Chesapeake CEO says company considers additional sales of oil and gas assets

Chesapeake Energy CEO Doug Lawler recently said his company will likely sell off more oil and natural gas assets as it continues to reduce its debt load, according to CNBC. Chesapeake, which remains active in Ohio’s Utica shale play, has been moving aggressively to reduce its debt since Lawler became CEO in 2013. “We are going to be continuing to look at additional asset sales," Lawler told CNBC, noting it is going to be difficult for his company to drill and complete the 11.3 billion barrels of net recoverable oil and gas resources it has as fast as it would like. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio

Study: Laid-off oil workers may never return even when drilling rebounds reports an ongoing study by University of Houston researchers found nearly 90 percent of workers who lost their jobs during the oil bust remain unemployed or have opted to leave the oil and natural gas sector entirely. The two-year oil bust resulted in more than 215,000 U.S. job losses, and many of those workers may never return to the industry, according to the news site. That could make it harder to find good job candidates as hiring picks up with rebounding oil prices, University of Houston researcher Christiane Spitzmuller told FuelFix. For more, read the full story.


Rising prices could fuel IPOs by oil companies in next two years

The chief executive of a Houston-based investment bank predicts that rising crude oil prices and a deregulatory push at the federal level may spur as many as 40 energy companies to hold initial public offerings (IPOs) over the next two years, potentially tripling 2016’s activity, according to Bloomberg. Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. CEO Maynard Holt told the news service that interest in new oil-industry offerings is likely to spread beyond the Permian shale basin in Texas and New Mexico and could include pipeline operators and companies active in regions such as the Bakken shale play in North Dakota and Wyoming’s Powder River basin. Mergers and acquisitions should pick up as well, he said. For more, read the full story.


Mergers & acquisitions bounce back in oil and natural gas sector

Dealmaking in the U.S. oil and natural gas sector rebounded strongly in 2016, according to CNBC, as buyers “scooped up prime acreage that can produce at a profit while crude prices are low.” The television network says a new report from Houston-based oil and gas research firm PLS said mergers and acquisitions in the oil and gas industry reached $69 billion last year, more than doubling the total in 2015. Among PLS’s findings are that Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio generated $6.7 billion in deals in 2016 after a moribund year in 2015. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Rex Energy to sell Ohio shale assets to Antero Resources

Rex Energy Corp. has agreed to sell some of its Ohio shale assets in Guernsey, Noble and Belmont counties to Denver-based Antero Resources Corp. for $30 million, reports the Youngstown Business Journal. Rex Energy says the assets being divested in its Warrior South Area are “non-core” and were not part of the company’s future development plans, according to the newspaper. Included in the sale are 14 oil and natural gas wells and approximately 4,100 net acres leased by Rex. For more, read the full story.


Company wants to build two more natural-gas fired power plants in Ohio

Two more natural gas-fired power plants are planned for Ohio, marking at least 10 projects that are in some stage of development in the state, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says the proposed plants, which would be built in Lordstown near Youngstown and Oregon near Toledo, have not been formally announced, but developers recently notified Ohio regulators of plans for the Lordstown plant and will do the same in the coming weeks for the Toledo-area facility. Boston-based Clean Energy Future is developing the plants, according to Business First. For more, read the full story.


Pennsylvania Supreme Court won’t hear appeal in Mariner East 2 pipeline case

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal by three central Pennsylvania families trying to prevent an energy company from taking their property through eminent domain for the Mariner East 2 natural gas pipeline, reports the Associated Press (AP). The news service says the Supreme Court's decision “cleared another hurdle” for Sunoco Logistics Partners' pipeline project, which will move natural gas from the Marcellus shale region to the Marcus Hook export terminal near Philadelphia. As we reported in our July 20, 2016 blog “Sunoco wins court fight over Mariner East Pipeline,” Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court had previously ruled in favor of Sunoco over the three Cumberland County property owners fighting the use of eminent domain for the project. For more, read the full AP story.

Oil & Gas Litigation, Pennsylvania

Year-end rig count shows drilling on the rise in Pennsylvania, Ohio

Data from oilfield services company Baker Hughes shows there were 32 oil and natural gas rigs drilling in Pennsylvania at the close of 2016, the most since September 2015 when there were 33, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says Baker Hughes’ tally also placed the year-end rig count at 19 in Ohio, up from 13 in September 2016. West Virginia, which had 15 rigs at the end of 2015, had fallen to eight at the close of 2016. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Kasich vetoes expansion of sales tax exemption for oil and gas companies

Governor John Kasich recently vetoed an Ohio Senate bill that included an expansion of the state’s exemption from the sales tax for tangible personal property directly used in the production of oil and natural gas that would have been retroactive to 2010, reports Oil & Gas Journal. The news site says Kasich viewed the exemption in Substitute Senate Bill 235 as going well beyond the existing direct use exemption “and would result in a situation where oil and gas companies would be exempt from sales tax on almost everything they purchase.” But, the Ohio Oil & Gas Association “strenuously disagreed” that the governor had line item veto authority within the bill, according to the Journal. For more, read the full story.


Alta Resources makes second purchase in Marcellus shale play

Houston-based Alta Resources Development LLC recently made a second deal to acquire oil and natural gas assets in the Marcellus shale play, reports the Houston Business Journal. The newspaper says the company has agreed to buy a 14.3% interest in an oil and gas production project in Pennsylvania from a subsidiary of Tokyo's Mitsui and Co. Ltd. The purchase came a day after Anadarko Petroleum Corp. announced it would sell some of its Marcellus shale assets to Alta for $1.24 billion. For more, read the full Business Journal story.

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