EV Energy Partners Deal to Sell 104K Utica Acres Dead, What Now?

now whatEV Energy Partners/EnerVest Executive Chairman John Walker admitted yesterday that a deal to sell the company’s interest in 104,000 Utica Shale acres has fallen apart. MDN has chronicled the journey thus far in a number of articles. In September 2013, EVEP announced they had put 539,000 Utica acres on the auction block and were confident they would sell it by year’s end and receive in the neighborhood of $6 billion (see EnerVest Puts 539,000 Utica Shale Acres on Auction Block). That didn’t happen.

Earlier this year, EVEP seemed to pull back from the original offer and instead push 104,000 acres concentrated in Stark, Tuscarawas and surrounding counties (see EnerVest Strategy: Sell Utica, Drill Vertical, Expand Midstream). That smaller deal has now also “failed” according to yesterday’s call. Apparently the price was right, but the terms were not. So what happens now?
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Youngstown Illegal Dumper’s Former Company Files for Bankruptcy

It looks to be an ignominious end for D&L Energy, the company previously owned by Youngstown fracking wastewater dumper Ben Lupo (see Youngstown Business Dumped >200K Gal of Untreated Wastewater). Yesterday, D&L filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. District Court. The paperwork for the filing notes that although Lupo recently resigned as an officer and director at D&L, he retained 80% of the stock. The rest of the stock is owned by his wife and one other person. The paperwork also indicates the three D&L owners may have “improperly diverted funds of the debtors to other peripheral business entities owned or operated by one or more of these individuals for little or no consideration.” So it appears some hiding of assets/money may have gone on.

Here’s the low-down on the bankruptcy filing and who’s owed how much from D&L:
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FrackNation’s McAleer to Attend Gasland 2, Plans to Confront Fox

Phelim McAleer, the creator/writer/director of the fabulous documentary FrackNation is going to attend the premier of Josh Fox’s Gasland 2 “documentary” at the Tribeca Film Festival next week. According to Phelim, he will “likely clash with Fox” at the screening.

In case you haven’t yet seen it, FrackNation is a must-see film (see MDN Reviews New Documentary FrackNation). Phelim has tried, repeatedly, to get Fox to debate him–but so far Fox has been a coward (see GASLAND vs FrackNation: Josh Fox Refuses to Debate Phelim McAleer). So Phelim has decided to take it Josh at his own screening. We love Phelim’s fearlessness! (Interesting how telling the truth makes you confident and fearless.)

Here’s the announcement from Phelim about attending Gasland 2:
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Second Death from Flash Fire at WV Pipeline Station

A second man has now died from injuries received last Thursday in a flash fire at a “pig receiving station” along a Eureka Hunter pipeline near Wick (Tyler County), WV (see Flash Fire at Pipeline Station in WV Kills 1, Injures 3 Others for our original report and background details).

We mourn with the families of Raymond Miller and Bruce Phipps:
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Tag Team Grudge Match: Jesse White/Patch v Range Resources/DEP

The ongoing grudge match between western PA Rep. Jesse White (from Cecil) and Range Resources continues and has grown. Last week White made a formal “Right to Know” request with the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (another favorite target of White) over the alleged leakage of 30 gallons of…fresh water? frack wastewater?…it’s not clear to MDN which it is–from a Range impoundment located in Cecil Township.

Regardless of the tiny amount of whatever leaked, the DEP has not responded to White, yet, so he’s turning up the pressure by going to his favorite media stenographer, Canon-McMillanPatch:
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EPA Makes MarkWest, Laurel Mountain an Offer They Couldn’t Refuse

The heavy hand of the federal Environmental Protection Agency continues to insert itself into regulating oil and gas drilling (contrary to the U.S. Constitution that grants that right to the states). The latest example is an “agreement” from two midstream companies–MarkWest Liberty Midstream and Laurel Mountain Midstream–to implement expensive new measures to comply with EPA’s air regulations. Neither MarkWest nor Laurel Mountain have done anything wrong. Neither has had an accident or pumped too much nasty stuff into the air. The EPA wants them to install equipment that will (in their opinion) help prevent an accident or the possibility of too much air pollution in the future.

When the howitzer cannon of the federal EPA is pointed at your head, you nod up and down politely…
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Utica Shale Darling: Gulfport Rings the Closing Bell for NASDAQ

Times Square in New York City is always a favorite place to visit for MDN editor Jim Willis. He gets there at least 3-4 times a year, passing through on business. For those who have never been, the first time you visit, it’s sensory overload. So many lights, so many people–all in an organized chaos. It’s fun!

We’re not sure if Jim Palm, CEO of Gulfport Energy (a rising drilling star in the Ohio Utica Shale) has previously visited Times Square, but he was there yesterday–ringing the closing bell for the NASDAQ MarketSite.*
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API’s 1Q13 Well Completions Report: NatGas Wells Down 26%

Although (sadly) MDN does not have access to the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Quarterly Well Completion Report, we do have the high level takeaway from the first quarter 2013 edition: oil well completions are up 20%, and natural gas well completions are down 26%.

There’s a pretty simple equation at work: Low commodity price = less drilling = fewer completions. When the commodity price of natural gas is low, drillers slow down or stop drilling (as reflected by lower rig counts), and the the less drilling they do, the fewer wells get drilled and completed. The (very) brief press release from API which contains a few interesting numbers:
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Sierra Club Lies (Yet Again) and Hits Rock Bottom

MDN has long chronicled the antics of anti-drilling groups like the Sierra Club, an organization that once-upon-a-time embraced natural gas as a bridge fuel, but lately has started lying about the benefits of clean-burning natural gas because it threatens their rather twisted view of an alternative energy nirvana “if only”…if only natural gas wasn’t so darned cheap and getting in the way of more windmills and solar panels.

Energy in Depth’s California chapter penned an excellent article pointing out the outright lies of the California chapter of the Sierra Club in their efforts to persuade residents to reject fracking in that state. Listen up CA: Don’t make the same mistakes we’ve made here in NY. Even Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown likes fracking! Here’s the excellent EID-CA article:
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