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Entries for category:   United States

 
Apr 16, 2014

Wastewater management company GreenHunter Resources is selling its Texas wells to focus on the Appalachian Basin
 

Texas-based GreenHunter Resources Inc., an oilfield wastewater management company, "has sold or is preparing to sell" all of its wells in Texas to "focus on the Appalachian Basin," Columbus Business First reports. A chairman for the company said that GreenHunter was unable to "get the margins or fill its wells in Texas and Oklahoma," but that it was filling up every well it puts on in the Appalachian region, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 15, 2014

State regulators meet to develop common procedures to monitor seismic activity tied to oil and gas development
 

State regulators from across the country met in Oklahoma City recently to discuss the development of a "set of common procedures to monitor for earthquakes, investigate their cause and draft rules and regulations to prevent them," Bloomberg reports. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, pumping wastewater underground "has been linked to a sixfold jump in quakes in the central U.S. from 2000 to 2011" (See our March 1, 2014, blog post – "Oklahoma is the latest oil and gas state to experience unusually heavy seismic activity"). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 15, 2014

Impressive production results in Ohio's Utica shale play are pushing drillers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to invest in multiple formations
 

Fort Worth-based Range Resources Corp. recently announced its plan to drill the first Utica shale well in Washington County, Pennsylvania, this spring, NaturalGasIntel.com reports. Advances in technology are "pushing drilling efficiencies to new heights." Coupling that with a "series of eye-opening well results" coming out of the Utica shale play is causing companies to drill the Appalachian Basin's "trifecta of three pay zones" – the Marcellus shale, the Utica shale and the Upper Devonian formation (See our March 21, 2014, blog post for more information). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Apr 15, 2014

Industry-backed report says $641 billion investment needed in midstream infrastructure during the next two decades
 

An analysis co-sponsored by America's Natural Gas Alliance and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America Foundation predicts that "$30 billion worth of new midstream infrastructure will be needed each year through 2035 – triple the $10 billion in average annual investments during the past decade," The Columbus Dispatch reports. The report, released by the consulting firm ICF International, said the $641 billion needed to be invested over the next two decades will include "35,000 miles of new transmission pipelines and 303,000 miles of gas-gathering lines." In addition to reducing the practice of flaring, the report predicted that these investments will create "432,000 jobs and $300 billion in tax revenue in the United States and Canada," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 14, 2014

State of Oklahoma files lawsuit alleging U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s changes to federal endangered species categorization process could unduly disrupt oil and gas production
 

On behalf of the State of Oklahoma and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt recently filed a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has "attempted to circumvent the legislative and regulatory process and make fundamental changes to its (Endangered Species Act)-imposed obligations," Investors.com reports. The plaintiffs are referring to the "sue and settle" process in which the "the feds have entered into a consent agreement with the environmentalists to rush forward a judgment on an unprecedented number of species," the timelines for which the plaintiffs allege force the FWS to "make determinations without a thorough review of the science." Of particular concern to this group is the lesser prairie chicken, which the FWS is expected to soon designate as endangered. According to the plaintiffs, this designation "could disrupt drilling and exploration on hundreds of thousands of very promising oil and gas lands in this part of the country," the article said. The issue is not unique to Oklahoma; Ohioans with interests in "coal mining, electricity transmission, oil and gas drilling, and road-and-bridge improvement" have taken issue with the preliminary decision by the FWS to place the northern long-eared bat on the endangered species list (See our Dec 16, 2013, blog post for more information). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 11, 2014

Bill to block the Bluegrass Pipeline from using eminent domain advances to the Kentucky Senate
 

The Kentucky House of Representatives recently passed H.B. 31 by a 55-to-16 vote to "prevent the controversial Bluegrass Pipeline from crossing private property against landowners' wishes," Kentucky.com reports. The proposed pipeline would connect the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to the U.S. Gulf Coast (See our March 20, 2013, blog post for more information). The joint venture behind the pipeline – Houston-based Boardwalk Pipeline Partners and Oklahoma-based Williams – "so far have secured 70 percent of the necessary Kentucky land through easement negotiations without having to invoke eminent domain, and the same is true for the entire Ohio segment of the pipeline," the article said. For more, read the full story.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Apr 10, 2014

New report describes early production predictions for the Marcellus shale play as "embarrassingly conservative"
 

The investment information service Morningstar, Inc. recently released a report detailing how two factors lead to "embarrassingly conservative" early predictions about production in the Marcellus shale play, NaturalGasNOW.org reports. According to the report, the play has grown from just two percent of the country's domestic natural gas supply in 2007 to just under 20 percent by the end of 2013. "The major improvement in median initial production rates, from less than 3 MMcf/d in late 2011 to 5 MMcf/d by mid-2013 and the ability of these wells to sustain their high rates for a period of several months beyond initial production" are credited for the dramatically larger production rates. For more, read the full story and report.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Apr 10, 2014

Shell and Chevron are considering midstream sales to fund their exploration and production activities
 

Oil giants Chevron Corp. of San Ramon, California, and Royal Dutch Shell of the Netherlands are considering selling off their pipelines and storage facilities to "raise cash for oil and gas exploration," Bloomberg Businessweek reports (See our March 27, 2014, blog post for more information). Although unlikely to divest all of their midstream assets, these companies are seeking to capitalize on the pipeline demand that has been created as a result of the "booming shale energy industry." The move comes for Shell after the company spent "$2 billion more than it planned on exploration and production last year." The crux of these strategies is the fact that "the returns on invested capital in midstream businesses tend to top out at 20 percent, while exploration projects can deliver 50 percent or more," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 08, 2014

Wyoming Supreme Court holds courts need to review frack fluid trade secret claims on case-by-case basis
 

The Wyoming Supreme Court recently remanded a hydraulic fracturing trade secret case back to the district court. The lower court had agreed with the Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission that it did not necessarily need to publicly disclose the ingredients that make up hydraulic fracturing fluids nor their concentrations "since they may be trade secrets that vary from company to company and can allow for competitive advantage," according to the Wyoming Business Report. The high court ruled that the district court failed to follow the Wyoming Public Records Act (WPRA), which requires the district court to "independently determine whether information must be disclosed or not, rather than to review a decision of the supervisor as an administrative decision" under the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act. As a result, the high court stated, the district court might have to "review the disputed information on a case-by-case, record-by-record or perhaps even on an operator-by-operator basis, applying the definition of trade secrets set forth in this opinion and making particularized findings which independently explain the basis of its ruling for each," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 07, 2014

Investigation details how Chesapeake Energy systematically underpaid royalty owners to raise money
 

A recent investigation by the nonprofit news organization ProPublica found that Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. survived its well-known financial woes by "slashing royalties it paid property owners to drill on their land." Lawsuits alleging as much have been filed against several different oil and gas companies in shale plays across the country, but ProPublica now estimates that Chesapeake raised nearly $5 billion doing this (See our March 4, 2014, blog post – "Oklahoma appellate court overturns decision to allow royalty payment dispute to proceed as a class action"). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Oil & Gas Litigation  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Apr 06, 2014

Antero Resources signs deal with Odebrecht to be the anchor ethane supplier for the planned ASCENT complex
 

Denver-based Antero Resources announced last week that it will provide 30,000 barrels per day of natural gas to the ASCENT (Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise) complex that is planned for Wood County (See our Feb 26, 2014, blog post for more information). The company signed an agreement with Odebrecht – the Brazilian company behind the project – to become the "anchor ethane supplier" for the complex, supplying "almost half of the volume required" to operate the cracker. For more, read the full news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Apr 03, 2014

Feds to review rail transport regulations for volatile crude oil shipments
 

As domestic oil and gas production booms and pipeline infrastructure is busy trying to catch up, energy companies have taken to transporting their products by rail. A new review from the Cincinnati Enquirer shows that "neither federal nor state regulators track" rail shipments of crude oil drilled from shale deposits, which is "more volatile than traditional crude." Several high-profile rail accidents recently have prompted the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to state that it was "starting to look at changing its rules and was taking a closer look at oil shipments," the article said (See our Feb 11, 2014, blog post – "Three oil and gas companies fined $93,000 for improperly labeling Bakken crude transported by rail"). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 02, 2014

Texas gubernatorial candidates offer significantly different opinions on the booming oil and gas industry
 

With an election coming up in November, The Texas Tribune recently compared the oil and gas policies of the two leading gubernatorial candidates – State Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, a Republican. Even as production surges elsewhere in the United States, Texas has managed to pump "more than twice the oil it did three years ago, accounting for more than a third of all domestic production." As a Fort Worth city councilwoman and later a state legislator, Sen. Davis has helped to shape pipeline rules and a drilling ordinance, in addition to encouraging landowners to form associations and publicly criticizing certain clauses in mineral rights leases. Beyond his stint as a Texas Supreme Court justice, Abbot's oil and gas policy can be pieced together through the "barrage of lawsuits against the federal government [filed while attorney general], including more than a dozen against the Environmental Protection Agency," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 30, 2014

Gateway Royalty II LLC raises $58.5 million to buy Utica shale royalties
 

Carrollton-based Gateway Royalty II LLC has raised $58.5 million to buy oil and gas royalties from landowners within the eastern Ohio counties of Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Guernsey, Harrison, Monroe, Noble and Washington, Columbus Business First reports. Founded in Texas, the company encountered too much competition there, as well as land tract sizes that were "much more expansive and expensive." Gateway Royalty originally focused on the northern part of the play when it relocated to Carrollton in 2012, but this new round of investments "will move toward the south," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 29, 2014

New company Rock Oil Holdings gets a $250 million equity commitment to buy liquids-rich acreage in Ohio and Texas
 

New York-based private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC has put a $250 million equity commitment into newly formed Rock Oil Holdings LLC, which will use the funds to buy acreage in "liquids-rich production areas including the Utica in Ohio and the Eagle Ford shale play and Permian basin in Texas," Columbus Business First reports. The new company will have executive offices in both Denver and Houston. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 28, 2014

Magnum Hunter Resources predicts five years of heavy drilling in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays
 

Executives at Houston-based Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. are predicting "at least five years of sustained and heavily drilling in the Appalachian Basin," Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) reports. The company focused on the Utica and Marcellus shale plays after shedding its Eagle Ford assets last year, and credits "record-setting gas storage withdrawals...developing acreage positions" and superb reservoir quality as the driving forces behind its success in the region. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Mar 27, 2014

Shell to cut its domestic shale spending and staff by 30 percent
 

Following "underwhelming results over the past several years," Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell announced recently that it intends to "cut spending and staff at its dry gas operations" in the United States by about 30 percent, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Shell controls 900,000 acres in the Marcellus shale play with approximately 300 employees in Pennsylvania. The announcement creates uncertainty over the future of Shell's planned ethane cracker, which the company had previously announced would be built in Beaver County, Pennsylvania (See our Nov 9, 2013, blog post – "Declining earnings and a maturing shale gas refining industry might drive Shell to cancel its planned ethane “cracker” plant in Pennsylvania"). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 26, 2014

Capstone Turbine Corp. to supply microturbines for oil and gas operations in both the Utica and Marcellus shale plays
 

The California-based Capstone Turbine Corp. announced that it has landed multiple contracts to supply microturbines for oil and gas operations in the Utica and Marcellus play regions, Power Engineering magazine reports. Through E-Finity Distributed Generation, Capstone will supply microturbines totaling about 4 MW that "reduce emissions generated from the generators and increase onsite power production." For more, read the full story.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Mar 25, 2014

Domestic shale boom could make building fertilizer plants in the U.S. more cost effective than importing fertilizer
 

Abundant domestic supply of natural gas is credited as the driving force behind the creation of the first new fertilizer production capacities in the United States in more than two decades, ShaleStuff.com reports. Producers of ammonia and urea are looking to the United States because the price of natural gas is making it more cost effective to produce fertilizers in newly built plants than it is to import them. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 24, 2014

Hydraulic fracturing technique reaches its 65th birthday
 

The hydraulic fracturing technique was developed on March 17, 1949, when Houston-based Halliburton "first used large amounts of water to shatter the rock in two test wells," The Oklahoman reports. More than 50 years later, George Mitchell of Texas-based Mitchell Energy perfected the process for economically drilling the Barnett Shale in Texas. Following its purchase of Mitchell Energy in 2002, Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp. "expanded on Mitchell's research and combined the practice with horizontal drilling," which sparked the domestic shale boom, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 24, 2014

Recent SEC filing reveals details about Chesapeake Energy's plan to spinoff its oilfield services division
 

In a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) filing, Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. said that the proposed spinoff of its oilfield services division would be called Seventy Seven Energy and would employee 5,200 workers across the country, CantonRep.com reports (See our March 14, 2014, blog post for more information). Active in the Utica and Marcellus shale play regions, the proposed spinoff would offer "drilling, hydraulic fracturing, equipment rentals, drilling rig relocation and water transport and disposal" through the following wholly owned subsidiaries: Nomac Drilling, Great Plains Oilfield Rental, Performance Technologies, Oilfield Trucking Solutions and Hodges Trucking Solutions. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Mar 22, 2014

Shale boom leads to the first surge in U.S. refinery construction and expansion in 30 years
 

After three decades in which not a single major new refinery was built in the United States, the domestic shale boom is leading to a surge in the planning and construction of new refineries as well as the expansion of existing ones, The New York Times reports. All told, "the planned refineries, expansions and new distillation towers that will be built over the next few years represent roughly $5 billion in investments." The article estimates that at least a dozen such projects are being planned for Kentucky, Ohio and Texas alone. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 21, 2014

Report predicts demand for shale-related products and services will surpass $90 billion in 2017
 

A new research report released by Reportlinker.com forecasts that demand for shale-related products and services will "surpass $90 billion in 2017," according to The Business Journal. The report, "Shale Gas & Tight Oil: Products & Services," costs $5,200 and provides historical demand data for 2007 and 2012, as well as "forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by product, service, region and play." For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Mar 18, 2014

Columbia Gas Transmission sues Maryland landowners seeking easements for a pipeline extension project
 

West Virginia-based Columbia Gas Transmission recently filed another lawsuit against Maryland landowners, this time seeking to "invoke eminent domain to obtain temporary or permanent easements on more than 400 acres for its 21-mile pipeline extension," according to The Baltimore Sun. In the lawsuit, the company said it was able to negotiate agreements with other landowners affected by the project with the exception of the more than two dozen it listed. In January, the company "sued about 30 property owners in Baltimore and Harford counties to gain easements on roughly 76 acres" for the project. The $180 million pipeline project will extend an existing line from Owings Mills to Fallston, both in Maryland. Federal regulators approved the project last November and construction is scheduled to begin in June, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 18, 2014

Chesapeake Energy sells its 437 compression units to Access Midstream Partners and Exterran Partners for $520 million
 

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. recently announced that it has sold its 437 midstream compression units for $520 million, Columbus Business First reports. Access Midstream Partners, also of Oklahoma City, is acquiring 103 of the units located in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia for $160 million. Houston-based Exterran Partners is acquiring the additional 334 units located in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas for $360 million. In the same week, the company announced its intention to sell its $2.5 billion oilfield services division (See our March 14, 2014, blog post for more information). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Mar 18, 2014

Gulfport Energy acquires 8,200 Utica acres from Rhino Resource Partners for $185 million
 

Oklahoma City-based Gulfport Energy Corp. recently acquired 8,200 Utica acres from Kentucky-based Rhino Resource Partners LP for $185 million, Columbus Business First reports. Second only to Chesapeake Energy Corp., Gulfport has the second-highest number of horizontal well drilling permits in Ohio. With about 165,000 total Utica acres leased, the company has said that it has not had to restrict its drilling plans as a result of infrastructure needs, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 14, 2014

Chesapeake Energy considers selling or spinning off its oilfield services unit
 

As part of its ongoing effort to cut capital spending and pursue further asset sales due to an almost $1 billion funding gap in 2014, Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. is considering the sale or spinoff of its oilfield services unit to existing shareholders, Bloomberg reports (See our Oct 16, 2013, blog post for more information). Chesapeake Oilfield Operating LLC had about $2.2 billion worth of sales in 2013 and currently "owns or leases 115 rigs, owns nine hydraulic fracturing fleets, rents equipment for oil fields and operates 260 rig-relocation trucks, as well as cranes and forklifts." The business would be valued at about $2.7 billion, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 11, 2014

Academic researchers from Oregon State and Cincinnati are studying the impact of hydraulic fracturing on air quality
 

As part of a collaboration with the University of Cincinnati, researchers from Oregon State University recently installed 23 boxes throughout Carroll County that will "help determine what impact hydraulic fracturing might have on the area's air quality," CantonRep.com reports. The three-pound, metal boxes contain "a piece of material made of silicon and polyethylene that can absorb chemicals in the air like a sponge." The boxes are what's known as "passive samplers" because they require no power or maintenance to function. Results from this initial run will be known in three to six months, then the researchers will return to monitor the same areas after drilling operations begin, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 10, 2014

New study examines the potential environmental impacts of shale gas and wind development across the entire Marcellus shale play
 

A recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE touts itself as "the first one to examine the potential environmental impacts of shale gas and wind development across the entire Marcellus shale play," according to a news release from The Nature Conservancy, which undertook the study. Findings indicate that the most significant impact from energy development in the Central Appalachians involves a decrease in watershed conditions. The study said that "36 percent of the predicted energy expansion in the study area is expected to occur in watersheds that are among the top 25 percent nationally in terms of water importance." With 106,004 new gas wells and 10,798 new wind turbines predicted for the area, an area larger than the state of Delaware will be subjected to industrial surface development. The study's authors advise the hydraulic fracturing industry to take advantage of the flexibility horizontal drilling allows regarding the location of infrastructure so as to minimize the impacts to natural habits. For more, read the full study and news release.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Mar 10, 2014

Feds release first tool to map producing oil and natural gas wells across the U.S.
 

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released an interactive tool that it describes as the first of its kind to map producing natural gas and oil wells across the country, Columbus Business First reports. The tool, developed in collaboration with Texas-based Drilling Info, Inc., also provides "locations and information on power plants, pipelines, shale plays and anything else related to energy." For more, read the full story and access the U.S. Energy Mapping System.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 09, 2014

Real estate developers in Denver are working with the oil and gas industry to mitigate landowners' concerns
 

Whereas real estate developers in the Denver area were previously "acquiring mineral rights to play defense" against oil and gas development, within the last five years they have begun working with oil and gas drilling companies to "extract more value from [their] holdings," according to The Denver Post. Real estate agents say that working with the industry opens up a dialogue that helps to mitigate landowners' concerns, which leads to less truck traffic and the consolidation of well pads and treatment facilities. Beyond the royalties, developers note another benefit in that the "[g]rowing domestic energy production is projected to lead to a manufacturing renaissance, one that will boost hiring and help fill out developments more quickly," the article said. For more, read the full story.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 08, 2014

Oklahoma appellate court overturns decision to allow royalty payment dispute to proceed as a class action
 

The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals recently reversed a Beaver County court's decision allowing a mineral owner's royalty dispute with Chesapeake Energy Corp. to proceed as a class action, The Oklahoman reports. In November 2010, a Kansas resident sued the company, alleging it had underpaid oil and natural gas royalties owed to him for some Oklahoma wells. The royalty owner argued that his lease did not allow for post-production cost deductions and that the case should proceed as a class action because "Chesapeake used a common method to pay royalties based on revenue it received under its marketing contracts." The lower court ruled in favor of the class action designation in February 2013, but the appellate court sided with Chesapeake Energy, which said there were too many variable terms included in and conditions surrounding the 75,000 leases that would be part of the proposed class action. The appellate court agreed, noting that it would "require thousands of 'mini trials' to determine liability and damages," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by J. Hughes in  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 06, 2014

BP is creating a wholly owned subsidiary to manage its U.S. onshore oil and gas assets
 

BP announced this week that that it is forming a new, separate, wholly owned business to "manage its onshore oil and natural gas assets" in the continental United States, The Wall Street Journal reports. Although the company is attempting to recover from its "2010 Macondo explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico," its strategy is similar to that of other large oil companies that are "trying to coax profits from the North American shale boom." These energy giants hope these subsidiaries will be able to achieve the success that the "smaller, nimbler producers" have achieved in the domestic shale boom, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 05, 2014

Halcon Resources suspends its Utica drilling operations this year to focus on developing its holdings in North Dakota and Texas
 

Houston-based Halcon Resources Corp. is suspending its Utica shale drilling operations in northeastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania in 2014 so that it can focus its efforts on developing its holdings in North Dakota and Texas, The Business Journal reports. During a conference call last week, Halcon President and CEO Floyd C. Wilson told analysts that the company plans to hold off in the Utica until it can see what results certain existing wells produce, noting that its holdings there "haven't been too wonderful" in the far northern tier of the play. Wilson noted as much during a conference call to investors in November in which he said that northern Trumbull, Mercer and Crawford counties were "no longer his company's focus" due to their poor production results (See our Nov 22, 2013, blog post – "Halcon Resources CEO says the company will focus on the southern portion of the Utica shale play"). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 04, 2014

Rice Energy is thriving after its January IPO
 

Founded in 2007, Pennsylvania-based Rice Energy went public in January (See our Oct 25, 2013, blog post for more information). Since the offering, the company’s value has risen 14 percent, Bloomberg News reports. The company owns 46,490 net acres in the Utica shale, the majority of which are located in Belmont County. The company also holds 43,350 Marcellus acres in western Pennsylvania, the article said. Just last week, a Rice Energy subsidiary "bought assets in eastern Washington and Green counties, Pennsylvania," from an M3 Midstream LLC subsidiary for $110 million cash. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 04, 2014

CONSOL Energy to supply ethane from the Marcellus to Ineos Europe AG
 

CONSOL Energy recently announced a partnership with Ineos Europe AG to export ethane derived from CONSOL's Marcellus operations, The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register reports. The ethane will be transported across Pennsylvania via the Sunoco Mariner East pipeline at a rate of 70,000 barrels per day. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 02, 2014

U.S. EPA outlines permit requirements for using diesel in hydraulic fracturing operations
 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released standards for the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing. Although industry leaders claim the use of diesel has been phased out of the hydraulic fracturing process, it nonetheless "sought to block the EPA's criteria, saying it could lead to greater federal oversight and delays in getting permits," Bloomberg reports. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was amended through the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to specifically include all fluids and propping agents used in hydraulic fracturing except diesel. For more, read the full story and EPA guidance.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 01, 2014

Oklahoma is the latest oil and gas drilling state to experience unusually heavy seismic activity
 

Oklahoma joins a growing list of states experiencing "unusually heavy seismic activity near oil and gas drilling and disposal wells," Time magazine reports. There is no definitive proof that hydraulic fracturing itself contributes to earthquakes; however, a stronger link between wastewater injection wells and earthquakes does appear to be emerging (See our Jan 21, 2014, blog post – "Texas Railroad Commission plans to hire an in-house seismologist to research whether injection wells are causing earthquakes"). Other states experiencing this activity include Arkansas, Kansas, Texas and Ohio. In March 2012, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) introduced new injection well regulations after its researchers linked a brine disposal well to seismic activity in the Youngstown area (See our July 11, 2012, blog post – "Gov. Kasich signs executive order regulating deep-injection wells"). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Mar 01, 2014

Landowner group files lawsuit to force New York to expedite its environmental review of hydraulic fracturing
 

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York recently filed a lawsuit to try to force the state to expedite its environmental impact review of hydraulic fracturing, Bloomberg News reports. The state halted hydraulic fracturing operations in 2008 to allow time for the review, and the state's environmental commissioner said regulations on the process would not be issued "until at least April 2015" (See our Aug 11, 2013, blog post for more information). The group claims it is "losing out on the financial benefits of gas drilling." The case is Joint Landowners Coalition of New York v. Cuomo, Supreme Court, State of New York (Albany). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 28, 2014

PDC Energy and Rex Energy review their 2013 in the Utica shale play
 

Denver-based PDC Energy Inc. "established proved reserves of 14 million barrels of oil equivalent in the Utica shale play in 2013," Columbus Business First reports. The Utica in Ohio and the Wattenberg in Colorado constitute the company's main focus for 2014. In reviewing its 2013, Pennsylvania-based Rex Energy Corp. said it "has 28 current well permits in Ohio and spent $233 million to fund Ohio Utica and Marcellus shale operations last year," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 28, 2014

12 governors launch bipartisan effort to promote state regulatory authority over oil and gas drilling
 

Governors from 12 states have formed a bipartisan group to promote states as the "primary and appropriate regulators" of oil and gas drilling, Bloomberg News reports. The States First initiative is composed of Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah, and is a "partnership between the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission and the Ground Water Protection Council, organizations that represent energy-producing states and their regulators." States First plans no formal lobbying. Its costs are "paid by the commission, which is funded by fees from member states based on oil and gas production," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 27, 2014

Monthly E-newsletter provides a recap of ShaleOhio’s most popular blog posts
 

For a recap of ShaleOhio’s most popular blog posts, please sign up for our monthly Shale Recap – a convenient e-newsletter distributed around the middle of each month. To subscribe, go to this link and select the Shale, Oil and Gas Monthly Recap under our listing of Energy and Environmental Bulletins and newsletters.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Oil & Gas Litigation  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Feb 23, 2014

T. Boone Pickens: Converting heavy trucks to run on domestic natural gas will reduce U.S. dependence on OPEC
 

T. Boone Pickens, business magnate and chairman and CEO of BP Capital, recently published an op-ed column in The Columbus Dispatch making the case for converting the nation's approximately eight million heavy-duty trucks to run on domestic natural gas. Although his major energy policy proposal, the Pickens Plan, promotes wind and solar, he maintains that "only one percent of our electricity is produced from oil." Converting the heavy trucks would be an easy start because refueling stations could be placed along their scheduled routes. Pickens said this is the United States' best bet for reducing the $130 billion of wealth that is currently transferred to Middle Eastern governments each year as part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). For more, read the full op-ed.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 22, 2014

EnCap Flatrock Midstream to invest up to $500 million in a new oil and gas infrastructure business
 

The Oklahoma-based private equity firm EnCap Flatrock Midstream will invest as much as $500 million in a new company started by former executives of DCP Midstream Partners LP and Chesapeake Energy Corp. called Tall Oak Midstream LLC, Bloomberg reports. Tall Oak is based in Oklahoma City, where it will "invest in new and existing oil and gas gathering assets in the middle of the U.S." EnCap Flatrock Midstream, an affiliate of the buyout firm EnCap Investments LP, "has committed to an initial $100 million investment" in Tall Oak. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 22, 2014

American Energy Partners secures an additional $1.25 billion to spend in the southern Utica shale play
 

Former Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon's new venture American Energy Partners LP recently secured an additional $1.25 billion in financing for Utica shale play operations, Columbus Business First reports. The company is "selling $750 million of seven-year, 3.5 percent convertible subordinated notes, an increase from the $500 million American Energy Partners had announced last month" (See our Jan 29, 2014, blog post for more information). The company will direct the money toward "leasehold acquisitions and expenditures in the southern portion of Ohio's Utica shale region," the article said. The company also secured a $500 million increase to its borrowing limit, taking it to $950 million. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 22, 2014

Drilling-related companies in Ohio make a push for Canadian business
 

Ohio business officials recently met with representatives of a half-dozen Canadian oil companies in an effort to secure contracts related to the extraction of oil from the northern Alberta tar sands, WKSU.org reports. During the business-to-business forum in Cuyahoga County, several Canadian representatives credited the Utica shale boom with creating a "very sophisticated technology-driven industrial base" that drives their interest in working with businesses within the state. Ohio business officials did acknowledge unique challenges faced while working in the remote northern part of Canada, which generally pertain to frigid temperatures. "Canada is Ohio's largest foreign trading partner, as the Buckeye State exports more goods to the northern neighbor than the next 10 countries combined," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 21, 2014

Pennsylvania-based AMERIgreen releases infographic outlining the benefits of buying domestic energy
 

Pennsylvania energy wholesaler AMERIgreen recently released statistics on fuel consumption in the United States. In detailing the benefits of buying domestic fuel, the company found that the United States transferred $380 billion of wealth to other countries in exchange for fuel in 2012 alone. For more, read the full news release and infographic.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 20, 2014

Spectra Energy affiliate wants to build the Ohio Pipeline Energy Network Project for $468 million
 

Texas Eastern Transmission LP, a unit of Houston-based Spectra Energy Partners LP, recently filed a proposal with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to "spend about $468 million to build 76 miles of 30-inch pipeline from the Kensington processing plant in Columbiana County, Ohio, to interconnect with Texas Eastern's existing hub in Monroe County," Reuters reports (See our Dec 21, 2011, blog post for more information). The Ohio Pipeline Energy Network (OPEN) Project would transform a significant portion of the Texas Eastern system into a bidirectional pipeline. This trend emerges as the traditional direction of pipelines is being altered by "record gas production in shale plays like the Marcellus and Utica in Ohio," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 20, 2014

Magnum Hunter places its first dry gas Utica shale well on production in Monroe County
 

Houston-based Magnum Hunter Resources recently announced that its Stalder #3UH well – its first dry gas Utica shale well – was placed on production earlier this week and recently tested at a peak rate of 32.5 MMCF of natural gas per day on an adjustable rate choke with 4,300 psi FCP. The well is located on the Stalder Pad in Monroe County, which has the potential for 18 wells. Wholly-owned Magnum Hunter subsidiary Triad Hunter operates the well with a 47 percent working interest, with Eclipse Resources and others as non-operating partners. For more, read the full news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 20, 2014

Chesapeake Energy takes a $500 million line of credit using a Pennsylvania landowner's 12 leased acres as collateral
 

Some landowners who have leased mineral rights for drilling are finding that such companies have used their property as part of financing transactions, the Greene County Messenger reports. Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. took a $500 million line of credit out on a Pennsylvania landowner's property for which it had leased 12 acres. Company officials declined to comment, but a Marcellus Shale Coalition spokesman said that "[i]n some cases, companies leverage their leased mineral estate in an effort to secure additional capital," noting that the lien is "placed against the leasehold estate of the operator, not the royalty interest of the landowner or property itself." Despite this, landowners can still face problems as a result of these liens. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 19, 2014

United Airlines to drop the direct Oklahoma City flight from its Cleveland hub
 

Among the "more than two dozen nonstop flights" that United Airlines expects to eliminate from its Cleveland hub this spring is Oklahoma City, which is home to several prominent companies active in the Utica shale play (e.g., Gulfport Energy, Chesapeake Energy and American Energy Partners), The Plain Dealer reports. The company first "initiated the non-stop service between the two cities in August 2012" and is currently the only nonstop flight between the two cities. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 17, 2014

Southern District of Ohio lawsuit may provide guidance on insurers’ indemnification of drillers for hydraulic fracturing claims
 

A case filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio "may have a long-term impact on issues of fracking liability in insurance coverage," Insurance Journal reports. In Warren Drilling Co., Inc. v. ACE American Ins. Co., No. 2:12-cv-425 (S.D. Ohio 2012), Warren sued its insurance provider, ACE, for failing to indemnify the driller for losses related to a 2008 water well contamination lawsuit. In the 2008 lawsuit,  an Ohio homeowner alleged that he "liv[ed] close to drilling operations [and] became aware that his water well had been contaminated by the hazardous fracking fluid." The homeowner then sued Warren, which eventually settled. Warren then filed this lawsuit against ACE for indemnification "under the insured's energy pollution liability extension endorsement (EPLE)." According to the article, as the case moves forward the court will have to decide (i) "whether the incident was unexpected and unintended, and commenced abruptly and instantaneously," and (ii) "which party has the burden of proof on the issue – ACE or Warren Drilling." For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Ohio  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 16, 2014

CGG survey of Pennsylvania's Marcellus region touted as the largest of its kind ever conducted in the continental U.S.
 

The geoscience company CGG recently completed a three-year 3D land seismic program of the Marcellus shale play. The company said that upon completion, the survey will be "the largest combined onshore seismic survey ever acquired in the continental United States." The 1,566-square-mile program covered Lycoming, Tioga, Clinton, Centre and Clearfield counties in central Pennsylvania. For more, read the full news release.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 15, 2014

Blue Racer Midstream LLC signs long-term agreements with several companies drilling in southeastern Ohio
 

Blue Racer Midstream LLC, a joint venture between Dominion and Caiman Energy II, recently announced that it has signed long-term agreements with Chesapeake Energy Corp., Eclipse Resources, Hess Corp. Total Gas & Power North America, Rex Energy Corp. and EnerVest "to gather and process natural gas liquids produced by these companies," The Business Journal reports (See our Dec 21, 2012, blog post for more information). Most of these companies are drilling in the southeastern portion of the Utica shale play, including Belmont, Carroll, Guernsey, Harrison, Monroe and Noble counties. Blue Racer is currently "building a new cryogenic processing complex in Berne, Ohio, in Monroe County, and is expanding its Natrium processing complex in West Virginia," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Feb 14, 2014

Gulfport Energy CEO James Palm retired on February 15th
 

Effective February 15, 2014, James Palm will retire as CEO of Oklahoma City-based Gulfport Energy Corp. after serving in the position since December 2005, Columbus Business First reports. The company is one of the largest drillers in Ohio's Utica shale play (See our Jan 9, 2014, blog post – "ODNR report shows Antero Resources and Gulfport Energy are out-producing Chesapeake Energy"). Gulfport Energy President and CFO Michael Moore will serve as interim CEO, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 12, 2014

West Virginia edges into the top 10 list for U.S. natural gas-producing states
 

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin recently released the January 2014 edition of the West Virginia Edge Business Report – a monthly publication that documents the state's economic development progress. With a 37 percent increase in natural gas production from 2011 to 2012, West Virginia is now among the top 10 natural gas-producing states in the country "with 146 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of additional marketed gas," according to the W.V. Department of Commerce. The report also highlights projects and related employment announcements from businesses tied to the natural gas drilling industry, including Dominion and Noble Energy. For more, read the full report.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Feb 12, 2014

Trial starts in “multibillion-dollar” lawsuit over joint venture Double E Pipeline
 

Opening statements were delivered recently for a case in which Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) is suing Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners LP (Enterprise) for allegedly dropping ETP from a planned Oklahoma-to-Texas pipeline project when it "realized it could make more money" by partnering with Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., Bloomberg News reports. ETP and Enterprise had signed a deal with Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy to ship "at least 100,000 barrels of oil per day" for a 10-year period on the pipeline, dubbed the Double E Pipeline.  However, Enterprise claims the deal was subject to approval by the companies’ respective boards. ETP lawyers counter that ETP's relationship with Enterprise on this venture had "moved well beyond the terms agreed to in the April 2011 letter," and that Texas law "liberally defines the existence of a business partnership." According to Enbridge's attorneys, Enbridge's pipeline project venture with Enterprise is "completely different from the plan" Enterprise contemplated with ETP and "could compete with the TransCanada's Keystone project," FuelFix.com reports. Attorneys for Enbridge also claim the Double E Pipeline failed for market-based reasons, including failure to “get enough shippers to agree to ship on that pipeline,” according to Bloomberg.  ETP claims at least $594 million in damages, and possibly up to $1.3 billion in damages according to its expert witness. The case is Energy Transfer Partners LP v. Enterprise Products Partners LP, DC-11-12667, District Court, Dallas County, Texas (Dallas).


 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 11, 2014

Three oil and gas companies fined $93,000 for improperly labeling Bakken crude transported by rail
 

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently penalized the Hess Corp. of New York City, the Whiting Oil and Gas Corp. of Texas and the Marathon Oil Corp. of Ohio a total of $93,000 after surprise inspections revealed that "11 of 18 samples from cargo tanks" shipping oil from the Bakken shale region of North Dakota, which is "more volatile than other grades of crude, and more likely to explore in an accident...were not properly identified and labeled," The New York Times reports. These inspections, carried out by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration, began after "a series of accidents in the last year underscored the hazard of transporting highly flammable oil by rail." The two agencies said they would expand the scope of their inspections to "include other factors that affect the proper characterization and classification of oil, such as corrosiveness, hydrogen sulfide content and gas concentrations," the article said (See our Dec 7, 2011, blog post for more information). The Association of American Railroads said that the total crude oil traveled by rail last year was 400,000 carloads, compared with just 9,500 in 2008.

The penalties come just a little over two weeks after U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx asked the Association of American Railroads, as well as the American Petroleum Institute and the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association, in a letter to detail their immediate steps to "improve the safety of trains shipping oil from domestic plays such as the Eagle Ford and Bakken shales," the San Antonio Business Journal reports. Secretary Foxx gave the entities 30 days to provide the requested information.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 11, 2014

Federal environmental assessment concludes the Keystone XL pipeline would likely not alter global greenhouse gas emissions
 

The U.S. State Department recently released its long-anticipated Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Keystone XL Project, The Washington Post reports. Although it found that the project would "be unlikely to alter global greenhouse gas emissions," the report cautioned that it is still being determined whether the project would "meet the test of President Obama's broader climate strategy." Calgary-based TransCanada sought the permit for the $5.4 billion pipeline, which would transport heavy Canadian crude to the U.S. pipeline network. President Obama said he would not sign off on the project, which is required because it crosses international borders, until it was established that the proposal would not "significantly exacerbate the climate problem" (See our May 28, 2013, blog post for more information). The report, which "includes 11 volumes of analysis," concluded that although tapping Canadian oil sands for the pipeline "would produce more greenhouse gases," no single infrastructure project will alter the course of oil development in Alberta, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 10, 2014

Timothy Dugan of Chesapeake Energy is now the E&P COO of CONSOL Energy
 

Pennsylvania-based CONSOL Energy recently announced that Timothy C. Dugan is the new chief operating officer for the company's Exploration and Production (E&P) division. Dugan most recently served as vice president of the Appalachia South business unit at Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., where he directed the company's operations in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays. For more, read the full news release.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 10, 2014

An Aubrey McClendon company is battling Chesapeake Energy for drilling rights in Louisiana
 

Oklahoma City-based Larchmont Resources LLC is battling Chesapeake Energy Corp., also of Oklahoma City, for alternative well permits to drill in a section of the Haynesville shale in northwest Louisiana that it says Chesapeake is failing to exploit sufficiently, according to The Advocate. The state "forbids having dual operators on a unit." The current CEO of Larchmont is Aubrey McClendon, who until last April served as CEO of Chesapeake. An attorney for Larchmont told the Louisiana Office of Conservation that Chesapeake is "acting against the state's best interests by preventing development and keeping large amounts of natural gas off the market" and claims that Chesapeake's current wells "are leaving the bulk of the produceable natural gas in the ground." Chesapeake attorneys argue that Larchmont isn't "interested in increasing drilling as much as buying Chesapeake's interests in the leases," and is attempting to gain leverage in those negotiations, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 10, 2014

Columbus Dispatch infographics detail the various stages of natural gas development
 

The Columbus Dispatch recently printed two infographics detailing the production, processing, transmission, storage and distribution of natural gas. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 08, 2014

Industry-backed IHS report predicts 20 years of steady natural gas prices
 

The business information firm IHS recently released a report predicting that natural gas prices will remain stable through 2035, thereby resulting in a "continuing price disparity between natural gas and other energy sources," FuelFix.com reports. This sizable disparity will create "opportunities to increase natural gas use by replacing existing electric and oil appliances...as well as adding new customers through the expansion of gas distribution systems." Funded by the American Gas Association trade group, the report, "Fueling the Future with Natural Gas: Bringing it Home," lists upfront costs for conversion as an impediment to consumers converting to natural gas vehicles and home heating, while natural gas utilities could face issues investing in the infrastructure necessary to deliver natural gas to customers. For more, read the full news release and report.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 07, 2014

Oil giants late to the domestic shale boom are paying significant amounts to tap inconveniently located petroleum deposits
 

With Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell having "spent more than $120 billion in 2013 to boost their oil and gas output," the three oil giants have little show for it, The Wall Street Journal reports. The "easiest-to-reach oil ran dry long ago" and because these companies were late to the domestic shale boom, they are now being driven to pursue new "megaprojects" to "tap petroleum deposits needed to replenish depleting fields." The costs of these megaprojects, which entail "sending oil companies beneath the ocean floor and into unstable parts of Africa," as well as using untested technologies, are soaring, the article said. For more, read the full story.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 07, 2014

Domestic oil and gas production may boost demand for U.S. Treasuries
 

A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article explores an unintended benefit of the domestic shale boom with regard to U.S. government bonds. Because the U.S. economy is currently relying less on oil and gas imports than at any time in the previous two decades, "energy expenses for Americans have fallen and cut into inflation more than any other living cost in the past year." Spending fewer dollars on foreign oil means that "any gain in crude prices no longer leads to a weaker greenback," so rising U.S. oil production might in fact strengthen the value of U.S. assets. According to the article, "spending fewer dollars abroad to buy crude oil means the U.S. currency is no longer depreciating as demand for crude rises, which may ultimately help preserve the value of Treasuries for foreign creditors." For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 06, 2014

Duke University research indicates that acid mine drainage reduces radioactivity in hydraulic fracturing wastewater
 

Researchers at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment found that blending hydraulic fracturing wastewater with acid mine drainage in a certain way makes it "possible to bind some of the fracking contaminants into solids that can be removed before the water is sent back into streams and rivers," Columbus Business First reports. After blending 26 different mixtures, researchers found that "several ions, including sulfate, iron, barium and strontium, as well as between 60 and 100 percent of the radium, precipitated within the first 10 hours into newly formed solids composed mainly of strontium barite," according to a university news release. In addition to enabling radioactive solids to be "removed from the mixtures and safely disposed of at licensed hazardous-waste facilities," the process also reduces the overall salinity of the blend, "making the treated water suitable for re-use at fracking sites." Funded partially by a National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education grant, the study was published in December in the academic journal Environmental Science & Technology. For more, read the full story and news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 06, 2014

Companies detail spending plans for shale drilling in 2014
 

Oil and gas drilling companies are releasing spending plans for their drilling operations in 2014. California-based Chevron said it will spend nearly $40 billion to drill this year, approximately 90 percent of which is budgeted for upstream crude oil and natural gas exploration and production projects, The Herald-Star reports. The company is "increasing Marcellus shale production in West Virginia and Pennsylvania," with a focus on emphasizing production in the liquids-rich zone. Texas-based Noble Energy plans to spend $4.8 billion for drilling in 2014, including $3.2 billion in the United States, where the company plans to focus much of its investments in the wet gas areas of the Marcellus shale. CONSOL Energy Inc. "plans to invest approximately $1.5 billion this year to accelerate natural gas production," The Business Journal reports. Of that total, $1.1 billion will be invested in natural gas operations, mostly in drilling programs in the Utica shale in Ohio and the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania. Of the $5.8 billion in capital expenditures that New York-based Hess Corp. plans to spend in 2014, $550 million will go toward drilling 35 wells in Ohio this year, which is up from $455 million last year, Columbus Business First reports.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Feb 06, 2014

The Ohio Petroleum Council has changed its name to the American Petroleum Institute Ohio
 

The Ohio Petroleum Council recently changed its name to the American Petroleum Institute Ohio (API Ohio), Crain's Cleveland Business reports. The change is part of an effort to clarify that the Ohio entity is in fact an extension of the largest oil and gas trade association in the United States. API Ohio held its former monicker since 1956. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 05, 2014

Guernsey County will revise its comprehensive strategic plan to focus on population increases as a result of shale development
 

William A. Meyer of Texas-based Energy Related Properties recently told the board of the Cambridge-Guernsey County Community Improvement Corporation that he predicted the population of Cambridge could grow tenfold as a result of the oil and gas boom – a prediction that has since driven area officials to revisit the Guernsey County Comprehensive Strategic Plan, The Daily Jeffersonian reports. The county first developed the plan in October 2011 and updated it last June, but now its planning commission wants to revisit it with a focus on shale development. Although some officials think Meyer significantly overshot his estimate, the county has decided to partner with The Ohio State University Extension to create an action plan based on the revised strategic plan. The action plan will assign responsibility for seeing that the suggestions of the revised strategic plan are implemented, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 05, 2014

Chevron executive details new methods and technologies employed in shale drilling
 

Michael Power, manager of unconventional resources drilling and completions at Chevron, recently described methods and new technologies that the company is currently implementing to help improve cost savings, increase efficiency and reduce the surface impact of shale development, Drilling Contractor magazine reports. The company is putting six to eight wells on a pad with longer horizontals, he said, which "reduces construction costs on a per-well basis and actual rig time in terms of moving rigs." The company is also treating flowback water on-site, which reduces both trucking costs and emissions, while also using an innovative water tank design that has "reduced the company's surface area footprint from 20 acres to 10 acres," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 04, 2014

Seismic activity moves the U.S. EPA to consider removing oil and gas wastewater from a regulatory disposal exemption
 

Industry sources say that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now raising the question of whether a "decades-old waiver excluding the majority of oil and gas production wastes from handling and other requirements under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) applies to wastewater that has been treated for disposal to surface water or recycling," Inside EPA reports. In 1980, the EPA determined that exploration and production (E&P) wastes such as drilling muds and oil production brines should not be regulated as "hazardous" under the act's strict subtitle C regulations. Flowback is not specifically listed under the exemption, "though it is generally considered exempt." This determination has "allowed drillers to dispose of the wastewater in less-regulated Class II underground injection control (UIC) wells...rather than the more heavily regulated Class I wells." The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) petitioned the agency to reconsider its determination in 2010, but the issue only began receiving attention recently as the idea of a potential link between injection wells and seismic activity became more widespread (See our Jan 21, 2014, blog post – "Texas Railroad Commission plans to hire an in-house seismologist to research whether injection wells are causing earthquakes"). One key difference between the Class I wells, which are intended for hazardous wastes and industrial non-hazardous liquids, and Class II wells, which are intended for "brines and other fluids associated with oil and gas production," is that the latter does not require regulations to "consider potential seismic risks." Industry insiders say that lifting the exemption would "result in significantly stricter permitting requirements for disposal" that could "also discourage water recycling and other beneficial reuse projects," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 03, 2014

Merged Crosstex Energy and Devon Energy entities to be known as EnLink Midstream
 

Following completion of the transaction, Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corporation and Dallas-based Crosstex Energy, L.P. recently announced that their new combined midstream businesses will be called EnLink Midstream Partners, LP and EnLink Midstream, LLC. Last October, the two announced their intention to combine their natural gas pipelines, processing plants and other midstream assets. Headquartered in Dallas, the new entity will maintain a presence in Oklahoma City. The merged assets include "midstream facilities in many of the nation's most active shale plays, including the Utica and Marcellus," Columbus Business First reports (See our Oct 27, 2013, blog post for more information). They are going to be traded publicly with expected interest earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of approximately $700 million. For more, read the full news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Feb 02, 2014

Odebrecht buys land for Project ASCENT in Wood County, West Virginia, for $11 million
 

The Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise (ASCENT) project advanced recently when Odebrecht, the Brazilian-based company behind the petrochemical complex, "purchased the SABIC Plastic Innovations plant located" in Wood County, West Virginia, for roughly $11 million, The Charleston Gazette reports. Last November, W.V. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced the company's plans to build an ethane cracker and three polyethylene plants in the county (See our Dec 23, 2013, blog post – "Project ASCENT has the potential to remake the Mid-Ohio Valley"). Details regarding the project's financing, job-creation potential and a timetable for operations have yet to be released, the article said. For more, read the full story and this Bricker & Eckler announcement.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Jan 31, 2014

Aubrey McClendon's American Energy Partners buys 74,000 Utica acres in Ohio from Hess Corp. for $924 million
 

The Wall Street Journal reports that former Chesapeake Energy executive Aubrey McClendon's new private venture, Oklahoma City-based American Energy Partners LP, recently struck a deal with New York-based Hess Corp. to purchase 74,000 of its Utica acres in Ohio for $924 million. At almost $12,500 per acre, the holdings represent Hess's Utica dry gas acreage (See our Jan 29, 2014, blog post for more information). Hess CEO John B. Hess said that while their dry gas wells in that area have been highly productive, company executives "concluded that the potential returns from such an investment, at current and projected natural gas prices, no longer justified retaining this acreage as a strategic part" of the company's overall liquids-based asset portfolio, Rigzone.com reports.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jan 31, 2014

EnerVest announces changes to its executive leadership
 

Houston-based EnerVest, Ltd. recently announced a number of key changes to its executive leadership. Ken Mariani, formerly the executive vice president of EnerVest, Ltd. and president and CEO of the EnerVest Operating Company, has been named president of EnerVest, Ltd., while founder John B. Walker will retain his position as CEO as well as executive chairman of EV Energy Partners, L.P. Stephen McDaniel, formerly the executive vice president and COO of the EnerVest Operating company, has been named president and CEO of the EnerVest Operating Company. Jud Walker, formerly the senior vice president and general manager of EnerVest's San Juan/Permian asset team, has been named executive vice president and COO of the EnerVest Operating Company. For more, read the full news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jan 29, 2014

Forbes scrutinizes former Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon's preliminary prospectus for American Energy Partners
 

After leaving as chairman and CEO of Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. in April 2013, Aubrey McClendon launched American Energy Partners LLP with a $1.7 billion investment in the Utica shale play in eastern Ohio (See our Oct 15, 2013, blog post for more information). Now, McClendon is asking investors for "$2 billion for investment in yet to be identified mineral properties." Reports of financial mismanagement are what eventually led to the end of McClendon's tenure at Chesapeake, leading Forbes to intensely scrutinize the terms of the preliminary prospectus that American Energy Partners recently delivered to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including its "11.65 percent front end load of selling commissions, dealer manager fees and partnership organization expense," as well as an annual five percent management fee. A preliminary prospectus is the first draft of a legal document detailing an investment offering for sale to the public that a company must deliver to the SEC. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jan 21, 2014

Texas Railroad Commission plans to hire an in-house seismologist to research whether injection wells are causing earthquakes
 

Although refusing to "link the injection wells and earthquakes," the Texas Railroad Commission announced recently that it plans to hire an in-house seismologist to strengthen the commission's ability to gather "more evidence and data into any possible causation between oil and gas activities and seismic events." The announcement came after "[a]t least 32 earthquakes...hit North Texas since Nov. 1," driving hundreds of homeowners claiming to have suffered physical property damage to demand that the state take action, according to The Texas Tribune. In March 2012, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) introduced new injection well regulations after its researchers linked a brine disposal well to seismic activity in the Youngstown area (See our July 11, 2012, blog post – "Gov. Kasich signs executive order regulating deep-injection wells"). For more, read the full story and news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jan 19, 2014

Magnum Hunter subsidiary announces record gas gathering throughput
 

Texas-based Eureka Hunter Pipeline, LLC, a Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation subsidiary, announced recently that the throughput volumes on its gas gathering pipeline system located in West Virginia and Ohio have increased to approximately 166,500 MMBtu per day. Another Magnum Subsidiary, Marietta-based Triad Hunter, "produced approximately 45 percent of the volumes that flowed through the Eureka Hunter Pipeline System." For more, read the full news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Jan 18, 2014

Gulfport Energy Corp. achieved a record daily production of approximately 27,780 BOEPD
 

On December 31, 2013, Oklahoma City-based Gulfport Energy Corp. achieved a record daily production of approximately 27,780 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOEPD). The company entered 2013 producing 6,300 BOEPD and exited with the record – a 34 percent increase in one year. Gulfport's fourth quarter 2013 production was approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent. The company said that compared to its 2013 exit rate, it expects production to be relatively flat during the first quarter of 2014 "due to scheduled downtime on existing producing wells resulting from completion operations conducted on offset wells on the same pad." For more, read the full news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jan 15, 2014

API introduces fourth annual report on the state of American energy
 

During an industry event in Washington, D.C. recently, American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Jack Gerard introduced the trade group's fourth annual report on the state of American energy, "America's Energy, America's Choice," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Gerard also announced the institute's new advertising campaign of the same name, which is "aimed at helping energy-friendly lawmakers prevail in November's midterm elections," the article said. Regarding the proposed oil and gas severance tax legislation H.B. 375 in Ohio, Gerard remarked during a conference call with reporters that he had reiterated to Gov. John Kasich that raising the cost of doing business in Ohio will drive oil and gas investment to occur in other states, according to The Hannah Report. During the event, Gerard also unveiled the results of a new study by the global information company IHS titled, "Oil & Natural Gas Transportation & Storage Infrastructure: Status, Trends, & Economic Benefits," which "estimates that capital spending in oil and gas midstream infrastructure has increased by 60 percent between 2010 and 2013, from $56.3 billion to $89.6 billion," the Akron Beacon Journal reports. For more, read the full speech.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jan 13, 2014

MarkWest and EMG form Ohio Condensate Co. LLC to serve Gulfport in eastern Ohio
 

MarkWest Energy Partners L.P. and The Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) recently formed a new joint venture, Ohio Condensate Co. LLC, which will "provide stabilization and potential gathering services for condensate" produced by Gulfport Energy Corp. within an area that includes Belmont, Harrison, Guernsey, Noble and Monroe counties, Crain's Cleveland Business reports. By the third quarter of 2014, the new entity intends to have in service in Harrison County "a new condensate stabilization facility, with associated logistics and storage terminal capabilities." A subsidiary of Toledo-based Midwest Terminals will exclusively serve the joint venture's fully integrated truck and rail loading terminal. The new company anticipates that it will immediately expand its initial stabilization capacity of 23,000 barrels per day to 30,000 barrels, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jan 10, 2014

World's biggest coal producer forms joint venture to develop 28 Marcellus shale wells
 

Shenhua Energy, the world's biggest coal producer, became the latest Chinese company to invest in U.S. shale gas with the formation of a joint venture with Denver-based Energy Corp. of America to develop 28 Marcellus shale gas wells in Pennsylvania over the next 18 months, Breakbulk Magazine reports. China is "the only nation outside of North America that has registered commercially viable production of shale gas, although the volumes contribute less than one percent of the total natural gas production in that country," compared with shale production contributing 39 percent to the total amount of natural gas produced in the United States. In addition to Shenhua Energy, Sinopec "invested $2.5 billion in five shale projects owned by Oklahoma-based Devon Energy" in 2012 and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation bought stakes in Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy's shale fields in south Texas, Colorado and Wyoming, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jan 08, 2014

Alaska-based WHPacific Inc. opens Cadiz office to serve the oil and gas industry
 

Engineering, architectural and planning firm WHPacific Inc. recently opened an office in Cadiz (Harrison County) to provide services to oil and gas clients throughout the Utica and Marcellus shale play regions, including permitting, planning, pipeline design, community planning and transportation projects, Columbus Business First reports. The company describes itself as "the largest Alaska Native-owned professional services company in the United States," with offices in eight states including Ohio, Alaska, Colorado and North Dakota. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jan 06, 2014

Oil companies pursue different methods to stem natural gas flaring
 

Flaring – the process where drilling companies burn off natural gas to reach the more valuable oil – is becoming such an issue in North Dakota that landowners are suing oil companies alleging lost royalties and lawmakers are pushing for tighter regulations, The New York Times reports (See our Oct 22, 2013, blog post – "North Dakota landowners seek class-action status in an attempt to recover millions in royalties allegedly lost as a result of flaring"). With carbon dioxide equivalent to three medium-sized coal-fired power plants being burned off every year in North Dakota through flaring, environmentalists blame "too few gas-gathering lines and few limits on drilling." Oil companies and other industries are attempting to stem flaring by "building more pipelines and gas processing plants, planning new fertilizer factories that use natural gas as a feedstock and converting rigs and other equipment to use natural gas as fuel," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jan 06, 2014

North Dakota Supreme Court upholds state's ownership of mineral rights along Missouri River shore
 

Last Thursday, the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling that the state owned the land and the mineral rights for about 25,000 acres along the Missouri River in northwest North Dakota, up to the high water mark, E&E News reports. The case, Reep v. State, 2013 ND 253, 2013 N.D. LEXIS 259 (N.D. 2013), arose when landowners trying to "lease their mineral rights in the shore zone" at the edge of the Missouri River discovered that the state had already leased the mineral rights. More than $140 million in bonuses and royalties have been tied up in escrow accounts while the lawsuit was pending. The high court ruled that "the State owned the mineral interests under the shore zone of navigable waters upon statehood in 1889." According to the article, the ruling "doesn't prevent the landowners from challenging the state survey that determined the high-water mark," and "individual landowners can still claim ownership if they can show that the state sold or granted them some of the shore zone." For more, read the full story.

The opinion is available here.

 
Posted by J. Hughes in  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jan 03, 2014

Landowners could technically default on their mortgages by failing to get mortgage holder approval before signing an oil and gas lease
 

Many homeowners are "unaware that they need their mortgage holder's permission before they can executive leases on their own property," the Boulder Weekly reports. Government-sponsored institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "have purchased or guaranteed more than 65 percent of all new home mortgages in this country." Because these institutions are obligated to protect the value of these mortgages for sale to investors in the secondary mortgage market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac established "certain guidelines for home mortgages that decrease the risk for future loss value and/or default." These guidelines include rules forbidding them from purchasing "home mortgages on properties that are engaged in industrial activities that deal with...the transport or storage of toxic substances such as chemicals, oil and gas products or radioactive materials." All of these mortgages also have "a standard clause that does not allow homeowners to sell or lease any part of the property without permission from the mortgage holder." Landowners who sign oil and gas leases, and even those subjected to forced pooling, could unknowingly be putting their mortgages into technical default, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Dec 31, 2013

Kinder Morgan subsidiary to construct, own and operate the newly announced, $300 million Utica to Ontario Pipeline Access (UTOPIA) project
 

Houston-based Kinder Morgan Partners recently announced that its subsidiary, Kinder Morgan Cochin LLC, has signed a letter of intent with Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based NOVA Chemicals Corp. to develop a new products pipeline from the Utica shale play. Under the terms of the agreement, Kinder Morgan Cochin, LLC will "develop, own and operate a 210-mile, 10-inch-diameter pipeline from multiple fractionation facilities in Harrison County, Ohio, to Kinder Morgan's Cochin Pipeline near Riga, Michigan, where the company will then move product via Cochin east to Windsor in Ontario, Canada." The proposed $300 million Utica to Ontario Pipeline Access (UTOPIA) would transport previously refined or fractionated natural gas liquids and is anticipated to be in service by mid-2017. For more, read the full news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Dec 31, 2013

City of Fort Worth, Texas, sues Chesapeake Energy Corp. alleging underpayment of royalties due to improper deductions and sham sales to affiliates
 

The City of Fort Worth, Texas, has become the latest landowner to sue Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. for alleged underpayment of royalties, The New York Times reports (See our Aug 11, 2013, blog post for more information). In the complaint for City of Fort Worth v. Chesapeake Operating, Inc., and Total E&P (USA), Inc., filed in Tarrant County District Court, the city alleges that Chesapeake and Total are "willfully and knowingly violating express and/or implied duties owed to the City" by substantially underpaying the City "royalty payments owed under various oil and gas leases through the use of sham sales to affiliates and/or by improperly deducting costs of gas gathering, transportation, separation, treatment and other production services."

The company owns "drilling rights to more than half of the nearly 500 mineral leases that Fort Worth has issued for city property," the article said. Chesapeake's contract with Fort Worth stipulates that "royalty payments would 'be free of all costs of any kind, including, but not limited to, costs of gathering, production, transportation' and several other listed activities 'directly or indirectly incurred by lessee without prior permission from the city.'" However, in Heritage Resources v. Nationsbank, the Texas Supreme Court ruled in 1996 that "the trade meaning of royalty and market value of the well included possible built-in deductions, rendering meaningless a clause barring deductions from the value of the Lessor's royalty."

For more, read the full story and complaint.

 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

Dec 26, 2013

Blackhawk Midstream LLC sold its equity interest in the Ohio Gathering Company and the Ohio Condensate Company to Summit Midstream Partners for $190 million
 

Oklahoma City-based Gulfport Energy Corp. announced last week that Blackhawk Midstream LLC, in which Gulfport owns a 50 percent interest, has agreed to sell its equity interest in two entities to Atlanta-based Summit Midstream Partners, LLC in a transaction expected to close by Jan 31, 2014. Blackhawk will sell equity interest in the Ohio Gathering Company, LLC, which is currently owned by MarkWest Utica EMG, LLC and Blackhawk, and the Ohio Condensate Company, LLC, for a purchase price of $190 million. Together, the two purchased entities own, operate and are developing "significant midstream infrastructure in southeastern Ohio consisting of a liquids-rich natural gas gathering system, a natural gas gathering system and a condensate stabilization, storage and terminaling facility in the core of the Utica shale play." For more, read the full news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Dec 23, 2013

Indian companies provide capital for Carrizo Oil & Gas to develop U.S. assets
 

Carrizo Oil & Gas, a relatively small U.S.-based shale gas company, is acquiring capital from major Indian companies to help develop the Houston-based company's U.S. holdings, the Business Standard reports. Carrizo, which has 21,700 net Utica acres in eastern Ohio, sold a 30 percent stake in its Niobrara shale assets in Colorado to Oil India and the Indian Oil Corporation for $85.2 million. While India's Reliance Industries – another company with which Carrizo has partnered – is attempting to gain a foothold into becoming a U.S. company, the state-controlled Oil and Natural Gas Corporation is partnering to learn the technology for use in India, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Dec 20, 2013

Enterprise Products Partners begin injecting ethane into the ATEX pipeline
 

Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners L.P. recently announced that the process of injecting ethane into the Appalachia-to-Texas Express (ATEX) pipeline, which crosses through Ohio, began in late November and will continue throughout December 2013 (See our Jan 8, 2013, blog post for more information). The 1,230-mile pipeline originates in Washington, Pennsylvania, and will be connected to four fractionators in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions: the MarkWest Houston plant in Pennsylvania and the Cadiz plant in Ohio, the Blue Racer Natrium plant in West Virginia and the Utica East Ohio Scio plant in Ohio. Commercial service is expected to begin in January 2014. For more, read the full news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Dec 19, 2013

University of Colorado at Boulder releases water quality regulations database for states experiencing shale oil and gas development
 

The University of Colorado at Boulder's Intermountain Oil and Gas Best Management Practices (BMP) Project recently released a "searchable, comparative law database outlining water quality regulations" for states experiencing shale oil and gas development, Phys.org reports. The Oil & Gas – Water Quality dataset is available at LawAtlas.org and features an interactive map that policymakers, local governments, industry officials and citizens can use to compare their states' laws with those of other states. Data is available for the following states: Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. For more, read the full story.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Dec 18, 2013

Trade unions and environmentalists unite to push for the repair of leaky natural gas pipelines across the nation
 

The need to repair decades-old, decaying natural gas pipelines is a cause that makes for strange bedfellows as environmentalists and trade unions are finding common ground in agreeing that such repairs are essential to saving money and lives, improving air quality and health, and slowing climate change, The Associated Press reports. The American Gas Association estimates that it would cost approximately $82 billion to repair the more than 30,000 miles of pipelines that need it. Because the primary component of natural gas, methane, is explosive in high concentrations, these groups regard highly populated urban areas as the top priority. New York City, Boston and other major metropolitan areas still use thousands of miles of leaky cast-iron pipes, some of which are more than 100 years old, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink