Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, May 31, 2013

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading:


Dicker: Halcon Is Still a Buy
The Street
I spoke with Jim Cramer today about Halcon Resources, a speculative stock that I recommended with Jim a few weeks ago and which has since dropped 12%. I reiterated my buy call, but that wasn’t the only reason for discussing Halcon with Jim. The case of Halcon holds a few good lessons about investing in very speculative stocks. First, the fundamental reason for the decline: Halcon reported the initial production profile for two major wells it is drilling in the Utica basin and they were a disappointment, with one returning 730 barrels of oil equivalent a day and the other yielding 1,652 Boe/d.

Safety of Oilfield Waste Injection Wells Questioned at Public ODNR Meeting
Alliance Review
The number of injection wells in the state of Ohio is dramatically increasing due to hydraulic fracturing across Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and our state is accepting oil field waste for both. This is a fact some area residents are up in arms about. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources hosted a public information meeting about injection wells Thursday night at Wingfoot Lake State Park in Mogadore, and while the number of ODNR officers seemed to match the amount of people who attended, there was still a good turnout of about 60 or more who came armed with information and ready to pose intelligent questions.

ODNR session on injection wells draws concerned citizens
Opposing voices in the debate over using injection wells to dispose of wastewater from oil and natural gas drilling sounded off during a public meeting at Wingfoot Lake State Park in Portage County on Thursday evening. About 50 members of the public attended the meeting, which was hosted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Many of them came with questions, comments and criticisms about injection wells.

Fracking may cut watershed costs for property owners
WKSU Public Radio
The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is considering a plan to reduce the assessments it began levying on nearly 500,000 parcels of land in 18 counties last decade. How much the assessments are lowered will depend on how much the district collects in oil and gas royalties from Utica shale drilling. The Conservancy Court will review the plan at a session Saturday at the Tuscarawas County Courthouse, but the district is cautioning that no reductions will likely occur before 2015.

Shale output doesn’t shift maps
Coshocton Tribune
Despite a rollout by its sister division in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Division of Geological Survey said the production data released on 87 horizontal oil and gas wells had little influence on the understanding of the Utica Shale.

Ohio beefs up security at public meeting at Wingfoot Lake
Akron Beacon Journal
The 55 activists and citizens worried about injection wells were safe, very safe. They were joined in and around the Pine Tree Lodge at Wingfoot Lake State Park by 30 state staffers, including at least 14 armed staffers and one canine unit. A State Highway Patrol cruiser even passed by. The heavy police presence annoyed some of those in attendance. Scott Fischer, 82, of Hiram said he was angered. “Why are there 14 armed brown shirts?” he asked. “Why do you need armed force?”

Ohio eco-groups to ask court to block water sales by MWCD
Akron Beacon Journal
On June 1, 2013, individuals and representatives from different environmental groups will be prepared to present testimony before the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) Conservancy Court in New Philadelphia. Concerned citizens will ask the Court to stop water sales by the MWCD as well as leasing for horizontal, high volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of public reservoirs needed for safe drinking water and other industrial, agricultural and recreational purposes.


Gas Industry Building Database Of Water Test Results, But Won’t Make It Public
Pennsylvania StateImpact
More than two years ago the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a gas industry trade group, began building an electronic database to house information about the water quality in thousands of private wells across Pennsylvania. It’s made up of “pre-drill” or baseline data– critical information that helps establish whether drilling operations may have caused water contamination issues. The project is already up and running, but there are no plans to make it public.

What They’re Saying: “Marcellus Shale Has Really Helped the Whole Community”
As more clean-burning American natural gas is safely produced here at home, tens of thousands of jobs are being created, especially in the manufacturing sector. Likewise, responsible and tightly-regulated shale development is bringing about clear environmental benefits. At the same time, this ongoing and historic American energy renaissance is bolstering our nation’s security and competitiveness. How far-reaching are these benefits? “We are heading toward some problems,” commented one OPEC official this week, with regard to the cartel’s weakened position as a result of increased American oil and natural gas production. Here’s what else they’re saying about these homegrown benefits.


Natural Gas Futures Decline on Bigger-Than-Expected Supply Gain
Bloomberg/Washington Post
Natural gas futures declined the most in four weeks in New York after U.S. stockpiles increased more than forecast. Gas slid 3.9 percent, the biggest drop since May 2, after the Energy Information Administration said inventories rose 88 billion cubic feet in the week ended May 24 to 2.141 trillion cubic feet. Analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg showed a gain of 86 billion. A survey of Bloomberg users also predicted an increase of 86 billion. The five-year average gain for the week is 92 billion cubic feet, EIA data show.

Dry gas well drilling economics improved by drilling technology advancements
SNL Financial
Shale gas recoveries are game changing. Since the advent of new drilling technologies, more natural gas is available and produced with fewer rigs operating. The ability to reach previously unattainable supply and move and start rigs in lesser amounts of time has brought natural gas into a new era of flexibility and responsiveness, Bentek analyst Ryan Smith said.

Seven eco-groups intend to sue BLM on western leases
AP/Akron Beacon Journal
Seven conservation groups have notified the Bureau of Land Management they plan to sue the agency. The lawsuit is filed on the grounds that the Bureau of Land Management made more than 1,200 square miles available for potential oil shale and tar sands leasing in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The conservation groups claimed in a formal lawsuit notice filed last week that the BLM violated the Endangered Species Act by not formally consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

EPA keeping seismic report on drilling under wraps
U.S. EPA is keeping secret its study on earthquakes linked to oil and gas drilling. In a letter this week, the agency refused a request from EnergyWire to release the study under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It deemed the report “pre-decisional” and cited the law’s exemption for “deliberative privilege.”