What happens when those who commit the academic “crime” of supporting the miracle of hydraulic fracturing won’t apologize or back down from their views, and the academic institution “harboring” them bravely defends their right to have a contrary-to-orthodoxy opinion? Those in the witch hunt sharpen their pitchforks and become even more shrill, banging at the gates, demanding the witches be burned and the department (castle) they work for be obliterated. That’s the situation at University at Buffalo (UB).
Yesterday a group of faculty members, led by an English professor, along with some of their impressionable young students (whom they’ve convinced that fracking is a sin against the renewable energy orthodoxy), sent a letter and “report” (full copy embedded below) to the SUNY Board of Trustees demanding the UB Shale Resources and Society Institute be shut down because they won’t admit to their crime of being pro-fracking. Yeah, real science and academic freedom rule at UB.
An interesting comment yesterday from Anadarko Petroleum’s CEO about where price levels for natural gas have to be before he’s willing to commit more money for dry gas drilling. The magic number for Anadarko is $5 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf). Equally interesting was a comment by the VP of E&P that for the Marcellus Shale, the magic number is $4 per Mcf—because drilling in the Marcellus costs less than other plays. The current price of natural gas on the Nymex is currently $3.70 (as of this morning).
Until prices improve, Anadarko will stick to drilling in wet gas areas and not invest in Marcellus drilling. Here’s what Anadarko’s executives said yesterday on an earnings call:
The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) has provided New Yorkers with a handy list of endorsements from their organization for the upcoming election in a 14-county region (see the full list below). The offices they cover are either county, state or federal elections—mostly for New York State Senate and Assembly, with a few congressional and other offices on the list. The JLCNY has not endorsed candidates at the local town board level, instead referring voters to their local landowner coalition for guidance.
Gulfport Energy is one of the few Marcellus and Utica Shale drillers who regularly reports on production results for its new wells (something we appreciate!). MDN told previously told you about Gulfport’s “King” of Utica wells, the Shugert 1-1H in Belmont County, Ohio, which produced 20 million cubic feet of natural per day, 144 barrels of condensate per day, and 2,002 barrels of natural gas liquids per day (see this MDN story).
Yesterday Gulfport released numbers for more new wells in Harrison and Guernsey counties in Ohio. Although the methane output of the wells is not spectacular, the condensate and natural gas liquids output is noteworthy. Here’s the latest report from Gulfport:
Atlas Resource Partners, with some drilling operations in the Marcellus, reported the company lost $10.1 million for third quarter 2012. As part of their update Atlas reports making moves into other shale plays, picking up acreage in the Mississippi Lime play (in northwest Oklahoma). Atlas picked up acreage in the Barnett Shale in April of this year.
The only reference to the Marcellus in the update was that Atlas brought online some “additional legacy Marcellus Shale wells connected in southwestern Pennsylvania” during 3Q12. Here’s the full 3Q12 update:
Two years after Magnum Hunter bought out Triad Energy Resources, Triad is flourishing in the Marcellus and Utica Shale of Ohio and West Virginia. The company has gone from producing 750 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) to more than 15,000 boe/d. Triad just bought out another company (Viking International Resources, see this MDN story) and has added an additional 51,500 acres in WV and OH to their drilling portfolio.
Here’s the lowdown on the incredible success story of the company now called Triad Hunter:
This is a fascinating (to MDN) story about where the industry and economics for shale gas drilling may be heading. Yesterday LSB Industries, an Oklahoma City chemical (and equipment) manufacturer that depends on natural gas as its raw materials, announced they have purchased ownership interest in 14 producing natural gas wells, 7 soon-to-be producing wells and 36 yet-to-drilled wells in the Marcellus Shale, in Wyoming County, PA.
Why would a manufacturing company invest in natural gas wells? As a hedge against natural gas prices going higher—which they believe is going to happen relatively soon. They want a piece of the action that supplies their company with a key raw material, to keep their future costs down. Smart.
A relatively young independent oil and gas company (started in 2004), Endeavour International, continues its rapid growth as reported in their third quarter financial and operational update. Endeavour has a large oil drilling operation in the North Sea. They also have a natural gas drilling presence in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale.
According to the 3Q12 update, Endeavour now owns about 31,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale leases (see the release below). However, last year Endeavour had a deal with SM Energy to purchase SM’s Marcellus acreage, which would have added 50,000 additional acres to their Marcellus portfolio (see this MDN story). For no publicly stated reason, Endeavour bailed out of the deal and SM threatened to sue last December (see this MDN story).
The Ohio Utica Shale’s newest entrant, 1st NRG Corporation, previously announced they would drill on 7,150 acres of the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio (see this MDN story). Yesterday they announced they have secured a $7 million loan which will help finance the drilling.
1st NRG’s announcement is, frankly, a lot of fluff aimed at reassuring investors. It’s big on broad descriptions of the shale plays where they plan to drill, but absent details about how and when that drilling will take place. Here’s the 1st NRG announcement:
Williams Partners, the pipeline and processing subsidiary of energy giant Williams, released their third quarter financial update yesterday. Like many of the other energy companies with operations in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, Williams Partners did not have a good 3Q12 from a financial perspective. Net income for 3Q12 was $237 million, down from $342 in 3Q11 (31%). Why was 3Q12 tough for Williams and other energy companies? Low commodity prices for natural gas and natural gas liquids.
Relevant sections from the Williams announcement yesterday: