Posts Authored by Aaron M. Bruggeman

Ohio law may derail Youngstown oil and gas ballot issue

A charter amendment aimed at banning hydraulic fracturing in Youngstown, Ohio could be kept off the city’s November 7 ballot by the Mahoning County Board of Elections because of a conflict with state law, reports the Youngstown Vindicator. The newspaper says Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill in January 2017 that included an amendment giving more discretion to county elections boards to invalidate local charter proposals that conflict with state law or the state constitution. The ballot proposal in Youngstown, rejected six previous times by voters, would require the city to ban hydraulic fracturing and any activity related to it, according to the Vindicator, even though state law gives jurisdiction over oil and natural gas operations to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. For more, read the full story.


EQT looks at possible split of company in 2018

EQT Corp.’s board of directors will work on a plan in 2018 that could include splitting or selling a part of the Pittsburgh-based company “already poised to become the country’s biggest independently owned natural gas company with the expected acquisition of Rice Energy later this year,” reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the plan could include splitting EQT as well as divesting a portion of EQT Midstream Partners and EQT General Partners, two master limited partnerships started by EQT that are publicly traded. For more, read the full story.


Consol Energy plans to add third drilling rig in 2018

Consol Energy Inc. plans to add another drilling rig in 2018, boosting the company’s projections for natural gas production next year by 30 billion cubic feet, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says Consol has been operating two rigs, one in western Pennsylvania and the other in Monroe County, Ohio. The company did not disclose where the third rig will be deployed in those shale plays. For more, read the full story.

Ohio, Pennsylvania

Mountaineer Xpress project receives favorable report from FERC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a favorable final Environmental Impact Statement for Columbia Gas Transmission’s Mountaineer XPress pipeline project, reports Gas Compression magazine. The news site says Columbia Gas is seeking FERC authorization to construct and operate a natural gas transmission pipeline and ancillary facilities in West Virginia. The project includes 165 miles of new pipelines and three compressor stations. For more, read the full story.

West Virginia

Production in Ohio helps fuel rise in Gulfport’s natural gas output

Gulfport Energy Corp.'s natural gas production surged in the second quarter of 2017 due to increased drilling in Ohio and development of recently purchased assets in Oklahoma, reports The Oklahoman. The Oklahoma City newspaper says Gulfport’s second-quarter gas production jumped 56% compared to the same period in 2016 and was 22% higher than in the first quarter of 2017. "In the Utica Shale [in Ohio], the Gulfport team continues to make great strides in the field, marking the second quarter as the most active from a tie-in line perspective the company has experienced since entering the play in 2011," CEO Michael G. Moore said in a statement For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio

Landowners file suit to block Mountain Valley Pipeline project

Some landowners in West Virginia and Virginia are trying to head off approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Mountain Valley Pipeline by launching a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, reports the Gazette-Mail in Charleston, West Virginia. The newspaper says the plaintiffs in Berkley v. Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC seek to block FERC from issuing a certificate approving the pipeline project and giving its developers the ability to use eminent domain to condemn property for its construction. The complaint argues that such an approval by FERC would violate the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states that private property can not be taken “for public use, without just compensation.” For more, read the full story.

Oil & Gas Litigation, West Virginia

EQT suspends test drilling in Utica shale formation

EQT Corp. has suspended test drilling in the Utica shale formation in Pennsylvania and West Virginia ahead of improvements the company is anticipating with its pending $6.7 billion acquisition of Rice Energy, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. In announcing the decision, EQT said “improved returns on Marcellus wells resulting from longer laterals made possible by the Rice acquisition are higher than the return expected on the average Utica well today.” With the Rice deal, the company's Marcellus laterals are expected to increase from about 8,000 feet to 12,000 feet and include cost reductions, according to the Business Times. For more, read the full story.

Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Energy Transfer sells stake in Rover Pipeline project

The Dallas Morning News reports that Energy Transfer Partners is selling nearly one-third of its stake in the Rover Pipeline project for $1.57 billion to Blackstone Energy Partners. The 713-mile pipeline is designed to transport natural gas from processing plants in West Virginia, eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania to markets across the United States and Canada. Energy Transfer said the sale would help the company pay off some debt and finance other projects, according to the Morning News. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Pennsylvania Senate approves natural gas severance tax

Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Senate has passed legislation to help cover a state budget shortfall that includes new taxes on natural gas producers and consumers as well as the electricity and telecommunications sectors, according to Rigzone. The news site says the plan, which still must approved by the House of Representatives, would impose a severance tax of 2 cents per thousand cubic feet on natural gas production to generate an estimated $80 million for the state this year. The proposal would also levy a 5.7% natural gas gross receipts tax on home heating bills, yielding approximately $400 million a year. For more, read the full story.


Contractor seeks approval for seismic equipment at Statoil well in Ohio

An oil and natural gas subcontractor hired by Statoil has asked the Monroe County Board of Commissioners to approve temporary installation of a network of cables to monitor seismic activity at a new hydraulic fracturing operation in eastern Ohio, reports the Times Leader in Martins Ferry. The newspaper says Statoil is ready to begin hydraulic fracturing of its Pirl South Well in Salem Township and wants to lay 24 linear miles of surface-based seismic monitoring equipment, starting from the well pad and reaching out in all directions. The equipment will provide Statoil non-invasive, real-time monitoring and mapping of well stimulation. For more, read the full story.

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