A major announcement is on the way in New York State about fracking and and the now four year-old moratorium on horizontal drilling: The fracking ban is about to end. According to a commentary published in the Albany Times Union last Saturday, top officials from the Cuomo administration are briefing “selected environmental groups” about his plan to allow fracking in New York State—a plan which he’ll release before Labor Day.
The Steuben County landfill in Bath, NY is now approved and ready to accept “shale cuttings,” or leftover soil and rock that comes from shale gas drilling. They join neighboring Chemung County that has accepted shale cuttings for over a year now, and Allegany County.
Although they don’t expect to receive much in the way of cuttings this year from Pennsylvania drillers because of a slowdown in drilling, Steuben officials want to be ready “just in case” Marcellus drilling in New York ramps up.
Investors were positively giddy after Chesapeake Energy’s CEO, Aubrey McClendon, said on an earnings call yesterday that the company plans to sell three Permian Basin packages in the third quarter, which he expects to bring in another $7 billion. McClendon’s new expected total haul from asset sales for 2012 is $13-$14 billion. That sent stocks more than 10% higher (up $1.67 to $19.37), making corporate raider Carl Icahn a whole lot richer. Oh sorry! Forgot. We don’t call him a corporate raider nowadays, we euphemistically call him an “activist investor.” Yeah, got my PC hat on now. Won’t slip up again.
But is it all peaches and cream now for Chesapeake?
An excellent article in Industrial Heating magazine tackles the issue of hydraulic fracturing and the pot shots being taken by anti-drillers, based not on science, but on scare tactics. The author says the fracking issue has largely become political (where have you heard that before?!). Here is a paragraph from the article that could have been written by MDN:
Devon Energy reports “not encouraging” results from two wells in Ohio’s Utica Shale, one in Ashland County, the other in neighboring Medina County—both in the northwestern corner of the Utica Shale in Ohio. Although Devon is not saying whether or not they will drill more wells in that area, they have indicated they will drill more wells to the east.
Gulfport Energy Corporation has released their second quarter earnings and operations update. Gulfport is a Utica Shale driller (among other basins across the U.S. and Canada). In the news for Gulfport for 2Q12: They drilled four new Utica Shale wells, three of which were completed and waiting to go online. Their first horizontal well in the Utica, drilled in February of this year, came online and at its peak was producing 17.1 million cubic feet of gas per day (Mmcf/d), along with 432 barrels of condensate per day and 1,881 barrels of natural gas liquids per day.
The relevant sections of the update dealing with Utica Shale operations:
Gastar Exploration released their second quarter earnings and operations update yesterday. They report production increased 87% from second quarter 2011—to 34.8 MMcfe per day. Most of the increase comes from drilling in the Marcellus Shale in Marshall County, WV. Gastar says it would have been even better were it not for problems with processing capacity and pipeline issues.
Here are the relevant sections from the Gastar update dealing with the Marcellus Shale:
Canadian independent driller Epsilon Energy has released its 2Q12 update. Epsilon focuses on the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale, the Bakken Shale and Midale Dolomite in Saskatchewan, and the Brown Dense Limestone in Mississippi. Epsilon significantly scaled back its drilling activity in the Marcellus during the second quarter because of low natural gas prices. Instead, they are concentrating on oil drilling in the Bakken Shale region of Canada.
Epsilon also owns a 35% interest in the Auburn gas gathering system, located in the PA Marcellus. Relevant sections of the update pertaining to the Marcellus:
The quarterly reports keep coming in. This one is from Access Midstream Partners, the newly named and former Chesapeake Midstream Partners. Access is a large pipeline company with major operations in the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus, in fact, is largely responsible for an increase of 33.5% in throughput, or the amount of gas handled each day, by Access for the second quarter (over the second quarter of last year). Access reports hooking up 179 new wells to its gathering systems in 2Q12.
Pittsburgh KDKA 1020 Radio’s Robert Mangino talks with Matt Pitzarella of Range Resources and Gene Barr, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. Robert Mangino hosts a Marcellus Shale hour on his radio talk show each Tuesday at 7 pm.
We don’t always break the news, but we usually report it quite early. And we report only what’s important and relevant for those of you interested in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region. Thanks for reading MDN!