Antero 2013: 124 Marcellus/Utica Wells Drilled, Reserves Skyrocket

rocket to the moonAntero Resources continues to impress. The company is focused on drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region–and it’s one of the biggest drillers with the most land under lease (450,000 acres between the two plays). No wonder the company’s IPO last October was such a hit (see Antero’s IPO Fetches $1.57B, Company Valued at $11B!). Yesterday Antero issued an update on their Marcellus/Utica drilling program. It will come as no surprise (but is impressive all the same) that Antero reports their proved reserves–the amount of gas they know is down there and recoverable–was 7.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcfe). That’s an astonishing 78% increase over 2012. If you open it up to the looser 3P standard (proved, provable and possible), the number zooms to 35 Tcfe. Wow! That’s a lotta gas. 😉

Antero reports they added 113 new Marcellus wells in 2013, and 11 new Utica wells. One of those wells took top honors as the most productive well in the Utica (see Antero Resources Utica Well Produces Stratospheric 38.9 Mmcf/d). Below is yesterday’s Antero update with lots of good info about 2013…
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Tackling a Serious Issue: Low Level Radioactivity in Drill Waste

There are a number of problems to be addressed and resolved when it comes to shale drilling–issues like truck traffic, noise, lights at night and yes, wastewater and drill cuttings (leftover rock and dirt from drilling). MDN has never shied away from discussing those issues–we need to discuss them openly and honestly for that’s the only way we solve them. Simply saying those issues are unsolvable and therefore drilling should never happen is an unreasonable and intellectually dishonest position, yet that’s what many anti-drillers do. Case in point: a single anti-driller’s objection to Washington County, OH company Envirotank Clean’s request to handle and blend semi-liquid drill cuttings that have low levels of naturally occurring radioactivity to make it safe for disposal at certified landfills ready to take it.

Envirotank wants a permit from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources to begin accepting what is called TENORM, or technologically-enhanced naturally-occurring radioactive material. In a self-defeating argument a single, solitary anti-driller who will no doubt recruit more to her side, says any amount of radioactive material is unsafe. We hate to tell her, but she may want to stay away from the local hospital where there’s lots of radioactive material–material that often sets off radiation alarms at landfills. Should hospitals ban cancer treatments because it produces TENORM material? According to her logic, yes…
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When Drilling Comes to Town, Property Values Go…UP, Not Down

When drilling comes to town, property values plummet–right? Wrong. The property value plummeting lie is told so often by anti-drillers that they’ve convinced themselves it’s actually true. So let’s take a look at property values in one of the most shale-drilled counties in West Virginia–Marshall County. Property values in Marshall County for the 2014 tax year have gone UP a total of $158.2 million. Huh. What about last year? In 2013 property values in Marshall County went UP by $605 million! Must be an anomaly. Go back another year. OK–property values in Marshall County in 2012 went UP by $335 million. The reason, according to county officials, is Marcellus Shale drilling.

Contrary to the popular anti-drilling lie, it seems when drilling comes to town, property values actually go UP, not down. We wonder how many other arguments anti-drillers spin where the truth is opposite of their claims? Here’s more on the good news of zooming property values in Marshall County, WV:
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PA Gov. Corbett’s Bold Plan for More Drilling in State Forests

marijuana jointPA Gov. Tom Corbett released his draft budget yesterday and his plan calls for ending the now three-year moratorium on drilling in state forests–which will bring in $75 million for Harrisburg politicians to play with. Predictably, the Democrats are squealing like stuck pigs about the proposed lifting of the moratorium. John Hanger, former Secretary of the Dept. of Environmental Protection under “Fast Eddie” Ed Rendell has already gone on record opposing drilling in state forests (see PA Democrat Gov Candidates Support Partial/Full Moratorium). Apparently John thinks there’s more money to be made by turning PA into a pot smoking state (see John Hanger pushes Democratic gubernatorial rivals to address progressive agenda). New campaign slogan: Pass a Joint for John!

Here’s the “funny” part: Rendell and Hanger leased state forests in 2009 & 2010 and hauled in $444 million for the state–then they clamped down and stopped it before leaving office. Apparently moratoriums on drilling in state forests are good for thee but not for me when it comes to PA Dems like Hanger. Here’s more on Corbett’s bold plan to re-open some state forests for drilling:
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MD Marcellus Commission Survey: With Careful Planning Drilling OK

In June 2011, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed an Executive Order creating the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative, his way of appearing to address the issue of shale drilling in the state without really addressing it. Since that time the state has been more or less mired in “discussions” about whether, and how, to proceed with Marcellus Shale drilling. There’s only two counties in far western MD that even have recoverable Marcellus Shale gas, but Maryland is so far left on the political spectrum, lawmakers address each other as “comrade” in the hallways in Annapolis. It’s no surprise they’re not anywhere close to allowing drilling.

As part of the Executive Order the Initiative established an Advisory Commission, made up of a number of good people and a few rotten anti-drilling apples. Mostly good, deliberative, smart people sit on the Commission. One of the documents commissioners helped create last summer was a draft “best practices in shale drilling” report (for a copy, see: Maryland Releases Draft “Best Practices” in Shale Drilling Report). Of the 15 people on the Commission, 10 of them filled out a survey last fall about the draft best practices document in an effort to pinpoint areas of disagreement so the commissioners could discuss those issues at scheduled meetings. The survey responses from the 10 Commissioners (full copy of the survey embedded below) show a deliberative, careful, considered approach to shale drilling in the state–which we applaud. Too bad no one in Annapolis is paying attention…
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Big News! Chesapeakes Hires One New Employee – a Lawyer

Stop Press! This is really big news… After laying off some 1,200 people last year (see The Great Chesapeake Massacre: Lawler Fires 800 People in One Day), Chesapeake Energy’s CEO Doug Lawler has hired one new employee–a lawyer. And not just any lawyer, but the former Secretary of the Environment for the state of Oklahoma. In unrelated news, the handful of people who still work at Chesapeake have once again voted their company onto the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list–for a seventh straight year. Right. We wonder whose hands were greased for that one? Anyone notice big full page ads for Chessy now appearing in Fortune?

Below are a pair of recent press releases from Chesapeake, announcing the appointment of Miles Tolbert to lead the environmental health and safety group at Chessy’s HQ in Oklahoma City (rumor is he has an entire empty floor of offices to himself), and the announcement about the faux Fortune 100 list…
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Spectra Energy Files Formal Request with FERC for OPEN Pipeline

When it comes to building a new natural gas pipeline, it’s a loooooong process to get the route planned and approved. Once that’s done, depending on how long the pipeline is, it takes a fair bit of time to actually build it. We started telling you about a proposed new pipeline project from Spectra Energy back in December of 2011 called the Ohio Pipeline Energy Network, or OPEN (see Chesapeake Investing in New 70-Mile Ohio Pipeline). We brought you an update on this interesting project last August (see Spectra’s OH Pipeline Project Advances, Sept 20 Deadline w/FERC).

OPEN is an interesting project because it will build 76 miles of new pipeline that connects to the Texas Eastern Pipeline, and then reverses the flow on the Texas Eastern to carry Marcellus and Utica Shale gas from eastern Ohio to the Gulf Coast. The Texas Eastern will become a bi-directional pipeline, sometimes bringing gas north from the Gulf, other times sending it to the south to the Gulf. The new news about the OPEN project is this: Spectra Energy made their full, official filing with FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) last week seeking FERC’s blessing to go ahead build it starting the new pipeline in December of this year. Here’s the story as reported by Reuters:
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UGI/AmeriGas Talks up the Marcellus & NEPA Auburn II Pipeline

AmeriGas Partners is the nation’s largest propane company, serving 2 million+ residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and motor fuel propane customers from 1200 locations in all 50 states. Chances are in a city of any size, there’s an AmeriGas storefront someplace around town. AmeriGas is also a subsidiary of PA-based utility company UGI. AmeriGas/UGI held a conference call yesterday to discuss the company’s first quarter financial performance (their quarters are slightly different from calendar year quarters).

There were a number of references to the Marcellus made by John Walsh during the call. Walsh is the vice chairman of AmeriGas and president of UGI. Most of those Walsh’s references revolved around UGI’s Auburn Pipeline gathering system that finally went live last year (see UGI Wins! Auburn Pipeline with Marcellus Gas in NEPA Goes Live). We’ve selected out relevant portions of Walsh’s remarks from yesterday mentioning the Marcellus Shale and it’s importance to UGI’s future:
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The Unconventional Rise & Sale of Atlas Energy

Atlas Energy, aka Atlas Resource Partners and Atlas Pipeline Partners, is a Pittsburgh-based exploration and production (E&P) and midstream company with active drilling operations not only in the Marcellus/Utica region but another four resource plays as well. The company has an unconventional history, to say the least. The entrepreneurial Cohen family from Philadelphia bought a major stake in the company in the late 1990s and installed son Jonathan in Pittsburgh to help run it. The Cohens had no special knowledge or foresight but seemed to be in the right place at the right time (the Marcellus Shale), because in 2010 the Cohens sold Atlas Energy to Chevron for a pile of cash (see India’s RIL Loses Bidding War for Atlas Energy – $4.3 Billion Deal with Chevron Goes Forward).

An interesting story about the entrepreneurial Cohen family, the businesses they’ve founded or grown, and the rise of Atlas Energy as a major driller in the Marcellus…
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