Columbiana County, OH has just signed a deal with DPS Penn (an agent for Chesapeake Energy) to lease 548 acres for Utica Shale drilling. And they astutely doubled their money from the original offer from DPS a year ago. The new terms of the deal, just signed, are for $5,850 per acre and a 20 percent royalty. Columbiana also negotiated the lease term down to three years. A typical lease is five years.
The deal makes Columbiana breaks the record as the highest signing bonus granted to any government body for a Utica (or Marcellus) Shale lease deal.
A number of New York State local government officials gathered in Albany on Monday, June 18 to talk about and support a new initiative to grant local municipalities the legal right to control oil and gas drilling in their borders. The concept is referred to as “home rule” and it’s gathering momentum with both Democrats and even with some Republican state legislators.
The event was sponsored by a group of anti-drilling groups, including Sustainable Otsego, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, and Otsego 2000. The anti-drilling group Shaleshock was also present and videoed the speakers. They offer the video on their website (click the link below to view it).
This was the press release about the home rule gathering:
The Coshocton County, Ohio unemployment rate has been stubbornly high, but now it’s starting to move lower. In May of this year the unemployment rate for Coshocton stood at 9.3 percent. It was 10.2 percent in April, one month earlier. And if you go back a year to May 2011, it was 11.3 percent. In fact, the current 9.3 percent rate is the lowest rate seen in Coshocton County since 2008.
What’s caused the Coshocton unemployment rate to go 2 percent lower in just one year? Yep, much of it can be credited to Utica Shale drilling.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett continues to push hard to get his package of tax incentives for a Shell ethane cracker plant passed before the state legislature goes on summer break at the end of June. Looks like it’s paid off. Word has come out the legislature will pass his proposed package.
Bregal Energy announced yesterday they have increased their investment in Inflection Energy. Inflection was founded in 2008 as a drilling company focused on the Marcellus Shale. They hold leases in both Pennsylvania and New York. Bregal is an investment company focused on the energy industry. The amount of the new investment and the terms of the deal were not disclosed in the press announcement.
Josh Fox, a talented movie-maker and master purveyor of half-truths and outright lies in the mostly fictional movie Gasland, has just released a new short “documentary” called The Sky is Pink aimed squarely and solely at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It seems the anti-drilling movement is desperate to prevent any kind of high volume hydraulic fracturing from getting a fair evaluation in New York State—so they’re pulling out all the stops to try and make sure it doesn’t.
Norwegian company Statoil continues to change its focus away from the Marcellus Shale region and instead concentrate on “oily” shale areas of the country, like the Bakken Shale in North Dakota. Why? Natural gas prices continue to bump around at historically low prices, making it a challenge to be profitable.
Statoil has cut the number of drilling rigs in the Marcellus nearly in half from one year ago and the wells they’re drilling now are simply to hold acreage. That is, they drill on acreage for which leases are about to expire to hold that acreage.
According to Bill Maloney, president of Statoil North America: