Ohio Power Siting Board issues permit for $900 million natural gas power plant

Construction is expected to begin in 2018 on a second natural gas-fired power plant in Oregon, Ohio, a $900 million project “that reinforces how America's [shale] boom is upending the energy marketplace,” reports the Toledo Blade. The newspaper says the Ohio Power Siting Board recently agreed to issue a permit to a Massachusetts developer planning to build the 955-megawatt plant on behalf of Clean Energy Future-Oregon, LLC. Plans call for the new plant to begin operating in 2020 next to the 960-megawatt Oregon Clean Energy facility that went online last summer, according to the Blade. For more, read the full story.


EIA: Appalachia natural gas production soars over past five years

A federal agency reports that shale gas production in Appalachia, including from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, has jumped more than 14 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) since 2012, according to Kallanish Energy. Citing numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the news site says Appalachian Basin natural gas production grew from 7.8 Bcf/d in 2012 to 22.1 Bcf/d in 2016 and reached 23.8 Bcf/d through October 2017. EIA attributes the increase to efficiency improvements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the region.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Oil and gas group launches program to reduce wellhead emissions

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is launching a voluntary program that initially will concentrate on reducing wellhead emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds, reports Oil & Gas Journal. API said its Environmental Partnership program will also try to improve other environmental conditions at oil and natural gas operations across the United States. Twenty-six companies will begin implementing the program on January 1, 2018. For more, read the full story.


ArcLight affiliate acquires Appalachian basin assets from ECA

ArcLight Capital Partners reports that its affiliate, Greylock Energy, has acquired substantially all of the natural gas production and midstream assets of Energy Corporation of America (ECA). ArcLight says the acquisition includes more than 4,400 wells, 713,000 net acres and 2,600 miles of gathering assets. Greylock Energy pursues natural gas production and midstream opportunities in the Appalachian basin with a core focus on development of its West Virginia and Pennsylvania operations. For more, read the ArcLight press release.

Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Proposed Mediterranean pipeline would move natural gas to Europe

A potential undersea pipeline carrying natural gas from large deposits in the eastern Mediterranean Sea near Cypress to Europe is "very realistic" and could help secure the continent's energy future, reports the Associated Press. Citing comments by Israeli Energy Yuval Steinitz, the news service says a study on the EastMed Pipeline project shows the pipeline is feasible even though it presents technical challenges due to the depths involved. Steinitz said the estimated $7.36 billion pipeline could take six to seven years to build. For more, read the full story.


Dominion does final testing before opening LNG export plant

Dominion Energy has introduced feed gas for testing the company’s new $4 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Cove Point, Maryland, reports Marcellus Drilling News. The testing is the final step before the plant goes online later this month. LNG from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays will be shipped from Cove Point to Japan and India, according to the news site. Click here to read more.

Global, National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

West Virginia governor: China company ‘deathly serious’ about $83.7 investment plan

Although short on specifics during a recent press conference, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice was enthusiastic about a plan by China Energy Investment Corp. to invest $83.7 billion in natural gas and petrochemical projects in the state, reports the Wheeling Intelligencer/News-Register. "China wouldn’t be sending 28 people [to West Virginia] if they weren’t deathly serious about the whole thing,” Justice said. “They are traveling around the state and looking at sites and doing all kinds of different work. It’s more money than anybody can even imagine.” For more, read the full story.

Global, West Virginia

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rules for Eclipse Resources in oil and gas lease dispute

On November 30, 2017, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Eclipse Resources - Ohio, LLC v. Madzia, 6th Cir. No. 17-3145, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24230 (Nov. 30, 2017) affirming the lower court’s grant of summary judgment to Eclipse Resources in all respects. In this case, property owner Scott Madzia had filed suit alleging breaches of an oil and natural gas lease, a subsurface easement agreement, and bad faith on the part of Eclipse for failing to perform hydraulic fracturing operations on a well on his property.

In affirming the lower court’s summary judgment, the Sixth Circuit Court held that the language of the “lease unambiguously granted Eclipse the rights to drill for and to transport oil and gas through Madzia's property;” that the subsurface easement did not modify the rights granted in the lease because the “subject matter of the lease differ[ed] from that of the easement agreement;” that Eclipse’s use of a re-used affidavit did not violate the Ohio Revised Code and this argument was waived by Madzia’s refusal to sign the affidavit -- a breach of the further assurances clause of an amendment to the lease; and that Eclipse did not act in bad faith by failing to hydraulically fracture the initial well drilled on Madzia’s property because it was Eclipse’s option to decide whether to do so under the lease.

This case is likely to affect the language that landowners and production companies negotiate when entering into oil and gas leases in the future. Click here for a Bricker & Eckler summary of the decision.

Ohio, Oil & Gas Litigation

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
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