Chesapeake Settles PA Royalty Lawsuit for Pittance: $7.5M

a pittanceIn July, MDN told you about a class action lawsuit by some Pennsylvania landowners against Chesapeake Energy over the issue of deducting certain costs from post-production when calculating royalties–costs that the landowners say are not listed in the original lease and for which Chessy does not have the right to deduct (see Some PA Landowners Mull Decision to Sue Chesapeake over Royalties). A number of landowners joined the class action lawsuit. The lawyers worked feverishly and both sides have now settled.

Chesapeake will pay $7.5 million to settle the lawsuit, to be share with the lawyers (of course) and then amongst the landowners. Apparently the settlement will benefit “several thousand leaseholders” who have the option to either accept the settlement or continue on their own by filing their own lawsuit…
Continue reading

Marcellus/Utica Industry Looking to Hire More Locals

Do you live in Pennsylvania, Ohio or West Virginia (or perhaps the Southern Tier of sad New York) and want a job working for the growing shale drilling industry? According to The Motley Fool, your chances of landing a job in the Marcellus/Utica industry have never been better. The Fool even has a few suggestions of companies looking to hire…
Continue reading

UGI Victory: Judge Rules in Favor Marcellus Gate Station in NE PA

MDN told you back in April about UGI’s (a Scranton-area public utility) plan to build a new pipeline connector–called a gate station–so they could tap into abundant, cheap and locally produced Marcellus Shale gas to sell to its customers. UGI’s plan will lower the gas bill for thousands of its customers and use local Marcellus gas instead of gas piped in from the Gulf Coast. Fantastically, some hardened anti-drillers opposed the new gate station with claims of air pollution, dire consequences, blah blah–the usual banal excuses–even though there has been another gate station operating in the area for more than 50 years (see Anti-Drillers Try to Stop Pipeline Connector in NE PA).

Anti-drillers tried to stop the UGI gate station by invoking local zoning ordinances at the town level. Fortunately, a level-headed administrative law judge has put a stop to those efforts and has ruled that UGI may go ahead and build the new Marcellus gas gate station…
Continue reading

McClendon Gets Sued in OH Over New Company’s Name

It’s no secret that coal has taken a beating from abundant, cheap shale gas. Natural gas burns cleaner than coal–there’s just no disputing that fact. And because of it, natural gas has displaced coal at a number of electrical generating plants around the country. However, coal remains a very important fossil fuel that powers much (in fact most) of American electricity. So it’s no surprise that the owner of a number of Ohio coal mines is a bit miffed with Aubrey McClendon.

Robert Murray operates a coal mine near Beallsville (Monroe County), OH under the name American Energy Corp. Aubrey McClendon named his new shale oil & gas company American Energy Partners. Murray is miffed enough with McClendon to sue him for misappropriation of the name American Energy. He believes McClendon has intentionally tried to confuse the marketplace…
Continue reading

PVR Partners to Build $150M Utica Shale Pipeline System for Hess

Midstream company PVR Partners has been selected by Hess to construct 45 miles of gathering pipelines in eastern Ohio’s Utica Shale region. In an announcement issued today, PVR said the new pipelines will be built to cover Belmont, Jefferson and Harrison Counties where Hess holds a substantial acreage position. The new pipeline project will end up costing somewhere in the neighborhood of $125-$150 million and will be completed in 2015.

The PVR announcement:
Continue reading

ASTM Intl Announces Proposed Standard for Shale Oil/Gas Fracking

There’s no end of governmental, quasi-governmental and private organizations that want to impose some sort of regulation on fracking. From the federal EPA on down, they all want to get their licks in. Regulation (at the state level) is of course absolutely necessary. Strong regulations to protect citizens and the environment is a must–and the responsibility for doing it lies solely with the states as a matter of Constitutional law. As for the plethora of other would-be regulators? Not needed. But that doesn’t stop them from trying anyway.

The latest organization to toss their hat in the fracking regulation ring is ASTM International–formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials. A very fine organization with superb standards used by many industries. However, they’re now working on a proposed standard and “best practices” for shale oil and gas drilling and fracking. We have to ask: Is it really needed?
Continue reading

Antero Resources Gets Extra $250 Million Credit Line

Antero Resources was recently crowned as the driller with the most productive Utica Shale well in Ohio, a single well that will provide the company with an enormous amount of revenue (see WVU Prof Says Antero Well will Generate $300K Revenue…Per Day!). Apparently the publicity has been good for Antero, who announced today they’ve upped their line of credit at the bank–from $1.75 billion to a whopping $2 billion. So far Antero has used about $1 billion from their line of credit to finance drilling operations in the Utica and Marcellus Shale.

Must be the bankers at JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo were impressed with the performance of Antero’s latest wells–$250 million impressed…
Continue reading

More Evidence that Aubrey McClendon Loves OH’s Utica Shale

Aubrey McClendon is former CEO of Chesapeake Energy and now CEO of an upstart competitor he started named American Energy Partners (see AEP’s just launched website here). Aubrey is high on the Ohio Utica Shale. He’s rumored to be close to signing a deal with Shell for 50,000 OH Utica Shale acres, and is also rumored to be the unnamed buyer for EnerVest’s 22,535 OH Utica Shale acres sold just a few weeks ago (see He’s Baaaack! Aubrey McClendon is Back in OH Shale Country).

More evidence that Aubrey is focusing on Ohio: A bunch of advertisements AEP is running in OH media seeking to sign leases in the following counties…
Continue reading

Belmont County, OH Seismic Charges: Trespass or Honest Mistake?

Sandy Putorek, who lives in Pittsburgh but owns a 30-acre farm in Lansing (Belmont County), OH, is anti-drilling. It is her American right to refuse what she claims are many offers to lease her property for Utica Shale drilling. It is also her right (so long as she owns the mineral rights) to refuse seismic testing on her property. However, while recently visiting her land she noticed tracks across her property. When she followed them, she had a surprise: someone had installed small explosive charges used for seismic testing–without her permission. Now Sandy is (understandably) fighting mad.

The company that installed the charges is removing them, claiming bad maps from the county led to the charges being mistakenly placed on Sandy’s land…
Continue reading

Supply Chain Success: From Roller Coasters to Marcellus Well Pads

What do roller coasters and Marcellus drilling sites have in common? It seems they have more in common than you might imagine.

MDN never ceases to be amazed at the ingenuity of America’s small businesses. The latest small business to amaze us is a custom plastics manufacturer in Montoursville, PA–Ralph S. Alberts Co–known for making plastic replacement parts for amusement park rides. Lately, the company has retooled the same plastic products used for amusement parks to be used as impregnable barriers at well pad sites. How cool (and innovative) is that?…
Continue reading

How Fairhaven, MA Residents Got Fleeced by Wind Power

A Fairhaven, MA resident writes that Marcellus and Utica Shale have made natural gas so cheap that a wind energy project funded by Fairhaven town taxpayers has not, nor ever will, produce revenue anywhere near what was promised by the project’s developers–developers, we might add, that continue to get a guaranteed 2.3% increase in revenue each year even though the town is not getting the minimum profits they were told they would get.

Now the residents of Fairhaven are left holding the bag of diminishing revenue and escalating costs–and the Fairhaven residents who are unfortunate enough to live near the project have to endure the never-ending wumpf, wumpf, wumpf noise that comes from the turbines…
Continue reading