Commission that oversees fracking to recommend changes to law

Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission members are recommending changes in state law “governing fracking on public land and the size and operations of the commission,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) staff proposed changes and presented them to the commission, which includes ODNR Geological Survey Division Chief Mike Angle, “two members representing oil and gas interests, attorneys Matt W. Warnock and Michael W. Wise,” former Ohio EPA director Richard Shank representing the environment, and a public representative, former state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation CEO Steve Buehrer.

Proposed changes include ensuring “there are no conflicts of interest involving commission members when it comes to mineral rights,” adding members to the commission, and clarifying language “to allow state agencies to make lease stipulations,” among others. There are 2,142 wells on or beneath public property in Ohio; 64% of them are active, including 503 in wildlife areas, 31 in state parks, 20 in preserves and 10 in state forests. For more, read the full article.

Ohio

10 permits for horizontal drilling in Utica-Point Pleasant Shale issued

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) issued 10 permits for horizontal well drilling in the Utica-Point Pleasant for the week ending October 5, 2019, The Business Journal reports. Five permits were awarded to Antero Resources Corp. for wells in Seneca Township. Three were granted to Equinor USA Onshore Properties Inc. for Salem Township sites, and two were issued to EAP Ohio LLC for wells in German Township. ODNR had issued 3,177 horizontal drilling permits as of October 5, with 2,707 wells being drilled, 2,339 of which are active. For more, read the full article.

Ohio

Ohio’s Q2 shale production up from last year

Production totals from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) show the state’s horizontal shale wells “produced 5.8 million barrels of oil and 614 billion cubic feet of natural gas during the second quarter” of 2019, CantonRep.com reports. Oil production increased nearly 30 percent from a year ago, and natural gas production increased almost 11 percent. ODNR reported production from 2,317 Utica and Marcellus wells during the second quarter. For more, read the full article.

Ohio

15 drilling permits issued in Utica-Point Pleasant shale

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) approved 15 permits for horizontal well drilling in the Utica-Point Pleasant shale for the week ending August 31, 2019, The Business Journal reports. Nine permits were awarded to Ascent Resources Utica LLC, five were awarded to EAP Ohio LLC, and one was awarded to Triad Hunter LLC. The ODNR reported 2,684 wells had been drilled in Ohio, with 2,266 active as of August 31. For more, read the full article.

Ohio

Ohio loses natural gas investments because of nuclear power subsidies

The Columbus Dispatch reports that two companies have canceled plans to build or expand natural gas power plants in Northern Ohio in the wake of the fees levied on consumers by HB 6. The fees will subsidize coal and nuclear plants, and according to some oil and gas spokespersons, disincentivize natural gas interests.  The president of Clean Energy Future estimates an economic loss of $29 billion over the 50-year life of one shelved plant in Lordstown. Read the full story.

Ohio

Rice addresses town hall

Toby Rice, the new CEO of EQT, addressed a town hall meeting that drew nearly 200 landowners to Union Local High School in Belmont, Ohio, reports The Intelligencer Wheeling News-Register. Rice discussed his recent election to CEO and the change in leadership at EQT, and sought to assure those present that the deficiencies in EQT’s operations were a thing of the past. Rice is quoted, “We want to be the operator of choice…we’re going to continue treating our landowners with respect.” He outlined EQT’s plans surrounding the $1.5 billion investment in natural gas in Belmont County, including their partnership with Gulfport Energy and the proposed cracker plant. Landowners voiced some concerns but were generally receptive to Rice. Read the full story.

Ohio

UGI expands midstream portfolio with acquisition

UGI Energy Services, a subsidiary of UGI Corporation, has announced that it has entered into an agreement with TC Energy to acquire the equity interests of Columbia Midstream Group from one of TC Energy’s subsidiaries. The deal is worth roughly $1.25 billion, and will allow UGI to “expand [their] midstream capabilities in the prolific…Southwest Appalachian Basin,” according to UGI president and CEO John L. Walsh.  Other “compelling financial and strategic benefits,” according to UGI and reported by BusinessWire, include diversification, expansion of revenue, portfolio-building and an expanded footprint in the midstream asset market across Utica and Marcellus. Read the full story, including financing and closing details, here.

Ohio

Permit for proposed injection well, RUMA stalled by township trustees

The Intelligencer: Wheeling News-Register has reported that the Richland Township (Belmont County) trustees have tabled indefinitely two key items which would allow Omni Energy Group to drill and operate at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Ohio 331: the permit for the proposed well and the road use maintenance agreement for Omni’s ongoing operations in relation to the well. Likewise, the trustees have requested the involvement of the county and state and federal representatives. Concerns are running high among residents, some citing fears of health threats, some the noise and disruption of construction; some are skeptical of wastewater well technology in general. The discussion is ongoing; the next trustees’ meeting is August 7. Read the full story.

Ohio

Marietta official, Ohio Oil and Gas Association weigh in on water studies

A team from Yale University and MIT will be conducting a new drinking water study in Belmont and Monroe Counties, reports The Intelligencer: Wheeling News-Register. Researcher Nicole Deziel, who did a pilot study in Belmont County in 2016, will spearhead this new effort, collecting data and samples and speaking with residents. Her research follows the EPA’s 2016 report stating the need for more data to determine the ultimate impact of oil and gas development on public health. Deziel’s stated intention is threefold: to develop a predictive model of contamination, perform data analyses of screenings for contamination and study neonatal health outcomes. Jeffery Kephart, Marietta’s water superintendent, pointed out that some of the chemicals thought to cause health issues may turn up in water from sources not related to fracking. Mike Chadsey of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association noted that Ohio’s “strong well casing standards” are a key to protecting the drinking water. Read the full story.

Ohio

Bechtel will build Belmont County cracker

Thai petrochemical giant PTT Global Chemical has selected Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals to build the Belmont County ethane cracker plant, according to S & P Global. Bechtel is also building a Shell cracker in Monaca, Pennsylvania. Ethane cracker plants could spur economic growth in the region; two large-scale projects in close proximity could encourage workers to relocate here rather than coming in to work on a project-by-project basis. Utica and Marcellus could support four additional cracker plants, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, further increasing development potential. The Belmont County plant will site on a former coal-fired power plant in Mead Township.

Ohio
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