PA’s Top 10 Marcellus Drillers Based on Number of Permits

Top 10Who doesn’t love a Top 10 list? David Letterman has built a career on them. There are a lot of different ways to measure who the biggest drillers are in Pennsylvania–the Top 10 drillers. Recently, the Pittsburgh Business Times took a fresh stab at it. They counted how many shale gas wells have been permitted for drilling companies. It doesn’t mean the wells have been drilled yet, but you don’t spend big bucks on a permit to not drill. We can safely assume if it’s permitted, it either has been or soon will be drilled.

So who are the Top 10? The names of the drillers in the list may not surprise you, but we bet the number of permitted wells they have and their order in the list may surprise you…
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Cabot Susquehanna County Picnic 2013: A Great Time for All!

Saturday in New York’s Southern Tier and Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier (the border between Broome County, NY and Susquehanna County, PA) was OK weather-wise. It was a bit overcast and threatened rain, which is likely what kept the crowds a bit lower at this year’s Cabot Oil & Gas annual picnic in Susquehanna County, PA. (UPDATE: They actually broke the record! See update below.) Still, from what MDN editor Jim Willis saw, it was a packed house with long lines for free hamburgers and hot dogs, free games with prizes, and lots of equipment to see and touch (see pictures below).

Equal parts county fair, picnic, carnival and trade show, each year Cabot sponsors a “community picnic” in Susquehanna County–the only county in Pennsylvania where Cabot drills for Marcellus Shale gas…
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Range Says Marcellus Wells 3X Better than Best Barnett Wells

Range Resources was the first driller to tap the Marcellus Shale–back in 2004. Although Range is headquartered in Texas and although they have actively drilled there for years, Range is so in love with the Marcellus they’ve sold off all remaining Barnett Shale acreage they owned and they are now almost totally focused on drilling in the Marcellus Shale. It’s been a smart move for Range’s bottom line…
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Halcon Resources Plans $70M Oil Terminal in Lordstown, OH

Last November, MDN told you about a new landowner group in Lordstown, OH that had formed to negotiate with Halcon Resources who had recently purchased 20-50 year-old leases in the area, hoping to drill Utica wells on those properties (see Halcon Resources Responds to Lordstown, OH Landowners Group). The landowners, of course, want to renegotiate the leases to allow Utica drilling with updated safeguards and protections–horizontal drilling was not envisioned when the original leases were signed all those years ago. Halcon is willing to grant them an increase in royalty payments, but essentially told the landowners to sign the revised lease they were circulating or risk not getting a dime. The tone was very much take it or leave it.

MDN has no word on the status of those talks, but we do notice two things: Halcon has, since last November, applied for and received four Utica Shale drilling permits in Trumbull County; and, Halcon is planning to build a $70 million oil storage and rail-loading terminal in Lordstown…
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India’s RIL Doubles US Shale Investment to $10.8B! Mostly Marcellus

The single largest company in India is Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). A few years ago, RIL invested in three U.S. shale joint ventures (see India’s RIL: Shale Gas a Major Contributor to Revenue by 2015 for background). RIL has invested $5.7 billion in the jv’s to date–a massive investment. Word has just come out that they plan to double that investment in the next three years–to a whopping $10.8 billion.

Two of the three jv’s, and most of the investment, will be in the Marcellus Shale. RIL says by the time the project is done, they will have drilled 3,846 shale wells in the US…
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MWCD to Sell 138M Gallons of Seneca Lake Water for Utica Drilling

Last February, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) signed a lease with Antero Resources to lease 6,700 acres under and around Seneca Lake. The MWCD got a $40.3 million signing bonus, plus 20% royalties (see Muskingum Watershed District Signs with Antero for $40.3M Bonus). Last week, the MWCD voted to sell up to 138 million gallons of water from Seneca Lake to Antero so they can use it in their drilling and fracking operations, making another potential $828,000.

We’ll lease you the land and sell you the water to drill it too. Cool…
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NY Fracking Debate is Celebrity Emotion vs Scientific Facts

The following full-throated, pro-drilling op-ed is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it was written by a former Bloomberg reporter, Kelly Riddell (who knew there was even a single pro-drilling person on staff at Bloomberg!). Second, it appeared in the usually anti-drilling Albany Times Union. One pro-drilling article per 50 or so anti-drilling articles is what passes for fair and balanced in the TU.

Hopefully Gov. Andy will tear himself away from paddling canoes and handing out flood relief money to read it. Riddell’s column is well worth your time to read, especially if you live in the Empire State…
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Predictable: Anti-Drillers Discount Fed Study of Fracking & Water

Last week MDN brought you the really important news that preliminary results from a federal study of fracking shows…proves…fracking fluid with chemicals does not magically migrate uphill through a mile of solid rock to the surface to contaminate water (see Breaking: Obama DOE Says Study Shows Fracking Fluids Don’t Migrate). In over 50,000 horizontally fracked wells and over 2 million conventionally fracked wells, it’s never been observed. No scientific studies have ever been able to prove it (much as they’ve tried).

Now we have a study that incontrovertibly proves it doesn’t happen. So what does one Duke University anti-drilling professor with a degree in biology (not geology) say? This study don’t prove nothin’…
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