Close-up on Petrogas Co: A New Player in the Ohio Utica?

A couple of weeks ago four companies won bids on 17 parcels totaling 719 acres of federal land (for Utica Shale drilling) in the Ohio Wayne National Forest (see OH Wayne National Forest – List of Auction Winners). We recognized three of the winners: Eclipse Resources, Flat Rock Development, and Gulfport Energy. But we didn’t recognize the fourth as a Utica driller: Petrogas Company. Then we spotted a couple of press releases from Petrogas touting their first “successfully purchased two oil and gas leases in the Eastern States” with the added statement they are “looking forward to exploring the potential in this area.” Petrogas says in its press release that it is an exploration and production company (E&P, or what we call a driller) “focused on the acquisition of properties in areas with significant oil reserves and drilling potential.” So we began to dig. First, the land Petrogas leased in WNF amounts to a grand total of 3.7 acres, for which they paid the princely sum of $2,705.50. No, they won’t be drilling on 3.7 acres any time soon. Then we further dug and discovered that Petrogas is a Chinese-backed company with an office in Houston, TX, that started life as an entertainment company and is operated by what appears to be one guy. A guy who apparently knows how to publish press releases that sound big and and important…

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