BREAKING: NY Court of Appeals will Hear Dryden/Middlefield Case

Stop Press!Important and breaking news as MDN gets published… The New York Court of Appeals (our state’s highest court) has decided to review a lower court ruling on the Dryden and Middlefield cases in which townships banned shale drilling and fracking for everyone in the town. This is fantastic news for New York landowners. We will have more analysis tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s a statement issued by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York:
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Antero Resources Utica Well Produces Stratospheric 38.9 Mmcf/d

super achieverSomehow the following news (now a few weeks old) slipped by our usually-good radar. Antero Resources has taken the top spot away from Gulfport Energy as having the most productive Utica Shale well in Ohio. Gulfport had what was dubbed their “alpha dog” well, the Wagner 1-H well producing 14 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (Mmcf/d). Then came Gulfport’s Shugert 1-1H, which MDN dubbed the “King of Utica Shale wells” producing a whopping 20 Mmcf/d. After that was the Shugert 1-12H well, sister well to the 1-1H. We called that one “the Emperor well” producing 28.5 Mmcf/d (see Gulfport’s New Utica Well Produces Mind-blowing 28.5 Mmcf/d!).

We’re now officially out of metaphors and labels. Antero Resources’ Yontz Utica Shale well recently saw a peak rate of a truly mind-blowing 38.9 Mmcf/d. Gulfport’s Shugert wells are in Belmont County. The Yontz well is located in Monroe County, just south of Belmont…
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Sierra Buckeye Responds: We Didn’t Default on Carroll County Lease

Last week MDN told you about a kerfuffle in Ohio between Carroll County commissioners and Sierra Buckeye, a driller with whom the county signed a lease in July 2012 for 481 acres of county-owned land (see Carroll County, OH Says Sierra Buckeye in Default on Utica Lease). The county says Sierra was supposed to drill by a certain deadline and did not do so, throwing the lease agreement “in default” and implying Sierra is subject to make extra penalty payments under the lease terms.

Sierra Buckeye contacted MDN to tell their side of the story. They claim that yes, they did ask for an extension of the lease terms until Nov. 1 of this year, but that Carroll County commissioners went silent and did not respond to multiple requests, and that no, they are not in default and don’t owe a penny more. In fact, they have canceled (or “released”) the lease per Carroll County’s request–transmitting the release last week. What miffs Sierra Buckeye is that they had to learn about the commissioners’ intentions by reading about it in the newspaper…
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Utica Drilling Innovation: Plastic Pipelines Replace Water Trucks

An interesting innovation that we have not heard of before: BP is using temporary, plastic pipelines to transport water to the test wells they’re drilling in Trumbull County, OH. When a series of wells are finished being drilled, the pipes can be rolled up and used somewhere else without having to dig a trench and leave a permanent pipeline underground. No more thousands of trips by water trucks to drill a well!

Could this be the start of yet another new, environmentally-friendly innovation by the shale drilling industry?…
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WV Gov. Tomblin Beats the Ethane Cracker Drum Once Again

At a business summit yesterday at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin once again voiced his opinion that WV will have an ethane cracker plant of its own in the near future and that such a plant is needed to keep jobs in WV. He went a bit further than we’ve heard before and said WV has the right to expect a partnership between drillers and manufacturers to process WV ethane and other natural gas liquids (NGLs) in WV. According to Tomblin, his administration is burning the midnight oil to make a WV ethane cracker a reality…
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OH Town Votes to Give Up 1/4 Royalties for Cash Payment Now

Should a municipality that’s leased village-owned land to a shale driller (in this case in Ohio’s Utica Shale) sell some of their future potential royalties for cash now in order to buy a firetruck? It’s not a hypothetical question. Carrollton, OH council members voted this week to do just that. Selling future earnings is nothing new: It happens with lottery winners. They win a lottery with a payout over the next 20-30 years but want (or need) the money now. So they sell their future payments to a third party for a discounted amount of cash now.

It’s one thing for an individual to do it, but quite another (in our opinion) for a municipality to do it…
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Chief Strikes Deal to Provide Marcellus Gas for Electric Plants

Chief Oil & Gas announced yesterday they have crafted a deal to supply some of the Marcellus Shale gas they produce in PA to IMG Midstream. You may think IMG is a pipeline company because of the word “midstream” in its name–but you would be wrong. IMG Midstream (formerly known as Iron Mountain Generation) develops, owns, and operates small-scale electric generation plants powered by natural gas. As part of the new deal, Chief will use pipelines from Access Midstream and PVR Midstream to get the gas from their wells to IMG’s new electric plants (to be built) in northeastern PA.

With that explanation to clear up who the players are, here’s the (somewhat confusing) press release announcing the deal…
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Marcellus Shale Coalition Gets New Chairman of the Board

It appears that Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler’s massive firings throughout the company (no doubt demanded by corporate raider and Chessy board member Carl Ichan) have not only affected Chesapeake itself, but also the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC)–the premier group representing the drilling industry in Pennsylvania and the entire Marcellus region.

The chairman of the board of directors at the MSC had been David Spigelmyer, VP of government relations for Chesapeake. Spigelmyer is now gone from Chesapeake and gone from the board of the MSC. In his place, the board has appointed the current vice chairman, Randy Albert, COO of CNX Gas, to be chairman until Spigelmyer’s term was due to end in November…
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What Did NYC Lawmakers Find when Visiting NE PA Frack Sites?

A small group of anti-drilling New York State lawmakers from Westchester County and New York City came to Susquehanna County, PA yesterday for a “tour” of one of the most drilled (and productive) natural gas counties in PA. We’re guessing local anti-drilling celebrity (and potty mouth) Vera Scroggins led the tour, although we don’t know for sure. Regardless of who led it, the aim was to show the devastation fracking hath wrought to this poor, defenseless county. Unfortunately for Vera and other anti-drillers, reality trumps their hallucinations.

MDN was not along for the so-called tour, but we know what the visiting city folks found because we’ve also toured the county and its drilling sites: They found a pretty, rural county where the people are happy and employed, (some of them newly rich, which disgusts the old rich of NYC), and where there is no industrial wasteland. Sometimes trucks clog the roadways–but nothing like the traffic the visiting downstate lawmakers experience every day of their lives…
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