Cabot Oil & Gas announced yesterday that they’ve reached an important production milestone: They now produce more than one billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Marcellus Shale. All of Cabot’s Marcellus drilling happens in Susquehanna County, PA, so put another way, Susquehanna County is now producing more than a billion cubic feet of natural gas each and every day—and Cabot is not the only active driller in Susquehanna County! The company credits, in part, the rapid build out of pipeline infrastructure by Williams for the huge increase in production.
Buried in the same press release is what MDN considers major news. Two of Cabot’s recently drilled wells (on a single well pad) have a combined production rate exceeding 66 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (doing the math, each well averages 33 Mmcf/d). Compare that to Gulfport’s top-producing Utica Shale well, which produces 28.5 Mmcf/d (see this MDN story). Of course, there is one major difference between the Marcellus wells in northeast PA and the Utica wells in eastern OH…
In August, MDN told you that Statoil (a Norwegian company) was in the hunt for more U.S. shale acreage (see this MDN story). Statoil previously purchased a 32.5% interest in Chesapeake Energy’s Marcellus Shale acreage in 2008, securing 600,000 net acres for the company (but not as the “operator” for that acreage). They’ve been in the hunt for more, specifically to become an operator, and today they announced they’ve done a deal for an additional 70,000 Marcellus Shale acres—in the wet gas area of the play.
Statoil officially closed on the deal yesterday with Grenadier Energy Partners LLC, Protege Energy II LLC and PetroEdge Resources II LLC, paying $590 million for 70,000 acres in both West Virginia and eastern Ohio. The purchase price works out to be $8,429 per acre.
Here’s the Statoil press release announcing the deal, along with a slide presentation and map of the newly acquired acreage:
A 120-mile**, large (30-inch) Marcellus Shale pipeline from Lycoming County, in northeastern Pennsylvania, all the way to Rockland, Maryland was announced in March of this year. The three companies planning it—Inergy, UGI and WGL Holdings—dubbed it the Commonwealth Pipeline and said it will cost $1 billion to build it (see this MDN story for the original announcement). The three companies offered a non-binding “open season” (period of time when other companies commit to using capacity in the pipeline) and in June announced the open season went better than expected (see this MDN story).
However, the Commonwealth Pipeline is now on hold and work has stopped. What happened?
Just a few days in to a 30-day public comment period in New York State for revised fracking rules, a collection of the same old anti-drilling groups with the same old agenda (delay indefinitely in hopes of a ban) sent a letter to State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah and Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens demanding an advance copy of the “health review study” being reviewed by three outside health experts.
The letter (full copy embedded below) says in part:
Gastar Exploration Ltd. provided an update this morning on the results of its 2012 drilling operating operations in the Marcellus Shale. Gasstar says they currently operate 34 gross Marcellus Shale wells (in Marshall County, WV) and will up that number to 38 wells by the end of the year. They also discuss their Marcellus drilling strategy in the near-term, over the next several months:
Southwestern Energy yesterday issued their 2013 spending plan and best estimates for the production/results they believe they will achieve in 2013. Of interest to MDN is their plans for the Marcellus. Southwestern says they will more than double natural gas production in the Marcellus—from 63-65 billion cubic feet this year to 160-165 Bcf next year. They’re also increasing their budget for Marcellus drilling by $165 million—to $705 million.
Here’s the entire announcement from Southwestern, which includes all of their operational areas (not just the Marcellus):
A surprisingly balanced human interest article written about the issue of hydraulic fracturing has just appeared in Esquire magazine (yes, that Esquire). The story takes a look at Curt Coccodrilli, who used to work for Bonnie Raitt before she fired him because he supports fracking. Must be she didn’t want to give them something to talk about. (Yeah, you saw that groaner coming!)