Posts Authored by Aaron M. Bruggeman

Longer ‘laterals’ boost profits for companies in Utica shale play

Energy companies are getting better at extracting natural gas and oil from Ohio's Utica shale play and profiting from those operations, reports Crain’s Cleveland Business. The newspaper says Eclipse Resources Vice President Oleg Tolmachev recently told attendees at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce's Utica Upstream Conference that Eclipse has been finding ways to make its wells more productive through longer horizontal drilling. He said a well with a 6,000-foot lateral line in the Utica shale play typically has a return on investment of about 25%, but the return jumps to 67% for laterals extending 13,000 feet and 87% for ones reaching 19,000 feet or more. For more, read the full story.


Ohio legislation would steer oil and gas tax revenue to local communities

A bipartisan bill intended to keep money from the state’s severance tax in the communities where oil and natural gas operations take place is under consideration in the Ohio House of Representatives, according to Farm and Dairy. The newspaper says House Bill 105, co-sponsored by Reps. Brian Hill, R-Zanesville and Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, would limit the amount of tax revenue credited to the Oil and Gas Well Fund to $18 million. Revenue above amount would go toward expenses that would include capital improvements, road repairs and construction in the shale region, firefighting and emergency medical equipment, and grants to help local governments and school districts convert vehicles to natural gas. For more, read the full story.


U.S. Supreme Court denies certiorari for Walker DMA case

Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari for Walker v. Shondrick-Nau (2016-Ohio-5793). The Ohio Supreme Court had previously held on September 15, 2016, that the 1989 version of the Ohio Dormant Minerals Act (DMA) was not self-executing. Using its decision in Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration L.L.C. (2016-Ohio-5796), the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of the mineral owners in eleven other decisions pending before it, including Walker. In response the Walker decision, John Walker, Jr., petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review the case as a violation of the due process clause and the contracts clause of the United States Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, however, to deny certiorari ultimately means that the Corban decision is, therefore, the precedent moving forward. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Oil & Gas Litigation

Report: 90 oil and gas companies have filed for bankruptcy in past 19 months

A new report from the Haynes and Boone international law firm says 90 oil and natural gas producers in the United States and Canada filed for bankruptcy protection from January 3, 2015 to August 1, 2016, according to The news site says the firm reported that approximately $66.5 billion in aggregate debt has been declared by the companies in those bankruptcy cases. Texas led the number of filings with 44 and has the largest amount of debt declared in courts at around $29.5 billion. For more, read the full story. The full report can be found here.


Oil and gas drillers adding rigs in Texas and Appalachia basin

Oil and natural gas drilling companies are planning to put rigs back to work in the American oil patch this year, but it is “a feast or famine affair from region to region,” reports CNBC. The television network says many publicly-traded exploration and production companies have recently signaled an intention to add drilling rigs, but nearly all of the additions are planned for the Permian Basin in Texas and the shale plays in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. Meanwhile, North Dakota's Bakken formation and the Eagle Ford play in Texas will see little increased drilling, according to CNBC. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Ohio governor orders notification system for oilfield emergencies

The Associated Press reports that Ohio Governor John Kasich has ordered the creation of a single-call notification system for oil and gas-related emergencies and authorized two state departments to start setting it up. Rick Simmers, oil and gas chief at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), said the new system will allow multiple state entities to coordinate and respond more quickly to emergencies such as explosions, fires and spills. ODNR and the Ohio Department of Commerce are authorized to begin making rules for the new system, according to AP. For more, read the full story.


Renewable energy to impact oil and gas pipeline projects

Renewable sources make up only a small part of the energy produced in Ohio and the United States, but they are having an impact on major fossil fuel projects, including oil and natural gas pipelines, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says Kinder Morgan Inc. Vice President Allen Fore said at a recent energy forum in Columbus, Ohio that large projects such as the Houston-based company's 1,679-mile, eight-state Rockies Express Pipeline are no longer the focus. “You’re probably not going to see the mega-projects from a natural-gas perspective that you may have seen 10 years ago,” he said, adding the industry is turning to incremental projects that serve a specific purpose or customer as energy generation becomes more fluid and fragmented. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio

Rice Energy will boost operations in Utica shale play

Rice Energy Inc. plans to add to the pace of its drilling program in Ohio’s Utica shale play, joining other oil and natural gas companies that have decided to increase their operations in an improved market, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based company will boost its capital budget to $660 million from the previously forecast $640 million, including a $65 million increase for its Utica shale holdings. For more, read the full story.


Chesapeake reports big loss but will keep drilling in Ohio

Chesapeake Energy Corp. reported a loss of more than $1.7 billion in the second quarter of 2016, but the company is raising its production forecast for the year and will continue to operate a drilling rig in Ohio’s Utica shale play, reports the Akron Beacon Journal. According to the newspaper, Chesapeake said it lost money in the second quarter because of falling energy prices, non-cash impairments of more than $1 billion, and “unrealized hedging losses of approximately $544 million.” The Oklahoma City-based company also said it plans to operate 10 drilling rigs, including one in Ohio, through the remainder of the year, resulting in more than 100 additional oil and natural gas wells. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio

Eclipse expects ‘robust growth’ as it resumes drilling in Utica shale play

Eclipse Resources Corp. says it expects “robust production growth” throughout the rest of the year and into 2017 as the oil and natural gas company has resumed drilling in Ohio’s Utica shale play, reports the Youngstown Business Journal. The company expects to produce an average of 300 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from its Utica wells during 2017, up from a daily average of 212 million cubic feet during the second quarter of 2016, said Eclipse CEO Benjamin Hulbert said. The company has drilled about 50 wells in the Utica play since resuming operations in the second quarter, according to the Business Journal. For more, read the full story.

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