Utica Shale Permits/Drilling Update for Ohio – August 2012

updateThe Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) releases updates on Utica Shale permits and drilling each week. The numbers for August permits, along with cumulative totals for all permits issued and wells fracked and drilled, is shown in the handy table below. What do the latest numbers say? Of the 21 counties where there either has been or is permitting and drilling, the hot spot is Carroll County. Last month Carroll County saw 25 new permits issued for Utica wells, all of them issued to Chesapeake Energy.

Here’s a rundown on the latest numbers, telling you where, and how much, Utica Shale drilling is happening in Ohio:

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Chesapeake Sells Permian Basin, Midstream Assets for $6.9B

Although we’ve known for a while that the embattled Chesapeake Energy has been shopping some of it’s shale basin and other assets in order to pay down debt, they’ve made a huge announcement today. Chesapeake has sold most of its Permian Basin acreage along with “substantially all of its midstream” assets for $6.9 billion. The buyers for the Permian were Shell, Chevron and EnerVest. Most of Chesapeake’s remaining midstream assets were sold to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

Chesapeake previously announced they would sell off assets in areas where they were not number one or two in an attempt to repay loans and concentrate their drilling in core areas. Two of the core areas where Chesapeake is sticking around are the Marcellus and Utica Shale.

From the Chesapeake Energy press release:

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Barnesville, OH Signs Lease with Antero, Receives $6M

The Village of Barnesville, OH (Belmont County) just signed a lease with Antero Resources to allow shale drilling on 1,047 village-owned acres. The village now has an additional $6 million in revenue because of it.

Here’s the details about the deal, including the per-acre price and royalty percentage (some of the highest we’ve seen):

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Gale Force Petroleum Marcellus Update for 2 WV Counties

Gale Force Petroleum issued an operations update today about their Marcellus drilling activities in Wetzel and Marshall counties in West Virginia. Gale Force says the wells they’ve drilled, in wet gas areas, are producing in excess of 60 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOEPD) of natural gas liquids in the Marcellus. They expect that number to grow.

Gale Force also says they’ve drilled 15 wells to date and have plans to drill another 50-100 wells on the 10,000 acres they’ve leased over the next three years. From the Gale Force press release:

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Anti-Drilling Group Gets Binghamton Univ. to Sign Petition

An anti-drilling group in the Town of Vestal, NY (Broome County) continues to agitate and pressure the town board to enact a moratorium on non-existent fracking in the town. (New York still does not allow high-volume horizontal fracking, and by all accounts, won’t any time soon.)

The latest tactic by Vestal Residents for Safe Energy (VeRSE) is to dupe get 60 Binghamton University employees to sign a petition requesting a fracking moratorium. VeRSE plans to present the petition at tonight’s town board meeting.

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Kanawha County’s First CNG Vehicle: $1.89/Gal. to Fill it Up

Earlier this week Kanawha County, WV got its first county vehicle converted to run on compressed natural gas (CNG)—a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe. They filled it up for the gasoline equivalent of $1.89 a gallon (gasoline currently runs close to $4 per gallon).

It cost $12,000 to convert it to run on both CNG and gasoline, but the county figures by saving more than 50% on each fill-up, it won’t take long to make that money back.

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Sierra Club, Others Call for Moratorium on New Drilling in WV

Eleven so-called environmental groups, led by the nose by the Sierra Club, held a small anti-drilling protest rally yesterday at the West Virginia State Capitol where they demanded a moratorium on granting any new permits to drill in the Marcellus Shale. They handed Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and legislators in town for meetings their list of demands.

The groups are anti-drilling and anti-fracking and want stricter rules for drilling than currently exist in WV, among them:

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