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Oct 24, 2014

Ohio banks cashing in on deposits from oil and gas boom
 

Some banks in eastern Ohio are seeing dramatic increases in deposits by customers as landowners there receive large sums of money from oil and gas drillers and local businesses see more activity, according to Columbus Business First. Citing data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the newspaper reports that in Monroe County, home to five of Ohio’s most productive natural gas wells, bank deposits grew by 77 percent over the past five years to $203 million. Deposits in Noble, Belmont and Harrison counties, which are also seeing much leasing and drilling activity, beat the state average for deposits over the five-year period as well. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Oct 23, 2014

More pipelines could drive gas production to record highs in Ohio, Pennsylvania
 

Natural gas production in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania could reach record levels next year because more pipeline capacity is coming on line across the country, reports the Youngstown Business Journal. Sami Yahya, an energy analyst with Denver-based Bentek LLC, told the newspaper there should be a production uptick in November because of the additional pipelines. Bentek is forecasting that production in the Northeast, which includes eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, will reach 18.5 billion cubic feet per day in the next couple of months compared to the 16.7 billion cubic feet per day now being produced. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Oct 23, 2014

Shale boom brings $3-a-gallon gasoline in sight for holiday drivers
 

Bloomberg reports that U.S. drivers are closer to seeing $3-a-gallon gasoline in the coming holiday season than they’ve been in four years as New York-traded futures are selling for $1 a gallon below retail prices. The news service says gasoline prices are sliding as oil trades at the lowest price levels since 2012. Bloomberg notes that U.S. output of crude oil, which makes up about two-thirds of the cost of gasoline, has surged to a 28-year high as drillers pull record volumes out of shale formations from North Dakota to Texas. That is contributing to a glut of oil as global demand growth slows. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Oct 22, 2014

Lower Pennsylvania price for natural gas due to lack of pipelines
 

The Columbus Dispatch reports that an abundance of natural gas from shale wells has helped push down the wholesale price for gas in Pennsylvania to about half of the national price. The newspaper says the gap is caused by a lack of pipeline capacity for carrying natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. The Energy Information Administration reports that gas is often selling for about $2 per million British thermal units at trading hubs in Pennsylvania, while the benchmark price has been about $4 at the Henry Hub in Louisiana. For more, read the full story. More articles related to pipeline projects can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Oct 22, 2014

Southwestern acquires Chesapeake acreage in $5.375 billion deal
 

Southwestern Energy Co. has signed a deal to acquire 413,000 net acres in West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $5.375 billion, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says Southwestern announced that the purchase includes 256 producing wells in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays and 179 nonproducing wells that tap those oil and gas shale formations. Southwestern President Steve Mueller said his Houston-based company already has leading positions in two projects in the Fayetteville shale and northeastern Pennsylvania Marcellus region that will be complemented by the acquisition of the acreage from Chesapeake. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Oct 21, 2014

Ohio’s shale boom drives dramatic sales growth for auto dealers
 

Drilling activity in the Utica shale play is giving a big boost to rural Ohio auto dealerships as they enjoy the same sort of sales gains seen in other shale regions, reports Automotive News. The magazine focuses on Marietta in Southeast Ohio where it says the increase in business for auto dealers has been “immediate and dramatic” because of the shale boom. “Three months ago, we couldn’t get (people) financed on a $5,000 car,” Marietta auto dealer Jim Cobb told the publication. “Suddenly, they come in and buy a $60,000 truck and pay cash for it.” For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Oct 20, 2014

Corbett says tax on gas transmission may be option in Pennsylvania
 

National Public Radio (NPR) reports that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett says a new tax on natural gas transmission could be an option in his state. NPR’s StateImpact Project noted that Pennsylvania already charges Marcellus shale drillers an impact fee of $50,000 per well, but is the only major gas-producing state without a severance tax on the amount of gas extracted from wells. “Maybe the tax instead of being at the well head should be in the transmission line,” Corbett told NPR. For more, read the full story. More articles related to severance taxes can be found here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Oct 20, 2014

Record oil production, reduced demand pose threat to drilling activity
 

The U.S. shale boom is producing record amounts of oil as demand weakens, pushing prices down toward levels that threaten to reduce future drilling, Bloomberg reports. Citing data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the news service says domestic oil fields will add 1.1 million barrels a day of output this year and another 963,000 in 2015, raising production to the highest level since 1970. However, the agency also forecasts oil consumption will shrink 0.2 percent to 18.9 million barrels a day this year, the lowest since 2012.  "If oil prices go to $80 a barrel or lower, which I think is possible, then we are going to see a reduction in drilling activity,” Jeffries LLC Vice Chairman Ralph Eads told Bloomberg. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Oct 16, 2014

Anti-fracking vote will test Texans’ love for oil and gas business
 

The New York Times reports that Texas’ long-held love of the oil and gas industry will be tested Nov. 4th in a election that would ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton, Texas. The Times says the grass-roots campaign in Denton, a college town near Dallas, has pushed the industry into a corner in a state that has never come close to passing such a measure. Oil and gas company executives have expressed uneasiness that the Denton vote threatens to encourage anti-fracking forces nationwide. For more, read the full story.

 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Oct 15, 2014

Bricker report shows more than $22 billion in projects due to Ohio shale development
 

Bricker & Eckler LLP has published its third edition of the “Shale Economic Development Overview,” detailing more than $22 billion in economic development projects in Ohio as a direct result of shale development. The analysis finds that a majority of the new projects are focused on infrastructure and processing facilities for oil and natural gas. Shale development in Ohio has grown by almost $9 billion since Bricker & Eckler published its first "Shale Economic Development Overview" in October 2013. The new report can be found here. The shale report has already been highlighted in the news media, starting with coverage by the Columbus Dispatch and Columbus Business First. The Dispatch story can be found here; the Business First story here.

 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Oct 15, 2014

Kansas task force unable to link injection wells with seismic activity
 

A task force in Kansas didn’t find conclusive evidence linking practices used by injection-well drillers to specific seismic events in that state, but it called for more study on the issue, reports the Topeka Capitol Journal. The newspaper says the Induced Seismicity Task Force had been assigned to determine whether the use of injection wells for disposal of waste products from oil and gas drilling was causing seismic activity, which has been higher in 2014 than in prior years in Kansas. The task force determined the scientific community hasn’t reached a consensus on whether injection wells can cause ground tremors and called for more research. For more, read the full story. More articles related to seismic activity can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Oct 14, 2014

Major pipeline construction needed to keep pace with shale development
 

While North America’s natural gas pipeline network has made possible rapid development of oil and gas shale plays, major changes and additions to the system will be needed as shale regions continue to grow, according to the Unconventional Oil & Gas Center. The industry group reports that an expert with the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) recently said at an energy forum that there will be a tremendous amount of pipeline construction in the next 20 years, pointing to a recent INGAA Foundation study that forecasted the gas pipeline business will need to invest $313 billion through 2035 to keep up with demand. For more, read the full story
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Oct 14, 2014

Pickens may be open to investing in McClendon’s latest venture
 

Oil and gas magnate T. Boone Pickens appears to be open to investing in shale ventures being developed by wildcatter Aubrey McClendon, reports Columbus Business First. Citing comments Pickens made to BusinessWeek, the newspaper says Pickens has talked with McClendon several times and said he “kind of knows what (McClendon) is doing.” McClendon recently said he may take public his American Energy Partners LP subsidiaries, including the one operating in the Utica shale play. For more, read the full story. More articles related to Aubrey McClendon can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  United States   |  Permalink

 

Oct 13, 2014

Utica shale play starting to emerge from Marcellus shadow
 

While consistently overshadowed by the Marcellus shale formation, Utica shale should start receiving some real attention for its incredible growth as a natural gas producer over the last three years, says OilPrice.com. The energy news site notes that since January 2012, gas production in the Utica shale play has increased from 155 million cubic feet per day to approximately 1.3 billion cubic feet per day. OilPrice.com also says that with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas terminal, (See our Oct. 7, 2014 blog “Export terminal for Pennsylvania natural gas gets green light from FERC”), it is not far-fetched to imagine India or Japan producing electricity from Utica gas by the end of this decade. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Oct 10, 2014

McClendon hires Chesapeake exec for key American Energy job
 

Shale gas wildcatter Aubrey McClendon has hired a top executive from his former company, Chesapeake Energy Corp., as he continues build a new oil and gas producer in American Energy Partners, according to the Reporter-Telegram in Midland, Texas. The newspaper says McClendon has hired Chesapeake Senior Vice President John Reinhart to serve as chief operating officer for American Energy’s two operating affiliates in its biggest natural gas fields, the Utica and Marcellus shale plays in the Appalachian basin. Reinhart is joining McClendon’s company as it plans to drill 3,000 wells and spend $20 billion to $25 billion in Ohio and West Virginia over the next 10 years. For more, read the full story. More articles related to Aubrey McClendon can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Oct 10, 2014

More shots fired on connotation of ‘fracking’ as a term
 

The venerable Wall Street Journal’s language blog has jumped into the debate over the use of the word “fracking,” wondering if the term can be rescued from its sometimes negative connotations, reports Columbus Business First. The Journal asks whether fracking as a term is salvageable, citing a public relations study from 2011 that said it isn’t. But Business First also reports that a Pennsylvania oil and gas group has started airing ads to take the word back, with a girl saying that “fracking rocks” in the ads. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Oct 09, 2014

Baker Hughes to disclose all fracking chemicals to boost transparency
 

Oil and gas drilling services company Baker Hughes has decided to disclose all of the chemicals used in its hydraulic fracking operations, reports ABC News. The network says the oil and gas industry has an online database that lists many of the chemicals used in fracking but has held back information on certain chemicals and the amount used on the grounds it would provide competitors with trade secrets. But Houston-based Baker Hughes announced it will not withhold any of that information, with a company official saying “greater transparency about the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process and protecting the ability to innovate are not conflicting goals." For more, read the full story. More articles related to fracking chemicals can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Oct 09, 2014

Shale gas boom could drive bank consolidations in Pennsylvania
 

An investment firm is saying the continued development of the Marcellus shale basin is a potential driver for bank consolidations in Pennsylvania at a time when such deals have slowed. The Pittsburgh Business Times says that is one of the key takeaways in an equity research report from Conshohocken, Pa.-based Boenning & Scattergood. “Shale activity helps the local economy, which helps the banks, which makes them more attractive to others,” a Boenning & Scattergood analyst told the Business Times. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Oct 08, 2014

Ohio regulators want rules for well-pad construction
 

As drilling for oil and natural gas continues to soar in eastern Ohio, state regulators are pursuing rules for construction of oil and gas well pads, reports Columbus Business First. Such construction is not standardized now, the newspaper says, but new rules may not affect much of current well-pad practices. That’s the case, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, because the majority of the proposed rules are industry and engineering best practices already employed by most drilling companies. For more, read the full story. A draft of the proposed rules can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Oct 08, 2014

Report: State agencies up their game on oil and gas oversight
 

A new national report says state regulatory agencies have significantly increased their oversight and rules for oil and gas exploration and production over the last five years. The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the analysis by the Ground Water Protection Council looks at the 27 states that produce 98 percent of U.S. gas and oil. An official with the association of groundwater regulatory agencies says states are “on the forefront of oil and gas regulation and are diligently working to address the safety and environmental issues surrounding modern energy development.” For more, read the full story. The council’s analysis can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Oct 07, 2014

Export terminal for Pennsylvania natural gas gets green light from FERC
 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the first export terminal that will send natural gas from Pennsylvania to customers overseas, including Japan and India, reports the Times-Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The newspaper says that after a two-year review process, the Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas terminal in Calvert County, Maryland, has been granted conditional approval by FERC. Plans already are under way to ship gas from wells in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, via proposed pipelines to the Cove Point terminal where it is to be prepared for overseas customers. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Oct 07, 2014

Report: Utica shale play still key for Chesapeake’s growth outlook
 

While Texas’ Eagle Ford shale play will be the main driver of Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s oil production growth, the company’s acreage in Ohio’s Utica shale region should also be an important contributor to increases in natural gas liquids production, reports Trefis.com, an investment research firm in Boston. Trefis notes that Chesapeake reported major gains in oil and natural production in the Utica shale play during the second quarter of 2014 and continues to be the most active driller and largest leasehold owner there. Trefis also says the expansion of gas processing facilities and pipelines in eastern Ohio means that Chesapeake should be able to double its gross processing capacity by the end of 2014 compared to where it stood at the close of 2013. For more, read the full story. More articles related to Chesapeake can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Oct 06, 2014

Ohio college launches program to train oil and gas landmen
 

Marietta College has introduced a new major that will be the first in Ohio to offer certification to oil and gas landmen, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says Marietta, which already has a well-known petroleum engineering program, launched the new major, Land and Energy Management, to provide another option for students who want to be part of the business boom spurred by shale oil and gas development in the region. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Oct 06, 2014

Water use by drillers in Pennsylvania drops as recycling efforts rise
 

The natural gas drilling industry in Pennsylvania is recycling more water, reports ABC News, and an official with a river basin commission in central Pennsylvania says drillers there are drawing less freshwater than in the past. Citing a story by the Associated Press, ABC News reports that water use by the industry in the Susquehanna River Basin peaked at about 3.8 billion gallons in 2011 but fell to about 3.1 billion gallons in 2013. Andrew Gavin, deputy executive director of the commission, said there has been a huge increase in water recycling by the drilling industry, but the timing and location of water withdrawals is still a concern. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Oct 03, 2014

Thai-Japanese partnership looks for ethane cracker site in Appalachia
 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that a partnership between Thailand’s largest chemical company and a Japanese trading and investment house is shopping the Appalachian region for a site for an ethane cracker plant. The newspaper says an industrial park in Washington County, Pennsylvania, plus undisclosed locations in Ohio and West Virginia, are being evaluated by the partnership between Bangkok-based PTT Global Chemical and Marubeni Corp. of Tokyo. The three states have competed fiercely for the other two major cracker projects in the region now under development by Royal Dutch Shell in western Pennsylvania and Odebrecht in West Virginia. For more, read the full Post-Gazette story. More articles related to ethane cracker projects can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Oct 03, 2014

West Virginia parks could cash in on drilling under Ohio River
 

West Virginia’s Division of Natural Resources (DNR) could be the big winner from natural gas drilling under the Ohio River, reports the MetroNews network in Charleston, West Virginia. The network says the state’s Department of Commerce is reviewing four bids submitted by drilling companies, and that state law currently funnels oil and gas proceeds on state-owned lands to the DNR. “There’s no question about it, the state parks might be able to make a little hay with some of this,” West Virginia Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette told MetroNews. For more, read the full story. A ShaleOhio blog about opposition to drilling under the Ohio River can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Oct 02, 2014

AEP to rebuild power line to serve midstream oil and gas companies in Ohio
 

Columbus Business First reports that Ohio regulators have approved a $21 million transmission project that American Electric Power Company Inc. will build for midstream oil and gas companies in the eastern part of the state. AEP Ohio Transmission Co. will rebuild the existing 69-kilovolt transmission line to hold up to 138 kilovolts in Jefferson and Harrison counties. The newspaper says the upgraded line will provide more power to Access Midstream Partners and M3 Midstream LLC., two of the bigger players in oil and gas pipelines and infrastructure in the Utica shale play. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Oct 02, 2014

Judge dismisses Columbia Gas Transmission from lawsuit over well water contamination
 

A federal judge in West Virginia has dismissed Columbia Gas Transmission, L.L.C. from a lawsuit in which a couple claims energy companies contaminated their well water as a result of hydraulic fracturing operations. According to Mealey’s Fracking Report, Judge Frederick Stamp Jr. ruled in Magers v. Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C. (N.D. W.Va. No. 5:12-cv-0049) that Jeremiah and Andrea Magers of Marshall County, West Virginia, failed to show that there is “more than a mere possibility that Columbia was the source of the methane gas in the plaintiffs’ well.”  Thus, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of Columbia. For more, read the full case summary.
 


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

 

Oct 01, 2014

Magnum gets ‘monster’ production from Utica well in West Virginia
 

Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. has what Columbus Business First calls a “certified monster” on its hands based on drilling results for the company’s 1300U well in Tyler County, West Virginia, just east of the Ohio River. The newspaper reports the well, which produced 46.5 million cubic feet of natural gas a day, is the biggest in all of the Utica shale play. Business First notes Magnum is one of the first companies to tap the Utica play in West Virginia, with its Tyler County well only the second drilled in the state. For more, read the full story. More articles related to Magnum Hunter can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Oct 01, 2014

Ohio appellate court rules certain ‘form’ oil and gas leases are valid
 

Bricker & Eckler LLP attorneys Matt Warnock, Courter Shimeall and Dan Gerken have posted a summary of the Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals’ long-awaited decision in Hupp v. Beck Energy Corporation, 2014-Ohio-4255 (7thth Dist.). On September 26, the appellate court upheld the trial court’s procedural holdings in this class action lawsuit, but overturned the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas’ substantive holding that Beck Energy’s “form” oil and gas leases were invalid. The case centered on a group of landowner-lessors in eastern Ohio who sought to invalidate the form leases they executed with Beck. For more, read the full Bricker & Eckler summary.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Oil & Gas Litigation   |  Permalink

 

Oct 01, 2014

With eye on shale boom, NiSource to spin off pipeline division
 

NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas, has decided it will spin off its pipeline division into a separate, publicly traded company that can better take advantage of the shale-energy boom, reports the Columbus Dispatch. After the corporate split, NiSource will continue to be based in Merrillville, Ind., where it will operate regulated utilities in seven states, including Ohio. The Dispatch says the new company, Columbia Pipeline Group, will be based in Houston and include more than 15,000 miles of natural-gas pipelines, about 300 billion cubic feet of natural-gas storage capacity and numerous gas-processing facilities. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Sep 30, 2014

Report: 4 billion gallons of water used in Ohio fracking operations
 

Oil and gas drillers in Ohio have used more than 4 billion gallons of water in the fracking of horizontal shale wells since 2011, according to the Canton Repository. Citing water usage reported by drillers to FracFocus, a national fracking-chemical registry, the newspaper says fracking could consume more than 10 billion gallons of water should drilling occur from all current well permits filed with the state of Ohio. For more, read the full story. Also read our June 3, 2012 blog “Communities and energy companies work to manage Utica drilling water demands” to learn about efforts to address the water use issue.


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 30, 2014

Researchers say Pennsylvania shale region may have too many hotels
 

Penn State University researchers say that a faltering occupancy rate may signal there are now too many hotel rooms in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale region, reports the Business Journal in Youngstown, Ohio. A Penn State hospitality management expert says that while demand for rooms remains high, the decline in occupancy rates shows a case can be made that hotels were overbuilt in response to the shale boom. Marcellus drilling operations generated approximately $685 million in hotel revenues and added an extra 1,600 new hotel jobs since 2006, according to the researchers. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Sep 29, 2014

MarkWest, Ohio Gathering land agreements with American Energy-Utica
 

MarkWest Utica EMG and Ohio Gathering Co. have announced agreements with American Energy-Utica (AEU) to provide natural gas gathering, processing and fractionation services in Ohio’s Utica shale play, according to the State Journal in Charleston, West Virginia. The newspaper says MarkWest will provide gas processing services to American Energy at its complexes in Cadiz, Ohio, and Noble County, Ohio and fractionate AEU's natural gas liquids at its Hopedale, Ohio, facility. In addition, Ohio Gathering will provide natural gas gathering and compression services for all of AEU's gas produced from the Utica shale area. For more, read the full story. More articles related to American Energy Partners can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 29, 2014

Utica shale play approaches natural gas production levels of Bakken play
 

While the Utica shale play in Ohio can’t match North Dakota’s Bakken shale region for oil production, the Utica is now producing almost as much natural gas as the Bakken, reports ShaleNow.com. Citing a drilling report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the shale industry site says total production in the Ohio natural gas region that includes the Utica play has increased from 155 million cubic feet per day in January 2012 to an estimated 1.3 billion cubic feet per day in September 2014. ShaleNow.com also notes the Utica play, now in its third year of production, is also producing an average of 37,000 barrels of oil per day compared to 50,000 barrels per day in the much larger and more developed Marcellus shale region. For more, read the full story.  More articles related to the Bakken shale play can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 26, 2014

EID Ohio: Utica shale boom boosting jobs and economic growth
 

Energy in Depth (EID) Ohio reports that development of the Utica shale play is continuing to drive job and economic growth in a big way. The oil and gas industry group cites several recent examples, including IGS Energy announcing it will build its ninth compressed natural gas fueling station with the new location to be in Obetz, Ohio, and MarkWest Energy Partners breaking ground in August on a new administration building in Cadiz, Ohio, that is to house 100 to 120 employees. EID Ohio also mentions the Bricker and Eckler LLP report (“Shale Economic Development Overview Spring 2014”) that says approximately $18 billion has been invested over the past several years in eastern Ohio thanks to oil and gas development. For more, read the full EID Ohio story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 26, 2014

Federal agency says new rules needed for oil and gas pipelines
 

Columbus Business First reports a federal agency says that oil and natural gas production is outpacing pipeline construction and regulation, and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) needs to consider making new rules to address the issue. The newspaper says that was one of the conclusions in a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on oil and gas infrastructure, including pipelines, railroads and trucks. The GAO report says the DOT began looking at safety regulations for pipelines in 2011, but didn’t propose new standards. Since then pipeline construction has increased significantly, including in Ohio where oil and natural gas production is soaring. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  United States   |  Permalink

 

Sep 26, 2014

Groups say ‘no’ to natural gas drilling under the Ohio River
 

Citizen groups on both sides of the Ohio River have told West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin about their concerns and opposition with a proposal that would allow natural gas drilling under the Ohio River, reports the State Journal in Charleston, West Virginia. The state’s Division of Natural Resources began taking bids for drilling under the Ohio River in Pleasants, Marshall and Wetzel counties on Aug. 13, and the bidding deadline was Sept. 25. (See our Aug. 27, 2014 blog “West Virginia seeks bids for shale gas drilling below Ohio River.”)  In a letter to Tomblin, representatives of environmental advocacy groups addressed several concerns, including alleged regulatory inadequacies in West Virginia, and requested that the governor consider withdrawing the proposal. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Sep 25, 2014

Chevron is first company to meet Sustainable Shale standards
 

Chevron has become the first energy company to meet a new set of voluntary shale gas drilling standards that aim to go beyond existing state laws in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, according to the Daily Report in Greenfield Ind. The newspaper says Chevron’s Appalachia operations have met 15 of the standards in the certification process sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Shale, a partnership between major energy companies, environmental groups and charitable foundations. The certification program is meant to work much like Underwriters Laboratories, which puts its UL seal on electrical appliances. For more, read the full story. More articles related to Chevron can be found here.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Sep 25, 2014

Pennsylvania agency hits Range Resources with $4.15 million fine
 

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has levied a $4.15 million fine against Range Resources Corp., the agency’s largest penalty on an oil and gas operator during the state’s shale gas boom, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the fine is part of a wide-ranging consent order and agreement arising from alleged violations at six of Range Resources impoundments in Washington County, Pennsylvania. The company said in a statement it accepts the DEP's actions. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Sep 24, 2014

Early well results show Utica shale production spreading beyond Ohio
 

Initial natural gas production rates hint at the existence of an even more substantial gas cache underneath not only the Utica shale play in eastern Ohio but possibly in northern Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Platts reports. The news service says that Gastar Exploration CEO Russell Porter recently unveiled what he called potentially one of the most productive wells to date in the dry gas Utica play in Marshall County, West Virginia. In addition, an analyst with investment bank Stifel Nicolaus told Platts that five high-rate Utica dry gas wells with initial production rates above 20,000 Mcf/d have been drilled recently in eastern Ohio and northwest West Virginia. Drilling on new Utica wells is also occurring in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern Pennsylvania near the New York border. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Sep 24, 2014

New study says water left in ground after fracking is not a serious risk
 

New research on hydraulic fracturing has found that injected water that remains underground after oil and gas drilling operations is sequestered in the rock formation and does not pose a serious risk to water supplies. GantDaily.com reports the findings are in a paper published in the current issue of the Journal of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources by researchers at Penn State and Cornell universities and Shell International Exploration and Production Inc. GantDaily says the research was conducted in response to uncertainty over the risk to ground water posed by water left in place – called residual treatment water -- after fracking operations. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Sep 23, 2014

Federal forecast is bullish on U.S. crude oil production
 

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that government forecasters estimate that U.S. crude oil production will surge to a 45-year high in 2015, lowering prices and reducing the need for imports. The magazine said the U.S. Energy Information Administration has raised its estimate of 2015 output by 250,000 barrels a day to 9.53 million, the most since 1970.  The agency has also forecast output of 8.53 million barrels a day this year, up from 7.45 million in 2013. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Sep 23, 2014

Ohio geologist sees promise in Rhinestreet, Huron shale formations
 

The state of Ohio’s chief geologist says the future of oil and gas exploration across Ohio might rest with improved technology and other shale plays that appear to have the same sort of rich organic content as Utica/Point Pleasant shale, reports the Youngstown Business Journal. According to the newspaper, State Geologist Tom Serenko said the Rhinestreet and Huron shale formations in Ohio have “very dark, organic-rich shale” similar to the Utica/Point Pleasant. He thinks they could hold promise for oil and gas production. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 22, 2014

Federal court decisions yield mixed results for Ohio oil and gas producers
 

Bricker & Eckler LLP attorneys Matt Warnock and Courter Shimeall have posted a summary of two decisions by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in cases involving disputes over oil and gas leases held by Hess Ohio Resources LLC. Both cases, Curtis v. Hess Ohio Resources, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119584 (S.D. Ohio 2014), and DeRosa v. Hess Ohio Resources, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119587 (S.D. Ohio 2014), arose in Belmont County and centered on two groups of landowners who signed identical five-year oil and gas leases in 2006. The main issue was whether the actions of the current lessee (Hess Ohio) and/or prior lessee (Marquette Exploration) properly extended the oil and gas leases beyond their primary term. On one hand, the federal court agreed with Hess Ohio that the leases were extended under the drilling-operations clauses and shut-in provisions. But the court also held that Hess Ohio violated the implied covenant to develop certain non-pooled acreage and ordered that acreage be released from the underlying oil and gas lease. For more, read the full summary.
 


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

 

Sep 19, 2014

Rex Energy closes on land deal with Shell in Pennsylvania, Ohio
 

Rex Energy Corp. has closed on a deal to acquire 208,000 gross acres for oil and gas development from a Royal Dutch Shell affiliate in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says Rex, based in State College, Pennsylvania, is paying $120 million for the acreage and funded the deal primarily through its recent offering of convertible perpetual preferred stock. The sale by Shell comes as the oil giant focuses on its holdings in northeast Pennsylvania where it has seen promising early results from drilling in the Utica shale play. (See our Sept. 17, 2014 blog “Shell’s new wells extend reach of Utica shale play.”) For more on the Rex Energy deal, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Sep 19, 2014

Study: Proper oil and gas well construction keeps methane from leaking into drinking water
 

The Columbus Dispatch reports that a new study led by an Ohio State University researcher says hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas drilling operations does not inherently contaminate nearby drinking water with methane. The newspaper says the study by Ohio State assistant professor Thomas Darrah  and researchers at Duke, Stanford and Dartmouth universities and the University of Rochester found that methane is unlikely to move from deep shale formations into drinking water supplies as long as the oil and gas wells are built correctly. But the researchers also concluded that poorly constructed wells with leaky casings or faulty cement can allow methane to leach into drinking water. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 18, 2014

New video addresses key issues of Ohio's Dormant Minerals Act
 

Bricker & Eckler LLP attorneys Dan Gerken and Ryan Smith discuss the critical legal issues surrounding Ohio’s Dormant Minerals Act (DMA) in a new video posted shortly after the Ohio Supreme Court’s recent decision to accept a case that will help resolve disputes over the DMA. On September 3, the court accepted Walker v. Noon (Supreme Court of Ohio Case No. 2014-0803), in which Bricker & Eckler represents the mineral rights owners. (See our Sept. 5, 2014 blog “Ohio Supreme Court accepts landmark Dormant Minerals Act case.”) The court decided to address six critical issues in the case, including whether the 1989 version of the DMA applies in mineral rights lawsuits filed after 2006, when the revised version of the DMA was enacted. The new video, available here, builds on a prior discussion of the DMA by Gerken and Smith, available here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 18, 2014

NiSource to spend $1.5 million to improve roads in northeast Ohio county
 

NiSource is planning to spend $1.5 million to improve roads in Mahoning County, Ohio, that will be damaged by the company’s construction of pipelines and a natural-gas processing facility, reports the Youngstown Vindicator. The newspaper says NiSource will pay to repave between 10 and 12 miles of road at no cost to local governments and rebuild some of those roads from the base layer. NiSource Midstream Services is building the Hickory Bend gathering system and processing plant in Springfield Township, Ohio, for Pennant Midstream, LLC, a joint venture between NiSource and Hilcorp Energy Co. The system and plant are expected to be operational by the end of 2014. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 17, 2014

Kasich vows to keep pushing for new severance tax in Ohio
 

Gov. John Kasich told the Columbus Dispatch he’s only going to push harder for a new severance tax on hydraulic fracturing in Ohio if he wins re-election in November. That’s case, the newspaper says, despite the fact the state legislature for more than three years has declined to give Kasich what he wants in revising the tax on oil and natural gas production. In May, the Ohio House passed a severance tax bill, but Kasich called it “puny” and has continued to push for more changes. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 17, 2014

Shell’s new wells are extending reach of Utica shale play
 

American Energy Partners founder Aubrey McClendon appears to no longer be alone in his view that the Utica shale play is “extraordinary" in light of a significant natural gas discovery by Royal Dutch Shell in Pennsylvania, reports NASDAQ.com. The investor service says Shell's wells, which are near the Pennsylvania-New York border, could extend the Utica shale play hundreds of miles further to the east than energy companies previously thought. It notes that Shell is particularly optimistic because the initial production rates of its first two wells there are as good, if not better, than the wells Chesapeake Energy, McClendon’s former company, and others in the industry are drilling in eastern Ohio. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Sep 16, 2014

Esmark to convert former Ohio steel plant to oil and gas hub
 

Esmark Inc. plans to convert an idled steel manufacturing plant in Yorkville, Ohio into a transportation and logistics hub to serve the surging Marcellus and Utica shale plays of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Reuters news service reports that Pittsburgh-based Esmark said the new facility, to be renamed “Yorkville Energy Services Terminal,” will provide oil and gas-related infrastructure services such as fresh water off-take, dry storage and rail, barge and truck access. The terminal, which is located along the Ohio River, is expected to become operational by October or early November of 2014, employing up to 75 people. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 16, 2014

State data shows heart of Ohio’s shale play shifting south
 

The center of Ohio’s shale play is shifting somewhat to the south based on new oil and gas production figures from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), reports the Columbus Dispatch. The newspaper says ODNR’s data shows eight of the top 10 producing oil wells during the second quarter of 2014 are in Noble County and the top two natural gas wells are in Monroe County. Both counties are south of Carroll County, which still has the most horizontal oil and gas wells in Ohio. “This dovetails with what I’ve been hearing and seeing, which is that the trend is moving south,” Bricker & Eckler attorney Matt Warnock told the Dispatch. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by J. Bell in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 15, 2014

Bloomberg: U.S. oil and gas drillers sitting on a mountain of debt
 

A decade into the U.S. shale boom, oil and gas drillers are propping up the dream of American energy independence with a mountain of debt, Bloomberg reports. It says these companies are paying a steep price for big gains in domestic oil production, with most spending money -- an average of $1.17 for every dollar earned in the 12 months ended on June 30 – faster than they make it. Bloomberg’s research found only seven of the U.S.-listed firms in the Bloomberg Intelligence’s E&P index made more money in that time than it cost them to keep drilling, and they are plugging their cash shortfalls with junk-rated debt. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Sep 15, 2014

Michigan judge orders Chesapeake to stand trial in land-leasing case
 

Reuters news service reports that natural gas and oil producer Chesapeake Energy Corp. will face trial on charges of felony racketeering and using false pretenses related to its land-leasing practices in Michigan. Reuters says Cheboygan District Court Judge Maria Barton has ruled that Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake must stand trial on one charge of racketeering and 20 counts of using false pretenses to allegedly defraud private landowners in Michigan during an oil and gas leasing boom in 2010. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette brought the charges against Chesapeake in June. Reuters also cites a statement from Chesapeake in which the company says it believes the charges are without merit and Schuette is attempting to criminalize basic contract disputes. For more, read the full story.
 


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

 

Sep 15, 2014

Ohio Utica shale well permitting activity down in August
 

Approvals for new Utica shale wells slowed in August with only 38 drilling permits issued statewide by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, reports Farm and Dairy magazine. That compares to 51 permits in July. Sites in Belmont County received 12 drilling permits in August, the most of any Ohio county. Meanwhile, permits issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection don’t appear to be slowing down, Farm and Dairy notes, with the department approving 230 new well permits during August. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 12, 2014

Energy Transfer Partners alters route of Rover Pipeline through Ohio
 

Energy Transfer Partners’ is altering the route of its proposed 590-mile pipeline to carry natural gas from the shale plays in eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Michigan and Canada, reports The Blade in Toledo. The newspaper says the company had to shift the path of its $4.3 billion ET Rover Pipeline after an environmental survey found problems along the previously planned route. The proposed pipeline would carry up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, passing through multiple counties in Ohio before entering Michigan. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 12, 2014

Shell applies to build docks near site of proposed ‘cracker’ plant in Pennsylvania
 

Shell Chemicals has applied for a federal permit to build two docks and 24 smaller moorings for barges on the Ohio River near the site of its proposed ethane “cracker” plant in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. The Plastemart.com industry news site reports that Shell’s application is being reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the company must also obtain a permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Shell first proposed building the cracker facility on the western Pennsylvania site in March 2012 (See our March 16, 2012 blog “Shell picks Pennsylvania for the site of ethane cracker), but Plastemart notes the company said it must gather more information before it can make a decision on building the plant. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Sep 11, 2014

Hilcorp withdraws forced pooling application in Pennsylvania
 

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that Hilcorp Energy Co. has decided to withdraw its state application for forced pooling of oil and natural gas on 35 unleased acres in Lawrence and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania. The Houston-based oil and natural gas producer had sought to include the acreage in its proposed 3,267-acre drilling area. The Business Times says the application was significant because it would have been the first time forced pooling – also called unitization -- had been employed during the shale-gas boom in Pennsylvania over the last 10 years. Hilcorp said it decided to drop the application so it could move forward with its drilling plans and serve the best interests of its lessors. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Sep 10, 2014

Gas production in Ohio’s Utica shale play soared during second quarter
 

Ohio’s energy boom continued during the second quarter of 2014, as natural gas production in the Utica shale play jumped 32 percent compared to the first three months of the year, reports Columbus Business First. Citing new data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), the newspaper says Ohio drillers produced 88.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas from April to June, up from 67.3 billion from January through March. Oil production was also up 32 percent compared to the prior three-month period. Business First reported separately that two of Hall Drilling LLC’s gas wells in Monroe County were the most productive in the Utica play during the second quarter. For more on the ODNR report, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 10, 2014

New York Times: Oil and gas surge changes economic picture for the heartland
 

The New York Times reports that an industrial turnaround in the nation’s heartland is being driven by a surge in domestic oil and gas production that is “changing the economic calculus for old industries and downtrodden cities.” The newspaper says that in Ohio, entire sectors such as manufacturing, lodging, real estate and law are being reshaped in an arc stretching south from Youngstown, past Canton and into the rural parts of eastern Ohio. A manufacturing consultant at McKinsey & Company told the Times that energy production is a game-changer for the U.S. economy and an opportunity for regions of the country to renew themselves. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |  Permalink

 

Sep 09, 2014

Arlington, Texas school board settles royalty dispute with Chesapeake
 

The school board in Arlington, Texas has resolved its dispute with Chesapeake Exploration over oil and gas royalties but would not disclose the amount of the settlement, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The newspaper says the district had sought about $1 million in a lawsuit for damages, costs, expenses, interest and attorneys fees. In November, the district joined the city of Arlington’s lawsuit against Chesapeake and Total E&P USA, accusing them of using a complicated scheme to reduce royalty checks for gas pumped from under parks, airports and other pieces of public property. As reported in a ShaleOhio blog on Sept. 4, 2014,  the Arlington City Council accepted $700,000 to settle its part of the lawsuit. For more, read the full story.
 


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

 

Sep 09, 2014

Rover Pipeline documents can be viewed at Ohio libraries
 

WTOL-TV in Toledo reports that detailed maps and fact sheets about Energy Transfer Partners’ Rover Pipeline project in Ohio are now available to the public at libraries in the affected counties of Seneca, Hancock, Wood, Henry, Defiance and Fulton. The proposed pipeline would transport natural gas from processing plants and interconnections in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to Energy Transfer Partners’ Panhandle Eastern PipeLine and other Midwest pipeline connections near Defiance, Ohio. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 08, 2014

Cleveland’s Friedman cashing in on housing shortage in Bakken shale play
 

Cleveland area businessman Michael Friedman is leaving his mark as a real estate deal maker in North Dakota’s housing-hungry Bakken shale play, reports Crain’s Cleveland Business. The newspaper says Friedman got his start in North Dakota three years ago by building and renting housing for oilfield workers. Now he said he raises millions of dollars for other housing and commercial developments in the region, usually tapping hedge funds and family investment groups from New York, Philadelphia and California. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |  Permalink

 

Sep 08, 2014

Colorado researchers look for cause of seismic activity
 

Seismic activity in Greeley, Colorado has prompted researchers from the University of Colorado to examine whether there is link to a high-volume injection well for drilling wastes, reports the FuelFix news site. FuelFix says the study in Colorado comes on the heels of seismic research out of Oklahoma, which is also undergoing intensive oil and gas extraction and wastewater injection activities. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |  Permalink

 

Sep 08, 2014

Judges strike down three fracking bans in Colorado cities
 

District court judges in Colorado recently struck down three out of the five bans on hydraulic fracturing in the state’s Front Range region, reports the Denver Business Journal. The newspaper says Boulder District Judge D.D. Mallard struck down the bans in the cities of Lafayette and Longmont, Colorado, while Larimer County District Judge Gregory Lammons rejected the city of Fort Collins’ voter-approved ban on fracking. Both judges ruled in essence that local governments couldn’t ban fracking because it’s a critical technology used by the oil and natural gas industry and the state of Colorado, not local communities, oversees oil and gas operations. For more, read the full story.
 


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

 

Sep 05, 2014

Dominion, Duke propose $5 billion gas pipeline to connect West Virginia, South Carolina
 

Dominion Resources, Duke Energy and other partners are proposing a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The Washington Post reports the 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline project would begin in Harrison County, West Virginia and stretch through Virginia and North Carolina to Robeson County near the South Carolina border. The pipeline would tap the rapidly growing supplies of gas produced in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays and move it to the Southeast, which now receives nearly all of its gas from Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Sep 05, 2014

Income from Utica shale play will fund improvements by watershed district
 

Boosted by more than $175 million in income from oil and gas leasing activities in the Utica shale play, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District in eastern Ohio is spreading around its newfound wealth. The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the district will cut in half the assessment it collects from landowners, and will spend heavily to rebuild recreational facilities within its boundaries. The spending will include funding complete renovations of facilities at five parks and two marinas, eliminating an $80 million maintenance backlog, and establishing a revolving loan fund to help communities in its 18 counties fund water and sewer projects. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Sep 05, 2014

Ohio Supreme Court accepts landmark Dormant Minerals Act case
 

The Ohio Supreme Court has accepted a case that will resolve disputes over Ohio’s Dormant Minerals Act (DMA), a key issue for oil and gas development in the state. On September 3, the court accepted Walker v. Noon (Supreme Court of Ohio Case No. 2014-0803) in which Bricker & Eckler LLP represents the mineral rights owners. The court is being asked to address the issue of whether the 1989 version of the DMA applies in mineral rights lawsuits filed after 2006, when the revised version of the DMA was enacted. The decision likely will affect thousands of acres of mineral rights across the state. Uncertainty over the issue is likely holding up millions of dollars in oil and gas development in Ohio. Watch this video for a discussion of the DMA by Bricker & Eckler attorneys.
 


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

 

Sep 05, 2014

Research firm says Marcellus shale play has $90 billion in remaining value
 

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that global research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie said it believes oil and gas fields in the Marcellus shale play have $90 billion in remaining value. The newspaper says the firm estimates the top 20 operators in the Marcellus will drill 25,000 wells through 2035. Wood Mackenzie also says the most near-term growth in the Marcellus shale region will come from liquids-rich sub plays in southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Sep 04, 2014

Chesapeake to pay $700,000 to Arlington, Texas, to settle royalty lawsuit
 

Chesapeake Energy Corp. will pay the city of Arlington, Texas, $700,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing the company of a scheme to reduce royalty checks for natural gas pumped from under parks, airports and other pieces of public property, reports the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth. Arlington filed suit in August 2013, claiming that Chesapeake based its royalty payments on gas prices that were well below the actual sales price and improperly deducted certain post-production costs. (See our Aug. 11, 2013 blog: “City of Arlington, Texas, is the latest landowner to sue Chesapeake Energy Corp. for alleged underpayment of royalties”.) According to the Star-Telegram, the settlement calls for Chesapeake to no longer subtract post-production costs and the city’s royalty will be calculated on the highest price received by Chesapeake when the gas is sold or be established by a formula. For more, read the full story.
 


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

 

Sep 04, 2014

Columbia Pipeline Group to install gas compressor station in Jackson County
 

An affiliate of Columbia Gas plans to install a natural gas compressor station in Jackson County, Ohio, most likely near the village of Oak Hill, reports the Jackson County Times-Journal. The newspaper says a Columbia Pipeline Group official told the Jackson County commissioners that the station would be connected to a 150-mile pipeline that would run from Marshall County, West Virginia to the Jackson County location in southern Ohio. Plans also call for compressor stations in Marshall County, West Virginia and Noble County, Ohio. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Sep 04, 2014

Decision on West Virginia ‘cracker’ plant reported to be a year away
 

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that Brazilian company Odebrecht is about a year away from making its final decision on whether to build a massive petrochemical complex in Wood County, West Virginia. The newspaper says the facility, to be anchored by an ethylene “cracker” plant, could be built and fully operational as soon as late 2019 if Odebrecht gives Project ASCENT the green light by next fall. A company executive told the Daily Mail that Odebrecht has started the permitting process with state and federal agencies, and the project has been accepted into the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Voluntary Remediation Program that helps clean up former industrial sites. (See our Sept. 2, 2014 blog.) For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Sep 03, 2014

Pennsylvania township faces decision on injection well ban
 

Grant Township supervisors in Indiana County, Pennsylvania must soon decide whether to defend in federal court their ban on injection wells for drilling waste despite case law that appears to be against them. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports some residents and environmentalists convinced the supervisors to pass the ban in June in response to Pennsylvania General Energy Co.’s plan to convert an oil and gas production well to a waste disposal well. PGE sued the township in August, alleging the ordinance violates federal laws and is an effort to trump federal statutes. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Sep 02, 2014

Antero Resources has high hopes for drilling in Utica, Marcellus shale plays
 

Antero Resources predicts there are as many as 835 locations primed for drilling on its holdings in the Utica shale play and 5,011 when combining possible drilling sites in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Citing the Denver-based company’s August update to investors, Columbus Business First reports Antero’s projections reflect a best-case scenario based on potential well development. The newspaper says Antero has the second-most drilling rigs in the Utica shale play with seven, and another 15 in the neighboring Marcellus shale region in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. For more, read the full story.
 


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

 

Sep 02, 2014

Marcellus shale boom sparks ‘reverse brain drain’ in Pennsylvania
 

Job opportunities presented by development of the Marcellus shale play in western Pennsylvania are drawing former residents, many of them professionals, back to the region, reports the Ellwood City Ledger. Calling the migratory phenomenon a “reverse brain drain,” the newspaper says the oil and gas boom enables educated workers who left the region for work to return to their roots. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has said 245,000 jobs in the state are related to the Marcellus shale play, and 96 percent of those working in the Marcellus are from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland and New York. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania   |  Permalink

 

Sep 02, 2014

Odebrecht seeks environmental approval for West Virginia ‘cracker’ site
 

Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht’s proposed petrochemical complex in Wood County, West Virginia is moving forward as a company subsidiary seeks state approval to clean up one of the industrial sites being considered for the ASCENT project. The Charleston Daily Mail reports the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has accepted an application from Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise LLC to enter the state’s Voluntary Remediation Program to clean up property for the proposed ethylene cracker plant in Washington, West Virginia. The Odebrecht subsidiary is exploring whether to build the cracker, three polyethylene plastic resin plants and additional facilities for water treatment and energy generation on a 363-acre site. (ShaleOhio first reported on the Odebrecht project in November 2013). For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Aug 27, 2014

Bennett leaves Energy in Depth for post at Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA)
 

Shawn Bennett is leaving the oil and natural gas outreach group Energy in Depth-Ohio to become a senior vice president at the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA). Columbus Business First reports that Bennett will do some of the same work he did at Energy In Depth, focusing on the areas of public policy, outreach, media and content creation. As Energy in Depth-Ohio’s director, Bennett worked with business leaders, elected officials and residents in eastern Ohio regarding the safety and economic benefits of oil and gas exploration. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 27, 2014

Report: Blue Racer back on track with Northeast Ohio processing plant
 

Blue Racer Midstream LLC’s plans to construct a $70 million natural gas processing plant in southeastern Mahoning County, Ohio appears to be back on track, reports the Business Journal in Youngstown. Citing a report published by Texas-based Industrial Info Resources Inc., the newspaper says Blue Racer would like to start construction on the plant by September 2015, and finish the project by June 2016. Blue Racer Midstream, a joint venture between Dominion and Caiman Energy, announced plans in 2012 for the plant and a pipeline network in the northern part of the Utica shale play. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 27, 2014

Texas company shifts ‘cracker’ plant site from West Virginia to Ohio
 

Downstream Today reports that Houston-based Appalachian Resins Inc. plans to lease approximately 50 acres in southeastern Ohio to build a $1 billion integrated ethylene/polyethylene production facility. The company had planned to put the ethane “cracker” facility in West Virginia, but an Appalachian Resin executive told the news site that it decided to move the proposed plant to Monroe County, Ohio, "for business and commercial reasons and to accommodate a larger production facility.” The plant would serve a regional market, using natural gas liquids produced in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays to process approximately 18,000 barrels per day of ethane into ethylene and polyethylene. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

Aug 27, 2014

Tressel faces balancing act on oil and gas in new job at Youngstown State
 

New Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel faces the task of helping YSU build programs to meet the needs of Ohio’s growing oil and natural gas industry, reports the Youngstown Vindicator. But the newspaper says the former Ohio State University football coach will have to navigate the “cultural clash between academic and campus life versus the needs of the local oil and natural-gas industry.” Some Youngstown State professors have supported a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing in Youngstown, while Ohio’s oil and gas boom presents growth opportunities for the university in areas such as advanced metallurgic, civil, electrical and radiological engineering. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio   |  Permalink

 

Aug 27, 2014

West Virginia seeks bids for shale gas drilling below Ohio River
 

West Virginia’s Division of Natural Resources is seeking bids that would allow Utica and Marcellus shale drillers to lease access to natural gas below the Ohio River, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says the state agency recently placed a legal notice in the Wheeling, W.Va. Intelligencer that asks for bids to be submitted by Sept. 11. The leases would be for Wetzel, Marshall and Pleasants counties along the Ohio River. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  West Virginia   |  Permalink

 

 

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