Gulfport’s New Record-Breaking Well in Belmont Cnty – 30.3 Mmcf/d

record-breakingGulfport Energy, the #2 driller in the Ohio Utica Shale behind Chesapeake Energy, has drilled some of the most prolific wells in the Utica (see Gulfport’s New Utica Well Produces Mind-blowing 28.5 Mmcf/d!). According to Gulfport CEO James Palm on an investor call yesterday, the company continues their winning streak and has just bested their own record. Gulfport’s Irons 1-H well in Belmont County (Washington Township) is now officially their highest producing single gas well with an initial production (IP) of 30.3 million cubic feet of natural gas per day! These are astonishing numbers.

In a phone call with analysts to discuss 3Q13 results, Palm had the following to say:
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Gulfport Signed Up to Ship Ethane to Shell Cracker, If…

Gulfport wants to send the ethane it produces in Ohio’s Utica Shale to Shell’s ethane cracker plant, if that plant ever gets built. Gulfport announced on their 3Q13 analyst call yesterday that they are one of the companies who signed on during Shell’s cracker plant open season, pledging to provide ethane for the new cracker plant. Problem is, the prospects that the plant will actually get built are increasingly in doubt (see Rumor Mill: PA Ethane Cracker Plant on Shell Chopping Block?). Even so, we guess it’s a good plan to be first in line when/if that plant opens.

MDN friend Bob Downing from the Akron Beacon Journal chronicles a few more choice tidbits from the Gulfport 3Q13 analyst call yesterday, including Gulfport’s ethane yearnings, some smart strategies Gulfport is employing to sell their dry gas and wet gas, how pipeline locations influence their drilling decisions, and an inside look at how much it costs Gulfport to drill a single Utica Shale well…
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New Condensate Pipeline Proposed from Ohio to Western Canada

Here’s a new one for the Marcellus/Utica region: Unity Pipeline Company (a joint venture between Harvest Pipeline, which is Hilcorp, Somerset Gas Transmission, and Crossroads Pipeline, which is NiSource) has just launched an open season (a time for drillers to sign up) for a condensate pipeline that will stretch from the Marcellus/Utica in Ohio across the state into Indiana, Michigan, and all the way to western Canada. Condensate, sometimes called natural gasoline, is a hydrocarbon produced from “raw natural gas” when the raw gas temperature is dropped to a certain point. Condensate in the northeast is mainly found in the wet gas areas of eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Condensate is used to dilute (mix with) crude oil so the oil can more easily be pumped through pipelines. There’s plenty of condensate available in the Marcellus/Utica, and plenty of need in western Canada where they pump a lot of oil. It makes sense to get all that condensate from point A to point B–and that’s what the proposed Unity Pipeline aims to do. Here is the announcement from Unity about their plan to build a 380-mile “diluent” pipeline, a project they hope to have up and running by the middle of 2015…
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PA Judge Forces Range, Contractors to Provide Chemical List

Three families who live near a drill site/frack wastewater impoundment (“pond”) in Cecil Township, PA have a long-running (since May 2012) lawsuit against Range Resources claiming Range’s drilling and wastewater impoundment has contaminated their well water. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) investigated and found no contamination. Even the federal EPA looked at it last year and never filed any violation notices–meaning they didn’t find anything either (see EPA Investigating Range Drill Site in Western PA).

However, the families maintain they have been harmed by toxic chemicals used during drilling, and so a judge has ordered Range and all of their subcontractors to provide a list of every conceivable chemical compound used at the site since 2009–right down to the kind of oil used in the engines of vehicles visiting the site–and she’s giving them 30 days to do it…
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Andrew Cuomo: Hamlet on the Shale

New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox makes a trip to Buffalo today to deliver the keynote address at the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York’s annual conference. The title of his speech is, appropriately: “Andrew Cuomo: Hamlet on the Shale.” The title has echoes of his father, former governor of New York Mario Cuomo, who was known as Hamlet on the Hudson for his inability to make decisions on important issues. Apparently the apples does not fall far from the tree. Andy can’t make up his mind either–the mark of a weak leader.

Cox debuted a number of the points he will make in his speech last week in a New York Post column by Fred Dicker:
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Utica Driller Eclipse Resources Talking IPO in 2014

MDN has written several stories in the past about a small but rapidly growing driller in the Utica Shale–Eclipse Resources. In June we told you that Eclipse, headquartered in State College, PA, bought out Oxford Oil, adding to their Utica acreage portfolio (see Eclipse Resources buys Oxford Oil, Adds Another 49K Utica Acres). Eclipse currently has over 90,000 acres leased in the Utica and another 20,000 acres leased in the Marcellus Shale–all of the acreage located in Ohio.

Seeing the very successful Antero Resources initial public stock offering (Antero’s market capitalization as of today is $14.35 billion!), Eclipse wants some of that IPO action too. CEO Benjamin Hulburt, no stranger to running oil & gas companies (he co-founded Rex Energy), says Eclipse is looking at an IPO in the middle of 2014…
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Economic Suicide Avoided in 2 OH Cities but Oberlin Pulls Trigger

A happy note about yesterday’s elections in Ohio. Two communities where a so-called “community bill of rights” (anti-drilling ban flying under a different name) was on the ballot was voted down. In Youngstown (Mahoning County) this was the second time anti-drillers have tried to convince voters to commit economic suicide, but fortunately they didn’t (see Economic Suicide Attempt #2: Youngstown to Vote Again on Frack Ban). The voters in Bowling Green (Wood County) also decided to vote down a ban–even though there is no recoverable Utica Shale under Bowling Green. Freedom is always a smart choice–good decision Bowling Green.

However, voters in a third OH community, Oberlin (Lorain County), where there likely is recoverable Utica Shale gas, sadly decided to pull the trigger and commit economic suicide…
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Talisman 3Q13: Marcellus Production Up 4%, Avg 443 Mmcf/d

Talisman Energy released their third quarter financial and operations update today. Talisman, a Canadian company, is a major driller in the Marcellus Shale, among other plays both here and around the world. In this update, Talisman CEO Hal Kvisle gives a big thumbs up to the Marcellus. In his opening remarks he comments: “We are achieving excellent results in the Marcellus, sustaining gas production rates through production optimization and a modest drilling program.”

In this really, really, really long 3Q13 update, Talisman says both production and cash flow are up company-wide for the quarter, and drilling costs are down. We’ve extracted out the information from the update on Talisman’s Marcellus drilling program, which is really, really short–but enlightening nonetheless:
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