Carrizo Oil & Gas closes on sales of Appalachian assets

Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas has closed on its previously announced Appalachian Basin divestitures for $128 million and has also entered into a deal to sell its assets in the Denver-Julesburg Basin in Colorado for $140 million, reports Kallanish Energy. The news site says the sales of what the company considers “non-core assets” are a major component of its plan to concentrate on the Permian and Delaware basins in Texas and New Mexico. Carrizo announced earlier this year it had entered into agreements to sell assets in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays to unnamed buyers for $62 million and $84 million respectively, according to Kallanish. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

West Virginia listed in top 10 for oil and gas investment climate

The Fraser Institute's new survey of petroleum industry executives and managers lists West Virginia as one of the 10 most attractive jurisdictions for oil and natural gas investment worldwide. The survey by the Canadian think tank looked at barriers such as high tax rates, regulatory obligations and uncertainty over environmental regulations to investments in oil and gas exploration and production facilities. Joining West Virginia in the global top 10 were Oklahoma, North Dakota, Newfoundland, Labrador, Kansas, Saskatchewan, Norway, Wyoming and South Australia.

Global, West Virginia

Research suggests EIA oil and natural gas forecasts are overstated

Bloomberg reports that researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have uncovered a flaw in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) oil and natural gas forecast that “may vastly overstate oil and gas production in the years to come.” MIT researchers say the problem is tied to EIA’s premise that better technology has been behind nearly all the recent output gains for oil and natural gas, and will continue to boost production. But, Bloomberg says the MIT research suggests production increases have been largely due to low energy prices, which “led drillers to focus on sweet spots where oil and gas are easiest to extract.” For more, read the full story.


Energy companies commit to reducing methane emissions

Eight companies -- BP, Eni, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Shell, Statoil, Total and Wintershall -- have committed to reduce methane emissions from the natural gas assets they operate around the world, including in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays, PennEnergy reports. The news site says the commitment was made as part of wider efforts by the global energy industry “to ensure that natural gas continues to play a critical role in helping meet future energy demand while addressing climate change.” For more, read the full story.

Global, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Report: Oil and gas operators put more than $300 million into Ohio road work

A new report by Energy In Depth and the Ohio Oil and Gas Association finds that oil and natural gas operators have paid more than $302 million for road, bridge and culvert improvements in Ohio through the Road Use Maintenance Agreement (RUMA). The agreement is used by counties to ensure damages caused by equipment being moved for shale drilling and pipeline work are either prevented or repaired. The report finds that RUMA funds were used to improve more than 639 miles of roadways from 2011 to 2017 in eight Utica shale counties: Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe and Noble. Click here to read more.


Oil company bankruptcies down with prices above $50 a barrel

A new report says 20 North American oil producers have filed for bankruptcy this year, which is less than a third of the number that did so during 2016, according to the Houston Chronicle. Citing data from Dallas law firm Haynes and Boone, the newspaper says the amount of debt involved in oil-producer bankruptcies stands at $5.6 billion this year compared to $56.8 billion in 2016. The Chronicle says oil company bankruptcies surged in the first half of 2016 when crude oil prices hit a dozen-year low of around $26 a barrel. For more, read the full story.


Ohio EPA asks Rover to pause drilling on pipeline project

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has requested that Rover Pipeline pause horizontal boring work on the pipeline project after a recent spill of clay-based drilling slurry into a waterway, reports the Canton Repository. The newspaper says the latest incident happened November 16, 2017 when 200 gallons of slurry spilled into the Black Fork Mohican River in Ashland County. A Rover spokeswoman said the pipeline is in compliance with plans approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Ohio EPA, and the company disagrees with a letter from OEPA EPA Director Craig Butler about Rover’s horizontal directional drilling operations. For more, read the full story.


Trump counts on FERC chairman to push coal power plant bill through Congress

President Donald Trump is on the verge of subsidizing coal-burning power plants that “would otherwise be driven out of business by cheaper, cleaner natural gas,” according to Bloomberg. The news service says a plan “that would leave consumers footing a potential multibillion-dollar bill” to bail out money-losing power plants is expected December 11. Bloomberg says President Trump is counting on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee, a Republican from coal country, to help move the bill through Congress. For more, read the full story.


Belmont County passes Carroll County for most Utica drilling permits

Carroll County does not have the most Utica shale drilling permits in Ohio for the first time in six years, reports the Canton Repository. The newspaper notes that Belmont County passed Carroll on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources permit list for the week that ended November 18. Belmont had 526 permits, while Carroll had 525. For more, read the full story.


FERC approves certificate for WB Xpress pipeline project

Columbia Gas Transmission has gained certificate approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the company's 29-mile WB Xpress natural gas pipeline project in West Virginia, according to Platts. The news site says the project will increase transmission capacity along Columbia's existing WB Line, which runs bi-directionally through West Virginia and northern Virginia. The project calls for construction of 2.9 miles of new pipeline, two compressor stations and replacement of 26 miles of existing pipeline to increase capacity in the region by 1.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. For more, read the full story.

West Virginia
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