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Entries for category:   United States

 
Aug 19, 2014

North American shale activity fuels jump in merger values
 

Columbus Business First reports that merger values in the oil and natural gas industry’s exploration and production segment have doubled globally so far in 2014. Citing a report from the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions, the newspaper says shale deals in the United States and Canada accounted for 47 percent of all exploration and production, or upstream, transactions. The report says deal values in the United States rose more than 90 percent in the first half of 2014 compared with the same time period in 2013, jumping from $52 billion to $100 billion. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Aug 04, 2014

Oil and gas M&A activity was strong in second quarter
 

Merger and acquisition activity in the oil and gas industry surged in terms of value and volume in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the second quarter of last year. Platts reports that PwC US said there were 54 oil and gas deals with values greater than $50 million in the second quarter and $42.2 billion of total deal value during the period. That was the strongest second quarter for M&A activity seen in the last five years. Two of the deals involved the Marcellus shale play, and one involved the Utica play in eastern Ohio. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jul 25, 2014

Marathon Oil produces new video on fracking
 

A new video from Marathon Oil Corp. offers an easy-to-understand overview of horizontal hydraulic fracturing. The video explains the techniques used to extract oil and natural gas from shale formations, detailing the process from site preparation through drilling, production and land restoration after wells are retired. For more, watch the video.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jul 22, 2014

Analyst: Oil E&P companies finally show positive cash flow
 

U.S. oil and natural gas exploration and production companies will have positive cash flow starting this year as growing production efficiencies make them relatively immune to flat commodity prices, says an analysis by investment bank Raymond James. Platts.com reports that Raymond James analyst Marshall Adkins stated in a note to clients that the U.S. oil and gas business can now be viewed as “more of a sustainable growth industry rather than a pure commodity call.” That’s after a decade of spending roughly 40% more than E&P companies had in revenues during the shale land grab. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jul 22, 2014

Occidental shifting to horizontal wells in Permian Basin
 

By leveraging cash flow generated by its enhanced oil recovery techniques in older oil fields, Occidental Petroleum is increasing its development of horizontal wells in the Permian Basin in west Texas, reports the Motley Fool newsletter. Occidental says it will complete 172 vertical and 172 horizontal wells in the Permian Basin this year, compared to 286 vertical and 49 horizontal wells last year. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jul 18, 2014

Senator says feds should revise definition of oil condensate
 

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is the latest official to push the U.S. Commerce Department to revise its definition of crude oil, hoping to see “condensate” removed from the definition, reports the Motley Fool newsletter. The ultra-light condensates are a byproduct of the growing use of shale oil. While Canada has been cashing in on its condensate industry, the United States has struggled with oversupply and no way to export the excess because of a federal ban on oil exports. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jul 17, 2014

Proposed pipeline project sparks debate in New England
 

Thousands of public and private property owners in New England would be affected by a proposed natural gas pipeline that Kinder Morgan wants to build from central New York to the Boston area, reports the New York Times. The newspaper says property owners are wedged between the shale gas plays in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia and the increasingly insatiable market for natural gas in New England where new demand has created wintertime shortfalls and price spikes. However, some property owners say there are less costly and intrusive ways to address the region's energy needs.  For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jul 14, 2014

McClendon deals spark big jump in M&A activity
 

Driven partly by deals made by Aubrey McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP, mergers and acquisitions in the oil and gas upstream sector had a spectacular rebound in the second quarter of 2014, reports OilVoice magazine. Citing an analysis from Evaluate Energy, the magazine says the value of such upstream deals ($51.3 billion) in the second quarter was the highest quarterly total since 2012. The majority of the increase is attributable to companies based in North America. American Energy Partners was among the biggest spenders with acquisitions of $2.5 billion in the Permian Basin and $1.75 billion in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jul 11, 2014

Chevron’s oil-field water helps farmers cope with drought
 

Chevron’s 115-year-old Kern River oil field in California’s Central Valley is selling millions of gallons of water every day to a local water district that distributes it to farmers struggling with the drought gripping that state, reports the New York Times. The newspaper says Bakersfield’s Cawelo Water District will rely on water pumped from Chevron’s oil-field for half of its supply this year, up from an average of a quarter. The district sells the water exclusively to farmers for irrigation and reduces its salinity by blending it with water from other sources. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jul 08, 2014

Technology advances driving boom in U.S. oil & gas production
 

U.S. oil and natural gas production is booming due in part to advances in information technology, reports the Daily Times in Watertown, N.Y. The newspaper says the production increases are possible because of the development of micro-seismic imaging that provides the 3D seismic maps used to show energy producers where to drill and steer the drill underground. This technology has helped companies produce 3.2 million barrels per day out of “tight” oil formations, driving up the overall national output of crude oil to more than 8 million barrels per day. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jul 07, 2014

Goldman Sachs: Shale gas eases fear in futures market
 

Rising U.S. shale gas production is driving fear out of the futures market and will constrain prices for the next two decades, says Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in a recent post by Bloomberg. Specifically, Bloomberg reports that Goldman Sachs is forecasting that natural gas will generally trade at $4 to $5 per million British thermal units for the next 20 years. It says gas prices were four times more volatile in 2009 than they are today as production grows for the ninth straight year and new pipelines deliver such gas to customers. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jul 07, 2014

U.S. shale drilling to fuel hiring spree by energy companies
 

The drilling-intensive nature of the shale oil and gas business in North Dakota, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and other states will trigger a hiring spree by energy producers, reports the Kiplinger newsletter. Kiplinger says those producers are going to create as many as 1.3 million new jobs over the next decade and a half. Drillers say finding enough rig crews will be the biggest problem, so expect more companies to partner with high schools and community colleges to recruit future workers. For more, read the full story.
 


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

 

Jun 26, 2014

Ohio leads effort to detect, regulate seismic activity
 

Ohio is leading a group of oil and gas producing states and seismology experts from across the country to determine how best to detect and regulate human-induced seismic events. The Associated Press reports the initiative follows Ohio's discovery in April of a link between hydraulic fracturing activities and five micro-seismic events in the eastern part of the state. Ohio oil and gas regulator Rick Simmers told the AP that states are seeking up-to-date information so they can develop appropriate procedures and practices. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jun 19, 2014

Four companies merge to provide oilfield services
 

Four oilfield services companies have merged to form Nine Energy Service to offer completion solutions and wire-line services for oil and natural gas development, reports Citybizlist in Houston. The partners in the venture are Northern States Completions, Tripoint LLC, CDK Perforating and Integrated Production Services Canada. The company has an office in Marietta, Ohio. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jun 12, 2014

New York battles over local prohibitions of hydraulic fracturing
 

Like Ohio, the state of New York is locked in a divisive legal battle over cities and towns having the authority to ban hydraulic fracturing within their borders. In the latest development, Bloomberg News reports that lawyers defending such bans (e.g., those enacted by the upstate New York towns of Dryden and Middlefield) recently argued to the Court of Appeals in Albany that local governments are within their rights to ban such activity. But, opponents of the bans told the state’s highest court that such prohibitions are trumped by state law. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jun 12, 2014

Study: Ohio schools save big bucks due to oil & gas production
 

A new study by IHS Global Insight says school districts in Ohio saved approximately $60 million on energy last year because of unconventional oil and natural gas production, including approximately 8.4 percent on electricity and 28.7 percent on natural gas, reports the Akron Beacon-Journal.   IHS Global also said state and local governments in Ohio saved an estimated $10.2 million on their energy bills. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jun 10, 2014

Harrison County Recorder fights for more office space
 

The Harrison County Recorder, Tracy Boyer, is considering legal action against the county commissioners over a lack of office space for her department, reports WTOV NBC 9 in Steubenville. Boyer says more space is needed to increase her office’s productivity and keep up with the flood of oil and gas companies researching land records. With four computers and a staff of six, she says the office in Cadiz can hardly keep up as business booms in the Utica shale play. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 28, 2014

America experiences shift in oil surge
 

In the past five years, the supply of oil and natural gas in the United States has experienced startling changes, reports NASDAQ. New technology and drilling locations have thrown off the status quo, helping some areas and hurting others. “There has been a shift in long-standing paradigms that have traditionally guided oil buyers, gasoline pricing and energy industry investors.” Regional prices have typically been similar across the board in America, but that has changed drastically. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 27, 2014

Severance tax bill considered in Oklahoma
 

In a recent editorial in Tulsa World regarding Oklahoma’s severance tax bill, the article reviewed a plan set forth by energy companies that would “Set the severance tax on oil and natural gas wells at 2 percent for the first four years. Thereafter, the rate would rise to 7 percent.” The article noted that if the Oklahoma legislature did nothing, the rates would revert to 7 percent after June 2015. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 22, 2014

Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary puts an end to the controversy over ‘fracking’ vs. ‘fracing’
 

In its 2014 edition, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary clarifies once and for all that the correct abbreviation of the term “hydraulic fracturing” is “fracking.” Journalists have used “fracking” for some time now as the Associated Press Stylebook decided early on that “fracking” was correct; however, many professionals in the oil and gas industry still stuck to the original spellings, including “fracing” or sometimes “fraccing.” For more, read the full story.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 21, 2014

Michigan releases new hydraulic fracturing regulations
 

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently updated its rules for hydraulic fracturing for the first time since 2011, the Lansing State Journal reports. The rules include "baseline water well testing in surrounding areas before high-volume fracking operations," as well as "full disclosure of the types and volumes of chemicals being injected into the ground," via FracFocus.org. In addition, weekly lists of permit applications on the DEQ website now feature comment boxes for the public. The agency "is also notifying township supervisors of applications coming up in their township," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 20, 2014

Fifth Circuit upholds $121 million judgment against Chesapeake Energy for reneging on an agreement to buy more than 500 oil and gas leaseholds in Texas
 

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a $121 million judgment against Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., according to the Dallas Business Journal. The company was sued in 2008 by Texas-based Preston Exploration Co. and two other parties for "reneging on an agreement to buy" more than 500 oil and gas leaseholds in Texas after natural gas prices fell. A federal judge in Houston "agreed with Chesapeake in February 2012, ruling that the lease contracts were not final." Then, in June of that year, a new judge found for the leaseholders. For more, read the full story.

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

 

May 20, 2014

Retail propane distributor looks to enter the NGL storage and transportation business
 

Chicago-based Energy Distribution Partners (EDP) launched in 2012 to sell propane at the retail level, LP Gas reports. After a string of successful transactions, the company is now "poised for growth through retail propane and midstream acquisitions and mergers." The company plans to enter the midstream side of the business, particularly the storage and transportation of natural gas liquids (NGL), the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 14, 2014

Increasing seismic activity prompts Oklahoma to review its infrastructure concerns with California officials
 

An increase in the "number, scope and location of earthquakes" in Oklahoma in recent years has prompted state officials to consult with their counterparts in California over infrastructure concerns. The state is particularly concerned about its bridges, most of which "were not built with frequent earthquakes in mind." The Oklahoma Geological Survey "recently said there is not enough evidence to link the increase in earthquakes to the rapid expansion of hydraulic fracturing in drilling for oil and gas" (See our April 15, 2014, blog post – "State regulators meet to develop common procedures to monitor seismic activity tied to oil and gas development"). Five years ago, residents felt approximately one to three earthquakes annually. "Since 2009, though, the state has had an average of 40 a year," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 10, 2014

Energy group releases infographic detailing the link between oil and gas development and baseball
 

"American Products. American Partners," a joint initiative between the American Energy Alliance and the Institute for Energy Research, recently released an infographic detailing the ways in which modern baseball and its fans benefit from oil and natural gas development. "From the bleachers to the high-performance clothing athletes wear to stay warm, you'll find products that started out as oil and gas." For more, view the infographic.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 09, 2014

Recent seismic activity in Ohio adds to the debate in Texas
 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR) recent announcement linking seismic activity in Youngstown to nearby hydraulic fracturing operations has fueled the debate over whether seismic activity is linked to oil and gas drilling and disposal activities in Texas, according to the San Antonio Business Journal. Following public outcry over the recent seismic activity that occurred near disposal sites in Texas, the Texas Railroad Commission two weeks ago hired seismologist David Craig Pearson to study the issue (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"). While still awaiting the results of his research, the commission maintains that it "has not identified a definitive correlation between seismic activity (or earthquakes) and injection wells in Texas or between seismic activity and hydraulic fracturing in Texas," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 08, 2014

Article seeks to predict the Utica shale play's future by examining the Bakken Formation's past
 

Vince Bevacqua, executive vice president at ShaleComm, recently authored a guest blog for the Cohen & Company accounting agency out of Akron about the potential of the Utica shale play. ShaleComm is a division of the Mahoning County-based marketing and communications agency Prodigal. Using Bricker & Eckler's recently updated Shale Economic Development Overview chart, Bevacqua compared the the Utica shale play's progress since 2011 against that of North Dakota's Bakken Formation, which is a more mature play that has so far accumulated $2 billion into its legacy fund from taxing the oil and gas industry. For more, read the full story and access the chart.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 08, 2014

Technical services company opens Akron office after finding "tremendous opportunity" in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Dakota's shale operations
 

Hoping to find the same success in the Utica shale play as it did in the Marcellus, New Jersey-based Langan Engineering & Environmental Services recently opened its 18th U.S. location and 23rd worldwide in Akron, Crain's Cleveland Business reports. The company provides "technical services in support of the oil and gas industry...as well as land development projects and corporate real estate portfolios throughout the state." Its expansion into Ohio follows its expansion into Pennsylvania with the opening of its Pittsburgh office in 2010. It has also found "tremendous opportunity" in West Virginia and North Dakota, as well, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

May 07, 2014

EQT Corp. to invest in drilling following $1.8 billion sale of Pennsylvania pipeline to a subsidiary
 

Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp. announced recently that EQT Midstream Partners, a subsidiary it spun off two years ago, will buy the company's Jupiter gathering system for $1.18 billion, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The pipeline features "35 miles of pipes that collect gas from Marcellus shale wells in Greene and Washington counties" in Pennsylvania. The parent company plans to use the money to "focus on gas drilling in the Appalachian Basin and newly acquired oil-and-gas rich areas in Texas," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 07, 2014

Antero Resources downgrades production estimates on two sections of its Utica acreage
 

Denver-based Antero Resources Corp. said in a recent investor update that it has "downgraded its production estimates" for one section of its Utica acreage by 31 percent and another area by 34 percent, Columbus Business First reports. The company currently operates "five rigs and 21 producing wells in the Utica shale, and 108,000 acres in the region's dry gas area and 128,000 day-gas acres." Despite the downgrade, Antero Resources still estimates producing "783 to 787 million of cubic feet per day of natural gas, up 105 percent from 2013's first quarter and up 16 percent from the previous quarter," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 06, 2014

North Dakota launches ad campaign to attract workers for jobs indirectly created as a result of the state's shale boom
 

A combination of public and corporate dollars, including $400,000 from New York-based Hess Corp., is funding the "Find the Good Life in North Dakota" ad campaign, which aims to lure skilled workers to fill the 25,000 vacant jobs and 76,000 more jobs predicted to be created by the end of the decade in North Dakota, the Star Tribune reports. While the energy industry has been busing oil and gas workers into the state, the influx of these workers and their money has created "an onslaught of new homes, roads, schools, hospitals and businesses statewide." Now industries beyond oil and gas are scrambling to find qualified people to build and work in these new developments. First announced in March, the Good Life campaign is primarily targeting Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 05, 2014

Michigan judge tells environmental group she will not create new laws to deny hydraulic fracturing on state land
 

At a recent hearing, an Allegan County, Michigan, judge said she would not make new laws aimed at canceling "state-issued oil and gas leases in the Allegan State Game Area," according to mlive.com, a Michigan news site. The Land Air Water Defense environmental group in Michigan insists that the Michigan constitution requires the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to "consider the impact of drilling" during the leasing process, as opposed to later on, when an oil and gas company applies for a drilling permit. Attorneys for the MDNR argued that the agency "was following the law when it auctioned off" 12,000 acres of the Allegan State Game Area for "non-development" leases, which "do not allow for drilling or exploration." The environmental group argued that by not conducting this review during the leasing process, MDNR is exposing its sister agency, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), to "liability for denying a permit." During the 1990s, the MDNR was required to pay Tennessee-based Miller Energy Resources $90 million in compensation for the state's decision "not to approve drilling permits on" leased state lands, the article said.  For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by J. Hughes in  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

May 05, 2014

Bluegrass Pipeline investments suspended due to an insufficient level of firm customer commitments
 

Citing an "insufficient level of firm customer commitments," investments in the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline have been suspended, Columbus Business First reports. Tulsa-based Williams Companies Inc. had partnered with Houston-based Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP for the project, which would have given natural gas producers "200,000 barrels per day worth of pipeline in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with the ability to increase to 400,000 barrels per day" (See our April 11, 2014, blog post for more information). Williams did say that it continues to "engage in discussions with potential customers regarding the scale and timing of demand for services and the required firm contractual commitments that would support any future capital investments." For more, read the full story and news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

May 03, 2014

Targeted drilling by small oil and gas companies is beating out major energy companies' land-grab tactics
 

The Wall Street Journal recently detailed how the land-grab approach of major energy companies like Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. has proven to be a less successful method than the more targeted drilling approach taken by smaller companies such as Pennsylvania-based Rice Energy (See our Feb 7, 2014, blog post – "Oil giants late to the domestic shale boom are paying significant amounts to tap inconveniently located petroleum deposits"). Companies like Rice, as well as Texas-based Diamondback Energy Inc. and RSP Permian Inc., and Denver-based Antero Resources, all recently had strong initial public offerings, while energy behemoths like Royal Dutch Shell are writing down their shale assets and regrading natural gas drilling as a "losing proposition," the article said. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Apr 30, 2014

Texas jury awards $2.925 million in what some call the first hydraulic fracturing verdict
 

In what's being touted as the first hydraulic fracturing verdict in the United States, a Dallas jury recently awarded $2.925 million to a family that had sued Plano, Texas-based Aruba Petroleum for "intentionally causing a nuisance" on the family’s property through hydraulic fracturing operations that "impacted [the family’s] health and ruined their drinking water," Reader Supported News reports. The verdict, which followed a two-and-a-half-week trial, confirmed allegations that the company's drilling, hydraulic fracturing and production activities at 21 gas wells near the family's 40-acre property between 2008 and 2011 "intentionally created a private nuisance" that forced the family to flee "for months at a time."  According to the plaintiffs’ attorney’s blog post, the verdict included $2 million for past physical pain and suffering, $400,000 for past mental anguish, $250,000 for future physical pain and suffering, and $275,000 for loss of value to plaintiffs’ property. Aruba Petroleum plans to appeal the verdict, according to the article. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 29, 2014

American Energy Partners' puts up billboard to let Central Ohioans know it needs workers
 

Oklahoma-based American Energy Partners, former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon's latest venture into Ohio's Utica shale play, recently put up a billboard in Columbus to let Central Ohioans know it needs workers, Columbus Business First reports. The billboard is particularly interesting due to its location because much of the investment in and news about the play has been focused on the eastern and now southern part of the state (See our Feb 22, 2014, blog post – "American Energy Partners secures an additional $1.25 billion to spend in the southern Utica shale play"). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 29, 2014

Gulfport Energy plans to spend up to $634 million on its 167,700 Utica acres in 2014
 

Oklahoma City-based Gulfport Energy Corp., Ohio's second most active oil and gas producer, has plans for capital expenditures of "up to $634 million" on its 167,700 Utica acres in 2014, Columbus Business First reports. The company announced this in a recent investor presentation in which it said its planned expenditures for two other locations in Louisiana and Canada total just $91 million. The company "plans to drill 85 to 95 wells and thinks its acreage covers a healthy mix of wet gas and oil – 52 percent – and dry gas – 48 percent." In March, the company acquired 8,200 Utica acres from Rhino Resource Partners for $185 million (See our March 18, 2014, blog post for more information). For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 29, 2014

BP Announces Plans to Pull Out of Utica Shale
 

The April 29 edition of the Youngstown Business Journal reports that BP America released a statement indicating its intent to withdraw from the Utica shale. “Following on from the decision to create a separate BP business around its US lower 48 onshore oil and gas activities . . . BP has decided not to proceed with development plans in the Utica shale,” the company stated in their first quarter earnings report. According to a related article on the Wall Street Journal.com, BP said its oil exploration, development and production division “reported an underlying pretax replacement cost profit of $4.4 billion for the first quarter, down from $5.7 billion in the same period last year, hurt by asset sales and a $521 million charge related to its decision not to develop it Utica shale project in Ohio.” For more, read the company's earnings report.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 28, 2014

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners awards 100 percent of the capacity for its Broad Run Project to Antero Resources' Utica and Marcellus production
 

Houston-based Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. recently announced that its Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company has awarded Denver-based Antero Resources "100 percent of the capacity offered" in the company's binding open season for its proposed Broad Run Flexibility and Broad Run Expansion Projects, CNBC.com reports. The estimated $782 million project will enable southbound service to provide outlets for growing production in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays. The cost includes "horsepower and piping modifications at existing stations, and one new compressor station on the Broad Run Lateral, all in West Virginia; two new mainline compressor stations in Tennessee and Kentucky; and modifications to five existing mainline compressor stations in Kentucky." For more, read the full news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Apr 28, 2014

Companies look to drill in West Virginia's Utica shale formation
 

Oklahoma City-based Fossil Creek, which originally explored and operated oil and gas wells in Oklahoma and Texas before expanding into Ohio, is again expanding – this time to West Virginia, The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register reports. Whereas companies for years have been drilling into the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and the Utica shale in Ohio, Fossil Creek is among the companies mixing up that arrangement (See our April 15, 2014, blog post – "Impressive production results in Ohio's Utica shale play are pushing drillers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to invest in multiple formations"). The company is signing Utica shale leases in Marshall County, West Virginia. After drilling several success wells into the Marcellus shale, Houston-based Gastar Exploration Inc. is also planning to drill into the Utica shale formation in Marshall County, the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Apr 26, 2014

Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel describes the benefits of skilled labor in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed
 

Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel recently argued in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that many young people with four-year liberal arts degrees "would have been better off with a two-year skilled-trade or technical education that provides the skills to secure a well-paying job." Whereas many four-year-degree holders are underemployed, companies like Pioneer Pipe in Washington County are having trouble finding qualified welders for jobs that pay six figures (See our Aug 27, 2013, blog post – "Marcellus Shale Coalition releases report detailing recruitment challenges for companies working in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays"). Mandel identified several efforts aimed at educating Ohio's current and future workforce about and preparing them for skilled labor opportunities, including Ariel Corp.'s $1 million donation to the Knox County Career Center; the creation of the Auglaize & Mercer County Business Education Alliance; and high school tours of Humtown Products in Columbiana County. For more, read the full op-ed.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 25, 2014

Target Logistics lands a $30 million contract to provide dormitory-style housing and supervision for North Dakota's oil and gas workers
 

The demand for housing to accommodate the influx of oil and gas workers at booming shale plays across the United States is well known by now, as are the myriad safety and sanitation issues that have arisen from the makeshift and company-owned "man camps" that have been built as a result (See our July 4, 2013, blog post for more information). Now Target Logistics, a Boston-based builder and operator of dormitory-style housing, recently announced an almost $30 million contract with an unnamed energy company "to provide lodging for hundreds of oil-field workers in North Dakota over the next three years," The Wall Street Journal reports. Like dormitories, the facilities constructed by this company "not only house and feed the employees, but also monitor their activities during off hours." Workers generally accept the strict policies, which include zero tolerance for alcohol and overnight guests – including spouses, because the price of housing otherwise is incredibly high due to the influx, the article said. For more, read the full story.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 23, 2014

Chesapeake Energy scrutinized for underpaying royalties in Oklahoma and Texas
 

According to two recent articles, Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. remains under continued scrutiny for alleged underpayments of royalties to Oklahoma and Texas royalty holders.

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue is fining Chesapeake $428,400 for "underreporting royalties on a tribal lease in Oklahoma," The Oklahoman reports. Auditors determined that in 2005, Chesapeake had a "knowing or willful submission" of inaccurate royalty reports relating to leases with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Custer County.

In Texas, the Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio recently upheld a lower court's finding that Chesapeake "improperly deducted expenses from royalty payments and violated other terms of its drilling lease" with a prominent Fort Worth family, according to the Star-Telegram. According to the article, the appellate court "expressly rejected the application of a Texas court precedent known as Heritage Resources vs. NationsBank, which allowed producers to deduct some costs even when a lease appeared to bar such deductions."

During the past decade, royalty interest owners in several states have alleged that Chesapeake underpaid or miscalculated royalties (For example, see our Dec 31, 2013, blog post, "City of Fort Worth, Texas, sues Chesapeake Energy Corp. alleging underpayment of royalties due to improper deductions and sham sales to affiliates").
 
Posted by D. Gerken in  Oil & Gas Litigation  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 22, 2014

Core Energy uses excess carbon dioxide to recover "stranded" oil in Michigan
 

With the assistance of Western Michigan University, Core Energy LLC has retrieved 1.6 million barrels of oil in Michigan using a technique that extracts it by injecting liquified excess carbon dioxide into the porous rock beneath abandoned oil fields, mlive.com reports. Approximately 80 projects in the United States currently "produce 230,000 barrels of oil per day using this technique." The oil would have otherwise been "stranded" permanently after the site was initially drilled. For more, read the full story.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 21, 2014

MarkWest Energy orders more than 70 Caterpillar engines to support its natural gas gathering operations
 

Houston-based Caterpillar Oil & Gas recently announced that Denver-based MarkWest Energy Partners has ordered more than 70 Cat G3600 engines, which the company describes as its "flagship series for gas applications," OilEarth.com reports. The deal is one of Caterpillar's largest orders of these engines, which are designed for gas compression. They will be used "to support natural gas gathering operations across the Utica shale and Marcellus shale formations," the article said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  Pennsylvania  United States  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Apr 17, 2014

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency releases new booklet on oil and gas production lending
 

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently issued a new booklet to the Comptroller's Handbook titled "Oil and Gas Production Lending." The booklet provides guidance on oil and gas production lending, including an overview of oil and gas markets, lending structures, types of reserves, associated risks, and supervisory expectations for risk management. For more, read the full booklet and news release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  United States   |   Permalink

 

Apr 17, 2014

Bountiful and cheap natural gas moves Worthington Industries to expand production of cryogenic cylinders
 

Columbus-based Worthington Industries, having just acquired a majority-stake acquisition in a Turkish liquefied natural gas and cryogenics industry supplier known as Aritas in January, is "continuing its push into alternative fuels" with the launch of its new cryogenic liquid cylinder line, Columbus Business First reports. Aritas makes large cryogenic cylinders, while Worthington's cylinders are smaller. Both are used "in industrial settings to store and transport gas, such as liquid nitrogen and oxygen, in a high-density form," which is cheaper to ship. "Bountiful and cheap natural gas is largely behind the overall move toward cryogenics," which can be used to supply natural gas to drilling rigs that aren't near any pipelines, the article said. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the company is also buying part of North Dakota-based Steffes Corp., which "makes metal tanks to store oil and salt water used by energy companies." Financial terms were not disclosed, but Steffes' tank division "has 35 employees and had $25 million in sales last year," the article said. For more, read the full Columbus Dispatch and Columbus Business First stories.
 
Posted by R. Smith in  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

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   |