In a year-end “media gathering” with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the governor recounted his administration’s accomplishments for his first 12 months in office, and then he turned his sights on 2012. At the top of his agenda for next year? Drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shales.
Please see an important update at the end of this article.
West Virginia’s new Marcellus drilling law is not yet a week old (see this MDN story for a summary of what’s in the new law), and already some who are unhappy with the law are talking lawsuit. The Charleston, WV Rotary Club hosted a luncheon at the Civic Center on Monday with a panel discussion presenting four different viewpoints on the new law. None of the four, who included those who favor drilling and those who don’t, were happy with the final version. But one in particular, Dave McMahon, a Charleston public interest lawyer, is threatening to sue over the new law.
Chesapeake Energy has just paid $630,000 for two pieces of real estate in Belmont County, Ohio—ground zero for Utica Shale drilling in eastern Ohio. Chesapeake will not officially comment on the purchases, but there’s little doubt they will build a new satellite office at one location for their Ohio drilling operations, and perhaps use the other parcel (land and warehouse) for storage and operations. It shows the serious commitment Chesapeake is making in Ohio and signals their further expansion in the area.
Halliburton has just purchased 178 acres in the EastPointe Business Park in Washington Township near Zanesville, Ohio. The company plans to build an operations center at the location servicing companies drilling in the Utica Shale. The new operations center is expected to create 300 jobs within the next three years.
EQT is betting big on the Marcellus for 2012 and will spend 80 percent of its upstream budget on Marcellus Shale development in 2012.
Gastar Exploration gives the following operational update on their drilling activities in the Marcellus Shale in Marshall and Preston counties in West Virginia, and Butler County in Pennsylvania. Most of Gastar’s Marcellus activity is concentrated in Marshall County, WV, where they plan to complete 24 horizontal wells by the end of 2012.
From the Gastar press release:
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: