Cadiz, OH Considers Offer to “Flip” Royalty Rights for $11K/Acre

calculatorThis story is almost a month old, but somehow it missed our otherwise good radar. It involves landowners who want to sell their already-leased acreage royalty rights to investors–“flipping” the rights to royalties they may or may not get at some future point for money on the barrel head now. In this case, the landowner considering doing the flipping is the Village of Cadiz (Harrison County), OH, and the company that wants to buy their royalty rights is Flatiron Financial. Flatiron, you may recall, recently purchased a bunch of leases from some of Ohio’s Amish farmers (see OH Amish Flip Royalty Rights for Tax-Free Lump Sum Payment). Seems the flipping business is good and Flatiron is turning on the pressure in Cadiz, telling village officials they don’t have long to make a decision. The hand is slowly leaving the table…better act now! Right.

So what is Flatiron offering? Cash now for potential future royalties–and the cash is on the order of $11,000-$12,000 per acre. Note: This is not a one-time lease payment, it is signing over all future royalties (for decades to come) for a lump sum payment now. It becomes a game of poker, estimating your odds of whether you’ll get more “down the road” if you wait for monthly or quarterly royalty checks, or just take it all now–“bird in the hand” thinking. Tough call. What will the village leaders do? The clock is ticking…
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Harrisburg Newspaper Criticizes 0.00255 Drilling Part of PA Budget

If you want to know what the prevailing political attitudes are from Pennsylvania’s (Democrat) politicians, look no further than the editorial page of the Harrisburg Patriot-News newspaper. There you’ll find whatever the next party line attack will be against PA Republicans and/or the shale drilling industry. And so today what do the learned, careful, deliberative minds of the PN editors focus on in PA Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget which he unveiled on Tuesday–a budget which is an astonishing $29.4 BILLION in size and includes spending INCREASES for education and old folks but no broad-based tax increases? One of the sources for revenue in the budget–pocket change really–is a measly $75 million (which is 0.00255, or roughly 2/10ths of 1% of the entire budget) raised by allowing a little bit more drilling under, not on, state forests. And that’s what the editors at the PN jump on about the budget. Amazing.

What’s even more amazing is the mental gymnastics they have to perform to criticize Corbett’s proposal–a proposal that does not allow any new rigs or drill pads on state forest lands! They resort to quoting anti-drilling organizations like PennFuture with arguments made with more “maybes,” “mights,” and “coulds” than you can count. In other words, absent any scientific evidence to the contrary, we should not do something (that Eddie Rendell and John Hanger once did, raising $444 million), simply on Democrat anti-drillers’ say-so. Maybe the PN editors like Hanger’s plan to turn PA into a bunch of pot smokers (they can tax) instead? We say, no thanks…
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Range Resources New High for Proved/Unproved Marcellus Reserves

Yesterday MDN reported that Antero Resources was reporting a new high for the company–they have 7.6 trillion cubic feet equivalent (Tcfe) of proven natural gas reserves under the acreage they lease (see Antero 2013: 124 Marcellus/Utica Wells Drilled, Reserves Skyrocket). Not to be outdone, Range Resources has published their own chest-thumping announcements that they (Range) had 8.2 Tcfe at the end of 2013. In addition, Range is reporting their unproved resource potential zooms up to 42 – 55 Tcf of natural gas and 3.7 – 4.9 billion barrels of NGLs and crude oil.

Here’s a pair of announcements from Range with more details on their excellent position in the Marcellus at the end of 2013…
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Rex 2013: Proved Reserves up 37%, Avg Drilling Costs Up Too

We like to refer to Rex Energy, the State College-based Marcellus/Utica driller as the little energy company that could. Rex is quite a bit smaller than some of the big boys, with just 77,000 leased acres in the Marcellus and 20,000 acres in the Utica. But they appear to be a healthy company–and they stay focused on their core mission of drilling in the northeast. We’ve recently mentioned “proved reserves” for some of the big boys in the Marcellus and Utica–reserves in the trillions of cubic feet. Rex’s proved reserves are in the billions of cubic feet.

Below is a Rex announcement from a few days ago outlining their proven reserves. It’s a good update because it also outlines their average costs to drill, and the locations where they drill…
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Chevron’s Head of Unconventional Resources Discusses Marcellus

Chevron is the third largest acreage holder in the Utica Shale with 600,000 leased acres and fourth largest in the Marcellus with 714,000 acres. So when Chevron’s manager of unconventional resources for global drilling and completions, Michael Power, sits down for a Q&A to discuss “what’s next”–new methods and technologies the company will be using–that’s of high interest for MDN readers.

An interview of Power with Drilling Contractor magazine reveals Chevron’s strategy in the Marcellus–fewer pads with more wells and longer laterals. They’re also recycling wastewater on site for reuse in drilling and fracking. Power discusses Chevron’s under-construction Decision Support Center in Pittsburgh, government regulation, community relations and more in this enlightening interview…
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OSU Tech/Money Backs Ohio Start-up Bringing CNG to Everyone

We have a chicken and egg problem with CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles: you need vehicles with engines converted, or designed, to run on CNG, and you need a way to fuel up. Detroit is listening–they’re coming out with a flurry of new CNG vehicles this year, including the Ford F-150 pickup truck. The only thing holding it all back seems to be a way to keep the tank filled. Americans have always been of the mindset that you head on down to the local filling station or these days, convenience store, to fill ‘er up. Filling stations are slowly beginning to offer CNG (and along interstate highways, LNG for big rigs), but it’s not happening nearly fast enough.

Since you can burn the very same natural gas in your vehicle that you use to heat your home and cook with, wouldn’t it be great if there were a box you could hang on your garage wall that enables you to compress the gas from the local utility company to be used at home–just fill ‘er up at home? Wow, that would be awesome–and that’s just what an Ohio start-up company, using technology innovated at Ohio State University, is doing. With a $1 million investment from OSU, Simple-Fill is launching a very cool solution for businesses and homeowners that will enable them to use their existing natural gas hookup to fill up their CNG vehicles. Imagine never having to stop by the convenience store again (except to pick up a lottery ticket)…
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Can a Single Canceled Airline Route Affect Utica Shale Development?

Could a single canceled airline route have an impact on the development of one of the hottest shale plays in the U.S. (the Utica)? Maybe, is the surprising answer. United Airlines has announced they will discontinue their non-stop daily flights to and from Cleveland and Oklahoma City. OKC is the headquarters for Chesapeake Energy, and Chessy is the #1 driller (for now) in the Utica Shale. It’s also HQ for Gulfport Energy, one of the most prominent and prolific drillers in the Utica next to Chesapeake. By cutting out that direct route it will mean much longer flights with layovers “at best” according to the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association. They leave us to think about the “at worst” possibilities.

“No problem!” you say. Pittsburgh is probably closer to the oil and gas fields of eastern Ohio than Cleveland anyway. Or Columbus. Ahhh, but there’s the rub. Neither of those airports go direct to OKC either. Cleveland was the only one in the entire region to do so. And so this spring when United cuts the direct routes, it will mean a major disruption for the flow of “foreigners” (as Gov. John Kasich refers to them) coming into Ohio to work in Ohio’s oil and gas fields…
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Ohio Petroleum Council Gets a Name Change to API Ohio

The Ohio Petroleum Council, which has always been an arm or division of the national American Petroleum Council, has officially changed it’s name. It’s no longer the OPC but is now API Ohio. The OPC decided to take on the name of its parent organization to strengthen its brand, and name, recognition. OPC (or rather API Ohio) is not to be confused with OOGA–the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. Both organizations are competitors, of a sort. OPC/API Ohio has not endorsed the Republicans’ proposed Utica Shale severance tax increase. OOGA has endorsed it and helped craft it (see The Secret Back Room Deal to Raise OH’s Utica Shale Tax).

Here’s more about the OPC name transformation:
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Who Wants to be a (Fracking) Millionaire?

Guilty admission: MDN editor Jim Willis quit watching television about four years ago. Completely. He occasionally watches an old episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, or an excellent mystery series like Foyle’s War (using Amazon Prime, no commercials!). He did break down and watch the not-Big Game this past Sunday night, the creaming of Peyton Manning and the Broncos (he was rooting for the Seahawks, but it was painful to watch nonetheless). He has no use for reality television series. He’s never watched an episode of Duck Dynasty or any of the myriad other so-called “reality” TV shows. He tried to watch Blood and Oil, a “reality” TV show about “big oil” companies coming to Ohio and bullying a small independent out of business. As he predicted, Blood and Oil didn’t even last a month (see Place Your Bets: Will ‘Blood and Oil’ TV Show Last a Month?).

So when Jim spotted the latest “brilliant” idea for a “reality” TV show, it was a “here we go again” reaction. The latest is that someone thinks getting some farmers “with big personalities” on television that became overnight millionaires from leasing their land for shale drilling. The proposed name for the series? Fracking Millionaires (how original and creative). While a serious treatment of that topic would make for interesting television, you can bet your royalty check this will not be a serious treatment but more of the freak show hucksterism we call reality TV…
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