Ohio’s Q2 shale production up from last year

Production totals from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) show the state’s horizontal shale wells “produced 5.8 million barrels of oil and 614 billion cubic feet of natural gas during the second quarter” of 2019, CantonRep.com reports. Oil production increased nearly 30 percent from a year ago, and natural gas production increased almost 11 percent. ODNR reported production from 2,317 Utica and Marcellus wells during the second quarter. For more, read the full article.

Ohio

15 drilling permits issued in Utica-Point Pleasant shale

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) approved 15 permits for horizontal well drilling in the Utica-Point Pleasant shale for the week ending August 31, 2019, The Business Journal reports. Nine permits were awarded to Ascent Resources Utica LLC, five were awarded to EAP Ohio LLC, and one was awarded to Triad Hunter LLC. The ODNR reported 2,684 wells had been drilled in Ohio, with 2,266 active as of August 31. For more, read the full article.

Ohio

EPA announces plan to loosen restrictions on methane for energy industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) recently announced plans “to loosen federal rules on methane by allowing oil and gas operators to largely police themselves,” The Washington Post reports by eliminating federal requirements that oil and gas companies install technology to detect and fix methane leaks from wells, pipelines and storage facilities. U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the proposal removes “unnecessary and duplicative” regulatory burdens, according to the article. Anne Idsal, assistant administrator of the U.S. EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said U.S. EPA will continue to require gas and oil companies to limit the release of “volatile organic compounds,” including methane, “but only during drilling and processing.” The proposal also challenges whether the federal government has the authority to regulate methane “without first making a detailed determination that it qualifies as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.” The plan is particularly notable because major energy companies are split on the rollback. For more, read the full article.

National, Oil & Gas Litigation

Ohio loses natural gas investments because of nuclear power subsidies

The Columbus Dispatch reports that two companies have canceled plans to build or expand natural gas power plants in Northern Ohio in the wake of the fees levied on consumers by HB 6. The fees will subsidize coal and nuclear plants, and according to some oil and gas spokespersons, disincentivize natural gas interests.  The president of Clean Energy Future estimates an economic loss of $29 billion over the 50-year life of one shelved plant in Lordstown. Read the full story.

Ohio

Rice addresses town hall

Toby Rice, the new CEO of EQT, addressed a town hall meeting that drew nearly 200 landowners to Union Local High School in Belmont, Ohio, reports The Intelligencer Wheeling News-Register. Rice discussed his recent election to CEO and the change in leadership at EQT, and sought to assure those present that the deficiencies in EQT’s operations were a thing of the past. Rice is quoted, “We want to be the operator of choice…we’re going to continue treating our landowners with respect.” He outlined EQT’s plans surrounding the $1.5 billion investment in natural gas in Belmont County, including their partnership with Gulfport Energy and the proposed cracker plant. Landowners voiced some concerns but were generally receptive to Rice. Read the full story.

Ohio

Rice installs executives at EQT

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that EQT’s new CEO Toby Rice has appointed a slate of executives from his former company Rice Energy, Inc., including general counsel William Jordan, CIO Tony Duren and CHRO Lesley Evancho. Other key positions have been filled but were not yet named. These executives have been tasked with leading EQT through the transition period and implementing Mr. Rice’s proposed 100-day plan. Read the full story, including market and production goals and Mr. Rice’s thoughts on company culture.

Pennsylvania

UGI expands midstream portfolio with acquisition

UGI Energy Services, a subsidiary of UGI Corporation, has announced that it has entered into an agreement with TC Energy to acquire the equity interests of Columbia Midstream Group from one of TC Energy’s subsidiaries. The deal is worth roughly $1.25 billion, and will allow UGI to “expand [their] midstream capabilities in the prolific…Southwest Appalachian Basin,” according to UGI president and CEO John L. Walsh.  Other “compelling financial and strategic benefits,” according to UGI and reported by BusinessWire, include diversification, expansion of revenue, portfolio-building and an expanded footprint in the midstream asset market across Utica and Marcellus. Read the full story, including financing and closing details, here.

Ohio

Permit for proposed injection well, RUMA stalled by township trustees

The Intelligencer: Wheeling News-Register has reported that the Richland Township (Belmont County) trustees have tabled indefinitely two key items which would allow Omni Energy Group to drill and operate at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Ohio 331: the permit for the proposed well and the road use maintenance agreement for Omni’s ongoing operations in relation to the well. Likewise, the trustees have requested the involvement of the county and state and federal representatives. Concerns are running high among residents, some citing fears of health threats, some the noise and disruption of construction; some are skeptical of wastewater well technology in general. The discussion is ongoing; the next trustees’ meeting is August 7. Read the full story.

Ohio

Rice and his team are once again in control of EQT

Toby Rice sold Rice Energy Corp. to EQT Corp. in 2017. On Wednesday, July 10, 2019, as reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, after a nine-month campaign culminating in a shareholder vote, a majority Rice-nominated slate has taken over the board and installed Mr. Rice as CEO. EQT posted disastrous results in 3Q 2018, which is cited as a major catalyst for this change. Plans are under way for the transition and all involved are looking to a successful transformation. Read the full story.

Pennsylvania

Marietta official, Ohio Oil and Gas Association weigh in on water studies

A team from Yale University and MIT will be conducting a new drinking water study in Belmont and Monroe Counties, reports The Intelligencer: Wheeling News-Register. Researcher Nicole Deziel, who did a pilot study in Belmont County in 2016, will spearhead this new effort, collecting data and samples and speaking with residents. Her research follows the EPA’s 2016 report stating the need for more data to determine the ultimate impact of oil and gas development on public health. Deziel’s stated intention is threefold: to develop a predictive model of contamination, perform data analyses of screenings for contamination and study neonatal health outcomes. Jeffery Kephart, Marietta’s water superintendent, pointed out that some of the chemicals thought to cause health issues may turn up in water from sources not related to fracking. Mike Chadsey of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association noted that Ohio’s “strong well casing standards” are a key to protecting the drinking water. Read the full story.

Ohio
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