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Entries for category:   Miscellaneous

 
Nov 14, 2014

British government takes step toward shale gas development
 

The New York Times reports that the British government has taken another step to encourage the development of a shale gas industry and overcome public opposition to hydraulic fracturing. The Times says the government will establish a sovereign wealth fund that would draw on proceeds from extracting natural gas from shale even though no shale production is likely to occur in the near future. Studies have shown that Great Britain has shale gas potential, but whether the gas is commercially exploitable will not be known until more wells are drilled and tested. For more, read the full story.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Jun 11, 2014

Aubrey McClendon’s company has $1.75 billion deal in Utica, Marcellus plays
 

Aubrey McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP says it will spend $1.75 billion on two deals that will boost its presence in the Utica shale play and provide entry to the Marcellus play in West Virginia, reports the Akron Beacon-Journal. The company says its affiliates have signed agreements to acquire a combined 75,000 net acres of leasehold interests and net production of 175 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent in the two plays. The leaseholds are in Monroe County, Ohio, and Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Tyler and Wetzel counties in West Virginia. For more, read the full story.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  Ohio  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Jun 05, 2014

Argentina embraces shale drillers despite unrest over fracking
 

Argentina is welcoming foreign shale drilling companies with open arms in the hope that oil and gas development will help combat one of the world’s highest currency inflation rates, reports DeSmogBlog.com, a blog focused on climate change issues. That’s the case despite violent clashes over fracking in arid regions of the Andes Mountains and allegations from locals of water contamination and health problems. DeSmogBlog.com says Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation, estimated to hold an amount of oil and gas nearly equal to the reserves of Exxon Mobil, has already attracted billions in investment from Chevron. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Jun 03, 2014

Exec: Fear of failure keeps Big Oil from taking lead in shale plays
 

A top executive at a private equity firm in Texas says there is a clear reason why small independent oil and gas producers dominate the domestic shale market, including Ohio’s Utica shale play, reports Columbus Business First. Denham Capital Partners Managing Partner Carl Tricoli said big oil and gas companies always have shareholders in the back of their minds, and one mistake can doom the career of a rising executive at such a company. “If I’m in a large organization where I’m trying to move up the corporate ladder, I don’t want to have any mistakes,” he said. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   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 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

 

Apr 18, 2014

Attend April 25 Shale Seminar on Industry’s Impact on Your Finances
 

Bricker & Eckler LLP and the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce present: Shale and You: How the Shale Industry can Impact Your Finances, a seminar on April 25 from 8:00 a.m. to noon at Washington State Community College.

Presentations and panel discussions include:

  • General Economic Development as a Result of the Shale Industry
  • Personal Finances and Estate Planning in the World that Shale Built
  • How to Break into or Work Alongside the Shale Industry

There is no cost to attend. For registration and contact information, please visit the MACC website.


 
Posted by R. Smith in  Miscellaneous  Ohio   |   Permalink

 

Apr 08, 2014

Energy Exchange Presentation Scheduled for May 7
 

Join us for our latest Energy Exchange: Aggregation, Auctions and RTOs – Oh My!, on May 7 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Bricker & Eckler LLP’s Columbus office.

This Energy Exchange session will focus on the complex world of energy for businesses, manufacturers and even consumers.  Today, there is competition and coordination and capacity management.  But how does it work and what does it all mean for you? 

Join Kerry Stroup, manager of state government policy for PJM Interconnection, Ohio’s regional transmission organization (RTO) as he explains the world of RTOs, auctions, capacity management and aggregation are impacting our energy markets today. Providing background on the deregulation of the energy market and how it has evolved is Lisa McAlister, deputy general counsel for FERC/RTO Affairs at American Municipal Power, Inc.


There is no cost to attend, and a cocktail reception and networking will follow the presentations. For registration and contact information, please go here


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Jan 10, 2014

2013 End of Year Review: Important Pipeline Decisions from FERC
 

Shale development in Appalachia, including Ohio, is booming.  As the land rush draws to a close, companies are turning their attention to the midstream phase of development, which will be essential to the long-term success of the region’s Marcellus and Utica shale development.  In addition to new processing and fractionation plants coming online, thousands of miles of pipeline infrastructure are being constructed.  According to an article in Columbus Business First, there are at least 133 pipeline projects planned or in progress in Ohio.

Of the infrastructure projects planned in Ohio, a number of them fall within the jurisdictional scope of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  Developments in FERC’s regulation of pipelines ultimately impacts the integration of Ohio’s oil and natural gas resources into national markets.  As such, a few noteworthy FERC decisions from the past year involving shale development and/or pipeline regulatory issues are highlighted below:

1) FERC decision provides an attractive outlet for Marcellus and Utica production

On November 26, 2013, FERC ruled in favor of Rockies Express Pipeline LLC's (Rockies Express) Petition for a Declaratory Order that the “Most Favored Nations” rights of its Foundation and Anchor Shippers1 will not be triggered by potential deals with other shippers for firm transportation which have (1) an east to west primary path, (2) a term of one year or longer, and (3) service in only one rate zone.  Under certain circumstances, the Most Favored Nations clauses in the Foundation and Anchor Shipper agreements entitled them to the lowest negotiated reservation rate applicable to other firm transportation shippers. 

By way of background, Rockies Express operates a 1,679-mile-long natural gas pipeline extending from Colorado and Wyoming to Monroe County, Ohio.  Although originally built to transport natural gas from west to east, Rockies Express modified the line’s service in 2011 to reverse the flow direction and provide for the east to west transport of natural gas.  This modification reflected recent increases in Marcellus and Utica shale gas production.  Anticipating that its Foundation and Anchor Shippers would seek to trigger the Most Favored Nations clauses in the event of such east to west flow, Rockies Express filed the petition described above with FERC.

In support of its petition, Rockies Express asserted that the Most Favored Nations clauses in the Foundation and Anchor Shipper agreements referred only to service across multiple rate zones in a west to east direction, as the pipeline was originally designed to flow.  Thus, argued Rockies Express, east to west transactions within only one rate zone were not contemplated under the Foundation and Anchor Shipper agreements.  FERC agreed with Rockies Express’ interpretation of the agreements, and granted its petition.

FERC’s decision now enables Rockies Express to enter into contracts providing for the transport of shale gas from east to west within the rate zone running from Ohio to Missouri without triggering a rate reduction for its Foundation and Anchor Shippers.  The ability for Rockies Express’ to enter into such transactions will provide a good outlet for Marcellus and Utica production to Midwestern markets.

The full decision can be found here.

2) FERC authorizes information sharing by gas pipelines and electric utilities

On November 15, 2013, FERC issued a final rule allowing interstate natural gas pipelines and electric transmission line operators to voluntarily share non-public operational information to promote the reliability and integrity of their respective systems.  To protect against undue discrimination and ensure that the shared information remains confidential, the rule also adopts a No-Conduit Rule, which prohibits recipients of the information from disclosing it to an affiliate or third party.

The decision is symbolic of the growing recognition of the increased reliance on natural gas as a fuel for electric generation, as well as the growing interdependence between the natural gas and electric industries.  In particular, FERC highlighted the 2011 “Southwest Cold Weather Event” as one demonstrating “the crucial interaction between natural gas pipelines and electric transmission systems and the need for robust communication between these industry sectors to ensure that both systems operate safely and effectively for the benefit of their customers.”  The decision summed up the challenge caused by increased interdependence between the natural gas and electric industries as follows:

[P]ipelines require advance nominations to ensure they have sufficient line pack and storage available to meet scheduled daily load of all their customers, including the gas-fired generators, which may constitute significant load for a pipeline and which generally rely on a just-in-time natural gas supply and pipeline delivery. While pipeline line pack and storage provide some operational flexibility to pipelines to accommodate load swings throughout the day, short term swings in demand by gas-fired electric generators resulting from redispatch by electric transmission operators may be difficult to manage, particularly during times of coincident peak loads on interstate natural gas pipelines and electric transmission systems, such as during unusual cold weather events when end-use customers may rely on both natural gas and electricity.  

For Ohio, the combination of coal plant retirements and low-cost natural gas likely means a greater use of natural gas-fired base load generation within the PJM Interconnection.  A copy of the FERC decision, Order 787, can be accessed here.

3) FERC adopts regulations to provide optional automatic approval procedure for rate filings by intrastate and Hinshaw pipelines

On July 18, 2013, FERC issued an order establishing an optional automatic approval process for certain undisputed rate filings by intrastate and Hinshaw pipelines.  Hinshaw pipelines are local distribution pipelines served by interstate pipelines that are not subject to FERC jurisdiction by reason of Section 1(c) of the Natural Gas Act.  Specifically, a Hinshaw pipeline may engage in transportation in interstate commerce, or the sale in interstate commerce for resale, of natural gas received by that company within or at the boundary of a state, if all of the natural gas so received is ultimately consumed within such state. A Hinshaw pipeline may receive a certificate authorizing it to transport natural gas out of the state in which it is located without giving up its status as a Hinshaw pipeline.  Still, FERC regulations require Hinshaw pipelines to file rates, charges, and a tariff with FERC.

The modified procedural requirements set forth in FERC’s July 18 order provide an optional automatic approval process for rate filings by both Hinshaw pipelines and intrastate pipelines providing interstate service pursuant to Section 311 of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978. Under the modified procedure, an intrastate or Hinshaw pipeline’s filing would automatically be approved by FERC without an order if the filing is not protested within a specified period of time after notice of the filing, or if any protests are resolved during a reconciliation period.

In its decision, FERC explained that the optional automatic approval process will provide an expedited and less burdensome method of processing filings by intrastate and Hinshaw pipelines that present few, if any, contested issues, thereby allowing FERC to devote more resources to other issues.  In response to concerns that the process would reduce or eliminate staff review of the subject filings, or violate FERC’s obligation to ensure fair and equitable rates of the pipelines, FERC explained that nothing in the decision reduces the review of filings or lessens the requirements for approval of filings, but only eliminates the need for a FERC order in uncontested filings.

The decision, Order 781, can be accessed here.

4) FERC affirms jurisdiction over ethane, even if the ethane is used exclusively for feedstock purposes

On December 31, 2013, FERC confirmed its jurisdiction over the interstate pipeline transportation of purity liquid ethane, regardless of whether the ethane is intended for an energy or non-energy purpose.  The case was one of first impression for FERC and arose when William Olefins Feedstock Pipelines, LLC (Williams) asked FERC to find that its proposed Williams Bayou Ethane Pipeline project (Ethane Pipeline) is outside of FERC’s jurisdiction under the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA).  145 FERC ¶ 61,303.  

Williams argued that the planned Ethane Pipeline would only deliver purity ethane to petrochemical plants and storage facilities.  Therefore the ethane would only be used as a feedstock to produce ethylene and not as a fuel.  Williams asked FERC to assess the purportedly “unique character” of the Ethane Pipeline by applying what Williams contended is FERC’s traditional test: whether the product being transported serves in an energy-related, as opposed to a feedstock, function.  According to Williams, purity ethane is similar to other non-energy products, such as anhydrous ammonia, over which FERC has disclaimed jurisdiction. 

FERC disagreed with Williams’ characterization of the applicable test.  Instead, FERC stated that the test is whether the product being transported is a naturally-occurring hydrocarbon that is used, or can be used, for energy-related purposes as opposed to having only a non-fuel, feedstock function.  FERC then determined that "it is unquestionable that ethane has a thermal heat content and has the capability of being burned and used for fuel or energy purposes . . . including being added to low-Btu natural gas to increase its heat content and being used in low-ethane propane for export for international use."  FERC also noted the “future [energy] uses” of purity ethane.  Finally, FERC stated that, in future cases, it “will not disclaim jurisdiction over interstate ethane transportation based on an applicant’s assertion of the intended end-use of the ethane.”

The decision can be accessed here.


Footnote:

1. An Anchor Shipper is a shipper that contracted for capacity of at least 200,000 Dth/day prior to Rockies Express’ construction.  A Foundation Shipper is a shipper that prior to Rockies Express’ certification was awarded capacity of 500,000 Dth/Day or greater.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Nov 15, 2013

Midcoast Energy Partners and Arc Logistics Partners LP both launch IPOs
 

Houston-based Midcoast Energy Partners, L.P., a company launched by the Canadian company Enbridge to grow its natural gas and natural gas liquids midstream business in the United States, recently announced its initial public offering (IPO) of 18.5 million Class A common units estimated to be priced between $19 and $21 per unit, The Wall Street Journal reports. The units will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "MEP." At the same time, New York-based Arc Logistics Partners LP, a "limited partnership formed by Lightfoot Capital Partners to own, develop and acquire oil terminals and pipelines," raised $144 million in its IPO, which priced six million common units at $19 per unit, ABCNews.com reports. It is listed on the NYSE under the symbol "ARCX." For more, read the full Wall Street Journal and ABCNews.com stories.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  United States   |   Permalink

 

Sep 09, 2013

Financial services company Hill, Barth & King's energy division launches new website with shale focus
 

The tax, accounting, assurance and business consulting services firm Hill, Barth & King recently announced that its energy division has launched its new website, which features regulatory updates on energy issues related to the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, according to The Business Journal. The company has 11 locations, including three in Ohio – in Alliance, Boardman and Youngstown. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  Ohio  United States   |   Permalink

 

Sep 06, 2013

ASTM International is working on a proposed standard for data management and reporting of shale oil and gas hydraulic fracturing operations
 

ASTM International, a leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards, announced that a proposed standard for shale oil and gas hydraulic fracturing operations to provide best practices for data management and reporting is currently under development. The intent of ASTM WK42803 is "to help standardize data; ensure proper data collection during hydraulic fracturing operations; and make data exchanges, extractions and analysis by state agencies, industry and other stakeholders more efficient." The report focuses on four major areas: chemical disclosure and reporting; water sources, usage quality and sampling; health and environmental risks; and well integrity and testing. For more, read the full press release.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jun 03, 2013

German brewers say a 497-year-old beer purity law forbids hydraulic fracturing's groundwater contamination risks
 

In an open letter urging German government ministers to reject legislation allowing hydraulic fracturing until there is total certainty that the process can be done without the risk of groundwater contamination, the Association of German Brewers referenced the nation's 497-year-old beer purity law, Reinheitsgebot, calling it the oldest food safety regulation in history, Bloomberg reports. A major employer and revenue generator with bipartisan national support, the brewing industry's appeal to the government on this heavily debated issue comes just before Germany's national election on September 22. For more, read the full story.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Jan 24, 2013

Research and development thrive within the oil and gas industry
 

A recent in-depth article featured on E & P magazine’s website explores the myriad issues and challenges that the oil and gas industry faces, as well as the subsequent research and development projects on which these companies are spending significant amounts of money. Although many oil and gas companies scaled back their research efforts toward the end of the last century, R&D is experiencing a revival as these companies work to develop technology to be used in unconventional resource plays, such as in deep water and Arctic regions, as well as in addressing environmental and human safety concerns, such as in effectively treating, recycling and reusing water used in the water-heavy process of hydraulic fracturing, the article said. For more, read the full story.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Jul 24, 2012

China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd. offers to buy Calgary-based Nexen Inc. for $15.1 billion
 

Yesterday, state-controlled China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd. (CNOOC) – China’s third-largest oil company – agreed to buy Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc. for $15.1 billion, the Toronto Star reports. The move reflects China’s efforts to secure supplies of oil, of which only twenty-five percent of the world’s supply is not held by state-owned companies and is therefore open to acquisition, the article said. For more, read the full story here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Jun 20, 2012

United Nations sees natural gas as a key to helping the environment and the poor
 

Kandeh Yumkella, the co-head of the United Nations' Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, said on Monday that non-traditional shale gas should play a major role in many of his sustainable energy program's goals, such as “cutting greenhouse gases, protecting forests and improving the health and living standards of the world's poor,” Reuters reports. Although Yumkella insists that natural gas is necessary to provide electricity to people and reduce deaths from firewood-based indoor pollution, leaders of similar organizations argue that shale gas will stall other, cleaner energy sources from being developed and is only being considered now because Yumkella’s panel is “dominated by people who speak for big power industries,” the article said. For more, read the full story here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Apr 06, 2012

The March edition of the Shale Oil and Gas Monthly Recap has just been released
 

The March edition of the Shale Oil and Gas Monthly Recap has just been released. This electronic newsletter helps you capture the latest happenings in the shale, oil and gas industries in Ohio by offering you feature articles as well as a convenient listing of our top five blogs from the past month. In this edition, we have an in-depth analysis of Senate Bill 315.  If you would like to subscribe to receive this monthly e-newsletter, please sign up on our subscription page.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Feb 17, 2012

Encana Corp. to receive $2.9 billion from Mitsubishi in shale deal
 

The Canada-based Encana Corporation announced yesterday that it will be receiving $2.9 billion from the Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi for a 40 percent stake in its shale gas assets at Cutbank Ridge in British Columbia, The New York Times reports. In an effort to try to "bring in a deep-pocketed partner to help reduce its development costs," Encana had already tried to sell half of its Cutbank Ridge holds to PetroChina in a failed deal two years ago, the article said. For more read the full story here.
 

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Feb 14, 2012

A decline in the popularity of nuclear energy has increased Japan's demand for natural gas
 

Since experiencing meltdowns and explosions following an earthquake last March, Japan has been leading a global trend away from nuclear power with plans to have the last three of its 54 total nuclear reactors cease operations this spring, The Wall Street Journal reports. This has resulted in Japan's first trade deficit in more than three decades, which government officials hope to alleviate by gaining direct control of natural gas operations abroad, the article said. For more read the full story here (subscription required).

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Jan 19, 2012

Natural gas can make wind and solar energy cleaner
 

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that highly efficient gas turbines should be integrated into wind farms and giant solar arrays so that electric utilities can shut down the coal-fired power plants that serve as the "spinning reserve" for generating power when the wind stops or clouds obscure the sun, an article in The Plain Dealer reports. For more, read the full story here.
 
 
Posted by C. Montgomery in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Jan 06, 2012

New Colorado fracing agreement stresses transparency
 

After tense negotiations among representatives from the energy industry, environmental groups and the government, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has brokered an agreement wherein energy companies will publicly disclose on the website FracFocus.org the chemical family of each chemical used in the hydraulic fracturing process, FoxNews.com reports. Environmental groups have long been demanding to know what specific chemicals constitute fracing fluid, but energy companies refused, insisting it was a trade secret. For more read the full story here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Jan 04, 2012

Construction thrives in rural Texas in response to the burgeoning shale industry
 

 
With the shale boom under way in southeastern Texas, many construction companies are flocking to rural communities along the Eagle Ford Shale to build housing, pipe yards, warehouses and even car washes to meet the needs of the oil and gas companies as well as their workers. For more read the full story here.
 

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Dec 29, 2011

Michigan landowners allege that Chesapeake used shell companies to renege on leases and bonuses
 

An in-depth Reuters report reveals that Chesapeake Energy Corp. is being accused in court of having used shell companies to sign leases with Michigan landowners that were then rejected for bogus reasons when an exploratory well in the area came up dry. Court documents allege that Chesapeake actively tried to conceal its involvement in an attempt to insulate its reputation after the shell companies canceled numerous leases, the article said. By using shell companies, Chesapeake could have also intended to deceive shareholders by circumventing the requirement to file such incidents as what allegedly happened in Michigan with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the article said. For more, read the full story here.

 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Dec 28, 2011

New York county enjoys fracing boom without the fracing
 

A recent article in The New York Times explores how towns near rural oil and gas drilling sites are experiencing a boom in their economies without having to experience the downsides  (e.g., truck traffic, noise and potential  environmental concerns). People from around the country who have moved to rural Pennsylvania to work as part of the natural gas drilling boom are finding themselves crossing state lines into Chemung County, New York – where hydraulic fracturing is currently banned – to buy hotel rooms, dinners and even gifts for their loved ones back home. For more, read the full story here.
 
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Dec 20, 2011

Rising concerns over water safety may incline oil and gas companies to take over water treatment companies
 

In a report released on Dec. 8, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the first time "linked fracking for natural gas to groundwater contamination," an article from Ohio.com reports. Analysts expect this increased awareness of the environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing to cause oil and gas companies to purchase specialized water service companies, the article said. These companies clean, recycle for re-use and haul away for disposal the "chemical-tainted water that's a byproduct of oil and natural gas drilling and production." Read the full story here.

 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Dec 15, 2011

Forbes contributor makes a case for the oil and natural gas industry
 

Forbes contributor Robert Bradley Jr. argued in a recent op/ed piece that based on job creation, tax revenue and returns on retirement investments, the oil and natural gas industry is proving far more successful than renewable energy industries such as solar and wind. For more, read his full op/ed here.

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Dec 01, 2011

Chesapeake's decision to buy up natural gas leases threatens its balance sheet
 

According to Forbes, analysts and investors are skeptical of Chesapeake Energy's strategy of continuing to accumulate land rich in shale gas and liquid deposits because "the company continues to have a high debt on its balance sheet." As the second largest producer of natural gas in the U.S., Chesapeake's 'Land Grab' strategy may outrun the company's 2012 operating cash by approximately $6 billion, the article said. Exact figures are difficult to determine because the company has "a very complex ownership structure and has multiple joint ventures." For more, read the full story here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Nov 07, 2011

Landowner files lawsuit to nullify energy company's oil and gas leasing rights
 

The Morning Journal News reports that a landowner in Columbiana County filed a lawsuit against Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy, seeking to nullify rights under a  2004 oil and gas lease. The landowner—Beaverkettle Farms, Ltd.—contends that the "large-scale fracking techniques used today" were not in use at the time of lease's signing, the article said. Additionally, Beaverkettle claims that Chesapeake has violated several provisions that were intended to protect the land and Little Beaver Creek. Read the full story, including details of the lawsuit, here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Oct 31, 2011

Philanthropy group aims to keep shale gas boom money in Appalachia
 

Residents of Appalachia are determining how best to manage their new "fortunes" that have materialized as a result of the shale oil and gas leasing boom, an article in The Plain Dealer reports. Organizations like the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio are encouraging these residents to become philanthropists to help other benefit from the influx of money into the region. Read the full article here.
 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  Ohio   |   Permalink

 

Oct 31, 2011

Colleges work with oil and gas industry to ensure Ohio has qualified work force
 

With estimates as high as 200,000 for the number of jobs that will be created  by the oil and gas boom in Ohio, many colleges and universities are working with the oil and gas industry to develop certification programs that will qualify Ohioans for these jobs, Columbus Business First reports.

Zane State University recently concluded its first three-week program to certify students  for work on drilling rigs. According to the Ohio University System of Ohio Board of Regents' website, Ohio colleges and universities are working to develop specialized training programs similar to the one at Zane State. These work force development efforts will be essential to preventing companies from having to look for qualified applicants outside Ohio 's borders.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  Ohio   |   Permalink

 

Oct 28, 2011

Report shows accidental leak had no lasting effect
 

SAIC, a firm that specializes in working with governmental agencies, issued a 179-page report on the Luther Township, PA, gas-well malfunction, which accidentally released well fluids. This accident was among the most serious that can happen during the completion of an onshore shale-gas well. The report contains extensive water-sampling and other data collected in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the US Environmental Protection Agency. It shows no lasting effect on the environment as a result of a surface release of well fluids from Chesapeake Energy’s “Atgas” well site. Read the full op/ed in the New York Post.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  Pennsylvania   |   Permalink

 

Oct 27, 2011

Coal company considers diversifying with natural gas
 

Murray Energy, the parent company of several coal mines in Ohio, is  considering the possibility of drilling for oil and natural gas in the Utica shale, the Herald-Star reports. Murray Energy already owns gas and oil rights in all the states where they have coal mines, and even has limited permits in Belmont County to "plug and abandon certain gas wells." For more read the full article here.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  Ohio   |   Permalink

 

Oct 27, 2011

Energy company repairs roads in West Virginia
 

The Herald-Star reports that Chesapeake Energy is spending between $60 and $70 million to resurface 83 miles of roads in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle. The roads, which the company uses regularly, were not "scheduled for resurfacing by the highway department anytime soon," the article said. All of the scheduled projects are either completed or in progress. For more details on this story, read the full article here.

 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  West Virginia   |   Permalink

 

Oct 25, 2011

Influx of oil and gas companies in Ohio resulting in increased number of lawsuits
 

As the  shale boom spreads across Ohio, an increasing number of  lawsuits  involving oil and gas leases are showing up in county courts, the Morning Journal News reports. Three such civil lawsuits were either filed or transferred to  the Columbiana County Common Pleas Court just this week. For the full article, which includes details on the three cases, visit the Morning Journal News here.
 
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  Ohio   |   Permalink

 

Oct 24, 2011

Newspaper in the United Kingdom Highlights Shale Boom in the United States
 

An analysis in the United Kingdom's Daily Telegraph by Ambrose Evans-Prichard notes that the United States was the single largest contributor to the growth in global oil supply last year, and that its output is set to reach as much as 5.5 million barrels per day by 2015.  The article further notes that the United States meets about 72% of its own oil needs, a number which has increased from 50% just 10 years ago.  An additional benefit to the United States is the return to of a number of manufacturing companies from overseas (e.g. ET Water Systems and Master Lock).  Mr. Evans-Prichard concluded the article by noting that the "21st Century my be American after all, just like the last."

 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  United States   |   Permalink

 

Oct 19, 2011

Increasing number of certification and training programs in fields related to natural gas
 

The Associated Press reports that an increase in job prospects related to the growing natural gas industry has lead many community colleges and universities to expand their course offerings. From two-week programs to doctoral degrees, certification and training programs in fields related to natural gas are being created or expanded across the Northeast and out West. U.S. Department of Labor grants are helping to fund such programs. These programs are designed to help workers in economically depressed areas  take advantage of jobs with median earnings anywhere from $70,000 to $106,000. However, the article noted that such workers may have to migrate over time, "following the drilling rigs as they move from place to place." 


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  United States   |   Permalink

 

Oct 14, 2011

Obama Administration to announce new rules on natural gas drilling
 

Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar announced on October 5 that the Obama administration will soon be announcing new rules governing natural gas drilling on federal lands, according to an article on Fuelfix.com. Administration officials have stated that one of the forthcoming rules may include a requirement forcing oil and gas drillers using the hydraulic fracturing process to disclose all chemicals that they are injecting into the ground. While petroleum industry experts claim that the chemicals used are safe, environmental groups and some Democrats on Capital Hill have raised concerns about the their safety, especially with regard to their possible effects on groundwater. The article also notes that any proposed rule from the administration governing the chemical disclosure of fracking fluids would go through a lengthy deliberative process.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  United States   |   Permalink

 

Oct 12, 2011

Six natural gas drilling permits issued in Columbiana County
 

The Morning Journal reports that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued six permits for natural gas drilling to Chesapeake Exploration LLC, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corp. While Chesapeake is not the only company acquiring drilling permits in Ohio, it is certainly "the big player." The company has spent between $1.5 and $2 billion obtaining the mineral rights to 1.25 million acres in Ohio, which represents "about 40 percent of the potential Marcellus and Utica shale acreage in the state," the article said.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  Ohio   |   Permalink

 

Oct 12, 2011

Six natural gas drilling permits issued in Columbiana County
 

The Morning Journal reports that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued six permits for natural gas drilling to Chesapeake Exploration LLC, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corp. While Chesapeake is not the only company acquiring drilling permits in Ohio, it is certainly "the big player." The company has spent between $1.5 and $2 billion obtaining the mineral rights to 1.25 million acres in Ohio, which represents "about 40 percent of the potential Marcellus and Utica shale acreage in the state," the article said.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  Ohio   |   Permalink

 

Sep 21, 2011

Report: Kasich voices support of renewable energy at summit, mentions possible changes to RPS
 

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Gov. John Kasich voiced support of renewable energy in his opening remarks to the energy summit he convened at Ohio State University this week. But Kasich left the door open to potential changes to the state's renewable portfolio standard, which requires utilities to provide 25 percent of their energy generation from renewable and advanced energy sources by 2025. According to the article:

Kasich administration officials told The Dispatch that the governor supports renewable energy standards, but that he may also move to tweak them. Kasich seemed to back that up in his speech when he wondered aloud “if we can modify what we have on renewables without people having a cow.”

The full article is available here.


 
Posted by C. Montgomery in  Miscellaneous   |   Permalink

 

Aug 08, 2011

New York Times writer revisits hydraulic fracturing debate
 

New York Times writer Ian Urbina recently revisited the controversial topic of hydraulic fracturing in an August 3, 2011 article.  In addition to presenting the general arguments for and against hydraulic fracturing, the article focuses on a 1987 U.S. EPA report examining water use in oil and gas drilling operations.  Among other things, the 1987 report referenced a West Virginia oil and gas drilling operation in which hydraulic fracturing fluids contaminated a landowner's water well.  The rest of the article examines the legitimacy of the 1987 report, as well as the current debate about whether hydraulic fracturing can cause groundwater contamination.
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  United States   |   Permalink

 

Aug 01, 2011

SEC issues subpoenas to oil and gas developers relating to performance of shale wells
 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued subpoenas to a number of large energy companies seeking documents relating to the performance and viability of shale oil and gas wells, reports the New York Times.  The subpoenas, which were issued to Chesapeake Energy, Petrohawk Energy Corporation and others, appear to be linked to previous New York Times articles questioning the long-term viability and profitability of shale production.  As the article explains, the "subpoenas reflect the regulators’ interest in determining whether companies are overstating how their gas wells perform and how much gas these companies can profitably extract over the long term."
 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  United States   |   Permalink

 

Jul 15, 2011

ConocoPhillips splitting into two companies
 

ConocoPhillips, one of the nation's largest integrated oil and gas companies, recently announced that its refining/marketing and exploration/production arms will be separated into two stand-alone business entities.  An article in the Tulsa World estimated that even after the split, the spun-off refining entity "will be the largest refiner even and will eclipse Valero."  This split arrives on the heels of a similar announcement by Marathon in January 2011.


 
Posted by M. Warnock in  Miscellaneous  United States   |   Permalink

 

 

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