2015

Iran needs $100 billion to revive natural gas industry
 

Iran needs $100 billion to rebuild it natural gas industry and has met with European energy companies about funding as an end looms to decades of international economic sanctions against the country, reports BloombergBusiness. The news service says the importance of Iran’s natural gas industry was underlined by recent data from BP Plc that showed Iran held its position as the nation with the largest proven gas reserves. Bloomberg also says that an official at the National Iranian Gas Compay recently said the country will “welcome and appreciate investment by (foreign) countries.” For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |  Permalink

 

Jun 25, 2015

American Water Works acquires water services company from Rex Energy
 

Wastewater utility American Water Works Company has executed an agreement to acquire Keystone Clearwater Solutions from Rex Energy Corporation for $130 million, according to Bloomberg.  Based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Keystone offers water-related services to the oil and natural gas industry, primarily in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jun 25, 2015

Report: Magnum Hunter faces deadline to raise $9.4 million
 

Columbus Business First reports that Magnum Hunter Resources Corp., an active driller in the Utica shale play, needs to raise $9.4 million for its lenders in less than three weeks. The newspaper says the company has already raised $55.6 million of a required $65 million. Magnum Hunter told Business First that it intends to meet the July 10 deadline set by lenders. For more, read the full story. More stories about Magnum Hunter can be found here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jun 24, 2015

Chinese energy firm looks to invest in U.S. shale projects
 

China’s Sinopec, the world’s second largest oil refiner, is on the hunt for minority investments in U.S. shale oil and natural gas projects as it seeks to diversify China’s energy supply sources, reports Energy Voice. Citing comments from a Sinopec D.C. official, the energy news site says the Chinese state energy firm wants to take a 10% to 15% stake in projects that export liquefied natural gas from the United States. Energy Voice says that any new deals would come more than two years after Sinopec spent over $3 billion to buy various U.S. shale holdings from Devon Energy and Chesapeake Energy. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jun 24, 2015

Pennsylvania agency issues air emissions permit for Shell ‘cracker’
 

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued an air emissions permit for Royal Dutch Shell's proposed ethane “cracker” plant in Beaver County, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the move is significant because the permit is considered one of the last things the company needs before it can make a final decision on whether to proceed with the plant. As we reported in our June 19 blog, “Shell closes deal to purchase site for possible ‘cracker’ plant in Pennsylvania,” the company has already acquired the land for the facility. For more about the air permit, read the full Business Times story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jun 23, 2015

Energy secretary says U.S. needs to spend big on natural gas pipelines
 

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said the United States should spend $270 billion to improve natural gas pipelines and build new energy connections if the nation is to take full advantage of its burgeoning growth in energy production, reports the ICIS news site. Moniz recently told the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power that the country must focus on energy transmission, storage and distribution, “including the networks of pipelines, wires, storage, waterways, railroads and other facilities that form the backbone of our energy systems.” For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jun 23, 2015

Kinder Morgan seeks contracts for new Ohio-to-Texas pipeline
 

Houston-based Kinder Morgan is soliciting shipping contracts along a new 1,100-mile natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline that would run from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Appalachia to the Texas Gulf Coast, reports FuelFix.com. According to the energy news site, the proposed $4 billion Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline would carry NGLs from the shale plays to processing centers along the Gulf Coast. Kinder Morgan has said the $4 billion project will include converting 964 miles of existing pipeline to carry NGLs from Ohio to Natchitoches, Louisiana as well as the installation of about 120 miles of new pipelines and storage facilities in Ohio. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jun 22, 2015

Ohio Supreme Court to hear important DMA arguments
 

This week, the Ohio Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Walker v. Shondrick-Nau, an important case involving many highly-contested issues relating to the Ohio Dormant Minerals Act (R.C. 5301.56), including whether the 1989 version of the statute was self-executing. The ruling in this case likely will unlock a backlog of dozens of Ohio Dormant Minerals Act cases in lower courts and jump-start development in the Utica shale play. To live-stream the argument on June 23, click here. More stories about the Dormant Minerals Act can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Oil & Gas Litigation   |  Permalink

 

Jun 22, 2015

Range Resources hit with record fine by Pennsylvania agency
 

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has levied a record-setting $8.9 million fine against Range Resources Corp.'s Appalachia division for allegedly failing to fix a leaking natural gas well, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the fine arises from a well drilled in 2011 in Lycoming County, with DEP claiming the well wasn't cemented properly and leaked natural gas into a stream and contaminated nearby water wells. Range is appealing the fine, arguing that the methane at the well site is leaking from the ground naturally and is not the result of its operations. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jun 19, 2015

Judge sides with insurers in dispute involving Louisiana oil well project
 

A federal judge in Louisiana has granted summary judgment in favor of two insurance companies, holding they need not indemnify a drilling company in a $12 million lawsuit filed by Solstice Oil & I Gas LLC (“Solstice”) over an allegedly botched oil well project, reports the Law 360 news site. In Solstice Oil & Gas I LLC v. OBES Inc., et al., E.D. Louisiana Case No. 2:12-cv-02417, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier ruled that Solstice’s claims against OBES, Inc. (“Ole Brook”) over Ole Brook’s drilling of a well in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana in 2011 are only for economic damages that are not covered under the insurance policies issued by Ole Brook’s insurers, Seneca Insurance Company (“Seneca”) and Commerce & Industry Insurance Company (“C&I”). Law 360 reports that Solstice sued Ole Brook and the two insurers in October 2012, claiming that Ole Brook “didn’t drill the well according to specifications,” resulting in a “compromised wellbore with unnecessary twists and turns making it in adequate for efficient completion and production.” Seneca and C&I filed motions for summary judgment, arguing “their contracts of insurance with Ole Brook do not cover the damages allegedly suffered by Solstice, and even if they did, such damages are excluded from coverage under the policies’ exclusions.” In granting the insurers’ motions, the Court held that none of Solstice’s or Ole Brook’s evidence of property damage was convincing and it was difficult to see how Solstice’s inability to enjoy the use of a well not yet in existence could constitute the loss of tangible property . . . and does not constitute property damage.”


 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Oil & Gas Litigation   |  Permalink

 

Jun 19, 2015

Shell closes deal to purchase site for possible ‘cracker’ plant in Pennsylvania
 

Horsehead Holding Corp. has closed a deal to sell the site of its former zinc smelter in Beaver County, Pennsylvania to Shell Chemical for possible development of an ethane “cracker’” plant, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. Shell has yet to make a final decision on building the plant at the 1,000-acre site, but the Business Times says the company is “proceeding all the same with site development,” having demolished the smelter plant and grading the site and working on relocating power lines that run through the property. For more, read the full story. More stories about the Shell cracker project can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jun 18, 2015

‘BuzzFeed-y’ website takes aim at critics of hydraulic fracturing
 

A new website backed by the oil and natural gas industry takes a “BuzzFeed-y Hollywood-inspired” approach in hopes of swaying criticism of hydraulic fracturing, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says FrackFeed.com uses “listicles” and a “meme gallery” to attack those opposed to oil and gas drilling. The website has pictures with short lines of text featuring cartoon and movie characters, environmentalists, President Barack Obama and even anti-fracking celebrity chef Mario Batali. For more, read the full story. FrackFeed.com can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jun 17, 2015

U.S. surpasses Russia as world’s largest oil and natural gas producer
 

The United States has overtaken Russia as the world’s biggest oil and natural gas producer “in a demonstration of the seismic shifts in the energy landscape emanating from America’s shale fields,” reports BloombergBusiness. The news service says U.S. oil production rose to a record level in 2014, and natural gas output also climbed, putting the country ahead of Russia as a producer of oil and gas on a combined basis. The U.S.’s emergence as the top driller confirms a trend that has helped America reduce oil imports, caused a slump in global energy prices and shifted U.S. foreign policy priorities, according to Bloomberg. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jun 17, 2015

Williams Partners increases stake in Utica East Ohio Midstream
 

Williams Partners LP's Utica Gas Services subsidiary has completed a $357 million acquisition of approximately 13% of additional equity interest in Utica East Ohio Midstream LLC from a subsidiary of EV Energy Partners, LP, according to Bloomberg. With the acquisition, Williams Partners has increased its equity stake in Utica East Ohio, a natural gas midstream business in the Utica shale play, from 49% to 62%. Utica East Ohio is developing infrastructure for the gathering, processing and fractionation of natural gas and natural gas liquids in eastern Ohio. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jun 16, 2015

American Energy Appalachia changes name to Ascent Resources
 

American Energy Appalachia Holdings LLC is changing its name to Ascent Resources LLC and will spin off later this year to become a stand-alone operating company independent of American Energy Partners (AEP), reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. AEP is an Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas exploration company founded in 2013 by former Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon. The Post-Gazette says the newly named Ascent Resources has 235,000 net acres of leasehold in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays in eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jun 16, 2015

Fed research says low oil prices will have negative impact on loans in region
 

Crain’s Cleveland Business reports that new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland says that depressed oil prices could have a negative effect on banks that have made loans to oil and natural gas businesses in Ohio and three other states. Bankers in the Federal Reserve’s Fourth District, which covers Ohio, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia’s northern panhandle and eastern Kentucky, say they’re anticipating that some loans to drillers and others in the oil and gas business may not be paid per their respective terms, and some will be written off as losses. But Crain’s also says the Fed research concludes the overall impact on loans is expected to be minimal, and bankers aren’t terribly worried. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jun 15, 2015

Big oil companies pushing natural gas as successor to coal
 

BloombergBusiness reports that oil companies that have pumped trillions of barrels of crude from the ground are now saying the future is in their other main product, natural gas, which they are promoting as the logical successor to coal. With nearly 200 nations set to hammer out a binding pact on carbon emissions in December 2015, Bloomberg notes that companies led by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA say they’re refocusing on gas as a cleaner-burning alternative to coal for electricity generation. The news service says that approach has sparked a war of words between the oil and coal industries and raised concern that Big Oil is more interested in grabbing market share than fighting global warming. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jun 15, 2015

Chesapeake has large number of wells with 'refracking' potential
 

Chesapeake Energy Corp. has a large number of horizontal wells with the potential to be “refracked” because of advancements in drilling technology and techniques, reports Investopedia. The investment site says that Chesapeake Executive Vice President Jason Pigott recently said during a conference call that the company has drilled 6,750 horizontal oil and natural gas wells since 2004, including nearly 4,600 prior to 2012. “We consider these wells under-stimulated, compared to our current designs and based on their vintage,” he said, adding Chesapeake has refracking potential throughout its portfolio. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jun 12, 2015

American Energy-Utica to sell some Ohio acreage to Gulfport
 

American Energy-Utica LLC will sell approximately 35,000 acres of leasehold in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale play to Gulfport Energy Corp. for more than $400 million, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says the acreage is in Belmont, Monroe and Jefferson counties, which are among the top counties for natural gas production in Ohio. Once the sale goes through, Oklahoma City-based Gulfport will have 243,000 acres under lease in the heart of the Utica shale play. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by J. Bell in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jun 12, 2015

Midstream MLP to invest $1.5 billion in southwestern Pennsylvania project
 

Midstream MLP Energy Transfer Partners plans to invest $1.5 billion in a new natural gas pipeline network and support facilities in southwestern Pennsylvania, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. According to the newspaper, the Dallas-based company said the project will support long-term midstream agreements with EdgeMarc Energy, which has drilled more than 20 wells and has 25,000 acres under lease in Butler County, Pennsylvania. Midstream MLP said the pipelines will feed into a cryogenic processing plant to be built in southwestern Pennsylvania. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jun 11, 2015

EPA study: ‘Fracking’ has not caused widespread pollution of drinking water
 

Reuters reports that a new study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that hydraulic fracturing in oil and natural gas drilling operations has not led to widespread, systemic pollution of drinking water. The news service says the study, requested by Congress, found specific instances where fracking affected water sources but said that they were small relative to the overall number of fracking sites around the United States. For more, read the full story. The EPA study can be found here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jun 11, 2015

Sunoco may add second pipeline to move LNG through Ohio, West Virginia
 

Sunoco Logistics may add a second pipeline to its Mariner East 2 project, potentially increasing the daily flow of liquefied natural gas for domestic and international markets, reports the Daily Times in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The newspaper says the company announced it is acquiring the rights to build two 350-mile pipelines from Ohio and West Virginia to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex near Philadelphia as part of the Mariner East 2 project. Sunoco had planned to build one pipeline, but a company spokesman said the addition of a second line now would be less disruptive to property owners along the route and save on business costs. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jun 10, 2015

Pipeline claims it should not have to pay local taxes in Ohio
 

A Houston-based energy services company that operates a cross-country underground pipeline running beneath 13 Ohio counties claims it should not have to pay millions of dollars in taxes to local governments in the state, reports the Dayton Daily News. The newspaper says Enterprise Products Partners’ ATEX Express travels through 265 miles in Ohio, and county auditors along that stretch are discussing what to do about the company’s tax strategy. Rick Hoffman, a lawyer studying the issue, told the Daily News that Enterprise’s claim is based on the fact that the pipeline transports natural gas liquids, not natural gas, and the company is not a public utility. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jun 09, 2015

New Oklahoma law prohibits local governments from banning fracking
 

Oklahoma cities and counties will no longer be able to ban hydraulic fracturing or other oil and natural gas operations within their boundaries under a bill recently signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin, reports the Associated Press. According to the news service, the bill, pushed hard by the oil and gas industry but opposed by municipalities and environmental groups, prohibits communities from banning operations such as drilling, fracking, water disposal, recovery operations or pipeline infrastructure. As reported in our May 26 blog, “Texas governor signs bill to give state sole authority over oil and gas regulation,” a similar ban was signed into law in May by Texas Governor Greg Abbott as lawmakers in energy-producing states push back against efforts by local governments to limit oil and gas practices. For more about the Oklahoma law, read the full AP story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jun 08, 2015

American Energy involved in dispute over acquisition of oil and gas assets in Texas
 

Forbes reports that allegations of fraud have thrown into doubt the viability of American Energy Permian Basin’s $2.5 billion acquisition of oil and natural gas holdings from Enduring Resources in west Texas last summer. The magazine says that in February 2015, Enduring Resources sued American Energy Permian Basin (AEPB) in the District Court of Harris County, Texas for breach of contract, alleging that AEPB had failed to pay $25 million in post-closing adjustments. In addition, Forbes reports that AEPB alleges in counterclaims that Enduring Resources engaged in “fraud and misrepresentation” and in “a course of duplicitous conduct to entice AEPB to purchase the assets under pretenses of certain operational costs that turned out to be grossly understated.” For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Oil & Gas Litigation   |  Permalink

 

Jun 05, 2015

Pennsylvania agency fines Chevron for role in fatal well fire
 

Chevron Corp.'s Appalachia division is being fined $940,000 for violations related to a fatal natural gas well explosion and fire in Pennsylvania, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the incident occurred on Feb. 11, 2014 at one of the company’s wells in Greene County and resulted in the death of a contractor working for Cameron International. In a statement announcing the fine, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said the penalty "points to Chevron’s failure to construct and operate the well site to ensure that health, safety and (the) environment were protected.” For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jun 04, 2015

Oil and gas producers seek efficiencies to combat low prices
 

Oil and natural gas producers and service companies are wringing efficiencies out of their processes as they continue to deal with the fallout of lower commodity prices, reports the Examiner-Enterprise in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. “We can’t control prices, so we have to focus on how much it costs to get it out of the ground,” said Chesapeake Energy Corp. Executive Vice President Jason Pigott during an energy conference at Oklahoma State University. Pigott said his division at Chesapeake is concentrating on the wells with the best flow rates and focusing on drilling longer laterals — up to 10,000 feet — as it tries to reduce its costs. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jun 03, 2015

Energy firms 'go Hollywood' in naming oil wells
 

The Wall Street Journal reports that naming an oil well is an afterthought for many companies but an obsession for others as energy firms look for a way to distinguish their oil fields as drilling sites proliferate. That has led to names for wells in North Dakota's Bakken shale play that include “Ron Burgundy,” “Dean Wormer” and “Ty Webb” from characters in the movies Anchorman, Animal House and Caddyshack. The Journal notes that every well that’s drilled must have a name from the time a permit application is filed with state regulators, and there are few rules guiding their naming. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Jun 03, 2015

West Virginia county will require permits for injection wells
 

Operators of future underground injection wells in Fayette County, West Virginia will have to obtain a permit from county officials, reports the Charleston Gazette. The newspaper says the Fayette County Commission recently amended the county’s development code to require permits for injection wells and holding ponds for drilling waste from oil and natural gas operations. The approval process includes public hearings before the county zoning board, planning commission and county commissioners for wells on property not zoned for heavy industrial use. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jun 02, 2015

Magnum Hunter to sell some of its Utica shale acreage in West Virginia
 

Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. will sell nearly $41 million of undeveloped Utica shale acreage in Tyler County, West Virginia, reports Columbus Business First. According to the newspaper, the Houston-based oil and natural gas company said the 5,210 acres in Tyler County were not in its long-term drilling plans, and many of the leases are set to expire soon. Magnum Hunter also recently announced that it’s looking to sell $450 million worth of its Ohio acreage as part of efforts to improve its liquidity. (See our May 13 blog, “Magnum Hunter looks to sell some Ohio leases to raise cash.”) The full Business First story can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Jun 02, 2015

Nexus pipeline to provide natural gas for Wadsworth industrial park
 

The new Brickyard Industrial Park in Wadsworth, Ohio has signed an agreement to buy natural gas from the proposed Nexus pipeline that would cross northern Ohio, reports the Akron Beacon Journal. The newspaper says PJS Properties will supply natural gas from the pipeline to the industrial park, which is planned for a site off Route 94 on Wadsworth’s south side. The 250-mile pipeline would run from Columbiana County in eastern Ohio to Defiance in the northwest part of the state before heading north into Michigan where it will connect with existing pipelines. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Jun 02, 2015

Shell tells residents what to expect if ‘cracker’ project gets green light
 

Royal Dutch Shell has still not committed to building an ethane “cracker” plant in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, but the company recently held a public hearing to tell residents and business people what to expect if a decision is made to proceed with the project, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the meeting addressed what residents may see, hear and smell during the construction phase of the plant and after its completion. A Shell manager said construction for such a project typically takes five years from initial site preparation to full operations. For more, read the full story. More stories about Royal Dutch Shell can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Jun 01, 2015

Kentucky appeals court upholds eminent domain ruling in Bluegrass Pipeline case
 

An appeals court in Kentucky has upheld a lower court ruling that prevents the developers of the Bluegrass Pipeline from using the power of eminent domain to acquire pipeline easements, reports the Courier-Journal in Louisville. In Bluegrass Pipeline Company LLC v. Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain, the Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd that only pipeline companies regulated by Kentucky’s Public Service Commission can use the eminent domain power. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Oil & Gas Litigation   |  Permalink

 

Jun 01, 2015

U.S. drilling technology could drive oil production in other countries
 

The technology that has powered the shale oil boom in Texas and other states could produce 141 billion barrels of crude oil in other parts of the world, reports the FuelFix energy news site. Citing findings from Colorado-based research firm IHS, FuelFix says that horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other technological breakthroughs could pump that much oil out of 170 older, largely unproductive fields in the Middle East, Latin America and Russia. The assessment by IHS found that 96 percent of the oil that could be recovered from those fields would have to be released from rock formations by using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

May 29, 2015

Bricker & Eckler celebrates opening of office in Barnesville, Ohio
 

Bricker & Eckler LLP recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at its new office in the eastern Ohio community of Barnesville. The Barnesville Enterprise reports that Bricker has been working with clients in the Ohio Valley region for more than 25 years and that growth in the oil and natural gas industry played an important part in the firm selecting Barnesville for its newest location. Bricker attorney Aaron Bruggeman, a native of Barnesville, practices in the new office. “Aaron’s focus is on connecting many aspects of our firm’s experience — in business law, employment law, complex estate planning, oil and gas, economic development and public-sector services — to the community,” said Bricker Managing Partner Kurt Tunnell. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

May 29, 2015

Thai company: Aggressive incentive package sealed deal for Ohio ‘cracker’
 

Columbus Business First reports that the Thai company behind a proposed $5.7 billion ethane “cracker” plant in Belmont County, Ohio says state officials offered an “aggressive incentive package” to land the project. According to the newspaper, PTT Global Chemical Public Company Ltd. said JobsOhio offered job-creation tax credits, work-force training grants, local tax credits and infrastructure improvement grants. In April, PTT and its partner, Marubeni Corp. of Japan, confirmed they have selected a site in Belmont County for the cracker project instead of West Virginia or Pennsylvania. (See our April 23 blog, “Thai company looks at building ‘cracker' facility in eastern Ohio.”) For more, read the full Business First story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

May 28, 2015

Oil and gas group challenges findings in Ohio air pollution study
 

Energy In Depth (EID) Ohio says the authors of a recent study that found elevated levels of air pollutants near oil and natural gas wells in Carroll County, Ohio, have admitted the sample size used for their study was too small, reports the Youngstown Business Journal. The newspaper also says that EID, an oil and natural gas advocacy group, claims the chief assumption used in the research model for the study was “totally impractical according to multiple media reports.” The study by scientists at Oregon State University and University of Cincinnati found that people living or working near active natural gas wells may be exposed to certain air pollutants at higher levels than the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for lifetime exposure. For more, read the full story. The EID Ohio analysis can be found here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

May 28, 2015

PDC Energy may take another look at drilling in Ohio
 

Denver-based PDC Energy Inc. may bring back a drilling rig sooner than expected to Ohio’s Utica shale play, reports Columbus Business First.  PDC suspended its Ohio drilling operations in December 2014 because it saw better economics in the Wattenberg shale field in Colorado. But Business First says the company recently told analysts that its Dynamite well pad in Guernsey County, Ohio is outperforming cost and production projections and indicated PDC could look at drilling in Ohio again if the price of oil climbs to the mid- to high $60-a-barrel range. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

May 27, 2015

Drilling decline reduces revenue for Pennsylvania’s oil and gas regulatory program
 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that low natural gas prices that have energy companies dispatching fewer drilling rigs to Pennsylvania are taking a toll on the state’s oil and gas regulators. The newspaper says that Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is exploring additional funding options for its oil and gas regulatory program because permit applications to drill shale gas wells — the program’s dominant revenue source — are down about 30 percent compared to this point in 2014. DEP uses permit fees, fines and $6 million a year from the Pennsylvania’s impact fee on unconventional wells to fund the oil and gas program’s $21 million annual budget. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

May 27, 2015

Natural gas industry facing ‘high-intensity” opposition to infrastructure projects
 

The United States is producing record amounts of natural gas, but building the infrastructure to bring that gas to market is increasingly difficult for the industry, reports USA Today. "While this may be the most exciting time in our history, it also may be the most challenging," Dominion Energy President Diane Leopold said during an event held by America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA). She cited an increase in “high-intensity opposition" to infrastructure projects such as pipelines, saying it is becoming “louder, better funded and more sophisticated." ANGA President Marty Durbin suggested that opponents of projects such as Dominion's Atlantic Coast Pipeline are taking a cue from resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oil from Alberta, Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

May 26, 2015

Texas governor signs bill to give state sole authority over oil and gas regulation
 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill that prohibits cities and towns from banning hydraulic fracturing, giving the state sole authority over oil and natural gas regulation, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Texas lawmakers have been under pressure to halt an anti-fracking push since November 2014 when voters in Denton, Texas banned the oil and gas extraction technique in their city. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

May 26, 2015

Utica Shale Academy is adding satellite program in Columbiana County
 

The eastern Ohio charter school that trains high school students for jobs in the oil and natural gas industry is expanding with a new location in Columbiana County, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says the Utica Shale Academy near Salineville, Ohio, will open a satellite program at Columbiana High School to serve students in the northern part of Columbiana County. The academy opened at Southern Local High School near Salineville in the fall of 2014. (See our June 23, 2014 blog “Utica Shale Academy gearing up for September opening.”) For more, read the full Business First story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

May 22, 2015

Report: Inexpensive natural gas gives edge to U.S. plastics industry
 

A new report says the nation's shale gas fields have given the United States a competitive advantage in the plastics industry, helping to spur $130 billion in new capital investments, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the report by the American Chemistry Council found that inexpensive supplies of natural gas are tipping the favor of the plastics industry toward the United States because plastics producers in North America primarily use natural gas as a feedstock, while other parts of the world use oil. The council said it is tracking billions of dollars in investments in new manufacturing capacity tied to that price advantage, including nearly $25 billion in the production of polyethylene. For more, read the full story. The American Chemistry Council report can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

May 21, 2015

Oil and natural gas producers to face another credit-line crunch
 

A wave of credit-line reductions the past two months has left oil and natural gas producers scrambling to raise cash to keep drilling, or in some cases, to pay down overdrawn loans, reports BloombergBusiness. The news service says the clock is ticking again on more credit reductions when banks will recalculate borrowing bases -- which are tied to the value of oil -- in October. Mid-Con Energy Partners LP Chief Financial Officer Mike Peterson told Bloomberg that he estimates the oil industry faces potential credit-line cuts of 10-20% in October. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

May 20, 2015

Expert says oil and gas industry not in a panic over low prices
 

American Petroleum Institute Chief Economist John Felmy says the fall in commodity prices has not sparked a panic in the oil and natural gas industry, including in Ohio, reports the Canton Repository. Times have been worse for the industry, Felmy said at an oil and gas forum in Canton, Ohio, and development of U.S. shale formations makes the current situation different than past declines. The United States now ranks as the world’s leading producer of natural gas and is on its way to becoming the world’s top oil producer, he said, adding that Ohio has more rigs drilling shale wells today than it did five years ago despite retrenchment by some companies. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

May 20, 2015

Thai company looks for third partner on ‘cracker’ project in Ohio
 

Thailand's PTT Global Chemical PCL hopes to sign a deal in the second half of 2015 with Japan's Marubeni Corp. and a still-to-be-named third partner to invest in a $5.7 billion petrochemical complex in eastern Ohio, reports Reuters. The news service says a PTT Global executive told reporters that the company is looking to select one of five potential partners that are interested in the ethane “cracker” project that was announced in April. (See our April 23 blog, “Thai company looks at building ‘cracker” facility in eastern Ohio.”) PTT will hold more than a 50 percent ownership stake in the project, according to Reuters, while stakes for Marubeni and a third partner are under negotiation. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

May 19, 2015

Columbia Pipeline Group to spend $10 billion in Ohio and neighboring states
 

Columbia Pipeline Group plans to spend $10 billion in the next five years on natural gas projects centered in Ohio and its neighboring states, reports Columbus Business First. In outlining its plans, the new company, which will separate from parent company NiSource Inc. on July 1, said it has "significant scale (and an) unparalleled strategic footprint" anchored over the Utica and Marcellus shale plays. Business First says Houston-based Columbia Pipeline has 15 natural gas-projects planned for operation by 2020, many of which will crisscross Ohio. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

May 19, 2015

Study: Pennsylvania severance tax would reduce well development and jobs
 

A new study by the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania (APIP) says a severance tax on natural gas production proposed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf would mean fewer new wells, less gas production and lost jobs in the state over the next decade, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The study found that the proposed severance tax would result in 1,364 fewer wells, nearly 18,000 fewer oil and gas-related jobs and 2.86 trillion cubic feet less natural gas being produced by 2025 compared to projected levels without the tax. A spokesman for the governor told the Post-Gazette that the study is “misleading and its conclusions have no merit.” For more, read the full story. The APIP study can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

May 18, 2015

Oil and gas association challenges new federal rail rules
 

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is challenging new federal rules to improve the safety of oil-by-train transportation, opening the first legal fight in a two-year effort to reduce the risks of moving hazardous materials on railroads, reports the New York Times. The newspaper says API has petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to block key provisions of the rules, which were unveiled in May by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. According to the Times, API’s petition, American Petroleum Institute v. United States, D.C. Cir., Case No. 15-01131, seeks to block a requirement that older tank cars be retrofitted with new safety features designed to prevent them from spilling oil or rupturing in the event of a derailment. API also challenges a requirement that tank cars be equipped with new electronic braking systems or face operational restrictions. For more read, the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Oil & Gas Litigation   |  Permalink

 

May 18, 2015

Waterless fracking yields disappointing results at well in eastern Ohio
 

Columbus Business First reports that the waterless hydraulic fracturing method tested at a well in eastern Ohio has produced disappointing results, “dealing a blow to the innovative technology” that could reduce water use in oil and gas operations in the Utica shale play. The $22 million test well, drilled by EV Energy Partners LP and eight other companies in Tuscarawas County, produced half the amount of oil as a nearby well “fracked” by using a lot of water, EV Energy Chairman John Walker told analysts in an earnings call. Additionally, the Akron Beacon Journal reported that EV Energy may form a joint venture with other companies to develop the crude oil window in the Utica shale play. For more, read the full Business First story. The Beacon Journal story can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

May 15, 2015

Federal judge rules pipeline can cross holdout properties in Pennsylvania
 

A federal judge has ruled that the company building a 124-mile pipeline to transport natural gas from the Marcellus shale play to New York can build across seven Pennsylvania properties whose owners had not agreed to provide access to their land, reports Farm and Dairy. In Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC v. A Permanent Easement for 1.84 Acres, M.D. Pa. Case No. 3:14-cv-02458-MEM, Judge Malachy Mannion of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that Constitution Pipeline Company (“Constitution”) has the right of “immediate entry and access onto the subject property” because, among other things, it possesses a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Court further held that: (i) Constitution “has a substantive right to condemn the subject property”; (ii) Constitution “will suffer immediate and irreparable harm” without immediate possession of the property; (iii) the landowners “will receive just compensation” and, thus, “will not suffer significant harm”; and (iv) “the public interest will be best served” by granting Constitution access to the properties. Constitution was ordered to post a $1.6 million bond prior to accessing the properties.


 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Oil & Gas Litigation  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

May 15, 2015

Noble Energy’s $2 billion deal may signal start of mergers and acquisitions
 

Noble Energy Inc. said it will acquire Rosetta Resources Inc. for about $2 billion in stock in what Reuters reports is the first significant deal among U.S. shale oil producers following a steep fall in global crude prices. The news service says the nearly 50 percent drop in crude prices since June 2014 has raised expectations for months about a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the oil and gas industry, and the acquisition by Noble may be a precedent for other companies plotting shale deals. The Rosetta Resources acquisition will give Noble Energy, which is active in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays, entry into the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin shale fields in Texas. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

May 14, 2015

U.S. oil producers hedge bets by locking in prices for 2016 and beyond
 

U.S. oil companies are rushing to take advantage of the rebound in oil markets by locking in prices for 2016 and beyond as they safeguard future supplies and possibly pave the way for a rebound in production, Reuters reports. The news service says the flurry of hedging activity in the past month will help sustain producers' revenues even if oil markets tumble again. That is bad news for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which is counting on low prices to stunt the rapid rise of U.S. shale and other competitors, according to Reuters. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

May 14, 2015

XTO Energy looks to expand gas processing plant in western Pennsylvania
 

XTO Energy is looking at expanding in Butler County in western Pennsylvania where it is planning to build a second natural gas processing plant at its Penn Cryo facility, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the plant would be capable of processing up to 125 million cubic feet of gas per day and double the facility's current capacity. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

May 13, 2015

Magnum Hunter looks to sell some Ohio leases to raise cash
 

Oil and natural gas producer Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. wants to sell $450 million of its Ohio lease holdings in the Utica shale play, reports Columbus Business First. According to the newspaper, the Houston-based company said it is negotiating a joint venture in which it would sell some of its undeveloped and unproven Utica acreage to provide cash for future capital expenses. Business First says the move is one of five initiatives that Magnum Hunter is undertaking to improve its liquidity. For more, read the full story. More stories about Magnum Hunter can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

May 13, 2015

MarkWest may need more capacity to serve Utica, Marcellus shale plays
 

MarkWest Energy Partners, the predominant natural gas processor in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays, has 19 capital projects on the books but may need more to serve producers in those gas-rich areas, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. Citing comments made by MarkWest Chairman and CEO Frank Semple during a first quarter earnings call, the newspaper says the company is evaluating the need for additional fractionation capacity to keep up with development in the Utica and Marcellus region. MarkWest already operates gas processing facilities in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. For more, read the full story. More stories about MarkWest can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

May 12, 2015

Buoyed by efficient operations, Chesapeake looks for more Ohio acreage
 

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is looking for opportunities to take on more acreage in Ohio, believing it can drill the land more efficiently than its rivals, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says executives at the Oklahoma City-based company, a top driller in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale play, have hyped Chesapeake’s operating efficiency, especially in Ohio, where a third-party researcher said it the most-efficient driller by 40 percent. Business First says Chesapeake wants to use that operating advantage to pursue mergers and acquisitions. For more, read the full story. More stories about Chesapeake can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

May 12, 2015

U.S. drillers, refiners are at odds over oil export ban
 

The drop in oil prices is opening a rift in the U.S. petroleum industry over whether to end a circa-1970s federal ban on most exports of oil pumped from U.S. wells, reports BloombergBusiness. The news service says drillers